A smart look at skateboard designs, and two Russians emigres' tongue-in-cheek analysis of American taste in art, make the Huntington Beach Art Center a hot spot once again. "Grind: The Graphics and Culture of Skateboarding" offers an insider's look at skateboard culture and a generous sampler of recent designs. "Komar & Melamid: 'People's Choice: the Polling of America' " presents the results of a poll about what Americans want to see in art. Colorful charts that resemble abstract paintings summarize various findings, while a ludicrous realistic painting shows what American taste would yield if art truly were democratic.
* What: 'Grind: The Graphics and Culture of Skateboarding" and "Komar & Melamid: 'People's Choice: The Polling of America.' "
* When: Noon to 6 Tuesdays and Wednesdays; noon to 8 Thursdays; noon to 9 Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 4 Sundays. "Grind" continues through Oct. 15, "Komar & Melamid" through Nov. 12.
* Where: The Huntington Beach Art Center, 538 Main St., Huntington Beach.
* Whereabouts: From the San Diego (405)Freeway, drive South on Golden West Street, left on Yorktown Avenue and right on Main Street. Continue for three miles; the center is a brick building on the left.
* Wherewithal: $3; students and seniors $2.
* Where to call: (714) 374-1650.
A veteran of "The Tonight Show," "David Letterman" and "Dennis Miller," Jeff Cesario impresses audiences with his somewhat off-center takes on algebra, deer hunters, analysis and politicians ("Democrats look at half a glass and think 'It's half empty.' Republicans look at it and think, 'Who drank half my water?' "). A former jazz drummer, he calls his act "contemporary observational" and boasts two ACE awards for his Showtime specials.
* What: Jeff Cesario.
* When: Tonight at 8:30, Friday night at 8:30 and 10:30, Saturday night at 8 and 10:30 and Sunday night at 8.
* Where: The Improv, 4255 Campus Drive, Irvine.
* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (405) Freeway to the Jamboree Road exit and head south. Turn left onto Campus Drive. The Improv is in the Irvine Marketplace shopping center, across from the UC Irvine campus.
* Wherewithal: $8 to $12. This is a "special event," i.e., no coupons or passes will be honored.
* Where to call: (714) 854-5455.
The Republic of Chile snakes 2,650 miles down the Pacific Coast, and its music and dances vary widely as a traveler moves within its boundaries from the Andes to the pampas, from Tierra del Fuego to mysterious Easter Island. The 32-member Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Chile was founded in 1965 to preserve, expand and export this varied popular culture. The current director is Sergio Soto Ortiz.
* What: Ballet Folklorico Nacional de Chile
* When: Tonight at 8.
* Where: Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine.
* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (405) Freeway to the Jamboree Road exit and head south. Turn left onto Campus Drive. The theater is on Campus near Bridge Road, across from the Marketplace.
* Wherewithal: $18 and $23.
* Where to call: (714) 854-4646.
Looking for tips on everything from financial planning and infant mood swings to teen culinary tastes and leisure activities for grandparents? Stop by the FamilyFest. There'll be seminars and hands-on activities; a senior health pavilion and a home improvement area with tool demonstrations; plus play areas with the latest toys and games, a Daddy Diaper Derby, a Sega Genesis "NBA Jam Challenge" and other contests, and everything will be free with admission.
* What: FamilyFest.
* When: 10 to 7 Saturday and Sunday.
* Where: The Anaheim Convention Center, Hall A, 800 W. Katella Ave.
* Whereabouts: From the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway, exit at Harbor Boulevard, drive south one mile to Katella and turn right. From the northbound 5, exit at Katella and drive west.
* Wherewithal: $4 for adults; $2 for ages 6 to 12; free for ages 5 and younger. Parking: $6 per car.
* Where to call: (714) 262-5819, press 2.