In the last couple of years, as some of you know, my life has gone through quite a bit of upheaval. Score ONE for me for mastering understatement in that last sentence; I could have said turmoil, cataclysm, disorder, commotion, disruption, confusion, and perhaps even MAYHEM. I did not.

Occasionally, I manage to extricate myself from a fetal position, and have a thought – perhaps even a cogent notion – which I would define that as anything other than, “What the…????” I mull over different prospects for my future, and if I take extra medication, I may come up with a number of possibilities that don’t trigger uncontrollable weeping.

For instance, I could go back to school and get a Master’s Degree (something I’d always intended to do before I spent approximately twenty years getting my bachelor’s degree and was so exhausted that the prospect of taking another class EVER seemed like horrific TORTURE – and I say that having learned more and more about ACTUAL methods of torture). If I were a more persuasive person, I’d have a Master’s by DEFAULT. That’s how many credits I have. Finances make that one a stretch, not to mention WHAT IN THE HELL WOULD I STUDY? Would I keep up the fine arts pursuit? Would I go back to anthropology (I double-majored in Vocal Performance and Anthropology for a while – this should explain a lot about my efficiency and decision-making abilities)? To make any of it lucrative would I have to get the Ph.D., too (as a child a ASSUMED I’d do this – my Father is a professor after all)?

I had a therapist who kept calling my job as an Office Coordinator my “career.” She was skilled, qualified and helpful in many respects, but I really thought I’d slap her upside the head if she said that one more time. She didn’t seem to understand that – yes – that’s the kind of job I had done for years to make ends meet (or attempted to make ends meet), and, moreover, the possibility existed that I’d ALWAYS have such a “Joe Job” (in the Arts this is the flippant way of saying, “Job that actually entails a consistent wage, health insurance and additional benefits”). Ugh. Yes, there are, no doubt, many “Joe Jobs” in store for me. However, that’s only if I become more clever and don’t say “verklempt” in West Valley – and if I’m even SMARTER and don’t GET verklempt in West Valley (I suppose I should add that the interviewers actually likedmy and my verklempt-itude (?) didn’t have anything to do with my not getting the position).

I’ve also considered going back to school and getting a teaching certificate. Again, finances make the option of ANY schooling far-fetched currently. And then, of course, there’s the galling reality that I would have worked hard to earn certification on top of my Bachelor’s Degree so that I could go and make considerably LESS money than I did at my last “Joe Job.” I don’t refute that teaching is important. I don’t deny that I’ve had very gratifying and fulfilling experiences while teaching. I’m just asserting that TEACHERS SHOULD MAKE MORE THAN OFFICE COORDINATORS AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS AND TRUCK DRIVERS. Not to mention the fact that this State has the dubious honour of ranking 51 (yes, that’s correct, 51) in per pupil expenditures. On the other hand, from what I just read, we’ve managed to rank very CONSISTENTLY in terms of per pupil expenditures. And being consistent is like being RELIABLE…

Wait – TRUCK DRIVERS! According to late-night TV commercials, certainly the most trustworthy form of media in the WORLD, I could be a truck driver in only SIX WEEKS! And the wages and benefits are INSTANTLY wondrous AND, what’s more, I could shower at a TRUCK STOP! Since, at the moment, my shower head is broken, that has a certain allure to it.

But I should get to the meat of the matter – or should I say CHEESE. Almost a month ago, Grettir sent me a link to The Cheese School of San Francisco. Yes, you read that correctly CHEESE SCHOOL. Could there be a more perfect aspiration for a turophile than to attend CHEESE SCHOOL?
Be STILL my beating heart!

And not only is it CHEESE SCHOOL, but San Francisco is a fascinating locale (very close to my birthplace, actually) AND they are practically flooded with excellent cheese shoppes. Oh JOY and RAPTURE!!! The prospect of CHEESE SCHOOL lifted me from my mundane existence to a Beauteous Shangri-La of Dairy BLISS.

Alas – I must impart that reality eventually set it. I’ve already mentioned finances as an issue in consideration of possible life endeavors. Living in the Bay Area is so prohibitively expensive that I would no doubt have less trouble buying a yacht and living in the French Riviera. With a cabin boy named Raoul catering to my every need… Hmmm. That’s a nice fantasy, too.

But – Oooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh – CHEESE SCHOOL! Can I really dismiss THIS:

The Cheese School of San Francisco is the only institution of its kind in the San Francisco Bay area wholly devoted to helping people maximize their enjoyment of cheese.

The curriculum is designed to satisfy food lovers of all types, from the merely curious, to the serious cheese enthusiast, to the food service professional.

They teach “Fondue” and “The Art of the Cheese Tray,” for crying out loud. On the faculty they have several professional cheese mongers, chefs and culinary experts, an expert on chocolate (why not?), an acclaimed cheese author, and a cheese educator who is also a renowned judge of cheese competitions and a sought-after lecturer on cheese. They are, in their own words, “…just plain crazy about cheese,” and “…positively passionate about cheese.”

If I don’t get there somehow and teach them the word “turophile,” what MEANING will my life have? I might as well be lactose-intolerant (knock-on-wood)!!!

This is why I am hatching a cunning plan. It is SO cunning that other cunning plans bow their wily heads in shame, mortification and degradation at the mere suggestion of MY cunning plan.

Regrettably, I must leave the elucidation of my superlatively cunning plan until later. It would not do to throw such a flawless gem in with all the mucky-muck, interminable rubbish you just read (or didn’t). So, I shan’t bid you any goodbyes, simply au revoir and auf wiedersehen.