Now I see why I like Chipotle so much

I’m supposed to be on a low-sodium diet, theoretically, but I tend to eat one of these at least once a week:

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 985 Cal from Fat 380
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 43g 66%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 2485mg 104%
Total Carbs 114g 38%
Dietary Fiber 25g 100%
Sugars 13g
Protein 33g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0% Iron 0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
INGREDIENTS: 13″ Tortilla,Tomato Salsa,Green (Medium) Salsa,Cheese,Sour Cream,Guacamole (4oz),Black Beans,Rice

…and I think I will continue to do so. Still, it has about my daily recommended intake for sat-fat and well over my daily recommended intake for sodium. Next time I have one I’ll have to avoid eating anything other than broccoli for the rest of the day.

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Snow Crash

I’ve already told a fair number of people about binaural beats, and they’ve been bumping around the blogosphere, but I figure I’ll mention it on the blog for completeness; plus if I ever go over the archives I’d be interested in rediscovering them again.  Essentially, it’s static mixed with some soothing sounds that is supposed to stimulate your brain waves into a certain state, which might cause different effects.

I’ve only tried it once in the middle of the night on last Friday night.  I listened to the “energy drink” track, which is the most popular, and then I stayed up until 5, which is very very late for me.  I got a lot done that evening, though.

You have to use headphones and they have to be good.

Hat tip: The Agitator

Blog Neglect, or Bloglect

Bloglect can be a serious problem, but in my case I think it’s a good thing! It’s indicative of an attempt to get back into the swing of things: to stay busy and be social. I’ve been busy nearly every night, which has been distracting me from pretty much everything and which is generally a good thing.

Here are some of the things I’ve been up to:

  • Girls – specifically, one girl, who I’ve been out on a few dates with and whose company I’ve been enjoying.  I am enjoying all the little things that dating has now taught me about being single; and she’s pretty good at making suggestions for how to improve my place as well.  I made her garlic bread, one time.
  • Golf – I’ve taken this up, even though I’m not the best.  I go out with my dad about once a week and play 9 holes.  It’s good practice, though I seem to be shooting around the 120 to 140 range so far (except one time when I played the red tees).  I should have gone to the driving range today, but my clubs are in my car and I let my brother use it to drive to the beach.
  • Games – specifically, the scrabble meetups and a few other meetups I’ve been to that generally involve board games.  I’m starting to know the people at the scrabble meetups by name.  There’s also a really cool one I went to in Silver Spring by the publishers of a specific game called Wits and Wagers.  I may do a board game review on it, even though I’ve only played it in the context of this large-team meetup thing.  I may be able to play it if I can win enough dollar-coupons at the meetup to afford it!
  • Poober – I hang out with my Broseph pretty often.  He’s the only person willing to play video games with me at this juncture and we like to watch Netflix movies.  We watched Revolver, which was eminently weird.
  • Burger – Nearly ever Monday my coworkers head to the Quarry House for some drinks and half-price burgers.  I’m starting to get to know some of them a little better which might lead to more socializing.
  • Programmer –  Just recently, I did a little bit of programming on an open source project run by some friends from college.  A tiny tiny bit, but hopefully it will spur me into doing more and having a little fun with it.
  • Mindless Entertainment – There’s the Olympics, Monk and Psych are in season (I could make this a TV blog, but meh), and also I’ve been playing some Bookworm Adventures.  That’s really no excuse for not blogging at all, but there it is.

Hopefully the bloglect will pass, but if it doesn’t, we can chalk it all up to me leading a bit more of a rounded and comfortable life and being a little less forlorn and/or lonely, which is a good thing.  I have some ideas for posts in mind, though, so we’ll see what comes of them.

Have we turned everyone off? No? Let’s throw in some programming!

Since I figure my LCS posts don’t turn enough of my regular readers off (the ones who like to hear juicy stories from my now-boring personal life!) and since LCS is now off the air, I guess I’ll move onto some more esoteric and geeky fun.

My friend Mr. Wellons loves his number theory and programming puzzles! He recently offered up this fairly simple one:

What is a number that has the largest number of its permutations be possible dates without slashes?

For example, 01082008 is a date, but another permutation, 08102080 also is.

This was a pretty easy problem, here was my program to generate my solution:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import datetime

def is_date(num):
    padder = str(num).zfill( 8 )
    try:
        return datetime.date(int(padder[4:8]),
                             int(padder[0:2]),
                             int(padder[2:4]))
    except:
        return 0

def normalize(num):
    ls = list(str(num).zfill(8))
    ls.sort()
    return ''.join(ls)

best_date = (0,0)
all_dates = {}
for i in range(1010001,12319999):
    if is_date(i):
        j = normalize(i)
        all_dates[j] = all_dates.get(j,0)+1
        if all_dates[j] > best_date[0]:
            best_date = (all_dates[j],j)
            print best_date

Can anyone improve on that? And does anyone have any ideas as to why there is only one unique answer and it is what it is?

Last Comic Standing: Season 6 finale

An Olympic themed farce. It had a very live feeling. What was that ribbon hanging in front of Joe McHale? Some sort of streamer? Amateur Hour. And why didn’t they show Dat Phan in the past winners section?

Then, suddenly (minute 21) some stand-up comedy happened! Jon Reep didn’t do as well as I remembered, but he did alright. It was very Foxworthy-like.

I was really tired while watching this episode so I might not be good at judging the jokes. And my man Jim got eliminated second out of 4. A little depressing! That being said, I think any of the final five deserved it.

But Iliza won it, and she deserved it. She worked all season to be the best and now we see she is. Very good.

All my last comic standing posts.

Netflux: Waitress

This review will have spoilers! So, if you haven’t seen the movie Waitress, and you plan on seeing it, don’t read this review. In fact, if you haven’t seen it, go see it, and then come back and read it.

This movie was recommended to me by a good friend whose opinion I respect a lot, so I came at it with a little higher hopes and a little bit more of a critical eye than usual. I’m trying not to talk about it with her until I’ve finished the review so as not to be corrupted by alien viewpoints!

This film is one of the triumvirate of recent “I’m having this baby” films, the others being Juno and Knocked Up. While all three have their comedic elements, this is the most earnest, poignant, and realistic. These are among the few films this year that pass the Bechdel rule: the movie has a conversation between two women who are talking about something other than a man. This is a good thing.

The movie centers around Jenna, who is a waitress and pie-maker in a “pie diner” somewhere in the South. She is stuck in a marriage to a terrible guy who doesn’t let her have any freedom whatsoever and treats her like his property. She feels very trapped in her life, and then she finds out she’s pregnant. Undeterred, she redoubles her efforts to escape from her husband and also starts an affair with her obstetrician. Things come to a head when she has the baby, and she decides to leave her husband, end her affair, and meet her new baby all at the same time. The owner of the diner, who she has befriended while waitressing for him, gives her a gift big enough to start her life anew.

There are many praiseworthy aspects of the film. The performances are excellent. Captain Hammer himself, Nathan FIllion, plays the obstetrician with a cute nervous formality that I identified with strongly. Adrienne Shelly, the film-maker, plays an equally cutely nervous single girl looking for Mr. Right. Andy Griffith at 80 gives the best performance I’ve seen from him.

I don’t know how qualified I am to speak on it, but the movie seems to come from a very feminine perspective: it touches on the kinds of lives women lead, how they are sometimes treated, and what choices they are sometimes forced to make. Any (good) movie about pregnancy will have these themes but this one goes far beyond those aspects into all the realms of its characters personal lives. Work, marriage, money, psychology are all addressed without pulling any punches, which makes for very good drama.

An interesting artistic choice made by the filmmakers was that in a few very key moments in the film, the camera settles on Jenna, bringing her into focus putting everything else into the background. The key scene, where she delivers her baby, has the secondary characters (mainly her lover and her husband) literally blurred out of existence and focuses solely on the profound emotional experience of giving birth.

While the above three aspects (fulfilling the Bechdel rule, exploring all aspects of life, and focusing on the main character while blurring the secondary (male) characters) all give the movie feminist credibility, I felt there was one thing that rolled it back. In the end, Jenna had decided to run away with her doctor so that she could finally escape. When Joe (a man) gives her the gift of a great deal of money, she decides not to. This implies, to me at least, that she was planning on running away with him because of monetary reasons, not for another reason (such as love). The fact that she was dependent on all three men in the film in some way undermined the idea that she has the power to determine her own life. There are mitigating factors in both of these cases (she didn’t go with him because she met his wife, she could have obtained the money herself by entering a pie-making contest), but I think the idea still stands.

Just because a film is feminist and has good performances doesn’t make it necessarily good. But this one was, and I would fully recommend you see it (though you shouldn’t have read all these spoilers if you haven’t yet). I’m going to give it 4 stars on my Netflix account right now.

Vulgar Vegetarianism

I tend to engage in vulgar vegetarianism.  Yes, I’m a vegetarian.  Except I eat fish.  And other seafood.  And I don’t really eat all that many vegetables.  Mostly it comes down to grains, dairy, a little bit of fruit, and plenty of old-fashioned junk food.

Recently I came upon a list of foodstuffs that I had made up a year or two ago as possible dinner items.  I didn’t want to lose the list, but I also didn’t want the paper laying around, so I figured here is as good a place as any to keep a record (and maybe start doing a little more cooking like I used to.)  I know I have at least 3 gluten-free readers and 2 vegans and this list pretty much violates everything they stand for.  Oh well!

Possible dinner items for a vulgar vegetarian:

  • quesadilla
  • cheese enchiladas
  • grilled cheese sandwiches
  • (fake) BLT
  • (fake) hot dogs
  • lasagna
  • fettucine alfredo
  • spaghetti
  • ravioli
  • pancakes
  • pizza sandwiches
  • eggplant parmesan
  • curried potatoes and onions
  • (fake) sloppy joe
  • vegetarian chili
  • tuna noodle casserole
  • tuna sandwiches
  • bagel beauties
  • bean burritos
  • bean tacos
  • boboli (pizza)
  • boboli (mexican)
  • mushroom soup
  • salmon
  • seafood salad
  • omelet
  • scrambles
  • greek salad
  • cheese + bread
  • cheese + crackers
  • mac + cheese

Yummy!