First published in the Feb. 9 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
Random thoughts, while watching gophers excavate my yard, which now has more holes than Augusta National:
• There should be a cologne that smells like spring training.
• There should be a perfume called “Opening Day.”
• If our cars worked like our Wi-Fi, we’d all be dead.
• Funniest father in America? Shaq, who tells his kids: “We ain’t rich. I’m rich.”
• Wine flies when you’re having fun.
• Winter air smells like it’s just been born.
• The louder the movie, the worse the movie.
• If I ever opened a butcher shop, it’d be called “Meat Cute.”
• There should be a breakfast cereal made of Thin Mints.
• Most-mystifying double-reverse: Marie Kondo deciding that clutter is actually OK.
• Best thing a wealthy man can leave his children? His grit.
• In spring, “the Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.” — Rainer Maria Rilke
• When did sushi get so expensive?
• When did everything get so expensive?
• I know it’s popular, but to me boba tastes like dog slobber.
• I’ve missed a few days of church. But I’ve seen every single Super Bowl.
• Super Bowl trivia: How many halftime shows has Taylor Swift performed in?
• Best tacos in L.A.: Yuca’s in Pasadena and Los Feliz
• Best canyon: Temescal
• The elegant old Pasadena Playhouse is a total treasure.
• So is Pasadena City Hall
• So is Pasadena
• L.A.’s greatest work of art: an icy martini at Musso & Frank
• Another timeless pleasure: Coffee and a local paper at the Fairfax Farmers Market.
• Need a cosmic boost? Check out the soothing and remarkable Griffith Observatory Planetarium.
• From Chinatown to the sea, Sunset Boulevard is L.A.’s connective tissue.
• Still love my L.A. Times, but the Calendar section has become a joyless dud.
• For a well-edited summary of the news, try “The Week,” a magazine that smartly sums up current events.
• Good news of the day: Federal Tax Day in L.A. County has been pushed back to May 15, because of the impact of the earlier storms. No, really.
• If the Titanic hadn’t sunk, would Leonardo DiCaprio still be a big star?
• “Basically, I only play one character. I just play him at different volumes.” — The late Chris Farley
• Birthday shoutouts this week to Matt Groening, 69, John McEnroe, 64, The Weeknd, 33, and Farley, who would be turning 59.
• After all these years, Bob Dylan still can’t sing.
• And Sunday’s Grammys sounded like a symphony of chainsaws.
• Driving onto a studio lot still gives me goosebumps.
• Best TV theme song of all time? “MASH”
• Runner-up: “Taxi”
• Second-runner up: “WKRP in Cincinnati”
• Third runner up: “Hawaii Five-0”
• And the theme from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” rounds out my top 5.
• “I’ve had a man and I’ve had a woman, and there’s got to be something better.” — actress Tallulah Bankhead
• Yes, that was her real name.
• All food is comfort food.
• Whatever happened to broasted chicken?
• Everything tastes better with bacon or cheese.
• If I drove for Uber Eats, I’d have to sample everything.
• “The best cars are wasted on the worst drivers.” — former Times colleague David Lazarus
• Bucketball’s least-used weapon: the bounce pass.
• Football fans treat Tom Brady like a disgraced Danish king. The level of dislike has always seemed out of proportion to his issues.
• Trivia answer: Swift has never performed at a Super Bowl halftime. Maybe when she’s more popular?
• I preferred “Hill Street Blues” to “The Sopranos.” Both great, “Hill Street” better.
• Funny Netflix show we just stumbled across: “Friends From College.”
• Oxymoron of the day: Waterless urinal
• Onomatopoeia of the day: the digital chirp
• FYI, I just might broast a chicken this weekend.
• Thank God for newspapers.
• Thank God for God and art and movies that move us.
• Seen any lately?
• “She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
‘Winter is dead.’”
— A.A. Milne
Email the columnist at Letters@ChrisErskineLA.com. For books or past columns, please go to ChrisErskineLA.com.