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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 119

Day 827 - 10/6 - Have a car; have fewer friends

Just a quick note, as it's late and campus is closed and I'm outside. I got a car today. It was a bit more towards pricy than not, but it's one I'll love. Sadly it's a soft top, which will have me worried for a few reasons, but now and long-term I'll be super happy because it's a tracker.

I dropped C&H off my Facebook friends list today. A post by H was the last straw as it were. I posted in the morning that Cataclysm had an official launch date. I know like half a dozen of my friends play and thought they might not know about it. After getting the car I was happy, excited, had a half dozen things on my mind that were positive things I should do. When I settled in and checked online my happiness was crushed. H, who does not play WoW, had posted I should focus on getting a car. Not a happy post for me or my friends, not that he knew I was looking forward to that, not hopes that I'd be able to play when it does launch in two months, but poop about what he thinks I should do with my life. While it's true I just got the car and didn't share that information, how did he know I still didn't have one? And with a single sentence my mood was shot. The happy things I planned were mostly forgotten. One I did, one I remembered and made a note about, but the others were forgotten. So I wiped that message clean and deleted them from my friends list. If they are never going to say anything positive to me, since they continue to show no interest in inviting me back over or meeting to hang out, forget them. I don't need friends that don't make me feel welcome, happy, and cared for. They likely do have my best interests in mind, but they've made no attempt to understand my motivation and needs.

Well, tomorrow will be the first time I can sleep in in about 2.5 months. Sadly I have an appointment, but with not needing to get up until about 10:30 that should give me about 3 extra hours I wouldn't normally have, should I be able to get back to sleep over on campus. After being in sanctuary for so long being back in my car nights and mornings will be quite an adjustment all over again.

Day 828 - 10/7 - Beep beep

I'm feeling pretty good today. I'd forgotten how cold the nights can get, but my old spot seemed safe enough to stealth into without issue. I think though I'll spend more nights than not in sanctuary. I just don't know how truly safe I feel out in the world. Yeah, I did go nearly two years without more than indirect contact with trouble, but still.

I had a fast food lunch just now and now I'm killing a bit more time while the oil change is done. Hopefully all the fluids and stuff are fine. The breaks did squeak a touch when I stopped and the shocks seem a bit soft. Either may need to be done soon. There is a rattle at times, but hopefully it's a nothing part that the seller guy mentioned. I'd be devastated if the engine were bad in some way. Since it's a rattle though, not really related to engine speed, it seems more like something that's loose that needs to be tightened down.

Well, back to a semi-normal life for me today. I couldn't nap this morning; I needed to poop too much, heh. After the oil change I'll go buy some grocery things I need and grab a box of stuff that belongs in the car that's in the ex-storage. After that I may have an hour or two before I need to head off to a work shift. If so I'll go back to being on campus and do stuff online. If it's less I may just meander and see if there is other food shopping I need to do or whatnot.

Bye for now.

Time passes

Just a quick update for the curious. There are indeed things that the car needs. The most expensive is the tune-up, which is $210. There are about three other fluidy things all ranging between $70-90. Thankfully I asked the guy how critical these were and he said I could let them go for a while and not really worry about it since I told him I'm only working two days a week. If he thinks it should be fine then I should probably be totally fine, as I only drive about 5,000 miles a year. That's far less than the average person. Checking my budget I'll have maybe $250 saved up by the end of the year, so there's no way I could get a gaming laptop or even have a lot reserved for emergencies. It seems if I'm going to game I'll have no choice but to either rent time at the game center or be happy with just my phone games. Even though I've found a new $800 gaming laptop that would do just fine, it seems I can't afford even that low of a price. It seems all life plans, hopes, and wishes will again be completely on hold.

Day 829 - 10/8 - A day without time

Today was a pretty good, if lonely, day. This morning I slept in at school for at least 3 hours. I had decent dreams, but can't remember what they were at this point. The rest of the day I basically relaxed. I do have an assignment due tomorrow, so I tried to do my best to get that done. After, I just checked links at my site then watched a few shows. I'm nomming Panda now. So tasty. It's probably the only food I have these days besides cafeteria food that isn't bad for my system. And with as fragile as my system is even this healthier food is... risky.

It's been very different for me today since I don't have to constantly worry about the time and bus schedule. I could go pretty much wherever and do whatever. I suppose though that my being alone and homeless greatly hinders my enjoyment of that freedom. While I could go to a movie, or art gallery, or look at fountains in a park, these are all things I feel I should share. Now I'm forced to live my life alone and so the things I want to do are quickly reduced.

I am feeling pretty good about myself though. In my purge of stuff from the old car to my new one I've reduced what I carry. Once I can cover the back section it will now only appear I have a backpack, gym bag, and pair of boots. Gone will be my blankets for as long as I don't need to carry them with me (I can drop them off and pick them up), gone is the bag of extra food I used to keep (reduced to a few items in the trunk area), and gone are the large towels and sweat cloths (left with the blankets). There are now only small windows where I appear homeless by looking in my car.

I suppose sadness will return quickly enough. It's only probably around 9 and I have an hour or two before I can hide in sanctuary. Until then I'll have to sit in a parking lot.

The docs asked me yesterday if I felt things would work out. I think about times like now, sitting out alone, at night, when I should be at home eating a meal I cooked, watching a movie, or playing a game, and as always I really do not know anymore. Once upon a time I knew it would, but these days... these days I really wonder if I will make it back without some kind of serious help. All the help so far seems brief, temporary, a small act for the moment. Will I make it alone without bigger, more permanent help? I hope so, but I really don't know.

Day 830 - 10/9 - Not my festival

It's nearly 5. I guess I've had an ok day, though I don't know what to do tonight besides go do laundry. Class was ok, but it seemed like we lost a lot of time to nothing. I've been hanging out here on campus since then. I watched a few videos and cruised some boards.

There is a festival here; lots of music, dancing, and vendors. It seems like it's pretty fun for the peeps involved. That and overhearing shoppers the other day made me think of my own holidays - how different they are now that I'm on my own, even more so since I'm homeless. I don't know that I'd want to be thrown into someone else's celebrations and traditions without knowing what I was getting into, but having some traditions again would be nice. I miss my holidays, even more so the ones spent with my friends.

Well... my life is tolerable and for that I am thankful, as sad as it may be.

Day 831 - 10/10 - Still fail at the mall

My connection still appears to be failing at the mall. Hum, my phone also appears to be getting an error, so it isn't just my low powered netbook I guess. I guess I should try and contact someone, but the issue has been happening for months. It seems today will not be my day to reactivate my WoW account. I actually still haven't really decided if I want to. While I do very much miss my friends I'm severely limited in what I can do as max level with my characters. With even just the $800 gaming laptop (with a more powerful option at $1000) I would be able to enjoy everything the game has to offer, as well as any other games I wanted to play.

It's nearing 2 and today seems a decent (homeless) casual day. I'm not sure what I'll do. I may go to the library since the mall connection fails. I've got a new phone game to play, so I'll likely spend time doing that. It was originally a strategy board game, and apparently it's pretty complex, so that should be fun.

Guess that's it for now. As always, it's slow since it's Sunday. I'm feeling a bit better though in mood and motivation. Tomorrow I may be able to get some stuff done; not so much a motivation issue as a time one. I should stop by the DMV and have a work shift in the evening, so after sleeping in I'll likely have about 5 hours on campus. With needing to do reading I may or may not get caught up.

Oh, PS. I may have discovered what's rattling with the car. There is this corner spot on the bumper that seems loose. It looks like a screw isn't tightened down right. Unfortunately it also looks like I can't get to it, as it's in a corner that seems blocked off. I'll have to investigate more and see.

Day 832 - 10/11 - Fees and beta

Ups and downs today. It's about an hour before work and I'm waiting to go in (school peeps are still there.) Most of the day was pretty regular. I did most of one assignment today and I'll finish tomorrow. The afternoon things became ups and downs. I got an email around 2:45 saying I'd gotten in to a beta. It's one for a game I'm super excited about, and since beta just started it's a super prestigious award. However, as you all know, I still don't have a gaming laptop. So while it may be possible to find a few play locations if I'm super secret about it I lack the system to play on. The bigger let down was the trip to the DMV. The fees for doing the car transfer were double what I hoped, being 150% of what I budgeted. That's nearly $60 that I don't know where it will come from. The only thing I can think of is to just about entirely drain what I have in savings to cover it.

Other than that my day seems to be improving in that the drug side effects are wearing off and I'm becoming more focused on school again. I suppose those are good things, but without being able to game (in multiple ways), without being in a home (to sleep, cook, shower, and watch my shows and movies), without friends I interact with, and without a sweetie, my life still seems very sad and empty.

Day 833 - 10/12 - Out of order

I've seen a lot of "out of order" signs around lately. I guess that really sums up how I feel about my life right now. I did college out of order. I'm not finding good jobs (thus not in an upward order). I can't seem to find friends or a sweetie. And now since I've been homeless I'm getting more alpha/beta invites than ever.

My day has really been out of order as well. It's nearing 1 and I have yet to connect with my netbook anywhere. It's really frustrating being unable to game, but even more so when I walk around the library and cafeteria side room and see 99% of everyone else connected and running just fine. I can't even do an assignment I started yesterday because it looks like the book in the library doesn't have the required information I need.

I have work tonight. I'll leave in about 3 hours. I guess I'll just try and do another assignment or just wait and see if I can get online in a bit before moving on. After trying five different times/places to connect so far I'm very tired of moving around.

Week 120

Day 834 - 10/13 - My nice eye doc

So I saw my nice eye doc today. He was super nice about my eye exam fees and charged about half what he should have. It was about $150 after adding in a box of contacts, which makes up for the extra $60 the car cost me as I had more than that budgeted. It's still crazy to think I've been visiting him for over 20 years now. He also gave me sample stuff he has of eye solution, some vitamins, and other stuff. It was kinda funny; it was like the zombie apocalypse had come and he was just shoveling stuff off his shelf to give to me.

I guess class went ok too. None of it really sank in at all. I couldn't think. It just seemed like 2.5 hours of jumbled rambling. Hopefully I'll do ok on the test next week.

That's really it for today. Bit of good news, but no real change for growth forward.

Day 835 - 10/14 - A day off

It's been an ok day I suppose, at least as ok as my days get. I slept in at school until about 10. , had a breakfast, then spent the day messing around on boards and watching a few shows. It's time for a work shift and there was a movie I haven't seen. That's it though. Nothing really special to report.

Day 836 - 10/15 - A day of sadness

Today seems sad. It's not any worse than any other Friday for me. In fact, I slept until 10 and had some fun on boards for the last few hours. I guess I just feel sad because I can't join the peeps in the alpha/beta I have access too, nor can I study in the quiet private of my own room for tests I have coming up. Unless people magically show up out of teh Internets to give me enough to get my $800 laptop I see no way to be gaming anytime soon, let alone join the test people in the next few months. And as for studying, well, the library is really my only choice.

While people recognize me and say hi and stuff here and there I once again feel isolated, alone, and unable to move forward to do the very simple things everyone else seems able to do that would make my life truly happy again.

Day 837 - 10/16 - The elusive final piece

It's nearing 4 and I'm sitting in my car after a hot shower. Class was good. I had fun. I still feel a bit lost, as I do with all things in my life, but hopefully things will settle and calm down.

I don't know what I'll do with my day. The alpha/beta finally finished downloading to the netbook yesterday and I tested if the game would run. As expected it failed to do the 3D rendering. During a normal life I'd have been playing for a week now. Without that, without other games save for phone games, I don't know what I'll do today. Highest urge on the list right now is a nap. It's pretty quiet here but active enough I wouldn't be bugged. There is a small chance I'll do laundry, and a fair chance I'll go to a movie in the evening.

No matter what I consider doing things seem so sad. A gaming laptop is the last piece of homeless life towards my being as normal as I can. Without, I constantly worry about when I'll be able to game again, when I can see my online in-game friends again, when I can reconnect to my online society. That I think is the biggest cause of my stress and blood pressure. While I managed for a long time without, a while renting, and a while playing on my netbook, the sadness about it has become too great and it's taking its toll. This is why I've tried to do as much calming entertainment purchases I can. I knew the emotional toll would eventually start to physically tax me. And while I was on the verge of removing my final obstacle months ago, I'm now in no position at all to consider it until things change dramatically (or someone donates one by checking my wish list.)

I feel so sad, helpless, isolated, and alone today.

Day 838 - 10/17 - Here comes the rain again

There is a pretty serious sprinkle outside. It sprinkled the other night too. We are at the start of the rainy season again.

It's 1 at work. I'm covering for a few hours, not a whole shift even. It's a quiet break, noone is here.

It's another sad day for me. At any time in a home today would have been spent playing my new test game broken up with pauses for study for my two tests coming up. Now... now I can't play, and my ability to study will be unfocused and inefficient. I will try and do as good as I can, but with no big fun to balance it with my brain will have a hard time focusing and staying interested. I've been kept up nights by the sadness about not being able to game. After so long of no gaming, and only recently having some limited gaming, to have my hopes of getting a system crushed like they were... it's disappointing. It still feels like there is someone watching over me who is purposely trying to make me suffer and break down what makes me me.

Still, I suppose it could be worse. With my phone and netbook I can do some gaming and have access to the Internet anytime and basically anywhere. In the past few days two people have come up to me and begged me for money (ones who were pretty normal looking). So I suppose, as always, I am thankful for that, and long-term I'll be very happy I got a car that I love instead of just getting poo that was cheap.

Day 839 - 10/18 - "... high risk of heart attack, stroke, or death."

The docs words keep echoing in my head. I know this terrible journey was taking a high emotional toll and a physical one was only a matter of time, but death like this? I always thought death, if it were to come, would be from lack of food, catching a cold from the elements that progressed to where I couldn't heal, possibly slipping away in my sleep due to the cold of a winter night, or from an angry person discovering me and beating me up and murdering me. But by my body dying from what is effectively a broken heart? It makes me feel like crying, and I did for a few minutes. I love me. I don't want me to be permanently hurt and have a shortened lifespan because of this terrible journey in any way, let alone death.

Unfortunately this continues to worry me, as I only see three ways of reducing my stress to return to normal. The first and "easiest" way would be getting my gaming laptop. A return to gaming would make me much happier, much less stressed, and allow me to see my in-game friends and socialize once more. Second would be for someone to come forward and offer me some kind of permanent shelter until I could move on - be that a space in a garage that I can only access 12 hours during the night, a couch, or an actual room. Third, to find a happy job in a career. Not just more hours somewhere, but a job in a career field I like that I can move forward in and am at least somewhat happy in. Unfortunately all three have eluded me for years. I've been close to the first a few times, but lately... lately I wonder if I will achieve any of those, and if the terrible journey really will be the cause of my end.

Day 840 - 10/19 - Wake up, it's lunch time

I just got up and it's lunch time. I slept in until 11:30, how crazy is that? I'm so hungry. Parked next to me when I got up was a super attractive auburn redhead; hair down to her shoulder blades, fairly tall, reasonably thin though not model thin. She left while I was getting ready to get dressed. After, I left my car and spied on hers to see if I could get any clues about her to see if I should leave a flirty note. She had an '06 graduation thing, putting her around 22, a stuffed car, a button that read "bad girl", and a surfing sticker. It made me happy to see Fate sending me a sign to not give up on love, but this girl was obviously not for me. I wondered though as I walked over to get nom if I should even try for such a girl - what with my failing in life does she not deserve "better"; young mister handsome, good income potential, who isn't homeless. In the cafeteria I also saw a very beautiful blond, snow bunny type, tall, fluffy boots, tight blue jeans. And a shorter dark haired cutie, interesting fish net type stockings and cute boots and a little bit short skirt. There were a few others here and there as I walked about too. I had a dream about being with a sweetie too, played by Christine, who very sadly I haven't seen at all in probbably over a year. Monday morning there were lots of cuties in my dreams too.

Are my eyes noticing cuties more, or is Fate indeed leading me to cross paths with more? Until something happens because of it I may never know. For the moment I am hopeful something can happen and would accept that Fate sent me to her for her as much as me. Until then... I am still sad, lonely, and with noone talking to and interacting with me in a truly friendly way outside of our times passing one another I feel more alone and isolated than ever.

Time passes

Several more cutites spotted while walking to the library from lunch. Good news too, well sort of. While many games are blocked, including WoW and Steam, someone is playing StarCraft 2, which requires an Internet connection. So, not all games are blocked which is good news. Good to know that when/if I were to get my gaming laptop I'll be able to at least do some gaming on campus. (Including it seems the alpha/beta test.)

Guess I'll try and study now while I still has a happi from seeing cute girls and have hopes of someday playing stuff from school.

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

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