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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 121

Day 841 - 10/20 - A squirrel, a friend, a me

Today was ... better, but still tragically sad about not being able to game. I'm hiding for the night now, so this will just be a quick note. I started the day inputting all of Epic Fail last week. Normally I enter it in pieces while at work, but between last Wednesday and this Wednesday I only worked Thursday and half of a Sunday shift, so I didn't have time or enough to input to do it. After that I moved to the library. On the way across the courtyard I saw a poor dead squirrel. Someone had lovingly placed him/her in a box and surrounded them with flowers. It made me tear a bit to think I may have seen this squirrel frolicking in days past, and that her in the middle of campus they should all be safe. At least they were placed lovingly near a tree and not just tossed into the trash.

I got a happy thing on Facebook from a friend when I logged in. She added to my friends yesterday, and she is one of the friendly WoW peeps I miss by not playing. It's crazy to think how long I've been out now. What's it been... hum I guess only about 4 months, but it feels so much longer. It's good to be +1 friend. I wonder if her guy will add as well. I don't know his RL name, so I can't add him. (Later I found they'd broken up, so it's unlikely he'll add since I met him later.)

Around 3 while I was studying I got a call from the study doc to check up on things. He said my blood pressure I reported them on Tuesday (163/99 at 75 beats per minute) was much lower on the second number. So much so that he's not super worried about me anymore and that it does seem I'm getting better. I guess it was up in the hundred-teens before. I figure every 3 days or so at school I'll use the machine and check myself and track it.

I think I did ok on the test. It seemed easy, but then sometimes when things seem easy it's because your brain is answering wrong. I guess I should know next week. I did get 100% on the assignment I did though, which kind of suprises me due to it not being late and not exactly standard format. I guess lots of people got 25%/re-do so again it surprised me. I told her in the paper a bit about my sad life and she wants to meet with me about it. I'm sure it's not anything bad, probably just going to offer me support, maybe loan me a book and stuff, but still, I worry when peeps say they want to talk about it - mostly because they say things I'm already doing and it just brings up painful or sad thoughts. I'd much rather just think like I have a very weird schedule, but otherwise I have a normal life. Between when I wake up and about 7 at night or so it's easy to feel normal, yet out of place, as I'm not in a home, but I feel fairly normal. With a gaming system I'd feel even more my normal self. I could fade into my game and tone the world out and blur the line between 'homeless at school' and 'I'm not in this world, but instead in my gaming world, and that has not changed from when I was living a happy life.' It's strange to think that there are some virtual game places that have more significance to me than real ones. Like there is this underground train from one major city to the other in WoW. Back when I was getting my Bachelors I'd often take the tram and jump off half way. There is this small stretch that's under water, so it's like there are all these different fish and sharks swimming around with cool underwater sounds. I'd often sit there for hours being in the game, yet studying. I was ready to play with friends at a moment's notice, yet I could also be studying. The same was true for Everquest back when I was at the start of my Associates. I'd often spend weekends studying and healing/buffing at this dock in a desert called Ro.

I guess today overall was ok. There is still so much I miss in life, so much I've been missing that I fear I may never have. But even with all things lost, all things unattained, today I feel somewhat more hopeful than not.

Day 842 - 10/21 - Another big sleep

Today was another big sleep day. I set my alarm though because I had stuff to do, but I nearly slept all the way until it started going off at 11. I'll probably not set an alarm tomorrow, as I have nothing important to do (that's time bound) and nowhere I need to be. I just have to periodically study for a test.

I wonder if my late sleeping is due to my sadness and stress or due to having the start of a cold. I have been congested a bit lately, so it could be a very light cold is getting to me.

Nothing new for today really. No jobs to apply to and no advances on anything. I did notice there seems to be an inching forward in my budget all the way until its end in December. I didn't get the chance today but tomorrow I may project it for another year. It's possible the $800 for a gaming laptop will appear after 8 months or so. Not the best of news, as that is a horrendously long time in gaming and hardware, but my life is what it is without change. This may be what my life is for... well, as long as it lasts. Continuing as is I certainly won't get all remaining roughly 47 more years that my grandfathers lived, but maybe I need to start thinking and planning that this could be as good as it gets. I certainly hope not. I certainly hope I can have at least my modest dreams of a normal life again, but so far it seems proven that I am either unable to help myself, or the circumstances and situation of my area right now prevent me from having the opportunity to help myself.

Day 843 - 10/22 - Headphone day

Today was ok I suppose, but it seemed sad. I spent the day watching the BlizzCon footage online. I don't know if seeing something I'm missing made me sad or if I am indeed fighting off a cold that is depressing my system overall. I did sleep until nearly 12:30.

I totally forgot to do an assignment I owed. Well, someone never got back to me about doing her part, so I forgot, and now it's too late to do it. Maybe that's part of why I'm sad, though I didn't remember that (consciously) until after 7. It's nearly 9 now.

I think mostly I'm just sad about everything I'm missing out on, as usual. I try to stay positive and hopeful, but some days seem much tougher than others.

Day 844 - 10/23 - Unexpected ghost

Not much to say today really. It's just now 5. I don't remember much of my morning, though I think I did ok on the test. After, I pretty much just listened to the BlizzCon broadcast while surfing around on boards. I'm not sure what I'll do now. I've got a few hours before I go try and hide in sanctuary. It's a cold and rainy day, so it should be extra easy to go unnoticed.

I expanded my budget out to 8 months from now. By the end of that, if no other costs come in, which they will, and nothing goes wrong, which I hope they won't, I'll only have been able to save up about $300 for a laptop. It is indeed an impossibility on my own before my hours bulk up again next summer unless something changes. Not being able to game at reasonable speeds and see new and old friends is killing me. I'd go back to WoW on the netbook, and I certainly will have to soon if I want to be there for Cataclysm launch, but I remember how isolating it felt since I was so limited in what I could do - I just don't want to feel that way again.

Someone messaged me on Facebook the other night. This was an unexpected ghost. I dated this girl like twice waaayyy back in the day. It was a nice surprise and interesting that she brought back some memories I'd forgotten. Nothing new will happen there in terms of a relationship. She (still) lives like 5 hours drive away and is married now. It was odd to see her pop up.

That's really it for my day. I've got a handful of hours left until hiding. I'll eat dinner, probably watch a show or two online, but that's all that the rest of the day will offer me. I can't do real gaming, I have no movies to see (never saw one last week), and I can't do a couple of assignments I need to do until I can get to the books on Monday.

Bye for now I guess.

Day 845 - 10/24 - Rain and sadness

It's been raining all day. It was a fairly sad day too. The rain was beautiful to watch, but I'm still sad about not being able to game and see my friends online. I did laundry then I spent the morning and afternoon hanging out on an empty school campus. I watched the last of the BlizzCon footage I hadn't seen, then just messed around online. That was really my day.

Last night I posted a request for help (of sorts) on Facebook hoping that people I know would lend me the $700 I still need to get my gaming laptop. I figured those on my list of friends wouldn't be rude about it. Sadly, as expected, noone has come forward and offered help. The ones who I thought may have posted today, so they've likely seen it. It seems I still have little hope of getting a gaming laptop soon, let alone soon enough to play in the alpha before it becomes beta and later launches. Without help my soonest upgrade window remains next summer, some eightish months from now.

As always I remain hopeful about... well, everything, but the reality of my life continues to make me very sad.

Day 846 - 10/25 - It made me laugh

It's still early in the day. I still have yet to do my assignments. I was in the middle of having fun to get ready to do them and my netbook hit critical power and shut off. What the poop? It's plugged in! I guess this plug isn't putting out enough power to correctly charge, or other systems near me are draining it to the point that it's too low to run the netbook and charge it. I'm leaving it shut off for a bit and seeing if it gets better. If not I'll change locations and have to come back to do assignments later.

Today something made me laugh and happy. I was doing some lunch stuff when I passed by some people. When I was a fair bit past them I heard one saying (in a joking tone), "Death Knight? Seriously?" (I was wearing my shirt.) He said it a few times (until I noticed) and I turned to see who it was and we smiled and laughed. (For those who don't play WoW, Death Knight gets a lot of poop for being a mix of a heavy tanking class and a DPS class. You have to balance them very carefully to do either/both well. They are not a noob friendly class, so there is a lot of dislike for them since they kind of attract noobs due to their inherent coolness.) I know there are tons here on campus who play, but it's always good to see peeps who do, even if it's just seen in passing as I'm busy. Still, it made me sad because I can't currently really play. Yeah, I'll likely go back to playing on my netbook in a limited form, but I'm greatly restricted in what I can do. It seems I have no choice, and all other games will have to remain on hold, as there have been no replies to people lending me the money to get my gaming laptop. I'm still holding on to hope, but it still seems extremely unlikely.

I adjusted my budget plan a bit. I know it would be off before. I'd forgotten my blood pressure medication costs. While small, that and a few other things drained my laptop budget a bit and it's now down to only being able to save about $200 between now and 8 months if nothing changes. Life isn't all bad though, and I do have a lower cost game budgeted every other month if I can get the gaming laptop, and a new Blu-ray about every other month as well. The thing is, even if I drained both of those into the laptop budget it would only increase it about $200. I'd still be nowhere near affording it without outside help.

So, so far that encounter made me both happy and sad. It got a genuine smile and laugh from me, but really just reminds me how much I miss my game and my friends. Returning on the netbook would be ok, but it too would bring more sadness than not at all the things I couldn't join my friends in doing due to it being unplayable in most areas, not to mention all the games I couldn't play at all as it's not a gaming system.

Day 847 - 10/26 - "You make people happy by doing what you love."

It's late, nearly the end of my work shift. I only have a few minutes to write, but I don't really have anything to say. Today has been just another day, and as just another day it was full of sadness. I checked for jobs, checked my fun boards, did one of my homework assignments, but mostly I was sad that I couldn't play my game and can't join my friends online. I think with this week's posting I'll again ask the community for help. During a movie I was watching tonight one character said to the other that he made people happy by doing what he loved. I guess that's kind of how I feel. I love recommending gaming hardware and talking about games, and I really do it because I love it. I don't do it for money. It's been over a year since I've gotten any donations, but I don't know. If I've made people happy with my help, not just helped them, but helped to bring joy into their lives, maybe they want to return the favor in my time of need. I know I've asked before during my writing, but I will ask again because I'm truly sad. If I've brought you readers any joy with my hardware suggestions, any happiness from the upgrades you did, or created any positive change in your life with your writing, if you'd consider returning the favor I could really use the pick-up right now. An email to say thanks and how I helped would be great, but of course any donations, however small, could be added to my laptop fund and maybe I could rejoin the gaming world I love so much that much sooner.

I guess that's it for this week. A few changes, a few ups and downs, as usual, but it seems mostly this week there is just the lingering sadness that I can't game. And for me it's more than just playing a game, it's about my friends, my worlds, and about not being able to be where I can truly feel free and be happy.

Week 122

Day 848 - 10/27 - Om nom nomm teh candies

Just a quick note before my meeting before class. Nothing changed today so far. No messages from friends about loaning me the money to get a laptop. I posted a call for help on the site, but those likely to see it and help likely already have or can't help. Sadly I think I'll be on my own, as always lately.

Today is the first day of candies. I'm sure everyone will nom them and be happy. It was a bit expensive. I stayed pretty conservative and got enough for about 1.5 each and it was a bit over $20 for both classes. A lot for me these days, but it's how I roll.

I saw about a half dozen beautiful attractive girls today, so that's something at least. And I did an assignment too. Who knows, maybe there will be something truly happy to write about later.

Day 849 - 10/28 - No pumpkin

I guess today was ok. I think I definitely have a cold. I've got a pretty bad headache now and every time I've slept in this week I've slept until between 10:30 and noon.

One good thing is that I found another possible laptop for $800. My one I was looking at is down to $770. I'm sure there may even be a few other choices if I really looked around. So far though I've gotten no help and I'm still on my own, so no purchase is an option, be that the low cost one at $770 or the better choice one at $950.

My teacher meeting went ok. She gave me a few options for places to look for jobs, but she thinks I will really need a teaching credential before I can get where I want to be. That's about a two year degree at a full college, which I couldn't transfer back to until next school year starts in September. I'd need to apply soonish, early next year, but no change would happen until much later in the year.

It's odd to see people buying pumpkins. I don't need one. I have no house to decorate. It's been so long since I've had a proper Halloween, or a proper holiday of any kind really. Normal life seems such a foreign concept I rarely even think what it was like back when I had a home. I think... differently, as if I were living in a different country among people with different celebrations.

Well, with at least one school book I may stabilize a bit more in studying. The final piece of my life of PC gaming is still out of my grasp though, yet with pricing and system power what it is it's closer than ever been.

Day 850 - 10/29 - Pre-pre-Halloween

It's night time. I'm hiding in a sanctuary. It's raining pretty bad. My car will be fine, or it should be. There have been no signs of leaks so far in previous medium rains.

Today was a more sad day. Although I very much enjoyed a new show I picked up - No Ordinary Family - all of the festivities people were talking about made me sad and lonely. I heard people talking about kid's functions at the store, and people talking about parties wherever I went. I have none. Nor do I have my own private space with trick-or-treaters to entertain. My life seems such an empty shell of what it was. Yes, these are seemingly somewhat trivial things, but it's the overall picture that makes me sad. I'm sad for not being a part of a child's holiday experience. I'm sad about not having friends to socialize with and enrich each other's lives. I'm sad I can't game and socialize in-game with online friends.

As I've discovered along my terrible journey, it's our day-to-day things, as well as the traditions we celbrate, that make us who we are. We may think they are trivial and we can pass or skip them, but they really are ever so important.

For those who had parties tonight, friends to share your lives with both on or off-line, I hope you had a good time.

Day 851 - 10/30 - Pre-Halloween

I suppose today has been decent so far. I had fun in class and everyone was happy to nom candy. No changes in my life though. I've still gotten no donations, even though I didn't expect any. It does kind of surprise me two sort of guildies sort of promised they'd help a bit and they haven't yet. Maybe they are busy or forgot.

I got a few leads on jobs from classmates. I'll look into those later.

I don't know what I'll do the rest of the night. Being a big party night I expect I'll be lonely and sad regardless of what I do.

I hope everyone that had a party today and tonight had a good time.

Day 852 - 10/31 - Halloween

Today was a better day I think. It's not that I don't feel sad, I certainly do, but I had a good time today. I had a short work shift, shorter than my normal short shifts. I cleaned out a ton of pictures on my phone (now back down to about 250) and did laundry after work. Then I went to see Saw 3D.

I'm hiding for the night now and in the distance I can hear a few trick-or-treaters. I'm sad I couldn't do that. Not trick-or-treat, that would be silly, but you know, be in a house and hand out candies to the little ones. Hopefully some day soon I can do that again. I suppose it's always been one of the more important traditions for me. I'm not exactly sure why, maybe because you get to pretend and imagine and share that with others.

I'm still very sad about not being able to join my friends in-game. I found a touch more money moving a few things around, but I'm still around $550-600 short. There still have been no donations or offers to get me one or loan me the money. Much like everything in my life it's a big thing I'm sad about that I have no idea how to find without getting a new job or someone offering me a home. As usual, noone seems interested in helping me solve the problem. I don't understand. While I certainly wouldn't help everyone if the situation were reversed, I'd happily help some. In fact, just yesterday someone on the street asked for help and I gave them half of my bread and a drink because they obviously needed it more than me. Sure, it seems silly for me to be asking others to help get me a gaming laptop but it's the last thing that, if attained, would almost guarantee my mood would be greatly lifted immediately and balanced to the point of getting better grades and being better able to focus on moving my life forward. Well, no sense rambling. People want to help other people or not. I guess the people I'm currently surrounded by either can't or don't choose to help, and that makes me sad. But, I have to accept it and move on. My life, in that regard, must remain scarred and unfulfilled. There is nothing I can do to fix it that I'm not already trying.

Well, enough of 'poor me'. I had a good time today despite my perpetually sad things. I hope everyone out there had a good Halloween time.

Day 853 - 11/1 - Always on my mind

I guess I had an ok day. Mostly I was too busy to do much. I had that community service for a class in the morning and another tomorrow. Then I went looking for hat supplies. I'm doing an RL gamers meet on the 11th, so I wanted a hat that says 'rabb1t' so peeps can know who I am. It should be pretty fun, we'll see I guess.

I was sad much of the evening though. Not being able to join new and old friends in the alpha I have access too is really hurting me, not just figuratively. It's stressing me out that I'm missing a good socializing opportunity and I've been losing sleep trying to think up ways to get the remaining money I need for a gaming laptop. Unfortunately I can't do it on my own without more work hours, which really won't happen at my current job. So unless I suddenly get a much better one or someone comes forward to loan me the money I won't be getting it anytime soon.

I've been playing my phone games a lot, so that helps. And some Facebook chatting does help me feel not quite so isolated. Though when people don't talk I feel more isolated in some ways. These things certainly help, but without PC and console games things are extremely tough. I play console games rarely, so while sad I can deal with that loss, but no PC games and not seeing online friends... that hurts. It makes me a sad bunny inside.

Day 854 - 11/2 - Getting ready to meet

I guess today was decent enough. There was still my perpetual sadness about my situation, particularly not being able to game and see new and old friends in-game, but I was basically happy. I spent most of the morning doing that community service thing for my class. Then I visited my friend/ex-roomie to iron on the letters to the hat. I had a pretty nice visit with her. The kitties remembered me even though it's been like a year since I've seen them. We hung out and chatted for a bit while I did my hat. I went to vote after, then I came to work. Unfortunately the ironing didn't hold as well as I kind of expected, so I had to get some thread on the way to work to sew the letters on. It turned out pretty good. You can has picture.

That was really it for my day. I didn't get a whole lot of chances to do much, so I didn't do a whole lot. I did get a quick job search in before work, and as I said my hat is ready to go for the RL meeting with the forum peeps in a week and a few days. But my stress overall remains really the same. I guess it's slightly less today, but I can still feel the tenseness in my back and neck from being sad and stressed out over things. Maybe next fail week things will change and I'll get some help putting my life back together. A dozen people sending the same amount as a new video game costs ($50) would be enough to get me what I need for my laptop, changing my life for the better. Noone seems able to help yet though, but, as in all aspects of my life, I keep hoping and I keep waiting for change.

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

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