Guilty Pleasures

1601 Slow-pitch softball guys who slide to break up the double play while wearing stretch shorts.

1602 Edmund Velasco, leader of the Edmund Velasco Quintet, an atomic mother on tenor sax.

1603 Walking through the halls of an Irvineoffice building only to hear, “OH, FUCK!” from behind one of the doors.

1604 “Instead of debating how much funding is appropriate for AIDS research, we should be petitioning our government to redirect those dollars to research the cause and prevention of homosexuality. What a gift we could give the future generations of the world if families did not have to suffer the social disgrace and despair of learning and having to live with the fact that one of their own is a homosexual.” Letter to the Register, July 18, 1995.

1605 Liberals! Both of 'em!

1606 Trabuco Oaks Steakhouse. A long (and scary) ride along Santiago Canyon Road will end at the remotely located restaurant. Wear a tie. 20782 Trabuco Oaks Dr., Trabuco Canyon, (949) 586-0722.

1607 Getting a wild hair up your ass.

1608 Or is it a wild hare?

1609 The bakery at Zov's Bistro. As if chef Zov's bistro hasn't contributed enough to fine dining in OC, the pleasing palatables of chef Zov's bakery, a tempting collection of breads, cookies and desserts pretty much elevates her to goddess status. 17440 E. 17th St., Tustin, (714) 838-8855.

1610Heh, heh. Cookies. Heh, heh.

1611 The Flower District in Santa Ana, where glorious, mansion-like houses hide in a quiet neighborhood just steps from grimy 17th Street.

1612 FlashBacks Vintage Clothing. The most widely complimented shirt in my wardrobe cost me $4. Viva la vintage! 465 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 771-4912.

1613 More romantic than the old Santa Ana courthouse, Rancho Las Lomas is one of OC's best places to jump the broom. Just ask the Offspring's Noodles Wasserman. 19191 Lawrence Canyon , Silverado, (714) 589-9630.

1614 “It appears the time has come for another 'Boston Tea Party.' This time, instead of tea thrown into the harbor it should be the politicians who take the plunge. Pinochet, Stalin and Hitler (former government nannies) also did what they thought was right for their constituents, and we all know how that turned out. What if our noble and all-knowing nannies decide that red automobilies bring out violent tendencies so from now on people can only drive 'mood-approved color cars?' Anyone for a mauve Porsche?” Letter to the Register, Sept. 28, 1999.

1615 The Coach House. Think about the five best concerts you've been to. Were at least two of them at the Coach House? We thought so. 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 496-8930.

1616 Soest Guitar. As if having Billy Zoom's amp shop behind his store doesn't make him cool enough, Steve Soesthas set up, chopped up, hot-rodded, or restored the guitars of practically every great axeman in the universe. And he's a pretty nice guy. 760 N. Main St., Ste. D, Orange, (714) 538-0272;

1617 Happy Teriyaki. Over the years, we've found the only thing more fun than eating at the Main Street sandwich place is the tradition of counting down from 10 and then screaming, “Happy Teriyaki!” It's a riot. 352 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 978-0141.

1619 Roger's Gardens. Not only a huge nursery with practically every kind of plant imaginable, but also a veritable wonderland during the holiday season from Halloween through Christmas. 2301 San Joaquin Hill, Corona del Mar, (949) 640-5800.

1620 That cough-drop smell everything gets after it rains.

1621 Freeway philosophy. For years, the folks at Orco Construction Supply in Santa Ana have supplied 55 freeway commuters weekly words to live by via the company's freeway-facing marquee. Sometimes the quotes are silly (“Dieting: slowing down to make a curve”), sometimes they're profound (“You believe easily what you wish for earnestly”), but for those stuck on the freeway between Edinger and Dyer, the messages are always a welcome break in a frequently hellish commute.

1622 The specter of being crushed to death by the wooden wagonhanging from the ceiling of the Omelette Parlor. 179 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 645-0740.

1623 Jadedyouth!

1624 No professional football teams. We suck at enough sports, thank you very much.

1625 Except surfing. We're good at that.

1626 And volleyball.

1627 And redbaiting. That's a sport around here, isn't it?

1628 Really, really cheap fabrics for designing really, really superfine fashions two years before they're ripped off by a New York designer and touted on content-free cable TV by a woman with an English accent as “brand-new,” “breathtaking” and “original” when in fact they're 2 years old, breezy and, hell, just pants, man. And they came from Orange County. Two Dollar Fabric Store, 2320 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana, (714) 979-7707.

1629 The “pollution fairies,” who magically clean polluted water in time for federal holidays and surf contests.


1630 Robert A. Phillips, D.C., a gentle bear who plays me like a Stradivariuswhen he explodes all the nitrogen in my spine and neck, all the while offering wholesome conversation. South Laguna Chiropractic Center, 31641 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 499-1133.

1631 The Siamesecat that guards the path at 18th Street between the boardwalk and Balboa Boulevard on the Balboa Peninsula and rarely shows signs of aloofness.

1632 The front auto spot on the Balboa Island Ferry-you can pretend you're steering.

1633 The sea lions that lounge on the bell buoyjust off the Wedge.

1634 The bearded, dwarfishwanderer bopping down Newport Boulevard at 31st Street one day, smiling, not even noticing the stares.

1635 The Rainforest Café. Can't afford Disneyland? Take your kids to this South Coast plaza eatery, and you'll get all of the noisy animatronic animals you can stand, without having to sit through any of the songs from that goddamn Lion King. Plus, there's booze. 3333 Bristol St., Ste. 1073, Costa Mesa, (714) 424-9200.

1636 At least Dornan published HIS enemies list.

1637 Dana Rohrabacher is not a member of Trent Lott's “The Singing Senators.”

1638 (Probably because he's a congressman, but why quibble?)

1639 The owner of Captain Blood's Village Theater reportedly descended from real pirates.

1640 Ditto Donald Bren.

1641 Ditto George Argyros.

1642 Ditto William Lyons.

1643 Ditto Don Koll.

1644 Ditto Kathryn Thompson.

1645 Alternative Repertory Theatre. Nonprofessional in the sense that it can't use union actors, ART regularly chooses the most sophisticated literary season of any theater in the county and appears to be integrating more new actors into its mix, and its new theater is the bomb. Other theaters are closing the gap, but ART, the dean of Orange County's so-called storefront theaters, remains at the top of its class.

1646 The Moose Museum at Mainly Seconds. 789 S. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 744-2559.

1647 The Seal Beach NavalWeapons Station is a National Wildlife Refuge.

1648 Party on!

1649 Keggerat Mound 16!

1650 By the way, it's “new-clee-ur.”

1651 Not “new-cu-lar.”

1652 We're just saying.

1653 Speaking of great things served in a bucket, the Baja Bucketat Rockin' Baja Lobster is killer. Chunks of broiled steak, chicken, shrimp and small lobster tails come steaming hot to your table in a small metal bucket. Accompanying them is a generous serving of tortillas, beans, rice and salsa for you to make your own tacos and burritos. The price is steep for one person because you get so much food, but split among four it's affordable and delicious. 2104 W. Ocean Front, Newport Beach, (949) 723-0606.

1654 The circular aquariumat the entrance of the Huntington Beach Central Library. 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 842-4481.

1655 Moulton Theatre. Maybe it's the cavernous, old-school theater interior, the hint of salt in the always crisp Laguna Beach air, or the impossibly friendly volunteers who serve as ushers, ticket-takers and bar staff, but this stately theater, home of the Laguna Playhouse, is the only venue in the county that should really be referred to as a “theatre.” 606 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8021.

1656 The boys of 1605in Huntington Beach. It's as close to a co-op as you get in Surf City, with bands, publishing ventures, a TV show, clothing companies and more bands hanging out at a big, dirty house and peeing in the bushes.

1657 Wearing jeans to an Opera Pacifica performance.

1658 The chocolate banana cream cake at Herb's Black Forest Bakery seems an anomaly-how many bananas do you see on the cargo ships pulling out of Hamburg?-but it's a fabulosity among many fabulosities. 18225 Brookhurst St., Ste. 23, Fountain Valley, (714) 964-2584.

1659 Researchers from the OC Weekly DataLab interviewed 40 random Orange Countians for their French-fry preferencesand discovered-no surprise here-that their tastes ranged from the reasonable-but-predictable (In-N-Out racked up 60 percent of the vote) to the downright appalling (McDonald's and Burger King, each with 20 percent). Asked for their preferences, 40 Weekly readers offered as alternatives the fries at Morton's of Chicago (Santa Ana), Omelette Parlor (Costa Mesa) and Steelhead Brewery (Irvine).

1660 The dripping-bowl fountainsin the lobby of the Huntington Beach Library.

1661 “I have just read the story of a pair of multitalented criminals. They deserve about two days of investigation, a half-hour trial, and execution within a week. Where is Dirty Harry when we need him?” Letter to the Register, Jan. 24, 1994.

1662 Jonee, the blond exotic dancer at California Girls, the High Priestess of Hot, whose curves could kill a weak-hearted man. And if those don't get him, her switchblade smile will. 1109 N. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 554-0491.

1663 Oak CanyonNature Center. If this rustic, riparian respite in Anaheim Hills were any more natural, it would be clothing-optional. 6700 E. Walnut Canyon Rd., Anaheim, (714) 998-8380.


1664The power of a beach fireto break down a woman's resolve.

1665 Clothing optional.

1666 Elvis Pink Cadillac Margaritas at Azteca/Crooner's Lounge. Specialty of the house at this Mexican restaurant that doubles as a shrine to Elvis Aron Presley. The drink, a pinkish twist on your traditional Cadillac margarita, includes Cuervo tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour, cranberry juice, and Grand Marnier. Thank you, thankyouverymuch. 12911 Main St., Garden Grove, (714) 638-3790.

1667 Viewing original Bugs Bunny prints as art at the Chuck Jones Studio Gallery. 225 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-6896.

1668 Ron Packard's annual tradition of playing Santafor underprivileged developers and military contractors.

1670 Mock it though we must, Pageant of the Masters is really pretty cool.

1671 Farmer Dave, Placentia. How can you not love a man known to locals only as Farmer Dave? His grassy oasis-a sliver of forest and garden plots amid an endless sea of housing tracts on Kraemer Boulevard-is the spot to go for farm-fresh produce and seasonal goodies such as sunflowers, pumpkins and Christmas trees. Adding to the charm, Farmer Dave's place hosts children's birthday parties and plays such as Snow White. So sweet.

1672-1720Each of the 49 months since No Doubt released Tragic Kingdom.

1721-1818 The 98 times Gwen Stefani has appeared in Rolling Stone's Random Notes in that time, usually for reasons other than music.

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