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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 2: Rise of teh Bunnah

This is my journal I wrote during the time I was homeless. It is broken up by week for easier reading. Feel free to read it on the web or download the complete .pdf version and print it for reading offline.

Week 103

Day 715 - 6/16 - One down

It's late for car sleeping, even for regular sleeping. It's a hair past 2. I watched a movie with the not-sis and one of her little ones, then we watched a show, so the evening has gone on pretty quickly since I also had school and work today.

I finished what I needed to do for one class barely in time today. The good news is that even though there is one more Wednesday to go, the class is basically over. I don't have to worry about it anymore. At this point what I get is what I get. I have a final to work on for my Monday class, but it's a take-home one, so that will be done Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at work.

Speaking of, I got possibly another 1.5 hour shift through the summer. I guess it's what could turn into the Monday, Wednesday, Friday extra, so for now it looks like just an extra one shift per week. It will be a bit lame with it being Tuesday or Thursday 8:30-10:30 then going back again at 3:45, but it is what it is I guess. I've nowhere else to be really while I'm homeless. The car is colder than I expected, and hotter too. During the day under the sun it's elebentybillion degrees. I can't touch the steering wheel hardly at all, and the windows are like a great big magnifying glass due to the way they are shaped. At night it seems to be colder than my old car. I don't know if that's because it's larger with just as poor construction/lining or if it actually is genuinely colder at night lately. Two nights ago I couldn't sleep, but last night I slept ok. I fell asleep almost instantly at about 1:30. There was a lot of discomfort, pain, frustration, and sadness when I woke during the night. Hopefully I will get used to it, but I have a feeling I wont.

Day 716 - 6/17 - Frustrating

I'm getting frustrated with my netbook lately. After being on the desktop with a landline again I find myself rapidly frustrated by the low resolution and jerkiness in most of even the lowest resolution videos when watching things online; plus the fact that it's crippled for gaming. Even the web game I do with Facebook often causes the system to sometimes come to such a slow point that I just give up. If I'm still homeless in the coming months I think I would really like to upgrade to a newer model. I guess that will depend most on if I can get the money or not more than anything else. If I can get $300-400 saved up I can sell my current system and have enough. That may be a challenge though as it looks like I may only be getting a hundred or so a month that I can save. Even though I'll be getting triple my normal pay in two weeks not much will survive that due to bills that I have to pay.

It's still early, but I'm so very tired. Hopefully I can sleep ok and get caught up a bit on Saturday. It's my only day to sleep in until at least Wednesday. Sunday night though I'll have a bit of a normal life after my morning shift though, so that will be good. I miss C&H and my (semi) normal life. Sad life is saaaddd.

After the morning shift is up I've got another morning shift, then a short break, then a bit of training, then another shift here at the gym. I'll be busy with work, but thankfully they will be pretty relaxed shifts. And, they finally eased off the pool clothing requirements. I can wear regular pants. I no longer have to feel like a bum in sweats all the time.

I guess that's all for now, probably it for the day. Bye for now peeps.

Day 717 - 6/18 - Shwooofooosh

I'm so very exhausted. I've almost fallen asleep here at the gym work a few times. I've no doubt that if I put my head down I would zonk out and be asleep in two minutes or less. Thankfully I get to sleep in tomorrow. It will be the only time since I think five days ago that I will have slept in. This getting up early thing is so not for me. It could be tolerable with a bed to sleep in, but without, yikes.

Work shifts were scheduled badly again. I need two removed because they were done in a way that conflicts with shifts I already have. This time it's not the scheduler's fault. My boss didn't do it, so the person that did didn't know about my new gym shifts since they only started this week. With the extra gym shifts I may actually not have any time left for pool shifts. I'll effectively only have a small window between 11 and 3 and that's it. Maybe it would be better that way though. (Particularly since I'm losing them due to getting other shifts at the gym.) We were forced to do pool stuff today and I'm completely out of shape. I thought, 'I'll jump in and swim around a bit over there.' I dove in and as soon as I heard the fwooosh of the water and felt the weightlessness my body started to panic. I made it to the surface ok, but I had a terribly hard time controlling myself. I had to remind myself not to panic and flip over and float. I think I had maybe 30 seconds of thrashing to get to the edge of the pool before I was almost completely exhausted. As I said last year, I'd love nothing more than to get into good shape again, but at my age I really think it would be impossible without also having the ability to sleep well (in a bed) and have nutritional (recovery) support at the same time. I thought that maybe they would be better off without me; just have the kids that are all in shape. (Save for one or two who actually are in worse shape than me.) But then too I did get a few signs that people do care about me. I made a funny ha-ha comment to one lifeguard in a way that acknowledged him as an individual / his personality and he said, "Damn I'm glad you are here again this year" with a laugh and smile. And I also talked to someone else about a few games and gaming tech, and a third asked what I was playing and if I was still into PC hardware. So, little reminders from Fate I guess that despite my feeling like a failure I am still recognized as me, and special, and that people do enjoy having me around.

I haven't had time to do anything but work today yet. I started the day at 7:15 AM, and at nearly 8 PM now I've only had about 1/2 hour to get dinner and check online stuff. I won't really get the chance to check online life until I get to the not-sis' place at nearly 11, and by then I'll be so completely exhausted I probably won't stay up long.

Guess that's it for today. I likely will be too tired to do much online after work and I will almost certainly be too tired to write. Bye for now.

Day 718 - 6/19 - A fair day

It was an ok day I guess. It's somewhat late at 1, certainly later than I should be getting to sleep since I've now 7 hours left before a work shift. I spent the day messing around on boards and trying to play a few games. As I mentioned, my Facebook game chokes pretty bad in some spots, and I got access to the LEGO Universe beta, which is completely unplayable on my netbook. I also watched a show or two. It seems that I'm 14 behind now. Hopefully I can manage to get money to upgrade soon. The lack of power to game and run video at reasonable resolution is really getting to me now.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing C&H tomorrow. It will be a nice time with nice peeps. And I get to play on my system a bit and sleep in a bed. I've actually got a later than usual Monday shift, so I don't even have to get up until about noon, provided I can get to sleep and manage to sleep in.

Nothing changed on the job side of things today. No job postings to apply to. I also have basically finished my test, so I'm effectively done with class stuff save for doing the last few classes.

Guess that's all for now. I need to try and sleep. Night peeps.

Day 719 - 6/20 - Time is precious

Today I get to visit C&H's. I'll get to play on my system for a bit, hopefully try out LEGO Universe for a bit. I get to cook a real dinner, and we'll no doubt watch some shows at night.

I feel pretty good today despite being sleep in a car and shower at/after work guy. I'm more quickly adjusting to being homeless again than I thought I would. But then too part of that may have to do with the fact that I've been super busy at work and at the not-sis' place. In about a month when she's gone I'll have to sleep some at school, be moving at first light, and have to connect from the mall, so life will go back to being a lot more terrible then. I think I will try to get my system upgrade as soon as I can. Not being able to game or watch videos online without jerkiness is really killing me now. It should be achievable. It should only cost about $200-300 after I sell my current netbook. We'll have to see what I get when. I doubt I could really do it in two weeks when I'm paid again. I'll have the money in hand but I don't think my contacts will last that long. Maybe I could call and see. Either way though I need about $200 for my eye exam, so I should really spend that first. Counting everything I'd have left after that, subtracting the monies I owe C&H for the car, I'd only have around $400, which is about $150 short for a safe purchase point. (I want to have enough to get the new netbook without selling my current one first, just in case something goes wrong with the changeover.) But hopefully I can do it two weeks after around the 15th.

It's odd now how precious my time seems. When I was limited to the library before I had my own system I didn't much care as I only had an hour or two of access. The rest of the day I had nothing to do, so I was never in a hurry to go anywhere. But now, time I can get at C&H's, time at the not-sis' place, I want to spend every minute that I can having a normal life, every minute I can accessing the Internet doing stuff to try and better my life or rebalance my stress. Seeing how you can shave 5, 10, 15 minutes off of driving in order to have more time at your destination isn't something people normally think about. Usually amounts of time that small are brushed off as leeway for traffic, or the route time is assumed to be what it is and unalterable. But now it all seems so precious. Time with friends, time with family, time by myself in a home-like environment, it all seems so much more important than it once did to not let any of my time be wasted.

Day 720 - 6/21 - Altered

It's sleepy time at the not-sis' place. It was a super hot day so it's actually warmish in the car. The day started great at C&H's. I got up a bit early at 10:30, my normal wake up time when I'm balanced in a home. I had terrible dreams last night though - gasping for breath, nightmares about being trapped, bad stuff in general. I actually felt pretty good though after I woke up. I was pretty good on energy up until I drove to work. For some reason my brain just seemed to go completely numb after that. I suppose all in all it was an ok but very sad day. Everyone was sad about me leaving C&H's again.

I checked with my eye doc. Today was the last day of my prescription, so I could indeed buy a box of contacts and could put off my exam another 6-10 weeks. I won't though. I'd just like a few weeks leeway. This way I can order my new netbook in about one and a half weeks when I get paid and then do my eye exam two weeks after that instead of the other way around. At least I'm about 85% sure I'll upgrade. I'm so very tired of watching my online videos at the lowest settings and still having them sometimes be jerky - not to mention the total inability to play games. This will fix that, as well as giving me better resolution, greater overall processing power, etc. It will cost about $200-300 to upgrade, but that should greatly help to keep me from going crazy. It will be odd though. My netbook will have newer technology than my desktop.

No news on jobs. I need to try to remember to keep looking. I've been so busy with work I haven't had time. I got about 35+ hours last week and will again this week. After that though things will likely cool back down. I'd guess that my summer hours will be closer to 17 on the average than not (with it going back down to 8.25 the rest of the year.)

Well. Night for now peeps.

Day 721 - 6/22 - Dazed

It's early afternoon. I'm at mini work for the second time today. I had a 2 hour shift earlier and about a 2.5 hour shift now. I'm in a bit of a daze today what with my going here and going there. It's super warm again. I'm so sleepy.

I got a super nice surprise today. The new netbook I'm looking at getting has a new version out. It's only a hair more powerful than the original upgrade I was going to get, but this is an update that wasn't originally coming until around September. So, woot for even more powerful upgrade. I did a bill plan over the next few paychecks and I'm fine to get it in one and a half weeks. It will hopefully come before the 4th of July weekend. It's kind of crazy to think that I've had my current netbook for about 1.25 years.

While I still have several hours in my evening left at the not-sis' after this mini work shift I doubt anything important will happen. At least my sad life will get a little bit happier again soon.

Week 104

Day 722 - 6/23 - Oddity of upgrading

It's just after six, just before the last Wednesday class. I'm having a pretty good day so far, lots of lols with the peeps at mini work, then watched some shows at school. I zonked out pretty quickly last night for once, but my neck and stuff is sore from the car sleep.

It's pretty exciting thinking about my netbook upgrade. I'll finally be able to stay current with my games (if I have the money to get them) and I'll be able to watch my shows anywhere without laggyness. It seems so odd to be doing an upgrade. I've not been able to do my regular upgrades in forever. I used to upgrade a major part every 1.5-2 years, but it's been about five since I did my last upgrade, not counting my netbook purchase. Now here we are nearly 1.25 years later upgrading. It has been such a long time, yet it's passed in what seems like a blink of the eye. I clearly remember all the sad slow days, some of the happy days, most of the miserable days, but it doesn't seem like it's been that long. Yet, I've very aware of each passing homeless day as I write about my terrible journey. It still seems like the world is changing all around me yet I am standing still. While I've gotten a few new movies and games in the past few years, this coming change feels like the only upgrade - the only positive step forward. My classes haven't helped. My car has been changed to one which is functionally better, but I really dislike it aesthetically. My clothes are wearing out. My teeth are falling apart. Nothing in my life seems to be getting better, as it did once upon a time when I had a normal life. When I had a normal life things in my life changed. And while some things weren't better in terms of improvements the changes were always happy and good. It seems so much of that is lost to me now. So few items are with me on my terrible journey. So many can't be upgraded and are instead in constant decline.

Day 723 - 6/24 - Wondering

Not a bad day today I suppose, but I can't help but wonder as I look around; why don't I have a fancy car? Why don't I have a good job? Is it because I didn't follow a "career" like everyone else in the traditional sense? Why don't I seem to make new friends that stick around or why can't I find a sweetie?

Not new questions I know, but as I linger in what seems a perpetual limbo I can't help but wonder why; even when I know most of the reasons.

Day 724 - 6/25 - Overslept

I'm not sure what to say for today. Nothing really interesting happened. I overslept my alarm this morning for the first time ever (though I wasn't late). It's as if it didn't even go off. I had to do a morning mini work meeting/workout training, then a work shift. I only had a few hours break and now I'm doing a gym shift. Busy day with a decent amount of paid time.

I guess trained jobs aren't hiring much either. I had a friend say today on his blog that he's considering taking up to a year off because he's having so much trouble (and stress) job hunting. It's awesome he can do that (though I wonder how since he is also staying on couches after leaving his home and taking a trip to Germany.) But it worries me because he has a lot of training and experience in his field. If he's having trouble, how much trouble does that leave me in with no true career to speak of?

It looks like I was right that I'll probably be regularly getting around 20 hours a week during summer, so this gives me quite a bit more during not summer. But still, it isn't a permanent way back into a home for me. I may be able to save a few hundred by the end of summer (provided these car emergencies ever stop) but that will be all. There is no steady or persistent change. I guess I'm again thankful that I have the hours that I do have and the boss people seem to like me. The job doesn't appear to be going anywhere, and unless I screw up they won't be inclined to let me go.

But still... I worry for my future. It seems bleak and my trials seem unending.

Day 725 - 6/26 - Ok but sad

I guess I had an ok day today, but I'm very sad. The not-sis' new boyfriend came over today. We had a good time doing BBQ and watching a show. On what would have been an otherwise good day I find myself being sad about the coming days. And yet I'd want to be somewhere on my own already. Of course on my own in my own private controlled space, somewhere I could have slept in (the car was too hot by 10), somewhere I can cook what regular foods I want for all meals, where I could control my shows.

A sad day. Nothing good that's new to report.

Day 726 - 6/27 - Driving, driving, driving

It seems like I'm always driving somewhere these days. I guess I am, as I have two and sometimes three mini shifts a day. Next week things should settle down a bit. My coverage for Thursday nights and Sunday mornings will be over. I'll have Monday, Saturday, and Sundays totally off; at least for the moment. I may still get that Monday / Wednesday / Friday afternoon thing. It won't start until the 7th, so we'll see.

It's odd that I've nothing to do this shift. School is out, so I've no homework. Movies are all watched, so even if I had gone to the $1 kiosk before work there is nothing I haven't seen that's out that I really want to see. And, I've played all of the casual games on my system save for Escape Rosecliff Island which is only a demo. I may get the full game, but being a casual game I'll more likely save the money for a full game that I'm behind on. Next weekend I should have my new netbook, so I'll have lot's more options for games. I can even go back to old standby games like Evil Genius and Thief 3 if I wanted. Though I'm hoping to have enough to get Fallout 3 since that and Bioshock 2 are the only remaining big games I've yet to catch up on. With an estimated $500+ that I could save up during the summer I'm even considering getting an external Blu-ray player to watch my movies (I think it's down to $85 now), as well as restarting my NetFlix account for a month to get caught up on all the series I've missed that I can't otherwise see. We'll see about those in time. The first step is the system itself and selling my old netbook to recover costs. (I should get about $250+, so over half of the new system cost should be covered.) I may have to wait two weeks until my following paycheck for the next purchase step.

Despite my happy excitement about the netbook upgrade, being off for a few months from school, having about 2.5x my normal weekly hours during the summer, I'm still overwhelmed by feelings of sadness at the coming days. I'm sleeping ok now, but I know once I lose the safety of the not-sis' place sleep will become difficult. And with school campus being less active it will at times become risky when it otherwise would be safe. Heck, with all the budget cuts going on I don't know if the library will be open at all until September.

I'm trying to live my life one day at a time though. Today I have the safety of C&H's at night. Today there will be no job postings, but tomorrow there may be. Today I have a mini work shift, so that's a bit more money. Today I am healthy, as much as my health continues to waver in the low-end of healthiness. Today I have access to my online life, and access to some of my offline life. Today I am sad, but somewhat stable for the moment.

Day 727 - 6/28 - Strange thoughts

It's just past 9 at the not-sis. She went out, leaving me with the kids (though they are old enough I didn't have to stay, even though I'd disagree with that assessment in some ways.)

Today has been a strange day. I slept at C&H's last night in the bed and started my day there as well. Most of yesterday and half of today I had a normal life. At 4 I had to move here and ever since I've been getting more and more sad. I've only three more weeks of shelter here. After that I'm back to being homeless outside of my time at C&H's. I may, at times, be able to go to the mall or to the library, but much of my nights and weekdays I'll be back on the streets. I'll be watching golfers or shoppers because I'll have few other places I can be. The warm nights mean I'll be less out of place than I otherwise would, but also that I may be more visible when trying to sleep due to late night wanderers. What little bit of a life I've had will be reduced to limited access points, extremely limited food choice, and worst of all the fears of being homeless will return. While I am more aware of the resources and ways around troubles than I was at the start, all of the sadness and restrictions will return.

I don't know what to do. I've been looking for jobs. I've been trying to get what hours I can. Though a few new people are around me, it seems noone is willing or able to help with my homeless troubles.

My life in some ways is, and will not be, terrible. My job is ok. I actually like it well enough, though it isn't fulfilling in the sense that it doesn't challenge or use my skills. People at work like me well enough and I am humbled when they think I'm not over 30 yet. I will soon have my system upgrade and be able to play my games without limitation. Though it seems the external Blu-ray player got an upgraded model which is $150, so that is extremely unlikely to be affordable. While it would retain its high value, that value is too high, as you can get stand-alone players for that much, meaning the secondary market will be non-existent. But I don't have a home. I have very little control of what I can cook to eat. I can't fully control what I watch nor how I watch it. I have no desk to put my computer on. I have no access to my consoles to play on them. (Though I have temporary access to one.) I have no bed to sleep on. I have no doors to lock or open when I want fresh air. I have no shower or bathroom to clean myself and scatter my shower items about. I can't invite friends or a potential sweetie over to share my life. These are things noone can understand until they are lost. These are things taken for granted. When you are tired from your day, tired from a journey, or just want some time in a place that's yours, you want to go home. More than anything I want to go home.

Day 728 - 6/29 - Barely any left

There is barely anything left for food and gas. I basically have two soups and a few frozen chicken pieces for food and a quarter of a tank of gas. I've got $2 in my wallet that I can put towards gas, but only $2 beyond that in my bank account. I'll make it until I get paid Wednesday at midnight, but just barely. I've got barely anything left. After that it shouldn't be a concern anymore. I should have a touch extra even after my netbook upgrade and paying back C&H. During the rest of the summer I'll be building up extra each paycheck, so I should be able to finally build up a safety cushion. If I can make it for a while with no car emergencies I should not have to worry about riding the edge on food and gas. (It still boggles my mind that within the last 1.5 years I've spent/lost $1000 in car stuff, not counting the $800 for the car sale/purchase when my previous car died, or the $1200 for the damage to the car in the parking lot that they repaired.)

I don't expect anything much interesting will happen today. I've got two mini work shifts and the rest of the time I'll be at the not-sis. There have been no jobs to apply to lately, so I expect nothing to come up there. Today will very likely be the same tragically sad yet eternally hopeful end that nearly every other week has been.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2010
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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