A cooking catastrophe is almost always preceded by a lack of time.
At least, I find that to be true in my case.
Case in point, last Wednesday, I had a little under 2 hours to bake, fill and frost one chocolate mousse layer cake. I was short on time because I'd spent the entire morning hunched in front of the computer, making frantic phone calls to my cousin in Idaho, and sending off copious torrents of emails to my uncle in California - all in an effort to book flights for my impending West Coast Pilgrimage.
The flight-bookage was eventually successful, and I flew from the computer to the kitchen and started measuring cake flour and sifting cocoa like a madwoman.