Etheridgicity!

Bonus: All the dives we love to love!

Photo by Tenaya HillsIt's been a fascinating time to lounge about in my manse and watch C-Span, and that's just what I did last week, when I left you in the hands of Clubbed!'s Mary Reilly, or as I like to call her, Eve Harrington. I think she'll be entirely capable of taking the mantle should I be found dead in my bed of murder most foul—or, you know, if I can't go partying for you because my car is broken and I have a choice between eating pie and watching the tube or riding a bus or something. The bus? How very poor!

So. C-Span. There's something terribly sexy about someone—anyone, apparently, if the bloodless, moleman-ish Richard Clarke is getting my love—willing to tell The Truth in Washington. Compare his testimony before the 9/11 Commission, and his myriad blunt interviews, with, oh, let's take Condi Rice. (Please!) For instance? Rice has been explaining since roughly Sept. 11-and-a-half that the administration didn't know hijackers would take airplanes and fly them into buildings . . . or at least didn't know the precise time and airline counter at which the evildoers would check in—and even if they had known, it's not like they could have done anything in the face of terrorists who would have answered, yes, they'd packed their bags themselves, and no, no one else had access to them. (Condi Moment of the Week: explaining on 60 Minutes Sunday that the Bush administration's lack of "urgency" regarding terrorism wasn't so terrible, as even if they'd acted with a sense of urgency, it doesn't necessarily follow that they'd have done anything differently. That's their defense.)

And then there's such a to-do closer to home, with our beloved Sheriff beset from all sides, as Lisa Jaramillo, his former fund-raiser and the wife of his now-fired second-in-command, has apparently got her fingers in an awful lot of pies, which is by no means my way of saying she's a lesbian. Meanwhile, our beloved Times and Register have taken the story broken by our own R. Scott Moxley and KCBS's Dave Lopez and—gasp—actually advanced it considerably! (In the biz, you "advance" a story when you take one someone else has broken, and instead of just rewriting it, you actually dig up new facts and angles.) The Times and Reg are doing a wonderful job, which shouldn't be surprising considering they're deep-pockets daily newspapers in the country's eighth largest economy, but, you know. It is.

Most important things first, lovers: Saturday's Disney Jungle Adventures on Iceat the Arrowhead Pond was . . . well, I hesitate to use this word, as it's one I generally leave only to people who write Vampire Lestat fan-fiction, but okay: It was erotic.

I now understand how embarrassed and ashamed my girlfriend was when she physically lusted for the lead in PJ Hogan's Peter Panthis year (he may be "15," but he doesn't look a day over 12), as my feelings for the ice skater in the role of Tarzan were entirely inappropriate in a family-friendly venue. It wasn't just the parade of muscle-bound ass on display, although it was fearsome. No: it was the calves and thighs too. I felt like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror, sneering, drooling (while simultaneously spontaneously combusting) at Rocky in his lamé short shorts. And when our ape man was doing his loin-clothed back flips and vine tricks? Oh, sweet Jesus.

Should they really be letting children in to see such things? I want my FCC!

It occurred to me after my shut-in weekend that I had moved to Santa Ana months before and still hadn't found a neighborhood bar. This, as you can imagine, made me sad. Just a place to stop into after work, a place where I could be a regular, you dig? Of course, you do. You probably have a bar. So Friday Skeith and I went on a mission to find a dive bar of our very own. We went first to Father's, near the Fling, and its favors were bounteous. It's the kind of place you figure the owner—John—bought just to have a place to drink. Also, John quickly came up and introduced himself. And when asked by three emo kids in identical black Army-issue Buddy Holly glasses if the bar carried Mountain Dew Live Wire (I shudder), John said, "Have a beer and shut up!" So Father's was looking like a winner from the outset. In addition, there's a tattoo studio in the parking lot, a pool table, a rack of Cheetos behind the bar, a stack of Weeklys and a Sunday Register for those who want their livers well-informed, and two dudes playing guitar and singing "Dead Flowers." But. It's beer and cheap wine only. Sometimes a girl needs a vodka tonic.

After hugs all around, we continued our fact-finding at Club 22. We thought it was a strip club, nestled under the freeway and all. It was not. Plus: The dude walking in ahead of us got patted down by security. Minus: We didn't. Other pluses: A gorgeous, fancy '80s-style grand bar, a dance floor, a pool table, and a loud fucking mariachi-ish band. It was strictly Latino—we were getting vibed by the bartendress—and Skeith, because he's stupid, said, "They probably make great margaritas here." I handed him the martini menu and then punched him in the throat.

We went on to the Friendly Tavern(it's the cutest thing you ever saw, a stand-alone flagstoned building that looks like an old Altadena dairy) and the suspicious blonde behind the bar, who indeed was not overly hospitable, directed us across the parking lot to the Oasis.

There, Skeith was freaked out because, in addition to being stupid, he is a big puss, and the Oasis was nice and scary. The girl in the unflattering, large-weave fishnets who was singing "American Girl" needs to be in a punk band, not a cover band; she screamed through "Sweet Emotion" in a way that would have been perfect for rolling around with Courtney Love. Meanwhile, we giggled at the vertical '70s rec-room wood paneling and were agog at the play on the pool tables. Oasis is a shooters' bar, by which I do not mean a bar for shooters of heroin. No, if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it's way more meth.

I'm kidding! It's for pool players and people carrying swords.

We hit the Orange County Music Awards Saturday night, and we'll let Rich Kanetell you about most of it on page 39, but really we've got to say that it was its usual delightful clusterfuck. I don't believe I've ever almost physically fought someone over a steak dinner. Oh, of course I have! Usually, though, I don't have backup. (The short, balding dude who walked into the Weekly's upstairs box and walked out with our steak was furious when we sent a commando raid in to retrieve it. He was sputtering and shaking until I asked him—and I swear these words have never come out of my mouth before—"Who are you?" He turned away, unwilling to dignify the question, but then couldn't resist. "I'm the . . . president . . . of the LABEL!" he shouted. That's when, I'm afraid, we all laughed. Anyway, it turned out we'd accidentally stolen someone else's steaks, and they never really got over it.) The only other thing I noticed was the utter fabulousness and Etheridgicity of Sideswipe, who rocked through a medley that included serious shredding on "Pinball Wizard" and the singer sharing a drum duo with her ex-girlfriend. They broke up and so did the band, and now you'll never get to hear Sideswipe who really did rule even though I described them as having Etheridgicity.

CommieGirl99@hotmail.com.

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