Well, Oblivion is out and it looks really, really good and I really, really want to see it but… eh. I have no time in my schedule.

So I’ll just talk about it wistfully in my “what’d you read/watch?” post. Hey, when did Tom Cruise become one of the best sci-fi guys out there? We’ve got Minority Report, Vanilla Sky, War of the Worlds (okay, that one wasn’t as good), the last couple Mission Impossibles… I still have him pegged as the “serious actor” who does stuff like Rain Man and Magnolia when he’s not being the “romantic guy” from those movies I don’t feel like listing.

Hey, remember Interview with a Vampire? That was awesome.

Anyway, I’m half through In The First Circle and I think that you should be too.

So… What are you reading and/or watching?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to


  1. Vanilla Sky was one of the worst, most pointless and incoherent films ever made. Less watchable even than Plan 9, which is at least (unintentionally) funny.

    But it’s not hard to figure out why a Scientologist would feel at home in SF.

    • Sorry JB, I must concur with the estimable Mr. Schilling – Vanilla Sky was terrible.

      I actually didn’t think that WoTW was that bad – I mean, it wasn’t great, but good lord it was better than Vanilla Sky, which is one of the only movies to make me nearly as angry as Magnolia (though at least the performances were good in that one).

        • I enjoyed it as well… and it should be noted that it was based on a Spanish language film “Abre los Ojos”; I haven’t seen it, but it also starred Penelope Cruz and I heard it was far superior.

          The movie made me think and given where I was developmentally when it came out, a lot of the themes resonated with me, even if there were a few parts that made me go, “Oh, you could have handled that much better!” It didn’t hurt that I had a big crush on Cruz back then.

          • I’m told that Penelope Cruz is a good actor in her native-language films. In English, I always find her incredibly wooden.

    • Though many pointless and incoherent Star Vehicles have been excreted from Hollywood’s costive and self-referential bowels, surely Vanilla Sky redefined the genre.

  2. When i saw the preview for Oblivion in the theatre all i could think of was Tommy C was doing a live action remake of Wall E on a generic devastated earth with some generic conspiracy.

    • The last couple were. The first couple? Eh. Not really. If you wanted to say that they were more cloak and dagger, that’d be fine, I guess. The levels of tech they show off push it to sci-fi for me, though.

      • I haven’t seen any but the first, and even only that in pieces. I just assumed they were Bond-esque spy films. Which now makes me wonder… are Bond films sci-fi?

        • How much depends on the tech? I’d say that there are some that are a lot more sci-fi than others.

          • No, no, you have this all wrong.

            Bond – Fit, good-looking guy, who appears to be fabulously wealthy, with lots of fancy hi-tech toys, hooks up with boatloads of stunning beauties.

            That’s not sci-fi, that’s real life.

            “Sci-fi” would be if all other elements were the same, but Bond is a guy like me.

  3. Watched Louis CK’s new special last night. Pretty funny.

    Also watched the first 15 minutes of the Orphan Black pilot and despite a couple potential plot holes already, it has a heck of a hook; plus it was stylish, propulsive, well-acted, and the star is stupidly hot. So I look forward to finishing it tonight.

  4. Having reached the halfway mark of my Wheel of Time marathon a little early, I decided to read John Scalzi’s Redshirts. It’s a great read, plus how many novels have their own theme song?

    • Carl Hiassen’s Basket Case does. Lyrics by Hiassen, music by the late, great Warren Zevon. Though it’s not one of his better books. I’d recommend Sick Puppy or Skinny Dip.

        • Hiassen wrote the lyrics to be a song written by one of the book’s characters and showed then to his friend Zevon, who decided to write music for them and then record it.

  5. Back in college, after seven years away. Re-introduced myself to the old habit of grabbing all the Terry Pratchett novels from the “new books” shelf at the campus library.

    Until I get the pre-requisites out of the way, I’m not technically an enrolled student though. So for this academic term, at least, I can’t actually check books out of the library. So I’m just sitting on one of the second-floor couches, reading bits at a time between classes.

    Just finished “Snuff”. Next up, “Dodger”.

  6. Reading Jordan’s The Great Hunt. I read this before, but I do not remember it at all. Almost everything that happens is experienced like I never read it before. I recall more of the first and third books, and I did not read after the third when I started the series several years ago. I am not sure why I remember nothing of this one.

    This weekend I watched Season 2 of BBC’s Sherlock. I really enjoyed the series, but the fact that it consists of seasons of 3 episodes that last 1.5 hours is kind of annoying.

    I am also nearly half way through Neon Genesis: Evangelion. My first time through was subtitles, this time I am watching it dubbed. Shinji is much more annoying in English. When I get through the series, I will rewatch the 1st and 2nd reboot movie so I can compare while fresh.

    • “More Like Star Trek” … Anno’s notes on the latest movie.

  7. I find Tom Cruise more than a little creepy these days. Minority Report was okay, but the others weren’t great.

    I would be more inclined to see Oblivion if he wasn’t in it.

    • I feel the same way. I know that if I see one of his movies, I’m giving money to the Church of Scientology, and I’m not sure I want to do that.

  8. Reading bits and pieces of all kinds of things. Two creative writing theses (one of them twice). Started rereading The Lyre of Orpheus. Started rereading A Fine and Private Place. (Can you tell it’s been a bit of a rough week?)

    This morning I watched a documentary about the history of ACT UP with a bunch of college students, the vast majority of whom had no idea who/what ACT UP was before watching it. I teared up a few times. It’s very painful to remember some things about the 90s, much as I usually idealize them. (No politics.)

  9. The first episode of Mad Men made me want to punch every male character in the face. It’s probably good that I was born in the late 80s, for their sake. But I will watch a few more episodes before I decide to follow through on the series or not.

    • It’s very good.

      But you will still want to punch characters in the face from time to time.

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