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." No, 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.

I ask Yoko if she's ready for the 'Group Photo of the Week' and she frowns. I coax. I wheedle. I plead. I move tables. I move chairs. The waiter comes over to watch. He is the entire audience. It's almost as much fun as staring out the window waiting for a red car to come by.

Then we discuss secret societies for two minutes. "When everybody knows the name of the secret society, then it's not secret," Yoko decides.

As then it is 17:15 we gather up and accost the waiter with money, and then stumble down the quay to the Métro at Pont Neuf, where we catch a train for the ride over to Saint–Marcel, and the IVY Paris 'Springtime' fête.

Arty–Bloggy Party Expo Beano

The idea is having Springtime in Paris which includes the interaction of 25 international artists from Suzanne Hollands' IVY and maybe as many as 30 bloggers associated with Laurie Pike's In Paris Now blog.

Well, this is is a major hospital, like a campus, and the chapel is not the easiest thing to find although it is a huge thing with a big dome, so Yoko and I finally track it down but enter by the wrong door, and it is this old church inside still in use and the exhibition has been installed and if you want to do mass too, it's scheduled.

The first person I see is Suzanne, who is busy. The next person I see is Matt Rose who is busily pasting fake labels on wine bottles. He and his able assistant seem to be very happy doing this to empty bottles. Matt says he is busy too, but leaving. I wander about and see art all over the place, which looks pretty old, possibly older than Versailles. The building I mean.

photo, matt rose and helper Dr. Rose and assistant doctor wine labels.

Yoko says she is getting her 'expo headache' so she leaves. I become hungry so I have to leave too, intending to write this report rather than go to the 'after' which is not quite a secret society, at the Batofar. I wish the other bloggers had come earlier. When I get them organized they must remember 'never on Thursdays' is not optional.

This expo is in La Chapelle Saint–Louis de la Salpétrière, at 47. Boulevard de l'Hôpital, Paris 13. Métro: Saint–Marcel or Austerlitz. Expect it to be cool because it's in a church, an old one built 350 years ago, by the same dude who did Versailles.

Club Member Flogs Classic Roller

Exclusive! Club member Renaud Siry, of 'Beatles Story' fame, must with regret part with his light gray and white 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. This car has been featured in movies and on TV, such as in 'Callas Forever,' with Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons. In good condition with only 120,000 km on the clock. Left–hand drive. Write to Ric, the club secretary, who will forward.

Club Member Offers Free Da Vinci Quizzes

Club member David Pitt has been reading recent club reports and noted that Yoko is reading 'The Da Vinci Code,' in anticipation of the movie, which is being heavily advertised on Paris' Morris columns this week.

Starting the day before yesterday, David's Tricolors Web site now has a daily quiz located in a section called 'Common Denominator.' This will continue throughout May and June. For 'Da Vinci Code' related tidbits take a look at David's 'Cowboy In Paris' pages. You can test your knowledge now or wait for a French version from Orange, to be online after the Cannes Festival later this month.

The Café Metropole Club's About Page

Unlikely but possible, if this so–called club meeting 'report' leaves you perplexed, take yourself for a look at the farfullated explanation on the 'About the Café Metropole Club' page, for its many sentences, paragraphs, graphics and photos.

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

Club meetings as we call these things begin at 15:00 every Thursday and continue until 17:00. These times, encased in crankcase oil, are also said to be 3 pm to 5 pm. Around somewhere else is hardly where the next meeting will be.

graphic: club location map

Knock off a hour or two or while a whole meeting away with other club members pretty much like yourself. Gabby and thirsty. True 'firsts' are welcome and real stories will get a sympathetic hearing. Other stories will depend on your skill. 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.*

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 perfectly fine rather than optional. There are always some empty chairs, so sit. Lounging is okay too. Attend as many free club meetings as you are free to.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the extra work required to add blog items, car ads and ultra plugs.

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