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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 165

Day 1149 - 8/24 - Missed hot

Today was so hot. It would have been nice to be in a home that got warm. Instead I was indoors all day and only out in the hot day briefly. I suppose it's good to not be overly hot. I recall in years past being in my room with the system off because it would hit shut down points after a few hours running.

Some people talked to me about my leg today. One lady was totally impressed when I showed her a few steps. She said when she hurt her leg she couldn't put enough pressure on it to stand even after 7 weeks. I guess though she tore up her tendons and stuff pretty bad, and she needed surgery and was explaining different staple and screw materials. I was like yikes! Do not want to hear! I should be fine in two weeks when the cast comes off. I can take a few steps without issue. A dozen or more though and there is a slight charley horse feeling in my calf, likely due to the position of the cast. So, I'm trying to stay off it as much as possible (since I already have to continually do steps to shift the car.)

Other than doing my online work for my friend that was really it for my day. I played my game for several hours, watched a few shows, got to sleep in, and nothing of real interest happened.

Day 1150 - 8/25 - Spilt soda

Last night was kinda bad. When I was "making my bed" I wound up spilling 2/3 of a can of soda on my favorite blanket. I had to let it pool up and it and bundle up the blanket so nothing else would be affected or I wouldn't have enough covers to sleep on and might stain the car bits. I slept ok-ish, and slept pretty well once I got to the school lot. In fact, I had some very lucid and strange dreams. When I got up I grabbed lunch really quick, then headed off to the laundry place to wash things. I looks like everything was fine at quick glance (having the broken bits, stretching the blanket out fully is difficult, if not impossible). I did an expanded job check, and as usual these days the only interesting ones required experience or degrees I didn't have. I spent most of the day online doing random pick up groups. But the last three hours of the evening, when guildies started showing up, I had a pretty good time. I spent time with basically two different groups and we had some good chats about games and TV shows.

My leg is feeling better a lot of the time, and much of the time the cast feels pretty loose. I still sometimes get panicky at night and want it off. If I have to keep it longer I'm going to need some kind of medication I think because the claustrophobic panics are starting to get to me. I've got 1.5 weeks to go and I'm already having times where I'm thinking of ways to smash or cut it off.

I suppose today is one of the few good days. ... At least it is so long as I don't think about my teeth continually rotting away, how I've likely gained 10-15 pounds, possibly more, due to the lack of walking, and how I'm still no closer today to getting re-established than I was over three years ago.

As always, I try to focus on what I do have 'today', persevere through my bad times, and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 1151 - 8/26 - Hangin'

I guess today was pretty ok. I got to sleep in a lot at the school parking lot. (I may or may not be able to sleep on the weekend, so I'll need that extra sleep.) I tried to play my online game, but it's getting more and more dead. Random groups are taking 45 minutes to an hour and a half to join, and there really aren't more than about one to three others in the guild until about 4 PST. I watched a couple of shows and headed off to work. Work was fine. It seemed to go by quickly.

The only think of real interest thought was that when I left the coffee shop three of the guy workers were outside there and we talked about my knee walker/scooter for a bit. One mentioned he'd been in a cast for nearly 2 years because he busted his leg up pretty bad, then broke his parts again right after getting out of the cast, then broke it a third time! We talked for a minute about a cute girl that passed by and girls in general. It's kind of like I'm extended family of the staff there. Everyone knows me and I'm one of the staff's significant other or something. I'm still pretty sure they are all fine with me being there. Sometimes we share lols about customers, and they always say hi and bye. Of course though, once I'm mobile again, more so once school is open again, I'll be there less. In a way I will miss the company, but it is really strange that I spend more than a full shift there and more days.

That was really it for my day. I finished podcast 24, so that's ready to go in the morning.

Day 1152 - 8/27 - Winded

I suppose there is good news and bad news today. The good news is that counting my podcast downloads and dividing by the number of podcasts there are now a theoretical 60 listeners. That's like a small conference room! I'm so happy so many find my ramblings at least interesting enough or entertaining enough to listen to.

The bad news is that due to my lowered activity level, due to my eating a touch worse due to not being able to micro soups, I'm now getting winded very easily. I can scoot for a short bit, but with the longer trips I have a bit of difficulty breathing by the end. It may turn out that re-learning how to walk isn't as difficult as actually having enough energy to do so. Let's hope that I can get myself back up and get into shape quickly again.

That's really it for today. I got to sleep in a bit at school, which was greatly needed because I didn't fall asleep until nearly 3. Outside of that it was a pretty regular day of gaming online.

Day 1153 - 8/28 - Friendly day

Today seemed pretty good. Many of the shop workers (of different stores) said hi and I chatted for a bit with some of them about gaming stuff. I had a pretty good time with guildies too, though there has been a lot of bad drama lately and some people I liked were pushed out emotionally by others, which is not ok. There are still several I like, but things seem weird what with the dwindling numbers and drama that's gone on lately.

That's really it for today. Nothing really super special or sad other than that happened.

Oh, I am getting more and more winded from all my low energy times with the walker. I guess it's better than constant exhaustion from crutches, but again I am very worried I won't have enough energy to be walking right away again. I guess we'll see in about nine days or so.

Day 1154 - 8/29 - Peeling like a snake

For about the past week, maybe more, the bottom of my foot has been super overly dry. The material that is protecting me from the cast is sucking all the moisture out of my parts. So lately when I've scratched the bottom of my poor paw little pieces of skin (maybe 1/2" big square) have flaked off in sheets. I'm really hoping that's just the bottom of the foot, that part that's extra rough, and not other parts as well. I wish they would have warned me. I'd have found a way to get something in there to maybe help with that. Well, in theory in a week in the morning the cast comes off, never to be seen again.

I guess that's it for my day. I slept in until later morning, but not as late as I have been. There has been a lot of guild drama lately, so I just did offline things and tried to watch some shows. (There really wasn't enough bandwidth.) I figured I'd just take a small break. Again I think the issue has more to do with a few people who are hardcore/raiding types, and that the majority of the guild just isn't ready, or isn't in a rush / focusing on that. A huge part of it is that the game is just a terrible grind. I really think at the rate we are going by the time they are ready it would be the end of the year and we'd have a chance at being in two other games. In the evening I had a pretty quite work shift and did a mix of rabb1t things and played a single player game. Not a terrible day all in all, but as usual no progress towards being no longer homeless.

Day 1155 - 8/30 - Guild drama continues

There is more guild drama today. There is a sort of hot topic about people "leaving alts in the guild when their main changes guilds." It's stupid. I understand the game mechanic reasons in the arguments, but the arguments leave too much out. It's like a little kid saying so-n-so isn't my friend anymore because they played with someone else, or that if someone likes a particular sports team then they can't like others because then they aren't really rooting for that team. It's borderline "rabid fanboyism". It's sad because I like many of the people in the guild very much, but it's already pushed out a few that I was very fond of. It's like if the guild wants to be high-end / raiding ready they shouldn't be pushing people out. As I said in a recent podcast, gaming is a balance between (character) levels/loot, player skill/knowledge/experience, and gaming hardware. If you say 'we only want you if x', then you are ignoring 50% of the equation for being in a guild - you are ignoring/refusing a lot of the social aspects. It doesn't make sense. Most of those I like have friended me on Facebook, so every day this proceeds o get worse I feel more and more like abandoning them when I move to a new game. I don't feel so bad about it that I want to leave, if I did I'd just leave the game entirely, it's pretty boring. (I'm already starting to not show up before 4 PST because there isn't anyone around, groups take too long, and there's really nothing to do due to the way the game is designed.)

The day so far has been pretty good besides that I guess. I slept in at school. When I got to the coffee shop my table was busy with others. Since it was already lunch time I just went a couple shops down to the pizza by the slide place. The guy gave me a free drink. Since it's been empty save for lunch hour I just stayed here. It's about 4 now. Nothing really for jobs. A couple of part time things that I applied to, but that's it.

I think I'll close out the week now as it's unlikely there will be anything of interest in the evening. And, as always, if there is I can always mention it and update it, or simply talk about it tomorrow.

Hope everyone's life out there is safe, full of love and laughter, and you enjoy and have fun in all the things you do - free from dumb childish drama.

Week 166

Day 1156 - 8/31 - Feeling sick

I've been feeling sick lately. Someone came in to the coffee shop and was coughing and stuff, and since then I've had a scratchy throat, sort of chills, and ringing ears. (Though my ears are often ringing from needing to be in places that have endless music going.)

Today was pretty good. Yesterday the nice coffee shop manager person said they missed me at the coffee shop when he saw me at the pizza place. (Someone was hogging the table and since it was lunch time I figured I'd just eat at the pizza place and stay there a while.) I think he actually meant it, as he and a few others and I shared some lols throughout the evening when I was there last night.

I got word that I have Monday off for the holiday, which being homeless is lame. It means lost money, and probably more importantly these days, lost microwave and shower. I suppose it's not the end of the world, I have "enough" for the moment, but still. I'd rather not have it off. Heck, I'd still rather have five days of the shift a week, but that's not possible with the way they give out shifts.

Again the study person called, and again when I called back I got now answer. I don't think I've mentioned it before, but this is another of those paid study things. (Again on depression.) This is about the fifth time they've called when I was sleeping or otherwise didn't hear the call, and when I called back either they didn't answer or the person for the study wasn't there. That's not ok. Once I'd even managed to agree on a time and day for them to call to do their pre-study questions and they didn't call at that time, nor did they answer when I called them 15 minutes past the agreed call time.

I had a decent time with the guild in the evening, though I'm still upset at the childish rules they added.

I suppose today was pretty good. My cheeks hurt a touch from smiling and stuff, so that's a good sign. But, sadly, nothing changed or moved forward away from homelessness.

Day 1157 - 9/1 - A new world

I got myself a sort of late birthday present. I kind of went overboard a bit this year, what with two old games for teh cheap, a TV series, new boots, and now this, but it's ok. I got enough gift money to cover all that and have a bit left over for savings.

It's another new world. A world of a gritty cyberpunk future - Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Escape to other worlds where I am important, where I am the center of the story, where I can overcome odds that seem challenging yet fair, is very important to me lately.

Here in "the real world" I seem unable to get back on my feet. I've gained no ground in several years without help. It previous times of homelessness I similarly needed outside help to be ok again. But this time I'm on my own. This time it seems I've been abandoned to the point of no help. While I am making some new friends who do seem to genuinely care about my well being most of them are in no position to truly help.

I keep waiting for that small change to come that gets me back to a place that I can recover. I keep hoping for that big break that moves me somewhere new and completely flips life around to become stable, yet something new and different. Yet I don't know if either of these will ever happen. All my life I've been the one who slipped through the cracks, who got places without steps others took, who got left behind and forgotten on the way. It seems I've never sat at that middle point of balance, always swinging on a pendulum between oddly lucky and curiously unlucky. It seems only when balances are aided by others has the swing slowed.

But this time my future seems as barren as the post apocyliptic futures in my recent games, and as strange as the alien worlds. At least in games things seem familiar and oddly welcoming - places where my nature of being the outsider, the stranger, are welcome.

Day 1158 - 9/2 - Yikes, spider

There was another spider walking down my window as I drove away from work. Yikes! I wiped the wiper to hopefully get it to a spot where it would blow away. I guess he didn't though, as I later saw a shadowed form climbing up a string to my hand! I shoved it away and hopefully this time it will stay gone.

Today was kind of sad. My new Deus Ex game is crashing and locking up my system, a lot. Some form posts said to update the drivers, so I tried that, but the crashing got worse. And, Fallout New Vegas crashed when I tried to play that. I rolled back to the drivers from '09 again, and I'm back to being more stable. I may have to wait for a patch, like with Portal 2.

Things at the party tomorrow will be... weird. I doubt I'll know more than the one guy, who as I said I haven't spoken to in 8 years (if you count email that wasn't replied to as spoken to.) And I haven't seen him in like 10 save for at school where he never approached me. I guess it is what it is.

Podcast 25 is effectively done. I just need to update for my broken parts, to do the close, and final edits and spacing. It's about a third stuff I've talked about before, so hopefully people won't be too bored by those parts. Still noone really making comments save for the two friends/guildies, so still no real feedback per-say. Ah well, it seems as with most things in my life that I am alone with my thoughts and I will just continue to do what makes me happy.

Day 1159 - 9/3 - Strange party, not so strange

Today was ok I think. I slept pretty good at school. (There was a something that had lots of cars in the lot.) After, I played my game for a decent while and it only crashed a few times. I went and did a bit of my online game. Then I left for the party.

Seeing the friend wasn't as strange as I thought it would be. I was right in that he didn't recognize me at school. (Partly because I do look pretty much like I did at 25, certainly like I did when he saw me 10 years ago. Partly also because I guess he wasn't expecting to see me at school, and thus I was out of context and invisible.) The other two that I know at such gatherings were there. (One was pretty heavily drunk, and he's pretty shy. Seems neither of those have changed in the past 10 years. The other guy I've only met about four times total, so I don't really know him.) I guess I had an ok time there. There were no games to play, so everyone just stayed outside. Most were drinking a bit more than a moderate amount. Basically there were six people smoking at any given time the whole time I was there. After a few hours I started coughing regularly. After the third ended I was coughing so bad I would have gone into constant asthma fits if I stayed longer.

We said our byes and he seemed genuinely happy to have seen me. I guess it was only five years since our last email, not eight. He was never great socially, and pretty terrible at expressing emotion, so I guess for him the time just passed by without much thought. He hoped things get better for me (as all do) and apparently he's only a few paychecks from being homeless himself. I told him it seems more are in that position than not, and 'hey, it could be worse, you could be like me and about one paycheck from starving to death.'

The night was weird, but not as weird as I expected. As always though, no new friends were made and I doubt anything more will come from the evening.

Day 1160 - 9/4 - So sick

I'm feeling so sick today. I don't know if it was all the smoke inhalation last night, or if it did just enough damage to my immune system to let that cold I have completely take over. I've been sneezing, sniffling, my eyes hurt, my ears are ringing, and I've been drinking about four times as much as normal. I kind of feel sick to my tummy too, likely from all the congestion. Hopefully it's going to only be a short cold and I'll be better soon.

I had an ok day other than that I suppose. I couldn't sleep in because I just wasn't tired and skaters showed up and started making skating noise.

I don't know if I'll get a chance to sleep in tomorrow what with the holiday. And that's extra sad because I need it now more than ever. I feel like I could sleep 14 hours straight.

Day 1149 - 9/5 - Boring online game

Today was ok. I decided not to check school for sleeping in and just left right from my night spot and hung out at the coffee shop all day. They really don't seem to mind me being there. Regardless, since I was there all day I took them a few pot stickers and cookies from Panda as a thank you. It wasn't too expensive, like $7, but I hardly ever buy anything there due to my dislike/non-interest in coffee, the teas they offer, and lactose intolerance limiting the amount of hot chocolate I should drink.

I'm still pretty sick from Saturday night. It's probably just a horridly bad reaction more than not. I realize I had an inhaler and that pretty much instantly stopped my throat damage from progressing. Unfortunately, since it was so late after the smoke damage, and so much had occurred, I am already heavily damaged. I hope I sound better for tomorrow’s podcast. I probably will still sound off.

I had an ok few groups with guildies in the evening, but the game was so boring and people were all doing separate things, so after I came in I left again shortly after. Then I came back, waited and got bored again, and left again. It wasn't until I came back a third time that enough people were there to be interested in doing something.

In theory my cast comes off in the morning. My boots I ordered aren't here yet, but should come sometime tomorrow. I'm so very tired of this cast. I really hope this is all done tomorrow. I'm going to have a very hard time getting around though. I'm getting very winded all the time doing anything, doubly so now that I've got this cold/allergy thing.

Well, that's it for now. Tomorrow is what it is.

Day 1162 - 9/6 - Paw is free!

Oh happy day! My paw is finally free! Again the doc said it looks like there wasn't a break. The x-ray tech watching the images come in asked in a confused tone, "Did you break your ankle?" And I asked if he couldn't see anything, and he replied that he indeed could not. So, hopefully in "four to eight weeks" I'll have full mobility back and everything will be fine. No twisting or sport activities during that time, but I'm free.

It's very strange to be free. My balance is all weird, as if I'd been wearing an unevenly weighed ankle weight and working out. (Which I guess I pretty much was.) It is still stiff in some ways, and a touch painful in up/down or side-to-side extremes. I kind of wince when I put it on an angle, like walking on a driveway, so I'll avoid that. It's still swollen, but may be for up to a year. I still can't see all the ankle bone bumps at all. There is, sadly, that dry necrotic zombie skin all on the bottom, sides, and back. I'll have to rehydrate it and scrape it off with a dried skin scraper.

It's early afternoon now and I posted the podcast, but that's it so far besides my appointment. Oh, my new boots came in and they fit pretty awesome. I'm extra happy I have them because they have a zipper up the side, and with my ankle/foot not liking to bend much that makes it a touch easier to put on. I have to shift with my heel too because of that, but it's ok.

Seems like things will turn out just fine for the broken bunnah paw. Now if only we were able to say the same about the rest of me with that certainty. My future overall still seems so sad, unstable, and uncertain.

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

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