Last night I went to see the Barenaked Ladies at Shoreline. Semisonic opened up for them and I was thoroughly impressed with the 3 funky mid-westerners from Minnesota. I am now an instant fan and soon to be purchaser of their CD(s). They were talented and witty, a sign of things to come. The drummer would play the drums with one hand and play the keyboard with the other while gripping a drumstick. Pretty damn cool. They did a great cover of Prince's "Just Take Me With U." It was a very delicious opening set, with shivers of delightful discovery coursing through my smiling body. Ooooh, such joy.

Next up were the Ladies themselves. We had seen them perform at last years Bridge Benefit and they pretty much stole the show. They brought up that fact during the show, saying what a delight it was to be back on the stage of their greatest musical moment. However, they had made fun of Neil Young, and boy, was he *pissed*.

They opened up their set with a black and white movie of the old stuntmen and barnstormers performing their crazy yesteryear feats. As this was playing, they assumed their positions on the stage. They started with a song I wasn't familiar with (I only have their Gordon and Stunt CDs) (oooh! wait, I just talked to Gladi and here's a link to the set list), which ended in a quick take on "La Vida Loca." Yep, the boys were in fine form. They are amazingly talented but refuse to take themselves seriously. They would stop and give pointers to the kids in the audience, such as taking candy from strangers when you didn't have any, playing with matches would make you cool, good hiding places such as refrigerators and dryers, and that the filling of ice packs was quite delicious (it tastes like lemon-lime and raspberry!). There motto was "Wu Tang is cool, but Barenaked Ladies is for the kids." They would sporadically break into these ad-lib rap jams, with the lyrics based on whatever they happened to be talking about. I was laughing, clapping, and cheering the whole time.

The night before, I went to the Santa Barbara Grill for a winemaker's dinner. It's where the chef designs a six course meal around a winery and it's wines. This evening was centered around Guenoc winery. Wegis and I decided to save our appetite for this sure to be wondrous meal, so we had salads for lunch. This proved to be a mistake. We arrived a little early, and sipped on club sodas to bide the time. There was a bachelorette party of some sorts going on to entertain us. One of the presents turned out to be lingerie, so I suggested to John that we take our drinks and hang out by the party, adding typical male obnoxious comments at appropriate times. I'm sure they would have appreciated it.

Finally, friends showed up and it was time to feast! The first glass of wine went straight to my head and I started to giggle at regular intervals. Shit, this was going to be a long night. A glass of wine came with each course, and giddines after the first glass did not signal much sobriety. They also tended to refill your glass during each course. I was going down fast. Conversation definitely increased as the eveing progressed, as did the amount of laughter. Good food, good wine, good company and a fine time was had by all. The winemaker would stand up and explain the intricacies of each wine, along with the stories of how Guenoc came into existence and other interesting tidbits. He was quite a character, and I rather enjoyed his enthusiasm.

Needless to say, I felt awful the next day. So I went home early to rest up for the concert. No beer for me!

Here's the latest piece I'm working on. This is just a quick comp to see how the model is progressing, and to help me flush out other details. I need to add light sources so the people in the bathysphere (now me, if you look closely) can see what's out there in the deep blue ocean. This will be Nautilus SUV-1, the next model in the Nautilus series. I'm thinking of going back and reworking the spaceship Nautilus SS-1 and adding more detail and maybe some weathering. I recently upgraded to Strata StudioPro 2.5 and I'm eager to see what it can do. The rendering engine seems to be much faster.