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In case you didn’t know (for shame), Joan Jett is one kick-ass, gorgeous, amazing, hard rocking, original riot grrrl beeyotch. To my great surprise and delight today I found out that Mattel (who are, apparently, still swell) will be presenting the Joan Jett Barbie Doll to the world in December, as part of the Ladies of the ’80’s Collection. I can hardly think of a better role model for the Barbie doll-playing-set, hella yeah!

The text description of the doll reads - and no, I did not make this up: Have you ever said (or sung) “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”? If so, you’re gonna love this doll! An acclaimed guitarist and one of the greatest leading ladies of rock, Joan Jett is a legendary singer and songwriter. Featuring her look and rock ‘n’ roll spirit, the Joan Jett Barbie Doll is part of the Ladies of the ’80s collection and a must-have for her many fans! Includes doll and guitar, and stands approximately 11 1/2-inches tall.

The Collection will also feature Cyndi Lauper (in flouncy red skirt) and Blondie’s Debbie Harry. As for Joanie, this is one of those rare items that I think I might have to actually pre-purchase on Amazon. I can’t stand the thought of not being able to have my Joan Jett Barbie. Although I am deducting swell points from Mattel for not including Patti Smith in the collection. Imagine a Patti Smith Barbie dressed in white man’s shirt and loose tie, kind of like the Horses cover shot by Robert Mapplethorpe. I think we could have eschewed Cyndi and made this Joan, Debbie, and Patti. Cyndi’s kind of fluffy next to those other original riot grrls, n’est-ce pas? They could have called it, instead, The Riot Grrl Collection.

In other really great Joan Jett news, Kristin Stewart will play the part of JJ in the upcoming Runaways movie to Dakota Fanning’s Cherie Currie.  But who will play Kim Fowley? Inquiring minds want to know!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHERRY BOMB! The Joan Jett Barbie doll is my Way Cool Item of the Day.


March 21 - April 19 Aries
Aries are always way ahead of the curve. They’re inventive folks with big dreams. Starting October 24 through January 7th, you can dream the night away at – of all places – the Guggenheim Museum. Yes, overnight. Like a hotel. How, you ask? You can stay in an art installation by Carsten Höller, the Revolving Hotel Room, which is part of the group show theanyspacewhatever. The Guggenheim invited ten contemporary artists to use the museum as a springboard for work that reaches beyond the visual arts into other disciplines such as architecture, design, and theater, engaging directly with the vicissitudes of everyday life to offer subtle moments of transformation (in case you’re wondering - I did not write that sentence; it comes from the Museum’s website). The Revolving Hotel Room consists of three glass discs which have been mounted onto a larger fourth disc, all turning harmoniously at a very slow speed. Overnight guests will be served a continental breakfast and will also enjoy regular hotel amenities such as a bathroom, robes, slippers, bath towels, and the like. You’ll also be able to spend the evening having the museum all to yourself. The price for this incredible experience is about in line with regular hotel costs in Manhattan these days. Call 212.360.4373 to make a reservation. See photo here.

April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Who knows how to make love stay? Tell love you are going to Junior’s Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.
Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker
If there’s one thing that speaks to the Taurean heart and soul (and arteries), it’s food. And let’s talk about cheesecake, of which there is no better place than Junior’s - absolutely the creamiest, most incredible cheesecake money can buy. The Deli was founded in 1950 by Harry Rosen and is still in its original location at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb Avenues in Brooklyn. Now, however, you can also have the Junior’s experience at either one of their Manhattan locations – Grand Central or Times Square. And, if you’re not in New York City, you can have one of these suckers shipped in a special stay-fresh container. Go there. Have a slice. Or order online and have this amazing experience shipped to you. Believe me – love will stay.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
Intellectual, multitasking Geminis will be fascinated by Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science. Doidge, simultaneously a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, researcher, author, essayist and poet, is on the Research Faculty at the Columbia University School for Psychoanalytic Training and Research as well as the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. The book is about the very real science of neuroplasticity, which holds that the brain is a plastic, living organ that can actually change its own structure and function, no matter your age or health challenges. This book, written in layman’s terms, is a riveting collection of case studies in which the patients had long been dismissed as hopeless, making a case for the profound implications of the changing brain in a moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way you look at human possibility and human nature. There’s a lot to be depressed about in the age we currently live in; this book will both give you hope and will amaze and delight you.

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
Columbus Circle, the beating heart of New York City, is now the brand spankin’ new home to the Museum of Arts and Design, which opened just two weeks ago looking over Central Park. Cancerians have a special penchant for interesting, beautiful items and you’ll certainly find that sort of thing here. The Museum of Arts and Design (formerly the American Craft Museum in west midtown) has been the country’s premier craft institution for well over 50 years, dedicated to the collection and exhibition of contemporary objects created in media such as clay, glass, wood, metal, and fiber. Even the design of this incredible new space uses materials that express the Museum’s craft tradition, with a new façade that features textured terracotta panels and transparent fritted glass. The original Museum grew out of the American Craftsmen’s Council, established in 1942 by Aileen Osborn Webb, the nation’s premier craft patron and benefactor. The Council’s original goal was to recognize the work of American craftspeople and to raise awareness of the vitality that contemporary craft expression could bring to an age of machine-made products. The Museum places a unique emphasis on the essentials that link all of the creative arts: materials, techniques, and the artist’s engagement with process. Continuing to honor Webb’s vision through its collections, exhibitions and educational programs, the Museum of Arts and Design encourages awareness and appreciation of art, craft and design in daily life.

July 23 - August 22 Leo
Although Leos are known for being magnanimous and warm-hearted, they also have a streak of the arrogant and bombastic about them. Could be time to take yourself down a notch. I know it sounds trite, but laughter really is the best medicine. Heidi Heyns of Laughing Tree Lightness and Levity Coaching wonders if we could all put ‘laugh at least 20 times today’ on our daily to-do list and actually accomplish it. She insists we would experience fewer headaches, less pain, more relaxation, more joy, and better health. I know, I know – the stock market, health care, the election, terrorism – all real and consistent concerns. But if Heidi, who works in New Orleans, can help eliminate stress and sadness there, she’s certainly more than capable of helping to heal the world with laughter. Bring her in to your office to raise levels of innovation and creativity immediately because laughter in the workplace can unite a team like nothing else. Hire her as a Laughter Yoga Coach. Did you know laughter is an all-brain activity? Heidi says, when you get rolling with a good laugh … it engages a strong connection between the Left/Logic side with the Right/Creative side. It also helps improve the tensile strength of your arteries. Better heart health and respiratory health can be found through laughter! Read about Laughter Yoga. And I dare you not to laugh when you see this video of the laughing quadruplets on YouTube.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Our Virgo of the week is the Most Awesomest, Most Amazing Joan Jett, born September 22, 1958 in the suburbs of Philadelphia. For no other reason than that she’s been on my list forever to write about and it’s finally time. Her career is too extensive to do more than gloss over here, but she moved to L.A. at 15 and was one of the original members of The Runaways, probably the most important punk girl group of all time – seeding the riot grrl movement of the early 1990’s. She’s a veritable force in pop culture, an originator, innovator, leader, visionary. She’s a singer (a mezzo-soprano actually), a songwriter (of countless hit records), a producer, one of only two women to be listed in Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time, eco-warrior, fervent supporter of the soldiers protecting our freedom all over the world, and label owner and cool new band discoverer (Blackheart Records). No one kicks ass and takes names like Joan Jett. No one.

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Alaska Day is coming up this weekend, a true Libran holiday! The state holiday celebrates the formal transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States, originally taking place on October 18, 1867 at Fort Sitka. And we all know how close Russia is to Alaska, doggone it! The theme of this year’s celebration is 140 Years of Sitka Newspapers to call attention to the role of early newspapers in Sitka’s economic and cultural history. Schedule of events here for this year’s festivities, which span the entire week from October 13 to 19. It’s a little late in the day to get out there for this but the Totem Square Inn has a 20% off rate for Alaska Day Week. The Alaska Day Festival, Inc., was formed as a non-profit organization in 1954, in order to perpetuate the annual celebration of October 18th as Alaska’s birthday. The day has rapidly grown from a local celebration to a widely renowned occasion and each successive year attracts more guests from all parts of Alaska and the lower 48. And here’s the best part: by proclamation of the mayor, all males are urged to grow beards and all women to dress in the styles of 1867 for the festival period. I may have to add this to my calendar for next year. North to the Future!

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
Casa La Celada is a privately owned Guest House, Bed & Breakfast, and Villa available for rent nestled in the foothills of Southern Spain’s spectacular Sierra Subbética Mountains. In addition to a roof terrace with a jacuzzi hot tub and 360 degree views that will blow your mind, CLC is a beautiful destination that is perfect for touring local treasures like the nearby white villages to Granada’s Alhambra Palace. Special Offers for Writers and Artists are available. This paradise on earth is overseen by Artist and Designer Amanda Hamilton, who in addition to creating her own wonderful art also writes the Living the Dream in Spain blog. Even the compulsive, forceful Scorpio would have to relax in this environment.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
In 1957, a duo named Tom & Jerry from Forest Hills, Queens released a record called Hey, Schoolgirl. They originally met in elementary school when both were in the cast of their school production of Alice in Wonderland. A few years later in 1965 they reinvented themselves as Simon and Garfunkel, using their own last names, and had a huge hit single, The Sound of Silence, which received a massive audience in the soundtrack of The Graduate. You probably know a bit about them, their incredible harmonies, their love-hate relationship, their public split up and their reunions. But what you probably don’t know is that their first three albums are absolutely incredible. Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was released in 1964 and contains spirituals, traditional songs, a Dylan cover, and a couple of Paul Simon originals. Their voices are young, joyous, hopeful and fresh as the vibe of this country back in 1964. Sounds of Silence came out in 1966 and the recording band consisted of Simon, Garfunkel, Glen Campbell on guitar, and the legendary Hal Blaine on drums. This stunning album included Homeward Bound, Richard Cory, I Am A Rock. Later that same year, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was released and if you’re going to only buy one of these masterpieces make it this one. Between The Dangling Conversation (”Like a poem poorly written, we are verses out of rhythm, couplets out of rhyme, in syncopated time”) and A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I was Robert MacNamara’d Into Submission) (”I been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored; I been John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d; I been Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I’m blind; I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded a Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed; That’s the hand I use, well, never mind”) you can’t go wrong. Intellectual, philosophical Sagittarians will really dig that song - and so will the rest of you.

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
As a Capricorn, you’re practical and disciplined, but also can fall under the spell of a classic chocolate buttercream like the rest of us. This item might have worked in last week’s L.A. column but See’s Candies sell worldwide as well through their website. Charles See opened the first See’s Candies Shop and Kitchen on Western Avenue in Los Angeles in November of 1921. The sparkling clean, black and white shop was designed to resemble his mother’s home kitchen. See’s expanded to 12 shops in Los Angeles by the mid-1920’s and thirty shops during the depression. By 1936, See’s was able to expand to San Francisco. After World War II, See’s Candy Shops grew as California grew, and the See’s family opened up shops throughout the state. In the 50’s, See’s established itself with the new and growing phenomenon of shopping malls. Though in 1972 See’s was sold to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Buffett made sure that Charles See’s motto, Quality Without Compromise® continues to guide the company to this day. They sell all kinds of great stuff, but the milk chocolate vanilla buttercreams are pure poetry. As the site says: Filled with a nearly perfect concoction of vanilla, butter, and cream, these candies have a habit of sneaking into your consciousness at odd hours. They beckon you to find the box that holds them, pick one out, and bite down into its luscious softness.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Free-thinking, humanitarian Aquarians will dig the IndieBound website, which takes the place today of our independent bookstore of the week. Find yourself an indie bookstore by entering your zipcode here. The site is all about supporting independent bookstores and other businesses, and celebrating what makes them unique – reaching out, raising awareness, and taking pride in your community. Did you know that when you spend $100 at a local business, $68 remains in your community whereas that same $100 at a national chain will only net your local area $43? Literally hundreds of independent bookstores and other businesses are listed here and you can add your own store, or add a favorite indie retailer in your neighborhood to the site with a couple of clicks. Brilliant idea and the perfect use of the world wide web; to make us a global village who support one another. Declare your independence here.

February 19 - March 20 Pisces
Pisces, never known particularly for thinking positive, I have an idea for you. For the days leading up to Election Day, yoga teacher Amy Lombardo has organized a 40 Day Meditation for anyone and everyone who wants to hold a positive intention for the successful election of Obama to the Presidency of the United States. If you sign up here she will email you a daily intention with a link to a “Call to Action” podcast each morning. Even if you miss the beginning of the meditation, you can join it at anytime through this link. All the previous days’ podcasts are listed on her site and can be accessed any time. Today’s intention; honor your rhythm and find a way to get more actively involved in the campaign.