Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Link

Check out Jerwin's ER.

I think s/he's an MO at Alexandra Hospital's ER. The wonders of Google. :)

Always been a supporter of local medical blogs, so I've added the address to my list of links. The site's pretty young, so hopefully readers can get things rolling by posting a few comments.

More Controversy?

I'm suffering from a bit of writer's block re: the Black Sheep entry, so will leave that alone for the moment.

Contemplated a discussion on ER bed block and sentinel events, but decided against having my throat slit from ear to ear.

( But it's been happening more often lately, so think about it. )


Will be catching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix tomorrow, after a 7-month hiatus from the cinema. I have high hopes for this film, since I consider it the 2nd best in the series after The Prisoner of Azkaban ( though the movie version disappointed ).

Then there's the Royal Shakespeare Company's staging of King Lear next weekend. Sir Ian McKellan aka Gandalf aka Magneto in the flesh! I can't wait!

Am indulging my long-time fascination with serial killers and American true crime yet again. Got a bit tired of all the medical tomes I've been ploughing through, and am now buried in a book sleazily titled "Sex Sadists", which features loads ( and I mean LOADS ) of brutal sex crimes in the US. Some of the stories are horrifying, while others saddened me immensely. There's just so much senseless killing going on, with many of these cases never gaining worldwide attention ( unlike high-profile murders involving JonBenet Ramsey and Polly Klaas ).

Sex Sadists compiles articles previously featured in the True Detective magazine series in America, and boasts some really good writing. The research is meticulous, the criminal profiles insightful, the crime scene descriptions ( and photos ) blood-curdling to say the least. There're psychos walking among us, even in Singapore.

In case you didn't know, I started delving into the world of serial killers way back in junior college, when I stumbled upon pioneer FBI profiler John Douglas' excellent non-fiction novels and began hunting down articles on Jeffrey Dahmer and a Russian madman ( the name of which I can't recall ) -- both guys were cannibals, by the way.
Used to frustrate my GP tutor with my endless essays about crazy murderers. Even wrote on the same subject for my A Level exam, haha.

I highly recommend John Douglas' The Cases That Haunt Us if you're interested in a good intro. It attempts to profile the killers of JonBenet Ramsey and Charles Lindbergh's infant son, and also analyzes Jack The Ripper and Lizzie Borden. Bloody fantastic stuff!

DVD update: Rented a number of movies, but didn't like any of them very much. Babel was tolerable, but a tad melodramatic. The Illusionist was better than The Prestige, IMHO -- Paul Giamatti is unrecognizable with his European accent and gruff voice ( his normal tone is much more high-pitched and nasal ), and Edward Norton carries himself well as a dapper magician and romantic lead. Love the costumes!

Pan's Labyrinth, however, deserves special mention. If you haven't watched Guillermo del Toro's films before, go rent The Devil's Backbone and Hellboy stat. Labyrinth is another feat of achievement in everything from great storytelling to wonderful directing to eye-popping makeup and cinematography. del Toro excels at children-in-peril situations ( Devil's Backbone is a good example ), and the way he weaves all the different subplots into one seamless, dreamy product is just amazing. You end up with a terrific mixture of horror, fantasy, childhood whimsy, poignant drama and even some tense action sequences.

But my fave del Toro film is still Hellboy. Can't wait to see the sequel!

French fare is pretty cool too. Arts Central recently screened an Audrey Tatou psychological thriller titled He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, which features a young woman harbouring delusions of love about a dashing cardiologist, resulting in tragic consequences. It's obviously low-budget arthouse stuff, but once in a while, it's a nice change from the usual Hollywood blockbusters, which often lack a coherent storyline and rely on gimmicks to rake in the $$.

Music update: Russell Watson's latest release, a jazz album titled That's Life, took quite a number of listens before growing on me. His odd pronunciations and over-the-top operatic delivery initially irritated, but after the 10th spin in the CD player ( am I patient or what, haha ), his rendition of Frank Sinatra's It Was A Very Good Year proved the tipping point, converting me completely ( to my surprise ).

I now consider it one of the best jazz releases I own. Favourite tracks include Strangers In The Night ( my mom absolutely loves this one ), You Make Me Feel So Young, It Was A Very Good Year ( much slower but also much more moving than other covers I've heard ) and Born Free.

Watson's style definitely isn't jazzy by conventional standards. I would characterize it more as "Operazz" ( a combo of opera and jazz ) or "Broadwazz" ( Broadway jazz ), but I like it because it's so uniquely Watson and actually works.

My sole complaint? He could try a little tenderness now and then, especially on songs like Smile and You Don't Know Me, which were splendidly covered by Michael Buble and Peter Cincotti. Those two crooned and whispered the lyrics so beautifully, but Watson tends to shout the words, so he should break this bad habit.

Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon Before Long is still blasting away in my car ( took a short break during my Watson switch, but it's back in there now ). An MTV Asia interview revealed that the band's style changed after they got a new drummer ( the previous fellow suffered a shoulder injury and had to drop out ). Frontman Adam Levine ( my mom calls him a "hottie", heh heh! ) said the new guy's an "all-out rock drummer", compared to his "more laid-back" predecessor, which explains their sophomore album's edgier sound.

Never mind the sexually explicit lyrics -- I don't really listen to them anyway. :)

More updates at a later date.

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