Friday, December 02, 2005

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

No, this isn't a review of the Jim Carrey / Kate Winslet film ( which I haven't seen, but intend to, once I stop feeling like I've been hit by a train ).

Boy am I getting old.

I don't think I get paid enough to suffer this much. :/

Anyway... the heading alludes to none other than this. Picked it up from Gramophone's new outlet at Scotts Shopping Centre ( they've got the BEST DVD box sets, e.g. Northern Exposure ( Gah! I couldn't believe it! )).

Decided to pop it into the player last night, following an 8-hour AST teaching session which left the 10 of us so drained the earlier-planned group dinner got truncated. ( Next time, guys. For sure. :))


Combo CD/DVD set for under $20:

The former has 'live' versions of Feeling Good, Summer Wind, Home, etc. However, 2 bonus tracks appear on the audio recording ( not included in the concert DVD ), namely Can't Buy Me Love and Smile.

I raved about Smile on my concert review in October, did I not? Rather unfortunate that we don't get to SEE Mike sing it, but hearing him is just as great. He transforms the ballad into a major big band jamboree with a kicking swing beat. The vocals are perfect, the orchestral backup amazing.
Somehow, I'm hoping he'll try a slow rendition as well - the way everyone else has been doing it. His beautiful vibrato would certainly do it immense justice.

As for the concert recording... what can I say, except that I grinned throughout the 2-hour session. :D

Okay, so having met him ( and kidded around a little ) played a significant role. But honestly, I've been waiting to get my hands on a full-length disc of ANY of his performances for years ( snippets on an earlier DVD released in 2004 don't qualify ), and THIS, my dear readers, is AN ABSOLUTE TREAT.

We've got ( I'm counting them ) NINETEEN songs ( even though they technically left out Smile, Can't Buy Me Love, and who knows what else ). We've got an entire violin section. An inflated brass gang. Guest appearances ( Josh Groban, Laura Pausini, Chris Botti - did I mention CHRIS BOTTI!?! ).

For those who haven't caught MB 'live' before, you will LOVE this for sure.

However, I personally think his Singapore show was 10 times better than this PBS special. Perhaps those who also attended can verify this?

I don't know, but he was really, really HIGH at the Indoor Stadium. Lots more energy, all those almost-expletives ( understandably toned down for the TV recording ), the Michael Jackson routine ( also omitted ), the "bloody brilliant" remark about the singer being only as good as his audience ( he substituted this with "stunning" on the DVD ).

The only part that was better is probably the mad dash into the stands. I couldn't get a clear view at the Stadium, but the cameras do close-ups for most of the way on the disc, and there's this young blonde who just couldn't keep her hands of him, which was hilarious. She hugged him twice, then hugged and kissed him a third time! Mike was a good sport, of course, but the poor guy was trying really hard to get back to the stage without looking like he was dismissing her.

Seeing him work the crowds and being pawed by hordes of pretty ladies made me appreciate the soundcheck party so much more once again. He's adored by millions, and unable to give his attention to each individual fan. The few minutes my mom and I spent with this warm, sincere and irrepressibly cheeky fellow constitute memories we will treasure forever.

Say Hello

... to the latest addition to the pack.

New registrar, a year my senior, very cool dude, SINGLE ( nurses, med students, ward doctors take note! ), with interesting non-medical pursuits to boot ( though he never did churn out the SMA News article he promised, ahem! ).

Fitting in with the motley crew very well. Also has a habit of lobbing random non-emergency-medicine questions at me from across the resuscitation room. Must try doing the same thing to my other colleagues - very therapeutic!

Currently the sole bachelor in the department. But considering the way things usually go in our ER, he may not remain so for long. :D

Did You Know

... that Hugh Laurie ( the lead in the medical dramedy "House" ) is featured in People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive (SMA) issue, under the Sexy Doctors section? I couldn't suppress a laugh ( check out the interesting photo attached ), but it's a GOOD laugh. :)

... that SMA 2005 winner Matthew McConaughey speaks fluent Spanish? And when asked to complete the sentence "Women can't say no..." he replied, " ... when I really mean yes." OMG. ( haha :))

... other guys featured in this issue ( grabbed what appeared to be the last copy at Borders last weekend, whew ) include Owen Wilson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Carmine Giovinazzo ( the hot Danny Messer from "CSI: New York" ) and Patrick Fitzgerald ( high-profile prosecutor who is sensitive enough to buy a cat for companionship, but misguided enough to let it eat through a giant bag of cat biscuits when he leaves the state )?

... there's an American Idol spinoff using movie and TV stars instead? Here's a link for more info. From the sound of this review, it's pure disaster. But I'd still like to watch it, heh heh.


Still trying to upload the pics from my friend, but something's wrong with the network. Deepest apologies. Will try to post them as soon as I can.

Anyhow, these selected shots are from the rest of my hard disk collection, and were snapped during 2 days' worth of lengthy walks through Rome. I know they look nice, but let me assure you that the conditions I endured to get to these places were unbearable ( extremely hot, dry, a bit dusty, super-crowded ), and I didn't stay more than 5-10 minutes at each spot to even enjoy the view.

I still do miss Italy. But you'll have to pay me to go back there a second time. ( However, the people are very sweet. Gotta give them credit for that. :))

Entry about med students still pending. Will be hosting a few later this month, plus a non-medical individual who's thinking of switching courses. More on that another time.

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