Laguna’s Best Catches

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    Best Eligible Bachelors

    Laguna Beach Magazine presents 10 of the town’s most eligible bachelors. – By Ashley Breedin

    Most of us have been there: Things are going well and giddy with that sandy blond surfer babe you finally snagged at Thousand Steps, and he invites you back to his place for an après-dinner drink. But before you step out of his ’95 Bronco and onto the cobblestone walkway to “his” Tuscan-style mini-mansion, you realize those two Mercedes in the drive don’t belong to him. Yep, he still lives with his parents. At 30. Suddenly, the red flags you were too blinded by his brilliant blue eyes to notice over the last few dates are at full mast. With too many such stories swirling about town, we decided to do some investigating, on behalf of all local women, to find the town’s most eligible men. We asked for your nominations, did a little digging and narrowed down the list. What we bestow upon you here, ladies, are some of the true gentlemen (the ones who will not only open car doors, but who will be at your door with tofu kale soup when you’re sick); the entrepreneurs, businessmen and all around hard workers (the ones who value the importance of earning their own way); and the true family men (whether it’ll just be the two of you or a litter of little Lagunans, he realizes relationships are about more than just him)—the true babes in this boyland by the sea.


    Ryan Clark 37

     Broker Associate, Surterre Properties/Boat Captain Hobbies: Sailing, traveling. Nominated by: Devon Dick 

    LBM: Describe your last girlfriend in three words. RC: Fun, loving … difficult. LBM: How would she describe you? RC: Fun, outgoing, adventurous. LBM: What makes you adventurous and fun? RC: I’m an avid sailor—I grew up sailing with my dad and have sailed all over the world. I love to travel. I’m spontaneous that way. LBM: What are your biggest turnoffs? RC: A woman who is selfish or doesn’t appreciate family. LBM: What’s an ultimate deal-breaker? RC: Smoking … well, I can deal with smoking every once in a while … someone who picks her nose. LBM: What’s your idea of a fun date: Where do you go and who pays? RC: Sunset on the beach or at The Rooftop, [followed by] dinner at Café Zoolu or Broadway. I would pick up the bill. LBM: At what point should she offer to pay? RC: That’s not a huge concern for me; if she offered after five or six dates, though, I’d be grateful. LBM: Where’s the best place in town to meet women, and the worst? RC: The best is through everyday things like going to the grocery store, hanging out at the beach or through friends. The worst is the Sandpiper. LBM: Have you ever dated a woman you met at the Bird? RC: Oh gosh, no. LBM: What’s the worst date you’ve experienced? RC: I went out to dinner with a girl who was a bit younger, and she texted through dinner the entire time. I just about got up and left. LBM: Can you cook? RC: Ah, no, I can’t. LBM: So are you looking for a woman who can? RC: Yes, a woman who can cook is definitely a turn-on. I’d like to take some cooking classes though. LBM: Can you operate a vacuum? RC: Yes, I can clean. And operate a vacuum.


    David Ward 64

    Sales Representative, Commercial Roofing Systems Hobbies: Cooking, music concerts, hanging out with his three (grown) children and spending time at his second home in Cabo San Lucas, where he hopes to open a small beach bar. Nominated by: Belen Guillen and Matt Romig 

    LBM: Where’d you learn to cook, and what’s your specialty? DW: My wife Kim passed away six years ago, so I’ve had to learn to cook. I really enjoy it, even if I’m alone. I love to barbecue and make salads. I think that I have become quite creative in this department, and have found that ladies really enjoy being with a guy that makes an attempt to prepare a meal—it can be very romantic and rewarding! LBM: Speaking of wooing a woman, what’s your idea of a perfect date in Laguna? DW: I love to walk the beach before sunset, catch a cocktail at Splashes and then stroll into town for dinner at Watermarc, 230 Forest or Nick’s … maybe grab an after-dinner drink at The Saloon … LBM: What’s the best rock show you’ve been to? DW: I was at The Grateful Dead New Year’s Eve concert held in 1978-’79 known as “The Closing Winterland” in San Francisco. I’m told that I had a good time, but there is no supporting evidence that I am aware of. LBM: Do you find dating exciting, or stressful? DW: It’s always fun and exciting for me because I really enjoy women’s company. LBM: What is your biggest turnoff in the opposite sex? DW: I’m kind of a neat freak, so I don’t enjoy untidy women. You can normally look inside of a woman’s car or handbag to get a measure of her habits. And women who wear tie-dye or scuffed up bras. If I was a girl, I would hand-wash my underwear … and for the right girl, I, myself, would hand-wash her underwear! LBM: What is your worst habit? DW: I have the mouth of a sailor.

    Edgar Obrand 

    25  Co-founder, LEAF/Cinematographer, Firebrand Media LLCHobbies: Screen-printing, photographing and documenting “life.”  Nominated by: Ashley Breeding

    Jesse Obrand 31 

    Lawyer, The Obrand Law Group Hobbies: Playing and watching basketball (religiously), surfing, deejaying house parties he’s not invited to. Nominated by: Rachel Heussenstamm

    LBM: Jesse, how would you describe Edgar’s “type”? JO: Cute, blond, petite … and kind of hipster. LBM: Edgar, what is Jesse’s “type”? EO: He’s across the board. Most have been athletic, smart … and get along well with our family. JO: I also like a good sense of humor. LBM: You’re both close with your mom; would either of you date a girl she didn’t like? Together: No way. EO: Once my mom doesn’t like a girl, it’s over. JO: Yeah, if our mom doesn’t like a girlfriend, eventually we don’t like her … she’s got some kind of mind control. LBM: What’s the best gift you’ve ever given a girlfriend? JO: Lakers tickets. EO: I once gave a girlfriend an epic surprise party for her birthday. LBM: And received? JO: Lakers tickets. EO: You can’t print that. LBM: What’s something you love to see a woman wearing? JO: I’m a sucker for tight yoga pants. EO: A Black Flag T-shirt. LBM: And the least sexy thing she can wear? JO: Any of my basketball shorts—bleh! EO: Ugg boots. LBM: What’s your idea of a good date in Laguna, and who pays? JO: Well, I pay; it’s the chivalrous thing to do. I would go someplace outside and enjoy the sunset. That may sound cliché. [If I can leave Laguna], we’d do live music and a Lakers game. EO: I’d pick her up on a 1967 Triumph motorcycle, and we’d go to dinner at The Cliff. I’d pay. Then we’d go to the top of Mt. Zion. LBM: You have a motorcycle? EO: Not yet. LBM: How would your exes describe you? JO: It depends on the era. In my 20s I was selfish. But I think they’d all say I’m very funny, caring and driven. EO: They’d probably say I’m a selfish bastard, loving … and dramatic. LBM: What quality do you find most appealing in a woman? JO: Intelligence; I like a girl who can carry a conversation. EO: She’s driven. LBM: Deal-breakers? JO: Smoking and laziness. EO: Cheating and lying. JO: Oh, I can tell you a deal-breaker story about Ed: He was dating this girl … they were kind of on the way out, and the tipping point was when she [used the bathroom] and didn’t flush, and Edgar found it. It was over, right then. That’s still one of my favorite stories to tell at the dinner table. He gets so embarrassed. LBM: Do you believe in love at first sight? EO: For sure. I fell in love with my last girlfriend the first moment I saw her. JO: That was probably lust at first sight. EO: No, it wasn’t lust; I [only] wanted to get to know her. JO: Yeah, OK, I guess there is [such a thing as love at first sight]. LBM: What is the last thoughtful thing you did for someone? JO: I volunteered to coach basketball at the Boys & Girls Club. I try to do that whenever I have time. EO: Just today I picked up this high school kid who was hitchhiking. LBM: Do you plan to settle down and have kids? JO: If I found a woman I really connect with, I’d settle down now. Our mom wants grandchildren. She’s sick of playing with other peoples’ grandchildren and wants her own. EO: I’d get married right now if I were in love. LBM: What’s the best place in town to meet women? JO: I haven’t had success in one spot versus another … I haven’t had any success, period.

    Art Zdanowski 37 

    Multimedia Artist/Sawdust Art Festival exhibitor   Hobbies: Travel, photography, outdoor sports and recreation, and dancing. Nominated by: Rosalie Marsh

    LBM: Describe your ideal wife in three words. AZ: Beautiful, smart, best friend. LBM: What are three words an ex-girlfriend would use to describe you? AZ: Good-hearted, sexy, funny. LBM: Celebrity crush? AZ: Shania Twain. LBM: Dating deal-breakers? AZ: Someone who is dumb, disloyal or has bad breath. LBM: Describe your ideal date in Laguna, including who pays. AZ: A picnic at Crystal Cove, Crescent Bay or Table Rock. … I will take care of everything, but if she wants to contribute, it’s absolutely welcome. LBM: What’s your worst habit? AZ: I’m always taking pictures—I am addicted to the camera. LBM: What is the last thoughtful thing you did for someone? AZ: I am always doing “manly” help for my friends; I’m great at fixing and building things. LBM: Why are you single? AZ: I am not looking for just a girlfriend, but for a great partner to share my life with. I also value the spiritual aspect of life much more than the materialistic, and I find that many girls, unfortunately, are gold-diggers. LBM: What’s your five-year plan? AZ: Keep building my career as an artist and expand my work around the world … find a great girl … fall in love … get married … buy a house … have a family … and enjoy life together. LBM: Will that house be in Laguna? AZ: Absolutely, Laguna is the best! I like to travel, but always come back to Laguna.


    Jeffrey Briar 57 

    Founder, Laughter Yoga Institute/Educator, Irvine Valley College Hobbies: Laughing, playing piano, reading and speaking gibberish. Nominated by: Self

    LBM: If you had to appear on a reality show, which one would you choose? JB: “Dancing with the Stars.” I’d coach people on how to lighten up and laugh and have more fun so they didn’t all look so serious all of the time. LBM: How would you describe your last girlfriend? JB: Lovely, lovely, lovely. LBM: How would she describe you? JB: Cute, funny, intelligent. LBM: What’s a typical date for you in Laguna? JB: We’d go to a restaurant for dinner … then we’d go for a nice long walk on the beach. … Afterwards, we’ll go out for a treat—for some people, that’s a drink, but for me, it’s gel-a-to. LBM: Do you believe in love at first sight? JB: Absolutely. And second sight. And, let’s try again … I believe in love at many sights. LBM: Describe your ideal wife: JB: She’s articulate, intelligent and likes to explore. Relationships are all about being on a path of discovery together and finding out what you love, together. LBM: Turnoffs? JB: Smoking is an instant no. I can’t handle a lot of makeup. And any sign of not being willing to listen or being stuck in one’s attitudes. LBM: What’s the best gift you’ve ever given a woman you loved? JB: I had a girlfriend who had terrible eyesight and was about to move away [for a job] and we were going to separate. Still, I thought it would be such a gift it she could have Lasik eye surgery, so I [fundraised] with her friends and family. We had a surprise dinner for her and invited all of the people who contributed and we presented her with this wonderful gift.


    Michael Geraci 37

     High-Yield Bond Trader  Hobbies: Cooking, SUP, basketball. Nominated by: A matchmaker at Palm & Associates

    LBM: Describe your ideal wife. MG: She’s beautiful, down to earth and spontaneous LBM: How would your last ex describe you? MG: Outgoing, intelligent, ambitious. LBM: Where do you go, what do you do and who pays on a date? MG: For starters, I’d definitely pay—I’m big on chivalry; I think it’s important. My favorite restaurants are Broadway and Three Seventy Common, so we’d start there for drinks and dinner. Then we’d do something like art walk or get lost on one of these beaches with some wine and a blanket. LBM: What qualities in a significant other are most important? MG: Values, intelligence and general respect for life and happiness. LBM: Where is the best and worst place in Laguna to meet women? MG: The best place is on the beach; the worst is in restaurants. LBM: Why restaurants? MG: There’s more of an air of wealth and status in restaurants. On the beach, you’re in your board shorts and she’s in her bikini … and you can’t identify much else of what’s going on, especially financially. LBM: When would you like to settle down? MG: Immediately. I bought a house in Laguna two years ago, so I’m here to stay. LBM: What’s the last thoughtful thing you did for someone? MG: I offered someone a ride to and from the airport. LBM: Which airport? MG: John Wayne … on a Friday … afternoon. LBM: If you had to choose between good looks, wealth and fame, which would you choose and why? MG: I’d be good looking because if you’re rich, people take you for granted and expect things from you, and if you’re famous, people get into your business.


     Matt Sheridan 34  

    History Teacher, Serra Continuation High School/Owner, Basics of Skateboarding  Hobbies: Traveling, exploring, hiking, running, cooking and reading. Nominated by: Tanya Rodina 

    LBM: What’s a good lesson you’ve learned from your students? MS: The kids have taught me patience and the ability to not always judge things so quickly. LBM: What are some qualities your ideal wife possesses? MS: She’s nurturing, sexy and compassionate … and likes to go to the beach and travel. LBM: How would your last girlfriend describe you? MS: Sensitive, ambitious and caring. LBM: What are your turnoffs? MS: Ignorance, lack of ambition and [desire] to travel. And when a girl consistently starts a sentence with “Oh my God …” LBM: What are your favorite travel spots? MS: Indonesia for the culture, people and surf … and Brazil for the women, food and lifestyle. LBM: What kind of date would you plan in Laguna? MS: We’d have a drink at The Rooftop for sunset … dinner somewhere in the village … and maybe another drink at The Saloon. LBM: What are the most important factors in making a relationship work? MS: Communication, patience. LBM: Why are you single? MS: I guess I’m picky. I don’t necessarily buy into “I’m going to have somebody just to have somebody.” LBM: What are the advantages of being single? MS: Independence. LBM: And times when you wish you had a girlfriend? MS: Times when I want someone to share things with. LBM: What’s your five-year plan? MS: I’d like to be married and have a family within five … or seven or eight years … and settle in Laguna. LBM: What if you found the right woman right now? MS: I would settle down right now if I found the right girl. LBM: Would you date a woman who had kids? MS: I’ve dated women with kids. LBM: What’s your specialty in the kitchen? MS: Pasta carbonara. LBM

    Mark Shorr 23

    Investment Manager, PIMCO Hobbies: Tennis, SUP, boxing, playing guitar and drums.Nominated by: Mark Porterfield 

    LBM: What’s your most endearing quality? MS: My friends would say my “nagging curiosity” is what they appreciate most; I’ve found it critically important to diversify experiences, viewpoints and circles of friends. They’d also say I’m dependable. LBM: What kind of woman are you interested in? MS: Someone who is caring, beautiful and spicy. LBM: Who’s your favorite female celebrity? MS: Sophia Vergara—she’s dark, exotic and hysterical. LBM: What characteristics or habits turn you off? MS: Not having a passion … that gets boring to me. And smoking. LBM: If she offered to pay for dinner, would you let her? MS: That’s extremely nice if she offers, but I’d still pick it up. I’d like it if she offered though; it shows she cares. LBM: What’s the most important quality in a partner? MS: Loyalty—someone who’s going to be there for you. LBM: What makes a relationship work? MS: Finding someone who is your complement—perhaps who is a bit opposite of you and [creates balance]. LBM: What’s your greatest talent? MS: I was an amateur boxer in college with more than 20 bouts. I was an All-American in my junior and senior year season, placing third at the national tournament.  LBM: Your worst habit? MS: I have a certain list of priorities … straightening up my apartment tends to fall low on that list.  LBM: Where’s the best/worst place to meet women in town? MS: I’ve met a lot of women at my gym, Art of Fitness. At the bars, I’ve met a lot of undesirable women. LBM: What’s the last thoughtful thing you did for someone? MS: A girl I was recently dating had a performance she was in charge of, and I hired a professional film crew to [document] it for her. ‘

     Reid Anderson 28 

     Owner, RWA Construction Hobbies: Surfing, hiking, playing basketball, anything outdoorsy. Nominated by: Kelly Shannon 

    LBM: What is the most important quality in a potential partner? RA: She needs to be easygoing—not too high maintenance. I also like someone with a sense of humor and who shares my hobbies. LBM: What do you consider “high maintenance?” RA: I’m not into girls who are image-driven or materialistic. LBM: What’s your favorite “outdoorsy” activity? RA: I spend a lot of time in Wyoming, where my family has a second home. I do a lot of fishing there. LBM: You’re a man who likes to fix things up; what’s something about yourself that could use improvement? RA: If I could change anything about myself, I would be more outgoing; I have trouble around people I don’t know—probably one of the reasons I am single. I need a girl who’s more outgoing, who gives me that little extra push. LBM: What do you think is the key to making a relationship work? RA: Compromise. You can’t always do what you want to do because your partner will eventually get fed up. LBM: Any dating deal-breakers? RA: No absolute deal breakers, but I have never been into girls that surf and/or ride skateboards. I think I could get past that though if I was super into them. Maybe.

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