Moon Over Mesa

Photo by Rebecca SchoenkopfWho was the mystery blonde assing all over her fellow patrons at the venerable Costa Mesa bar Shooters? I couldn't tell you. I mean, it's not like I talked to her or anything. But was she assing? Oui. She was.

Please look at this photo. Do you see that? That is her ass. Do you see the gentleman who is receiving her? He is unpleasant.

Shooters is the best bar in the whole wide world.

It was Dana's idea. We'd been to Habana, which offered a succulent mojito but whose expensive appetizers, while delicious, were nouvelle-cuisine teeny, and I was getting a teeny bit bitchy about how dear was one empanadita and a five-shrimp ceviche with no other small dead fish bits in it to be had. The only thing is, when it's your treat and you have to beg your girlfriend to let you buy anyway, because she can never just say yes to the universe, you can't really bitch about the small portions for the big price out loud. There was a drunken Irishman—surprise!—who was the only person to chat with us (and high-five us frequently, and ramble about Arnold Schwarzenegger, and misunderstand “Libertarian” as “vegetarian” four times in a row until I thought it might be some kind of suavay lesbian entendre). He finally had enough of his wife's gaggle of girls'-night friends and booked, and we were left with no other drunks to talk to but each other. There was a very beautiful woman in her 70s (at least) who was dressed far younger than was the daughter with whom she was drinking sangria. She was trying a little hard, but not so hard as, say, Raquel Welch. (Ewww.) She left too.

So we jaywalked across the street to The Lodge, TimandLeezafromAubergine's comfort-food emporium, where it's equally expensive but at least there's more of it. Dining together were six or seven old dudes in island shirts. It was the Ghost of the Hawaiian Shirt Club Future. Nothing else of note happened there.

But Shooters! Oh, Shooters! The clientele was a saucy mix of Latino, slumming frat and thoughtful, jovial barfly—again, talkin' 'bout Schwarzenegger, but vowing, bizarrely, to vote for Arianna Huffington. I thought she was just for commies, Latinos and those old Trotskyites, the Orange County Republican Women's Auxiliary. No one shed any tears for poor Darrell Issa, who had blubbered horrendously when he dropped out of the gubernatorial race the day before. It was terribly embarrassing; we watched it six times. (I especially liked the part where the crowd started clapping encouragingly for him to continue, as if he were shot-putting in the Special Olympics. Everyone's a winner in the 1993 California Gubernatorial Recall and Differently Abled Fun Run!)

But I didn't want to talk about Schwarzenegger—or even about poor, sniveling Issa; I wanted, like Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, to dahnce. Every third song was by Nelly, and on every third song someone got assed. It was getting hot in therre!

Not enough music critics and headline writers make “jokes” about Nelly's extra r.

The dance floor was nearly empty but never lonely (exactly as a dance floor should be), and random, happy girls shook it by their tables or wherever they stood. One beautiful miss of mixed parentage gracefully took over the floor, shaking her ass while assing no one. She was effortlessly sexy instead of awkwardly lapdancey, but when we tried to smile at her for being so darned super-cool, she would have none of it. No eye contact for the white girl, uh uh!

Dan Lo Fi Champion and his new Tall Girl (about whom he's planning a multimedia project called “Tall Girl”) dragged us to godforsaken San Pedro for the First Thursday Artwalk Aug. 7 (the same day poor Darrell Issa went into hysterics on national television; you will never mock our Pat Schroeder again!). And it was fun!

On the sidewalk in front of the very hip little Karma recording studio (the only un-with-it piece to the Karma puzzle is the compilation featuring the ghastly Bird3), the usual Long Beach suspects were minstreling, having traveled over hill and dale, or at least the Vincent Thomas Bridge, to colonize and spread their seed. Just like in Alien! Colonizing and seed-spreading (as you'd expect) were Brett Bixby, JR, Chris Paul Overall, Rocco de Luca and Scott Devours. But the highlights belonged to Sas, a young woman who looked like she'd just come from tramping on boxcars and who had a pure, high voice and a retro songwriter's flair. She was joined by the Tall Girl on congas, as all the people, their sets over, who should have been enchanted and enthralled busily lugged their equipment to their cars. So. “Coming out to support” and “community.” We see how that works.

The Cantoni flack had a thrilling proposition. The Irvine Art Expo would be in town—at (surprise!) the Cantoni showroom—for a week. It would have artwork by “designers,” so I was unable to figure out if it would be art or design, until she mentioned “sculpture with, like, metal accents.” And also, of course, I could see Cantoni's furniture, while also benefiting the most popular charity in the land, the Orangewood Children's Foundation, except that I wouldn't really be benefiting it all that much, seeing as how I go everywhere for free.

Every time anyone anywhere wants to open a boutique or show off their new line, the poor waifs at the Orangewood children's homes are the recipients of a fabulous benefit! (By anywhere, of course, I mean Newport Beach, which everyone, or at least Fox, knows is the only anywhere that counts.) This begs the eternal question: Shouldn't the poor tykes of Orangewood by now be rolling in yachts and the finest cocaine? Are there no other poor children for your noblesse oblige, or, a little less delicately, for your customers to channel both Sargent Shriver and Dorothy Day by buying themselves $1,200 pantsuits in which to go to yet more fashion shows and galas?

But back to the flack. Did I want to come? How about now? Do I want to come now? What if she told me there would be . . . art crystal!

Well, count me in, buttercup!

By the time she advised me that the invitation called for “Cantoni Chic,” I was in love. “It's not really cocktail attire, but it's not casual, either,” she explained, which didn't really explain much. “You could wear like a snazzy capri outfit, I think. A cocktail outfit would be too formal. But jeans would be too informal. But anything formal would be too formal. And there'll be drinks and hors d'ouevres!”

So we'll see you at Cantoni Showroom, 8650 Research Drive, Irvine, Thursday, Aug. 14, from 7 to 9 p.m. Y'all will be paying $10, but me, I will be free. The worthy tots will have to get their cocaine and yachts from another sucker, by which I mean you or Darrell Issa. Has anyone invited him? He's got a little extra for a worthy cause.

For the kids!


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