Well, not long after graduation I moved to San Francisco, home of many curious interests, and started having a good time. I dated a cable car gripman, and at the wheelhouse was shown into the very subterranean room with the sign on the door saying, Please leave dead rats where they are. I went to the Fillmore in my Mylar dress, with aluminum coating, to see the Jefferson Airplane and the Doors of Perception. I danced to Janis Joplin and Chuck Berry and Ray Charles and the Beatles, all live, then. I cheered for Oscar the Bull at rodeos. I kept talking myself into better opera seats until I was happily ensconced in S106 on Wednesday nights. I joined the Sierra Club and then started jogging on the Marina Green. I became a National Outings Leader, a Proud Moment. I made a snug igloo with air hole and slept in it; looking up from inside in the day was beautiful all icy blue. I read a lot of Proust, the Memoires du duc de Saint Simon, the letters of Mme de Sevigne.
I went to SFState for a masters, and then Berkeley for a PhD in Early Modern European history. But the Love Nest I lived in burned up, things fell apart, my advisor left abruptly for Princeton, and I got depressed. It wasnt any fun falling into a black hole. Time evaporated. But I crawled out at last, with help from some friends.
A software company sent me to Japan to train people for installations, then lost its contract. I went back to Japan to teach English and live on what seemed another planet. Trained by opera fanhood, I loved Kabuki and Noh, and have a complete set of Snoopy Kabuki school things with Snoopy in the Ichikawa Danjuro XII roles.
I moved back to SF, leaving my Japanese Demon Lover. My father got tottery, and I came to Coronado to support him. We two, so much alike, had terrific arguments and the best laughs together. But he died, and I inherited one third of a bitty house with huge yard and 40 fruit trees. Back to school to learn horticulture. At the local Japanese restaurant, the owner introduced me to a guy who needed help with English. So started my turn at tutoring Japanese children, wives, and businessmen, who like me because I am housebroken for shoes and tea and crackers, and because I can speak a little Japanese.
For my 60th birthday, I gave a glorious party, with caterer, a string trio (no pops, classical only), champagne, and fairy lights in the trees. But nobody called the cops, since I invited the neighbors. I was outraged that everyone had left by 10 pm. I guess my friends are getting older. I volunteer at the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge, monitoring the beach where the Least Terns nest. And I am co-chair of the Cut Flower Section of the World-Famous (in Coronado) Flower Show.
I took a three week vacation in 1999 to go to Switzerland for the Fete des Vignerons, celebrated four times a century. That was simply a splendid show and party. The next one is in 2024, in Vevey. Anyone want to go?