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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Stunner #1 superstar

It was Spring semester, 1988. I was a sophomore at Chico State. I was going to be a sophomore the Fall semester, too. School was going that well. I did okay in the classes I liked, did poorly in the ones I didn't like, and drank my weight in beer Thursday through Tuesday nights.

For some reason I thought spending the summer in Berkeley taking a class on existential literature would be a good thing.

I moved into a student housing co-op in Berkeley, signed up for my class, got a job in San Francisco doing phone canvassing for an environmental PAC (the California League of Conservation Voters), and dyed my hair pink.

Little kids loved my hair. (Straight laced, conservative guys did, too, but that's another story.) The kids (and sometimes the guys) would come up to me on the Muni and want to touch it. I completely understood; my hair looked and felt like cotton candy. When I washed it--which wasn't very often--the entire tub would turn pink. My roommates didn't like that.

By the end of the summer my hair was so fried I had to cut most of it off. I had dropped out of my class on existential literature shortly after learning I had to read The Brothers Karamazov, although I often carried the book around with me to look, um, existential. I quit my job and went back to school at Chico State, where I lasted one more horrible semester before dropping out to move to San Francisco.

1988. Almost 20 years ago. I learned a lot about myself that summer; it was a pivotal time in my life. That was the last time I dyed my hair pink although I contemplated it when I quit my job/career/working life to stay home with my kids. I decided against it. Cleaning a pink bathtub just isn't what I want to be doing at this point in my life.

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