Guilty Pleasures


1567The calorie-filled aroma inside French's Bakery. 1170 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 546-6386; 2773 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0571; 14443 Culver Dr., Irvine, (949)262-9720.

1568 South Orange County Community College District rabble-rousers, whose efforts have resulted in the district's imbecilic board of trustees being ordered by an Orange County Superior Court judge to tape-record its closed-door meetings for two years due to persistent violations of the state's open-meeting law. Also thanks to the dissenters, an accrediting panel this year denounced the way the district's Saddleback and Irvine Valley colleges have been governed during the past two years.

1569 Having a half-priced omelet and a Bloody Mary from 6 to 8 a.m. at the Omelette Parlor. 179 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-0740.

1570 Knott's Scary Farm is neither scary nor a farm. Discuss.

1571 The most publicized South Orange County Community College District rabble-rouser, Irvine Valley College philosophy professor Roy Bauer.

1572 Besides being a constant thorn in the board's side at public gatherings for the past few years, Bauer has churned out-with the help of anonymous correspondents-two muckrakingnewsletters: Dissent, which covers the district, and The Vine, which covers IVC.

1573 Besides hilariously clever clip-and-crop graphics, a recent Dissent included a mock advice column that looked as if it were penned by board president Dorothy Fortune. One not-really-Fortune response to a not-real reader: "Ours was the only community college in the nation to take the day off when President [Richard] Nixon died. Our district has a board member who thinks Israel and space monkeys killed JFK. Our board includes two members of the Christian Coalition, too."

1574 Two couches at Chain Reaction, no one's using them, and everybody's enthralled by Peace Corp.'s blend of politics, rage, wit and rock.

1575 Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge-the best-kept secret birding spot in OC. 800 Seal Beach Blvd., Seal Beach, (562) 626-7214. Last Sat. of the month, 9 a.m.-noon.

1576Former Stray Cats' bassist Lee Rocker being included in artsy muckamuck Eclectic Orange Festival, produced by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

1577 The guilty anticipation as one enters South Coast Plaza and strolls by the smart shops and handsome boutiques, their windows calling to you, promising a better life, a life of well-ordered closets and well-kept bodies; happy children and well-appointed coffee tables; a world devoid of limits and body odor.

1578 The guilty feeling one gets after walking through South Coast Plaza for 20 minutes, a feeling that your life is bereft of meaning and the realization that in your search for fulfillment in the crystal vases and smart wool sweaters nothing will change, purchase or not.

1579 Flashing upon James Joyce's "Araby" and feeling united with the rest of humanity and not feeling good about that.

1580 South Coast Repertory. Sure, it's got the best facility and all kinds of money (the reported $700,000 budget for The Hollow Landsalone could underwrite the operating budgets of every other theater in the county combined, with the exception of the Laguna Playhouse), but it also has the track record and, most important, close relationships with some of the finest talents in American theater. No other theater in the country spends as much time or money developing new plays than does SCR. 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 957-2603.

1581 Clean Aliso Creek & Beach Association (CACA-geddit?) and Laguna Beach's chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, for remaining committed to cleaning up Aliso Creek and Aliso Beach-the dirtiest beach in OC-even at the risk of being painted as nutty extremists.

1582 Urinating while being sold clothing, tanning salons and reconstructive surgery in nearly every OC public restroom!

1583 The historic old courtroom at the historic Old Orange County Courthouse, where judges once dispensed justice on such cases as the infamous 1947 Overellmurder trial, which led to the state's first regulations governing explosives. 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 834-4691.

1584 The display case in the Old Orange County Courthouse that includes the original block plane and screwdriverused to build the courthouse back in 1900.

1585 In the same case, the old Native American mortarand pestle dug up when the courthouse went up.

1586 Rigorous with the experienced, gentle with newcomers, Newport Workout's Geo(like the car) may be the best yoga master in Orange County-to the extent that you can say one saint is more highly developed than another, like Saint Teresa is better than Saint John of the Cross. 747 Dover Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 642-3215.

1587 It ranks No. 197,774 on Amazon's sales list, but Postsuburban California: The Transformation of Orange County Since World War II is still No. 1 on our list of Best Academic Books about Orange County. University of California Press, 1995.

1588 And it's still No. 1 on our Best Book about Orange County that When You Look at the Title Real Fast It Looks Like It Reads Postpartum Masturbation.

1589 You can't beat that.

1590 Columnist Agustin Gurza. Lured from the Reg to cover OC's booming Latino community, Gurza provides to the Times Orange County something that neither major daily has produced in years: a voice. Far from the detached voice of "objective" reporters and columnists, Gurza points out and shouts down criminality, bias, insularity, provinciality and backwardness. Writing of 20 de Mayo, an anti-Cuban weekly in LA, Gurza said the paper "transports us nostalgically to the days of Joe McCarthy and the Red Scare, to that vigorous era of blacklists, guilt by association and a Commie under every bed."

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