And today, I successfully roasted and peeled fresh green chiles. As tugrik wrote recently, there's a certain class of "small victory" it's difficult to explain to people who don't share your enthusiasm for something, so I won't elaborate (just say this wasn't my first attempt!); I used the chiles in my Chipotle Rice & Beans recipe, and had the happy accident of buying zucchini instead of yellow squash for it. The fresh roasted chiles have a better flavor than canned, not surprisingly, and they were actually cheaper--even though they're more work.
This is a great vegetarian dish even for meat-eaters like me, it has complete proteins (unlike a lot of vegetable-only dishes) and it's pretty simple to make. The only "exotic" ingredient is the chipotle powder, which you might be able to substitute other ground chiles for (although remember "chili powder" is actually a spice mix). You can use any rice, not just Texmati, but I found that the taste difference between good rice and the "converted rice" I used to use is worth the price (and despite what Uncle Ben would have you believe, it isn't harder to cook).
CHIPOTLE RICE & BEANS
Dice 1 zucchini and mince two cloves of garlic. In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the squash and garlic in about 1 tbsp. olive oil with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste for a few minutes until the zucchini starts to brown a little.
Add 1 cup Texmati rice and stir constantly for one minute, keeping the rice from sticking. Stir in 2 cups water, one 14-oz. can pinto beans (drained), 2 roasted, peeled, diced Anaheim chiles (or one 4 oz. can of "diced green chiles"), 1/4 tsp. dried oregano, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, and 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
This makes 2-4 servings depending on how much you serve, and if you serve it with anything. It could go well with crusty bread or a simple salad.
I've taken my résumés off Monster and CareerBuilder for the moment. This may sound nuts, but they haven't been getting significant hits, and they've actually been out there for most of 2002; the chances are they're just being seen over and over by uninterested recruiters now. I've moved to DirectEmployers and ComputerJobs as my main "trolling" sites, and I have search agents running on five sites now.
My suspicion is that this isn't the best way to hunt, though; I need to find employers are in my field and target them directly. I have some ideas, partially inspired by what's probably the best job hunter's information site on the net, the Riley Guide. My next project is getting something together for ArborText; I'm probably going to send them the actual .tgz file of the XML résumé I've been working on. They make XML editors, so why not, right? They're based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but apparently they allow telecommuting--I might be able to start with them right here. And, they have an office in San José.
Their advertised positions are all more senior than I qualify for, but one of the (many) pieces of advice I haven't followed is to target employers, not positions. Figuring out what employers I'd want to hit in this area will be a challenge--but it'll be good practice in "life skills," as they say, and will come in handy if I end up in CA.
Meanwhile, no word back on the contract position in Largo, and another promised call from a recruiting company last week never happened. I put in for unemployment checks #2 and #3 today. I still haven't seen check #1 yet, but hopefully by next month--which will also be the month I have to start dipping into savings. My expenses will drop substantially by mid-October, though.
Oh, yes. And I bought some "Key West Sunset Ale" at the grocery because I've never tried it, and it's pretty good. A cheap but flavorful dinner with leftovers, and good beer, and I have vanilla ice cream in the freezer and a "dessert salsa" (chocolate, raspberries, brandy and a hint of chile) I've been meaning to try for months. Now that I'm starting a habit of keeping ice cream around, I can.
Life is, against logic, reasonably good for the moment.