By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Nude Bathing at San Onofre
There's a tendency to think of nude beaches—or, for that matter, nude campgrounds and nude lumber yards—in terms of naked Brad Pitts and Jennifer Garners dangling about. In actuality, we all look much more like, well, disgusting meat sacks. So, remember the sunscreen and that people come in all shapes and sizes when you pack for San Onofre State Beach. Take the Basilone Road exit off the 5 and head toward the state beach. There's nude sunbathing 300 yards south of Trail 6. You know you're there when you see men in jogging shorts carrying the smallest duffle bags ever made. www.beachesbeaches.com.
The '80s are back in a big way—asymmetrical hair, Depeche Mode, DeLoreans—so why not relive them at the skating rink? I doubt they still play Billy Squier's "The Stroke," but there just has to be a dark corner somewhere, and that means you can French kiss and fondle just like in the good old days. Get your Hokey Pokey on at the Fountain Valley Skating Center, equipped with an old-fashioned wooden rink, plenty of disco/flashy lights and a few pairs of Angel Flights pants—well, we can dream, can't we? Stroke! Stroke!Adult skate nights are Thursday and Sunday. 9105 Recreation Circle, Fountain Valley, (714) 847-6300; www.fv-skate.com.
The Pearl Dust Martini
With no apparent concern for, say, overpopulation—or the awful morning after—the folks at La Cave have introduced the Pearl Dust Martini, a giant, $18 glassful of Level vodka and Bianco vermouth topped with a lemon twist and a dollop of pearl dust. The allegedly potent aphrodisiac, made from finely crushed pearls, is rumored to have been Cleopatra's weapon of choice, although La Cave's staffers are mum over how much dust is required for wall-humping randiness to take hold. In the interest of science—and science alone, ma!—we tried one a few weeks back. Despite the pearl dust itself tasting like finely crushed pearls, the martini was delicious. Afterward, we went home with the bartender. Kidding! But our naughty bits did feel a bit tingly. Kind of like how we feel after drinking copious amounts of alcohol. La Cave Restaurant, 1695 Irvine Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 646-7944.
I'm no advocate of drugs, but if I were you, I'd score a big pile of drugs, rent Grease, and put on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. Mute the movie and start the album just as Paramount Mountain appears; proceed to smoke, snort and Bogart your drugs until your consciousness is like a peachy-keen jellybean; then, enjoy the spoils of a true film-album synchronization—or at least one that's far better than yesterday's tired "Dark Side of the Rainbow" screenings. Personally, I discovered the pairing after much patience, meticulous guesswork and a steady supply of marijuana. Sure, I'd taken a few wrong turns—trying for hours to align Spielberg's slave epic Amistad with Mary-Kate and Ashley's Brother for Sale—but in the end, I popped in Grease and Wish You were Here and realized I'd stumbled onto the kind of stuff lesser religions are made of.
PUMP DA BASE
What would summer be without baseball? Plenty, actually; still, the June through August months with Your Anaheim Angels look like something to salivate over. Along with the usual American League West suspects visiting OC this summer, like the A's, Mariners and surprising Rangers, we'll also see a July Fourth weekend homestand vs. the stupid fucking Dodgers that probably sold out eons ago. The inter-league games are a bit of a bust, though—while we're drooling over the Cubs' three-game series June 11 through 13, the Brewers arrive just before that, and we're old enough to remember when the Brewers were still in the AL and played the Angels all the time—like in the 1982 ALCS, but we really don't want to bring that up. Best giveaways: Troy Glaus and Bartolo Colon matryoshka dolls!
READ RICHARD YATES
There's been plenty of great writing on the subject of the American suburb—the honor roll takes us from John Cheever ("The Country Husband," "The Swimmer," "O Youth and Beauty!") and John Updike (the Rabbit tetralogy); through Ann Beattie (The Burning House), Richard Ford (Independence Day) and Andre DuBus (Adultery and Other Choices); and on to Gen. X inheritors such as A.H. Homes (The Safety of Objects), Rick Moody (The Ice Storm, Purple America) and Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides). And we shouldn't forget films like American Beauty and Blue Velvet, or the spookily radiant paintings of Eric Fischl. There's a summer syllabus for you right there.
But the work we most certainly shouldn't forget when we're talking about the suburbs—and it's work that all but a few have forgotten until recently—is that of Richard Yates, whose Revolutionary Road is, I think, the most beautifully written and most devastating novel ever about a way of life that more than half of America calls normal.
It's a way of life that Yates represents (with a tenderness he learned from his two great forbears, J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald) as a social system of fatal compromise: in exchange for the sordid boons of getting and spending, security and acceptance, suburbanites crush whatever dreams fall outside an extraordinarily narrow range of acceptability, find themselves pursuing their strangled desires in secret, utterly confuse themselves with the roles they play and, like Kierkegaard's modern man, hide their hearts so far from themselves they wake up one morning to find themselves dead.