Some backstory... we are renovating our kitchen, and there is this thing coming down from the ceiling (we are calling it a soffit, which I guess it technically is, although usually when you say "soffit" in relation to kitchens, you are talking about the part of the ceiling that comes down above the cupboards) that has nothing in it but a single recessed light (which might as well be on the ceiling proper) and a bunch of insulation. No ducting, nothing. We haven't quite figured out why anybody would have put it in to begin with. It looks safe to remove, so... we're gonna do it.
As I mentioned, the thing is stuffed with insulation. I had originally been anticipating a god-awful mess, a veritable rain of insulataion, at the point when I planned to saw the drywall out -- but then my sister suggested there is probably a crawlspace above the kitchen, and maybe I could shovel the insulation out first. So there is, and as intimidating as crawlspaces can be, on reflection I think that is the right solution.
So here I stand, with the crawlspace open and a halogen light shining into it, completely shitting my pants about going in there. It was bad enough opening the door -- I expected a gollum to jump out and bite my face off, or at the very least for a big pile of dead bodies to come rolling out and knock me off the ladder. The fact that I don't believe in monsters is cold comfort when you are by yourself, on a ladder, opening a creepy looking door that you anticipate crawling through in the near future.
It's a mess up there. To get my bearings, I stuck a pole up through the hole where the recessed light is, so I can see how far back I will need to go.
There's this weird perceptual effect... if I walk from the garage (where the crawlspace entrance is) to the kitchen, I would estimate the soffit is maybe 10-15 ft away from the entrance.
If only I was holding a cold beer and had a guy friend here. That old male conditioning would kick in, and I'd just take a big swig and say (imagine frat boy voice here) "Let's DO it! Hell yeah!" But alone, beerless, and with no incentive to conform to a specific gender role... damn, this sucks.