Last night I was all set to write about something eclectic (traditional Korean music), but then I was pulled away from the computer by a big, pleasant surprise.  My wife took me out for my birthday, and some friends of ours joined us.  My birthday won’t arrive for a few more days, but I was happy to get out and celebrate the somber occasion (after about age 25, birthdays, become more somber than festive ).  What could be better than to celebrate your birthday with friends and loved ones on a weekend?  We went out for delicious Indian food and then for karaoke at a noraebang in Myeongdong.  Truth be told, I didn’t feel much like a party animal last night, but I was still happy to have been treated to a fun night on the town.  Two other couples with children escaped from home and joined us.  We had so much fun that we decided to get together every time one of us had a birthday.  All six of our birthdays are scattered throughout the year, so we can do it periodically.  From time to time, we’ll all plan to hire babysitters or nannies and treat ourselves to a night out. 
At the Indian restaurant we ate mango birthday cake.  I couldn’t believe it didn’t blow the candles out on the first try!  Shame on me.  Either my lungs are shrinking, or there were too many candles on the cake (probably the latter).   My friends gave me a T-shirt and a necktie.  The T-shirt reads "Army" in block letters–most likely a veiled attempt to con me into exercising and cadence calling, methinks.  I think I’ll pass.  The necktie is a nice red, silk tie.  It features an intricate pattern of cigarette lighters and ivy leaves.  I have no idea what subliminal message the tie’s pattern conjures, but I’m sure it’s meant to be comical.  Unfortunately, I’ve already ruined the tie.  I proudly wore it to work today, and like so many of my neckties, it’s already started to fray.  I am so distraught.  I’ve already thrown away a couple of good neckties gone bad.  All my ties have become victims of my workplace.  Virtually every day, they snag on the counter and fray at the ends.  I wore this tie once, and after just one day it started to unravel.  I’ve vowed not to wear any new ties to work until I move to a new job.  Neckties are much too expensive to replace frequently.  I’ll just keep wearing the frazzled ones.  Old and worn and frayed, just like me.

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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  1. Troy's Gravatar Troy
    November 1, 2005    

    Happy Birthday! …hehe, the red neck tie reminded me of the "third" dimmer switch lighting option in most hotels/condos there… ! – cheers.

  2. JL's Gravatar JL
    November 2, 2005    

    Happy Birthday! I know what you mean about birthdays after 25 being somber. I turned 36 on October 15th. I can’t believe 40 is only 4 years away!It seems like once you get married and have kids life goes WHOOOOSH! and all the sudden you are 10 years down the road.Anyway, nice blog you have here. I wish you the best.

  3. Angeline's Gravatar Angeline
    November 2, 2005    

    Happy belated Birthday to you, Milke! Angeline

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