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Dear Readers... it’s been awhile. Now we’re staring straight into the hindquarters of August and I must needs explain myself as I’ve done exactly what you’re not supposed to do when starting a blog. I’ve neglected it for weeks. In late June I found fulltime & fabulous employment as a publicist for independent documentary and feature films, for which I am very grateful indeed. But, after being freelance for just about 4 years for the most part, it was a bit of a shock to realize that my writing time had shrunk immeasurably.

I must tell you that my pride & joy, The Weekend Horoscoop, which I kept up weekly for well over a year, bit the dust even before the fulltime job. Honestly, the column took a full day every week, and I just don’t have that kind of time anymore. I would love to resurrect it and I know it had a lot of followers, but unless someone pays me to do it… it’s over for now. Not forever though, at least I hope not. It may come back in another form soon, one that doesn’t take as much time to do.

I am going to start posting regularly again though however. For those that don’t know, I cover television, music, and pop culture once or twice a week on the Huffington Post. Currently I’m recapping Weeds and Project Runway for the site. I heartily invite you to visit me there and I’ll cross post those columns here as well.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

- Holly

Earlier this week, Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman presented a joint spoken word and musical performance at Soho’s Housing Works Café as part of the SPIN Liner Notes series, which pairs writers and musicians together to promote reading and raises money for the Housing Works Foundation supporting New Yorkers with HIV/AIDS. The room (which is small, deliciously crammed with books, and reminiscent of an old library in the very best sense) was sold out completely with people practically hanging from the rafters. The audience of 250 hung on every word and musical note as a monsoon raged outside in the what’s-next late May climate.

Palmer told the throng about her years as a living statue in Harvard Square, where she appeared as The Eight Foot Bride and stood tall, white, and silent, accepting flowers and money from the teeming mass of humanity that came through the square. This presaged her creating the Brechtian punk cabaret team The Dresden Dolls with multi-instrumentalist Brian Viglione, touring the world and creating much magic.

Fast forward quickly to September 2008 and the release of Who Killed Amanda Palmer, Palmer’s first solo album, produced by Ben Folds. She launched a tour with a group of outrageous, spectacular Australian performers called the Danger Ensemble, who worked for free, living on money received by passing the hat every night at gigs and staying at the homes of local fans in each city. The shows were gut-wrenching, theatrical, transcendent and I lucked into seeing one at New York’s Webster Hall last fall. You know that feeling when you’re sure you are in the right place at the right time? It doesn’t happen all that often. That’s how I felt that night.

Ms. Palmer took to the stage last night at the Highline Ballroom in New York, a vastly different room than the baroque Webster Hall, sleek and streamlined and very kind of Clockwork Orange. She was all Peter Pan come to life as she began the show strumming a ukulele, perched in the upper balcony. The sold out crowd went silent, heads craning up. Back to the stage, she pounded that piano like a postmodern Jerry Lee Lewis, and coaxed sweetness, joy and sorrow out of it. I managed to drag three Amanda virgins with me to the show; all left believers.

This was not the show I saw last year, which alternately ripped open my soul and made me giddy with glee, but it firmly established AFP (as she calls herself - Amanda Fucking Palmer) as a veritable force of nature. Great beauty ballads from WKAP like Ampersand, Runs in the Family, and Astronaut were delivered to us whole and seething, along with fun covers like Yakety Yak.

The show, which can teeter on almost too much intensity at times, is tempered halfway through by the Ask Amanda segment in which AFP takes random written questions from audience members. This particular night we also had a birthday singalong for Amanda’s longtime comrade / photographer / aide de camp Beth Hommel.

Towards the end, Emily Brodsky and opening band The Lisps joined AFP on stage for a rousing version of Delilah, a Dresden Dolls number about a girl who seems to enjoy being abused in a bad relationship. Much of Palmer’s work is about women in the grip of such badness who can’t seem to find a way out.

The show ended with a sweet duet between Amanda’s way cool dad, Jack Palmer, and his daughter on Leonard Cohen’s tragic love ballad One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong. And yet another night in Palmer’s presence convinces me once again that, a year from now, I’ll be saying, yes I was there when you could still get tickets easily to see her and you could still see her in small places. Because this extremely talented goddess angel is going to be around a long time. And it’s not always going to be this easy to see her.

This review was originally posted on the Huffington Post.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen; I can’t keep up doing the scoop every week, it’s too much work, alas. Until such time as someone starts throwing me vast sums of cash to do it, I will be cutting back to a bi-weekly schedule. Therefore, the next two weekend horoscoop*s will be posted here and on the Huffington Post Thursday June 11 and Thursday June 25. Please continue to send me ideas for places, music, books, films, tv shows, art openings, restaurants, et al to cover.

Meanwhile, I’d love for you to check out my Rubbernecking column this week on HuffPo. On Monday I wrote about the finale of The Hills, Lauren’s last show and Speidi’s wedding. It’s almost refreshing to watch a program where no one seems to have anything resembling a personality. Today I wrote about the insane ratings bonanza that is Jon & Kate Plus 8 through the eyes of a child of divorce (this is a show where lack of personality is not a problem, except perhaps in Jon’s case).

I also started a new column for Mark Blankenship’s awesome blog The Critical Condition today, The Price Point. This week I took on television advertising, in particular ads created for Apple products. Please to enjoy. And have a great weekend!



March 21 - April 19 Aries

Whether you’re a Ram or not, no matter what your Zodiac persuasion may be, if you’re one of the three people on this earth who seemingly have not yet seen Susan Boyle’s appearance this week on Britain’s Got Talent, please take a few minutes to see what all the fuss is about. Susan, a 47 year old unemployed church volunteer from Blackburn, Scotland, is a now an overnight sensation due to her incredible performance of I Dreamed A Dream from the Broadway show Les Miserables. She’s gone viral, cats ‘n kittens. It’s such a pleasure when something like this happens; her undeniable talent cut off the judges at the knees. And those judges included both Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan, two fellows not known for their unmitigated support of anyone. They practically laughed her off the stage before she started to sing. Susan, unmarried, never even been kissed, her only companion her 10 year old cat Pebbles, has completely turned the snarky world of reality TV competitions upside down. Mark Blankenship insightfully writes on the Huffington Post: Watching an older person—especially an older person who doesn’t seem very hip—prove she still has time to emerge from her cocoon is exciting because it reminds us that we can still sort through our own problems.No matter how old we are, we’re dealing with something, and it’s refreshing to be told that that’s okay.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Taureans love music and culture. It’s part of the fabric of their lives in some fashion, every day. Therefore I need you to get out there tomorrow, Saturday April 18, and celebrate Record Store Day. This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day; hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, meet & greets with artists, parades, DJ’s spinning record, and more. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday in April. A Record Store Day participating store is defined as a physical retailer whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation. (In other words, real, live, physical, indie record stores–not online retailers or corporate behemoths). Participating stores across the U.S. can be found here. A list of stores taking part across the world can be found here.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Geminis delight in constantly learning about new and interesting things. So the blog of the week is for you: I give you Harriet’s Tomato … all food, all the time. Blogger Michele Gentille attended Culinary Schools in Paris and Burgundy before working at resorts, restaurants, and embassies the world over. She freelances as a chef and food writer for the Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, and The New York Times. She’s currently working as a sous-chef at a scientific research station at the South Pole. This week’s post is about keeping vegetables at 100 below zero: When these greens fall on the ground, they shatter like glass…and straight out of the bag they stick together in freeform sculpture. Gentille wrote in February about the pleasures of eating fresh donuts at the South Pole station, where 43 souls are currently working: None of us can leave. It’s too cold for an airplane to land and the station is officially closed for winter. We have only each other…and some really good donuts…to keep us amused for the next 8 months. Fascinating stuff! Read more here.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Those born under the sign of Cancer have a world of hurt inside them. There’s so much going on these days to be sad about, Lord knows. Besides the fact that our economy is in a free fall, our environment is totally messed up, people are getting guns too easily and shooting innocent people for no reason, um, you name it, times are tough. But every once in awhile there are the Susan Boyles who blow our minds with their amazing talent and the Sully Sullenbergers who land planes on the Hudson and the myriad other underdogs who rise to the top and capture our fancy. All hail to them. And all hail to Ashton Kutcher, who went toe to toe with media giant CNN in a race to sign up Twitter subscribers to his feed and won the challenge today when his millionth subscriber signed on. “Twitter allows people to share, to connect in a way that they weren’t able to connect before,” said Kutcher. He used the Twitter war to raise global awareness and big bucks for Malaria No More. See? There are some things we can still smile about.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Hey Leo - you are the sort who like to do fun things and have them count for something. So here’s something you can do tomorrow night - Saturday April 18 - if you’re in New York City - and even if you’re not. It’s the 15th anniversary of A Night to Remember - The Kristen Ann Carr Fund Annual Gala at the Tribeca Grill. The Kristen Ann Carr Fund honors the life of a remarkable young woman who died way too young of sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. The Fund raises money to both provide education for physicians about sarcoma and improve the quality of cancer patients’ lives. They do a tremendous amount of great work. If you can go tomorrow night to the star-studded event, go; tickets are $500 and a few are still available here. If not, make a donation anyway to a wonderful cause that’s really making a difference.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Trustworthy. Genuine. Committed. All synonyms for Virgo. Virgos hate to leave their comfort zone but you know what? Every once in awhile it’s a really good idea to jump out of the zone and give your psyche a shake. Did you know that the world’s weirdest events are found in Finland? Apparently so. There’s the Air Guitar World Championship, the Kutemajarvi Sex Festival, the Ant-Nest Sitting Competition, and last but by no means least, the Milking Stool Throwing Contest. And that’s only four on this list of 13 crazy Finnish events. Go book your flight now.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
I’ve got two words for you Librans out there: Ice. Cream. Mark it on your calendars; next Tuesday April 21 is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry’s. As a way to thank their customers for the support and to celebrate 31 years of scooping the chunkiest, funkiest ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, Ben & Jerry’s will happily give it away that day as they do every year. The hours are noon to 8pm, and participating locations can be found here. Try a new flavor that you’ve been wondering about! Enjoy an old favorite! I scream, you scream, no matter what zodiac sign we are, we all scream for ice cream.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Hey Scorpio; Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Check out this list of the 10 best poetry books compiled from recommendations of independent booksellers across America. Our indie bookstore of the week is Fahrenheit’s Books on 210 S. Broadway in Denver, Colorado. ‘Cuz we love their name and their site is awesome. They both buy and sell used books and maintain an eclectic collection that specializes in Vintage Paperbacks, SciFi, Metaphysics, History, Western Americana, and Fiction. They also sell some titles on the AbeBooks.com website. Hours are Tues. to Sat. 11am to 6pm and Sundays noon to 5pm. Find more great indie bookstores on the Indie Bound website.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
There are websites, mes cheres, and there are websites. But there is only ONE My Damn Channel, n’est-ce pas? Sagittarians have that constant need to be on the cutting edge, so I target this entry at you centaurs. Veteran TV and radio exec Rob Barnett started this site back in the Wild Web West days of 2007 (seems like years ago don’t it?) and it’s risen consistently way above the fray to provide some of the best and most freshest viral video anywhere. David Wain’s hilarious Wainy Days (Season 4 launches in May), Harry Shearer’s side-splitting social commentary music videos, and the viral juggernaut You Suck at Photoshop by boy geniuses Big Fat Brain, all make their home here. Then there’s Don Was, a record producer of no small reknown, who has his own digital studio parked right here. Monday April 20, My Damn Channel will roll the curtain up on Pilot Season starring Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, Isla Fisher, and David Cross. And hey! You Suck at Photoshop is up for another Webby Award in the Online Film and Video section under Comedy: Long Form or Series - register and vote right here.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Our Capricorn of the Week is the lovely singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, who just released her seventh studio album this week on April 14, California Years. Now here’s a CD you can buy on Record Store Day, tomorrow! Entirely financed by her fans to the tune of 75K, Jill’s new album was produced by the aforementioned redoubtable Don Was. Entertainment Weekly says, Pop’s original girl-kisser has a lonesome diarist’s ear for observational, self-conversational lyricism, whether she’s drunk-Googling her exes (both boys and girls) on ”Wendell Lee” or fantasizing about running off and growing old with the waitstaff on ”Sweetheart.’ Oh and by the way, any album that includes a song titled “Where is Bobbie Gentry?” already has my full attention. Go, girl! She’s touring through April and May to promote the record - check out the dates here.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809 in one-room log cabin to two uneducated farmers, Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. Making him one of the most famous Aquarians who ever lived. Daniel Wolff’s fascinating tome, How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them examines the training, formal or otherwise, of Lincoln and 11 other unique Americans in an effort to identify what makes for a “good education.” From Lincoln’s obsession with books and newspapers to Elvis Presley’s fascination with movies and soundtracks, Wolff ties these and other personalities (W.E.B. DuBois, George Washington, Abigail Adams, Helen Keller, JFK, and more) together with common historical threads, discerning how each was able to surmount difficulties and make his or her mark. Enriched by historical details of the Civil War and world wars, the Great Depression, and the rise of unions, and backed by extensive primary sources, Wolff’s essays provide enlightening glimpses into the often-serendipitous process of education. This makes for a fascinating read. Buy it at the aforementioned Fahrenheit’s Books in Denver or click over to Amazon and purchase it here.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Pisceans are generally idealist dreamers who can, if allowed, live in a fairy tale world of knights and dragons. I betcha you’ll thoroughly enjoy the HBO film Grey Gardens due to premiere tomorrow, Saturday April 18 at 8PM. In 1973, the famous filmmaking brothers Albert and David Maysles entered the strange world of Jackie O’s relatives Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale. Spending six weeks with the reclusive mother and daughter who chose to live in squalor and almost total isolation in a decaying, 28-room mansion in East Hampton, the Maysles captured their day-to-day life in its raw, uncensored, captivatingly honest moments for a multiple award-winning documentary entitled Grey Gardens. Now, using that film as a framework, director-writer Michael Sucsy’s Grey Gardens offers a wry, behind-the-scenes look at the Beales and their unique mother-daughter bond. Drew Barrymore stars as the daughter and Jessica Lange stars as the mother in this hotly anticipated HBO Films production about the early years of the mother-daughter duo, as well as chronicling the making of the iconic documentary by the Maysles brothers.

O Best Beloved, the weekend horoscoop* will return on March 20 as these last few weeks have been a little crazy busy with work. I don’t want you to go away empty-handed, so please take a look at my new column on the Huffington Post about reality TV called Rubbernecking. Because it’s gross, it’s horrible, but you just can’t turn away ~ n’est-ce pas?

The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, Part 2

Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Season 3 Premiere

Dancing with the Stars, Season 8 Premiere

Make Me A Supermodel, Season 2 Premiere

Reality Bytes

Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels, Week Five

The Millionaire Matchmaker, Season 2 Premiere

True Beauty Finale

Top Chef Finale

We are one people; We are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in America’s story.
- President-Elect Barack Obama

The weekend horoscoop* will return next Thursday at its regularly scheduled time, but in between it being freezing cold right now in Manhattan (um, 14 degrees) and me being giddy with joy at the fact that we’re so close to Inauguration Day, this weekend’s column is completely consumed with the events of Tuesday January 20. And it’s for those of all astrological signs, religions, nationalities, races, sexes, and like that. So here’s 12 ways to get your groove on in regards to our new President.

1. On Monday, Jan. 19, to celebrate the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President-Elect Obama asks us to summon a new spirit of service and make an enduring commitment to the neighborhoods we live in. As Americans we have a responsibility to help our communities and fellow citizens. Volunteer for the King Day of Service Monday. Gandhi famously said, You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Find or host an event here.

2. Check the Countdown Clock on Backwards Bush here. This site has a clock that gives you the exact days, hours, minutes and seconds until Obama is sworn in as President on Tuesday. You can also download a free screensaver, and widgets and gadgets up the wazoo in order to mark the last remaining moments before the regime change.

3. Note to self: purchase the special issue of Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man Comic (#583) which was published earlier this week. Obama is on the cover and the storyline is about him meeting up with Spider-Man to fight crime and save the world, one would think. Actually I am not sure what kind of mayhem they get up to after they meet but it sounds like something they should be doing. There’s even a fist bump between the two superheroes. Apparently, Obama is a longtime comic book aficionado and Marvel Comics stated, “This is not so much a pro-Obama statement but a tip of the hat to having a Spider-Man fan in the White House.”

4. If you’re one of the many millions of folks heading to our nation’s capital for the festivities, check out the Opening Ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial that kicks off the entire week Sunday, January 18 at 2:30pm. It’s free, free, free. Musical performers include Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Herbie Hancock, John Legend, John Mellencamp, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, Stevie Wonder and more. Historical passages will be read by Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. More performers will continue to be added and it will be broadcast live on HBO and repeated twice later that night. HBO is unblocking their signal to all cable providers, so you don’t have to be a subscriber to watch this event.

5. The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30AM on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday January 20 and it will be telecast live on just about every TV station in the world. If you want to go and you don’t have a ticket, you will be able to go to the National Mall and watch and hear the broadcast on large screens. Get there early is all I can say. The Presidential Inaugural Parade will follow along Pennsylvania Avenue starting at 2:30pm. My guess is no one will be throwing rotten fruit at any of the cars like they did last time. Guide to inaugural events here. YouTube Inauguration Channel here.

6. If you’re not making it to D.C., you can watch Obama take the oath of office amongst a happy throng of people celebrating at any number of places; in New York you can watch at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Malcolm X Blvd at 135th St.) or Trinity Church (89 Broadway at Wall Street) or BAM (30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, Fort Greene, Brooklyn). Check this site out for a list of events near you. Or host one!

7. If you are in D.C. next Tuesday you can swing out sister with the Dresden Dolls (among others) at the 9:30 Club starting at 8pm. If you’re not going to one of those exclusive inaugural balls, this is the place to be for sure. To quote Dolls Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, let’s start this new chapter of american - and world - history in style and with rock love. Tickets are $50.

8. New Yorkers can say goodbye to Bush at the Boom Boom Beauty Bar between now and next Tuesday. They’re offering 25% off bikini waxing (ranging from $20 to $49). The location is 35 Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets. Call for more info at 212 229 2666. According to the proprietors, Let’s have our own personal party in our pants and rejoice that we still have the right to choose a landing strip, Bermuda triangle or skinny dipper. We hope this will also help welcome the ‘Big O.’

9. Wake Up World comes to DC this weekend! 2 shows only, Friday Jan. 16 and Saturday Jan. 17 at the Arlington Cinema n’ Drafthouse. Wanna see how wacky these folks can be? Check out their Joe Biden Commemorative Plate video. Rachel Maddow said of them: “Best thing I’ve seen in a million years.” Wake Up World is a satirical wrap-up of the week’s news from Daily Show Co-creator Lizz Winstead. A live sketch comedy show that gives us the world as seen by fictional producers and on-air talent at the worst morning news show in America. The results are both a hilarious and scathing view of both newsmakers and the news media that molds them. Tickets here.

10. If you’re in Times Square on Tuesday night, Jan. 20 you can celebrate the end of the last 8 years of soft shoe shuffling and shoe ducking by President #43 at the Goodbye Bush Bash at the Latitude Bar & Grill (783 Eighth Ave between 47th and 48th Streets). Bush-themed drink specials and a quote wall of the most idiotic lines uttered by GWB will be featured. Sometime around 10pm the organizers of this event will lead the party outside for – literally – dancing in the streets. RSVP here. And for the last time I’m quoting #43: If you don’t stand for anything, you don’t stand for anything! (November 2, 2000 at Bellevue Community College)

11. If I hadn’t maxed out all my credit cards I’d be heading right now to the Presidential Inaugural Store right now to buy these fabulous limited edition items. Buttons, stickers, glassware, coins, tote bags, t-shirts, scarves, cufflinks, coloring books, fleece jackets, coasters, onesies, hats, wristbands, key rings, messenger bags, even a wooden train for kids imprinted with Obama Biden / Renewing America’s Promise and the inaugural seal.

12. Look ahead to the next chapter of our lives on Wednesday January 21 at 8pm at the 92nd Street Y in New York City when Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, moderates a discussion on The Year Ahead in politics and culture on the day after the inauguration. She will be joined by HuffPost bloggers Nora Ephron, Erica Jong, Barbara Ehrenreich, Trey Ellis, and Paul Rieckhoff. More info and tickets here. And remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life. (By the way you are a child of the universe and you have a right to be here)


March 21 - April 19 Aries

Oy vey gevolt! Get yourself in the Hanukkah spirit by watching Hanukkah in Santa Monica by Tom Lehrer. The eight day Festival of Lights starts this Sunday. Full Latke Alert! Dreidel Lockdown! Maccabee Mania! Thank you Lady Tabitha for turning me on to this delightful video (In December there’s just one place for me! Amid the California flora I’ll be lighting my menorah, like a baby in his cradle I’ll be playing with my dreidel) Tom Lehrer, for those who don’t know, is a brilliant singer/songwriter/satirist/mathematician. He crafted a number of fantastic songs in the 50’s and 60’s, the most famous of which are probably The Vatican Rag and The Masochism Tango. Catch some classic Lehrer here doing a medley of math songs (there’s a delta for every epsilon): I suppose nowadays when people think of Harvard and mathematics, they naturally think of Ted Kaczynski. Address that Aries energy to finishing up your gift shopping before the first menorah candle is lit! Here’s a suggestion: Songs & More Songs by Tom Lehrer, available from Amazon. Can you go wrong with a CD that includes Wiener Schnitzel Waltz, The Masochism Tango, and The Old Dope Peddler? More Lehrer fun here!

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Stellaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! Yes, they’re back. With a whole channel devoted to their zany antics over at My Damn Channel. Speaking of which, the Damned had the #1 video on YouTube this week with Big Fat Brain’s new episodic web series, Agency of Record (from the folks who brought you You Suck At Photoshop; they’re truly, madly, deeply ill). Speaking of which, Time Magazine included YSAP and the Damned in their Top Ten TV Episodes of the Year (the only non-TV series, alongside Colbert, 30 Rock, Mad Men, Lost!!!).  Speaking of which, Time also included Sir Harry Shearer’s Found Objects in its Top Ten Open Mike Moments of the Year. And did I mention, Flight of the Conchords will premiere its new episode next week on My Damn Channel – a full three weeks before HBO? Oh yeah and when you board your American Airlines flight to go home for the holidays, you’ll see a big fat mention of the Damned in this article about web video. And TV Week pegged the Damned as one of the five online video startups to watch in 2009. There’s a lot of ways to fall down the rabbit hole here. Taurus, call in a snow day and sit back with some hot chocolate and viddy this.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Note to self: consider Dartford, Kent, England. Here’s a town whose claim to fame happens to be that the Glimmer Twins had their formative years there. (That’s Mick and Keith, silly you). I’d like to thank Teri L for alerting me to this delightful story. Seems that a lucky 13 streets in Dartford will be named after Rolling Stones’ songs. Satisfaction Street … Little Red Walk … Ruby Tuesday Drive. The town council endorsed this brilliant idea last week. Council leader Jeremy Kite (his real name) said: “We are very proud of the Rolling Stones and it is a little bit of our history we can celebrate.” Dartford is also the home of the Mick Jagger Centre, “a live performance facility that aims to programme a high quality range of events and opportunities, in the Performance, Production and Participation of Music and the Arts for the communities of Dartford and North Kent Region“. My dear Gemini, indulge your inquisitive, novelty-loving side and join their email list, after which you’ll receive a warm welcoming note from someone who’s email address is @themickjaggercentre.com.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Have Yourself a Tacky Little Xmas (50 Ways to be Totally Tasteless This Holiday Season) with these helpful tips by Pamela Redmond Satran on the Huffington Post. I’m not sure if you home-loving crab people are as into tacky Christmas inflatables as I am (I love to count lawn inflatables when I’m in the suburbs at Christmastime) but I’m sure this list will delight and amuse you. (a few gems from the list: tie antlers on your dog’s head…bake nude, anatomically correct gingerbread men…smoke weed in effort to bond with stoner son home for the holidays) Satran is the co-author of nine best selling baby name guides including The Baby Name Bible and recently launched the new baby naming site nameberry and has also written a plethora of other hot titles. She also writes the blog How Not To Act Old and is the author of the brilliant “30 things every woman should have and should know by the time she’s 30” for Glamour Magazine (“a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.”)

July 23 - August 22 Leo
If I know Leos like I think I do, music is an essential part of your needs. Food, shelter, and music. That about sums it up, n’est-ce pas? So hustle your muscle over to iTunes and download Why Don’t You Quit Leaving Me Alone? by Rosanne Cash on her 2005 release King’s Record Shop. Writes the inexplicable, inevitable, incredibly fabulous Holly Gleason: You never hear them coming… the ones that level you, take away your breath, buckle your knees. Those songs that hit the sweetest spot: you find yourself completely disoriented from how squarely they bag the emotional bull’s-eye, you’re not just speechless-you’re hoping nobody noticed. Read her treatise on this Benmont Tench song about a broken heart and much much more at the Don Cesar Hotel in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. Before you finish the last line I guarandamntee ya you’ll be on iTunes like white on rice to download that sucker. Speaking of Ms. Gleason check into the most recent edition of her very necessary Yummy List here.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
So don’t say I never told you anything, Virgo boys and girls. Here’s the coolest most awesome gift idea of all time, brought to you by……the U.S. Post Office. Say what?!?! Seriously, you can upload a photo and make your own personalized stamps. Perfect for Holiday cards, or give them as gifts! If you order by 5pm tonight (Friday December 19) and use expedited shipping, they can still arrive by Christmas Eve! Talk about branding for your company. Talk about an awesome way to send thank you cards for wedding presents. Talk about a unique way to send out new baby announcements. The possibilities are truly endless. You can buy them in seven different postage denominations ranging from postcards (26 cents) to package rate stamps ($4.60). You can even buy them in production rolls of up to 10,000 stamps for large mailings. I think this is the greatest idea ever, and I’d love to know who thought it up over there at the US Postal Service, because I would love to send them a handwritten thank you note with a photo stamp of my own design.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
If you find yourself in the City of Brotherly Love, O Libra, be sure and stop in to the Reading Terminal Market. You’ll love the bountiful selection of food, drink, and gifts that can be found here. I used to love tooling around this place when I was a kid… it was cool THEN and it’s been completely remodeled since for ultimate grooviness. Open every day of the week, the Reading Terminal Market at 12th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia ($3 parking, not a typo!) features an exhilarating selection of baked goods, meats, poultry, seafood, produce, flowers, ethnic foods, cookware and eclectic restaurants. Every Wednesday and Saturday, a 75-minute walking tour takes place in which a food writer reveals the 114 year history of the market. Tomorrow (Saturday Dec. 20th) meet Santa Claus between 12 and 2pm in the Green Court. Sunday the Bimas Klezmer Band will play a concert. If you live in the area, sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss a thing.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Oh no, I’m in love again. It happens so quickly sometimes doesn’t it Scorpio? Keri Smith, who’s blog wishjar must be visited immediately, is an author/illustrator turned guerilla artist. She is the author of several bestselling books about creativity including “Wreck this Journal” (2007 Perigee), “The Guerilla Art Kit” (2007 Princeton Architectural Press), “Living Out Loud –Activities to Fuel a Creative Life” (published 2003 by Chronicle Books), and “Tear up this Book! :The Sticker, Stencil, Stationery, Games, Crafts, Doodle, And Journal Book For Girls!”, (2005 American Girl). Her newest book, “How to be an Explorer of the World –the Portable Life/Art Museum”, was recently published by Penguin Books. In this guided journal, readers are encouraged to explore their world as both artists and scientists, who analyze the world around them in surprisingly similar ways, by observing, collecting, documenting, analyzing, and comparing. Smith challenges you “To document and observe the world around you. As if you’ve never seen it before. Take notes. Collect things you find on your travels. Document findings. Notice patterns. Copy. Trace. Focus on one thing at a time. Record what you are drawn to.” With a series of interactive prompts and a beautifully hand-illustrated package, you’ll thoroughly enjoy exploring and discovering the world through this book.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
And speaking of books, the site of the week is Flashlight Worthy – Handpicked book recommendations on hundreds of topics. You name it, it’s here. According to their site, this is a labor of love. There’s just two of us, but we try to add new lists when we can. As a little added encouragement, we get a small referral fee when you buy one of our recommendations from Amazon (and we mean small — usually just enough to buy a Hershey bar).  We hope, someday, that we earn enough nickels and dimes to let us spend more time on Flashlight Worthy. Most Sagittarians I know are great readers. This site will keep you amused for hours. Penguin Classics Nature Series List? Here. Great Books for Bird Lovers? Here. Books for the Serious Jane Austen fan? Here. Salon.com’s Favorite Fiction of 2008? Here – nonfiction list here too.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Thanks to a tip from the aforementioned Pamela Redmond Satran, my Capricorn friends, I’d like to turn you on to moo cards. Moo is a printing company that produces beautiful products either using your own art, or designs from their own galleries. They make the most exquisite mini cards, business cards, holiday cards, note cards, StickerBooks, postcards, you’ve ever seen. Trust me on this because I just ordered some to promote this blog. My next purchase will be one of their StickerBooks – a pocketsized book containing 90 vinyl stickers on 15 individual sheets (6 stickers per sheet). You can have up to 90 different images on your stickers; graphics and photography work equally well. The print is high quality, full color, and the finish is a scratchproof gloss. Too freaking cool!

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Apparently a UFO once crashed into the woods near Kecksburg, Pa. on December 9, 1965. It was said to be an object of about 15 feet in length, with writing around its base that resembled Egyptian hieroglyphics. According to ufocasebook.com, It soon became common knowledge that some eager, interested civilians had made a trip into the woods before the Military gained control of the area. These few individuals were interviewed by Stan Gordon, and told an amazing story. They stated that they saw a copper-bronze colored, saucer-shaped object crashed in the woods. This craft was anywhere from 9-12 feet in length, and bore a gold band around its bottom. Some of the witnesses described writing on the craft which resembled Egyptian hieroglyphics. These few witnesses were quickly whisked away when discovered by Military personnel. Later that night, witnesses claimed that they observed a flatbed truck toting a large object, covered by a tarpaulin. Curiouser and curiouser! The 1990’s TV show Unsolved Mysteries heard about this and went to Kecksburg to do a show about it, constructing an object, according to Roadside America, shaped like an acorn and roughly the size of VW bus. Apparently the object is now displayed on Water St. in Kecksburg and a gift shop nearby sells souvenirs to document the event. Aquarians everywhere; get thee hence.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Writer Tony Sachs scores big with a lovely piece about tracking down the perfect menorah in nextbook. Sachs, along with buddy Sal Nunziato, used to run the world’s most perfect independent record store, NYCD, frequented by many of my Piscean friends. NYCD was the self-described Frances Farmer of the music industry (We both started our careers with big dreams and stars in our eyes; We quickly became the darlings of our respective industries . . . The cool people “got” us; The imbeciles were turned off by us; We both had our careers unjustly and prematurely taken away from us; We were both institutionalized, had lobotomies, and resumed our happy, if somewhat confused, lives; We both had songs written about us by Nirvana.) Both Sal and Tony are now freelance writers for the Huffington Post, among other things. Tony writes of his perfect menorah quest thus: The first store I hit, Hechal Judaica, is run by older men with long gray beards who resemble Talmudic scholars more than salesmen. I feel inadequately Jewish and thoroughly intimidated until I reveal the nature of my quest, at which point I’m invited into the inner sanctum—behind the counter  …. I’m intrigued by two menorahs. One is in the shape of a trumpet. Cheesy, but I’m drawn to it. Could this be the perfect menorah? … At Eichler’s, I nearly hit pay dirt. It’s a menorah that would do Diddy proud, were he a Jew. This baby brings the bling. It’s a beautiful silver wall menorah, with little ornate silver cups you fill with oil from an even more ornate tiny jug; mere candles will not do for this menorah. It has silver chains in front of the oil cups which resemble nothing so much as a velvet rope. All it needs is a little silver bouncer in front of the chains to say “Can I see some ID?” in Hebrew. Read the whole story and see the winning menorah here.

March 21 - April 19 Aries
The Roches started out as a duo (Maggie and Terre) who backed Paul Simon on There Goes Rhymin’ Simon after Maggie, then 19, brazenly introduced herself to him in a building lobby at NYU. Simon later produced a track on Maggie and Terre’s first album, Seductive Reasoning, in 1975. Disenchanted with the music biz circa mid-seventies (and who could blame them), the two sisters moved to Hammond, Louisiana, becoming waitresses for a time (which later inspired their signature track The Hammond Song). Long story short, after moving back to New York, sister Suzzy joined the group, they became a Greenwich Village club scene favorite, were signed to Warner Bros. in 1978 and Robert Fripp produced their 1979 debut, The Roches, proclaimed Best Album of the Year by The New York Times. They disbanded in 1997, but still perform occasionally, usually around the holidays, like now. They’re playing tonight (Friday, Dec. 5) at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, at the Christmas Tree lighting in Battery Park Wed. December 10, and on Thurs. Dec. 11 at Tarrytown Music Hall with Loudon Wainwright. Tap into that famous Aries initiative and go, go, go if you can. And if you can’t, do yourself a favor and go to iTunes and download My Sick Mind and Factory Girl, both from their 1980 album Nurds: Factory Girl (the stunning lump-in-yer-throat reworking of a traditional Irish song) and My Sick Mind (a Terre Roche original and my favorite of all their songs). Watch a clip of them performing My Sick Mind here (Nobody knows, nobody knows, not even your best friend knows the bind you’re in). Oh hey, don’t forget their magnificent version of the Hallelujah Chorus. Visit their website and their MySpace page.April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Swing on by to WFMU Free Form Radio tomorrow (on your radio dial at 91.1 or online), when Terre T hosts Fleshtone Peter Zaremba and co. for some egg-noggin’, stocking-jamming holiday festivities live in the WFMU Studios Saturday, December 6th, between 3 and 6 PM on Cherry Blossom Clinic! They’ll be playings tunes from their new Yep Roc CD Stocking Stuffer” and rocking around the Xmas tree. Being a Taurus myself I know how much you love your Christmas cheer and your garage rock. And Hitsburg U.S.A.’s Fleshtones serve it up like nobody’s business. Their new CD is the perfect gift for music fans who hate run-of-the mill Christmas music, because, hey, The Fleshtones just want to rock and they’re not about to let peace on earth or good will towards men get in the way. Check out these sound samples on amazon. I don’t know about you, but I need to hear Christmas with Bazooka Joe right now.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Speaking of Egg Nog, put Ruth and Esther’s Egg Nog Revue on your calendar now for next Sunday December 14: Everybody’s favorite southern belles return to Ars Nova at 54th St. and 10th Ave. in NYC to spread some Bulls Gap, Tennessee holiday cheer. Scandalous single gal Ruth (Marya Grandy) and retired schoolteacher Esther (Mark Blankenship) will share their signature blend of neighborhood gossip, candid advice, and estimable dance moves. If things get wild enough, Esther might just reveal her secret egg nog recipe. Bring both your good and bad Gemini twin selves and be there or be square on December 14 at 7pm. Ruth and Esther sold out the house in August so don’t delay, get your tickets now.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
I tell you this now because I know yon moonchild loves to plan ahead. So if you’re in Gotham on Dec. 26 and 27, save those dates for the Fab Faux. Never seen ‘em? OK, I know what you’re saying – Beatles tribute band, no thanks. But it’s not like that. Believe me; you can’t be more of a skeptic than me. Give me JPG&R or nothing. And then I saw them. This gang of top-notch TV-show-band musicians from both The Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien quite obviously worship at the foot of the four-headed godhead that was the Beatles. They are note for note perfect and not in an obsequious way. They are – simply put – marvelous. I went as a skeptic and ended up wiping tears of joy and amazement from my eyes. Now I try never to miss them as they weave their sonic magic with the best music in the world. At New York’s Terminal 5 on Dec. 26 they’ll perform Abbey Road and Let It Be from beginning to end in their entirety, and Dec. 27 they take on the formidable White Album. And yes, they do Revolution No. 9. You’ll dig a pony, I guarantee you.


July 23 - August 22 Leo
I know how you Leos like your viral videos; funny, topical, and sarcastic, and with Jack Black if at all possible. Submitted for your approval, Prop 8 – The Musical (a Funny or Die exclusive). Says The New York Times, the comedic song-and-dance diatribe about the California ballot initiative to define marriage as existing only between a man and a woman stars a cast of dozens, including John C. Reilly, Neil Patrick Harris, Maya Rudolph, and Jack Black as Jesus Christ. Of course anything with Maya Rudolph is a must see. Composer Marc Shaiman (composer of Hairspray) told the newspaper of record: In my credit, it says,“Written (six weeks too late) by Marc Shaiman.” I mean, yeah, it’s totally bittersweet . . . We were thinking of how to film it, and I said, “Well, maybe that first section should be all of us on a hill, with poppies, and it snows and we’re put to sleep, and then the Proposition 8 people are looking through the crystal ball, like the Wicked Witch of the West in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’” Because that’s what happened. We stupidly allowed ourselves to be lulled into a sense of, everything’s fantastic now, look – everything’s changing. And this couldn’t possibly be voted into law. This is just like some little peskything that we’re swatting at, and it will go away immediately. All I can say is; don’t miss this one.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Our Virgo brothers and sisters will no doubt enjoy a visit to The Hungarian Pastry Shop. Conveniently located across the street (1030 Amsterdam Ave. between 110th and 111th Streets) from the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, this cozy café serves up pastries, tea and coffee all day long. At one table you’ll find Columbia students reading textbooks and writing papers, at another table you’ll hear a gaggle of upper west side liberal hippies discussing Obama’s latest cabinet choices, and at yet another table you’ll see youngsters a-cuddlin’. The walls are covered with original artwork and you’ll feel like you’re either in Europe or perhaps the Greenwich Village of the Fifties. How many great ideas were born in this very room? Order your coffee, and discuss.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Thanks to mediabistro’s galleycat column, I found this tasty item about indie bookstores: Random House sales rep Ann Kingman offers 11 reasons indie bookstores should consider blogging as a way to improve their business, from increased visibility on Google and community engagement to promoting in-store events and showing off employees’ authoritative passion for books….We’ve seen a few indie bookstore blogs, from Powell’s in Portland, Oregon, to Riverrun in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, but we’re always on the lookout for more—feel free to mention your favorites in the comments section.(And booksellers may want to keep an eye on Kingman’s blog for additional advice…) Pull up a chair, Librans, and let’s talk about independent bookstores and how we need them in this country. Chain stores are for coffee and clothing……not books!

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
‘Tis the season, am I right Scorpio? I mean the season for getting sick, for people coughing on you in buses and trains and germs taking up residence in and on you. Thanks to Rafat Ali’s paidcontent email newsletter, I learned this week of Johar Joshanda, a magical energizing and healing Pakistani black tea potion. Ali extolled its virtues on The Daily Beast: Johar Joshanda, a Pakistani black tea concoction, is the best natural energizer you will ever have. It works like magic on your cold and flu, and also great after a long tiring day or flight. Time Asia has called it “chicken soup for the Pakistani soul.” …Try any Pakistani neighborhood store in London, or New York. Note to self: find this stuff and drink it down.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
I know how Sagittarians love to plan ahead. So I’m telling you now to make sure and get MOJO’s special 1969 tribute issue, coming out in early 2009. The redoubtable Harvey Kubernik has contributed both feature articles to this issue as well as interviews with Graham Nash, Robby Krieger, Kim Fowley, and Merry Clayton. And speaking of Harvey the K, he’ll be a  featured interview subject in the nine week episodic series, Pacific Coast Sound, for the U.K.’s Smooth Radio network starting in March 2009. The series is produced by Vince Hunt for the indie production company Smooth Operations, which also creates music-related content for BBC radio and television. Among other musicians and authors to be heard on the hour-long weekly shows will be Van Dyke Parks, Hal Blaine, Jefferson Airplane’s Jack Casady, Luis “Louie” Perez from Los Lobos, Canned Heat’s Fito de la Parra, Carol Kaye, Chris Darrow, Alec Palao, Joel Selvin, Charles Cross, and Don Wilson of the Ventures. Alas, only our English friends can hear Smooth Radio, so fingers crossed the series gets distributed elsewhere also.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Later this month, the most popular Capricorn of all time celebrates his birthday. To quote Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice in Jesus Christ Superstar: Hosanna Hey Sanna, Sanna Sanna Ho, Sanna Hey, Sanna Hosanna. How about a holiday trip to Christmas, Florida located east of Orlando - the town is basically an area on Highway 50 known chiefly for a very big post office and the largest alligator-shaped building (200 feet) in the world.  The alligator building is the home of Jungle Adventures, the largest gator farm in Florida. Frozen alligator meat is available in the gift shop. And nothing says Christmas like barbequed alligator, n’est-ce pas? You can also visit Fort Christmas, built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War.  Tangentially speaking of Florida, check this out: Miami’s favorite son, Jim Osterberg (AKA Iggy Pop), becomes a CNN commentator for the series My City_My Life. Watch the trailer here and check it out this weekend on CNN.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
For most of 2008, I’ve checked the website of the Huffington Post several times a day. It began early this year when I became obsessed with the soap opera-American Idol democratic primary race (who could have predicted that it would end up with HRC as the next Condoleeza? Certainly not me). And when politics get too boring, I check out the Entertainment section to see what famous person did something stupid, or go to the Living section where there’s always something interesting. Like Gretchen Rubins piece 12 Surprising and Productive Brain Exercises. Rubin, whose own Happiness Project is also worth a visit, writes here of Dorothea Brande’s 1936 book Wake Up and Live. The book contains 12 mental exercises meant to make you keener and more flexible. Fascinating stuff that Aquarians will enjoy. Here’s one: Think for 30 minutes a day about one subject exclusively. Start with five minutes.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
I don’t mean to be unkind, but the biggest lushes I know are Pisces-born. So therefore I offer you a hangover cure in these holiday times, courtesy of Divine Caroline. Divine Caroline is an oasis on the wonderful world wide web providing counsel on relationships, food, parenting, travel, style, careers, et al. Stories on their home page today include How to Save $500 in a Month; Milk - Does it Really Do A Body Good?; and a recipe for Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles (um, sign me up). Divine Caroline is the flagship site of Real Girls Media, a digital network created by women for women.

March 21 - April 19 Aries
It’s now the hot hot heat of full summer and what’s a better emblem of summer than a motorcycle on the open road? Good timing for the opening of The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Yes, you can now visit an entire museum about the history of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. One of the many items contained herein is Elvis Presley’s 1956 red and white Harley, as well as the paperwork that accompanied its purchase. Presley, who bought the bike shortly before Heartbreak Hotel became a hit single, apparently made payments of $50.15 a month and said his reason for buying it was “pleasure and business.”

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Rock shrimp tempura with creamy spicy sauce and broiled black cod with miso from Nobu are two of the most sublime restaurant dishes I’ve ever had the pleasure to nibble in all my born days. I know what you’re thinking…I could never get in to Nobu!! It’s way expensive!! FYI it’s no more expensive than any other top shelf restaurant ~ and it’s well worth the money. O Best Beloved, you get what you pay for – especially here. And as for not getting in, c’mon you must really not be trying that hard. Call up the reservation line at the original location, the 57th Street location, or go to Next Door Nobu, which has a no-reservation policy except for large parties. And there are locations elsewhere in the U.S. and even London, Milan, Melbourne and more. Just go; trust me on this – you will never forget this meal.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
No less a connoisseur of the finer things in life than Kim Fowley famously said of the A-Bones, “They’re like Chan Romero with the Hombres doing Trashmen songs.” I don’t know about you, but that’s enough of a recommendation for me to check out this classic garage band whose epicenter is formed of the redoubtable Billy Miller and Miriam Linna. You can see them this coming Friday July 18 rocking the rafters at Maxwells in Hoboken. Or check out the A-Bones Booze Cruise to Shea Stadium on Saturday July 26! Cruise up the East River to the Mets game aboard the Half Moon from the Skyport Marina, equipped with a full dance floor. Ticket price includes tickets to the game and everyone from the boat will be seated together. What says summer more than the Mets and rock & roll? Details here.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
The novel Whistle Down the Wind was published in 1958 by Mary Hayley Bell, wife of actor John Mills and the mother of actresses Juliet and Hayley Mills. It was made into a movie in 1961 in which Hayley Mills stars as a young farm girl who finds an escaped convict (sexily played by Alan Bates) sleeping in the family’s barn and believes him to be Jesus Christ. She and her brothers and sisters attempt to keep him a secret from the grownups so they don’t find him and crucify him again. The book is stunning, spare, and haunting. The film will break your heart. Apparently it’s now been Andrew Lloyd Weberized into a Broadway musical set in the American South but I urge you to check out the original book and film.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Cheb i Sabbah is a Jewish Algerian composer/DJ/wizard who weaves trance/dance soundscapes out of African, Asian, Arabic music and more. Born in Algeria, he later moved to Paris, and now spins his magic weekly in San Francisco every Thursday night at the Bollyhood Café from 10pm to 2am. Visit his site for other appearance info and to listen to clips from his albums. His most recent release is Devotion, released earlier this year, based on Hindu, Sikh, and Sufi religious music. Prepare for transcendence.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
The website of the week is Score, Baby! – your guide to the cult soundtracks of the 60’s, 70’s & Beyond. Literally hours of time wastin’ fun can be had here, in a site that reminds me of the many ways the internet has changed our lives for the better. Here is a living, changing work of art containing hundreds of reviews of obscure film soundtracks with mp3’s. I take off my chapeau to webmaster Kristopher Spencer; his knowledge of these movies and the music that informs them is truly staggering.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Lisa Zaslow and her company Gotham Organizers has helped many hundreds of people be more productive and less stressed by organizing their lives at work and at home - including me. She is a nationally recognized expert on organization and productivity and has been featured on television and in print on the subject. She also gives free consultations and as a customer, I highly recommend her. Her website is chock full of great tips and tricks for decluttering and she has a mailing list that periodically sends out free organizing tips.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
I’ve never liked peanut butter and in grade school when everyone pulled out their PB&J’s for lunch I just wrinkled my nose. Last year I finally tried almond butter and now I am addicted. I can’t tell you how it differs from peanut butter because I honestly have never had peanut butter, but I’m all about MaraNatha Organic Creamy & Raw Almond Butter (no salt added). Try it on toast, sliced apples, in smoothies, hot cereal, sauces. It’s full of protein and the good kind of fat that we all need in our diet.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
The B&B of the week is the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, located in Fall River, Massachusetts. You may have heard of Ms. Borden. She was acquitted of the crime of slaying her father and stepmother in 1892 with an axe believed to be the murder weapon. Every year an E-bay auction is held for the honor of staying in one of the rooms where the murders occurred on the anniversary of the event, August 4th. Sorry kids, this year’s winner has already been determined. B&B guests are treated to a breakfast similar to the one consumed by Mr. and Mrs. Borden the morning of their last day on earth, replete with jonny-cakes and bananas. There’s even a gift shop on the premises and online where you can get your own Lizzie Borden Bobblehead Doll or a fetching pair of hatchet earrings.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Has your get up and go got up and gone? Well, submitted for your approval: Magma Plus, a magical elixir from Green Foods. It’s what they call a ‘superfood,’ with green algae, herbs, probiotics, whole food extracts, active enzymes, antioxidants and chlorophyll. You can find it in health food stores. 3 teaspoons of this mixed into cold water or juice and you’ll feel centered and energized but without the high pitched whine of caffeine. Don’t believe me? Try it. Every one I’ve told about it so far has been astounded. And thank you Teri for turning me on to it in the first place!

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Perhaps you heard about Carol Kreck, the tiny 61 year old librarian and former Denver Post reporter who was ticketed for trespassing and forcibly removed from a McCain speech in Denver, Colorado because she was exercising her first amendment rights by holding a handmade sign that read McCain = Bush. Well now Ms. Kreck has a much larger forum than the perimeter of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. She’s blogging on the Huffington Post website and her court appearance on July 23 will no doubt get a lot of attention in national media. Says Carol, “I didn’t ask for any of this, but like dropping a stone in a pond, that idea is so much bigger now than if they had just left me alone in the first place.” Watch Carol’s encounter with the Gestapo on Youtube.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Thanks to a friend with an extra ticket, I got to see August: Osage County on Broadway last week. The New York Times called it “a fraught, densely plotted saga of an Oklahoma clan in a state of near-apocalyptic meltdown” and went on to rave that “’August’ is probably the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years. Oh, forget probably: It is, flat-out, no asterisks and without qualifications, the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years.” Well, not being one who frequents Broadway plays very often, I can’t comment on that but I can tell you that its well worth 3 and a half hours of your time. Playwright Tracy Letts deservingly won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony for the Best Play of 2008. The acting from the large ensemble cast is stupendous from the venerable Estelle Parsons on down to young Annie Berkowitz making her Broadway debut. It’s sarcastic, wise, funny, horribly sad, depressing, and beautiful.