“Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, the next stop is Vietnam…”

You probably have to be of a “certain age” and above all, American to know the song reference in the title of this blog. If not, “Google” it if you’re interested. I’ll leave it at that. I will in fact be going to Vietnam on December 19. More about that in a bit. The last update I posted was back at the beginning of June, so I thought I may as well fill readers in on the last five months here in Xi’an. There hasn’t been too much that’s noteworthy, which is why I haven’t posted these last five months. Obviously, I’m still teaching English at EF. We’ve had a few new teachers join the staff but no one has replaced my BFF, Azara who ran off to teach in Spain. Since I no longer have a “drinking buddy” I have largely stopped drinking alcohol as of the end of August. Well, I suppose that’s something noteworthy. I’ve been a pretty constant drinker since, oh, age 13. But since alcohol is the “low-hanging fruit” of calories, for the time being, I have reduced my consumption to a couple of drinks on my weekend. After quite literally a lifetime of drinking, it does feel different to not imbibe on an almost daily basis. I no longer even enjoy feeling inebriated. Having said all that, I do find it difficult to believe that this will be a permanent, new phase of my life. However, for the time being, and for the first time in forty-eight years (forty-nine if you count weed), I’m enjoying a largely drug-free lifestyle. “The wonder of it all!”

Turning to my status as a resident of China, I’m half-convinced that the Chinese government will not renew my work visa for April, 2019-2020 because I’m over the age when they don’t issue work visas. I will probably get more information in the upcoming months. So here’s “Plan B.” I’m focusing my next move on South America which is actually a place I wasn’t particularly interested in at any point in my life. I can thank the galaxy’s most venal, sleazy, two-bit grifting,bloviating and bloated thug who currently occupies the White House Russian-Annex (h/t: Nicole Wallace) for that change of heart. I’m becoming more and more convinced, especially with his tearing up of the IRBM treaty with the Russians, that the Tangerine Tornado is going to stumble and bumble the world into thermonuclear war. I’m calculating that South America will not be a particular high-priority target for anyone (although Central America may be on the failed mail-order meat salesman’s list) so I can ride out the initial catastrophe. Of course, the probable ensuing nuclear winter will ensure I, along with most humans will die off. That still gives me enough time to make my own arrangements for departing this mortal coil on my own terms. Gloomy prognostication? Oh, a tad.

Speaking of the “decomposing jack-o-lantern,” once again, I dressed up as the angry Creamsicle for Halloween. I went all in this year. Instead of a paper mask downloaded from the internet, I bought a mask off the internet (see below photos) I actually won “best teacher’s costume” award.

As long as we’re on the topic of “the butternut squash who wished upon a shooting star and became a real boy”, am I the only one who poses the question: When a Democratic-controlled House committee issues it’s first subpoena sometime in January and Fatfuck Von Fuckface stands in front of the TV machine cameras, tears it up, throws it at said cameras and announces: “You and who’s army are going to make me?” Then what, Dems? Then what? Just asking.

But enough about the Chairman of the Benito Mussolini fan club. On to Vietnam. This came up quite suddenly. My amazing daughter Sophie’s company is simply shutting down the for last week of December and she wanted to go somewhere special. She began working in her new career less than a year ago. As she likes to put it: She hires recruiters to recruit for a recruiting company. As her LinkedIn profile says, she has the most meta job in the world. By the way, it’s LinkedIn that she works for. Are you a recruiter looking for a new career in recruiting for a recruiter? Get in touch with her. She has lots of recruiting jobs to fill! Did I mention she recruits?

Vietnam is high on her list of places to visit. It’s also high on my list as well as Nancy’s. So we decided to push the envelope and cobble together a vacation there on very short notice. So I’m meeting them in Hanoi on December 19. Too bad Nancy’s sister Jane won’t be joining us in Hanoi. OK, who gets that oblique reference?

After a few days in Hanoi we’re going on an overnight cruise on Halong Bay. After that, we go back to Hanoi and fly to the resort island of Pho Quoc (sister island of Phuck Que) for three nights and from there we fly to Saigon (AKA: Ho Chi Minh City) Nothing against Ho but “Ho Chi Minh City” simply doesn’t roll off the tongue like “Saigon” does. There we’ll probably do a Mekong Delta tour. Then on December 30, we fly back to our respective homes. I expect to do some serious blogging about this vacation, so I’ll make up for the dearth of posting these last five months. I always like to quote Rachel Maddow in these situations; “Watch this space.”

Joke from 2016: Trump looks like “A guy who looks like he’s actually wearing a Donald Trump costume”


I really don’t make a good Trump, do I? I’m about 200 pounds too light.

In September I revisited the Terracotta Warriors. They haven’t aged a day since I last saw them two years ago. The lady in front of me is Kim; a new teacher from my hometown of LA. Belle is a former EF teacher from Beijing who came here to visit me.