Best of OC, Nos. 51 to 75

From the House of Tiki to Joe MacAsland

No. 51: House of Tiki
Why do the folk of my generation love their tiki so damn much? Is it the pull of our ancestors—our grandparents in the day inviting one another over to "bend an elbow"—in their Sansabelt slacks? Is it the fruity drinks for which one is bending said elbow? Is it just our land of eternal summer? Or is it the Bradys and their tiki-threatened vacation in mysterious and exotic Hawaii? I figure it's the Bradys. And King Kukulele. (He plays songs about science.) And then? We drink! 1860 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa (949) 642-8454.

I beg to differ! Remember tiki? That was a weird six months. Yeah, it's not quite our thing (hanging shit on the walls makes us think of Outback Steakhouse) but tiki is rather chic—albeit a poor excuse to serve bad Chinese food—and this place is where you buy all the accoutrements to turn your crappy Houchen condo into a little grass shack on the beach. There's a joke in here somewhere—I can feel it. (Theo Douglas)

I beg to differ! A cousin of my brother's friend claims he knows a guy who has a 'Nam flashback anytime anybody even mentions bamboo or wicker: even Register sports columnist Mark Whicker. (Dave Wielenga)

Sticking it out. Photo by Russ Roca
Sticking it out. Photo by Russ Roca
Cool. Photo by Jennie Warren
Cool. Photo by Jennie Warren

No. 72: Anaheim's public art
Brea gets accolades for its kitschy statues, Costa Mesa attracts famous artists to sculpt statues and gardens, and Laguna Beach draws in the Iowans to take pictures of too many Wyland dolphin paintings, but it's Anaheim that has the county's finest collection of murals. St. Catherine Military Academy boasts a gold leaf Byzantine-style mural outside its chapel (painted in 1959) that depicts an all-star cast of scholars from all faiths—the Jewish Maimonides, the Muslim Averroes, Socrates and Plato, Hammurabi, even a stray pharaoh—opposite Old Testament prophets, as Adam and Eve stand to the side in agony. The Washington Mutual on the corner of Harbor Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue features a massive stained glass panorama of early Anaheim, and another mural of Anaheim pioneers on the outside. These murals pale, however, to the scope of Memories of the Past and Images of the Present, a sprawling Emigdio Vasquez-designed mural on the outside wall of Anaheim's Ibero America Market documenting Mexican history from the Aztecs to Chicano Power. Visit this one before the others: time and limited city funds are eating away at the paint. St. Catherine Military Academy, 215 N. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 772-1363;; Ibero America Market, 327 S. Lemon St., Anaheim, (714) 635-5500.

I beg to differ! Brea does not get accolades for its kitschy sculptures. Brea gets mocked for its kitschy sculptures. You ever seen the one of the rhythmic gymnast? Nobody likes it and nobody will—it's almost as bad as the mortifying new fuchsia and violet cutouts of kids recently unveiled at South Coast Repertory.) What's more, this stuff is mandated by the city and then approved by committee. And it shows. (Rebecca Schoenkopf)

No. 73: Coach Mike Marrujo
The lowest profile coaching legend in the OC—usually lost in the shadows cast by Bruce Rollinson of Mater Dei, John Barnes of Los Alamitos and Mission Viejo madman Bob Johnson—Marrujo and his football teams at Valencia High have missed the playoffs only once in his 25 years at the Placentia school. His Tigers have won three CIF titles, 12 league championships and 214 games, making Marrujo one of only four Orange County prep football coaches to ever break the 200-victory mark. Watch the Valencia Tigers play at Bradford Stadium, 18042 Bradford Ave., Placentia, (714) 628-4300.

No. 74: Chone Figgins
Sure, Vlad Guerrero gets all the ink by consistently putting up MVP numbers and all, but no other player better typifies the do-or-die [now dead] Angels of Anaheim (fuck that LA shit) than the little sparkplug that manager Mike Scioscia can plug into any defensive position on the field—whether it's at either of the base-coaching boxes, or umping third base, or selling concessions or parking your car and definitely providing better color commentary on TV than you-know-who, you can tell Figgy possesses the spirit of Halo baseball whenever he's on the field because most of the field winds up on him long before the seventh inning stretch. At the plate, he can walk, bunt or hit himself on. Once on base, he's a threat to go. And he's one of the few Angels with enough speed to reach home from first base on a single: he made spectacular plays in the field—and, okay, too many errors—that kept the Angels in the race until their fateful, final meeting with Texas. They say a Most Valuable Player is the one who can make a bad team good, and a good team great. That Figgins had a bad season compared to recent winning ones shows the reverse is also true: his misfortunes mirrored his team's own. That may lead to some trade talk in the off-season, but general manager Bill Stoneman ought to reconsider lest he be the one who let Chone get away to bedevil the Angels for another team. Dude is nails.

I completely agree! Fucking love me some Chone, man (properly pronounced choh-nee to sound like Mexican underwear, because it's funnier that way). (Rebecca Chone-kopf)

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