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ARIES (March 21-April 19): Take it easy. Avoid impulsive people or instigating changes that have the potential to run amok. You may thrive on excitement, but for now be a spectator, not a participant. Spend time with someone you love.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Update your image and you will receive all sorts of perks. Don't let your past cause problems in the future. If there is something you need to address to move forward, do so quickly. Apply your skills to serve different purposes.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Not everyone will be truthful about what's being offered. If you are changing your job or taking on additional responsibilities, get what you want and what's expected of you in writing. Love is highlighted, so plan to celebrate in the evening hours.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Let your creative imagination run wild and your ideas and plans for the future unfold. A challenge will help boost your ego and give you the confidence to make personal changes that can alter your way of life. Believe in your abilities.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Take better care of your health. Others may want your attention and help, but once in a while you have to ask for favors in return. Showing your vulnerability will bring someone you want to spend more time with to your rescue.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Be careful how you deal with colleagues and bosses. Focus on your accomplishments and getting things done on time. Someone will try to make you look bad. Do your best to intervene politely if someone is exaggerating or spreading rumors.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Take a break, get away for the weekend and do your own thing. Expanding your interests or traveling to destinations that will teach you about different cultures or a pastime you want to pursue will also be conducive to enhancing your love life.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Fix up your digs. Make your surroundings inspirational and motivating. Let your creativity lead to new and interesting projects that will enable you to improve your future. Discussing your plans will help you expedite your goals.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Expect to have too many options and not enough time. Someone will try to take over. Don't let a bully steal your ideas or take credit for your work. Be diplomatic but firm about what you deserve. Love is in the stars.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Put more time and effort into your health, wealth and future prospects. Contracts will be beneficial. Your negotiating skills will not let you down. A celebration with friends or family will allow you to share your enthusiasm and future goals.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Don't get your dander up. You have to stay calm if you want to get things done. Concentrate on your home, family and making your surroundings comfortable. Minor mishaps will occur if you are impulsive or moody.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Stick to your game plan. Take care of your health needs. Focus on fitness and good dietary habits. Nurture important partnerships. Don't overreact, overdo or overindulge. It's important not to jump to conclusions or to make a hasty decision.





Why We Can't Have Nice Things:

• Because Nice Things Inc. has had to face the stark realities of the market, and it is closing its doors permanently.

• Because the baby would barf on them, or the dog would, or your cousin the drunk, etc. The inevitability of barf, basically.

• Because it would make it hard to tell the successful from the couch-bound.

• I can't see what's not "nice" about a futon made of pizza boxes, thank you very kindly.

• Because it's China's turn for a while. Why don't you go color a picture or something?

• Because of the datgum government, that's why.

• Because some douche-pocket on eBay outbid us at the last second.

• Because we'd only fetishize them and forget about what's really important in life: the latest season of "American Idol."

• Because Mom said so, dumb-butt.

• Because we'd hoard them in a vault and try to swim around in them, leading to all manner of wealth-related injuries.

• Because we'd just pawn them for beer and cigs.

• Because it was a hoax. As it turns out, the nice things we were promised are merely adequate things.

• Because we're poor, duh.

• Because our system of beliefs does not allow for the qualification of things as either "nice" or "less nice." (But really, because we're poor.)

WILL HARTMAN has heard tell of some mighty nice things in his day, yes siree.

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