Eiffel Tower

What the.

Wow, my favorite phallic-shaped engineering masterpiece.

Have you ever noticed all these countries try to design at least one structure that’s the tallest. It’s like a dick measuring contest. Just, hold off on the dicks, like I always say.

The iron lattice tower was constructed in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair. Imagine the look on their faces when they saw this one. I bet when the architect pulled the tarp off the tower, people were really surprised because they were wondering what was under that tarp while it was being built. Then they’d probably say something like, “Well, let’s go to our jobs in really unsafe factories.”

Originally criticized among critics as a real eyesore, it’s now one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

Guess who had the last laugh.

Notre-Dame de Paris

Who cares?

Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

Well, apparently the judging contest for great architecture hasn’t seen my matchstick bridges. You know, when you make a bridge out of matchsticks and glue. Sure, it can’t even handle the weight of a penny on it before it collapses, but god darn it if it isn’t prettier than Notre-Dame de Paris. When I look at Notre-Dame de Paris, it makes me want to throw up.

The cathedral contains relics such as the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.

Which is exactly why I snatched them up when they were brought out for Lent.

I booked it out of there but it wasn’t long before a cop arrested me and put on the handcuffs. It was a French cop, which made me think they’d let me off ok. But apparently, the French are pretty rude to Americans.

“No no no!” I laughed, “This is one big mix up. It was just for a halloween costume. I was going to go as Jesus.” I said it that way because maybe they would think, “Actually, that’s pretty funny. You’re free. Uncuff him, boys.”

They didn’t. But I got to see the inside of French jail and let me tell you, it was a lot prettier than that dump Notre-Dame de Paris.

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland_Hotel,_Paris,_France,_2011 (1)
Pink is a color.

Ah yes, Disneyland Paris, the most visited theme park in Europe. And rightfully so. Opened in 1992, it looks like it was built just yesterday, which is usually pretty recent. Just like the Disneyland in California, it was pristine and cleaner than any place I’ve ever been.

It was a hot day and I was frying an egg on the sidewalk to see if it would cook. It didn’t, but I ate it anyway, because the ground was so clean, you could do that.

4,800 acres encompasses 2 theme parks, resort hotels, shopping, dining, an entertainment complex, and a golf course.

Wow! What a lot of shit!! I didn’t go to the golf course, but I figured Obama would be there playing. That’s why I avoided it. I’m not allowed within 1 foot of him by law.

And also, he knows I would whoop him at golf. I’m pretty good. Sure, a lot of grass and dirt gets kicked into the air and it takes a few times to get a good swing, and the game lasts 16 hours, but other than that, I’m really good.

Walt Disney Studios Park

Walt and his big pet mouse.

Walt Disney Studios Park is dedicated to movies and production of show business. Which is important for kids to understand. Most importantly, you have a 1 in a billion chance of being a star and you should just get an Associate’s Degree and really get a job where you can use your hands. Like a construction worker, or maybe a grave digger if you love dead bodies.

This park was opened in 2002, it’s not as fully developed or large as Disneyland Paris, but it’s still pretty good.

My husband and I got on this one ride, I think it was the Armageddon ride. Remember that movie? Me neither. It was about an astroid. Or maybe that was a comet. Wait, maybe it was a giant space baby. I always get those three mixed up.

When we entered the ride, first we were in a room with a video presentation. They delivered certain safety messages, and other things. I don’t really remember because I wasn’t paying much attention.

I was screaming like a wild banshee. “Ma’am,” someone next to me said, “the ride hasn’t started yet.”

Next we entered another room, I know what you’re thinking, why so many rooms? And I’m here to tell you: I don’t know.

After we had all filed in, the ride began. We were standing the whole time and there was loud noises and bright lights and the floor dropped, but in a scary way.

I screamed again but apparently too long because the same person turned to me and said, “Ma’am, the ride is over.”

Musée d’Orsay

Old train station? Nope. A MUSEUM.

You can NOT touch the butts of the sculptures in Musée d’Orsay. There’s no signs specifically saying it, but its implied. Also, the signs are in French and English, so how was I supposed to know?

The museum is located on the banks of the Seine, housed in a railway station built in 1914. It’s hard to imagine all those trains running through that beautiful museum and crushing all the priceless fossils or whatever they sell.

The displays include paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Now I know what you’re thinking. Paintings?! In this economy? But don’t worry, I pulled a Banksy and painted over them the image of two priests kissing and a caption saying, “Destroy. Create. Repeat.” Really makes you think, huh?

The museum houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world by painters like Monet and Van Gogh. I like Van Gogh. Monet is ok and all, but I could paint a bunch of dots on a canvas at home. Well, badly.

Van Gogh, though. How does he do it? How does he paint a man all screwed up up-close, but far away… it looks like a man with a beard?

My favorite painting of his wasn’t there. But it’s Irises. It’s a painting of irises. This too looks all screwed up up-close, but far away it also looks like a man with a beard.

Man, how does he do it?


Who were the ad wizards who decided to build a pyramid in the middle of a palace?

The Louvre is known well by everyone as the world’s largest art museum with approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century. Big deal. I once lost a green bean in a bet. I’ll never gamble again… *I look on wistfully* That was the old me…

As the world’s largest art museum, you can imagine it’s pretty big. Well, you would be right, genius. I think it has the most artifacts I’ve ever seen. I know I saw a small fraction of what was there. Which was very confusing because I never graduated from high school because of fractions. Well, and all the rest of the subjects they teach.

My favorite was the Islamic art and the artifacts from prehistory.

For one, Islamic art is the most beautiful shade of blue I’ve ever seen and they used fucking geometry to make complex and detailed art that didn’t rely on only drawing people. If you think about it, it’s pretty boring to only ever draw people. Get real.

Prehistory was fascinating because the first pieces of art known to rock science were on display. Unsurprisingly, it was pretty stupid. It was rocks with slashes carved in them. Who knows why. I think they were playing tic-tac-toe. Which is the most boring game. Then when they were done with that, they probably went off to ride a cheetah with Jesus. Haha, can you imagine?

As the most visited art museum in the world, there was a lot of people there. That’s an understatement. There was a FUCKTON of people there.

So get ready to wait in lines and bump into people and say, “excuse me,” and “sorry,” and “What do you mean, ‘was that your hand?'”

The most visited room had the Mona Lisa. Probably the most famous painting in the world. Here’s the thing about the Mona Lisa, though. She’s very small. Also, all her paint is cracked and chipping. It’s protected behind thick glass. Trust me.

The Mona Lisa, kind of let me down. I found way more impressive stuff than that in my life. For example, a giant painting that takes up an entire hall, or a balloon animal of a giraffe. Because come on, that’s talent.

Originally, the Louvre was a museum housed in the Louvre Palace. Hm, makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, when I close my eyes and use my imagination, I imagine I’d want a museum in my palace. My palace would have great works of world literature that smell of fine leather and burgundy. I’d keep the works in the museum. The one in my palace.

The rest of the palace would be made of various candies and chocolates like that movie where the clown tricked children into a candy land until they all died except one of them… who he launched into outer space.


Not a video game but a real place.

Carcassonne is a fortified town that has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. When was that? Nobody knows. Probably caveman times.

It was once located on a key trade route and on a hilltop, which was strategically defensible. They probably grew spelt. Man, what is that stuff? Science has not yet discovered.

The Western Roman Empire occupied the town until… its demise. Geez, those Romans really did a number on the world, didn’t they?


Seine_by_Eiffel (1)
The Seine illuminated at night.

I got on a boat for this.

The Seine is a river and commercial waterway in Paris. You know, gay Paris?

37 bridges within Paris span the river including, the fancy-schmancy Pont Alexandre III. It’s a gold bridge but it’s not even that big. I’m really impressed by scale. That’s me.

I remember my husband and I were on this boat that serves dinner and wine. I usually never drink. In fact, they served us white wine and I hadn’t had alcohol in 4 years.

I had exactly 1 glass.

Sure enough, I was whoopin’ and hollerin’, holding onto the railing in the front of the river boat ducking and screaming, “She’s gonna blooooow!!”

I also fell down the stairs. This one actually happened. It was just a little bit of falling though. Mostly nobody saw except these two guys.

The worst part was when I couldn’t stop laughing. I have a pretty loud laugh. Well, more like a screech combined with a witch’s cackle and a wheezy old man’s cough.

A lot of the other passengers kept looking over at us. They had a screwed up look on their faces. It was hideous.

My husband carried me off the boat. “Why are you making me do this?” he asked. “You can walk fine.”


Shannon O’Brien

The end? Nope. One more story.

“I don’t want to pay for restaurants anymore. Let’s go to the grocery store.” I was walking fast through the antique sidewalks of Paris. Mostly so I wouldn’t get robbed. If there’s anything I’ve learned from war and cop movies, it’s to keep moving. The faster the better. That way, you can run away from the bullets. (Say, if someone were to shoot you with a gun.)

We entered the “super market.” I call it a “super market” because it was small and there was nothing “super” about it. It’s sarcasm.

Everybody knows super means big. Everybody knows that. It’s misleading. And there’s nothing I hate more than being mislead by someone. I won’t be made to look like a fool. I will not.

We bought 3 different cheeses, who, by the way, were cheap and way better than anything I could find in the US. We also bought some Atlantic smoked salmon that was… you know, the wet kind. I felt bad getting the Atlantic salmon because I’m pretty sure they’re endangered. But I was pretty hungry and it was getting late.

We got back to our hotel room, ate a bunch of the fish and cheese and bread. Oh right, we bought bread too. We turned on a show called Zig and Sharko, which is a kid’s cartoon in French where they don’t talk a lot so I could understand it. It was pretty funny to us so we watched a lot of that.

Anyway, the next day we went and did our sightseeing and when we get back to the hotel, there’s a disgusting smell in the room and the hotel staff had to open all the windows and brought a fan in to get the smell out. It smelled like puke.

So yeah, that’s probably the grossest story I can think of right now. Oh, you didn’t ask to hear the grossest story I could think of? Well, I’m sorry you can’t eat the nice dinner you worked so hard to cook anymore, but to be fair, this dinner is pretty gross too.

Signing off,

Shannon O’Brien