Monthly Archives: September 2012

This Is The END Of The WEAK


Well, heyyy.

Sadly the weekend is coming to a close — meep. Now, to pick up where I left off…

Friday, September 28th: Did some hooping in the park, and went to the most fantabulous Indian Restaurant in centre ville with Carl, Natasha and Emily. Ohmygosh for real though, it was so delicious: we got cheesey na’an bread, some pankora and chicken and a sausage thing, THEN some jasmine rice with these things that looked like meatballs at first glance, but were by far superior.. and all for 9 euro! Seriously, an amazing place for lunch, and the guy who was serving us was awesome and talked to us and told us the prime hours to come back. Needless to say that will be happening soon. After our amazing lunch I fell into a food coma, so the four of us headed back to Victor Hugo and just digested and soaked up the rays for a little while (it was SO beautiful out). Emily, Natasha and I had purchased novels in english (yaa) earlier that day at the FNAC, so they started reading while I half-successfully skyped the boy.

Just another beautiful day in Grenoble

Once we were nice and un-food coma-ed, we headed to our favorite coffeehouse stomping ground, where I got a while chocolate milkshake… yuuuup. Dankalank.








Let’s see, after a day of gorging, I headed back home to quickly shower, then I met up with Mike, Ian and Max at Victor Hugo to go to some French BBQ. Fail — turns out the location got switched, and we were on a time crunch, so we nixed the idea, met up with Carl and Maddie and had 100% of the intention to go to the hockey game… but it appears that night was chock full of fails (kind of). Ian told us that this kebab place was amazing, so we all stopped in to grab dinner before the game… except this woman was slow as a freaking slug stuck in molasses. I forget sometimes I’m in Europe and “rush” or “hurry” does not exist in their vocabulary. So, by the time we were finished eating, it was like 20h40 and there was no point in going to the game.. so what did we do? Well, what any API student would do: get drunk in Victor Hugo. A lady gave me some pointers on which Champagne to buy, so I bought two bottles and was cashed in for the night (note: I only intended on drinking one, but somehow both got emptied. C’est la vie). Carl and I drunkenly “broke” into a restaurant to use their bathroom and it was one of the funnier moments of the night. We be badasses, mon. Eventually Preston, Karen, Hedi and various others met up with us, and we decided it was time to make our way to London Pub (oy vey), except we had to make a pit stop at Karen’s house to go to the bathroom and somehow the night ended up being finished out in Karen’s house since her parents were away for the weekend. Her house was SO NICE. Peep the drunkenly taken pictures below; it doesn’t quite capture the awesomeness, but just take my word for it. Many a good times were had, and then I went home, drunkenly ate cheese and bread in the middle of my bedroom floor, and went t bed. Fantastic Friday.











Just Carl modeling, nbd..

This pillow kind of completely freaked me out












Nothing like some inspirational scale mots













Well guys, I want to tell you about the remained of my weekend, buuut my battery is dying and my fingers are too cold to type further, so until tomorrow! Not wanting to totally disappoint though, I have one of a few videos that I took last night, so I’ll show it to you now as a little teaser. Bon week-end!

Say Hello To The Girl That I Am


Let me just begin with the fact that on Monday when I updated my blog with pictures and stories from Marseille I got over 200 views… WAHWAHWEEWAH. Keep up the good intrigue, my little turtle doves.

So now to pick up where I left off. The rest of Monday (24/9/12 à yes, I am using French-style dates. Deal with it) was the same old. I tried playing chess with my computer and got repeatedly owned, lame. My host mom was on a trip from Monday-Wednesday so I had the house to myself Monday night, which was pretty sweet. It’s significantly less scary being home alone when you’re in a tiny apartment. No places for booger monsters to hide. Would be better with a dog, but alas…

Tuesday, September 25th: The evil long school day, meh. Had class at 8:30 so unfortunately I had to wake up early. Lamesauce. I stayed on campus until my classes were done at 5:30 and made the trek home, where I thoroughly became exhausted. My host mom was still away, so I had an early dinner (I got to actually cook, yay! Except I was craving breakfast food, so I whipped up an omelet and some home fries, nomnomnom) and was snuggled up in bed by 9:00pm. I think I was still recovering from the epic weekend in Marseille, so I embraced sleep like the friend it is. Very exciting life I led on this day, I am aware.

Wednesday, September 26th: Basically this was the start of the weekend for me (kind of, not really.. but close enough). Since I switched out of my cinema class, I only had one class from 8:30-10:20am, yeah boiii. Today I came to the conclusion that my professor, Dominique, is an amazing man. Due to the fact that I had minimal class, I brought my hula-hoop to campus with me, and of course Dominique was intrigued (he already knows I hoop, but hasn’t actually seen it before). So before class started he asked if I would be willing to perform a little hoop love for the class at the end of the period. Of course I said yes, after all, it is “hoop dancing”, and dances are meant to be seen by audiences. Plus, who am I to deprive my classmates from around the world (mostly they are all Asians) a little unique entertainment? So, pretty much, we had class until about 10:00 – where we mostly talked about marriages in different cultures – and then Dominique gave us chocolate bars (we completed a crossword puzzle, and that was our reward. They had hazelnuts inside, yUuUuMm) and then I was asked to do some hoop dancing. He had my fellow classmates move the tables close to the wall so I had enough room to bop around, and then I played my “hooping playlist” and went to town… all the while conversing with Dominique in French! Needless to say, I felt pretty damn fabulous; the fact that about 70% of the kids were snapping pictures of me didn’t hurt, either. Three cheers for being weirdly cool.

Once class was over, Mike and I headed to the API office; he had to ask Anna a question, and I went to retrieve my unicorn necklace – YESSS. I was kind of an airhead and left my brand new clay/rubber unicorn pendant in the hotel, but I gave them some euros and they mailed it to the API office for me. Happily reunited with my sweet pendant, we went back to the main area of campus where I did some research for my next big trip. I think I decided on Dublin/Galway for the weekend of October 18th. So souped! Nothing is solidified yet, but a big group of us want to go, so I’m 90% certain this is going to go down. I continued with my research until Emily was finished with class, and we met up with Mike in Centre Ville for some non-campus food. Let me tell you, we hit the gold mind. For real. We ate lunch at a place called Burger & Ciel – soooo good (Natasha and Maddie wound up running into us there, too), and they give a 10% discount to students, so I got an awesomely delicious chicken burrito, some fries, and a drink for 7. That place is dangerous though, especially since I got one of those punch cards where you get a prize/free food after you get 10 punches. Yup, looks like we will be going back there. Souvent.

After dinner, Natastha told us about this coffee shop –French Coffee Shop, how original – that was close by, so of course we had to stop in, considering I am a coffeehouse professional thanks to DIG and my column over the summer (which reminds me, I am being terrible with writing for DIG and The Pendulum so far aka, I haven’t at all; I’ll make that a goal for this weekend). This coffeehouse was fantastic. I got a noix de coco milkshake. Haha, funny language barrier moment: I was under the impression that noix de coco was dark chocolate for some reason, but after I ordered Natasha said it was coconut, which I totally should have known, but it was delicious regardless. The shop also had free wifi, which for me is basically the same as winning the lottery due to my non-interweb state of life, so I will most definitely be going back there again. That, and the fact that it had a really nice, young atmosphere and I was able to write a 300-mot French paper during my stay. I love doing homework in cozy, public places like that.

Unfortunately, the weather was shwagu, and the skies decided to open up and pour down on us, all night. I had planned on hooping some in Victor Hugo but the skies rained on my parade (teehee, punny), so instead I went home, showered and finished the book I started last week: Divine By Choice by P.C. Cast. I have officially run out of books I brought over from the states (I finished Game of Thrones last week, and am officially suffering from George R. R. Martin withdrawal. There are no English bookstores around here, so if someone would be so kind as to ship the 4th novel of the series to me at Azure Giroux/Madeleine Gandit, mailbox 14, 7 rue Aubert Dubaye, Grenoble, France 38000, you will be my best friend for ever and ever. But really. {Just kidding guys! I found the fourth game of thrones today at a bookstore in english (!!!) but still feel free to send me books, i won’t hate it.} So yeah, I finished my book, took a little walk in the rain, and went to bed before 22h00, winner winner chicken dinner.

Thursday, September 27th: Due to the fact I went to bed so early, my body refused to sleep in, so I was up and moving by like 8h30. I thought about running, but then I decided to get to campus early and hula hoop beforehand. Yeahhh, I think I may be addicted to my hoop, it’s all good. On the tram, the cutest service dog ever was there, and he broke character for a minute to sniff my hoop. Lurve it.

After class was done the decision was made that Emily, Nina and I are going to ROME, yeahhhh. I booked my ticket, and we’re going November 29th – December 2nd, annnnd Nina’s friend is studying there, so we don’t even have to book a hostel! Round trip to Rome was like 85 euro, so this is already making out to be an amazing (and cheap) trip. Three cheers! Post-ticket purchasing, I skyped with my parents for a little while on campus — and then Emily, Nina and I instated Kebab Thursday. Soooo dank-a-lank. After we gorged ourselves on delicious street meat, Nina and I bought our tickets for the Strange Carnival that is going down next weekend in Grenoble.

It’s going to be a weekend full of amazingness: there is a free concert on Wednesday, another concert on Thursday, then our API group is going to the Caves in Grenoble on Friday, and the carnival is Saturday; it’s okay to be jealous, guys =) You are all here in spirit. I love how there is always something going on here though, it’s wonderfully fantabulous.

After we purchased our ticket, the three of us munched down on some delicious gateaux(s) and then went and hung out in Victor Hugo for a little, but eventually Nina and Emily went home and I stayed for like three hours and hung out/chilled and hooped, providing entertainment for my fellow Grenoblois (I think that’s what people from Grenoble are called?). Eventually I tired out, went home and had some tasty Quinoa/Fish/Vegetable dish and salad and bread and cheese… in typical French fashion; ’twas tasty. After dinner, Max, Maddie, Natasha and I met up and made our way to Heather’s to start the night off. We got a little swilly, and some stuff went down (it doesn’t directly involve me, so I’m not at liberty to talk about it), and I ended up getting home around 2. Post-Heathers we kind of just walked drunkenly around Grenoble, and a big chunk of the group went to a club, I think. I wasn’t really in the mood to dance around, so I opted for my cozy bed.

Friday, September 28th: Todayyyy. I woke up around 9h00, had some breakfast and lamped around the apartment for a bit, but I had too much energy to just hang around. So now I’m here, in the park, with my hoop and blogging for you splendid people. The weekend is only just beginning, and some good things are planned, so stay tuned! Stay pretty =)

Paradise Re-Incarnated


Where insanity is the norm, and you can party all damn day.



… That just about sums up my weekend. Be jealous.

Before I get to that, though, I have some catching up to do. The last time I caught up with you guys was a week from today… woops. My bad. Let’s see if I can successfully re-cap.

Tuesday, September 18th: Had a grudgingly long day at school. I had class from 8:30-12:30 with a short 20-minute break mixed in, and then class again from 1:30-5:30 with a 30-mintute break somewhere in there. Icccck. Afterwards, Nina and I went to Centre Ville to go to a bookstore. I ended up buying a French agenda, useful and I’ll have it when I get back to the states. A small way to keep up with my French. Scooore. Once I got home I was in for the night, too tired to function in normal society.

Wednesday, September 19th: Another early day for school (well, 8:30. By some standards that’s early, for others it isn’t). I have a huge break after my 10:40 and before my cinema class, so while waiting I watched this bizarre French cartoon for my class with Karen. It’s called The Triplet’s of Belleville and I recommend taking a look at it. Tis a bit weird, but in such a good way. After class was done for the day at 5:45, I went home and did some much-needed lamping before dinner. If I remember correctly, we had some bean and tomato salad with chicken wings and some other veggie dish that I don’t know the name of. NOM. After dinner was over I met up with Max, Nina, Maddie and Natasha at Victor Hugo; Nina and I split a bottle of wine, and then we tried out this bar Subway (Ian met up with us there) that is literally right around the corner from my house. I always see it teeming with people but never gave it a chance, so I’m glad I finally did – a good spot for sure. The cocktail of the day (which is what we all ordered) was only  2, and it came with a glow stick. Winner winner. We just hung out there for a little bit, but I wanted to go for a run on Thursday morning, so I went home around midnight in order to get a good nights rest.

Thursday, September 20th: I failed in the running department… woops. Sleep was just too powerful of a force to reckon with. Thursdays are simple; I only had class from 10:40-12:30. Post class = weekend! Once all the scholarly nonsense was done, Nina, Emily, Hannah and I got our tram cards re-charged for the month of October (how is it almost October already?! NO), and then stopped by the API office to get reimbursed and let Anna and Marie know that we were going to Marseille for the weekend. Marie, of course, warned us about the gypsies and did the usual be careful stuff. D’accord. By this point we were beyond hungry but not really feeling the usual campus food again, so we headed into Centre Ville. Wanting to try something new, we got food from Batman Kebab = awesomess. I don’t really know what kind of meat goes in a kebab – lamb maybe? But it was tasty and cheap and got a good rating in my book. Once we got our grub, we met up with Richard, Max, Maddie and Natasha for a little picnic in Victor Hugo. Caaayute, je sais. Post-picnic we had some errands to run before Marseille in the morning (!!!). Our train was scheduled to leave a little after 7 on Friday morning, so as soon as we were all done with errands I called it quits, went home, had some dinner, packed, and went promptly to bed.

Friday, September 21st: MARSEILLE! Woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:45 so I could shower, eat and meet Maddie and Max by 6:30 to head to the train station. Once at the station we joined forces with Natasha, Emily and Nina and started our travels. The first leg of our journey was an hour, then we had a 45-minute layover before the second part of the journey (which was also an hour). Not a bad trek by any means. We got to Marseille around 10:00, and went in search of our hostel, Vertigo. Thankfully Max isn’t directionally stunted like the majority of the rest of us, so it wasn’t an incredibly difficult search. Check-in wasn’t until 14h00 (figure I should start writing in French time), but our bags were heavy, so we just dropped our loads off at the hostel and set out on the town. Ian took a later train than us, so we went to the beach and hung out on the Mediterranean (yuuuuup) while we waited to meet up with him. Once he got to Marseille, we were starved, so I recommended we eat at a restaurant I heard good things about called Au Falafel. I happen to be addicted to falafel, so it was my top pick. The food was pretty good if I do say so myself, and the rest of the group didn’t seem to have any complaints. Success!

After lunch, we did some adventuring and got to know Marseille a little bit better. We went back to the beach and then to a nice grassy park/field, too. It’s a super beautiful port town, although I can’t say I was entirely blown away by the city aspect of it. Being a port town, however, there are a lot of seedy immigrants who lurk about and look like they aren’t exactly the pictures of health. I never felt unsafe or anything (benefits of traveling in a pack), so it’s all good. After we were done gallivanting a bit, we headed to the hostel to check-in and get settled in our room. In the 6-person room it was Maddie, Natasha, Ian, Max and myself (with our 7th roomie being a 30+ dude named Jesus from Spain…) and the Nina and Emily were in a 4-person room with two other random people. We all felt pretty grungy from traveling, walking and the beach, so once we checked-in we showered and got ready for the nighttime. Woopwoop. We started by playing drinking games with Natasha’s hilarious dirty French cards, and before long we were all well, drunk. We invited Jesus to take a drink with us and he ended up staying with us for the whole pre-gaming process. Kind of weird, but I’m just going to overlook it, haha. In all honesty, things get a little fuzzy for me once we left the hostel to hit the town. I vaguely remember sitting with the group eating pizza, and then going to a pub in the center of the nightlife hubbub. I think the pizza put me over the edge because apparently I wasn’t looking so hot and Max took me to go sit by the water for some fresh air… and then I puked into the Mediterranean. Class-act, no need to tell me; but hey, better out than in. Needless to say I didn’t last much longer (nor did the rest of the group, besides Ian) and before long we went back to the hostel where I promptly passed out and slept like a boulder – a cheeping boulder, because apparently I was saying that in my sleep. Jeesh.

Saturday, September 22nd: Woke up a little less than fantabulous, duh. I got up fairly early for the free breakfast the hostel gave us (aka bread, cereal, coffee and orange juice, plus gallons of water), but then started feeling a little bit like death. Ian, Natasha, Maddie, Emily and Nina wanted to go shopping, but I really had no ambition to a) spend money b) walk and c) function, so I stayed behind to recuperate for the day ahead. Max hung back with me and somehow I got him to read my bizarre centaur/fantasy story Divine By Choice out loud. Soon enough I was ready and eager to go, so once we bought food supplies for the day, the group headed out for the day’s event: hiking the Calanques.

We bought a bus pass on Friday for Saturday, so we took a 30-minute bus ride to where the trail began. The hike itself was amazing (see pictures below), but it in no way prepared us for the PURE MAGIC that was the Calanques. Seriously though, I can’t even begin to describe this place to you. I want to live there forever and ever and ever and never leave. I’m not even joking. Hands down the most beautiful place I have ever been to  — actually, that may have just been the best day in my life to date. Picture this: you walk down a rocky, narrow path and all of a sudden the world just opens up and in front of you lies the sparking, clear blue awesomeness of the Mediterranean. BUT that’s not all. There are smooth rocks jutting majestically up in the water and people are jumping off of them or just sitting down and lounging looking like beautiful mermaid-human hybrids, with water lapping below and the sun shining brilliantly above. Oh, did I mention that despite being the start of fall, the water is warm enough to swim in? Yes. There was one giant rock in the middle of the cove that the majority of people jumped off of; and this place is where I think I would like to die when I am old and gray and satisfied with life. Max and I went to the top of the giant rock and there was a freaking tree growing on it! It got dubbed the “Tarzan tree” because this thing was knotty and gnarly and curled over the crevices of the rock, but at the same time made the perfect perch for people to sit on. We ended up soaking up the rays and just absorbing the sheer magic of this place for as long as humanly possible. Seriously though, GO HERE. Unfortunately, we had to leave and return to reality at some point, but the walk back up was equally fun and awesome. I had too much energy and ended up cantering most of the way (horse nerd, deal with it) to the bus.

The bus ride sucked in comparison to the Calanques. It was humid and crowded and a gaggle of stupid gypsies came on and I definitely witnessed them pick-pocketing some people who weren’t wise enough to keep their belongings close to their bodies. I glared at one of the gypsies until she nervously looked away — BITCH. I wanted to kick them but didn’t really feel like getting murdered by stupid gypsies, so glaring had to suffice. After the torturous bus ride we walked back to the hostel and took one of the best showers ever (we were nasty and gross… I was kind of stupid and forgot a towel, I must say air drying is not a very successful method). Post shower and prepping for the night, we hit the town and got some food. Everyone minus the boys went to this outrageous restaurant that depicted America in the most outrageous way possible, but it was cheap and so we toughed it out and ate there. After dinner, Maddie, Nina, and I hiked up to the top of this gigantic stone wall to just absorb the magic of Marseille at night. So pretty. Eventually Ian and Max met up with us and we just hung out there for the majority of the night. Too little energy to do anything else, really. After we got back to the hostel I realized I couldn’t fall asleep, so I went down to the kitchen to eat some cheese and ended up hanging out with these four guys who were playing poker in the lounge. The guy who worked at the hostel was part of the group and from Canada, and the other three were guests who were from different parts of France. All spoke English and French, but I wanted to practice by French, and they were happy to oblige. Ian eventually joined, and after a few hours I was tired enough to go to bed.

Sunday, September 23rd: Woke up a little before 9h to eat some breakfast, packed up our belongings, stashed them in the storage room and checked out of the hostel. From there we went directly to the beach and lamped there for the rest of our stay in Marseille. I went in search of a pharmacy to tend to my leg wound, but to no avail.

The Leg Wound


Warrior Pose










It’s kind of irksome that there were no places open on Sunday, but whatevskii. Sadly, it soon became the time to say goodbye to Marseille. Our train was at 14h14, so we got to the train station a little beforehand to find our seats and start the journey home… 😦 Three hours later, we were back in our home town of Grenoble, and I was exhausted beyond belief. I had some dinner with my host mom, told her about the wonderfulness of Marseille, and went to bed about as early as an 8 year-old, and I didn’t hate it one bit.
Thus concludes my epic weekend.

Which brings me to today, Monday, September 24th: I slept for a solid 11 hours (woooo, much needed). Mondays have now become a long day; I had class from 10h40-12h30 and again from 14h-17h30 with a 30-minute break in between. I just finished a little while ago, so now I’m here blogging and that’s about it. I’m still pretty tired, so all that’s really on my agenda is homework and a nice long sleep.

Au revoir, mes amis! Until later… (don’t forget to peep the pictures from Marseille!)

Helicopters, Hikes, And Other Hawt Vids


Woops. I forgot I took videos while in Paris as well as a shitton of pictures. Anyway, here they are. Gorge yo’ balls.

^ Modern Art in the from of a helicopter at Versailles. I don’t hate it.

^ EPIC VIEW from the top of Notre Dame. Chyeahhh

^ Street Performers doing kind of a lame job, but it’s on the Champs-Elysee!

^ I videoed the climb up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. It was kind of a long haul, but worth it. Plus now I have killer calves. Woo!

Party Hardy in Grenoble


Oh haii party people.

Phew. Well, successfully survived the first full weekend in Grenoble after getting settled in and such. It was a complete blast slash a bit of a shit show (in the best way). Now for the recap…

Thursday, September 13th: Had class from 10:40-12:30. Nothing too intense, the class is most likely below my level but I like it that way. Less work; chyeah boii. Umm afterwards, Nina, Emily and I made our way into centre ville to get Nina a new septum ring at this pretty nice tattoo/piercing parlor. I kind of want to get something pierced now, but have no idea what. Thoughts?

Me and a bunch of other kids from my program, plus Hannah, had plans to go to campus around 9:00 to see a free concert with dubstep. I fully intended to go, I even brought Charlie my rave unicorn, but we all epically failed in that regard. Aka we all got drunk in Victor Hugo and lacked the motivation and group motor skills to get to campus. Whatever, I had fun. Some had more than others… but we’ll keep that on an anonymous level.

Friday, September 14th: Woke up absurdly early after a night of drinking (LAME). Somehow Thursday night my phone decided to hate me and wouldn’t let me use my phone until I typed in a ‘PUK’ number. It was like 10 digits and I had no idea what the hell it was, so I meandered over to Victor Hugo to use the internet and figure out my damned phone. I also came across a surprise, but again… keeping it on a don’t tell basis.

After I got all that nonsense dealt with, I lamped a bit more and went to campus by like 11 to hula hoop for a while. The reactions I get from people are so priceless, I dig it. At 12:30/1ish we made our way to the API office for some cheese tasting — frick yeah. Our group leaders were kind of mean though, they had this nice spread and we couldn’t eat any of it until this lady was finished yammering on and on about volunteering.

OK WE GET IT, just let me freaking eat, woman. Due to my impatience I didn’t absorb any of the information about the cheese, so sorry I can’t pass on the knowledge. The group chilled at the office for a while, I tried to teach some people how to hoop, and then Preston, Max and I made our way to purchase some vin. nomnomnom. By this point I was crashing hard, so I went home to take a much needed nap.

After my nap, I caught up a little on Game of Thrones and then had dinner with my mom. Directly after I met up with Ian to go to a punk concert — it was so fun! It was in some semi-sketchy looking warehouse, but the people were super friendly, there was a plethora of dogs around, and the music was pretty dope. Needless to say I had a fun time. By the time the last band came on Carl and Hannah had met up with us, yeahyaa. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera or phone, so I don’t have any documentation of this. My b; just take my word for it. Urrr, after the concert, we met up with some more API peeps and Hannah took us to a discotheque in centre ville. The place was huuuge, and they were playing like 70/80/90’s American throwbacks in one room. Grease was definitely played, and I didn’t hate a minute of it. We stayed there for a while; totally fun and worth it. The one downside was we didn’t leave until passed 3, which meant I didn’t get home until around 4. I hit the grumpy/nonfunctional stage around 2:45.

Saturday, September 15th: Woke up a little before 11, and was out of the house to meet up with Maddie, Max, Ian and Natasha by noon. We walked all the way to the top of the Bastille — the view was phenomenal, and the walk in and of itself was an adventure. Stay tuned for pictures at some later date.. you won’t want to miss them. The hike lasted a while, and when we got to the top we stumbled upon some party that was put on by the GEM people (aka not my program). We stayed there for a while and made some friends, and then got free tickets to go down to the bottom in the telepherique ball thingys — at least I think that’s what they’re called. Bo$$ status. After we got to the bottom, we were all in a desperate state of hunger, so we got some quesadillas at this place right by my house. It happened to be their anniversary or something so I got a free Corona Extra glass thing — it’s either a candle holder or a really large shot glass, I’m not really sure. Winning.

After the late lunch I went home to grab my laptop and made my way to Jardin de Ville to check my e-mail and all the usual nonsense. Stayed there for a little and then went back home to have dinner with Madeleine. It was some pizza cheese hybrid thing with vegetables and probably something else but I can’t remember anymore. Zut. Once dinner was done I met up with Ian and I attempted to learn to skateboard. Actually, I wasn’t that terrible at it. Soon after we met up with Carl and got lost a few times on our way to Richard’s house. By the time we got there everyone was drunk and ready to leave, so we made our way to the same discotheque as the night before; except that they didn’t open until midnight and it wasn’t free until after 12:10, so Preston, Maddie, Emily, Ian, Max and this girl Lori all went to a bar to grab a beer/wine. We stayed there and wasted time for a bit and then went back to the disco — wahwahweewah. I didn’t last as long as the night before, nor did I want to, so probably around 2 or so a big group of us made the trek home, where I promptly passed out. Score.

Sunday, September 16th: Woke up at 10:00 and hit the road with my mom at 11:30 and made our way to a town called Mens, about an hour drive from Grenoble. The view was amazing, and there was a eco-friendly/food fair going on in town, bonus. After we had some home-made sorbet (I got raspberry), we went to Madeleine’s friends summer house — it was made during the Napoleon era and had an epic view.

So basically we stayed there for the afternoon and had aperitifs and I worked on my French. Then we headed back home; it took about an hour and half, and then I had a light dinner and Madeleine went to bed. After dinner, I met up with Ian, Max, Maddie and Natasha at Victor Hugo and planned for our upcoming weekend trip: Marseille! We’re leaving on Friday morning and coming back on Sunday afternoon, holla. I forget the name of our Hostel but there’s 7 of us and we’re splitting the rooms 5 and 2. So excite! Thus concludes my weekend.

Monday, September 17th: Aka today. I had every intention of waking up at 7 and going for a run, but when my alarm actually went off I kept hitting snooze and didn’t get up until 8:30. After I had breakfast and all that jazz, Emily and I met up in front of SNCF to get our train tickets — but it was closed, fail — so instead we got cafe au lait until we had to head to campus for our 10:40 classes. And now I’m just waiting for my second class of the day to start, and then we’re going back to get our train tickets. Not a terrible Monday, I would say.

peace out home skillets

Meow Mix




Wazzup gangstas.

As a disclaimer: I think I’m still a little drunk as I write this. It’s 9:22 in the morning…. = France. <– well, I was then. Except now it’s Thursday morning.

Just living the dream. You know.

Yesterday everybody at CUEF (within API there are two groups of kids going to different schools; CUEF is the language and culture program and the majority of people, and GEM is the business school) had to take the French placement exam. Let me tell you: it was a bunch of MALARKY. First of all, the lady who interviewed me for the oral part of the exam was evil. She asked me what I do for work and I told her how during the school year I work at a barn, then she asked me what I did at the barn. How the hell was I supposed to explain barn chores in French?? So I just kind of looked at her for a few seconds and told her I rode the horses that were bad. A complete lie, but there is no way in all the seven hells (Game of Thrones reference. Yup) that I was about to try and translate barn chores into French.

So yeah, that was the oral part. Then came the written part aka bullshit. Parts of the listening section may as well have been in Japanese. Whatever. At least I don’t actually have to be taking high level classes, plus the easier the classes the less work I have to do outside of class.  Good way to look at it, right?

Damn my head hurts.

Après l’examen we had a scavenger hunt that basically made us run all around Grenoble and ask questions/take pictures. I was on a team with Emily and Nina and we were competitive at first, but it was freaking hot and about an hour in we decided that lemonade and coffee and WiFi sounded better. Winner winner chicken dinner. We tried to get that delicious gelato again but it was closed, wtf mate. What kind of ice cream place is closed at 2:00pm when it’s hot as balls out? Punto Gusto, that’s who. Shuuun.

Regardless we lamped around until it was time to meet up with the rest of the group at 4:00 in Jardin de Ville. After Anna checked out the highest ranking teams scores we were free to do our own thing, but I opted to stay in the park since there was WiFI strong enough that I was able to upload pictures – see the below post for the goods. Emily and Nina stayed with me for a bit, but eventually they left and I was flying solo. That’s when the group of French people next to me decided to swoop in. They had some guitars and were actually pretty cool, so I hung out with them for a few hours and fell victim to some body art:

The three triangle dots apparently means “fuck the police”, so I guess I’m now a French rebel. C’est la vie. Oh yeah, and none of them spoke English. Three cheers for practicing my French skillsz, bro.

One guy with a Mohawk asked if I had a boyfriend, and when I said yes he smirked and replied, “mais pas un petit ami en France, oui?” à basically that means that I only had an American boyfriend, and not a French one. No thank you. He caught my drift and settled with writing “Vermont” on his pants in marker as a souvenir to remember me by… I overlooked the fact that it was kind of weird and took it as a compliment.

Afterwards I made my way back home, read some more Game of Thrones (page 1000. WHATS UP) and waited for Madeleine to get home. For dinner we had some soup – she said the name of the vegetable but it escapes me at the moment – salad, beets and boeuf. I’m still on the fence about beets, I think. They weren’t terrible with salt and pepper but they definitely tasted like they came from the ground. In the dirt kind of way, but hey I gave it a try.
Once dinner was finished Madeleine went to bed and I met Nina, Emily, Max, Ian and Preston in the park for some nightly shenanigans. Like true hobos we had a bottle of vodka and some grapefruit juice. Buzzbuzz. Except I’m a little bit regretting it now because I feel like I’m about to upchuck all over my laptop. Class-act, whatever. After the bottle was empty we rendez-vous(ed) to a bar in the Notre Dame area. I couldn’t tell you the name of it, but we all ordered Stella Artois and I definitely hit the drunk mark by the end. When in France. Then I walked home and promptly passed out. Carl woke me up this morning by calling my phone, so here I am… in the lovely place of limbo between drunkland and hungover world.

On that note, I don’t have to meet up with my group until 12:45, so I think I’m going to go back to bed. Peace out home skillets.

^^ So now its bright and early Thursday morning, September 13th. This whole not having WiFi thing… lamesauce for the reason that I can’t just type and instantaneously post.

Anyway, I slept off the hangover on Wednesday which was fantastical and met up with the clan at Stendhal (that’s the name of our university) for our results. The levels were as follows: B1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5 and 1.8 then B2.somethings. A few kids in our group got into B2 – snaps for themmm – and I found myself in 1.5. I don’t hate it one bit; except for the fact that I’m the only one from API who got into it.

After our placements we had to sit through some orientation garbagio that was about the equivalent of pulling hairs out of my arm, aka painful. Finally we were set free and I wound up back at Jardin de Ville with Nina and Ellisa, were I spent about an hour+ hula hooping and then taught Nina some moves. It’s entertaining hula hooping in public over here because it’s pretty blatant that nobody in France indulges in the hippy hobbies. I caught a few people snapping pics and one guy was trying to videotape me on the sly. Next time I’m putting out a hat with some coins. A work out AND a chance to earn some drinking money at the same time? Yes, please.

Mooo-ving on. I got back home, power showered and met up with Maddie, Max, Natasha and Evelyn for some dinner. For a solid chunk of time we were being mildly stalked by some Asian guy from London (yeah…) whose name was near impossible to pronounce. No offense, but those blokes across the pond have no concept of personal space. He never took the hint that I was backing away from him for a reason. But I digress. After dinner, our group met up with Richard, Ellisa, Heather and her boyfriend, Roman, then it was off to the ice rink! I proposed to the group that we go to a Grenoble hockey game, and a lot of people were gung-ho about it; for good reason, too, it was awesome! The mascot for Grenoble is a burning wolf… HELL YES. Wolves and fire: two things que j’adore. The team entered the rink through a giant inflatable wolf head; need I say more? Take a gander at the video to understand the title of this post. This dude must have been blowing testosterone or something he did not stop all night. I swear I woke up in the middle of the night singing Allez Grenoble to “When the Saints go Marching in”. Team pride right thurr.

So we ended up winning the game 3-2 against some team called GAP. EAT THAT. I also bought a hat:







While we were waiting for the tram a boy who spoke English wandered up to us, and when I told him I was from Rhode Island he said that his host brother was from Rhode Island as well. Turns out the mystery dude is Mike’s host brother… small freaking city. He was a wealth of information and told us about a bar – ironically called “Plan B” – that has pints of beer for 3 euros. Yuuup.  I know where I’m going this weekend. They also sell a liter of hard alcohol for 20 euros, but that makes me want to vomit just thinking about it. He gave me shit when I didn’t want to go to the bar that night; these Grenoblois know how to get down, I guess. Unfortunately, there was no way me or my liver wanted to drink two nights in a row like that, so after the game I went home and crashed with visions of hockey players skating in my head.

Which brings us to Wednesday, the first day of classes. EEW. My first class was at 8:30; not pleased. Despite the early hour I managed to make it to class on time. My professor is a pretty cool dude, and we spent the majority of the time learning about our classmates; I’m the only American in the class, which is kind of cool. There are a bunch of kids from China, some from Japan, and then others from Kuwait, Australia, Singapore, Columbia and Germany. I’ve always had a thing for Germany, so naturally the girl from there – Hannah, she’s from Hamburg – and I bonded. She actually spent the whole day with us and is coming with our group tomorrow night to a dubstep concert at Stendhal. She planned this semester abroad all on her own and doesn’t really have any friends in France, so I told her she’s more than welcome to hang with me whenever she wants which she seemed pretty happy about. Yay new friends!

Besides my B1.5 class, a group of us tried out the elective classes that were offered today. The first one was a history of contemporary France… pass. It started out sounding cool, but then I realized I’ve taken a class similar to this in English, so why waste my time doing it in French? The second class I’m definitely signing up to take this semester; it’s a French history of film class. The professor is super into it and seems to pick interesting films to watch… and the fact that our only grades are a quiz, a paper and an exam is BOMB. Minimal homework and it only meets once a week. Golden.

Thus ends my first academic day of the semester, and boy is my brain exhausted. It’s way more tiring than I anticipated speaking/comprehending French in all my classes, but there’s no better way to learn. I just finished dinner: tomato mozzarella salad with tuna (???? Way weird, but surprisingly tasty) and some mashed potato, spinach and salmon dish with this chocolate dipped ice cream thing for dessert (so dank). Apparently it was a fish kind of night. Madeleine just went out for aperitifs with some friends and I’m being lamesauce and holding down the fort. It’s 8:45 and I’m basically about to go to bed… play hard, sleep hard? I need to catch some zzz’s for the upcoming weekend – which starts tomorrow YEAH BITCHES no class on Friday’s. Plus I feel like it’s very easy to get fat from all these brewskis, so I’m waking up before class tomorrow (10:40) to go on a nice run. Three cheers for athletic motivation!

Bon soir mes amis xxoo

(p.s. by the way I’m posting this on Thursday morning but there’s nothing new to report except for the fact I could probably drown in the amount of sweat I shed this morning. Sexy, I know.)