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Where's the Sundial?

photo, group, tomoko, len, barbara, albert

Our 'Group of the Week,' Tomoko, Len, Barbara and Albert.

'Big Apple Sandals of the Week'

Paris:– Thursday, 22. September 2005:– There are so many candidates for president that the TV–weather news gets squished. This is despite socialist boss François Hollande saying that his 'companion' might better wait until the end of 2006 before announcing her candidature, which she hinted at in Paris Match.

Another socialist guy said he thought this one party has about 18 candidates now. All of this nonsense makes it very hard for the TV people to find room for the weather and if I knew who to complain to, or vote against, I would.

Tomorrow will start off sunny but then some light clouds will come over, being pushed east by heavierphoto, pre club cafe club tables clouds – which will be much more in evidence on Saturday. But Friday should be pretty fine, along with a temperature of 24 degrees.

The club's tables – before – today's meeting.

On Saturday Friday's band of clouds will be sweeping across France like a windshieldwiper, which is one of the longer words in English. What had been sunshine will turn to absence of sunshine, and the high temperature will head for the cellar, getting up to no more than 19 degrees. Continue all of this for Sunday, but with the high only reaching 18, and this constitutes a 'squashed' weather report.

The 'Big Apple Sandals of the Week' Report

Yesterday's weather was perfect, for the last day of summer in Paris or anyplace else, and today's weather is more of the same. The sky is blue, the birdies are tweeting, automobilistas are enjoying their shiny cars, and Paris is lying here basking in the early fall which started this morning, or last night when some opera guy was yodeling in the courtyard.

Memories of past Septembers tell me it's too bright, too warm, too dry, but all the same I haul out one of my summer shirts from coldstorage, and dress up. This way it is unlikely anybodyphoto, wine of the week will notice the tomato sauce spots on my pants, all they will see is Costa del Sol vamos ala playa, chicas!

Pick up the booklets, camera, Métro tickets and out the door and hip hop down the stairs and out the house door and high–step down the street past Chez Papa, not the pope, suck in the smells, and cross to the cemetery side and hustle past the graveyard, where nobody asks for a cigarette like last week.

The, ah, 'Wine of the Week,' the whole fistful of it.

Oh, it's a sky with headroom. It's so good that there's no white truck parked in the Place Dauphine, and now I am the only one to have a photo of it, truckless. This is one winner of a day. The kiosque lady has a Parisien and the kiosque itself has two 'Posters of the Week' and suddenly it is club time, so I step a bit higher and reach the café with mere minutes to spare.

As I approach the club's area in the 'grande salle' Patrick the 'Waiter of the Week' says he will clean up the mess. I see that some dumbbell has left a couple of plastic sacks behind – left, perhaps, to blow up the club meeting? – and Patrick deftly hooks them up and whisks them away to blow up some other part of the café.

Next I have Tomoko Yokomitsu breathing down my neck, wailing about her missing sacks. She races after Patrick and must be successful because in a wink she's back, with hardly any serious grumbles, plus the plastics.

In fact, she wants me to help her translate some writing. I put on my glasses and set my light bulb to 'on' but then member Len Levine is at the club and sitting down, parking his sack, arranging himself in a chair and taking part in the club meeting.

Len says he is from, 'Prague in the summer and New Orleans in the winter.' With the recent events in the summer in New Orleans it's not easy to ask which season he's in. But Len is cheerful, saying that his house is in Uptown close to the Mississippi, and that the river has these huge dikes, levées like small mountains, and the underwater side of town is by the lake.

Although Prague is his summer residence he often takes on missions, like to Africa, to do things like help out with environmental conservation experiments, and to check on the elephants.

Somehow my ball is rolling and I manage to ask him how long elephants might live. He says, he guesses, 75 years. I try to imagine a 75 year–old elephant. "Hey, I'm 75, so maybe I'd better mosey over to the elephant's graveyard."

Tomoko, of course, is quite a bit more realistic. "I've read Gone With the Wind," she says. I really want to visit New Orleans."

Len has a fallback home, which is Atlanta, where he lived for a long time before New Orleans. Maybephoto, apple sandals of the week Tomoko sensed this. We switch to Paris' weather. We three rave about it. Len says, "It doesn't get better than this." How can we argue with this?

Tomoko's ultra snazzy 'Big Apple Sandals of the Week.' Too cool!

Luckily Tomoko says, "I stayed in Osaka." She says it big 'O,' little 'saka.' You have to listen quick to hear it. I doubt if I'll ever be there but I'm practicing saying it. Big 'O,' little 'saka,' big 'O,' little 'saka.' All at once, 'bigOlittlesaka.'

Len believes in global warming. I mean he believes the globe is getting warmer. I guess it means that he believes he lives – part of the year when he isn't living in Prague – in a zone prone to hurricanes.

On this somber note members Barbara and Albert Roldan arrive, from Novato, California. They used to live in San Francisco but now sunny Novato is home. I don't know anything about the place – like last week's sunny Tarzana! – so I have always thought that Novato was out in the desert someplace where there was this big stinking factory covered in thick black oil, making asphalt.

But yesterday, by the merest of chances, I met rock star Dava again. This was at the studio of Gilbert 'Freak Brothers' Shelton, which is being remodeled into an art gallery, to be called 'Art Kerblooie.' And Dava came by with her new CD, which is so 'wet' that we couldn't play it. It's called 'This Poem,' which Dava wrote, and speaks, or sings, on the CD. So she is no longer a rock star, or jazz diva, but a poet. And she used to live in Novato, and still uses it as a PO box. Small world, no?

Tomoo says, "Can I show you my sundial?" Actually, once the Roldans sit down, I suggest to Lenphoto, barbara's greetings that the club is having its silly zone. Then Barbara says something about layering because summers in San Francisco are the pits, weatherwise, and Len says people there should know about layering.

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