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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 139

Day 967 - 2/23 - Good day, bad health

I guess it was a good day. I did a decent amount of homework stuff in preparation for tomorrow. If all goes as planned I'll be pre-ordering a game after midnight when my pay flipps, and in the morning a pre-order code should be waiting for me that will allow me to get early entry into the game I've been testing. It seems so strange after so many years of not only being unable to game, but not being able to do pre-release gaming. And, the guild is waiting for me - a guild of people who have seen me in the tech section of their site for, foooof, I guess upwards of about 5 years now. It seems so strange to say I've been doing that so long.

My health seems... bad. I don't know how people of high blood pressure manage. Every time now when I walk my heart pounds and it feels... bad, and I get out of breath. My parts fall asleep easily too. Like now there is just the slightest pressure on my left arm as I hold the flashlight to write this and it's a bit tingly. I'm absolutely going to try and call for an appointment soon. I've been meaning to for, well, I guess it's been a few months now.

I'm so tired of school. I so wish I had enough money to stop and do my site and help people full time. I'm good enough I think. I deserve to be able to do that. With enough money to do it "full time", as well as money to attend conventions and set up a few test systems I've no doubt I could be even more helpful. Sure, it's helping people to have fun and enjoy life, it's not going to make them rich or healthy, but you never know. By saving people money, by helping them maximize their entertainment dollars, I may just make people happier, thus indirectly extending their life just a little longer. Wouldn't that be something?

Day 968 - 2/24 - Not what was planned

Today was not what I planed. The morning and afternoon were pretty horrid. I was supposed to be playing in Rift's head start, something the guild helped me get to with the laptop and donations. But that was not to be. After 2.5 hours of download it told me I had to get another 45 minute download. After that it gave me an error and downloaded the file again. This repeated for the next 5 hours. I missed the entire day of head start. I did finally figure out a way to fix it though, but by then the queue to get on the server was over 3 hours long.

Class was ok. I was happily surprised by the teacher being concerned about my sad life. She knows about it and asked what I do in the bad weather. We are supposed to be getting an epic storm, one so bad and so cold that it may snow. Now, here that's a very big deal. So big, in fact, it's only snowed here in my entire life twice ever before, and only for a few minutes. So that was nice to see someone worried about me. I mean, I know people do, but still.

Nothing else really new. No changes in my life to speak of. Certainly nothing good, other than not missing this game launch, a first in a long time, as I had to rent a system to not miss Lich King's launch. I suppose I didn't miss Cataclysm launch either, though the netbook was barely playable and I think it was done playing before the first month post launch had ended.

Anyways... as the rain gently begins and the night hides me, another sad homeless day comes to a close.

Day 969 - 2/25 - Inspired by

Today I got to play my new game all day. I spent a lot of time with guildies too, or at least watching chat. At one point someone said it was very difficult for musicians to make money during a bad economy. I think I came in at the end of a conversation, but we chatted for a bit about how entertainers have a hard time in general, but I also reminded them that jazz was inspired by and created during one of the worst times in our history (economically). So, terrible things can inspire something good - just like my terrible journey has inspired me to create Epic Fail, and how someone thought I'd make good podcasts. Through my terrible times I was inspired to do something different, and in many ways (I hope) unique.

I'd never wish terrible times on anyone, but I do hope we can find inspiration in a great many things, if not to create something for all, but at least for ourselves.

Day 970 - 2/26 - Tanking

Today I had fun (most of the time). I was working all day, even longer than a normal shift, as I worked 8 hours covering for someone (remember my shifts are normally only 5 hours long) and then 3 hours covering for someone else. But they were both at the same location (I work at two), so I effectively got to play my game all day over the free WiFi.

I tanked in a dungeon for my guild. I felt pretty ok about it. We were a bit below level, so we wiped about four times (but we also didn't know the dungeon at all). I felt like it was my bad for being on wireless and all, but we were pretty short on heals and DPS, so we did the best we could. It was good to group with them and even better to be on a system fast enough that I could tank.

During the evening shift me and another person on shift were pretty bored. There were only about 6 people there, and it's not like we interact with them really. I put on this week's Big Bang Theory and we watched together. It was nice to share it even though he didn't watch it regularly. It was nice to have someone to share an experience with (in both times during my day) if even briefly.

That's really it for my day. I should have done school projects, but some of the game is brand new and it's been so long since I could game I was having a lot of fun while I could. Tomorrow I'll be out in the world, so play will be less desirable in the wild and all. It's a better day to pause gaming and do homework. Whatever happens, it is what it is.

Day 971 - 2/27 - Warm; windows open

Today for a bit it was genuinely warm. So warm, in fact, I was in my car for a bit with the window down. And, when I went in to the library I'd taken my sweater off. Both were a first since probably October last year.

I felt kind of sick today with a migraine headache. I don't know why, but it started around 11 and still hasn't fully gone away even now, some 10+ hours later. I think it was because I was playing my game and stressing out. I was stressed because while I can play online games again, it's still so sad that I can't enjoy it in the same way I could with a desktop. I can't take a break and study in peace and quiet. I can't just walk away for a few minutes to take a shower. I can't open the window and smell the fresh air coming into my room. I think the headache and feeling sick was part of being homesick. I can't think of what else it could be.

It's cold again now, and rapidly moving towards super cold. It was supposed to be pouring rain today, but it was the exact opposite. What will it be tomorrow? What will I be tomorrow? Who can say.

Day 972 - 2/28 - Makes me upset

Today I was disconnecting from my game a lot. Several times in the morning I was disconnected and got an error that blocked me from returning for 30-45 minutes each time. In the evening I was getting disconnected every 10 minutes. A frustrating day in all.

I couldn't sleep this morning. I wasn't sleepy. I was pretty tired, but yesterday and this morning I just wasn't sleepy. I'm so very tired. I think I must not be sleepy because I'm sad and upset about my life. Retuning to online gaming has just reminded me how frustrating and limited my life is when trying to do stuff online. I guess I can try and look for other online job sites in the morning, but I really don't know what to do. There just don't seem to be any jobs out there for me that I can find. I've never been very good at this. It makes me feel extra sad and alone in the world to not have help.

Day 973 - 3/1 - Big pants are big

Today has been pretty good. This morning I had to leave campus to do some printing and pick up the physical copy of the game I've been playing pre-release in. That took a bunch of time even though it was local. It was nice to visit my printer though. I really like it. I got it way back in the day and it can print photo quality stuff. It's hardly been used at all because I only had it a short while before I had to put it into storage (maybe 6-8 months.)

I got these new pants on Sunday because my old pants were a bit tight. These new ones, though only being 2" bigger, the next size up, are actually too loose. So I can either pick up my pants every now and then or I can wear my old ones that pinch my tummy. I guess I'm between sizes. I tried to call to make an appointment for my blood pressure check but they were closed. I left a message, but they didn't call me back yet. That may help me get back down in size. The gray ghost said that when he was put on blood pressure meds they cleared him right up and he lost a lot of weight. That'd be good to see if a lot of this weight is due to that. I'd guess it's possible that it is. I've been getting a touch dizzy in hot showers for about 3-4 years now, so it's possible that in these recent years it's snuck up on me and I just didn't know. Likely the two are related.

I guess that's it for this week. I'm having fun being able to play my games, but it's been sad too because it's a fresh reminder of what I'm missing in my life.

Week 140

Day 974 - 3/2 - Bad start, good day

Today was a day that had a terrible start, but ended pretty ok. I'd planned to take the day off as it were and just have fun and play my online game. Well, the school connection disagreed with that and it was constantly dropping me offline and giving me an error that prevents me from coming back in. I don't get it since a week ago that same connection was perfectly fine. I gave up and just continued with my mid-day activities of doing the work for my friend and homework for tomorrow. So, tomorrow is all clear if I want to try and play again. I may be stuck with only single player games at school, which wouldn't be completely intolerable. I did want to play my online game, so I decided to leave campus and go to the coffee shop to play. I was there about 4 hours and grouped with the guild in the dungeons. One we pretty much dominated, as we were higher level. The other kind of kicked our butt. The first boss we were fine on, but the second had a boss that would AE us down to dead in 3 seconds. So that was no good, but the day ended ok because I had fun.

Nothing changed today really. I tweaked a job site search but that was about it. I'm so frustrated and tired of being homeless. I wish there were something I could really do about it. It's really messing me up physically in terms of health as well as emotionally destabilizing me.

Day 975 - 3/3 - Crafting before bed

Today turned out ok. I didn't have homework to do, so I just relaxed, played my game a bit, and watched a few shows. I didn't do the crafting I wanted to during the day because I got into a group, but I was able to after class. Crafting was a nice calm activity "before bed". Back in the day I'd do that or a bit of calmer gaming every night. My typical routine is a session during the later or mid day, then another shorter one before bed, often after my evening shows.

My previous "routine" still seems so disrupted. I still wonder if I will ever get back to a normal life. But then, living the rabb1t life that I do I think my life will always be a bit different, for better or worse, and maybe that's a good thing.

Day 976 - 3/4 - Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

Today I felt very alone and sad. It was a really good day for connecting at school. Hardly anyone was in the library, as is common for Friday, and I had no problems staying connected to my game or shows.

I felt very alone though. There wasn't really anyone in guild online, and because it's not a role-playing server pretty much noone talks to anyone, of if they do it's to complain and argue. So I spent all of my morning and afternoon basically alone. It wasn't until about 7 at night that I grouped and there were people online to talk with.

But I also felt alone because of my job situation, again I tried looking for work, and again I was met with no jobs to apply to. The constitution says we are all guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Well, that's all well and good and I love those freedoms. But without opportunity, without support, all of my potential is for nothing. My untapped potential lies still, unrealized. I am a moon in orbit, steady, unchanging, visible to only those who know to look.

It's awesome to be able to game again. And interestingly enough some at school and even the gym have chatted with me about what am I playing and all, so it has allowed me to be a touch more social. Yet I'm still alone, still isolated, still without those strong bonds between close friends. Some of the social circles around me at school may know me as 'that gamer guy', but that's nothing really remarkable now. On any given day there are 1 in 10 playing on a system of some kind. And in the room I hang out in often, if we include phone games and card games, the ratio is likely closer to 2 out of 3 are playing something.

In my loneliness at night I've repeatedly turned to podcasts. I've been trying to find a new one. Voices in the dark help me to feel not so lonely. But like everything else in life it has to be a good fit.

Today was so sad. And above all else I was very homesick and felt very isolated and alone.

Day 977 - 3/5 - Do not want

I do not want this life. I don't want to be without a home anymore. I don't want to sleep in a car anymore. I don't want to game not on a desktop in a nice place anymore. I don't want to watch movies in a way that I can't invite friends over.

While gaming and my shows/movies are fun, the only truly joyful things I have in my life at the moment are my podcast and my website. I hope somewhere in the world there are at least a few people who feel a little less sad, a little less alone, and a little less out of place when they listen to my podcast. And I always hope there are people who look at my site and find new options or new facts they didn't consider that lead them to better enjoyment of their lives.

My life has enough food, enough rest, and enough joy. But I'm tired of getting just enough. It is so very tiring, so very exhausting, and so very sad to be getting just barely enough in its most basic and minimal state. I know still there are those with less, and I am thankful for what I have, but I'm so very tried and so very sad.

Day 978 - 3/6 - Ears ringing

It's night and now I'm hiding. My ears are ringing so bad. I've been in constant noise for the last 13+ hours in public areas; constant music, people and noise. My poor ears. I've always been one to get overwhelemed even after just a few hours and now... now it's constant. I rarely get a break from all my senses getting bombarded.

I guess today was pretty good though. I played games all day, just like I have been wishing for for so many years now. I'm slowly getting used to being able to game again. A few even asked what game I was playing and said it looked like a nice system.

Above all though, more than anything, I wish for a home that's peaceful and quiet, and a job that's moderately happy (or, of course, more) that pays me enough. I hope one day I can return to a truly normal life.

Day 979 - 3/7 - A pretty good day

Today was a pretty good day. I slept in quite a bit. I think I've got a bit of a cold. I've been hitting 9-10 hours of sleep when I sleep in (though it's still disturbed homeless in-car sleep, so there's that.) I tried to play my game from school but I still get disconnected and get the error. It seems that Monday through Thursday there is too much traffic at school to stay stable. (Which I still don't get as it did just fine for over a week until the 28th.) I went to work, took a shower before my shift, and had a pretty solid play time during my shift. After, I finished podcast 8 so I could get that out to people so they don't have to wait too long. I'd really like to not exceed every two weeks, whenever that comes around.

I had a pretty good time playing with my guild people tonight. It wasn't too cold. It didn't do more than a brief sprinkle. And I feel pretty good emotionally / physically all things considered.

Day 980 - 3/8 - Should have slept in

I'm so super tired lately. I should have just slept in. I decided not to. There was something I wanted to do in-game, and I wanted to see if I could get in and be stable if I got in early. Since I had no problem at all last Friday I figured it may be population related. I couldn't get past the stupid 'your IP address changed' error. It seems to only affect me at school, but it's becoming more frequent. I guess until that's fixed I'll probably not be able to play from school, which is annoying since I played without trouble at all for a week solid prior to the 28th.

First thing I did though on getting in to the campus library was to drop my podcast on teh Internets. Hopefully people are enjoying it. I've still only the one comment really.

I spent the rest of the day messing around, and I did most of this week's work for my friend, so that's mostly done for tomorrow. I'll probably leave campus in the early evening to play if I can't get to the game through school tomorrow.

Tonight I have class with a project due. Neither I nor my partner person know if we are doing it right. We were only given a weeks notice, meaning we really only had less than 6 days to organize it. Group projects so often seem to result in disaster than not.

That's all I can think of for today and this week. Despite the little changes in my life I feel like my life is unchanging and still as stuck as it's ever been.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2011
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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