Category Archives: SoCal Living

Amanda’s Landed a Dream Job!

Well, I finally got a job out here in SoCal…. and I LOVE it. I am working in a family practice office for a doctor who has been a GP for 20 years. He has two offices- one right on Laguna Beach and one about an hour north of my home. So far, I have been scheduled to work pretty exclusively at the Laguna office, luckily. The commute is only 6 miles, no traffic, with a view of the beach along the way. I love the job. I am working part-time– about 20-24 hours per week. And, I LOVE what I do. I basically work alone with a nurse and a receptionist. I never see the doctor I work for (I can reach him by cell phone if I have questions). I see patients who schedule routine appointments and also we see walk-in patients for urgent care. I will also start working in the OB/GYN clinic one day per week and the Pedicatric clinic one day per week starting in November. So, it is a little bit of everything in general practice.

Below are pictures of the outside of my office and the georgeous view from when I step outside after work to see the sun setting over the ocean.

The Office Building I Work InAnother picture of the outside of the officeCaduceus Medical- the physician group I work for.Stepping outside of my officeI can See the Ocean!


First Semi-Star Sighting!

Apparently Amanda and I saw Alexis Bledel in an ice cream shop at Laguna Beach. We were there with our neighbors, and Tara told us one of the Gilmore Girls was standing in front of us in line. We certainly didn’t recognize her, but looking at her IMDb pics, we’re pretty sure it was her. She was also in the movie, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and she was the lead in the movie, “Tuck Everlasting”. She must’ve been some movie star to be eating there anyway, because the ice cream cost $5 a scoop.

Here Comes Halloween! (Better look the other way.)

I promised pictures, and Chris is impatient, so here are some dead/dying things from our experience at Universal Studios Haunted Horror Nights:


This is the one time Amanda wasn’t desperately clinging to my arm:


And this is from when I died:

This is from when I died.

We had a good time, although four hours certainly isn’t enough time when the wait time for all the Halloween-related events is 60-70 minutes. We still managed to do the Mummy Returns ride, the Terror Tram (those pictures of mass carnage are actually on the War of the Worlds plane crash set), Universal’s House of Horror (just Van Helsing’s castle thingy but with more spooks), and the Carnival of Carnage, chock full of two guys poking themselves with needles, swords, and nails.

We also carved pumpkins on Friday night with Tara and Jason (the friends with whom we went to Universal). Here’s the lineup:


From left to right, the creators of these masterpieces are Amanda, Jason Downstairs (me), Tara, and Jason Upstairs. Here’s some close-ups of the MacAllister works:


Life Is So Unfair

Amanda and I are going to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights tonight with a couple of our neighbors. We bought the tickets last week, only to discover that Javaground (my company) is holding a StarCraft tournament at the office at six tonight. We are both deeply upset at this unfortunate timing, so don’t even try to console us. It won’t work.
I plan to take pictures tonight if the zombies let me, so expect a post filled with horrifying unpleasantries in the near future.

“California living expensive,” MacAllisters announce in bafflement.

Good news! Apparently Orange County isn’t the most expensive place to live in the country. It’s only the ninth. At first I thought we’d be included in the L.A. region (third most expensive), in which case Amanda and I would have to move to Honolulu, that city being cheaper and all (ranked at number five). But we’re certainly happy with our little corner of the world.


Somebody Turn On The Heat!

Alright Easterners, you’ve had your fun. Can we please have our heat back now? Sure we had that record heat wave there for a while, but now we can’t even go to the beach it’s so cold. We’ve only been getting highs in the seventies this past week. And Laguna Beach, for whatever reason, is consistently five to ten degrees colder than Laguna Hills, where we live. I walked outside yesterday morning, and it felt like autumn. The sun was shining, but there was a chill in the air. And I hated it. We came here to be hot! Alright, well at least I did.

On another note, CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS AND ALLISON ON THEIR ENGAGEMENT! Another pair of God’s children who will be living happily ever after. Hee hee. Way to go guys! And here’s the happy couple now…


Note: Not actual engagement photographs.

But these ones are:


Nasty Spiders. We hates them!

We hate spiders. They come out of nowhere and poison you, which drains your health like crazy, and they constantly regenerate as you beat on them. But enough about Guild Wars.

Laguna Hills (or at least Villa Solana) has a lot of spiders. For some reason, all they ever do is spin webs. And they start early. Amanda and I take Teddie walking around eleven at night, before going to bed, and we almost always walk through the beginnings of massive people-catching webs that span the entire sidewalk. They sometimes get into the house too. They mostly stick to the ceilings and corners, but occassionally they get brave and try to catch you when you get up in the middle of the night to go pee. I kind of got used to brushing off the webs, especially since I run with Teddie most mornings on the paths through the high grass. As long as you don’t think that what made the web might still be attached to it, it’s no big deal. And as far as I know, there aren’t any really venomous ones around here…