Another extreme week in the 'ol Iraqi. I would tell you about the exciting events I've planned and executed with extreme poise (for my lack of training) but alas, the marker board has been erased and rolled onto the next week and it is so hard to remember all the details.

My pillows here are pancakes, so I ordered 2 new pillows online that are amazing! They are down temperpedic pillows and as my head sinks into them it's like floating into a dreamland cloud. I cut most of my evenings short this week and tried to be in bed before 11pm just to lay on my pillows. My motivation for getting out of bed has significantly reduced because it is so hard to lift my head up from the pillow. (It's that good) Maybe if I could strap it around my head and secure it in some fashion, I could make it to the gym in the AM. So- far, not happening.

Luckily, I got a shipment of XS (http://www.xsblast.com/default.aspx) so I am flying vitamin B!!! The thought of going to the fridge for an ice cold XS is what has detached me head from my pillow for the last 5 days.

However, to assure you that I have not idled into severe laziness, I have taken up lunch time jogging with my friend. We run about 2 miles in the dead of the afternoon figuring that if we can run 5miles in 114 degree heat, then how much more can we run in a regular climate. (We're working up to 5 ... ) The first day, we were seeing spots, but 2 weeks into training, we're really improving and I crave that time away from my desk. Subsequently my tan is finally coming along!

There was a Distinguished Visitor this week ... and I was the Protocol POC. Though I did not have contact with the DV I did have the secret secret schedule which made me feel vv important.

I also managed to get my car towed this week. Ha! You'd think that in Baghdad of all places I could stay friendly with the traffic officers. Apparently not. Luckily no parking tickets are distributed here (that I know of) but you CAN get your car towed.

The story is that someone had parked in my space, so I took the next available space. At 2100 when my friend was helping me carry out my bulky boxes of newly arrived pillows and XS and to my SUV, the car was gone. "You've got to be kidding me!"

Turns out the tow requester is a Director whom I had bailed out earlier in the afternoon, when refreshments had not been planned for an Iraqi Minister. Heh! See who throws together tea and crumpets for you next time Director.

It took me and entire day to track down where the car had been towed to. Starting at 8 am I talked and walked and asked and smiled and walked to an fro throughout the Embassy and my assistant walking to and fro outside the complex carrying the clicker hoping for a "chirp" from the alarm to reveal it's current parking location.

Not wanting to admit to the car towing and risk the ridicule from the boys, I finally humbled myself and went to the top security for help (I didn't think anyone knew, turns out, everyone did) We went to the tow locale and the car had been put into the shop "b/c something was wrong with it". I told them Yes, the ignition is loose and I have to start the car in Neutral--once had to have a local hot wire it for me--but it's a Ford, so it's going to run, so please give me back my car.

They told me they would service it for the next two weeks.

I told them, I needed a rental.
To which I received the most hysterical stare.
There are no rentals in Iraq?

After a bit of persistence, I was turned over the keys to an up armored suburban until the Ford is fixed. AND TODAY!!!! I got my car back! HOORAY!