“…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




4 thoughts on ““…Birthday greetings, bottle of wine…”

  1. Brian, just forget the number, enjoy doing what you do and live in the present.
    Gorgeous apartment btw, it seems you packed everything with you! Hope you’ll enjoy your party and happy birthday!

    Yours truly,

  2. Forget about the 60, well at least slip back into denial. I’m staring at it in two months and I’m not too happy about it. Thinking of going into a dark room for the day and not talking until the day is over.
    But the real story is that your place is incredible. So much nicer than my place (which is a house with a much higher mortgage), three times as big, two bathroom, two bedrooms, and more with incredible views. Jesus. As you know, if you had that in San Francisco it would easily at least hit $2 million.
    I’m sorry I haven’t kept up on your blog. I have no excuse that I can come up with either. But after 6 months searching, I’m at least hopeful that I might get a job offer next week. If I do, I’m flirting with telling them I can’t start for a week and visiting you before I go into the gulags with them. Because once I start digging mud with them, vacation will be a long, long ways away.
    Not promising anything, so I’ll keep you posted. It’s just an attractive idea. Besides the 60 that actually I can’t really face either, I’m really glad your’re happy in China and possibly living under a safer government than us. Well, definitely smarter.
    Again Happy Birthday and I wish you the best years of your life ahead, from one alien to another.

  3. One more head’s up Brian. I can’t wait to see you August 25, which will be two days before my death sentence of turning 60, but I do want you to be aware that the conservative loaded supreme court approved a revised version of Drumpf’s travel ban. So I’m not worried about you getting out of China, but I guess I’ll have to be on standby in case they take one look at you at SFO and say “fuck you, Muslims have been known for taking refuge in China for years and you don’t look very white to us. Take him into that other room”. So just call me before they take your cell away and i’ll be right over with my tough ass lesbian jewish lawyer (Grossman), who will intimidate and make mince meat out of those wimpy airport customs jerks. Make sure you have my cell # on speed dial. If I hear just one word “help”, I’ll know what to do. Getting out shouldn’t be a problem. Riff raff like you does not keep American Great Again!

  4. Here’s the basic definition for exception:

    The court said the ban could not be imposed on anyone who had “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

    So your whole success is ties to Sophie vouching for you. Better be nice to her…..

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