Whew.  Life moves fast!  Thank you thank you thank you for all of the encouraging notes and crossed fingers, it was lovely to read all of the comments and messages you guys sent.  And not to leave you in suspense, I have a job!  A real honest-to-god job that pays real-I-can-live-off-of-it money.  It’s seriously a miracle.  The job market doesn’t like people who can only work for 2.5-3 months; even the smoothie-making job I interviewed at wouldn’t hire me for that short of a time.  Needless to say, I was pretty depressed about it, and every day I didn’t get hired was one less day that I could put on my “availability.”  Then, after applying for at least 20 jobs, I shut my computer, said I needed a break, grabbed my laundry, and decided to drive to my mom’s house for a breather.  After loading up my car, I sit in the seat, turn the key, and what?  The car is dead.  Deader than a doornail.  Deader than the roaches I stalk in my apartment.  Dead.

Now this is the part where I’m going to back up and give a play-by-play of the last seven ten days or so.

Mother’s Day Cook-Out Plate of Goodness

Day One, May 10.  Not only was May 10 Mother’s Day, it was also the start of my commencement activities.  I was required to attend the honors ceremony to receive my badge and cords (whatever it’s called, there was a fancy French word for it) from my thesis advisor.  That part was fun actually, I love Bill Gruber, and the ceremony wasn’t too long.  Afterwards we convened at the Poet’s new place for a cook-out.  My uncle, who is a chef, flew into town the night before to come to graduation and my brother, his wife, and their new kid came down.  My mom, my uncle, and I cooked a feast!  It was super fun and the weather was awesome.  I made Isa’s Perfect Grilled Portobellos and a spicy potato salad.  My mom made me a vegan sweet-and-sour slaw and a salad with corn, black beans, avocado, mangoes, and some super awesome vinaigrette.  My uncle just grilled meat.  But I’m sure it was good.

My mom and me

Day Two, May 11: Graduation.  Hooray, I did it.  The best part was the weather–it wasn’t swelteringly hot!  My mom didn’t almost die of heat stroke!

Day Four, May 13: First day on in-person training for my literacy job.  Horribly long.  We were trained (aka brainwashed) from 9-6:30 with only a 30 minute lunch break.  And there were not other breaks, just hours upon hours of listening to lectures, watching videos, and modeling the lesson plans to groups.  I loved the teaching part, I have to admit.  I’m darn good at it and it was fun.

Day Five, May 14: More in-person training.  Except that after lunch my contract to work for this program was terminated.  No real reason given, just that “you don’t look like you’re having fun.”  I was left with the impression that they hired too many teachers for the summer and given the economy and all not enough students signed up.  Let’s just say it was a bad day.

Day Nine, May 18: After not getting the smoothie-making job, the Poet and I headed over to East Atlanta for volunteer orientation for the East Atlanta Beer Festival.  After becoming oriented, we walk back to my car, I get in the driver’s seat, turn the ignition, and nothing happens.  I say “fuck” a lot at this point.  Luckily, the guy stuck behind us in the tight parallel parking situation was really nice and offered to jump the car after we directed him out of his spot.  He also knew a lot about Hondas and gave me some tips, and after five minutes or so the car finally started.  I drive down to the nearest auto parts place, pay for a new battery (79 bucks I, of course, don’t have since I’m jobless), and the car works.  Stellar.

Tofu Tacos!

Day Ten, May 19: This is the day I decided to go to my mom’s house.  The car won’t turn on again.  After trying five or six times, the car turns on, and I drive up to meet my mom at her car repair place.  The really nice guys up there agree to look it over and I go back to my mom’s house to do laundry, cook her some food, and sit on her awesome porch and look out at her gorgeous garden.  Several hours into this, I check my mail and lo and behold there’s an interview offer with my new job!  To celebrate I cook spicy, crunchy, tofu tacos.  Then I drink waaaay too much wine and my friend’s house.  But at least I wasn’t driving, my car was dead.

Day Eleven, May 20: The guys at the repair shop say they can’t find anything wrong with my car.  The alternator is ok, the battery is obviously fine.  They cleaned up the wires, unplugged and replugged a few things, and now the car starts every time.  And then they don’t charge me for it because they felt for my situation.  Awwww.  Nice people still exist!  After calling about the car, I walk in to my interview, am greeted by an old friend who co-owns No Brakes ATL, the local track bike boutique, talk with my interviewer about Samuel Beckett, and am hired on the spot.  Exactly one week after I was fired/laid off I had a job!

But hey, let’s get on to the recipe.  I’ve rambled too much.  Not much to say about it, besides that it was good!  I’m a sucker for potato salad, and although I’ve been in a no-veganaise salad kick lately, this one was pretty durn good, especially with the thai chili pepper kick.  It was definitely a great addition to our graduation cook-out!

Spicy Potato Salad

From My Vegan Planet

2 lb new potatoes
2 red bell peppers
2 celery stalks
1 shallot
2 – 3 green onions
1 fresh green chilli (I used 2 thai chilis, seeds included)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 t freshly chopped chives
2 t freshly chopped fresh basil (finely chopped)
1 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 T soy milk
3 T vegan mayo
1 t spicy mustard
1/2 t raw sugar, fine

First, in a pot of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender but still a bit firm and drain them. Cool them off and then cut into small cubes and set in a large salad bowl.

Cut the red peppers in half, take the seeds and extra parts away and dice the pepper into small pieces. Chip the celery in the same fashion, mince the shallot, and finely chop the green onions. Finely mince the chilli as well, and place it all into the bowl with the potatoes. Remember, if you leave the seeds from the chilli in, it will be much more spicy. If you leave them out, it should only be mildly spicy.

Add the garlic and herbs to the veggie mixture as well.

Mix the soy milk, mayo, mustard, and sugar together in a small bowl. Stir until well combined. Pour the dressing over the potatoes and veggies and toss until everything is coated. Add a little lemon juice and fresh chives for garnish if you like. Best served cold! Enjoy!