By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
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-
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-
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).
1857 Being the envy of all of Riverside.
1858 The sugar pies at Café Casse Crôute. This French-Canadian dessert combines maple syrup, brown sugar, flour, evaporated milk and walnuts; pours them into a made-from-scratch crust; and bakes the whole mess into a perfectly set filling with a crackled finish. 656 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 774-8013.
1859 Going to Dean Hagan and Mark April at Pro Photo Connectioninstead of a plastic surgeon, beauty salon or dentist. These digital masters rule when it comes to doctoring your favorite shots, whether it's undereye bags, flyaway hair or less-than-white teeth. 17752 Fitch, Irvine, (949) 250-7073.
1860 Shawn "The Prawn" Adams, son of Don "Maxwell Smart" Adams, who disdained the cliché of filling his father's shoes (even the one that's a shoe phone) to become the chef/ owner/inventor of Mistral, the cool reincarnation of Trees tucked behind the Port in Corona del Mar. 440 Heliotrope, Corona del Mar, (949) 723-9685.
1861 The cake-like cinnamon-raisin swirl bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. 27261-G La Paz Rd., Laguna Niguel, (949) 360-9190.
1862 The too-awesome jukebox at Linda's Doll Hutthat's packed with great roots and punk music. They almost don't need to book live bands. 107 S. Adams, Anaheim, (714) 533-1286.
1863 The cool selection of affordable antiques at Summerhill Ltd., where you can get your mom that necklace that matches the one her mother wore in the 1920s and can still take her out to lunch. And since you're right there in the circle, you can keep the nostalgia fest going so she'll probably hand over some dough like she did when you lived at home. 142 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 771-7782.
1864 OC blues. Living in America's most poopy-Republican county is enough to bum out any clear-thinking human being. Perhaps that's why affluent OC boasts such a curiously impressive blues scene. Rather than African-Americans suffering a social hangover from slavery and sharecropping or lower-class denizens of a stinky ghetto venting their spleen with guitars, we have out-of-the-loop white people and Latinos subjected to little ticky-tacky gated condo communities and a sea of silicone-slick Beemers whizzing by their beater '85 Fords every day on the 405. OC's blues scene is small but wonderfully vital and has a sound all its own; jumpin' and jivin' while remaining true to the hardcore workingman's roots.
1865 Take it from our organ-meat connoisseur, the smooth-textured onion liverwurst at Mattern Deliis like a flavorful and satiny terrine superior to the highest quality pâté, and much cheaper. 4327 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 639-3550.
1866 Café Zinc's agendaless vibe and superlative food. 350 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6302.
1867 Standing out like a purple, orange and chrome beacon, OC's best-looking hot truck is Taquerias Guadalajara's newly inaugurated Chiva Mobil. Parked at Bristol & Chestnut, Santa Ana. Fri.-Sat. nights; Centennial Park, Santa Ana. Sun.
1868 The afterbirth eats at Hoag Hospital maternity ward. A woman can work up an appetite while performing the athletic feat of a lifetime in stirrups (and we're not talking about an equestrian event). Most maternity wards insult them by serving Salisbury steak, Jell-O and wan green beans. But the postpartum chews at Hoag treat mothers and their significant others to an elegant dinner of filet mignon, baked potatoes and sparkling cider rolled to the bedside on white-linen-covered carts. 1 Hoag Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 645-8600.
1869 The supergirly Holly Sharp Signature Boutique is your best alternative to those seed-pearl-infested traditional bridal salons. 3636 Pacific Coast Hwy. E., Corona del Mar, (949) 673-9466.
1870 When a friend gave me a pair of Shanghai Tang silver chopsticks, I knew there was but one dish worthy of their pulchritude: honey walnut shrimp at Ten Ten Seafood Restaurant. 669 N. Euclid St., Anaheim, (714) 991-9272.
1871 Saturday mornings at the Balboa Bay Club with Gil Ferguson's Principle over Politics group.
1872 The gargantuan dragonswith the big red Christmas-tree bulbs screwed into their eye sockets at Ten Ten Seafood Restaurant.
1873 T. Jefferson Parker's 1950s-style crime/thriller/suspense novels set in an Orange County that doesn't appear in the tourist come-ons. Terrific when he improvises on the genre. One false note in his newest, Where Serpents Lie: "The Times and The Register and OC Weekly have all covered us favorably," says a cop. The Weekly, too?! Say it ain't so, T. Jeff!
1874 BOTH real Communists in OC, neither of whom is Ho Chi Minh, who's dead.
1875 Seal Beach Produce. We always buy big sacks of fruits and vegetables, yet when we get to the register, it never adds up to more than $10. We don't understand it, but we ain't complaining. 1190 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, (562) 596-4101.
1876 Enough fish tacos for everybody!
1877 The footbridgebetween South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Performing Arts Center complex, which is really convenient and actually kind of pleasant-if just a tad too metaphorical for our tastes.
1878 Old women with fursand jewelry who ask for senior citizen's discounts at bookstores.
1879 The croissant with ham, egg and Cheddar cheese at the Coffee Pub. 384 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-5334.
1880 Affordable housing! Somewhere!
1881 The selection of vintage hollow-body guitars-especially by Guild-and hard-to-find strings at the Guitar Shoppe, 1027 N. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 497-2110.
1882 Internist Dr. Mae Kinaly, who opened the blinds in her office and told me to enjoy the ocean vista and watched it with me in silence for a while before she even began to examine me. 1441 Avocado Ave., Ste. 702, Newport Beach, (949) 760-1299.
1883 H. Arthur Taussig, an Orange Coast College professor who dissects films with a vivisectionist's glee, exposing layers of meaning that you (and probably the filmmakers) never would have imagined were there.
1884 Monsters in Motion, a gallery/ store featuring all of your favorite spacemen, werewolves and bloodsucking freaks, some of 'em life-size! Eek! 330 E. Orangethorpe Ave., Ste. H, Placentia, (714) 577-8863.
1885 The sundry boatsmoored in Newport Harbor-especially the rockin' ones.
1886 Seal Beach Family Medical. Not only cheap enough for even us uninsured folk to afford, but also nice enough to offer walk-in appointments on weeknights and weekends. Did we mention they're sweet as pie? 1198 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Beach, (562) 799-7071.
1887 Playing a pickup game of hoopsat Main Beach in Laguna Beach.
1888 Standing in line at the Lucky's checkout counter next to Dennis Rodman.
1889 Although the Irvine Barclay Theatre, Brea's Curtis Theatre and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts don't produce their own shows, the variety and high level of all three venues' programming choices are rather eye-opening these days.
1890 Figurative-landscape artist and Newport Beach resident Tim Spaulding, a beacon of persistence and integrity.
1891 Miss October from the Pleasure Company ad, seen in these pages.
1892 The pervasive display of monstrous sea creatures at the Balboa Saloon, especially the swordfish, great white and hammerhead sharks, glazed and wide-mouthed . . . forever beached and mounted, thanks to their taxidermist. 700 E. Bay Ave., Balboa Peninsula, (949) 673-9783.
1893 A combustive drum solo by straight-ahead beatist Jimmy Ford.
1894 Orange County Peace Coalition, a recently formed alliance of OC's Catholic Worker, Unitarian Society, Veterans for Peace, Green and Libertarian parties, and others. It had the guts to line Bristol Street near South Coast Plaza and demonstrate against NATO intervention and U.S. tax dollars for wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia.
1895 California Native Plant Society's Orange County chapter, dedicated to planting what's left of open space-like your front yard-with the plants that belong there.
1896 Interplay's Carmageddon-the game deemed Too Violent for British People-is still the best way to vicariously enjoy the pleasure of mowing down little old ladies and helpless cows, à la Death Race 2000, while cackling insanely. Try it after your next long, nightmarish, courtesy-of-Caltrans commute, and see if you don't feel those homicidal urges just melting away. And they say video games causeviolence.
1897 Dizz's cioppino. 2794 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-5250.
1898 Rich Kane, the greatest rock & roller of them all.
1899 Hey, Kane! Stay the hell away from the "Best of . . ." computer!
1900 Michael Nash is why you pay more to get your hair cut: he's brutally honest and reads the heavyweights, but favors the French existentialists. Especially awesome for redheads. Salon Gregorie's, 200 Newport Center Dr., Ste. 103, Newport Beach, (949) 644-6671.