Paris Diaries: Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher*
Now playing: Eileen - Ces Bottes Sont Faites Pour Marcher
via FoxyTunes

I had been impressed the day before with the Sauvage's maturity, and even the gentility, with which he accepted my departure. I would not have taken it nearly as well; in fact I probably would have reacted like a Machiavellian villain had the tables been turned and done something typically understated like poisoning an entire convent (The Jew of Malta). In the night, however, the Sauvage decided that I ceased to exist.

He got up and went downstairs to work on the car without a word to me. I stayed upstairs taking tylenol PM to moderate my fever and rising anxiety. I saw trying to read In Ruins and pondering how I had gotten myself into another fine mess. Nana came in at one in the afternoon and offered me some crackers, it was the first contact and food I had that day. I gave her one of the candy canes I had stashed for her in my bag. At around three in the afternoon, about the time I was hoping to check into the hotel, there was no word about when I would be able to get out of this place. I didn't want to lose my reservation. I asked Nana what was going on with her father. As usual when I spoke to her, she seemed not to understand me and finally she took me downstairs to where her father was working on the car. If I had any ideas about this being an amicable separation, they were immediately eliminated. The Sauvage was now so disgusted by me he couldn't look at me and could barely suffer to spit a few syllables at me. When I finally was able to get an answer out of him about when the car might be ready, two hours or so, I went upstairs to look for the number of the hotel on his computer.

While I was looking, I happened to see in his browser history a web address called juggmaster. Now a smart person would have ignored the browser history, a smart person would say "That's none of my business" and go to the matter at hand-making sure that the hotel would accept me.

I've never done the smart thing. In fact, if I had, I would never have gone to Paris alone. or found myself in an affair with a Parisian.

Juggmaster was exactly as one would expect, a porn site for men who like big breasts. I remembered that second night we were together when he assured me that he wouldn't fall for another woman and told me he avoided women for the year after his wife left until he met me. I asked him why me, why was I the first woman he went for and he hadn't been able to answer; he had simply shrugged. Now I knew why. There was no je ne sais quoi, no mystery, no magic, no romance. It was as simple as he saw a girl at the next table who looked like his middle aged sex fantasy and because I was emotional and weak and feeling lost and I responded.

When love dies it's hard to know what was real and what wasn't. There is always the temptation to think it was all a lie. It's easier to believe that the person never loved you than to believe that they once did. I sat there thinking he had just wanted me for sex, but if that was true what about taking me to meet his parents? What about Provins and the Eiffel Tower? What about the complete and utter lack of hot monkey love on the computer camera? It couldn't be that he just wanted me for sex, could it?

Could it?

In truth, it didn't matter. Whether he wanted me for sex or conversation or interpretive dance, the relationship, such as it was, was over. What I needed to do was focus on getting a hotel room.

I found the number and struggled to figure out how to make a local call, but I finally got through to the hotel and informed them I would be arriving in the evening. The lovely and bilingual woman I spoke to said that it would be fine.

After the car was finally fixed, the Sauvage invited the mechanic upstairs. They all stood in the kitchen and had a drink. The Sauvage introduced the mechanic to Nana, while I was left completely unacknowledged and ignored in the living room. I had passed into the realm of the non-existent, the untouchable. I was a ghost. Even a stranger warranted more effort than I did.

After the mechanic left, the Sauvage threw my shoes at me-barking that it was time to leave-as if I hadn't been desperately waiting for this moment all day. I got my bags into the car, this time unassisted. As we were driving the Sauvage informed me that he would just take me to a cab stand, I asked him to stop at an ATM so I would have enough cash. He did manage to acquiesce to that request,before dropping me off with about the same level of emotional investment one might have for a sack of mouldering potatoes. I wrestled my bags from the car on my own and gave Nana the last of the candy canes. He wasn't even looking out the window to watch my progress. Finally I knocked on the window so he knew he could leave and turned my back on him. If he expected begging and a tearful good-bye, I was going to be god damned before he got it from me. He drove off without even a casual glance.

I smiled at the cab driver who helped me with my bags and off I went to the Champs Elysees. I realized that this trip was something like the trip I took in May in reverse. Instead of now a sudden abduction to a private home, now I was suddenly being returned to the world of hotels and restaurants. In the cab I wondered, briefly, if he expected me to have changed my mind in the night? Had he really thought I would break up with him capriciously and then make up with him in the wee hours of the morning? Was I supposed to beg his forgiveness? If he thought hsi change in behavior would provoke such a reaction, he really didn't know who he was dealing with.

The cab pulled up to the hotel and I quickly checked in. I've never been so happy to see french windows, white sheets, and a clean sweet smelling bathroom. In fact, the hotel room surpassed my dreams-there were chocolates on the pillows, rose petals on the bathroom and a beautiful view of the rooftops of Paris. I called Bakerina and informed her that the escape was fait accompli. I was starving and discovered a bag of printer spice cookies I had packed as a plane snack. As I devoured the bag, I swore silently to myself I would never EVER be without these cookies as long as I lived.1

Properly fortified I found the energy to quickly go out and scavenge for more food as well as investigate my new hood. I found a cafe and ordered a kir as an American couple ordered a pina coloda and a corona. I opened my notebook to write about my disapproval as my salad arrived noting "If ANY of my friends EVER order a Pina Colada in Paris, especially in the dead of winter, there will be beheadings ALL AROUND! . I felt reassured by this series of events-American idiocy, my disapproval, the writing of taunts. This was how things were meant to go. While slowly grazing, I managed to write a list places I wanted to go in Paris now that I was free to go wherever I wanted.

Over the sound system Sam Cook's song "Wonderful World (Don't Know Much)", started to play. I listened to the lyrics "Don't know much about the French I took. But I do know that I love you,
And I know that if you love me too, What a wonderful world this would be." I had a moment of regret for the Sauvage. After all, the man must have cared for me, had saved me once. And then I thought, he would always have the love of his daughter to comfort him.

And me?

I had all the world.

* These Boots Are Made For Walking
1 This promise is an homage to my father's favorite line from Joe Versus the Volcano "Wherever we go, whatever we do....let's take this luggage!"

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Paris Diaries: À la Cherche du Temps Perdu*
"It is thus that we are warned at each step of our nothingness; man goes to meditate on the ruins of empires;he forgets that he is himself a ruin still more unsteady..." Chateaubriand meditating on the Colosseum

Archeology by Katha Pollit

You knew the odds on failure from the start
that morning you first saw or thought you saw,
beneath the heatstruck plains of a second-rate country
the outline of buried cities. A thousand to one
you'd turn up nothing more than the rubbish heap
of a poor Near Eastern backwater:
a few chipped beads,
splinters of glass and pottery, broken tablets
whose secret lore, laboriously deciphered,
would prove to be only a collection of ancient grocery lists.
Still, the train moved away from the station without you.

How many lives ago
was that? How many choices?
Now that you've got your bushelful of shards
do you say, give me back my years
or wrap yourself in the distant
glitter of desert stars,
telling yourself it was foolish after all
to have dreamed of uncovering
some fluent vessel, the bronze head of a god?
Pack up your fragments. Let the simoom
flatten the digging site. Now come
the passionate midnights in the museum basement
when out of that random rubble you'll invent
the dusty market smelling of sheep and spices,
streets, palmy gardens, courtyards set with wells
to which, in the blue of evening, one by one
come strong veiled women, bearing their perfect jars.

I hid for as long as I could in the computer room afraid of how he would respond to this break up. He came into to fetch me for dinner. We ate in silence, but I could barely keep anything down. The whole situation made me sick. It seemed that I was more upset by this turn of events than he was as he amiable chewed away at his dinner. Perhaps it was male bravado, perhaps I imagined myself more important than I really was. Still I managed a few bites, and instead of forcing more food on me when I refused seconds, for the first time he honored the request. After dinner, I was exhausted partially because I was still voiceless and ill, but also from the fact that I no longer had any regular advil and the only way to control my fever was half doses of tylenol PM. After our coffee, he made the bed for me. He would again sleep with his daughter. As I got into bed he sat besides me and took my hand. "Ce n'est pas grave," he said as looked into my eyes. "It is serious for you," I responded in French. If I had better command of the language I like to think I would have said something inspiring or comfortin,g as it was all I could do was blunder through this as I had blundered through everything else.

"Non," he said, "C'est la vie." He looked at me and there was a moment I wanted to kiss and hold him. To tell him that I was sorry, that I never meant to hurt him. That he had meant more to me than he could know. That I had really loved him. If only he had been this understanding before...maybe things would be different...Had I just acted on that impulse maybe things would have changed, but as I sat there wondering if I should hug him, he got up and left the room.

I didn't sleep that night even after taking a Keith Richard's sized dose of tylenol PM. I lay in that bed thinking about our relationship-the first night I spent with him eating chinese food, how he had begged me to stay with him, him telling me he adored me, the Eiffel Tower, Provins, making out at the beach, eating Koring Amande. I looked at the dark room thinking "I was happy here once. Where did that happiness go? Where does love go? We live in the ruins of how many loves? How many past selves? Why can't we get it back?"

I had been reading in In Ruins about a Father LeSueur, who "chose to live in ruins" and claimed to be a "ruins consultant." "Aren't we all?" I thought looking at the yellow brocade material that was stapled to the chair.

I have a basic inability to understand the passage of time. I'll recall some event with amazing clarity and then realize it happened 2, 5, 7, 15 years ago. "How did that happen?" I wonder. "When did all this time pass? How did they not dull the memory of it for just a moment?" We accept the loss of each moment as a given. My students, if they knew I mused on things like how casually we come to accept the loss of each minute, would think me both mad and insipid. "Of course, time passes" they would say. But "How do we accept the quick and fluid way by which we lose each second never to be able to reclaim it? You look around a room and it looks no different than it did 5 minutes ago, yet you can not relive those 5 minutes, not even completely in memory. And this loss seems so natural. But the popularity of the idea of time travek-like in Time Machine or Jack Finney's Time and Again or even Dr. Who suggests that on some level we believe that all those moment still exist just beyond our reach. If only we could step sideways or pull aside the thin membrane that seperates then from now, we could have those moments back.

I lay in that room trying to find my way past that veil, to reach back to that love, but like all of the moments leading up to that one, it was already gone.

* In Search of Lost Time-a rough translation

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Paris Diaries: Vengeance, Thy Name is Bunni
"Through me enter the population of loss" Canto 3 Dante's Inferno

"Everyone lies, good guys lose, and love does not triumph over all" Swimming With Sharks

After midnight, Nana was ushered to bed. While far from well, I was much stronger and more aware than the night before. I got into bed, the Sauvage took off his clothes and tried to seduce me. "Not tonight," I said, "I'm sick." "You said no last night too" he responded. This was the same man who hours earlier was joking about burning his fingers on my skin my fever was so high. "I was sick last night too." He tried to push forward, but I was strong enough to push back. "I need my rest," I said to him, "I'll make love tomorrow." "It's difficult for me, you understand," he said, "I've been waiting for so long."

If I had enough French, I would have said "If you've waited so long, one more day won't matter. What about during our vacation in August when you weren't in the mood for four days in a row? Wasn't I supposed to be understanding? Hadn't I been? But now when I am sick, I am still supposed to be une putain respectueuse?" 1. Had I not been furious about the night before, I was certainly enraged about this. I'm all about Quid Pro Quo. If I respect your health issues, then you damn well better respect mine or I'll give you some health issues to respect.

After I made it clear I could not be reasoned with or forced, he fell asleep as did I. I woke at 2:11 to an empty bed. The Sauvage had gone to sleep with Nana in her room and meticulously closed all the doors between him and me. I went back into the living room ambivalent about what he had done. Was this a punishment for denying him sex? Was he really playing his love for his daughter to make me jealous? And why did I feel both relieved and insulted at the same time?

I returned to the bedroom and slept uneasily. I woke at 8:15 and waited for signs of life in the other room. In the past ,Nana was an early riser, but by 10:45 they still weren't awake. I sat and read 40 pages of In Ruins. Then I made a pot of tea.

Finally, I contemplated my options. I wrote them down in my journal as follows:

1. stay here and hope things change
2. find a hotel in Paris and convalesce there until my return state side
3. book a flight to Florence, Venice, or Edinburgh
4. see if I can change my ticket for an earlier flight

I looked at the clock and thought "Christ, if I was home, I would just be stumbling back from some bar or party about now." I assessed my current health condition in terms of traveling-I still had a fever, my body ached, and my throat was sore-not a good condition for a plane, but certainly well enough to get to a hotel. I looked out at Paris and thought, "I just want to go home. I want to curl up with my cat and some theraflu. If I can't do that I want a nice lush hotel with clean sheets and fluffy covers. Someplace safe. Someplace where I can be sick in my own way and not have to fend off advances or choke down dinner. Someplace where I can be alone."

I knew one thing-staying with the Sauvage was not an option.

As I sat reading and waiting and planning and contemplating, I realized what he was doing. He was trying to give me a taste of my own medicine. I spent yesterday sleeping because I was horribly ill-so now he was holing up with his daughter to teach me a lesson. And I began to realize what kind of person I was dealing with. As I said, language can only protect you for so long-sooner or later character comes through . What he didn't realize was that he just making my decision easier and giving me more time to plan how to escape.

At 11:30, he finally surfaced, and I discovered that I had no voice, literally. He was affectionate with me acting as if he hadn't gotten up in the middle of the night leaving me sick alone in bed. When I asked him why he changed beds, he claimed the bed hurt his back. Funny how that never happened before. He asked if I want to see a doctor. I reflected on this option, but what good would it do? Would the doctor even be able to understand me? And if he could, would I be able to understand him. And even so, it was just a bad flu. All I needed was rest and some tea with honey and to get my ass back to the land of martinis and manicures.

The Sauvage lit up a cigarette. His constant smoking certainly hadn't helped my recovery. I sat at the table with Nana preparing to suffer through another meal as the Sauvage fussing in the kitcheb. I told myself that as soon as the meal is over I could excuse myself to use his computer and begin to investigate my options, contact Air France or American Express, comparison shop on travelocity and If the meals weren't hard enough to bear, Nana is a mouth breather and chews with her mouth open all the time. She reminds me of Jim Carey's comment that when an elderly person eats a sandwich it doesn't sound like a meal, it sounds like a fight for life. It's a production of lip smacks, snuffles, and more views of semi masticated food than I ever wanted to see that if you were to listen to it would make you think of someone fighting off being smothered with a pillow rather than trying to consume food-and I remind you I used to accompany my father on rounds at the hospital often. I saw pictures of operations in progress on the cover of my father's medical journals while I was eating dinner. I'm far from squemish, but something about this girl's eating habits was worse than watching a tracheotomy while eating pasta with marinara. 2

After lunch, I vanished into the computer room. I searched through flights, tried to contact Air France, instructed Bakerina to contact my mother to see if she could help with my flight plans from that side. I discovered that going anywhere else was cheaper than staying in Paris. I pondered the story to give to the Sauvage. I could have told him it was a family emergency. He had to drive me to Charles de Gaulle because my grandmother is dying. While I'm online, he came in a few times to check on me and attempted to kiss and cuddle. I resisted. I instinctively shrank from his touch. And this is how I knew it was over. I knew that I never wanted him to touch me again, and I was willing to leave the country to avoid it.

The only question was how I was going to tell him.

In typical Bunni fashion, while I was pondering this very issue, he came in again. There is a time for thought, and there is a time for action. While I hadn't planned what to say to him, never mind bothered to translate it, or write it down since I couldn't talk, I found myself telling him that I couldn't be his lover anymore.

You may not need language for love, but you do need it to break up.

I tried to explain in French with my choked voice, and he looked at me like a dog that had just been shown a card trick. I pulled up altavista's babelfish and began to type into the translator. "I can't stay here. When I'm sick, I need to be alone. I'm sorry. It's not your fault." He asked me in French, "Why did you come here?" "Because of you" I told him. He explained that he changed his entire vacation for me as if I hadn't FLOWN ACROSS A FUCKING OCEAN FOR HIM...THREE TIMES. What indiginity had I not suffered for this man and he had the balls to tell me he changed his vacation for me? Pardon me while I call the entire string section of the Boston Pops to play MoonRiver just for him. But even in the face of all this I controlled my rage, partially because I still needed him to get wherever the fuck I was going, but also because I didn't have the energy to translate my anger.

I typed into the translator "This is not how I wanted things to go. I did not plan this, but I can not stay with you." He asked me what I want to do. I explained that I was going to go to Venice or Florence. "All I need is a ride to Charles de Gaulle" I typed into the translator. "Why not stay here?"he asked me. "Because" I typed "it would make me sad to stay in Paris without you." He offered the following plan: you stay here in my apartment and I'll go stay with my parents.

While sweet, it demonstrated the same utter lack of thought I had come to associate with him, and I've never suffered fools gladly in any language. He lived in a remote area of Paris that I could not easily navigate. It was definitely the type of place someone needed to be fluent in French to survive, and I didn't even know where the metro station was. Or put more simply, I wanted to be rid of ALL of him, his apartment and its funky smells included. I didn't want to just get rid of him-I couldn't take the haunting smell of phantom cat piss. And I was willing to pay the price.

I shook my head gently. He seemed adamant that I stay in Paris even if I left him. I didn't understand why, but I thought maybe he wanted to "be friends" and do things together. Finally, despite the expense, I told him I would find a hotel in Paris, and he agreed that the following day he would drop me at the hotel. Because as heartless as I say I am, I'm not half the black hearted whore I wish I was.

The truth is, as I lamented to Bakerina and Rabbitch online, I just wanted to go home, order two pitchers of beer, 50 buffalo wings, and hang out with my girlfriends and bitch about men. I wanted to put on my bunny slippers and hang out in my pjs for a week eating Ben and Jerry's while telling my cat how lucky she was that us fat assed bitches had each other. But instead, even now, I thought about his feelings and looked for a hotel in Paris. I found a lovely one, right by the L'arc de Triumph. I figured Napoleon, being a short hostile person himself, would have my back. I booked the hotel as I listened to the Sauvage in the other room call his parents and feign happiness about the change in plans.

Soon, I thought as I confirmed my reservation, soon I'll be free.

1 A Respectful Whore
2 Before you counter with, "But she's just 9" I'll tell you at 9 my nickname was Miss Manners. I often corrected my father at the dinner table for eating with his mouth open as my parents raised me to be polite and proper at the dinner table even if it was just the family.

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Paris Diaries: Auld Lang Syne
I managed to struggle out of the bedroom in time for dinner. While I thought that the sleep was restorative, the moment I sat down at the table I realized how much of an illusion that was. I felt immediately dizzy and wanted to go back and lie down, but I knew I had struggle through dinner. It was New Year's Eve. The whole reason I had flown here was to celebrate the beginning of a new year with someone I cared about.

Well, that's not entirely true. The reason I flew here was to avoid yet another depressing dateless New Year's Eve watching everyone else kiss-feeling that the entire world felt love except for me. So to say that I traveled here because I loved the Sauvage is a lie. I traveled here to have a good time. And now I was going to.

Even if it killed me.

While I didn't remember the Sauvage's cooking being so poor the last time, this time I could barely palate the food. He didn't really prepare anything as much as open a can and pour butter or cheese (or in some cases both) over it. The Sauvage had a tin of pate, "breton pate" he proudly announced and put it on the table. While I normally love pate, when pate is simply emptied from a tin onto a plate complete with congealed fat it looks suspiciously like Fancy Feast. The Sauvage put some on my plate, and I managed to eat some without thinking too much about what it looked like. He ate huge datty chucks of it. Watching him eat it made me sick. I choked down my meal and like last time he kept heaping more food on my plate before it was even done.

After dinner, we sat watching Sarkozy on TV as he announced that Paris would be smoke free after midnight 2007. No smoking in cafes or restaurants after midnight he proclaimed, or so the Sauvage told me as I stared out at the night sky. How I loved sitting in Parisian cafes smoking and writing in my journal feeling very Colette or Simone de Beauvoir depending on the nature of what it was I was writing. "Is there no safe place to smoke anymore?" I thought as I stared at the night sky. *

The French, as I observed on my first trip, smoke like it's a second profession. In this respect they are much like all the Russians I've met. It almost constitutes a food group for them. And considering that these are the same group of people who rioted when Ubu Roi walked on stage and proclaimed "Merde!" I thought this might well mark a second Reign of Terror or at the very least une semaine sanglate ( a bloody week). I was, briefly, happy to be on the outskirts of Paris lest violence breakout. "Let them storm the Hotel de Ville" I thought, "I want to be a safe distance from it."

I began to think that the only place to enjoy a smoke anymore is NJ and that's just all kinds of wrong. It did, however, I thought, consistute a fairly sizable incitement to boosting the tourist trade-smoker tourism. Come to NJ, you can smoke...AND DIE HERE FOR ALL WE CARE. (In fact, dying is the one way to get of NJ without having to pay a toll.)1

After the Sarkozy, the Sauvage turned on a French comic whose name I have forgotten. The comedian's toilet humor was completely intelligible despite the language issue. At one point, he pulled a couple from the audience and had them go behind a curtain at which a most obscene shadow play took place featuring predictable visual jokes about schlong size and sex. It was the type of performance that made "There's Something About Mary" look like "Waiting for Godot." I lost interest quickly and ended up sitting on the edge of the couch reading In Ruins: A Journey Through History, Art, and Literature. The Sauvage would occassionally look questioningly at me, but I kept on reading intentionally avoiding his gaze until he turned back to the TV.

Language, or the absense, can only protect someone for so long. I could project a noble character onto the Sauvage only for so long-and now, even with my best efforts, I found myself beginning to dislike him and furthermore look down on him. Guffawing at this predictable puerile drivel, I knew that there was a lot more separating us than a common language. And regardless of country or nationality, I know where that emotion leads in a relationship.

The comedy show blissfully ends, and now we are watching other Parisians on TV wait breathelessly for the New Year by the Eiffel Tower. It's not so different than the programs on TV in New York, live celebrity performances, the cameras sweeping the crowds, people dressed in bright colored fright wigs, novelty glasses, mis matching bright clothes, teenagers dancing, people drinking, smiling, kissing, hollering and waving at the camera for their 15 seconds of fame. "Would I feel this way if I was there celebrating with these Parisians?" I wondered. "If the Sauvage's car was working and he took me there himself, would I love him again? If we were sitting by that glittering Tower with thousands (or at least hundreds) of other people, would I still feel so sad, so empty? Would I have loved him longer? Better? Would I be happier? Is the death of this love really the result of his car trouble?" I pondered these questions and others.

I walked out onto the balcony alone and listened to the Parisians whoop and grind their noise makers as I reflected how these minor events may have entirely blown yet another love affair. The sounds filled the night for a good thirty minutes. There would be a brief break in the caccophany and then a whistle or a shout and like a lone dog howling the other revellers would quickly join in.

In NY, the same situation would make me sad, listening to those other parties.I wondered if this latest failed love affair was my fault? Am I solitary person by nature? Am I like an autistic who longs to be hugged, but can not stand the sensation when it happens? Do I chase love, only to find I can't stand it?

I stood out on the balcony until I was freezing, until I was shaking, until I couldn't take it anymore, until the distant sounds of celebration finally died.

* While I am not a regular smoker, I am rather attached to smoking under certain circumstances-writing in Parisian cafes and when I go to Jazz clubs. In this case I agree with Jeff Cesario, "It's not a Jazz club unless when you ask the bartender for the no smoking section, his response is 'You better lay down on the floor.'"

1 I have since been informed that even the Garden State has outlawed smoking, which means we might all have to travel to St Petersburg to be able to enjoy a good ciggie now and then indoors.

In reference to the NJ death toll joke, my father is buried in NJ. That was a family joke "Leave it to a Jew to find the one way to get out of NJ without paying the toll."

I Love the 80s: Over
Ahhhhhh as much as love the 80s, I'm glad that, much like this year's thon, they are over. I really couldn't go back to wearing off center ponytales on my head or wearing a parachute pants and Miami Vice....and the beginning of Oprah....and tele-evangelists...

While I would like to take the time to gracefully thank all of you for your support, I'm exhausted. Sufficed to say a big thanks to Day of Blogs for organizing all of this. To all of my sponsors, you will be getting personal thank yous when I awaken from my coma. To the Plurktopians for showing such strong support especially Tiffany, Wendell, Baker Jen, and Wayne. (If I left you out, please let me know.) To Office Elf for putting up a Facebook note, and Bakerina and Julie for rocking both Twitter and Plurk to get sponsors and support. To my Blogmonkey for sending people this way. To my hunni bunni for texting me to make sure that posts were up all the way until 5 am. (Poor sleepy thing.) To my fabulous monitor Li, who left me oodles o' comments. To Nikki for chatting with me on AIM and featuring me on her blog as well as giving my advice. To metchat and plurk for helping me with material. To HAL for not exploding. To TNT for showing the best X Files episodes tonight. And if I somehow forgot you, thanks for understanding that I am so sleep deprived I can't be held accountable.

In terms of sponsorship, like with past 'thons, I shall keep sponsorship open for another 24 hours. It's not as much fun now that you KNOW I finished it, but hey considering the lack of lead time, I need those 24 hours. (And Nikki I will donate to your fundraiser when I awake I swear.) So keep harassing people to donate.

If I may quote the end of Celebrity Deathmatch....Good fight, good night.

And now I go to bed. Thanks all.

I Love the 80s: Legwarmers

Ohhhhhhhh I LERVE ME SOME LEGWARMERS. I might put some on right now and re-enact Flashdance. (No, I won't but you can imagine.) Here Olivia Newton John wdemonstrated the proper way to sport them....with a matching headband of course! I can't tell you how happy I was when these bastards came back into fashion. I ran all the way to danskin so I could relive my golden days of yore. Well, truthfully I was too young to wear the warmers with heels a look popularized in the 80s-so it made extra exciting to finally live the dream! Olivia sang the 80s hit Physical.

In retrospect I can not, for the life of me, explain why this song was a hit. Perhaps the Solid Gold Dancers were involved in a secret conspiracy with John. Hey, it could happen.

I Love the 80s:Cola Wars
While being the era of the battle of the network stars, the 80s also served as a battleground for America's cola choice spawning some classic ads like Coke is It! and Max Headroom's "Catch the Wave." Michael Jackson schilled for Pepsi: the New Generation until this ad when his hair caught fire.

In typical 80s fashion the competition for the number one beverage choice in America escalated until in 1985, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were launched into space aboard the Space Shuttle on STS-51-F The companies had designed special cans for use in zero G conditions but failed to work on the refrigeration and gravity problems. The experiment was deemed a failure by the crew, but gets serious points for me for sheer wackiness. Classically 80s.

I Love the 80s: Ewoks

Well HAL 2.0 went a little wonky and ate YET ANOTHER POST. .....OH.......THE.....PAIN.

George Lucas created the Ewoks because he wanted Return of the Jedi (1983) to feature a tribe of primitive creatures that bring down the technological Empire. He had originally intended the scenes to be set on the Wookie home planet, but as the film series evolved, the Wookies became technologically skilled. Lucas designed a new species instead, and says his approach was simple: Wookies are tall, so he made Ewoks short.

I liked the Ewoks because I'm a little thing (let's say Alexander the Great would have loved me). The casting call for the Ewoks was the largest casting call for the little people since the Wizard of Oz. While I was watching a making of documentary, a VO proclaimed that many of the actors who showed for the audition were told for the first time they were TOO TALL. My heart just broke. I would have started weeping openly.

So yeah, not as cool as a planet of Wookies, but they gave work to a lot of talented little actors. Thanks Ewoks.

I Love the 80s:Allergy Break
Maila "Vampira" Nurmi attempted to sue for alleged unauthorized use of her likeness and character., Elvira's closing line for each show, wishing her audience "Unpleasant dreams," was notably similar to Vampira's closer: "Bad dreams, darlings..." uttered as she walked off down a misty corridor. The court ruled in favor of Peterson, holding that "'likeness' means actual representation of another person's appearance, and not simply close resemblance." Peterson claimed that Elvira was nothing like Vampira aside from the basic design of the black dress and black hair. Nurmi herself claimed that Vampira's image was based on a Charles Addams' character in The New Yorker magazine. Elvira was a spokesperson for Coors beer in 1988. (A serious departure from Mark Harmon.

Well it seems being up all night has given me a fit of sneezies so I need to take some meds and have some tea. Check back here at 7:30 for more madness.

Tiffany, I am going to propose that you get sainted. Seriously you are awesome.

I Love the 80s: Elvira

I grew up an insomniac in a small town where there was nothing to do after 9 pm. Even with cable, the nights were long and usually filled with soft core porn, which considering my age wasn't enticing. Luckily Elvira was around.

Cassandra Peterson was originally cast to revive a character, once befriended by Ed Wood. Unfortunately a law suit barred the way. (Name the character/actress who sued. ) Thus Elvira was born. Adopting the flippant tone of a California valley-girl, she brought a satirical, sarcastic edge to her commentary without ever being crass or mean-spirited. And like a macabre Mae West she reveled in dropping risque double entendres as well as making frequent jokes about her eye-popping display of cleavage.

In other words, she was my role model.

Her popularity reached its zenith with the release of the feature film, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (co-written by Peterson) in 1988. Elvira became the national spokeswoman for which beer during the month of October in 1988? Her official Halloween costume became the best selling female costume of all time.While Elvira's popularity continued into the 90s, the 80s was when she reigned supreme introducing me to crappy horror films on Movie Macabre and later Movie Macabre Home Videos.

I Love the 80s:Mysteries of the Unknown
Tiffany continues to be the one to beat-Leslie Nielsen was the murderous hubby, and in Maximum Overdrive the machines take over (and an ATM calls King an a**hole in the opening montage). Corey Haim plays a wheelchair bound werewolf slayer.

In the late 80s, Time Life put out a series of books entitled Mysteries of the Unknown. I was both fascinated and terrified of the paranormal. So, of course, I bought the series. Or rather part of the series. I spent hours reading about spontaneous human combustion and then stay up half the night convinced I was going to to combust. (It never happened.) Neither did alien abduction, the raining of frogs, or demonic possession. Eventually my mother got sick of the week long insomniac vigils that accompanied the arrival of each book and canceled the series. Even the ads were scary. (The pictures of the Greys still scare the crap outta me. Particularly late at night in the middle of nowhere, which is where I grew up.)

I Love the 80s: Stephen King
Chopper was legendary for the fact that he was trained to "Sick balls!" Richard Dreyfus played the narrator who is writing the story, a stand in for the author Stephen King. The story was taken from the book Different Seasons. Apt Pupil and the Shawkshank Redemption were also inspired by stories in that book. The boys were going to find the body of Ray Brower, a classmate who died when he was hit by a train.

King wrote the screenplays for many of his novels including The Shining (which he hated) Christine, Carrie, Cujo, and Firestarter. (He liked the letter C apparently.) While he hated the Shining, what film did he write in which the machines suddenly seem to have minds of their own? In the segment of Creepshow titled "Something to Tide You Over" Ted Danson and Becky Vickers play lovers who find their lives endangered when Becky's husband discovers the affair. Who plays the villanous husband? In Silver Bullet, what soon to be 80s heartthrob played a wheelchair bound boy battling a werewolf?

I Love the 80s: Stand By Me
Stand By Me was a favorite summer movie well into high school. It had a young, hot, still alive River Rhoenix who was just bad enough to , well, hot, and just sympathetic enough for a nice girl like me to want to rip his clothes off with my teeth and be OK about it. John Cusack who was THE 80s high school heart-throb had a short turn as Wil Wheaton's dead older brother...oh and did I mention that this film has both Wil Wheaton AND one of the Coreys? (Corey Feldman) How 80s is that? (How did Corey Haim not make the cast?) Oh and Keifer Sutherland played the "villain." Speaking of which, there is even a leech on the testicles scene!

The junkyard dog, Chopper, was trained to sic what part of the human anatomy? Who played the narrator? Who wrote the story on which this movie was based? What were the boys going to see?

I Love the 80s: Deeley Boppers

The Necronomicon was "invented" by author H.P. Lovecraft as part of the Cthulhu mythos. Ash and the others are taunted by......Candarian Demons. In the musical, a character sings a musical number entitled "All the men in my life have been killed by candarian demons." It's awesome (and available on itunes, hint hint!)

Blogger Update: HAL 2.0 is acting up so if a post vanishes or something else occurs I'm still awake, most likely threatening HAL with a baseball bat. His failure is, however, slowing down my ability to write posts and read comments so I'm afraid the posts may become less detailed.

I would also like to thank TNT for showing classic X files episodes. Not 80s themed, but ohhhhhhh early David Duchovny (droooooool). Ahem, sorry about that.

Ahhhh Deeley Boppers! Perfect for all occassions-Halloween, Graduation, Valentine's Day, just cruising to the mall. Deeley Boppers could be light up or just plain old ridiculous. As an over the top accessory, profound almost in its ridiculousness, I am a long time lover of deeley boppers. Strangely I no longer have a pair-but I used to have shamrocks AND light up hearts. Oh yeah baby, I RULED.

I Love the 80s: EVIL DEAD!
And just when I think everyone is asleep! Kira, as a female gelfling (good call Jen) has wings, while Jen does not. Jareth was indeed played by David Bowie (Mmmmmm David Bowie), while Ludo has the ability to command the stones (how the heroes defeat the goblin army). Tim Curry, the Sweet Transvestite himself, played Darkness, while Atreyu searched for a human child to give the Childlike Empress a new name in the Never Ending Story.

A bunch of teenagers go to an abandoned cabin...and one gets raped by the trees and another cuts off his own hand...and those are the good parts. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell began a long collaboration (they had worked together for quite some time actually) in 1981 with Evil Dead. Evil dead spawned two sequels and a musical! What's the name of the book in Evil Dead? What famous horror writer did Raimi "borrow" this mythic book from? Ash and the others are taunted by what kind of demons?

I Love the 80s: Fantasy Films

Li is correct it was indeed Press Your Luck. The Whammy (left) is not to be confused with the Noid (below), which was part of Domino Pizza's popular 80s ad campaign. The Whammy became so popular that viewers would send in Whammy poems that were read during the closing credits. Seriously.

One of the great things about the 80s were the fantasy films- like Henson's The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. In the Dark Crystal Kira has wings while Jen does not, why is that? What is the name of Kira's pet? In Labyrinth, Ludo has what special ability? Who played Jareth, the Goblin King?

There were also other fantasy films like the NeverEnding Story and Legend. In Legend, who played Darkness? In the NeverEnding Story, what was Atreyu searching for to save Fantasia?

I Love the 80s:No Whammies
Good work Wendell!! Bartles and Jaymes would end every ad with "And thank you for your support.

During the 8os if you stayed home sick, you had reconcile yourself to watching game shows, but there was quite an array. Most of them actually began in the 70s, but there was one popular game show that was pure 80s. "No Whammies" was the popular cry on what game show? Whammies were so popular that the ending credits to the show began to feature what tribute to the Whammies?

I Love the 80s: Wine Coolers
Gary Hart was captured on the aptly named Monkey Business.

Ahh would any of us have survived the 80s if not for a steady diet of Bartles and Jaymes Wine Coolers? It certainly made the parties I went to in high school more tolerable. Surprisingly I walked into a drug store the other day and actually saw a six pack of Bartles and Jaymes. Wine coolers paved the way for the singularly awful Zima, but also other "flavored malt beverages" like Twisted Tea and Mike's Hard Lemonade.

What I liked about Bartles and Jaymes wasn't the taste, but the unusual ad campaign. Unlike the beer/liquor ads of today, these ads featured two of the least sexy men you could imagine sitting on a porch and talking about the product. A far cry from "Get a little Captain in you." What was the end line of each of these ads?

I Love 80s: Gary Hart
According to Harry, you can not have hot sex with a man named Sheldon. It's the name. You're animal Sheldon. Do it to me Sheldon. Ride me big Sheldon. Shel broke up with Sally because of her days of the week underpants. She didn't have Sunday and when she told him the truth (they don't make them because of God) he didn't believe her. (I also had days of the week underpants and know this to be true.) According to Harry, the Mover "Mr. Zero" knew about his divorce before he did. Finally the woman in the restaurant is Rob Reiner's mother.

Long before Bill longingly looked at Monica's thong, presidential candidate Gary Hart got caught with Donna Rice on his lap. What was the name of the yacht where the famed photo was taken?

I Love the 80s:When Harry Met Sally
Rowdy Roddy Piper was a regular villain on Hulk Hogan's cartoon, and the Snorks were the Smurfs rip off.

When Harry Met Sally came at the end of the 80s but it still counts. It was one of the movies that my mother and I both loved and so we watched it together often. According to Harry Burns, Sally didn't have great sex with Shel Gordon why? Why did Shel Gordon break up with Sally? Who knew that Harry Burns was getting a divorce before he did? The woman who remarked "I'll have what she's having" was related to director Rob Reiner how?

I Love the 80s: Misguided Cartoons
While the Pacman cartoon was only short lived, it was long enough for me to learn the names of the ghosts, which were called Shadow, Bashful, Speedy, and Pokey. Q*bert was about jumping on the right squares, and tetris took its name, allegedly from tennis and tetra. (Uh, that's what I was told.)

Aside from Pacman, what wannabe Smurf's rip off featured characters under the water with snorkels on their heads?

Also there was a Hulk Hogan's cartoon. Yep not happy enough with wrestling Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n Wrestling featured what "They Live" hero as his nemesis?

I Love the 80s:Arcade Games
Well I don't quite have the energy to restore my St Elmo's Fire post right now, sorry I'm too busy wanting to kill HAL 2.0 with a baseball bat.

William Atherton was the EPA guy in Ghostbusters. Kent is convinced the voice in his head is God when it commands him to stop wacking off and Prof. Hathaway's office is destroyed by Jiffy Pop. George Lucas wrote Willow.

If you were alive during the 80s, you must have loved arcade games. What was the game in which you guided a little orange monster to jump on certain squares?

Me, I was all about the Pacman. I wasn't alone, in fact there was a Pacman cartoon. Short lived, but sad. What were the name of the ghosts?

Tetris, despite the cold war, a popular fave in my hometown, got its name from what 2 elements?

I Love the 80s: Technical Difficulties
Well there WAS a post about St Elmo's Fire vs the Breakfast Club that was eaten by HAL. So sorry about that. I shall try and reconstruct it for the next post, but lest the monitors say where is Bunni, HAL royally screwed me.

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