Catastrophe Week

I mentioned that yesterday was the crappiest of all crappy days but neglected to share any of the details, and I imagine some of you may have wondered why. Well, here we go. I was originally planning on naming this post “Catastrophe Monday”, but you will soon see why that is no longer applicable. This week may actually kill me. Yep, pretty sure.

God, where do I even begin? I guess… chronologically?

So. Monday morning. Yesterday. I wake up to find this situation in the upstairs landing outside my bedroom:

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Yep. The upstairs bathroom flooded because the tank on the back of the toilet broke into a zillion sharp, pointy pieces.

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Now, this was plenty bad enough to wake up to on a Monday morning, granted. I know from the experience that we had with our basement flooding that drying out carpet is no easy feat. But oh, it was already so much worse than I knew.

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Yep, the water had already leaked right through the floor and straight down into the kitchen.

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“Luckily” (I use the term loosely), the water had not seeped through any of the kitchen tile and into the basement (where all of my brother‘s expensive camera and recording equipment is). Still.

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Not really being sure what else to do, we “popped” the big bubble of water that was hanging down, and poked a few more holes in our now absolutely ruined kitchen ceiling to help the water drain out.

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Then, we set up as many fans as we could (uh, two) and I had to go to work since I was already way late (and lest we forget, I was already out of commission for two days last week due to being sick).

Then, what should happen while on my way to work at 10 AM?

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Yep. That’s right. My brand new car, not even ONE MONTH OLD yet, was hit.

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Because one catastrophe for the morning definitely wasn’t enough.

The chick who hit me was very apologetic, and admitted right away that it was all her fault (it was) and said that she would assume all liability for it. Still, knowing that it wasn’t my fault doesn’t actually help as much as you’d think when we’re talking about the car that you’ve owned for exactly 29 days. The damage extends from the back of the front wheel bed on the passenger side, down the front passenger door (which is now misaligned in addition to being scratched and dented), all the way through the rear passenger door. Needless to say, I was kind of a mess at this point (note to self: reinvest in waterproof mascara).

So then I got to spend the rest of my day on the phone with not one, but two different insurance companies, for two different insurance claims. (Actually, technically it was three, because I also opened up a preliminary claim with my own auto insurance company just in case anything went wrong with the other driver’s insurance company. Fortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to need to move forward.)

So, going back to the house issue, the water damage in the house is covered (after our deductible, which is unfortunately quite high). Because the damage was so extensive, I decided to move forward with letting the insurance company send out a water mitigation team to come out and dry out the problem areas. So I had to leave work early to meet them at home, and then they proceeded to check everything out and then set things up to air out and dry. Meaning this happened:

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And this:

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And there are about 20 gazillion industrial fans and dehumidifiers making VERY LOUD NOISES in the upstairs landing and the kitchen now, too.

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We have to keep them running until Thursday, at which point the guys will come back to remove them, check that everything is dry and that there is no mold (my biggest concern is mold), and then the insurance people can come out after that point to assess the repair work needed. So, it’s still going to be a long process to get everything fixed, but at least things are moving now. Of course, the effect of all this OMG!CHANGE is not having a very good effect on the little ones either…

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Daxter is petrified to go through the kitchen or upstairs landing now, even to go outside or eat. The fans make a lot of noise and emit a lot of heat, so I have to carry him pretty much everywhere.

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Poor, anxiety-stricken puppy.

Now. With both house issues AND car issues on the table, I was REALLY looking forward to today. Today is not yesterday, after all. Today should be better, right? Well, let’s talk about today, shall we?

Back to the car issue. The other driver’s insurance company contacted me yesterday and said they were sending out an inspector to assess the damage to my car. He arrived this morning, and was very nice, but it was still quite jarring to hear about all of the things that were wrong with my car. He gave me his estimate for how much the repair work is going to cost, and now I just have to wait for the insurance adjuster to get in touch with me and confirm that they are going to accept liability and let me know when I can go get my car repaired. Because of the misaligned front passenger door, the rubber seal at the top is broken and the inspector is worried about moisture being able to get into my car. So he put a ‘rush’ on it and hopefully I’ll be hearing from the adjuster very soon.

Sounds like that should (eventually) wrap things up all nice and tidy, right?

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

Guess what happened to me on my way to work (already late again, because of the inspection) THIS morning. Guess. Just guess.

No seriously, you have to guess.

Give up?

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Yes. I got rear-ended on 395. My beautiful baby of a car got hit by a SECOND person, for the SECOND time in the SECOND DAY IN A ROW. It happened, I pulled over, and I literally screamed into the silence of my car: “ARE YOU F&$#[email protected]*% KIDDING ME?!!?!”

“Luckily”, because of the horrible, horrible traffic, we were going like 5 MPH, and the only visible damage that I can see (so far) is two nice little round dents from the screws on his license plate. UNluckily, my neck and shoulder are noticeably sore now, which really, really sucks. I’ve already put in a claim with his insurance company and gotten the ball rolling there, and I guess I need to go get my potential injuries examined by a doctor on my own.

Now, before I end this story of horrific proportions, let me just say this. I’m sure there are a lot of people who will want to sanctimoniously remind me that today is 9/11 and that my troubles are nothing in comparison to what happened 11 years ago. Of course that’s true. I would never presume to suggest otherwise. But that’s also kind of like comparing apples to an entire burning orchard of orange trees. Obviously one (or in this case, three) apples, no matter how mealy, wormy, or awful they may be, will never compare. We remember the loss and devastation of 9/11 with a freshness that makes it feel like it happened much more recently than over a decade ago, and that will probably never change.

But that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t blow to be the person who bites into that apple.

I think I’ll go hide under the covers of my bed until this week is over now. Kthxbai.

Comfort

Yesterday was not my favorite. It was just one of those no-good, rotten, stinking kind of days. For the first time since starting this job, I had a bad day at work. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’ve had plenty of not-good days at work. There have been many days when I’ve been tired, cranky, stressed, or just bored, but overall I wouldn’t really consider them BAD days. Well, yesterday ended up being a bad day. And all I wanted to do when I got home (which took me twice as long as normal thanks to a lovely accident on Route 50) was buy out a store’s entire supply of Cadbury Creme Eggs and lapse into a sugar-induced coma.


Source: XKCD

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you see it), that didn’t happen. I made it as far as the CVS parking lot before mentally slapping myself across the face and coming to my senses. Instead of binge eating 1500 calories worth of fondant-filled chocolate, I simply whined to Sean about my le terrible day (he’s so lucky to have me, haha) and went about my business as usual. I went to the bank. I got my oil changed. I got my nails did.

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Just call me Whasian Barbie.

And after all that, I indulged in a much less destructive way: with Thai food and puppies. (Schnauzers are good for the soul, I tell you!) And so another day is gone where I am reassured of how far I’ve come. I may not be making much progress on the general weight loss front lately (womp womp), but at least you can’t say I haven’t made personal progress in the past year.


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Much better.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Yesterday was just one of those days. You know, the kind of day where nothing’s in particular is wrong, but nothing’s really right either. But then again, with sushi the day before, the bar was set pretty high.

I woke up thinking it was Friday, the weather was decidedly dreary, and I was generally in just a hum-drum mood. So after trying (and failing) to lift my spirits with far too much caffeine throughout the day, I came home and knew I had to take action. Time for some kitchen therapy!

Chop chop

Chopping soothes the soul.

Aromatics

As does mincing. And dicing. Gotta keep those knife skills “sharp”! (Badoom-ching!)

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I also roasted my first peppers! After only ever buying the pre-roasted kind that comes in a jar, it turns out it is pretty much the easiest thing ever: turn oven onto broil. Put peppers on baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, turning twice, until charred.

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Let cool (or, if you’re feeling masochistic, make the same mistake I did and don’t, haha), then peel off the skin. Typing out those words may make me feel creepy, but it’s oddly therapeutic!

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Slice, dice, and done! Meanwhile…

'Shrooms
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Let’s make some magic. The result?

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A pasta dish that ended up being simultaneously hearty and light, and totally hit the spot! Funny how my idea of “kitchen therapy” has evolved from eating my way through an entire box of Thin Mints in one sitting, eh? I think I may be an even better emotional cooker than emotional eater, haha. The only thing I thought was missing was a touch of fresh basil… which I would have gladly added had my basil plant not been vanquished by my black thumb. Oops.

Black Thumb
R.I.P.

Regardless, it still turned out great! Just the thing to lift my melancholia (well, finally getting to watch the season premiere of Modern Family might also have been a factor.) Behold:

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Print this recipe!

This easy pasta is robust and creamy, tasting far guiltier than it is! I like a little zest, but you can make this as spicy as you like. Pair with shrimp or chicken, or enjoy on its own!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

3 cups whole wheat fusilli (or pasta of your choice)
2 cups diced or sliced roasted red peppers, diced or sliced (or both!)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella)
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 cup milk or cream of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1 teaspoon dried basil
Sriracha, optional
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Set pasta water to boil. Broil peppers if necessary. Cook pasta to preference/according to instructions on the box.

2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan to medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions with seasonings (basil, salt, pepper) until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.

3. Add the roasted red peppers, stewed tomatoes, and sriracha (if using.) Add almond milk and bring sauce to a simmer. Reduce sauce until it is of desired thickness, about 5 – 7 minutes.

4. Combine with pasta, and enjoy!

Take a bite!
Bon appetit!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Panic

So. Yesterday. Hrm.

You may have caught a few glimpses of how things were progressing on Facebook and Twitter.

I’ll sum up the events of the day in case you don’t want to wade through what is sure to be rather hysterical by saying this: the day was not a good one. And I have nobody to blame but myself, which just makes it worse (it’s always better when you can blame SOMEBODY else!)

The day started off innocuously enough. A bit rainy, a bit trafficky, but nothing I couldn’t handle. After all, I had started my day with toast smothered in Dark Chocolate Dreams so it couldn’t be that bad, right? Er, wrong.

Let’s start with the part where I am an idiot, and ventured out into the drizzle and rain (umbrella-less, of course, because only a sensible person would have brought an umbrella with them) to meet my dear friend Lizzie for lunch. We were all set to try a brand spankin’ new pizza place in Chinatown called District of Pi which I was obviously excited for, since I was willing to trudge through the doldrums to get there, haha. Of course, since this is me we’re talking about, upon arriving I was forced to come to the horrifying realization that we aren’t meeting for lunch until tomorrow.

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Womp. Womp.

Unwilling to shuffle my shame back to the metro and get even MORE wet (although at this point that probably wasn’t really possible), I took a cab back to the office in an attempt to run away from my own stupidity. But okay, I felt moronic and looked like a drowned rat, but all in all it wasn’t the worst thing. I was still in a mildly elevated mood, minus the being cold and wet thing, and the day was over halfway done at this point.

Enter my journey home.

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I’ve told you in the past how I don’t really like to drive. Blame it on the fact that I’m young, or that other people like crashing into me (they really do!), or that I’m a half-Asian woman driving a car with the turning radius of a military tank, but I just don’t really dig it. That being said, I have been driving to work lately because I discovered that A) it’s easy to drive to my office and B) the metro is so fracking expensive ($9 a day really adds up!)

Of course, the only reason I don’t actually mind driving is because my office is literally right across the street from the 395 ramp. The entirety of my commute is spent on the highway, and not trying to make sure I don’t turn the wrong way down a one-way street with tiny signs and stoplights on the side of the road instead of overhead. Yeah, I don’t really dig “regular” DC driving.

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So I’m sure you can all imagine my absolute delight when I learned that the massive amount of rain that has already half-ruined my day, has also flooded the highway and backed up traffic at my exit up the wazoo so I couldn’t even turn onto it. My boss had told me that there’s another on-ramp just up the street a little ways, so I headed in that direction to try to make my way back to the highway. I think you can imagine what happened next.

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What ensued was an hour of silently freaking out as I managed to get myself more and more lost in the streets of DC. Somehow I made my way from L’Enfant Plaza to the Mall, to Dupont Circle, to the weird little sideroad that follows alongside the Kennedy Center, all the while crushing my iPhone in my hand as I begged the Maps app to save me. Somewhere in my third traffic circle, I started tearing up (expected), hyperventilating (unsurprising), and shaking (unexpected). I couldn’t stop driving though — where was I going to pull over? — and somehow I finally made it back to a recognizable road.

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I pulled into my driveway and literally burst into tears, hahaha. Let’s just say I’ve never been so happy to see this face:

Wisdom

I really thought that the day’s chain of sucky events was going to send me tailspinning into a binge of epic proportions, but surprised even myself when I didn’t. Maybe I really am growing up. Instead of burying my crummy day in Baconators, I cuddled extra long with the dogs, took a real shower (since I’m not sure that being rainsoaked quite counts), and then made myself some “comfort” food:

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Still tweaking the recipe on this one, but my efforts resulted in a warm, creamy bowl of pasta which is just what I needed to nurse my emotional wounds a little.

Now if only the sun would come out.