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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 175

Day 1219 - 11/2 - Sun up to sun down; sad reminders

Today was long. All week seems long. Today was a sad reminder of being homeless. I was up before sunrise. Nothing special happened all day. I could barely connect to the school wireless. I checked for cars like four times during the day. I checked for jobs. I was so exhausted I napped for about an hour. And when it was past dark I went to hide in a sanctuary for the night. But, as sometimes happens, there was a weirdness going on, so my plans for being undisturbed and having a bit of peace and quiet were interrupted, and I had to remain in a public space for longer than I would have liked.

I suppose it wasn't a bad day. Nothing got worse. But, as seems usual for my life, nothing got better and certainly nothing was as it should have been for a normal life.

Day 1220 - 11/3 - More unremarkable

Today was again unremarkable. The school wireless was dead for all but about 30 minutes of the seven hours I tried to use it. This time it wasn't my laptop. My phone also couldn't connect, and someone who was sitting nearby asked if I could connect (he couldn't.) Nothing was changed. I suppose you could say I accomplished stuff in that I did run about three car searches and a job search, but I don't think I replied to any ads of any kind.

That's really it. Nothing changed, so noting to talk about.

Day 1221 - 11/4 - People who are not me

It's the weekend tomorrow, which is important and special for people who are not me. For me it means extra time in loud public spaces, extra time in overly bright areas, and being in places I have almost no privacy. With a car it's not so bad. I can sleep in and drive to a few places that are somewhat private, or be in my car and have a decent amount of privacy (though not much to do.)

Nothing new happened today. It was basically the same as the last in that noone is returning my replies to their car ads.

A few people checked in to see if I was doing ok. It's always nice to hear that people worry/care about you. I suppose that is something.

Day 1222 - 11/5 - Pouring rain; the four hundred

It's getting to be crazy weather here. It's pouring rain now, has been for about three hours. I'm hidden in a sanctuary, but my bag got pretty wet on the way here. The rain easily penetrated the non-laptop area and almost penetrated the laptop area. I'll have to be extra careful with that. And that was keeping my umbrella over it as much as I could.

Nothing special happened today that was really positive. Noone replied to any of the car ads I replied to. I stopped by the bank and put away the $400 I still had in 100s. With noone replying there is no point in my keeping it handy. The rest of what I'd gotten I kept / have been using as food money. Since I'm always getting 'ready to eat food' it's just easier to use cash. Though I probably should stop at the store and get some micro soups. It's tough though, as they are so very heavy when you get more than a few. And going every few days is a decent amount of extra walking.

I love being in a nice warm home when it's raining. It's so very sad I'm not. I can see people's homes as I pass them by, smell their fires going, but I don't have one. Though I have safe shelter to call upon and hide in if I'm careful and not discovered, keeping me and what I carry dry and warmish, it is a very far cry from a home. And, as always, I wonder if that is something I will ever have again.

Day 1223 - 11/6 - Torture

I'm feeling pretty sick today. It started at probably 9:30 AM or so. I started getting a massive headache and feeling motion sick. My eyes had that fading blurriness too, and my arms lost circulation a bit. I think it was/is just a migrane from all the lack of sleep and overstimulation. I get drained just from a few hours of being out and about, but now I'm in it constantly. There is constant bombardment of sound, light, not enough heat, not so good food, not enough sleep, and constant motion around me. In many ways it's not unlike torture. I feel like crying from the pain and sick feeling. But if I want to be somewhere moderately warmed, with power, and Internet, I have no choice but to endure it. And without a car, I really have no choice.

Day 1224 - 11/7 - Another sad day

There was yet again no Internet at school really. There was enough to do a few car checks, and enough bandwidth from work to do a few more, but again there were no replies. With how bleak things look for me lately it is getting harder and harder to hang on. As I lose more and more sleep it becomes easier and easier for me to feel sad. Overall today was really just another lonely sad day in a long line of lonely sad days.

Day 1225 - 11/8 - Over budget

Lunch time. I'm going over budget on food quite a bit lately. I got a Chinese food plate for lunch. I'm so hungry. It's about double to triple what I should spend on lunch, but it seems so much better for me than micro food. There's some asparagus and mushrooms in there, so that seems a bit more healthy. I think in part it's depression about my sad life, but probably in greater part is all the sleep that I'm losing. Since I'm awake more I'm burning more energy, even if I'm fairly sedentary.

Things seem super sad lately. I do have my games though, and I am finally on a gaming laptop, so that's super happy. I do have some online friends too, which is odd because people talk about each other on social sites, not to or with each other. I think that's probably why I don't get most of those. You are talking about yourself to others instead of with them. But then, that's what I'm doing here and on my podcast. Speaking of which, due to all my sads lately, I think podcast 31 is more sad than usual. Hopefully it will be ok.

I have some games coming up, so that should be happy. Someone pre-ordered me one that should be here early next week, possibly sooner, and I pre-ordered one for myself that should be here around Turkey weekend.

Though there are some happy things in my life it still seems like there is so much I'm missing out on. I still have no sweetie to love, no family of my own, no friends to hang out or do stuff with, and no home. The few nice things that I do have help to make me happy, and I do smile now and then, but there still so much sad in my life.

Week 176

Day 1226 - 11/9 - A follower, a server, a cute girl

Today was pretty sad for me. I think it's a combination of the lack of sleep, the cold, the loneliness, and not finding a new car or job.

Someone started following me on Twitter today. At first I was like 'oh bother' because I'd have to start posting there. But after a few minutes I was like, 'Wait a minute. This means someone (along with other followers I already have elsewhere) thinks I'm worthy of their attention and a few minutes of their time now and then. I matter and am considered important by someone.' So, that made me feel pretty happy in otherwise very sad times lately.

I just got into a beta yesterday during the later afternoon. The good news is that this gives me a chance to look at a game I've been on the fence about buying. The bad news is it's a massive download (over 20 gig) and it's only access for during this weekend. When I left the less expensive restaurant tonight (after downloading yesterday and today) it showed 6 gig left, so currently my odds look pretty decent at making it by the weekend. But, I am downloading it way slow compared to in a home. I'm getting 0.5 to 1 gig an hour, compared to in a home where I'd get at least 2 an hour, and I think up to 3 or more depending. I'm going to be spending far more time and money at the less expensive restaurant and going over budget this weekend. I suppose it's all right. If we assume $5 extra a day, that's about $25 extra for the weekend. But, that may save me between $65 and $115+ in spending if it 'proves' I won't like the game enough to pass on getting it. I have a feeling it will just be 'meh', and with my current situation I can't afford games that are meh.

When I left, one of the servers that's there pretty regularly shared a laugh with me. He and another guy were being silly with me about how much I'd been there lately. He said, "So, probably see you tomorrow, eh?" And I laughed, sighed, and said, "yeeeaaa, probably." I chatted for a bit about how I'm trying to download something. They have a good laugh with me because they like me and because I sit in a remote corner, so they forget about me or don't see me when they start their shift, so they are always like 'woah, I didn't see you / forgot you were here.' hehe.

At the bus stop I chatted with a cute girl that smelled nice for a few minutes about the bus schedule. She said her name and I said mine. No doubt she was just being friendly and maybe a bit nervous about being at a bus stop with a guy in the dark at night.

A pretty sad and plain day. I checked for cars and got no replies. I checked for jobs. I did finish Pure Pwnage on Hulu, which is awesome since I think it's been like 2+ years since they started their show on TV and it was restricted to Canada only. So now we finally get to watch those and get at least somewhat caught up. It's very different than the web series. They are restarting and going a somewhat different direction. Hopefully it will get back to the old style pretty quick. No doubt it's to appeal to a non-gaming audience and bring them up to speed as it were.

Anyways... feeling super sad lately about everything. I have my small things that make me smile, but at the end of the day when my system is off, I'm hiding in the dark alone, I have no bed to sleep in, and no home to keep me warm. At the end of the night all I have are my memories and my lingering sadness.

Day 1227 - 11/10 - Noob at life

I feel like such a failure at life lately. People did appreciate some comments I made about gaming stuff, and I know my knowledge, thoughts, and perspective are appreciated, but... when days like today pass by I feel like I'm failing at everything. I made several checks for cars. Nothing. I made a check for jobs. Nothing. I thought I finished the huge client download for the test that opens tomorrow and is only open for three days, but no. After uncompressing the files it said it wanted another nearly 8 gig, which is another estimated 10+ hours of downloading, putting completion sometime around Saturday late morning or early afternoon.

Friends I connect with online seem to be getting on with their lives. They are having kids, kids are growing up, they are getting new jobs, new homes, yet I seem completely stuck. The one thing I'm really good at is appreciated and wanted, but I'm not paid for it. Noone cares about me in what I can do for a job. And so I'm stuck. Nothing changing. Nothing improving. Just more sad and more failure the more that time passes.

Day 1228 - 11/11 - Gaming day

Today was a pretty good day for gaming. I picked up Skyrim at the ex-house and went to the less expensive restaurant to continue downloading the beta client. I'm very super happy someone got it for me. I'm having a lot of fun, and I expect I'll have lots more in the days to come, as it's designed around being replayable. The beta client isn't quite done yet, but will be tomorrow in the early morning. Of the hours I could have played I'll lose about 1/6th due to how long it's taken me to download.

Other than lots of play time with Skyrim my day was pretty bad and sad. There were no car ads to reply to, nor any job ads, nothing outside of my gaming life changed. One of the people at the restaurant chatted with me about gaming, so that was good and a bit different, but that was it really.

Things are happy now, and I'm smiling. But as the night goes on my smile will fade. And as the days and weeks pass I'm sure my extreme depression will return. But for now I have a new world to escape to, and it is fun, and happy, and that, at least, is something to help keep me going while things are sad.

Day 1229 - 11/12 - Still do not want

Today was pretty good overall, but still very sad. I finished my test client download just before lunch. I'd been playing Skyrim for a few hours prior to that. The rest of the day I spent mostly playing the test, but also watching some shows. All in all for a homeless life it was a "good" day. I got to have quite a bit of fun and nothing new went wrong.

However, I was alone. I expected to be during my single player game, but I didn't get in contact with any of the ex-guildies who were also in the test. About four or more are in there, so there should have been a decent chance to see one. In addition to my general loneliness there were no cars to send replies to, and no jobs to be found, meaning my life would remain unchanged yet another day, and in fact, another weekend, as there will be even fewer posts tomorrow.

As always it seems these days, though I have my games to bring me a bit of cheer and help me stay indirectly connected to people, I still feel alone, sad, and wonder if I will ever be able to experience my days as I would have liked - sharing my game with others, being able to play with my 5.1 speaker set I have with triple monitor, able to cook healthy foods for lunch and dinner, able to watch my shows on my entertainment system, and, at the end of the night, going to sleep in a warm comfy bed.

Day 1230 - 11/13 - Can you imagine

My day basically started in the coffee shop when I was setting up my system. As I was getting settled I overheard some people talking. One person said to his companion, "Can you imagine a world where you can't get up, take a shower, and go get a coffee after?" I thought to myself, "Why yes, quite easily. That's been my life for nearly 3.5 years now."

The less expensive restaurant has become my new weekend home. I suppose that may change back after I get a car, but they don't mind my being there at all. Plus, on Saturday I can get a burger half-off, which is a pretty big burger, so that makes it $2.50ish. Sure, fries are a bit expensive at $2.50, but I think they are fresh there. Though they don't taste like they were done in the healthier cooking style. And too I can get a refillable drink. It's a bit pricy too at nearly $2, but if I get three cups worth it's paid for itself. (I do about 1 per 1-1.5 hours, so it's always covered.) And I can do lemonade there; it doesn't have to be soda. It's also good because then I don't have to buy/carry drinks around everywhere on those days. Drinks add up fast in weight.

My test weekend is over now. I only had access for this weekend. I can't talk about it yet, but of the total open 55 hours I could have played if I could connect 24/7 I played about 10-12. It was... enough to come to a few conclusions. I will say it's a decent enough game, but in my current homeless state not one that I'd pick up.

I played a fair bit of Skyrim today too. I like it a lot. I'll play a ton more in the quiet time in the school library. Right now my ears are still ringing from the music in the restaurant and songs echoing in my head. It's a peaceful enough environment. I'm mostly alone in my side room, but, as always for public spaces, things are too bright, too cold, too loud, and often times a swirl of constant movement.

There was one car ad reply, but this one is about 3rd or 4th down in the type I like. And the car's price is $1800, the max of my entire budget, leaving nothing for paying the title transfer. The guy did not give his address or a time to see it, so so far it's going nowhere.

I'm very glad I have my games back in my life - windows to other worlds. Gaming is in my mind, my heart, and now literally with me wherever I go. Though I constantly worry. What if my system were stolen? What if it were spilled on by someone? What if I dropped it either totally on accident, or as someone nearly once did, bump into it in a way that knocks it off the table? So much worry.

My health seems to be getting worse too. I think I'm getting heavier again. Likely due to the larger portion sizes at the less expensive restaurant and cafeteria compared to micro foods. The micro food is very difficult to get these days, as I can only really carry a few due to weight, and I don't want to go out of my way to a store every other day. My ankle seems to still be getting better, but the inner bump part still feels bruised, and is still sore, stiff, and tender at times.

For now I survive; physically and emotionally. But how much longer will my laptop stay safe? How long before I'm in a car and getting regular amounts of sleep again? How long before I find more work, or a new job, or a solid career path so I can get re-established in a home? How long before I start to emotionally lose it for good? For now I survive... and that is all I can say about myself.

Day 1231 - 11/14 - Special podcast

Nothing much happened today. School Internet was total fail again. I couldn't connect at all. I had to use my phone to check email. In theory I have a car viewing set for Friday or Saturday. I'll know more when the guy replies. The car will be all of the money I have, which is risky, so I'm going to try to be super careful with this purchase.

The only positive things today were that I got to play my game a lot at school in the quiet of the library, and at work I got extra time to do podcasting. I couldn't think up what to say for podcast 32 (which leaves me only one recording session if it's to go out on time, eek!) so I did some stuff on the beta I was in. I have to edit it, but that will be all ready to go once the NDA drops. I suppose that's something.

Since school wireless hasn't at all been working I'll probably skip going tomorrow and just pick up a prescription and look for winter shirts, then go to the less expensive restaurant early. I have been making it a regular thing there on Tuesdays to post Epic Fail since the school has been so much fail. Easy enough to go early and do things like my online work for my friend and watch my class video. Plus, if I get a soup that's $3, which isn't too bad. A cafeteria food would be more, so I 'save money' compared to that. Micro food would be $2-2.50, but I get more there at the restaurant, plus the refillable drink, so I can just get that and extend its charges/respawns as it were.

That's it for today. Hopefuly tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 1232 - 11/15 - Winter shirts at last

Finally, after years of checking the store they had the winter / house shirts I like. I got three, so hopefully they will last ok. I started my homeless time with three I think and they got all used up in that first year just about. The last has lasted until now, but its left elbow has no material. I should have probably gotten more, but at nearly $20 each they were a bit pricier than I expected. Plus, I really have no clothing storage space to speak of what with being homeless and all.

It's only just now about 4, later than I thought, but that's really my day. No news back from that guy for the Friday / Saturday car. I did send a second reply to someone who re-posted a cute tracker, but it is really out of my price range at $2k. Plus, they live about 45 miles across the bay from me, over near where I got stranded for the LAN, so getting there would be extremely difficult and time consuming. I guess we'll see what pans out.

For now my life is stable. I'm still very sad, but my games are distracting me for the moment. As always lately I wonder how much longer this will go on before I return to a normal life. It seems like I will never return, and that the old me will never be again.

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

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