Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Year In Review

As 2006 comes to a close, I realize it's been an exciting 12 months. Here's a brief rundown of my thoughts on an eventful period. :)

Great Memories

Two vacations within 4 months of each other made for quite a rush, but if you've never been to Bavaria or Tokyo, you're definitely missing out.

Met a bunch of great people -- natives and tourists -- ate way too much, and totally love the many different cultures I experienced.

Thank You Guys

To P, for an unforgettable stroll through Salzburg, filled with music, humour and harmless flirting ( haha ). You may say you're Spanish, but I'm still convinced you're 100% Italian. :)

To G, for a beautiful evening which exceeded even my highest expectations. You're quite the cook!

To K, for accomodating my requests every single time, just because you care.

To C, for your spontaneity and -- ahem -- admirable courage(!) during lunch in Hakone. But my parents like you, so no harm done. Hope you'll visit us in Singapore soon. :)

And finally, to M, who unknowingly and radically changed my perspective on so many levels, and who also provided a classic European moment by blowing me a kiss from beneath my room window one balmy evening. I wish you well, and who knows, if Fate permits, perhaps our paths will cross again someday.

Favourite Albums of 2006

1. New Vintage - Peter Grant

Hands down, no contest. I'm still blasting it in the car, and getting goosebumps every time. This guy is going to be a huge star. Just give him time.

2. Continuum - John Mayer

Completely blew me away with a sudden shift in musical direction. Bold, explosive, and sexy as hell. Come to Singapore quick!

3. Awake - Josh Groban

Another breakthrough recording which bodes well for this young man. Has taken a huge step forward and is guaranteed a long career ahead.

4. Mr. A-Z & Tonight Not Again - Jason Mraz

His latest is trademark JM, but the latter -- a 'live' concert album -- takes the cake. I dare you to listen to his stage rendition of Absolutely Zero and resist loving this guy.

5. Catching Tales - Jamie Cullum

A tour de force for Sinatra in sneakers. 7 Days To Change Your Life is astounding.

Best Concerts of 2006

1. Jason Mraz

Wah lau, without a doubt. The best I've EVER seen, actually. 2 hours of earth-shattering talent, wit, flawless vocals, with nothing more than a guitar and a few bongo drums for backup. Meeting him in person is now one of my missions in life.

2. Jamie Cullum

Superb jamming and an awesome medley of hip-hop hits. Put him in the Esplanade the next round.

3. Chris Botti

Another fellow who deserves to grace the Esplanade stage. Classy, gorgeous and works nothing less than magic on those trumpet keys.

4. Rockapella

A rousing debut, with many more concerts to follow, I'm sure. Word of advice -- don't waste your money on the Swingle Singers.

5. Robbie Williams

Well, the show got cancelled, but if he'd come here as planned, it would definitely be on this list, so this one's for you Robbie. :)

Favourite Films of 2006

1. The Lake House

Don't ask me why I love this so much. I just do.

2. The Devil Wears Prada

So excellent Meryl Streep is now my favourite actress of all time. ( Used to be Michelle Pfeiffer, but she's disappeared for a while. )

3. Brokeback Mountain

Surprisingly affecting despite the explicit scenes.

4. March Of The Penguins

An amazing piece of work.

Wish I had a #5, but I really didn't watch that many movies this year, and even fewer great ones.

Favourite TV Shows of 2006

1. Grey's Anatomy

I know what I wrote in my reviews in the you-know-what-publication, but comparing Season 2 of Grey's with that of House, there's no question who the victor is. The eclectic group at Seattle Grace Hospital ( which, interestingly, shares the same acronym as my workplace, hint hint ) may not be as quoteworthy as Dr. Gregory House, but they more than make up for it with sincerity, some really solid acting ( remember Katherine Heigl's heart-wrenching scene where she begged what's-his-name with heart failure to undergo a transplant? ) and - yum - Patrick Dempsey have turned the series into ratings gold, hitting the #1 spot when Season 3 debuted a few months ago.
Too bad TR Knight, who plays George O'Malley, is gay. But I still love him. :)

2. Numb3rs

Sorely underrated but one of the best shows I know of. Rob Morrow remains sexy 10 years post Northern Exposure ( rent it if you can ), while David Krumholtz melts my heart with his earnest smiles, soft brown eyes and (gah) honey-smooth voice. If only my Maths teachers were this cute.

3. Prison Break

Cheesy beyond cheesy, with giant loopholes everywhere. Yet immensely watchable, in no small part because of the enigmatic and delicious Wentworth Miller. If prison inmates were this good-looking, I wouldn't mind being their doctor either. :)

4. Supernatural

Another cheesy series, but again, extremely addictive because of the leads. Jared Padalecki is a perennial fave of mine ( being a Gilmore Girls alumnus and all ), while Jensen Ackles continues to grow on me during moments of pretty competent emoting. I also really like the guy who plays their dad ( but haven't learned his name yet ). This dude also had a recurring role on Grey's Anatomy, as the heart transplant patient Katherine Heigl's character falls for. He made me cry -- no small feat, I can tell you that!

5. Entourage

Ahhh, Jeremy Piven, you are the best reason to watch this show. From your speed-talking to your anxious tics to your head-spinning double / triple-crossing schemes, Ari Gold has become a legend in TV history. I hope you win another Emmy in 2007.

6. Nip/Tuck

After depressing me no end in Season 2, it has returned better than ever, with a serial killer on the loose, Sean's son suffering a mental breakdown after discovering his ex-lover was a transexual, Christian fighting a whole truckload of personal demons, and the addition of a Spanish colleague with bisexual tendencies to a troubled practice.

I like dark, twisted tales, and this is definitely top of the line. :)

Things I Look Forward To in 2007

1. Passing the exit

-- mostly so I don't have to &*^%$$# study anymore.

2. Visiting the US

-- intend to spend a mini-fortune on this trip, so let's make it a good one.

3. Charity work

-- has been in the pipeline for way too long, so I hope to make this a reality once and for all.

4. Partying a little

-- St. James Power Station and The Cannery look promising. But a return to the old watering holes would be good too.

5. Writing more

-- stay tuned...

So enjoy NYE, and here's wishing all readers a wonderful year ahead. :)

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