PC talk system recommendations blog Facebook YouTube articles and guides links bio
game screensots rabb1t's ramblings podcast email
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 151

Day 1051 - 5/18 - Another sad day

Today was another mostly sad day. I suppose you could say I accomplished a lot in that I had time to do my online work for my friend, I did a bigger search for jobs, and put out a couple of resumes, and I got to sleep in for as long as my body seemed to need. But I'm sad. My life is what it is. Although I saw half a dozen cute girls, though I put out some resumes, though I did get to try and relax by playing a game for half an hour, nothing in my life has changed. No girls gave me even a glance my direction. No jobs I've applied to in the past sent word of an interview. Noone sent word that they have seen my site or heard my podcasts and want me to join their (paid) crew.

Days like this I feel very unspecial. I feel like a failure. I feel that nothing I'm doing to change my situation is helping and why should I bother.

I got an email from my guildies who are listening to my podcasts and they said they liked them and for me to keep my chin up as it were, so that's somthing. But still, I long for little more than having a job I at least moderately like, which pays me enough to live in a place and way where I don't have to worry about any of this. Living without real life friends would be bearable because I have online friends. Living without love would be tragic, but it's been my life for over 10 years; I'm used to it. But living without a home, without a bed to rest my head on at night, without a quiet peaceful environment to rest in, without somewhere to put my stuff, play my games, and watch my movies and shows... that is beginning to heavily weigh on my soul.

Day 1052 - 5/19 - Bad night, bad teacher

So the teacher I've been talking about before was extra mean to me and ruined my night. Early in the day she sent an email to everyone which basically was another indirect attack against me. She was almost refusing to let me take the mid-term test tonight and 'wanted to talk' first. Again she did not offer a hand of friendship, support, understanding, or compassion, and was still holding her position that I should drop the class. She said she didn't understand why I didn't have a book or what to do about it. Seriously? I told her the very first night of class that none was on reserve in the library and she countered with what was effectively an insulting tone, in front of the entire class openly, saying that there was and that I was wrong. I explained how I searched three different ways, and the librarian searched the database about five different ways, and she held her position. I also told her on the following week that there still wasn't one. I explained I didn't understand why she wasn't being sympathetic about my not having children, not working with children, and don't know anyone with children. She said that my stating those facts "create a hostile environment in class." Are you kidding me? In a class where she's constantly telling people to state fact, not opinion, and to hold bias, that my stating a fact about my life that may create difficulty in completing assignments creates a hostile environment?! Bleh. She reluctantly agreed to let me stay but she still seems horribly bias for some unknown reason. The fact that I can't get a job in the industry without experience is exactly the same kind of bias I think she's holding. Some unknown thing that is likely giving her the impression that if people don't feel I'm trustworthy then I shouldn't be in the field or something. I don't understand how she can't relate it to someone who's in extreme poverty just trying to get an education, or someone who may be trying to get into a trade skill who lacks the money or means to buy the tools ahead of time. You certainly wouldn't expect someone in the medical field to have prior surgical experience when they are working on associates level classes towards a medical doctorate, why should I be expected to have that same kind of illogical connection to resources. I wrote to the dean of the department about it (who is the professor in the other class and who knows my situation.) Never in my 12 or so years of going to college level classes have I had this kind of bias and seeming pre-judgment towards me. Many professors in Early Child Development are thrilled to see males in classes, and if not many are pleasantly surprised. I've never had a professor like this before who seems to be following the same 'push them out' resistance I'm seeing in the field. (I'm the only male in this class.)

So that ruined my evening. What would have been an evening I otherwise could have had 2.5 hours to play online on a day I don't normally get to play at all. Not only was I in a bad mood after, I didn't want to be with other people who could have cheered me up.

I suppose, along with everything else in my life, I have to let it go. It is what it is. If she doesn't want to be a helpful professor I just have to try and continue to do my best and it falls where it falls. It seems yet another reminder that no matter what I try and do and hope to achieve someone will be there to beat me down for seemingly no reason.

Day 1053 - 5/20 - Smells like stinky feet

I stopped by the laundry on the way to work. There was indeed a white towel the correct size to possibly be mine. It has no tears or discoloration so I'm only so sure it's mine. Mine or not, I have two big towels again. The lady said she found it on the floor, so it must have been pulled from the wash but not made it to the dryer. I'm usually so careful to double and triple check that. Since it's been wet all week it smells like horrendously bad stinky feet. I had it hung up in the car after giving it a quick dry, and good gods it smelled bad still. I put it into a plastic bag because I couldn't take it anymore. Hopefully it will be fine and not stink up my car further untl I can give it a heavy soap wash Monday. I may even get a dryer thing that's perfumed to have some kind of counter stinkiness before using it as an under blanket again.

I was thinking about what to do about school. There isn't really anything I can for this quarter but grit my teeth and bear it and do what I can. It is what it is at this point. But the more I thought about it the more I've realized two important things. First, and this is the more technically important, it hasn't helped me get a job or back on my feet at all. I'd hoped the CBEST and Child Development stuff would get me into a sort of foot in the door position (towards teaching), but it just hasn't done anything for me. In the entire time I've been working on it I've had two interviews. Both were impressed by my education, yet both flat refused to give me a complete interview since I have no experience working with children yet. Second, and this is the more spiritually finding, I'm simply not having any fun. At all. Thinking back to my Psychology days, particularly the Associates level classes, there were a lot of times in class I had fun. Maybe the material was more interesting, maybe sometimes the class structure was just a bit more casual, I'm not entirely sure what it is. But in all classes I was either ok with the assignments or I was having a bit of fun with it. In all of my time with Child Development it's never seemed more than a boring repetitive chore. And in cases like my current classes there are big projects due, much bigger than there should be for Associates level classes. And the professors, they are both far far too serious and demanding for this level. I've come to the conclusion today that I'm going to re-evaluate how close I am to a certificate and just take the closest one. I've had, off the top of my head, at least 18 classes. That's got to be close to some kind of certificate. It's three years part time and you can get an Associates in two full time. The last three quarters or so I've only had three classes per quarter I could take because I've taken the rest. This most recent quarter really only two, so I must be near the end of possible classes. If I'm only a few classes from a certificate then that's it; I'll finish and go. If it's more than about three classes I may just surrender and move on without a certificate. It's not helping and it's no longer fun. I'll take another look at what computer options I have. I know certification is out of the question (short-term). That's a four year full time degree, but maybe I can take at least a few shorter classes towards server admin or electronics towards a tech degree. (Ideally combine the two and do something like networking at a school campus.) Being somewhere that's not helping and not fun, and with this one professor where she's pushing me away... that's it. I'm done. If they don't want to help and it's not helping me get a job, then that's not for me. I don't go where I'm not wanted. Too few professors (only about two ever) were really happy that I, a male, and a person with my friendly empathic personality, was considering working with children.

Anyways, as I stoppedmy school stuff for the day and played games and focused on rabb1t things I felt as if a weight temporarily lifted. It will come back quickly in the coming days, but I think it's time to move on from this attempt that's not helping me one bit so far.

Started podcast 15. Had an ok time playing online at work. Watched a show. Things seemed ok today. My sad life didn't seem quite so stifling.

Day 1054 - 5/21 - Just for four hours

I played online for just four hours today. I don't know, I just wasn't into it. In the morning I got to sleep in, then watched a few shows outside of school.

I feel odd today. Maybe it's partly because I've gotten used to covering the Saturday and Sunday shifts and I'm not doing that this weekend. But it feels like more. Maybe I'm sick. I think it's just my depression and homesick feeling. I feel off, out of place, like I should be somewhere else, doing other things. My "normal" homeless life, my "normal" choices seem wrong and incorrect. I feel like someone else. I feel confused. And I feel like I'm lost in a land I don't understand.

Day 1055 - 5/22 - Dreading the return

Today was ok. I slept in, which was necessary as I again couldn't sleep until about 2 in the morning. I watched some shows and did some forum stuff while I had lunch. And then I basically spent the rest of the time in my online game just about solo the whole time. Guild chat and the voice chat were usually quiet too. It felt lonely and isolated.

I'm dreading my return to school stuff tomorrow. I've decided to get super focused and do overdue readings and check on assignments. It's been very tough to be motivated this quarter. I do still feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulder since I've decided not to continue if I don't have to. I think the fact that this has been yet another thing that's not helped my situation has been weighing on me far more than I thought. More classes aren't helping my applications, so there is really no point in continuing to higher levels if I've not been helped already. It's possible computer degree classes will be just as much of a waste of time, but maybe with that at least I won't feel like it's supposed to be getting my life on track, as I know I'm not going anywhere without certification. I don't know what to do though. I'd thought the Child Development would at least help me get my foot in the door where I'd be on my way towards a something, but so far it's done zero for these 3-4 years of classes.

Anyways... tomorrow and the days ahead are what they are. As always I hope for better days. I hope for new friends I can meet and hang out with. I hope to find a sweetie. And I hope to find a way back in to a home and a job I'm at least moderately happy doing.

Day 1056 - 5/23 - A surprising number

Today someone on campus had the cutest tiny baby kitten. They were gray with white stripes. I would guess the baby was only 8-10 weeks old. They were maybe 10" long at most from nose to behind. I saw them from a distance, but the kitten looked so cute. Back in the day I would go to pet stores and visit the homeless pets. It made me think back to that, to think of cute kitties I'd want to take back to a home and take care of so they would have love and shelter.

Still no change in my life today. I suppose I'm a bit more sad or melancholy what with this stupid class. And now too my boss has again forgotten to drop off the time cards at the work sites. I still don't know if I got all the hours on my last time card and now I get to worry if this time card will be messed up since it to will be electronic.

I didn't feel much like playing my online game today. I've been feeling that a lot lately. With my big body all there is left to do is grinding crafting really since I can't do raids. And my little body, well, level grinding. I think I'm losing interest quickly. I suppose in part it's because of lag and time constrains. I think though a greater part is there just isn't really all that much content.

I did remember something about my web statistics though. It shows file type hits. I remembered to look today, and if it's a correct number, there are over 550 podcast downloads. That's roughly 40 each episode if it were spread out evenly. That's quite a bit more than I was expecting. It's not a huge number, like 1,000 each or anything, but I was guessing there were only about a dozen listeners. Unless someone repeatedly downloaded them, I have roughly 30-40 listeners. I did do a fair bit more on podcast 15 tonight. That's around 23 minutes so far for the first two segments, so it will be a bit bigger again. Hopefully people enjoy that.

I have a bunch of dumb school stuff to do over the next few days. I'm very tempted to see if I could drop that class with the bad professor and take some computer at my own pace classes to make up the lost units to satisfy Financial Aid. I'm just not comfortable about continuing if she is going to keep pushing me out. Seriously, when did teachers start turning into people who push students out instead of trying to help them and treat them as individuals with different learning levels and resources available to them? It seems like no matter where I turn with the job world or potential re-entry to the job world it pushes me away.

It seems the only times I'm really happy are when I go within, when I do the private things I enjoy that in turn helps an invisible audience.

Day 1057 - 5/24 - Indeed too late

I checked the add and drop dates of classes and it is indeed too late to change anything for this quarter. I have no option to do as best as I can to tolerate the bad class and what happens happens. There are only five more meetings, so hopefully things will be tolerable and civil for that time. I am indeed not alone in my feelings. Someone today sent an email asking me for help on her assignment, as the teacher was unclear as to the directions and requirements. Apparently the bad teacher hadn't made it clear enough for her either, nor given enough notes on her paper for her to know what to do to meet the requirements in a re-do. I helped her out as best I could, as I too don't have any directions, and suggested that at the end of class when teacher evaluations go out she give the professor very bad marks in those areas. I really don't feel she should be teaching anymore. She isn't helpful to students, she seems tired and like she's got some terminal illness and was forced out bed to walk 5 miles wearing a 20 pound bag to do some trivial thing she didn't need to do. And this is every day anytime I see her. I don't mean to sound overly mean, maybe I'm just venting, but she may be great as a grandmother and teacher in a toddler or young child environment, but for college, she's way too slow, way to round-a-bout, and her assignments just don't make sense in terms of targeting the goal of students understanding x. The green sheet, literally is like "write x". The assignment lines are five words or less, with no directions beyond that. She claims that directions are given orally in class, but seriously? They aren't clear. There are no hand-outs. And if anyone missed class there would be almost no guidance what-so-ever. (The book gives some guidance, but often times they are different forms than the bad teacher wants and in contradiction.) It seems like she's doing the job as some kind of condition of parole and that she's forced to be here. There seems to be no passion for teaching at all, nor any care for the students as individuals or people seeking understanding.

Anyways, I suppose it's better in a way that I can't redirect just yet. It means I have a month or two at a casual pace to look at classes and plan a reidrection towards something; even though I know that redirection isn't likely to be achievable since the scope of this particular redirection would take far longer than I really should continue to be homeless for. Heck, I don't want to be homeless and sad for another month let alone another six to eight years getting an Associates level degree in a new field part-time would take. But if this current direction isn't helping, if the requirements are too high to get a job (with Psychology needing Masters or higher and ECE wanting experience I don't have and can't get), if I'm not having fun, if it's not helping on my resume for applications, there is no point in continuing along this path. I prey to the gods that as long as I'm working on something part time or more that Financial Aid loans will stay off my back, as that's $800-1000 a month I'd owe at this point. Hopefully some day I can return to at least a minimal level regular life and have enough to stop going to school, pay off those loans, and be at least moderately happy with my life.

Week 152

Day 1058 - 5/25 - Meh day

I suppose today worked out ok. School lacked the bandwidth I needed to do my online work, so I just spent the time playing single player games and studying. I woke up early to do an assignment for that stupid class, but now they are hopefully done and I just have to worry about minor ones tomorrow.

I did get a little encouragement from the professor tonight indirectly, who is the dean of the department, as she made a comment that the college is re-evaluating some of the requirements to getting certificates and degrees. Someone had mentioned it's not feasible for her to meet certain conditions, as she works full time, and the professor said that and other conditions, meaning people like me who don't have access to certain things, are being re-examined. So, hopefully at least for future people they won't have as difficult and frustrating a time as I'm having.

Nothing else to say really. Oh, I did notice a Firefly keychain thing on Amazon for $11. I totally bought it.

That's it for today. A lot of sad in my life lately while I seem to be surrounded by people doing just fine.

Day 1059 - 5/26 - Displaced

It's evening time when I should be hiding in my semi-safe / semi-private space, but I'm not there. There was activity, so I have to wait. I'm not anywhere too suspicious, not yet, but the clock is ticking. I only have so long before my lingering becomes suspicious. I hate being displaced and reminded that I'm homeless. At least with some kind of routine I can pretend I'm not as bad off, that there are 'safe' places to be emotionally and physically.

I am displaced. I am alone. I am sad. Anything good during the day has faded in memory along with the sun light. Now with only shadow the world becomes dangerous and I can no longer blend in and appear like just another nobody. Now I am the outsider, as easy to spot to the trained eye as if there were a spotlight on me.

Day 1060 - 5/27 - Feeling sad, but grateful

I'm feeling very sad today I guess. I got to sleep in, but it was my last day to sleep in (in theory) until Tuesday. School is closed for the weekend and I'm pretty sure that will mean an empty parking lot patrolled more frequently than usual. After sleeping in I got yet another reminder of homelessness as I had to eat right then if I didn't want to pack and unpack everything in the middle of my school time. Eating right after I get up is not something I like to do. (Not even with breakfast foods.) Playing in the library was very private; again a reminder of what my life should be like. Since there were only a half dozen in my area I easily got into playing my games. There wasn't enough bandwidth to watch shows unless I went to a system with a landline. Yet another slap in the face.

Today I'm grateful I have my gaming system at last. And I'm grateful someone suggested I do podcasts once upon a time. I like doing them a lot.

But I'm sad. The sad won't go away. The sad affects my health, my general ability to function, and I still wonder if I will ever be able to recover on my own.

Day 1061 - 5/28 - Tiny bird rescue

I don't know how or why, but there was a tiny bird in the coffee shop today. They were flapping around near my feet between my stuff and the window. I asked for a bucket to capture them in and someone who used to work in animal rescue happened to be there buying a coffee and suggested using a towel. I guess if you put it over them it calms them down because you can hold them all around and they feel secure. (Like we humans can measure that. ) On the third try I got the little fella. They weren't much bigger than my two hands cupped together. Just their head was peeking out. I could feel their heartbeat and it did seem to slow a bit as I talked to them calmly and took them outside. People seemed impressed I rescued the birdie so quickly.

Once upon a time when I was little I nursed a bird back to health. I was probably around 6 or so. Where I grew up they had this style of house where the back was all glass in the living room area, with vaulted ceilings. Every now and then birds would bump into that upper part thinking they could pass through the house. One day I saw one that was hurt and fell to the ground. I put them in a box. I gave them some lining to rest on and covered them up at night. I put a water dish in there, but I remember being very worried that they didn't eat or drink that first day. I think it was about three days before they were sitting upright most of the time and starting to drink/eat and stretch their wing out. I think it was a full day between their being restless and only flying a few feet off the ground before they could back up to the telephone pole and off out of sight.

Nothing else really interesting today. I did most of the new system builds for June. I'll finish probably tomorrow. Since school is basically the only place I can upload my site there's no super rush. I basically have until Tuesday.

That's it for today.

Day 1062 - 5/29 - The story

So awesome a movie Kung Fu Panda 2. As I was in the theater it felt almost like I was a part of something. We laughed and shared an adventure, a story, and our emotions. I was alone, but for a brief few moments I was not.

It makes me wonder where I am in my story. Is this the terrible beginning? The middle (as it hopefully is in the middle of my life)? Or the sad end after a long journey along a forgotten path that noone dare travel? And what of you, the readers? Where are we in your story? Is this the catalyst for something new?

Only time will tell. Only those who hear the tale and live beyond will re-tell it.

Day 1063 - 5/30 - Being human

For podcast 16 I decided to talk about being human. The more I've thought about it the more I notice things about it. Like today and yesterday everywhere I went people talked about BBQs and gathering with friends and family. Traditionally the holidays are part of being human. If you have none, if you are like me and can't, it makes you feel less human, isolated, alone, apart from what makes you human. I know I've talked about daily routines and holiday celebration before, but it really is these seemingly trivial traditions and routines that make us feel human. Not having a choice to celebrate or not, not having friends or family to celebrate with, not having optional choices to do while ignoring mainstream choices (such as TV marathons), these will cause you to feel like you are losing your connection to humanity.

It's crazy to think, but you have no idea how much a hot shower and getting dressed and ready in a casual environment makes you feel human (and like a part of things) until you can no longer do it.

Day 1064 - 5/31 - Getting it done

I finally got to sleep in. Campus was indeed closed on the weekend. Well, Saturday the gate was open to the pool area, but there were no cars around, so I decided not to risk it. At last I'm not dead exhausted and feel like I'm going to fall over asleep at any moment. All three days on the weekend I wound up taking a nap after lunch. It helped, but only a little.

Today I have to work on the school junk I've been putting off. I have to run research for that stupid presentation and I have to do an observation for that class with the mean professor. At least if I can get those both done they will be done, and bigger projects than not will be tended to, leaving only a few small ones before the end of the quarter in four or five weeks whenever it is. I'm so looking forward to the end of the quarter. I'm so sick of this one. I need a break and to not need to worry about doing anything (save for looking for a job) for a while. What with all my pressures I never get a break. I never get to relax and just stop thinking about stuff. It's constant, and at times overwhelming.

Someone posted a thread on one of the boards I'm on about helping people in need. It was about helping people who are lying, but I did some bla bla on my perspective of things. It was sad, but as I typed it I felt more factual, historical, more just exlaining what is than not. Hopefully it will help some people to think about things they otherwise wouldn't, but I wonder if it will really change anything. Most of what's said in forums is quickly forgotten or ignored by the reader. As always I hope my terrible journey and my podcasts help people's lives in some way, if even just for a short while.

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

flash required for the logo
best viewed at 1280 wide resolution or higher