October 22, 1998 (#24), (and before ...)

I just flew in from Poughkeepsie and oh, my aching arms. Imagine all that flapping with all those heavy bracelets. I dropped my spectacles somewhere over Nyack.

I feel somewhat like the Washington groundhog poking my head out and wondering, will we have 6 more years of the Clinton Inquisition - or only 2?

What a summer. What a fall for that matter.

A simply lovely trip to Syria in the dead of summer. From Damascus to Qamashli - across the Syrian desert in an un-airconditioned van during a heat wave. I discovered that polyester doesn't melt even at 120 degrees Fahrenheit - but I do and so did my eyelash adhesive. Not very pretty.

A treasure!"Why Trudy, what on earth ever possessed you to visit those infidels!" My sweet misguided hookahs, it was lovely. I meet the most wonderful people who were just so pleasant. I saw an ancient civilization slowly emerging from the ground (I was a guest of an archaeological site.). I bought the MOST charming tissue box cover decorated to look like an overly ornate white couch. Where else on earth....

Abattoir is really the only reason I ever made it back. While trying to leave the country, I made a lovely purchase of what the salesman told me was a 'very old' rug for an extremely low price. Darlings, I wasn't born yesterday. In fact, I was born quite a few yesterdays ago and know better. This rug, hardly qualified in the antique category unless you consider Diet Coke cans on the side of the road national treasures. Well, the customs official and I entered into a slight disagreement over whether or not this piece of herculon was an antiquity. I spoke French. He spoke Arabic. He had a gun. He was winning. Oh, I was so indignant. But Abattoir, in that special foreign way of his, simply plopped out a few bills and everyone got very silent and smiley. It was extremely tawdry, but we were in danger of missing our flight.

A few thoughts on Syria - I don't think the women there have much fun. Although, since I didn't see much of them, I really can't be to sure about that. The men hold hands and touch each other - the straight men! Mind boggling. I trailed a lovely couple, a military man and his friend, for at least 2 blocks. Now can you imagine two straight men holding hands down Main Street USA simply because they wanted to express their affection? I was under the impression that Americans expressed their affection by punching each other.

I went to a Turkish bath. It was summer. I went to the sauna in the Turkish bath. It was summer. They served me hot tea. It was summer, it was a heat wave.I'm not sure whether or not I survived.

I also managed to bring back all sort of little friends which involved a few trips to the doctor upon my return and left me looking like I had just been involved in a crash diet and didn't wear my seat belt.

But I imagine the crowning moment of my voyage was at the little 4th of July party near the Turkish border. The local mayor of the village organized a small party for the few Americans and Europeans for the 4th. He had the local baker make a special Statue of Liberty cake in our honour. But no one could imagine such an important figure as Lady Liberty being female - so, the dears put a beard on her. I choked and nearly ruined a perfectly lovely linen blouse.

On to Missouri in August, watching my mother turn older. A rather large garden party celebrating the event until my niece decided she was deathly allergic to pignoli. We are a family that bathes in pignoli. I nearly lobotomized myself putting in a hatpin in the middle of the night while trying to calm the poor swollen thing on the way to the local hospital. Cecily darling, you swole up like a weak spot on a garden hose under pressure.

Then off to Southern California to watch two intelligent human beings bind themselves to each other under the stars and attended by at least 18,000 gnats. I was matron of honor. I held the bouquet and looked envious. I do love an outdoor wedding, but my little primroses, remember that's why god invented veils. I'm sure I made a spectacle of myself, but all I can remember is sitting at a table with all these gentlemen discussing Fantasy Football. It seems you choose your teams based on someone's statistics and this and that and if you're very, very interested to keep doing it until someone wins something and I tried very hard to be interested in the conversation but I kept drinking champagne and eventually waddled off to the kitchen to talk to the cook. Somewhere in there, the bride's wedding ring ended up in my pocketbook and all I can say is relations are very strained but I'm sure nobody really believes the horrible accusations from the 5 year old menace who was hiding out in the bathroom.

After California (I just love California), it seems it was all Monica and William and please, don't take me there.

And most recently and most amazingly, I was invited to see Terence McNally's "Corpus Christi" the night before opening night. What a lovely thing. I wonder if anyone will understand how truly sweet it is. Unfortunately the critics have not been kind. And it is not un-flawed. But personally I think that merely adds to the experience. I won't say another word - it may be coming to a high school near you - in approximately 300 years.

Oh, and please do vote on November 3, even if you vote for the wrong candidate...