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Posted in Weekend Horoscope on August 22, 2008 by Holly

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horoscoop* du jour

Posted in Weekend Horoscope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2008 by Holly

March 21 – April 19 Aries
Your pioneering, confident, energetic Aries self is probably looking at the calendar right now and saying, hmm – August – gotta hit the open road. It’s that time. Well, if you can afford the gasoline, go for it, you Ram you. If not, take a gander at Susan Session Rugh’s great new book Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations. It’s a cultural history of the quintessential middle-class family vacation from the mid 40’s to the early 70’s. Rugh, an associate professor at Brigham Young University, presents a captivating subject in the first study of its kind. For those who remember being packed into the family car with your annoying little brother and driving across the highways of the USA, playing geography or other car games to pass the time, staying in little motels or camping out under the stars, learning about the country’s history by visiting its monuments, this book is a truly enjoyable read.

April 20 – May 20 Taurus
May 1, 1967 was the date that Elvis Presley wed his long time girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu. And thanks to Mattel (they’re swell) you can now purchase a set of Elvis and Priscilla wedding day Barbies, dressed in replicas of their wedding attire, though the Priscilla doll could use a lot more eye makeup and her bouffant hair do isn’t as frozen in place as the real Mrs. P’s was that day. The packaging also contains a sticker reading Direct from Graceland. I don’t know about you, but this is one of those times where I just say – I don’t care what I have to do without; I gotta have this item. Although the real-life Elvis-Priscilla union only lasted 5 years, your dolls will live forever in the first romantic blush of their wedding day.

May 21 – June 20 Gemini
Rosanne Cash is our Gemini this week simply because she kicks ass and takes names. She was born in 1955 to country music legend Johnny Cash and his first wife Vivian Liberto right around the time Cash’s career was starting on its upward trajectory at Sun Records. She started her own career by singing backup for her dad, has written essays and fiction for The New York Times, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine and other publications, has a few books out as well, and is a Grammy Award winning singer and songwriter. Her most recent CD, Black Cadillac, received widespread critical acclaim in 2006 and she’s working on a new one now. Plus she’s an active and fascinating member of the blogosphere with Mrs. L’s Monthly. She writes about everything from books she’s reading to concerts she went to the best hotel room on tour, to outrage over school shootings, to the sorry state of the world, to family and friends and life.

June 21 – July 22 Cancer
The Zodiac sign of the Crab brought us guitar virtuoso Nils Lofgren, whose career began at the tender age of 17 when he joined Neil Young’s band and contributed to the acclaimed platinum album After The Gold Rush. He’s played with all the masters, and in fact is a master himself, and by the way also – it so happens – the nicest guy in the world. He joined Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band in 1984 and used to be introduced onstage by El Jefe as “a man as sweet as life itself.” That’s no joke. Not only does Nils have a new CD out – The Loner-Nils Sings Neil – solo acoustic versions of classic Neil Young songs (available on his website) but he also has a online guitar clinic on his website with downloadable quicktime lessons for the unbelievable bargain price of $20 per session. Seriously, what are you waiting for?

July 23 – August 22 Leo
Find an awesomely cool birthday gift for your Leo friends at the wildly entertaining cyber-store Uncommon Goods. Everything from a set of Hula Rocking Glasses to a Dear Diary hidden compartment flask to the Secret Lives of US Presidents Trivia Card Game to adult sock monkey slippers – all here, and much, much more. Every time I break out the credit card to purchase a unique gift here, the accolades come back in spades. And best of all, they feature handmade, recycled and organic products and are a part of the Social Venture Network (along with Ben and Jerry’s and Google), a socially conscious network of business that value healthy communities and the human spirit as well as high returns.

August 23 – September 22 Virgo
Intelligent, genuine, conservative Virgo – I have the perfect radio station for you folks. You’ll dig the blue jeans off of Sirius Satellite Radio’s brilliant Outlaw Country channel, Steven Van Zandt’s sanctuary for the rebels and renegades, rabble rousers and rogues of country music. They’re all here: Dylan, Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, David Allan Coe, Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and of course all generations of the Hank Williams Dynasty. DJ’s include Shooter Jennings, Cowboy Jack Clement, Dallas Wayne, and truckin’ music authority RigRocker. Come in, come in, breaker 1-9. Dial up this station and open a tall cold one.

September 23 – October 22 Libra
The sense of harmony and balance that is enjoyed by our Libran friends will thrill to a visit to Clayton, the Pittsburgh home of art patron and industrialist Henry Clay Frick. More than 90 percent of the original family artifacts still reside in this beautiful 23 room Victorian mansion that sits on a remarkable tract of land in the residential neighborhood of Point Breeze. Also on the property: Frick’s collection of vintage automobiles, and the full sized children’s play house. You can also have a lovely, sedate afternoon tea in the Frick Café and visit nearby Frick Park.

October 23 – November 21 Scorpio
Scorpio, thy name is independence. Passion. Intensity. Well, all those and more can be found in the storied life and career of Pittman, NJ’s own Patricia Lee Smith AKA Patti Smith, American singer-songwriter-artist-poet. Get your seductive, art loving self over to the Film Forum to see Dream of Life, the just released intimate portrait of Smith by photographer Steven Sebring, who followed her around for ten years making this film. I still remember that revelatory moment when I first heard Land (from Horses) on headphones in my college listening lounge, and realized that this woman did, as she said, hold the key to the sea of possibilities. The word genius comes close. Ever since then it’s been, for me, a brainiac amour.

November 22 – December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians can satiate that nagging centaurian sweet tooth with a delectable treat from Tate’s Bake Shop – physically located in Southampton, Long Island but also available in many many retail outlets throughout the New York region. Truly, their goodies are TDF – cookies, cakes, brownies, blondies, pies, you name it… they have it, and no one does it better. The crispy baked just right chocolate chip cookies literally are heaven on earth. You can order online too. There’s even a cookbook available now which includes the chocolate chip cookie recipe.

December 22 – January 19 Capricorn
There are Capricorns and there are Capricorns. But there was only one Edgar Allen Poe, born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. Celebrate his genius with a visit to Edgar’s Café on W. 84th Street, tucked away on the block between Broadway and West End Avenue, so named because Poe lived in this building in 1844 and 1845 and even penned The Raven here. This UWS landmark is dreamy and quiet, an oasis from the shopping frenzies taking place but a few steps away on Broadway. The salads and sandwiches are great, but they are mostly known for their many and varied amazing desserts and coffee drinks. Order yourself a slice of cognac pumpkin cheesecake and ponder over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, who knows there might also come a tapping, rapping at the chamber door, only this and nothing more. Or not…

January 20 – February 18 Aquarius
The internets never ceases to amaze and delight, n’est-ce pas Mr and Mrs Aquarius? When prepping this column I often delve into the endless toybox the world wide web provides for inspiration. And it never disappoints. This morning’s discovery: Hotels of the Rich & Famous. This site reports on celebrity sightings at various establishments around the globe and also interviews the aforementioned R&F about their favorite places to park their multiple cases of Louis Vitton luggage. Did you know that Johnny Depp favors the St. Mary in Jamaica, the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, and the Beverly Hilton? Natalie Portman likes to hang her hat at the Ritz-Carlton in New York and the Portobello Hotel in London? That Hotel Borg is the favored dwelling of celebs and politicos since 1930 in Reykjavik, Iceland and has hosted William Faulkner, Ella Fitzgerald, and Marlene Dietrich?

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
Feed that squishy, romantic Piscean side of yourself with a visit to Only Hearts, long a staple on the Upper West Side (79th and Columbus) and now with a location in Nolita (Mott between Prince and Spring). Et voila, here’s a whole store full of heart-themed gifts from lockets to notecards to picture frames. Owner Helena Stuart has also started her own clothing line of what she calls inner outerwear, lingerie that can be worn as streetwear. Don’t forget the words of Kurt Cobain: She eyes me like a pisces when I am weak; I’ve been locked inside your heart shaped box for weeks.

horoscoop* du jour

Posted in Weekend Horoscope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2008 by Holly

March 21 – April 19 Aries
There’s nothing that would behoove you adventurous Aries folks more than a weekend midnight movie at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village. August 8 and 9 you can scope George Axelrod’s 1966 classic Lord Love A Duck starring a wickedly satirical Roddy McDowell and sweet young blonde Tuesday Weld. Let’s just say that Weld starts off as an innocent, shy teenage girl who wants to be popular and ends up as a movie star in Bikini Widow. That should be enough to get you into the theater tonight or tomorrow at midnight. The series continues every weekend through September 27 and ends with Roger Corman’s granddaddy of counterculture genius, The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson). The entire schedule is here.

April 20 – May 20 Taurus
Famed Taurean William Shakespeare once wrote: Summer’s lease hath all too short a date. To paraphrase: it’s August, bitches! Get your stubborn Taurus behind out there into the world and take in some fresh air, even if it is heavy with humidity. You’ll wish you had done so come wintertime when the air is freezing cold and hurts when you breathe. Move it and shake it, yo ~ before the ice age moves in on us and takes permanent residence like on that scary episode of the Twilight Zone.

May 21 – June 20 Gemini
Your dual nature will no doubt thrill to the news that David Byrne and Brian Eno have collaborated again for the first time in 30 years – and that’s gotta be cool. Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is released August 18th but you can download a free copy of one of the songs, Strange Overtones, here. A tour will commence on September 16th in Bethlehem, Pa.

June 21 – July 22 Cancer
One of my favorite crab people is Artie Wayne, who is and has been a songwriter, singer, producer, concert promoter, publisher, restaurant host and more during his storied career. He’s also a refreshing stop in the increasingly crowded blogosphere where he shares way cool finds like Simon and Garfunkel performing Sounds of Silence acoustically live on television; The Mighty Quinn by the awesomely underrated Manfred Mann; Society’s Child by shy, sixteen year old Janis Ian; and John, You’ve Gone Too Far This Time by Rainbo (AKA Sissy Spacek prior to her acting career!). AW is apparently working on a book about the music business – sign me up for that one, Amazon!

July 23 – August 22 Leo
Happy Birthday Leo guys and dolls! Yes, Teri, that means YOU! A great way to celebrate your birthday weekend is to crank up the dials to WFMU FM which is celebrating 50 years on the air today through Sunday. And don’t think you can’t listen because you don’t live in the area. Au contraire ma cherie ~ WFMU streams live on the web 24/7! Legendary DJ’s from years past will be dropping in all weekend to help celebrate – including Wildgirl, Vin Scelsa, and Danny Fields! Even the Hound will be back, Saturday August 9 between 3 and 6pm.

August 23 – September 22 Virgo
I know you Virgos are very concerned with not acting old – as are we all. Please to rejoice in HowNotToActOld.com which has loads of tips on how to not give away your age, assuming you’re older than Paris Hilton (who still qualifies as young). Writer Pamela Redmond Satran has written 14 books including 5 novels, and 8 bestselling baby-naming books coauthored with Linda Rosenkrantz. Besides her blog, she also writes for the Huffington Post and has a new book out called 1000 Ways To Be A Slightly Better Woman.

September 23 – October 22 Libra
Librans can satisfy their insatiable need for great documentary films this summer with HBO’s terrific weekly series which started in June with Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. Even though it has appeared that Showtime has kicked HBO’s ass this year on drama series, I’m here to tell you that these documentaries make for great television. Last week, Baghdad High showed us what it’s like to be a teenager in Iraq where a daily commute to school is fraught with roadside bombings. Quel teenage wasteland! Every Monday night at 9pm through August 25th a new film is shown. Pop some corn and settle down to leave your world for the duration.

October 23 – November 21 Scorpio
It’s about time, Scorpio cats n kittens – your basest selves will thrill to the newly opened Erotic Heritage Museum in (where else?) Las Vegas, Nevada. Over 24,000 square feet of permanent and featured exhibits pay tribute to the world of erotica. The Museum opened its legs, I mean, doors to the world on August 3rd and seeks to bridge the gap between that which is commercial and often misidentified as pornographic. No doubt Jesse Helms will be turning in his grave.

November 22 – December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians know from crazy crazy love. Therefore this week’s download is targeted to our self-indulgent, sociable, flirtatious centaur friends. The song is Bernadette by the Four Tops and is a testament to complete and utter jealousy and obsession. This 1967 Motown hit was produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland and recorded at Hitsville USA. The stellar lead vocal is of course by the unbelievable Levi Stubbs. Listen to the raw urgency in his voice as he cries, Bernadette! They want you because of the pride that it gives; But Bernadette, I want you because I need you to live.

December 22 – January 19 Capricorn
In honor of a Capricorn born on January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, I’m speaking of course of Elvis Aaron Presley here, I urge you to visit the 24 Hour Church of Elvis. Here in this pocket of madness on the internets you can purchase refrigerator magnets, stickers, pins, t-shirts, calendars, etc. etc. etc. Proprietor Stephanie G. Pierce has run this establishment since 1985 in Portland, Oregon. There used to be a physical store where weddings were performed, but that’s closed for the moment. In the meantime, flat top cats and dungaree dolls can celebrate The King with a refrigerator magnet.

January 20 – February 18 Aquarius
Our Aquarian of the Week is – yes – Paris Hilton. Girlfriend fired back a hysterical response to John McCain’s Britney/Paris/Obama TV ad from last week. Paris lounges in a leopard bikini as she explains her own energy policy to us (surprise, it’s pretty frickin’ awesome). Quoth Ms. Hilton: “That wrinkly white-haired guy used me in his campaign ad, which I guess means I’m running for President. So thanks for the endorsement, white-haired dude. . . I want America to know that I’m like, totally ready to lead.” Even her parents, who contributed $Hilton$ money to McCain, were horrified by his tasteless ad which compares Obama’s celebrity to that of their daughter and Britney Spears.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
Fish People, here’s a novel you can curl up in for the entire month of August and read your brains out. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is the largely autobiographical tale of Roberts, who escapes after two years in an Australian prison where he had been jailed for a series of armed robberies performed when he was a heroin addict. He arrives in Bombay with an assumed name and forged papers and luckily meets a street guide who becomes his bridge to an entirely new world. That’s only the beginning; I’m still reading it. The book is so large and heavy it could conceivably be used as a weapon. Fall into this fascinating world like it was a gorgeous colorful silken pillow.

horoscoop* du jour

Posted in Weekend Horoscope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2008 by Holly

March 21 – April 19 Aries
Let me say this plain and clear: if you haven’t seen Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, a viral video hit of epic proportions, you are missing something huge. Pausch, who died a few days ago after contracting pancreatic cancer in 2006, has changed many lives and will change many more. A Carnegie Mellon professor of computer science, he saw his terminal illness as a challenge to live out the life of his dreams and have fun doing it. We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand is one of the things he said. And Tell The Truth. All The Time.

April 20 – May 20 Taurus

Travel Betty is a blog that encourages Fearless Independent Travel For Women. Per the site, Travel Betty is a woman in love and lust with travel. All kinds of different travel. From pampering to roughing it, she’s an experience collector. Travel Betty desires to be the old woman with the good stories. To her, travel is freedom. Yay! TB, you’re living my dream! When I was in high school, my friend Janice and I both became enamored of James Michener’s novel The Drifters. The book is about six young people of all different international backgrounds who meet in Spain, and then describes how each got there. A few of the characters work multiple jobs for six months and travel the rest of the year. I could not think of anything cooler than that. It’s terribly dated but still a lot of fun to read. And check in with Miss Betty too. She’s all that.

May 21 – June 20 Gemini
Thanks to the good people at Vosges, you can have a marvelous experience with chocolate that will blow your mind. The Vosges Exotic Barcelona Bar is a mix of dark and milk chocolate married to hickory smoked almonds and grey sea salt. On the packaging are loving directions telling you exactly how to consume this item to get the full experience. There are five steps: See, Smell, Snap, Taste, Feel. The sweet salty creamy crunchiness of the chocolate is like waves hitting the shore of your taste buds.

June 21 – July 22 Cancer
He’s as handsome as they come, per the name (Handsome Dick Manitoba), he’s the lead singer of the Dictators (a band for which he was formerly a roadie), he’s got a radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio’s Underground Garage Channel, and he owns the coolest rock and roll bar on the planet – Manitoba’s, located (of course) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Many a beer has been hoisted inside those august walls, many a tale has been told. For the moment they don’t have any live music going on due to some annoying neighbors, but it’s still the best place around to listen to a great jukebox and shoot some pool. And the photos of great punk legends on the walls are worth the trip alone.

July 23 – August 22 Leo
Bonne anniversaire! ¡feliz cumpleaños! Janam Din Mubarak! Sretan Rodendan! Happy Birthday, My Damn Channel! One Year Today, July 31! It feels like you’ve been our friend forever. You thrill us and inspire us, you make us laugh until soda comes out of our noses. Your peeps – Don Was, Harry Shearer, Andy Milonakis, David Wain, A.D. Miles, Coolio, Steve Kerper, and Big Fat Brain – are now our beloved heroes. We love you ~ keep on keepin’ on.

August 23 – September 22 Virgo
Strange human remains found in the hills of West Virginia…no one has a clue what might have happened…evidence of bizarre medical experiments…well, it has to be a case for the X-Files. And it is; my beloved Moldy and Scoldy are back, reunited to chase down the dark demons once again. The trailers tease us with a shot of them being quite romantic. The TV show, in its early years, stunned and delighted before collapsing in on itself in a classic case of a show lasting too long. I could do with a trip back to 1993 just for a couple of hours. I want to believe!

September 23 – October 22 Libra

The Beat Goes On forever at Sonny Bono Memorial Park, located on a traffic island near Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. The 800 square foot area was developed into a tribute to Mr. Bono in 1998 by his friend, local real estate developer Geary Simon. Perhaps the only Congressman who also had a string of hit records in the 1960’s and co-hosted a popular variety show, Sonny is memorialized here with a plaque and a vault of memorabilia which includes the sheet music for The Beat Goes On and a set of his official Congressional cufflinks.

October 23 – November 21 Scorpio
Gretchen Craft Rubin is a former lawyer and U.S. Supreme Court clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who has written a number of books. Her daily blog, The Happiness Project, tests happiness principles and theories from Oprah to St. Theresa to report on what works and it’s a terrific read. A book based on The Happiness Project will be published in 2009. Watch her film The Years Are Short in which she suddenly comes to the realization that life is a string of precious moments that we need to be grateful for.

November 22 – December 21 Sagittarius
Shoyeido is a 300 year old Japanese company, established in 1705, which produces what is thought to be the highest quality and finest natural incense in the world. A family owned business, the company operates in the same location it has occupied in Kyoto, Japan for three centuries. The incense blends are Inspiration, Peace, Joy, Love, and Hope. Hope, a blend of sandalwood, frankincense, vanilla, ginger lily and spices, is my favorite. Each box of approximately 35 sticks comes with its own ceramic burner.

December 22 – January 19 Capricorn

This week’s musical treat is Tracey Ullman, a Capricorn lass. Ullman is known primarily in the States for her acting and comedy (she has a hit show – State of the Union – right now on Showtime), but our U.K. friends know that she was quite a musical sensation in the 1980’s. And you can download The Best of Tracey Ullman and hear why. It’s always a mystery why some things don’t make it across the pond and she barely created a ripple here with some great material. My favorite is the fabulously dramatic Doc Pomus-y I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten. There’s 20 songs in total and nary a clunker in the bunch. Check out the video for They Don’t Know which was a big hit in England and features a famous British rock star who’s also been knighted. (Hmm, who could it be?)

January 20 – February 18 Aquarius
Housing Works Used Book Café is located on 126 Crosby Street – a few steps from the intersection of Canal and Crosby in Soho. Open every day until 9pm on weekdays and until 7pm on weekends, the store is a reminder of the days when Soho was not chockablock with high end couture stores and packs of tourists. A selection of some 45,000 new, used, and rare books and records make this by far the best book outlet in New York City. Add to that a café with sandwiches and salads, coffee, wine, beer and desserts. Add to that live events and readings. And add to that the fact that all proceeds go to Housing Works, which provides housing, health care, job training, advocacy, and other services for homeless New Yorkers living with AIDS and HIV.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
Glory in the timeless beauty of Hedy Lamarr as you listen to Tony Bennett’s Stranger in Paradise. This kind of clip is what I love about YouTube – a truly creative, well edited slideshow which pays tribute to an actress who was thought to be the most beautiful woman of her time. Lamarr, born in 1913, was known for her appearances in Samson and Delilah, Boom Town, Ziegfield Girl, and other films. She was also a brilliant inventor. In 1942, at her highest peak of popularity, Lamarr and composer George Antheil patented a frequency-switching system for torpedo guidance that was well ahead of its time. Along with Antheil, in 1997 she was awarded both the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and the Bulbie Gnass Spirit of Achievement Bronze Award which is given to individuals whose creative lifetime achievements in the arts, sciences, business, or invention fields have significantly contributed to society or the earth at large.

horoscoop* du jour

Posted in Weekend Horoscope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2008 by Holly

March 21 – April 19 Aries
I don’t know about you, but Barack Obama is definitely my new bicycle and has been for some time. Wired Magazine contributing editor Mathew Honan created his website in February of this year and it was a screaming success, like millions of hits – the kind of success web sites dream about. His site is simple and direct and provides mondo entertainment. On August 5th he will be publishing a book collecting all the things ‘America’s sweetheart of a senator’ has done for you, like dancing with your mom at your sister’s wedding. Shoveling the snow from your walkway. Leaving a comment on your blog. (I’m waiting…) Preorder it here.

April 20 – May 20 Taurus
Thanks to Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Students and New Media Director Columbia University Journalism School and Technology Reporter for WNBC-TV in New York, I learned about Nike Plus. It was actually through one of Mr. Sreenivasan’s fascinating online video courses at the mediabistro website, of which more later. Get this: you can connect a pair of Nikes to your iPod nano and presto! you’ve got your own personal trainer. The iPod will log each step you take and keep track of it on a special website. It’s rather amazing. More info here.

May 21 – June 20 Gemini
As we move into the white hot heart of summer, dangerously close to the famed dog days of August, my thoughts naturally turn to where to find the best margarita in town. Rosa Mexicano is well known for their signature pomegranate margarita and they have three locations in New York City as well as Atlanta, Palm Beach Gardens, and Miami. The food’s divine as well. I have it on good authority that Barrio Chino and Dos Caminos, both in Soho, are also very skilled with the juice of the blue agave plant.

June 21 – July 22 Cancer
Knit One, Haiku Too is a pocket sized gem which incorporates stories, quotes, and haiku about knitting and how it grounds and centers us in our lives. Author and poet Maria Fire, a knitter since childhood, has been a lawyer, hospice director, and massage therapist. The book sparkles with snapshots of sweet moments. Maria as a fourth grader, sitting on the porch with her grandfather as he recited poetry by heart and she knitted by lamplight. At girl scout camp arguing with her best friend about where babies come from. Shaving her head in solidarity with a sick friend. Knitting socks for her father, who’s illness caused him to have cold feet. Her son, inspired by Baryshnikov, dancing at a recital with a long gold silk scarf she’d made.

July 23 – August 22 Leo
We lost Johnny Cash in 2003 when he followed his beloved June to the sweet by and by. But you can celebrate his music on Saturday July 26 at 8pm over at the World Financial Center in Manhattan – free – at The Big River Project: The Music of Johnny Cash. Artists from a variety of genres will cover well known and obscure Cash songs. Performing their own arrangements will be John Doe, Ollabelle, Laura Cantrell, David Bromberg, The Persuasions, Hymns, Catherine Russell, Marshall Crenshaw, and more. Check out Gary Pig Gold‘s great column The Mantra in Black: Ten Reasons Why Johnny Cash Always Matters.

August 23 – September 22 Virgo
For the celiac-challenged among us, take heart: Glutino manufactures a couple of really good breads that you can eat sans gluten. Their premium fiber bread and premium flax seed bread are terrific. They also make corn bread, cinnamon bread, English muffins, and bagels. I’m finding their stuff in more and more health food stores and you can also purchase it online. For an unbelievably enlightening experience, try a day without gluten; you will not believe the health benefits of not eating it. Whether or not you have celiac disease, many people have a sensitivity to gluten and don’t know it until they remove it from their diet.

September 23 – October 22 Libra
In 1972 the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released the triple album set Will the Circle Be Unbroken. The ambitious project attempted to unite the folk-rock Nitty Gritty Dirt Band from Southern California with country legends like Roy Acuff, Mother Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Vassar Clements and others. The album’s 38 tracks were for the most part recorded in one or two takes. It’s a reverent and moving document to the power of country music and sounds as fresh today as if it were just recorded. From Orange Blossom Special to Tennessee Stud to Sunny Side of the Mountain to Wildwood Flower, they’re all here and waiting for you at iTunes and Amazon.

October 23 – November 21 Scorpio
There are films and there are films. And some films have the power to shake you so thoroughly that nothing looks the same when you’re finished viewing them. Such a film is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Directed by artist Julian Schnabel, it is the true story of Elle Magazine editor-in-chief Jean-Dominque Bauby, who suffered a massive stroke at the age of 43. A victim of the rare locked in syndrome, in which one is completely aware of his surroundings but paralyzed, Bauby was able to communicate solely through blinking his left eyelid, and dictated a memoir in this fashion which was published ten days before he died. All I can say is see this film and you’ll be forever changed.

November 22 – December 21 Sagittarius
Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the Writer Within was written in 1986 by Natalie Goldberg and resonates today just as it did then. It’s inspirational and vivid and moving and dare I say, just plain magical. Whether you’re an aspiring writer or just sad and tired, you’ll find a new way to view things with Goldberg’s techniques. Her rules: keep your hand moving, don’t cross out, don’t worry about spelling – punctuation – grammar, lose control, don’t think – don’t get logical, and go for the jugular (if something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy).

December 22 – January 19 Capricorn
Two words: Bruce Springsteen. Yes, he’s back with his merry band of E Streeters at Giants Stadium this week. July 27, 28, and 31. Beg, borrow, steal, do whatever you have to do, but go. I know it’s a stadium. So what. Just go. They just got back from a five week sweep of Europe during which many thousands of souls were healed and rejuvenated. And they actually performed Drive All Night for the first time in 27 years. Do I have to say any more?

January 20 – February 18 Aquarius
It’s that time again, O Best Beloved. And I say unto you, Make It Work. Yes, Project Runway is back. Episode 2 of the new season just aired and it’s the usual bitchy nonsense that we love to watch. Heidi Klum is her usual flawless Germanic ice princess self (you’re either in or you’re out), Nina Garcia stll scares the pants off everyone, and Michael Kors continues to act as if he is the Voice of the God of Fashion. And Tim Gunn – well, he’s my dream man. The web site can be as addictive as the show, with blogs, video outtakes, photo galleries and more. I’ll bet you’re not surprised to hear Ms. Garcia hates crocs. And we have to keep watching in case a new Santino or Christian Siriano reveals him/herself.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
I just returned from the Omega Institute where I was privileged to spend part of an afternoon with Sister Alice Martin, who teaches gospel singing workshops there every year. She was Marion Williams‘ teacher and is currently the music instructor of the Bryn Mawr Haverford Gospel Choir in addition to serving on the music faculty of the B.N. Oakley Memorial Temple. There’s another chance coming up to take a class with her at Omega from August 10 to August 15 and if you want a really life-changing experience, honey, get yourself there and raise your voice in praise of God.

thank you, lynda barry

Posted in Lynda Barry with tags , on July 19, 2008 by Holly

the diver’s clothes lying empty on the beach
~ Rumi ~ (Coleman Barks Translation)

you’re sitting here with us
but you’re also out walking in
a field at dawn
you are yourself the animal we hunt
when you come with us on the hunt
you are in your body like a plant is solid
in the ground — yet you’re wind
you’re the diver’s clothes lying empty on the beach
you’re the fish
In the ocean are many bright strands
and many dark strands like
veins that are seen when a wing is lifted up
your hidden self is blood in those -
- those veins which are like lute strings that
play ocean music — not the sad edge of surf
but the sound of no shore

horoscoop* du jour

Posted in Weekend Horoscope with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2008 by Holly

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.

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