January 31, 2011

Bits & Bobs, Odds & Sods

Trying to catch up on all sorts of randomness...finding little gems here and there that are worth a look.

In Slate, Stanley Fish picks his 3 favourite sentences. He had readers submit, he chose. His three are awesome. Go have a peek. I actually do this as I read; I note a great line or word, but I have this huge problem with writing in books. So, I just tell myself that I will remember the page number. The fact I wake up each day and have to remind myself where I am tells you how great I am at doing that, but no matter. Arlene bought me a Kindle and I think there is a little highlighty feature for just such brainstorms. I'll have to figure it out.

Then again, I'm never sure why I need to remember great lines. All it does is make me crazy that I didn't come up with it.

Couple of awesome pieces sent to me by Mr. Smith out in Dunnville - this one from Ted Widmar in the NYT on Abraham Lincoln's stepmother is lovely.

The other one is in the New Yorker; you probably can't get at it without a password unless you subscribe, but if you can get your hands on it, it's just gorgeous. I read it and sat here thinking, 'I'm never gonna write again'. It's called The Lamb Roast.

In a recent column I complained about my missing Milk Calendar. A reader sent me one, c/o The Spectator. What a doll - thank you!

In my ongoing quest to discover what Twitter is good for, I asked for column ideas last night. Got loads! Thanks to everyone who played. Of course one suggestion leads me to other ideas, but all will be filed for reference.

I answer all my mail. At least I try to. I've recently switched to a new computer, and an updated Outlook (or whatever) and more of my mail is getting junked than ever before. I try to rescue it when I remember, but if you think I'm being a bitch, I'm not. Unless I get more and more 'editors' who keep correcting my grammar. That's usually okay, and I answer most of those because I'm cool with being corrected. But sometimes the nitpicking makes me nuts. At least blast my editors (yes, plural) as well as me. I. Me. We're human. Sometimes we're filing from the road on iPhones. And sometimes we just screw up.

For some reason, Charlie Sheen is all over my news. Please. Go away. I don't care.

For some reason, Jason Statham is not all over my news nearly enough. He purdy.

I desperately want to see True Grit.

I would like a bowl of soup.

Wait. If we're supposed to be getting a snow storm, I should really go buy some soup to bundle up with. And email Jason Statham. Be quiet. The soup could happen.

January 29, 2011

James Bay or Bust

Section is out. You should really buy it - awesome layout - but here's the link that takes you to all the links.

January 27, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Wow. Been ignoring this place. Sorry.

James Bay was outrageous. Awesome driving, awesome cars, terrific places and great people. This Saturday's Wheels section is going to be outstanding. Go buy it - you really need to see the pics from this adventure. Oh, and read my piece of course.

What have I missed? Well, I've finally caught up on laundry. Wearing a dozen layers every day takes up some clothing. The boys have eaten pretty much the rest of the snack trove I came home with - we took a lot of stuff.

I've been zipping around on TV a little - burning out early, catching up on sleep. Anyone else absolutely appalled at Steven Tyler hitting on girls young enough to be his granddaughters?? Seriously. Gross. I used to like you, but, geez, you look like someone took a piece of waxed paper and stretched it over a frame too tight, then drew on a Steven Tyler face with crayons. And then you're ogling 16-year-olds.

I still like Glee. Sorry. I actually had some downloaded on my iPhone on the trip. On these trips, everyone has an iPod. Driver gets to pick. With all the switching around of cars, you end up with everyone else's iPods. This is very good when it's Spencer Wynn's, our photog. He has tons of Pretenders on his. I was in heaven. This is very bad when it's Mark Richardson's. He has tons of one hit wonders and joke music. We're driving along when all of a sudden the walkie springs to life and we hear YMCA blasting from the other car, and through our windshield you can see Richardson doing all the dance moves. Poor Spencer. He also had to sit through I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt, Monty Python skits, Crazy Bitch and that Charlene song - I've Never Been to Me. You haven't lived until you've seen Richardson singing every word, in a soprano voice. "I've been undressed by kings and I've seen some things that a woman ain't s'pose to see...I've been to paradise but I've never been to me..."

Anyway. Glee. It came on mine while Laurance Yap and I were driving. Laurance is the Nicest Man in the World. Seriously. I should get him a t-shirt. Anyway, he very amiably says 'what is this?'. So I told him, waiting for the usual barrage of grief. 'Hey, that's okay!' says the Nicest Man in the World. I told him I was gonna do a headline: Laurance Goes All the Way to Nunavut to Discover Glee.

I saw a bunch of dead caribou in Radisson, Quebec. That's way up north. Where we went. It's a little disconcerting to go to the best hotel in town (okay, only) and see all these men - tons of them - in cammo. With rifle cases. And coolers. And dead animals strapped to their trailers. Everyone else was on another floor, so I walked down the hall looking for my room Saturday night. All the doors were open, with all these hunters sitting around. Relaxing. This means they take off their cammo. And smelling like old kielbasa. I told myself if was old kielbasa, because that was better than new caribou. In the dining room, there was a waitress or two. And me. And 80 guys in cammo.

I practically slept in my boots, I was so scared to take them off. The carpet was...odd. But the bathroom was lovely. Talk about a juxtaposition. I didn't take a bath, though, just a shower. I kept picturing hunters carving up caribou in the tub like a bad horror movie. Great lighting, though. I wanted to bring that bathroom lighting home with me. I looked lovely.

I'm sure there will be more to complain about later, other than Steven Tyler's lechery. I need groceries.

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January 20, 2011

On The Road Again...

In the midst of packing the most unattractive clothing on the planet for the trek to James Bay, I get a call. There will apparently be snowmobiles involved. There are apparently now snow pants involved. I already have in two pairs of these weird paddy pants and a bazillion underarmour thingees, and hats and gloves and mitts and boots and hotshots and things, and now I'm just debating bringing an electric blanket and a long, long extension cord.

I have practiced being cold by going down to the basement to fold laundry wearing only a t-shirt. I lasted two minutes, then pulled on one of the boys' hoodies. I think this does not bode well for me.

I will attempt to Twitter on the road; if you don't follow already, I don't blame you. Twitter is pretty stupid. But anyway. Go to @Tweeetlorraine and sign in. Yes, I'm aware that's spelled wrong.

The only ones visibly upset that I'm going are the cats, as usual. Maggie is wondering who she is going to sit on all day and sleep on all night. JoJo is wondering who will be up before noon to feed her. I am wondering how far north up highway 400 I'm gonna get before I remember what I've forgotten.

Anyhoo. I'm sure it will be interesting. Story set to run in next week's Star...I'll get lots of pics of caribou. Caribous? Whatever.

Stay well.

Oh, a pic from Detroit. Looks like I'm holding hands with the cop. I wasn't. He also wouldn't let me wear his hat. I asked. Nicely. Sigh.

January 18, 2011

Shut up, Sarah.

After a lifetime of suffering from pretty terrible migraines, they seem to be receding in the past year or two. This is great; I'm starting to view the world like 'normal' people, and not through a haze of pain or anticipated pain.

And then I make the mistake of listening to Sarah Palin.

I tried not to. Really. While outlets were waiting for her 'response' to the recent Tuscon shooting, I wondered, 'why?' What on earth could this most endangered of species - the Alaska Whackaloon - add to the discussion? She is not an elected official. She is not a journalist. She is not a noted scholar. Hell, she didn't even win Dancing With the Stars.

No, she's a pretty polished little rock. She is ready for political prime time in much the same way she is ready for television prime time: With 50 hours of scripting and primping and fluffing used to shoot 100 hours of footage which can be edited down to 44 minutes of crap which is still, after all this energy, lousy.

In the aftermath of the horrific shootings in Arizona - which I incidentally, don't see as politically motivated; I think a nutter went off and killed innocent people - the last person we needed to hear from was Pretty Palin. I'm sure when she heard the news, she put aside her mirror, flung her lip gloss down in a snit, bellowed at one of her kids to get her a Fresca, and asked Todd the Wonderboy if this meant she would have to learn some more words with 3 syllables.

Actually, the three syllables that jumped out of her 'caring statement' of course, were 'blood libel'. This woman is correct; she really is loaded for bear every step of the way. And now she's defended even those words. Follow the bouncing ball:

"In a situation like we have just faced in these last eight days of being falsely accused of being an accessory to murder, I and others need to make sure that we too are shedding light on truth so a lie cannot continue to live," she said. "If a lie does live, then of course your career is over and your reputation is thrashed and you will be ineffective in what we intend to do."

The only thing this woman sheds is her skin a couple of times a year. But it is nice to see her back on track, and making this about her. I know people like Sarah Palin. Unquenchably thirsty for moremoremore, at any cost, they stare so long and hard into the mirror they miss who is sneaking up behind them. She has not faced 'a situation' in these last eight days. This is not about her. And while it is lovely to see her worrying about her career and her reputation (one that she built on hate, the other that she built on lies), forgive me if my thoughts and concerns go to people who faced down a madman with a gun.

Curiously (or not), the Divine Ms. Palin expresses this thought: "We should not use an event like that in Arizona to stifle debate".

Now, stop me if I'm wrong, but everything I've seen has been the direct opposite of this statement. If anything has arisen from these ashes, it is a re-energized debate about gun control (yeah, yeah, 2nd Amendment, a gun in every hand and a chicken in every pot), the mental health system, freedom of elected officials to move safely among their constituents, the dangers of rushing to judgment, the impact of violent rhetoric (her favourite kind), and the role of the press in all of the above.

Stifling debate? Ah. I think the lady is protesting the fact that she and her ilk (god I love that word. 'Ilk') are pissed that maybe they are the ones who should be stifled. Her words are as loaded as her guns. She would have flunked Debating 101 in any classroom. She would have been whistled out of any court by the sleepiest judge for her irrelevancy.

Let me sum it up for you, Sarah. I'll get you from here to there, as it were: 19 people were shot, most randomly. Some were old; some were very young. 6 died. One youngster was 9. She apparently wanted to see how government worked, and Congresswoman Giffords was presented as a terrific role model for her. You weren't. Because you, amongst other Tea Party people, insist on using violent words and pictures that revere and mimic every gun happy stereotype in the world, people's gaze turned to that fact. When it became clear the shooter was a nutter who had long been a cause for concern at his college, it was no longer about you.

But a funny thing happened on the way to a massacre: people decided that the fact that the words and actions of Your People were the first thing anyone thought of, made if somehow worthy of debate. Sometimes you go to the doctor for a broken arm and he tells you by the way, you have a heart condition. Sometimes it's the message, not the process.

Your message is vile and out of touch. And quite frankly, I can't believe anyone wants to know what you think anymore. Because its so obviously a struggle.

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January 15, 2011

Yes, Yes, I Know.

Lazy Blogger.

Pfffttt, as my dear friend Janie would say.

I was going to do a horoscope thingee today, based on those bogus horoscopes that were all over the place this week. It would be like an Afterschool Special, or a 'Today, on a very special episode of Blossom'. Like that. Only I couldn't find the energy to get all Dawn, Portrait of a Teenage Runaway on you, nor find the episode where Blossom gets her first kiss or first period or something. January is a crazy month for carpeople - yes, I think of that all as one word.

Deeeeetroit was fun, but always tiring. Lots of noise, lots of strong coffee, lots of rich food, lots of walking. Did I mention the noise? I'm gearing up (literally) for a boot to James Bay next weekend. Look on a map - 1600 km straight north. I was told it was the same distance as Miami. Yes, I asked the obvious question.

But what would January be if Lorraine wasn't on a ice floe somewhere, clad in the world's most unattractive thermal underwear? We shall be driving a Prius and a Porsche Cayenne. Yes, that sound you hear already is me whining for more wheel time in the Porsche. I've been told to pack for the possibility that we might get stuck and possibly have to spend the night in the vehicles, stranded. What they don't understand is that with me and 3 guys, I shall be taking the Porsche single room while they can warm each other in the Prius.

Right now I'm looking out the window at snow, snow and more snow. It's quite lovely. And I have a very contented JoJo curled up behind my back snoozing away, making for a quite efficient feline heating pad.

Maybe I can bring her to James Bay.

January 11, 2011

My Last Blame it on Lorraine Letter...

...thanks for your note. I hope you know I wasn't even thinking anything other than what you noted. I was just trying to cover all of the bases (my auto stuff kicks in...). I really sympathize with your situation, and I hope you find the best solution for you and your son.

Take good care...


January 9, 2011

I'm Off...

No, not like the mystery leftovers in your fridge. I'm off to Detroit.

The best comments seem to be taking place down there, in my previous blog post. So, go read your horoscopes again, and continue to prattle on with each other there. If you like.

Or, do what you usually do, and make fun of me while I can't do anything about it.

Back Tuesday morning...

January 8, 2011

Weekly Horoscopes for Jan 8 -15

I have grown weary of our regular horoscoper, as you all know. And last week was too much work as I plopped on my horoscoper hat and did the work myself. There is a reason it is easier to copy off the guy beside you than study all night. So, to keep all the excitement intact, and give all of you the direction for the coming week that I know you need - need - like air and wine and waffles (I made that up; I don't even like waffles, but someone might), I simply pulled the first thing I found on Google. As always, the order is the one I prefer. Me first.

Capricorn: As you experience a burst of energy this week, Capricorn, you are instructed to aim high. While 'aiming high' often means showering by noon, apparently this week will not only be full of buzzing possibilities, it will also present a curve ball or two. You must use your words to come out on top. You also might as well remember now that playing it safe never got you anywhere.

Aquarius: You are being instructed to let others feel they are in control this week. Some call this 'sneaky and manipulative', but my mother used to call it letting Dad think he was boss. It works. You're set for some decent financial news this week, too. Can I borrow some money?

Pisces: Shhh. Yes, be quiet. Your friends, at midweek, are trying to tell you something. Something good. They have more faith in your abilities than you do, so shut up for one minute and listen. From Thursday on social stuff gets rolling, and you will be smart to accept. So I guess nothing much happens the first few days, so rest up.

Aries: Oh. I would like this to be Capricorn's. Aries, you are in for a lovely session of 'creative growth and change'. Your career is revving up this week, and for once, sticking to your guns on what you know is right for you will pay off. Dig in your heels (in that nice way you have) and know that you are right. You little warrior, you.

Taurus: You get a new friend this week. Or new somebody. The thing is, this person shares your vision and will be an ally. It's a week to focus on your career, and while you totally prefer to work alone, there are times it makes sense to join forces with those who can help you. Define what you want, and go for it.

Gemini: That great idea you have? It's a good one. But you can't do it alone, so pay attention to someone who can help. You're also going to be dealing with some crankypants later this week, but hold your tongue and you'll win. Take a wait-and-see course before committing - you're not seeing all the pieces just yet.

Wow. Another sign being told to take someone else's advice. For you Cancer, it's not a newcomer - it's someone you already know. Something you've been mulling over for awhile now is coming into the sun. Take good advice that's offered, and this should be a successful week.

Remember that idea you had to file away? Haul it out. Make a plan to finish it. You'll be hearing good things from old friends and new contacts alike - they'll all play a role in helping this project work. But if you take a boo around the other signs here, you'll see that everyone is looking to find success in personal ideas, to it's going to be a give and take scenario.

Virgo: Well, Virgo is the only sign so far that's getting any romance, based on these readings. Sigh. Then again, Virgo, things could get a little bouncy mid-week with one of your close relationships, so ease up on the throttle and don't make things worse then they are. You're headed for smoother seas.

Libra: Someone who loves you says you can't do it. It can't work. It can, but you need to carefully explain why it makes sense. You need them involved in this, so don't get all snitty and bratty. Use all that charm, stay calm and you'll have them as an ally.

Scorpio: You have an inkling that someone isn't really okay. Trust that; they're not. But if you open yourself up a bit, and make yourself a little vulnerable, you'll both end up far richer for it. Stop being scared of the V word.

: Oh, you're in for some surprises this week in your personal dealings, which will totally muck with your carefully planned out route through life. Relax; these will ultimately be good things. Something cool is set to happen in your career on Friday - yeehaw!

So there.

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January 7, 2011

Go Read Scott

No. Really. He sums up this whole kerfuffle blogging nonsense better than anyone.

And, succinctly. That's unheard of for a blogger. You'd think we got paid by the word.

Can you imagine if we got paid by the word?

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Good Vibrations?

If you have an aversion to a story with 'sex toy' in the headline, don't click on this.

Okay. You back? Ewwwwwwwwwwww. Somebody really needs to explain something to me. You date a guy who even has the propensity to do something like this - I mean, you date a guy who even has the propensity to do something like this? Unless a person is under the age of, let's say 25 or so, they have pretty much established most of their character traits. I'm being generous. I actually believe this stuff is established closer to age 3, but I'll toss in some leeway.

So you date a freak. I don't know why. Any guy (or girl) is better than none? To get your family to quit bugging you about when you're going to get a mate? Whatever. You go find a guy with the nicest mullet around (did you see that picture? Am I the only one hearing alarm bells?) If someone looks like a candidate for this site, what is it exactly that is screaming 'potential spouse' to you? Anyway. Let's not dwell on hair. Lots of people make mistakes. My Journey Through the History of Lorraine's Hair could scare many small children. But let's say you'll give a pass to someone's physical imperfections. Good for you. I hate shallow people.

But let's move on in the relationship. You and the Mullet are doing all the usual date things. Maybe renting movies, grabbing a bite to eat, picking up buck shot, gun powder and triggers. And sex toys. The only thing missing is booze. Oh wait. The local paper has a quote from the liquor store owner, saying Terry Lester, he of the mullet, was a real nice guy. You know things are bad when you've been busted for rigging a dildo with buckshot for your ex-girlfriend, and the only character witness they can find to vouch for you runs the local liquor depot.

So, Terry Lester (I really wish his middle name was Heezama) leaves behind this gift after being tossed out of the apartment. Because all women would certainly want a sex toy from their ex-boyfriend, the woman took it right to the police. Bad plan, Terry. Didn't think that through, didja? Apparently, the thing had a trigger hooked up. He figured he'd just blow them up at the right moment. Brings a whole new meaning to 'was it good for you?', no?

But my point. This is the first aberrant behaviour from the guy? Really? You're going to tell me someone goes from normal to womb bomber in the blink of an eye? The more stuff I read about things that my brain can't even understand once they've been explained, the more lost I get. Here's a trick: if you date someone, and all of their previous relationships have been disasters because the exes were at fault, get a second opinion.

And don't open any presents they leave behind.


January 6, 2011

More Dead Squirrels

I'm thrashing about looking for something that catches my eye enough to blog about. I've been working overtime to cover for some upcoming away games, and my attention is splintered. Slate is telling me that the golden age of serial killers is probably over (and I'm not entirely sure they think that is a good thing), but I know from my relentless viewing of Criminal Minds that they will never go out of style in some places. Oh, and Criminal Minds? Stop dumping your female actors. I like them. You need them. You're an idiot if you think we don't notice and care. They're the best part of a show that is already becoming wincingly ooky.

Snow just started gently falling down, which is pretty unless you are going to be beside the Detroit River in a few days. The auto show signals the start of the car year, though the internet has pretty much destroyed the old days of dramatic reveals and awesome secrets. I will take lots of pretty pictures and share when I get back.

Ari and I pulled in the driveway a couple of days ago, and saw a huge ugly thing sitting on the lawn. I had no clue what it was, until Ari yelled that it was a hawk. He actually said it was a bald eagle, but it had hair, so we settled on hawk. It was about 2 feet tall, and it was standing on something. A dead squirrel. Ewwww. It had killed the squirrel and was guarding it. Ari whipped out his cell phone to take pictures, and told me to run into the house to get my camera. Yeah, didn't want to miss this. This thing just glared at us - as if I had a pressing need to take hold of this bloody squirrel and give it mouth to mouth or something. It finally flew up to a huge tree, sat there for 3 hours guarding its kill, and eventually swooped down to grab it. It was gross. Ari thought it was awesome. Mostly I just felt guilty because I'd fed the squirrels that morning with a bunch of old bread - it was like I'd stuffed them for the hawk.

Yesterday I tossed out some PopTarts (don't judge; they were on sale, and I forgot that nobody liked them). Ari glanced up and asked if I thought the hawk liked strawberry stuffed squirrels.

Speaking of hawks, I can't wait to see how many lawyers get involved in the latest group lottery win of Bell employees. Another reason why team sports were never for me. Wouldn't want to be the group nanny shaking everyone down for money, and wouldn't want to be hearing the excuses after the fact. I've heard of offices where hours and hours - yes, hours - are wasted organizing this. Call me a pooper, but if you want to buy a lottery ticket, just go buy one.

Apparently Elizabeth Edwards wrote her lying skag of a husband out of her will 6 days before she died. Apparently this is news.

I talked to a friend of mine who had her 3 daughters here before Christmas to make gingerbread houses. One of her dogs ate one of the gingerbread houses. The whole thing. Which totally should shut up those of you who told me if I glue gunned them together nobody would eat them.

I am about to go on hold with the OHIP office. Ari handed me his card, neatly snapped into two pieces. How the hell do you snap an OHIP card in half?

Robert DeNiro has just been named the head of the Cannes Jury Festival. They list his Oscar wins and lengthy career in some outstanding movies. They conveniently leave out his triumvirate of Fokkers garbage. You thought less of me for buying PopTarts, but this gets a pass? Oh, because I still get DeNiro and that other guy mixed up - Pacino - I almost forgot a horrific movie I watched last year with one of them. It was called 88, or 88 Minutes, or something like that. It was so bad, I thought it was a joke. Why do short, dark, hot men have to end their careers so badly?

In unrelated news, they're rewriting Mark Twain. Because he obviously didn't know exactly what he was doing when he wrote Huck Finn. Because children today don't need to learn anything that hasn't been put through a cultural blender and spat out like spam on a cracker. I don't weep for the future - I weep for right now.

I'm going off to read some funny stuff now. It's my birthday - and I sound all crabbyapplesauseface, even though I'm not. I just needed a few minutes of cranky to get going.

I'll be back.

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January 2, 2011

Horoscopes, a la Lorraine

When you have your own blog, you can do anything you want. Actually, that's not totally true. True story: I woke up this morning from a horrible dream. You know when you wake up too early, and go back to sleep? You know those dreams you have in that little mini-sleep you wanted so badly? Those mini-sleep dreams that are so scary and real you wake up all horror movie wide-eyed and wishing you'd just gotten your arse out of bed at 6 and put the kettle on, mini-sleep be damned? Yeah, I had one of those dreams. I had received an email from my editor who was telling me to take down a comment on a blog I contribute to because I had been found out. The letters were slanty like that - I had been found out. He was telling me to pull it, pull it, pull it! So in my dream I'm frantic, for two reasons: there was nothing for me to pull, and a writer wants to be found out. We want to be found out more than we want a perfect martini, more than we want to cuddle new kittens, more than we want to buy yet another pair of leather boots. That is how much we want to be found out. So my mini-sleep dream actions were totally contrary to my real-world ones, and this was making me crazy. And then I looked at the original (dream) email again, and saw that it now didn't come from my editor, but from some spammer. This totally confused me, so I just woke up and decided to put the kettle on. This made the cats happy, because they were hungry, and are always annoyed when I nearly wake up then decide I'd like a mini-sleep. "Don't do it," says Maggie with her eyes. "We both know this won't end well." Next time I'm listening to Maggie.

Oh wait. I had a point. I didn't do horoscopes on Friday because I was too busy. And I'm also really bored with making fun of that Cainer guy, who, I'll be honest, is sooooooo hard to read and even harder to read twelve times. So I thought I would find new horoscopers to make fun of, but I haven't had time to find one yet. So, today I am the guest 'scoper. I made it up all by myself, and no dream editor can make me pull it. I shall be basing my vast intergalactic knowledge on all my people experience and an assist from the fabulous Linda Goodman. I am going to make grandiose statements and predictions for all of you based on your birthdays - remember: this is for fun and entertainment only. Save your tears and lawsuits for another day. These will be in what I consider the proper order: starting with those of us whose birthday is now.

Work: Though noted as a disciplined and methodical sign of the zodiac, your steady - if somewhat unspectacular - career climb is often attributed to great tenacity paired with caution. We both know this is crap: you would do far better far faster if you didn't procrastinate so much. Get off your ass, Capricorn. Tune out the noise of the crowd, learn to listen to the handful of people you actually respect, and pair your ability to succeed with a new ability stop putting things off.
Love: All that discipline in one area of your life pretty much makes you a dork in this one. You may finally understand what it should be, but your inability to let anyone else lead not only makes you a lousy dancer, it can consistently means you get in your own way when it comes to love. Relax.

By now, you are probably used to getting that look at work because you keep saying 'I know because I just know'. Your ability to grasp the big picture problems on the job and in the world are commendable; but you need to figure out a way to communicate this knowledge to those who don't see things the same way you do. There must be visionaries, but there must also be a cast of thousands to put those visions into reality. Learn to understand all the roles, and things will get easier.
Love: Though you are pretty damned good at the out-of-the-gate stuff, you might find yourself fumbling in your long term relationships. Part of this is your selfishness; see that word as just a word, and not a condemnation. The moment you turn your perspective to your partner's position, things will get better.

Work: Your ability to ponder things deeply - almost at a spiritual kind of level - can sometimes lead people to think you're not working. Because we move so fast in this culture, allowing thinkers to, well, think, has become a luxury. This hampers your natural way of working; convincing others your way not only has merits, but can benefit the bottom line means sensing like-minded individuals, resisting the urge to coast, and turning your insight into a reality.
Love: You've spent your life in a curious mixture of patterns designed to throw people off the truth: though you crave a constant, trusted love, you've made a lot of noise falling in 'love' all over the place in an attempt to hide that you're scared. It doesn't always have to hurt.

Work: You have been misunderstood. A lot. People have mistaken courage for selfishness, though only you totally get how single-minded you must be to succeed. Expecting to be let down, you work harder to attain your goals while simultaneously trying to ferret out who might be plotting against you. Even you can see how this is counter-productive; remember that while you are smart to learn from past mistakes, don't bring old prejudices to new people.
Love: While you are shockingly aware of how much love matters to you, you sometimes have difficulty negotiating the give-and-take part. You've been accused of being a taker, though that is mostly a view taken by those who fail to stare unblinkingly past your carefully constructed outer shell - the one that is protecting the child you pretend isn't there.

Work: The people you work with rarely 'get' you, but they do know they can rely on you. Your ability to stick with something others have abandoned is valued; this year, you need to look more closely at why others have abandoned something, however. Though you are often right, sometimes a few steps back will provide you with a bigger picture - and a redirection of your energies will lead to bigger success, and more happiness.
Love: People might have accused you of being remote. This is more often about trust than coldness, which you know but feel little inclination to share. You experience love the way you experience everything else: by calling on all of your senses, including your intuition. You may eat and drink and laugh your way into people's hearts, you are less inclined to let them into yours without them first passing some unseen test. Trust your gut.

Work: Your greatest career attribute is probably your flexibility. Unlike others who can be thrown off by a last minute change of plans, you, more than most, welcome the chance to show off. You almost trust in your abilities enough to enjoy this. Almost. Resist the urge this year to lay low. Depending on your field, sharpen your skills, seek out new challenges, and flaunt that flexibility that is so desired in this changing world.
Love: That vaunted flexibility can be more challenging in your love life. While people may perceive you as less caring or devoted to matters of the heart, you still need to seek a way to find balance. Love can be restrictive, but the right love can be worth far more to you than its cost. Take the time to truly ascertain not just what you need from a partner, but what you can bring.

Work: You can get a little pissy when people can't hear the same music you hear. You have a great imagination, and the ability to transform that vision into solid results. Getting the rest of the team on board can sometimes prove trying, however. Fight your moodiness this year, Cancer. Turn that energy away from brooding, and into a force for good. You will accomplish two things: you will gain the acceptance you crave, and you will also enjoy new successes.
Love: Your hesitancy has already cost you enough. Yes, someone is capable of loving you as much as a beloved parent does. And that love will do more than entertain and make you happy - it will heal and sustain you as you move forward.

Work: A natural leader, you probably seek out positions of authority. This works well for you, and usually for those you lead. There are two kinds of leaders: those who swell up on the belief they are better then those beneath them, and those who genuinely care about the teamwork and results. While you are more likely to be the caring, loyal type, remind yourself how others view you.
Love: You are a great believer in love. You are capable of loving many people and many things, and of course, yourself. This is actually all great news - but take care with how you spread this love around. Don't water down the impact of your love - it's an awesome thing in its full intensity.

Work: You have a tenacity at work that employers covet: you work first to play later. While you silently question those who work the other way around, your diligence is not being overlooked. But this year, cut yourself some slack. Realize the value of play, and schedule a little spontaneity into each day. You've earned it.
Love: While it's been safer to be excellent at work and achievements you can measure, it's time to stop putting off taking a risk with your heart. You're not scared of anything else; anyone who can win your heart is truly blessed.

Work: You're noted at work for your fairness. Where others can be judgmental, you are often the voice of reason. While this is a valued attribute, don't forget that it can also be a lonely path at times. This year, resist more often the urge to keep the peace at the expense of your own success.
Love: While people are naturally drawn to you, you don't require much of them. You have thus far accepted what is offered, believing this to be the balance you crave. The thing is, you secretly crave far more. And to attain that means to risk more, to step further out on the beam. Risk it.

Work: Unlike many people, you absorb setbacks with a fierce determination to come back stronger. This makes you two things: a lethal adversary, but a successful one. You take things personally. While this serves you well, it can also isolate you. Don't decide that everyone is out to get you.
Love: That fierceness translates into this world, as well. Your sense of loyalty means you know you are right in your convictions, but it also means that change is difficult. If you are separating sex from love, recognize that not all aspects of your life are in need of a fight.

Work: Your great capacity to work hard- and to know when to call it a day- serves you well. You accomplish twice what others take twice as long to achieve. This can make you impatient with them. But as you well know, being justified in a belief doesn't make others believe it. Resolve to play more, unrestricted by what others are doing.
Love: Though we're all raised with a belief that 'love conquers all', you are less likely to buy into this than others might be. While that has served you well in sheltering your heart, it is within that very heart that you will realize what this world has to offer. Start there.

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