It's my birthday this week, and my wife will be taking me out for a fine repast, though she already knocked me out with a great surprise on Saturday night--an evening at Blue Smoke with Argentine nuevo tango master Pablo Ziegler. If you haven't been introduced to his tango-jazz music, you can check it out here. Imagine the music with a tasty plate of ribs smoked over hickory, and you've got the flavor of the evening. Just add, in your mind, a lot of rich white people. OK, maybe a few young Asian aficionados, too. Who knew? This is too much fun for an old person. Last week, my friend Jenny got several of her friends together for "A Taste of Oaxaca," replete with quesadillas, mole chicken and a variety of mezcals. A perfect New York party with smart talk, good food, and liquor that alternatively finished like sweet vanilla and an ice pick in the brain. Since I've partied so much in the last week, if you include Thanksgiving, I've decided to sort of keep my birthday itself low key. I'm going to sleep in and read, and hopefully I'll get some fiction done before night's end. Now that I've passed 40, I don't feel the need to throw myself a big party again. OK, maybe not until I'm 50. After the year I've had, with so much loss, and yet also so much more to find myself thankful for, I kind of feel like every day is my birthday now.