Sunday, March 25, 2012

My New Novel

Hey, everyone! I just published my first novel on Kindle the other day, and it'll be up on Nook soon. It's perfect for teen girls. Check it out!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lesson 16: Plane Tickets and French Security

Yes, I know... I haven't updated the blog in basically a year.  I thought I'd informed you of all my study abroad tips and secrets, but alas I finally realized I failed to mention one major - but totally obvious - lesson.

BOOK YOUR FREAKING PLANE TICKETS EARLY.  Months and months early.  Like as soon as you find out you're studying abroad.  WITHIN THAT WEEK!  Do not listen to your friends or family saying "well, prices might drop. blah blah blah."  No, they probably won't.  If you sit around on your ass you will end up paying way more than you need to.

So should you use Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, or any of those websites with "cheaper" ticket rates? No.  Being in a long distance relationship for the past year has taught me many things, one of them being that these websites totally suck.  Sometimes their rates are hundreds of dollars more expensive than they should be. Good old American Airlines has the cheapest tickets for the time being.  Yes,  I know, it shocked me too but go see for yourself.  And that AA Advantage program wouldn't be a bad idea either considering the ridiculous amount of miles you can rack up flying across the world.  Also, it's usually cheapest to fly on Tuesdays for some reason.

This thought also reminded me of my way back to the States, and the lovely experience I had going back through French security.  Be prepared for them to ask you lots of weird questions.  "Where did you pack your bag this morning?"  "Did you pack it or someone else?"  "You just said 'we,' who is we referring to?  Did this person pack your bag?"  "How did you get to the airport?"

So obnoxious.

Once I got through that charade and like 2 security check points, I thought I was safe.  Nope.  Some French security lady at the gate asked me where my bag was.  I told her I checked it.  Then she pointed to my duffel bag next to me and ASKED WHERE IT WAS.  Hello, you just pointed to it, moron.  Clearly, it is still sitting there on the ground where it was .5 seconds ago.

That is all for now, unless I randomly think of something else again.  France me manque!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lesson 15: Coping with Europe Withdrawals

So you've been back in the states for about a week. You've had seven days to relish in the glory that is air conditiong, Taco Bell, capitalism, and having a car again. And then suddenly you find yourself mindlessly staring at your tv, WANTING TO BE BACK IN EUROPE. It's terrible. I mean you can't just pack up and go, not yet anyway. You're a poor, overworked college student. So, how do you deal with it? Reunions of course!!

Make an event on Facebook and invite all your American friends that studied with you. Rotate whose place it's at each time, unless some of you live in a frat or sorority. Because that would just be retarded. Anyway, try to get together a few times a semester and party like you did in Europe.

Me, Parker, Madeline, Brandon, and Diana

Well, maybe not quite as much. Those Europeans love to party...especially the Irish. Their stereotype is kind of true. But that's why we love them! They're always fun to be around.

Danielle, Me, and Amy

 However, you shouldn't ever drink as much as you did over there because, let's face it people, this is America...we don't walk everywhere.  Anyway, bust out some bubbly, blast the rap music, and reminisce on things.  Perhaps you can think of ways to get money to go back one day, who knows! That's what I want to do. Only this time it needs to be a vacation and not for school...just sayin.

Diana, Madeline, and Me

Try not to be too depressed. At least we have queso over here...and the occasional foreign exchange student. So, God save the Queen, Vive la France, Go Manchester United, and all that crap!

And more importantly...BOOMER SOONER.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lesson 14: Keeping Yourself Entertained on Train Rides

When you're traveling around for the weekend, trains are the best way to get anywhere. This is a new concept for most Americans, especially in the South. I mean we just don't really have great public transportation because everyone has cars. So, how the heck do you keep yourself entertained for 3+ hour journeys? Here are a few ideas...

1. Bring magazines and books - okay, this is obvious...but European magazines are kind of hilarious. Especially French ones because they put naked people in everything, even if it's not supposed to be a risqué magazine.

2. IPod - Now, I'm not talking just sit there and listen to your music. No, that's boring. Share your headphones with whoever is next to you and have an dance party. And don't stop until people look at you like you're insane, and the rest of your friends get embarrassed.

3. Pretend You're Going to Hogwarts - What comes to mind when you think of trains? Well, for me I think of Harry Potter. So yes, talk in your fake British accent about your upcoming quidditch match and how you hope Harry will ask you to the Yule Ball. Hopefully no real Brits will be on the train with you, because they'll think you're morons. But who cares?! You'll never see these people again. Avada Kadavera!!

4. Swap Crazy Stories - There's nothing quite like storytime with your new favorite people. So reveal those crazy ones, and come up with new things to do before you go home. After all, what happens in Europe stays in Europe....sometimes.

5. Flirt with the Train Conductor - Okay, sometimes it's fun to see who you can flirt with, whether it be the hottie sitting across from you, or the dude that checks your train ticket. Why not? Just remember: everyone sounds hot when they have an accent. Never confuse sounding hot with actually BEING hot.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lesson 13: Awkward Subjects

There are just some things that shouldn't be talked about in polite conversations. For us, this usually means religion and politics. I mean talking about it with friends is one thing, but class...ehhh, you probably shouldn't go there. Especially when it comes to abortion.

Well, the thing about French people is they're much more open to talking about these kinds of things. On my last day of class, my teacher decided to have us discuss the issue of abortion. People that know me know that I don't see the problem with it. Sure, people should use birthcontrol and all that, but crap happens. It's more selfish to bring a child into this world that you can't take care of, in my opinion.

My Godchild/ the only baby I actually like

But that's not really my point here. My point is I didn't know how to say a single damn word pertaining to this topic. I mean why on earth would I think about knowing how to talk about that in French? I sure as hell didn't think I'd be having to talk about it in a freaking classroom!

Naturally, everyone that said anything was against abortion. I'm pretty sure I had a disgusted look on my face because my teacher looked at me, smiled, and asked if I agreed with one of the older Arab men. And I was like hell no! Or at least that's what I wanted to say. But, I didn't. She asked me to explain, but all I could manage to figure out how to say was that sometimes people are too young and don't have any way to take care of a baby.

I wanted to be like "what if you were raped?"  But that was completely beyond my capability so I just sat there looking totally annoyed at everything this dude said. He kept babbling on about how people shouldn't be doing things that could get them pregnant. Seriously? We all know that isn't going to happen. It made me laugh, but I was so incredibly frustrated the rest of that day because I couldn't defend my point of view!! I cannot express how damn annoying it is to understand everything someone is saying and NOT be able to respond.


Then we had to go around and say if abortion is legal in our country. I was the only one that got to say yes. It was awkward. Someone asked me if it was legal in every state and  I was like uhhhh, yea I think so. I figured out later that I was wrong and felt retarded, but like why would I know that? I've never been knocked up so I have no reason to know this. Gahh, get with the program America. Why is it not legal in every state? How dare you make me look like an idiot! That's what I get for assuming we have every freedom on earth I guess.

I freaking hate politics. I don't like talking about it. It's annoying. But this might happen to you, so prepare yourself!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top 10 America Songs

Like I've said before, you will experience "America Withdrawals" toward the end of your trip. If you can't find any fast food or a liter of Coke, grab your laptop and Youtube these babies.

1. America, F*ck Yea! - from Team America  

2. Party in the USA - by Slutty, I mean, Miley Cyrus

3. American Girl - Tom Petty

4. American Honey - Lady Antebellum

5. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz

6. American Saturday Night - Brad Paisley

7. The Battle Hymn of the Republic (this one's for you, Jon) - uhh, someone dead?

8. Rock N' Me - Steve Miller Band

9. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen

10. American Pie - Don McLean

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lesson 12: French People

I've grown up hearing how much people hate France. I never understood it really. A lot of Americans kind of roll their eyes when the country's name gets mentioned simply because "they're just SO rude." My grandma always talked about how Paris was her least favorite place she ever visited because they were "mean and not helpful." As sweet as the woman is, she also used to refer to Japanese people as those "treacherous slant eyes" because of World War II, so I took what she said with a grain of salt.

Basically, I've always refused to believe that the rude French people stereotype is real....probably just because I'm obsessed with Chanel and Louis Vuitton, but whatevs. So, EARTH TO FREAKING AMERICA...the stupid stereotype ISN'T REAL!

Maybe it was because Vichy is a small town, but everyone was really nice. The people at the grocery store always asked how we were doing. All of my teachers were sweet. The guys at the kebab place always gave us free tea, and they didn't even get mad when I spilled an entire plate of fries on their floor. Oops! We even got free shots on my birthday from the French dude that owned the bar we were at in Geneva. And, when we all dressed up like obnoxious Americans and painted stars and flags on our bodies, no one even said anything rude.

You know, I went almost an entire month without encountering a single rude French person. Almost. Then we decided to go to Versailles. I've talked about the old douche at Versailles a little before, but let me tell you how this went down. It was Jon, Travis, Diana, Lauren and me. We were, obviously, taking pictures because how many times do you get to see the greatest palace ever built in the history of forever? Not very often. I was walking around like a dumbstruck idiot, getting distracted by all the sparkly chandeliers and gold crap. Out of nowhere, this crazy ass wrinkly trick just starts screaming in English at Diana. 

"Hey! I told you to turn off that flash an hour ago! HEY! YOU!"    

Keep in mind we had literally been inside maybe three minutes. This old hag thought that Diana was part of the group of high school students, who were predominately Asian, that she was giving a tour to.

Diana tried to explain to her that she was  mistaken but this fool wasn't having it.

"HEY! I know you speak more than one language! TURN OFF THAT FLASH. Quit disrespecting my country! You are in FRANCE!"

Wow.. thanks for the update, captain. I had no idea I wasn't at home!

Then Travis, who is usually quiet and polite, yells at the woman and tells her to lay off Diana. I don't think she understood this expression, but it left her mumbling and even more cranky. So, it was a success. It really pissed me off because a) her yelling made everyone stare at us   b) we didn't know we couldn't use the flash  c) I almost made it out of Europe without encountering a douchebag

All in all, I guess one rude ass out of how many ever people we were around isn't that bad. I'd probably be mean too if I were 65 and giving tourists tours of Versailles. Oh well.

I still love France.