Archive for November, 2008

Bring on the Zoo!

A popular restaurant chain is looking to make a comeback, and they want to start in OC.

Ahhhh, I can see it in my mind’s eye.

The old-timey uniforms, with vests and jaunty wide-brimmed hats. The early 1900’s-inspired decor, complete with player piano. That large section of candy that your parents had to take you through in order to pay the bill, where they had to stave off the begging for one of those braided circular lollipops.

Not that you hadn’t already had more than your week’s daily allowance of sugar, and whatever unhealthy dollop of fat you had decided to order. Personally, I always had one of the hot dogs. Mmmmm, nitrates never tasted so good!

Am I ringing any bells? Or should I say, sirens? You know, with troughs of ice cream being served on stretchers?

Yup, you guessed it! Farrell’s!

I am pathetically excited.

Image via

The New Mother’s Market is Now Open

The new Mother’s Market in Santa Ana has been open for a few days now, but I haven’t had the chance to visit it until today. For the most part, I give them a thumbs up!

Mother's Market in Santa Ana

Mother's Market in Santa Ana

They have a nice selection of canned, boxed, jarred, and frozen food items. I was thrilled to find that they carry the Quorn brand of frozen “chicken”, as well as a variety of seitan and tempeh, all of which I could previously only find at Whole Foods. The fresh meat fridge seemed a little sparse on my trip today, but the produce section was well-stocked. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of time (or energy) to cook decent meals, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t find much in the way of pre-packaged, freshly made, ready-to-heat meals. Fresh & Easy has a killer selection of these, and Trader Joe’s is getting there, so I was hoping the same for Mother’s. They do, however, offer some fresh refrigerated items, as well as self-serve cold and hot food bar; while nowhere near as plentiful as Whole Foods’, it’s nice to have something closer to home.

Produce at Mother's

Produce at Mother's

Food Bar at Mother's

Food Bar at Mother's

As far as non-food items, I thought Mother’s has a nice selection. Lots of bath and body items, makeup, pet food, house cleaners, and detergents, many of which are organic, fairly traded, etc. For parents, Mother’s also carries a few organic clothing items for babies, organic formula and baby food (both jarred and frozen), as well as diapers by Seventh Generation, gDiapers, and (I think) Tushies.

Probably not as expensive as Whole Foods, but definitely not cheaper than Trader Joe’s. The cheapest jar of organic spaghetti sauce was around $3 and change, whereas I believe it’s $2.99 at TJ’s. Their hot and cold food bar is $6.99 a pound, a dollar less per pound than Whole Foods. While I spent less at Mother’s today than I would have if I had done my weekly grocery trip at TJ’s or Fresh & Easy, I don’t feel like I bought that much and I will probably need another trip out for food later in the week.

What if a Light Falls on Chapman….

An example of the street lamp, with banner as an added bonus!

An example of the street lamp, with banner as an added bonus!

and everyone was around to hear it?

My husband and I were dining yesterday at the always fabulous Felix Cafe in the Orange Circle Plaza, well you know where I’m talking about.  We were enjoying our chicken, rice and maduros, even though simultaneously noting with dismay at least four different vacant storefronts.

Anyhoo, a big gust of wind came up, and began to violently shake a banner strung between two lampposts on Chapman.  I’d never seen a banner there do that, since they often hang banners, and I assume they know what they are doing and take into account wind and other factors.  This banner was having none of that safety crap, however.

It was crazily swaying up and down and actually managed to knock down the glass portion of the street lamp, leaving the metal part still attached to the pole, but causing the very heavy and large bulb to come crashing down onto the pavement below.

I saw the glass impact the street and just literally shatter into a million pieces.  I saw a lady that was crossing the crosswalk with her daughter leap to get out of the way, although she still got cut on her leg by some of the flying glass shards.

It was so very lucky that no one was directly beneath the lamp, because I could honestly seeing it doing some very serious, if not lethal, damage if it had hit someone on the head.  Eventually Orange Fire and an ambulance came out, but the biggest thing to do was clean up all that glass, which was just literally everywhere.

And you can tell I am old, because that was by far the most exciting part of my day.

photo courtesty of Old Towne Orange

The Cheerful Assassins

There won’t be any SWAT, Special Forces or armed guerillas. There won’t be any Russian paratroopers falling from the heavens. We won’t have a Governmental collapse and not a single shot will be fired. They’ll show up at the door with clipboards and broad toothy smiles. I am absolutely convinced that when they come to take away our rights they will show up with suits, ties and Bibles.

When I watched the results pour in during the wee hours of Wednesday morning it became clear that Proposition 8 (a measure to remove the rights of same-sex couples to marry) was headed towards a win. The local news station recognized this too and cut to a Yes on 8 “party” in Irvine. The reporter, surrounded by fine upstanding suit-and-tie wearing, bible-thumping heterosexuals flashing their pearly whites, reported an atmosphere of “cautious optimism”.

Was this hack seeing the same “party” I was? This wasn’t cautious optimism. This was malicious satisfaction. Their faces were not emoting caution – the expressions I saw can only be described as glee. A certain sort of repulsive joy was oozing from every pasty white pore. They had worked hard; some of them had given up their careers to dedicate their life to this campaign. This was the fruits of their labors and their smug satisfaction showed.

You know, I can respect deep and abiding personal beliefs. I can understand people who have profound religious convictions, one of our most valued rights as Americans, even if I don’t agree with them. But this… this was something else completely. This was more about keeping others down rather than “standing up for family” – you could see it written on their faces. These were indeed gleeful idiots, cheerful assassins if you will: here to save society from itself. They were giddy. I was revolted.

Tuesday’s election results were astounding in so many ways. California managed to take a step forward and a step backward at the same time. We wanted change but not too much change apparently. The dichotomy of voting for Barak Obama as well as yes on Proposition 8 is lost on no one – least of all the thousands upon thousands of protesters who have flooded the streets all across our fine state. They clearly felt the revulsion I felt and chose to voice their displeasure in a big way.

So what’s next Orange County? Where will you draw the line? Adoption? Interracial marriage? When will you have had enough of the hatred? Here’s another question: When they show up at your little suburban door to stake their next constitutional claim will you take to the streets or will you invite the smiling foot soldiers in for tea?

I am disappointed. I thought we were better than this. Last week, for the first time ever, I was ashamed to call myself a Californian.

Yes We Did!! For Free! has a great deal for Obama fans like myself. A free “Yes we did” sticker from Shepard Fairey (the guy that designed the cool “Hope” poster).

I’ll make it easy. Just click here!

What are you waiting for?? It’s freeeee!!!

Prop 8 Rally

So, for those of you that haven’t been watching the news, over the last several days there have been rallies around the state of people protesting the passing of Prop 8. Some ending smoothly, while others ended far from smoothly. (I feel like I’ve been transported back to the civil rights movements of the 50’s after reading that post.)
With all the protests happening in LA and SF, I was wondering how long until we had one here in Orange County. Now thanks to a heads-up by LA Metblog’s super-green frazgo, I have one to share for you!

“Laguna Beach, Saturday, Nov 8, 5:30 P.M. at City Hall – march to Main Beach for candlelight vigil. Parking available at Act V parking lot at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road – shuttle busses will be running every 15 minutes. Bring signs, flags, candles (or flashlights), whistles, and dress for a cool evening.”

Sadly (as it seems to be when anything I want to do is happening) I’m working and won’t be able to make it. I hope some of you out there can, and can help show that gay rights are civil rights.

PS-Do whatever you can to make it peaceful. We only hurt our cause when we get violent.

Parking Tard of the day

This one was found in the Towne Center Plaza in Foothill Ranch. It is of my opinion if you don’t want door dings, then either buy a smaller car or park farther out in the lot where other cars won’t park next to you.

I’m Feelin’ The Heat.

Heat Ultra Lounge

Heat Ultra Lounge

I would like to make a formal apology to the owners and operators of Heat Ultra Lounge at the Anaheim Gardenwalk.

I’m sorry.

I saw your trendy decor. I saw your clientele. I read “Ultra Lounge.” I made unfair assumptions about a place I had never been to.

I was wrong.

Senator Boxer Wants You to Be Prepared

I recently received this email from Senator Barbara Boxer and figured I would share it with y’all.  Because I’m just a sharer like that.

I am pleased to share with you that Orange County has launched AlertOC, a mass emergency notification system.   One of the distinct features of AlertOC is that a resident can register more than one contact address, allowing for notification via landline, cell phones, and email.  These alerts will notify residents of emergency situations such as fires. 

If you are a resident of Orange County and would like to become part of AlertOC, you can register at  This website contains full information about how to enroll and the types of messages you can expect.  The system has a very large capacity and will be able to send millions of messages in short amounts of time.

Several emergency agencies have begun using these emergency alert systems and give them credit for saving lives and giving residents time to evacuate dangerous situations.  I encourage you to check out and consider becoming part of AlertOC’s emergency notification system.

Laguna Cyclery

I hate when I step into a bike shop for a part or a minor repair and get attitude because they look at my bike and think I am a “fixie kid” (I am actually riding a single speed, and I personally don’t like the term “fixie”). Some shops will look down their nose at you saying that is not “real cycling” (true quote, bit I will spare the shop that said that.)
Laguna Cyclery is not one of those shops.

Laguna Cyclery

Laguna Cyclery

Patrick, Tim, Josh & the rest of the crew there are very helpful with any questions one may have about bikes. Twice in as many weeks I have had minor repairs needed on my bike and the they have come through. They talk to there customers as they are fellow riders, no matter what their level. I am still relatively naive to the parts and servicing of my type of bike, so I ask a lot of simple questions. Not once did it feel like they were put out by answering my questions and even offered more insight beyond the questions. I saw this with other customers also.
Tim and Josh

Tim and Josh

They sell and service all types of bikes from kids bikes to competition road bikes. What has me excited is they have recently started stocking more fixed gear and single speed bikes and parts.
Inside Laguna Cyclery

Inside Laguna Cyclery

They have all types of bikes, parts, clothing and accessories for all types of riders. In addition to sales and service they also provide rentals and guided bike tours

Check out their website and new blog for the latest news.

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