Excerpts: Part 2

Feb. 27, 1998 It's easy to grasp why Zoom is so misunderstood, why so many sensational rumors circulate around him. He's an enigmatic, suspicious figure, naturally cold and wary; yet he's also as honest and intelligent a man as you'll ever meet. His manager, the affable Mike Rouse, has been installed to act as a buffer between Zoom and X's management, whom Zoom loathes and distrusts. Even the name Billy Zoom—of the great noms de guitar, his is deliciously flashy and absurd—seems to contradict whatever really animates the complex, contradictory man behind the handle. He lived the first 24 years of his life as Ty Kindell, son of a big-band saxophonist/clarinetist who planted a love of playing music in sonny boy's heart at a very early age. Somehow, he seems much more Ty Kindell than Billy Zoom.

Buddy Seigal, "Nice Guy, Punk Legend: OC guitar god Billy Zoom on life before and after X"

March 20, 1998 "I will always see Orange County as the place where God created faggots because, at the age of 17, that's where I first found some. I wanted to really dig into the particulars of a gay adolescence in OC. So the metaphors and images in my work are of lying naked under the valencia tree in the back yard, having a first kiss at Disneyland, falling in love with a teen punk rocker in my trash trailer park in Anaheim, and getting fucked in hot tubs in Placentia. It's a kind of 'I Sing the Body Electric' in Garden Grove."

Randy Pesqueira, "Miller Time: Performance artist Tim Miller on growing up queer in OC"

March 20, 1998 I love sushi, goddamn it. I know it's trite and trendy and bourgie, and I don't care; it's still my favoritest food. Not even two nightmarish trips to the emergency room have dampened my enthusiasm for the stuff. On both occasions, I was diagnosed with food poisoning from fecal coliform bacteria. Translation: the fish was contaminated by sewage; I got sick from eating something that came out of your bum. I fervently hope this never happens again, but it's worth the gamble. Raw fish is a godhead.

Buddy Seigal, "Uncooked Deliciousness: Grabbing sushi's tiger by the tale"

April 10, 1998 If you're like most Orange Countians, this is probably how you imagine Steven J. Frogue: he's a big, fat, Nazi goosestepper. He stands in front of his bathroom mirror at night in his swastika jammies, holding a black comb under his nose, and pretends to be Adolf Hitler—foaming at the mouth and swatting imaginary flies before the masses. Frogue thinks the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith is filled with a bunch of Catholic-president-slaying Juden who have nothing better to do these days than figure out ways to fuck with the Frogue. "Holocaust, schmolocaust," he'll tell you—without you asking. "So it was strongly suggested the Jews go on a little extended holiday. Is that so wrong? Well, is it?"

Matt Coker, "The Evil of Froguenstein: The real monsters behind community college trustee Steven J. Frogue"

April 17, 1998 The first terrible thing about Assemblage is how people pronounce it, making it all French-y sounding: Ah-sem-blahj. Doesn't that just make you want to puke? The second terrible thing about Assemblage is how little skill it takes. You just take a big pile o' junk and stick it together, preferably in a small, shelved curio case so you don't even need glue, and all of a sudden, you're an artiste.


Rebecca Schoenkopf, "Some Assemblage Required: OCCCA gathers Assemblage art that doesn't blow"

April 24, 1998 As I was finishing this story, my wife alerted me to the religion page of the Newport Beach/Costa Mesa Daily Pilot, where there was a little announcement from Rock Harbor that this year, they would hold their Easter services on the second-story plaza at Triangle Square. Explaining why he decided to celebrate services there, Keith is quoted as saying, "Easter connected me to Jesus Christ; Triangle Square is where God connected me to Costa Mesa and stirred in my heart the vision of Rock Harbor." I had to read that several times before it hit me. "The vision of Rock Harbor" was stirred not by the sight of a homeless man tramping down Newport Boulevard, by a late-night dream, or by a biblical image Keith Page couldn't get out of his head. The vision of Rock Harbor came to its founder—and now to the rest of us—from a mall.

Cornel Bonca, "Church Alternative Culture: The unbearable lightness of being Christian at Costa Mesa's Rock Harbor Church"

May 1, 1998 Two weekends ago, I spent a Saturday afternoon at the Westminster Vons Pavilion ogling disturbingly gorgeous girls and women between 12 and 24 years old. And before you call vice, I should probably explain that everything was legit: I was one of the guest judges for the 1998 LA Looks Model Search.

"But why me?" I asked Tara Cortez, one of the event coordinators. "I'm a nobody! I'm not worthy!"

"Oh, no, Michael. You're a buzz name left now," she said, emphasizing the words "left now." "We try to get a local celebrity on every judging panel."

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