1. In last week’s entry, I wrote that I was incredibly distracted and overwhelmed by the very real possibility that the house we’d fallen love with was going to be ours within a matter of weeks, and that the speed with which this whole thing happened was dizzying and disorienting. In my excitement and confidence and naivete, I’d told a work colleague that the only two things that could happen to derail this process was that (1) the bank would do their own appraisal and give us far less of a loan than what we’d bid, or (2) the inspector would say “this house is actually just a hologram and doesn’t exist in any sort of physical reality.”
As it turned out, (2) was closer to the truth than (1); the inspection went so terribly that we agreed to abandon it about halfway through, because there was nothing we could see that could possibly make up for what we’d already seen. Words like “deathtrap” and “shitshow” were thrown around. The inspector – who was hired by our realtor, and thus was professionally biased on her behalf – said to us, “Look – no problem is unsolvable. But if you were my own flesh and blood, I’d urge you to walk away.” I asked our realtor, who’s been doing this for a long time, how this flip ranked in terms of what she’d seen, and she said that it was, in fact, the worst she’d ever seen, and by the time we’d signed the inspection checks, she was already looking at other properties for us to visit.
So there’s that.
At this point, we’ve learned quite a lot in a very short amount of time, the most important of which are:
- There will never be a situation in which an inspector looks at a house and says, “I can’t find anything wrong, this is a perfect house.” But there’s a difference between a solvable problem and a waking nightmare.
- The Venn diagram comprising available houses in this neighborhood in our price range that also meet our specific needs and that aren’t going to collapse in a stiff breeze is going to be very small, and we have to be realistic about what we can expect to find.
- A good support team is everything.
We’re not giving up; indeed, we went back out there this past weekend and saw something that’s actually quite lovely, and we also learned that the very first house that we ended up being the runner-up bid for might be coming back on the market, and the chance to get a second crack at that one is certainly very intriguing. But until we finally get out of the nightmare contract and get our money back, we’re still on the outside looking in.
2. I need to get back to the album at some point, but as you can imagine, it’s just impossible to feel creative and focused when so much big stuff is happening. Looking at houses is exhausting, especially with a two year old who loves climbing stairs and saying “No. Stop.” and hitting you when it’s time to stop climbing steps and leave the house. I’d hate to think that I’m not going to get back to it until we’re moved in to a new place, because who knows how long this process is going to take; in the meantime, though, it’s rough going. I’m trying to not beat myself up about it; these are extenuating circumstances, to be sure, and I’m sure that soon enough I’ll be able to carve out some time and mental energy to get back to it in earnest.
3. I am kinda playing games again, though, if only because that’s easier for me to deal with when I’m collapsed on the couch. There wasn’t a lot of time this weekend, but there was enough time for me to be able to see a few things.
- Invisible, Inc. is a really interesting turn-based stealth game – it’s by the team that made the fantastic Mark of the Ninja, and it looks an awful lot like XCOM – and I can’t wait to really settle down and play it for real. The simple truth is that for me right now, even on the easiest difficulty setting, it’s very stressful, and I’m already too stressed out as it is. Supposedly it’s coming to PS4 later this year; if it also came to the Vita, I’d gladly buy it twice, as I think it’d be perfect as a handheld title.
- Project CARS is really beautiful and really obtuse; I played it for about 5 minutes and then put it back in the Gamefly envelope.
- For some reason, I felt bad that I’d not turned my Xbox One on in a while, and so I decided to rent Dead Rising 3, even though I’ve never really cared for the first 2. And after 10-15 minutes, I remembered that I’d still not finished Sunset Overdrive, which is one of the games I bought the XBO for in the first place, and that if I had to choose between two zombie apocalypse games, I’d much rather play Sunset Overdrive.
- Did I end up playing Sunset Overdrive, though? No, I did not. Instead, I tried to cram through as much of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood as I could. I’m about 3/4 of the way through, and even though it’s not nearly as engrossing as last year’s New Order, it’s certainly fun enough in its mindless action, and shooting Nazi zombies is always a gas. (Even though they also shoot back, which, I mean, come on.) I’d like to finish it tonight, so that my plate is clear before The Witcher 3 unlocks.
Yeah, The Witcher 3. I’m trying to keep my expectations in check. I played bits and pieces of the first two and couldn’t really get into either of them. The hyperbole surrounding this newest one is ridiculous, which is impossible to ignore; but given that I’m also feeling rather sour about games at the moment, it must be said that I’m kinda putting a lot of pressure on it to really be as good as everyone else seems to say it is. If The Witcher 3 can’t get me excited about gaming as a medium, then maybe I should start thinking about switching off for good.