Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let The Countdown Begin!

Yes, it's that time of the year again, when I prepare for a long trip overseas, and recuperate from burnout.

I tend to restrict myself to one holiday every 12 months, but it may be better to take 2-3 short ones instead. Only problem: not being able to get leave. Department's really short on manpower. Hope that doesn't last too long.

David Foster fans rejoice! He's returning to Singapore for the second time in 12 months, performing with two of my favourite singers - Michael Bolton and Russell Watson.

The best seats in the house are reserved for "VIPs", and the top-priced tickets don't even guarantee the best views. No matter. I got lucky last year when the concert organizers helped me snag second row places. I mustn't be greedy. :)

Will I try to grovel my way into a meet-and-greet? You bet! I'm told Foster's very busy and requested a restriction on the number of meetings he has lined up, so I'm going to see if Bolton or Watson will be more obliging. Especially Watson, who is known to be extremely friendly, and whom I'd like to congratulate for overcoming a serious illness.

And since one of the shows falls exactly on my mum's birthday, if we do meet Watson, I will definitely ask him to sing something for her. And you can be 100% sure that he won't say no! :)

In other news... oh yes, there was a little itty-bitty thing called the Presidential Election. Also known as Farce #2, after Farce #1 ( i.e. the General Election ).

I can accept the final result, but please, don't call this a "victory" for the sake of saving face. When will these people publicly acknowledge the precarious positions they're in, and stop acting smug and self-righteous?

5 more years, and they may have to eat their words.

What else...

Was appointed "adjunct assistant professor", which sounds fancy, but doesn't come with additional protected time for teaching. It does, however, come with extra money. :)

Having a ball planning the upcoming trip. Catching at least 3 Broadway shows, including one that stars Daniel Radcliffe, and another that just won the Tony for Best Musical.
Day trip to Washington, D.C.
Visiting 3 massive theme parks in Orlando.
Then off to San Francisco for a medical conference, a visit to the Napa Valley, a tour of the Californian coast, and an afternoon at UC Berkeley where a friend's daughter just started term.

Also meeting a JC pal and having dinner with a renowned emergency medicine professor in NYC.
Not to mention giving a lecture at Mt. Sinai Hospital ( at the professor's invitation ). Quite nervous about that!

Oh yes, supposed to "interview" another emergency physician from New York, who may be interested in working with us. I hope my pessimism doesn't scare him off, haha.

And there's a celebrity New Yorker my mom INSISTS on meeting, if I manage to persuade him via Facebook. All I can say is, he's on American TV, he's gorgeous, rich, single, super-friendly ( i.e. replies to all my messages, believe it or not ), and my mom wants a picture with him at all costs.

Think I'll come back even more exhausted than ever.

But at least I'll be happy! :D

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mad About Improv-a-ganza!

Just a short post about a show I'm currently addicted to, and which I'd like to rave about. :)

I've been a fan of Drew Carey's for many years, since his Drew Carey Show and Whose Line Is It Anyway days. Was a little bummed when he became the host of The Price Is Right, but hey, he hasn't forgotten his comedy roots after all!

Can't exactly recall how I found out about Improv-a-ganza, but wasted no time in downloading online episodes. There're about 40, and I'm currently at Ep 23. And I still can't get enough of the guys. :D

If you've never watched Carey's improv series before, you're in for a huge treat! The "games" are creative and often really tough, and the cast is absolutely top-notch. Ryan Stiles and Carey are the current regulars, with Whose Line veterans Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie dropping in on and off.

Other standouts include Jonathan Mangum ( adorably boyish despite being 40 years old, wow! ), Brad Sherwood ( as goofy as ever ) and Chip Esten ( the best-looking of the lot :)).

I, however, have latched onto Jeff Davis, also a Whose Line alumnus, who now features much more prominently on Improv-a-ganza.

[ note: There're LOTS of people named Jeff Davis, so if you want to Google search, type "Jeff Bryan Davis". You're welcome. :) ]

As I was saying, I am positively OBSESSED with JD. The turning point was this sound effects segment from episode 3, about 2 garbage collectors.
YouTube doesn't have the full clip, but all the best parts are in there. The first time I saw it, I almost died laughing. No, I'm not exaggerating. :D

Here's another fabulous clip! Things to take note of:

1) Drew Carey is a whiz at picking volunteers ( you will notice this when you watch the entire series );

2) The older women are a lot hornier than the younger ones. Yeah! :)

3) The guys doing the serenading love to play up the cougar factor. To illustrate, check out this Jeannie clip, lol. :D

4) JD flirts outrageously with the ladies, regardless of their age, and boy, do they reciprocate! Watch the Song For Pam video closely and you'll see the woman practically drooling over him. I know exactly how she feels, heh! :)

5) Skits are best appreciated if you understand the terminology - "carpet matches the curtains", "swingers", etc. The songs are actually damn dirty, but the guys are experts at utilizing euphemisms. Bravo!

Another superb clip is from BBC TV, with my other favourite, Jonathan Mangum. Hilarious!

Shall let you chew on these for now. More to follow in my next post. :)

As my upcoming U.S. trip draws near, I'm bummed out about the end of Catch Me If You Can's Broadway run. No idea why it's going to stop after about only 6 months on stage, despite Norbert Leo Butz's Tony win. Was really looking forward to seeing it!

On the plus side, I have an opportunity to see Kevin Spacey in San Francisco, because Richard III will open while I'm there. So what if I'm already going to watch it twice in Singapore? I'm always game for theatre overseas, hopefully at a beautiful and historic venue, with a crowd that at least understands what's going on.

[ Have attended enough local events to say that most "theatregoers" here are clueless. For pete's sake, read up before you go to the damn show! ]

I'm still hunting for a musical to take Catch Me's place though. Or maybe a play... Philip Seymour Hoffman and Alan Rickman are starring in a couple of fall productions, but these will likely open after I've left New York. Sigh.

Till next time.