Guilty Pleasures


961 Costa Mesa's new marketing slogan, as hyped on posters at John Wayne Airport: HalfwayBetween the Ducks and the Swallows.

962 Seriously.

963 No, really, we're not making this up.

964 Las Flores neighborhood. Just off busy Main Street in Santa Ana, this shaded enclave of tree-lined streets and charming, well-kept old homes is easily as cool as the Orange Circle.

965 Empty storefronts in Laguna, where rentwas too high serve as ample opportunity for financial masochists.

966 Stephanie, the angelically patient bartender at Club Mesa. 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-8448.

967 Flynne, the laid-back bartender at the Laguna Beach Brewing Co. 422 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-2739.

968 Lyle, the jocular bartender at the Saloon. 446 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-5469.

969 Bartenders, Godbless 'em.

970 A black velvetat Mutt Lynch's. Mutt Lynch's is a beer bar, but it has a whole range of snakebites-cider and beer concoctions. Bartender Frank calls the black velvet (pear cider poured atop a Guinness) his favorite. 2300 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach, (949) 675-1556.

971 Taylor's Mom's Cookies. We once tried an experiment we don't recommend to others: a strict diet of these cookies (baked by Kim Park and her staff) and coffee for 48 hours. We began hallucinating30 hours into the project-or were perhaps halfway to heaven. (949) 642-0147.

972 Green Networking for Orange County's Interfaith Coalition, which brings new meaning to the term "God's green Earth" by uniting local environmentalists and people of faith.

973 No local professional football to spoil Sundays.

974 Staring out at the romantic splendor of Crystal Cove Beach, watching the sun set gently in the west, kissing your lover gently, then turning around and getting your head smacked by reality when you see bulldozerstearing up the hills behind you.

975 And that lover grew up to be . . .

976 Dwight David Eisenhower. And so you know the rest of the story.

977 And that museum grew up to become the fabulousOrange County Museum of Art. Who knew? 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, (714) 759-1122.

978Laguna Art Museum. Ditto. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6531.

979 But not the Huntington Beach Art Center. That's gone.

980 Dana Parsons' column in the Times OC, which this year departed from standard operating procedure at county dailies and began comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.

981 Taxpayersdidn't pay all of the Irvine Co.'s costs for the private gated community at Newport Coast.

982Computers are forever changing the face of higher education, whether it's the Internet giving students access to endless sources of research information, electronic applications allowing young people to instantly vie for a postgraduate career, or-say-e-mail allowing an ex-UCI student to send anonymous threats to "hunt down and kill" Asians on campus. Caught and convicted.

983 UCI no longer bears a resemblance to the set of Planet of the Apes.

984 OC Board of Supervisors, on the other hand, bears a striking resemblance to Planet of the Apes.

985 The Reverend Lou Sheldon's swagger.

986 Actually, it's more of a swishiness.

987 Either way, he looks fabulous.

988 LA Times society columnist Ann Conway covering the jewelers who sponsor the Orange County Performing Arts Center, instead of the center itself.

989 Buying $10,000 pens at Mount Blanc in South Coast Plaza, begging the question, "Would you rather have 10 $1,000 pens or one $10,000 pen?" 3333 Bristol, Costa Mesa, (714) 424 5270.

990 The $9 scrambled eggs at Ramos House Café. 31752 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-1342.

991 The speed at which Newport Beach cops backtrack on their testimony when confronted with undeniable contradictory evidence.

992 Little Saigon. All of it.

993 Big hair.

994 The Richard M. Nixon Library and Birthplace gift shop, where you can buy a John F. Kennedy campaign button, or Carter family paper dolls, or a copy of Pat Nixon's autobiography. 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 993-5075.

995 The toppled David statue at Cal State Fullerton, which had to be turned on his stomach for fear that students would do "inappropriate" things to him.

996 Seems ol' Dave is still fairly vulnerablein that position.

997 Not that there's anything wrongwith that.

998 Just saying.

999 State Senator Steve Peace (D-El Cajon) for tucking this little nugget into the $2 billion parks bond legislation signed on Sept. 21 by Governor Gray Davis: should the Marines ever leave Camp Pendleton, the state wants the feds to leave the sprawling base that abuts Orange County as a park or open space.

1000 Disneyland.

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