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5th Year Ends

photo, group, stan, heather, karen, lynn, jeff, rita, bob, priscilla

'Group of the Year' – from left, Stan, Heather, Karen,
Lynn, Jeff, Rita, Bob and Priscilla.

The Club's 6th Year Begins!

Paris:– Thursday, 14. October 2004:– Tonight's TV–weather news employed a word that is used a lot these days in reference to the price of crude oil in New York – unstable.

We have – I guess it cannot be rare – a cyclone condition. This is not a tropical storm, but a counterclockwise mess of wind circulating around a low pressure something or other, with the whole thing moving from the Britain area towards France.

Because of the counterclockwise rotation, our winds are sort of from the south – but the wholephoto, kir royal thing is coming from the northwest, so temperatures are falling in my bathroom, leaking in through the loose windows.

All in all, it is not only unstable but complex. This will result in the weather being two kinds of crummy for the next several days, with Friday maybe being the worst, with no more than 10 degrees in my bathroom. In the Alps, there may be a bit of snowfall above 1000 metres. Luckily my bathroom window is a lot lower than this.

The week's ' Cocktail of the Week' is the real McCoy!

The complexity keeps on for Saturday and Sunday, with pretty rotten weather for both days, with temperature highs of 11 degrees and 12 degrees. The sun may peep out at random times, but will not like what it sees, and hide.

As in every autumn at this time of year, official sundown is about 19:00 and sunrise, in theory, about 8:15. In between, umbrellas.

A 'Once a Year' Club Report this Week

The sky to the north is full of clouds from the tops of buildings lining the Boulevard Edgar Quinet up to the top of the sky, which isn't all that high. I stick the umbrella that I wear on my head in the bag and trudge to the Métro at Raspail, with the wind pushing behind me.

It doesn't seem like a good day to be doing anything other than going to a club meeting and being at it, but when I leave the Métro at Châtelet I wander over to Les Halles to see what the city is going to tear down.

With the sky in various shades of gray, it doesn't look too bad, if you like sunken malls. The best view of it is notphoto, bob's dog from inside, but from outside and above it – where it's possible to see the church and the Bourse de Commerce. Everything else looks about as cheap and shoddy as Les Halles, except the garden.

Portrait of 'Bisou.'

What the city tears down, it will rebuild. There was an architectural competition for the replacement, but I must of been having lunch at the time. Le Parisien says the folks in the neighborhood are restless. They don't want to re–live the ten–year long hole in the ground – that was filled with the 'hole in the ground' mall.

Part way through this I put my umbrella on my head and pull it down to the tops of my ears. The sky is spitting before it starts to drool in ernest.

In the café La Corona's 'grande salle' Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' says that things are really slow. I try to tell him there's more people in the 'grande salle' than usual, but it is the lack of people before I arrived that he's thinking of.

The first member of the club to arrive is Rita Martinson, who has just returned from Berlin. We are in mid–paragraph when Priscilla Pointer and Bob Symonds arrive.

I assume this couple from Santa Monica who live near the Rue Daguerre are club members, because they know member Dennis Moyer, and I've met them before. Of course it's possible that they are the only club members not included in the archives – this club secretary is not perfect after all.

While Metropole's archive is returning a blank, putting Priscilla and Bob's names into a search engine produces lots of results – for about 20 movies and dozens of TV shows. Bob tells me about the current American Festival, mostly taking place in Vincennes, so if you hit the link your browser will be turned on for searching too.

Lynn and Jeff from Oakland are next to arrive and Lynn deftly orders a Kir Royal from Patrick. There is to be no re–run of last week's 'Strange Cocktail of the Week.' In a moment of recklessness the club's secretary emits a monologue on the subject of drink – to wit, the 'house red' isn't always the most superior drink available, but might be better than the average beer.

This, despite the absence of personal experience for the past 15 years. How do I know things aren't vastlyphoto, beer of the week better these days? To take me off the hook, Rita says, "I do freelance predictions – chardonnay will be big!"

Luckily I have a German wine bible so I can look it up and spell it correctly. It is a white grape in Burgundy. In my time it was too rich for me, I was stuck in the Loire.

Then Karen Scott arrives, from the one and only Lodi, in New Jersey. Karen asks if Heather Stimmler–Hall will be at the meeting, but I do not know. Karen gives me a birthday card to give to Heather.

A rather ordinary 'Beer of the Week.'

At this moment, as if summoned, Heather does arrive. I give her the card. It has a black dog on it with a posy in its mouth. Bob pulls out an Orange card holder and shows me a photo of his dog. It has a green tennis ball in its mouth. It's name is 'Bisou.'

Karen says, "You remember, I couldn't get a cold drink?" I don't, remember. "Actually it's kind of balmy today," she says. Does this mean there are problems getting cold drinks today? The café's frigos are fritzed?

Unlike four years ago, members do discuss the coming election in the United States. The last time one member kept on saying he voted for 'lower taxes' in Florida, and everybody else changed the subject.

Bob says, "Election day should be Sunday."

This is soself–evident that Heather says, "I'm busy – I'm goofing off." Heather, not content to be a freshly–minted author, is now 'testing' hotels that claim they arephoto, group 2 entitled to four stars, even if they have no restaurant. She would rather not tell us the names of places she's giving the thumbs–down.

Members acattered around the club's area today.
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