Here’s What I Know, Volume 10: Moving, Lynn, Spidey, beer off tap

A stream of consciousness of all the non important shit in my head


Live from the waiting room at the Princeton Heights, it’s time for another edition of HWIK: everything fit to print inside the head at the moment. No holds barred takes from the Douche Canoe(new name I saw on Twitter).

As I sip cup of coffee #3, let’s get moving.

  • Moving sucks. If I could take a cold nap from the day before to a month after, that would be swell. You find out just how much extra shit you have when you move. Lots of tag along nik nak bullshit. How many books and decorations do you need in life? The answer for me is seven totes. The wife is planning on gutting everything in the house except for breathing entities, so stay tuned for more shrink patient type confessions.
  • Lance Lynn didn’t throw his last pitch on Busch Stadium’s mound Sunday, but let me say this about him: he did a good job. In about 5.5 years of service, he has produced nearly a 14.5 WAR(wins above replacement) for the Cardinals for just under 16 million dollars. That’s a great bargain if the sabs wore you out. He throws old school cheddar, never got the appreciation from the fans, and his post game interviews should open in Friday nights and come with popcorn. While I wanted value for him this week due to his eventual departure, I’ll enjoy watching him pitch a few more times.

Continue reading “Here’s What I Know, Volume 10: Moving, Lynn, Spidey, beer off tap”

‘Baby Driver’ shoots to thrill, delivering a never better Jon Hamm

Edgar Wright makes Tarantino’s mouth water with his latest feature

Baby. Buddy. Griff. Bats. Darling. Meet a few of the players of writer/director Edgar Wright's new cinematic action jazz club, Baby Driver. This is the most thrilling movie I've seen in months.

And I'm not talking about ordinary heart stopping attacks of the visual variety, but ridiculously hair raising off your arm and neck entertainment convolutions that can pop the corn.

Carrying a wicked soundtrack that Quentin Tarantino may even buy, Wright has delivered the perfect summer movie: a world where you don't have to think too much, but must enjoy a lot. A car chase flick that only slows down long enough to fill the gas tank-before burning rubber into a plot that is simple to spin and easy to enjoy.

Ansel Elgort (Fault in Our Stars, Divergent series) breaks out the James Dean cool as Baby, the best driver in town who happens to be the wheels behind Doc's (Kevin Spacey) criminal operation of thieves. The suicide squad includes Jon Hamm's Buddy, Jamie Foxx's Bats, Eiza Gonzalez's Darling, and Jon Bernthal's Griff. Continue reading “‘Baby Driver’ shoots to thrill, delivering a never better Jon Hamm”

‘The Big Sick’: The feel good laugh out comedy event of 2017

The realistic version of While You Were Sleeping, but with more edge and humor.

It’s a rare occurrence for a film to come out of nowhere and blow me away. The Big Sick, featuring a magnetic performance from Kumail Nanjiani, did just that when I screened it last month.

Here is a film that will make you laugh out loud at its raunchy yet inspired humor and then make you feel emotion that you weren’t expecting. The best parts of this film are the ones you won’t see coming, because this may be the only time you hear me put “feel good” and “raunchy comedy” in the same sentence, but The Big Sick fits that bill to a tee. This is the best movie I’ve seen this year, and to think, I almost skipped it to do laundry at home.

Nanjiani (who also co-wrote the screenplay) is the star of this flick that is marketed as “an awkward love story”, and he is resonates unexpectedly as an aspiring comic in Chicago trying to make it to the next level. Kumail (yes, he keeps the same name in the film) goes on a stage for five minutes in a small nightclub with his fellow comics(played by real comedian Bo Burnham and SNL star, Aidy Bryant), and they are all vying for spots in a Montreal comedy festival. Continue reading “‘The Big Sick’: The feel good laugh out comedy event of 2017”

‘The Hero’ is an easy riding swan song for Sam Elliott

At long last, the actor gets a juicy lead role to work with.

How many chances do we get to experience a rebirth? When death finally does stare you down, do you look in the mirror and ask: Am I ready to go or do I have unfinished business? Brett Haley’s soulful ode to legacy-The Hero-places one of the most iconic voices of film center stage at long last.

Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott) has a lot of unfinished business. An aging actor known for one legendary performance, Hayden yearns for the days where he was walking across the desert with a cowboy hat on, dispensing justice. These days, all Lee dispenses is the smoke from the weed he smokes with former co-star and friend, Jeremy (Nick Offerman), and advertising words for barbecue sauce through a microphone in a recording studio.

What Lee wants to do is get one last role, or anything with substance. When he is given a fatal diagnosis, Lee attempts to reconnect with his daughter (Krysten Ritter, making a lot out of a little), but finds a new wave of energy when he meets Charlotte (Laura Prepon, the beauty from Orange Is The New Black). In a way, Charlotte puts the flame back in Lee’s pilot light, and the film rides a comfortable wave as Lee confronts his mortality, his legacy, and what he will leave behind. Continue reading “‘The Hero’ is an easy riding swan song for Sam Elliott”

FRESH BREW Announcement!

Thanks for listening.

Today marks the last “Fresh Brew” show on WGNU.

After 34 great invigorating shows, my radio show has met its end-and the reason is quite simple: sales.

In order to stay on the air, a radio host must hit the streets, sell ads, and create revenue, because if not, he or she represents what to a station? That is the name of the game in this current landscape of radio hosting. If you aren’t on salary or a well-known name, your future on the air always has a clock attached to it. That is the painful reality, and something I have long accepted.

Whether it’s getting a family owned business to hand over a wad of cash every month or figuring out innovative ways to connect with larger companies, radio sales are hard. Going door to door, asking for money, and I’m not a good salesman. I am a peoples person until my last breath, but that is far different from being a good salesman. I am no Don Draper-and I am fine with that. Life gets a lot easier when you understand what you are good at and what you are not good at. Continue reading “FRESH BREW Announcement!”

The Monday Rant 

Let’s punch Monday in the throat with a stream of consciousness.

Live from the Tesson Ferry medical clinic–

I’m tired. Let’s just start there. 

The wife is having surgery on her wrist-round 2 if you are counting in the waiting room-and I’m uploading coffee into the system as I type. No, a nurse isn’t holding a cup near my mouth, but I’ll check if that’s in the insurance plan. 
Since I don’t have wifi in the lounge and the April issue of Sports Illustrated doesn’t interest me, I’ll come here and rant. Off the cuff chat. Monday morning musings. The Wakeup Blues. 

It has been said that the more we talk shit out, the easier we sleep. Who knows if that is true, but let’s go ahead and tap into my stream of consciousness:

*Bethalto isn’t that bad. I mean, there’s a Schnucks grocery store with a Shop n’ save pharmacy and there isn’t a movie theater for miles, but it’s a quiet place to get away. It’s not like you can be driving down I-44 towards Webster in STL and get shot or anything. 

*I hate going to bed early, so I often don’t do it. You’re told what to do outside your house, so why obey the rules inside your four walls? Even when there is a reason to, like today. The wife tells me to get some sleep and I tell her not to worry. I watch Rocknrolla and Knight and Day instead. Bad idea. I’m very tired and they make these rooms at the clinic super bright. Like, do they not have respect for Italian vampires?

Sidebar: Hey Guy Ritchie, what happened to that Rocknrolla sequel you promised us back in 2008? The part before the end credits where the screen teased, “Coming soon, The Real Rocknrolla.” Well, nine years later, and you sir are a real fucking liar. The first film cost just 18 million to make. A sequel would have been a better investment than that King Arthur turd you shat out this past spring. Yeah, I did type SHAT. 

*Ready for a medium hot take: A radio show shouldn’t have more than three hosts. Then it turns into an overcrowded party where people talk over each other constantly and the listener gets confused about who is saying what. When people decide to turn their dial towards your stream, don’t take that shit for granted and pack the room full of voices. I don’t care who the hosts are, it’ll be a mess. 

*The NFL starts in two months. Kickoffs abound and fantasy leagues launch. Husbands and wives lose their spouses for undisclosed periods of time. Owners sit in suites and talk about building new stadiums they don’t need and possibly moving the team if they don’t get what they want. Money is earned. I mean, stupid money. So much cash. Football returns in two months and I couldn’t care less. Fuck you Roger Goodell. When I look up gutless scumbag whore in the dictionary, your picture pops up. 

*In eleven days, I move into my new house. So exciting and also not. Like getting a massage from someone who needs to clip their fingernails. My wife and her sister are already planning to fix the electric, which means possibly gutting the walls. Don’t get me wrong, a mean demolition is quite fun, but not in my house. A new home means one thing: projects. Fuck. Me.  

Side note: I’m writing this on my phone, and I’d like to tell my iPhone for the hundredth time that I do want to type “fuck” and not “duck”. 

*There are four hours of Kingdom left. That’s right folks. The MMA series has officially entered its Gettysburg movie status. Four hours. I can’t tell you how sad I am that this series is closing up its doors at Navy Street after the August finale. There are certain TV shows that you wish would have stopped a long time ago (Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, etc.), and this one simply isn’t one of them. Frank Grillo and Jonathan Tucker deserve Emmy awards. Matt Lauria and Kiele Sanchez are so great. The goal of this TV series was to dive into messy parking lot that is a fighter’s mental state. Imperfect people who trip over themselves in an imperfect world. Four more hours left people. 

*Whenever I mention Grillo’s name around people, I get a certain look. An aggressive eye roll type move. Like they are expecting me to wax poetically about him again. And I think to myself-yeah, so what? Don’t be jealous that my favorite actor to watch is also a friend who I admire as a person and a performer. I bet half these eye roll people don’t even take the time to watch a Grillo movie or show. They just don’t. Try it out. See if I’m wrong. I’m not alone. There are Grillo addicts everywhere and for good reason. In a landscape stuffed with egos and false personalities, Frank is as authentic as they come. And he could kick your ass. And your dad’s ass. And your brother too. You get the point. 

*Annoying pack of jack-wagons #407: the ones who say they are done watching Cardinals baseball after a bad loss. Don’t kid yourself. A bad loss just makes you watch more. Watch harder. Closer. Become more addicted. These are the needy types too. The LaVar Balls of baseball fans. 

*Speaking of LeVar, maybe I can have Grillo knock that oversaturated athlete parent the fuck out. I mean hard too. Ball gives all dads at the little league game a bad name. Just shut it down dude. Let your kid play. 

*Let me ask a question. Why can only one website write about a player or topic? This is so common in sportswriting these days. I don’t get it. There’s enough room at the table for hundreds of websites, but if a website writes about a topic covered two days or two weeks after another site covers it, they are bad. Scorned. If the world got rid of all the sports oriented know-it-alls, it would be a better place. Here’s the thing: they are as full of shit as the next person. They don’t know it all. Not even close. They got their information from someone else and basically reformatted it for their own discretion. The realty is we are all staring into the looking glass pondering the next thought. You know who you are if you read this part. Give it up. 

*Hey, did you hear about that NBA trade? Oh cool. I couldn’t give a shit if I was paid to. Well, it depends on the money I guess. I get more arousal out of the back 9 of a golf game than I do an NBA contest or off-season gaming. 

*Can we get a good winter this year, because the mosquito bites that I’m getting this summer are brutal. They aren’t just taking a bite; these bastards are taking a pint. So selfish. And I know bugs play a part in our way of life. But I didn’t agree in the “Bugs Occupation Package: Volume 2017” for mosquitoes to bite the shit out of me. 

*As much as I liked doing the battlegrounds, I don’t need to do it again. Once you get in the mud for a couple hours and go to that extreme, a good run or workout suffices. Never say never, but I don’t think I need a repeat. 

*Favorite dinner food. Simple surf and turf. Give me a ten ounce strip streak cooked medium and shrimp or a slab of Atlantic salmon sautéed on a stove. Here’s another medium heated take: I’ll take steak and shrimp over brisket and pulled pork. BBQ is overrated. 

*When it comes to chicken wings, the skin must be crispy. If not, no thanks. There’s no place in this world for slimy skinned wings. 

*Pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza. Ask any chef in Italy. It’s no good.  

*Game of Thrones starts in six days. Since I don’t have premium cable, no Thrones for me. 

*Here’s the shitty part about exercising: it makes you want to eat more. As you get older, the mantra is that you need to take care of yourself. I’ve been doing that since I was 17 years old, so it’s not headline news to me. But they don’t warn you about the food desires that rise up as you increase your activity. And sometimes a bowl of veggies won’t cut it. An example: last night at 11 p.m., I absolutely destroyed a bag of Cheez-it’s. Gone. Working out just increases the need for a larger food intake. Fuck you appetite. 

*To the people who drive 45 minutes or more to work in the morning or at night, I applaud you. That’s tough business. 

*This week will mark my first week as an Uber driver. I’m trying to make money and not work a shit job that makes me miserable, so I’m trying this. I’m not messing around, so I got gum, mints, water, and other small goods for my passengers. The better the reviews, the more customers come your way. Also, it’s a great chance to explore the city. Here goes nothing. 

*Full confession. I love to talk, but there are times where an extended period of silence is just golden. The need to fire away constantly is a drain. Shut up and listen. Or just appreciate the quiet. 

*Beautiful women of the world, don’t be so hard on yourself. I know it’s tough. You’re pretty enough. Yes, your makeup is subtle. The dress doesn’t look too tight. The hair is done up just right. Your breasts are perfect for your body type. Sure, yoga pants are acceptable outside of a gym. As judgemental as we are-and we all are-a little “you” is always needed. 

Side bar: The ass remains the most seductive part of a woman while the eyes cut us off at the knees. 

One last thing: protect your knees. As a guy who runs on hard concrete, I can assure you that making sure your knees receive care is of the utmost importance after the body turns 30. Aging isn’t always classy. 

Also, the only thing better than people watching is spotting other addictive people watchers.  

Okay, I’ll shut up now. Back to your regularly scheduled programming. 


So long, Mardel house

For eight years, this place took care of us.

It’s 4:53 in the morning, I’m in the driveway , and it’s finally hitting me like a ton of bricks: I’m no longer going to live at 7130 Mardel Avenue. The feels are invading my chest like a Roman Army. 

The South City home has been ours since July 9, 2009; our first legit house after a series of apartments and a duplex on Oleatha. You find out a lot about yourself when you think about all the places you’ve been. It’s like flipping a book of old pictures fast enough until they blend into one clear picture. 

Eight years ago, my wife and I were working a couple of odd jobs, as a warehouse grunt and a nanny. We paid the bills, hardly saved any money, and then everything changed on September 14, 2011. 

Vincent Daniel Buffa was born, and we brought him home to the Mardel house like a care package that we had no idea how to handle. At least I didn’t. We had his first birthday party at this house. Bill DeWitt III showed up. We smeared the kid with a cake. Good times happened. 

In 2012, my wife and I lost our jobs, and both of us lived on unemployment for months. It wasn’t easy, but we got through it. Sometimes, you simply have to lower your head, lie to yourself about it being okay, and barrel through until you see the clear. 2012 was dark and shitty, but thankfully calendars flip. 

We watched a World Series game from our backyard in 2013, and left our home for an Arkansas apartment in 2014, but returned in 2016 to our Mardel home. 

*These are cliff note highlights of our time there, but since I’m writing this on zero hours of sleep, there’s comfort in at least a third of this making sense. 

Now, we are leaving again. Our home must be pretty confused. Almost a year to the day after Vinny and I returned to St. Louis, we are saying goodbye like 360 days were a blip on the radar. Life has a tricky way of reminding you it is holding all 52 cards at the poker table. 

Things change so fucking fast, because at one point this year, this house was going to be it for us. Make some upgrades, fix a few things, and settle in. That’s it. I don’t get a boner over house projects or design plans. That is my wife’s department. I help when needed and wait for it to be done. A smile awakens afterwards when everything is clean. 

Our house went on the market in May with the hopes of selling within a month. That was my goal at least. Any longer and you aren’t getting anywhere. After a weekend where there were six showings, an offer was made and we accepted. Suddenly, the countdown had begun. 

But it was still our home. I cleaned it. I mowed the lawn and took care of it. It wasn’t gone yet. Nothing was official in my book. 

This morning, it’s gone. In less than five hours, a boatload of memories will conclude with the official closing at the realtors office. 

Last night, after my dad and I moved the television out, I had to take a moment. I turned on all the lights and just looked around at a house that was witness to so many occasions. I snapped a few photos. There were no tears. That only happens when Platoon or The Untouchables comes on. 

I went in each room and stored a memory. 

The living room: thinking about that time right after we came home with Vinny. Freaked out yet ready. 

The kitchen: all the cooking, but the rapid conversations at the table. So many drinks consumed there. Our own round table. 

The master bedroom: the place where I found out both my grandmothers died. Years apart but the same room. Weird. 

The office: Vinny’s initial bedroom. The sight of diaper changing school. Heartbreak when his first projectile vomit incident turned into what would require surgery. The sweet and the bitter. 

The second bedroom: where I wrote my first article for KSDK News, about Patrik Berglund. 

The basement: Rachel running and gunning during every tornado warning. All the laundry. The boxing bag sessions. 

The backyard is where we had fires and friends mixed with wiffle ball and conversation. The best of times. 

A house isn’t a living breathing thing in the general train of thought, but it’s got a pulse all its own. The roof needs care, the furnace needs cleaning, and the outside needs a brush. When I looked at the Mardel house this morning, I saw an old friend. Over eight years, it did a fine job of protecting. 

Now that job holder changes addresses. On July 21, we move into Buffa Estate 2.0. I’m excited, if weary of the next two weeks, but I’m also sad to see the old house go. I wasn’t done with it yet. 

Whether we like it or not,  the places we live stick with us. 

So long, Mardel house. Thanks for looking out.