My week off from work felt great. But I’m still having difficulty actually focusing at work. I have a bunch of paths of exploration to examine but none of them feel, y'know, right right now.
Meanwhile, my house continues to be a bit more work than I expected. On the plus side, I’ve successfully murdered my lawn and vastly improved my garden and started up my nice meadow. On the minus side, my heating bill is through the roof (literally) and I’ve been getting bids for finally improving the house insulation. So far I’ve had three bids which went thusly:
- First company refused to even send anyone out, and wrote up an estimate based on county property records. They didn’t think there was any need to actually look at the house even though I know there’s some weirdness that they really should care about.
- Second company came, gave it a brief look, told me how easy everything would be and they’d just blow in a bunch of cellulose insulation and it wouldn’t cost too much. Seemed reasonable.
- Third company came today, and the dude noticed right off the bat some pretty major issues that would have been a problem for what the second company proposed, and which also probably should have been caught by the property inspector when I bought the place. Insulating the attic will be tricky. Insulating the walls will be even harder.
My house has a pretty weird quirk in that there’s an old roof and then a second roof was built up over the first one, and some of the work on the second roof was pretty shoddy. This is nothing new. But today’s contractor took some photos of what he is pretty sure is fire damage to the inner roof, and surmises that that’s why the outer roof exists. There’s also a weird substructure on top of the rafters which causes a major airgap, and he says that needs to be dismantled in order for any insulation to be even remotely effective. He also doesn’t think that it would be worth trying to insulate the walls, and that I should focus on the roof since that’s where all my heat loss is occurring (which makes sense).
He pointed out a whole bunch of issues with the current insulation (such as it is) and while his proposal would make things pretty okay, he thinks that I really should just have the entire roof structure replaced. He also thinks I should sue the property inspector for the amount, which he thinks would be on the order of $70,000.
He’s strongly implying that this is not a house that I should have bought. And I can’t help but think he was right. There’s so many weird issues with it that I want to deal with but also keep on putting off, and a lot of stuff has me worried. And today’s meeting didn’t exactly help me with those feelings.
One of the standardized questions on the stress and anxiety scale is: How many days over the last two weeks have you felt that you can’t overcome your personal problems? And I gotta say, right now I don’t think my answer would b egood.
On the plus side, tomorrow I start ketamine treatments. Hopefully those will help me with my pain, anxiety, and focus issues. Ideally it’d also make it so I can take stimulants again, because holy heck do I need those to function (and I’d be taking them if it weren’t for the, y'know, dangerously high blood pressure spike thing).
I’m also under a lot of stress out of empathy for a couple of my friends. It’s absolutely not my place to go into specific details but I wrote a lengthy Twitter thread about the greater issue.
I’ve started writing an article about these issues every time it comes up and I can never think of how to phrase it in a way which won’t be taken out of context and lead to the very issues I’m trying to speak up about. And I definitely don’t have the mental health reserves for that to happen. So all I can do right now is sit by while I see people I care about being put through hell.
Fortunately, Sarah Z has done a great video about the phenomenon and it’s worth a watch:
In this case she’s talking about someone who, yeah, probably did do some fairly awful things, unlike my friends who are being caught up in a web of manipulative lies and people co-opting the language of the abused in order to get some sort of disproportionate revenge on a perceived slight. But even if my friends did do the things they’re accused of, they don’t deserve the treatment they’re getting, nor do their connected networks of people whose only crime was associating with them and not calling out for their eradication from the Internet or whatever the hell it is these people want.
Social media is a sickness and I’m finding myself less and less interested in participating every day. But it also becomes more and more important and entrenched in our lives. Everything’s gone so far out of control and it makes me want to be a hermit or something.
Meanwhile, there’s also some fun with the condo: a couple weeks ago, someone threw a brick through the window. And I’ve been having a hell of a time getting anyone to actually come out to measure it and make a replacement. My tenant is being really gracious about it but I hate that she’s having to deal with a cardboarded-over window (and got woken up at midnight and had to file a police report), and that anyone would do such a thing in the first place. At least the HOA is paying for the replacement, but gosh, this is still such a pain in the ass for everyone to deal with.
I never wanted to be a landlord in the first place and this whole thing isn’t helping with that.
One of my hopes when I bought this house was that I could sell the condo quickly, then build a backyard cottage and live out of that while doing all the renovations on the house itself (and then use the cottage as either a recording studio or an AirBnB afterwards). But the lack of condo sale has been a big damper on that, and while I could technically afford to do the cottage thing anyway I am really not interested in depleting every last bit of my savings in order to do so. Going through the bathroom renovation month-of-hell was extremely Not Fun, and many of the other projects would have similar implications.
But aside from the neverending to-do list, I do like this house a lot and I want to do right by it. None of the problems seem intractible, it’s just there’s so many of them, and it’s hard to juggle their respective priorities.
I still have one more estimate to come on the attic insulation project. Hopefully something will shake out and I’ll end up with a plan.
And hopefully these ketamine treatments do me some good. They feel like such a last resort and if they’re ineffective (or if I need to discontinue them for some medical reason) I’m not sure what I’ll do. Shrooms, probably.