Guilty Pleasures

401 Balboa Barstopped with just those little chocolate sprinkles-none of that butter brickle or peanuts or that other stuff they use to top Balboa Bars. Dad's Donut Shop & Bakery, 318 Marine Ave., Balboa Island, (949) 673-8686.

402 Aw, no, for a real Balboa Bar, you gotta go with the peanuts. That other shit's for inlanders and German civil planners on holiday.

403 That musty, warm, basement feel you get when you walk in the Little Depot model-train store in Hobby City. 1238 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 527-2323.

404 The drive-through toll booth-ish, I-want-a-croissant-but-I-don't-want-to-leave-my-Lexus Auto Bistro. 3100 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 515-9060.

405 The stretch of Laguna Canyon Road where Harrison Ford spun out and got his famous chin scar. This allows us to say truthfully, "Harrison Ford slipped here."

406 The South County cities' hopes of making a 400-acre urban park out of the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. Their planners, unlike the county's, understand that true urban parks are beautiful and restful places for people to visit. The idea is an old but simple one, sharpened by New York Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted: "Rural pursuits tend to elevate and enlarge . . . ideas." The key word is "rural"-open, natural and as free of modern intrusions as possible. That means wide-open meadows, thick clumps of trees, ponds, shrubs, birds, footpaths and flowers-all of which appear in the South County cities' Millennium Plan. But rural also implies quiet, the whole reason 19th-century cities built big urban parks. The spaces deep inside New York's Central Park and San Francisco's Golden Gate Park are quiet and peaceful because the designers saw the parks as places for residents to escape the misery and grime of work. By removing the proposed airport from their El Toro reuse plan, the Millennium Plan allows the central urban park to function as it should.

407 The garlic bread sold for just 1 buck at Sid's. 445 Old Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 650-7437.

408 The video camera above the bar at Sid'sthat allows Sid to monitor his place-and alert waitresses to empty drink orders-from his Las Vegas home.

409 The golden, warm-as-sunshine buttermilk pancakesat Haute Cakes Caffe. 1807 Westcliff Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 642-4114.

410 Anyone with the courage to get up and sing at Sing Sing. Irvine Spectrum, 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 453-8999.

411 Laughing at them.

412 And making fun of what they're wearing and how much they weigh.

413 And realizing you have never taken a chance, never really lived as they have.

414 You suck.

415 That the best, most popular Saturday-morning cartoon is on kid-mind-melding Nickelodeon is to be expected. That SpongeBob SquarePants, the animated adventures of a, well, sponge, is the creation of a guy from Anaheim who always felt more at home in or at the ocean and who just a few years ago was working at Laguna Beach's Marine Mammal Center is a bit more of a stretch. In a perfect world, Stephen Hillenburg ... wait a minute. Stephen Hillenburg does live in a perfect world. A world where he has been able to pursue his two great passions-the ocean and cartoons-and get paid (pretty well, these days) to do it. It was just about 10 years ago that Hillenburg began to think his creative powers weren't being properly used creating exhibits and sea shantys for the school groups that came to the Mammal Center. He began making his own animated films, which eventually led to a gig as creative director on Rocko's Modern Life-for our money, the best animated show this side of The Simpsons.That led to a chance to pitch his own show. What he came up with was SpongeBob, which is about a terminally enthusiastic, eminently likeable, well, sponge who lives in a pineapple, works in fast food, pines for a squirrel in an oxygen suit and often breaks into dance -including a noodly moonwalk-accompanied by ukulele music. As you would expect, kids' reactions to such classic story lines were immediate. Inside of a month, SpongeBob was the most popular Saturday-morning cartoon and Nickelodeon had already ordered a second season of shows. Hillenburg, a sort of quiet, unassuming guy, seems to take everything-including wild success-in stride. "Yeah, it's been great so far," he says while sitting in his Burbank office rife with tiki gods, ukuleles, pirate paintings, pirate hats, animation cels, plastic leis and the Ashley Book of Knots. A perfect world.

416 County Treasurer John Moorlach's sanity.

417 The view from the top of the Irvine Co.'s headquarters, where legend has it Don Bren met Jesusand offered him almost everything he could see-from the Newport Coast to the majestic, craggy Santa Ana Mountains-if he would only stop whining about the environment. Jesus declined. Each moved on to create their own religions. 550 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 720-2000.

418 Pauly Shore doesn't live here.

419 A significant portion of the porn-star population does.

420 Getting married among the gravestones in Fairhaven Memorial Park. 1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 633-1442.

421 Harshing the mellow.

422 The Ricky Burrito at La Cocina: it has yummy mashed potatoes in it. I know you're thinking, "Yeech!!" but it's really goooood! 401 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 498-7808.

423 Tuning in to the Nerdman Show, watching a normal guy go about his normal day-feeding his cats, sitting at his desk, fixing supper-and slowly realizing that the only thing more boring than your day-to-day life is watching someone else's.

424 The massive chili cheeseburger at Eddie's Galley. 829 Harbor Island Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 673-4110.

425 It's notthe Inland Empire.

426 The Red Fox Lounge. It is because of this fine establishment that I now know the difference between a lounge and a tavern: velvet walls. Aaaw, yeah. 220 El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 492-3403.

427 Big Helen's Tavern. You can get as smashed as you want and no one looks down on you. They're too busy eating breakfast. 3317 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 498-6280.

428 Shiny, happypeople.

429 Steven Kooshian, the extremely warm-hearted and competent doctor popular in the gay community.

430 Pedro's Tacos, where you'll find the best, cheapestbean-and-cheese burrito ever. Really. 550 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 498-5908.

431 Leaving the house dressed like a hookerin your chonies and a feathered boa, and you're just clubbin'.

432 Remember the good old days when you could tune in to C-SPAN at 2 in the morning and see Congressman Bob Dornan, all alone on the House floor, ranting about electric Communistsor whatever bugaboo had him worked up that week? That era is gone, alas, but you can recapture some small portion of that heady feeling by tuning into Sideshow Bob's radio show online at

433 DittoJim Silva.

434 More gas-guzzlin' Chevys than Bakersfield or Hemet; ours are just souped-up with spiffy flames and stuff.

435 Two words: hot grandmoms. You ever seen so many really hot grandmothers?

436 The Crystal Cathedral. Overlook for a moment the moneychangers that the Reverend Robert Schuller welcomes to his temple, whether it's to sell meaningless trinkets or to pitch capitalistic snake-oil testimonies (last year, Wyland painted sea animals on a canvas in the pulpit during a service; reprints-they ought to call them The Whaling Wall-are now on sale, too). All of this-and further, unspeakable horrors-may have blinded you to the physical grace of the weblike cathedral itself, a real masterpiece of inspired Philip Johnson architecture. 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, (714) 971-4000.

437 The only In-N-Outthat doesn't have a drive-through window. 825 W. Chapman, Placentia.

438 Paul, the Kingof Big Screens. 500 N. Harbor Blvd., La Habra, (562) 697-6751.

439 KingArthur's Pub. 7821 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, (714) 895-9143.

440 KingBadge & Button Co. 17792 Metzler Lane, Unit A, Huntington Beach, (714) 847-3060.

441 KingEgg Roll. 305 E. Fourth St., Ste. 17, Santa Ana, (714) 547-4938.

442 KingGhengis Khan Barbecue Buffet House. 4498 Lincoln Ave., Cypress, (714) 952-9766.

443 Kingof Beepers. 1707 W. Chapman, Orange, (714) 978-7000.

444 QueenVideo. 8869 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 892-6112.

445 Queen'sDonuts & Cakes. 2413 S. Fairview, Santa Ana, (714) 540-8791.

446 DukeBlower Rentals. 121 Cypress Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 543-5139.

447 DukeForms & Printing. 30100 Towne Center Dr., Laguna Niguel, (949) 499-3336.

448 The mohawked, leathered-up urchins who go to the punk shows at Chain Reaction. 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 635-6067.

449 The big, swirly outer-space muralpainted on the ceiling of Koo's Art Cafe. 1N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 648-0937.

450 The graffitiwall at Koo's Art Cafe.

451 The Reagan Years in Fullerton, a video arcade full of vintage '80s games like Pac-Man, Burgertime, Tron, Centipede, Robotron and Dig Dug. But what really makes this place kitschy/cool are all the posters on the walls: Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins and just about every other musical turd from the era that you can recall, plus Jon and Ponch from CHiPs and Mr. T. Also, they mint their own tokens, complete with an image of Ronnie on each. 124 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2233.

452 The shopper gargoylesperched atop the Brea Mall parking garage.

453 The atmosphere inside Angelo's & Vinci's Italian restaurant, which can best be described as "Roman Mardi Gras." 550 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 879-4022.

454 The men's restrooms at Estancia Park in Costa Mesa. A great place to meet cops.

455 Reigning supreme.

456 Walter Johnson grew up here.

457 Walter Johnson pitched here.

458 Eggnogat Colima Mexican Restaurant. 130 N. Fairview, Stes. A-C, Santa Ana, (714) 836-1254.

459 Tattooed freaks look like everybody else.

460 You don't know who Walter Johnson is, do you?

461 No, he's not the guy in Steely Dan.

462 The glass casethat holds the film projector at Captain Blood's Village Theater. 1140 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 538-3545.

463 The Star Warsmurals at Captain Blood's.

464 Walter Johnson is a Hall of Fame pitcher, considered by many the greatest pitcher in the history of the game.

465 You don't care, do you?

466 That's why we don't have a sports section anymore.

467 All of our car chases end in violentshootouts.

468 And stop asking us who Steely Dan is.

469 Kids.

470 The closed Port Theater's imitation of Miss Havisham.

471 You know, because it still has "Rosebud" on its marquee.

472 You know, because Miss Havisham never got rid of her wedding cake after she was left at the altar.

473 You know, from Great Expectations.

474 Yeah, yeah, it was a bookbefore the movie.

475 Kids.

476 Another thing that isn't here anymore: Jungle Island, a big, fun, free place for kids to run amok, which is now a paved-over lake on the Independence Hall side of Knott's Berry Farm.

477 The theme of the 2000 Orange County Fair: "Hot! Hot! Hot! We're Spicin' It Up," a salute to the pepper industry. All they have to do is book Air Supply again, man, and we're there.

478 The fallen, crumbled Davidstatue's humongous marble ass at Cal State Fullerton. If you want a piece of thisass, you'll have to chip it off with a chisel.

479 The jukeboxes at OC's five Fatburgerlocations. Who could resist the not-so-subtle sexual connotations of listening to Dinah Washington's "Big Long Slidin' Thing" while stuffing a chili dog down your throat? Locations in Aliso Viejo, Buena Park, Irvine, Orange and San Clemente.

480 The Offspring front man Dexter Holland.

481 The nice, friendly folks at the Orange County Gay & LesbianCommunity Services Center. Calm down, straight people; they won't bite. 12832 Garden Grove Blvd., Ste. A, Garden Grove, (714) 534-0862.

482 All the sexy people sunning their nekkid buns at San Onofre State Beach, the closest clothing-optional locale to OC.

483 All the "collectible" CDs you can buy the fourth Sunday of every month at the Greater Orange County Record Show. Sequoia Athletic Club, 7530 Orangethorpe Ave., Buena Park, (714) 739-4141.

484 The hordes of not-very-hygienic record collectors who wander the floor of the Greater Orange County Record Show. Christ, it's like heroin to these people!

485 Register reporter Robin Hinch, whose beat is the dead, over whom she generally offers a gentle, if Hallmarkian, parting benediction -except in the case of her former colleague, Celia Mandy: "On the one hand, [Mandy] had her work at the Register as an editorial paste-up artist," Hinch wrote upon Mandy's death in 1998 at age 47. "On the other hand, she had singer Steve Perry-former lead singer of the group Journey. Perry left the group in 1985 and 10 years later created a solo act. She knew everything about him down to the length of his fingernails." Mandy lived with her mother, "never dated, never talked of a desire to marry," but "she periodically arranged bits of type to join her name to [Perry's]." "She didn't like cleaning house," and "she corresponded regularly with some Steve Perry Fan Club members." In closing, Hinch recalled that one of Mandy's "most treasured possessions was a photo of her standing next to [well, who do you think?] Steve Perry. . . . For a long time, it hung at Celia's work station. Today, it will be propped up on her casket." Catch Hinch in the Local News section of the Register.

486 Doing chickenright.

487 The sights and scents of Little Saigon's Asian Garden Mall. 9200 Bolsa Ave., Westminster.

488 Different Drummer, the coolest-and only-lesbian/ bi/gay bookstore in OC. 1294C S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (714) 497-6699.

489 The Sea Breeze Pet Cemetery, which, disturbingly, is next door to a Carl's Jr. 19542 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 962-7111.

490 Newport Beach to Balboa Island boardwalk: best place to go in-line skating on legal psychotropics.

491 The apartments above El Don Liquor: an ocean view and the Huntington Beach pier across the street. Slated for-therefore doomed to-redevelopment. It's hard to conceive of a better location for $425 per month since they're located above a liquor store. 416 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach.

492 Every all-ages show that has ever been or ever will be at Koo's Art Cafe, Chain Reaction and the Backalley.

493 The incredibly succulent Montego Bay coconut-shrimpappetizers at the Blue Agave restaurant. 18601 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 970-5095.

494 All the good, bad and ugly public art that's part of Brea's Art in Public Places program. People have actually stolen several sculptures because they were so great. Then again, maybe they were stolen because they were so wretched to look at.

495 Certain girls.

496 Huntington Beach/Seal Beach oceanside bike path: best place to race against the wind.

497 Caspers Park, where Addy Souza found a previously unknown species of mushroom. What else did we miss in the rush to develop?

498 The Fireants. When the Fountain Valley music scene breaks big, this band will lead the revolution.

499 Fireants singer Skie Bender's rapturous, mind-melting performances.

500 Smear: not merely the greatest band ever to emerge from Brea, but also the one band that can do songs about poo and make it feel so right.


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