Guilty Pleasures

1601-1818

1601 Slow-pitch softball guys who slide to break up the double play while wearing stretch shorts.

1602 Edmund Velasco, leader of the Edmund Velasco Quintet, an atomic mother on tenor sax.

1603 Walking through the halls of an Irvineoffice building only to hear, "OH, FUCK!" from behind one of the doors.

1604 "Instead of debating how much funding is appropriate for AIDS research, we should be petitioning our government to redirect those dollars to research the cause and prevention of homosexuality. What a gift we could give the future generations of the world if families did not have to suffer the social disgrace and despair of learning and having to live with the fact that one of their own is a homosexual." Letter to the Register, July 18, 1995.

1605 Liberals! Both of 'em!

1606 Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse. A long (and scary) ride along Santiago Canyon Road will end at the remotely located restaurant. Wear a tie. 20782 Trabuco Oaks Dr., Trabuco Canyon, (949) 586-0722.

1607 Getting a wild hair up your ass.

1608 Or is it a wild hare?

1609 The bakery at Zov's Bistro. As if chef Zov's bistro hasn't contributed enough to fine dining in OC, the pleasing palatables of chef Zov's bakery, a tempting collection of breads, cookies and desserts pretty much elevates her to goddess status. 17440 E. 17th St., Tustin, (714) 838-8855.

1610Heh, heh. Cookies. Heh, heh.

1611 The Flower District in Santa Ana, where glorious, mansion-like houses hide in a quiet neighborhood just steps from grimy 17th Street.

1612 FlashBacks Vintage Clothing. The most widely complimented shirt in my wardrobe cost me $4. Viva la vintage! 465 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 771-4912.

1613 More romantic than the old Santa Ana courthouse, Rancho Las Lomas is one of OC's best places to jump the broom. Just ask the Offspring's Noodles Wasserman. 19191 Lawrence Canyon , Silverado, (714) 589-9630.

1614 "It appears the time has come for another 'Boston Tea Party.' This time, instead of tea thrown into the harbor it should be the politicians who take the plunge. Pinochet, Stalin and Hitler (former government nannies) also did what they thought was right for their constituents, and we all know how that turned out. What if our noble and all-knowing nannies decide that red automobilies bring out violent tendencies so from now on people can only drive 'mood-approved color cars?' Anyone for a mauve Porsche?" Letter to the Register, Sept. 28, 1999.

1615 The Coach House. Think about the five best concerts you've been to. Were at least two of them at the Coach House? We thought so. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-8930.

1616 Soest Guitar. As if having Billy Zoom's amp shop behind his store doesn't make him cool enough, Steve Soesthas set up, chopped up, hot-rodded, or restored the guitars of practically every great axeman in the universe. And he's a pretty nice guy. 760 N. Main St., Ste. D, Orange, (714) 538-0272; www.soestguitars.com.

1617 Happy Teriyaki. Over the years, we've found the only thing more fun than eating at the Main Street sandwich place is the tradition of counting down from 10 and then screaming, "Happy Teriyaki!" It's a riot. 352 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-0141.

1619 Roger's Gardens. Not only a huge nursery with practically every kind of plant imaginable, but also a veritable wonderland during the holiday season from Halloween through Christmas. 2301 San Joaquin Hill, Corona del Mar, (949) 640-5800.

1620 That cough-drop smell everything gets after it rains.

1621 Freeway philosophy. For years, the folks at Orco Construction Supply in Santa Ana have supplied 55 freeway commuters weekly words to live by via the company's freeway-facing marquee. Sometimes the quotes are silly ("Dieting: slowing down to make a curve"), sometimes they're profound ("You believe easily what you wish for earnestly"), but for those stuck on the freeway between Edinger and Dyer, the messages are always a welcome break in a frequently hellish commute.

1622 The specter of being crushed to death by the wooden wagonhanging from the ceiling of the Omelette Parlor. 179 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-0740.

1623 Jadedyouth!

1624 No professional football teams. We suck at enough sports, thank you very much.

1625 Except surfing. We're good at that.

1626 And volleyball.

1627 And redbaiting. That's a sport around here, isn't it?

1628 Really, really cheap fabrics for designing really, really superfine fashions two years before they're ripped off by a New York designer and touted on content-free cable TV by a woman with an English accent as "brand-new," "breathtaking" and "original" when in fact they're 2 years old, breezy and, hell, just pants, man. And they came from Orange County. Two Dollar Fabric Store, 2320 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 979-7707.

1629 The "pollution fairies," who magically clean polluted water in time for federal holidays and surf contests.

1630 Robert A. Phillips, D.C., a gentle bear who plays me like a Stradivariuswhen he explodes all the nitrogen in my spine and neck, all the while offering wholesome conversation. South Laguna Chiropractic Center, 31641 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 499-1133.

1631 The Siamesecat that guards the path at 18th Street between the boardwalk and Balboa Boulevard on the Balboa Peninsula and rarely shows signs of aloofness.

1632 The front auto spot on the Balboa Island Ferry-you can pretend you're steering.

1633 The sea lions that lounge on the bell buoyjust off the Wedge.

1634 The bearded, dwarfishwanderer bopping down Newport Boulevard at 31st Street one day, smiling, not even noticing the stares.

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