Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tale of Two Ex's

Oh, we all have them.  Ex's.  Ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands, ex-what-was-your-name-again?  If life was fare, we would break up with up them and never hear anything about them again, except that they spent the rest of their lives pining away for us.  We would not have to hear that they happened to find the love of their life with the very next girl they decided to date right after you...

Or that they are getting married.  Ever.  Which they informed you after having had some sort of massive brain fart then getting the fabulous idea that they needed to call/e-mail/facebook/twitter/IM you with that little glorious tidbit of information.  Just so you would know. Cause the fact that you weren't THE ONE, but the one before THE ONE isn't enough to make that bitter taste in the back of your throat every time some one brings up Ex's name (or in this case apparently ~ names) go away.

Here I was enjoying the last bit of my summer break.  Not having a care in the world since the school district can't get their sh*t together and actually post the curriculum so I wouldn't have to bust my hump making lesson plans that have more amendments to them than the Constitution on the day school actually started, when I get an e-mail from Ex#1.  What?!  I haven't heard from him in ages and while, yes, I was technically the one to dump him, it was still a little *Yeah Me* on the ego scale to see that he had been thinking of little ol' moi.  It was full of the usual catch-ups: How are you? What have you been up to? How's teaching? And, Oh by the way, I am getting married.  

I think I spent five minutes reading and rereading that little dagger through the heart. Strangely the announcement never changed no matter how many times I read it thinking I had mistaken something in the Times New Roman font.  Ok, time to woman-up, Ms. Tastrophie,
and send Ex#1 a begrudging congratulations.  I mean, I was the one to break up.  And I knew I wasn't THE ONE for him, but single-at-40 is still a bitter pill to swallow, no matter how many Ho-Ho's and Xanax you use to cover it.  I sent a slightly over-the-top-cheerful note expressing my hopes for a long and fruitful union.  Then went and downed a couple of Ho-Ho's to sooth my bruised ego.  (Make that several Ho-Ho's: you know how big Lisatastrophie's ego is.)

About an hour or so later I am talking to Ex#2 via IM.  Strangely, through our love of a similar sport, EX#2 and I have kept in brief/random contact.  So having a random IM conversation with him was not too far fetched.  Plus, he was the one who said we could still be "friends" when he broke up with me and I took his word on it.  (Note to guys:  Don't even bother with this bullsh*t line.  We know you don't mean it and we will only use it as an excuse to drive you batsh*t nuts.  It's our little way of getting even for your breaking our hearts.)  Anyway, I was telling him about Ex#1's little announcement when he decides to disclose to me that he has an announcement of his own:  He's engaged as well.  Then he proceeds to give me every detail of how the nuptial asking went down.  Being that Ms. Tastrophie is a true Southern woman, I gave my second cheerful congratulations of the day and quickly ended the IM session before I went all Fatal Attraction on my pillow with the butter knife.

The whole time I am making mince-meat out of my favorite feather down king sized pillow, I am thinking "OMG! Are you kidding me?  This can not be happening twice in one day.  Hell, lightening doesn't even strike twice and I just got a double love-karma b*tch slap from two Ex's on the same day!!!" I didn't get this kind of love-karma-hell when I got divorced.   Oh Sweet Mary someone get me the double sized box of Ho-Ho's STAT cause this is not going to be pretty.  Who cares if I was the dumpee or the dumper?  I don't want to know that my Ex's are living happily-ever-after when the closest thing I have had to a relationship in the last year has been telling my batsh*t crazy co-worker to go screw off.  Now that I think about it, he is now my EX-co-worker and with my luck will probably call me to tell me HE has gotten engaged as well.  

After the first (of many) 30 minute crying jag, I managed to find my recipe for Lemon Drop Martini's (*see below) and make myself a few (I lost count at 5) that would have made James Bond beg me for more.  I am not sure what happened after martini #3 but I do know that the hang-over I had the next morning would have given both of the Ex's sweet satisfaction knowing that once again Ms. Tastrophie was given a taste of the little karmic-kick-back she is so richly getting from the universe these days.

Life's Little Helper Lemon Drop Martini's
1 1/2 ounce Vodka
3/4 ounce Triple Sec
2 tsp Sugar
3/4 ounce Lemon Juice
Mix over ice.  Shake 40+ times.  Strain and pour in sugar rimmed glass.  
Drink responsibly please. :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yulekaka ~ Or How to Offend an Entire Country in Just 9 Hours

My mother's side of the family has Nordic ties. In fact, if I had inherited any of her side of the family genes I would be 5'9" with awesome cheekbones, fare skin and hair. My Dad's side of the family hails from Germany and Scotland. Three guesses which end of the gene pool I went swimming in? Yeah, this sucks. Although I can pound the sauerkraut and brat wurst with the best of them.

Anyway, in a yearly attempt to get in touch with my Nordic roots I embark upon making the traditional Christmas/Holiday fruit bread called Yulekaka. No, it's not fruit cake. Trust me, when made correctly, it is a small piece of heaven toasted and topped with butter. Made incorrectly it is just this side of the third circle of Dante's hell.
Now, Norway is known for several things: gorgeous men, The Three Billy Goats Gruff , and one of my favorites ~ trolls. These creatures guard bridges, wreak havoc, and basically make life hell for any man who crosses their path. (See why I like them so much ~ we have similar goals.) You really do not want to offend the trolls. Or any Nordic gods, for that matter, as they have a few anger management issues when it comes to mere mortals stepping on their terrain. Making Yulekaka incorrectly appears to fall on their terrain.

Last Christmas, I set out on my yearly quest to make this small sampling of Valhalla. I get out all the ingredients. I measure precisely the amounts and set everything aside in cute little Williams Sonoma ramekins a la Ms. Martha. We are talking about moi after all and you know I am high maintenance, so why wouldn't my kitchen accoutrements be. I get out the needed pots, pans, mixers, oven mitts and my little troll dolls. I make sure to place the trolls in a position of significance as not to offend their delicate sense of authority. The trolls are a very important part of making Yulekaka. They have to watch over this process in order to insure the proper making of this Valhallic delicacy. But they will also wreak havoc if you happen to do anything that could slightly offend Thor and his might buddies.

Which apparently I was destined to do... yet again. Yulekaka takes about 9 hours to make ~ if you make it right and don't cheat by using the quick bread method. Which by the way is for wimps and cowards. I'm not joking ~ nine hours. It has to rise twice and the mixing has to be done just right... with details like the beaters need to be all the way in the batter and the mixer NOT set on high when you turn it on. Ugh, details, seriously people you know I just don't do details. So I measured, poured, mixed and kneaded. At some point in this process one of the trolls got knocked off his perch. How? I don't know. What I do know is that he was pissed and hell bent on wreaking a little havoc into my Yule time baking. I ended up with batter on the ceiling, the walls, across the room, in my hair and on the cats. Note: Bread batter + Cat = antiseptic, band-aids, and possibly a trip to the emergency room for a few stitches. I killed the yeast. The dough (what was left of it) didn't rise all the way. The candied fruit had gone bad ~ even though I could have sworn I checked the expiration date five times!! Candied fruit has the shelf life of a Twinke. It will last longer then cock roaches after the nuclear holocaust, but these had gone rancidly bad.

By now I was about four and a half hours into this Yulekaka operation and the only Kaka I was getting was coming from a mean little troll laying face down in the flour bin laughing his bum off at my feeble attempts and sending me every ounce of troll turmoil. The small loaf that I did manage to somehow cajole into rising the second time turned into an Acme Brick in the oven. Thor had turned his back on me and had given the troll permission to make this mission impossible. And I was so pissed that I tossed the terrible trolls into the oven with the brick burnt offering and let them melt into one giant lump of coal. Which set off the fire alarm and brought about a dozen very pissed off firemen to my house. BTW, none of those firemen where hot, so it was a lose-lose situation all around.

Needless to say, I went without my Yulekaka that year - until my mother rescued me and made me a few loafs. Thor & the trolls always did like my mother best. I waved the whited flag and have given up any future attempts at getting in touch with my Norwegian ways... Unless his name happens to be Sven and he looks like this: