Goodblognight To You

photo, ile st louis The Ile Saint–Louis under a winter sky.

Orange Alert!

by Ric Erickson

Paris, Saturday, 25. February:– Before I tell you what a mess I am having I guess you will want to know about the weather. Don't cry for what you missed because it was horrible. It was horrible like it's horrible right now. It is the most horrible winter in Paris for decades, silver anniversaries, practically of all time – certainly as bad as the terrible winter of 1947.

Wait, there's more! Tomorrow the man from the Météo has promised us a Orange Alert for right here in downtown Rivieraville. It is going to snow. If it doesn't snow it will sleet. If there's no sleet, it will still be crummy because there'll be a wind from the northwest, from lurking icebergs near Iceland. Even if you are sitting under a frond in Florida you should put on a muffler, so as not to void your health insurance!

Tomorrow's temperature has been forecast as having a high of 5 degrees. This was the forecast for Sunday too when it was a half of one degree. Trust me, don't trust five. Well, hm, after noon it may not be snowing so much because it is to be blown towards the southeast, towards some other poor beggars.

So while snow is just as iffy as on days with no Orange Alert or in summer, this ghastliness carries over to Wednesday, without mentioning the wind, but with a temperature forecast of 4 degrees. You may not think 4 degrees is low, miserable, humid, but if you wait until Thursday you can try out – get this! – 2 degrees!

photo, 
             fruits on montmartreLast chance for Saturday night fruits.

This is about what it's been like since New Years. Just when we begin to think that times are going to get normal – standard blah – the winds take a turn and shoot some Arctic air over wonderland, and it's damp and humid and not so nice.

This reminds me that we did not have a beautiful blizzard like New York had. That one looked great on TV. Lucky it melted before anyone had to shovel it away. That was a blizzard with manners. And this also reminds me that I've forgotten to prod Météo Jim for an update from Pommeland. Check in next week, if you aren't in a hurry.

I Confess

This issue of Metropole... I dunno. Look, I may as well confess. Yeah, I watched a Brazilian movie on TV last night when I was supposed to be sweating here over this lousy code. I almost watched an African movie tonight – something like 'Dakar – the Musical' – but my conscience would beat me up in the morning, so here I am hacking away, making corrections, correcting the corrections, losing the corrections, and then the thing springs a leak.

It is so bad I almost feel like writing articles about Paris again. But before I get carried away, you have a right to know what's going on here.

This magazine Metropole Paris is ten years old, just a couple of days ago. I didn't know this would be so long–term when I started, but this is not the reason Metropole needed fixing. I mean, it needs fixing because it started in the early days of the WorldWideWeb with... with pioneer code, holding it together.

As time has passed the Internet code gurus have come along with improvements to the code that lies behind these pages. New code is beautiful, it is cool, it is nifty, and it is just as cruel as the old, barbaric, code.

One of Metropole's club members, Josef M. Schomburg, has been helping me fix up Metropole, mainly by trying to get me to accept rocket science. Josef is a good guy and I know he means well but he is not going to be holding my hand if the big bells and whistles go flat. This is another way of saying that we have been having fruitful discussions, like the diplomats.

All of Metropole back to the first issue is getting new code. It isn't quite ready yet, but the latest pages will open with a new look. Metropole has never been much for 'looks' and for the future it will even be more simple than it was before.

This is supposed to improve your experience with reading the words and looking at the photos. Now, if the type is too small, all you need to do is tell me and I can change it everywhere with one keystroke. It is computer magic, even if it isn't quite as magical as Josef wants. Too bad the same magic won't write the articles.

Anyway, this is still ongoing. And it reminds me that I still have some photos to do, right now, before I sleep.

Thanks all who took the time to write and congratulate me on taking a holiday. It is exactly what I'm going to do as soon as the dust settles, when there's no Orange Alerts, maybe when winter is over, when my ship comes in, when the swallows come back to – oops, that's another story. To be continued.

Goodblognight To You

Saturday:– Last week Laurie Pike wrote:– "it's on the ground floor, so no need for a door code. just knock on the window to the right of the door." Quote: ""It's lavish... but I call it home." – Clifton Webb

On hand – many lady bloggers, maybe four, including Laurie. This housewarming at Laurie's place in the Rue Nobel, a one–block affair on the north slope of Montmartre with the middle third of the street being stairs, yes, and tapping on the window is okay. Inside the lavish apartment is one room with a bathroom half as big again, full of coats. It is what is called a foot–in–the–door – a pied–à–terre – and if you put in more then someone has to step out the window.

photo, 
            laurie pike, bloggers, friends Laurie and bloggers point to Matt's arrival.

As a housewarming gift I've brought a black telephone. Although I've carried it across town from Montparnasse it is not a portable phone. It is a phone you plug into the wall to make phone calls, and receive them too. Laurie plugs it in and ding–a–ling, it works. She phones her portable and it goes buzzt buzzt. Somebody says it costs a fortune to call portables. Laurie looks fondly at her new–used plastic black telephone. It's a '80s model I got for free from l'Obs for subscribing for three months.

Everybody is drinking Champagne because there's no corkscrew. I haven't been to a party like this since the late '70s. It hardly occurs to us carry corkscrews everywhere we go, especially since giving up the booze. If in France you should remember to carry a corkscrew if you are visiting Americans. They think all bottles come with open service. Here they don't. Pushing in the cork is a sign of dementia.



I talk to a lady blogger named Tanya who used to call Atlanta home. She has just started blogging and is eager to meet another blogger. I think she says she didn't know what she did was blogging. I try to tell her about the room full of monkeys with typewriters – no, sorry, this was a French Tanya. She has never heard of the writing monkeys. The IVY lady Suzanne tells me we met before, in the Rue Daguerre. She's right. It was with Matt Rose. She was with Matt Rose, or he was with her. IVY does art stuff in Paris and other places. So does Matt – that's the connection. IVY is cool.

photo, 
             matt rose, bloggerMatt missing the 2nd 'Group Photo.'

In fact, where is Matt? It was he who turned me on to 'In Paris Now' and Laurie Pike, and now this housewarming. Laurie has a house in Los Angeles and now here on Montmartre, she has the foot fixed in another house, lavish but modest. Well, proportionally, the bathroom is as big as a château. Usually they are smaller than toilets, and the toilets are tiny. Fact is, bath rooms are rare. Why not live in one if you're lucky enough to have one?

Being with a crowd of people is making me nervous. I might drink too much orange juice. I decide it is 'Group Photo of the Week' time. I already did this on Thursday but I like challenges. As in small room, poor light, about a dozen people who have never heard of the 'Group Photo of the Week' and left their dress–up heads at home. But there's an unused chandelier so I ask Laurie if I can turn it on and she says, "Oh no, it's far too bright. Everybody will hate it!"

So on it goes and she's right. It's like the gangbusters of modern Parisian chandeliers, totally movie–grade and a dozen pairs of hands fly up to shield weak eyeballs from the cut–diamond crystal blaze. Well, none of us have see the sun recently, have we? But I'm not drinking so I can bully the others into a pose. I wave my arms, order loudly, plead, cajole, hector, grimace, and prod the subjects into place. Jesus they look wooden, lined up like aslant bowling pins. Hell, this isn't about a photo, this is about control. A second 'Group Photo of the Week,' dammit.

Their attention – they are standing at attention – starts to turn to pudding after the fifth shot, and then the girls turn to the window. Something is happening out there. Matt's arriving on his new Vespa scooter. He looks like a spaceman with 44 kilos of anchor chain, as he ties up his fleety wheels. And he's carrying some cornucopia. Man, we already have grapes, peanuts, sausage, those Mexican things, and jeroboams of Champagne.

photo, 
             springtime for stalin, by matt roseStalin in yellow by Rose.

Matt kisses everybody. This is Paris after all. It's why he moved here. I'm proud of Matt, introduce Tanya to him and vice versa. I wasn't making him up. Of course the glow goes off when it turns out that Matt doesn't actually blog. Um, actually Matt's life is a blog but he's so busy living it he doesn't have time to jot it down. I guess this is what all bloggers did before they started blogging. Like me, in reverse, I write too much to be a blogger.

Now there must be 20 people in the room. Frankly there is no separate kitchen to hang out in and there's too many coats in the bathtub. Yet there seems to be room to sit and when somebody gets up somebody else sits down, so there is a sort of equilibrium – like in a passenger cabin on the Queen Mary just before sailing time. Matt shows up looking for a corkscrew. I quit carrying one in 1991. They are pushing the corks into bottles.

photo, 
             LA at pompidouLos Angeles at Pompidou.

It's too wicked for me and I find my coat and get the hell out. But first waves of new people coming in force me back into the room. Here's the neighbor with wife and daughter. The daughter looks like a blogger, looks like she has adventures in Paris. I'd stay, but then I would have to take my coat off and brave the bathroom full of coats. Outside the window I wave at all my new friends, but nobody in that little room full of smoke, bloggers, jeroboams of Champagne, grapes, ashtrays, Matt's motorcycle helmet, can see the geek who shot the 2nd 'Group Photo of the Week.'

Just in case there's no photo, I jump the Métro at Vavin and shoot the big poster for the LA expo at Pompidou. I did it the other day at Gaîté too but it was on the same platform. I almost had my head on the rails for that one.

Otherwise, at Laurie's collective blog In Paris Now, there we all were.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
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