My Chicago teachers were wrong about one key point. You can get work done in the sunshine. I work harder here than I did when I was a graduate student in Chicago, or when I worked in New York City or when I worked in "glamorous" Cambridge. The state's budget crisis will end, UCLA will become "self-sufficient" (i.e privatize) and order will be restored to the Star Wars galaxy. This is paradise. Life is too short to be miserable 9 months of the year (we did like Boston's May, September and October).
We get it. UCLA is awesome and you are glad you made the move. That's cool. But, now it is time to move past the mantra and simply live the dream. The folks back in Chicago, New York and Boston who (apparently) give you a hard time about not being serious anymore (you moved to California, you blog, you write books) are likely jealous that you have broken the chains and are now soarly freely. Try to ignore their jabs and don't look back.