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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 177

Day 1233 - 11/16 - Dodger

It's technically the wee hours of Thursday morning. Nothing happened during my day. I got enough bandwidth at school to run about three car checks and a job check. There were two that replied, both dummy heads. The first is claiming that 100k of the 160k miles were "tow miles", meaning the car hadn't been driven. While I suppose that's possible, it seems very unlikely. Next she says that fixing a leaky gasket "isn't a big deal". Well, maybe not for a mechanic, as it's a $75 part, but for the rest of us that's an estimated $750-1000 repair from what I can research. So, no, I'll pass on that one. The next dummy head is asking over bluebook value for a car that not only has a like $200 fix it ticket, but a salvaged title for "the little back door damage" that he fixed. I'm pretty sure cars aren't changed to a salvage title unless the damage exceeds the bluebook. Which means that little door damage was unlikely to be all that's wrong, as the bluebook value is $1700, so no, without a mechanic's diagnostic certifying the engine and body are ok I'll pass.

I played my game a lot today at school, so that was happy. And, I finished getting the special beta test podcast ready for when the NDA is lifted. Though I had a great time I was very sad and lonely. I wish I had others to play and share with.

After I went to hide for the evening it rapidly got even more sad. As I said, it's now the wee hours of the morning and I'm only just now able to sneak into sanctuary. I had to basically stand/sit out in the cold until it seemed clear. It was cold. My feet got so sore from standing and sneaking around for 5 hours. And I got a few scares as roughly six police patrols went by me at slower speeds. (Possibly a "man hunt" going on of some kind.)

So, it seems today has been a sad reminder of just how out of control and out of my hands my life is.

Day 1234 - 11/17 - My character's home

Today was pretty much the same as all the others. I looked for cars and found none. I looked for jobs and found none. I theoretically have a time and place to go see the car that responded to me. It's across the street from the college, so it shouldn't be much more than 5 minutes walk away. Though the guy didn't give me his number, nor did he confirm a lower price would be ok, so I'm not going to hold my breath.

I bought my character a home today in Skyrim. I've been meaning to as I need the storage for dragon stuff. But, it asked if I wanted furniture. I figure I needed bed stuff and living room stuff, so I got that. I took my key and headed off to find my house in the city. It's a very simple home from the outside, just like I like. But when I went inside I shed a tear. My character is half way through his life basically. He's been running around on quests, doing dungeons, and trying to help people. He's so tired. He hardly ever has a place to rest. More tears fell. I went upstairs to see if my storage was there. It was; right next to the nicely covered and made bed. Everything I needed was there waiting for me. And there was a sweet roll treat on the end table, welcoming me home. There were more tears. I had to pause for a few minutes and wipe away my tears.

I can't stop. I can't rest. I never have a place to stay. But at least now my character can. He has a home. He has a place he belongs. A place to rest. A place to put his things. And he even has a spare room with a smaller bed in case someone needs to stay. I can't have a home, but at least my character can.

Day 1235 - 11/18 - Still no car

Not much really great to say about today. I finally met the guy about the car. It didn't seem like a safe purchase. It was higher mileage than the last two that died, and the engine shook when it was running. I've owned that kind of car before and it's not supposed to shake. The guy said it had done that since their transmission rebuild. It didn't seem trustworthy.

I did get extra time to work on podcasting, so I rambled out podcast 32. I'm surprised it was the regular length. I didn't figure there was that much to say, but I guess there was, so that was happy.

My evening at work was ok. I got to play and it was an uneventful evening. I'm sad though my car search continues, but I guess it's better that then have something that may or may not work ok.

Day 1236 - 11/19 - Almost cried

Not much to say about today. I was very sad about not having a car still, and that there really aren't any other to reply to. I suppose I could have trusted the guy and not been in this position, but I just didn't feel right. But the holidays are coming. It's likely fewer cars will be able to be found. And I'm so very tired of walking. I'm so very tired of being without a home. I'm so very tired of eating not very healthy foods and being out of good shape physically and emotionally.

When I left the less expensive restaurant to go to the bus to get to sanctuary I teared up a little. I didn't have full tears but I was very sad. I'm so very sad about my life and how it seems to be falling apart more and more. Though I'm extremely grateful I have the ex-garage to keep my stuff in and a few emergency sanctuaries I can sneak into and stay dry and off the street. The clock is always ticking and the odds those will remain grows slimmer, and the fight for my physical and mental survival becomes more and more difficult the less I have.

Day 1237 - 11/20 - One headphone

Today was ok I guess. It rained off and on, but not directly on me, so that was good. Someone pointed out that the NDA for Star Wars: The Old Republic doped, so I got to put up that podcast.

In sad news there was barely any car posts, and none really to reply to. That's not a surprise though. I didn't expect any what with it being Sunday and all.

But in other sad news it seems one of my headphone ears is broken and no sound is coming out. What's worse is that I've only been heavily using the headphones about six months. I guess all of the winding and unwinding of the cord several times a day finally wore it down. And with it only being six months really (with only rare use prior to that) it would probably be unwise to get another wired pair. The wireless ones I want are $150 not on sale, currently reduced to about $115 (unstated reason why). Which is far too much for me to spend without worry that it is going to put a dent into my car money. I do have my phone headphones, which are ok, but they are nowhere near the quality of decent gaming headphones like the ones I had. Well, I guess I can hope someone gets them off my wish list for me at some point, or I suppose worst case scenario I can get them around February when my tax money comes (if I've gotten the car by then.) This, at least, isn't the end of the world, as seems the case with so many other losses in my life. But still, not having gamer headphones is going to greatly reduce my enjoyment of both gaming and my TV shows. (Not only are they better quality overall, but it's very hard to hear the lower volume cheap headphones that came with my phone.) At least, I suppose, once I do get the nice wireless ones they should, in theory, be fine and last until I'm re-established in a home.

I suppose an ok day overall, as I spent it gaming in shops that didn't mind me hanging around, but sad that now my life's enjoyment ability has again been lowered.

Day 1238 - 11/21 - Nap day

Nothing really special about today other than I was able to nap a bit in the library in the morning. Normally my arms fall asleep and I can only nap about an hour, but today I napped a couple. The day went pretty quick. I did a few car searches and job searches. There were a few cars to reply to, but I didn't hear back.

Nothing else really happened today. I did have enough bandwidth at work to do my online work for my friend, so that was awesome, saved some time there. Tomorrow I really need to try and do laundry. It's been far too long. There is so much that it's going to be a total pain in the butt though since I'm on the bus / foot. I'll grab some tools too and see if I can jerry-rig my headphones back into working so I can still use them.

Well, I guess what tomorrow is will happen tomorrow.

Day 1239 - 11/22 - A sad start

Today had a bit of a sad start. I'm lugging around my big cloths bag to do laundry. It's probably been weeks. For more than a year I've just left the bag in the ex-garage where my stuff is safe and sound, and visit every day or two to get clean cloths, leaving dirty clothes in the car. It's so sad having to lug the big heavy bag around.

Also, I grabbed tools to check out the headphones. They seem unfixable. There is a single small wire running the length, and I'm guessing the fault lies in the connection to the speaker. I can't get to that section without causing serious damage to the housing, making it unusable after. So, I had to throw them away. Something I've had nearly the entire time I was homeless being used up before I get re-established seems... terribly sad. I expect cloths to be, but items like headphones I thought would last.

It's almost noon and I'm in the middle of laundry. I'm so hungry. I went back to the ex-garage for stuff, so that's why I got sort of a late start as it were.

Hopefully the rest of my day will be happy though. One thing I grabbed at the ex-house was Batman: Arkham City. Also, there is a podcast I listen to waiting to be downloaded, and there should be a few shows for me to watch one I do finally get to the less expensive restaurant. (Though I expect my tables near power will be blocked by lunchers. ) So hopefully my day that started sad and troubled will turn out ok.

My life seems tolerable lately, neither overly good or bad, but certainly plagued by more troubles than usual it seems.

Have a good Turkey time everyone. Be extra nice to those you don't see very often, for life is fragile and time will pass quicker than you may think.

Week 178

Day 1240 - 11/23 - Impending sad

Today was ok I guess, considering it was a day being homeless with Thanksgiving tomorrow. There were no car postings, which is not surprising being the day before a long holiday weekend. I expect posts won't start showing up until Tuesday or possibly Wednesday.

Tomorrow will be tough. In past Turkey days I've had a car, so it wasn't too tough, but this time I'll have to be extra careful of what I eat and where I hide. I will be fine in a sanctuary I'm sure, but still.

I'm not sure what else to say. I have a few new games to keep me happy and distracted lately, but with holidays based around celebrating loved ones, family, and progress and stability in life, things are extra sad for me since I have none of those things, and may never again.

Day 1241 - 11/24 - Thanksgiving, not

Thanksgiving, but not for me. There are no newborn children, no cousins I've never met, no relatives with new inlaws/boyfriends/girlfriends, no football playing too loudly, no new games being shown to friends, no friends, no sweetie, no table with too much Turkey and three pumpkin pies because everyone brought one but noone thought to bring whip cream.

I am alone. I am cold. I am uncomfortable. But at least I have my games now. At least my stuff and my bunnies are stored somewhere I know they are safe and I can visit. At least my health isn't too terrible.

I hope people out there reading, and indeed everywhere, do have that normal Thanksgiving weekend and a good time with life. Noone should be alone like me. Noone should have to suffer through being homeless without help.

At least if it has to be someone I am glad it's me, for there are so very many out there who could not survive in my position.

Day 1242 - 11/25 - The pain in the tooth and the nice kitty

Today has a sad story and a cute story. The day itself though was uneventful. I spent the day at the less expensive restaurant playing my games and trying to get ready for the Star Wars: The Old Republic weekend beta.

The sad story is about a tooth that hurts. I won't talk about it much, as my teeth are one of the things I've been most sad about throughout my life. But, yesterday while eating a cold turkey sandwich (that's what my Turkey day meal was ) as I bit down there was some pretty bad pain, as if I'd fractured yet another tooth. Feeling around with my finger I can't find any change in the structure (of what's left) in that area. Pushing up on them doesn't trigger it. It only happens if I have solid food and bite down. I think what happened is some cold turkey hit a nerve and triggered a super heightened sensitivity. Hopefully it wll continue to subside to normal pain levels. It may also be one has lost its insides but it's shell remains, and that's why I can't feel it with pushing. Anyways , sad reminder about my ever deteriorating teeth.

The cute story was that I was at the ex-garage and I heard a meow on the other side of the garage door. It had the, 'help, I'm stuck outside my warm home and don't know how to get back in' sound to it, so I went out to see. There was a big orange kitty that let me pet them. I said hi and asked if they were Copper, a kitty that belongs to the friend/ex-roomie. The kitty pushed against me as I pet them. I scooped them up into my arms and scratched their chin. They purred and let me kiss them as they pushed against me. I carried the purring kitty the like 35 feet to the front door and rang the doorbell. No answer. I carried them the 30-40 feet around to the back of the house. They had a worried 'raaarrr' when I started to go around back, but I soothed them and said, 'Why are you worried? Isn't this your home?' When I got to the back and looked inside Copper was there looking outside from the couch. I looked at the kitty in my arms and said, 'If you aren't Copper who are you?' I kept scratching their chin and carrie them back to where I found them. The kitty leapt down to the ground. I pet them a few more times before saying bye. I hope they are safe and sound back in their home. Such a nice and friendly kitty has to be an indoors kitty.

That's it for me. My life remains sad. There are more car postings than I expected, but still either no replies to my response to their ads or they are obviously bad purchases. Things like, "Runs fine, but there is smoke." Well, no, smoke means it is far from fine. Or things like it's not smoged or registered indicating that it likely isn't going to pass or has overdue fees. (Here in California you are required to smog a vehicle within 2 months before or after a change of owners.)

I try to remain hopeful about life, but it seems things in my life that are worsening are reminding me that they are constantly there, and things that could change are not changing, my health overall continues to feel like I'm not doing so good inside... these things make me worried that I may never recover.

Day 1243 - 11/26 - Extreme pain

Last night I was in extreme pain from my bunk tooth. It became unbearable for a while and I was nearly in so much pain to be crying uncontrollably. I did have a few tears, which, well, I can't remember more than two other times in my entire life that I was in so much pain I was crying from it. (Once was when I was like five with a 105F fever, and once more like 7-8 years ago when I had a bad tooth that had fractured and lost about 1/3 of its mass.)

The rest of my ay was fairly meh. Since I still have no car I spent more than 12 hours in constant noise, overly bright lights, and almost constant motion around me. I was in my own world though, playing my games and watching some shows. Things are very tough though with my phone headphones. Sounds are... scratchy? metallic? And I have to always use the volume booster no matter what I do just to hear things, which pretty seriously alters the sound. I'm hearing stuff that should be in the background in the foreground. It's almost like being two feet tall and behind the actors instead of head height several feet in front of them.

I suppose my life isn't intolerable. I can be indoors. I can always have access to the Internet while in such places. They are dry and reasonably warm. I do have non-asprin type medicine to try to make my tooth pain tolerable. Nothing (else) has gotten worse, and I do have some games. (Though a new dumb security layer seems to be preventing me from getting in to this weekend's test of Star Wars: The Old Republic, so I'm going to miss out on that.) I suppose my life could be far worse, and as sad and bad as it seems, I do still have much more than some in the world.

Day 1244 - 11/27 - Constant extreme pain

Last night was pretty bad. From about midnight until 2 AM I was in extreme pain. It was so bad that for a good portion of that time I was crying from how much it hurt. This was worse than any of the pain from my broken ankle. At least that, while very awful, was bearable and brief. The pain got so bad last night that for most of that time about 1/6th of my entire jaw was numb from the pain, if that makes any sense. Basically the entire upper right quadrant of teeth, a bit of the lower jaw, and the area of the skull/jaw up to my cheekbone was pulsing with pain. It subsided enough to finally get some sleep, but it returned in the morning and it's been there all day. I'm overdosing on pain medication and it's ranged from bearable to being on the verge of tears. I haven't nailed it down to anything yet in terms of a reason, but it seems to be worse with external temperature, and to a lesser extent internal. The warm salt water rinse method didn't help. My guess is this is likely a growth phase. Crazy thing to think at my age, but it has a similar feel and conditions. For the longest time, from about when I was 12 until my late 20s, every year to every other year around September to November, one or both sides of my jaw would hurt like this. Again, having pulsing pain up near the jaw where my cheekbone is. My jaw is very small and when I was very young a dentist said I should remove some teeth or they could crash into each other when I was older. I wonder if this is what's been happening all these years and if I had if this wouldn't have happened. The bottom row was aligned once upon a time, and now several are crooked and kind of mashed into others.

I tried to distract myself all day with gaming and shows and such, but it was difficult. As I said, the pain varied between tolerable (but very apparent) and barely on the tolerable side of being on the verge of tears. Really I'm only holding it together because there isn't anything I can do about it. With no insurance a dentist would easily take all my car money and more. And even if I did want to go in and have them look, there aren't any locally which are open today or Monday. If it is a growth phase, if it is something shaken up, if it is a dying root, the pain should subside in a week or less. I'm praying it subsides much sooner. It is such terrible pain.

When I started writing this my pain was barely noticeable, but now it is starting to throb and hurt a lot. I'll stop writing as there isn't really much to say. I need to try and distract myself again and not focus on it. It won't go away, but it seems more bearable if I have anything else to think about. I prey it lessens enough to sleep. With how bad it's been today when I try and sleep and have no distractions it will likely become unbearable to the point that all I will be able to do is cry.

Day 1245 - 11/28 - Maximum dose

The pain was better today. It seems to be going back towards its normal dull low level of pain that I've had my whole life. It's been ranging from tolerable to bad. It's only neared extreme a few times. Hopefully in a few days I'll be off the pain meds entirely. Today I'm at just a hair over the maximum recommended dose, so that should be good.

There were a few cars to reply to, so that's promising, but it's been the same constant batch of non-replies and dummy heads.

I did some rush work on podcast 34. It was my only chance to record for it, so it will probably wind up being a bit short. Hopefully it will still be interesting to people.

Nothing else really to talk about today.

Day 1246 - 11/29 - Somewhat normal

It's just after 1:30 and my pain level has been tolerable so far today. It's almost down to normal. I'm not going to risk eating on that side for a while, just in case, but hopefully within a few days I'll be off the meds entirely.

I did some last recording for podcast 34 today. Editing it sounded very weird, as I'm still on my phone earphones, which sound very different than my dead headphones. It is a bit short; maybe 25% shorter than normal, but hopefully it's ok.

That's really it for today. I'll go ahead and post things, as I don't expect anything will change. This past fail week has been a pretty crazy whirlwind of having no car, getting dumb replies or no replies, and daily routine upsets due to the days off for the holiday; not to mention the past few days I've been in bad pain from the tooth/jaw pain. Then too last week I lost my headphones.

Tough times for me lately. Hopefully everyone out there is having a much better time and had a good Turkey day.

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

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