Thursday, December 31, 2009


Well it is far into New Year's Eve today in Paris and it is another decade change. I should ruminate on all the things I have been doing, sharing stories and adventures that have come to pass. But let's just do that another time eh?

I remember the turn of the century fairly easily, my family had a party with close family friends. I drank St. Julian's, positive it was better that any Champagne or alcohol that anyone else was drinking. Eating mini-quiches (God Bless Quiche)and running around with sparklers. I vaguely remember the notion of Y2K and the earth ending yadda yadda yadda, but didn't really understand what it was stemmed from. At Midnight, I had it all planned out: I had my dog under one arm, and the first three HP books and a picture of my family under the other. Those were the most important things to take into the new mill in my 10 year old opinion. And then, at the exact second, I snapped a picture of the Dick Clark Ball dropping and the clock illuminating 11:59:59 1999. I still have the picture and yes it is just as and even more epic than it sounds.

If I had thought about where I would be in 1o years, or even thoughts such as these, do you think Paris would have crossed my mind? Hmmmm, probably not at that point. Amazing the things that have happened in ten years. This is my first really understood decade. I can look back at the naughties (Time magazine has declared it the naughties and I enjoy it) and truly remember each year.

I'm not going to get nostalgic, in fact quite teh opposite. Thinking of all the things I am going to do and all the things I want to do AND KNOWING that they are all possible and it lies in my hands, this knowledge is the most empowering, drug-like high feeling I've ever had. As I walked home this morning on quiet Paris streets as the sun was rising, I felt overwhelmed with...I can't even...hmmm-if there was a word combination of accomplishment, elated, powerful, hungry and content. Just To Think! Where will I be in ten years (and no this isn't an anti-drug channel one commercial....)? I'm guessing Africa. That's just a far-off hope and educated guess. Let's not jinx it. To all: A Happy New Year and know that all these years to come have so much to offer, no matter who you are. Cheers mate!!!!!
In Review:I'll do 22,...just for a nice round number. And by round I mean that 2 is my favorite number and that is 2 2's. Yeah! It wouldn't let me rearrange them, so no particular order.

Claire Winter Foncée Gorton
Song: "Eyes as Candles" by Passion Pit

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

National LamPoole's Christmas Vacation + 1 American.

I am sitting here in our rented car (or as the aussies say, the car they hired) using teh internet. I am on top of the hill above our mountain chalet in the little town of Le Biot int eh French Alps.

I, in wonderful Claire fashion, had some exciting adventures. After my last exam, where my professor told me I was a brilliant young political scientist...but have problems expressing myself in French (YOU THINK?) I headed home to fully pack from my month of traveling and holiday fun. Robyn also had her last exam and MADE me drink champagne...(forced I tell you....) and I packed up Beau D into my dorm room with his newly transplanted leg/pedal (another story for another night) and rushed off to teh bus where I was meting benji to give him his Chrismakkuh present. It started off fine, I was a little heavy loaded but good.

Then the wrapping on benji's present fell off. OH well.

Then I had three minutes until my bus left for the train station.....come on come on come on come on come onnnnn NO. I am walking up to teh station when my bus pulls away. I flag heavily and yell to no avail. Ben looks at me with this look of deep apologies and tell me that he even went around an opened up all of the luggage carriers in order to slow her down. No bust. We exchange words, make goodbye noises and I get ont eh next bus to teh TGV station...should have about 3 minutes to spare if all goes well. I remember I am in France and let out a few expletives (though many in French).

I get to teh train station with 2 minutes to spare and race u teh stairs because for God knows what reason the elevator is broken. I run onto teh platform as the guard is blowing his whistle and scream "attends! attends!!" I am running the train starts moving! He waves at me and I jump on with another couple at my heels. I'm on! I'm really on!! Putains de PHEW!

Well, I get to Paris no sweat, meet up with Caitlin and Matt no sweat and teh Poole's. Meet my family for teh next three weeks and they are all so lovely! AND, I have never seen such a diversified family. it i bizarre, they ahve this quality of Poole-ness to them...but are all different shapes and sizes and hair colors. It is fascinating.

Anyway, we hire the car and BARELY fit inside. I mean luggage on our laps and still barely fit...this is where national LamPOOLE's Christmas vacation comes in. We are driving to le Biot from Lyon and it is taking a little while because of course Aussie's rive ont eh wrong(left) side of the road so it is a little confusing. Plus everything is on French. But we get 8 km from our town and we start to ascend this mountain pass. I'm thinking, not as bad as little problem. Then I AWD. I nervously as..."this car has ABS right?" yes, it oes. Phew.

Then it starts to snow.....

30 minutes later. Shoot to all teh children running around outside frolicking int eh snow as the aussies don't really get a lot of the white stuff down unda. (P.S. I will (and already sorta am) speak with an Australian accent before the end of this trip. By gosh its insane. I'm sayying weird differently and other ones I can't remeber because it sounds NORMAL TO ME NOW! AHHHH)

We are stuck int eh snow/can't move becsue teh tires just keep is too heavy and no AWD or 4x4...we abandon the car. But our lovely chalet people pick us up and we arrive to salad and hot french lasagna.

Since then we've been munching on chocolat and enjoying the wonderful scenery, going skiing tomorrow. I brought my boots but had to rent skis. When I went tot eh place and saw teh man fitting mine all up A horrible fleeting thought came across my head....I will basically have to re-learn my job at the ORP, I can barely remember anything!!!!!....Oh well.

Ok, going inside to help with dinner and learn some more pertinent Aussie traditions to solidify my amerussie status.

Bonne Fêtes!

Oh and we went to Carrefour and I may or may not have bought "the Tales of Beetle the Bard" in french.....I HAD to right??? To practice my french, right??? Come onnnn, right????. Shut up.
Song "I'm yours" new rendition...

Friday, December 18, 2009

That whole communication thing.

As to prevent Joe from calling the embassy to find me again I will provide a few details of my whereabouts over the next month. I don't know how often I will be able to blog, but I am hoping frequently.

Today:17 décembre 2009: Currently in Paris staying with Caitlin and her friend Matt who is studying here at Science-Po.

17-20th of décembre: In Paris and meeting up Caitlin's family in order to re-group and head to the Alps for Christmas!

20th-28th of décembre: Staying with Caitlin's family in the Alps 20 km away from Geneva.

28-5th of décembre and janvier: Back to Paris for a ROCKIN New Year's Eve and Day celebrations. Then Nicklaus meets up on the 3rd and we fly to.....

5th Janvier: VENICE! We fly to venice and meet up with Sir Maximilian for a stay in Venice and a nice picturesque drive to Graz.

10-13th janvier: Graz, Austria with my boys until I fly to....

13-17th janvier: LONDON TOWN baby with my own personal tour guide Benj. We then meet up with Naz, Caitlin and hopefully Roby for a fun-filled cold, wet, island in the Atlantic adventure.

17th janvier: Fly back to Marseille.....Sad day....except I get to be reunited with my boyfriend....BEAU D!

Claire Winter Gorton
Song: Sounds of Paris....
Sorry no pictures...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When studying gets boring...

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a faint and confused volume of International Org,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my dorm room door.
`'Tis just joshua' I muttered, `tapping at my dorm room door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying member, from our heads our hair we tore.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
The textbooks, my lack of knowledge matched by sorrow - sorrow for what is in store
For Langeron, our sole patron, who truly knew what’s in store,
Oh dear Angels! What’s in store?-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of my shower curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis just Joshua entreating entrance at my dorm room door -
Just late and stressing, cherching food at my dorm room door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was at study, or facebooking to clear a muddy,
Head, so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my dorm room door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no cuqu-er ever dared to dream before
But the silence was foreboding, and the darkness only stoking,
My fears of the le guardien, “don’t touch Beau, I’ll close my door!”
This I whispered, an echo murmured back the words, `Is your mind not yet sore?’
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the dorm room turning, all the l’ONG’s I’m learning
Were interrupted by a tapping near my window, louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `Surely tis just the pigeons ogling;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and my mind dare implore; -
'Tis Just Macgregor and of course nothing more!'

Open here I flung the glass, In so hoping fresh air to pass,
But in there stepped a smoking rooster undeniably from France.
Not the least of manners made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, knocking me on shoulder sore, he flew to perch above my chamber door -
Perched upon my best green fleece, just above my chamber door -
Perched, and smoked, and nothing more.

Then this red, feathered bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the smirking and flirtatious countenance it wore,
`Though thy cheeks be well-defined, thou,' I said, `art sure no friend of mine.
Ghastly smelling and rude rooster wandering from the night club tour -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on this night you stop at my door!'
Quoth the rooster, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the green fleece upon his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the rooster, sitting lonely on the fuzzy jumper, it spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered – not even when I buttered -
some vegemite, until I muttered ‘Org’s Int’l, tis what I study for -
On the morrow I will ace thee, as my hopes are highly for.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so cockily spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is it has only practiced for,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster until his orale examen burden was bore-
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the rooster still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled my desk chair seat in front of bird and fleece and door;
Then, upon the plastic sitting, I betook myself to fitting
this Fancy unto fancy, where puzzle pieces should belong or-
How this rude and fowl fowl, knew my up and coming score
and what he meant in `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose laughing eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with thoughts of Langeron reclining
into those of fowl, and l’ONG’s who had governed o'er,
All my thoughts were now floating into this fair bird of yore,
Does he know? What’s in store??!

Then, methought, the air grew damper, like our over-flowing hamper,
with the weight of our exam, these thoughts, they scared me to the core.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by IEP, it has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy studies, for what is in store!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, tell, will I survive what is in store?!'
Quoth the rooster, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether bread has begged thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, A study-guide is all I wanted -
On examen eve, I am haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
What of my subject, l’ONU, l’ASEAN? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the rooster, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow wrought, if dictophone had I bought,
Would the knowledge I had sought, be at ready for what’s in store?-
will I decipher from my notes, enough data for what’s in store??'
Quoth the rooster, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word your sign of leaving, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upheaving -
`Get thee cigarette put out, and fly to where you came before!
Leave no smoke plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my internet unbroken! – I need it for internat’l Org!
Wipe thy ash from my notes, and leave me to study as before!'
Quoth the rooster, `Nevermore.'

And the rooster, never flitting, still is smoking, still is sitting
On the now ashy green fleece of yore, just above my dorm room door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And computer screen light is streaming to throw his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow, fore’er belongs to int’l org
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Here is what this poem would had looked like if Edgar Allen Poe Had lived in the 21st century as a foreign exchange student in France...

Claire Winter Gorton
Song: "Joy it brings" DMB

Monday, December 7, 2009


Just in case I eat TOO many pain au chocolat or croissants or gaufres.......There is always this:

I am been über busy, and studying for literally 6-7 hours a day....So I have not been very good with this b(log). I have three ideas to write and want to write about but just not the time. Sorry.

obviously... "big girl" Mika

Interestingly enough, fat bottomed girls is my favorite queen song...hmmmmm.