Monday, April 15, 2013

When to take the next step?

New Job. Moving..... Soonish?

So as I happily proclaimed just a few months ago MBM moved back home in January. Home of course being Richmond, while I am still here in Arlington. And trust me when I say- the 108ish mile drive each weekend is already quite old. We've both agreed we would rather live somewhere around Richmond than here in Nova, and Im sure it quite obvious from my blog that I don't feel safe here anymore, and Im not all that fond of the area anymore either (mostly b/c we have the worst traffic in the world, and an abundance of imbeciles).
From: Washington, DC To: Richmond, VA

So at what point do I decide that enough is enough and begin the trek towards finding a new job and moving south?

Here's my dilemma. 
I have been working at my current job for 6 years as of this June, but this past October-January there was a ditch I had to cross- where I thought I might be forced to find new employment early. (you may remember my previous post How do you know when its time to Bolt!?). The client I was working for was out of money, everyone else in our department wasn't doing much better and even some of the federal employees were scrambling to get their salaries covered. It took 2 months of me stretching out the little work left I had to do, and a month of me working at our corporate office for my boss to find me a new client (who actually has a boon of funding). The change was fantastic- I moved to a new department, and began working on a couple of new cutting edge research projects, as well as a high profile sensor testing project. Its what I thrive on- new projects, new things to learn... although I have to say its a chemistry heavy set of work and I miss the biology.
I've been in this position now for only 3 months. My boss took extra time out to work with the client to get him to pick me up, with both of them expecting I would stay at least through the end of the project (FY'14 begins October 1st, although the sensor project goes through November 4thish) as was my intention.

So I made the mistake the other day of going on Indeed and looking at what kinds of things were going to be available in the areas around Richmond. I knew of course that it would be alot slimmer pickings than I could current find here in the DC/MD/VA tech savvy area. I did not however expect to find something that fit what I want and my skills like a glove (granted they say they'd prefer a PhD, but they do have M.S. with 5+ years experience as the qualification). I thought cool! I will keep this place in mind when I go to look for a new position this fall. But of course I made another mistake. I told MBM. He thinks I need to apply now. He believes that with the job market the way it is, that you have to jump on things whenever you find them, that you cannot try to plan this out cause then you risk there not being anything available.
Sigh. I know he's right to a degree (I try not to be so pessimistic), but I would feel like Im letting everyone down if I leave now. I would feel like I screwed people over and left them in a lurch trying to find someone to replace me (which I like to think with my skill set, would not be so easy to do).

And so is the internal battle waging inside me. 

Not helping- I turned 29 this weekend, MBM turns 30 on the 24th. Which makes me think it's more than time to finally get a move on with my life. Everyone I know is either 1. Buying a house and/or 2. Getting Married and/or 3. Having kids... and some are doing all of the above. But none of those things are going to happen till I get the heck outta dodge.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Dinner by Pinterest!

So if youre like me you spend alot of time on pinterest saving things and saying- I am definitely going to do this some day, or try this new recipe sometime, or I like this idea for my wedding/children (when I eventually get married/ have children).
It generally seems like a never ending cycle of pinning, without a whole lot of doing.

Well I can happily say that this weekend for Easter dinner with his family, the BF and I utilized pinterest to the fullest! We made the full dinner based on recipes I had pinned! (minus the french bread rolls). And everything turned out better than I could have ever guessed. Everyone loved it!

1. Bacon Wrapped Venison with Raspberry Sauce.
My dad and my brother are hunters. So venison is something we have on a pretty regular basis. This past season was a bumper crop as well so weve got something like 6 full deer butchered and frozen in my parents large freezer. Usually I keep it pretty simple because I really like the gamey flavor of the meat, but this looked too good to pass up.
We had to improvise the instructions a bit because the tenderloin was already sliced, so bacon was wrapped over each small piece instead of being latticed around a larger piece. It made it a bit difficult- but with the help of toothpicks to hold everything together while it cooked we managed- and those small issues did nothing to dampen the deliciousness. I also have to praise Belmont Butchers in Richmond VA- amazing selection there and fantastic service! They cut our bacon to order- sandwich meat thinness since it was going to be wrapped on a larger piece of meat which allows it to crisp up more- we also got the bacon for the potatoes here- thicker cut. We went with the recipe specified applewood bacon this time but they have other spiced bacons that I really want to try in the future!

2. Red Wine Marinated Pork Loin.
A little tang and a little sweet with just a taste of garlic. It was fantastic and oh so easy to make. We of course had to double all the sauces and the cooking time since we got a 4lb loin (cut into two ~2lb pieces). With the overnight marinade (we went ahead and did it overnight instead of just a couple hours since the venison had to go overnight) it was super juicy and very flavorful.

3. Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower.
Talk about easy to make and so tasty! Even the BF's little brother who doesnt like veggies said it was good! Key to this in my opinion is quality cheese! We bought the parmesan from the butcher as well. Ive never really eaten many things spiced with marjoram, but I like it, and the little bit of crispyness on the cauliflower from being baked gave nice texture.

4. Bacon and Parsley Potatoes
So we tweaked this one a little. The recipe I had called for garlic and more parmesan cheese, but being that multiple of the people who would be eating are lactose intolerant and both meats used garlic in the marinade, we figured we would lighten up the flavor a little bit and leave those two things out. We also decided to use red fingerling potatoes just because. That being said, the potatoes were probably boiled too long before baking, and I would have liked it if they and the bacon had gotten just a bit crisper, but it still tasted amazing so no complaints.

Easter dinner was a huge success, and it was the second time my BF and I cooked a large meal together, and we had a really good time doing it despite the fact that it was alot of work. I dont mind the work so much when everyone loves what we did so much and is so appreciative. (That and also when there is a 12yr old younger brother around to do the clean up for us LOL!!) And next up - Easter dinner with my family this coming weekend- and I dont have to cook this time!

Happy Easter Everyone! Christos Anesti, Alithos Anesti!