Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Belated Whooping.

Yes, yes, I KNOW LOTR swept all the Oscars. Don't worry, I'm absolutely ecstatic about it! So is every other human being out there in the world! :D Many congratulations to Peter Jackson and the LOTR team! I followed the results via Internet ( CNN.com is one heck of a fast! Even Oscar.com couldn't come close in terms of timely updates. ) while working a horribly busy shift in resus yesterday morning. Intubated 2 women, ran around settling a whole lot of problematic patients, while 2 consultants ( including my ER chief ) attended to numerous others. In between, when we had the occasional 5-minute lull, my chief would glance over at my computer to ask about the latest wins. And during lunch in the staff pantry, another MO and I had our eyes glued to the TV, and I told him all about the LOTR tours in NZ, which he is very keen to join once he gets the chance. The land of Middle-earth will no doubt be swamped with tourists ( LOTR fans or not ) after this! I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to see this gorgeous country so recently, as well as visit film locations, the stars' favourite hangouts, and the now world-famous Weta studios. By the way, details of this trip are available in the March/April issue of Sensory - a magazine for local doctors. Pictures galore! My thanks to the editorial team for rushing my article into print so quickly, and doing such a great job with the layout. :)

I've emailed a friend in Wellington to ask what the general mood is like over there. Kiwis are such exuberant people, so I'm sure everyone's celebrating like crazy right now! If you haven't been to NZ yet, or last visited more than 10 years ago, you simply MUST return, 'cos so much has changed. Friends who went there eons ago were really shocked by the pictures I took during my holiday, so you can imagine what they missed.

Another reason I couldn't post anything yesterday is because I had to rush to a concert after work. I don't like to mention names of people I meet on a social basis, but you know who you are, so THANK YOU for the once-in-a-lifetime experience at the London Symphony Orchestra's centennial anniversary concert performance! The ticket came complimentary of a fellow medical friend, who kindly invited me when a block of sponsored seats was released to the public. These were fantastic seats. How fantastic? Third row centre fantastic. I was so close I could see conductor 28-year-old Daniel Harding's wedding ring, not to mention the creases on his coattails. I could also hear the first violin leader's breathing pattern, and noticed how the string section's bows kept fraying during the more demanding pieces ( the players just nonchalantly pluck the stray fibres off when resting ). This was my first orchestral performance ever , so it was a treat to see it so up close. I'm no classical music expert, preferring more mainstream fare which mostly mirrors examination pieces I'm forced to practise, or the usual famous melodies from well-known composers and yes, Hollywood films. :)
The LSO's programme comprised Britten, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, none of whom I know well -- studying them in theory exams doesn't count, right? But it didn't matter. The approximately 2-hour concert was enjoyable for me because I love to watch top-notch musicians doing what they were born to do, and the LSO members are nothing if not passionate. The lead first violinist, aka concert master according to one of my companions, threatened to steal the show. With an imposing frame, intense gaze ( he could've bored a hole in his music score from the way he was staring at it ) and lots of body movement during the more dramatic bits, he epitomizes so much of what professional musicians represent, albeit at a much higher level. :)

Harding looks extremely young, considering he's 28 and Caucasian to boot (you know how Westerners tend to appear older than they really are). Very boyish, extremely gracious, and poor fellow was drenched with perspiration after each piece, though never faltering in energy. His back was towards us most of the time, but I could see his face on and off when he turned to the side on certain occasions. He has a habit of opening his mouth wide, coupling it with a tense expression. Interesting. :)

The Vienna Philharmonic is next, with a show later this week, which one of my companions from yesterday will be attending. Orchestral concerts are a little too rich for my blood, unfortunately. I need to sit up front in order to really enjoy it, and those prime spots always cost $200 or more. Well, I'm just glad I got this chance at all. I will definitely remember it well.

So here I am, post-elation, working yet another busy shift, with people coming here for the flu and back strain. Hello??? It's office hours, and polyclinics and GPs are still around! What the heck are you doing in my consult room?!

All I can say is, thank goodness for LOTR and the LSO. :P

No comments: