Guilty Pleasures

201 Café Zinc's nutmeg-infused version of mac and cheese-oozing with Parmesan, fontina, white Cheddar and goat cheese-transforms the dish from white trash to Royal White Trash. 350 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6302.

202 The Earth System Science faculty at UCI. F. Sherwood Rowland, father of ozone-depletion research and Nobel Prize winner, is there, as are Don Blake, university chancellor Ralph Cicerone, researcher Susan E. Trumbore and others. They ought to have their own Saturday-morning cartoon in which they fly around in one-piece suits and kick the hell out of polluters.

203 Trader Joe's at 2500 E. Imperial Hwy., Brea, (714) 257-1180.

204 Grant's for Guns: enough ordnance to bring Charlton Heston to climax. Twice! 1750 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-3400.

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205 The best food at the Anaheim Pond is two blocks away at the fast-frying Burger Boy. The burgers are weird and chaotic (bacon, avocado and onion?), but we like the fajitas best. You can't go wrong with Mexican at a California burger joint. 1650 S. State College, Anaheim, (714) 938-0222.

206 Shred betties!

207 Forget the ancient, life-affirming discipline of martial arts. Tom Wish teaches people how to handle the kinds of belligerent pricks who make clubbing an extreme sport. Tommy's Gym, 1638A Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa, (949) 631-7303.

208 Speaking of beatings, boy, do we miss bitter, defeated ex-Congressman Robert K. Dornan.

209 Good news: Dornan is set to challenge Ron Packardfor his South County congressional seat.

210 "Imagine that we as a society put people to death for repeating a criminal offense for the third time-graffiti, theft, rape, all crimes! No exceptions. Can anyone think of a downside to this approach? I can't." Letter to the Register, Dec. 3, 1993.

211You missed out on the savory taste of Dodo bird. Don't let swordfishsink into extinction before you enjoy a plate at Villa Nova. Nobody prepares the dwindling feast better than this venerable red-leather, piano-barred, just-this-side-of-old-money place with tourist-friendly views of Newport Harbor. 3131 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 642-7880.

212 The pagansat Cal State Fullerton, who keep legions of proselytizing Christians off the streets, where (God forbid) they might get hit by cars.

213 Downtown Santa Ana.

214 Russellof Russell Surfboards, whose shaping skills made his shop the beach equivalent of a Renaissance studio in the 1960s and 1970s. He taught many of today's best shapers how to handle the foam, fiberglass and resin. He's older and a hell of a lot wiser now; each of his boards is worthy of the Orange County Museum of Art. 2280 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 673-5871.

215 Cal State Fullerton pagansII: watching them get to class through gauntlets of "outreach" Christians handing out fliers with dumb cartoons of Bart Simpson and pay attention to lectures despite the distraction of countless Bible-study promotions is inspirational proof that a college education is available to anybody who's willing to work for it.

216 The Monticellofaçade at the new First American Financial Corp. building off the 55 freeway at MacArthur.

217 Army-Navy store in Orange, where you can get high-powered rifles, kiddie camouflage, posters of a strutting Prussian officer with the caption "This Is the Enemy," and dog tags. 131 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 639-7910.

218 Old downtown Tustin.

219 Martin Diedrich, who has been booted upstairs-he's now called Chief Coffee Officer-and who swears to God he's happy with the Starbucksification of Diedrich Coffee. We're happy he's happy, although the turn of events is not unlike watching your sweet child grow up into a corporate raider. But there's no denying that Diedrich single-handedly kick started the local coffeehouse scene in the 1980s, providing searing, earthy javas to those of us waiting around for the day when the Weekly would fill up our vacant lives.

220 Better news: Dornan's family is floating rumors that it's not Packard they're running against, but rather Dana Rohrabacherfor the Huntington Beach congressional seat.

221 Cal State Fullerton pagansIII: their determinedly unsaved souls have provided Curly Dalke with something to do while waiting to meet his maker, which is why he has been standing on the corner by the library and preaching every day for more than a dozen years.

222 Trader Joe's at 24321 Ave. de la Carlota, Laguna Hills, (949) 586-8453.

223 Pretending you're not in the middle of civilization by hiking through Aliso and Wood Canyons Park.

224 Juaneño Indians learned to live gently in Mother Orange County, gathering nuts and berries in a harsh land. Fat lot of good it did them when the Spanish showed up in the 1770s with iron and Bibles. Or maybe it was iron Bibles.

225 Old downtown Fullerton.

226 Where I want to live if I hit the lottery: a waterfrontpad in Laguna Beach.

227Okay, forget that, this is really where I want to live if I hit the lottery: the hillsabove Fullerton.


228 Screw those last two because the place I want to live if I hit the lottery is definitely the Floral Park area of Santa Ana.

229 The flashing time-and-temperature sign atop the Bankers Mortgage building on Main Street in Santa Ana sure is handy, even if the people inside may be preparing to foreclose on my ass.

230 Kari Barba. She has been awarded Best Tattooist of the Year, Most Outstanding Tattoo Artist and Best Overseas Tattooist, and she's registered as an expert on tattoing with the Los Angeles County Judicial System. And she has cool spiky hair. Outer Limits Tattoo, 3024 W. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 744-8288; 125 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 744-8288.

231 The shark fajitas at Señor Ruben's in Fountain Valley. They're especially muy bueno with a frosty-mugged Tecate. 11035 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, (714) 531-4909.

232 The Sawdust Festival. Sure, it's overly commercialized, but you can spend hours there being entertained without spending a dime. Except for the entry fee. And a beer. And lunch. And a toe ring. And . . . 935 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-3030.

233A season's pass for the Sawdust Festival because it's only a little more than a single-day admission ticket, and it'll give you a good excuse to return again with more money so you can actually buy something-even though you know in the back of your head it's doubtful you'll come back.

234 Being okaywith that.

235 The sultry voice of GOPactivist Kelly Beiber as she masquerades as a hairy Darnel Squad member and whispers obscenities at us on the telephone, then calls us a "vulgar little man." Thank you, mistress; might we have another?

236Japanese DeerPark in Buena Park . . . oh, yeah, it's not there anymore.

237Edwards South Coast Village Theater, one of the few places in OC to catch art flicks and the only place to see them in modern triplex comfort. 1561 W. Sunflower, Santa Ana, (714) 540-0594.

238 Myth and Reality in Western Films, the guiltiest pleasure on the curriculum at Golden West College, is a class in which you earn college credit for watching Shane.

239 The episode of Strangers With Candy, the Comedy Central television show-available free from your better cable carriers!-in which Principal Onyx Blackman says it should come as no surprise that a black man could be dressed in a squirrelsuit.

240The bread with honey butter at the Laguna Beach Brewing Co.

241California AlligatorFarm in Buena Park . . . oh, yeah, it's not there anymore.

242 Finishing the front section, metro, sports and half of the business page as you meander through the 5 freeway construction-the largest condemnation project in the history of Caltrans.

243Trader Joe's at 18681-A Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 848-9640.

244 The big wooden ceilingin the Starbucks/Wells Fargo bank on the Orange Circle. 101 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 973-3850.

245 Applying for a loan at the Starbucks/Wells Fargo bank while someone sits behind you in a high-backed chair sipping an espresso.

246 Staring at that giant cube thingy outside the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center while listening to Stan Ridgway's "Don't Box Me in."

247 Kingdom of the Dancing Stallions in Buena Park . . . oh, yeah, it's not there anymore.

248 Coffee and a Denver omelet at 4 a.m. on Harbor House Café's back patio. 34157 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, (949) 496-9270.

249 A degree in American studies from Cal State Fullerton.

250 The strange people who emerge from the Harbor House at 4 a.m.

251 Trader Joe's at 30652 Santa Margarita Pkwy., Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 888-3640.

252The Santa Ana Zoo: two squirrels and a drugged-up monkey! 1801 E. Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 835-7484.

253The doleful look on the monkey's face as he's being spanked in a very businesslike way in an ad for adult-toys purveyors Spanky's.

254A quick death from an earthquake under the shoddy overpasses at the Orange Crush.

255 Movie-dialogue graffiti in the bathroom at Captain Blood's Village Theatre. 1140 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 538-3545.

256Watching Republican activist and TV commentator Hugh Hewitt quickly switch from Earnest Sympathizer to Brass-Knuckled Propagandist. Like much in nature, the metamorphosis is beautiful and terrifying.

257Chapman University's Liberty Plaza: Who wouldn't love a lone chair on a mound overlooking a chunk of the Berlin Wall?

258The yummy, gooey, artery-clogging Cuban sandwich at Felix's. 36 Plaza Square, Orange, (714) 633-5842

259 Warren G, the best hip-hop artist in OC-he lives in Laguna Niguel-who's turned out to be the most talented, most successful of the rappers who came out of Long Beach in the mid-1990s.

260The signs around the Orange Circle that read, "Caution-Trees Dripping Sap."

261Suggestions for something similar hung around Jim Silva.

261The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach . . . oh, yeah, it's still not here anymore.


262 Infant swappingat St. Joseph's Hospital. Yeah, it's risky, but maybe you'll get a future billionaire instead of John Wayne Gacy III.

263Ditto at UCI Medical Center.

264The fountain in the Noguchi California Scenario that suggests the aridity of Orange County, the centrality of water and the brevity of life in a desert. Or maybe it's just water.

265The ritual sacrifice of small, cute fuzzy animals by myriad OC developers. Who needs Santariaor crush videos?

266The Beach Report Card compiled by Heal the Bay at

268As you read this-unless your copy of the paper was buried in a time capsule and you're reading this in a museum-an aspiring DJ is putting together her next hit at Dr. Freecloud's Mixxing Lab, a dance-music lover's paradise of turntablism, vinyl and expert assistance. 145 E. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-0909.

269 The Laguna Poets Chapbook series by Inevitable Press, which at press time has published 148 collections of poetry by SoCal poets in less than three years, averaging three books per month. Wow.

270 Christina Valdiviezo, who runs the campaign-disclosure section at the county's Registrar of Voters. She's bright, friendly and always helpful in locating public records-qualities rarely found in a county bureaucrat.

271 Star RanchSanctuary: smell sage, see gnatcatchers flitting about. 100 Bell Canyon Rd., Trabuco Canyon, (949) 858-0309.

272 Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center, where creatures that don't have a choice about swimming in the local ocean are taken to recover after they wash ashore from the effects of too much pollution. 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-3050;

273 Stopping the madness.

274 The stop-in-your-tracks street construction on the way to Disneyland. Anything that cuts into the amount of time (and money) you'd normally spend there is a good thing, no matter how bad it feels.

275 Paulist PressBookstore, where you can find Thomas Merton's books cheap.

276 Ditto for St. John of the Cross' Dark Night of the Soul.

277The great viewat the Crystal Cove Shake Shack.

278 The "Okie spoken here" shirts worn by the staff at Arthur's. 240 N. Tustin St., Orange, (714) 997-1850.

279 The clam chowder at Fisherman's Restaurant & Bar on the San Clemente pier at sunset. 611 Ave. de Victoria, San Clemente, (949) 498-6390.

280 The high-on-the-pole crosswalk buttons placed specifically for the upwardly mobile horseback riders at the Nellie Gail Ranch in Laguna Hills.

281 The way Register columnist Gordon Dillow's innumerable references to his status as an average guymake you suspect he ain't. But maybe that's just us bein' haunted by the tales we learned on our pappy's knee, where he smoked the simple smoke of simple folk and taught us how to sniff out a bullshit artist. Catch Dillow's column several times each week in the slower, earthier Orange County Register's Local News section.

282 The mushroomburgers with real grilled onions at the Charlie 1 Café. 7777 Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 898-9996.

283 "Dissing the idle rich with the waitress at Charlie 1 Café," according to our source, the Mushroom Burger Man.

284 Trader Joe's at 14443 Culver Dr., Irvine, (949) 857-8108.

285 What made me think Limp Bizkit were from Newport Beach: I could swear they'd been to the Spaghetti Bender and were singing, "I only did it for the gnocchi." 6204 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 645-0651 .

286 And the house Chiantiat Spaghetti Bender.

287 On the patio.

288 In late summer.

289 The sky-sized windows at the new Gypsy Den overlooking the grand Santora Building. Gypsy Den Grand Central Building, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 835-8840.

300 Celtic musician Margie Mirken, who plays at a variety of South County coffeehouses.

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