I've spent much of today debating the merits of the bank bailouts with friends from college. That's the beauty of the internet- doesn't matter if I was in France, another friend was in Singapore, and others were scattered throughout the USA. I also discovered something else these past few weeks: that I can listen to New York radio stations here in the comfort of my Lyon apartment.
Of course this technology has been around for a while, but having never taken advantage of it like this before, I find it pretty cool. Also, today for the first time, after paying $15 for the whole year, I listened to a spring training baseball game at mlb.com. The Cubs spanked the White Sox and I heard it all right here. For those who fear I'm not doing enough French, well, you're kind of right, but I have been watching some TV en Francais and doing a half hour of Rosetta Stone most days.
Meanwhile, while listening to good old news radio 880 out of Manhattan, I heard an advertisement for a new retirement community in Westchester County called The Club at Briarcliff Manor.
Hmmm. Is it just me or does anyone else want to retch when they hear some phony sounding name like that? Know where I'd like to spent my golden years? Dog Shit Acres. Or how about The Glades at Bite Me Meadows. Or even Sewage Treament Plant View Hills. Ugh. All of these places are so conformist you'll get a fine from the homeowners organization if your tulips are 3 centimeters too high. Assuming they even let you grow tulips. Maybe they only permit daffodils.
Know how I want to retire? I want to live on a big Christmas tree farm where I make my own goat cheese. I want to be visited on a semi-regular basis by my 10 kids and 50 grandchildren. I will spend my days serving Nolwenn, my wife of fifty years pitchers of homemade limeade and chocolate chip cookies. I want to have my own putting green, paddle tennis court, bowling alley, and batting cage. And skinny dipping pool with a basketball hoop to play water basketball. Not to mention my private bird observatory which I can observe from one of my seven indoor hot tubs. And I want to have a big library and a butler named Chesterton. And a pet parrot named Olaf. Who can swear in ten languages including Icelandic and Pig Latin. And because I love irony, I'll call the estate where I live out my days "Conformity Castle." That's how I'll end my days. With a big bad exclamation point!