Buff Off the Cuff: Remembering Charlie Watts and reminding you about ‘Road to Perdition’

Let’s try this again.

Live from Longboat Key, Florida: Here are a few things on my mind as vacation hits the halfway point.

Pfizer is now fully FDA approved. For all the people who think a vaccine that saves hundreds of lives every day is somehow a crazy witch, just remember this is the difference between being on a ventilator and being slightly sick at home. 99% of the time, telling people what to do with their health isn’t my cup of tea; then again, we usually don’t see a pandemic reappear like a comic book villain. If people want me to wear a mask for them, they can get vaccinated for us. In May, I received my second Pfizer shot. It went down like a plate of toasted ravioli from Anthonino’s Taverna. I am ready for shot #3, and I don’t really like needles. Join the party, pals.

One good thing about vacation is normalcy gets kidnapped from your life for a few days, hopefully a week. That has nothing to do with being away from your wife or kids. At the moment, I would love to scoop my near-ten-year-old son and run into the ocean, with my wife guarding and doting from the edge of the shore. What got left behind in St. Louis was my everyday schedule. Adulting checkpoints. People would quickly compare this to a mere sleep-in opportunity. Don’t sell yourself short. I awoke this morning at the same time as I will next week, but I’m not moving like Jason Bourne through South City trying to get my kid to school. One load of laundry will be done. Lots of food will be destroyed.

The whole idea of a vacation, which is an escape from the ordinary, is to unplug. Don’t necessarily attach that idea to simply leaving your cell phone back in the hotel room. That can be helpful, but don’t resist the urge to take pictures just because your friend thinks it’s weird. Do you, especially when you’re away from the office. Think of it as not worrying about chores, responsibilities, or getting from A to B before C can even notice. Every adult has an office. We build it ourselves and trap our lives in there. With a beach in full view, those requirements turn to ash.

Don’t trust the 2021 Cardinals. They are a .500 or just above baseball club. After winning eight of nine games, they lost two of three against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. Right when there was a chance to revive a dying season, the Cardinals left the table. It’s a repeat performance of several weeks from earlier in the season. One that the team entered with modest expectations, 162 games of hope slung over the shoulder of one big offseason acquisition.

The moment Jack Flaherty went down earlier this season, this team was doomed. A few hours after Katie Woo of The Athletic reported Flaherty is returning to the DL, the status is the same.

Before they lost Flaherty for the first time, the Cardinals were already down a key bullpen piece, potentially the antiserum to a collapse in Jordan Hicks. With a persistently problematic offense, this team was done right then and there.

Instead, appreciate the game of baseball. Win or lose, every true fan wins each night nine innings (at least) occur. This team will produce plenty of fireworks and could sneak into a wildcard spot-but save your heartstrings and just soak in the cracks of the bat and the succinct sound of a baseball hitting the catcher’s mitt just right.

Don’t sleep on “Road to Perdition.” The superb Sam Mendes drama is leaving Netflix this month, so get a viewing in before the clock runs out. Tom Hanks blew the candle out on his comedic gifts and channeled the chilliest persona of his talent, creating an unexpected redemption song for the ages in the role of Michael Sullivan. But Paul Newman’s final screen performance keeps this tale fresh every time you give it the attention. A meditative gangster road drama with otherworldly music from Thomas Newman and an absolutely surreal slice of cinematography from the late Conrad Hall (he won the posthumous Oscar). A pre-Bond Daniel Craig and unreal Jude Law, along with the wonderful Stanley Tucci, enrich this mobster hard knocks tale. It also has an all-time great trailer:

Rest in peace, Charlie Watts. The legendary Rolling Stones drummer passed away Tuesday at the age of 80. Turn on “You Got Me Rocking” and do your best to stay seated. In this versatile array of hardcore British rock, Watts was the secret weapon. Every hit song from the Stones has sinister drums in its DNA. Take “Beast of Burden” for instance. Watts sets the tone for the entire track in the opening seconds. His drums, not exactly Mick Jagger’s voice, seduces you. Well, it still seduces me. Give it a listen.

Thanks for reading and please, appreciate what you have every single day.

One thought on “Buff Off the Cuff: Remembering Charlie Watts and reminding you about ‘Road to Perdition’

  1. great column …. totally agree on “Road to Perdition”

    Also re: Watts, I love bands that have signature elements (Watts is critical to their sound) and, IMO, they now need to shut it down, but they won’t.

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