Chocolate Covered Museli

photo, terrace la corona Not yet spring but brave souls try the terrace.

"You Waddle When You Leave"

Paris:– Thursday, 20. April 2006:– If I had done the weather on Monday Météo Jim would have suggested that New York was looking forward to temperatures of 80 around today with a descent into cool and rainy for the weekend. At the same time I would have written that we were expecting lots of clouds, some local rain, finishing off with a sunny Sunday, but cool at 16 or 17 degrees. And bingo, we hit 18 today.

In fact, according to tonight's TV–weather forecast, this is what it'll be like tomorrow with one major difference. We are to have an extreme high of 22 degrees, no rain, and some local no–account clouds.

photo, cafe of the weekWeek incomplete without
'café of the week.'

Then while New York is having whatever the weather has become we are going to cruise into Saturday with a great expectation for darn near mostly sunny and if there are clouds they will be little ones. Expected high is supposed to be 21 degrees, which would be about 70 degrees in New York, if it were so lucky.

Here at the Montparnasse weather central we are keeping our eye on Sunday and its forecasted clouds up along the Channel. Usually we call these 'Channel–muck' and that's what we will call them now, although they should stay there, far from here. Oh, there may be wisps, but the temperature here might hold on to near–20.

This Week's Issue that Isn't

I won't say it is a new policy or some new 'rule' but on Monday after I finished the photos for the issue I just didn't feel like writing 1500 or 750 words about whatever it was I was going to write about. Actually I had no ideas to write about so I decided not to.

Not forcing myself to write them will save you the bother of reading them. I don't expect thanks for doing this. I don't expect you to care that it's a huge load off my mind, this non–policy of not writing if I don't have a subject. In fact this subject of having no subject isn't terribly interesting either and I shouldn't write it to death. To hell with it.

"You Waddle When You Leave"

Like a programmed robot I assemble the club's scant items and toss them into the sack, close and lock the door, and traipse down the stairs and bound down the sidewalk to the Métro entry at Raspail to catch the Métro for the weekly ride to the Quartier Latin, and the walk through it and across the Pont Neuf, to the club's café on the Quai du Louvre. I could do it in my sleep.

photo, heather stimmler hallHeather eats unusual stuff at home.

Aside from not many people around ogling Parisian architecture – what are those new lights on the bridge? – the only other event worth a remark happens on the Quai du Louvre. After months of silence a cock crows in one of the animal shops – have the chickens returned to the Quai du Louvre?

As far as that goes, today's Le Parisien has a bear photo on its front page. The headline asks, "But Why Do They Want Bears in France?" This is about the plan to import five bears from Slovenia and give them a new home in the Pyrenees. According to the TV–news these mountains are not bursting with yodeling bear fans.

It just goes to show that no matter how much you think you are in the very centre of Paris, raw nature in the wild isn't far away. Meanwhile, at the club's café there are a few hardy terracians gobbling frites outdoors, calmly facing the usual stinking, creeping juggernaut of frenzied traffic practitioners. How tasteful!

However a church–like peace reigns inside the café, which seems slightly overstaffed for all the customers present. The 'waiter of the week' says he will permit me five minutes to decide what I want and I begin the slight business to getting ready for the meeting.

Before I can get to the bear story Heather Stimmler–Hall distracts me by swirling in and settling light as a feather on the new stuff that covers our banquette, this fake buffalo hide, so cozy under the behind.

photo, ron sellers Ron eats good stuff away from home.

Heather is, besides being the first person to join this club, flawless, but talks kind of fast. She says we should do blogs and I ask if she means make recordings, and she says, no, video. Yes, I can see it, flawless Heather in video. Even if I am sitting 15 centimetres away, could video possibly be better?

But there is no time for deep reflection because member Ron Sellers arrives, on one of his twice–annually visits from San Antonio in Texas, and he is soon showing us the book he's reading, which may be about the Pont des Arts across the street.

Then he observes that a couple who were on his plane are sitting by one of the windows in the café's grande salle. "I've seen them three other times too," he says. Small town.

Later on, after Ron has told us what it is like to have lunch at the Tour d'Argent – "No matter how tiny the portions, you waddle when you leave" – later on we are confessing that we don't cook at home.

Heather says all the green veggies go bad. Oops, member Tomoko Yokomitsu has arrived, and we have to clear up her new name again. Which means, in short, that I got it wrong again last week. And she thinks I ignored her correction email.

photo, book, witness at the bridge, gini andingA bit of Paris reading.

She borrows a club pen and the club's reports booklet and writes two names, quite clearly. The first is Yoko Takamaki and the other is Kana Yokomitsu. One is to be her new and official stage name and the second is to be her new and official pen name. At the end she certifies both names. Print this page if you are in doubt or tend to forget like me.

Didn't I explain this before? Anyway, there's more. Kana has written a play – thus the pen name, and Yoko wants to act in it – thus the stage name. Plus she has read three books to get this name thing right, in Chinese, of course. This script is in French in case you want to produce it.

So then we were on the non–cooking and everybody had their say about not cooking at home. I kept thinking, yeah, home cooking if you do it yourself is not so fine, but I can't afford to eat in restaurants all the time. Yoko, I guess, says she eats lunch in restaurants because they are cheaper than dinner.

Heather says she eats junk food. She can't afford to eat in restaurants either – I forget her other reason for eating junk food. Ron says he gets invited to dinner and brings the wine. He lives in a place where there are just enough cooks.

Oh yeah, Heather says the French make superior versions of chocolate cereal. Like museli with chocolate – breakfast of French champions! She says, "I eat really good badly!" There might be something in it – when my kids visited recently the first thing they did was buy a box of chocolate cereal.

Then there's a loud frog croak. It happens again and Heather dives into her sack and hauls out a phone. But it's a false alarm, it's not her date in Montorgueil.

photo, tomoko, yoko, kanaYoko, surprised by battery's revival.

But she's on edge so we retire to the café's terrace for the 'group photo of the week' and the first thing I notice when I have Heather, Yoko, Kana and Ron in the viewfinder, is that the shutter release is frozen. This is what it does when the battery is overtired. The old Olympus used to slide out slowly, allowing a couple more shots to be squeezed off, but the new one just drops dead.

You should have seen their signs of relief. You'd think I was trying to pull teeth. For me the 'group photo of the week' is often the high point of the week, sometimes the month, certainly of the meeting. Heather is right – this club needs a video blog – for the telephone frog, the rooster down the block, for the look on Heather's face when she's thinking of chocolate covered museli. These shabby notes are not enough!

Arty Blog Party

This thing is actually called Springtime in Paris which doesn't quite describe the intersection of 25 international artist friends from Suzanne Hollands' IVY and maybe as many as 30 bloggers associated with Laurie Pike's In Paris Now blog.

"No problem!" says Suzanne, about the location which can host 'thousands.' It's to be in La Chapelle Saint–Louis de la Salpétrière, at 47. Boulevard de l'Hôpital, Paris 13. Métro: Saint–Marcel or Austerlitz. The exhibition opens at 9:00 on Thursday, 4. May and the vernissage for the expo starts at 18:00 and continues until 22:00, with music and DJs, but expect to be cool because it's in a church, an old one built 350 years ago by the dude who did Versailles. Something cool to do after a rousing club meeting, after all. For a change. Springtime, quoi?

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Impossible to imagine but if this so–coolly named meeting 'report' leaves you perplexed, help yourself to an richly convoluted explanation by reading the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its many wonderful paragraphs.

How, When, Who, What, Why, Where?

Club meetings as they are called begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, fixed in blue plexi, are also said to be 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is definitely not where the next meeting will be held.

graphic: club location map

Pass a hour or two or a whole meeting with other club members pretty much like yourself. Thirsty and gabby. Real 'firsts' are welcome and true stories will get a sympathetic hearing. Other stories will depend on your skill. Attend as many club meetings as you can stand.

Caution – should you may have the personal mission of remaining unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be '404 – not found' by Web search engines before becoming 'found' cavorting in one of these fantastical club reports.

The 'ex–rules' that the club once had are still former. Talking to other club members at meetings is what they are supposed to do. There are always some empty chairs, so sit. Lounging is okay too. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if there are any listening, and sometimes there are but not always – and if it should by freak chance be written here.*

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because the animal of the week was a live rooster and a robot frog.

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

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini