6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

What has my attention this week?


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Book: The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford

Edward Rutherford’s London was my top fiction read of 2015. It was a tour de force of a historical ride, interweaving multiple stories over the course of England’s legendary history. It was the book that finally helped me get my head around the geography of London. Naturally, I’ve been eager to see what Rutherford could teach me about other places. A friend lent me the first of two volumes on Ireland. It’s interesting (especially since I know comparatively nothing about Ireland), but it doesn’t quite measure up to London‘s taut ebb and flow.


Movie: Cowboys & Aliens directed by Jon Favreau

The first time I saw the trailer for this, I thought it looked about as fabulously high concept as it was possible to be. Then the negative reviews came out, and I never got around to watching it. It’s not nearly as bad as people say, but it’s a disappointing missed opportunity. A little less of Daniel Craig impressively pounding on everyone and a little more campy humor, and the whole thing might have been a lot more fun.


Music: Dark Sky Island by Enya

Back in the day, I was a massive Enya fan. I still remember the moment I first heard “May It Be,” her haunting closing credits song for Fellowship of the Ring. It still gives me chills. However, I felt her quality fell of with her last album Amarantine, and since she failed to produce anything for years afterwards, she kind of fell of my radar. Her new album Dark Sky Island isn’t her best work (A Day Without Rain gets that award in my book), but it has some really nice songs on it, a return to the heart of what she does best.


Food: Justin’s Maple Almond Butter

This is my breakfast staple during the colder months, before I switch over to smoothies for the summer. On the label, Justin says he thinks this is the most perfect nut butter ever created. I’m inclined to agree with him. It’s nutty, but also with that really nice maple crunch. I eat it on a piece of toasted spelt bread for some added protein to start my day.


Gizmo: Watermelon Slicer

I admit I’m a sucker for gadgets like this. But this one does look pretty slick. I’m not much of a watermelon eater myself, but I’m seriously considering grabbing one of these as a gift for someone else. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea?


Cute Animal I Want This Week

6 Things That Have My Attention This Week

Photo taken by Kevin Johnson

Let’s chat! What was the last movie you watched? Was it good or bad? Tell me in the comments!

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  1. Not watching very many movies this year due to reading and writing, but time to time I’ll sneak one in. Ip Man 3 with blockbuster star Donnie Yen. Great series.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yeah, I remember you mentioning that the other week. I’ll have to check it out.

      • Sorry I don’t have any better recommendations haven’t seen a ton of movies of late. But there’s some I’m looking forward to watching. Star wars, xmen civil war, a few espionage movies. The man called Uncle, a bridge of spies. Having a bummy week, so I’d go for comedy right now just for the laughs. Nothing beats a good hearty belly laugh until you’re crying. I LOVE THAT. I’ve never seen Tropic thunder, might give it a shot.

    • Well I am definitely on board for IP Man 3 but only WITH Donnie Yen. The first movie ranks up there as possibly my favorite martial arts film of all time (it *is* possible to have a compelling story and character and also have kick butt fight scenes that relate to the story!). Never saw or intend to see the other IP Man movies about the character with other actors. So with that said, I upvote Ben’s “IP Man 3” even though I haven’t yet seen it. But you’ve GOT to see the first one!

      • YES, someone who’s actually seen it! Not sure how I first came across it, but the first IP man I saw literally blew my socks off. If you’ve ever had your socks blown off its a great experience. Then it was the same with IP 2 and 3. Another sock-blowing experience with Donnie Yen. I don’t know how it’s possible for a human being to move that fast. Sensational. I was expecting it to a typical karate flick but walked away with much more.

        WARNING: If you view this movie/series just prepare yourself to be sock-blown. It’s suggested that you prop your feet up. And definitely don’t wear shoes.

  2. The last movie I watched was Batman Vs Superman. I was disappointed by it but I thought Ben Affleck was really good as Batman. It’s Captain America Civil War though that I’m desperate to see. 🙂

  3. Eric Owens says:

    The last movie I watched recently was Band of Brothers. My wife and I have seen it many times and never tire of it. The WWII generation is called the greatest generation for a reason. The things those men did were nothing short of astounding. Easy Company 506th was incredible. The movie is one of the best ever made of how the war was really fought by showing the heart and courage of the men that gave so much. Two lines in particular stick with me:

    1.) We’re paratroopers were supposed to be surrounded
    2.) Fire and maneuver

    As writers maybe we can learn from this. Writing is supposed to be hard. (we’re surrounded), and write then without stopping go to another part of it. The most risky maneuver of any platoon or army is what is called a “full on assault”. Which means you are running headlong as fast as you can with your weapon pointed ahead of you. You don’t stop for anything even when you’re being fired upon.

    Maybe that is what writers sometimes do when they panster because they ave so much creative thought in their heads that instead of outlining the ideas they just go to the keyboard and do a full on assault of the story.

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Ah, I love Band of Brothers. One of the most perfect miniseries ever. Shame The Pacific didn’t come anywhere close to it.

    • You know, just because of your comparison to writers, I’m interested in watching this movie now. XD And I like a good war movie.

      By the way, I’m a pantser, and you’re not far off. 😉

  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Watched it after it arrived at my house on DVD/Blu-Ray last week with my kiddos. Itching to watch it again already.

    I agree with your assessment of Cowboys & Aliens. Not nearly as bad as everyone said, but it could have been a lot better. I’d *HOPED* for better from Jon Favreau, honestly, since he did Iron Man and Iron Man 2, as well as Chef (which was very foul-mouthed, but so hilariously good and touching.)

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Yeah, Iron Man was so *good* at the humorous parts. I was really hoping for that here. It needed some laughs so bad.

      • Would you mind elaborating on your appreciation for the Cowboys and Aliens concept? I don’t mean to be derogatory, he said, preparing to.burn the film to the ground, but the whole thing strikes me as ridiculous. I mean, a Winchester 1873 rifle is a great weapon, but dem boys are packing Winchester 4873 plasma cannons. How is suspension of disbelief at all possible? Again, I mean the concept, not the execution. I have issues – Lost is an example – where if the hook doesn’t get me, I don’t care how.great it might otherwise be, I’m not having it. And the last movie I watched was Force Awakens on DVD and the ending is so bad people should go to jail.Overall, it was pretty well done. Kyle Rene is no Darth Vader and he knows it and it eats him alive. That dynamic could be very interesting.

        • K.M. Weiland says:

          Based totally on the concept, not the execution: Why should aliens invade the Old West be any harder to suspend disbelief on than, say, The Avengers? It’s a new spin on an old trope, which (speaking only of the concept), I always appreciate.

          • I don’t have a problem with aliens in the Old West, I have a problem with cowboys using advanced technology to solve their problems. There is deus ex machina and then there is literally Deus Ex Machina! If Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday can’t use ropes, rifles and rustling to defeat aliens, then why make it? It could have been transgressive: the newcomers and their superior technology trying to force the current landholders off the land. The cowboys ARE the Indians!

          • K.M. Weiland says:

            Maybe I’m forgetting (already :p), but I think all the weapons in that movie were period–except for the alien tech, which the cowboys used seldom.

    • I liked cowboys and aliens. It wasn’t a blockbuster by any means but it was alright.

  5. We had a squirrel last year that we raised. He was super cute, but they’re definitely not house pets. They have enormous energy and will get pretty mean, too. Sadly, the day we were going to release him into the woods, he died and we don’t know why 🙁
    We also found a baby flying squirrel, but he only lived a day or two.

  6. I was very excited about Cowboys and Aliens after first hearing about it and seeing the trailers, but after the bad reviews, I gave it a pass. You make it sound like it’s worth a look, though, on a slow weekend afternoon. Thanks for the tip!

    • K.M. Weiland says:

      Wait for a *very* slow afternoon. I wrote the above after only having watched the first half. The second half gets significantly worse. 😉

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