December 2008

Shrink Rap

by Dr. Susannah Smith

Resolution: a “decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner” (

The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions goes back to 153 B.C., when Janus, a mythical king, was placed at the beginning of the Roman calendar.  Janus has two faces: one that looks back into the past, and one that looks forward to the future.  He became the symbol for making amends for past transgressions, asking for forgiveness from past enemies, exchanging gifts, and making resolutions to be healthier in the future.  January, named after Janus, became the first month of the new year in 46 BC when Caesar dedicated a calendar that more closely reflected the seasons.

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John-Grape-450wx325h “Panache” is his middle name. A Brit by birth, John Sutcliffe’s wines are as mellifluous as his vowels, which are decidedly upper “U.” (Britspeak for Upper Class.)

John came to the USA in 1968 after serving seven years in the British Army. He graduated Reed College in 1973 before moving to New York City. Once in town, John took a big bite out of the Big Apple by successfully navigating the perilous restaurant world: first he managed the uber hip Maxwell’s Plum, then helped Warner Leroy re-open Tavern on the Green. A series of other high profile eateries followed, including two in Carolina, John’s next address in the States.

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BST_bio_logo No sweat. The band just keeps on keepin’ on despite the fact its founding members, among them, Al Kooper, Bobby Colomby, David Clayton-Thomas and Steve Katz, are part of rock lore. 

Rather than being a personality cult, Blood, Sweat & Tears longevity comes down to its music, hit such as  “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” and “When I Die” with universal themes and a cross-generational sound.

Since B S & T formed in New York in 1967, the many faces of the band are, by now, a blur. However what the band came to be known as from the get-go remains the group’s signature style: a fusion known as “jazz-rock.” 

December 26 to 31, 2008


Visible Planets: Morning: Saturn  Evening: Venus and Jupiter


Christmas has come and gone and the New Year looms upon our proverbial glittering horizon. We have a few days to catch our breath and prepare ourselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually for the end of one solar cycle and the beginning of another. As always, at this time of year, we find ourselves taking our first steps through cardinal Capricorn, and in so doing, are awakened to the physical reality in which we live, love, work and breathe. The focus on gifts and presents, the food and drink, the sights and sounds, and the money spent – or not spent - are all tactile, sensual, material examples of this down-to-earth, practical and socially conscious sign. We are suddenly aware of the need for self-discipline, structure and sacrifice - to pay off those credit card bills or get rid of those extra pounds – and feel almost magnetically attracted to programs of self-betterment. The good news is that these types of actions and behaviors are actually favored now. The Universe supports and assists those willing to set goals, make commitments and work toward goal accomplishment. So, as this week winds its way into 2009, take advantage of the Dec. 27th Capricorn New Moon. Great time to get the ball rolling. Initiate! Happy New Year!

Watch this video if you want an adjustment in your concept of bravery: Lauren Bishop is skiing Blue terrain in Telluride, in spite of being vision impaired from birth. Nancy Gerner has multiple sclerosis and the "experts" told her to forget even trying to ski....

In China, acrobats are revered as much as opera singers in the West.

The ancient art form dates back well over 2,000 years. Historical records provide evidence for the development of Chinese acrobats as far back as the Xia Dynasty 4,000 years ago. Records also suggest acrobatics did not become wildly popular, however, until the emperor embraced the discipline as court entertainment, about 2,500 years ago.

During the Han Dynasty (207 B.C. – 220 A.D.), acrobatics flourished and the wide variety of juggling, tumbling and magic acts came to be known as the “Hundred Entertainments.” Legend has it that when the Emperor Wu Di invited a group of foreign dignitaries to witness a performance, his guests were so impressed they agreed to enter into military alliances with their august host.