Guilty Pleasures


1819 Whoop-dee fucking do!

1820Non-postal postal workers at the post office on Lemon and Chapman in Orange.

1821 Crystal Burns, the octogenarian hostess/waitress extraordinaire at Rafts. Face it: you'll be lucky if you can change the rubber stoppers on your walker when you reach her age. 2816 LaFayette, Newport Beach, (949) 673-0793.

1822 Elections Committee of the County of Orange (ECCO)-the nonpartisan gay political-action committee.

1823 Splash, the county's wildly entertaining annual gay charity fund-raiser.

1824 Passing up the sweet-tooth-porn in the display cases at Zov's and going straight for the apricot walnut bread. The outside has artisan cross cuts baked into the top and bits of cornmeal stuck to the burnished crust. The insides are marbled with gobs of walnut meats and so many tangy apricots it's like having built-in jam. All you need to complete the scenario is a toaster and a cube of unsalted butter. 17440 E. 17th St., Tustin, (714) 838-9495.

1825 Barrelhouse. The group, whose members are spread out all over OC, mixes equal parts blues, soul and rock & roll. But the pre-eminent influence remains psychotic blooze, as these guys kick out homicidal screamers like "Albert's Shovel" and "Murder in the County" with frightening conviction. Harlis Sweetwater is the most purely talented OC singer in any genre, and that horn section is more Muscle Shoals than Irvine, too. Year after year, we ask, "Why doesn't somebody give this band the record deal they so richly deserve?!"

1826 Never being bored at an Angels game since eight-run, eighth-inning leads aren't safe.

1827 Minney's Yacht Surplus is a Sanford and Son for the seafaring. You can scavenge all sorts of maritime oddities, living like Thurston Howell III on a Gilligan budget. 1500 Old Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 548-4192.

1828 The Sign Guy, who dispenses with the tired "Will work for food" on cardboard and instead holds up messages that are cryptic, original, baffling and always done in easy-to-read, high-quality vinyl lettering. Locations countywide.

1829 The house salad at Spaghetti Bender, a dense, creamy, avocado-laden masterpiece in something the size of a barrel. The bread's good, too. And the soup. The place is close to dirt-cheap, swamped by tourists in the summer, and shunned by Olive Garden morons year-round. 6204 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 645-0651.

1830 Floating fecesmakes for an excellent shark repellent.

1831 All the low-riding, bass-

booming Hyundais.

1832 Seth Wilder's gang of teenage breakdancers, popping and locking. They used to fight with their fists; now they settle things with "the dance."

1833 Listening to blond OC babes talk street.

1834 They'll promise to put a capin your ass.

1835 And you'll praythey keep it.

1836 Awwwww, yeaaaah!

1837 The custom-CD machine in the Tomorrowlandgift shop. Overdose on your own childhood by creating CDs with the silly old sound effects and music from attractions that have gone the way of Walt. For a small fee, you can take home your very own copy of the Swiss Family Treehouse's oompah music, the futuristic whooshing of the old Space Mountain, or even the entire soundtrack to America Sings (God, we feel old).

1838 Great Momentswith Mr. Lincoln are, these days, just so-so.

1839 Ol' Abe looks so stiff!

1840 That's what Mary Todd said.

1841 Dog beaches and the smell of fresh doggy do covered by a thin layer of sand in the morning.

1842 Santiago Canyon Boulevard. At a time when it seems like every major surface street and freeway in the county is under construction, we need Santiago Canyon Road more than ever. It's one of the only uninterrupted ribbons of highway left and is hands-down the most drivable. Take Chapman east past Jamboree, then roll down the window, strap on your lead boots and let the road remind you of driving's forgotten fun.

1843 Latino, Asian and other "minority" populations in OC are increasing.

1844 The beautifully carved red sandstone walls of the Old Orange County Courthouse. 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 834-4691.

1845 Charo Chicken's chicken bowl is the best in the world, according to an acclaimed international panel of chicken-bowl specialists. Locations countywide.

1846 The Original Swedish Sandwichcake, where you can get a great original Swedish sandwichcake. 20651 Lake Forest Dr., Lake Forest, (949) 462-3292.

1847 Laguna Beach's "Greeter" statue. He was some old homeless guy who, you know, greeted everyone.

1848 KLON-FM 88.1 for continuing to keep OC ears full of straight-ahead jazz-with the only change-ups being brief interludes of blues, salsa and other world music.

1849 KLON DJ Chuck Niles, who should be a first-ballot selection for the Jazz Hall of Fame, along with the Los Angeles Times' late jazz critic, Leonard Feather.

1850 Remembering there is no Jazz Hall of Fame.

1851 The Taco Bell DiscoverySci-

ence Center.

1852 Edison International Field.

1853 Disney's California Adventure.

1854Dr. Robert Tadych is known as the "painless dentist." 17482 Irvine Blvd., Tustin, (714) 544-0140.

1855 Shirley Grindle. Not only did this former county planning commissioner write the TINCUP campaign laws limiting political contributions, but she's also a relentless investigator, keeping the supervisors and city council members honest by constantly monitoring their campaign-disclosure forms, making a steady stream of phone calls and firing off numerous public-records requests. Without Grindle, the guys on the dais would be getting away with murder.

1856 The Anaheim Bullfrogs, whose second-place finish in the Roller Hockey International Playoffs easily makes them the best professional sports team in OC (not counting Mater Dei).

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