Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bliss Part 22

... is catching 5 international musical child prodigies on-stage, for an almost 2-hour concert that cost only $60 per head!

I'm now co-contributor on, thanks to a friend who recruited me into his motley crew of writers.

So future reviews will probably be transplanted to the other site, but I'll provide the necessary links here, of course. :)

First post located at here. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bliss Part 21

A quote from Darkly Dreaming Dexter:

"Anyone can be charming if they don't mind faking it, saying all the stupid, obvious, nauseating things that a conscience keeps most people from saying. Happily, I don't have a conscience. I say them."

A startling but not entirely unexpected discovery: despite featuring the same killer as the TV adaptation, the book's storyline is, in fact, markedly different.

For example, the portrayal of detective Maria LaGuerta on paper is unkind to the point of being a little vicious, whereas the screen version is the exact opposite.

And the Ice Truck Killer doesn't make his grand entrance until the last few chapters, unlike the TV character played by Christian Camargo, who enjoys lots of screen time wooing Dexter's foster sister before abducting her then confronting Dexter in a climactic showdown.

I'm sure there're fans out there who may not appreciate this discrepancy. I, for one, embrace it wholeheartedly. :)

Once again, author Jeff Lindsay's macabre sense of humour is infectious. I highly recommend those who are inclined to read every single Dexter novel and watch all 4 seasons of the TV series.

Another recommendation: Jeepers Creepers 2.

I saw this quite a few years ago, but it remains a huge favourite of mine.
Doesn't boast any big movie stars or eye-popping special effects, but thrives on great acting and well-paced direction, coupled with moments of sheer terror thanks to expert psychological manipulation.

A good litmus test: if the opening scene fails to affect you in any way, don't bother watching the rest of it.

I also recommend Paranormal Activity.

This one's creepy. So creepy I don't want to watch it ever again. The first half hour's pretty unremarkable, but things turn around quickly after that, and there's one scene in particular that made my hair stand on end big-time.

DO NOT see this movie alone. And definitely NOT before a night shift! :)

Last but not least, an interesting new comedy, Accidentally On Purpose.

I'm a fan of Jenna Elfman, and couldn't be happier to see her back in fine form as a youngish cougar.

Priceless post-coital quote: "I feel like I tasted the rainbow." LOL!

So many shows, so little time...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bliss Part 20

YouTube clips from the 2010 Tony Awards!

Matthew Morrison is soooooo delicious. :)

And some kind soul has uploaded the entire ceremony.
Begin with Part 1 and move your way down the list, woohoo!

[ p.s. Check out Part 4, which has a totally hilarious bit at 5 min 20 secs. I shall not ruin the surprise. :) ]

As for Glee, part 2 of season 1 is just too marvelous for words, so here's a chunk of fabulous video clips!

My current favourite: an earth-shattering performance of Dream On by Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris. The last 20 seconds are unbelievable!

Next fave: a dreamy Morrison-Kristin Chenoweth duet on One Less Bell To Answer. I already love this song, but these 2 Broadway veterans whacked it right out of the stratosphere!

3rd fave: another Morrison-Chenoweth duet, this time on Fire. Fantastique!

The best part? The songs are all downloadable from the Internet. Yes!

Something I haven't blogged about yet - my birthday celebration, which by the way, is still ongoing. :)

The b-day weekend itself was spent at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort. Booked a hotel room for the night and brought my parents along for the ride.
Spent more than 12 hours at the casino itself, retiring to bed only at 3am.
Greatly enjoyed the slot machines - one of which paid me $250 within an hour heh! - but also had a good time watching others at the card and roulette tables. Didn't try my luck at any of them though. $25 per game of blackjack?! I'm too wimpy to blow that kind of money...

A couple of days ago, I spent a laughter-filled evening with friends and relatives, eating our hearts out at Pete's Place at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Haven't been there in quite a while, but the food remains excellent, and I am especially pleased with the fact that I may have matchmade 2 young people in the process. Let's hope for a good outcome! :D

I've got a few other meet-ups scheduled, and the gifts keep trickling in. Some were expected, some were not, but they are all warmly appreciated so thank you! :)

Of course, the real b-day celebration will take place only in late August, when I take my annual holiday overseas. This year's destination promises lots of excitement, particularly in the food and wine departments. I've already contacted someone via a penpal site, who's more than happy to take me around. Looking forward to that!

Current recreational reading: Darkly Dreaming Dexter - i.e. Part 1 of the Dexter series.
Of all the novels, this is the only one that's similar to the TV show, and although I've seen the small-screen version, the book is no less enjoyable.
One of my favourite quotes comes very early: I am a very neat monster.
More quotes to follow shortly. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bliss Part 19

Has it really been 3 weeks since my last entry?

In truth, I feel as if I've been hit by a train, but there's an undercurrent of euphoria mixed with that, so I guess the Bliss theme continues as per normal. :)

There're lots of updates, so please be patient!

First, ICEM 2010 was a rousing success.

And when I say 'rousing', I mean the highest attendance ever for an ICEM event, among other things.

I was in charge of the large group of volunteers who helped run the show. Mostly medical students, with a couple of MO trainees. The M5 who co-ordinated the bunch is a major Type A personality, but extremely efficient and 100% reliable, which made my job that much easier.

Kudos to all of you for your enthusiasm, initiative and resourcefulness. A certain event planning company wasn't doing its job, and the volunteers stepped up beautifully to resolve many issues on the ground. Bravo!

The scientific programme was packed to the brim, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to attend many of the lectures, for free no less, due to my behind-the-scenes involvement.

Many of the speakers are terrific, the topics cutting-edge, with lively Q&A sessions which often left us in stitches.

My only grouse: too many talks crammed into tight timeslots. Many tracks had 8 presentations within 2 hours. Caused a lot of rushing, with no leeway for proper Q&A.

The exhibition area was so much fun, as the vendors hauled their latest gadgets to the venue, setting up elaborate displays to entice delegates over. Unfortunately, the freebies were a little lacking. Mere pens and notepads aren't very attractive, you know.

The SUNTEC location is, as always, THE place to be. I've attended my share of conferences overseas, and still consider SUNTEC the best conference venue yet.
Despite being maybe a couple of decades(?) old, everything still looks brand new and spotless. Even the toilets are exceptionally clean - though I suspect this is partly because many of our delegates aren't Singaporean, heh!
There was lots of buzz these past few days as well, thanks to the PC Show - total chaos - and a warehouse sale.

My sole complaint about the venue: crazy thermostat settings. Certain rooms are too warm, and one particular ballroom is always in bloody 'freezer' mode.

Anyway, enough about that.

TV updates abound. :D

Don't miss Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant. Starts airing on AXN this coming Thursday, at 11pm.
You can read the show summary on your own.

I've been anticipating this for a while, ever since People magazine gave it a rave review. It's a very new series, so thank you, AXN, for bringing it to Singapore!
Watched the pilot episode online a couple of weeks back - intense but also hilarious, absolutely superb!

Olyphant is cast perfectly as no-nonsense U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. I've been a fan of Olyphant's since his memorable performance opposite Jennifer Garner in Catch And Release, followed by Die Hard 4.0 ( he was the villain ) and guest appearances as a hitman with a conscience on Damages season 2. Am thrilled to see him in his element as Givens, complete with the sexiest swagger I've ever seen ( I'm not kidding ), and a tough-as-nails portrayal which I'm confident will earn him an Emmy nomination - and possibly a win.

AXN caused me to hyperventilate - literally - when it decided to air SYTYCD season 5 a few weeks ago.
Why? Because this is the one that features my all-time fave SYTYCD contestant, the glorious jazz dancer, Evan Kasprzak!

I've gushed about him before, but if you didn't read that previous post, I first spotted Evan in season 4, when he blew me away with a gorgeous audition. But he eventually got cut and never made it to the top 20.

Couldn't understand why the judges let him slip through their fingers - I think there were a few season 4 finalists who can't hold a candle to Evan - but justice has been restored. :)

If you'd like to have an idea of what the heck I'm so excited about, go to this link, and fast forward to the 1hr 12 min point.

Part of his appeal is the dance style he's chosen to specialize in. I'm a huge fan of Fred Astaire, and couldn't be more pleased to see it revived by a talented young man like Evan!

The Closer season 2 currently airs on WarnerTV Tuesday nights.

I loved S1, but am loving S2 even more.

Episode 5 was insanely terrific, but episode 11 almost matches it in terms of humour and acting.

I think you'll enjoy this more if you're a woman. :)

The Good Wife S1 just concluded its run on Hallmark Channel a few days ago. Interesting cliffhanger, aided by stellar performances from leads Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth and Josh Charles. ( Yes, if you haven't already guessed, it's a love triangle. )

Great to see JC's role being expanded as the series progressed. Initially, he was just an old friend / old flame turned legal colleague. But his on-screen chemistry with Margulies is undeniable, and the episode where they finally locked lips had me perched on the edge of my seat!

Wish he could've enjoyed a more successful career following his wonderful turn on Dead Poets Society. But hey, it's never too late to make a comeback on television. :)

Here's a little-known movie that I also watched recently on cable, but which you can catch online.

Charlie Bartlett starts Anton Yelchin, Kat Dennings and Robert Downey Jr. Kind of a coming-of-age story about a high school misfit who unwittingly becomes a quack psychiatrist / drug dealer.

Sounds trippy eh? Right up my alley. :D

RDJ plays the high school principal, who's also divorced and depressed and an alcoholic.

Yelchin is the title character, and I gotta tell you, he made a gigantic impression on me here, despite my having seen him in Star Trek and Terminator Salvation ( Terminator 4, by the way, is IMHO the best of the franchise. Why hasn't cable shown it yet!? ).

Didn't really notice him until this film came along. And I bothered to catch it only because of RDJ. How ironic is that!

To illustrate why I've now become a loyal Anton Yelchin fan, play the movie link above ( the highlighted "Charlie Bartlett" bit ), and go to the 11th minute and 45 seconds part. I guarantee it will put a huge smile on your face ( like Evan Kasprzak's audition :))!

His biography is mighty interesting. Even better are his upcoming projects - he's going to play Clumsy Smurf, lol!

Didn't realize there's a Fright Night remake in the works. Wooo, looking forward to that, especially with Yelchin on board as Charley Brewster.

Also, he's rumoured to be a possible replacement for Tobey Maguire in the next Spider-man installment. A little too young perhaps, but other than the age factor, I'm all for it.

I see great, great things in his future. :)

That's all for now. There's actually more but I'm too tired to blog about it.
Till next time...