Yoko At Ease

photo, yoko solo, in group photo of the week Yoko solo in the 'At Ease Photo of the Week.'

Plus Expo, Roller, Quiz?

Paris:– Thursday, 4. May 2006:– Here it is May, the month that begins with the 1st, which on Monday was cold, rainy, soggy, and here we are three or four days later with a high temperature of around 26 degrees, which is just a shade less that 80 on the F–scale. It's gone mad and doubled itself!

However this doesn't mean the sun was blazing away. It's been hiding behind high, smazy, wispy clouds way up there. So it feels a bit humid, because as usual we are getting our weather from the soggy Atlantic. This is where it usually comes from – a big double–hemisphere ocean full of water. The Mediterranean is a warm sea rather than an ocean but it not anywhere near here, dammit.

photo, orange juice Juice of the week.

Tonight's TV–weather news has not brought us good tidings. The forecast calls for 'unstable.' This is otherwise known as a mixture of clouds, black clouds, bits of rain, weak peeps of sunlight, some breezes, all of it passing by here from west to east – it's that old windshieldwiper sweeping across this green, pleasant, and to be, soggy, land.

We were shown the satellite depictation of the major currents, and somehow in the course of their gigantic twirl, they are going to dunk in cold air from – somewhere, does it matter? – and dowse us with coolness, with highs Friday forecast as a low 22 degrees and thereafter, lower 18 on Saturday, 18 on Sunday, and 18 on Monday.

We can be squared and we can be cubed, but with Monday included we will have a 5th dimension, all of which tonight's weather Joe characterized as 'unstable.' Forget the math and all you need retain is 'deranged' weather to come.

The 'Yoko At Ease' Report

I have been burning 'midnight oil,' whatever it is – at midnight even if it's not oil, sweating and cursing about all the past club reports that didn't get archived toute suite. What goes in what drawer, envelope, folder, is a big puzzle and then there's a little software bug in there, and I'm going crosseyed, worse than I already am.

So. So going to today's club meeting is a welcome pause. It's something that will be really real, with lively members to listen and talk to, a wonderful 'Group Photo of the Week' to shoot, and all the surprises that club meetings usually produce from notional hats.

However the Métro ride to the club is totally routine and the trot through the Quartier Latin is so automatic that I am on the Pont Neuf before I've left Dauphine, noting only that the old bridge has most of its new lights in place, and they are these glass boxes that look like they were designed for gas. I wonder what kind of lights the bridge had when it was new.

photo, renaud's roller, rolls, royceRenaud's wheels are for sale.

The traffic stalled on the Quai du Louvre could be a duplicate of last week's or last year's. Hey, you drivers! Didn't you do this already? And when I get to the club's café the staff are so busy looking busy that they fail to swoon for my entry. Are they taking me for granted?

Not entirely. The brand new 'Waiter of the Week' wants to take my order immediately and I want to occupy two tables for at least a hour without, but we reach a modus vivendi and he goes off and sulks.

And today I am ultra organized. This means I have been shopping while shops were open and have gotten bread and today's paper, so I have neither with me. At five minutes after three there are no members of any sort in sight. At five minutes to four there are still no members in sight.

I have been watching the river of traffic outside. In 50 minutes I do not see one red car, then there is a red Mini and four minutes later, a canary yellow Fiat cabrio. But not one black Lincoln Town Car and no Yellow Cabs. Europe seems monotone.

photo, chapelle saint louisIvy Paris' latest venue.

After four I join the waiter looking glumly out at the empty terrace, and suggest that he bring me an orange juice if he has no better offers. When he brings it the orange of the orange juice seems to be a dubious color. Is it this lack of bright sunlight? I'm afraid it's apricot but it doesn't taste like it. It doesn't taste much like orange either.

Then Yoko arrives, asking if there are no club members present. I always say she is them. When I say it she remembers that I always say it. Everybody, I hope, remembers that Tomoko Yokomitsu is now Yoko, and on occasions, Kana. We are assisting with an important positive name change here. Being a club member can change your life. It changed mine.

Yoko tells me all the things that I am not supposed to put in this club report. Club members are the boss. While you are trying to read between the lines to figure out what Yoko is telling me, she has a story about being on a bateau mouche last week when it was cold – remember May Day? – and there was this lady with a poodle on board.

photo, suzanne hollands in chapel for ivy paris Suzanne completes organization of the expo.

Yoko says the dog was freezing. She and her friend, visiting from Japan, gave the dog some good vibes – even though Yoko admits she was cold too. What I think of poodles, or poodles on boats, is neither here nor there because there are readers who have poodles, you know, like big dogs – and not everybody has their dog trimmed to look like some sort of small mutton when it's time to trim off the sweaters.

Then Yoko notices that I have an orange juice instead of a café. She asks the waiter what sort of juices he has and he says the café has what all cafés, worldwide, have – but in fact, there are only four kinds. Yoko asks for bean juice. She says, "Jus d'Haricot." o, really, she has asked for 'abricot.' In French you usually drop the 'h,' and the 'e' when you feel like it. Try saying my name without the 'e' at the beginning.

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