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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 143

Day 995 - 3/23 - Over 200

I checked my weight earlier today and I'm probably over 205. (Had my clothes on, so it wasn't 100% dead on.) I'm almost the heaviest I've been. That explains why I've been feeling sluggish and tiring easily and my pants are pinching. I'm so very sad about my weight health, and lack of choice of good foods. I'm trying to eat healthier but I think my homelessness is catching up to my ability to stabilize my health.

Day 996 - 3/24 - Temporary break from stress

My second class is over. I get a small break from stress. My life is so completely stress filled though. Even though school stress is removed for a week I still have money/job stress in that I don't make enough (even during times lately where I picked up a few extra shifts). Gaming is a bit stressful, as I only have certain times to play and of those hours only sometimes have access to the Internet. And even then it's sometimes firewalled or lack bandwidth; health stress, weight stress, sleep stress, lack of friends and lack of love stress. My gods, it's like everything in my life right now is stressful. And I suppose if I were to take a real look at it, it would be true.

Day 997 - 3/25 - Back pains

I guess I had an ok day. It was potentially the last time I could sleep in at school for over a week. I guess we'll see as the weekend and next week unfold.

I've been having terrible back pain lately. I set myself a note in my phone to do a workout at work, but I keep forgetting or being lazy. It's nothing fancy. I just want to do some stretching and stuff. You know, one of those 5-10 minute things a few times a week. I don't have access to equipment (or proper rest or diet) to do the 20 minutes that doctors recommend. Maybe someday.

I suppose it was a decent day other than the constant back pain. I had an ok time watching a few shows on campus, then did laundry, had a work shift, started podcast 10, and that was it. A guildie said they've taken up the daunting task of reading Epic Fail. Foooo, that first book is so huge. They said they thought it interesting so far, so that's good. Hopefully they and others who read it find something in these ramblings that touches their lives and helps you/them to better enjoy things and live happier and fuller overall.

Guess that's it for now. Hopefully my back will uncramp soon. The pains can get pretty bad what with the car sleeping constantly cramping me.

Day 998 - 3/26 - Ringing ears

Today was pretty good I guess. I had with my game, took an 'extra' shower, and got some extra work hours. My ears were ringing horribly by the time the shift was over for some reason. In the quiet of the empty gym I heard them loudly ringing, as if I'd been to a super loud concert. Hopefully I'm not sick or anything. I don't know how long they will ring for.

Day 999 - 3/27 - Max level

I'm max level in my new game already. It's pretty crazy. Not even one month in and lots of people (even in my guild) are hitting max level. I really don't know what I'll do besides farm for crafting materials, finish achievements, and run the high-end dungeons. There really aren't raid areas yet, and there isn't very much content there in the game. Ah well, I had a good time with it so far. I knew it was short on content. They certainly aren't doing anything terribly new with design. It will likely be yet another I play for six months then move on. I guess we'll see. My guildies make it fun. If I were on a server alone I likely would have quit already (even though we aren't even out of the 30 free days.)

I suppose it will be tough to be into any online game though what with my homelessness. Even questing is impossible due to lag at times, and even under the best conditions the experience is pretty well diminished by being out in public and playing not on a desktop.

Oh well, my wish to finally be able to at least play without so many limitations is here. And that is wonderful, but it seems that is only part of the equation. Much like finding a good fit and a true home in the real world, it seems my search for a true home online also continues.

Day 1000 - 3/28 - 1k?

It's day 1000 already? I forgot to keep track. I was going to maybe "celebrate" with something special but it seems the day has come and gone and I forgot I was close. I suppose that's appropriate. I just did what I do these days to keep myself fed and to keep from going crazy. I played my game most of the day, watched a show, worked a bit on podcast 10, looked for full time work or other part time, and had a work shift. Pretty regular stuff for an otherwise not regular life.

Day 1001 - 3/29 - Best friends

As I put in my new Depeche Mode (Best of Volume 1) album I was instantly transported in time and space. The year is 1983, and I'm at camp somewhere with my dad, his new girlfriend, her daughter that's roughly my age, and my best friend at the time Curtis Foskey. There wasn't much to do for me and Curtis at this camp. We were geeks, nerds, what would eventually be referred to these days as gamers. We wore mostly black cloths and we didn't hang out outside for very long. It's what the emo kids did back in the day. This family camp had boating, ping pong, a small beach, and one arcade game. Curtis and I spent most of our time doing role playing games and tried our best to make due to pass the time.

Curtis was my second best friend (which was during the first few years of high school in San Mateo before he moved out of state). That was after Ashley Hanz, which was around 4th-6th grade, and before the gray ghost, who was rally 8th grade to about my early 20s. He's always been more of an odd father/brother/son relationship as we sought companionship for missing family in each of our lives.

I haven't had a true best friend now in probably more than 20 years. This day is for you best friends. Maybe you have a song that you share, maybe a place or time; but to everyone who has had a best friend, or is lucky enough to have one now, be sure that they know. Celebrate each other while you can.

Ashley, Curtis, if either of you are out there I hope the years have been kind and times treat you well. I miss you guys and wish you all the best.

Week 144

Day 1002 - 3/30 - Far off appointment

I finally have an appointment for blood pressure to get hooked up with a "regular doctor" and a plan and all. The soonest was about two weeks from now, and that was at a place not so close. The closer locations told me it would be four weeks!

I guess I had an ok day. Most of the morning I was soloing in the game. I couldn't find a group at all. I did some of my online work for my friend, well, tried to. The server database that they were was broken and failed a bit, so I stopped. In the evening I got a group with half guildies, half not. That worked out ok.

Mostly today was good because it was finally warm. It's finally becoming spring / summer like it should be. I almost wanted to wear shorts all day.

No jobs to apply to or other life changing events. So I guess that's both good and bad. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 1003 - 3/31 - Suffer well

A song from my new old Depeche Mode album keeps echoing in my mind. It's not one I remember, certainly one I don't know the lyrics to. It's called "Suffer Well". It's a phrase I've heard before, and one that summarizes my life, particularly right now. We all have trials and sad things in our lives, and how we deal with that pain and sadness define us.

I was talking a bit to the guildies that's reading through Epic Fail and they said that they were surprised to see my strength and perseverance through all this. They are very much looking forward to book 2. It's actually kind of hard to remember back to year one. I do recall the sadness, and hours upon hours of nothing to do but watch others live their lives. Now that I can game again it's easy to lose myself in game things, or rabb1t things, and occupy my time between job searches.

For the longest time my mind has stopped paying attention to the normal world, stopped thinking of myself as a part of it, and stopped thinking about the day when I may return to it. Now with things looking up a bit my mind can sometimes wonder 'what if' or 'when I can'.

Just maybe I can return to living a true full life again someday.

Day 1004 - 4/1 - Leading them to their deaths

Today was pretty good I suppose. It was super super warm, hot even. I've been able to wear shorts the past few days and even a single top layer.

I don't remember much of today. As with so many of my days it started out too early and I spent lots of the day doing stuff. Mostly I was gaming, which is still new and still so very nice to be able to do after so long a forced break. I did some Epic Fail input and worked a bit on the podcast as well. I was supposed to finish today, but the recordings kept coming out scratchy and bad. Hopefully the system was just a bit too warm and that's what affected it and it's not that the microphone is broken or anything. I guess I'll try to finish tomorrow or Sunday instead.

I did try to assemble a guild dungeon group. I say try because we had a terribly hard time in the dungeon. I'm not sure why, but we kept dying a lot. I guess we were in there 2-2.5 hours for something that should have only been 45 minutes or so. I guess some were just too low level or low geared. I don't know why, but I felt bad and like it was my fault. The people said they were ok with it and had fun, but still...

That's all I can think of for now. I hope everyone's life out there is going ok, and, if not, that my ramblings make things a little brighter, if even for just a little while.

Day 1005 - 4/2 - Sharing a movie

I suppose today was pretty good. There was the monthly flea market thing at school (even though they are closed for spring break). So I got to sleep in quite a bit. I played my game during the day, and just before my evening shift I finished podcast 10.

The evening shift started super slow, so I decided to watch the new Star Trek movie. The guy on shift with me hadn't seen it yet, so we watched it together. Sadly it got too loud in the gym to hear, so I gave him my headphones so he could hear. I think I'll grab a splitter for headphones in case that happens again. They are like $5, so that's a decent investment (particularly if I am forced to remain on my laptop long-term, as that means I can share my stuff in the future with others.). I think I'll even get popcorn for next time I'm doing that shift. I used to do that back in the day for my regular Monday / Friday shift. I'd watch one or two movies each time and have popcorn.

That's really it. Nothing new or interesting really.

Day 1006 - 4/3 - Unexpected wave of sadness

I'm pretty sad about my life now. The morning started out pretty decently. I got some time alone at work, took a shower, and played online for most of my shift. After, I stopped by school campus to upload some site updates and podcast 10. It was then that an unexpected wave of sadness started to hit me as I sat on the cold concrete outside of the closed building and tried to watch shows. All of the sad things in my life came crashing down on me (as all of those conditions are things forced upon me by being homeless). They aren't anything new. They are things I live with everyday, and have for nearly 3 years now. But for some reason from that point on I've felt extremely sad again about, well, everything. A couple of guildies chatted with me for a bit. But not knowing me enough to really notice they didn't chat too much. The minor chatting did cheer me up a bit though.

I'm still sad now hiding in the dark of the night. While I have the Critical Hit podcasts to keep me company and help me to not feel quite so alone, sad, and separate from society, I again wonder... will I ever be able to return to a normal life?

Day 1007 - 4/4 - Light campus

Today was the first day of spring quarter. There were a lot less people on campus than I expected. I wonder if it's just a lighter Monday population or if people are sticking to a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday schedule.

Nothing really new today. I was still very sad about my life. I did play my game for about 4-5 hours, but there were no groups. It will be interesting to see if my grouping time picks up or if I'm left behind by the guild. Some are keeping fairly tight bonds with me, while it seems others just ignore what I say in chat, or group up without inviting me along. It's not a huge guild, but I'd say at non-peak times we have five or so on, and at peak times maybe 15-20? Plenty to at least be grouping for dailies if not dungeons.

I did apply to a job, so that's good, but overall jobs are still extremely scarce and tons of people apply. I feel more and more these days like this will never end for me. Lately I've been thinking a lot about what I used to cook, likely due to my worsening health. Cooking seems such a totally strange concept now. I barely remember the days in homes where I'd cook. Outside of a few brief months where I cooked a bit now and then, it's been nearly three years since I cooked regularly. I laid flat at work too - to do a small workout - and my heartbeat seemed to struggle. Laying down flat to sleep on a bed is such a strange thought now too; a distant memory.

All I can do is hope my body holds on long enough to suffer through until I can get back on my feet.

Day 1008 - 4/5 - Sad thoughts

Today has been filled with sad thoughts. I had a bit of a scare this morning in my hiding spot, implying that I may need to change my timing. And even though I got to sleep as long as I needed on campus after, it served as a reminder of how unstable my life still is. After waking up I came onto campus and tried to do my regular things. As always they were hindered by bandwidth issues, again problems that only exist because I'm not in a home. The weight of everything in my life being different and limited due to being homeless still seems extra heavy lately. I struggle through my days trying to distract myself with happy things, but since they are always restricted, reduced, or limited in some way, it's impossible to enjoy them as much as I could with the freedom of a home.

The population on campus still seems fairly light. I guess there just aren't as many coming to spring quarter. Population on any campus always dwindles after the first classes in September, but population seems to only be about half what it was only a few weeks ago.

Oddly, things feel like they are on the verge of a change. I don't know if that's Fate's way of telling me to hang in there, as I no longer know if these feelings of change are for me, for others, or just something I feel subconsciously because the weather is finally turning away from the cold rainy and cloudy days to warmer and brighter times. Job prospects certainly haven't changed. There are still very few postings to look through, and still far too many applying.

Maybe the change is within me. Maybe it's because I can be in game again and help people enjoy their time there. Maybe it's because I've gotten a few 'thank you' -ish comments for telling my sad story. Maybe it's because I'm feeling not so lonely and sad in my life through listening to podcasts of others, and maybe, just maybe, my own podcasts are helping others out there. I don't know. My health seems to be failing as the days go on, hopefully my appointment next week will generate hopeful news. And my situation seems unchanging and without hope. All I can do is hang on as best as I can and hope I make my way through these troubled times.

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

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