Send Sandbags Now

Random thoughts from the damaged mind of a man whose NCAA bracket went up in flames in the very first round:

  • L.A. is the most-Picasso place in the world — everyone sees something different.
  • World’s best sound: “Play ball!”
  • World’s worst sound: “Last call!”
  • Mammoth Lakes is white as a wedding dress.
  • Send sandbags now, Gov. Hair Gel. Or that place will float away.
  • “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” (Billy Wilder)
  • The older we get, the less we worry.
  • The older we get, the better our childhoods.
  • NCAA finals prediction: UConn vs. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
  • The good news: California’s tax deadline has been further extended to Oct. 15, due to the storms.
  • The bad news: Inflation will continue till further notice.
  • Tired of “Ted Lasso?” Try “Shrinking” on Apple Plus (straight outta Pasadena).
  • Warning: You’ll fall hard for Jessica Williams, the young actress who steals every scene.
  • My definition of insanity: Figuring out the remotes at a rental house.
  • And I’m having a rocky relationship with my car’s clock.
  • L.A. has too much fussy food.
  • But the burgers and margaritas make up for it.
  • Hollywood needs a total _____________ (Makeover? Exorcism? Lobotomy?)
  • I still don’t understand NFL “franchise tags.” And I probably never will.
  • Loopy Bill Walton would make for an incredible SI profile, or “30 for 30.”
  • Speaking of loopy, how about that Jamie Lee Curtis?
  • Love her, but that ditzy movie broke my brain.
  • Nurses and teachers are the only angels we have left.
  • Well, most of them, anyway.
  • I’ve hit every button on my dash. Still no clock.
  • I’ve hit every button on these rental-house remotes. Still no TV.
  • Yet, somehow I remain hopeful.
  • Go Hogwarts!!!
  • Trivia time: Which author has outsold everything except the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare (answer below)
  • The more a team dribbles, the less it wins.
  • And basketball coaches don’t press enough.
  • FYI, Alexander Graham Bell found phones so annoying he refused to have one in his home.
  • Tale of two cities: Office workers now turn up three days a week, but my gardener shows up in a cold rain.
  • I’m not crying. Mother Nature is crying.
  • Someone grab a towel.
  • For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would put vodka in a sauce.
  • UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez looks like a Frank Zappa album.
  • L.A. Marathon suggestion: Start at Malibu; finish in Venice.
  • The slumping NBA needs Charles Barkley as commissioner.
  • My Yelp review of Hollywood: “Super frantic, out of touch, shows little regard for its customers.”
  • No wait, that’s Washington.
  • Actual National Park Service post: “If you hold a wild ermine up to your ear, you can hear what it’s like to be attacked by a wild ermine.”
  • Maybe the Park Service should write for Showtime?
  • “The two most important days in your life…the day you were born, and the day you find out why.” (Mark Twain)
  • This week’s musical rec: Throaty chanteuse Lizz Wright.
  • This week’s food craving: The garlic chicken at Zankou.
  • To me, the best sit-coms feature flawed characters you’d like to invite to dinner.
  • Dear Tesla owners: You don’t have a spare tire. And the service wait will take up half your day.
  • Me, I’m lucky to have an electric toothbrush.
  • Best morning-show host name: Popper Harlow.
  • Best best-seller: Mel Brooks’ memoir, as wildly entertaining as his brilliant comedies.
  • But could “Blazing Saddles” get made today? Probably not.
  • Same for “All in the Family.”
  • “Gutfeld!” may be the most-painful show in the history of television.
  • Trivia answer: Agatha Christie is the third best-seller of all time.
  • Trivia question II: Where did California get its name? (answer below)
  • March birthdays: Elton John, 76; Shaquille O’Neal, 51; Jessica Biel, 41; Lady Gaga, 37; Justin Finn, 45.
  • Life is 80% procrastination. And 20% laundry.
  • “A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” (psychologist B.F. Skinner)
  • First, I couldn’t bring myself to toss my old albums. Now I can’t toss my old CDs.
  • And what about all my priceless coaching plaques?
  • Now that would be a mistake.
  • Trivia answer II (courtesy of Smartacus): California was named for a mythical island, full of female warriors, in a 16th century novel.
  • Ironic, huh?
  • And finally…as Kepler noted, the square of a planet’s orbital period is directly proportional to the cube of its average distance from the sun.
  • As usual, God is in the details.
  • And the proof is in the pudding.
  • How it got there, no one knows.

I am grateful beyond words to those who donated to the compassion fund that supports struggling families in our area. Anne Bierling, who runs the parent education program at our church, reports that we’ve raised nearly $14,000. The money goes to outreach programs for homeless families, as well as medical equipment and other important supplies. Thank you.

20 thoughts on “Send Sandbags Now

  1. This one is full of so many gems, I wouldn’t know where to start to thank you….but if I have to choose, number one has got to be holding the ermine up to your ear. BTW, when I was in college at UCI, my older friends invited me to watch almost every game at Pauley Pavillion for three of the Coach Wooden championship years. Bill Walton wasn’t loopy then. Just great. Didn’t have any idea how fortunate I was then, but the memories are priceless.

  2. The Billy Wilder quote was good and we love Zankou chicken.

    I photographed Billy Wilder in 1992 for a television show about the 20th Century. He was 85 years old at that point and a bit cranky.

    However he did tell one great story. Mr. Wilder had been forced out of Europe because of the Nazi’s. He was given a temporary visa to work in Hollywood. When the visa was up in 1939, he either had to become a naturalized citizen or return to Europe which was already at war.

    So, he went to Mexicali where there was a U.S. Consulate and waited for an appointment. Finally he was shown into the office of an embassy official. Now his future and potentially his life were at stake.

    After looking at his papers, the official asked Billy what he did for a living. Wilder replied: “I make pictures.”

    The official then, stamped his application and said: “Well, make good ones!!”

  3. Gee I enjoyed this idle riff. It feels so morhing-stream-of-consciousness enjoyable. Imagine the therapy of waking up (literally) at the breakfast table to someone who can do this (and does) whenever, and varies the routine so you never know when. If you were a boy or a dog (in his eyes) you would be wide-eyed from dawn to dusk; waiting. What a splendid way to experience the days, moment to moment, be additive to others; be added to. If you were the girl in his life, at any time he might be stunting, as the Irish say.. As they also say, “Katie bar the door”.

  4. I loved all this. Especially the one about the ermine. I am not as profound as you or the others who commented before me, but I did want to tell you that I dreamt that I ran into you at the grocery store and you knew who I was! (And we live in Sacramento now!) what a thrill it was to actually meet you in person, even in a dream! Also, I wanted to let you know that you omitted my name from the March birthdays list. I’m sure it was an oversight on your part.

  5. I have as yet never found any proof in the pudding. But I do know one thing. I’m sorry to all you Jamie Lee Curtis fans, but I’m officially not interested in hearing anything more about her. Enough already.

    1. Yeah, I agree on Jamie Lee. Enough already. She did a decent enough job in that role. But that was nothing compared to A Fish Called Wanda, which was a far better movie all around.

  6. Did you know that, if you have access to ME/TV, you can watch re-runs of “All in the Family” on Sunday nights beginning at 8:00 for two hours? I’m lovin’ them—but I do think that an hour of them would be better!

  7. The pictures of Mammoth are good to see after some lean snow years, it will be a long ski season. Skinner is right, wonder how many failures are allowed? Wonder what the proof in the pudding is 80 proof or 94 proof?

  8. And now please explain why Starbucks is putting Olive Oil in Coffee ~ Oleato Latte ~ ~ what ?!

  9. A great list of every day pros and cons! These are my favorites or frustrations! Play ball,Shrinking,teachers and nurses,Bill Walton are my favorites! The frustration is figuring out the remotes! The complete list is very informative! Mike Keefe (Donuts with Grandpa

  10. I do love your list posts. Coherence is overrated.
    I love that you’re a Shrinking fan.
    I saw Mel Brooks speaking at a showing of Blazing Saddles at the Microsoft Theater back in 2017. Someone asked if he could make that move today. He said there was no way you could make it now. Then, after a comedic pause, he added, “But you couldn’t make it then either!” Perfect.

  11. I’m going to steal the Billy Wilder quote some day.

    I’m not sure what kind of sandwich is in the photo, but it reminds me of a Maxwell St polish…yum!

  12. Fantastic post. I do recall learning the origins of California’s name, but don’t recall the female warriors, but hell, why not.
    World’s best sound: “Touchdown USC!”

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