The job market is really crummy, especially in California, and especially for public employees. I was a new grad in '92, the last time the economy tanked, and I didn't find a job until '95.
I resigned my job in November - the only thing worse than being unemployed right now would be to have to do the budget for an agency relying extensively on state funds.
Don't worry about taking a job to tide you over, if that's what it takes. Everybody's offered good suggestions. My suggestion would be to try to get on the board, or at least volunteer, for a non-profit like the symphony or other cultural association. That way, you'd be making contacts and contributing in a professional capacity.
Congrats on your degree - you won't be sorry, it's just that things are tough right now. Good luck!