Monday, December 18, 2006

More Photos

Before my laptop mouse goes insane again. Note to self: pass exit, get pay rise, buy new computer to replace ancient 6-year-old model.

Oh yeah, and I still use dialup. The way I see it, why spend unnecessarily when you've got easy access to broadband at work?

In the spirit of X'mas, I've decided to post a few festive pictures.

Picture #1: Ginza district

Due to weather conditions, it was cloudy so the colours are significantly muted. Still, small X'mas trees lined the pavements, and you can of course see the famed Mikimoto Pearl store sign in plain view.

Not as celebratory as our wonderful Orchard Road though.

Picture #2: Shibuya

My favourite! Packed to the brim with young and old alike, all rushing around like mad lemmings, especially at the crazy 6-way traffic junction. Lots of neon, lots of noise, and the shops are just mind-boggling. Ate at a superb restaurant somewhere -- we just walked randomly and stopped when our stomachs told us to. Served delectable yakitori ( the sauce! ), shabu-shabu cooked in a heavenly spicy soup ( ahhhh! ), and a hot plate of some omelette-vegetable concoction ( perfect! ). All for less than S$20 per head.

Pictures #3-#5: Tokyo Disneyland

You may see a resemblance to some pictures in a certain publication due for circulation in the near future. But you simply can't beat Disneyland when it comes to the festive period, especially X'mas.
I smiled so much my face hurt. And the single day we spent there was hardly sufficient to fully enjoy the whole place -- we gave Disneysea a miss as a result of time shortage.
Will most definitely return, but not sure when.
Believe the horror stories about the Hong Kong version, and just stick to Tokyo ( if you can't see the original parks in the US ). It was a lovely experience from beginning to end, even though the crowds were massive.


CD recommendation for you, though brief.

Josh Groban's Awake is the latest album to spend time in my stereo, and having followed his career since his debut 4-5 years ago, this is by far his boldest -- and best -- work yet.

Besides mixing his usual Italian / Spanish fare with more mainstream English songs, fans will easily pick out a shift in tone -- lighter, more pop-friendly -- and a willingness to REALLY experiment -- collaborations with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Herbie Hancock, among others.

My fave tracks are all crammed into the last third of the disc, starting with #10 ( theme for Romeo & Juliet ), followed by the beautiful African-flavoured Lullaby and Weeping, a jazz/rock/bluesy Machine, and bonus songs Verita and Awake.

The title track has been repeated ad nauseum in my car, and I've yet to tire of it. An original piece by Josh, it is both tender and poignant. Terrific lyrics, a haunting chorus, supplemented by one of Josh's most nuanced performances ever. Just listen closely as he sings "So keep me awake / to memorize you / Give me more time / to feel this way / We can't stay like this forever / But I can have you next to me / today". Major goosebumps. :)

Lunch beckons.

Apologies to those I had to cancel on last weekend. Lousy flu kept me from consuming alcohol and gorging my brains out with friends. Looks like I'll be socially challenged till my exam is over next month. Not taking any chances.

But after that -- heh heh -- that's another story. :)

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