Buddy Buddy

In the middle of the night, because I couldn’t sleep, I watched the Billy Wilder movie “Buddy Buddy.”  It was from 1981, but I didn’t remember it when it was released.  It was a somewhat unsuccessful comedy starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.  Lemmon was a CBS censor, and Matthau was a hit man.  You got the feeling the movie wasn’t up to par when the opening theme music was so forgettable.  It’s a movie that tries to be dark but is too light.  It is so strange that Klaus Kinski is in it, attempting to play a funny character.  Lemmon is suicidal after his wife has left him, so there are bits of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Harold and Maude” to his character.  Wilder felt he made a mistake with having two comedic actors in the principal roles when the hit man should have seen serious, kind of like in “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.”  Lemmon said he lost everything in the separation, including the Betamax, which I thought was funny.  There was an unlikely bit with a pregnant woman needing to be taken to the hospital.  After so many good scripts, the Wilder team was running low.  “Fedora” was apparently such a miserable experience for Wilder that it was nearly his last film.  There was something about Wilder making it to the 1980s that made me feel closer to his work.  It was a time period that I had strong memories of.  This short vacation was coming to an end quickly.  I stayed up listening to the radio, hearing “Magic Carpet Ride” at one point.  I wouldn’t be able to stick around and watch the football games of the day.  I was interested in seeing whether the Chargers could win against the Chiefs.  I looked on the Internet for “Five Graves to Cairo,” but gave up after a while.  I was satisfied with seeing the last two Billy Wilder films, which I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to see.  I heard on the news that a lot of people were able to see “The Interview” for free, including four people in North Korea.  The basketball score that I paid attention to was the Warriors and the Timberwolves.  That would have been a win that I would have witnessed if I’d used the ticket.  I was preparing for a long trip back home.  It was a cold morning.  I hated the thought of having to go back to work.  I wanted to finish reading “Gone with the Wind.”  The two other books I would like to read before I die are “War and Peace” and “The Brothers Karamazov.”  During the visit to my family, I learned that the family dog did not like farts.  I played fetch with the dog.  It’s amazing how much these little animals can eat.  I went back to sleep after working on my writing for about one hour.  I didn’t watch much Christmas television this year, except for “Bad Santa.”  I found it hard to believe that John Ritter and Bernie Mac have both died. A lot of people were taking the train back home at the end of this holiday weekend. See’s Candies and Subway in Union Station were open again. There was an annoying delay with the train leaving Bakersfield. I stood in the cold afternoon eating a roast beef sandwich and sending a photo of myself back home. We left 54 minutes late, and the train was packed. I tried to listen to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program, but the sound kept going out on me. It focused on Paul Simon. I liked the period of “Mother and Child Reunion” through “American Tune.” I hoped to get to Richmond at around 10:15. I didn’t like the idea of returning to work after seeing the state of my family. We seem to be in our last days together.  Some of the people who died on December 29 include Reiner Maria Rilke (1926), Tim Hardin (1980), and Freddie Hubbard (2008).  Today is a birthday for Patricia Clarkson (55), Ten Danson (67), Marianne Faithfull (68), Jon Voight (76), and Mary Tyler Moore (78).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 29, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme were married in 1957.  In 1967, Dave Mason left Traffic.  In 1971, “Straw Dogs” was released.  In 1980, Tim Hardin died of a heroin overdose at age 40.  In 1992, Todd Bridges was arrested after police found drugs and a loaded gun in his car.

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