Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bliss Part 26

My long block of annual leave started 3 days ago, and the exhaustion has finally hit me with its full force.

Happens every year. Funny how being free of work commitments - particularly gruelling shifts - can make you feel even more tired compared to normal days. This is why I spend a lot of my time snoozing on coaches when on tour. Makes my mother a bit naggy - "You're missing the guide's commentary!", "Look at the scenery!" - but after a while, she understands my needs and leaves me alone.

Of course, if our Tour Director turns out to be a gorgeous hunk, I won't be sleeping much this time round. Heh. :)

Speaking of gorgeous men, there're quite a few of them at the YOG. Covering the boxing event for a few days, and I can finally say that I see the appeal of the sport, even though my background knowledge is considered pathetic.

Yesterday, I spent 2-3 hours with near-ringside seats, thanks to my involvement with the on-site medical team. Turned out to be quite exciting, and discovered the important - and damn powerful - roles referees play.

Interesting bit of drama between the American coach and a ref from China, when the latter stopped the match in Round 1 and declared the Russian boxer the winner, apparently because he didn't think the American boy was fit to continue. I swear a real fight would've broken out if not for a big group of YOG officials intervening. Those of us in the medical team were on edge for 10 minutes, ready to apply bandages and bring a stretcher!

I also had a nice eyeful of a few of the better-looking referees, mostly in their 20s or 30s, all Caucasian. They had to walk right past our station during each match's 2nd round ( awaiting their turns to referee or judge the next match ), and often came right up to us to get gloves and gauze. Everyone looked very serious, but I'm sure if we'd given them a smile or two, they would've reciprocated.

A big shout-out to the GREAT audience at the boxing arena yesterday. Lots of energetic locals yelling their support for the athletes, plus a few foreigners - from African and Germany - practically coaching from their seats in the stands.

Can't imagine what it's going to be like during the finals on Wednesday! :)

Have also been catching up on a few favourite movies. One I'd like to highlight is The Illusionist, starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Rufus Sewell ( Jessica Biel's in it as well, but I just find her soooo bland ).

Was released around the same time as The Prestige ( Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman ), and probably suffered a poorer box-office performance as a result of it. A real pity, because The Illusionist is, in my opinion, far better in terms of plot, script and acting.

Paul Giamatti is splendid as Chief Inspector Uhl, a far cry from his typical high-strung or comedic persona in most of his films. His scenes with Edward Norton are tense and riveting. The costumes are to-die-for, and Norton's delivery of master magician Eisenheim's stage performances are elegant, even sexy. ( I happen to be a David Copperfield fan, and quite a few of the illusions featured as quite similar in terms of theatrical flair. )
Highly recommended!

Time for a break before heading to the YOG venue.

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