I have just returned from a big adventure. (See map at left.)
It all started a few weeks ago, when, due to a final spurt of humiliation in the Dionne Affair, I JUST HAD TO GET OUT OF HERE!
So I hopped into my car, the Yellow Peril, and headed west. As it turned out, Dionne and Sasha joined me at the last minute and accompanied me as far as Minden (just south of Carson City) where Dionne spent a few days with her father. There were some difficult moments along the way (at one point I stomped through the quiet suburbs of Idaho Falls yelling at the top of my lungs), but by the time we reached Minden, Dionne and I were feeling warm and tender towards each other. Alas, that is probably the last I'll see of her for quite awhile (she is now visiting her New Jersey Jerk and I have decided to stop speaking to her).
ANYWAY, I soon reached San Francisco where my old friend Suzanne took me in and fed me banana daquaris. Together we strolled through Muir Woods, haunted several sidewalk cafés and obscure nightclubs, and dined at Paul's favorite restaurant, the China Moon.
Suzanne, who has a talent for attracting unusual people, had a roommate who was the stage manager for GUMBY - THE MOVIE! I was at such a loss trying to picture this occupation that I finally drove over to the studio (an abandoned junior high school gymnasium in Sausalito), and saw Gumby in action. There were dozens of tiny stages crawling with identical stunt Gumbies.
Many strange things happened to me on this trip. One day, as Suzanne and I were driving through downtown San Francisco, I spotted Larry coming out of a church. As it turned out, he and Dianne were in town attending a wedding. Suzanne pulled over and we waved; it was interesting watching the metamorphosis of confusion and amazement on Larry's face. Certainly the odds against such an encounter are astronomical!
I also visited Roger and had a lively discussion on the proper role of passion in one's life. And I hit a few grounders for Larry's office softball team and got invited "up to the big house" where my old boss cooked me dinner and played the fiddle. I had a Japanese lunch in Chinatown and a Cambodian lunch in Berkeley. I spent a most enjoyable morning at the Oakland headquarters of the company that is selling my stackware. And one evening I even drove to Sacramento to visit an old friend and wound up on a double date with a golf pro and two female veterinarians.
After this I motored down the coast to Chez Stuart. Stuart and I had a number of adventures including a delightful visit to Hearst Castle. And then it was back across the desert. A thousand straight miles of desert. In July. I coasted into Bakersfield on an empty tank, skirted Death Valley, spent a lonely night as almost the only visitor in Tonopah, lost eight dollars in the Ely slot machines, and finally collapsed on Paul's doorstep gasping "Pepsi! Pepsi!"
Another five hundred miles due north and I'm back in Canyon Creek. More than twenty-five hundred miles in all and the Yellow Peril performed flawlessly as usual (well, almost flawlessly: the tail pipe and rear muffler fell off in Idaho, but I just kept rolling).
I had rather hoped to land a job in the Bay Area, but that is going to take a more concerted effort. My current plan is to send off a few resumes, do enough contract work to pay off my now swollen Visa bill, and try again in a couple of months. So, no job as yet, but what an adventure!