Happy Halloween!

From Never Never Land

The party here was Thursday night. We started at the Italian Embassy, they were throwing a pizza party. Their Embassy has moved locations, but they have an even bigger back yard, so maybe 200 people were lounged on the lawn, either by the bon fire, or waiting in line for a slice right out of the brick oven. (of course, when you have wings, you fly to the front of the line and choose your toppings)

And then it rained. But luckily I brought my umbrella. Really the highlight of the night might have been the fact that out of 200 people, I was the only one in a costume. Bright green and glowing; wings, the whole nine yards. It was a Legally Blond moment, but just because everyone else were being Halloweeners (aka not in costume), it didn’t spoil the fun.

We loaded the shuttle around 2200 and headed back to Bagdaddy’s for the Embassy Costume party. Everyone was dressed up here, it was a pretty awesome party.

On Friday morning I woke up to the smell of dust permeating the air, and the pitter-patter of raindrops mixed with rolls of thunder. When I couldn’t stand the smell of dusty mud anymore I got up for breakfast and enjoyed the rain sitting outside and writing letters to home.

I’ve seen it rain in Baghdad before, which is a really big problem for the city because of a lack of drainage, but this was the first really good storm that lasted a whole day. Since it never rains in Cali, I remember the last rain storm I was in was a summer storm in Maryland this July. JZ picked me up from BWI and we had an Oscar worthy breakfast, and on our drive home it stormed.

Just enough to cool off the air and leave that “fresh, just rained” summer scent for us to enjoy while running through the park. After the storm here, the clouds rolled away and the air was the cleanest it’s been in months. Walking outside into the sunshine, I was overcome with familiarity. I can’t pin point what exactly was so familiar, or which particular feeling it brought back, but it was enough to remind myself, I’ve been here, I’ve done this, I can do it.

Last night I passed by the Cornish, which by the way I hate this nickname for the patio, where some acquaintances were set up with wine and cheese. They brought out plates, silverware, even a table dressing to enjoy their food, drink and time. We joined them, and the conversation quickly turned into plans for a “reunion”. I remembered I had had a reunion with my best buds on Party Island. (Is there anything I haven't done here?)

I'm taking tennis lessons. My awesome coach says I'm a natural. I left out the detail that I've had summer lessons for a dozen years of my life and am still pretty much a beginner, but he seems assured I'm picking it up just fine. My cross court shot is almost perfected. My other venture to pass the time is dominos. (I just learned the actual game, not set them up in formation to tip one into the other) Series score currently stands at 1-1.