The News In My World

Opening Round of Fire

Let me start things off by saying hello.   I am still around, alive, blood flowing, heart ticking, walking, talking, breathing and full of white hot rage.   At some point of every hour of our lives, we are angry about something.   A person, thing, ideal, or phrase that makes us homicidal or suicidal.  It’s part of living.  Being unhappy with some aspect of the way life is being lived so we quietly protest.  What do you think the difference is between you yelling inside your car with the windows up and the air on at the stupid ass driver who just cut you off as opposed to getting out of the car at the next stop light and ripping their head clean off?  It’s called quiet protest.   That’s our state of mind, or at least the portion of us that fight the good fight that includes staying out of jail.   I don’t like tight spaces in the middle of murderers, evil men, bad con men, and rapists.  It’s like a blind political war room mixed with Celebrity Jeopardy.  You go to jail and you get to pick the way you die.  At best, its by your own hands.  So instead of acting out and killing someone or coming close, we button down the hatch and stay civil.   Spit the words out of your mouth and feel good about pointing out retardation.  I sit here, one of the billions one earth who sat in their car or chair, contemplating the idea of murder before the sharp glaze of freedom brushed through their eyes and reminded them why they fake half their living minutes.   If you want to do something about it, you pay for it.   Ask the bodies in the ground at the local cemetery.  Ask their advice about fighting the good fight until the final and you will find a lot of regretful souls.   You know how you get the truth from people.  Ask the person they vent to about you.   Their face is a born again lie fest.  2012’s truth comes directly from the source and only from the source.   The only question is…do you trust it and are you ballsy enough to ask a person who doesn’t like you why?  Instead, I googled myself and found 27 other Dan Buffa’s who run around the planet Earth.  Go figure.   I am not even mad enough to act out on my rage.  I am also not even my own person.   Fuck!  And so I begin with what else….another rant about the Cardinals, my blood boiling baseball team that likes to play the underachieving acquaintance who always lures you into bed only to tell the next day when you are both sore from a night of rage infused free will chasing sweet haze of animal poses that they don’t want a relationship.   The Cardinals lead me on right and left, and manage to keep my spirits high by winning or appearing in World Series every 4-6 years.  Fuck!  Here it goes.  The latest mindfuck leg cramping fit rant about my baseball team.   Friends of mine bet me I would punch our doctor if he mentioned the Cubs in a happy light.  I told them they were crazy and that she was a woman whose humor was more dry than a piece of sandpaper.  They still put 20 dollars down on my rage overflowing at the OB doctor who would examine my wife.   I won the bet, held my rage in check, and she happened to not even utter a word of sports french inside the appointments.   In the 10 months since Vinny has been born, I have written, watched and followed my Cards but with a lower camouflaged form of obsession.  You can’t notice it as much unless you are close enough, sitting next to my plate of food as I grip it extra tight in late and close games.  I keep it at bay most nights, falling asleep in late one run games, allowing my dreams to sort out the victims.  I often serve the role of detective when I visit the crime scene the next morning.   The Cards are still my wishing well of infinite doom but their failure doesn’t scare me as much as it used to.  I wouldn’t jump off a tall high rise for them anymore.  These days its more like a small 4 story apartment complex that serves as my limit of danger within myself and this team’s flight or plight.   It’s not an easier way of observing them but my own idea of restraint.  I still envy people like my wife and father, who can politely yell at the television scream only to look at me with a straight face when I feel like kicking a three legged dog in the jar about the manager’s decision to leave a worn out arm in to give up the go ahead run.   Really, why does the hitter feel its a good idea to swing at a pitch that could have been a measuring stick aimed above their head for a height exam?  Answer that in less in 90 words and I will buy you lunch.  Why lunch?  It’s cheaper.  Anyway, baseball doesn’t rule my life anymore but it owns a fair measure of real estate on my soul.  The itch is always there and will never leave.  That ability to throw stats, wise knowledge, and a fairly un-bias take on the situation at hand in sports.   I did say un-bias, right?   Sure.  Allow me to finish my own sentences and write the rest of this blog.   Read it or not, my job is only to clear my head of infinite ideas and thoughts.  Think of a hoarder cramming newspapers into their shower.   Feeling the need to take up the space where you clean yourself in order to satisfy an urge.  So instead of doing that I come here and write.   Write nearly 1,000 word opening rants about our quiet rage, baseball and my own dealings with the two.   By the way, did I tell you that I just wrote a 1,000 word opening rant in this blog?  Well, I did. 1,015 words to be exact.  Let’s move on with the Cardinals complaint.   Filed now..

Cardinals Rant #2,919

The Cards are a hard team to watch the past couple years.   They find many different ways to lose and constantly fall on their heads.   They make errors that put a strain on a solid starting pitching staff.   They get a ton of hits but have no consistent clutch appearance.  They lose a ton of winnable games.  They lead the league in one run losses.   They lost 3 one run games on their just concluded horrific road trip, which included leaving around 49 runners on base.   They lost 5 out of 6 games against the Reds and Brewers, the teams surrounding them in the division.   Against their division since the end of May, the Cards are downright bad.  The Pirates defeated them easily at Busch.  The Reds swept them in Cincinnati.  The Brewers looked very average barely slipping by the Birds this past three game set.   The Cards don’t lose a lot of games by a wide margin.  They make it close and painful so it hurts.   The many teams they face will tell you it isn’t easy to finish them off, but their record is better than the Cardinals.   Look at the stats.  The Cards have done their part offensively over the course of the season as a whole, but in July, their bats have gone cold while the temperatures outside have risen.    It’s a troubling trend to witness.  Your team putting the tying and winning runners on base only to strand them infinitely and lose the game.  The Cardinals pulled off a comeback victory on Monday, getting the best of former Brewers closer John Axford for a three run rally for a 3-2 win.   The win could have served as a launching pad.  Instead, the Cards lost two straight and sit 4.5 games out of first place on July 18th.  This team has been maddeningly inconsistent.  They played the part in 2011, and with the help of the Braves stormed back to win the World Series.   They pulled a fast one and stole the trophy.  In 2012, they are doing it again.  Playing inconsistent baseball, showing flickers of hope followed by an overflowing sense of dread.  Can they turn it around?  Time will tell….

One could say this team needs a starter, reliever and new set of bats or mind sets.   Mike Matheny needs to switch out his bible sessions with happy endings at home.  The poor guy is finding out that 162 games as a technical leader of a team is ten times tougher than being the mental leader of the team.   We need rotation help because Waino is throwing a lot of innings, Lance Lynn looks tired in the 1st inning, Kyle Lohse will come back to earth soon and Jake Westbrook has to start throwing flat fastballs soon.   Joe Kelly is the finest surprise of 2012 and he only has one win.   The kid has pitched great since he showed up in June and he hasn’t been given shit for run support.   Look at run support as a true sign of a starter’s worth and not quality starts.   It’s not if the pitcher is doing his end or not.  It’s the run support he is getting that holds his record high or low.  That’s not negotiable.  It’s sports politics.  Compare it to ratings.  There is no clear logic in them but they look nicer than real studies.  The Cardinals need another bullpen arm to shove a bad arm out.  They need a safe guard starter to be ready to swoop in just in case Waino or Lynn hits a wall or Jaime Garcia doesn’t come back until November.  They can also use a bat off the bench that knows how to get a hit with runners in scoring position and one out.  The Cardinals need a shot in the arm.  Any sort, any kind or flavor.  Give me Will Clark or Larry Walker.   At this point I will take a Jeff Weaver.  Something to mix things up because either Lance Berkman’s humor has worn off or the boys in the hall are too wound up and need to visit Roxy’s one more time this weekend.   Losing to the Reds and Brewers is unfortunate and disappointing.  Losing to the woeful Chicago Cubs at Busch this weekend would be downright sinister.  Think of Michael Bay directing a remake of Goodfellas.  Yeah, that bad!

I promise I will recite the rest of my blog in smaller doses.  I just took my meds.

The Other Guys

The Dark Knight Rises comes out Friday and I have already seen it.   I have to withhold my review(stupid critic/press embargo rules) until then but allow me to say this.  It didn’t suck.  For more, read my review on film-addict.com this Friday at midnight.   There’s my required plug for my movie website.  Stop telling me how nice it looks and just go there and tell about 20 people to do the same.  Websites are like babies.  They need nutrients and good care to grow.  And a lot of help.

The Blues resigned Jamie Langenbrunner and traded B.J. Crombeen as well as giving David Perron a solid four year deal.   All the deals serve purpose and worry me at the same time.   Langenbrunner is a grinder, veteran and a guy who will do anything but is he taking up a young player’s spot?  Crombeen wasn’t a good fighter and not a much better hockey player so Ryan Reaves(2 yr contract) gets his spot…finally!   Perron has a shaky head but tons of skill so we will see.  Does T.J. Oshie get a deal before Friday’s arbitration hearing?  I believe that is up to Oshie’s camp and not the Blues.  I think the Blues want to sign him but Oshie wants to acquire that restricted tag next year.  Who knows?

The Rams truly haven’t done much to warrant my attention, so who cares at this point?  If they win, fans will show up by Week 9.  If they lose the first 3 games, every home game will be blacked out.   All I am asking for is a pulse this season.  Good luck Fisher.

The Newsroom on HBO is a brilliant show because Aaron Sorkin pulls zero punches and goes for the jugular.   A creator and head writer should let the audience know how they feel about certain timely political events and he does.  Also, Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterson are wonderful in their roles.   Two actors we all know that are at the top of their game here.  Watch it or leave it.  Just forget about your political alliance and enjoy the war room battles.  This show isn’t about the right or left wing. It’s about the death of news and the rebirth of delivering it right.  The show delivers that self-righteous cooler than the other side of the pillow chill that few shows about real things can do.  I appreciate and look forward to that for at least 18 more episodes.  Other HBO products are coming right along.  True Blood is still a devilish guilty pleasure.   I can’t wait for the third season of Boardwalk Empire to begin.

Vincent continues to do things I can’t believe.   Spit out words, come to a standing position, show bits of sophistication and enjoy life.   He is a normal baby in many ways but a special little bastard in ways only a parent can notice.   The man knows how to flirt and has a special face for it.   It could be a fellow 10 month old girl or a grown 37 year old cougar.  Vinny loves the ladies and knows how to work it.   Man goes outside without pants on and gets more chicks.   Being a baby is great.  People love you for your chunkiness and don’t make of you for it.  All adults are envious of babies getting all the attention because they make it look so easy.

Boxing gets better each day after a scary May where we had one horrible injustice and two positive drug tests along with a popular champion losing his career to an accident.   Last weekend there were two fights that were solid battles without controversy.   Heavyweight Brit’s David Haye and Derick Chisora met in the ring and Haye kicked the shit out of him.   Later that night, Danny Garcia, undefeated but unknown all at the same time, knocked out title contender Amir Khan in the 4th round of a fight many picked for Khan.   This was a replacement fight, after Khan’s previous opponent failed a drug test and fell out.   This was the second replacement fight due to a positive drug test this past month.   Victor Ortiz was beaten by a replacement fighter as well.  Khan didn’t run and hide like Ortiz.   He was caught with a huge sweeping left hand on the side of the head and never recovered.   However, he fought to the end of his rope.   Ortiz had a broken jaw and sat in his corner, quitting for the second time in his career.   Khan knew he was doomed but went down swinging.  In boxing, brutality and doom are your friends and foes.  Khan is a good boxer but was caught with a good punch.  That’s boxing.  And that is why we love it.  A good clean solid beating.  Congrats to Garcia and Haye.

People, stop asking about the ending to the Dark Knight Rises.  Stop asking about the quality of Tom Hardy’s performance as Bane compared to Heath Ledger’s Joker.  Just go see for yourself.  It’s a helluva ride and worth taking.  If you want to brush up, re-watch Batman Begins, the first Nolan Batman film.  It ties directly to the plot of DKR and brings the theme and story full circle.  That’s all about that.

Watch it this for kicks. Call it a little Heath Ledger brilliance when he plays the Joker, “The Agent of Chaos”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=ZRG1tWQN6e8&NR=1

Listen to anything Black Keys, Adele or Mumford and Sons.  You will be safe inside that fresh tube of great artistry.  Please feel good about the music you listen to.   Everybody has their own taste and needs.   Don’t feel ashamed for listening to something others frown on.   Dave Matthews has as many haters as lovers, but that doesn’t stop me from sweating under the lights watching him for 3 hours at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, a place I have grown to hate with a passion.  Listen to what makes you glide.

Keep in touch with your family for the bare bottom reason of getting the last word in before something bad happens.  All the other happier reasons too.  Whenever I talk to my dad, I try to leave every rock uncovered.  It never works out that way because it would get awkward but I have that ambition going in.   In this world, you never know.

Which friends can you trust?  The ones that are mean to you with honesty.  I tell my good friends that I am their best friend but not their nicest one.  You have to pay for those.

The filmmakers chose the right actor in Jeremy Renner to follow up Matt Damon in The Bourne Series but is the movie worth a shit?  We will find out on August 3rd.   Along with Damon’s great lead work, all three films were spectacularly tight morally ambiguous action films across the board.

What is it about people who say Y’all instead of “all of you” or “you all” that pisses me off?  I guess the idea that it sounds good.  Fuck with the dictionary all you want but makes sure the product isn’t annoying.  Paula Dean’s fat ass can’t stop saying “Y’all” wherever she goes.   She says it as many times as Ozzie Guillen says “fuck”.   I hate her show, cooking and presence with a passion and it all starts with that phrase.

Speaking of Guillen, Showtime’s new season of the Franchise is riveting television as usual.  Following Guillen’s troubled Miami Marlins as they take a big step in rebuilding a baseball team in a city that doesn’t give a shit about it and just watched the Heat win the championship, Showtime follows the mold of HBO.  Find a loud, ignorant profanity laced speaking manager and let it all hang out.   Following in the footsteps of Rex Ryan and Bruce Boudreau, Guillen makes you watch.   Also, MLB Productions does a great job of showcasing the action and giving us the inside track.

That is all.  Abrupt.  Finish.  Tonight, my end comes in this format.   Quick and to the point.   Reread the opening rant.  I’m proud of that part the most.

Thanks and goodnight,

D.L.B.

“Always, for what it’s worth”

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

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