Week three

October 18, 2015

Three weeks in. 

Last night my definition of ‘weird,’ was expanded against my will.

Initially when I gave the preview of this post I thought things like some drunk girl peeing behind my car at one A.M. or watching a dude stop to consecutively use 23 Q-Tips on the sidewalk (I counted 'em once he’d moved on) were strange.  Don’t feel bad, JonSnow, I also knew nothing.

Last night the temperature dropped into the forties.  Determined not to use the car heater again before the first snow I awoke and simply twisted into my second blanket.  Curling back into my foot-through-the-steering-wheel positionTM, I closed my eyes.  

Then someone screamed outside.

Drunk assholes, I thought as I began to drift off.  I've recently become bored of my usual haunts and have since expanded to any side streets lined with trees (street light blockers).  For those who may be unaware, Lakewood, Ohio holds a demographic and a geographic city gold medal:  Largest Gay Community (barely coming out over San Francisco*) and most bars per square mile.  The result of the latter fact is that every suburban street in this town intersects with a commercial street, and therefore, a bar.

Screaming assholes are nothing to concern one’s self with.  Screaming assholes who steadily become louder as they rush toward you are slightly more alarming.

I grunted, raising my body on drowsy arms, and wiped the condensed breath from the windshield.  A white blur bounced along the sidewalk.  Without taking my gaze away I fumbled with my right hand on the passenger seat.  My hand found my glasses and brought them to my face.

The noisy white blur became a kid wearing a light grey Ramones hoodie in his twenties.  But wait!  Someone was chasing him!  I thought of the movie prop revolver (which only fired blanks) in my trunk.  As Ramones’ pursuer came into focus I dismissed any heroic notions.  His potential assailant was a rather short, stick-thin girl with pink in her otherwise bleached hair.

I must admit, I was slightly let down at seeing her.  In the moments after realizing I was watching a chase in progress I had imagined a handful of much more entertaining possibilities... Did Ramone run out on his bar tab with the bartender at his heel?  Was Ramone spotted by some guy whose girlfriend he had slept with?  Was Ramone running from a serial killer who had already taken out everyone else in his house?  No (sigh), it was just some drunken overdramatic couple having some fun after the bar.  Then, right next to my car, the girl shrieked and tackled Ramone to the ground.

At some point lights began to come on in the houses around the scene.  I didn’t notice until the whole thing had played out, but they probably started soon after the tackle.  The two rolled between sidewalk and grass, punching and yelling and I think even biting each other.  If they would have looked up, they would have seen me goggling through my streaked and dripping passenger side window like a total freakin’ weirdo.  Then again, I wasn’t reenacting Wrestlemania in the middle of the night on someone’s lawn.  Anyway, they didn’t glance up.

The whole fight was probably over in ten seconds, but in comic book form it would’ve filled a dozen panels.  If I were to attempt to transcribe their tussle dialogue it would read like someone with epilepsy, ADD, and Tourette’s...  so of course I have to try:

(Pink Hair leaps) “HA!”
(She wrenches Ramone to the cement) “Gah!  Urrr!  Fuhhzzzch!”
“Stupi - (they roll)“
“Fuck! My - (Pink Hair punch)“
“Fake blonde!”
“No! Jus - a (Pink Hair slap) unt!”
“And - (Pink Hair smack) blow you! Fkr (Pink Hair punch) fkr (jab) fkr (jab) fkr (jab).”
“AH!  AH!  AH!  AHH!  HEY!”
“Fliggerblrv (Pink Hair knee to crotch) UH!”

Then the feisty chick lay on the ground catching her breath as Ramone scrambled up and ran off.  I was about to get out of the car and ask if the Pink Hair was okay when she sat up, lit a cigarette, looked around, then lay back down.  Never wake a sleeping tiger, I thought.  I took my hand off the handle.

After a few moments, some old guy in plaid boxer shorts a few houses away opened his front door, spied the girl, and yelled something at her.  The girl sat up and looked over at Boxers.  She stood slowly then walked back toward the bars, presumably to find a new beating victim.  Boxers and I watched her go, and as fun as it would be to gossip and speculate with him for a bit, I just started my car and found a quieter spot a few blocks away.  I had to work the next morning.

So that night holds first place for coolest (or weirdest) thing I’ve witnessed yet in my car.  Fingers crossed that a new event will edge it out before my adventure is complete.

Next post:  Days, Nights, Budgets, Horizons

Triple-dog-dare (also a good date idea):  Find and walk through 3 unmarked, unlocked doors that you’ve never been through.  If there are people beyond the door, just act like you belong.  Make up some excuses or stories beforehand if you’re not good in a pinch.  These doors are everywhere.  I promise a night of fun discovery and adventure.  What’s the worst they can do?  Say you have to leave?

*With a bit of research I discovered this no longer to be true, which I find rather sad.

My email:  mccoynstard@gmail.com

Week Two

October 11th, 2015

Now to directly address the group who thinks this is a stupid or impossible idea.  How the hell am I planning to live in a car - a sedan - for months and through a Midwest winter???  I'll tell you how (with photos)!

I have a 2010 Toyota Yaris with 101,000 miles which I purchased new in November of 2009:

Here are the items I require:
Work shirts, pants, ties

Toiletries in the box next to a laundry basket in the trunk:

Pillows, blankets in the footwell (car meticulously cleaned pre live-in) and entertainment:

And a little thing that let's me plug normal stuff into my car:

While my back seats do fold down there’s a 3-inch bump between the seat back and the trunk.  If my hips stuck out about 4 more inches this would probably be a comfortable place to sleep.  As they do not, I simply recline the front seat and konk out.

Important Q&A:

Where to go to the bathroom? 
I foresee many concession purchases as I patronize nearby gas stations and pubs.  I’m already working on a list based on cleanliness and accessibility (will publish later).

Where to shower?
While I can go two nights in my normal routine before desperately seeking a shower, I'd prefer not to.  Luckily (?) I don’t exercise and any rigorous activity is usually pre-planned complete with safety lines or life vests.  That will likely change eventually, but for now CPTB and a couple close friends have graciously offered their WC a few times a week.  If all else fails I can find a Love's gas station and use the trucker showers.  I've always wanted to do that, but I hate wearing foam flip-flops.

So that's all nice and good, but I still wake up with greasy Wolverine bedhead every single morning.  Where do I wash my hair before work?
I’m expecting to become fast friends with the Bride of Frankenstein who mans the counter at the gas station near my work.  They have a nice, detached, clean bathroom where I’ve washed my hair the past few days.  I can park right in front of the door and go in with a towel, shampoo, and toothbrush without getting weird looks or questions too complicated to answer when I’m still half-asleep.

The last question which CPTB posed in the planning stages was where I can park while I sleep.  After a quick Google search I discovered Wal-Mart welcomes travelers, vagrants, and those saving for babies to sleep in their lots unharrassed.  After briefly considering taking anything from that awful company, in the end CPTB and I decided that the only nearby Wal-Mart was in an area too saturated with crime to consider even as a temporary bedroom.  In fact, it was actually just recently deemed The Worst Wal-Mart in America.

Until a cop taps my window with his flashlight I’m planning on hitting up the streets and parking lots around places I’ve already lived.  I mean, I got away with much crazier shit in and around each of those places (See below for examples*), it doesn’t seem that anyone would give a damn about a dude passed out in his car.

That’s the plan.  Let’s see what happens!

Next post:  The weird shit I've already witnessed.

Lucky Numbers:  2, 13, 14, 23, 27, 42
Your new favorite website (slightly NSFW)
My email:  mccoynstard@gmail.com

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Backyard archery with flaming arrows

Pyrotechnics testing (click for video) 

and some extreme Halloween setups

Week One

October 4th, 2015

My name is Sean and I live in my car.  I broke my apartment lease and decided to do this to save money for this coming spring when I’ll become a dad.  I’ll be documenting the experience here over the following months.

The car!

In trying to imagine who might read this I imagine two types of people:  The first thinks this is the dumbest thing anyone could do, the second would call it a great adventure.  If those opinions were on a thermometer with dumb (cold) on one side and adventurous (hot) on the other, I think I’d fall around the summer in Vegas area.  Wow, way to complicate a metaphor, huh?  Anyway, we’ll see how I might fluctuate in two months as winter in Cleveland gets underway.  For the moment I’m excited.

My other car is a Tauntaun.

Although I doubt many people outside my friends and family will actually read this, I suppose I should give a little info on myself.  I work full-time in a nice office job for a very large business and have done so for 5 years (five years today actually).  My co-parent-to-be (CPTB)* is brilliant and hilarious and just as adventurous as me (if not moreso).  I love the shit out of her, and that’s actually less a shibboleth and more a metaphor now since many women poop while giving birth.  By the way, people won’t stop warning me about that, as if either CPTB or I are interested in watching when that goes down.  I mean, seriously, no matter what anyone tells me I find it hard to believe anyone ever wants to get in the splash zone all up-close and personal.

That’s close enough for me, thanks.

In my free time I write screenplays and paint.  The scripts are Goonies or Indiana Jones-type adventures and I get a bit obsessed with them.  I’m trying to sell one right now, so if you tell your aunt’s friend’s daughter’s college roommate who is the daughter of a big producer to email me and it gets sold I’ll be your best friend and do your laundry for a year.

Oh, I also paint stuff.  You can check the art out here if you’d like:  Sean’s Art Page!

Okay, enough about me for now.  Back to living in a car.

Now you might ask, Why not just move in with CPTB now, split the bills, and save like a normal person?  Well, my darling CPTB lives with her sister and her sister’s toddler and for multiple logistical reasons that would simply not work.  CPTB’s sister will be purchasing a home and moving out sometime before the due date in April at which point I’ll give up this life of vagary, move into the house, and live happily ever after.

So initially I thought, heck $600 for the rent and another $100 for utilities.  I’ll be saving $700 every single month!  When I told CPTB the great news, she was at first jealous (I said she was adventurous, right?) then she asked what I was going to do about food (she’s also more practical than me).  While I’m still working on a specific answer, I have allocated an extra $200 toward that for the month as an initial estimate. 

My second miscalculation was realized just last night.  Sometimes car, clothes, and blankets are just not enough insulation when it drops below 45 degrees at night (yeah, some nights are already getting that chilly in Cleveland, Ohio).  So I put another $100 toward the extra gas burned in idle whenever I wake up from the cold.  So $400 a month!  That means every two months in the car will cover the expenses for one month while CPTB is off work after the baby is born.  Not bad!

Those are the finances thus far.  Maybe at the end of the month I’ll post a more detailed breakdown and we’ll see where I actually landed in my savings.

Next post:  You think I’m nuts?  Here are some facts!

Challenge:  Help me find a cool name for this blog.
My email:  mccoynstard@gmail.com

*The word “girlfriend” seems too flimsy and I’d rather run my teeth over cement than use the term, “baby-mama.”  The problem is that “co-parent-to-be” is just clunky.  I’ll have to work on a better moniker as this blog goes on.  For now I’ll use CPTB, because that at least sounds cute when spoken...