I’m not even sure where to start with the last two weeks.

Well, I lived through my first tornado in Tennessee. Luckily, only two people went to the hospital, and there were no deaths. It caused quite a bit of damage though. It hit two exits south of me, so about 10 miles, and traveled West to East and then headed up North into Kentucky. Basically just made a large arc avoiding my neighborhood, so that was nice. The crazy part was that we were just having a really bad thunderstorm so I decided to check when the weather was going to clear up since I’ve got to take my dog out at some point, and that’s when I noticed the tornado warning. Yeah, I didn’t hear the sirens that are all over our town, my PHONE DIDN’T ALERT ME. And yes, I’ve checked the setting and made sure they are on. But nope, wasn’t warned AT. ALL.

 

I weirdly wasn’t frightened, but maybe that’s because we were just getting the warning that there was a big dark cloud that had potential. So I just took my dog and went into the basement with my laptop and actually followed along in a Facebook group since they were getting more up to date information than the actual weather service.

I guess the scariest part of this was always thinking, well, my phone will alert me, and if I’m sleeping the tornado sirens will wake me. NOPE. So if a night tornado hits and I’m asleep, who knows what’ll happen.

So then I fell off my fast that I was doing for Lent, and it’s just been a shit show ever since. I haven’t gotten it back under control, but that hopefully ends today.

I started a new painting for my Rise series, and I didn’t get very far on it before I switched it up and decided I was going to draw a picture of Dermot Kennedy – because I love him and I listen to his music all the time. Literally if I’m driving, it’s on, if I’m reading, it’s on, if I’m drawing, it’s on. So I was like, why would I not draw this dude who influences and motivates me?

I started drawing his and again, I chose a picture that is not incredibly detailed or large, which is hard when you’re drawing a three foot drawing of it. But I chose the best one I could find. He’s relatively unknown so it’s hard to find a lot of high res pictures of him. He will also be in Nashville on Sunday, but it’s sold out. It’s crazy, he’s from Ireland, only has like 8,000 followers on social media, yet he’s selling out every single venue. He’s gonna be huge. Just watch.

Anyway, I made tacos last Sunday and I was sitting down to eat them, staring at my drawing, when my doorbell rang. Now the previous weekend AT&T had sent out some dudes to try and sell me on their fiber network and they said they would check back in, so I assumed it was the AT&T guy and if it wasn’t I didn’t care because I don’t know anyone in this town and wasn’t going to be bothered. I had just made tacos.

So I ignore it, and all of a sudden my dog runs to my back door (which is all glass and leads to my deck) and is losing his mind. So I stand up and there’s a dude on my deck, peering into my bedroom window.

So I run into my office because it’s out of site and the only window he can’t get to. I peak out that window and notice a lady down in my yard. So now I’m confused. This isn’t some dude just casing my house to break in. So I grab my knife, and my phone, and head to the front door because they’re kind of wandering around the property.

The worst part of this is that I had just received my security cameras and decided to hang them up after I ate tacos. So literally if they could have waited an hour, I would have video of this, but NO.

So I open the door and I’m like, yo can I help you? And my dog is between my legs losing his mind because he’s in protection training and there’s a dude up in our space. The guy goes on to tell me that he found my house listed for rent and the “owner” said he has just moved to Texas and he couldn’t do a showing – so they should just show up at the house and look in the windows. He said it seemed sketchy but him and his wife were looking for a home so they thought they would try.

Now my brain does two things here. First: I’ve come across this scam when looking for a house myself, so I was like oh I’m sorry man you got scammed. But second: my brain is like, but what if this is a new tactic to actually check out a house to rob. Like oh I found it listed – it told me to look through the windows, super sorry. But now they have the blueprint of my house, they’ve seen what electronics I have, if there’s any security systems, etc. Yeah I’m paranoid, but I’d rather be paranoid than attacked so whatever.

Well the dude calls the “owner” who proceeds to yell at me and tell me that I’ve been scammed by my property management company and I need to get out of “his” house.

I rent through the most reliable and highest rated property management company in the area. I’m not being scammed. I’ve been in contact with the owner about adding a Doberman Pinscher and we’ve been seeing if it’s on the restricted list for his home owners insurance. I’m not being scammed.

The couple apologizes and leaves. And after they leave I think, CRAP. They had the dudes phone number, I should have gotten it! But I was so shaken that my brain wasn’t fully functioning.

I finish my tacos, set up my cameras, and add a note to my door saying my property is NOT for rent and to contact my property management company. I tried to find the listing on Craigslist (that’s where I’ve seen these listings before) and I couldn’t. =(

 

The next morning I call my property management company and let them know and then about twenty minutes later I get another person ringing my doorbell. I check my cameras and decide to open it because I want this asshole’s phone number. The guy says he thought something was a bit fishy with it because utilities were included and that doesn’t happen in our area, but he’s like yeah I’ve got the listing and the phone number.

I get it, call my PM company to give them the information, and then call the police. I was SUPPOSED to have an officer call me back, but they haven’t so I need to call AGAIN. Because even though I reported this listing to Zumper (the property finder it was listed on) it’s STILL THERE. I searched this guys phone number and he has one listing in all these surrounding states. They all got posted about 5 days before, and they all say the exact same information. Don’t contact me to purchase, only rent. And for the fastest response just show up to the house. What a piece of shit. First of all scamming naive people out of first months rent or deposit is just shitty. Second of all, you’re sending strangers to my house to look in my windows, that puts me in danger. Third, you’re putting those strangers in danger because yo, creeping around my property means I’m grabbing a weapon and taking you out.

I’ve had a few people ask why they make these fake listings so here’s what happens. They find a house on Zillow. Now my property was listed for rent or sale on Zillow a long time ago, so even after the listing is sold/rented they keep it almost as a database. So you can probably find your property on there if you look. They give you an estimate of how much this house is worth, etc. So they find your house’s information post it and then give some sob story about why they can’t show the house. Oh my son is having cancer treatments in Texas and I have the key with me. Go look in the windows. The currents residents have been evicted or will be out by the end of the week, yadda yadda yadda. Well they get these desperate people who need a home who check out the house and they say oh I’m really interested. And the person is like great, send me a deposit or first months rent so I can take the listing down. We had a family friend that got all the way to writing out the deposit before something happened where he found out it was a scam. So he was lucky, but people do get fooled.

So yeah, they take hundreds or thousands from people and then disappear and those people are SOL. It’s pretty garbage.

So yeah, it’s been an exciting time here. And then I had a friend come visit and he just left yesterday. He came in the middle of the week which is the worst time, plus all this chaos has been happening and it also got cold again right when he got here so, well timed! But luckily we were able to have some fun and it wasn’t stressful.

But basically all of this is to say that I haven’t been getting ANYTHING done. No writing, no drawing, nothing. But oh well. This weekend is going to be nothing but creativity and Jessica Jones season 2!

The General Chaos of the Last Two Weeks
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