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photo, group, peter, tomoko, josef

The 'Group of 3 of the Week,' Peter, Tomoko and Josef.

Snowman of the Week

Paris:– Thursday, 3. March 2005:– Slush in the air, slush on the ground, slush in between. Little snowflakes blowing around like wisps of wet feathers, from light's feeble dawn to its sad collapse. The wind was sucking from the north, batting the flakes around, pushing white rain up noses.

For a few days now the TV–weather news has been excusing itself by saying that none of the above is normal, that none of it has happened for ten years, and we should just get used to it and quit whining. Well, it's horrible. Rare or not I am going to whine. Everybody else is whining. People, looking frozen, soggy, who aren't whining have been outside too long. They are in shock.

All the same last night's official orange alert didn't translate into deep snow this morning. Just the everlasting wispiness, falling falling, and the wind crawling around to keep it random.

Except for the continuing orange alert for the Ile–de–France tonight, with a low of minus 2 degrees, Friday's confused weather map defies analysis. While watching the TV–weather news horror show, I wrote 'semi' on tomorrow's map.

A semi–wind of 60 kph from the west, a semi–top temperature of 4 degrees, a lot of thick semi–clouds, and more of the horrible same semi–coming from Normandy.

By sometime Saturday some it should be semi–gone east, followed by more semi–coming from Normandy. Then for a change–up on Sunday the wind will switch to thephoto, linda thalman, snowman northeast and blow across here between two formations of more semi up along the Channel and a gloop of it to the southeast. And, oh yes, a high for the day of 2 degrees.

If you were thinking of a walk in a park, forget it. In weather like this many parks are closed. Wool hats are sold out too. Cinemas are open though. Cinemas are heated too.

For those of you who are into winter arts, the server–lady Linda Thalman sent along this wonderful photo of the snowman she sculpted this morning out at the Cadillac Ranch, providing the club's sole 'Snowman of the Week.'

The 'Breadcrumb' Report of the Week

What I couldn't see before I went out to go to the club was the collection of slush on my sidewalk. The sidewalk on the other side was pretty clear but on my side – I almost turned back. But along by the cemetery the sidewalks were pretty clear and only a kilo of snow was stuck to my coat by the time I reached the Métro at Raspail.

Seldom has a Métro's pit looked so welcome. My next–door neighbor blew in behind me, bought aphoto, josef, cafe ticket and caught up again just as the train arrived to take us to the Quartier Latin. Then at Odéon, like Parisians, we each took a different exit, to end up going the same way.

Café café café needs to be hot hot hot today.

Extensive sightseeing was hardly on my mind while I was hustling along Dauphine to the Pont Neuf. Going across the exposed bridge I didn't bother taking more than two photos. Photos of winter being winter aren't gems of light and shadow.

I didn't expect the Quai du Louvre to be busy so its being deserted wasn't a surprise. The café La Corona, when I arrived, was about as lively as an ice cream shop in Greenland. Patrick, often the club's 'Waiter of the Week,' was washing glasses.

In the café's 'grande salle,' a Spanish family was occupying the entire club area, from the window to the back wall. They had too many kids to count, and they had just arrived because they began to order.

I select the best substitute booth and settle in to bring the club's books up to date, finishing about a minute later. When I look up the first new member of the meeting is before me, so I stand and offer the best chair there is. All of the café's chairs are the best the café has, so they are good enough for the club

Peter Ferenczi says he has lived in Paris for two years. He says he came here from Britain where he was studying for his masters. He came here for romance, because romance is here. He came originally from Pasadena, California. I shudder. Roses. California!

It must be the day for nothing because I find that Pasadena has already been the 'City of the Week.' Alan Pavlik claimed it, but has since moved to just above Sunset in Hollywood. South Pasadena was also a 'City of the Week' not so many years ago. Peter tells me that Pasadena has two parts, and one has a lot of liquor stores, he thinks.

Peter says he expected 'to be morephoto, teapot of the week integrated' in Paris than he thinks he is, but I think he is but doesn't know it yet. After all, he found the club on the Web and then found it in Paris. Not that the club is a huge hulking landmark – hardly in the club's lowball style.

And hot hot hot tea will do fine too.

Member Josef Schomburg finds the club meeting in session, pulls up a chair, orders a café and parks his hat on the table. Pretty soon Peter is telling us about how handy Dustbusters are in France.

France, as most people know well, is the breadcrumb capital of the world. Every time you turn around everything is covered is pesky breadcrumbs. Nobody sane eats sliced bread. Wonder bread is called wonder bread because it has no breadcrumbs. It's a wonder anybody eats it. Slice a baguette if you don't believe it about the crumbs.

The second thing all French babies get is a baguette. The breadcrumbs start early in life and never stop. Peter's girlfriend got a Dustbuster for the third thing, and by the time Peter saw it first, it didn't work too well.

"Have you ever noticed how some appliances aren't meant to come apart?" he asks the gathered experts. Josef agrees that some things are very hard to take apart to get the breadcrumbs out of them. Peter says, when he found the filter – if it was a filter! – it was full of prehistoric stuff, perhaps predating breadcrumbs.

Another foolhardy club member has braved the elements to be with us today. We all welcome Tomoko Yokomitsu, our very own star of stage, screen, and lately of the 'Beatles Story.' Tomokophoto, tomoko, peter, josef appears in this as Yoko Ono, in a one–night stand that will take you back to your Beatles days, or nights. The show will be on stage at the Petit Journal Montparnasse on Wednesday, 9. March at 21:30.

Today's trio, dressed for the 'Group Photo of the Week,' but unwilling.

Tomoko, who does not actually know Yoko, muses about the time the artist was on stage and had the audience come up and cut pieces out of her costume or suit or whatever it was. Tomoko says she is not going to do this next week. I'm sure it will be a great show, because Tomoko knows a lot of jokes.

Josef, as usual, makes philosophical comments, about, for example, his 'favorite Talking Heads album.' Followed by, "Is education a hindrance to arts, music?" This isn't exactly verbatim because I mislay the club's back–up blue Bic pen.

Tomoko feels bad about this and tries to cheer me up. "Do you want my 'Hello Kiki?'" You see? – without the blue Bic pen I have written it wrong. Josef, who I believe can speak Japanese, says that it should be 'kitty.'

Before you think we are just being silly nits today, it is now new 'Word of the Week' time. Today's word is 'defenestration,' which means 'an act of throwing someone out of a window.' It is Peter who has introduced this lovely word, while wondering if it exists in English. The answer is emphatically 'yes.' And in French its gender is feminine, perhaps to match the window.

After some talk about the view from apartments, which Peter sums up with, "It's really nice apartment in a really lousy area," the direction of the discussion shifts to Paris Hilton.

Not the one at République, the other one. Peter and Josef say things that are forceful but thanks to the missing blue Bic pen are not to be found here. Josef is a sometime – not fulltime – fashionista, and he has opinions.photo, pont des arts photo

Tomoko thinks Paris Hilton is very famous in Japan for some reason, or is it the one at République being famous with Japanese visitors? "I don't know who," she concedes.

Tourists on the Pont des Arts ask Josef to take their photo.

We all agree to be in Montparnasse next week to see Tomoko in her 'Beatles Story.' Meanwhile Josef is glumly surveying the grim scene outside the café. He is launching his Paris–Promenades at the moment, and he could have hardly picked a more rotten, if rare, season of the year.

About the Café Metropole Club's About Page

Today's club meeting 'report,' with modest attendance more or less like usual, lacked anything edible of any kind and almost as little to drink. The ever classic 'About the Café Metropole Club' page has several tasteful photos, but you can skip it all entirely and miss little other than lots of words. If you do skip it, the club can be joined any Thursday, so long as you are wearing snowshoes.

When, What, Where, Who, How, Why Not?

Club meetings begin about 15:00 on the hour, on Thursday afternoons and fade away about 17:00 or after on the same afternoon in the western European Time zone – which is really 'CET' for short and not 'TsZZ' although it sometimes is – and known elsewhere as 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is not where meetings are held.

Be devilishly clever at a meeting – by being at one – and become warm – dry! – for a hour or two especially if you want to or not. True 'firsts' are welcome, with 'true' having more of the same value as 'first' regardless if 'first' is perfectly believable too, and if it is an acceptable form of 'true' but never on Thursdays.

Note of caution – you may have any one or more personal reasons for remaining unfindable via the Web. If so, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' in one of these club reports. Google yourself to find out.graphic: club location map

Former 'rules' continue to be 'former' week after week after week, month after month, year after everlasting year, blah–blah, blah–blah, blah–blah, blah–blah, blah–blah, etc.

Talking to other club members at meetings is encouraged rather than optional if there aren't any. Should there's a free chair, sit – wherever you like, or haul one over from another part of the café. Whatever you say will be greatly appreciated by other members present if there are any that are listening, and there usually are some – and if it should chance to be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because one this week's members offered her 'Hello Kiki' to all of the other members and the club's secretary who was sitting on the club's blue Bic pen..

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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