Can we talk for a few minutes? Let's go ahead and make it a hard nine minutes.
First, an opening rant about road construction which may offend certain people. Right now on my lovely neighborhood street in South City — Wabash — they are injecting "greenway" paths or something else weird that I don't know of. The goal is to lead a new way down to Francis R. Slay Park, which no one would actually know is his park, because you can barely read the sign in front of it. This construction is squeezing Wabash from a four lane (two in each direction) setup to one lane in each direction.
Imagine, if you will, race cars being forced to make left turns around a skinnier strip of Daytona, and you are sipping my martini of frustration right now. I understand why construction needs to occur, but this seems overly tedious and will cause multiple accidents, because human drivers don't change due to tighter conditions. I've almost been plowed off the road twice, and it will happen again. When it does, once I leave the hospital, I will exact my revenge like a 60-year-old Liam Neeson: cool headed and precise.
- "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" released its first legit teaser trailer today, and it's magnificent. No one would ever label me a Star Wars fanatic, but even I had to change my pants after watching it three consecutive times while I was in a gym working out. The guy who was standing in the corner with his body turned to the lockers — that was me. Director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) is the perfect thinking-man's, action-minded auteur to take a big swing with this franchise that has been successfully relaunched thanks to "The Force Awakens" in 2015 and "Rogue One" last year. I don't know what's going on, but Adam Driver's baddie returns and Luke Skywalker is training Rey to see the light of...something. Check it out.
- The Cardinals visit The New York Yankees today in Yankee Stadium 2, and Matt Adams is hitting in the designated hitter spot, which is fine, but when I look the Yankees DH, I get noticeably jealous. Matt Holliday, the bald headed hulk of Stillwater, Oklahoma, who took his talents to the Big Apple, is swinging a big stick early on for the Pinstripe Moneyballers. He's 8-29 with a home run, two doubles, ten walks, and .910 OPS. If the Cards were going to play Adams in left field, why not just retain Holliday for another season? Just saying.
- What Jake Allen managed to do in Game One against the Minnesota Wild was arguably the greatest performance by a goaltender that I have witnessed in my lifetime. The Wild threw everything and the kitchen sink at Allen over 60-plus minutes, and he fought off every single shot except for a masterfully executed passing sequence. Expecting Allen to be that great in Game 2 isn't fair, but one thing is clear: this is a different guy than the raw-tooled rookie that Minnesota faced two years ago. Allen may be the Blues' last Jedi.
- Why are they still making "Fast and Furious" movies? The bigger question is why not; they gross money domestically and internationally. Normally, sequels come off as retreads and get tired, but not here. Since Vin Diesel returned to the franchise for the fourth installment, the films have gained a worldwide following that few film franchises can rival, and each sequel gathers in a bigger audience. "Furious 7" made over $600 million domestically, and over $1 billion overall. Oscar winners like Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren are signing on and others want a piece. These are highbrow entertainment opuses with one goal in mind: shoot to thrill.
- St. Louis coffee folks need to check out Lanai's Coffee in Francis Park Saturday night. Do you like live music, outdoor movies, and good coffee? Lanai's is providing all of the above tomorrow starting at four o'clock in the afternoon, and Hop will start at eight. I practically con my son Vinny into playing at Francis so I can get a cold brewed iced coffee on a hot day. They support a lot of local charities, and are quickly becoming a South City treasure, so check them out.
- Great teachers never really disconnect with a student. When I was in middle school at Brentwood, Ken Wolfe was the Jimmy Page of teachers. Like Page strumming a guitar and creating magic, Wolfe was able to command an entire class' attention, because he cared and was good at his job. I had dinner at Courtesy Diner last night with Ken, and it was a refreshing conversation about life, dreams, twists, movies and how we each got to where we are today. Expect a full length interview next week on how Ken became a teacher, and what keeps him going. I wouldn't authorize you to move to Kirkwood today, so your kids could go to Kirkwood Middle School, but I wouldn't call it a bad idea either.
- "The Leftovers" kicks off its final season Sunday night, and judging from the trailers, they are trying to cram as many ounces of WHAT THE HECK into one season. From the mind of LOST creator Damon Lindelof and pages of Tom Perrotta, comes a series that dips its feet in mystical, spiritual, and most outlandish psychological quarters of the realm of make-believe. The first season depicted a town dealing with the emotional aftershocks of a mysterious event that took hundreds of people in one moment three years prior. It was affecting, depressing, extremely well-acted, and quietly uplifting. The second season stretched the boundaries of "yeah, you lost me" with its characters running off in wild directions, but still well done. If you want something wholly original and brutally blunt, watch this show.
- I've started watching "Girls" on HBO, and while I can't stand Lena Dunham, I must see what the fuss is about with this younger version of Sex in the City. Four episodes in, and Dunham's Hannah is the least interesting character on the show. Some TV shows aren't necessarily good, but easy enough on the eyes to remain watchable. The writing resembles a hipster bible; take that as you will.
- One last thing: in life, go for the three-point shot to win instead of the layup to tie. No, I'm not Tony Robbins, but only a man looking ahead at what he needs to do. I've done a year on the radio, and while it was invigorating and aggravating at once, I don't feel like I had a chance to do my show without limits. If I return to the radio, I promise you it will be pure doses and only what I want to do. Dribbling to someone else's beat isn't the right course for a soul with ambition. Stay tuned.
Until then, listen to Brad Lee and Jeff Jones on 590 A.M.'s Gametime AM, because they give you insightful and honest Blues hockey discussion.
That's all I got for now. See you next time.