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April 20 - May 20 Taurus
It’s that time again, Taurus cowpunks and all zodiac zydecats. Time for the Ponderosa Stomp! The 8th Annual P-Stomp pulls into New Orleans next week on Tuesday 4/28 and Wednesday 4/29. The lineup includes Wanda Jackson, Howard Tate, James Burton, Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons, Howard Tate, Otis Clay, The Hi Rhythm Section, The Remains, Question Mark and the Mysterians, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Kenny and the Kasuals, Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics, and 75-year-old Lazy Lester, the patron saint of the P-Stomp, whose instrumental 1966 track for Excello Records provided the festival’s namesake. And that’s only a few of the musical acts. By the by, Flamin’ Groovies Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney haven’t played a full set together since 1971, but will perform this year at the P-Stomp, backed by the A-Bones! It’s the biggest P-Stomp to date, with an expanded 3-day conference and a Stomp-curated exhibition at the NOLA’s Louisiana State Museum at The Cabildo. The 2nd Annual Music Conference and Exhibit is presented in partnership with The Louisiana State Museum and The Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. From our friends at Norton Records: A daytime conference has been added to the Stomp. There will be interviews and panels with and about the music and artists featured on the festival. The conference happens at the beautiful Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo. Much anticipated at Norton HQ is a Peanut buttery Tom Snyder style Q&A starring Question Mark with his biggest fan Miriam Linna firing questions at the Arsenal! (April 29 2:00 - 3:00 PM ) More info here. Schedule here. Tickets here. And New Yorkers, hearken unto this: the P-Stomp is pulling into Lincoln Center for 3 dates in July.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
I know Geminis are mindful that Mother’s Day is coming up very quickly on May 10. Because you twin people love your mamas! As it should be! Heads up for a really great deal on the perfect Mother’s Day Gift from One Meaning Couture, a new jewelry and apparel company. All OMC designs are based on the words “I love you” - 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning.  The numbers 813 form a butterfly shape– the symbol of change and renewal, and now, love. Company owners Karen Chesleigh and Ingrid Hobbs believe that love really can change the world. That change starts with their policy to give back 8.13% of all sales to a different highlighted charity each month. As OMC grows in sales, so will its charitable contribution – one day they hope to donate 81.3% of all proceeds to a deserving organization each month. During the month of May, in honor of Mother’s Day, OMC is donating 8.13% of all proceeds to the Get in Touch Foundation, which encourages girls and women of all ages to “get in touch” with their bodies in the crusade against breast cancer. Weekend Horoscoop* readers are invited to take 10% off their orders between now and May 10. Enter the word “horoscoop” at checkout and you’ll receive a 10% credit off your total purchase price!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
As the Tribeca Film Festival pulls into town, it reminds us that we must support independent film every way we can, especially in these dark financial times. I know that those born under the sign of Cancer, the Crab, like to support quality, first-run independent film, n’est-ce pas? Well, pull up a chair and let’s talk about Gigantic Digital – a website committed to making these films available to everyone, everywhere, anytime. Employing the latest digital video technologies, their goal is to even the playing field for independent filmmakers. Throughout the history of independent film distribution, theaters that show them have been few and far between. The bigger problem is that only a tiny percentage of independent films are ever released at all. The cost of traditional film distribution is just too high for film companies to take a chance on unknown filmmakers, films without high-profile festival pedigrees or films without movie stars. Which is why you should buy tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival if you’re able to. And no matter where you are geographically, you can watch three days of indie productions at Gigantic Digital for a mere $2.99 – on your computer! Now playing: David Kaplan’s Year of the Fish, Wayne Price’s The Doorman, and Morgan DewsMust Read After My Death. Also, feel free to watch your fill of the site’s free content which they add to regularly. Thanks to Kathryn B. for this tip!

July 23 - August 22 Leo
I don’t think I know any Leos who aren’t rock & roll animals, so this one’s for you. Did you know about the Ravin’ Wire, a commercial free, not for profit project created and maintained by San Francisco-based filmmaker Bob Sarles? Sarles regularly posts fascinating articles about popular culture, music, film, television, new media, emerging technologies, obituaries, humor, politics, and anything else that strikes his interest at any given moment. Today on the site he’s spotlighting Greg Kot’s Chicago Tribune piece Why the Grateful Dead live on; a review of Ayelet Waldman’s book Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace; and an article about the new Bruce Springsteen exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. More about Sarles and his production company Ravin’ Films here. Mr. Sarles welcomes comments on posted articles; submissions for original and referred articles are encouraged. Please feel free to submit any articles for the Wire, or send feedback to Join Ravin’ Wire on Facebook here.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Virgos tend to be know-it-alls. You know what I’m talking about. Well us tribal members call such folks yentas. And a certified yenta / veteran celebrity assistant from L.A. has taken it upon herself to start a great website called The Yenta Report. Loren Elkins, said Yenta, has assisted luminaries such as Faye Dunaway, Nathan Lane, Ellen Barkin, and Matthew Perry, to name a few. After many years of people asking her advice on where to find this, or how do I do that, she decided to start this fabulous online resource which dishes out advice on all kinds of L.A.-specific topics. Features include The Yenta Review (a weekly L.A. insider profile); Ask the Yenta (every week Loren answers three submitted questions in her weekly email newsletter); and The Yenta List (where to shop, eat, rent cars, and find cool stuff in the L.A. area). There’s even a blog. Thanks to Janice N. for this fabulous tip. Love you, mean it!

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Urbane, polished Librans love to be on the cutting edge of everything, including viral video. With that in mind, may I present to you one David Wain, comic genius / boy wonder. Wain was a member of the multiheaded sketch troupe that was behind MTV’s The State. Wet Hot American Summer, a summer camp comedy cult classic, was directed by Wain in 2001. Wainy Days, his hilarious web series, is both directed by Wain and also features him as the star. The storyline is about an oversexed, nebbishy Brooklynite who continually gets his heart broken in a series of really bad dates. Season 4 debuts on May 7 at My Damn Channel – be there or be square, as the saying goes. If you’re in or near New York City, you are so in luck. Wain will host Wainy Days Live at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St.) featuring musical performances from past and upcoming episodes along with a passel of series cast members. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
I know Scorpios are often drawn to the dark side, the monsters that lurk under the bed, horror movies, et de plus en plus. Possibly because Halloween falls within your birth sign. Well, folks, have I got a museum for you! How about a trip to Springfield, Illinois to visit The Museum of Funeral Customs? Talk about a once in a “lifetime” experience. Alas, the museum is under severe budget restraints at the present time and is only open by appointment. But make an appointment and go, because I’m absolutely positive you’ll be enthralled by this place. Among other things, the museum has a replica of the coffin that carried Abraham Lincoln from Washington to Springfield in 1865. Also on view are a 1920’s horse-drawn hearse, Victorian era mourning clothes, an embalming supply cabinet from the 1920’s, and prosthetics for preparing bodies in the mid-20th century. There’s also a one of a kind gift shop that sells coffin shaped key chains and chocolates. The museum explores death-related customs in different cultures. The Museum of Funeral Customs is located at 1440 Monument Ave. in Springfield, Illinois, a stone’s throw from Lincoln’s final resting place at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Call to make an appointment at 217-544-3480.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians are friendly folk. You make a great friend and you love to make new friends. Well surprise, surprise – it turns out that making and keeping friends is good for your health. The New York Times reported this week that a 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends . .  And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could promote brain health as we age. The Times article cites a new book called The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40-Year Friendship (Gotham), in which author Jeffrey Zaslow recounts the story of 11 childhood friends originally from Ames, Iowa, who eventually settled in eight different states. Despite the distance, their bond has stayed strong through the years. Two of the women recently found that they have breast cancer. One of those women is a high school teacher in Minnesota who found it easier to discuss her illness with her friends rather than her doctor, and maintains that her friends were instrumental in her treatment and recovery process. Turns out that a 2006 study of nurses with breast cancer found that women who had no close friends were four times as likely to die than women with ten or more friends. Karen A. Roberto, director of Virginia Tech’s center for gerontology, told The Times that “People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to . . . Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Our album of the week is a new release from the brilliant Ian McLagan, Never Say Never on 00:02:59. CBS Sunday Morning’s Bill Flanagan, music critic and rock writer, had this to say: Never Say Never mixes mischief and heartbreak, dancing on the bar and crying in your beer, in perfect proportion. The album is a collaboration with Glyn Johns, Mac’s old pal from Small Faces and Faces days. The self produced and directed album features McLagan’s award winning Bump Band: ‘Scrappy’ Jud Newcomb, Don Harvey and Mark Andes. Patty Griffin graces Never Say Never with her soulful vocals, and both Patty and the Tosca Strings can be heard on the final track, the heart wrenching When The Crying Is Over. If I know Capricorns like I think I do, you’ll enjoy this great new set of songs from an old friend. You can catch him doing some live shows in the next couple of weeks on the west coast. Tour dates here.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Times are tough for everyone. We know this. I also know that Aquarians are very responsive to new, unique ways to solve problems. So I have a unique way for you to approach this depressing, scary, sad financial meltdown that’s reached it’s evil tentacles into the lives of all of us. It’s going to surprise you. But I ask you to give it a try. You’ll be amazed. What is this trick? It is learning how to be thankful. Re-learning the lost art of gratitude. Karen Krakower Kaplan writes in the Health Leader, the online wellness magazine of the University of Texas Health Science Center: Gratitude is the gentle recognition, rediscovery or “re-remembering” of the simple abundance around you . . . Gratitude is noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary. And then taking the nanosecond to feel it. Kaplan gives us 7 steps to connecting to gratitude and, through gratitude, abundance. Honestly, it works. I’ve tried it; I know. Even if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, make a list – you will find something – and it will turn your life around.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
The Pisces of the Week is Sir Michael Caine, who is back in the spotlight with a new film; John Crowley’s Is Anybody There? Caine plays a retired magician who has been shunted off into a rest home as he experiences the slow darkness of the mind that is Alzheimer’s. Caine, now 76, says it is one of his favorite roles in his long career of over a hundred films (two Oscars, mind you). And this is from the man who starred in The Ipcress File, The Man Who Would Be King, The Italian Job, Educating Rita, Zulu, Billion Dollar Brain, Alfie, etc. etc. etc. Caine was born Maurice Joseph Mickelwhite, Jr. on March 14, 1933. He is also known for his wickedly funny asides, like “The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years” and “I’m a sort of boy next door. If that boy has a good scriptwriter.” The British ska band Madness included a song called Michael Caine on their 1984 release Keep Moving. At the urging of his daughter, a fan of the band, Caine contributed vocal samples to the song. The music video can be seen here.

Bill Hicks once opined (and I agree): Watching television is like taking black spray paint to your third eye. That being said, the fact is that dramatic moments of all shapes and sizes were played out this year on the small screen, from the sublime to the ridiculous (most of it being more in the latter category). The year began with the writers’ strike which went on for about ten million years and impacted our lives in all kinds of ways. After a Busboy drought (no Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert) the daring duo returned to the screen early in the year sans writers – and, surprise surprise, were pretty much as hilarious and entertaining as ever.

The writers’ strike, among other things, ensured no new season of 24 would take place until 2009. I don’t know about you but I was fine with that decision; much as I missed Jack B’s constipated facial expressions (and sour-faced / annoying / but you gotta love her - sidekick Chloe) I was fine with not seeing a show this year where presidents were snuffed out. (And then we recently got a little taste of Warrior King JB on 24: Redemption to warm us up for next year)

The overwhelming TV presence this year was politics. But let’s get to that later. First I’d like to spotlight the best new show of the year, Alan Ball’s True Blood. Lip-smacking good. Here’s some fun; tonight (New Year’s Eve) you can catch a True Blood marathon on HBO 2 starting at 6pm. Bon Temps, Louisiana comes alive (in a manner of speaking) with this vampire romance between sweet telepathic Sookie (Anna Paquin) and sexy undead Bill (Stephen Moyer). Best characters: Sookie’s conflicted, demon-ridden, wisecracking best friend Tara (Rutina Wesley) and Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis) as the coolest, cutest, freakiest, most interesting short order cook ever. What else would we expect from Alan Ball, who created Six Feet Under and wrote the film American Beauty.

Other great shows this year, in no particular order:
-Always necessary – The Daily Show, The Colbert Report. The Colbert Report’s week in Philadelphia covering the heated Pennsylvania primaries was outstanding. Colbert at the Liberty Bell telling the guide “Let me tongue the crack of liberty.” Colbert singing the National Anthem with John Legend, beautifully. Hillary Clinton fixing the digital screen in order to prove she can handle any crisis, only to have Obama appear on it soon afterward by satellite (Colbert: Won’t Senator Clinton be glad she fixed that).
-CBS Sunday Morning – for the most part, educational and entertaining (except when they go off on boring tangents).
-Gossip Girl – a moral drama of the highest order, with the consistently best dialogue of any show methinks. Remember Blair trying to keep her cool when meeting her mother’s new boyfriend for the first time; “I am Grace KellyGrace Kelly is me.”
-Lost – best moment so far in a show chockablock with great moments: Ben turning the frozen wheel that made the island disappear. Say what?!?!?!
-Ugly Betty – eye candy with a moral lesson thrown in. And love, love, love Marc St. James (Michael Urie), the bitchy but soft-hearted assistant to diva ediatrix Wilhemina Slater (Vanessa Williams). Another reason to watch; Betty’s younger brother Justin (Mark Indelicato). His best scene ever (Season 1) – acting out the play Hairspray to passengers on the subway. Receptionist Amanda (Becki Newton) also hits many high notes. This show is blessed by brilliant casting.
-30 Rock – All of a sudden it’s all about Tina Fey. Well my altar to her went up years ago when she broke into the boys club at SNL. I’ve been a fan of this show since the beginning, believing (and rightly so, it appears) that if Tina Fey created it, it must be golden. And then there’s Alec Baldwin. My dream man.
-The Soup – I don’t dare chance a weekend without a bowl of spicy soup from Joel McHale and his sick crew. What’s great about this show is that it is a collection of the best moments of all the worst TV shows. McHale’s banter makes me chortle. Although I am getting a little tired of mankini. And when is Spaghetti Cat getting his own spin-off?
-SNL – When they’re good, they’re very very good, and when they’re bad they’re horrid. Sometimes both in the same show. But consistently great (even in bad skits) are Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Casey Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Will Forte, and Kenan Thompson. Amy Poehler, girlfriend, I’m going to miss you! Of course SNL had a huge year with all of Tina Fey’s Palinizations and such, of which more later.
-Hardball with Chris Matthews – you want to hate him, and sometimes you do. But maybe it’s his Philadelphia accent (my hometown too), maybe it’s because when he gets excited about something he practically foams at the mouth, but he’s hugely entertaining and I logged many hours of this show during election season.
-Countdown with Keith Olbermann – sometimes it seemed as if his voice was the only one speaking truth to power this year. Although he did go overboard many a time. Still, I love him madly and he’s earned a place at the top of my must-see-TV list.
-The Rachel Maddow Show – she’s smart as a whip, cute, and engaging. Her interview last night with tainted Illinois Senatorial candidate Roland Burris was a don’t-miss and if you did miss it, check it out here.

I have not caught the train on these yet but I know I have to soon:
Mad Men
Battlestar Galactica
The Sarah Silverman Program

Really good shows on the fringes of my radar, to be further investigated:
The Office
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Cash Cab
Chelsea Lately
Tracy Ullman’s State of the Union

Reality TV Rubbernecking:
-Project Runway – this year was not so great, but Tim Gunn always delivers. He’s like the teacher you always wanted to have in high school.
-The Pick Up Artist – unbelievably bizarre reality show where a guy in what looks to be a flea-bitten furry top hat who calls himself “Mystery” teaches a bunch of geeks how to score with hot chicks. Mystery has his own language which is endlessly entertaining, my favorite being DHV-ing. This means ‘demonstration of higher value’ – in other words you’re supposed to work DHV’s into your conversation with the babe you want to snag. It’s like a reality tv show in Bizarro World. And Mystery himself, purportedly the biggest catch on the planet, obviously has a hair loss thing going, always wearing strange head coverings. What’s with the goggles? Possibly weirder than him are the sad losers that hang onto his every word.
-America’s Next Top Model – Child! This show can come up with some fun moments. Like when Tyra lapses into ethnic phraseology. Or when she spontaneously bursts into song on lines like ‘noted fashion photographer Nigel Barker.’ Is it me or does everyone behind her (Paulina, Miss Jay, etc) squirm a bit when she does this? Love that Whitney, a plus-size model, won the top prize this year. Love that Isis, a transgender model, was part of the homegirl gang recently. Lady Miss Tyra marches on, dashing barriers right and left!
-Living Lohan – in which Dina Lohan shows us why she should have had her tubes tied prior to getting married.
-Sunset Tan – the best thing about this vacuous show was the Olly Girls (Holly and Molly), two platinum blonde airheads and former Girls Gone Wild. They were fired and…hired back. Because the producers know what makes for good (AKA bad) TV.
-Paris Hilton’s My New BFF – in yet another sign of the approaching apocalypse, this show went on the air in the fall. The winner was Brittany Flickinger (can that be someone’s real name?). Everyone’s favorite: Onch, the girlboy. Stalker material: Vanessa, the runner up. Wikipedia gives us a gorgeous chart which explains why each contestant was eliminated. (At the elimination ceremonies, Paris would gaze sadly at the ousted hopeful and dismiss them with “TTYN” – talk to you never).
-Rock of LoveSeason 2 of this unbelievably sick show began in January and ended in April with Bret Michaels, a R&R has-been if I have ever seen one (and talk about hair loss) choosing Ambre Lake from a bevy of skanks to be his (gag me) rock of love. This show never disappoints in complete and total ickiness. You practically contract a sexual disease from watching it. By the way, Ambre didn’t last – I know you’re as surprised as I am – Bret launches a new season of this trainwreck Sunday night January 4 with Rock of Love Bus. Apparently he hops between two busfulls of so-called hot mamas while touring.
-Rock of Love Charm School – in which Sharon Osbourne was the plucky headmistress to a bunch of losers from both seasons of Rock of Love. Although she’s supposed to be teaching them to become ladies, she’s got them dressing in sexy jailbait schoolgirl uniforms. Sharon’s great though. And this show provided many hilarious moments with Lacey, Rodeo, Megan, Heather and the gang.
-A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila – I crown this show to be the one most like licking an ashtray. It was positively rank. And why anyone would choose Bobby over Dani is beyond belief. Seriously! If Tila had chosen Dani, I like to think they’d be living together in Florida in semi-marital bliss. Notice you haven’t heard from Dani since the show ended, which has to be the true test of a real person versus a made for tv skank. I wont even bother to go there with the spinoff show Domenico did. Just the bits I saw on The Soup were enough for me.

2008 Randomizers:
-Ryan Seacrest. He’s everywhere. Why?
-Britney Spears. Starting the year with no hair, stabbing cars with umbrellas, ending it with cheese grits cooked over the stove by dad and big hits (fazed cookies too I bet).
-Lindsey Lohan. Apparently now a card-carrying member of the Daughters of Bilitis, big Obama supporter although she later referred to him as “colored” (ouch!), and the real story behind her episode arc on Ugly Betty may never be told.
-Rachael Ray’s never-was Dunkin Donuts commercial due to her wearing a ‘terrorist scarf’ that looked like something a crazy Muslim would wear. I ask you. Can you think of someone less American than Rachael Ray? Because I can’t.
-Word of the Year: Meme. According to Wikipedia, a meme comprises a unit or element of cultural ideas, symbols or practices; such units or elements transmit from one mind to another through speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word mimema for mimic. Memes act as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures. Well trust me; its still the word of the year.

From The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

From: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Political Asylum TV:
During the long-ass American Idolatrous Popularity Contest between HRC and BHO, I logged about 3 hours of MSNBC almost every week night. If I wasn’t home, I taped it. This had never happened to me before; watching news in this fashion. All of which led me to really believe that the lanky, cool junior senator from Illinois who refused to play dirty could pull this thing off. After watching him for many months, and canvassing, and doing everything I could to get him elected, I had absolutely no doubt in my mind on November 4th that he would win. What I did not realize was that he would win so big.

Some real numbers:
-Voter turnout increased by more than 13 million people this year, compared to 2004.
-The Associated Press reported that 136.6 million Americans voted in the presidential election, which is a 64.1 percent turnout rate out of more than 208 million registered voters. What a concept; we’re actually acting like a democracy!

Some wonderful moments over the long road to El Casa Blanca:
-McCain ‘suspending’ his campaign and canceling on Letterman. No one will ever make that mistake again, n’est-ce pas?
-Hillary’s 3 AM wake up call commercial in which the phone rings about fifty times before some half-seen female with glasses answers it, meant to scare the bejesus out of us. Somehow I bet Obama would have answered it on the first or second ring.
-The never-ending discussion over the Bradley Factor keeping white voters from voting for a black candidate. No one talks about it now that we have the Obama Factor.
-John McCain’s insincere smile. It always looked to me like he was suddenly remembering to smile. And the body language between him and Cindy was – well I am not going to go there.
-Cindy McCain’s plagiarized cookie recipe.
-The so-called terrorist fist bump practiced by Barack and Michelle Obama onstage when he announced he was the presumptive nominee.
-John McCain’s confusion about how many houses he owns. And cars! Must be fun to be that rich.
-The debates – McCain wandering around onstage and getting in Tom Brokaw’s camera shot.
-Joe the Plumber, the everyman that was suddenly world famous thanks to McCain, and turned out not to even be a plumber, owed back taxes, had newsmen camping on his lawn, and got a book deal. I’m waiting for the reality TV show. (Hey Joe, where you going with that plunger in your hand?)
-McCain and Palin stoking the fires of fear, ignorance, racism and violence at their sparsely attended campaign rallies trying to make Obama rhyme with Ayers. Trying to paint Obama as a scary unknown communist Muslim. And then McCain being surprised when a woman says she doesn’t trust Obama because he’s an Arab.

And then there’s Sarah Heath Palin. Oh the beauty of it. I doff my hat to McCain or whoever had the foresight to pick her as his running mate. Loyal readers will know that I have run on and on about this particular subject so I will only mention a few of my favorite things here:
-Her first moment in the spotlight, the RNC Speech where she you betcha-d her way into America’s heart. While daughter Piper studiously licked the hair on baby Trig’s head in the audience. While baby Trig was the special needs human football that had to be trotted out in the middle of that loud, germ-ridden arena so we could all admire SP’s motherly dedication to him. As that poor little thing slept through the whole shebang, unaware he was a symbol now and not a child.
-Her debate with Joe Biden. The May I call you Joe? moment where she tried to seem both vulnerable and charming behind the barracuda smile.
-The Charles Gibson interview where he asked if she believed in the Bush doctrine. After a long (for TV) pause where you know SP was frantically racking her brains for what the hell was he talking about, she quipped, ‘in what respect Charlie?” and a whole string of Charlie Charlie Charlie as if that would negate the fact that the emperor (empress in this case) had no clothes.
-The Team of Mavericks. The definition of maverick is an unbounded range animal, one who does not abide by rules. Okay then!
-Thanks but no thanks. The true story of the Bridge to Nowhere.
-Katie Couric trying to pin SP down as to what, if anything, she reads. And not succeeding.
-The turkey death clip that surfaced post election of Palin chattering away as turkeys are slaughtered directly behind her.
-Palin assuring us of her qualifications for a job one heartbeat away from the Presidency because she can see Russia from her house.
-Tina Fey out-Palining Palin and the classic moment when they switched places at the podum on SNL.

And then the final nail in the Bush coffin took place recently when an Iraqi journalist threw not one but both of his shoes at GWB during his farewell press conference in the green zone. Bush later shrugged it off saying, that’s what people do in a free society. Oh really? They throw shoes at world leaders to express their absolute horror, dislike and complete disdain?

From the ridiculous to the sublime… the best TV moment of the year was Barack Obama’s Election Night Speech at Grant Park. In which he said, Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long . . . As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends — though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too . . . And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

So ends my 2008 subjective diatribe about the year in television. I know I’ve run at the mouth quite a bit here. Feel free to comment away, and Happy New Year!

March 21 - April 19 Aries
Aries is all about change. Change for change’s sake sometimes. So my gut feeling is that you voted on Tuesday, and you most likely voted for that lean and lanky change candidate who won the Presidency after all these long months of campaigning. Well, now that the whole thing is over and the majority of us can draw a huge sigh of relief, I would like to draw your attention to Tina Brown’s piece, The Magic President, which lays it all out in mythic terms. And check out Matt Taibi’s My Campaign Memories, which is terrific. And lastly, viddy this from The Onion. And then, just lie back and relax into the joy.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Courtesy of Sal Nunziato’s brilliant blog Burning Wood, I learned of the recent release of Mavis Staples’ Live: Hope At The Hideout. Quoth Sal; In June of 2008, Mavis Staples went back home to Chicago and played to an intimate audience at the city’s legendary club, The Hideout. Backed by a simple 3 piece band and a few backing singers, this recording is all one could ask for in a live record - you hear what was performed and no more. The recording captures the room so perfectly, you feel as if Mavis is testifying in your living room. Staples is an emotional powerhouse, and her songs and stories continue to inspire. Taureans love music that speaks truth to power – I know this because I am one myself. What are you waiting for? Go buy or download that sucker.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
You explore the world with fresh new eyes everyday; one of the true pleasures of being a Gemini. So let me point you to My Damn Channel’s newest series premiere, Lapdance with Kurt Loder, in which Kurt Loder saves the world – one interview at a time. To wit; Author, journalist, MTV anchor, movie writer, and former Rolling Stone senior editor Kurt Loder interviews filmmakers, musicians, and anyone else who’s around, anywhere in the world, via iChat. Harry Shearer is the first victim and topics discussed include a Spinal Tap reunion, Ricky Gervais, Eddie Izzard, Richard Pryor, Christopher Guest, Tom Leopold, Paul Shaffer, reality TV, TV news, Sarah Palin, Al Franken, and you can find out what kind of world it would be - if it was ruled by Harry Shearer.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
The moonchild loves great art and photography which reflects emotion. Not for you, a cold and uninspiring life. So you can both view the beautiful colors of the trees in Beacon, New York as we move into the latter part of autumn, and also visit 400 Square, a contemporary photography gallery at 149 Main Street, to see Diary of a Pedestrian by award-winning photographer Ronnie Farley. The exhibit opens Saturday November 8 and will run through January 3rd. There is an opening reception tomorrow (Saturday the 8th) at 4pm. Farley’s black and white photo essay reflects images seen while walking around New York City. Odds are she’s captured quite a few things you missed.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Leos have a tendency to gravitate towards the finer things in life. So, I have one word for you: salt. A few weeks ago, CBS Sunday Morning presented a fascinating segment about salt that tickled my fancy in a big way. In it, Mark and Jennifer Bitterman were interviewed at their shop, The Meadow, in Portland, Oregon – where they sell nothing but salts from all over the world with prices ranging from $4 a pound to $50 a pound. There’s even one that costs $270 a pound, from Korea. The CBS reporter asked Mark why would anyone spend that amount of money on salt, to which he replied, ‘because it makes everything taste better.’ The Meadow also hosts salt tastings, where they present items like ‘radishes with some butter and a fleur de sel from France.’ If this has you eying plane fare to Portland like me, rest assured you can also buy their wares online.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Break out of your box, O Virgo, and explore the genius of Henry Rollins, American singer-songwriter, stand up comedian, spoken word artist, author, actor, musician, and publisher. Many of you will know Rollins from the seminal hardcore punk band Black Flag. After leaving Black Flag in 1986, he formed the Rollins Band and created a record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums. He’s written a plethora of books, is an outspoken human rights activist, and is the host of Uncut, a series of Documentary Specials airing every Friday in November (except Nov. 28) on the IFC Channel. Watch Uncut from New Orleans tonight (Friday November 7) at 10:30pm. IFC describes it thus and so: Henry’s spoken word stage show is intertwined with compelling documentary footage shot on location. He also has some tour dates coming up in November, check those out here.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Stoke that Libran love of beauty and health with Young Living Essential Oils. The company was founded by D. Gary Young. After a crippling injury early in life, Young went on a personal health odyssey that transformed him both physically and emotionally. He ended up traveling the world to study essential oils and alternative health care, becoming a foremost authority in natural health. History’s most advanced ancient civilizations – Egypt, Greece, Rome, China - all relied on nature’s essential oils to increase and maintain health of the body, mind, and spirit. Young Living Essential Oils provides pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils and essential-oil-enhanced products. Believe me, these are the purest, undiluted, non-additive oils you can find; they are absolutely transformative. Used aromatically, applied topically, or taken internally, essential oils can calm, energize, balance, purify, and rejuvenate the mind and body.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Scorpio, you groove on all things that seek to explain the known world, be it Our Lady of Guadalupe images or Tibetan sand mandelas. I know you’ll dig my Saint of the Week: Saint Expedite. True to his name, he is the patron saint of those who wish for a quick solution to a problem. He also can step in to end delays and grants financial success. Procrastinators, this is your guy. He’s apparently quite well known in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Latin America, as well as New Orleans. Thanks to the Lucky Mojo Curio Company Occult Shop, we learn that a good day to burn candles for Saint Expedite is Wednesday, the day of Mercury, the messenger god of the Romans. In fact, Expedite is not only syncretized with that ancient deity, he is symbolized by the metal quicksilver (liquid elemental Mercury), and is also associated with the African and Afro-Caribbean spiritual entities Elegua, Legba, Baron Samedi, Bonsu, and so forth, those being the messengers and tricksters in the Lukumi / Santeria, Voodoo / Vodoun, and Obeah pantheons. When Saint Expedite grants your request, his statue, holy card, or empty candle-glass is given a gift of flowers or flowers and a slice of pound cake…It is often said that you must never seek the aid of Expedite unless you are prepared to give this tribute after the work is done, or he will take back all the good he did for you, and more besides.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians, I invite you to revisit (or discover) A Clockwork Orange – the movie, the book, and the soundtrack. They are all amazing. Archer people are fun loving party animals who also secretly seek the meaning of life. This work of art answers all your needs. Directed by Stanley Kubrick and based on the novel by Anthony Burgess, the movie was released in 1972 and was completely unlike any other movie made at the time. It’s hard to believe that it was created over three decades ago when it so accurately predicts a future that might have been ours and, God forbid, still could be. The word visionary doesn’t come close to describing Burgess or Kubrick. Protagonist Alex, the ringleader of a gang of violent young men who love to beat up drunks and rape women, is also a lover of fine art and, in particular, Beethoven. Says he of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony: Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
If you’re a Rock & Roll Capricorn like I envision you to be as a reader of the Weekend Horoscoop*, then you already know about Rock & Rap Confidential, the monthly newsletter edited by Grammy-winning writer Dave Marsh. RRC is positioned at a high volume international crossroads of musical and political information. Due to the fact that RRC refuses to accept advertising, they are completely free to tell the truth about what’s going on in music - all genres and styles. Join the new Facebook group and read the most recent newsletter there; subscribe so it comes direct to your emailbox by sending the word ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to Oh yeah, and guess what else? It’s free.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Aquarians need to honor the rebel soul of Madelyn Dunham, a true rebel and feminist. Barack Obama, her grandson whom she raised, called her his rock and dedicated his campaign to her. She died of cancer on the night before Election Day at the age of 86. Dunham was one of the first female vice presidents of the Bank of Hawaii in the 60s and 70s after having started there as a secretary. Obama spoke of her passing in Charlotte, N.C.; …She was born in Kansas in a small town in 1922. Which means she lived through the Great Depression, she lived through two world wars, she watched her husband go off to war, while she looked after her baby and worked on a bomber assembly line. When her husband came back they benefited from the GI bill, they moved west and eventually ended up in Hawaii. …. She is one of those quiet heroes we have all across America, who are not famous, their names are not in the newspapers, but each and every day they work hard. They look after their families. They sacrifice for their children, and their grandchildren. They aren’t seeking the limelight. All they try to do is do the right thing… That is what America is about. That is what we are fighting for.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
The best Piscean traits include empathy and compassion. You’re fascinated by those who exhibit those qualities and also exude a strong sense of independence. People like Barack Obama, for example. Thanks to Barnes & Noble, you can read all about our new President in his own words with a 30% off book sale until November 11th. All three of his books are on sale here. You can either print the coupons and take them to a store, or use them online. And speaking of Obama, have you seen his new website? With the same careful deliberation that he used to plan his spectacular Presidential campaign, the President Elect gives us position statements for his Agenda, everything from the Economy to Technology to Defense. Also, you can continue the forward momentum you were living in for the last several months if you were working to get him elected, by telling your story in your own words and sharing your hopes for a real government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Is anyone surprised that he wants to continue the dialogue started by millions of communities around the country, which ended up getting him elected?