Leaves of Three

Within a week of owning my house in the country I was invaded…no no not by an intruder, by Poison Ivy. I was mowing and I mowed right over it thinking i’d be okay because I had long pants on. I even went in and took a shower right after just to be safe. That was wishful thinking. As soon as I notice I have it I always assume I can just ignore it, then I try to sleep and it keeps me up like a Christian bride on her wedding night. The absolute best cure i’ve found is to smother it… the ivy, not the bride.

Here is how my usual progression goes:

DAY 1:

I apply original old spice to affected area which smothers the poison ivy then blob on Cortizone 10 really thick which takes away the itch. Then I put tight fabric over the area. Something really tight like Under Armor compression. I take Benedryl at night and Zyrtec during the day.

Day 2:

I’m a little tired because the poison ivy kept me up but my optimism tells me the swelling and itching has been reduced….positive thoughts.

Day 3: 

Go to Vanderbilt Walk in clinic, beg for a steroid shot, bend over and tell the nurse to “get dat ass.”

….that was today.

Did Winning the Lottery Change Me?

No, because i’ve never won the lottery, but that seemed like a good attention grabbing headline. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about living in my car and I have an update at the bottom:

“Are you really living in your car?” Yes

“It’s so hot, how do you stay cool” If it’s too hot at night I just leave the car running.

“What do you do about bringing girls home?!” I’m single and I don’t sleep around, so far that hasn’t been an issue.

“Where do you shower?” I go to my gym, Title Boxing, everyday.

“I hate moving, how do you have it down to an art?” Yeah moving is terrible, unless you’re making a little money doing it, then its pretty fun:)  Like I mentioned in the first post my hobby is flipping houses. I’ve never had a day job and I never went to college which makes me always feel like I have nothing to fall back on. So when I actually began making some money I needed to be smart with it and since real estate will never be worth $0 (unlike stock) I slowly began buying. I’d buy a house and move into it while renovating it. I’d move into the houses so that I could get a better interest rate on a loan rather than having an investment loan. I’ve camped in houses with no plumbing, electricity, etc and just kept moving furniture from room to room until the house was complete. After 6 houses I decided to get my real estate license online so that I could make the extra 6%. (3% when I buy and 3% when I sell)

I have zero clutter which saves a ton of time. Every time you move you throw away a lot of unwanted items right? Well i’ve moved 23 times in 6 years, 4 times this year, so consider me decluttered.

A lot of my furniture, coffee tables for instance, have storage so I  load those babies full of stuff when it’s time to move. I use towels and clothes to wrap my dishes so that’s 2 birds with 1 stone. (yes I wash my dishes when I unpack)

I don’t like to hire movers and I would never ask a friend to help. So I can either lift everything on my own or use a dolly.

I don’t move anything until everyone has signed the closing docs. After all….you have not really sold your house until EVERYONE has signed. That’s my pet peeve, “I bought/sold my house!!!” No you haven’t….you are under contract, ANYTHING can happen. If your buyer backs out and you’ve already moved, you have to move everything back into your house and stage it to sell again. So moving is a game to me now. I don’t pack anything until the day I close (sell) my house and tell the buyers that they can have possession after 4pm the day of closing. This last time I was out in 2 and a half hours. RECORD TIME! I’m sure my neighbors think i’m running from the law since i’m sprinting back and forth from the house to the moving truck like a lunatic.

OKAY! I told you I found a house I liked. Well I pulled the trigger and purchased this house in the country, with land for a whopping $54,500 (USD)!!! “YOWZAAAA SHE MUST BE A PIECE OF…..work.” Oh she is, but she’s mine so hold your tongue. My carpartment adventures aren’t over just yet, lets just say that the house isn’t exactly livable. Instead of traveling around as much I’m now living in my car while renovating this house.

 

Close Encounters of the Female Kind

I have a roommate!!! No not really, but the other night I woke up with a cramp in my calf which is awesome in a small space like a carpartment. I jumped out of my car and almost stepped on a really slow moving black cat….that had a white stripe running down its back. UGHHH it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I’ve heard horror stories about people getting skunked so I can’t imagine attempting to sleep after that. My ex was gassy when she slept and that was absolute torture. I did go to the same spot out in the country one other time and I saw the skunk again! It walked by my car sooooo slowly. Now that i’m thinking about it, i’m having the exact same experience Kevin Costner had in the box office hit Dances With Wolves. Only if I tried to dance with a skunk my Indian name would be “Smells Like Some Ass.”

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me to stay with them which is so sweet but again….I’m doing this for the adventure!!!:) I hadn’t taken anyone up on their offer until last night. I had just finished helping a friend make 500 jello shots for a party when this other friend asked if I wanted to do something. 2post2

 

I was a little worried because as you may remember I try to get to bed by 9pm in order to wake up before the sun rises because I can’t sleep with the sunlight pouring in my carpartment. I decided to suck it up and meet her even though it was already 7:30pm. I know….party animal. Lucky for me her favorite spots are my favorite spots…..Dive Mexican Patios.

(snapchat: AustinCCook)

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We had a great time, there was tequila involved. The server came and told us they were closing at 9pm, HALLELUJAH for Nashville being lame sometimes!!! (yes Nashville is super lame so people should stop moving here) Then as we were leaving I heard the words that I’d been dreading for over a month…..”can you give me a ride home?” Oh Dear Baby Jesus WHAT do I say because at this point she had noooo idea i’d been living out of my car. Although my carpartment is super tidy it still looks like someone sleeps there which is not very becoming.  I told her I would definitely give her a ride home but I needed to do some adjusting inside my car. Her exact response was, “oh don’t worry, my car is a mess it couldn’t be any worse than mine.” ……wanna bet? So I walked her to my car, flung open the door and she started laughing hysterically. (at me or with me, it’s all the same in my book) She wanted to lay on my bed while I drove her home. THE NERVE!!! lol I cleared out some stuff and she was able to sit Uber style in the back seat right behind me. She was a great sport about it and definitely got turned on because she kept referring to “Driving Miss Daisy” which i’m pretty sure is one of the Marvel super heroes, but I never saw the movie so i’m not positive. So we made it back to her fancy schmancy highrise (which was in fact amazing) and she invited me up. Since I don’t like dudes and she’s a model I took her up on her offer and JUUUUUUST as I suspected…..absolutely nothing happened. We drank a little bit more and she said I could stay on her couch which I decided to do since I didn’t want a DUI even though i’d just be sleeping in my car. You can never be too careful when drinking people!!! So this decision was a great one, why?! It showed me that sleeping in my car was WAYYYYY more comfortable than staying on a friends couch!!!!! After this I thought about it and figured out that the entire time i’ve been living in my car i’ve only traveled to cities where I know people so there is a subconscious sense of security. And the reason why this is perfect timing is because I was in these “steamy” Dierks Bently videos so I was flirting with the idea of traveling to another city to see a show. Anyone want to come with me?!

Life is good my friends!!! Life. Is. Good:)

Last thing….i’m having a real tug of war of emotions because I found a house on some land that I like and I know I can get it for an incredible price. I think i’m going to buy it to renovate then move my furniture in (so I don’t have to pay for storage anymore) and use it as an airbnb.

Living in my car!?

I’ve been snapchatting (snapchat: AustinCCook) my journey living in my car for the last month and a lot of people have been asking questions so I thought i’d give you all the juicy tid bits. In my next post i’ll answer all the questions:)

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No i’m not broke. I sold my house in Nashville a little over a month ago and usually I have a simultaneous closing so I can move into another house as soon as I sell my current residence. My hobby is buying houses, fixing them up WHILE living in them (a mass chaos campout if you will) and selling them. I know….stressful hobby but i’m single, have no kids and have moving down to an art so it’s really easy for me. Before I closed on this new house I had to go fix a water line that had busted so that I could turn on the water after closing. When I opened the front door to the house bugs came crawling out by the boatloads….bed bugs and cockroaches were everywhere!!!! NOOOO Thank you. I canceled the contract and told my title attorney i’d rather sleep in my car than buy that house. Later that day reality set in…I had sold the house I had been living in, had a moving truck full of all my furniture and didn’t have a place to go…cue the violins. Time Out… I grew up here in Nashville, all my family is here and I have money in the bank. I have plenty of options, I just didn’t want to impose on anyone or spend money on rent or a hotel.

Why am I so stubborn and uptight?! Well, per Dave Ramsey’s advice 3 years ago I sold my houses that had big bloated mortgages and downsized. Since the house I was downsizing to was so much smaller/cheaper I was able to pay cash. BUYERS BEWARE: Not paying a dime on rent or a mortgage for 36 months will make a person a little stubborn when it comes to spending mullah….in a good way:)

So there is NOOOO WAY I’m paying to rent a room, apartment or hotel. Which can only mean one thing….TIME FOR AN ADVENTURE!!!

The first night in my “carpartment” I got the couch cushions and pillows out of the moving truck, laid down the passenger side seat and loaded that baby full of pillows. She was a bit lumpy. Luckily I found a spot to park next to the Harpeth River and I think the peaceful sound of moving water distracted me from the fact that I was sleeping in a position that even a contortionist would find uncomfortable. I woke up the next morning with my forehead between my kneecaps and said, “this won’t fly.”

Day 1

That day I was determined to pimp out my new residence. I bought a 4 inch foam mattress to put on top of the couch cushions and cut it to fit perfectly, or in HGTV terms…I now have a custom designed bed for my carpartment. Just like every other person from Franklin, TN I grew up going on tour with bands. This bed is more comfortable than any tour bus bunk i’ve ever slept on. Later that day I found a storage unit in the boon docks, which is one of my only bills, and I’m storing all my furniture for $60 a month. (yeah…that’s less than most people’s cell phone bill)

Every night I park somewhere different, no, not to throw off the POPO. I’ve actually made friends with some of them in different cities in order to make sure i’m staying in areas where we won’t bug each other. MOSTLY because I don’t want them rolling up if I forget to put alcohol in the trunk, then it’s an opened container in a car with only 1 person, the driver. Even though i’m not driving, just sleeping, they will give me a DUI.  No Bueno.

I always wonder what people picture when they think of Nashville. No I don’t park outside the Bluebird Cafe. I prefer the COUNTRY!:) Which is a 10 minute drive in any direction. I’ll drive to auditions or meetings during the day and pass an amazing spot and pick out my new fox hole for the night. That sounded sexual but I assure you….it’s not. Besides a couple nights when I’ve been booked to work in other states, I’ve lived in my car for a little over a month now!

“But Austin…where do you shower?! That’s so grody!!!” I go to a Title Boxing gym everyday so I shower there. Easy Breezy. I’m glad you brought that up though…so far there have been some hurdles. A big one is that i’m not exactly a great sleeper. I have to have melatonin, white noise and a Christmas movie playing while I fall asleep. Yes, you read correctly….a Christmas movie. As you know that requires electricity. So I have to make sure my computer is charged up before I find my sleeping destination or else I will be up all night long and not in the fun Lionel Richie way. Merriddees in Downtown Franklin is one of my favorites to get my charge on.

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Sometimes I park outside a place where I know the password to the wifi, sometimes I’ll park in the middle of the country, whatever tickles my fancy that day. One small problem i’ve run into when parking outside a Starbucks is hopping out of my car in the wee hours of the morning in my unmentionables to look up and find myself eye to eye with a dump truck driver. Sure, he had a gentle smile but I wasn’t in the mood for his shenanigans.

I had to make an adjustment to my sleeping schedule as well. It’s impossible for me to sleep with the sun blaring in my windows so I now go to bed at 9pm and get up at 5am…which is quite different from what I’m used to.

I haven’t yet run into this problem but i’m assuming that inviting a girl back to my car won’t have the same allure as bringing a girl to a house…but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Alrighty, till next time. Safe Travels