Thursday, April 19, 2012

playing chicken

I think I'm normally a pretty risk-averse person. Snooze-worthy, I know. I chalk it, along with many of my other quirks, up to being the firstborn child. But this spring, I've strayed from my usually cautious ways. I went out on a limb and joined a new team at work, which has ultimately been rewarding, but is a pretty big departure from the comfortable, safe little work life I had with my old team. 

On the heels of that decision, I also took tangible, terrifying steps towards home ownership (mentioned briefly here). A logical part of my risk-averse nature is an inherent frugality, so while my monthly rent payment pains me, talking about purchasing things that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars makes me downright squirmy. 

But for many reasons, I decided it was time to take the leap of faith. It's been an extremely draining, oftentimes frustrating process, the details of which I may or may not eventually subject you to here. I've felt, for most of the time, like I'm playing chicken. 

See, the loan hasn't come through yet. And I'm due to close in less than 7 days. But I've already given notice of intent to vacate my current apartment. And hired movers. And daydreamed (again) about paint colors and DIY projects. And cringed (and drank a big glass of wine) when the real estate agent cashed my earnest money check. And requested that Pepco set up electricity. And...

So, that, coupled with 10+ hour days and weekends in the office, is really doing a number on my frugal, risk-averse tendencies. I know this because I now get regular emails from both my mother and my real estate agent assuring me that this is a)going to happen, b)a good thing. 

All of this hectic-ness, by the way, is how I found myself doing yet another out-of-character thing recently: cooking for stress relief. I'm forever trying to actually use the recipes I pin on Pinterest, and I had a rare weekday without post-work obligations. Enter chicken pad thai with peanuts and lime from this cool blog I randomly found (it's called Technicolor Kitchen, and the author reviews a movie and a recipe in one go).    

there's a lot of up-front chopping to be done, but, it otherwise comes together quickly

It's not so much that I enjoy prep work (or cooking), but, I do find them to be a perfect distraction from the extremely obnoxious little voice in my head that features a constant loop of nagging questions/worries (a la the news ticker on the ABC 7 building in Rosslyn) about this upcoming move/major life purchase.

I ended up tweaking the recipe a little bit, by the way, by subbing tofu for chicken, adding strips of red pepper, and leaving out the fish sauce (which I tend to loathe...with a passion). I put a couple drops of dark sesame oil and a dash of siracha in the sauce instead. Mine, as you will see when you look at my photo above, and the blogger's version below, came out looking, well, totally different. I'm not sure why hers is so much lighter in color, but, it tasted delicious, so, I'm not complaining!

no clue why Technicolor Kitchen's version and mine (above) look so different...

The next week and a half is going to be overwhelmingly busy, but, at some point I'll be back with more details on (and many photos of) the new digs!

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