Songs About the New Year

New Year's Eve
Santa Cruz 2008

A super short list of favorite songs about the New Year and a question, why are there so many Christmas songs around compared to only a few about the New Year? Such a hopeful holiday and yet so little love from songwriters, I wonder why that's so.

Long December-Counting Crows/Recovering the Satellites
Adam Duritz describes this as a song about hope and the possibilities. What I love about their work is that it always seems to be a deeply personal reflection of all things, the sweet and the sour, as though one can't exist independent of the other.

"Drove up to Hillside Manor sometime after two a.m.
And talked a little while about the year
I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower,
Makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her

And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last
I can't remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass"

Same Old Lang Syne-Dan Fogelberg/The Innocent Age
As a 70s kid, this was my first favorite contemporary holiday song. It saturated the airwaves this time of year when I was growing up. The lyrics read like a diary entry:

"Met my old lover in the grocery store

The snow was falling Christmas Eve

I stole behind her in the frozen foods

And I touched her on the sleeve

She didn't recognize the face at first

But then her eyes flew open wide

She went to hug me and she spilled her purse

And we laughed until we cried."

New Year Song-U2/War
My age is showing with this mini song selection, I'm sure of it...but really it seems to me that there are so few songs out there on this subject. Can you think of any others? Prince 1999 did occur to me but I was thinking of New Year songs in general, and not so specific to a given year since New Year's Eve in my opinion is about that feeling of anticipation for what's to come. Anything is possible. With that said, I adore this song because although a new year on the horizon often brings to mind change...this song reaffirms what we all wish to remain a constant...Love.

"All is quiet on New Year's Day.
A world in white gets underway.
I want to be with you, be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on New Year's Day.
On New Year's Day."

Greatest Hits 2010

Yet another great pic courtesy of Thank you Clare Bloomfield for generously sharing your work!

Reflecting on 2010 a bunch lately. As far as auditory weaknesses go...I fell in love with:

  • The Black Keys
  • She & Him
  • Emiliana Torrini
  • Thao
  • Jolie Holland
  • Dent May
  • Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (as she's not a new artist, we just rekindled the flame)

Material goodies I fell for include:

  • My darling ukelele. Still strumming, still warms my heart to play.
  • My MacBook Pro. You cost me a crap load of cheddar, but you made up for it by helping me stay well connected with dear friends like you sweet reader!
  • "Oh Snap!" project bags from Namaste. Not too big, not too small, perfect for sock knitting or even a sweater. Flawless! Check 'em out.

Delicious discoveries of 2010:

  • Caramelitas made with gooey homemade caramel. Caramel made from scratch people! Holy cow...I can't stand the goodness! Google it my friends, you will not be disappointed!
  • Salted caramel hot chocolate...there's a theme developing here...I'm so predictable: buy me some music and some caramel and I'll be your bestest pal, for-eva eva!

Finally, I think my favorite moment of 2010 was hearing our baby's heartbeat for the first time. It's impossible to put it into words so I'll just leave it at that. For the first time ever, I am so excited to usher in a new year! It's gonna get wild, and messy, but there's gonna be a whole lot of love too...I can feel it!

Wait, one more favorite moment...waking E up at an unholy hour on a Sunday morning (4am maybe?) to tell him the stick I peed on indicated I'm cultivating a little life form. His reaction was classic Erik. All love and tenderness didn't even mention the ungodly hour, wasn't bothered in the slightest by my impatience. I'm a lucky girl.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."
-Helen Keller

Happy New Year Friends!

Pub Cake

Yummy photo courtesy of Filomena Scalise who shares her tasty work on

Erik brought home the most delicious smelling rum cake as a gift from a coworker earlier this week. He hadn't taken off his jacket before I dished us up two thick slices. Took one bite and it occurred to me that this cake should be served by the shot glass instead of by the plateful. Initially I thought what harm could a cake baked with rum really be? Most of the alcohol cooks out, right? But what if the baker is heavy handed (my kinda gal) and generously soaks the cake in rum AFTER baking? That must be the method used because this was a stiff forkful of spicy buttery goodness. Couldn't eat more than a couple bites without feeling like a terrible mom-to-be so the cake sits on the kitchen counter seducing me one whiff at a time as I walk by. Torture! All I know is I'm going to devour an entire rum cake once the baby is born. Merry Christmas friends! I hope all of your holiday wishes come true! Xoxo

Here's a recipe I found, couldn't find a wet version. If you have one you'd like to share please comment or email me:

Courtesy of COOKS.COM

1 c. chopped walnuts or pecans
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 (3 3/4 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 c. cold water
1/2 c. Wesson oil
1/2 c. Bacardi dark rum


1/4 lb. butter
1/4 c. water
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. dark rum

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 10" tube or 12 cup bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of pan. Mix the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, 1/2 cup cold water, oil and 1/2 cup Bacardi dark rum together. Pour batter over nuts and bake the cake for 1 hour. Cool. Invert on serving plate. Prick top and drizzle with glaze. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until the glaze is used up. To make the glaze, melt butter in saucepan, stir in water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rum.

Tiny Dancer

21 weeks!

My What to Expect app tells me that Oliva is the size of a spaghetti squash, she is about 8 inches long and weighs 1 lb.

Little flutters in the belly from my tiny dancer. Weird cravings too. Today I had to have veggie chili beans over mac-n-cheese topped with a dollop of sour cream and crushed corn chips.

Broke down and finally bought a few maternity bras...why did I wait so long? So super comfy! No wonder I felt so miserable before! I went up two cup sizes but was smooshing myself into my old bra. Ouch!

Erik surprised me with this sweet Ramones onesie. Can't wait to meet our darling punk rock girl!


Album artwork produced by political cartoonist Tom Tomorrow

I think this baby girl is gonna be as weepy and emotional as her mother, poor girl. I cried in the shower this morning and again on my way to work all the while saying to myself, would you please get a hold of yourself (not complaining though! Tears are easier to wipe away than morning sickness). All these hormones and interrupted sleep patterns make the crying spells come so easily. Of course this Pearl Jam song that was playing during my morning commute didn't help, although very sad I do love this song so much. I find the last lyric especially moving...a reminder of how brief our time really is. As Jolie Holland says "enjoy yourself, it's later than you think."

Song: The End
Artist: Pearl Jam
Album: Backspacer

What were all those dreams we shared
Those many years ago?
What were all those plans we made now
Left beside the road?
Behind us in the road

More than friends, I always pledged
Cause friends they come and go
People change, as does everything
I wanted to grow old
I just want to grow old

Slide up next to me
I'm just a human being
I will take the blame
But just the same
This is not me

You see?

I'm better than this
Don't leave me so cold
I'm buried beneath the stones
I just want to hold on
I know I'm worth your love

I don't think
There's such a thing

It's my fault now
Having caught a sickness in my bones
How it pains to leave you here
With the kids on your own
Just don't let me go

Help me see myself
Cause I can no longer tell
Looking out from the inside
Of the bottom of a well

It's hell
I yell
But no one hears before I disappear
Whisper in my ear
Give me something to echo
In my unknown future's ear

My dear
The end
Comes near
I'm here
But not much longer

Extracurricular Activities

I love making things. I crafted my way through grad school, built up enough inventory in handmade jewelry and paper projects that I attended a few local craft shows and did alright making $500-$800 at each show. Had a shop on Etsy called Tart Designs sweet and juicy handmade jewelry for awhile too, here's a pic of a wire wrap necklace and a few cocktail rings I listed and sold:

For the past five years or so I've been an avid knitter, I especially love making toys they're fun and easy to whip up in a short amount of time here's a couple pics:

Hubby has his hobbies too. He has a collection of guitars: banjo, accoustic, electric and a handful of harmonicas as well. He loves collecting vinyl records too. I wonder what little Olive is going to be's what she looks like at 20 weeks...stretching out my Sex Pistols t-shirt:
At this point she's described by my What to Expect app as a banana: 7inches, 11oz. Sweet girl, I love you so much already!

Heineken and a Hot Dog

My favorite story about my guy. He spent his 21st birthday with his Grandma Olive on a senior bus to Reno so they could go gambling together. And from what I hear Olive was a sucker for a special. The phrase "two for one" would set her pulse racing...they could have driven up together but on the senior bus you could get a screw driver and a bingo card for a few bucks and she was able to show off her grandson to her friends. So they rode the bus to Reno, he got dirty looks from the seniors on the bus for dominating at bingo and he enjoyed his first beer with his dear Grandma at a casino for lunch. What a killer lunch special: a Heineken and a hot dog for only $1.25! How many grandmothers do you know drink screw drivers for breakfast and Heinekens with lunch? How many 21 year olds do you know spend their birthday with their grandmother? That's my guy.

Happy Birthday Bear, I love you!

It's a...


That Tom Jones song keeps running through my head:
"She's a lady...woo oh oh...she's a lady...yes she is!!! And that lady is mine!"

At my December check up today my doctor said she was pleased with the development so far and my weight gain (yippee) but she gave me a talking to about inactivity because when she said "you're exercising, right?" I said "wrong." She looked at me sternly and said "No?" in a what do you mean sorta way. I was honest and said I love long walks but it's been soggy and slippery and I'm exhausted at the end of a crazy long work day. She wasn't buying this response so I added that I have purchased a pregnancy yoga DVD. This made her soften a bit and she said that's an excellent idea and that I should shoot for 3-4 times weekly, "because you do know that you're preparing yourself for a marathon, right?" How would I have guessed that? First timer here lady, baby of the family, blissfully ignorant and your killing my baby buzz! As if that wasn't enough of a reality check she added at the end of our appointment "next month I'll have you share with me your birthing plan." If this med school flunky thinks she can copy off of MY paper, we're in trouble folks. We got a code red here. I was kinda hoping she had that part covered. I do pay her after all, this isn't a pro bono arrangement. But since she's asking me, may as well take about if I count to three and you magic the baby into my arms when she's ready to come on out? Truthfully, I'm more concerned about raising a healthy, loving, responsible, well thought of young lady than the birthing process...I'm sure you moms that are reading this are thinking...rude awakening alert just around the bend! And I will not argue which is why my new to do list looks like this:

1) Prepare for marathon in approximately 20 weeks.
2) Draft birthing plan proposal for dimwit doctor. Keep it simple, something along the lines of "I'll be the patient, you deliver the baby."
3) Knit mary jane booties with matching cardi
4) Do NOT panic! You can do this, Oliva Maria is counting on you!

Game Time

Another lovely royalty free image from this one is courtesy of
Graur Razvan Ionut

Thanks to Rainy Day Goods, I read about a game that is circulating through the cloud where you set your iTunes to shuffle and list the first 15 songs in the order that they come editing! Sounded fun so I'm giving it a spin:

1) Nutrition-The Dead Milkmen
2) Mr. Zebra-Tori Amos (YES!! forgot how much I dig this song!)
3) Honey Child-Royal Crown Review
4) Numbers-GLove and Special Sauce
5) Walk a Mile-Holly Golightly
6) It Overtakes Me-The Flaming Lips
7) Drunk Drivin'-Sublime
8) Octavo Dia-Shakira (What? Don't judge me)
9) Footsteps-Pearl Jam (YES! So love this one too)
10)Well Thought Out Twinkles-Silversun Pickups
11) An Open Letter To NYC-The Beastie Boys
12)Nobody But Me-Save Ferris
13)Los Angeles-Counting Crows
14)Fascination Street-The Cure
15)That's How I knew This Story Would Break My Heart-Aimee Mann


Royalty free photo courtesy of the lovely Christian Southworth who so generously shares his beautiful work at

Saw a documentary recently called The Bridge. A raw vivid account of the lives of those who view the Golden Gate Bridge as more than a thing of beauty but rather a way to escape the darkest most debilitating form of depression. A stunning collection of footage and interviews with family members of those who fully realized their desire to end their suffering as well as those who attempted but reconsidered. Also included are interviews with witnesses, pedestrians taking in the view and observing more than they anticipated. Although profoundly sad the end result is an honest perspective on just how crippling undiagnosed depression can be.

Have you heard that Sleater-Kinny song called Jumpers about the Golden Gate Bridge and this subject? I understand the verse that goes "four seconds was the longest wait" now. The time it takes to get from the bridge to the water. I'll never look at the Golden Gate Bridge in quite the same way again.

The Mayo Clinic has a great collection of articles on the topic of depression. Be well friends, let's take good care of each other.

Songs vs Insects

Finished reading Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song At a Time by Rob Sheffield. Thoroughly enjoyed this love story framed by a collection of mixed tapes swapped back and forth. The author is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone which explains the affinity for choice pop songs. Although this biography is ultimately about suffering and loss, there's enough wit and good music tied in to keep you reading through the sadness.

"Nothing connects to the moment like music. I count on the music to bring me back--or more precisely, to bring her forward."

Some people scrapbook moments in time, pin them down on paper like butterflies, others compile mix tapes. I'm so glad that Mr. Sheffield collects and shares songs rather than insects.


17 week old bun in the proverbial oven

Preparation, anticipation, excitement, insomnia, and an appetite that would make a lumberjack feel dainty. That's how I'd summarize 17 weeks. That and "nesting."

From what I understand babies have lots of things. Diapers, bassinets, cribs, clothes, blankets, toys, strollers, and even more that I have yet to discover. This hit me only recently (never claimed to be the smartest monkey at the zoo) and after I pointed out to Erik that every inch of "space" in our cozy 2 and 1 is maxed out, we talked for a long time about it and decided with heavy hearts to try selling the love nest, *sniff* *sniff*. I think deep down we are both secretly hoping that we don't get any offers before February (the month we both agree we should take it off the market if we don't get any bites) but on the off chance we do sell, we could potentially get more house for about the same mortgage payment or less. If we stay, we will have to get super duper creative, as in "hey this isn't just a porch! It's an office! Where we can work and I can craft in the great outdoors!" I feel so lucky and thankful to be fortunate enough to have choices like these at a time like this. It's only the beginning but it feels more worthwhile than I ever imagined. And now more than ever I am so appreciative of the loving, caring, friends and family that are apart of my life. I hope I can be half as loving and influential as you all have been to me! Sorry for the sappy downward spiral....but I mean it!


Yes! Pants! Good Thinking!

Nearly Completed Orange Crush Sock
1 of 2 (per the very best of intentions)

Like a loyal friend this sock has been by my side in good times and bad. We celebrated baby news, the Giants World Series win, and then there was also that time when a police officer told me to put some pants on. I don't think I've shared that story yet...I'll try to keep it brief. In September I heard incoherent shouting outside our bedroom window following a gun shot. Hubby pulled me outta bed and ushered me to the other end of the house before calling 911. The police responded right away and before too long an officer was at our door informing us we would need to be evacuated immediately, indefinitely. I'm new to this, thankfully it's not every day that an armed police officer raps on the door and says essentially, move it. now! So I grabbed my purse and said let's go. He took one look at me and politely said in a quiet voice, "um ma'am, you might want to put some pants on." Now remember this story began when I was in bed, I DID have jammies on and I was wearing a robe....but yes...pants was a fantastic suggestion! We were allowed back home at 3 am the next day...and neighbor is undergoing treatment. He apparently thought it a good idea to down an entire bottle of tequila on a sunday night and open fire in a residential neighborhood. All that wrapped up in one sock! Can't wait to see what the 2nd sock will bring!

Mr. Gary and Nightmare Girl

Handsome Mr. Gary
Gazing off in the distance daydreaming of all you can eat seafood buffets.

Thanks to the breezy 20-something who rear ended me at a red light and giggled through her apology. You are the inspiration for my song of the day selection: Nightmare Girl by Aimee Mann off of her Lost in Space special edition album.

Zombie Mug

I'm only a couple days late with this spooky pic and way late in other respects. That's right friends...I have a little tamale in the oven! Have been scarce around these parts due to fatigue and an overall green feeling. I will keep the gruesome details of other peculiar changes in mind and body to myself except to add that it's truly amazing to experience how ravenous a 4.5 inch organism can be, compelling me to pull off for a Round Table pizza "snack" between meals in the middle of the day. Hubby and I can't wait to meet this sweet insatiable little peanut in the spring!

Wanted to share what the Aimee Mann show was like at Yoshi's in San Francisco! Dinner at Yoshi's was incredible. Dessert was especially ridiculous: a peanut butter cup pie topped with handmade peanut brittle and candied banana sinful! The show was in a separate area of the restaurant. An intimate venue that had the look and feel of a prohibition era club with round cocktail table style seating around a small stage framed by red velvet curtains. A two drink minimum during the show. And the strangest thing, my tea, served in a beautiful clay cup that looked like it was crafted from hand pounded silver had a slow leak somewhere because my yummy Numi tea kept escaping and pooling into a generous puddle on our table. Only a minor irritation.

But all in all it was another great show, here's the setlist. Songs 7,8,&9 are from her new project, a broadway play! She's so clever!:

Aimee Mann
Yoshi's, SF
October 8, 2010

1) The Moth
2) Freeway
3) Little Bombs
4) Thirty One Today
5) Medicine Wheel (written with sister Gretchen)
6) Going Through the Motions
7) Willing to Hurt the One You Love
8) Easy To Die
9) Las Vegas
10)Nothing is Good Enough
11)Guys Like Me
12)Build that Wall
13)Save Me
14)Wise Up


(some schmuck actually shouted out "Little Bombs!" to which she replied, "We played that one man, where the fuck have you been?" :)

16)Driving Sideways
17)Lost in Space

The Big Nothing

Did I already post this pic that Vanessa took back in July in San Francisco? That's my finished Ishbel and the backdrop is a meticulously cared for community garden.

Finished reading Elliot Smith and the Big Nothing a profile of the obscure but beloved singer song writer whose passing was as curious as his existence by Benjamin Nugent. Reads almost like a scrapbook pieced together by a friend of a friend spanning from childhood through his final days. Nugent's final product feels authentic and warm. Smith sounds like a very sweet man who was too sensitive for the world he lived in. He needed to find a new existence. I hope he ultimately found peace.

Here's the final refrain from Shooting Star from his final album Basement on the Hill which was released after his passing:

"I'm going to sleep now
Going back to find square one
Square two will be where I can deal with the shit you've just done
It won't be soon, to say the least it's gonna be hard
So bad, so far.
Your love is sad, shooting star.
Your love is sad, shooting star."

Tragic. "Your love is sad," wow. If that's not a lyric straight from the heart of a tortured soul who needed a change, I don't want to hear what is.

On a lighter note, I picked up another book today: Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield. The blurb on the back insists that I will "read these words, perhaps surprisingly, with joy in [my] heart and a song in [my] head." I'm in! Sounds great. I'll let you know.

Bugs Stink!

First off, what do you think is feasting on my poor petunias?

Technical glitches stink so much! Blog in limbo thx to lousy internet connection at the casa...insists on shorting out every few seconds. Hunting and pecking this gloomy update via iPhone...will have to be brief. But want to share:

1) lovely show at the Crest a couple weeks back! Chrissie Hynde...flawless! She has somehow managed to dodge the aging process altogether. Her beau and bandmate is very much her junior. Their album is full of sweet songs about how smitten they are for each other. Their closing song was heartbreaking and went something like: "I was wearing my first wedding ring when you were just learning how to walk"...and "your day is tomorrow, mine was yesterday." Great show, the Crest is by far my favorite sacto warm, intimate, and nostalgic. I'll share more when I can type on a keyboard that's larger than a postage stamp.

2) Question: "the power of invisibility or the ability to fly?" which would you choose if you could? A delicious question posed by Ira Glass and the folks at This American Life. Me? Invisibility. favorite reoccurring childhood dream involved me flying high above the beautiful orchards and fertile crops of the central amazing thrill!

Summer Flies

1) Finished Summer Flies a lovely triangular shawl pattern by Donna Griffin in Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Tart colorway. So soft and yummy, I want to gobble it up! Finished object is ALMOST so delicious that I'm nearly willing to forgive the hank for disintegrating in my hands when I attempted to wind it. A process that should have taken a few minutes ended up taking 4 hours and a mouthful of obscenities to complete.

2) Back to work...BLAH! But at least I do have a job to return to. There's no such thing as vacation when you are unemployed.

3) Learned "I'll Follow You Into the Dark" on the Uke:

Trouble is, I'm the only one who knows that I'm playing "I'll Follow You Into the Dark" at this point because I'm playing so slowly and incoherently. Hopefully with proficiency comes speed and accuracy.

4) Aimee Mann show in October, yippee!!!

The Babysitter

My niece is getting so big! I know it's been said a million times, but thinking about who she is compared to who I was at her's amazing how sophisticated and sharp she is! I'm pretty sure I was still fascinated with silly putty at her age. I've noticed that she doesn't seem to dabble in her interests, she commits and excels. Here she is sporting her "if Fastpitch was any easier boys could play" sweatshirt. She loved playing softball so much that my sister and brother-in-law had her join a competitive league and she travels often and gets lots of playing time. She recently decided she wanted to babysit so she went and got herself certified. She's 12 folks! I was 30 before I got my credential. I'm so amazed by my niece and nephews...

Here's a mix for Franki the badass babysitter:

Babysitter-The Ramones
The Kids are Alright-The Who
Beat on the Brat-The Ramones (tongue in check of course!)
Mother's Little Helper-The Rolling Stones
The Babysitter's Here-Dar Williams

I can't think of any other kids related/coming of age songs...I know there's more out there...what am I forgetting?

Ukelele Hunt

Here's a great Ukelele website I found that has lots of helpful tips, videos, tabs and chords for a variety of genres and levels of ability: Ukelele Hunt.

Also love that they posted this impressive Billy Corgan video. Billy can rock the uke with credibility and style...check it out.

Oh My Darlin' Ukelele

Kona October 2006

Hubby worked in sales awhile ago. He was rewarded with an all expense paid trip for two to Kona for being a top producer. I had never been anywhere near Hawaii before then, gorgeous! Tranquil, warm, dreamlike. Hearing the ukelele reminds me of that magical place.

Ukelele lessons start next week! I'm absolutely gitty! Made a playlist of favorite ukelele tunes for inspiration. If anyone has any tips for a beginner leave a comment or direct message me.

Rock Out with Your Uke Out
A Playlist
Ripchord-Rilo Kiley
Suzie Blue-Ben Harper
Soon Forget-Pearl Jam
Oh Dear-Brandi Carlile
Drivin' On 9-The Breeders
Somewhere Over the Rainbow-Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
The Honeymoon Song -Everclear
Sea of Love (Remastered)-Cat Power
Hold On-Darren Hanlon featuring Cory Gray & Mark Monnone
Horses-The Be Good Tanyas
Ripple-Grateful Dead
The Littlest Birds-The Be Good Tanyas
Darlin Ukelele-Jolie Holland

Kona October 2006

Lil' Monsters

Penelope the Empathetic Monster an excellent pattern by Rebecca Danger. So adorable and lovable despite her flaws (black eye and underbite). See, there's hope for us all! A fun quick knit and a very clever pattern.

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