Sunday, April 08, 2007


*hack, cough*

I think I have bronchitis.

I've also developed pleuritic bilateral lower chest wall pain.

Lungs sound clear on self-auscultation though.
I'm whining. Sorry.

Can someone tell me why I can't access the Singapore Medical Council and Singapore Nursing Board websites from home? Never had this problem before. It's driving me crazy. Need to submit CME and CNE points for an event! Argh!!!

Anyway, after an extended absence from the spotlight, AI5 alumnus Elliott Yamin is back with an album. I'm a big fan of Elliott's, second only to Taylor in the last season, but sadly, his CD isn't up my alley, being strongly R&B-influenced, with only one piece I can actually stomach ( i.e. A Song For You ).
I pictured him recording a pop or jazz album, give or take a slight tinge of R&B. His voice suits those genres so perfectly, and served him well on songs he belted on the show ( beautiful renditions of classics from Stevie Wonder, a flawless cover of It Had To Be You, among others ).

Sorry, man, I'm not putting down money for this. But if he cuts a pop / jazz album in the future, I'd love to add it to my collection.

3rd album's due for release May 1st ( click on the link above to see the track listing -- looking really good :)), and did you catch his recent appearance on the latest AI6 results show, performing Call Me Irresponsible?

Alan Chang, his trusty friend and pianist ( who's very very good-looking up close, by the way :)), was on-stage to keep him company, and Michael just blew everyone away with his talent and charisma.

He's such a nice guy, you wouldn't believe it. ( Check out my October 10, 2005 entry if you don't already know what I'm yakking about. )

I must admit, Gina Glocksen's departure from the show proved a lot more poignant than I anticipated. Found myself shedding a few tears when she closed with a lovely rendition of Charlie Chaplin's Smile, doing much better than the night before.

Alas, Sanjaya sails through yet again. Yeesh.

Spent my MC day watching Swimming With Sharks, which I purchased from Amazon a few months ago. It's a very obscure film ( by Singapore standards, at least ), but oh sooooooooo good. :) They sent me a 10-year anniversary special edition, complete with a hard plastic outer cover with the words "This is a special edition, you schmuck". Love it! :D
It's Kevin Spacey at his megalomaniacal best, with tonnes of classic lines like "" and "protect his interests and serve his needs".
My parents, who've never seen it before, had a huge laugh when we sat down together to watch it on Good Friday. Almost made me forget about my laryngitis.
Here's something else that's interesting: try submitting questions to high-profile Time magazine interview subjects. They've already featured Hilary Swank and Jimmy Wales ( co-founder of Wikipedia ). This week it's Chevy Chase, who's a real hoot. I'm hoping they'll do Steve Martin sometime. Or Sergey Brin / Larry Page. Or Steve Jobs. Or Jeff Bezos. Or Michael Buble. Or Kevin Spacey...
Haha. :)

Scrolled through the latest MOPEX list yesterday. Got a couple of returnees, plus a name I recognize from the blogosphere. Don't worry -- there are no hard feelings. Will take good care of you. :) ( But then again, he may decide to swap, heh. )
False alarm about the pesky MO staying on. Heard he's seeking greener pastures overseas. Thank goodness.

And now, more photos.

Vietnam: Part 3

These were taken at an embroidery workshop showroom in Dalat. It's the only place they allow cameras, otherwise I would've snapped a lot more.

Housed within a beautiful flower garden setting, with lots of bridges, koi ponds and tiny waterfalls, it provides a tranquil environment for its many
skilled workers ( or should I say, artists ), who comprise young, dainty Vietnamese girls with deft hands and superior powers of
concentration. The processes involved -- even that of transferring a sketch from paper to cloth -- are painstaking and tedious, but the attention to detail is astounding, hence the amazing quality of work churned out.

These giant masterpieces take up o 6 months each to complete, sometimes necessitating multiple pairs of hands. The prices reflect the degree of difficulty involved -- upwards of US$5000 for the most exquisite ones. I had my eye on a gorgeous feline portrait, but even US$2600 is just too rich for my blood. Sigh.
Hopefully you'll be able to click on the images for full-screen perusal. The real things are absolutely breath-taking.
More to follow another time.

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