Tautou and the End of the World

Diary, 4/23 to 4/25/22: WordPress woes; juice extractors and smoothies; Ensure strawberry flavor; supertasters; American justice and interrupted sleep; loving Audrey Tautou; Shute’s On the Beach; and other stuff.

Photo by Masha Raymers on Pexels.com

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{4/23/22} Continued.

Post in haste and repent at leisure, that is, posting from my diary to the blog—when I paste text that includes graphics, like the “screen capture” above [not repeated here], it doesn’t paste into WordPress.  Now, since I always reread, or at least scan, the text afterwards, I need to fix these problems immediately lest I look like the idiot I am, to readers who say, “Where?  I don’t see it.”  So I took a look at the post again after posting it, saw the error immediately, fixed it ASAP, and checked the “views”—five views before I was able to correct it.  Typical results.

I spent a lot of time this morning checking out the “KOIOS Masticating Slow Juice Extractor,” and found a very interesting review on YouTube.  After looking up responses to “Juices versus smoothies,” I have to say that I need to try smoothies first.  Going vegan is looking rather difficult compared to going vegetarian in January of this year.  Not surprising, but looking at the nutrition info from Panera Bread (link) also was sobering:  unnecessarily high sodium on most dishes, including those I’m used to eating, and high sugar (the cinnamon rolls I love have 60 gm).  I came up with five things to try for breakfast.  If none of these suits, I’ll have to eat vegetarian there (i.e., egg and cheese and soufflés) at Hemlock Club meetings.

I am occasionally tempted by meat shown on TV, and of course I still have most of a large chunk of salmon in my freezer, cut into portions.  I’ll likely continue eating fish two or three times a week, because most of my objections to meat are because of nasty American meat practices and environmental concerns, and not so much because meat animals have appealing faces.  All in all, I’d rather eat fish than be constantly drinking “protein shakes,” though I’m drinking those, too.  BTW, Ensure strawberry protein shakes have the worst artificial strawberry flavor imaginable.  It may be that the usual artificial strawberry flavoring sets off my “supertaster” sensitivity (the same reason I can’t eat broccoli).  If you’ve never heard of this, here’s a quick DuckDuckGo result (link):

Screen capture

However, I think I do not have an unusually good tasting sense, because my sense of smell was much damaged by 19 years of more-stupid-than-normal smoking habits.  Frinstance, I take a giant fish oil capsule daily, and can’t taste anything at the time or later; my counselor can’t find a fish oil supplement that doesn’t stay with her long after.  She says she’s tried them all.


American justice provides the punishment that keeps on punishing.  Under supervised release (federal probation) you have no rights except for what your probation officer grants.  Your premises and person can be searched without warrant; you are required to testify against yourself via a polygraph examination twice a year; if you refuse the polygraph you are in violation of your probation and can be sent to prison; you cannot travel without permission, and your choice of living situation is subject to approval; your associates are subject to approval; et cetera.  Can’t do the time?  Don’t do the crime.  And while you’re at it, shut up.

In my case, the punishment often comes in the form of interrupted sleep.  This interruption used to be because of a guilty conscience; writing Kick Me mostly solved that.  These days, the interruption is from anxiety over my conditions of probation, specifically, facing a polygraph exam again.  So that’s this morning’s cheerful thought (at 5:00 am).

Audrey Tautou

Watched God is Great, I’m Not (2001) with Audrey Tautou.  She’s terrific in Amélie (also 2001 per RT, which sometimes gets the dates wrong) as everybody knows, but here she’s whacked-out crazy—watching this romcom is like having a crazy girlfriend without the perks, in other words, incredibly annoying.  Amélie made me an instant Tautou fan, but this one is best avoided even by the most doting.  Scores a surprisingly high 25% splat from RT critics, 37% from some very forgiving audiences.  Briefly, the girl has a one-night stand with a Jewish veterinarian, and so she starts observing the Jewish restrictions and rituals “because you can do the practice without converting.”  The rest of the 102-minute running time is devoted to the on again-off again relationship and endless angst over religion (Tautou goes through several) and love and whatever else happens along.  There are some fun things in the movie, but the sturm-und-drang is just too unpleasant.  A satire fallen very flat.  I thought I might keep the DVD because she’s so adorable, but then realized that I could never watch it again, so I’m donating it.  In French, English, and Hebrew, with not enough subtitles.  RT and the DVD disagree on the exact wording of the title.  Amélie rates 89% and 95% from RT; how anyone could not like it is beyond me.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Tried to read Nevil Shute:  On the Beach, a popular (or once-popular) 1957 novel of the end of the world (post-nuclear war).  I couldn’t get into it, and indeed, I read it a long time ago and remembered it as boring, just like the old movie, this despite the relevance to today and our “future.”  I refuse to read 1984 again, until I don’t.  If I want to know what the future will look like, any good Holocaust movie or book will do.  The most puzzling thing to me about our coming doom is why so many of us (Americans) just can’t wait for the coming, and seemingly inevitable at this point, fascism.  It’s hard to believe that it’s just because of effective propaganda; it must be “the madness of crowds.”  The French, at least, voted sensibly this time.

Was supposed to meet Nog yesterday at Panera, but he called in the morning and said he wasn’t going.  We talked for 2½ hours.  We can easily talk for four hours and have often done so (though not on the phone).  Mostly we talked about my coming veganism, but also about his family situation, which is pretty crazy.

I started watching Mansfield Park (1999) on cable, then realized that I had seen it before and decided to get the DVD rather than continue watching.  Reviewed here on 1/13/22, where I called it “the best version of Jane Austen I’ve ever seen.”  Rates 77 and 77 at RT, rather disappointing.  Did the same thing with Paper Moon a couple days ago, but I might not get the DVD unless it shows up at the library book sale today or later.

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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