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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 3: oh noes

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 111

Day 771 - 8/11 - No-frills day

It's just about 3 and I've got a little time before starting my work mini sift. It's been a pretty no-frills day for me. I went to school campus early this morning, as I didn't need to be at work until the afternoon. Surprisingly I wasn't tired enough to feel like I needed to go back to sleep. I didn't try though. When I got there I checked for cars. No news and no new ads to reply to. It's sad, but again, I'd rather take a month to find a car (under the same conditions I am now) and get one that I'd be comfortable with than to get one I don't like and regret it for possibly years to come. While I am losing sleep, in that I can't get as much, and I am losing time, in that I lose a minimum of 2 hours on days I don't work, more like 3 or more when I do, it's not like I have anywhere to really rush off to. Work will wind back down starting next week, and with school not starting for more than a month I've got all the time in the world to get places. I haven't heard back from the mall either, so I'm going to assume that means that their connection is unpredictable. Without that connection point I don't know if I will reactivate my account. It was the one place I reliably gamed from before I had the temporary shelters.

Nothing really different for today. I stayed at school and watched shows, surfed teh Internets, and checked for jobs for basically 5 hours today. I hope it stays open, but I fully expect if I were to check next week that it would be closed. If it's like last year the pool area will be open, leaving me shower and sleeping in access. I could always use the Internet outside of the library, but with likely no plugs and no close bathrooms the thought of doing that is less than ideal. But, if the mall remains down it may be one of my better connection points.

I think I've decided, if I don't before hand, that I'll order my iPhone on my Birthday. With estimates between one and three weeks to get it the money may not be immediately drained, leaving a good amount to be used for a car. I don't know; I've still got nearly one and a half weeks to decide on that. For now I'll just hold the money and wait. It would make for a happy birthday and allow me to move forward with at least one happy change in my life.

I'm still sad about school. While it seems that I haven't missed anything, as tomorrow is really the first day I can sign up for classes, it seems that I only have two classes to choose from. I'm forced to take a Wednesday night and Saturday morning class. I'm going to hate the Saturday morning class, but being homeless I guess I'd possibly be up early then anyways. Still, the fact that the degree doesn't seem to be helping, and that I'm now forced to take certain classes because I've taken most of them, does worry me. I fear the same may happen at the end of the year next quarter too.

I'm still very sad today, but still balancing back towards my old homeless self. An improvement in terms of emotional balance, but a state still far below the normal levels of happy and neutral to be sure.

Day 772 - 8/12 - Alone on campus

It's 8:30 at night, waiting for the last bus away from school to get to the ex-house hub. Today was a day of good and bad I suppose. I got to spend about 2 hours on campus in the side cafeteria room basically alone. I had dinner and enjoyed some alone time while watching Psych without headphones. I still don't know if that area of campus will be open next week. I guess I'll find out Monday morning. I checked for cars several times today; nothing even with my newly expanded range from the gray ghost's money and this periods paycheck. I kept hoping for better luck, but it seems as it is the way with all boards; I don't expect to have more than a few posts over the weekend. In also bad news it seems work is cutting back on hours at the pool. There will be no pool helpers outside of summer, so that's 3.5 hours a week I'll be down. However, with the addition of Mondays at the gym, even with that reduction I'll have a minimum of 10 hours a week vs. my previous 8.5. So I'll actually be making a touch more this year. I'll have to be careful though. If one of those days is lost I'll be making hardly anything. That would drop me to roughly $50 a week, which doesn't even cover gas and food, let alone anything else. The good news on that though is with no possible pool hours I have nothing blocking a regular day hour job, so I don't have to worry about conflicts there. With as tight as everything may get though I fear my phone upgrade will be the only gaming I can afford for the foreseeable future. There is no way I could save up enough for a laptop or support a regular game buying habit.

Well, as it seems is the case for me recently and these past few years, I am having to live my life one day at a time. That's all I can do.

Day 773 - 8/13 - Smells like poo

Not much to say today. I had an early morning training. I guess the last one. After, I decided to check out a different mall since it's not too far from the other. This one is thriving and super busy all the time. I didn't have much time to scout there, but it seemed like it too had a wireless that my weak netbook couldn't connect to. I may try and further check around tomorrow since I've got all day to do nothing (besides check for cars.)

One car lead, which I think I mentioned before. I've contacted this guy like three times now saying that I need his address to research if taking a bus there is even possible before committing to a time. He has yet to get it. I'm beginning to question his intelligence, which makes me question if I should buy a car from him. If I can't trust his intelligence I can't trust his judgment, ya know? We'll see if he can actually figure it out and get me an address by the morning or not.

That's really it for my day. I'm here starting my evening shift now, so there won't be any other news, as I have no access to the world. I may work on some more site changes I'm considering, but that would be the extent of my excitement for the evening.

Bye for now.

PS - Lots of things smelled like poo today. There was this goo yuck on one bus that smelled terrible, one passenger on another bus smelled like poo, and when I passed some buildings on one of my walks it smelt like poo. I don't get why things smell bad today. Yuck!

Time passes

I got a call from my boss. They want me to also work Tuesday nights. Woot! So that's Monday, Tuesday, and Friday now. Not the most amazing schedule, but that puts me up at 15 hours a week, which is pretty awesome for this job since if one were to even out the maximum number of hours I could work in a year it would be 18 a week. This also isn't counting various special coverages, like I'm doing a few Sundays now too. So that will help me save up a bit until those hours slow down. And if they don't slow down, well, that's more to work on finding a car with and more to put away for moving in to a somewhere. (I still really want at least $500 savings before upgrading to a real gaming laptop, which would be beyond the scope of this calendar year.)

Night peeps.

Day 774 - 8/14 - Disappointment day

Nothing really of consequence today. Nothing but disappointment. I called on about three different cars. Every time something was broken or not right that was not mentioned in the ad. It's so lame.

Mister didn't give me his address like three times finally gave me his address. As I feared, it's about 1.5 hours by bus away. I will likely go look at the car if we have a mutual time, but after about a week of being on the market I really wonder why it hasn't sold before now. I'm warry to commit to seeing it.

That's really it besides watching a few shows on teh Internets.

Day 775 - 8/15 - Same disappointments

Nothing really to talk about today. It was yet another day of disappointments. Still no real new car ads, still the same run-around about unreported things in ads that I do reply to. And, it seems nearly every one I've been getting in contact with people are far away (more than 1 hour by bus). Well, tomorrow is Monday so there may be a batch of new ones. Hopefully some local ones will crop up that I can drop by and check out. What with now having mornings free that gives me much of the day to look. (Which admittedly would work against me in the case of people with "9 to 5" jobs.)

Worked this morning/early afternoon. Took a shower at work. And that was really it for my non-car searching activities. The rest of my day was spent in travel and car searching online.

It sprinkled on me yesterday morning. Looked pretty gray again this morning. It seems the weather is matching my mood.

Well, hopefully school will be open tomorrow and I'll have some quiet private time most of the day for being on the Internet. Maybe I'll even take a nap in the morning. It's tough though what with needing to get up and walk a fair distance to take the busses. Kind of revs me up past sleeping mode, ya know?

Guess that's all for today.

Day 776 - 8/16 - Just a mouse

I'm having a pretty good day I suppose. I came to campus pretty early, so I was basically alone until about 11. It's just past 12:30 and some people have been chatting and now eating since 11. I guess this side room will be open until Thursday, so I've most of the rest of the week to come here and use the Internet and micro in relative privacy. No nap today yet, but I've got nearly 3 hours left to be here before I need to go. So, maybe once the chatters leave I can nap.

I looked for cars, no luck. I messed around looking at some game stuff online. I'll probably check for cars and jobs after my bla bla. Later it's off to get a micro dinner to have during work. I grabbed movies for tonight, so that's covered.

Bye for now.

Time passes

It's about 8 at work. I saw a mouse in the office. He was so tiny and cute. I turned to put my headphones down and go say hi, but when I turned back he was gone. No sign of him or any mousey tunnel paths. I was disappointed. I wanted to get a picture or video for you to see. He's gone. No sign of him. Just a mouse. Much like me he has to disappear when seen. But all he wants is to live, to eat, and to have a happy and safe home. Something all of us want. I wish him well and a happy life. I wonder where he went.

Day 777 - 8/17 - Yet again

Nothing really interesting today. I did put out a few resumes lately, so that's good I suppose. I put out emails on about three cars today, no replies yet. No shows to watch online. I was going to try and nap, but there was too much noise. Maybe tomorrow.

That's it for today, save for trying to eat a micro dinner with no fork or spoon. Not sure how I'll manage that.

Guess that's all for now. I'm at a new Tuesday work shift, so it's unlikely anything interesting will happen. Bye for now.

Week 112

Day 778 - 8/18 - Inactive sim

Woot, I got my iPhone. Happy early birthday me. It seems heavier in my hand than I expected. And, being a 'slab' instead of a standard 'handset' it seems very different from what I'm used to for a phone. I see why people hold this type of phone flat in their palm. Its design makes you feel like you want to keep it flat all the time. The peeps at the store let me hang out and load it up with my games before leaving. I chose not to get all of the games I planned, but I got most. As I was using it I felt more confused than anticipated, so I decided to ease into getting used to it in general and in games before going too crazy. I did notice my left thumb is much faster to tap and more accurate than my right. It took a little while of pondering to figure out that is likely due to years of occasional console gaming, as the left thumb is the one that controls the analog stick. More on it later as I get more experience I'm sure.

The rest of my day was fairly plain. I started the day with putting out half a dozen replies on cars. I decided to go ahead and try for the iPhone for an early present to myself. I get paid again in a week, and what with the cars being priced as they are I do have some flexibility. Keeping the money for the car wouldn't help my search since both the gray ghost's money and my last paycheck combined have significantly increased where it was before. The next range hurdle will be the above 2k mark, which I can't come close to until next paycheck, more likely the one after that (or at least after my survey money.)

So, my day was basically check for cars, be sad about how lame that is, surprise iPhone (with the shortages everywhere I was surprised to actually find one in the store), get back to campus in time for a shower and lunch, then spend the rest of the day doing repeated car checks with occasional gaming. Hopefully one of these dummies will get their heads out of their butts and show me their car. I'm closing the evening now with about three, possibly four, people who were supposed to get back to me with a time and address to meet. Well, at least I've got all day tomorrow and part of the evening. Maybe I'll find something.

PS - Today was called inactive sim because that's what my old phone now shows. I was surprised how quickly things changed over automatically once I did the purchase.

Day 779 - 8/19 - Feels like a day wasted

I loves my iPhone. I was worried about how it looked like everyone else's, but as I move things around, even more so now that I changed my wallpaper to ones I downloaded (just regular pictures, not specific game ones, but they are basically unique) it feels more and more personalized. I'll definitely love to get some kind of protector for the back though. I haven't decided if I just want a sticker or some kind of cover. Gaming seems to drain the battery pretty quick. I'd guess it's got about 4 to 5 hours before you'd have no battery. But, that's a ton of gaming for a device you'd only use when moving around in your daily life. I overheard someone say at a coffee shop they drain to nothing after a couple of hours of streaming video, which makes sense as that would be even more of a power drain than gaming. I'm getting pretty used to it and happier with the purchase all the time. It was more than I should have spent because I got the total coverage for two year dealie, but with that no matter what happens to it I'm covered and get a replacement. I've only tried a few of the games I got so far, but yea for gaming again.

Besides my new fun it feels like today was a day wasted. I got here on campus around 8:45 in the morning with hopes of checking out and possibly buying one of the many cars I've replied to lately. But everything fell through. Probably eight or more ads and all but one have fallen through to failure.

I spent today on the web surfing gaming boards, watching a few shows, looking at cars, looking at jobs, and playing games. It feels like most of my day was not spent doing things I'd have done otherwise - I just did them due to limited options or because I had to. Had I my choice I'd have slept in, taken a nice shower, cooked actual meals, played many of the games I played today, sure, but different ones as well.

I don't understand why but it feels like everything I am doing is the most painful and troubled way possible. I don't understand why I'm having so much trouble finding a car, and still don't understand why I'm having so much difficulty getting into a solid place in life and getting re-established so that I can truly live my life once more to the fullest that I can in my modest way.

Day 780 - 8/20 - No car birthday

Getting used to the iPhone. The weight seems more natural now. I'm still going easy on games, being more cautious and getting trial versions first. Since they typically are not made by big developers they can really be hit and miss even if they look good in a review. It's the little things really. Things like only having one song and it repeats over and over and over, or like not having separate volume control for sound and music. I'm still loving it. I'm still trying to find ways to personalize it; cases, stickers, etc. I think I found a case. I'll see since it's more protection than the free bumper. I'll probably wait to buy it though. Even though it's $20 I'd like to recover a bit more from all the recent spending. With just a short wait until next paycheck it shouldn't be too difficult to play it extra safe until then and just keep the factory plastic on the back that it came with. Besides, it's not like I'll be careless and drop it just because it's got better armor on. I'm getting better with both thumbs, so that's good too.

It's about 11 now. I've finished my morning check on everything and moved over to the college for some quiet time at lunch, though it seems it won't be as quiet as I'd hoped. I'm in the locker area where I figured I could lie down and nap on some padded benches, but right on the other side of the wall they are doing construction. While I could take off some cloths layers and my shoes, it's far too noisy to get much rest. I think I'll just wait a few minutes then head over to the outside of the side room to eat and again check for cars. (Outside I can still get the wireless and there are plugs along the side of the building should I need them.)

I was really hoping to have a car by tonight. I was considering doing a movie tomorrow (which I could still do, I'd just have all my stuff with me), but it would have been nice to have the option to do it tonight after or before work as well as going over to the gaming center to play. Without the car I didn't even think of it. I'd forgotten until just now. It's not super out of the way from the bus paths, but I'd only have an hour or two of an all day free pass, so it's just not at all worth it.

Things are, I suppose, looking up though. My ex-roomie/friend happened by the coffee shop while I was going there, so we chatted for a bit and she bought me a hot chocolate. I has my iPhone games, and due to my extra work hours I calculated that I could buy the M11x (or other gaming laptop that's cheap) around early November and still have just about $500 banked in savings by the end of the year - the minimum I'd like to have at any given time. Though, that is still about three months away, and dependant on getting a car totaling at $1400 or less (what I'm currently estimating on my bills).

My life may yet be starting to slowly be getting back on track. The most immediate step is still the car. Hopefully I can look at one later or at least get a time set up in the morning.

Time passes

Most of today I've been forgetting it was my birthday. With my life how it is, outside of Facebook messages I have little to remind me there is a me-ness to celebrate. I got a single serving cake though and rented Kick-Ass again. I'd forgotten Big Daddy talks like Adam West. Always makes me laugh. I wonder if they did that on purpose or if they did it as a joke and decided to keep it in. I may have to buy it, but some parts are a bit overly disturbing for a superhero movie. A bit super dark.

Guess that's all for now. Happy lonely and sad birthday to me.

Day 781 - 8/21 - More car dummies

I am once again a gamer. I'm more used to the iPhone than not now. I have a Warehouse 13 Farnsworth ringtone now, and I can play games basically whenever I wish. An odd thought for me these days. Though since most are touch based doing it while moving, like walking, on a bus, train, possibly even a plane or car, is difficult in that a miss-touch can screw up your game. I'm free to do my required tasks, but also free to stop and play a game now and then. At long last, after over two years of being homeless I finally, truly, have unrestricted gaming in one form. I have half a dozen or more games I like, and for now at least it is enough. Though I still long to play my desktop and console games, I am finally a true gamer once more.

Today is a whole new batch of car dummies. The most recent is people complaining at me for asking simple questions like; why are they selling the car, why is it not registered, has it been in a crash. It's like I've caught them in their deception (whatever that may be) and they are mad about it. Seriously? Selling an unregistered or unsmogged car and you expect people to just happily accept that there may be overdue registration fees or repair fees to get it to pass smog? I think not. Well, if they are being purposely deceitful they will get what they deserve. Someday someone will get mad and take it out on them and cause far more damage than their honesty would have cost them.

So, yeah, it's now 11 in the morning and I'm no longer hopeful about finding a car this weekend. At this point I'm rapidly running short on time to get somewhere to look at a car tonight. Yet another half dozen possibles between yesterday and today that failed to pan out. I suppose I can be thankful that things seem to be working out ok with bussing so far. It's 1-1.5 hours per direction to get anywhere, but my life is what it is. I'd rather have that than a car that I don't trust again.

Maybe my day will turn out better later. I still remain hopeful, but so far it looks like the best I could hope for would be a mid-day movie before running short on bus routes. I'm not sure how interested I'd be in seeing a movie mid-day. It just seems... wrong.

Time passes

This was not the weekend I had planned or hoped for. Not counting the fact I wish was no longer homeless, even my homeless hopes become failures. What I had hoped for this weekend was to be one of mini-celebration; a movie, laundry, a meal at the time of my choosing, possibly finding a place to do netbook gaming again, sleeping in. But instead it has mostly been the same lame one as all my other weekends lately. All I could do Friday - my real birthday - was look for cars and work in the evening. Instead of possibly doing a movie Friday or Saturday night my only option was Saturday or Sunday mid-day. The option to take a shower and do laundry Saturday wasn't really an option - not unless I wanted to lug my overly large bag everywhere. And what should have been both Saturday and Sunday sleeping in while in a car somewhere in the morning was not possible. At best I could nap in the school locker-room tomorrow. Now, still without a car, the best I can hope for is a private shower and decent nap on campus.

I suppose all-in-all it's not the worst of homeless birthdays. But in all my days, and all my fantasies, it is a very far cry from what I'd call a truly happy birthday. People wishing me happy birthday seem to have extra meaning this time, as it isn't very likely to happen. For another day I have existed, an invisible member of a society full of people able to live their lives.

Day 782 - 8/22 - A return to the cold showers

It's an early lunch time around 11:30. I just had a colder side of a luke-warm shower. I'd forgotten the showers were cold on weekends on campus if no teams were here. I tried to nap for a bit but couldn't despite being so tired.

Despite starting my morning by spending 2 hours in a noisy coffee shop I feel lonely. I suppose that's why people do church or sports. It gives them a sense of connectivity to others (which transcends the normal work week). We gamers don't really have that. Yes, when online we are with others, we see our friends lists and know others are there, but there is no physical connection. Our connections are fragmented and random. We see bits and pieces of each other only in passing.

I don't know what I'll do today. I'd rather not travel much what with still being on foot and no current car prospects. I'll likely just stay in various places here on campus until later tonight when I go eat. It's not the best day, but I can do stuff online (non-gaming), and I have my iPhone games. Small freedoms to be sure, but more than I've had in recent times.

Day 783 - 8/23 - A bad start

Today I've had a bad start. The very start of it was actually ok. Last night I had to not eat or drink past 9 and that wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I headed out to the bus stop early. Sadly I missed an early bus by meer seconds. It was ok, it was an early one. I sat down, put on my headphones, and played a game. Roughly half an hour later the bus flies past me. No slowing down, no beep to get my attention, nothing. I call to complain. Apparently it is the bus policy that if you aren't paying attention they ignore you. Wtf. I'm like 1.5 feet from the sign and the road for about half a mile each direction is visible. How is it possible the driver didn't see me? Why do they think it's ok to not get my attention and check if I want to hop on? There could be any one of a dozen reasons why I was sitting and not paying attention. I could have been gaming or playing music, I could have fallen asleep, I could be disabled or handicaped and that's my normal mode; it's seriously not ok to have a policy that ignores people just because they are sitting, particularly since many stops have benches.

So, I get to the place I'm supposed to be at to have my blood drawn as part of this overnight study nearly 20 minutes after I thought the place would open, a full hour later than I expected to get there. (They actually opened at 7:30, not 9 like I'd been told.) I discover that they have no idea who I am or why I'm there. There is no record of my needing a test. So now here I am, waiting for the doctor to call them back. It's now 13 hours of not eating or drinking, and I've gone 1/2 hour in a direction I would not have otherwise gone. Who knows how long it will be before she calls today; if she calls today. I figure I can last maybe until 2 or 3 before I get too hungry not to eat. I won't have much time to do anything unless I get out of here soon.

I almost forgot I have work tonight. Hopefully I won't wait around here so long I forget to leave to get to work.

Time passes

Ouchie! I got poked and blood was drawn. Do not want!

I had to call the doctor person myself before she got things straightened out at around 10:30. I was done around 11:15 and decided to go ahead and go to campus, maybe nap and have lunch, then be online for a few hours before going who knows where. To my surprise and shock there were a ton of cars in the lot. Even more surprising was that students were walking around like classes were still going, and things were open. I got to be in my little side room and use the Internet. I hope it's open the rest of the week. That would be an awesome surprise.

Still no luck with cars. I'm actually down to zero prospects again.

In an odd bit of news, songs from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog have been floating in and out of my head since about 2. I suppose that's a good sign for someone who leads an otherwise devoid of music life. I went to buy a digital copy for $5 so I could watch it on my iPhone, but I did it too late. The download wasn't done before I had to leave campus. I'll have to finish tomorrow. (I guess I could also watch it on my netbook since they are synced.)

I guess that's it. Bit of good news that campus seems like it will be open. Having access to a nice place to set my stuff and access to a micro makes eating a lot easier. I do need to get a few more soups though. I think I only have one. I'm almost out of drinks too. They are so heavy on foot when I have to stock a full day's drinks and lug them around everywhere.

Guess that's it for now.

Day 784 - 8/24 - Around 100

Fooooo. It's a hot summer day like it's supposed to be finally. It's reported to be around 100F out there now. I guess it will cool off and we'll be back to our unusually cold summer by the weekend though. Tomorrow I'll definitely wear shorts. It's supposed to still be in the low 90s.

In good news I talked to the people at the health center and they said they don't close during the summer. In order to get to them you have to go inside of the cafeteria / side room building, implying I should always have access to an area with power and the Internets between Monday and Friday. That would be super great news. I'm not sure how much micro access I'll have and if I can get into the side room, but at least that's something. I couldn't go in the side room today because they were cleaning it. It's super sad because I was so ready for a nap by 10. I've been having a hard time staying awake ever since about 3.

I'm at work early tonight. No car prospects for today. There was one kind of good looking one, but the guy is being dumb (as usual). He said it's not registered and it's a salvaged title. I asked him if he knew why it was salvaged and for its license/vin number to look up what the registration fees would be and he refused. Hum. Requires cash, registration isn't done, salvage title, parked in the middle of downtown S.F., the guy refuses to give me the info so I can look into what registration would be, and he refuses to say why he's selling it; that all adds up to something seriously wrong being hidden if you ask me.

That's really all for this week. Seems like hardly any progress forward this week, but I guess there does seem to be a little what with my phone upgrade and the possibility of a laptop in a few months. I guess that's something new and promising.

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

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