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 4: on and on

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 157

Day 1093 - 6/29 - One day left

There's only one day left of year three. It seems to have snuck up on me. I'm still constantly surprised at how terrible and long this journey has been, and still is. I'm still no closer to getting re-established now than I was on day one. In fact, in many ways I feel more lost and alone than ever.

Many people are sending kind words and well wishing now, but the reality of the situation is still ever present. I am still eating microwave or fast food, not cooking my meals. I am still sleeping in my car instead of in a bed in a room in a home. I do still only work 10 hours a week on the average when it's not summer. I still have no new RL friends. I still have no new love interest. My classes aren't helping me advance towards a career. And, in fact, haven't helped me get a job at all.

Things this year didn't end all bad though I suppose. I do now have a gaming laptop. I do have a fancy phone with some games and helpful apps. I do still have unlocked nodes to update my site and keep things current. I do have my podcast and people seem to be enjoying it.

While I am proud of how I have endured my terrible times I am very worried for my future. My health is not good, probably the worst it's ever been. I seem incapable of advancing in job income, so my financial position is breaking even at the minimum at the best of times. (If we ignore things like my teeth, and other issues that are in constant deterioration and are too expensive to repair.) And I fear more and more every day that I won't be able to get out of this on my own, that the worst will come, and this terrible journey will be my last.

Day 1094 - 6/30 - End of year three days

I suppose today was an ok day all things considered. I had the new summer morning shift, during which I finished podcast 19. I drove back to school after and did my online work for my friend and uploaded the podcast. I watched about two, maybe three shows, I don't really remember. They were on in the background in another window while I worked, so I kind of lost track. I went to my afternoon shift. After I had a tournament game against a real pro. I don't just mean that metaphorically. This guy was in the top ladder online and had a pro badge on his account, implying that he'd played in the world-wide pro league and placed. As I left that location, a super beautiful and attractive girl said she loved my shirt. I've had more people comment on my Bazinga! shirt than all of my others combined. I would love to have replied, "I love your everything ", but she was with a guy who likely wouldn't have been too happy about me saying that to her, heh.

There's really nothing I can think of to say about the end of the year that I haven't already said. It seems like just a few months ago I was finishing the last and starting this year. I suppose things have turned around slightly. I was carless at the start of the year and now I have a car again. One of the types I love even. Recently I've gotten a gaming laptop, at long last, so I finally have (full) gaming in my life again. I have guildies that I have fun with in an online game, several of whom seem to genuinely care about me, my sad story, and hope that I get better and recover soon. And I have my podcasts too, which has exposed me to even more knowing me a bit and possibly having their lives enriched by my thoughts and words.

Since it's summer and I have more hours, and everyone in the world seems more outgoing and friendly, things seem to be looking up a bit. But I know that it is only temporary. I know, like my appearance to others, that below the surface things are not so much. My job prospects are the bleakest they have been. My classes I'm spending all this time and emotional energy and stress on aren't helping to get a job. I still have no offline friends to speak of. (I've seen the one I do the online work for only twice in the past year.) No love interests have come up at all. And my health is likely the worst it's been in possibly my entire life - not counting when I wasn't on blood pressure meds or otherwise seriously sick.

I try my best to endure this terrible journey, but it seems with each day that passes things slip further and further from my grasp as they move more and more out of my control.

Year 4

Day 1095 - 7/1/11 - Beginning again, again, again

I suppose today was an ok start to year four. I didn't get to sleep in. The parking lot seemed a bit too empty when I got there. I went to the regular coffee shop and played online. The were quite a few students around though in the early afternoon when I had lunch on campus and did some stuff online. There were half a dozen or more in the area near the library and cafeteria, which were both closed. I had my afternoon shift and evening shift. The day was pretty warm, hot even. It still seemed so strange there was a day last week when it poured rain.

Nothing special happened today. No jobs were found to apply for. No changes happened in my life. It was a day being homeless, like so many that have come before it.

Day 1096 - 7/2 - Working or not working tomorrow

Today was ok I suppose. It wasn't at all how I would have liked to spend my day, but compared to homeless years past it was far better. I got to sleep in because there was a flea market thing at school. (Plenty of cars to distract and yet I can park in an area far enough away that noone would be likely to see me sleeping.) I had lunch on campus and tried to watch a show. I say tried because, as usual from the spot I was at it was taking twice as long as the show to watch it. I eventually gave up 3/4 the way through. I still don't understand why the connections aren't stronger. I went to the coffee shop I hang out at and played my game pretty much the rest of the day.

It was super warm today, like 90F. Some people in the guild had parties, and you could tell others around (RL) did too. It was a pretty low population. Once upon a time I had parties, be they my friends or roommates. Once upon a time I could sleep in then take a shower when I wanted, play when I wanted, and watch shows without lag when I wanted. It is getting very difficult to remember what days and times my shows are on anymore. It's been so long since I could watch them 'live.'

I don't know if I'm supposed to work tomorrow or not. My boss lately has gotten.. well, dumb. It's likely she's overwhelmed by summer things, but seriously it's getting bad. I called on Thursday to ask about the time cards, which are due Monday. Monday being a holiday we normally do them early. My call about where and when my timecard would be was never returned. Similarly, there has been no notice about when, or if, we are closed for the 4th. In years past we always have been, but we've also always been notified well in advance, and given signs to post. Neither happened this year. Also, we were just closed for a month, so are we open to be nice to people, or not? I have a feeling I may wind up going to work and still not knowing through the shift. If I get a wireless signal I suppose I won't care. But if a sign has been put up today and noone told me not to show up I'll be a bit miffed. It's just... irresponsible to not be sure time cards get to locations where they should be every other week. (Remember, this is about the fourth time this year, so that's about a 30% failure rate.)

A few people have wished me well lately, so that's something.

I picked up Batman: Arkham Asylum today. I'd been putting off buying it for quite some time. Originally it was going to be a 'welcome back' gift to myself after getting back into a home. It was one of the first games to adopt triple monitor resolutions and specifically tweaked for it. That and 5.1 surround sound would be quite the experience. But, as time has gone on I've watched the price drop, and drop, and drop, and now it's lower than $15. My fear was that I would wait so long I would have missed it entirely. It is the last 'milestone' game that I'd set for myself. To surrender that hope of playing it under 'ideal conditions'... it's very sad... and I guess I have to try and accept that what my life currently is may be the best it will ever be again... and that it will only continue to get worse as time goes on.

Day 1097 - 7/3 - Two Cs

Today was pretty good I suppose, all things considered. I played pretty much all day online. I did stop by to check if work was open and it wasn't. I got back pretty quick, but decided not to try and sleep in. What with the holiday and the flea market yesterday it likely would be shut down there.

I needed to get a new parking sticker to park on campus, so I checked my grades since the screen reminded me that I could. As expected and hoped I passed both classes with Cs. Not great, but not bad enough that I'd have to retake either classes ever again.

There were lots of beautiful girls about today, some even smiled and chatted in my general direction. (One shared a silly thing with everyone around her, and one asked me to watch her stuff.) Of course none seemed interested, but seeing them around and near, well, that in itself is something, as sad as that may sound.

Today didn't happen how I had wished. Granted it was far better than past years in recent times, what with two years ago having no system, and last year I believe I had a barely functional car I didn't really like. I do have gaming in my life again. Bandwidth willing I have shows. People in my guild are friendly. I suppose most fantastic is how cool my podcast seems and that people seem to enjoy it, and even sometimes find it informative. Those around me seem friendlier (and more normal) than in other years. (In fact, the manager at the coffee shop asked me what I was installing this morning and chatted for a minute.) But still... it was not a day I would have wished to happen how it did. I would have liked a party with friends. I would have liked to have a BBQ. I would have liked to have had a sweetie or love interest that I could have nuzzled her neck and hugged as we hung out with friends. I would have liked to be living alone and watching a marathon on TV. So many ways I would have liked to have lived the day in a normal way. And yet they are all ways I could not have lived it.

Day 1098 - 7/4 - Sad changes

There are some sad changes going on where I hide at night. For this holiday in particular people are setting things up and there are increased patrols and highly increased suspicion levels. What had been a normal routine lately, something resembling some level of feelings of safety and security, has again been disrupted. I don't know if I've lost them entirely, it may just be temporarily unsettled, or unsettled for part of the summer.

My life is really taking a toll on me lately. I can't sleep well, my physical condition is breaking down to the point that it worries me, and I really want to get my stuff back. I want my stuff in a place that's mine, where it's safe and I have free access to it while it's out. The ex-house garage is safe enough, but it's not my space. It's not in danger, but the ex-roomies are burying it more and more as time goes on. Access to things are all more or less difficult at times. And now, I've recently seen signs of... degradation of the boxes. I noticed some are sagging from the weight of other boxes, meaning contents are at risk of being smooshed inside.

I decided to see Transformers 3 (since being out and about tonight would be highly suspect.) While it is an awesome action movie primarily about war, there are also deeper layers about love, family, friendship, belonging, home, and trust. All things I lack in my life. All things I've pretty much struggled to have all my life.

I have been, and am forced to still be, a wanderer. More than anything I want to be in a home again. I want to feel that I belong and that I am appreciated somewhere. And, as always, it would be nice to have friends and love once more.

Day 1099 - 7/5 - Back to not normal

Today should be ok. I'm soooo tired though. I didn't get much sleep last night, and I couldn't sleep in this morning. I suppose I could have napped here at work while they did their thing in the side room, but I typed in Epic Fail instead, so that would be ready to go. I'll do a bit of podcasting, so that's always fun. Once I leave my shift I'll do my laundry, then be down at school and upload this first week of year four.

I don't expect anything of interest will happen later in the day. I always hope something positive does, but today in particular I really just hope things go back to not normal for me. I hope that things go smoothly for uploading at school and watching shows. I hope that I find an acceptable dinner my tummy agrees with. I hope that tonight I have acceptable bandwidth to play my game. And I hope that the spot I normally hide in at night is settled back to its normal enough that I can 'be safe' and have my not normal nighttime routine. Hopefully I can get at least some rest tonight and in the morning, and, as always, hope that soon I'll see better days.

Week 158

Day 1100 - 7/6 - It goes to 11 and beyond

Today was ok. And a good ok, not just a meh one. I got to sleep in, finally, for the first time since the shut down for the holiday. I almost got up at 9:30, but managed to fall back to sleep until about 10:45. I was pretty well rested. I did my online work for my friend, and that was all I had for responsibilities, so I got to relax a bit. In the evening I played my game a bit. Night was disrupted a bit, as there was still some activity in the place I normally stay, so rest time was delayed by about 3 hours.

The podcaster I mentioned that I've talked to before wants to interview me for her podcast. She likes mine, and we have similar backgrounds and focus. Hers is on relationships between gamers, where mine is more psychology of being a gamer, sociology surrounding the culture of gaming, and motivation to be a gamer or behind your gaming. I'm not entirely sure what she'll ask, but she's very curious about my homelessness. I'd bet the lack of relationships in my life is what has he curious since a lot of gaming is all about relationships. I guess I'll see in the later morning.

Originally the first people who suggested I do a podcast were saying that in regards to being homeless. But I didn't really want to do a topic that sad. I already have Epic Fail for that, and it seemed like a topic that would eventually just end at some point. It's why my focus has been on gaming instead. I think most of the topics I talk about could take place at any time, and in theory it's something I can talk on about for a long time. Yeah, I've briefly touched on being homeless in my podcasts, but I think of it as a minor aspect, a current filter for my life. Someday I'll be back in a home. I'll have friends, a sweetie, and maybe children. And all of these things are potential filters around gaming, potential topics to discuss, and even potential co-hosts. So I figured my homelessness could be changed and be only one of many possible side aspects.

That's really all I can think of. Bye for now.

Day 1101 - 7/7 - It's ok to pee

I didn't get to sleep in this morning. I had a morning work shift. I'm soooo tired. I had a pretty good work shift though. I did a touch of work on Epic Fail and played Batman: Arkham Asylum for about an hour. I rushed back to school after, grabbed a nom, and settled in for my podcast with Jenesee for the Grey Area Podcast. We got started a touch late, but she didn't seem pressed for time, so it seemed ok. We had a lot of laughs and I had a super good time. Hopefully she did too. She seemed to laugh a lot and thoughtful at times, so I think she had a good time. Hopefully I'll sound ok. My podcasts are done direct to my system, while the interview was done over voice chat on the school wifi, so hopefully it won't suffer too much degradation or difference in sound due to the different recording conditions. There was one point she was curious about which she didn't record because she didn't want to go too long for fear of her listeners getting too bored of me, heh. She was on a couch for a bit herself and she found that the day to day things, like a hot shower, were the most surprising to her (in terms of keeping herself sane and grounded to a regular non-homeless life.) We talked about that, but also how when you don't have a couch you have to carry everything around with you that you may need. The freedom of leaving stuff behind and walking away with only your wallet and keys is typically a freedom you no longer have. The most simple of things that people don't think about is going to the bathroom. I said I really had to pee and she said it was ok, she'd wait, and to just go. But I was like 'no no no, you don't understand. I'd have to completely pack everything up. I can't "just go".' In the library I don't really worry about walking away from my system and my stuff, but I was in a side conference room in the cafeteria building. While it likely would have been completely fine there, most places I can't just walk away. It doesn't feel safe. Even if it may be safe, you still have that nagging stress that it may not be. 'What if this is that one time something bad happened?' My point was that as a not homeless person you really have no idea how freeing and different a feeling it is to be able to go somewhere without any stuff. I can't do that if I want to even do something simple like pee - something most do without a thought by simply getting up, walking 10-15 feet, and going back. For me it's actually a fairly big ordeal in that it requires 2-3 minutes of packing, walking a longer distance, and then unpacking everything again.

There are just so many little things like that in life that people seem to forget so easily when you have them. Hot water, a bathroom close by, a kitchen to cook in, (hopefully) a bug free home, a place to put your things, a place that has your bed, and most importantly, life without worry about your stuff or your personal safety. Until you lose those things you can very easily forget just how precious each and every one of them are.

Day 1102 - 7/8 - The lot stayed empty

Today was a pretty good day. As I reflect on Jenesee's words during our interview, I have been feeling a little less alone in terms of how I perceive the world since she agrees that she thinks most gamers feel as I do and have similar difficulty finding friends, love, and belonging in the world.

I slept in at school this morning, a rare thing these days as I'm still catching up from the holiday. When I woke up the lot was still basially empty. There were only a half dozen cars in each of the two lots I normally use. No sign of campus patrols though, even though they don't bug me anyways. The school library is closed on Fridays now, so I have to be outside like I am on Saturday and Sunday. Streaming shows was unusually bad. It was taking 3x as long, so I just gave up after only 15 minutes of a single show.

I played online for a few hours in the afternoon. There were no random groups that came up, and there were only about five guildies online; three of which said nothing the entire time I was on. (AFK or otherwise busy?)

In the evening there were similar bandwidth issues. I was showing 3.5k ping and couldn't even connect to my online game. I played Batman: Arkham Asylum for about 3.5 hours instead. While not being like I really wanted to play it, I'm glad I have the chance to finally play. It's one of the best games I've ever played. The art is great. The animations are almost flawless (almost only due to technical limitations of current day technology.) And for someone at least somewhat familiar with the Batman universe, like myself, it's an awesome story.

I got a chance to work on podcast 20, and I think it's finished. It's at right around the normal 25 minute length, and I don't think there is more that I'd want to add. That means I'm 'ahead' by about four or five days which may give me a touch more time to think up stuff for the next one.

The night and shadows close in on me now as I'm hiding and writing this. During the day, when I'm awake, I've felt a bit more... connected... lately. But now, as I need to blend in with the night, and I am alone with the shadows, hiding, and fearing noises that are close... it is hard to forget that I am still very much alone and hurting physically and emotionally.

Day 1103 - 7/9 - Another fancy dinner

I decided to have another super fancy dinner. I was considering a fancy burger, but I decided I am really tired of burgers. While this dinner will be pretty expensive, it should be ok. Plus, I've been sick lately. The past few days I've been sneezing a ton. I haven't been today, but I'm extremely tired. I figured I'd go ahead and get a fancy / healthier dinner as my body may really need the bits it's craving (to fight the cold.)

I don't know how the rest of the night will go, but my online game has seemed like an extreme waste of time. I played for about three hours and effectively gained nothing. With two 50s, and a 28, I really just grinded faction, which I never consider worth it in any game.

My day started oddly. There were people in the pool area during clases, so I was totally safe feeling for sleeping in, but I couldn't sleep. I gave up and went onto campus. I had a decent connection for watching shows, so I got to watch the rest of the one I'd started.

I still feel a bit hopeful about things turning out ok, but due to my extreme tiredness and the online game not feeling worth their time, I'm a bit sad at the moment. Others are getting ready for an evening for fun, or with families, but I have little to look forward to. My weekend is not a weekend, and I have no idea if it will ever be a proper weekend again.

Day 1104 - 7/10 - Where'd the juice go?

I have no idea where my juice went this morning. It seems strange, as if faeries came and flew away with it or aliens took it away. But, no, it disappeared. This really describes how I feel more days than not. I'm at a complete loss as to where it went. I got it out in the morning before work, could swear I put it in my food bag, but when I woke up from my nap I couldn't find it anywhere. It's possible I drank it before my nap, separate from my food, which would be strange. But I have absolutely no memory of drinking it. All I know is it was in the car set out, it was in the bag, I opened work, I napped during the time the gym was empty, and when I woke up again when people were scheduled to show up, I couldn't find it.

The rest of the day was ok, but sad. My online game seemed mostly like a waste of time. I spent more hours than not just sitting around doing nothing. A group with guildies... wasn't bad really, but the tank couldn't keep threat on groups well, so we had a ton of difficulty where we shouldn't have. And someone playing a primary healing class, who normally plays it as DPS, was trying to heal, but doing so at great difficulty.

I did get a compliment on my system. The person I played a match in the tourney with said that I was the only fun opponent they'd met (most don't even talk at all.) And the manager person at the coffee shop said hey and was friendly to me for a few minutes. Oh, I saw some guildies online too that I hadn't seen in a while, so that was good. And I checked in and made sure another was ok that I haven't seen in a while.

But still... I am homeless... that has not changed. Nothing has moved forward to change it. I suppose when I get the chance I should try harder to make change for myself. But, it's like seeking shelter in a post-apocalypse desert. There just doesn't seem to be much out there to find.

Day 1105 - 7/11 - Stinky world smells bad

I'm having a lot of trouble breathing lately. I have allergies, and lately it seems like there is so much in the world that stinks. I smell perfume and cologne all the time at the coffee shop. One work location still smells like wax coating. The other day I could smell burgers outside of the cafeteria, like someone was BBQing dozens of them. On my drive tonight I smelt a stinky truck. In a home I could have an air filter and would run a couple of cycles a day and be fine. But homeless, well, unless I want to just about hit myself with asthma medication every 4 hours there is really no way to clear my lungs. Even if I could I'd still be in an uncontrolled environment.

I try my best to be ok, but it just seems like yet another reminder of how out of control my life is, and yet another aspect of my health going bad that I can't fix.

Day 1106 - 7/12 - Interview posted

Today has been pretty good so far. It's later afternoon and I'm at my short work shift. I wanted to just do my bla bla now so the week can get posted so everyone out there gets it as soon as possible. While I always hope for something amazing to change my evening, it is highly unlikely to happen. Even if it did, you'd hear about it next week. (Or if it was truly amazing I'd just update it, heh.)

Jenesee posted the Gray Area Podcast that has my bunnah interview. It turned out pretty good. She did a super good job of splicing together the like seven or so pieces it got broken into. For some reason (probably the schools lack of bandwidth) I got partially dropped, and she couldn't hear my voice, but could see my text chat and I could hear her. So she had to stop, I'm assuming save the recording, then restart the voice chat and make a new recording section. I did seem to talk really fast in some parts, I think mostly because I was nervous, but I think part of it too might have been the Internets 'catching up' and speeding up my voice a bit. It surprised me how much the mic picked up my sniffles from my cold; hopefully people won't be too irked with that. The second half was a touch bad, as I sound kind of like one of those people in the witness protection program or something with voice modulation to protect my identity. But, it was what it was. There really isn't any way for me to get a better connection to teh Internets without doing something like staying in a hotel room which offers a connection in each room. (Which is common enough around here, but at around $150+ a night it isn't something I'd really be up for seriously considering anytime soon.) I still feel more connected due to the interview, more like a person who is part of a greater society of like people. Hearing myself in 3rd person as it were, while interacting with others, makes me feel a bit less sad. I can relate to me as another person who is part of a greater group, someone who shares like interests, thoughts, hopes, and dreams of other like-minded people, and I feel a bit less alone in the world. At least for the moment.

My sniffling and sneezing seems to have returned. It was gone for a few days, but now it's back. It may indeed be allergies instead of a cold. I feel overly tired physically, but not quite as much mentally as I have been lately. Though, as always it seems these days, I'm still in somewhat of a confused/dazed state more often than not. My body goes on with what it needs to do, sort of on automatic, but the brain lags behind, sometimes forgetting even simple things I was doing. (Like I'll put something down in a temporary place while I'm doing a something, side track for literally 30 seconds or so, and I will have completely forgotten about the first thing.) What once upon a time was something different and wondrous and at the top of my mind, now are things that I forget about quickly, and only the routine of what my homeless life has become seems to be what I can remember and retain.

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