Fall, Football and That Dodger Goose

When I was a columnist for the L.A. Times, one of my most-popular features was a column called “Random Thoughts.” Cynics might note that all my thoughts are random. Which is true. In any case, here are a few random observations on October, which flies by quicker than that Dodger goose:

 –Best Sunday sound: the murmur of children in church.

–At our house, we don’t celebrate Halloween. We eat it.

–So, which is it: Taffy apple, candy apple or caramel?

 –FYI, it’s apple-picking season in rustic Yucaipa, about 90 minutes east.

–While out there, don’t miss the Oak Glen Preserve, a hiker’s paradise.

–Best smell of fall: when a candle singes the side of a pumpkin.

–Best October surprise: rain on the roof.

–BTW, I really hate autoconnect.

–If martinis and red meat are so bad, how come steakhouses are so full of old people?

 –“Stopped by the gas station. Choices are regular, plus and Dom Perignon.” (Sam Farmer)

–I really miss troubadours. And I wouldn’t mind the occasional chanteuse.

–Science question: Are tacos a solid or a gas?

–Pandora radio find-of-the-week: Lindsey Brier

–“I believe that if you want to see America clearly, don’t read a paper, go to a state fair.” (Garrison Keillor)

–It’s not really fall till you can see the referee’s breath on TV.

 –It’s not really winter till there’s a snow game.

–Beatles trivia I: “Dear Prudence” was inspired by Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence.

 –Beatles trivia II: “Blackbird” was inspired by Bach’s Bourrée in E Minor.

–You think Cardi B listens to a lot of Bach?

 –Sideline reporters aren’t really reporters.

 –And NFL analyst Troy Aikman never told me anything I didn’t already know.

 –There are no diamonds in the rough. Only my old Titlists.

 –For the golf or movie buff in your life: “Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story,” by Chris Nashawaty.

–Baseball is the most-haunted sport. Hence, playoffs at Halloween.

 –Dear Dodgers. You can buy hitting. But you can’t buy grit.

–Best tacos in Southern California: Yuca’s on Fair Oaks in Pasadena

–This year’s favorite costume for dads. Top Gun

–This year’s favorite costume for moms: The Cloud

–Who took the anchovies out of Caesar salads? And where do I complain?

–Sports producers should find the sideline version of rumpled and animated Steve Kornaki.

–Meanwhile, maybe football teams should stick with one uniform?

–You know, inflation always feels like a scam to me.

 –“We are a nation of sheep, and someone else owns the grass.” (George Carlin)

 –If Medusa had a dating profile: “No creeps. Interest in masonry preferred.”

–Worse thing to happen to Millennials: Slack

 –Worst thing to happen to their parents: QR codes in restaurants.

 –Love my Trader’s Joe’s paella. But the shrimp appear to be mating.

–It’s not October till I pick up beer brats at Schreiner’s deli (serving Glendale since 1952).

–Sorry to see Irwindale Raceway go.

–But we’ll always have Glendale.

–I don’t want to live in a world without race tracks, movie theaters or bookstores.

–Miss Al Michaels on “Sunday Night Football.” And so does NBC, the idiot network that forced him out.

–Best bar vibe in the San Fernando Valley: Forman’s Whiskey Tavern in Toluca Lake

–Best dive: Avignone’s in Montrose

–Four magic words: Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup (on Allrecipes.com)

–Remember, bacon makes everything better. Even Bloody Marys.

–Top five all-time sportswriters (as voted by me): Jim Murray, Bernie Lincicome, David Israel, Red Smith, Bill Plaschke, Mike Downey.

–OK, that’s six. Sue me.

– “Arizona is the corner into which America sweeps its dust.” (Bernie Lincicome)

–Lesson from the L.A. City Council fiasco: More than anything, our whispers reveal us.

–Takeaway: America still has way too many whispers.

– “Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly.” (Delia Owens)

– “Autumn is everything.” (Robert Browning)

For past columns, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com. Email the columnist at Letters@chriserskineLA.com

31 thoughts on “Fall, Football and That Dodger Goose

  1. *Our whispers reveal us* the most poignant message of the day. Well unless like me, the whispers are more like shouts into the void. There lies my lack of self control.
    I enjoyed the list.
    Oh & btw, if you hate autocorrect, try swipe — endless entertainment.

  2. Hail Caesar!
    The Chronicle (Pasadena) the best Caesar Salad in the US. Tableside with anchovies! – closed. The DeLacey Club 41 (Pasadena) ditto, tableside & the same recipe. – closed.
    Porta Via (Pasadena) the last true Caesar Salad bastion. Same Chronicle/41 recipe without the tableside ambiance. To go or nosh on the patio. Any port in a storm!

    1. Those are some lovely random thoughts. One question: he might not strictly be considered a sportswriter but what’s your thought on Roger Angell?

      1. Good question. His New Yorker stuff very good. More ethereal, if you;re into that. Almost too much above the fray, which I admire. Funny no one mentioned Red Smith, considered the best of the best. But he worked for the New York Times. And I HATE the New York Times, the most arrogant institution in America, after Facebook.

  3. I’d like to send you a picture of a classic 1941 Cadillac two seater parked outside Ruth Chris in Pasadena last night. It wowed everyone ogling it. What is your Email address?

  4. Great comments , drove Fire Engines and Trucks in Glendale for 31 years , been retired 10 still drive like everyone else is going to crash into me

  5. Caesar Salad w/Anchovies
    The Studio Restaurant
    Morton Grove, Illinois
    An interesting fact: It was owned by Charlie Leibrandt’s parents and they had lots of photos from his major league baseball days hanging in the lobby of the restaurant.

  6. Along with the missing anchovies, you can no longer get onions for your hotdog at a sporting event…what’s up with that?

  7. Here’s a new observation for me (along with everything tastes better in a wine glass-even prune juice. Add a straw and wheeee): A very well known person claimed that he could make things happen “just by thinking about it”. I tried that and it works! Right now, George Clooney and Hugh Jackman are sitting on my sofa waiting for Mount Gay gimlets. Sweet!

  8. Blog Log

    When you have a weekly blog
    It’s like a tiger by the tail
    A thrashing writhe, sometimes a slog
    Search for a grail, oft no avail
    You sift through the detritus
    Look for lyrics in the dust
    Parse the words, toss the arthritis
    But feel the keening of its rust
    See through the measure of your training
    Instinct talent you must trust
    Humanity the love remaining
    It’s edge saying what you must;

    Years of the journaled isms—
    That sport of features in your blood
    And always the domestic schisms
    Timeless gaps misunderstood
    By the casual observer
    Blind as a piece of wood;
    You must render them with fervor
    But need eyes so you could
    Say and be all you could be
    The moments tick with time’s melee
    That big cat waits for the dawn’s bounce
    You free associate—and pounce
    Upon the twists and turns of flesh
    No feline’s got your tongue to mesh
    Though It’s eyes flash with language fresh;

    Fingers poise, the coffee steams
    A precipice awaits your dreams
    And then the words begin their all
    Encompassing waterfall
    You dodge the banal and the trite
    Sieze air, and begin to write….

  9. Love the Cloud costume. AND
    Who took the anchovies out of Caesar salads? And where do I complain?

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