Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thank Goodness For Hungry Ghosts :)

After months of hell in the ER, and an average of almost 600 patients daily over the past week, we finally have some respite from the constant deluge, thanks to the annual Hungry Ghost Festival.

The difference is remarkable.

Attendances have fallen below 400 since the Festival began a few days ago. In fact, the absence of patients has resulted in the entire ER turning into a freezer, since there aren't that many people present to generate body heat.

If only we could celebrate this all year round. Haha.

Am counting down the remaining week as I continue to prep for the trip ahead. Going to hop on the public bus in a foreign country, alone, for the first time. Supposed to be quite safe, but you never know who you might meet, depending on your luck, so I intend to look as inconspicuous as possible.

True Blood season 2 began its run on local cable last night. The gore factor has increased significantly - e.g. one victim is shown with a huge bloody cavity in her chest, where her heart used to be - but I love the characters and this sort of edgy stuff, so it ain't a problem for me. :)

Alexander Sarsgaard is quite a find. This muscular European blondie is perfectly cast as the powerful vampire leader figure, Eric. There's a scene where he rips off a man's arm during an attack, but shot from a shadow-on-the-wall angle. I know it's all fake, but it's still pretty unnerving.

Anyone watching The Late Show With Conan O'Brien? I stopped after the initial few episodes, but started tuning in again last night, mostly so I could catch people like Peter Sarsgaard ( great actor in the current film release, Orphan, but whom I loved in Shattered Glass and Jarhead ), Stephen Moyer ( vampire Bill Compton from True Blood ), and Sacha Baron Cohen, who did the interview as Bruno. The last segment was a riot! SBC did an erotic dance at the end, and really tapped into his host's homophobic fears, as evidenced by a look of absolute terror on O'Brien's face when SBC tried to ram his nose into his crotch. I kid you not. :)

O'Brien also visited a science fair, where he poked fun at some of the exhibits. I laughed pretty hard, heh heh.

Another thing that made me laugh - watching Singapore Idol for half an hour last night. The lack of talent made me cringe, as did the atrocious English spoken by the judges, the host, and practically all the contestants. But Ken Lim's comment to a group of sunglass-wearing girls was hilarious: "Why, you all got sore eyes is it?" Good one, Ken!

Check this out: caught a performance by this troupe on O'Brien, and it blew me into outer space. Can't watch them in Vegas, but will they come to Singapore? One can always hope. Maybe when the Marina Bay casino resort opens? Adrian Monk can investigate if a murder occurs. Just need to find a good reason for him to be in Singapore in the first place. :)

Tip: go to YouTube to see the O'Brien clip. It's got a female pole dancer who defies gravity. Unbelievable.

The Broadway craving continues. Am currently blasting a CD I bought way back in 1996 when I caught Sarah Brightman and Anthony Warlow in concert at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Don't know why I never got round to buying more of his albums from Amazon, but I will definitely do so now that my interest in his music has been revived. This Australian stage star has one of the most exquisite voices I've ever heard. The CD I'm playing contains beautiful renditions of Music Of The Night ( Phantom of the Opera ), Bring Him Home ( Les Miserables ), This Is The Moment ( Jekyll & Hyde ), Being Alive ( Company ), among others.

His other albums, however, feature other gems like If Ever I Should Leave You ( Kismet ), Somewhere ( West Side Story ), Hello Dolly, and If I Loved You. All are songs that make me swoon - if done the right way, that is. :)

Am undecided about Lee Mead though. He's a terrific singer and performer, but if the arrangements don't suit him, then there really isn't a point in torturing myself. Need to sample his tracks first.

Also on my to-buy list: the original cast recording of Starlight Express, which I used to own in cassette form when I was in secondary school, before it disintegrated from too many spins. It is a fantastic musical, with lots of memorable and catchy numbers. Never came to Singapore, argh!

That's all for now. May post another entry before I fly off.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Yes, it's one of those times - again.

Have been neglecting my blog severely due to work obligations. The administrative duties never cease, and shifts have been unbelievably bad. I mean, the sheer number of resus cases is reaching insane levels. What the heck!?

At least I'll be out of the country in about 2 weeks' time, for a conference and some touring. Not a long trip, but a short break is better than slogging at the ER, and definitely beats stewing in Singapore, where the people are driving me crazy.

Recently joined yet another online networking site - no prizes for guessing which - due to peer pressure, i.e. all those emails inviting me to be friends. Turns out quite a few pals have relocated overseas, so this is the easiest way to stay in touch. Some pages have also been rather revealing. I knew one guy's a flirt, but seeing him "yaya" online is a major revelation. This fellow is skilled, man. I should learn from him. :)

Recreation-wise, am now reading Mr. Monk And The Two Assistants, which is IMHO better than Mr. Monk Goes To Germany, mainly because Sharona ( watch the show if you want to know who she is ) is such a great character, and the novel explains her close relationship with Monk in much greater detail than anything I saw on television.
There're also a number of priceless scenes and murder suspects, one of whom professes to be "multi-sexual". Wrap your brain around that! :)

Mr. Goldberg, if you're still reading, I highly recommend a trip here to prep for Mr. Monk Goes To Singapore. I guarantee our little island will provide infinite material for a great mystery and lots of hilarious antics! ( Just try to imagine his reaction to, say, the Merlion. )

As for television, I'm trying out a few episodes of Fringe, which stars Joshua Jackson as a smart-aleck genius helping the FBI investigate strange occurrences all over the world. 2-hour premiere was okay, but if it doesn't pick up by week 3, I'm relegating it to the "not worth my time" tray.

The Mentalist is so-so, but Simon Baker, with his gorgeous wavy blonde locks, is a good enough reason to spend an hour in front of the goggle box. :)

And speaking of Jackson, I highly recommend Shutter, a remake of the Japanese horror flick about spirits appearing in photographic images. The Hollywood version is directed by a Japanese, which may account for all that nail-biting suspense and terrific performances from the leads. Rachael Taylor, whom you may remember as the heavily mascara-ed blondie computer hacker from Transformers, does a complete turnaround here, adopting a gentle American accent, light makeup, and demonstrating some serious acting chops as a woman tormented by a seemingly malevolent spirit. ( It's almost as good as Michelle Pfeiffer's turn in What Lies Beneath. )

I'm certain a photo I took in an Egyptian tomb captured spirits - which appeared as free floating white orbs within an inner chamber with no discernible breeze. Will post that picture at a later date if I have time. My mom says it creeps her out.

Right, time to do an exit round, then head home for some much needed sleep.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Just logged into Blogger and found this comment from Lee Goldberg!

Not sure when it was posted - doesn't show in the comments page - but if you missed it, he said, "I'm glad you're enjoying my MONK novels. Are they in English or Chinese or Thai or Klingon?"

Mr. Goldberg, in response to your query ( which I'm sure was made in a completely tongue-in-cheek manner :)), they're in English. :)

Managed to get my hands on a new copy of Mr. Monk Goes To Germany, published in 2008. Considering it came from the public library, this is practically in mint condition compared to the other books, which were tattered with yellowed pages and the occasional doodle ( some of which looked obscene ).

Yes, Singaporeans don't know how to love their reading materials. Suspect I got H1N1 from a contaminated library book.

Also grabbed Mr. Monk And The Two Assistants from another library branch in town. Will read that once I finish Germany.

Now the only one missing from my list is Mr. Monk Goes To Hawaii.

Favourite so far: still Mr. Monk And The Blue Flu, followed by Mr. Monk Goes To The Firehouse.

Definitely helps that I've seen the TV series. The novels come to life beautifully when you can imagine all the characters speaking the lines and displaying their trademark mannerisms, especially Monk with his nervous tics and various "tells".

I have a special affinity for Captain Stottlemeyer - he's hilarious on TV, but very sweet on paper.

Thank you for dropping by my blog, Mr. Goldberg! If you ever visit Singapore, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to show you around! :)

You can visit his website here.