“…Birthday greetings, bottle of wine…”

“First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.” -Leo Rosenberg

It’s that last item I am particularly not looking forward to.

Ack! It’s four years too early to be singing that silly Paul McCartney song from the title of this post. Nevertheless, I’m now in that decade and I don’t mind saying, I’m not exactly doing cartwheels over that fact (due to fragile bones, of course). Saying “I’m 60” just sounds old. Until this year, I’ve not given much thought to numbers, age-wise, but now, there’s just no way around the fact that I’m in “grandpa” territory. As anyone who has read my blog is well aware, I’m at least grateful that Sophie appears to be years away from “blessing” me with that moniker. Years from now, by the time she’s ready, perhaps the world have become such a vile, putrid, overheated septic tank, she will elect not to bring a child into such a nightmarish world. So, I’m actually rooting for everything to go to hell in a hand basket so as to avoid being called “grandpa”; BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Recently, students in a workshop were asked to fill out a questionnaire about a class I taught. All of the comments were positive, including the one where the student said that I had forgotten to say something, but that was OK because I was after all, as old as his grandfather. My manager had a good laugh at that one. “Harumpf! I fail to see the humor!”

I keep batting about the idea of having some sort of party. My goal in the last month was to finally outfit my second dining room with a table that would allow for serious entertaining that would not be possible with the one that came with the apartment. I got the new table last week and yesterday I did an IKEA run to buy- wait for it- placemats. I couldn’t find them anywhere else, so I had to take the requisite half-day, to make the trek to that western outpost of consumerism. Why isn’t there a “Bed Bath and Beyond” in China? For that matter, why not have a “Home Depot” too. These places would be more profitable than a casino! 

Now that my home is, at long last, ready for “Primetime” I really should start entertaining, beginning with a 60th birthday party. Maybe next week. In the meantime, enjoy a tour of my new home and for my American audience, gape in awe at the fact that my monthly “tariff” for living here is $650. 

Finally, being the eternal optimist that I am, I look forward to the fact that I have longevity in my family (“certain restrictions apply”) and living to one hundred is a possibility. I’ll let Woody Allen take it from here:

“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”

My front door (obviously) I invite my Mandarin readers to tell me exactly what my front door says

As Chinese kitchens go, this is actually on the deluxe side. After all, the fridge is in here which makes it somewhat exceptional

The washroom with my oven/rotisserie

The “Ellen Gallery”

Finally, this empty room is no longer

Well who else did you expect to see?

my coffee table readings

My living room view. It’s not a particularly clear day. There are mountains in the distance

“The Office”

The office map; just in case, due to my advanced age, I actually forget which country I live in

The guest bathroom which is far niced than mine

The guestroom- anyone interested in staying?

The enclosed patio, off the guestroom

My walk-in closet which is actually another room across the hall

My bathroom. Strictly functional

My bedroom. The only sounds you’ll hear from this room is snoring; BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

The view from my room

Looking at my front door