Rents and Temperatures: Things That Are Rising in Austin

Spring in Austin, Texas is usually a short-lived affair. Now, after a week of rain, the heat is on, and the humidity is high. Or as I call it, the stupidity. If all the rich idiots from California moving here with their First World dollars did their research, they would not come here. It’s very hot (and not ofttimes, not a dry heat), there’s bad traffic, cedar fever, other rich Californian idiots, and oh yeah, the homeless. Our so-called liberal city chose on Saturday to ban camping, sitting, or even lying down in public again after 23 years. Hypocrites. It does nothing to house the houseless, which I’m always on the verge of becoming, as I recently detailed in my post Homelessness Has Him House Hunting; Hounds of Hell at Heels. With tempers flaring from that political battle and the rising thermometer, plus ample reasons for my own head to get hot, I figured I would blow off a little steam. Trigger warning: “Bad words” ahead!

Because as much as I might despise the ridiculously rising rents and high-rise buildings here, I too, am apparently an idiot for not “just having the money.” Or maybe moving somewhere cheaper, probably like Paris, France. Speaking of apartment rentals, Like my anti-hero George Costanza from Seinfeld — like whom I also enjoy veining it up after nearly getting run over by cars on my bicycle and knocking back a hot toddy of Rageahol — said in Season 2, Episode 5, “The Apartment”:

George: [about Elaine taking the apartment above Jerry] How could you do that?

Jerry: ‘Cause I’m an idiot! You may think you’re an idiot, but with all due respect – I’m a much bigger idiot than you are.

George: Don’t insult me, my friend. Remember who you’re talking to. No one’s a bigger idiot than me. Jerry: You have no idea what an idiot is. Elaine just gave me a chance to get out and I didn’t take it. This (pointing to himself) is an idiot.

George: Is that right? I just threw away a lifetime of guilt-free sex, and floor seats for every sporting event in Madison Square Garden. So please, a little respect, for I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots.

Source: Seinfeldism

So yeah, affordable apartment rentals are ridiculously hard to find now, and it’s got my blood boiling.


Another object of my ire that has my blood pressure, and internal core temperature spiking is again real-estate related: Craigslist. The errantly but innoculously-titled Roomshares page is a real shit show. I won’t waste the space with some of the BS I’ve gotten on that, but here’s a quick overview:

A Dude’s next abode? Except homeless camping downtown was just banned by Proposition B. Source: Austin-American Statesman
  • Liars. People say they have a property to rent but actually don’t. I know how to use the county tax appraisal district’s public database, you stupid wankers!
  • Ads with barely any information or that are clearly fake. When you email these people, it’s either a person with major communication skills. Other times it’s clearly a poor person in another country working a crummy job, trying to get my phone number or email for a scam. That is what Craigslist’s anonymous email protects you from.
  • Inane questions. “Are you still looking?” No, I enjoy wasting my time on a website that has had several documentaries and a feature film made about scammers and even a murder or two.
  • The ad with a naked dude and his erect penis. Hard pass. (So to speak.) Come on on dude, it’s a housing ad. I mean, I also own a penis, but I know better than to stick it in my housing ad. When it comes to potential romantic friends, I’m a vagina man all the way. But that’s a separate category. Sure, a pic of a vajayjay in a rental ad would give anyone pause, but I’m still gonna ask if you have central air and ceiling fans. (It’s gettin’ hot in here…)
  • The Illiterati. When you say no smokers or dogs and please be in a certain area, but they match none of the above. Like, sure, I’ll live in another town or county just to suit you. Buzz off, mo fo’s!

You get the point. It’s like the Wild West of classified ads. Don’t even get me started on Next Door. It’s enough to make you give up and pay full freight for your own place. Problem solved: no roommates. Problem gained: coming up with rent may require selling one’s blood plasma.


What else about the heat sucks that isn’t housing related? Well, sweat, body odor, sunburn, skin cancer, chafing, malaise, sleepiness, dehydration, and if you’re not careful, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. I’ve already those fun topics in previous posts like The Heat Is On, Again, Summer Is Coming: Surviving Cycling in Sunny Central Texas and It’s Too Hot, Too Hot, Baby, but I’m Still Biking. Maybe it’s a good time to buy stock in Gatorade, assuming their value increases in summer time.

Last August in Austin. Source: KVUE

As long as I’m ranting, and the v-word has made it’s first appearance in almost 600 posts, let me include something else that’s got me pretty hot and bothered: co-eds. That’s an antiquated word for female college students. This neighborhood, being near the University of Texas is lousy with young and some might say attractive women. They parade up and down the street going to and from classes, walking their dogs, or going for a run. Apparently I didn’t get the memo but the yoga apparel company Lululemon must be doing very well. That’s because leggings (formerly tights or leotards – until any descriptive word or one ending “tard” was banned) are not just for Jazzercise anymore, they’re de rigeur as street clothes.

They also wear those and sports bras or whatever barely-there blouse type g-string for your torso. OK, sure, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. Or maybe don’t, and put a baggy shirt and shorts on until you get to Barton Springs. I mean, I wear cycling bib or regular spandex shorts, but they’re appropriate to riding a bicycle. I very well may be a shameless hussy (OK, I’m not, I’m basically a monk without kids and a Dad bod), but I know better than to walk down the street wearing them. And most of the time I’ve tastefully covered them up with regular shorts and a t-shirt. I get it, it’s hot outside — and also under the collar of we straight dudes. But it’s like Jerry said to George once in Seinfeld, Season 4, E16 “The Shoes”:

“Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. Ya get a sense of it and then you look away.”

Source: Goodreads
George, Elaine, her girls, and Jerry Seinfeld. Source: IMDB

Here’s my point: It is hot here in more ways than one, and I do not like it. It’s time now for my daily 15-mile bike ride, a cold shower, and a cold beer. Who am I kidding? I’ll have ice water. Which I also need to have in my veins to survive the coming heat attack and the housing horror show of Austin, Texas, USA. Almost makes me wish for another Snowmaggedon, where back in February we had the coldest temperatures and almost more snow than in recorded weather history here. Hot Dude in the City, indeed. I’m no George, Lord of the Idiots. I’m just a dude. But maybe I could be Duke of the Idiots. And dukes get free castles, right?


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11 thoughts on “Rents and Temperatures: Things That Are Rising in Austin

    1. Found something temporary that may become permanent. Seasonal homes would be nice… if I were a rich man.

      Did this post elicit a chuckle, head nod or enjoyment at seeing curse words? Maybe just schadenfreude?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always like a good rant. Especially about inanimate things like rent or temperature — or about “fake” descriptions of friends.. Searching for housing on Craig’s List has to be inside the 3rd circle of hell.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I so hate the way it’s assumed that anyone poor or homeless is at fault. These people have never worked with anyone poor or homeless, there but for the grace of God it could happen to anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! There’s an old folk song by Phil Ohs. There But For Fortune. A few might choose an unhoused life, but I don’t believe most would or do. To solve it though will take more.money and politics will than we seem to have. Is there such a thing in France, in Europe?

      Liked by 2 people

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