Guilty Pleasures

1101 The War on Blanddeclared by Too Faced Cosmetics' entrepreneurs Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson. Stars like Madonna, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz sport their high-wattage lipsticks with a taste of chocolate, sparkly nail polishes, and eye shadows that make other women stop dead in their tracks. Blandino is a former sitcom star and makeup artist for Estee Lauder with a flair for glamour; Johnson brings the level-headed business sense from years as business manager at Estee Lauder and Chanel. Blandino started cooking up special requests for his clients in his kitchen at home while still toiling behind the makeup counter but soon had more orders than he could fill. Women go mad for the stuff. The best part is when the bespeckled gals get to spout off the names of their favorite sparkly shades: Hoochie, Marcia Marcia Marcia, George and Weezie, Love Hangover, Sex Kitten, You're No Lady, Boo Boo Kitty, Zsa Zsa, Miss Thing, and too many more to name. This fall, they're branching out and trying their hand at lipliner, face powder, blush and lip-gloss bauble rings-a flashback to 1970s ring watches, featuring a flip top for bland-lip emergencies.

1102 Hiking out to the end of the breakwater at the Wedge in Balboa.

1103 Walking along the marshy wetlands at Bolsa Chica as the sun sets behind you.

1104 Gary Coleman lives here.

1105 Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?

1106 And where you goin' with that pipe bomb?

1107 Getting your blood boiling at Samara. The independent store also distributes the best alternative Latin music north of the border, as well as from Mexico down through Argentina. 2029 W. First St., Ste. 112, Santa Ana, (714) 547-0101.

1108 The teller's voice at Union Bank, farthest window on the right-so mesmerizing that I often create more inane transactions just so I can sit and listen a few moments more, spellbound by its salubrious quality. Okay, so she's the bomb to look at, too. 1090 Bayside Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 760-1081.

1109 No tsunamis.

1110 Yet.

1111“Let's all get on the bandwagon and blame the loss of the Mars probe on our failure to adopt metrics. . . . The French, who brought us the metric system, also gave us such inventions as the Bastille and the guillotine. When was the last time the French launched a successful mision to the moon or beyond?” Letter to the Register, Oct. 13, 1999.

1112 The Chupacabrasat Cuban Pete's. Skyy Vodka, Seagram's gin, Bacardi 151, Malibu rum, Pepsi and lemon-lime soda. For the low, low price of $39.95, you can get this demon puppy in a 128-ounce deadly clam size, served in an ornate shell. 1050 W. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 490-2020.

1113 The land-mine-sized, homemade cinnamon rolls topped with a golf-ball-sized dollop of butter that are only served weekends at Mel's Diner. Pull off a piece of dough, dip it into the warm mixture of glaze, butter and cinnamon that collects at the bottom of your dish, and have a heart attack! 9430 Warner Ave., Ste. 1, Fountain Valley, (714) 963-2662.

1114 Spillway Literary Journal, edited by Huntington Beach's Mifanway Kaiser. It publishes work by local OC N LA poets, as well as work by nationally renowned writers. And it's available at Barnes N Noble.

1115 The nasty.

1117 Pretty waitersat Duke's in Huntington Beach. 317 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach, (714) 374-6446.

1118 Dan Lo Fi Champion's poppy, jangly songs about girls saying they don't believe in true love even though they're holding his hand.

1119 Let's talk distilled guilt: Drinks at sunset at the Pelican Hills golf course clubhouse. The Irvine Co. is still grading the hills and will destroy Crystal Cove before it's done. But the view from the bar is divine, if the sight of $100-plus-per-round golf doesn't put you off. 222051 Pelican Hills Rd. S., Newport Beach, (949) 640-0238.

1120 Talking politics at Kelley's Cigars. 330 El Camino Real, Tustin, (714) 832-0035.

1121 The mechanics at Bullet BMW Mastersin Costa Mesa, who are so honest they told me to sell my BMW and drive what they all drive: a Camry. But I'm probably sticking with the BMW because I can't fathom losing those mechanics. 3017 Enterprise St., Ste. A, Costa Mesa, (714) 556-4269.

1122 Midway City is neither midway nor a city. Discuss.

1123 Recalling the names originally considered for Midway City:

1124 Caucasia.

1125 Tweenerville.

1126 La Habra-er

1127 La Palma-ish.

1128 Garden Groved.

1129 Stanton-esque.

1130 Six From Column A, Six From Column B.

1131 Concretia.

1132 Funkytown.

1133 If This City's A-rockin', Don't Come A-knockin.

1134 Fair to Midland.

1135 1 ⁄ 2 .

1136 Part Way.

1137 Lichtensteintown.

1138 Blacktop, USA.

1139 Way.

1140 So-So.

1141 Más o Menos.

1142 Comme çi, Comme ça.

1143 Whatsumever.

1144 Schwingtown.

1145 Bass Ackwards.

1147 Ménage à Town.


1148 New Needles.

1149 Little Boise.

1150 Passaic.

1151 Disc golf at Huntington Beach Central Park.

1152 And at UC Irvine.

1153 The “new” Orange County section of the LA Times, which bears no resemblance whatsoever to the “old” Metro section. Nope. None whatsoever. Completely different. New masthead and everything.

1154 The Long Island iced teas in the bar at Charlie Brown's across from Edison Field. A couple of these and “The Angels win the pennant! The Angels win the pennant!”

1155 Sunday artists' brunch at the Santa Ana Gypsy Den; we hear they get real bitchy! 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, (714) 835-8840.

1156 Spectacular eastern mountain views on blusterySanta Ana days.

1157 The row of red lanterns with gold tassels that frame a superlative view of the blue-tiled pagoda-styleAsian Garden Mall from your window seat at Dragon Phoenix Palace, where the dim sum isn't too shabby either. 9211 Bolsa Ave., Stes. 201-208, (714) 893-3682.

1158 Club bookers like Linda Jamison, Randy Cash and Lisa Sexton, who actually treat musicians-and the OC music scene-with respect.

1159 The grenadeand Irish root beer, the specialties of the house at Stubrik's, the best bar and restaurant to open in Fullerton since the late, great Mikki's. Bartender Barclay has come up with the grenade, which is a twist on a mai tai. It includes shots of vodka, rum, gin and Midori, along with blue Curaçao, sweet and sour, orange and pineapple juices, and 7-Up. The Irish root beer involves kahlua, amaretto and Bacardi 151 poured in a shot glass and dropped into a half-pint of Guinness. It can even be lit on fire. 118 E. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 871-1290.

1160 Getting Lit.

1161 MainPlace in Santa Ana, a welcome break from the garish shoppertainment complexes that are infesting OC, is one of the few remaining shopping-mall experiences that doesn't leave you jonesing for a shot of Ritalin.

1162 The Catfish Po' Boy at Ramos House Café. 31752 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-1342.

1163 The band name Trulio Disgracias. They're not really from OC, but their label Transmission was.

1164Off-duty strippersgrinding on themselves at Liquid Lounge. 28471 Marguerite Pkwy., Mission Viejo, (949) 347-5991.

1165 Fat links of sweet, spicy pork sausage, fresh fluffy buns with caramel coconut jam, crepe-like cassava pancakes with grated young coconut and sweet cream sauce-these are the makings of the best Filipino breakfast in OC at Mangga Grill. 341 E. First St., Tustin, (714) 730-1332.

1166 Walking in off the street and buying a signed first edition of a Christopher Isherwood novel at the Bookman Basement. 840 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 538-0166.

1167 James Harman. The godfather of OC blues, Huntington Beach's Harman is a prolific songwriter and superb singer/harp blower who gets better each year. At 53, he's the elder statesman of the scene, and his dance-friendly, swing-influenced style has been the prototype for the local sound. Hollywood Fats, Kid Ramos, Gene Taylor, Jeff Turmes and Willie J. Campbell are just a few of the people who have turned stints in his band over the years, making the notoriously cranky Harman something like OC's answer to John Mayall -only a hell of a lot more talented. And underrated.

1168 Driving from the 55 to the 5 to the 57 without having to leave the carpoollane.

1169 The following items received in press kits from bands, poets and novelists:

1170 Cocoa.

1171 Candy bars.

1172 Earl Grey tea.

1173 Condoms.

1174 Mad Libs.

1175 Wallpaper swatches.

1176 Libertarian dope activist Steve Kubby-who actually moved here because it was MORE tolerant than other parts of California.

1177 Actually, Kubby didn't come in a press kit.

1178 The mural at French 75 Champagne Bar. 1464 S. Pacific Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8444.

1179 Vans Skate Park. Thank God Vans had the vision to capitalize on a growing population of skaters with no worthy place to shred. And in a mall? It sounded as likely as tequila shooters at a baseball game. But they gave the skating people what they want: a 50,000-square-foot facility boasting a 80-feet-wide vert ramp, inside and outside street course, mini ramp, intermediate pool, and a stellar re-creation of the Upland Pipeline's legendary Combi Pool (they actually improved on the original, which was built for swimming, by adding larger transitions to make it more “skateable”). Professional and recreational skaters offered themselves up as virtual slave labor to help construct the place; they wanted to be sure that coping was laid with passion. The street course is on par with temptations of local high schools and shopping malls with quarter pipes, handrails, banks, stairs and marble benches designed to be skated. Plus, Vans would be damn fools not to make it even easier for the young'uns to pick up a board, by offering a pee-wee area that has the same obstacles the big guys get to skate, but in a less intimidating environment. And speaking of intimidating, girls, young and old, kick ass throughout. And don't forget one-stop shopping: a retail store to score some new duds and a skate store for gear. And you can get free lessons given by pros, or at least someone way better than you. The Block at Orange, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-3800.


1180 The little red lights a-blazin' atop the nuclear hooters.

1181 The “fleeing family” signs near the border checkpoint.

1182 Wondering why the border checkpointis located nearly 70 miles from Mexico.

1183 Figuring it has to be designed to keep San Diegans out of OC.

1184 “Does not the Jan. 17 earthquake, and common sense and logic, tell us that maybe the almighty God-creator of all-is trying to tell us something? Should we ask his forgiveness?” Letter to the Register, Jan. 25, 1994.

1185 Orange County head librarian John Adams: great voice, great laugh, great sense of humor, and absolutely no tolerance for the kind of narrow-minded zealotry that wants to keep everyone's kids from reading Heather Has Two Mommies. The kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with.

1186 The bordello-red Fling. It has old people and a pianist! 2370 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 547-8972.

1187The occasional great acoustic performer at Costa Mesa's Triangle Square, best enjoyed by getting beers downstairs at Whole Foods and sneaking them upstairs.

1188 The video series Crusty Demonsof Dirt I, II, III, IV and V, which has the sickest, craziest, largest, nuttiest jumping, crashing, freestylin' motorcycle riding action that has been seen this century.

1189 Flesh Gear, responsible for the release of Crusty Demons of Dirt in 1995, for helping to bring the sport of dirt-bike riding to its new high/low today. 1602 Babock St., Costa Mesa, (949) 650-3605.

1190 Libertarian presidential hopeful Richard Bodie, who sometimes teaches a class on Saul D. Alinsky's Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals.

1191 Coffee coupons at toll-road booths: best sign of desperation!

1192 Sneaking cheese steaksfrom Frank's Philadelphia into Edward's Cinemas. Frank's Philadelphia, 224 Fairview Rd., Costa Mesa, (949) 722-8725.

1193 Anaheim's new MIX 95.9 (old KEZY), even though they play way too much Sugar Ray.

1194 No local football teams equals no blackouts.

1195 Guilty pleasure, part I: acknowledging that we frequent the Irvine Spectrum. Part II: hanging around Manga House for its delectable collection of Japanese anime and rave gear. 71 Fortune Dr., Irvine, (949) 450-0588.

1196 Except when a drunk guy looks at the dried puffer fishies in the decorative nets and says, “Think she has a sister?”

1197 You can surf in the morning and think about snowboarding in the afternoon-but since your life isn't a cliché, you get drunk instead.

1198 Lots of freeparking.

1199 Underground pulp books at the Book Sale. 804 N. Tustin Ave., Orange, (714) 997-9511.

1200 Kid Ramos. With a visual image like a pro wrassler crossed with Ricky Ricardo, the soft-spoken, Anaheim-based Kid came into his own this year with a self-titled solo album that showcased a world-class guitarist surrounded by top-shelf backing. Still best known for his work with Harman and his current tenure in the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Ramos is the personification of a team player. He stays in the background, holding a clinic on guitar excellence every time he steps onstage, making everyone he plays with sound a little bit better.

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