Ok here's the deal. I live in Costa Mesa. My boyfriend lives in Encino. I work in Laguna Beach. (Thankfully in August, I am moving to Woodland Hills and the craziness will stop ....).
It is pure hell. It takes me 2 hours to get to work on a Monday morning, up to 3 hours to get back to the Valley in the evenings if I leave at 6 (I try to leave around 7 or 8 pm to beat the traffic). The 405 is the spawn of the devil. Without a doubt.
So -- if you are hell bent on commuting I suggest the following things (as this is what makes my commute bearable):
1) Ask Whittier to split the gas money with you.
2) Demand that Whittier take you out for sushi at least once a week
3) Accept the fact that the sex with Whittier alone is worth the drive
4) Invest in a good headset and upgrade your cell phone minutes plan
5) Get satellite radio (Sirius has all the NFL games)
6) Get used to eating in your car and skip the "Supersize" movie or you'll starve to death