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Bond. James Bond. Feb. 24th, 2008 @ 05:39 pm
so, while sitting at work today, between not studying and attempting to fix the microphone that was being unreasonably flaky, I absentmindedly started writing my thoughts on the most recent James Bond movie. and, as you'll see, I got a bit into it. enjoy!

(warning: 'tis a bit long—nearly twice as long, in fact, as the last paper I wrote. go figure.)

so, I finally saw Casino Royale. I’d been holding off for a bit for no good reason, but post-exam the other day I decided that I needed a study break.

so ... new Bond. Daniel Craig. I ... don’t really care for him as Bond, for a number of reasons. I suppose that, in part, it’s in comparison to the other Bonds. I cut my Bondian teeth on Sean Connery and Roger Moore and love various aspects of both of them. and, as you might imagine, I was fond of Pierce Brosnan as Bond (in fact, I’m rather fond of Pierce Brosnan, full stop). I like the idea and image of Bond as a man’s man, a ladies’ man, someone you’d like to be or know or let yourself be ravished by, equal parts suave and steely. I also support the idea of Bond having a superman streak; Bond is a prodigy, he’s not an everyman who has been trained up right proper. Bond isn’t your average Joe, he’s one of the elite, a position afforded to him due to the fact that he knows how to fight a shark, play baccarat, converse in Russian, drive anything with wheels or treads or propellers, that he can ski and shoot and seduce and look like a million bucks afterwards. I’ve never been much one for the rough-and-tumble style of Bond (I’ve watched both Timothy Dalton movies once, and that was entirely enough), so that likely contributes to my feelings towards the new Bond. however, there’s more than that.

Craig doesn’t look like Bond to me. maybe I’ve been brainwashed into the Bond = (tall + dark)^(handsome) formula, but it wasn’t the fact that he was blond that really galled me. he’s a bit bulky for my taste, yet maybe we’re supposed to assume that he’s going to swap some of the brawn for brain. but he’s got this odd ptotic, craggy look that doesn’t jibe with either my vision of Bond or the one it seems that they’ve crafted for him. neither is something they can fix, they’re just the way he’s built. as I said to one of my housemates during the recent screening of the flick, initially I couldn’t tell if I didn’t like the cut of his suit or the cut of his face. his visage, with his wrinkles and worry lines, doesn’t fit with the image of a Bond who is fresh and rough, someone who hasn’t seen horrors and heartbreak for years and is only now collecting his emotional scars. for all his cheesy lines, I always appreciated that Brosnan’s Bond could convey such anger, frustration, sadness, and conflict in the subtlest of looks. while I appreciated the potential emotion in the scene of Vesper and Bond in the shower, Craig seemed so detached, as though his body was present but his mind was elsewhere and uncaring.

part of it might just be that Craig himself hasn’t yet assimilated the role of Bond to a point where he has become the spy, rather than just playing him. I watched a couple of the extras that were featured on the DVD and he just seems like he’s still that kid playing Bond in the backyard—he hasn’t realized that he’s grown up and is visibly acting in the way that he believes Bond would instead of simply being him. I can’t tell if it was a director’s choice to make Bond less naturally suave, or Craig’s very nature, or just sloppy and inadequate guidance and editing, but subtle distracters, like the fact that Bond chews with his mouth open (!), don’t fit with the overall picture. maybe it’s just part of the general reboot idea; perhaps we’re now playing with a Bond who doesn’t know which fork to use for salad and would rather wear cargo pants, one who will train himself on how to be—or act—debonair, instead of it being second nature to him.

I think that critics were often unnecessarily hard on Craig when he was announced as the new Bond, but secretly part of me agrees with them. a Bond with a blond buzz cut? what’s that about? and apparently I can drive stick better than Craig can, which doesn’t speak too highly of his skills. also, ditching Brosnan as Bond may have been good in hindsight, if the quality of the writing in subsequent films followed the steady decline seen in his last two, but to let him go solely because they wanted to do a reboot comes as a bit of an affront. despite my reaction to Craig as 007, I’ve heard that he’s quite a good actor, and I intend to investigate his filmography. I don’t know—I imagine that time and additional films may well soften my opinion of him.

okay, let me move away from Craig as Bond and look at the film itself. I suppose I should indicate that spoilers shall follow, but really, the statute of limitations has expired by now, methinks.

anyway, the movie. ye gods, what happened? there were, like, seventeen relatively interconnected plots going on, none of which were really well developed to my satisfaction. so, we start with all kinds of rough’n’tumble black’n’white action and a ridiculously ugly gun barrel scene, and then we jump into chaos: there’s this bad guy in Uganda who gives money to this even badder guy under the direction of this other dude whose face you should remember but won’t by the end of the film, because there’s no indication that he’ll be important later, and then we go galloping for about six hours through the streets of Madagascar with a somewhat inept Bond who is aided by even more inept junior agents, then Bond blows up shit (in a way that is physically impossible -- thanks, Mythbusters!) and gets in trouble but isn’t really, and seduces the girl who is killed, then figures out the bomb plot and goes driving around for about eleven hours destroying thousands upon thousands of dollars of aviation-themed props before we even get to the beginning of the main story. more spying, Bond, fewer explosions! yeesh. also, it would be impossible for them to telegraph the resolution of the “suspenseful” scenes any more clearly, e.g. bomb + carabiner + close shot of Bond restraining the Bad Guy #23 by his be-belt-looped waistband = no shit, Sherlock. honestly, it was more surprising that the bad guy looked amazed that the bomb was attached to him rather than the fuel truck (good acting, Bad Guy #23!). but I digress. the scenes of verbal sparring and Texas Hold ‘Em (and, what the fuck? it’s baccarat! maybe I’m an elitist.) and the smaller-scale fight scenes were more my speed, and there were a few scenes that gave me a good chuckle. I had some conceptual issues with the whole Bond-is-poisoned storyline (again, with a telegraphed ending—can anyone say that they didn’t bet that Vesper was going to come along and help Bond in his time of need?) due to the fact that he was apparently given digitalis, a favorite cardiac poison in movies, but one that typically causes bradycardia, not tachycardia. (and then Bond progressed from v-tach to ... some random and illogical heart rhythm (instead of the more logical v-fib, which is correctable by defibrillation.) y'know, I probably shouldn’t deconstruct the fragile movie logic.

anyway, the big action scenes were too damn long; I was bored of them before they were even half over. it also bugged me that in the initial freerunning scene, every time they cut to Bond pausing to regroup and plunge along in pursuit again, he was increasingly dusty and sweaty, but never out of breath. yet, mid-chase, in the longer shot of him loping up the crane, he was huffing and puffing all over the place (sudden-onset, brief exercise intolerance? sure.) also, and most damning of Bond/Craig for me, I couldn’t reliably pick out Bond in the final fight scene. at first, I honestly thought “why are these two bad guys fighting with each other? ...ohhhhh.” I was able to identify Bond as one of any two goons engaged in a firefight or fisticuffs and left it at that. whether that was due to bad costuming or bad editing, it just didn’t work for me.

can we take a quick aside to look at the torture scene? so, I’m clearly terribly naive, because as they were cutting the seat out of the chair, I had no idea what was going on, and thought maybe they were going to string Bond up and make it more difficult to keep himself balanced. then they cut to a long shot and I figured out fast that dangly bits are clearly a big liability. I found a promo shot of the scene online but have a question—the lateral supporting pieces of the chair would get in the way of the carpet beater, no? unless Le Chiffre has amazing aim, or took the side strut out with the first hit, the mechanics of the chair and the torture method don’t jibe. for reference:

the plot wasn’t too bad, it just didn’t have a ton of substance. I never became too fond of Vesper, or the idea of Besper = twu wuv, so I didn’t find her fate troublesome (though the development of her story felt very rushed at the end). I was amused that, for all the talk of the Bond reboot and a new style, they stuck to the formula of Good Bond Girl, Bad Bond Girl, and Dead Bond Girl (with some necessary overlapping). maybe next time they’ll surprise us and have an Undead Apathetic Bond Girl or a Bond Guy (!?!).

in the end, I think that it’s an okay movie, neither awesome nor terrible, which seems to put me in a very small group of people who aren’t slavering on one side of the CraigBond debate. clearly I had enough to say about this to write an epically wandering diatribe, but the thing that makes me most frustrated about the movie is that it didn’t make me care much about Bond. the idea of Bond is that he’s kind of a jackhole, but he earns his smugness in proportion to his displays of coolness, which always puts him in my good graces for the other actors’ Bonds. Craig’s Bond persistently didn’t grow on me; he didn’t make me care about his character, either to love him or hate him (even Timothy Dalton inspired emotion—granted, that emotion was ire, but still). Casino Royale was a solid action flick, but that’s not good enough when said action flick is a member of such an established series. and it’s true that I’m not a devotee of Fleming’s books—I have a few of them, but I don’t have a good background in the literary canon to justify the paradigm shift that has happened in the films, ostensibly to bring the style closer to that of the books. I still look forward to the next Bond film (though “A Quantum of Solace” is a spectacularly dumb name, and the promo poster featured on the wiki page has Bond holding a machine gun instead of his walther ppk/p99 ... I’m not holding out hope for a subtle, suave spy film). yet I predict that when I feel like I need a Bondian study break, I’ll throw in some Thunderball or Live and Let Die or Goldeneye, rather than revisit the Casino.

plus, Daniel Craig has two first names. what’s up with that?

p.s. if you don’t know what ptotic means, go look it up. it’s a cool word.

p.p.s. holy cow, did you read this whole thing? what are your thoughts 'bout the movie?


c'mon, play. you know you want to... Feb. 11th, 2008 @ 12:37 pm
**EDIT: Well done, everybody! I've moved the as-yet unidentified movies up to the tops of their respective lists for increased visibility. Carry on!**

ganked from eponymous_rose. this is fun! the rules:

1. Pick 10 12 of your favorite movies and 10 of your favorite TV shows.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quotATION from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions. Don't cheat, or you'll be put on academic probation, and nobody wants that.

the late-night flim.Collapse )

teeveeCollapse )

I'm a bit afraid that either I've chosen quotations that are either ridiculously easy or are from films/shows that nobody has seen. prove me wrong!


heh. Feb. 3rd, 2008 @ 12:15 am
this is me far, far too often.

(confused, not an angry MD with a chronic pain problem.)

and, selections from the same blooper reel:

(I need to start calling people "antipodean fleck(s) of bum-fluff."

Other entries
» grar.
man, I'm grouchy today.

while the majority of this morning's lab went well, I'm feeling exquisitely frustrated at my attempts at phlebotomizing the heifers. practice makes perfect, I suppose, so I'll just keep on jabbing them until my technique improves. and then, whilst making my belated breakfast, I managed to spill it all over myself, so I'm going to be damp for a while and smelling faintly of souring milk. yum. and I've just received an email that is also frustrating me. but that's more of a social thing.

and to top it off, my computer's battery life has become depressingly short.

all in all, it's not been a bad week so far, but I'm in the mood to grouse a bit. methinks my feelings of frustration are being exacerbated by the fact that I am cranky 'cause I haven't had enough sleep recently and that, as of half noon, I haven't quite eaten breakfast yet. so I'm going to go find some sustenance. that should brighten my mood a bit, methinks.

and then at least I'll be a smiling grouch. (:
» fac me cocleario vomere
below find excerpts mined from some more conversations (this hearkens back to, um, this post, which is likely invisible if you're not logged in. and not my friend.)

and, to appropriately scramble your brain before you begin reading, peruse the following sentence, taken from one of my second-year syllabi:

"Proteins produced in each phase may be proteolytically processed from a polyprotein precursor translated from its subgenomic mRNA."


J: on what is your exam?
W: clinical pathology -- this section's on blood
J: at least you're relatively sanguine about it
W: oh ha ha

the rest!Collapse )
» hee.
“Um, excuse me, officer. We’re doing a little bit of ghost hunting; can we look through all your files for the last hundred years?”

major geek points if you’re able to place this particular reference.

» adventures in spay lab
so, like a million years ago I meant to upload pictures of my first surgery patient, but clearly I never did. so here they are now! (I suppose that now I can say that one can safely assume that there were no post-operative complications—hooray!) anyway, my patient was rather cute:

she's a 3 year old rescued animal that desperately needed some TLC (and to be spayed, natch). when she came in, she weighed nearly fourteen pounds. after the most obvious hair mats were shaved off, she was re-weighed (on the off-chance that the weight was different, since the sedative and induction agents are calculated by weight) and she weighed thirteen pounds even. (holy cow!) the surgery itself, despite being nervewracking due to it being, y'know, my first surgery ever, went well, though my poor partner (providing anesthesia for my patient) had her work cut out for her because my patient was not so into the deep breathing, managed to extubate herself once, and would begin panting, which (due to the abdominal muscles contracting) pushes the abdominal viscera out through the incision in the linea. truth be told, this was the thing I feared most happening when *I* was doing anesthesia (but I was lucky, my partner's dog was a breeze), but from the doing-surgery side of it, it's not such a big deal after all (it doesn't take a lot of effort to keep everything in while the anesthetist works to get the dog to stop panting). anyway, my spay buddy was a trouper and my patient made it through with flying colors! and lest you think I'm lying, I took a video of my patient less than twenty-four hours post-op:

she was ambulatory the evening of the surgery and eating (only the tasty food, though—she was a smart cookie) the next day, with seemingly little care about her missing uterus and ovaries. huzzah!

» Happy Hallowe'en!
pumpkin kitty!

» concentrated stick-figure goodness, part the third. or first, depending on your perspective.

click here to watch the stick-figure SPECCollapse )

» concentrated stick-figure goodness, part the second, regardless of your perspective.

click here to watch the stick-figure BLOO, er, BLUECollapse )

» concentrated stick-figure goodness, part the first. or third, depending on your perspective.

click here to watch the stick-figure REDHCollapse )

» a crepetastic adventure!

appropriately enough, the song that just started playing on winamp is "Hey food," Sesame Street's answer to "Hey Jude." shut up, it's actually a cute song.

anyway, so this is a photoessay chronicling the creation of my very first batch of crepes.

cut to spare ye browsers. let the creping begin!Collapse )

» mountain-movers, inc.
this one's for beanismyhero, because at the moment she can't go to Argentina to hang out with the penguins.

thus, clearly the penguins must go to bean. is. my hero. really? I guess I need to read more Orson Scott Card.

a huddle of penguins*, a little bit of Tchaikovsky—what could be better?

Show media Loading...


*yes, that's one of several accepted terms for a group of the little feathery bastards.
» for a laugh!
Show media Loading...

if you don't get this, don't worry. it's ... special.

» yay memes yay.
I enjoy reading these on other people's pages, so I've added yet another one on mine. and you'll damn well like it.


What side of the heart do you draw first? left. no, wait, the right. hang on -- I appear to be somewhat ambidexterous in my heart-drawing.

Can you dive without plugging your nose? technically, yes. but, also technically, I can't dive for shit.

What is your blood-type? first of all, "blood type" shouldn't be hypenated. anyway, no idea. mostly because it's a relatively useless fact to know—for one, if I need a blood transfusion, likely I'm trying very hard to die and am pretty unconscious, and for two, they'll type my blood anyway, and just knowing that I'm A or O or whatever doesn't mean anything nowadays, since they do a way more complicated type of ... um, typing.

Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours? nobody, particularly.

How do you feel about carrots? I adore carrots. preferably raw.

How many chairs at the dining room table do you have? three, plus one sad isolated chair that sits off in the corner, ostensibly present if we have a need for four chairs at the table at once.

to spare ye browsersCollapse )
» audio clip of Jeremy Brett in "Troylus and Cressida"
Show media Loading...

(note: the first five pictures are from the stage performance of "Troylus and Cressida," while the rest are from assorted other shows.)

» more random uselessness!
so, I've wondered for a while what they did in Harry Potter in regards to the Tom Marvolo Riddle / I am Lord Voldemort thing. so I looked it up. and behold, they changed Tom Riddle's name to fit an appropriate phrase! below are some highlights; the bold ones are names that are vastly different from TMR or are just really funny.

Soy Lord Voldemort = for the Lactose Lord Voldemort intolerant!Collapse )
» sometimes the eccentricity of my entries baffles even me.

so, I’m sitting at my computer, a-typing away, and I see a flicker of lightning and a telltale rumble of thunder. I jump up and look out my window and the sky is ORANGE. nofoolin’ -- check it out:


but it had better stop raining by tomorrow or else I’m going to have words with Zeus, Waruna, Chac, Thor, Ganymede, Hiro, Tlaloc, Tefnet, and any other deities associated with rain on whom I can lay my hands. ...in a manner of speaking. otherwise our trip to the Heifer project will be rather on the soggy side. and that would be just miserable.

ho-hum, it's been a while.

so, the kiddies haven’t killed me yet. huzzah! moving on.

y’know, that first paragraph reads a bit like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel. and on that note:

Whorl’s Amazing Choose Your Own Adventure Thingamajig!

1. you start reading this Choose Your Own mini-Adventure. if you wish to continue, go to number 24. if you wish to be done with this silly thing, go to number 8.

2. did I say no purple dragons? did I? well, no, I didn’t. to turn yourself into a rabbit, go to number 19. to turn yourself into Escherichia coli O157:H7, go to number 10.

3. well, you two puzzle and puzz ’till your puzzlers are sore. then you think of something you hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” you think, “doesn’t come from a store.” and the dragon’s heart grows three sizes this day. which is good, because dragon heartstring brings a fantastic price, so you slay the dragon, harvest the valuable organ, and trot off into the sunset whistling a merry tune to sell his heart to the highest bidder. capitalistically done!

4. you start pickaxing at the wall, and soon have axed yourself an escape hole. the dragon axes you—er, asks if he can accompany you. look, you’ve made a scaly friend! to let him travel with you, go to number 11. to deny him his request, go to number 14.

5. in a spectacular display of ineptitude, you manage to immolate yourself with the blowtorch whilst the dragon looks on and laughs contemptuously. the end.

6. now that was silly, since you can’t swim. unsurprisingly, you drown. the end.

7. the dragon replies, “you know, I’ve never really thought about it.” to sit and muse about such puzzles with the dragon, go to number 3. to leave the room, go to number 23.

8. oops, you died. the end.

9. the dragon just ignores you. oh well, it was worth a shot. to start digging your way out, go to number 12. to ask the dragon once again for help to get out, go to number 16. to die of fright this time, go to number 8.

10. oooh, brilliant! the dragon becomes terribly sick and you win the wizards’ duel! wait, did the story start out this way? who cares, you won! yay.

11. you and the dragon squeeze through the hole. “thanks for freeing me,” says the dragon. as you travel through the countryside, you and your dragon companion become the best of friends. and all the people you meet think you have a wicked cool pet. huzzah!

12. ouch—digging into concrete with your bare hands wasn’t a very good idea. you see a pickaxe and a blowtorch in the corner (where did those come from?). to use the pickaxe to get out, go to number 4. to use the blowtorch to get out, go to number 5.

13. the dragon appears to speak english. what luck! to ask the dragon its name, go to number 18. to ask the dragon why there are no windows in the room, go to number 7. to ask the dragon to reveal the secret to life, the universe, and everything, go to number 17.

14. “fine, the hell with you too,” says the dragon, who then kicks you through the wall, obviating the need for your most efficient pickaxing. somehow, you manage to survive the assault and find yourself outside. to head east, go to number 20. to head west, go to number 25.

15. you find that the castle is abandoned, so you set up shop. you live out the rest of your days (seven hundred and twenty-two, in total, owing to an unfortunate accident involving a chicken and a barrel of treacle) happily puttering around your castle. whee!

16. the dragon smears you messily into the wall, clearly aggravated by your incessant queries. lesson for the day: when confronted with a taciturn dragon, do not attempt to soften him up with loquacity, or he will soften you up with all the gentleness of a steamroller. the end.

17. the dragon hits you in the head with a copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy whilst roaring “42, you dolt!” your resulting concussion leaves you unable to adventure for the remainder of the week. the end.

18. oops, it turns out that asking a dragon its name is rather akin to inquiring as to a mature woman’s age. the dragon, highly (albeit unintentionally) affronted, chars you thoroughly. the end.

19. Merlin wasn’t the brightest bulb, changing himself into a variety of prey species, and neither are you. sadly, this time, Madam Mim’s fox form catches you and happily eats you. the end.

20. you see a castle in the distance and a lake immediately to the north. to go to the castle, go to number 15. to go for a swim in the lake, go to number 6.

21. you thought poking a dragon was a good idea? yikes. the dragon eats you. the end.

22. hey, this wasn’t an option! you’re totally just reading them in numerical order! cut it out!

23. you try to leave the room but find that the way is barred. oh no, you’re trapped! to start digging your way out, go to number 12. to ask the dragon for help to get out, go to number 9. to die of fright, go to number 8.

24. you walk into a room that has no windows. a purple dragon is sitting in the corner. to talk to the dragon, go to number 13. to poke the dragon with a pointy stick, go to number 21. if you recognize the reference from Disney’s The Sword in the Stone, go to number 2.

25. you fall into a lava pit. looks like west was the wrong direction. the end.

(C) Whorl 2006, so don't you steal my story, Edward Packard!


okay, that's enough capital punishment. anyway, women, I'm primarily looking at you. to be fair, there are myriad sartorial horrors of the pants subset that men often perpetuate (sir, I do not care to know that you dress to the left, thank you). and there are a number of crimes committed by women as well (gauchos—especially those that appear inspired by Aladdin couture—should probably never be worn. even by a real gaucho.). however, the thing that has been bugging me as of late is when women wear pants that cruelly constrict their lower waist, causing that inevitable bit of quasi-love-handles side fat to bulge outward in a cry for help (and I don't care how much you weigh, if you wear pants that are too small in the waist, you will emphasize that two-inch bulge). I'm pro-tight pants, if that's your thing, but wear them responsibly. in fact, if you like pants that cut you off at the waist and make it difficult to breathe, have at it, but wear a sweater over that shit. if you're pairing your otherwise delightful (I'm sure) pants with a cute cropped top (the more frequent occurrence), so better to show off your otherwise toned midriff, wouldn't you rather have a nice silhouette? the hourglass shape is indeed classically appealing, but not when you're displaying your crippling inability to buy pants in the correct size. and it is a wonderful thing to love your body, whatever shape it is, which is incredibly sexy if you wear clothes that fit you. flatter your figures! spilling out of your pants is not okay! so, go up a waist size (nobody, save your dry cleaner, needs to know) and breathe deeply. if you're worried about plummeting pantaloons now that they're not cinched to critical tension, throw in a kicky belt (make your hipbones do some work). believe me, you'll be happier, and so will I.

okay, rant over (for the moment). in other news, I caught the winning...er, touchdown? yeah, that. at our most recent football game. short-passes only, my foot. hah. however, having now done that, my football career has peaked. alas.

well, that'll do it. catch ya next time.

(oh, by the way, sorry if you're reading this in IE6 and it looks weird, but when I started updating in Firefox I noticed that the twelve-point font looked like ass on a stick, so I switched.)

“...not just a fad cause it's been going on so long...”

» "...but where are all the posts?"

hi there. there are indeed more entries, they're just friends-only. so ... become a friend.
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