Sunday, May 28, 2006


Well, for American Idol 5 fans at least.

Sorry, just had a big dinner at a formal event. Full stomach and adrenaline rush keeping me awake. And I've got church tomorrow, argh!

This is a rough transcript from CNN. The episode aired in the US on Friday night, but local cable cancelled the delayed telecast because of breaking news about the earthquake in Jogjakarta.

Am hoping they'll show this again in another time slot -- website says Monday, which confuses me.

Currently combing through the lengthy written recap. That Katharine talks A LOT!

Good quote right here:

Ryan Seacrest: So you're going to keep the gray?

Taylor Hicks: Keeping the gray. The gray will stay.

Yeah baby! :)

If you need more info regarding other TV appearances of Taylor's, check this out. Jay Leno seems to love the guy. Who can blame him? :)


Just want to say hi to the bunch of M2's who apparently read my rantings faithfully -- WHY?!?! :D

In answer to your questions as related to me by a certain oncology consultant: Yes, I'm single. Have been for the past 6 years, in fact. And nope, no plans for marriage in the near future.

It's not as if I'm averse to the concept of a relationship. But if you're wondering if there's "someone", the best response I can give is: Sort of, but he probably isn't ready, and I don't believe in pushing. Fascinating chap who never fails to surprise and amuse. Don't think he even realizes how funny he is either.

Then again, life's extremely unpredictable, and it never hurts to dream once in a while. :)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Way To Go Taylor! Posted by Picasa
America Got It Right This Time!

Say hello to our newly crowned American Idol, WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Swapping shifts so I could tune in to the 'live' telecast was definitely worth it! :D

The results announcement segment was only a couple of minutes long, but the buildup was a nail-biting affair ( though also very entertaining, with guest appearances by Prince, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Al Jarreau, Meatloaf, Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken ).

And as a small - but SIGNIFICANT - side-step, Clay looked absolutely phenomenal, with a new Beatles mop do, singing Elton John's Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me in his usual flawless style.

He's gone from redhead to blonde to the latest brunette. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

Ahem. Sorry about that. :)

Yes, back to Taylor. I was hoping he'd burst into tears, but he's too composed and happy for that. However, his voice did break when Ryan asked if he had anything to say after the news that he'd won, to which he replied with a resounding, "SOUL PATROOOOOOL!"

My mom and I cheered so loudly I think our entire block heard us. Football fanatics we're not, but Taylor Hicks deserves every calorie we have! :D

I notice Ryan didn't announce the margin of votes separating Taylor and Kat. To me, this indicates that the difference was quite large, which is why it was diplomatically left out, as opposed to season 2, when Clay "lost" to Ruben by only 0.5%.

You know what else I think? Elliott's fans decided to vote for Taylor. Heh heh. :)

Wow, I haven't shed tears for an American Idol finalist since Clay Aiken.

Congratulations, Taylor! You so deserve this, and you're gonna be the biggest Idol star ever!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cue Twilight Zone Theme

Just found this out 20 minutes ago from an email my travel agent sent. Through some major ( albeit weird ) coincidence, not only did my itinerary get tweaked, it seems my mom and I will be in Germany the day of the World Cup finals.

Let me pick my jaw off the floor for a second.

Although we'll be in Munich, not Berlin ( not that I even knew beforehand, since I have zero interest in football ), I anticipate quite a bit of excitement nevertheless.

And yes, I intend to watch the big game with as many people as possible, probably in the hotel bar or some restaurant nearby.

Place some bets, you say? I'll think about it. :)

Photos a definite must. Will post them when I get back.

Taylor Hicks - The Next American Idol

I last did something like this in 2003, when Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard faced off at the finals. Sadly, Clay was the runner-up despite my strong prediction that he'd win, but as you can see, he's proven to be the much more successful -- and more famous -- of the duo, selling twice as many albums, with a 3rd release on the way.

So yes, once again, I predict that Taylor Hicks will be the next American Idol, though if, for whatever horrendous reason, he loses to Katharine McPhee ( aargh! ), he is, in my opinion, the victor, and will outshine Kat by leaps and bounds.

Heck, perhaps even Elliott will fare better than her, if he cuts an LP as well.

If you've been reading my blog faithfully, you may recall how I first discovered this gray-haired talent -- ie. during his Vegas audition, where he did Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. Goosebumps galore, and I've been a strong supporter ever since.

Some people can't stand him, but hey, they're entitled to their feelings. No matter what, you can't deny the presence of the Soul Patrol, a whopping fanbase that has spread from the US to Europe and Asia.

My favourite AI moments for Taylor:

1. You Send Me - a cover of the Sam Cooke classic that started off simply but ended with a kick so great even Simon Cowell described it as "magic".

2. Crazy Little Thing Called Love -- a lively version of a Queen fav, during which he missed the microphone stand when he tried to kick it. Hahahahaha. :D

3. Livin' For The City -- Stevie Wonder week was tough, but Taylor looked fantastic in a slick black suit, got his groove on and brought the house down with one of his greatest performances ever.

4. Jailhouse Rock -- another high-energy performance which garnered an encore request from the X-Men chick no less!

5. Try A Little Tenderness -- Ahhhh, the best yet! His choice of this Otis Redding number ( which you can hear on Michael Buble's It's Time CD ) switched tempo midway, shifted into high gear and knocked everyone's socks off! Simon correctly predicted that Taylor sang himself into the semi-finals, and I can only hope he will sing himself to the AI title this week.

I don't have anything against Kat specifically, but there're rumours floating around the Internet ( on this thread, for example ), which don't exactly make her or her family look that good.

I suspect a lot of her fans are young, heterosexual males. One of my friends keeps going on about how "so so so gorgeous" she is. I agree she's beautiful, but that doesn't mean she deserves to win. I don't feel her passion, her heart and soul the way I do Taylor's.

We have to keep it real, people.

Anyway, my enthusiasm for the Soul Patrolman hasn't abated all these months, and experiences occasional peaks when something "interesting" happens. For example, a friend in New York City has a girlfriend who met Taylor in LA while in the lobby of the apartment building they both stay in. Wow, what're the odds? She relates that Taylor was very nice and friendly, and even passed her a free CD ( think it's the AI5 compilation album ). She's become a fan -- naturally. :)

I'm also in touch with the founder of, who knows Taylor and his friends personally. It really is a great place. Reminds me so much of the Clay Aiken site I used to frequent.

So good luck, Taylor! Someone owes me a drink if you win! :)

Review of The Da Vinci Code

Caught this last week but didn't have the energy to post till now.

In short, I enjoyed it. Really! I thought it was well done, exciting, intriguing, even moving at times. It's a cool movie.

Stress the word "movie", 'cos I don't for one second believe any of that hokey Jesus-and-Mary-Magdalene stuff. If you have deep reservations, then by all means give it a miss. But if you don't mind being entertained and are able to detach yourself from the surrounding controversy, then it ain't a bad way to spend 2-3 hours of your time.

Plus, seeing the film may help you discuss the issues with those who have questions. A foot through the door of spiritual debate, so to speak.

Indeed, it is very faithful to the novel, down to the nitty-gritty details about the event behind Sophie's eventual estrangement from her grandfather ( a sequence that took maybe 0.10 secs in total -- my mom had to lean in and ask "What the heck just happened?" heh heh ).

The last 5 minutes are the cheesiest, of course ( "You're the last living descendant" blah blah blah ), but I like the exchange where Tom Hanks says Sophie's identity could either destroy faith or renew it.

That, I think, is the crux of this whole mess. You can debunk the Code all you want, but what people choose to believe remains their own personal decision. The concept of free will -- a theme so central to Christianity yet also misunderstood and misused -- may never have been quite this prominent in a mainstream blockbuster.

Next entry: the day of the AI5 finals results.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Congratulations Taylor Hicks!

Final 2, WOOHOO! :)

A more detailed rundown of Taylor's Amazing Race to the finish line will follow before the big finals next week. Just wanted to unload some of my euphoria, heh.

Really sad to see Elliott go. He fought the good fight and won our respect. I will definitely buy his album once it's released.

Granted, Katharine did a great job with Somewhere Over The Rainbow -- the only "it" moment all season from her, IMHO.

But I KNOW Taylor will win. The Soul Patrolman will prevail, people! :)

And guess what? My mom and I are gearing up to vote LONG-DISTANCE next week. We know our contribution may merely be a drop in the ocean, but there're other non-American fans who're already calling in through Skype, so this isn't such a crazy idea after all.

Did you see his awesome performance of Try A Little Tenderness yesterday? OMG OMG OMG. :D

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Short Entry

Top 3 Baby!

You know you're an AI fanatic -- or more accurately, a true-blue Soul Patroller -- when you SMS 5 different people to check the Internet for you while you're stuck at a luncheon, so you'll get the latest results once they're announced in the US.

Thanks, guys. Really appreciate it. :)

So here we are at last - the Final Three. I must admit my jaw dropped when I heard that Chris Daughtry got booted off. What a shock. How the heck can Katharine McPhee, who forgot her lyrics and mauled the 2 Elvis songs she covered, stay on? There's no justice in this world.

Anyhow, I'm still rooting for Taylor, but gotta admire Elliott Yamin, who's slowly starting to grow on me now that he's fighting so hard to win and blossoming both vocally and aesthetically. Does he look good in pink or what? :)

I'll just make this prediction and see if I turn out to be right -- TAYLOR HICKS WILL BE THE NEXT AMERICAN IDOL. :D

TV Updates

Sunday nights 9pm on Starworld: Tune in to The Scholar, a reality show that pits 10 top high school students against each other in a bid to win a prestigious scholarship to the Ivy League university of their choice, worth up to US$250,000.

I thought it would be childish, but these youngsters are extremely intelligent and mature, and I've already picked my favourite -- a Vietnamese fellow named Jeremy, who's so filial and conscientious it just broke my heart when he missed out on the first challenge by a hair yet shouldered the blame for his entire team, refusing to single anyone out when pressed. Even the college admissions panel was duly impressed, saying his leadership qualities stand him in good stead for future consideration.

If only our local kids can appreciate such a programme. Young Singaporeans nowadays are such brats it sickens me.

Numb3rs Season 2 is back! The first episode airs this coming Monday at 10pm on AXN Channel 19. David Krumholtz sports longer hair this time but retains his sweet, winsome smile. I can't wait. :)

Thus begins my 12-day stretch of endless shifts with no off's ( save a day spent at the monthly 9-hour AST tutorial session ). Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rome Panorama from Castel Sant' Angelo Posted by Picasa

Vatican Museum Posted by Picasa

St. Peter's Square Posted by Picasa

The Vatican Posted by Picasa
Photo Inspirations

Thanks to Mission: Impossible III. :)

Review to follow shortly. I just got such a huge thrill seeing Vatican City and Rome on the big screen I thought I'd post these and relive fond memories of a great holiday.


A recent dinner had a whole table of opinionated medical colleagues making personal predictions about the PAP's slice of the pie this year.

Average projection: 65%

Place your bets, people. :)

Anyhow, I didn't get the chance to attend any rallies, due to a full roster and other commitments. Heard some of the opposition events were highly charged.

Guess you know about the perennial joke: PAP = Pay And Pay; WP = Why Pay?; SDP = So Don't Pay!

Heh heh.


Mission: Impossible III

Believe it or not, YES I caught it! Friday lunchtime screening, followed by a shift that lasted till midnight, during which I saw close to 40 cases, so my bones are aching right now.

But I LOVED the show. J. J. Abrams, you da man! :D

Having seen both prequels, I can tell you this: MI3 isn't as slick as the first installment; neither are the action sequences as eye-popping as the second episode's. Storyline - not that impressive. Gadgets - so-so.

So why do I love it?

1. Abrams is the grand master, and I'm a massive fan of his work.

Some people say you either love or hate him, which I suppose makes sense. Consider Felicity, the angsty college TV series most famous for causing a major uproar when lead actress Keri Russell snipped her curly locks in the 2nd season, only to grow them back when fans threatened to boycott the show.
Then there's Alias, which propelled Jennifer Garner to stardom and won rave reviews for its convincing depictions of spy missions and a plot 10 times more convoluted than The X-Files' UFO meanderings.
Last but not least, we have Lost, a veritable phenomenon that has swept fistfuls of awards, bringing a whole new spin to the television industry.

This is one imaginative dude who not only singlehandedly creates complex characters and excels at churning out some pretty cool stories, but also writes his own soundtracks, demonstrates a keen eye for great set pieces, and could teach Hollywood's top casting directors a thing or two about spotting great talent.

Many have commented that with MI3, Abrams is merely copy-and-pasting Alias to the big screen.

I concur, but what the heck is wrong with that?

I haven't discussed the film with fellow Alias fans as yet, but personally speaking, I agree that the parallels are numerous, but only increased my enjoyment instead of dampening it.

For instance, we have Ethan Hunt attempting to fulfill dual roles by separating his professional and romantic relationships ( Jennifer Garner's Sydney Bristow struggled with this exact dilemma in the 1st season when her fiance was murdered and her friends' lives endangered ). Next, we have shady superiors with possible ties to the enemy ( think Arvind Sloane of SD-6 ). Then, there's the gadget geek who talks like a train and appears to have a nervous tic ( remember Marshall? ).

The fun is in the details. :)

As a debut effort for the big screen, I'd say Abrams has done a mighty fine job. The pacing is just right, the cast chemistry intense, the action sequences nail-biting despite having only two that feature exploding objects.

2. The cast is excellent.

I'm no Tom Cruise diehard, but I must say he's very impressive here, mostly because he does almost all his own stunts, and with great flair to boot.

Aside from the much-talked-about scene where he gets lifted and thrown against the side of a car when a nearby SUV blows up ( played ad nauseum in the trailers ), there's one bit in Shanghai in which he scrambles over a series of rooftops, at one point sprinting down a couple of narrow ledges at lightning speed without missing a step.

There're enough thrills and spills to satisfy any discerning moviegoer, but that split second when he went flying down those ledges had me gripping the edge of my seat.

Good job, Mr. Cruise! :)

Then of course, there's Philip Seymour Hoffman, who's remained deep under the radar for more than a decade before his Best Actor Oscar this year for Capote ( which I'm greatly looking forward to if the DVD is released in Singapore ).

I've watched this guy in Twister, Scent of a Woman, Boogie Nights and The Talented Mr. Ripley, among others. He's a wonderful charactor actor, but always plays weird / ugly / crazy / grungy with such finesse he's frequently relegated to stereotypes.

In MI3, he's given the opportunity to shine in a nice suit, with good grooming and ( surprise surprise ) a stylish haircut.

And I suddenly realize that hey, PSH is actually quite a handsome dude. :)

Don't expect to be disappointed, 'cos that word does not exist in his vocabulary. He's effectively merciless as Owen Davian, with his whispery threats and rare outbursts. His scenes with Cruise are marvelous to watch. I think it's even possible that the latter's acting becomes much more convincing just by being in the same room with the former.

My mom - who's also very familiar with PSH's resume - had this to say: He's got a really good voice - never noticed that before.

Hear hear. Shall add that to my list of sexy-voiced actors, which include Kevin Spacey, John Malkovich, John Cusack and Keanu Reeves.

The rest of the motley crew interact well, but Maggie Q certainly stands out. This lady is darn gorgeous! :)

3. Great action sequences

The best one: Shanghai, with Cruise swinging from one skyscraper to another. Beautifully executed.

The most adrenaline-charged: A tie between the helicopter chase ( Germany, I think? ) and the one where the bridge gets blown up.

The funniest: Oh yes, there's humour! Vatican City was quite a hoot. Shall let you find out why for yourself.

Truth be told, these aren't as elaborate as its predecessors ( e.g. the complicated hanging-from-the-ceiling bit in MI1, the showdown on the beach in MI2 - complete with trademark John Woo 2-gun-slow-mo theatrics ). But like I said, I'm an Abrams fan, and he's fully capable of upping the stress factor by simply plugging into your insecurities. He's also got a very good eye for camera angles.

So in nutshell, go see it!


The pilot just aired on Thursday, and even my horror-movie-freak mom was delighted with the result. ( She's seen hundreds of flicks ranging from A- to D-grade so call her a connoisseur if you'd like. )

This episode dwelled on the Woman In White, an entity motivated by her spouse's infidelities to murder her own offspring, then cursed to wander the earth until she's lured to the scene of the crime then returned to the netherworld.

There is, of course, an underlying subplot that permeates the whole series -- that of 2 brothers searching for their missing father, and a lifelong investigation into the creepy death of their mother ( nightmarish sequence, I kid you not! ).

Don't miss it.


Lots of buzz about The Da Vinci Code, which I fully intend to see in spite of its controversial religious hypothesizing.
Do I believe any of the "theories" proposed by Dan Brown? Definitely not. Just watch the National Geographic Channel's Da Vinci Code specials and you'll be sufficiently persuaded.

Many had their reservations about casting Tom Hanks in the role of Robert Langdon, who's described in 2 of Brown's novels as someone who swims 50 laps everyday and resembles Harrison Ford.

Rest assured, however, that Hanks has lost some weight, judging from loads of publicity promo shots, and even looks a little tanned. Funny how his new haircut is generating more Internet buzz than the Mary Magdalene scandal -- according to Entertainment Weekly magazine at least. Heh heh. :)

The New Batch

So far, so good.

It's been a very busy few days, with attendances hitting 400 on Tuesday and hovering around 340-350 since then. I saw 35 cases in Critical Care yesterday, with one severe asthma requiring intubation.

I've done some cursory MO assessments thus far, and am actually rather happy with them.

P2 is constantly packed to the brim with patients and anxious relatives, and we had 30+ lodgers waiting for beds at one point.

I suggest we invite the JCI team to our ER for a second look one of these days. What do you think? :D

The Final Four, woohoo!

The Soul Patrol has done it again! Although I thought Katharine should've been eliminated this week, based on her lacklustre performances. Pity about Paris, but I have no doubt that she will cut an album within the year and have a very successful career in the decades to come.

And now, it's time to tune in to the GE 2006 results.

Adios for now. Have a good week ahead.

Monday, May 01, 2006

In Short

Time-constrained yet again. Yeesh.

A fond farewell to our departing MOs. It's been a most eventful 6 months, and I'm very sad to see most of them go ( bearing in mind all postings have their fair share of black sheep, of course ).

Had a good chat with a few of them last night during a quiet spell, with one expressing a desire to apply for an A&E BST. Ah, it's always a great compliment when that happens. :)

Wednesday's D-Day. We've got a whopping 34 MOs this round ( up 12 from the current batch ), which could turn out either way depending on the situation. Let's hope we have a good bunch.

Also, greetings to our Filipino elective students, who apparently knew about my blog before they even came to Singapore. An honour indeed. :)

Conspiracy Theories?

Lots of those floating around the Taylor Hicks fansite recently, especially after Taylor was lumped into the "middle 2" with Elliot last week.

One theorist claims Taylor had the most individual votes, but was paired with Elliot who had among the lowest, while Katharine and Chris -- who had individual votes which were lower compared to Taylor's but higher than Elliot's -- got pushed together, thus essentially surpassing the Taylor / Elliot total, making them ( technically ) "the ones with the highest number of votes".

This supposedly came from a mole within the Fox network. I must say it's really quite ingenious. Wonder if this sort of thing happens in our local elections, hahahahaha.

Another hot topic is how Taylor was "forced" to change his song from "Try A Little Tenderness" to the less passionate "Just Once", because producers didn't think the former was actually a love song ( in keeping with the theme ).

What a load of crap. If you've seen Michael Buble and last season's frizzy-haired African-American what's-her-name ( ??Nadia ) sing this, you'd KNOW it's a love song through and through.

I just hope the Soul Patrollers pull through. If only I could vote, argh.

Movie Time

Following an abnormally dry spell ( last film I watched in the theatre: King Kong ), I've decided to catch one every week this month, starting with Mission: Impossible III, followed by Poseidon, The Da Vinci Code and X-Men: The Last Stand. Might as well redeem all those UOB Rewards points.

Mood Music

After reluctantly removing Jason Mraz's Tonight Not Again CD from my car stereo -- to pass it to my consultant to sample -- I've blasted Jack Johnson, Daniel Powter and Amici these past few days.

I've also realized that Johnson sounds great on a rainy day and Powter makes me speed, heh heh. Love the latter's faster tracks -- Suspect and Hollywood. Thanks again to my consultant who introduced me to his music.

Wanted to review Mraz's album but need a couple of hours to do a comprehensive one and I just don't have that kind of time right now. Apologies.
But buy it if you can. You won't regret it. ( But order the CD/DVD combo from Amazon, 'cos local stores only carry the CD, which costs as much as the combo anyhow. )

Well then, I'm off to do finish up more work. On my day off. After a whole morning spent vacuuming and mopping. With an upcoming help-mom-cook-dinner routine.

Wish I could vote in this year's GE, but kena walkover. *&^%$#@!

Bye for now.