California, and food

Today’s fun fact about California: it’s frakking hot outside.  105 degrees Fahrenheit, to be precise.  And it’s not even noon yet.

I am happy to report, however, that I have successfully moved into my new office.  It has windows, a functional clock, lots of my posters on the walls, and is only kind of shared with one other person (there’s a half-wall between us).  The only downside?  No A/C in this part of the room.  Thus, the A/C in the other part of the room is on high, and I have a fan.

Classes start on Monday.  I’m taking three, plus I’m signed up for research and teaching two sections of introductory lab – most people think I’m nuts.  I think I actually want to be intellectually challenged, it costs the same as just two classes and research, and besides, “most people” haven’t been to Mudd.  But, I could be mistaken, so stay tuned.  In case you are curious, the classes are:

Physics 570 – Relativity
Physics 580 – Computational Physics
Physics 608 – Classical Mechanics

I’m also hoping that diving into physics will (a) show potential PhD programs that I can, in fact, earn semi decent grades in physics classes and (b) get me in the proper mentality to retake the Physics GRE.

I am not particularly looking forward to the process of reapplying to loads of astronomy PhD schools.  I do think I’ve decided to go ahead and pursue that path, however… worst case scenario is that zero accept me, and then I’m back where I would have been anyway.  Plus, you know, I’ll have a Master’s degree.

Changing subjects rapidly…

I really like eating out.  It’s ridiculously enjoyable and delicious.  I love having a set of restaurants in a geographical area that I frequent, and I like being able to take friends there or get take out or whatever.  That’s not to say I don’t like to cook – I actually do enjoy making new meals in the “comfort” of my own home (quotations added due to recent temperatures and lack of air conditioning).

But.  On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is “why would I waste my time doing something like that?” and 10 is “OMG sign me up nownownow YAY!”, eating out is a solid 8 while cooking is only about a 6.  Incidentally, on the same scale, going to Camp Cross is a 13 and dealing with a chirping smoke alarm is a -38.

Needless to say, if I had the option, I would eat out probably an average of 5-10 times a week.  Obviously my preference to not go bankrupt mitigates this desire somewhat.  But I am wondering, dear Question Livers, two things:

  1. How often do you typically eat out?
  2. How often would you ideally eat out / How often do you think it is reasonable to eat out?

With that, I’m off to get some lunch.

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7 thoughts on “California, and food

  1. You know, I would have said that you felt that a smoke alarm was a -8 and Camp Cross was closer to +38, but I guess it’s your scale. =]

    And you cook?? We ate meals together for a summer, and I think I saw you cook once. And nothing with meat. (But that’s what Mike is for, after all.)

    To answer your eat out question, I eat out around 4 times a month – roughly 2 dinners and 2 lunches. I think that eating out maybe once a week is reasonable, but even every other week for dinner is perfect for us.

    One of the girls in my lab is engaged to a lawyer who (a) never learned how to cook and (b) has spent the past 18-odd years of his life eating out 21 meals/week. She’s attempting to wean him down to 3 meals a week, but I don’t get the impression that it’s going very well.

    Good luck with the classes and grad school stuff! Would you be up for a phone call this weekend?

    • Hey now, the only reason I didn’t cook that one summer is because I was commuting from Pasadena, so I always arrived back in Claremont at like 6:30 when dinner was nearly ready. I always felt bad and did dishes. Well, I always felt bad, anyway. :)

      Phone call = yes! Maybe Sunday afternoon/evening? We’ll be helping a friend move most of the day tomorrow.

  2. I work up in San Francisco. The combination of lots of good nearby lunch places, an opportunity to go outside and *away* from computer screens, and socializing with co-workers means that I have eaten out for basically every lunch for the past 10 months. Honestly, I wish it was less often than that, but it is hard to motivate myself to wake up enough earlier to prepare lunch.

    As for dinners, I will sometimes eat out on weekdays, usually if I went climbing/am doing something social (happens far less regularly than I would like, especially recently). I’m going to estimate I eat out 5-8 times a week, with that 5 being a very solid lower bound.

    I have two recommendations. First, learn how to make lazy dinners. Chop veggies + sautee in olive oil + rice/noodles/beans = filling + fast + delicious. Then again, I’ve gotten to learn from Morgan ^_^. Second recommendation: *BEGIN ADVERTISEMENT* use Yelp. Search by price. Pick things with 1 dollar sign, or use it to prioritize where you want to go *END ADVERTISEMENT*.

    • Oh, you and yelp :) Well I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who typically goes out to lunch. I just wish I had the problem of “lots of good nearby lunch places” that you do, because there’s mostly mediocre fast food on/near campus. Most have reasonably healthy options, though. If I were in your position, I probably wouldn’t even be considering cutting down on eating out unless I was flat out broke one week – too tasty!

      • Making your own lunch = healthy! (and cheap!)

        Eating leftovers from dinner the night before = easy! (and healthy! and cheap!)

        Oh, and welcome to the “three class insanity” club. If I had a penny for every person who has told me that I’m crazy for taking three classes I’d have… well, about 10 cents.

  3. Why do I hear your mom chirping (yes) away about easy-to-prepare lunches and how much money you can save. Oh, because it’s what she used to say to me. You might try an exercise…tally one brought lunch a week vs. restaurant bought, and see what it totals. Then try it more than one time a week. I love the left-over approach too.

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