Akemi is genuinely lack toast intolerant.  If she doesn’t get to eat her toast in the morning, she can get downright cranky.  I, on the other hand, never eat breakfast.  I’m never particularly hungry in the morning and I always like to work up a good appetite before lunch which is always my biggest meal of the day.  I’ve also never been a big fan of breakfast foods.  Growing up, I’d always eschew the eggs, cereals, and pancakes in favor of dinner leftovers (steak and pizza were my favorites) or powered donuts in milk.  And don’t get me started on brunch.  My buddy Robbie loves a good brunch.  Me?  Not so much.  I’d rather wait the extra hour and grab a proper burger.

Of course, the fact that I skip breakfast probably explains my appreciation for a good early lunch (usually around 11:00.  11:30 at the latest).  And my early lunches also explains my preference for an early dinner  – say 5:30, 6:00 at the latest.  Whereas Robbie can enjoy dinners that may run as late as 10:00 p.m., I will simply skip dinner parties that start after 7:00.  Or, if I really have to go, will actually eat before I go.  Not snack.  Actually have dinner.

There are many heinous social transgressions in my books – not wearing a mask inside a shop, talking during a movie, insisting Return of the Jedi was better than The Empire Strikes Back – but top of the list is making me wait for dinner.  It’s an offense punishable by me never again taking you up on a dinner invitation – or inviting you to dinner if you show up late.

Just something to consider if we have ever make lunch or dinner plans.

Our Crime Club convenes to discuss 2013 Palme d’Or nominee A Touch of Sin.


Wow. What an indictment of the corruption prevalent in contemporary China, where the connected prosper while everyone else is left to fend for themselves. Driven by desperation, a few respond in violent fashion.

Invariably, in a movie made-up of multiple standalone stories, some will resonate more than others.  I quite enjoyed the first story about the villager fighting valiantly for his community in the face of a stagnant and uncompromising ruling structure.  His eventual outburst, while not justified, was certainly understandable given the circumstances.  The second story was my least favorite as I found it difficult to muster up much sympathy for the main character.  The third story was my favorite however.  Here, in the character of Vivien, we have a woman with whom we can truly sympathize, someone pushed to the edge both mentally and physically, forced to respond for her very survival.  It’s interesting to note that this story (like all the stories featured in the movie) are drawn from actual events, and that this woman was arrested for murder – but following a groundswell of public support, was eventually released.  Finally, the fourth story, apparently inspired the Foxconn suicides, is a sad and shocking glimpse of the hopelessness faced by even the youngest of citizens.  Ultimately, all offer sobering insights into the inequalities inherent in a system built on the very principle of equality.

It’s bleak and provocative and all the more compelling knowing that all four tales were based on actual events that shocked the communist state. A memorable movie.

omorrow, the #CrimeClub reconvenes to discuss Sergio Leone’s 229 minute (Yes, we’re watching the theatrical cut!) epic crime drama Once Upon A Time In America.

BTW – Sourcing some of these movies may be problematic, so I don’t expect everyone to join in for all of our selections – but do join in whenever possible.  If I can’t find the movies on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Crave (here in Canada), I’ve discovered a surprising number of these movies are actually available through my local library.  Something to consider!

13 thoughts on “August 17, 2020: On breakfast, brunches, and late dinners! The Crime Club convenes to discuss A Touch of Sin!

  1. I do like to have at least a light breakfast, as I find if I skip it entirely I will eat WAY too much at lunch and then mess up my dinner appetite. Been doing a nice trip the last few days visiting my brother in NS and then travelling around the province a bit to places I have never been or not been to for many years. This morning I stopped by at Peggy’s Cove and that normally extremely busy place was deserted! It was a bit early, and raining a bit which kept some away I’m sure. But of course there are very few tourists other than residents of the Atlantic provinces.

    Movies from the library? I would never have even thought of that!

  2. This was a very eye opening experience of a movie into the life of Chinese citizens. The favoritism, corruption, and poverty levels really opened my eyes.

    Initially my least favorite story was the fourth one. It is longer than the other three and the plot seems to move along without much drama. Except for a brief romantic crush in the fourth story. After sleeping on it though this fourth story has had more of an effect on me. Coming to the realization of just how real and commonplace these suicides are hit home with me. While this person’s journey seemed hard and stressful I couldn’t see why he committed suicide under those circumstances. After thinking about it overnight I found more of an understanding for how bleak existence is there.

    Hands down the third story was my favorite. The woman portrayed who was finally pushed too far. This story while enjoyable and relatable also drove home another message for me. That is how so many woman in China are still second class citizens and discriminated against. I’ve enjoyed some working relationships with women who came to the USA from China. I now have more appreciation for the hardships they faced before coming here.

    Enjoyed the closing scenes a good deal as well. Which helped put finality to that story line. Looking forward to another Crime Club selection!

    1. Hey Bob,

      I agree with all your points. Definitely sleeping on it does allow the characters, narrative, and image to really sink in.

  3. I used to be exactly like you Joe when it comes to not eating breakfast. I normally only ate it when I had to get up super early for work. If I had a 4am wakeup I’d be starving by 10am and breakfast was usually all I could find. This happened only 3 or 4 times a year. However, this year has been completely different. Being at home full time I find myself making a breakfast wrap with my iced coffee now.

    Sadly I wish I had your discipline with eating dinner early. My work is so intense I’m often finishing so late dinner can be anywhere between 8pm to 11pm.

  4. Long ago, I used to watch movies in the viewing rooms in the basement of the university library. We’d get a few of us together and watch off the wall stuff. No food allowed, so we had to be sneaky.

    I have to spread my calories around through the day or I feel weird. I cannot do big meals anymore. Coffee and toast at breakfast, I wake up around 0530, hungry. I try to have an egg too, because I do not eat enough protein. Mid-morning snack, usually nuts or something I can pretend is healthy. Lunch when I get hungry, between 11 and 12. Sandwich, or something from my extensive microwave collection. Mid-afternoon snack, often ice cream, but a very small serving. Sometimes nachos or tuna. Dinner is small, and early, either from the crockpot, leftovers, or if I am not terribly hungry, granola and yogurt. Sometimes I will bake chicken, or sweet potatoes, or boil up some pasta I wake up and get hungry around midnight, but just stay hungry. Tea is my go to hunger killer if it is awful. Yeah, short on veggies and fruit, but they’re hard to cook for one, hard to shop for every other week. Meh. I’ll live. Supposed to eat 1600K a day or less; if I am traveling or out and about, I eat a lot more.

  5. I am a fan of breakfast now that I’m quarantining and can take my time plating fruit, eggs and toast. But I can go without it and for years the only way I got to school, college and then to work on time was skipping it entirely or having something portable like yogurt to tide me over. If I had to choose between breakfast or dinner buffet the dinner would win. I used to loathe having to wait for other people to eat, milling around a party while the overwhelmed hosts struggled to get the food done. Now I always, always eat before I go out with others who are criminally late. I don’t care how yummy the restaurant or barbecue is at the event, I go with a full tummy, then I can mingle happily without that panicked awful dread of seeing raw cutlets out on the island, cold water in the pot and the host still frantically chopping parsley as guests fight over the peanuts.

  6. I’m not a breakfast kind of person, but the only country I routinely eat daily breakfast lunch dinner and lots of snacks in between is Japan. I like to alternate the Japanese bonjiri don and oyako don for breakfast, sometimes sushi and horumon don, or whatever that interests me at the market. I love eggs in Japan. Lunch is usually 1130am or noon for me. I’m an early dinner person, 5 or 6pm preferred. 🙂

  7. “Once Upon a Time in America” is unavailable from Netflix/Amazon or the library here. I’ll see if I can catch the next movie

    Since the plague has hit, I’ve taken this opportunity to eat healthier. We wake up early, drink a smoothie and exercise. Have you tried the peanut butter powder (PBfit)? It’s less fat and taste wonderful in my Chocolate chip, banana, and peanut butter smoothie. Hubby gets a strawberry/banana smoothie. So, we’re ready for a big lunch by 11ish. For dinner, we just grab something small.

    You remember you asked how to get fried chicken crispy? One way is to let the coating dry for a few minutes before frying. I lay the coated chicken on a cookie sheet and place in the fridge, uncovered for a few minutes.

    1. I’ve tried the peanut butter powder but prefer the real thing. Lately, I’ve been going almond butter.

      Thanks for the tip. I know that some people wear by baking powder as the secret to a good crispy fried chicken.

  8. So does the actual dinner meal have to be on the table by 6:00? What if you came over at 6:30 and there were hors d’oeuvres? How about hors d’oeuvres for dinner, sort of like tapas? I’m the opposite. If I eat before 7:00 I’m starved about 11:00 and will do something stupid.

    1. I suppose it really depends on what they’re serving for hors d’oeuvres. Mini sliders? Then maybe okay.

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