Wednesday, August 26, 2009

God Bless America

Well, I'm back in France! So the exciting blogging will continue. But in the words of the infamous Lee Corso (ESPN College Football announcer), "Not so fast my friends!" Before I go into France, I wanted to share what I did during my month "vacation" in America. For some reason, despite living in America for the last 23.5 years, I decided it was necessary for me to get as much Americana as I could in this month. Things that I can't do in France. Here are the things I did for that taste...

Ate as much fast food as I could. Highlights include:
  • A 460 cal. Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks (I don't know why I needed this...I haven't had one in 5 years)
  • 4 trips to Chipotle
  • McDonald's visit in which no one behind the counter spoke English (not that much different than going to one in France)
  • A burger from Max & Erma's that had 5 slices of cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms, guacamole, and marinara
  • Ate 3 Dunkin' Donuts for no apparent reason. I just had breakfast 2 hours ago.
  • 2 Deep Dish pizza nights
  • 1 day without drinking a beer
  • Ate at a restaurant where girls come to your window to take your order
  • Ate in the car
  • Had an ice cream cake
  • Watched a movie with a tub of popcorn and a tub of Coke
Shopped at Wal-Mart, hated every second of it, but saved a bunch of money.

Tailgated at a White Sox game

Painted a frat room, then proceeded to lay in bed for 2 hours that night hoping the music would die down from the room next to mine.

Sweated my ass off giving my dad free labor

Complained about the President

Spent an entire day(s) watching TV

Made a huge deal out of watching a Preseason football game

Shopped at Costco, twice.

Went to a high school football game 40 minutes away and then waited another 1.5 hours to see it because of a thunderstorm...and I knew no one on the team

Tailgated at said football game

Went to my alma mater and watched eager freshmen move in with their nervous/eager parents. Then I nearly cried driving away knowing that I won't see the love of my life (Butler) for an entire school. The first time in 5 years.

...and of course, spent lots of timing with my amazing family. I couldn't have possibly laughed more in one month because of them.

Here's to the next 8 months in France. I'll miss you, America.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

MTV Cribs

For you hundreds of readers out there waiting to hear my next story...I don't have one. If you've kept yourself updated on my blog, you'll know that I'm at home in America taking care of my cancer-surviving mother. Other than reporting just how good she's doing (fantastically), I have nothing to report.

Instead, I'll show you something I've worked on while over here. I made a video of the house I'm staying at in France. It's styled after MTV if you've haven't seen the show, you might not get a lot of these jokes. And yes, this is the same video I have on Facebook, so if you've seen that one, don't bother. I tried to put this video on this website, but it wouldn't work.'ll have to copy and paste this link to go to youtube to see the video. It's in two parts. I hope you enjoy!

Part 1:
Part 2:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Mom's (Ex) Cancer

As previously written of, I arrived home Saturday in anticipation of my mom's surgery to remove her cancerous tumor. That happened.

On the 4th, my mom had a Whipple Procedure at Northwestern. In all, there were 12 relatives who made the trip up to Chicago to support my mom. There were so many of us, the lady in the waiting room gave us a private room...probably so that we wouldn't disturb the others. We are a loud family, to say the least. We waited from 6AM-7PM! Quite the interesting wait.

The doctor said that everything went as well as hoped. He removed everything that he wanted (tumor, part of stomach, duodenum, part of pancreas, and bile duct) and hooked everything back up. She experienced a lot of pain while in recovery. So much so, they moved her to Intensive Care last night. But finally, they have the pain managed, and she seems to be handling this very well. Soon, we will make our way back up to a recovery room where we'll have a much more comfortable stay.

Aside from my mom, the trip back home has been fantastic. I know this sounds strange, but I haven't laughed this much in consecutive days for a long time. Anytime you get me with my brothers and my dad, we tend to be pretty loud and hilarious...but only to ourselves. I don't think anyone else understands half the things we talk about.

I've gotten to see a lot of family, and I've really enjoyed experiencing America again. So many things I've missed! The first day back, we all went to Costco and I was in heaven. Honestly, Costco is one of my favorite places (and I can say this now) in the world. I'm pathetic. Oh! And driving! I know I originally said that I loved driving in France, but that got old really quickly. Driving in America is the way to go...straight roads, no round-a-bouts, readable signs, smart drivers, and no freaking speed bumps on roads!

Even though I've gotten my share of deep dish pizza, I have been missing my wine, cheese, bread, and pastries. The French really got that right.