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June 11, 2007

Paris, France
Blue State Anxiety

The Paris affair was much more low-key than Madrid. Only a fifth of the turn-out – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – but also a more subdued attitude. The Spaniards had something to prove to me, and they did. With the French, I felt like I had something to prove.

They’d seen the video and they liked it well enough to show up, but there were certain qualities to my endeavor that had yet to be ascertained. It’s probably my own insecurities at work, but I felt like I had to show I wasn’t just another arrogant, ignorant American.

Not that anyone was rude about it, mind you. They just weren’t sure what to make of the whole thing until we got underway.

There seemed to be a big shift in attitude around the second or third take. They got that it isn't really about me this time. It's about them.

I’ve done six of these group events so far. Every one of them leaves me breathless. I’ve never been much of a participant in group efforts; be they religious, musical, charitable, chemical, or what-have-you; I was always the dork in the corner with his head glued to the GameBoy screen, so the exhilaration is new to me. It takes me an hour or so to come back down out of the clouds.

We’re also getting a lot better at it – Melissa and I. We’ve learned some tricks and some things to avoid. I wish we could go back to the UK with what we know now.

…might have to at some point.

We flew in from Madrid yesterday on a 5am RyanAir flight. Anyone who’s ever flown RyanAir, let’s all share a groan of despair.

Arrived in Paris semi-conscious, slept until it was time for the shoot. After it was done, we stood around talking to the other dancers, lots of pictures and a few autographs – which is a new one for me – no media to deal with this time. When the last person finally got sick of us and left, we strolled off across the city.

Melissa has never been to France before, so there was lots to check out. We did bored-face snapshots.

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The idea came from someone who emailed me a while back. I hate taking snapshots and I almost never bother, but this, like dancing badly, makes it fun.

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Notre Dame? How about Notre Dumb?

…No. Wait. Notre Lame!

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Musee Du Louvre? More like Musee Du Who-Gives-a-Crap!

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So, mission accomplished. We proved Americans aren’t the fatuous slobs they think we are. On to Belgium, where I fear some snap observations I made many yarrons ago may come back to bite me in the ass.