Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Tipping Point

Lately, I've been wondering about this a lot. Which is worse ( or better )? To be insanely tired after a hard day at work yet also satisfied that you made a big difference, or to be more rested and able to study, read, blog and actually get things done but feel guilty that you may not be pulling your weight?

Will they understand that there were just no cards most times I went by the nurse counter?

It's the Hungry Ghost month. Plus a spate of "bad publicity" -- at least according to inside sources.

All I can say is, the timing is impeccable. Haha. :)

Action At Last!

If you watched last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy, you will know that George finally got it on with Meredith.

I was both happy and unhappy about this.

Happy 'cos George is my favourite character on the show ( oh yeah, I don't even like Dr. McDreamy that much anymore ), and I'm glad he got the woman he loves.

Unhappy 'cos Meredith is just a tad too flawed for someone as sweet as George. That woman has issues -- lots of them. And she's bound to break poor George's heart -- a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey hinted at a possible reunion between Meredith and McDreamy.

But of course, it's just a show. But a darn good one. My mom is HOOKED. :)

Quote from last night's climactic scene ( or a gist of it ):

George to Meredith: I will never leave you. I will never hurt you. And I will love you forever.

Say it with me: AWWWWWWWWW.... :D

Pictures Part 2

Wine, Women & Song

Here's a montage of photos from various musical performances. There were many but these are the ones captured on film.

1. Bavarian band - Munich

This was at the world-renowned Hofbrauhaus beer hall. Visited the massive restaurant / beer garden on World Cup finals night, and it was really crowded with tourists. If you're wondering if football fever was rampant, then you may be surprised to learn that it was disappointingly absent. Germany wasn't vying for the championship title, which may explain the general lack of enthusiasm. Also, the tourists aren't exactly football fanatics either, preferring to huddle indoors with only a small group parked outside in front of the establishment's sole TV screen.

I decided to make the best of both worlds, running between my table within the hall and the garden outside, to catch snippets of the match. Suspect the musicians themselves may have been doing the same, since they kept vanishing after every song. :)

2. Tyrolean Show -- Innsbruck

A real treat, this one! Lasted more than an hour, with alcohol galore and hundreds of inebriated spectators. ( But I couldn't help checking out all the exits, 'cos it's a massive fire trap. )

Anyway, we had a full spread of traditional dances, yodeling and excellent skills on various Tyrolean instruments with complicated names ( my music programme is with a friend, so can't recall them offhand ).

There were 2 major highlights: an instrumental rendition of Edelweiss, during which the audience spontaneously sang the lyrics in unison; and a reproduction of the waltz from The Sound Of Music ( where Maria and Cpt. von Trapp fell in love ). The first made my eyes water ( yes, sentimental fool that I am ) while the second had me holding my breath for who knows how long. Enchanting, I tell you!

For the finale, the singers did national songs from America, Australia, France, New Zealand, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, even Singapore! ( The last occurred because one of the waitresses asked us where we're from, so I guess she conveyed the info to the stage. They did Singapura, not Majulah Singapura, by the way. )

The craziest of the lot? Hands down, the Australians, most of whom were already super-drunk by then, and who stood up to belt Waltzing Matilda at full volume.

What a sight, haha.

3. Dinner & Dance -- Vienna

This was an informal event, but loads of fun. :)

We'd just arrived after a marathon 4-hour drive from Salzburg. We were tired, hungry and in dire need of hot showers.

This quaint restaurant serves EXCELLENT red meat, from roast beef to chicken breast to fish coated with bread crumbs, soaked in heavenly sauces and gravy, with sides like giant potatoes, juicy salads and creamy soups.

As we sat down to enjoy the food, a young fellow struck up a lively tune on his accordion, making the rounds and teasing us playfully with arched eyebrows and winks, even squeezing next to a group nearby ( pictured above ).

Later, 4 of our fellow travellers got up to do an impromptu "chicken dance" -- highly amusing, heh heh!

4. Viennese Concert

Presented by the Vienna Residence Orchestra, the repertoire included excerpts from Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Sonata In A, and Johann Strauss' Rose Waltz, The Blue Danube and perennial fav, The Radetzky March.

Thanks to our resourceful guide, we secured front row seats, with unsurpassed views of the orchestra, dancers and singers. The dancers, in particular, were beautifully light on their feet, without the usual loud thuds despite the high leaps.

Nice. :)

5. Swiss Alpine Show -- Lucerne

Thought it would be a repetition of what we saw in Innsbruck, but thankfully, it wasn't.

We had a tasty lunch comprising cheese fondue, rosti, bratwurst and strawberry merengue -- man, my mouth's watering from writing this.

The show itself did overlap slightly with the Tyrolean programme ( ie. yodeling, cow bells, Swiss horn-blowing ), but there was an interactive segment where audience members were brought on-stage to yodel -- solo. Nerve-wracking!

After that, they had to guzzle from a gigantic glass of foamy beer.

I especially enjoyed the bit where the fake cow ran around the restaurant. It may sound cheesy, but the whole thing was done quite tastefully and had us all in stitches. It even knows how to do a Zoolander, ie. mugging for shots. :D

Ahh, good memories. :)

New Fix

Last but not least, here's a recommendation for your viewing pleasure.

Entourage airs on HBO every Tuesday at 9pm. Supposedly based on Mark Wahlberg's wilder days in showbiz, this series is a love-it-or-hate-it concoction of wild parties, one-night stands, totally unproductive days, angsty whining and childish pranks.

Why do I love it though? Because it's unpretentious about its characters' flaws, and has a superb script which ingeniously combines surfer dude talk with intelligent, insightful observations.

Watch for the cameos. And Jeremy Piven is soooo hot. :)

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