Morrison & Foerster LLP has adopted as its corporate tag "Lawyers for the global economy." But in front-page ads in The Orange County Business Journal, the firm identifies itself as "MoFo," you know, just to save busy executive secretaries the strain of typing 20 extra characters. 19900 MacArthur Blvd., twelfth floor, Irvine, (949) 251-7500.


The artists at Sawdust Art Festival and Pageant of the Masters have been trained so wholly in the Karl Rove School of Backstabbing it's a wonder anyone's still standing. Oh, wait, that's right. No one is! The poison peeps at the Festival of Arts managed to get their executive director to quit in a fury; according to The Orange County Register, Steven Brezzo said, "Had I any inkling of the mean spirit and venomous atmosphere here, I would have never come." They've also been known to impersonate local art critics, sending from similar-sounding addresses e-mail filled with screeds so hateful even we were ashamed.


We're just kidding. Laguna Beach is a horrible, horrible place for art. Not only is it filled with faux-Mediterranean crap and Impressionist scenes of children frolicking in the waves, but the environment is so hostile, it makes the set of Terminator 2 look like an afternoon at the petting zoo. Oh, wait.


Their ministry is actually based outside Orange County; it's in Corona, which is near the county line geographically but, via the 91 freeway, usually takes four hours to reach. Still, XXXchurch pastors Craig Gross and Mike Foster grew up in Orange County and sharpened their Jesus chops in the local neighborhood-church circuit before establishing their nonprofit ministry dedicated solely to wiping out porn. XXXchurch refreshingly eschews fire and brimstone, instead doling out equal measures of compassion and humor to reach self-abusers. For their efforts, Gross and Foster have received a lot of ink (including a July 27 Weeklycover story), mucho broadcast-media time, nationwide speaking engagements—and a lot of flak from religious types who don't appreciate seeing "XXX" and "church" in the same word. Some also cringe over the XXXchurch pastors and their wives entering the vortex of evil—adult-entertainment expos—to pass Holy Bibles out alongside booths hawking dildos, blowup dolls, and reels and reels of porn. The twentysomething pastors politely shrug off criticisms from all sides and focus instead on the scores of ex-porn purveyors who have flocked to XXXchurch. (949) 862-5716.


Eight miles inland along Ortega Highway, Mike Evans holds to a simple botanical belief: "California should look like California." For 16 years, Evans and his staff at Tree of Life have grown and sold only California-native plants, in the process becoming the largest such nursery in the state. But the roadside plantation is more than a business. With its hay-bale-and-adobe Round House, its flights of art, and its indigenous ambiance, Tree of Life is simultaneously a California getaway and a homecoming. 33201 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 728-0685


Little Saigon politics is infamously insular, where dissent is quickly squashed and the respect of city officials is almost a requisite if you want to be respected. But tell that to Diane Vo, a tiny ball of feistiness who in the past year has been the largest thorn in the side of the Garden Grove City Council. She successfully sued the city to lift its draconian restrictions on cybercafés and also brought to surface allegations that Garden Grove City Councilman Van Thai Tran attempted to defraud two immigrant sisters. Though she can talk on and on and on—radio talk-show hosts tend to do that—the stuff that comes out of Vo's mouth is heretical enough to warrant close listening.


The Grand Central Art Center is a nice mix of Lo Art/hipster with "academia-approved." Okay, it's mostly Lo-Art, with hot rods and bosomy cartoon ladies and rotating exhibits by the original lowbrow artist, Robert Williams, and everyone who has ever met him. (But seriously, his wife's paintings were extremely cool.) Cal State Fullerton's satellite gallery in downtown Santa Ana is juicy and saturated with color, and it's good for you, too! 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 567-7233; www.grandcentral


Silverado Canyon was originally named Canada de la Madera (Timber Canyon). Although early settlers cut down many of the upper canyon's pine trees for lumber, clusters of maple, bay, Douglas fir and live oak trees still thrive along stream banks and in the deep ravines. Higher up, the few remaining Coulter pines tower above brush-covered slopes. Maple Spring Road is a great way to explore this verdant canyon. Beginning at the Forest Service gate at the end of Silverado Canyon Road, the road follows the stream under a dense a canopy of alder and sycamore. After several miles, the shade of the canyon floor is left behind and pavement gives way to a dirt track. From this point, the trail offers little respite from the sun as it continues to ascend, following a series of switchbacks until it intersects with the Main Divide and Harding Truck Trails. This road makes for a great 15-mile roundtrip hike or bike ride. Or you can extend the trip and continue to the summits of Modjeska and Santiago peaks. (Note: This trail is closed between April 1 and Sept. 30 due to the breeding season of the endangered arroyo toad. Which begs the question: Just what are the toads up to during the rest of the year?) Park at the end of Silverado Canyon Rd., 5.4 miles from the intersection of Santiago Canyon Rd.

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