Smith Brothers Restaurants
HomePublicationBurbankErskine: A Toast to Teachers, QBs and Harvest Season

Erskine: A Toast to Teachers, QBs and Harvest Season

By Chris Erskine

Random thoughts about life in Los Angeles, the back-to-school edition:

The Chicago-style martini, a work in progress.
  • Best thing about Los Angeles: the people.
  • Worst thing about Los Angeles: the people.
  • All issues are education issues.
  • I’ve never seen L.A.’s hillsides this green in September.
    “If his IQ slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day.” (legendary columnist Molly Ivins on a Texas politician)
  • When all else fails — the climate, the political system — we still have pets.
  • My latest innovation: The Chicago-style martini.
  • I’d still hire Sean McVay over any other NFL coach.
  • September’s finest smell: sharpened pencils.
  • Wait, do students still use pencils?
  • In L.A., the mountains are our greatest architecture.
  • Apparently, they’re the only things our idiot developers can’t mow down.
  • No one changes a young life the way a good teacher can. Nobody.
  • Well, maybe a good mom or dad.
  • Or a columnist (of course).
  • The best ambient lighting? Sunshine off the water.
  • Second-best ambient lighting: A first-grader’s smile.
  • Can you believe the Pac-12 is gone?
  • What’s next? Surfing? Sunsets? The double-double at In-N-Out?
  • If colleges won’t do the right thing, who will?
  • The Big 10 swallowing up the Pac-12 reminds me of when the Chicago Trib ate the Los Angeles Times.
  • And look how well that turned out.
  • Write this down: Greed ruins everything.
  • And write this down too: In five years, USC and UCLA will regret leaving.
  • Sean McVay for president.
  • Condolences to Aaron Rodgers, the NFL’s “Cool Hand Luke.”
  • Love him or loathe him, he made the Jets interesting.
  • By the way, blame the stiff new shoe, not the turf, for his torn Achilles.
  • My GOAT list: Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes.
  • Don’t panic; it’s my list, not yours.
  • But Jim Morrison was the best rock ’n’ roller ever.
  • Runner-up: Jagger.
  • Second runner-up: Robert Plant.
  • My list, not yours.
    “In school we are mostly told, ‘Don’t do it this way. Do it that way.’ But art is the big yes. In art, you get a chance to make something where there was nothing.” (poet Marvin Bell)
  • Takeaway: Never take advice from poets.
  • Or newspaper columnists.
  • September birthdays: Bruce Springsteen, 74; Hugh Grant, 63; Keanu Reeves, 59; Beyonce, 42; Zendaya, 27.
  • Youth is a type of beauty. So is wisdom.
  • To me, Hawkeye Pierce was the best TV character of all time.
  • Runner-up: Mary Richards.
  • Both characters represented the best of us.
    “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.” (Joan Rivers)
  • The Christmas episode of “The Bear” is the finest ensemble acting I’ve ever seen.
  • But then I’ve only been watching TV for, like, 60 years.
  • My feminist Hall of Fame: Mary Shelley, Nettie Stevens, Marie Currie, Maria Mitchell, Joan Rivers.
  • Wouldn’t a young Robert Downey Jr. have been sensational as Holden Caulfield?
  • Trivia question: What year was “Catcher in the Rye” first made into a film?
  • Note how Hollywood often butchers great novels. But it also gave us “The Wizard of Oz.”
  • Trivia answer: “The Catcher in the Rye” never made the big screen; J.D. Salinger refused to sell the rights.
    “We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.)
  • The Chicago Bears are the love of my life.
  • It’s been a tough life.
  • Wish I’d been a teacher.
  • My biggest gripe about social media: It amplifies all the whining.
  • America wasn’t built on whining.
  • Then again, don’t forget the Boston Tea Party.
  • In a perfect world, dogs could talk.
  • Trivia question II: Who invented true love?
  • If I ever move, Traverse City, Michigan, will be high on the list.
  • So will Cayucos, on California’s central coast, which has the same flinty light.
  • And Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
  • FYI, I’m never moving. I’d miss the freeways too much. And Damon’s in Glendale.
  • Porto’s too.
  • Trivia answer II: George Halas, inventor of the forward pass.
  • Yeah, football rules my heart.
    “Hold on tight, baby. The sun is coming for you.” (author Erin Van Vuren, on hanging tough in dark times)
  • Another tip: Life will always be dark, unfair, a little too hard.
  • Fight on!
  • Go Bruins!
  • Go Dodgers!
  • Go Rams!
  • Go Bears!
    Class dismissed.

Please support my new book, “What the Bears Know,” the memoir of “Bear Whisperer” Steve Searles, at a signing at Vroman’s on Colorado Boulevard, at 7 p.m. Oct. 3. The event is free.

First published Sept. 21-23 in Outlook Newspapers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

[bsa_pro_ad_space id=3]