Everybody got something they want to sing about.

Hey peeps,

(For 56 days straight, I have addressed you as “dear friends.” But every now and then you gotta break out of your rut.)

I found this on etsy and I wanted to show it to you.

And it’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about.

You know — happy things. Like how a co-worker walked into my office this week and offered me a pair of Bose speakers she found in the supply closet. I almost turned them down. I said, “But I don’t have any music on my computer.”

This child with the spare speakers told me there’s a cool thing called free music on the internet. So she plugged in the speakers and pulled up Pandora and poof! I was grooving at work. I knew I was a little behind but, peeps, I had no idea.

The first song that popped up was called “For me, it’s you” by Train. Holy cow, that’s some good music not made by the Beatles or the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin or any of the other 34 bands from my youth to whom I have been slavishly devoted.

(Quick left turn: In my job, I sometimes get to book entertainment. And the speakers-girl is my Gal Friday who handles all the details. We were looking for some musical entertainment this week for a gig we’re hosting and she had a long list of affordable options from a talent agency, including KC and the Sunshine Band and REO Speedwagon. And I said “What, Foghat was already booked?” And if that made you laugh, if every band whose name you still know is now on the casino circuit, then welcome to Joan’s age group, who did not know free music still existed on the internet after the Feds busted all the Napster co-eds.)

Anyway, that cool song by Train . . . it reminded me of you. I think it’s supposed to be a love song, but it made me think about how much I want to sing about you, and the way you show up here, and share your stories with me, and give me advice, and tell me when my words resonate with you, all of which makes me deliriously happy in the same way a really great song can.

So today, peeps, the happy for me is all you.

With gratitude {for free music and . . . you},

Joan, who Abracadabra-swears she is friends in real life with the former drummer of the Steve Miller Band and, therefore, figures she is not more than 3 degrees removed from every aged rocker she idolizes

Joisey girls.

Dear friends,

Not long ago I was kvetching to a friend about how much I’ll miss Kate when she moves away to college, about how time is slipping away, about . . . oh, you know — that thing that mothers do.

And my wise friend, who has been the source of many good ideas and advice over the years, suggested I needed to plan a girls’ trip with Kate — a week’s getaway after she graduates from high school, just the two us, as a kind of rite of passage/celebration/cementing of the mother-daughter bond experience.

I was all over the idea and mentioned it to Kate immediately. I told her we would go anywhere she wanted to go (within reason of course, which my girl is nothing if not reasonable) and to think about it.

A couple of nights ago I followed up with her.

Joan: Have you been thinking about where we might go for our girls’ trip?

Kate: Anywhere is fine, Mom. Wherever you’d like to go, I’m sure I’d enjoy it.

Joan: No, no, no. I want you to pick. It’s your trip.

Kate: Well, I was talking to a friend and I was thinking how fun it would be to go to Hoboken.

<insert screeching tire sound>

Turns out, guess who is in Hoboken?

Photo credit: hddavila2007

Our favorite baker ever, Buddy of Cake Boss!

Kate started her confectionary odyssey before I did. In fact, she’s the one who inspired me to take up baking. Long before I was spending my Sundays making multi-layer, filled cakes from scratch, Kate was creating and selling these little delights:

So Hoboken it is! And while we’re in the neighborhood, I suggested we ought to drop in on the Big Apple. Because there’s just a few things we might enjoy over there, like hanging around outside 30 Rock and stalking Tina Fey.

I’m so excited, I’m tingly! I’ve been to NYC three previous times, in 1976, 1987 and 1999, but Kate has never traveled there. The last time I was in Manhattan, I went to the top of the World Trade Center for the first time. Kate and I both want to see Ground Zero.

If you’ve been to NYC more recently than 1999, would you do a girl a favor and drop me some suggestions? Where should we stay? Where must we eat? There’s so much to choose from, I need a carefully edited itinerary and would welcome your input.

With gratitude {for the anticipation and excitement of planning a big trip},

Joan, who in her secret dreams believes she could have been a real-life Carrie Bradshaw, pink tutu and all (except for the Mr. Big part because she is clearly more into the Mr. Moms than the Mr. Bigs)