Stream of Consciousness

imageedit_1_6944541551(photo by Nina Woss)

Straight from the well of opportunity and free speech comes an unfiltered blast about the random material in my head.  I will dispatch a dose on the Cards later and kick out some film-addict work too but right now I feel like the best way to kick off the creative flow is to unload a dose of wild fire topical conversation.   Here we go.

*The original Die Hard will never be touched as far as greatness is concerned and the birth of the terrorist/one man hero squad/real time movie.   It came out in the late 1980’s at the high point of B movie action heroes and this gem belongs to Bruce Willis and no one else.   The realism in this film along with the high jinks and wild adventure never get old and every character brings something different to the party.   Alan Rickman’s cunning villain.  Bonnie Bedalia’s scared yet strong wife.   Reginald Vel Johnson as the heroic cop who assists our hero, John McClane.  The sequels that followed were serviceable action films but this original always garners my attention when it slips onto late night cable.   Willis, spending a majority of the film in a tank top with khaki’s and bloody feet to go with an attitude that was lost on any previous villain, owned the show.   He was Rambo with a go fuck yourself cockiness and to this day, it ranks as one of the best, if not the best, heroes of all time in film.  Check it out.  Stop watching the bald McClane chronicles and remember the days where Willis ran around that skyscraper with fake hair, a few brain cells and a reckless abandon that wasn’t seen before.  1988 was a special year.

*How much of a magazine honk am I?  I have stopped by at least 7 shops, malls and stores looking for the latest issue of Rolling Stone, with Michael J. Fox on the cover.  RS writes long epic finely written feature stories that cut the shit and tell the entire tale.   They are underrated journalists and not just Doors/Grateful Dead hippies who sit around and puff weed all day.  They are very good and I have a bad feeling this magazine doesn’t hit stands until tomorrow.

*My kid is amazing, tough and free spirited.   He split his lip open on Sunday night and required five stitches.   The next morning, he was up and running around like Lancelot after a sword fight.  The 30 pound 3 foot chunk is invincible right now and basically does what he wants.  All a parent can do with a two year is keep him or her alive and feed the beast when needed.  They pretty much take care of themselves and have no need for pants during the day time.  You will remember the name Vincent Daniel Buffa.

*Carlos Gomez is a classless bitch.  There I said it.  Braves catcher Brian McCann is an attention grabbing hog most of the time but I felt like what he did last night was somewhat honorable.  Let me explain.  Gomez launched a long home run and walked at least 7 steps before running, staring down pitcher Paul Maholm and getting the wrath of McCann and Freddie Freeman.   McCann blocked homeplate and that wasn’t a good idea and that’s where he stepped out of line.  The benches cleared and a lot of bad breath was smelt and words exchanged in close proximity.  Gomez and Maholm have a history and don’t like each other.  This wasn’t surprising but I still think Gomez was the biggest clown because he had to take 7 steps before running after a home run.  Unless you are a legend, that is unacceptable.  My take.

*Drinking Buddies comes out tomorrow in St. Louis.  Finally, this quiet gem of a romantic comedy gets a Midwest release and will grace the floor at the Tivoli.   I watched this film in August on demand from my couch but will implore you to give it a shot.  A few reasons.  Olivia Wilde is in it and she gives an amazingly fresh performance as well as looking amazing.  Jake Johnson, Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick are also great.  It’s 90 minutes long and goes by quick.  Director Joe Swanberg really injects a lot of heart and soul into this simple tale of two best friends who work at a brewery who start to question whether being friends is enough.   A familiar concept is given new light here.   It’s a heartfelt honest depiction of young people breaking down the barriers of the different forms of love in this world.   I was taken aback by this movie because it was more than I initially thought it would be.

*How good are the Cardinals?   Their rookie pitchers have propelled them in 2013.   Guys like Michael Wacha, Seth Maness, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist and Tyler Lyons.    What looked like an older club in spring training got very young and did it very quickly this summer and have provided this team with a fresh boost of mentality and attitude that has proved to be the equalizer.   A month ago we were strangling off clubs for the division lead.  Now we hold the Central by 3 games after sweeping the Nationals.   How great is that?   After Mujica flamed out in the closer role, Trevor Rosenthal stepped in and closed down all 3 games against Washington.   The flame throwing big right hander used his changeup effectively at times but overpowered hitters with his 99 mph heater.   Rosenthal looked confident.    Siegrist set him up for saves twice.    The lefty has turned heads this year the same way Trevor did in 2012.   Wacha almost threw a no hitter on Tuesday, losing it because he wasn’t tall enough.   His presence in the rotation gave them a jump start two weeks ago and along with Wainwright’s comeback and Lynn’s redemption, has the Cards starters leading MLB in ERA in September.   You can score runs and have the bullpen turn off the lights but you need a starter to provide stability early on.  We have 94 wins and are playing our best baseball at the right time.   I would have Wainwright start Saturday’s game so he remains on normal rest for the probable start in Game 1 a week from today.   Hold him off and he may be rusty taking the mound then.   Keep the ship rolling forward and don’t make too much changes.   The only thing I am worried about is the three day break coming next week.  I only wish we could play simulated games to keep the flow going.

*TV greatness right now.  As I power my way through five seasons of Breaking Bad, I am watching some good shows week to week.  First, let me give my take on the most talked about series on cable right now.   I won’t pile drive 30 episodes in time for Sunday’s BAD finale, so I am okay with extending my stay with Walter past his primetime cable expiration date.   Breaking Bad is a pretty good if not great show.  At least not yet,  I am 7 episodes into Season 3 and feel it getting more confident and better but there is still more to reach.   The writing is the stable engine behind the show.  It’s so honest, brutal and well placed.   Bryan Cranston is every bit as phenomenal as Walter White but I find myself loving the quiet funny moments with his character.    What’s cooler than a boring middle aged science teacher getting cancer and deciding that the nest egg his family will be left with comes from meth production and distribution.   Since the launch of the first season, everything around White has started burning and I am not sure it will be put out any time soon.   My take on other current television.

*Boardwalk Empire, 3 hours in, is every bit as amazing and multi-dimensional as it has ever been.   The cast is so good and Terrence Winter’s guidance of the real events with the fictional drippings is so well played.

*Dexter wrapped up its final season and left our anti-hero in a fitting place.  I won’t spoil it but let me step out and say the entire season was very sloppy, poorly written and didn’t feel final but they sort of pulled it together in the final hour.   Certain things were hokey and not wrapped well but there were careful steps taken to leave our good guy serial killer in a fitting situation.   And it leaves the story open for revisiting.  I am all for an older Dexter.  This show did decline in the final four seasons.   It would never live up to the plateau it hit with the Trinity killer in Season 4.   Dexter is like David Freese.   Peaked early on and not just taking up space.

*Ray Donovan was also a strong piece of work on Showtime.  The first season closed on Sunday and left the characters in a fitting place as well.  Once again, a familiar plot with flawless work from the cast, especially Liev Schreiber and Eddie Marsan.  A show about a fixer in LA was only the start of a 13 hour story about a boxing family and the repercussions of bad decisions.

*The Newsroom is still tops in the books for my favorite show of the year but Ray Donovan comes close.  If only Aaron Sorkin wrote an episode of dialogue for Ray Donovan.

*BANSHEE returns in January and that is a hallmark date for this ridiculously devoted fan of the Cinemax program.

*Television is the world of anti-heroes these days.   It started with Tony Soprano, and then Don Draper.  Walter White.  Dexter Morgan.  Ray Donovan.  The entire cast of Game of Thrones.  Nucky Thompson.  All these half good/half bad/all gray souls who do bad things yet come off honorable.   That’s great television.

*The Rams were pathetic on Sunday in Dallas.   Penalties, bad defense and a boring offense.   No adjustment from Jeff Fisher.  A big YAWN.   They are still 1-2 and can change everything tonight with a home win over the equally walking wounded San Francisco 49ers.    Sam Bradford spent more time on the ground in Dallas than he had in the past 4 games combined and couldn’t do much of anything.  Our receivers showed nothing.  Our offensive line was manhandled.  I saw Jake Long get tossed to the ground by Demetrius Ware at least twice.  Our secondary was horrid.  Our running game was non existent.  Steven Jackson is currently injured with Atlanta but I feel like that’s a better status than our current group of tailbacks.   Anyone up for producing 80 yard by themselves on the ground?   Hmmmm….tonight it will be nice to see the Rams score first and play respectable defense.  You have been rough for all three weeks and the last 4 quarters were awful.  I felt like checking the sideline for Steve Spagnuolo on Sunday.  That can’t happen again.

*The Blues are firing up the engines for opening night in a week.   This team didn’t make too many changes over the offseason but added some integral veteran parts.  They switched out David Perron for another unpredictable and maddening young player and added two vets in Derek Roy and Brendan Morrow.  The netminder will be Jaro Halak until his hamstring pops and eventually Brian Elliot and Jake Allen will see time.  This is Halak’s final year and swan song.   Hopefully he plays at least 60 games.   Ken Hitchcock gets his first full season with the team and that will be interesting.  Can the Blues truly create something exciting or will we rehearse the same old sad song in June?

*Still having a lot of fun with twitter.  Opportunities galore and the connective powers on there are just phenomenal.   I get a kick out of that site every day.  More than Facebook, which is a bloated high school classroom most days.   Twitter is fresh, challenging and innovative.

*Michael J. Fox deserves all the attention he gets.   A fine comedic actor who has enjoyed a comeback with guest spots on Rescue Me and The Good Wife and now gets his own show on NBC.  This guy is a true hero and speaks out for a disease that has affected his life and the lives of many others.  Unlike Lance Armstrong, he isn’t a lying cheat.  He is a tough guy who didn’t let a disease ruin his life.   Like Magic Johnson and Muhammed Ali, he just kept on throwing punches.  An imperfect legend.

*What else?  I love my wife.   Few husbands who married young can say that after 8 years of marriage and 11 years of a relationship.  I got lucky and there isn’t a date where I forget it.

*Mike Matheny is a good manager and has done a marvelous job this year in dealing with injuries and using the large depth he has on the roster.   He drives us nuts and doesn’t make sound decisions all the time but what skipper does?  Matheny, in 2 years, has proved he belongs.

*The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club comes into town tomorrow. I can’t wait to watch these SF rockers light up the Pageant.  The under the radar rockers are a truly soulful bunch of musicians and have slowly worked their way into my must listen music list nearly every week.   Good for runs, drives or walks, the band can play.

*Watch this Jimmy Kimmel clip where Jon Hamm, the golden boy of St. Louis, defends the supremely delicious pizza, IMOS.  His quotes as he eats it are priceless.

I’ll leave you with that clip.  My work here is done.  Time for a break.  Let the hands fly here and now I need to check on my prodigy.

Thanks for staying,

Dan Buffa

@buffa82 on twitter

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