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Posted on Jun 30, 2012 in Dear Diary | 6 comments

Stormborn

Yes, that is a Game of Thrones reference. Yes, you should be ashamed if you can’t place it. Yes, you should go watch GoT right now if you haven’t seen it. If you have any power, that is.

So, last night was one of the single most terrifying experiences of my life. Granted, I know that might not be saying much considering I’m a staunchly middle class, fairly privileged, mostly-white person, but still. As you might already have heard (or experienced for yourself if you’re unlucky), Virginia, Maryland, DC, and much of the rest of the mid-Atlantic area was pounded by severe thunderstorms Friday night. And when I say severe, I mean SEVERE.

Technically, I’ve read that what we were hit with is called a “derecho“. Essentially, it’s a wall of successive thunderstorms all following each other in a line. We got winds up to (over?) 80 mph, an incredible amount of rain, and general mayhem.

And guess who was out driving when it started? Yep, this guy.

I was driving back from seeing “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”, which was quite a lovely movie, in my opinion, if not kind of emotionally traumatizing at the end. What it WAS, however, was quite possibly the absolute WORST movie to see before getting stuck in a torrential downpour (the movie is essentially about the armageddon). Also, I should probably note that our original intentions had been to see “Magic Mike”, but it was sold out. But I digress.

I was waiting at a stoplight when I saw the first signs of a storm that I had absolutely no idea to expect. I hadn’t heard anything about it (I freaking posted the weather in yesterday’s post, and it said 10% chance of rain. TEN PERCENT!), had no idea that anything was even amiss. Not until I saw that first dust cloud sweep across the road, that is. It was like something out a movie: a giant wall of sand and grit began hurling towards me. Lightning lit up the sky like fireworks, the bolts were flashing so frequently. The trees began to sway, violently. I heard the wind before I felt it, rushing through the trees like a steamroller before it finally hit my car. And when I say it hit it, I mean it HIT it. I felt it actually move my car.

My first thought was that I was about to be swept up into a tornado in my car, a la the movie “Twister”. My second set of thoughts was a mental battle about whether I should pull over or not. I was on a road that was lined with trees on either side, thrashing like crazy, so I ultimately decided that pulling over seemed less safe than continuing on. A few minutes later, the clouds opened up and the heavens rained down on us. Well, I guess technically the hail came first, crashing into my windshield along with leaves and twigs and road debris with a resounding “whack” that made me jump every time.

It was at about this time that I started to panic. Every time I started to cry, I had to tell myself to quit it because it only made it that much harder to see. The rain was pouring down with such intensity that my windshield wipers couldn’t keep up. I couldn’t see the lines in the road, only the tail lights of the car up ahead. I gripped the steering wheel so hard at this point that my forearms are actually a little bit sore today. I crawled along, keeping a fair distance behind the few cars that remained on the road. When the lights all suddenly went out, traffic lights included, I turned my hazards on, treated each stop light like a stop sign (see? I do remember things!) and prayed for the best.

Obviously, I did make it. I crumpled into a mess of tears and hyperventilation as soon as I stepped through the door, of course, but I made it. I consider it a miracle, considering how many downed trees, branches, and power lines there were. There are at least eight people in the DC metro area, however, that weren’t as lucky.

We, as well as the entire city of Falls Church and 1,000,000 people throughout Virginia, are without power. Today has seen record-breaking heat (but of course!). Rumors say it could be a week until power is restored, which is slightly staggering. I know that the power companies are doing all they can, considering the downed power lines they are having to repair, but it’s still a little disheartening. I snagged the dogs and took them to Sean’s place because he, miraculously, still has power and A/C.

I’m seeing a lot of “first world problems” jokes being tossed around on Facebook. And I know that in light of the Colorado fires and world hunger and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and every other global atrocity, this is not necessarily high on the logical complaint list. I’m not really complaining, I promise. I’m just telling the story of how I was personally traumatized by Mother Nature yesterday, and reporting the after-effects of the worst storm that this area has seen, well, probably ever. And people ask why I hate to drive.

For those of you who have been affected by the storm and subsequent power outages, I hope you’re finding a way to stay cool! Take special care of your pets, as they are far more easily affected by the heat than we are! Don’t leave them trapped in a steaming home (just like you would never leave them in a car, right?!) and make sure they have plenty of water. Stay hydrated yourselves, too!

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Posted on Oct 28, 2010 in Dear Diary | 2 comments

Wet & Rainy

Good morning, everyone. Well, morning, at least. It isn’t particularly good in this part of the world, since it’s been wet and rainy here in Northern Virginia for the past couple of days. Plus, when I walked into my house last night at 11 PM, it was like 85 degrees inside. Wtf? I actually had to turn on the AC. And I hear that it’s supposed to drop like 20 degrees tomorrow? I just know that all this crazy weather-shifting is going to make me sick again… sigh. I’m ready for the cooler weather of Fall to come and stay. We haven’t had much Fall weather to enjoy except a few days here and there interspersed between days of HOT. I mean, it’s October 28th, people. I think that should officially count as “Fall”, don’t you? Le sigh.

So last night Daxter & I trekked up to Columbia (Maryland, not South America) to do a Stella & Dot trunk show at my sister’s apartment. Traffic really is a nightmare going up the beltway – I left at 4 PM and it still took me an hour and 20 minutes! I really feel bad for commuters. Pretty much all the women in my office commute from reeeeeeally far away in order to get here each day – I feel so guilty only living 5 miles away! So for all of you who spend an hour each way in the car getting to and from work, my heartfelt sympathies. Whew.

Anyway, it was really fun to get to meet a few of my sister’s coworkers (especially those that I’d heard so much about!) I guess she talks about this blog with them a lot, so it was really funny to have one of them come in, we say our “Nice to meet you!”s and then immediately she goes, “You look great!” Haha. 🙂 Nobody ended up buying anything at the trunk show, which was kind of a bummer but there were only a few people there and I wasn’t really expecting anything. Making money off of this thing is really just the gravy – having all my pretty jewelry to wear is the main point, right?

So after the party ended (wherein I snacked on too many of her homemade pita chips with hummus) she made me a bowl of organic butternut squash soup. I seriously need to rethink my position on soup. An entire cup of this soup was just 70 calories! And I could only eat half of it because it was so filling. So, 35 calories. Dang! And there are all those Progresso soups out there that are like, 60 calories for an entire can, or something ridiculous. For some reason, I’ve never been much of a soupie (save Panera’s broccoli-cheddar soup/deathtrap *drool*). I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I never found them particularly filling in the past. But that definitely wasn’t the case last night! I also like the idea of making my own soups. All the really impressive cooks know how to whip out a smooth, velvety soup. I really need to invest in that immersion blender I’ve always thought about. Damn you, Top Chef! You make me think I can do things!

Aaaaaanyway, so yeah. Thursday today. Almost there. Almost the weekend. Which is going to be jam-packed, since we’re throwing a Halloween par-tay at our house on Saturday! Here’s a hint as to what my costume will be:

No, I’m not actually going to be Snoopy, silly geese. That’s why it’s called a hint! 🙂 And as extra information that you definitely didn’t ask for, I actually played this character in my high school musical! And I’m going to be wearing my costume FROM said high school musical! Which means (if you’ve followed that logic) that I fit back into something I wore my senior year of high school! We’re going to ignore the fact that this means I was much heavier than I thought I was back in high school, and instead celebrate this small victory. I’ll post a picture when I’m all gussied up for the party, don’t worry. And with that, TTFN: ta-ta for now!

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Posted on Oct 20, 2010 in Dear Diary, Food | 1 comment

Die, Traffic, DIE!

I love living in Northern Virginia. I really do. Well, I love living in Falls Church. It’s just so quaint and adorable! It has all the conveniences of the Big City a few mere miles down the road, but in the 2.2 square miles that is Falls Church City your life is filled with boutiques, restaurants, dog-walking pedestrians, and community activities like Taste of Falls Church (not to mention the best Farmer’s Market in the area!)

However.

I do not love Northern Virginia traffic. In fact, you might say that I, like many others, hate it.

This morning I had to drop something off for wo

rk at the hotel that our employee event is being held at on Saturday. The hotel is in Baileys Crossroads, I live in Falls Church, and my office is in Tysons Corner. You could draw a straight line down Route 7 and hit all three of these places – FC is basically smack-dab in the middle. I work pretty early hours at this job (which I started at the end of July after a yearlong stint at another job that, well… didn’t end up agreeing with me so much. Much love to my Cvent homies still working for the man!) so I generally get to work around 7 AM and leave at 3:30 PM. This means I fortunately get to miss the brunt of Route 7 traffic. This morning after I left the hotel, however, it was PRIME TIME. And I seriously must have hit every. single. stoplight in between Baileys and Tysons. That’s 9 miles of stoplights! In case you can’t do the math, that is A LOT. OF. BRAKING.

Anyway. It’s almost 1 o’clock now and I’m finally beginning to get over it, haha. In other news, yesterday I got a fun surprise:

Apparently I receive Martha Stewart Living magazine now! I’m definitely not complaining – I love this magazine! It’s so full of amazing recipes and DIY’s. It’s just also really expensive. But for some reason now I get it, at my work address no less, despite not having ever subscribed. I’m not complaining! This happens periodically – it’s how I got a few months of US Weekly and Marie Claire (which I’m now boycotting due to the whole hating-on-health-blogs article fiasco) despite not having subscribed to or paid for those either.

For dinner last night, I was inspired by Project Food Blog’s 5th challenge that I first read about on Angela’s blog. The challenge was to rework a classic recipe: pizza! While I don’t think this little self-made flatbread pizza that I concocted is a reimagining of any kind, I still thought it was yumtastic.

I started out with a Light Italian Herb Flatout Flatbread. These things are awesome. 90 calories, and they’re really generously sized. Plus 9 grams of fiber each! Isn’t that crazy? They come in lots of different flavors too, and I don’t think I’ve seen a single one more than 100 calories.

To top my healthy pizza, I smeared on some pasta sauce, a minced clove of raw garlic, some deli turkey (weird? Maybe. But I had to work with what I had, and I was too lazy to cook up some chicken), sprinkled with mozzerella and topped with organic spinach, a wee drizzle of EVOO, and some red pepper flakes! I baked it in the oven at 350 degrees for like 8-ish minutes. I should have kept it in there longer so the crust could get, well, crusty, but I was impatient and hungry! What do you expect? Anyway, next time will do longer or higher temp (but I always say that, don’t I?) Regardless, it was de-lish.

It was sooooooooooo filling that even though I ate it at like 5:30 I wasn’t hungry again until the morning! I did eat a tiny bit of cottage cheese with apple butter as dessert, but only to push me up closer to 1500 calories for the day. Guess I should have kept yesterday’s count down though, cause I was a little piggie at lunch today (darn you generous coworkers who always bring in food to the office!)

Anyway, I’m super excited because I went grocery shopping yesterday and picked up some canned pumpkin!

I’m seeing pumpkin EVERYWHERE in the health blogosphere and I knew I had to pick up some cans to experiment with before pumpkin isn’t the ingredient-du-jour anymore. So hopefully some fun and delicious things will come out of that — stay tuned!

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