Friday, October 31, 2003

Clay Aiken's Invisible video has premiered in the US, and you can view it at the address below. I'm still in the process of downloading, so comments will come later. Enjoy :)

Invisible Music Video

Okay! Time permits, so here're my thoughts on the vid. :D

I like it a lot! After first getting wind of the shoot a couple of weeks ago, I've been greatly anticipating the final product, and can tell you that it will definitely make everyone happy.

The premise, as you can see, is for Clay to set up stage along a busy street, start singing, then attract passers-by to stay and watch. Although, if you ask me, this sort of thing would hardly occur in real life -- he already gets mobbed when he's just driving around!

Anyway, back to the video. I like the mildly grainy quality with all the bright, almost glaring colours. Interesting wardrobe for Clay -- hooded sweatshirt worn over 2 other layers of clothes -- but he looks right at home in them, and is boyishly handsome. :)

Is the video ground-breaking in any way? Nah. But who cares really? ;) I've already viewed Clay's live performances of Invisible during the American Idol concert tour, then on a whole slew of TV shows from Jay Leno to Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer. This version is nothing new, but more importantly, introduces "the new Clay" to the MTV audience, that all-important group of consumers that can make his star rise even higher. The fact of the matter is, Clay is extremely talented, and appeals to a huge number of people. But he also needs to be marketable, which is where image comes in. After a major transformation from bespectacled geek to blonde heartthrob on American Idol, and further honing his on-stage persona during the AI tour, Clay is now officially solo, and can't rely on the other Idols to keep audiences preoccupied.

To our delight, of course, Clay has blossomed beautifully. :) He rarely danced during American Idol, but gradually got cheeky and more confident on-stage during the many AI concerts, where he sang Invisible alone. He's obviously getting a hang of things, with his own cute style in grooving to the music, even a new move -- the Jacket Flash ( the others being the Knee Bends, Shirt Tugs / Yanks ). In the video, he comes across as a full-fledged rock star, thanks to the many shots of adoring fans leaping up and down and clapping along with their idol. There are times when I just can't believe how different he is from the Clay we all saw in the early stages of AI, but I am NOT complaining! :D

I have no idea how long this video will be online for you to download, so I suggest you get it onto your hard disk ASAP!

Will MTV help Clay's career hit the stratosphere? My bet is yes. I certainly hope he will win fans in Asia -- Singapore seems to be the only Clay camp right now -- as well as in Europe. It's about time Clay was shared with the rest of the world. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

I'm going off shift right now, so let's see how fast I can type this. :)

Link to a whole chunk of Clay videos available below. Having seen most of them via downloads from various sources on the Internet, this site is such a godsend 'cos it consolidates everything in one place and downloads super-fast.

Airplay Central - Clay Videos

I recommend:

The Wayne Brady Show -- I adore Wayne ( from Whose Line Is It Anyway? ), and he in turn adores Clay and Kim Locke haha!

National Anthem on The World Series -- Clay nailed the Star-Spangled Banner here, and looks great in that sweater of his. :)

Good Morning America 15/10/03 -- Clay sings Invisible and The Way, and does great jobs with both.

I am happy to report that the shift was unbelievably good, and that I hope to be able to stay up when I get home, instead of crashing on the couch for half the day and wasting precious time. I've got another night shift on Friday though, followed by Sunday ( don't ask ). Oh well, I'll think about those when the time comes. For now, it's freedom.... freedom.... freedom ( you know, the song done by George Michael and Robbie Williams :P ).


Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Too good NOT to share :)

This is taken from www.claytonaiken.comand includes a short writeup with photos on Clay's visit to Harlem, New York, just after receiving a Double Platinum award for Measure Of A Man on Good Morning America.

This article talks about what happened during his visit, where he read to a group of students as part of the school's Reading First programme.

This is an excellent piece. Very inspiring, and just makes us fans so proud of Clay. :D

Not much to post today. Just hanging out at home, with some errands to run later before the night shift begins. I've got THREE night duties this week! AAAAAAACCCKKKKK! Okay, it's unavoidable, 'cos people are going on leave, then switching rotations come Monday -- another MO and I are staying put, so it's only natural that we should do the night shift for the very last day. But still... it's tiring! I'm getting old.

One more week before we're "officially short". We're down from 21 to just 13 MOs starting November 3rd. No fun. 7 night shifts a month, minimum, and mostly afternoon shifts on other days. Don't ask me why the human resource department feels this is the right way to do things. If anything, the ER is the last place that should be subjected to manpower constraints. I mean, it's called the EMERGENCY room for a reason. If you're shorthanded, what happens then? Yeesh.

We had a small farewell dinner with some seniors from the A&E Department at The Rice Table, an Indonesian restaurant located within the International Building. The food is amazing, and I think I ate too much! If you haven't been there before, you simply must try it out. Those potato dumpling thingies are unbelievable. Not to mention the crispy tofu with some kind of sweet tangy sauce poured all over it, and the curry, etc. You get the idea. :)

Gotta get some work done. Maybe more later.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

My first day off in 10 days, wooooo! :D

Last night was well-spent, as I attended the local inaugural Clay Aiken fan party, organized by a group of very dedicated and generous ladies who form the core group that led us all to the actual setting up of the Singapore Clay Aiken fansite.

About 60 people turned up, ranging in age from 12 to 60. We had a great time mingling and sharing our "Clay-appreciation" experiences, and I got to meet people whom I'd previously known only through email. The food was delicious, with dishes cleverly incorporating words that applied to Clay ( "Claypot Chaiken" being once of my favourites! :D ), and the games bit was very enjoyable, with trivia ( Name 3 things Clay is allergic to; What's Track 5 on Measure Of A Man? ) and a contest to see which fan could recreate Clay's famous shirt tugs/yanks/clutches the best. Prizes included the MOAM album, as well as a little pouch containing a customized water tumbler, and a tube of skin lotion bearing the brand name "Aiken", haha!

One lady, who works in advertising, made gorgeous mounted posters which were later auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Autism Association (Singapore) (AAS). A DJ was on hand to play Clay's songs for the entire 5-hour duration of the party, and I especially love the part where we gathered together to shout "Congratulations, Clay" and "Singapore Loves Clay" into a video camera -- the recording of which will be edited and put on tape, then mailed to Raleigh with a special scrapbook of pictures, to be later forwarded to Clay's mom, probably sometime in November ( crossing fingers on that one -- his birthday is coming up, and his home will definitely be swamped with fanmail from around the world ).

Another fan, a lovely woman who has a 12-year-old autistic son, put up a terrific presentation on the Bubel-Aiken Foundation and the AAS. With the large population of young Clay fans in the audience ( primary school to college and university students ), I certainly hope they were touched and inspired enough to make a personal commitment to these causes and follow in Clay's shining example.

But my favourite part of the night was when we all sat down in a darkened room and watched Clay's many TV appearances -- available only via download from the Internet. There were the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, his Good Morning America performances and interview ( this one was excellent ), and yes! his stint on Jay Leno singing "Invisible", where he wowed everyone with his new slick moves and confident stage presence. Watching these clips with so many other Claymates was a great experience, and the raucous cheers and applause showed just how much love and support he has over here.

My thanks and congratulations to everyone who made this party possible!
Our next celebratory event is slated for November 30th, which is Clay's 25th birthday. Venue to be determined, attendance likely double the number. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2003

It's a slow day in the ER, and I hope it stays this way till I finish my shift!

Catching up a bit with the post-double platinum euphoria on the boards, and came across a gorgeous photo of Clay, taken in Harlem, NY, just after his appearance on Good Morning America. Scroll down to see the picture.

All I can say is, Clay always gives us something new to admire, even when we think he couldn't possibly get any better than he already is. :)

Clay in Harlem, New York

Phenomenal News!

At 9pm last night ( Singapore time ), it was announced on Good Morning America ( with Diane Sawyer ) that Clay Aiken's Measure Of A Man had sold 613,000 copies in its first week, and shipped 2 MILLION! It is the biggest debut in 10 years for any music artiste, and the DOUBLE PLATINUM plaque was presented to Clay by none other than Clive Davis. Davis called Clay's voice "special", and mentioned that Billboard has named MOAM as the "best pop album of 2003".

Clay, as always, took the honour with grace and humility. He looked totally shocked by the news and award, appearing almost embarrassed at one point! Wearing a nondescript dark brown long-sleeved shirt with thin white vertical stripes, he looked a little tired with the prominent eye bags, but definitely perked up later on!

A few of the other fans here were logged onto the Internet, and fed me news via SMS. Two of us proceeded to SMS / email the radio stations -- Power 98 and Perfect 10 -- whose DJs then gamely announced this fact over the airwaves, congratulating both Clay and all his fans for a job well done. What a moment!

I've already emailed my friend in Raleigh, asking her to extend our good wishes to Clay via his friend, Suzanne. What an astounding achievement! No-one deserves it more! :D

You can see the video at the link below. Download it quickly before it disappears!

Clay's Double Platinum Award on GMA

Have to get to work pretty soon, but I want to make another short post before I go. ( Boy am I exhausted! )

Just realized that yet another Straits Times reporter is an ex-JC mate of mine. The first was Tan Shzr Ee, the Arts Correspondent for Life! -- a very accomplished violinist whom I had to pleasure of knowing in Raffles Girls' Secondary when we were in the same class for 2 years. Now, there's Goh Chin Lian, who was featured in the main section today in a little "friendly competition" titled "The Amazing Race -- Singapore To KL". We weren't classmates or anything, but studied at Raffles Junior College and joined the RJ Chorale during our stint there. He may look pretty ordinary -- you know, the quiet, studious type -- but in truth, this guy had hordes of college girls swooning at his feet, especially when he opened his mouth to sing. :D
He was a tenor in the choir, and part of a breakaway a capella group named PUNCH, formed by the more outgoing and vocally talented chorale members. He made everyone sit up with his rendition of a romantic ballad titled "Almost Like A Song" ( primarily a country song ), and his fate was sealed after that! I still remember how the other girls in the alto and soprano sections used to talk about him like groupies discussing a rock star, and how, during one practice session, a number of them looked like they were going to pass out when he sang a French piece. Another friend of mine used to bring a handheld cassette recorder to rehearsals so she could get his voice on tape and play it over and over again later! He was a really nice fellow too, which added to his appeal. Interesting that he's become a reporter. Well, looks like I'll be reading the papers a little more regularly from now on. :)

Okay then, time to start work. Congratulations once again, Clay!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

JP, it's nice to see you back, and thanks a lot for writing! :)

More Claymania, haha :P

Clip of Clay as Santa Claus -- very sweet :) Click on the photo to watch ( he was 20 years old here ).

If his November schedule is anything to go by, Clay has got some free time on his hands in the next few weeks. Hopefully he will head home for a short spell and get some rest. I worry about his health and that precious voice -- with all the public appearances and demanding performances, that last thing he needs right now is a sore throat.
Plus, if he goes home, the package from Singapore will be waiting for him. :D His friend, Suzanne, who's also the president of the official Clay Aiken fan club in the US, has already expressed thanks to us (via email) on his mother Faye's behalf. You're most welcome, Mrs. Parker. :)

Projections for CD sales in the first week of release for Measure Of A Man so far are around 750,000 in the US alone. But it's hard to tell really. He may hit platinum in record time yet. :)

The local Clay Aiken fan party approaches ( it's this Saturday ), and we're all very excited about it! More on that the day after. :D

Last but not least, here's the link to another insightful interview with Clay from PBS Kids. A must read!

I was trying to get some studying done in between patients, but the shift isn't allowing for it at all. One senior nurse tells me our ER has a reputation for being super-fast, so people from the opposite end of the island sometimes end up here. Then, there are those who just bypass the polyclinic and GP completely, coming to us instead because they don't have to wait as long. Aaargh! Is it any surprise that we're seeing record numbers of flus, mild sprains and other non-emergency cases?!

Watch tomorrow's episode of "The Bachelor 3". Remember how I mentioned that the lady of Andrew's choice is being played down this season to keep things "mysterious"? The trailer suggests otherwise for the next installment. I really like this lady, and won't miss it for the world. How and why does Andrew change his mind suddenly, choosing to spend time alone with her and ditching the over-confident, materialistic and very unpopular Kirsten/Kristen in the process? Can't wait to find out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

The night shift was TERRIBLE!
My very first case ended up as a myocardial infarct with heart failure, whom I had to uptriage from the consult area to the resus room, and whom I had to take care of for over an hour because resus was swamped with a sudden deluge of cases. After that eventful period, my next 4 hours continued with a non-stop flow of patients, so that by 3am, I'd seen about 35 cases -- works out to about 8 to 9 per hour, which is about 5 minutes per patient. I was so exhausted, but didn't get to rest till 4am, and even then, the adrenaline was pumping, and my "nap" was fitful at best. At 5am, my pager alarm went off, and it was back to work. At about 5:45am, a frontseat passenger from a van involved in an accident was brought in, obtunded, in respiratory distress, and bleeding from multiple spots on his badly contused face. The senior ER physician on call came over to help intubate, and after a series of urgent CTs, the guy was sent up to the SICU. Doesn't look good, to be honest.

The rest of the shift was a constant stream of activity, and I admitted all my patients at around 7am, which probably stressed the on-call people in the wards. But now that I'm home, and trying to calm down so I can take a proper nap, darn it, I thought I'd post a bit on my very neglected blog. :)

Clay Aiken Has Hit Gold Status In Singapore!

Yes, this was conveyed to us local fans via email by Katherine, the lawyer who was interviewed by The New Paper for the Claymate feature last week. BMG Singapore reports that Measure Of A Man has pushed more than 7,500 copies in less than a week, and thus qualifies as a gold record. If it hits 15,000, it will achieve platinum status.

Of course, we have no doubts at all that it WILL hit platinum. It's only a matter of when. Congratulations, Clay!
I've emailed my friend in Raleigh to ask her to forward this piece of news to Clay's friend from the YMCA, who has been faithfully sending our emails to Clay and confirmed that he does read them all. Our thanks to them both for their invaluable help!

Review of Maksim's The Piano Player

Belated, yes. I got this CD before Measure Of A Man, but have been very preoccupied with the latter, haha! However, this is by no means less astounding in any way. Maksim is a fantastic pianist, with an exuberant style and excellent skills on the ivories. His choice of material is key to the success of this album, and he has certainly done well, picking a wide range of well-loved classical pieces, interspersed with other predominantly technically challenging ones, and a few hauntingly beautiful melodies.
"The Dance of the Baroness" is an eye-popping display of showmanship and technique that will clear any suspicions you may have about Maksim being a younger version of Richard Clayderman. Unlike the mediocre ladies of Bond, Maksim actually has talent.
"Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini", by none other than Rachmaninov, that maestro of impossibly difficult pieces that boggle the mind, is done superbly, and with a synthesizer too!
"Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor" is given a futuristic sound reminiscent of the 80s, but the familiar chords fit in perfectly, and the arpeggios from the violins thankfully sound authentic. I love this piece!
Other uptempo pieces that are guaranteed to wake you up even if you're half-dead would be "Croatian Rhapsody" and "Wonderland". If you fancy slow and mellow, "Claudine" and "Hana's Eyes" will capture you with their simple yet poignant melodies.
"Handel's Sarabande" conjures up images of the Victorian era, with a nice effect that makes the piano sound like a harpsichord, while "Exodus" is gorgeous with its Middle-Eastern intro, layered string arrangement, and yes, that pumping disco beat in the background. Wow!
Last but not least, listen to "Cubana" in 2 different versions, one heavy on techno, the other on traditional Latin rhythm.

For maximal enjoyment, strap on your headphones ( headsets, NOT earplugs ), turn up the volume, sit back and relax, or bob your head to the music. Or you can blast it in the car. Either way, you'll love it.
A terrific album that is a major breakthrough in its genre. You can sample it at That CD Shop, located at Pacific Plaza along Scotts Road, Tanglin Mall and Great World City. Enjoy!


So much has happened that I have to lump them all together, aargh!

The finale of the latest season of "Alias" was more than a week ago, but the shocking ending had me dumbfounded and in tears. A stunningly executed fight scene between Sydney ( Jennifer Garner ) and Fran ( her "friend" who's actually a genetically altered enemy spy ) culminates in Sydney's disappearance and later reappearance in Hong Kong, where she receives heartbreaking news from boyfriend Michael Vaughn ( Michael Vartan ) that she'd been missing for 2 years, and that he'd married someone else. Oh no! How long do I have to wait for the next season!?!? I just can't believe what geniuses the show's writers are. This easily ranks among the best TV shows I've ever seen -- the others include "ER", "CSI", and "Seinfeld". Bravo!

And speaking of "ER", although I was made aware that Singapore is about 3 seasons behind the current series in the US and the UK, I wouldn't miss the journey for the world. Last Sunday had Dr. Mark Greene battling the recurrence of his brain tumour, going through marital conflict, and enduring the terrible side effects of stereotactic radiotherapy. One scene showed him stepping out onto the street after being told that his tumour was inoperable. With the crowds of people milling around him, his loneliness and despair was still very palpable. "ER" never fails to instill every episode with something deeply profound and memorable, which is why I'm such a huge fan. Just read the credits at the end of each show, and you will see a few M.D.s in the form of "technical advisors". Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

"The Practice" is back on Monday nights at 11:30pm. The last season had Bobby and Lindsey fighting a court battle to clear her of first degree murder, which they subsequently lost. I can't wait to see what happens next. :)

And on the champions' edition of "Fear Factor", my personal favourite, Mark Hewlett from South Africa, beat everyone else to emerge the victor, woohoo! This blonde, blue-eyed hunk has been my pick from the very beginning, and shines with a great personality, admirable sportsmanship, and the ability to triumph not just through physical strength alone, but with patience and faith. Watching him celebrate his win at the end of 3 arduous, tortuous stunts put a big smile on my face. And guess what? He will be using his $100,000 to help his family out of some financial troubles, rather than spending it on something frivolous like other past winners. He truly deserves to be Fear Factor champion. :D

Okay then, time to get some shuteye. I'm watching out for news from RCA in the US regarding Clay's platinum status there -- rumours are rife, but we still need the record company's confirmation.
Anyway, if you're a Clay fan like me, and have some spare time, try scrolling through my blog's archives ( located on the right hand side ). I was feeling a little nostalgic, and read through some of my posts on Clay in the months of March through May this year, when he was on American Idol. It's quite amazing that I singled him out as early as the wild card show, and predicted he would reach the finals and go on to great success. I'm so glad I was right!

Till next time, have a good day, and thanks for reading. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Looks like Christmas is arriving early this year!

Here's a link to the video clips of Clay singing The First Noel on Good Morning America. I never really liked this carol till now, and seeing Clay with a X'mas tree is.... just.... never mind. :P

GMA The First Noel

I especially enjoyed the outtakes. Clay always has such a great sense of humour about everything, and these are moments that I really wish I could've seen in person. :)

And, here's part 2 of Fred Bronson's interview with Clay for Billboard. Another terrific piece!

My thanks to the many fans on for posting these links!

Friday, October 17, 2003

And just before I knock off my shift, here's something for you to chew on. Excellent review, and from Billboard, no less!

Billboard Article on Measure of a Man

Great Post from -- local journalists take note!

The link is here.

I've also transferred the whole thing in case you want to read it over here.

Some thoughts from a professional by compman1
Okay, "professional" might be stretching it. I am a "serious" musician who has been writing songs since he was about 14(now 34). I grew up playing electric guitar (lead and rhythm) in hard rock bands and went on to become a "classical" composer(orchestra, piano, strings, and so forth). I am currently a professor of music theory and composition. I still enjoy writing "pop" songs though it is not my focus. Now that you know my background, please consider what I have to say about Clay, his album (which I thoroughly enjoy), and the music critics:

I am sure that there are many of you who are bummed about the bad reviews Measure Of A Man is receiving. Even though you probably expected it, it still gets your blood boiling, right? It's like a personal attack--"you like this garbage, so you must be stupid and gullible" seems to be the attitude of most reviewers out there.

PLEASE remember, that musicians and critics are two completely different animals. The reality is this: even the musicians who get rave reviews from critics have very little respect for music critics. Most musicians NEED good reviews, however, and so they court the critics as necessary. Sometimes a phenom like Clay comes along and simply doesn't need the reviews to succeed. The critics become irrelevant, and I imagine they don't appreciate being a footnote(not getting advance copies). I think this does explain some of the "mean" reviews.

However, at the same time, I believe that these reviewers are telling the truth when they say they don't like the album. The truth is, critics are usually mediocre musicians and excellent writers (of words). I would rather read book reviews, because at least the critics are writing about their own area of expertise! When you read a pop-music review, the opinion of that particular writer is about as valid as the kid you know down the street who plays in a garage band. You know, the one who can play rhythm okay but isn't good enough to play solos. The one who thinks he is a lot better than he actually is. The one who has about as much chance of making it big as your 86 year old grandmother(unless your grandma knows Clive Davis).

Most excellent musicians(like studio musicians who never get famous, or classical musicians who play in orchestras) are very open-minded about styles of music and wouldn't hate something simply because of the genre. That is because an advanced musician can critique a piece of music of ANY genre. To simply say that a song is bad because it is too "easy-listening" is a ridiculous way to think about music but that is exactly what most music critics do. When musicians listen to music, they say, okay, this a heavy-metal song so I will listen with those types of ears. Is it a good heavy-metal song? To simply say it stinks BECAUSE it's a heavy-metal song is ludicrous. But that is what most reviewers nowadays do. "It's pop-pablum" they say. Or it's good because it is "edgy."

They also think Clay has no talent because he doesn't write the songs himself. Again, MUSICIANS who know anything know that some musicians are performers and some are composers. Yo-Yo Ma isn't a composer. Does that mean he has no talent? These types of reviewers reveal their mediocrity in the field of music when they make these types of generic statements.
They don't know enough about chord progressions, harmonies, how to write a good melody, form, orchestration, etc. to truly critique the quality of the music.

So don't get blue about the bad reviews. Laugh them off. Most musicians I have spoken with regard Measure of a Man as a great POP album. The songs are all well-written, the arrangements are strong, and Clay's performances are all outstanding. These are the types of things that MUSICIANS appreciate. Listen to the musicians, not the critics.

My comments: What a great post! And for your information, Clay DOES write his own songs, just that they haven't been made "public" yet. I have no doubts that he's got even more magic up his sleeve, and I can't wait to see it all happen -- hopefully in the near future. :)
Here's the link to the online version of The Straits Times' feature on Clay in the Life! section this morning.

Not the best reflection of Clay and his fans, but I never expected their writers to appreciate "the bigger picture" -- that it isn't just about Clay's music, but about Clay the person as well; that his fans aren't a bunch of crazed fanatics who stalk the poor guy ( I know so many of them and they're all such wonderful people ). Oh well...

Here's my review of Measure Of A Man

Invisible -- This was the first single released off the album, and an instant crowd favourite when Clay debuted it on the American Idol concert tour. A cover of a song done by UK boy band D-side, this version outshines the original and showcases Clay's amazing vocal range and immense power. The production is top-notch, and with Clay doing his own backup, the overlapping effect is absolutely terrific. A surefire #1 hit!

I Will Carry You -- When this was "leaked" as a 2-minute sampler back in June/July, I admit it wasn't one of my favourites. However, it's really growing on me now that I'm listening to it on my headphones and in my car, instead of some grainy version on my laptop. It starts off with an almost melancholy tone but the chorus soars as the lyrics turn uplifting: "When your world breaks down / And the voices tell you "Turn around" / When your dreams give out / I will carry you, carry you". I predict a steady climb up the charts. :)

The Way -- I loved this song when I first heard it last week on an American radio station broadcast, and it has certainly stuck! Beautiful melody with a rather dreamy intro, and a very lovely, romantic feel. The second verse goes: "Something 'bout the way you stay on my mind / There's something 'bout the way I whisper your name when I'm asleep / Maybe it's the look you get in your eyes / Oh baby it's the way that makes me feel to see you smile". I never tire of it. :D

When You Say You Love Me -- Written by Darren Hayes ( from the now-defunct Savage Garden ), this is a pleasant and sweet pop piece, in the tradition of Hayes' well-known style in "Affirmation", "The Animal Song" and "I Knew I Loved You". It really suits Clay, and gives the album a nice, versatile feel -- like having great dessert after a sumptuous meal. :)

No More Sad Song -- The songwriter was reportedly very excited about the fact that "Song" is singular, not plural, so let me just highlight that as well. ;) Very Elton John-ish, infused with a bit of rock. Clay does a good interpretation, and his voice fits the overall mood very well.

Run To Me -- My favourite of the 5 "samplers" I heard a few months ago, and the full song is fantastic! "Soon as you get that feeling you can start to live again / Soon as the worst is over you can make it all make sense / Right now I can't give you what you need / Soon as you get that feeling / Run to me". Get a load of the bridge after the 2nd chorus refrain, which gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it. Clay's voice hits unbelievably tough notes, and manages to convey all the longing and pain contained within the gorgeous lyrics. I'm not going to print the words to that bit -- you're going to have to listen to it yourself in order to get the "full experience", which I guarantee is worth it! Another hit in the bag!

Shine -- Clearly an inspirational piece, with a pop/rock tempo. Upbeat and enjoyable. Will very likely grow on me. :)

I Survived You -- Like No More Sad Song, this one's also about getting over someone who's hurt you. If you've ever been through a breakup, you'll identify with both of them. I Survived You isn't easy to interprete, with lyrics in the form of long sentences compressed into the 4/4 tempo format. Another foray into the rock genre, and Clay shines. Good job!

This Is The Night -- Ah, Clay's signature piece. :) Featured on his CD single, together with Bridge Over Troubled Water, this is listed as a "bonus cut", but is of course greatly welcomed, as we relive his awesome performance on the American Idol finals. The lyrics "I've been waiting forever for this / This is the night" certainly describes his own life very accurately. I can still remember how he looked when he belted this out on AI, and subsequently on the AI tour. We're reliving it with you, Clay. We always will! :D

Perfect Day -- Brings back comparisons to Elton John yet again ( for me, anyway :P). Has that 80s rock style to it, but hey, Clay can sing anything, so yes, I like it!

Measure Of A Man -- Definitely my favourite track on the album. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it ( it had its world premiere on Singapore radio, woohoo! ). Wonderful, moving lyrics, with an amazing musical arrangement, making it both introspective yet deeply inspiring. "Would he walk on water / Would he run through fire / Would he stand before you when it's down to the wire / Would he give his life up to be all he can / Is that, is that, is that how you measure a man?" Clay may have lung-bursting vocal power, but there's a bit in this song where his voice turns gentle, and the degree of control is unbelievable. This song is a masterpiece, but no-one except Clay can make this his own. No cover versions please!

Touch -- The icing on the cake! The album ends off with a very sensual love song, complete with pumping mid-tempo beats, tight guitar riffs, and some Latin pop infused for good measure. Imagine sun-drenched beaches, a breath-taking sunset, then put Clay in the middle of that. I need to sit down. :D

People may say this review is horribly biased, but considering the fact that I listen to everything from Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Sting, John Mayer and George Michael, to Phil Collins, Barbra Streisand, Norah Jones, Celine Dion and Robbie Williams, Clay (to me, anyhow) has one of the best voices I've ever heard, and never fails to surprise me with his versatility and awesome vocal prowess. The fact that he's a great individual as well definitely helps me enjoy his music even more. I just wish detractors would try to learn more about him instead of basing their views on his "dorky appearance", or making snide comments when they don't understand his appeal.

The next thing to look forward to will be Clay's many music videos! I've got a few ideas floating around:

Run To Me -- Definitely should include rain. E.g. Clay standing in a darkened room looking out the window as it pours outside.

Touch -- Clay dressed in something very stylish ( e.g. leather jacket, fire-red shirt open at the collar ) singing on the beach at sunset, maybe with a fiesta in the background. Just don't make the object of his affection too skimpily dressed. :P

Measure Of A Man -- This is sung in a third-person format, so the video might work with Clay telling the story of a separate couple, ie. about how a man loses everything he has and how the woman he loves stands by him through it all. This is the video I'm looking forward to the most, so I hope the producers don't spoil it!

Well, it's been wonderful to be able to put my thoughts down after a long wait for Clay's CD. I highly recommend it to everyone. It's a must for any collection, and I'm sure it will "Clayvert" many who aren't already fans. Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

It's been a tiring day but our errands are completed -- well, most of them at least -- so here's a short post before I flop down in the armchair for a bit.

The 2nd major Singaporean Claymate Dinner is on tonight at Hard Rock Cafe. Sorry I couldn't join you all -- need to rest up 'cos of a very busy schedule and my recent bout of post-influenza vaccine reaction -- but the email updates are great, and whoever is responsible for getting us Clay posters blown up to double the size of that in the CD: thank you thank you thank you! :)

Here're links to 2 interviews with Clay:

JoJo and Jay Leno

I managed to watch him on Leno, and he did a fantastic job with "Invisible" -- to me, it sounds a lot like one of those "MTV Unplugged" sessions, which suits Clay just fine. Lets him stretch his amazing voice instead of being forced to fight a constant battle with the band. Check out the moves as well ( especially all the microphone-grabbing :P ) -- relaxed, confident, and very, very nice. :)

I was in town today, and dropped by Borders for a look in the CD section. Only 2 copies of Measure Of A Man were left, woohoo! Not too sure about HMV at The Heeren, but a fellow fan tells me those at the Citilink branch are selling out fast.

I took the opportunity to walk through the new That CD Shop at Pacific Plaza. It's got 2 floors, and retains its trademark stylish decor ( though black isn't exactly my favourite colour ). They said they hadn't received Clay's CDs as yet, but I didn't ask about the status of their pre-orders.

Anyway, I discovered this album from Maksim, a pianist who fuses classical with dance beats. My apologies for being a little vague, 'cos I don't know anything about him as yet, just that I heard his versions of The Flight of the Bumble Bee and Exodus on radio the other night, and decided to sample his CD and see if it's worth buying. Verdict? I bought it. :) Will post more once I'm more familiar with the pieces -- might take a while, though, 'cos I'm getting my copy of Measure Of A Man tomorrow, yay! ;)

Time to recuperate from a long day. Working again tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Unbelievable News!!!

Fellow Singaporean Clay Aiken fans, news of our package has arrived -- I'm trying to type coherently but failing miserably right now :D

Let me break this into parts:

1. The sweet lady in Raleigh who helped forward our gifts emailed me just a while ago. She met Clay's mom, Faye, IN PERSON, at the CD release party in his hometown, and passed her the parcel personally. Can't get better than that! :) Mrs. Parker said "Thank you", but didn't open it at the party itself. We expect that she will open it soon, and of course, we hope to hear from her as well. :D

2. This same lady from Raleigh has established direct email contact with one of Clay's close friends from the YMCA, and she has been kindly forwarding fanmail from myself and the other fans to Clay. She confirms that the emails do get through to him, including a very recent MP3 file I sent containing the world premiere of Measure Of A Man over the Perfect 10 just last week. DJ Jamie Yeo's glowing comments and a mention of the core group of Claymates' names is in that file. Clay's friend is very sure he has it in his inbox, and may have already heard it as well. He may or may not contact me directly, but I think he'll forward a message through his friend. Many thanks for doing us this favour! :)

3. I have now forwarded the New Paper feature article too. It's very nicely written, and I'm very relieved! Any guesses as to who the "doctor" is? :P Our main spokespersons, Fynn and Katherine, did a great job of putting the main points across in a very graceful manner. Kudos to the reporter for showing that Clay's appeal extends far and wide, and that his fans share his beliefs and values.

I've posted the article on You can see the responses here.

I'm post-night and need to get some shuteye soon 'cos I have choir practice tonight and will need to drive quite a bit. But this is indeed amazing news, and we're all so grateful to our friends in Raleigh for helping us out. Watch this space for more updates!

Will leave you with the transcript of the article from The New Paper.

Front Page headline:

"S'pore docs, lawyers, bankers go ga ga over this guy. WHY?"

Inside Story:

American Idol 2 runner-up Clay Aiken already has a fan club here which includes professionals

By JeanMarie Tan

Clay Aiken may have lost American Idol 2, but he is idolised by many women right here in Singapore.

Pale, lanky and geeky, the 24-year-old runner-up of the TV series is more popularly known for being The Voice than The Heartthrob.

Yet, a fan club is being set up for the singer, a fan website is up and running ( ), and a party will be thrown at the end of this month to celebrate the launch of his debut album, Measure Of A Man, which is to be released in Singapore today.

But it isn't a bunch of crazy, screaming teenage groupies who are devoting time, effort and money to Claymania.
Rather, the bulk of the 40 members on the official mailing list are professionals in their mid- to late 20s who met on Internet chat boards.
The comprise doctors, lawyers, bankers, accountants and, of course, the usual suspects -- 12-year-old students and middle-aged mums.

But even adults are capable of the occasional bursts of fanatic behaviour.
Some bought around 10 copies of the Oct 8 issue of The New Paper just because Aiken's promotional advertisement was in it.
And all of them are each intending to buy 7 copies of his album -- all because Aiken once joked in an interview that it was the best thing fans could do for him.
They meet once a week and each spends a couple of hours on the Internet downloading his latest performance clips or reading message boards.


Two lucky fans even travelled as far as NewYork -- to watch him at the American Idol concert tour in July.
Even the winner of AI2, Ruben Studdard, hasn't been receiving the kind of adulation from fans here.
Studdard's debut CD, Souldful, will be released here on November 11.

Ms. Fynn Cheng, 25, one of the original organizers of the club, only watched the last episode of the series -- but his vocal talent was enough to wow her.
Said the risk analyst at a bank, who also helps to maintain the website: "After finding out more about his background, I was very impressed with the things he stood for. He's not the run-of-the-mill, snooty celebrity."

Aiken was a special education teacher who worked with disabled and autistic children at the YMCA before he joined the series. He has since started the Bubel-Aiken Foundation in aid of kids with mental disabilities.

But why does Aiken attract such a sophisticated crowd here?
Ms. Cheng said: "Teenyboppers are always chasing the latest fad, but for us, Clay reminds us of the dorky, high-school first love. Older women also like to mother him. He's a smart chap, and I think intellectual women connect with him on that level."

Which is why these women don't spend their executive dollars on a landslide of merchandise like posters, T-shirts or other assorted collectibles.
Their only Clay-related extravagances? Magazines -- but only if they contain a cover story or feature on Aiken.

Lawyer Katherine Teo, 29. who has never followed any other pop star's career as fervently as Aiken's, added: "What excites me about being a Clay fan is that we've reached this point where you have the money to do something about it.
We're planning to give awa the extra copies of the albums we buy to people who can't afford it -- we call it Claying It Forward!"

So you see, it's not exactly idol worship -- charity is their real motivation.
According to Ms. Teo, she wants the club to unofficially "adopt" the Autism Association of Singapore.
Ms. Cheng added: "That's why we're working hard on the activities and the website which contains links to various organizations, to raise awareness of autism here. We see Clay as a kind of vehicle, a platform."

Monday, October 13, 2003

Night shift, and so far it's been quiet. Exam period have anything to do with it? Please let it stay like this for the rest of the night! I'm having a mild sore throat and runny nose, and residual fatigue which I tried to sleep off this afternoon. Need some help...

Anyway, Dave Barry's email address is now prominently displayed on his blog, and I dropped him a short one yesterday, which he replied to really quickly. Thank goodness he didn't put my email up on his website, haha! I asked him what he thought of Clay Aiken, and he said, "Clay who?" Well, at least he's honest -- but then, he could just be pulling my chain. Nice guy. :D

It's now past midnight, officially October 14 :) Yes, you know what I'm talking about! Clay's CD is due out this morning in Singapore, then all over the US! I probably won't get my own copy till Thursday, 'cos I'm getting it from another fan, but it's a happy event, and look out for a feature on local Claymates in The New Paper today. The interview was done with a young lady who's now also a close friend of mine, and she expressed some concerns that the reporter she spoke to may write from a not-so-flattering angle. Well, let's hope that doesn't happen. But if it does, this blog will definitely have something to say about it! ;) Must remember to get a copy... no photos of us, though.
Also, those of you who manage to get your hands on Measure Of A Man will see some CD inserts on the newly set up local fansite for Clay at That would be us! :D

I'm trying to find the clip for his interview with Diane Sawyer on Primetime, but here's a brief transcript of it on the ABCNews website.

And look! Interview with Rick Dees from American Top 40 download here!

Or how about this nice article, which explains the origin of Clay's WWJD bracelet? ( What a great story :))

And one that I like a lot, because Clay talks about how he fought hard to include "Measure Of A Man" in his album, despite the RCA executive's attempts to cut it out of the final product. ( MOAM is my favourite track so far, and lots of other fans love it -- what planet are these RCA people from?!

It's 4am right now, and the shift turned really bad just after I started writing this entry. I saw an NS man with serious psychological problems, who tried to intimidate me into extending his medical leave, probably because he succeeded in doing so with the MO who last saw him a few days ago. Imagine a big-sized fellow barging into your consultation room, screaming his head off and threatening to lodge a complaint and what not, looking at you like he's going to beat you to a pulp if you refuse to give him more MC. I admit that I was indeed quite taken aback, and the thought of losing an eye did cross my mind, but I stood my ground, and since his mom was just standing by passively, I took over her role and gave the guy a piece of my mind. I've been saying "Stop it!" a lot lately. Patients can be such babies ( they're often of the male variety, tsk tsk. ). Anyway, after a lengthy conversation with his lieutenant ( whom the patient called himself ), we both agreed not to extend his MC, and my registrar, who got called out to see him as well, stood firm and supported my plan. Last I heard, the fellow stomped off in a huff, but might return or perhaps make a nuisance of himself at another ER. I just hope I never see him again. But then, if I do, he'll know exactly what to expect. :)

My blood started to reboil a little a while ago, when a lady with a foreign body lodged in her left lung got wheeled in complaining of chest pain. Surgical removal had been previously excluded as a viable option in view of the risks involved, but this woman is very hypersensitive about her condition, and insisted on an urgent CT scan of her chest the minute she arrived. I explained that it might not be necessary ( because I usually do simpler tests first and assess the patient's clinical picture as well ), and the next thing out of her mouth was, "I can sue you for negligence." Okay then, next time, maybe we should just let all our patients diagnose and treat themselves. We'll just do whatever they want, and the people upstairs can go and handle the rest.
Anyhow, thank goodness she calmed down soon after, though she did get admitted because she's convinced her symptoms will recur the minute she gets home. Good luck, Ward **.

30 minutes to go before my rest time. No more surprises please!!!

This is a belated post, at 8am, and just want to add this GREAT REVIEW OF MEASURE OF A MAN. All I can say is, this is just the beginning! Way to go, Clay! :D

By the way, "Monk" reruns start on cable tonight -- Channel 18, either 8 or 9pm. I've already seen the first season, but I may just tune in again, 'cos I love the show so much. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2003

The fever has passed, but the lethargy lingers. Seems I'm not the only one who experienced symptoms after the influenza vaccine. At least 2 other MOs had malaise and myalgia, but they managed to sleep it off. Hmmm... if I'd stayed home on Friday, I probably would've been okay yesterday, and the poor standby MO wouldn't have been called down to cover me. Mom! Take note the next time I tell you I don't feel well -- I'm not being lazy! :)

Now my throat's starting to hurt a bit. I've got night shift tomorrow, choir practice in church on Tuesday ( though I'm just playing piano, not singing ), and a day off ( but spent running errands yet again ) on Wednesday. I was supposed to get next Friday off as well, but am now working the afternoon shift as payback to the MO who covered my duty last night. Sigh. The only upside to all this is that I'll get Clay's CD this week, hopefully on Wednesday. Nothing like some great music from Clay to make me feel better. :D

The shift today has been pretty all right so far. We've got the usual NS boys with an assortment of complaints that need sifting through. I've been pretty generous with the medical leave, mostly because I am more sympathetic when I don't feel well myself, but also because I'm just not in the mood to argue with them ( some of these army guys are experts at begging or twisting your arm, though none of them showed up with overly concerned parents, to my relief ). Only 2 more hours to go. Help...

My apologies to those who've been checking for more excerpts from The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. I'm still reading it faithfully, but have decided to stop posting about it, partly because of time constraints, and lalso the fact that I'm usually logged on without the book beside me, or if I do have it, I'm too busy with something else to write anything substantial about it. I've already missed quite a few chapters, and don't want to write on all of them at one go, so I hope what I posted here before has piqued your interest sufficiently, 'cos a few of my friends have bought the book at my suggestion, and agree that it's terrific. One of them suggests TecMan, a Christian bookshop at Bras Basah Complex, which has this in the soft cover version, costing less than $20. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Anyway, here's a really funny post from a fan about the video shoot for "Invisible". Lucky, lucky girl. :D

And here're some photos of Clay.

Was meaning to write about the trailer for Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, but was sidetracked by the world premiere of Clay's Run To Me on Singapore radio. :P I watched it again today, and wow, it is awesome! The Two Towers was grand, and The Fellowship Of The Ring was inspiring, but this last installment promises to be both, and perhaps a lot more. Scenes featuring Gandalf never fail to dazzle. In the first chapter of the trilogy, we had him confronting the demon Balrog in the mines of Moria, as he waved his staff and demonstrated his power in order to protect his charges. Then, at Helm's Deep, he charged down the mountain with an army of soldiers, the white light from his staff blinding his enemies before he leapt into their midst and engaged in battle. Now, in this final chapter, he rides across an open field, his staff illuminating the sky once again. Wow!
Of course, it's always a great pleasure to see familiar faces once more, especially Aragorn ( my favourite, played by the ruggedly handsome and intense Viggo Mortensen ) and Legolas ( Orlando Bloom, in fine form ). The battle scenes promise to be of even greater epic proportions, and Aragorn might face a love triangle situation as well.

The film opens in New Zealand on December 1st, with all the stars and the director, Peter Jackson, in attendance. I was hoping to see them on the red carpet, but my trip to NZ starts only on the 5th. However, I hope to immerse myself in the adrenaline-filled atmosphere, as the movie will officially open on December 17th, while I am touring the North Island. I have also signed up for some LOTR tours in Christchurch and Wellington, which have received rave reviews. Can't wait! :D

Survivor: Pearl Islands is getting very interesting. I'm still a little miffed that it didn't win the Emmy for Best Reality Series ( The Amazing Race got that one ). Although I like The Amazing Race, I think it's a lot more challenging to keep viewers interested in a show that does NOT offer non-stop action. The Amazing Race has tonnes of this, no doubt, and its educational value is unsurpassed. But the Survivor series is an excellent study in human nature in all its various complex forms. I never once imagined watching a bunch of scruffy adults marooned in the wild for 39 days would be so compelling. And the finale is always full of surprises.

With the Pearl Islands season, the producers manipulate the participants in a very cruel manner. Since the cameramen follow the players around and record their every move ( except for the bathing and toileting ), strategies are taken note of, and in the latest episode, the powers that be decided to throw in a whammy of a twist to throw the teams off balance. When the Drake tribe, after a winning streak of 6 challenges, finally couldn't stand one of their members anymore and decided to lose on purpose so they could go to tribal council to vote the irritating person off, host Jeff Probst threw them a curve ball by letting the winning Morgan tribe pick someone from Drake to join their team. As I predicted, Rupert, the guy who looks like a smaller-sized Hagrid ( that's the giant from the Harry Potter films ), ended up as first choice. In the next episode, we will see Rupert teaching the Morgan tribe members how to fish -- something they never got round to learning. Just seeing the happy looks on their faces after having to survive on coconuts and other pathetic cuisine for the past 10 days is enough to keep me glued to my TV set.

Right now, there are 2 strong contenders for the title: Rupert ( everyone loves him, he's the strongest physically, and a great asset as a food provider ), and Andrew the celebrity lawyer ( I read that he's represented either Jerry Springer or Howard Stern ). The latter is popular, and a good leader. He's also smart and keeps a low profile, but reads people very well and makes savvy decisions.

Osten is the most intriguing so far. This African-American is big on attitude and muscle power, but has a habit of collapsing under pressure at the worst times. He gave up a few episodes ago after his tribe lost yet another challenge, but rose to the occasion not long after in a physically exhausting competition that he eventually lost. Then, in the latest reward challenge, he panicked while out in the ocean, and had to be brought back to shore by 2 of his fellow team-mates. Surprisingly, he has remained strong since his first breakdown. Things should improve with Rupert on board, and I sincerely hope Osten will do better in future episodes.

And as for The Bachelor 3, the kiss-fest has begun! Andrew is getting into game form and smooching every single lady he dates, even getting a few of them pretty riled up ( one practically interrogated him, irritating him -- and myself -- no end ). It's part of the process, woman. If you're going to be possessive, you're on the wrong show! The lady he chooses in the end is again not given much screen time. She doesn't even get a one-on-one date with Andrew in this episode, and he is completely hung on Kirsten ( or Kristen, I forget ). Well, I like the lady he FINALLY chooses, so I'm looking forward to seeing how their relationship blossoms and he discovers something about her that he loves.

Boy, am I tired. Good thing it's a pretty quiet shift, or I'd be really depressed right now. Till tomorrow then. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2003

All I can say is, the influenza vaccine is potent. As part of a nationwide campaign to immunize healthcare workers against this virus, in preparation for the coming winter months and any possible resurgence of SARS ( which mimics flu symptoms ), our department got our turn yesterday, and I got jabbed with the vaccine after my night shift ended.

What followed about 6 hours later was a general malaise, not unusual after a night shift ( for me, at least ). This then escalated into full-fledged myalgia, some nausea, and well, just a feeling of what I can best describe as "ickiness". I asked to stay home in the evening, but my mom, who takes bible study seriously, insisted that I go with her. That proved to be too much for me, and I subsequently developed a fever, and had a hard time driving home.

I didn't feel any better this morning, and had to take medical leave to recover. It isn't the fever that's getting to me, though. The muscle aches are terrible, and if you watched "Joe vs The Volcano" ( which starred a young and slim Tom Hanks and a very youthful Meg Ryan ), you'll know what I mean when I tell you I have a "brain cloud". Seeing patients when I can't even control a steering wheel properly would be suicidal, and my deepest apologies to the poor MO who got called back from standby to help cover my duty. But we practise mutual swapping of duties in such cases, so I hope that makes up for the inconvenience. :(

People tell me some others who were vaccinated also experienced side effects, from fever to fatigue, even vomiting. I just want this to pass quickly so I won't feel like I'm 100 years old anymore. Better take an extra tablet of Vitamin C after this.

Anyway, for you Clay Aiken fans out there, the lady from Raleigh who's relaying our package has gotten back to me. With Clay's CD due for worldwide release this coming Tuesday, Raleigh will be joining other US states, as well as selected countries all over the world, in holding CD release parties and celebrating this happy event. This lady will be attending the one held in Raleigh, and will be meeting Clay's close friends, and perhaps even his mother, Faye Parker. Watch this space for more updates on our parcel. Faye is known to email people to thank them, and we hope she'll respond after she's seen our gifts. Watch this space for more updates!

So far, I've heard quite a few tracks from Clay's CD, but Measure Of A Man remains my favourite, followed by Run To Me. I just heard Touch, which has a Latino feel to it, and is extremely sensual. I'm just wondering about the music videos, considering his "troubles" with his superiors at RCA Records. C'mon, can't they just let him make his own decisions? He's a lot more sensible than most young artistes out there after all.

Only 2 days more till we get our hands on his album. :)

Friday, October 10, 2003

It just keeps getting better and better!

This is the link for three -- yes, THREE! -- more new songs from Clay Aiken's debut album, Measure Of A Man, due for release on October 14. My favourite is Measure Of A Man, followed by The Way and When You Say You Love Me. They're all fabulous, but MOAM touches my heart in a way I really can't describe. It's gorgeous, and Clay makes it a true classic. What a performance!

Measure Of A Man, The Way and When You Say You Love Me

You have to listen to it yourself in order to understand what I'm going through! Trust me, you'll love them all, and I can confidently say that Clay's album is going to set new records in sales and on the music charts. :)

Before I sign off, here're the lyrics from MOAM , with thanks to Charm, another Singaporean Clay fan. :) Poignant and inspiring, bravo!

If one day you discover him
Broken down he's lost everything
No cars, no fancy clothes to make him who he's not.
The woman at his side is all that he has got
Why do you ask him ro move to heaven and earth
To prove his love has worth?

Would he walk on water
Would he run through fire
Would he stand before you
When it is down to the wire
Would he give his life up
To be all he can,
Is that, is that, is that how you measure a man?

If by chance all he had to give you
Was three words wrapped around his finger
Would that be deep enough at the end of every day
And how will you ever know
If a man is what he says?

Why do you ask him to move heaven and earth
To prove his love has worth?
Would he walk on water?
Would he run through fire?
Would he stand before you
When it's down to the wire?
Would he give his life up to be all he can?
Is that, is that, is that how you measure a man?

He never gives up
Let's go of his dreams
His world goes around **everyone who believes**
Is that how you know
Is that what it means?

Would he walk on water
Would he run through fire
Would he stand before you
Will he be your anchor When the dark unfolds
will he always love you the best that he knows

Would he give his life up
To be all he can
Is that, is that, is that how you measure a man

Would he walk on water
Would he run through fire
Would he stand before you
When it is down to the wire
Would he gave his life up
To be all he can,

Is that, is that, is that, how you measure a man?

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Wolrd Premiere Of Clay Aiken Songs On Singapore Radio

I should've posted this last night, but the boards were going crazy and I was busy emailing lots of other Clay fans, so here's a belated update, with ample time for you to glue your ears to the radio later tonight. :)

Jamie Yeo, host of Say It With Music on Perfect 10 98.7FM, has been given the green light to play songs from Clay's Measure of a Man debut album this week, ahead of the US -- well, ahead of the rest of the world, really! I couldn't believe it at first, but this has been confirmed by everyone on the Net, and we're privileged and honoured to be able to hear Clay's wonderful music FIRST! Woohoo!

She played the full version of I Will Carry You on Tuesday, and Run To Me last night. Most of us were caught offguard on Tuesday, but yesterday, we posted on various boards before Run To Me aired, and tonnes of fans all over the world jammed the Perfect 10 website in the process, shutting out those who tried to join later. Thankfully, another local Claymate who's very computer-savvy saved the transmission onto an MP3 file format, and we shared it with our compatriots on the Net, and it is now circulating widely, and is making BIG news. I don't think anyone can figure out why Singapore was chosen to premiere these songs in the first place, but we're not complaining!

I'll write the more important stuff first before talking about Run To Me.

Tonight ( Thursday October 9 ), Jamie will be playing Measure Of A Man -- the full song, which is also the title of the album -- on Perfect 10, sometime between 8 and 10pm. She played IWCY and RTM between 9 and 9:30pm these past 2 nights, so it'll probably follow the same trend today, though it may still vary. You can listen to it on the Net by going to the Perfect 10 website and clicking on "live radio" at the top. But if it gets jammed again, just hang around fansites like Neurox or ( the place I frequent most )'s Forum, and you'll be able to get the MP3 file sooner or later.

Last night was unbelievable, but that might be an understatement! Read this to experience the "madness". :P But the Clay It Forward movement is alive and well, and now Singapore has the opportunity to lead it. :)

Before I sign off, my impressions of Run To Me:

I first got a taste of the song from some "leaked" samples on the Net, and loved it immediately. It has a beautiful melody, wonderful lyrics, and no-one except Clay could've sung it better. The full version, though, blew me away! There's a bridge after the chorus refrain, where Clay's voice gains power and hits really high notes, and the words include "How can I be brave enough to say goodbye / I'd die inside without you". WOW! This is clearly such a winner. Another #1 hit for sure.

If you can't download it from the Net ( the various sites hosting the file are crashing due to overload :D ), you can email me at and I'll send it to you directly. But I won't be logged on again till tonight after 9 ( night shift ), so go to, look for the thread from the link I provided, and just try to contact anyone who already has the file. You HAVE to hear this!

Time to go. I've got lots of errands to run today. Don't forget to tune in to the Perfect 10 tonight!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Cool News From ( just got it in an email )

Read the Time article on Clay ( link provided about 2 posts below this one ) in order to understand this "mission". It's hilarious and ingenious!

Operation Vanilla for a Change (aka Let Clay Be Clay) -- care of Good Baby Brush from the website ( my favourite! :))

The mission couldn't have been accomplished without the relentless and creative efforts several very special Clay fans ( I won't name them here -- just know this was a team effort from the wonderful citizens of the PRoC) for their strategic planning, phone-calling and propaganda, er, letter-writing efforts. Thanks to all of them for letting me come in and play.

The first phase of the mission was to hit Robert Sanders and Steve Ferrera of RCA (and staff) with 10 pints of Ben & Jerry "Vanilla for a Change" ice cream. We found a B&J close enough to the executive offices to deliver, and the group came up with this note:

"Even revolutionaries get hungry, so take a break and enjoy a full seduction of the senses with this fully flavored "Vanilla for a change." Let Clay be Clay."

Next phase was to get a batch of vanilla to Clive Davis, but we hit a snag. His office isn't with the others and the Ben & Jerry's we were dealing with couldn't be pleaded or bribed into delivering that far away. Fortunately the intrepid Joel (at another B&J even farther away) was willing to be coerced into hauling his butt across town by taxi to deliver the goods!

5 pints of B&J Vanilla for a Change, cups, spoons, napkins, and of course, the note:

"To Clive Davis and staff:

Those on the edge don't follow the crowd. Try some "Vanilla for a Change," and Let Clay be Clay.

We followed this up with an oh-so cordial note to Josh Tyrangiel of Time Magazine (cc'd to his Managing Editor):

"Mr. Tyrangiel,

We want to write to thank you for your recent story on Clay Aiken. What we feel you may have overlooked is that Clay Aiken actually has a very sophisticated and internet-savvy fan base. Our tastes in music aren't pedestrian, quite the opposite. We feel that when the envelope has been pushed so far that those on the "edge" produce music as monotonously rhythmic and sexual as bad pornography, perhaps the true edge lies in the other direction.

Put simply, we've been starved for the cool, clean, sensual taste of vanilla...

And we're not alone. There is a reason Clay sold over 900,000 singles and why thousands of fans worldwide are meeting on October 14th to celebrate the release of his first album. It IS
a revolution.

If Clay Aiken is indeed vanilla, he's a richly textured delight to the senses. Clay's fans appreciate a fine vanilla and have made our tastes known by having some excellent Vanilla ice cream delivered to the executives of RCA today. We sent cartons of Ben & Jerry's "Vanilla for a Change." It just felt appropriate."

The ice-cream was delivered early this afternoon and we just got word from someone in the RCA offices that they're all delighted and laughing and got the joke and the Time references immediately.

This was a great success!

You bet it was, GBB!
This is "hot off the presses", so to speak. There'll definitely be a feature on this sometime in the near future, so remember you got the news pretty early here! If you want to get in on the buzz on the Net, just go to :D
This was posted at 0840hr Thursday morning -- my blog is rearranging my posts, and NOT in reverse chronological order, so please scroll down to October 9 for some important Clay Aiken news!

My consult room computer is driving me nuts. From the looks of it, it's probably operating on a Pentium 0.01 processor. Powers that be on the 3rd floor, Room 5 needs a newer PC!

Caught the pilot episode of "The Shield" last night. Will I watch it again? Probably not. It may have won the Golden Globe / Emmy, but I was quite turned off by the lead character played by Michael Chiklis, the same way I didn't like James Gandolfini in "The Sopranos". Certain TV shows of late have been termed "hip", or "cool", or "cutting edge", based solely on the presence of violence, foul language, and sordid material. "The Sopranos" is one of them, and looks like "The Shield" is following suit. "Six Feet Under" came close in season 2, but the people in it are already known to be psychologically abnormal ( one of them was sent to the asylum after all ), and the show doesn't glamourize bad behaviour as blatantly as the other shows. But that's just my opinion. :)

The lead character in "The Shield" looks like a thug, but I could care less about that, 'cos most of the series I enjoy don't feature lookers. But some of the jokes were in poor taste, and the detective is prone to bouts of violence and putting dog excrement in his colleague's drawer for laughs. Sorry, I just can't bring myself to like someone who behaves like this. My Tuesday nights are better spent doing other things.

If you want good crime shows on TV, just watch "CSI", or "NYPD Blue", or my personal favourite, "Monk". In the last one, Tony Shalhoub gives us a lovable and very original character -- a brilliant detective who is struck with obsessive-compulsive disorder after his wife's murder, rendering him incapable of staying on the police force, but garnering him many "special consultation" cases which the other detectives are never able to solve. Adrian Monk is hilariously kooky, with a big heart, and an obvious distaste for guilty criminals. I love it when he nails the culprit each week, 'cos the storylines are always full of surprises, and Monk gets to confront the perpetrator in the climactic scene. By the way, cable is screening the 1st season of this exceptional series later this month, on StarWorld Channel 18, I believe ( I keep seeing the words "coming soon" in the trailers ). Shalhoub has already picked up the Emmy for Best Actor in a TV Comedy Series for 2003 for his role. Do NOT miss it!

The Straits Times gleefully headlined 2 stories today with the words "Doctors In Trouble". One featured a GP who failed to diagnose a maid's pregnancy, and the other reported how Dr. Francis Seow Choen, a colorectal surgeon from SGH, was fined for keeping illegal, exotic reptiles. They said police came to know about it through a "tip-off", which of course, could be anything from:
1) a nasty neighbour
2) a disgruntled colleague, or
3) the supplier himself, who got his arm twisted, or struck a deal
Anyway, what I'd like to know is this: in a similar article on Dr. Seow yesterday, why did the reporter mention the surgeon by name, and the other guilty party as "another collector"? WHO is this other collector, and why isn't his/her name in the paper? Reasons, please.

Anyway, here's more from "The Purpose-Driven Life".

Chapter 6: Life is a temporary assignment / The world is not my home."

This bit reminds us that Earth is not our final home, a fact that many tend to forget easily. If anything, we should constantly focus on our existence AFTER death -- ie. God's eternal kingdom. Becoming too attached to our current lives / habitats makes us covet material things, but keeping in mind the prospect of heaven will help us resist acquiring "temporary crowns".

Chapter 7: The reason for everything / It's all for Him

The innocuous title belies the fact that this is a really fantastic chapter. It dwells on the glory of God -- what it is, where it is, how the Bible shows it in many instances. Very inspiring. Then, we read about how many of us do NOT bring glory to God, for whatever reason. I'm sure readers will identify with that! :) But fear not. The later part describes how we CAN bring Him glory, through worship, emulating Christ in every way possible, loving and serving others, and witnessing for Him.
It ends by asking an important question: What / who are you going to live for? Here, it might apply more to non-believers. The author invites the reader to believe and receive. This bit moved me very deeply, as I was reminded of a night almost a year ago, when I first truly accepted God into my life. As I've told others before, I "stood at the crossroads", and chose one path over the other. It is a decision I have never regretted.

I shall leave you with some Clay Aiken news. :) The other Singaporean fans emailed to tell me there's a big ad for his upcoming album in The New Paper today. Someone nicely scanned it in for me, and it has the headline "Who Is Your American Idol?", followed below by "Clay Aiken", superimposed over his album cover. At the bottom, it says Singapore versions will come with a Clay poster! Can't wait! :D

Here's the link to the Singapore update on -- with a picture of the Clay Aiken ad mentioned above! ( Scroll down :) )

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

re-minisce, nice to see you back in fine form here! Don't mind if I post a transcript of your comments. :D

"Doctors are ordinary people. Tell that to your fellowmen who make up Singapore. Go read the youngpap discussion boards, or the forums, or the channelnewsasia forums.
everyone there seems intent on slamming doctors as being overpaid, and everyone's talking about some "overcharging fiasco" which proves that doctors are really money-grubbing twin-horned devils in disguise, who, hour for hour shouldn't complain because, according to them, there are plenty of mcdonald's staff who work harder than us for a tenth our pay.

again, that wonderful Singaporean ability of seeing the world through prejudiced, and uninformed eyes - and being able to ignore all evidence to the contrary of your own biased viewpoint.

We need more people like you as our ministers. But don't think that'll ever happen. :)

Anyway, I made a short trip to the Singapore General Hospital around lunchtime today, after being chosen to accompany a sick lady who needed urgent dialysis. I've been in ambulances many times before, and thought I'd seen it all, but was appalled all over again today. En route to SGH, we travelled along the Central Expressway, near the Balestier turnoff. Most cars saw us coming and switched lanes pretty quickly, except for a black Mitsubishi (?Lancer), driven by a man ( ?age -- couldn't see his face clearly 'cos I was sitting in the back ). He was travelling at around 80-90 km/hr, but we were rushing our patient over, so we obviously had to go faster than that. Our ambulance driver tried everything, from flashing his headlights, to horning, and finally, sounding the siren ( my favourite part :)). You'd expect the fellow to give way by now, right? Wrong. He stubbornly stayed in the right lane, cruising along at the same speed, before eventually moving to the left just before we entered the tunnel. I think doing something like this is considered an offence, so here's his licence plate number: SFA 5670 G. Explain yourself, sir.

On the way back to my hospital, I had a nice chat with the ambulance driver. He told me that drivers in Singapore are "one kind", and once, when he was delivering urgent blood from the National Blood Bank for a patient here, he was delayed on the highway by a similar incident, and this guy actually had the gall to file a complaint with the hospital, saying that our driver drove dangerously by tailgating him! The powers that be on the 3rd floor decided to side the driver of the car, and issued a warning against our ambulance driver. Well then, if this is how you treat such cases, the next time someone you know needs urgent blood and its delivery is delayed, I'd like to hear your feelings about that. All I can say is, the wrong action was taken in this instance.

My 2 year-mates cleared the MRCS (A&E) Part 2 exams, so many congratulations to them both! My turn will come next year. Hope I'll get through on the first go. :)

Am currently playing John Mayer's Heavier Things in the car. I went through Sting's Sacred Love more than a week ago, but I can't post on that now, 'cos I can't recall most of it. :P However, Mayer's album, like his first one, Room For Squares, is the sort that grows on you after a few rounds. He doesn't sing that well, and his vocal range probably spans only one octave, but he succeeds in keeping his appealing rock/pop/bluesy/folksy style, and the more uptempo songs on this CD are really good. I like "Home Life" the most, followed by "Only Heart" and "Bigger Than My Body". I don't pay much attention to the lyrics, which mostly make little sense to me. In "Home Life", for example, Mayer sings "I want to live in the center of a circle / I want to live on the side of a square." Huh???

Some of the slower pieces are also well done, and you might notice that a lot of them don't start out that nicely, but build up gradually and become really enjoyable after the chorus. The main draw for me is Mayer's skill on the guitar, and the background accompaniment on this album is excellent. One song even has a violin! My main complaint would be the measly number of songs -- ten, compared to maybe 15 on Room For Squares. Makes it less of a bargain, but if you are a big fan of his, it's a worthwhile addition to your collection.

30 minutes to freedom, and I suspect I'm getting a crying kid next. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 06, 2003

Monday afternoon shift, and looks like the rain helped us out a bit. Mondays always worry us, 'cos patients have a habit of "cooking" over the weekend, before causing an avalanche at the ER on the very first day of the working week. But we did get quite a few cases of hip fractures, perhaps due to the wet conditions?

My thanks to Fred Bronson, who wrote that terrific Billboard article on Clay, for replying to my email. I don't usually expect a response, because I assume journalists are very busy and get a lot of mail from readers, but he wrote back really quickly, and was very gracious and appreciative of my comments. He also emailed other fans, telling them he greatly enjoyed interviewing Clay. Really nice guy. :)

One of the local Claymates I had the privilege of meeting -- the same one who met Clay in person in New Jersey -- has set up a new fansite at A visit there showed you need a login password, and she did tell us in an email that she'll be creating Internet accounts for us so we can use the site later on. No prizes for guessing my choice of username! I have a horrible memory when it comes to this sort of thing, so I have one universal username and password for everything. :D It's an exciting project, and we hope it'll help link all the Singaporean Clay fans into one common community.

Last night's episode of "ER" was excellent, as always, but all that angst and tragedy is making it really depressing. However, the cast makes it immensely enjoyable, and being a longtime follower of the show, I really feel for all the characters as they battle illness and other personal problems. The final scene for yesterday's installment had Dr. Mark Greene ( ie. the bald, bespectacled one ) lying down for an MRI brain. The camera then pans elsewhere, focussing on his personal effects on a nearby table -- his stethoscope, a small torch, keys, glasses. It lasted only 3 seconds tops, before the credits started rolling, but the message was clear: Doctors are human too. Stripped of our medical garb / equipment, we're vulnerable to everything. I suspect Dr. Greene will be killed off soon, 'cos the latest season ( from what I saw on the official website ) doesn't have Anthony Edwards on the cast anymore. Noah Wyle, aka Dr. John Carter, will become the "veteran" of the show, but I welcome that, 'cos Wyle has done very well in his role all these years, and is a fine actor in his own right. However, I wish Mediacorp would screen the show at a more sane hour! Anyone reading this?! :)

Not much to write about today. One more hour till I get off work. "Alias" is on tonight, woohoo!

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Less than 10 days to go before Clay Aiken's album release. :) The anticipation mounts!

This is the best Clay interview I've ever read, from Billboard. Don't miss it!
Here's a Clay quote from that article that gives us Singaporean Clay fans hope (pertaining to the package we sent over, that is ):
"There are 17 boxes of fan mail at the house and when I go home, we go through it because we open every one of them."
No news yet on the parcel, but my friend in Raleigh is trying her best. Crossing my fingers. :D

And... here's the link to the upcoming Time magazine article! No photo, but hopefully there'll be one in the mag itself -- which I'm quite sure of. Make it a nice, big one! :)

Was hoping to write yesterday, but my shift in resus was extremely busy, though in a good way. Started the morning off with an exciting case of a guy who looked like he had intestinal obstruction, but ended up with a perforated viscus, probably from a stomach ulcer. Within the first couple of hours, we'd sent up 2 cases to intensive care, and I probably saw about 20 cases in total (considered bad if you're in resus), admitting about 90% of them despite my high threshold for inpatient treatment. I think it must've been a bad call for everyone upstairs. The consult area was overflowing as well. Sorry, guys.

Noticed that all the ward staff, including doctors, are now wearing scrubs. Aaargh! I never got to do this when I was in internal medicine, during the SARS outbreak! We had to wear masks, gloves, and these horrible gowns that were impermeable to everything ( including air, from what I could gather ). We were drenched in perspiration every single day, losing massive amounts of fluids and feeling light-headed after our ward rounds ( I was based in C class ). But I felt more sorry for my poor house officers, who had to wear long-sleeved shirts and ties. At least I could show up in sleeveless blouses and short skirts, though it didn't help that much in the end. Oh well, this is a good move on the hospital's part!

More from "The Purpose-Driven Life":

Chapter 3: What Drives Your Life?

This is a really good chapter, in my opinion, 'cos it hits the nail right on the head, and applies not only to my life before I became a Christian, but the lives of many people I know as well. Since I'd like you to read the book itself, I'll just post snippets of what Warren wrote.

Many people are driven by resentment / anger, fear, materialism or the need for approval. I guarantee all of us are guilty of this at least at one point in our lives.

Knowing your purpose gives meaning to your life, and simplifies, motivates and focuses it as well, preparing you for eternity.. "A pretentious and showy life is an empty life." ( Proverbs 13:7 )

Chapter 4: There is more to life than just here and now.

"When you realize that life is just preparation for eternity, you will begin to live differently. You will start living in light of eternity, and that will colour how you handle every relationship, task and circumstance. Suddenly many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty and unworthy of your attention. The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears."
"When you live in light of eternity, your values change. You use your time and money more wisely. You place a higher premium on relationships and character instead of fame or wealth or achievements or even fun."

Chapter 5: Life is a test and a trust

This is another really good chapter.
"Your life metaphor influences your life more than you realize. For instance, if you think life is a party, your primary value in life will be having fun. If you see life as a race, you will value speed and will probably be in a hurry much of the time. If you view life as a marathon, you will value endurance. If you see life as a battle or a game, winning will be very important to you."
I tried thinking about my "life metaphor", but I think my blog has coloured my judgement, 'cos the only word that keeps popping into my head is "zoo". :P Well, my life is a zoo! Another good description would be "rollercoaster" or "adventure". It's just generally very unpredictable, but in a good way. The most important thing is that I've had a lot of guidance and protection spiritually, or it would've turned out very badly.

Life on earth is a test.

"This life metaphor is seen in stories throughout the Bible. Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. A very important test is how you act when you can't feel God's presence in your life. Sometimes God intentionally draws back, and we don't sense his closeness.
When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows the tests you face to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them."

"God keeps his promise, and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out."
-- 1 Corinthians 10:13

Life on earth is a trust.

"We are stewards of whatever God gives us." Something worth pondering. :)

Here's the poem I mentioned a few days ago, by Russell Kelfer, from Chapter 2 ( "You are not an accident." ):

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God.

The post has become quite long, so I'll reserve my comments on my Sting and John Mayer CDs for another day. Thanks for reading. :)

Friday, October 03, 2003

New Clay video clip to share, from a preview of Primetime Live with Diane Sawyer ( the actual interview will be screened next week, but you wouldn't know from the way the boards are exploding right now! :D )

Primetime Live clip

I don't have a sound card on the computer at work ( where I am at the moment ), but I can read lips a bit, and the look on Clay's face when he talked about how his biological father called him "a mistake" is really heart-breaking. I was so saddened by the Rolling Stone article in July, in which Clay revealed his troubled childhood, then the Elle piece in September talked about how depressed he was during the AI tour, and now this! The poor guy! :( I don't think we get Diane Sawyer in Singapore, so be on the lookout on the Net, 'cos that's the place to go to for clips on Clay. :)

Just starting off with my posts on "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren. Would've preferred to write this with the book beside me, but that may not be possible today. I will, however, tell you the gist of the first 2 chapters. It is an excellent book, for both Christians and non-Christians, and I thank Clay for bringing this to all his fans' attention ( 'cos it's one of his favourites ). I will be telling my church friends about it too, so we can discuss it further. I got my copy from Borders -- don't bother to look for it yourself, it's a mess down there! Just ask the info counter staff and they'll pick it up for you.

Chapter 1: Everything begins with God

One of the biggest mistakes most people make is looking within themselves to find their own purpose in life. I personally never did this, but then, I didn't truly believe in God till only a year ago, so I can't actually give you my perspective. However, since my baptism, I've learnt, thanks to my many mentors and friends who are also Christians, that you have to let God take charge of every aspect of your life. Ask Him for advice, read the Bible for guidance, and live out your existence in accordance with His plan for you. It can be hard at times, but it's the correct, and only, way.

Chapter 2: You are not an accident.

This dwells on the fact that every single one of us is included in God's plan, from our births to our deaths. Who our parents are, the trials and tribulations we go through, even how we're brought back to Him, are already predicted. What's amazing is that even those who don't start out as Christians are still loved no less than those who are devout followers. This bit certainly applies to my life before I got converted. Certain events are hard to explain, but in retrospect, and even at the time of the event itself, I think I knew in the back of my mind that there was always someone watching out for me and my family. This chapter is very comforting, especially to those who may feel lost and abandoned. There is a beautiful poem at the end, which I'll try to post sometime soon.

Finishing my shift in 15 minutes, yippee! Till next time -- remember to watch "Survivor: Pearl Islands" tonight! :D

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Attended the wedding of a college friend last night at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. It was my first time there, and I must say the food is really good. Even better than some of the more famous hotels here, in fact! The event had a very relaxed atmosphere, and my friend, aka the groom, was his usual wacky self. We had a hoot when he came over with his bride to take photos. He really hasn't changed in the past 10 years! :D
Those of us who managed to attend were seated at the same table, and had a good time reminiscing about our JC days. Even our civics tutor was there, and though he's now a secondary school principal, we still joke around like old pals. Lots of other nuptials are coming up, with me being the odd person out. Hmmmm.... :)
Three of us adjourned for drinks thereafter, catching up with a classmate who'd been "missing" since we graduated. It was a great night for everyone. Till we meet again at the next wedding!

I've got another day off, hah! Can't believe my luck, but I'm spending the day at home this time to prepare for a presentation tomorrow and get some writing / reading done. My irregular sleep hours are getting to me as well. Feel like I'm having a perpetual hangover, ugh. Anyway, the link for Josh Groban's new songs on his official website have started working again, and the sound quality is so much better there, so try it out. A church friend who heard this piece loves it so much he's going to buy Josh's CD come November. A new fan! :D

Clay Aiken will be featured in a coming issue of Time magazine! News of this is circulating on his websites, and I'm thrilled! Time is one of the most reputable and respected publications around. Congratulations, Clay! I already subscribe to it, so for once, I won't be biting my nails worrying if I can get my hands on it. Hope my neighbours won't swipe it though. :D

Yet another episode of The Bachelor 3 airs tonight. I've been surfing for info on Andrew Firestone on and off, and was most disappointed to learn that although he proposed to the lady of his choice on the show, he's now insisted that they both live together for at least a year before proceeding with marriage. Huh? Wasn't he the one who kept saying, "I'm ready for this. I'm committed to finding the woman I love and getting married / settling down, etc."? Sigh... and Andrew makes three.

Anyway, this season is a little more mysterious, as opposed to The Bachelor 2, which made it obvious to viewers from the very beginning that Aaron was hung on Helene. This time, the woman who wins Andrew's heart doesn't get much camera attention, so you may be surprised in future episodes. She isn't the most beautiful one, nor the most outgoing. There must be something about her that captured him. It'll be nice to find out what it is. :)

Am starting on The Purpose Driven Life today. I'll make sure to post excerpts from it from time to time. Bye for now!