Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vacation Redefined


These are not stock tropical island photos -- they were taken by yours truly on Nevis in the British West Indies. (That is my husband leaning rakishly on the palm tree.) Nevis is the sister island of St. Kitts and comes complete with its own volcano.

That was our last real vacation. It was 1995.


Five young children in a smallish beach house...

Ten people sharing one bathroom...

A 98-year-old who can't find the bathroom in the middle of the night and instead pees in several spots on the living room carpet and in the kitchen trash can...

Sharing a bedroom with a cancer-challenged drooling cat (and his litter box)...

Two nine-year-olds trying to use a magnifying glass to set paper on fire on the roof deck...

A glowstick that explodes as it's being spun around, turning the living room into a giant spin-art picture as it sprays fluorescent liquid all over the carpet and couch...

Your six-year-old consuming her weight in ketchup...

Four children drawing up an elaborate plan to take down seagulls on the beach...

Okay, I thought this one was creative and kinda funny. (Heck, they were planning on somehow constructing a catapult!) But honorable husband thought even the planning process was a form of animal cruelty. Never fear, the plan was not acted on and no seagulls were harmed in the making of this blog.

One hideous 18-hour period where four adults were outnumbered by five children. Never a good equation...

Leaving a day earlier than originally planned because you must admit defeat...

Getting home to find your central air unit has died and costs $3,225 to replace.

All of the above defined our recently-returned-from "vacation." I suppose it could have been worse -- for example, if I had turned the aisle in the local Acme and walked blindly into a mime. But even without a silent white-faced guy, it was the antithesis of relaxing.

On the calendar, it was nearly two weeks long, but I like to think of it as The Vacation Where Time Stood Still, most probably because we were awakened each morning between 5:30 and 7 AM and after a few days of sleep-deprivation it all became one big blur of children and sand. Everywhere.

Although it wasn't the most leisurely of times, there were some good memories:

One of our daughters learned to ride a two wheeler without training wheels.

We beat my parents and my brother and sister-in-law at Trivial Pursuit. (Hey, my sister-in-law is a lawyer and my brother is often referred to as The Boy Who Knows Everything, so this was no small achievement.)

We walked to a local bar, heard a decent cover band and had drinks with enough vodka in them to give me a hangover the next day. Which I guess was both a good and bad memory.

And I hunted for sea shells on a quiet beach with my girls. Always a good memory.

(Although you'll notice the oldest is far, far away from me & the youngest...)

Needless to say (but I will, lest I offend one or another of the family members who had to tolerate me for 10 days, not to mention the parents who generously bankrolled the entire project) it was, in the end, a multi-generational festival of love, bonding, and repeated warnings of "Don't let the kids use markers on the couch!"

And finally, this heartwarming story:

For some reason, the kids began to say "posterior" over and over again, thinking it hilariously funny. In an effort to derail them, honorable husband said, "Did you know the opposite of posterior is anterior?" To which earnest nephew said, "No, Uncle, the opposite of posterior is testicles!"

Bonus photos!

Here's photos that were supposed to be in the previous post but didn't want to upload earlier...

This was taken during the 4th of 5 fittings -- about a week before the wedding...enlarged you can see my overly-concerned facial expression. But I wasn't passed out, at least.

Vintage 1958 wedding cake topper (originally on my parents' wedding cake) with new dress, veil and mini-bouquet crafted by one overly compulsive bride-to-be.

Non-vintage bride and groom immediately after processing out the church as husband and wife.

I Was A Control Freak Bride (and lived to tell the tale)

While it's still June (ya know, the month of brides and all) I'm posting a piece I wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer three years ago. (Yes, I'm a lazy, lazy blogger. So fire me.)

From the moment I said “yes” to his proposal, the honeymoon of our relationship was over and there was work to be done. No more lazing around on a Sunday afternoon reading the paper. There were bridal magazines to be read: Bride’s, Modern Bride, Philadelphia Bride. But what I really needed was Obsessive Bride.

See, I come from a long line of nit-picking control freaks. And my husband, being my true soulmate, has never met a project too small to micromanage.

Of course we would write our own wedding vows. I must confess that I actually stole a line from a soap opera wedding. (Luckily, I didn’t steal their Cleopatra Sailing Down the Nile theme.)

But while we were at it, why not write the entire ceremony?

My husband-to-be confessed that he’d like to compose the music for the wedding processional. That he’d never written for string quartet before was but a minor detail.

Our life became lists: our to-do lists, must-take list for the photographer, must-not-play list for the band.

I knew what I wanted in a wedding dress – drama, sequins, and the longest train to ever make its way through Chester County. I found the perfect dress, but it took five fittings to find a way to keep it from falling off while still being able to actually raise my arms above my waist.

During the first fitting, as the grandmotherly Italian-speaking seamstress strategically pinned, I passed out. Maybe I was just standing too still for too long. But during my second fitting, I passed out again.

This did not bode too well for the actual ceremony. Fearing some sort of Pavlov’s Bell response, my fretting over details expanded to general panic that I was destined to take a dive sometime between “I Randall take you Cynthia” and “This is my solemn vow”

Shortly before the wedding, I was felled by the flu. In my sickbed, I used scraps of material from the wedding dress alterations to make a dress for the ceramic bride of my cake topper down to hand-sewing on miniscule pearls & sequins to mimic the pattern of my gown. All viruses aside, I was truly sick.

We won’t even go into our signing 100+ wedding programs by hand or how I ended up making the flower girl’s dress.

Did the planning pay off? With the opening strains of Processional for Cynthia, as I held the arm of my proud father and gazed down the aisle towards my future, all was perfection. And it wasn’t the artfully placed floral arrangements, it was the man waiting for me at the altar.

And I didn’t pass out.

I still haven’t been able to part with all my bridal magazines. They’re packed in a box in the basement with our lists and left-over cocktail napkins. With two daughters, they might come in handy someday. I’m already thinking about the perfect Mother of the Bride dress…

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Things that make me go "Aaaargh" (or some other comic strip expression for stressed-out exasperation)

Working out the other day, the Oprah show on one of the TVs at the gym. Oprah is doing Pilates. She is wearing some sort of body-hugging workout clothing. A horrifying, life-destroying awareness -- Oprah is in better shape than I am.

I might as well ditch this whole exercise thing, walk (being careful not to break a sweat) into the Wegman's across the street, purchase every flavor of Ben & Jerry's, and spend the night devouring them all in an orgy of despair. My husband would be more than glad to oblige, even though he is oblivious to the lithe Oprah.

The next day is: The Last Day of School!

In my house, that means restless children asking for lunch beginning at 9 AM every single day until September 18th. Just like is happening right now.

I type as the youngest speaks: "But Mommy what can we do now? There's no ideas in my head. I don't want to eat grapes. I don't want to eat bananas. I don't want to eat carrots. Mom, there's nothing fun for me to do. What can I do? What can I do now?" The older now joins in, "Mom? Can we have lunch now? I'm starving."

It takes me a half hour to post this very short and meaningless blog due to blogger locking up on me, over and over.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Holy Trailer Park, Batman!

Whatever happened to Baby Britney?

Caught an NBC promo for Matt Lauer's interview with Britney Spears that will be aired tomorrow.

There she is, America's favorite child-endangerer, with false eyelashes glued askew. It appears that her toddler did her makeup. (Hey, he can drive; surely he's up to applying a little blush...)

Add some open-mouthed gum chewing, and your Trailer Trash picture is complete.

Matt! Watch out!
Britney's massive child-bearing cleavage is about to attack!


Despite the tabloids reports of trouble on the home front, Spears shares with Lauer that her marriage with Kevin Federline is “awesome,” and that the reports of Kevin living in the basement are false.

What? Is there something wrong with your husband living in the basement? I mean, I bet their basement is "awesome."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fountains of Wayne at Appel Farm 6-03-06

(And finally, the final chapter of our Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival saga...)

My admiration of Fountains of Wayne goes far beyond (and before) Stacey's Mom.

It was a little movie, "That Thing You Do!" that made my husband and I aware of the songwriting talents of FOW's Adam Schlesinger.

If you've seen this film, you know that the title song (written by Schlesinger) is insidious. You will not be able to resist singing along. You will not be able to remove it from your head. Ever. (In part because it's played at least 50 times through the course of the film.)

In fact, just seeing the above photo will have this tune stuck in my brain the entire day.

Adam Schlesinger seems to have a particular talent for writing unbelievable hooks.

Happen to hear of the Click Five? My kids are totally obsessed with their CD -- especially the single "Just the Girl" written by...

...none other than Adam Schlesinger.

(Hmmm...matching suits just like the guys in That Thing You Do! )

Actually, the Click Five has a whole Beatle homage thing going on, as evidenced by their moptops and their music videos.
(Click Five figures into the end* of this post in case you're wondering why I'm bothering to include them here.)

Anyway, Fountains of Wayne is the greatest. The songwriting duo of Schlesinger and leader singer Chris Collingwood are the heart of the group.

I could go on & on about why I love these guys' catchy, witty songs. But instead, I present the first verse of Fountains of Wayne's "Mexican Wine" as evidence:

He was killed by a cellular phone explosion
They scattered his ashes across the ocean
The water was used to make baby lotion
The wheels of promotion
were set into motion


FOW on stage (dusk made all our FOW photos blurry, but you get the picture.)

You can see the vastness of the crowd over my shoulder...

My husband and I had just put together a tentative-from-memory setlist for FOW's Appel Farm show when I found on a post the Fountains of Wayne messageboard that not only confirmed my list but provided a review. (Thanks, scottiei.)

Radiation Vibe
Mexican Wine
Barbara H
Janice's Party
Red Dragon Tattoo
It Must Be Summer
Hey Julie
Leave the Biker
Stacy's Mom
Joe Rey
Bright Future in
Sink to the Bottom

Half a Woman
I've Got a Flair

Although scottiei was correct to say that most folks stayed firmly planted on their blankets even as Adam encouraged them to mosh, there was a contingent dancing along the sidelines during the entire show (as the above photo shows) and my kids couldn't resist jumping up themselves and heading off to the shoulder (our blanket was along the side anyway) sometime around "Hey Julie."

There was one uninhibited lady in front of us who stood up to dance early on -- she boogied like the middle-aged woman she was (Look, I can't dance either, but at least I restrain myself in public) and we loved the g-clef tattoo on her upper back. I said, "Music teacher" to which my husband responded "Choir director" Either way, she was enjoying herself, to which I give a big thumbs up!

A couple of Moms couldn't help but run up to dance in front of the stage during "Stacy's Mom" -- but they both had "got it going on," so all was okay.

Appel Farm photo from FOW website -- attributed to scottiei -- gives one a better idea of the crowd.

We did join the rush to the stage during "Joe Rey." My two girls and I all pogo-ing along. (While husband kept his dignity...)

Family fun! (Even when I had to cover my little one's ears during Bright Future in Sales' "I'm gonna get my sh*t together...")

I think it was Adam Schlesinger who said this was probably the first mosh pit ever at Appel Farm.

What else? Adam told the crowd that he himself was a camper at Appel Farm during his youth (in the early 70s?) Very cool.

Our oldest daughter really wanted to hear, "Utopia Parkway;" the youngest was somehow hoping for FOW to play a version of "Just the Girl*." I told them they could shout out their requests between songs (Hey, it could be cute if a kid's doing it) but of course they didn't have the courage to (I never do either in these situations.)

Even though neither of their favorite songs was performed, a great time was had by all! And believe me, these grade schoolers are a tough audience.

We hoped to grab some autographs after the show. (All our earlier FOW CDs were autographed at the 2004 'XPN festival, but I had Out-of-State Plates in hand, and the girls had their shirts.)

Chris and Adam eventually came to the fence at the side of the stage. There was a very large contingent of teeny-boppers crowded along the fence, and the guys stayed on the other side signing stuff.

One young person asked Adam, "How do I get to be famous like you? " To which he responded good-humoredly something along the lines of, "What do you want me to do? Teach a master class?"

We were being polite, so we didn't stand a chance of breaking through the young groupies.

And then, the guys had to go. As Adam turned to leave, my usually-not-into-these-things spouse yelled out, "Adam! Adam! Can you sign my girls' shirts?" Which Mr. Schlesinger was cool enough to do. But he didn't have a sharpie and had to borrow a red roller-ball-type pen from another fan.

You can just barely make out "Adam" on the orange shirt -- maybe why he didn't bother with his last name.

Got him to autograph our CD too.

As he signed, I told him Adam that our youngest had wanted to request "Just the Girl" and he said FOW didn't record the song themselves because Chris thought the song was too young for them. (Younger than "Stacy's Mom"?) At last, I was able to make a comment to an artist that didn't make them inwardly cringe! Mark this date on your calendars, boys and girls!

All in all, it was a great day! I'm sure our girls will remember it for the rest of their lives. I know I will.

And now -- equal time for Chris Collingwood! Photos from 2004's WXPN Singer-Songwriter Weekend:

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Port-A-Potty Screams

I teased this aspect of our Appel Farm Festival excursion in earlier posts...but at this point, a week afterwards, I've completely lost interest...

So, here is the Cliff Notes version of our Port-A-Potty Incident:

1) If you happened to be in the vicinity of Elmer, NJ last Saturday, the screams echoing throughout the farmlands were coming from my two children as they entered the Port-A-Potty at Appel Farm.

And this was a double-sized potty, more than enough room for all three of us to enter at once, theoretically with extra ventilation...

My youngest's screams were mainly caused by the presence of a lone fly inside. My oldest couldn't figure out a way to go while holding her nose.

Both girls wanted to bolt, but each had recently downed a large fruit smoothie and I insisted that they had to do their business then and there. Because I had no intention of making the inevitable-if-they-didn't-pee-now return trip during the upcoming Fountains of Wayne set.

Ten loooong minutes later, we were out. I started to explain our prolonged absence to my husband, who stopped me with, "I could hear every word you said in there."

Oh, joy.

2) To the person who took a huge dump in this particular Port-A-Potty previous to us:

First of all, I commend you on your ability to unleash your colon in this most unprivate of situations. I am not, nor will I ever be, that free.

That said, how could you not at least put a single sheet of toilet paper on top of your waste to hide it from subsequent users? Were you that proud of yourself?


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Mozzarella Stick Incident

If you have children, you know that each child is an unique and precious gift. It's amazing to watch them grow and develop their individual talents.

Foremost among my kids' varied accomplishments, is their virtuosity in the art of whining, each having spent many years perfecting their craft. (I believe the eldest is now teaching a master class in the subject during recess.)

And we had been at the Appel Farm Arts and Music Festival for about three hours with nary a complaint from either of them.

If my children continued their stellar behavior, it could only mean that a wormhole had opened in the time-space continuum and had sent us careening unknowingly into a tangent universe. Therefore, our kids needed to act up - and fast!- lest we find the universe collapsing into itself. (If you don't understand, rent Donnie Darko.)

Eldest daughter readily complied, with what I like to call...

THE MOZZARELLA STICK INCIDENT (feel free to act this out at home)

Scene: Aging New Age Mom approaches a festival food station with two young children in tow. She starts to order...

Me: I'd like an order of chicken nuggets and some mozzarella sticks.

Vendor guy: Uh, we're out of marinara sauce

Me (turning to older child): They're out of marinara sauce, do you still want the mozzarella sticks?

Older Child: Marinara Sauce! I want Marinara sauce!

Me: They don't have it -- do you want them anyway or do you want chicken nuggets?

Older child: I want the mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce!

Me (irritated): They're out of marinara sauce. (Emphatically): DO YOU STILL WANT THEM?

Older Child does not answer. Seconds of silence seem like an eternity as the line behind us lengthens.

Me (turning back to vendor): Just give me the chicken nuggets for now.

He does, and the little family group walks over to the dad in another vendor's line.

Older Child: Where's my mozzarella sticks?!?

Me: I didn't get them...

Older Child: (wailing loudly) WAW! WAW!

Me: I thought you didn't want them!

Older Child: I wanted them! I wanted them!

Me: (irritated) I asked you and you didn't answer me. Do you want to share (younger child's) chicken nuggets?
Older Child: Noooooooo! WAW! WAW! I didn't hear you ask me!! WAW! WAW!

Me (extremely irritated tone): Listen -- I would have gotten them for you if you told me you wanted them, but you didn't tell me that...

(I'm half-Italian, therefore genetically incapable of keeping my voice down when agitated.)

So between the venomous tone of my voice and my daughters caterwauling...I suddenly noticed that there were many, many folks waiting in husband's line with nothing better to do than to watch me get mad at my child WHILE SHE WAS CRYING!

To bystanders with no idea that she had completely zoned out on me earlier, no clue that she was a nine-year-old crying over mozzarella sticks for chrissakes, well, to them I just looked like the wicked witch bitching at a sobbing child.

So...I put my arm around her and went back to my patented Nice Mommy voice. Said, "Fine, I'll get you the mozzarella sticks just like I was going to anyway, but you need to calm down first."* And she did.

"But," I said (only half-joking), "let's go to another guy to order who won't recognize us!"

So we approach the booth...order from a different dude. (Who also tells us they're out of marinara sauce.)

Then the original vendor dude turns around and spots us, and with a smile on his face says, "You're back!"

Oh, we do like to make a big impression.

Epilogue: She didn't even like the mozzarella sticks ("too much cheese" as if that's possible) but she ate a couple and didn't whine or complain or ask for anything else.

*Parenting 101: Please do not confuse my compliance with me caving in to a child's temper tantrum. That is something that I do not do. If the issue were ice cream or anything of that nature, she could have cried until she vomited and bystanders were literally throwing daggers at me and I would not have given in. However, since I had fully intended to buy said sticks in the first place, her calming down was all the compliance I needed. Thank you very much.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Back by popular demand -- DUNCAN SHEIK!

We did take a couple photos of Duncan Sheik performing at Appel Farm -- somehow I missed them when I first looked through the hundred or so thumbnails of shots taken...

But only one picture was really clear enough to offer for your perusal -- so here it is:

And the cropped version:

Monday, June 05, 2006

Toad the Wet Sprocket & Duncan Sheik Photos


Toad the Wet Sprocket on stage at Appel Farm.

I wish we had taken a shot backwards into the crowd so y'all could see there was quite an impressive crowd (and how lucky we were to get so close to the stage.)

Also wish I had had my 35mm camera,
because our digital couldn't quite manage the lighting...

Glen Phillips

Glen signs my daughter's shirt

Glen Phillips' autographs on my daughter's T-shirts.

I've blurred out my kids' names, to protect the innocent. But I think you can see on the orange one that Glen wrote "U R the Queen" which I thought was really sweet. Then he looked up at me and said, "She is the queen, right?" And instead of smiling and agreeing, I said, "No, I'm the Queen, they're the princesses." which was meant to be witty in some couldn't-think-of-anything-better-to-say way, but instead sounded rather obnoxious.

I immediately wished I could rewind time, but instead I tried to cover my tracks by babbling on (as he signed some CDs for us) about how I was one of his MySpace friends, saying "Don't you recognize us?"

Again, meant to be funny, but it seemed he looked up with a semi-alarmed expression as if thinking, "Should I actually pretend to recognize you?" as I continued to blither like an idiot, "Ya of the thousands...I like reading your blog..." (Ignoring the little voice in my head that should have been screaming, "JUST SHUT UP AND MOVE ALONG!")

Eventually I did shut up and moved behind the table for a photo.

Actually I think it's a pretty cool photo (captures the essence of my goofiness) so I guess the babbling was worth it.

Our girls were also in the picture, but I cropped them out as I'm reluctant to put their images out into cyberspace. Sorry sweeties.

I should mention that the entire band signed too and were all super-nice to the girls. The kids were thrilled. (I'm afraid I've created a couple of little groupies.) Thanks Toad!

"What about me?" said the photographer (aka The Husband.)

Somehow, neither of us remembered to take photos of Duncan Sheik performing. But here he is after the show, adding his lovely signature to our daughters' tees. (In real life, my children's faces aren't blurred. Only on the internet.)

You will notice that I am speaking in the photo...this is where I am telling Duncan that my oldest daughter loved his "Barely Breathing" video when she was a toddler -- which was meant to be some sort of cute little story, but in essence was saying, "Yeah dude, you haven't had a hit in like 8 or 9 years..." Not the way I meant it, of course, but I suppose you could say he was slightly underwhelmed by my little tale.

Nice guy though! He signed lots of stuff for others too -- we were at the back of the pack. His wranglers summoned him away before we had a chance to have our CD signed. (Or maybe they were rescuing him from me?)

Duncan gets extra points for penmanship.

Coming soon -- Fountains of Wayne!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Port-A-Potty Screams and Appel Farm Dreams

Confucius say, "He who has low expectations is seldom disappointed."

Okay, I just made that up (unless it was subconscious plagiarism) and now I'm feeling all profound, on so many levels.

Profundity aside, it was with low expectations that my husband and I set off for the Appel Farm Arts & Music Festival Saturday.

For the unfamiliar, this is an annual outdoor festival featuring an impressive lineup of musical acts on two stages. And this year, two of our favorites were playing -- a reunited Toad the Wet Sprocket and hookmeister popsters Fountains of Wayne.

Why the low expectations with such a groovy lineup? Three reasons:

1) It had been pouring rain for much of the past three days.
2) & 3) Our party included two grade-school children (who happen to share our last name and I vaguely remember giving birth to) with a penchant for loud whining at inopportune moments.

But we had free tickets (Thanks Erica - -YOU ROCK!) and the rain was forecast to end by 3 PM . Toad was scheduled to start at 3:30 and we weren't interested in seeing any of the earlier acts anyway. Given that the weather would probably keep the crowds down (and at least it wouldn't be hot) we decided to make the hour drive out to Elmer, NJ.

Our only previous pilgrimage to Appel Farm was six years ago -- with a breastfeeding baby and a 3-year-old, temps in the 90s and a blistering hot sun that made it feel far hotter than that.

So anything other than a torrential downpour would seem fine in comparison

Unfortunately, I was so obsessed with loading up an old Hello Kitty backpack with raingear that we didn't even leave our hometown until after 2:30 and surely would miss the bulk of Toad's set.

But somehow, 3:45 found us throwing down our tarp and blanket and mere moments later WXPN's Michaela Majoun was introducing TTWS. Not only were we on time for Toad, but my husband's suggestion to head to the far side of the field paid off as we snaked through the sea of blankets to a prime spot close to the stage.

And the rain had stopped -- with the temperature hovering around a comfortable 70 degrees -- and cloudy late afternoon skies that meant no sunscreen required (so much easier to child-wrangle when they're not as slippery as greased pigs.)

Our expectations had already been met, and soon would be exceeded.


We own every TTWS CD and nearly all of Glen's solo work, so I guess you could say we are huge fans. Supposedly the band is only reuniting for a couple of shows, so this was a treat.

Glen has one of those great voices that rewards the listener with its agility and brightness. What do I mean by that lovely yet vague phrase? Check out Glen's myspace page to hear some of his latest stuff.

Toad did justice to all their greatest hits -- it was a true pleasure to hear them perform again.

Glen did a couple of his solo songs too. He bantered about how he's been with his wife for 17 years (since they were 18 years old!) and that limits his songwriting (in that he can't write about trying to get a date with some cute girl...) so he tends to write of his disbelief that he's in such a good relationship, that it can't possibly last - even though it has for 17 years! he introduced his a solo song that spoke of "waiting for the other boot to drop."

Best of all, our girls were bopping along through the entire hour, including enthusiastic shouts of "Yay!" between songs.

Here's what Glen had to say about yesterday's show (from his MySpace blog):

"The second show was at a festival, throw and go style (put the stuff on the stage, start playing, and hope the soundguy can make sense of it all before the end of the set). It was fun. Just like being in a band...Loud and fun. Everyone has been in good spirits, and we have a laid back, great crew. Lots of old friends. The years have mellowed us all, and it's been a pleasure to be on stage with Toad again and feel like we're not being haunted by the past. Maybe all it takes is time, or maturity, or perhaps a crew of warlocks painting protective diagrams around us to keep the ghosts at bay. Whatever it is, it's working."

The guys were doing a meet-and-greet after their set, and we had a bunch of stuff signed. The girls were totally psyched when Glen and the Toadsters signed their newly-purchased Appel Farm T-shirts.

It wouldn't be a meet or greet if I didn't say something disconcerting to the artist.

But to keep this from becoming an epic (too late, you say?) details will follow when I post photos from the event in a day or two.


Went on after TTWS-- unfortunately we missed half his set while we were in the Toad line.

DS holds a warm spot in my heart, because our oldest really loved the Barely Breathing video way when she was a toddler. And our second daughter was nearly named "Serena" after one of Duncan's songs -- not that we were particularly enamored with the song, but we were looking to give her a name with its own theme song as we did for our first daughter. (Second daughter ended up named after a Jellyfish song which is much more indicative of our musical tastes -- no offense Duncan!)

Anyway, Mr. Sheik did what he does very well. He probably had the best sound mix of the three acts we saw. Got to hear "Barely Breathing" and "She Runs Away" and some other ditties of the same ilk.

Duncan came out after his set and signed stuff (as much of the audience booked to the other stage to see Richard Thompson.) He autographed our girls shirts -- not only was he super-nice about it, but I'm pleased to say he has a very lovely signature. (Again, photos to follow in a future blog.)

Tune in next time for the conclusion of our Appel Farm extravaganza, which will include the action-packed MOZZARELLA STICK INCIDENT and the horror classic SCREAMS FROM A STINKY PORT-A-POTTY.