Diary of a Mad County

FRIDAY, Nov. 29 We told you last week about the protest against one of those Newport Beach developers, John Laing Homes, which plans to move a 400-year-old oak tree called Old Gloryin Santa Clarita so that a road can be expanded. One activist has planted himself in the tree to keep it from budging, and a few more show up outside Laing's Dove Street headquarters with signs, slogans and evening news-ready spiels. The joke's on them: Laing is closed for the Thanksgiving weekend.

SATURDAY, Nov. 30 Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. Atlachinolli Front, whom you may know from previous protests against Columbus Day, schools with Indian mascots and other symbolic slights, holds a "No Thanks" presentation/discourse at Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana about what Thanksgiving means to indigenous people. We'll go out on a limb (sorry, Old Glory) and guess what they think ain't pretty.

SUNDAY, Dec. 1 We hit the aisles at our local Trader Joe's, safe in the knowledge that the supermarket chain is trying mightily to remove all genetically engineered (GE) food from its premises. The company almost reached its goal of eliminating all GE products last month, hoping to join the bans carried out already by Wild Oats and Whole Foods markets. We haven't checked, but we're sure Mother's must've banned them as well. (To find out which brands and labels are GE-free, log onto Greenpeace's True Food Network site: www.truefoodnow.org.) What we put into our bodies is a hot topic lately, with a federal judge recently ruling that former Dodgers great Steve Garvey did not engage in false advertising by hawking a weight-loss product that promised results even if consumers ate such "forbidden foods" as ribs and buttered biscuits. Speaking of forbidden foods, today marks the first day of a new diet by a plump porn star. Kim Kelly of Santa Monica is going to spend the next 30 days subsisting only on "man juice." Christ, if only we knew about the weight-loss implications back in high school when we were trying to con girls into swallowing because it would clear up their complexions.

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