ok..so last night I went through the process of trying to get back to the cwm recovery screen via sd card to flash anything. Since the screen was so borked, it took a few tries to even get the screen to read anything legible.
After a few flickers, the screen somehow cooperated (really don't know how though but I am not coomplaining) and I was able to reflash the cm10.1.3 rom and 8/12 gapps.
It took a few reboots by me and a little time but everything seem back to normal now. I have no idea what happen here and if I will experience this issue again. We shall see but I have for now one happy kid.