Well, this week had of a lot of ends. I finished the story of In The First Circle. I finished reading Brief Lives. My friends last night were telling stories about watching the Iron Man Movie (the Mandarin, apparently, was not very awesome) and the Star Trek Movie (which, apparently, was) and I’m sitting there thinking “I saw Hotel Transylvania.”

Hotel Transylvania, by the way, has some severe moments of awesome (Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky!) but the overall moral of the story was just so fundamentally incorrect that I’m stuck thinking that while we should want to have conversations with our kids after we watch movies with them, we shouldn’t want to have the “everything that movie said was wrong, more or less” conversation.

With that, I’m looking forward to tonight where I hope to watch The Last Stand and, at least, see something blow up unironically.

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. Inventing Wine. A book about the history of wine.

    • I had the same reaction.

      I don’t know what has been weirder this TV season; that, or Lindsay Weir as Don Draper’s neighbor…

  2. So, I’m starting up book reviews this week. I may have several in the next two weeks.

    Should I post myself as a GP, or send to you first?

    • Feel free to post them yourself. Are you an amazon associate? If not, send me an email with the titles and I can send you the associate links back.

  3. I’ve worked my way through to the last 25-or-so pages of Guy Gavriel Kay’s new book, River of Stars.

    It’s a sequel to Under Heaven, which I loved so much that I finished and then began reading it again same day (something I rarely do.)

    But I’m not sure I’ll finish these last pages; and if I do, it will be a matter of making myself do it. It’s great saga; wide sweeping and vast in scope. But for the first time ever, the characters just feel flat. One, a woman who’s been educated in an era when women are not educated, is described as ‘tall.’ Right; you’ve got a woman singled out as different for being more manly in that she’s educated, so you make here tall. Why the fuck not make her shorter then average? And it goes on from there.

    When this woman’s husband is facing death, Kay sidetracks us on the character’s musings on his mother; but we’ve never met the mother, and nothing in the story has invoked her, certainly not the son’s character. The ‘bad guys,’ the clan leaders of the steppe tribes, are cartoon, all brutal, no love, even for family. Magic happens without root in this book, only comprehensible from the previous, so it cannot stand alone and be understood; yet all other references to the previous book are mostly meaningless.

    I’ve loved Kay’s writing for many years. The Byzantium Mosiac and Under Heaven would easily make my top-10 list of books to read. But River of Stars, feels like the scope and deadline crowded the character out. If you’ve just got to read River of Stars, re-read Under Heaven now and wait for a used paperback for the sequel.

  4. I am nearly done with The Dragon Reborn. I will probably finish this week.

    I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness on Saturday. It was an entertaining movie, but not a great one. I thought the villain was not built up too well. It was clear he was a ruthless prick, but I never really cared about him.

    There movie featured certain action movie cliches that I am tired of, and I do not watch too many action movies. I am tired of the airplane/spacecraft/whatever turning sideways to fit through a narrow gap; the guy hanging over a drop, with another guy hanging from his arm, only to be rescued by the surprise appearance of another guy; and the fight on the top of a flying vehicle, typically featuring a jump to a lower vehicle. Another one, though not in Star Trek, is the guys running along a bridge as it crumbles behind them. Can these be retired and replaced with something new?

    I tried to watch Wrath of Kahn, but I found myself distracted by other things, so I was not really paying attention.

    Oh yeah, new Season of Arrested Development on Netflix of course.

  5. I started Downton Abbey this week and I’m totally obsessed. In the midst of Season 2.

  6. I bought and just about finished the third book in Atkinson’s World War II trilogy, The Guns at Last Light (here’s the NY Times review), which was finally released a couple weeks ago. I don’t know if any of you have read the first two books in the series (An Army at Dawn is excellent, The Day of Battle is very good), but if you have, you’re in for a treat with the finish. If you haven’t read any of them, and you’re interested in World War II, then as someone who’s read way too many books on the subject, I highly recommend the trilogy. The books are long, but extremely readable, so that you can probably finish each one in a week or two of casual reading.

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