25 May 2004

nightlife in south orange county

So, this past Friday night, The Crow and I got a little stir-crazy and decided to go check out the local music scene. A co-worker recommended a place called The Gypsy Lounge, located in the Rockfield Shopping Plaza. You see, by day it's a mild-mannered strip mall where you can mail packages to grandma and get your nails filled. By night it's the nexus of Mission Viejo nightlife.

The Gypsy Lounge is about the size and demeanor of The Green Room up in NW. It's dark, cramped, and smokey by California standards. The decor is garage sale chic and I was shocked to find they had some of the same velvet artwork found at both Dots and Pied Cow. Is there some kind of Hipster Depot or something?

We missed most of the first band, The Downtown Popular, which was a bummer because I was curious to hear O.C. people comment on what a downtown might look like. The next band, Neptune Thomas, was your basic Vertical Horizon/Matchbox 20/Better Than Ezra derivitive secretary rock, and literally, that's who came to see them. Dolled up in the Lane Bryant versions of the latest fashions, these ladies "danced" in front of the stage for the band's entire set (really it was more of a rhythmic slumping).

In between songs, one woman would yell "WHOOOOOOOO!" It was a remarkably precise yell, as the woman was able to produce the exact same pitch, volume, and duration every time. Even the lead singer commented on it. I can only liken the sound to the reliable beep produced by the phone company and I really think it would make a suitable replacement.

"At the sound of the yelping secretary, the time will be, 9:52pm"

I guess I really should give these ladies more credit. I mean, if you are the type of person that spends all day gazing out the window of your office park and have spent 8 of the last 10 birthdays at T.G.I. Fridays: going out to see live music is a step in the right direction. They also picked the right band to cheer for. Neptune Thomas had the most polished sound of all the bands we saw and though I would never buy one of their CDs, they were certainly radio-friendly.

When Neptune Thomas finished their set, I was disappointed to learn that the Original Booty Bandits were unable to play that night. Were we going to get the Knock-off Booty Bandits instead? My world was crumbling. Luckily "Liquid Circus" was there to save us. This band totally sucked, but in such a mediocre way that it's not really worth describing. After three songs in which I zoned out and watched the surf videos which played behind the bar, Barry said we could go.

On the way out we saw the rest of what the Rockfield Shopping Plaza had to offer in the way of nightlife: a strip club called "Captain Creams" and a dance club (complete with velvet rope) called the Pearl. To get in females had to dress like they were getting off work from Captain Creams, and males, well, I didn't see any get in.

That was basically the end of our adventure. Saturday night we spent up in Long Beach because I had to work a show at the convention center up there on Sunday morning. I was really looking forward to being someplace that actually had a nightlife, or even a good corner bar, or even a place that had corners!!! Alas, we went to "King's Fish House" which also has a location in Mission Viejo. Yes, we drove 40 miles to go to a restaurant that's exactly like one we have at home. But, we got put up at the Westin for the evening, which was great, and I got to order room service in the morning! A first!

Hope you all have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully I will have some interesting stories from San Francisco.


18 May 2004


On the back of one of this Portuguese dive magazine, I found a
website for this company called Oregon Blindados which, from what I
can tell, outfits consumer cars with bullet-proof armor and shields
and other various security measures.

Here is the website:

Here is the Google translation tool:

Who in the world thinks the word "Oregon" is synonymous with
high-tech protection and security? For godsakes, I think half the
people out there think we still live in log cabins.

At the very least, I hope the state of Oregon is at least
collecting name royalties on this.

11 May 2004

anyone going to be in S.F. for memorial day?

Did anyone watch 10.5? I admit it, I was looking forward to the damn thing. Enough with the east coast being destroyed by aliens/ asteroids/ tidal wave/ Bloomberg I was excited to finally see a movie where the west coast gets wiped out. I knew it was going to be crap, but I hoped at the very least I would get to see Newport Beach slide into the Pacific, and maybe see a cameo by up-and-coming action movie actor Jeff Gianola.

Alas, no luck. They barely even mentioned Oregon or Portland. We may only be market #24, but they could have at least shown a giant boulder bouncing down Mt. Hood and smashing up a hippie van or something. I'm not asking for a Pearl District "art loft" to topple over and crush Vera Katz or anything, although that would have been nice.

One movie I saw recently that did NOT disappoint was "Super Size Me."

It's a documentary about a guy who eats nothing but McDonald's for 30 days and it's GREAT, the most entertaining film I've seen this year. The guy is really likeable, there are some great side-characters, and it's got a lot to say in very a non-preachy way ("Bowling for McNuggets," it's not).

For those of you that know Barry, he started a new job yesterday at SimpleTech (he quit Systech, too many TPS reports and a bad commute) SimpleTech sells computer memory products.

Anyone going to be in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend? Barry and I will be there to visit his folks. Come on, you know you have that friend from college you've been meaning to visit! Please save me from three days at the Alameda Yacht Club . . .

Until next time.