Diary of A Mad Year

2004 regurgitated

OCTOBER

7Irwin Rose becomes the third UC Irvine professor to win a Nobel Prize, his for, reports say, something to do with proteins, so I'm guessing he's a major player in the low-carb field. . . . 10Read in the paper today that French philosopher Jacques Derrida died. Derrida, who was a visiting professor at UC Irvine, is the father of a philosophic movement called deconstructionism, which, as it has been explained to me, is in part about how any thought, fact or text can be broken down and twisted into whatever meaning the receiver desires—thus, John Kerry the war hero becomes a traitor. Or not. The thing is meaning is the key. Or not. The point is Jacques Derrida is dead. Or is he?. . . 11Mary Kay LeTourneau announces on Larry King Live that she and her man Vili Fualaau are engaged. That's nice. She says she didn't know when she was 34 that it was against the law to have sex with a sixth-grade boy, which proves she is crazy and stupid. She says she and Fualaau, who have two kids together, share "a deep, spiritual oneness." Yeah, see, I'm just guessing there's going to be a bit of a schism in a few years when there's no more novelty or naughtiness involved in nailing the teacher/jailbird girlfriend. It'll occur around the time Fualaau is 30 and all his buddies are bringing over their twentysomething girlfriends and Mary Kay is in her 50s and collecting Hummel figurines. . . . 21 Brandon Maxfield—the kid who won a $24 million judgment against Costa Mesa gun manufacturer Bryco Arms after he was paralyzed by a defective Bryco gun when he was seven—attempts, 10 years later, to buy Bryco for the purpose of folding it. However, Maxfield's bid of $505,000 is trumped by Paul Jimenez, who bids $510,000. Today, a lawyer for Maxfield claims in federal court Jimenez really didn't buy the company but was simply the front man for Bryco's former owners, Bruce and Janice Jennings. It all may be just sour grapes, or it may be that Jimenez is a former Bryco employee and Maxfield's lawyer has papers showing Janice Jennings wired him $430,000 to make the purchase. What's more, Janice Jennings' company, Shining Star Investments, then places an order for $1.5 million worth of new guns, though how Jimenez is going to fill the order is unclear since he doesn't have a license to manufacture guns in California. . . . 28 For some reason, the city of Newport Beach invites the cast of The O.C. down from LA so they can inaugurate some lame walk of fame. Some of the cast does show up, including the dude with the eyebrows and heartthrob Benjamin McKenzie, who admits this is his first time in Newport since the show isn't actually shot here. City officials give cast members keys to the city—a bottle opener with the city logo on it. It kind of comes off like a hick town trying to get some attention through any lame gimmick, you know, like claiming to have the world's largest thermometer or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. . . . 29 Irvine Mayor Larry Agran and his supporters send a political mailer around town that claims his opponents are trying to smear him and are using the "sex tabloid OC Weekly" to do it. Sex tabloid? I wish. I can't tell you how many times we've tried to convince our overlords to go all the way, and they keep pulling out. A few years ago, Will Swaim and I came up with a capital cover idea featuring a nun in a bikini licking an ice-cream cone while jumping on a trampoline. No, said the Puritans. Sex tabloid? If only. You know what kinda coin those things make? Plus, you get to hang out with James Caan. Nah, we're just one of those publications that has a few sexy ads—you know, like The Orange County Register—and fills in the space with stories about local politicians doing stuff they shouldn't be doing. You know, like Dave Garofalo or Pam Julien Houchen of Huntington Beach or—helloLarry Agran. . . . 30 Whattya know? Greg Haidl is arrested tonight for causing a head-on automobile accident while driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.02. Now that's not a lot—our production staff is on a mandated 0.06 buzz—but Greg isn't supposed to be nipping on anything as part of his conditions for bail. Haidl's lawyer says Greg is under a doctor's care for depression, and I shouldn't wonder. I'd be really depressed if cops kept showing up every time I was nailing a 16-year-old or crashing my car into someone. That would totally bum me out. Hey, here's a fun fact: the car Haidl wrecked was a 2005 Scion—I'm guessing a present from his folks. Now there's some tough love. Of course, tough love is what landed Greg in all this trouble.

NOVEMBER

3 KOCE—public broadcasting's answer to Ross Dress for Less—gets new life as it is purchased by the KOCE Foundation and not some Christian network. Thank you, Jesus. Yes, now we are assured of an uninterrupted stream of crappy programming no one else wants such as the short-lived children's crime series Seriously, Where's Waldo? as well as such local gems as the 12-part Sleepy, Hollow: A Cultural Retrospective of Brea. During the previous night's election, I tuned in to KOCE's Real Orange's "Special Election Coverage" and was greeted with the stunning news that a local community college was hosting a faculty dance concert, though the traditionally conservative rural districts had yet to be counted. Later, the show featured a couple of talking heads doing analysis, and one of them starts talking about the disconnect and anger in the electorate and how divided the nation is and how this threatens our democracy, to which anchorbat Ann Pulice says, "Yeah, what can we do about that?" . . . 4 After his 3 percent landslide, George W. Bush attempts to heal the nation by saying we have "one future that binds us," which doesn't so much soothe me as sound like what an airline pilot going through a bad divorce says over the intercom as the plane nears the Rockies. The Orange County Register agrees, publishing a piece headlined "Many OC Residents Eager to Reach Across the Divide." It also publishes a slew of healing letters from conservatives reaching across to give their progressive neighbors a big curative "Suck On It!" Under the restorative headline "Kerry Couldn't Fool Most Americans," the letters pretty much crow about their overwhelming success and threaten everything short of reeducation camps. Likewise, this afternoon, Bush signals that the time for healing is over as he blusters, "I've earned capital in this election, and I'm going to spend it," claiming "the people have spoken and embraced" his views. Yes, the people have spoken, and if I remember my grade-school math correctly, nearly half of them said they'd prefer he'd go away. Of course, it doesn't take much for Bush to consider he has a mandate; he claimed he had one four years ago when he lost the popular vote. All that changed this time, as all his opponent could muster was 48 percent of the vote and a measly 252 Electoral votes. . . . 5 To answer your questions: yes, that was George W. Bush on our cover, and yes, that is his finger flipping you off. . . . 6 Flipping youoff. . . . 16 John Selian, an 86-year-old retired businessman from Garden Grove, goes on trial in U.S. District Court today for allegedly planning a trip to the Philippines for the purpose of having sex with two preteen girls. This business of traveling around the world having sex with young girls is known as sex tourism, though you may be familiar with it by its old name: Rolling Stones World Tour. Selian is charged under a new law that makes it a crime for a U.S. citizen to travel to another country for illicit sex, and this is nothing to joke about except dude was arrested with 100 pounds of chocolate, which, I guess, he was either going to use to entice the girls—ages nine and 12—or threaten them with diabetes. . . . 17 Today, a bunch of the people who keep you safe—you know, the ones you keep voting down bonds to pay—practice what they will do when, if, the San Onofre nuclear plant blows up and everyone gets melty. The Federal Emergency Management Agency requires they do this every six years, and it will no doubt prove valuable for everyone involved when, if, the plant actually blows up, you know, as long as it gives everyone a six-year heads-up. To make things as realistic as possible, the exercise is held 30 miles from the plant at the Orange County Fairgrounds, which poses toxic dangers all its own, as anyone who's eaten a deep-fried Snickers bar or sat through the Beach Boys featuring Sammy Hagar can attest. Orange County's Health Care Agency, Sheriff's Department, Fire Authority and other assorted hangers-on try and demonstrate they are able to distribute potassium-iodide tablets to citizens. The potassium iodide apparently reduces the risk of thyroid cancer from radiation, which means you'll be at full strength when the zombies devour your liver. And hey, if potassium iodide reduces the risk of cancer, why aren't we putting it in our drinking water? Look for this and other probing questions in my upcoming book, If the Black Box is the Only Thing That Survives a Plane Crash, Why Isn't the Plane Made of the Black Box? . . . 28 Angels owner Arte Moreno goes on a local radio show and says he won't rename his team any time soon. Moreno had mentioned he'd be interested in calling his team the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as a way to enlarge his market. While there's been the requisite anti-LA reaction, fans would be advised to look beyond the name and realize they're lucky to have such an aggressive owner who's likely to plow more revenue into procuring other high-priced and talented free agents such as Vlad Guerrero, the reigning American League MVP. On the other hand, the Angels are cutting Troy Glaus loose and going with a guy at third—Dallas McPherson—who hit all of .225 in all of 16 Major League games. And they allowed all-time saves leader Troy Percival to sign with the Detroit Tigers. And they just traded Jose Guillen, the team's second best hitter, to the Washington Nationals for Ceasar Izturis' little brother. You know what? Los Angeles Angels will be just fine.

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