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In the movie The Freshman, our protagonist is an innocent college freshman whose life spirals out of control the moment he arrives in New York. Within days, he's embroiled with the mob, the federal government, and PETA, and a mob boss's sociopathic daughter is telling everyone they're getting married. While all this is coming to a head, our hero stops to look at a beautiful sunset. In voiceover he observes, "There's a kind of freedom in being completely screwed."

It was a well-earned line. 25 years later, I remember how hard I laughed.

I've thought about that line a lot in the last week, as I total how much repairs would cost on this house. Counting the remodeling I originally wanted to do, we're talking 75% of the value of the house. I am not keen to do this. And those kinds of numbers put some rather dramatic and unconventional options on the table.

No matter what, I've pissed at least 50 grand away. That's the bare minimum, sell-the-house-for-what-I-paid best case. This does depress me, but I've reached acceptance of that reality. I can't control that. That's money's gone. What I can control is 1) not spending more money and 2) what outcome I get for that 50 grand.

The outcome I want most: getting my money back.