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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 123

Day 855 - 11/3 - Hello to me

I'm doing ok today I guess. I've gotten some hellos lately which make me feel better. Someone at the food store said hi and that he hadn't seen me in a while (I've mostly gone back to shopping before work instead of after.) One of the moderators on a board said hi to me and was glad to see I got into the super secret alpha and said to say hi if I saw him in game. (He didn't know I can't play right now, which made me sad about that.) And someone sent me an email to cheer me up, saying my site had helped him with several builds for him and 11 of his friends/family. So, a few hellos to make me feel a bit better lately.

Still no help in getting a system lately. I was very bad and actually applied for credit with my bank. Even just a starter card could allow me to get the system. I doubt I'll pass the credit check with owing so much and being so far behind, but I suppose the worst they would say is no and ding my already terrible credit rating.

That's it so far today. It's just past 4 and I have class in a few hours. Seems that today will be yet another fair but sad feeling day. Hellos have boosted my spirit, so that makes me feel at least a bit better.

Day 856 - 11/4 - Call to arms

Today was an ok day. It seemed to pass pretty quickly. I'm at work now, about half-way through my shift.

There is a call to arms for help for me on the way. One of the leaders of a multi-game guild, one I mentioned before that was looking at helping, sent me a preview of a post he's going to put on the site. It's a very heartfelt message that mentions my sad story and that gaming, for him, has been an escape from sadness, and a way to feel connected and hopeful. It's something I've mentioned myself several times in my own writing, so hopefully others will understand and send help. He seemed genuinely surprised at my replies about a laptop. He never knew the refurbished ones were awesome deals for the money and you can get a really solid gaming laptop these days for around $800.

That's all for now. Being night time on the west coast I doubt there will be immediate momentum on help, and it may be several days before anyone helps at all. But the fact that he's doing something to try and motivate the community we are both in, well, that alone lifts my spirit and is something noteworthy.

Day 857 - 11/5 - X-mas lights? Seriously?

Today was good. The peep who wanted to help me posted the post and sent me a donation. I also got one from someone (not from that guild) who I'd helped before. Those, plus what I have on my own, puts me at about 40% of my way. I remain hopeful, but that other 60% is still quite a way to go. With it being the weekend though I won't get discouraged by no donations as boards really empty out on weekends.

In my driving at night I saw at least eight houses with X-mas lights up. Seriously? It's like two months to go still. That's crazy. I do miss the excitement of X-mas though. But, as I've said before, it's really been far longer than I've been homeless since I truly had people to do a celebration with.

Today was also my last appointment for the study. We said our goodbyes and the last of my monies will be on the way soon. I'm going to half doses of the anti-depressant for a week, then I'm off again. They offered to let me keep a prescription for it, but I still think the constantly higher heart-rate and instantly awake feeling are due to the drugs. I'd rather not have that since the source of my depression really must be fixed externally. I could remain on drugs forever but until I reconnect to my online gaming community, until I'm settled into a home, there is no way the majority of my depression will leave. Sure that leaves job and family/friends, but those are longer to achieve things I think.

That's it for now. I have renewed hope that I may return to the gaming world soon. Only time will tell.

Day 858 - 11/6 - So awesome a movie

So awesome a movie; Megamind. I had fun watching a movie tonight even though I was alone. It was basically a perfect superhero movie with perfect casting. If I had the money I'd see it a few more times before it left theaters.

Outside of that it was a pretty basic day; decent time at school, messed around after. I got another donation. That kind of surprised me, both to get it and that it's on the weekend. I'm maybe 41-42% of the way to a laptop now. Still nowhere near enough, but it's a solid start.

Nothing planned for tomorrow. I'll probably do some studying. I may wind up restarting my WoW account. I need to do that soon to get ready for Cataclysm. I may just hold off and see if more donations come over the next week. I have to find a playable connection and check a patch. It may be several hours to set up if I still need to get it with as slow as the netbook is. Well, tomorrow is tomorrow. 'Night for now.

Day 859 - 11/7 - A sad rainy Sunday

It seems like a sad rainy Sunday so far today. I couldn't sleep in this morning, noone was at school and the pool area was closed, so I didn't feel safe. I was stressed out last night so I couldn't sleep until 1 AM old-clock time. And with the rain everyone is staying in their homes. I feel sad. I'm at school now, now the pool area is open. I'm going to have lunch and study a bit in the side locker-room after my freezing cold shower.

I feel sad (for me) thinking of all the warm homes people are in; having fun on their weekend day, staying warm by a fire, watching shows or playing games. As always these days I have none of that. Some would envy me for my quiet time, for being able to be alone, for having this free time from requests of families or friends, but it is too much. It is a constant. Instead of a pause from the rain and near stormy winds outside, my solitude is an island where no other person or animal lives. It is too much alone... too much nothing...

Day 860 - 11/8 - Sad but hopeful Monday

Today I was sad, but I'm still hopeful. I got another donation towards my laptop. Though it was a smaller one every bit helps and I'm very thankful for it. I'm still only at about 42% of the way, but who knows, maybe I'll get most of the way there and I can catch a Black Friday sale in a couple of weeks.

I don't really remember what I did today. Besides the donation nothing of consequence really stood out. I checked jobs, checked boards, but mostly I was sad and pondered what kind of character I could do if I could have played the alpha with new and old friends.

There are some school things I should do, but I'll do them later in the week when school is closed and I have nothing else to do all day.

That's all for now. I hope everyone is having a much better life than me. It's not terrible anymore I suppose, but it seems everything is not how it should be.

Day 861 - 11/9 - Gamers everywhere

Today I saw so many gamers. On my way on to campus I saw people outside playing an arcade game on a laptop, inside people playing a single player game, and others playing handheld games. On any given day you can see dozens playing casual web games and collectable card games are everywhere. It's still so strange to see. I grew up with the gaming industry. There was really nothing until I was about 5 save for classic games like chess, checkers, etc. I still remember times before when I would spend my time making a spaceship from a large box so I could sit in it and imagine going places. In my youth and teens playing games was very rare, and someone calling you a gamer was considered an insult, calling you out as an outsider. Now it's everywhere. Almost everyone knows what it is, and at some level almost everyone does gaming in some way. Different times and a different world from when I was very young. But, I'm still pretty young, and I like this world of today.

I got a super helpful donation. I'm about 50% of the way now. It's so exciting. The peep posted to the site about how she too drifted from RL friends and that for her the online friends and community are her friends, and in a way her family. It seems I am not alone in this new world of gamers. For many of us it does seem online friends and the online socializing are normal.

Tonight I feel good. I feel welcome and wanted with my friends. And most of all, although I am alone in body, I feel less alone in spirit.

Week 124

Day 862 - 11/10 - Up and up

Today I'm feeling pretty good, though all the not sleeping at night is catching up a bit. My brain is completely non-functional today. I did manage to do half of an assignment, which is quite a feat for such a day. Class was canceled for tonight, so I've got a night off. Yeeeaaa.

Donations for a laptop seem to keep coming. Another for today, which puts me at about 50-55% of the way there.

I got a surprise call from the gray ghost last night after I did my writing. He just called to see if I was free to do dinner and check up if I was still doing ok. I was already at my work shift, so we couldn't meet, but we chatted on the phone for a few.

The RL gaming meet should be fun tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what comes of it. I expect it will be just a few dozen of us laughing and playing pool or whatever, but you never know. I may find a friend or two or even meet someone who becomes a sweetie. Unlike when I was young, girls actually game now and are just as openly passionate about games as guys.

Not sure what else to say. I'm pretty surprised the community is helping me. After all of my experience with people not helping I expected much less, and much slower response. Things are looking and slowly feeling better day by day.

Day 863 - 11/11 - Gamer day

Woooo, so much fun an event. I got there early at around 6:15 (it didn't start until 7) and during the event I posted as much info as I could. I got the wireless code for the place the event was at and I tried to keep people up to date with videos. I posted a few but it was too slow to really do posting.

I met a lot of forum peeps, but I met even more people from the team working on the game. And what is cooler is that they approached me. Some came to say hi because they recognized me and had planned to say hi, and others because I wasn't mingling. I was the guy busily running from taking video on one side of the room, back to the other to post on the forums or send a video.

I had a great time meeting everyone. I was super smiley happy guy the whole time. Though I have a new respect for those who do trade shows / live events like this and official (gaming) news reporters. It was super tiring doing all that, and the 4 hours I was there went by in the blink of an eye. After the event started I felt pretty frantic until it was about 10:30. And I've still so much footage to go through (about 2 gig! ) I have to label it, see what is covered inside, decide if I really want to post it, put it in order if it's part of a sequence, upload it, foooo so much busy work. I can see why what I'm doing is normally done by two, three, or even more people. I'll be able to do it all fairly quickly, but wow it's a lot of stuff to do.

Well, as hyped up as I am I am in a sanctuary hiding, so I should try and get some sleep before getting up at 7. I told everyone that I'd try and start to put up footage at around 7:30, so I'll be getting up early for that. Well, not getting up, always have to get up then. But staying up instead of going back to sleep at school.

I also got a very special surprise, but I don't know if I can talk about that. 'Night peeps.

Day 864-865 - 11/12-11/13 - Appriciation day, best day ever

I can tell you about the surprise! Though I'm doing so a bit late. It's now Saturday night and only in these past few hours have things really settled down.

My media coverage of the event was a ginormous success, so much so that the community manager invited me to go on a tour Friday and play the game with other another special five people they had invited to stay for a few days. I was only added on at the last day, but it was a huge honor.

Not only was it a huge honor and humbling to have several devs come up to me Thursday and say 'I knooooww youuuuu ', but on my tour on Friday of their headquarters there were again a few I hadn't met Thursday night that perked up their ears when they heard the community manager say 'this is rabb1t.' At one point someone even came bounding up to me all smiley and did a fist bump. He offered me the tiniest Princess Leia figure 'to protect me during my travels.' I'll have to find some kind of tiny case to put her in so she won't get lost in my car. (I just remembered there is a plastics place near my work. I can do that Tuesday.)

I can't even express how cool it was that this dev team on a game appreciated what I did so much that I got a personal tour and play time (other community peeps had already taken a tour, they got there a few days ago.)

So, I was playing the game with the forum peeps that were invited and a dev or two, and at one point the community manager says, 'do you guys want to do the podcast with me? Arithion would love to meet you.' I was like 'eep! woah!' Arithion and Dessicus are community peeps who have started a super popular podcast for the game. It's like a nerdy game talk show, but with hawt sounding female hosts, hehe. I didn't talk too much, I is a shy bunnah, but I did do some silly voices that made people laugh. In fact, at one point everyone was laughing so much they had to pause the recording. At the end Arithion said she might have to invite me back in the future just for teh lolz.

It was so great being a whole me again. I got to play a fun game. I got to be with fun people. Oh, and I even had a not-date. The last two people were getting ready to go at around 6 and I'm like, 'where do you need to go?' and they both needed to go to the airport. I was like, 'psh, that's like 1/2 hour to 45 minutes from here. I'll take you if it gets you more time.' So I did, and they got almost an extra hour of play time at the HQ. I dropped off the first peep at the airport, then drove around to the next stop and was about to drop off one of the most attractive girls I've ever met, and she mentioned it was still 4 hours until her flight. I was like that's not ok, and asked if she wanted to get something to eat and go online or something. She did, so we drove back down to my main hub. We got food, hung out for a super short while, then drove back up. All the while we were chatty. I think she had a fun. She didn't really flirt back at my flirts, but then she didn't push me away either. I don't expect anything to happen, but still. Teh rabb1t wound up with spending a bit of time with teh hawtest grrrl at the live event! Woot!

So, basically from Thursday early evening until even now I've been grinning ear to ear. For a brief time I was a whole me again, and for one of only a few times ever I could tell that people genuinely appreciated what I did, not just in response to my appreciating what they did by reposting what I saw to others, but what I had done in general even before that. I mean, I know people do appreciate what I do, but I got to see them light up when meeting me. I saw them excited when I was around. I saw and heard them when they said they were glad I got the chance to come by the office.

These past few days may have been the best days of my life so far. More importantly though it proves that what I do is real, valuable, and people appreciate it. Indeed if teh rabb1t had money to go to more conventions and do more of this work it would make me happy, but more importantly it would be useful to others and make them happy.

Tomorrow I have a few hours of work and that's really it. Since I finished posting my footage earlier today things have settled down. I will probably type in the fail week, maybe try and get some homework done, but then I suppose my life will return to what it was; forever changed as some things that were questionable in my life have been proven worthwhile and valuable, so I will be what I was, and more.

Day 866 - 11/14 - Calming down

I'm calming down from my excitement. I have the worst headache today. I think it's due to lack of sleep. I woke up at my usual sevenish but there was noone on campus, possibly due to the holiday. I didn't feel safe hiding alone, though I'm sure I would have been. I just hung out for a few hours online, then went to work. I inputted Epic Fail, then checked through more event videos. I found another to post, so that was good. That was really it. I just went back to school after work and messed around. I have to do some school stuff tomorrow or Tuesday, but due to my headache I just couldn't do any today.

That was all for today; a pretty quiet day all in all. I suppose a calm before the story changes tomorrow after the podcast goes up, hehe.

No donations today, so I'm no closer to a system. No job replies, but that's not unusual for a Sunday. Hopefully tomorrow morning at school I can catch up on some of the sleep I've been missing.

That's all for now. Bye peeps.

Day 867 - 11/15 - Back to normal

Things are pretty much "back to normal" today. I slept in for a bit and after surfed the web and watched shows. I was pretty burnt out still from the weekend. It's... hard for me to unwind with my limitations. I think though my brain is settled enough that I can maybe do some school stuff after dinner.

The podcast didn't get too much of my silly antics. I guess most was during non-recording time, so I sounded pretty normal/regular on the show.

Not sure what to say. No special emails and no donations. It seems my donations have trailed off. I haven't gotten any since Thursday. While I'm a lot closer than before, with $300 still to go I'm afraid it will still take months to build the rest on my own.

So... guess that's it for now.

Day 868 - 11/16 - With a heavy heart

Today I am sad. I suppose it's mostly because the excitement has settled. The short time with those who would be friends, the memories of them and my play time is fading. Now I seem to be back to my regular sad routine, with hopes of a gaming laptop seemingly back to an impossibility anytime soon.

I still have hope to someday have friends again, to be able to game again, but today I have a heavy heart and I am sad. Today I again feel on my own and lost and alone on a strange island that noone knows exists.

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

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