Horoscope

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries actress Sarah Jessica Parker announced recently that she washes her hair with Mane n' Tail shampoo, a product made for horses. I recommend that you consider switching to it, too. It's time to please your inner thoroughbred, whose animal intelligence and wild vitality will be essential to you in the coming weeks. You're finally ready to activate higher levels of ambition, to enter a bigger race for a better prize.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed movies released in 2003. Yet some of its fervent fans have come forward to identify its many problems with continuity. Did you notice that Frodo's scar migrates from his right cheek in one scene to his left cheek in a later scene? That's just one of over 30 flaws registered by readers of the moviemistakes.com website. I applaud this effort. I believe that the most useful critiques often come from people who deeply appreciate the subject they're critiquing. This so happens to be your mandate in the coming week, Taurus: Compassionately assess what needs improvement about everything you love.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): My survey of New Year's resolutions by Geminis reveals some surprising trends. Twenty-one percent of you have vowed to lose weight in 2004, but 26 percent of you hope to gainweight. Thirty-six percent of you plan to launch a new hobby, whereas 58 percent want to get rid of one of your hobbies so as to have more time for the others. While 31 percent of you are plotting to supercharge your ambitions or career, 42 percent of you are quite sure you want to work less and cultivate more leisure and luxury. Finally, 16 percent of you want more "espresso sex"—quickies with casual acquaintances—while 69 percent have your hearts set on deep, slow, cozy lovemaking with emotionally intelligent partners who crave cuddling.

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CANCER (June 21-July 22): The Weekly World Newsreports that President George W. Bush, the world's most famous Cancer, plans to invade the moon and declare it the 51st state. To fill the office of the moon's live-in governor, Bush intends to appoint his former foe Al Gore, who garnered 540,520 more votes than the president in the election of 2000. In the weeks ahead, I urge you Crabs to come up with an equally nutty and brilliant strategy as you expand your empire to exotic new locales and shake off old adversaries.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): "Dear Doctor Rob: I'm battling mixed emotions. On the one hand, I have frequent surges of intense compassion that make me want to build houses for poor folks. On the other hand, I'm beset by flashes of vanity that make me want to spend my money on Prada shoes and expensive jewelry rather than on trips to third world countries to help Habitat for Humanity. Is it crazy and self-defeating to want both things? —Guilty Leo" Dear Guilty Leo: You've summed up a dilemma that many Leos are wrestling with. My advice? Honor both your urge to express beauty and your desire to aid your fellow humans. I have a vision of you wearing a gold tiara and Prada's sculpted d'Orsay pumps as you frame a wall for a new house in Haiti.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I predict that 2004's mysterious gifts will free you from your old self. At least one of your inhibitions will disappear. Attacks of self-consciousness will diminish in frequency and intensity. You'll realize how fun it is to rebel against your antiquated image. The only new taboo you might take on is a taboo against imitating the overused shticks that have worked for you in the past. Because of these explosive improvements in your relationship with brash spontaneity, you may be ready to acquire your porn name. Here are two suggestions about how to generate the new moniker: (1) Combine the name of your first pet with the name of the street where you lost your virginity. (2) Go to mypornname.com and follow the directions.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): To frame your assignment this week, I'm plundering an old horoscope from The Onion (theonion.com), America's finest source of news and entertainment. "Even the mighty Ozymandias, king of kings, was brought low by time," the 'scope read. "If possible, live your life without this mysterious phenomenon." To help you carry out this difficult but rewarding task, Libra, here are a few tips: (1) In your initial attempt, don't overdo it. Spend no more than three days eluding the oppressive grip of time. (2) Hide all clocks and watches. (3) Read historical novels and watch movies set in other eras. (4) Fantasize about what you were in your previous incarnations and what you'll be in your future lives. (5) Meditate on Plato's idea that "Time is a moving image of eternity."

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "When in a doughnut-eating competition," writes Esquire's Cal Fussman, "press down hard on each one before biting into it. If you don't, the air inside will bloat your belly and you'll get blown out after six." I suggest you regard this as your metaphor to live by in the coming week, Scorpio. Squeeze out all the filler that might dilute your enjoyment of the really killer stuff. Don't get bogged down in empty symbolism and vacant fantasies that wear down your competitive edge.

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