So it’s been a hell of a couple of weeks. Maybe longer, I lose track. I guess it’s about three weeks. I haven’t been posting much. I’ve been behind in contacting friends and in sharing photos on Facebook. I’ve managed to get the kids to Taekwondo, but not much else—every non-work, non-Taekwondo moment has been spent trying to cope with urgent tasks.
- Blew a cam seal on the new (used) car. This is partially my fault, partially the universe’s fault. I bought a V70 when I wrecked the old one, and I knew that the PCV system needed to be serviced, and that until then, I needed to drive it gently. Well, I didn’t.
- Because the cam seal blew oil everywhere, also needed a timing belt.
- European shop estimate for all three jobs (cam seals, timing belt, PCV rebuild) was ~$1,500. This did not make me happy.
- So I decided to do it myself.
- Um, twice. (cam seal = okay, but PCV = I fucked up the first time, TB = the new tensioner was defective the first time)
- In the process, also caused some headaches for myself (broken hoses, misfires) that have occupied a bunch of time.
© Aron Hsiao / 2017
I think we’re finally back on the road now. I’ve spent most of the last three weeks buried in car parts and engine dissection, pretty much every last bit of non-work, non-Taekwondo time. And then there are the other details:
- As car work has proceeded, my hands have been more and more beaten up and swollen. Hard to type.
- Splashed hot oil on myself (no, not from the car, while trying to cook in a hurry). Got second degree burns up and down my right arm. Hard to use.
- Broke up a dog fight (the young one went after the old one for a bit of something). Small dog got three fingers on my hand because in the moment I pried open with hands, rather than with a break stick. Harder to type.
- Things at work have been everything but normal, with lots of urgent directives from the top down.
- Still have a friend in town visiting, which is helpful for all of this car work time, but also shakes up my routine and invades my brain.
- Ended up having to take the small dog to the vet, and other unnecessary expenses—which meant that money got very tight and some things had to go. So there was also frantic eBaying with greasy hands, and fulfillment to do.
- Because of the routine changes, the friend in town, and me being so busy, the small dog regressed over the last few weeks in potty training—so there has also been a lot of poop cleanup and dog training.
- I created a social complication for myself that I am just socially awkward enough to not be able to deal with well. And it bums me out because it’s one of those cases in which you’re really positive on something and then it gets complicated and doesn’t turn out like you thought and you’re both crestfallen and a little bit caught. I won’t go into that one.
The house is a mess, the laundry is undone, but the car is finally back to reliably mobile again (I hope) until I tackle the drive shaft (there is some vibration; I’m hoping a CV joint and not, say, a center bearing or something—but one thing at a time) and the transmission flush (I might just to a series of drain-and-replace though).
My hands are barely working and are full of injuries and the same goes for my arms. There has been zero recreation so far this summer and the summer is half over. And there is zero money (thanks to car and vet and so on) to do any just yet.
I would sincerely like for July to be nice and calm and simple and fun, because June has been a bear. In fact, 2017 in general has not been easy to cope with thus far. By comparison, 2016 was fairly easy to manage. That is not at all what I would have thought if you’d asked me in 2016. A divorce year is supposed to be as hard as it gets, right? Well not in this case.