The Alternatini (aka forgetting for 15 minutes)

ScreamThursday, October 22, 2009

6 parts vodka, 1/2 teaspoon sweet vermouth, 1/2 teaspoon dry vermouth, 1 teaspoon white creme de cacao, sweetened cocoa power, Hershey’s® Kiss garnish.

This was actually a delicious drink.  I had to wing it on rimming the glass with cocoa powder – I got out a tin of hot cocoa mix I’d gotten for Christmas last year (and surprisingly hadn’t finished yet) and used that.  I think in the future, a rim of either a chocolate sugar (pretty sure BevMo sells that in all those tins they have there) or chocolate sauce would be more interesting.  I also could have sworn I had some Kisses around in some goody bag leftovers from the kids’ stash of stuff from birthday parties and such … but SOMEBODY (guilty as charged) here must have eaten them.  Darn.  So I used some milk chocolate chips that were destined for baking cookies instead.  Not as visually cute but I think they served the same purpose.

Herein lies the rub.  I’d had kind of a crappy day earlier.  Well, I’ve been unemployed for five months now and am three months behind on my mortgage, so the reality is that I have a LOT of crappy days of late.  And you could rationally (and rightfully) point out to me that it is silly to be spending money on alcohol at BevMo that I could be banking away to pay the mortgage.  I wouldn’t disagree with your logic.  However, it would take the monetary savings of about 30 or more trips to BevMo to equal one mortgage payment, and my reasoning for it is that I’m not shelling out the money for gas, or Starbucks, or lunches out (not that I did that much of the latter two anyway) these past few months.  So it works for me in my book.  At any rate, today I went to one of those home mortgage rescue shindigs down at the San Diego Convention Center, where you get a chance to meet with your lender face-to-face vs. some anonymous voice on the phone that’s usually just calling to harass you.  I had all my paperwork with me, probably the most organized I’ve been in ages with current copies of all my credit card statements, bank account, retirement accounts, and so forth. 

And got nowhere.  “You’re kind of an unusual case,” I got told.  Bullshit.  I can’t honestly imagine that there aren’t hundreds, if not thousands of people out there in the same situation I’m in.  For months I’ve been applying for any job I’m remotely qualified for that pays more per hour than my unemployment pays me (which is close to $12 an hour).  I used to make almost four times that.  I’ve applied for positions I’m waaaay overqualified for and get no response.  I apply for positions I seem to be an exact fit for, and even have a contact person at the company willing to personally direct my resume to the hiring manager – and get nowhere.  At this point, I have a good shot at a position that requires a security clearance – that I applied for over two months ago, and I’m still waiting.  I don’t think the job will be overly difficult for me, the basic requirements are that I can obtain a security clearance (uhhh, well, I’ll get back to you on that one) and be able to fog a mirror.  But I also thought I’d be working at it by now.  So I keep looking.  I have an interview for another position, finally.  In FOUR WEEKS.  Good to see that others have that same sense of urgency that I do.  That was the first time they had open that the hiring manager and the HR person were both in the office at the same time.  Part of me wants to pull my hair out and ask why they can’t interview me separately and make a decision sooner?  Sigh.  But I don’t.  I will wait.  Maybe my clearance will come through by then and it won’t matter because I’ll be working somewhere.  Who knows.  But back to the point …

So, because I’m not employed, my bank doesn’t consider unemployment checks as income.  So they can’t re-do my mortgage.  Gosh, am I *really* the only one out there who needs help with their mortgage who doesn’t have a job?  My options, I’m told, are to re-apply with my bank for their package (which they turned me down on before – I applied, as I was told, as soon as I knew I might need help, and was told to submit my most recent paystubs, which were, of course, from when I still HAD A JOB, and then six months later was turned down with the single line explanation that I made too much money to qualify – well, DUH – and nobody even looked at my hardship letter) and I could hope I might get three months of forbearance out of it.  Meaning they would allow me to not pay my loan for three months.  However, I asked for that on the phone already and got nowhere.  Funny, my bank seems to be so understaffed with people to assess their home assistance packages and yet they have plenty of people to call me from their credit collection department up to 4 times a day to ask when I’ll be making my payment.  I’ve run out of euphemisms for “when Hell freezes over” and “when pigs fly” by this point.  Now I don’t want to pick on my bank in particular (FUCK YOU CHASE) or anything, I’m sure a lot of banks are like this.  Or I could wait until I have a job and then re-apply for assistance once I know what my new salary is.  And in the meantime?  I don’t have enough coming in to make my mortgage payment regardless, even if I spent nothing on booze, gas, or food, for that matter. 

So I come home from my delightfully depressing meeting with my lender at the convention center, after first contemplating various forms of suicide on the way home and realizing I don’t have enough life insurance for even that to be worth doing (plus they don’t pay on suicides anyway, I’d have to make it look like an accident).  I picked up an In ‘N Out cheeseburger and chocolate shake enroute and consumed the shake in less than 10 stoplights.  Comfort food is a beautiful thing, no?   I got home and tried to calm down, and made myself a regular martini, one of my two standards.  I either like a very dry, straight martini or a ‘hot and dirty’ one with lots of olive brine and some Tabasco added.  I opted for the former.  Ketel One, shaken hard over crushed ice, poured into a chilled glass that had been swirled with dry vermouth (and then dumped out), two bleu-cheese stuffed olives.  I tend to make generous sized martinis also.  So it was probably close to three hours after I’d eaten my cheeseburger and shake that I finally had this drink.  Not an empty stomach per se, but given my digestive tract, pretty darn close.

I was savoring this and watching Monday night’s episode of House on my DVR when my boyfriend came over after his weekly basketball game.  I’ve finally convinced him I don’t mind him coming over here all sweaty if it means I get to see him for an extra evening (and he showers when he gets here anyway), and he has no idea how delightfully sexy I find him in his basketball jersey with his arms all pumped up from throwing the ball and dripping with sweat.  Damn.  Think I might need another cocktail just thinking about that.  Anyway, I digress.  I fixed him a Cadillac margarita (his favorite) while he took a shower and watched the end of House when he came out.  We spent a bit of time talking about our respective days and in telling him about my mortgage issues I remembered this blog and that I was supposed to be drinking something else this evening.  My previous martini was consumed by now, probably consisting of a good 3 ounces or more of straight vodka.  I felt fine.  So I mixed up my Alternatini.

Mmmm.  Not too sweet, quite drinkable.  My boyfriend even liked it and he’s not much of a vodka drinker.  He bought the DVD series of John Adams (the HBO special) recently and we started watching that a few nights ago, tonight was part two.  We snuggled into the couch and watched the Boston Tea Party and other pre-Revolutionary War festivities.  It was somewhere around the time that Abigail and the kids were getting treated for smallpox (ugh) that I think I hit the point in the evening where I had surpassed my acceptable blood alcohol limit.  After that, I remembered a few tidbits such as putting on a cute flowered chemise, a rather athletic sexual position, and seeing my boyfriend off at the front door later, but in between there … uhhhh.  Ooops.  He told me I was quite amorous, so I guess that was a good thing, and he definitely appreciated it.  I recall having a very enjoyable time in the bedroom.  Just that the specific moments of it are kind of a blank, and then I was wide awake at 4:30 and struggling to remember just exactly how the latter part of the evening had played out.  I gave up on sleep and got up and watched the rest of John Adams in the hopes I might remember a little more, but no luck. 

Fear not, you don’t need to tell me I should consider going to AA.  I was concerned enough after this evening that I took the next night off and didn’t even have a cocktail.  And am vowing not to make that mistake again, believe me!   Smaller measures, and no more than one drink.  I learned my lesson.

So, my summary for the Alternatini is thus:  great drink.  Don’t have it after something else, though.  I will try it again with a Herhey’s kiss and with chocolate sauce or a chocolate sugar rim, and I give it a 5 out of 5 for a rating.

Your Once-More-Sober Host, Cathy

~ by rachelroust on October 25, 2009.

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