Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Head Hurts

I guess this is what happens when you can't find time to relax. And when you do, you feel guilty about it.

The effects from the holiday are slowly wearing off. Numerous work tasks beckon, a whopping newsletter theme issue is in the pipeline, a possible early exit exam may materialize in less than 6 months, and a consultant's recent comment has me rethinking my long-term career plans.

Plus, all the turmoil in the Middle East, UK, US, and Asia ( the last with its insane weather patterns and freak power failure incident ).

Trying to read 2 books concurrently, clear 2 months' worth of backlogged Time magazines, plow through a 2000-page emergency medicine reference text, AND squeeze in all that essential ( I stress, ESSENTIAL ) TV time, is just plain... exhausting.

And TV, mind you, is NEVER a trivial pursuit in my opinion. Even if you're watching WWF or Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search ( which I personally avoid, though I hardly think any less of those who tune in, some of whom include top surgeons and at least one dentist ).

I like to think that you can always learn something from TV shows and movies.

Or maybe I'm just trying to justify an otherwise frivolous past-time, heh. :)

2 examples I'd like to highlight though.

1. Numb3rs

I strongly recommend this to anyone who's remotely interested, and can't believe the injustice of the measly single Emmy nomination this year ( for stunt co-ordination, yeesh ). With its highly intelligent scripts, well-executed action scenes ( nicely mixed with moments of comedy and poignance ) and stellar ensemble cast, I don't understand why it failed to garner noms and wins for Best Drama Series and Writing.
Season 1 had two outstanding episodes -- one about tracking sophisticated robbers, the other about a shady computer firm dealing in software which claims to predict human potential.

Season 2 started its run on AXN about 2 months ago ( Mondays, 9pm, just before House ), and seems to be shifting into higher gear. The storylines are even more convoluted, yet the resolutions super-satisfying. Think CSI -- but 10 times more complex.

With the main characters fleshed out from past events in the 1st season, there's clearly more emphasis on plot development, and a recent episode which investigated 2 seemingly unrelated crimes then ingeniously merged both into a mind-blowing conspiracy theory-type thread had me on the edge of my seat!

And CSI has got NOTHING in terms of speed-talking about evidence analysis. In addition to FBI agent Don Epps' harried rundowns on the latest updates, you can also enjoy brother Charlie's entertaining analogies as he expounds on mathematical theories, making a dull subject comprehensible, fascinating and -- dare I say it? -- cool.

I've watched every single episode since the pilot, and love it more with each passing week. You bet I'm gonna get my hands on the DVD. But I'll see if I can win it first. :)

2. Someone Like You

Many would no doubt classify this as a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy or chick flick ( a term I consider quite derogatory ).

Personally, however, I've got a huge soft spot for this film, and not just because I like the stars ( Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear ). And never mind Jackman's awesome abs ( showcased to perfection in a certain nocturnal scene ).

I connect with it mostly because Kinnear's character -- ie. a cad of colossal proportions -- reminds me of "someone". And since I've only had a single "someone" so far in my 30 years on planet Earth, a number of you should be able to guess who I'm talking about.

There's one bit in the movie, where Judd discovers yet another lie from Kinnear, then attends an office meeting with colleagues and her boss. While Kinnear is making heartfelt comments about a Gerard Depardieu movie, Judd laughs then starts to let off steam, shouting about how Kinnear is able to act "sensitive" about a "bald French guy", but fully capable of "stomping all over someone's heart" without even blinking an eye.

I relish that moment, 'cos I wish I could've had it.

Well, perhaps one day I will. Just you wait... :)

If the topics in this entry seem disjointed, blame it on the time ( 3:30am ), the setting ( A&E ), and reason for posting ( mostly to stay awake ).

Will post more pictures the next time I'm on the laptop. For now, let's discuss

TV Hell In Europe

Used to think this was confined to Italy, but went through it again last month.

Sure, there were a couple of hotels with CNN and BBC. The one in St. Moritz had the best selection, with a few good English cable channels thrown in, while Zurich featured a Classic FMTV selection, with music videos from Duel, Enya, Amici, Josh Groban, Russell Watson, Nigel Kennedy, Katherine Jenkins, etc.

Most of the time, though, I sat through loads of Hollywood films dubbed in German and Italian. Films like King Kong, Face/Off, Fear ( Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon in their younger days ), and I think a few horror flicks. It was bearable 'cos we knew what was happening since we'd seen them before. But otherwise, it was pretty dismal from a foreigner's standpoint.

Remember how Oprah Winfrey kicked up a big fuss after being thrown out of an Hermes store in Paris? She later got a public apology from a senior executive, who explained that the salesperson didn't recognize Oprah, causing the latter to gawk in shock.

But if you consider the TV fare in Europe -- which I suspect is similar in Paris -- I'm not the least surprised that Oprah wasn't recognized. The only talk shows I came across were all local. So you can bet Jay Leno, Jon Stewart and Ellen DeGeneres would probably go unnoticed too.

The upside to European TV? Lots of nudity. And MTV Europe is one kinky party.

Haha. :)

Only 5 more hours to go.

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