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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 179

Day 1247 - 11/30 - Just about settled to normal

Not much to talk about for today. My day didn’t even really start until after dinner at 6 at night. Prior to that I had zero Internet at school. School is nice because the library s quiet and the cubbies are private. There is no blaring music or overly harsh lights. But on days like today and Monday, where there is effectively zero Internet connectivity I wonder if it's worth being there.

I put out a few replies to cars, so I suppose that's something. One guy was so dumb though, he replied back, "With so many questions you should just come look at the car and answer them yourself." Really? I can get answers to questions like, "Why are you selling the car?" and "Are you the original owner?" By looking at the car? Seriously, if I know why you are selling the car by looking at it then it likely is in a condition noone would buy it. That's dumb to say someone can get the answers by looking at it. That's dumb to say someone can get the answers by looking at it. Likely this guy saw I had questions, then didn't really read them. Another dummy head said he refuses to smog it until he has a solid buyer. Really? Or is it more likely the case that's just what you told me when I said it's required by law when it changes hands and when it doesn't pass smog after selling it to someone who doesn't know that you'll just say, "Sorry, I didn't know it wouldn't pass. Too bad for you." Ug. I'm so tired of dummy heads and mean / selfish sellers.

The tooth pain has settled back down to its minimal levels just about. I'm taking meds as a preventative measure. I don't think I really need them, but I'll continue through tomorrow just in case. It seems, due to gentle testing, to be sensitive to pressure, as in air /spatial pressure. Which leads me to believe it is indeed a sore root, and not due to the crack / fracture that has been on that one side for as long as I can remember. Hopefully it will return to normal, or the pain nerve will shut off (as so many others have) in time and I won't have to worry about it in the near future. My teeth have always been my most sensitive and sad feature about me since I've never had the money to do anything about them. Had my parents said it was ok not to use the toothpaste (it always makes me gag and choke), just to brush super super well and sometimes use mouthwash, who knows. This probably wouldn't have happened. But I never got positive alternatives. It was always do it right or don't do it.

I'm very hungry lately. I have no snacks. With no car having them is difficult. I can store some in the ex-garage, but carrying groceries is difficult, as I can only carry one, maybe two, bags in a trip. And weight is a far more limiting factor. In a car it's not an issue, but without, food storage is just about impossible.

My mind wanders to days in a home a lot lately. I'd always have at least two, sometimes three or more snacks to chose from. I'd have chips or crackers and cheese, often at least one cereal, animal or other cookies, and an ice cream or pie. I'd always have at least two items to pick from, and I'd rotate which I'd have. But at the moment I have none of those. And although I had some pie during Turkey weekend, I struggle to remember the time before. I think it has to be a full year back to the Turkey weekend before.

So much of what was once my life is missing now. And, as more and more days pass, I wonder if I will ever have them again.

Day 1248 - 12/1 - The fractured self

I've been feeling sick. Not from my tooth having the dull ache of something being stuck there not from lack of sleep, but something else I think. I feel so very sad and alone lately. I know people out there care for me and want to see me get better and get back to a normal life, but I feel so very alone. During the day things are manageable. I can be a shadow of my former self, blending in with others. But at night until late morning I am not. I do not belong. I have nowhere to go to. I drift, or else I must stay somewhere too long. I have no choice.

Everything wears me out. Light and sounds are so intense. Walking is so tiring. My feet are so sore. I'm tired of dirty cloths all the time because I have to wear cloths 24/7 and can't wash them easily. I'm tired of not being able to shower regularly. I'm tired of there being no point in showering regularly because I have to walk everywhere and wear dirty cloths. I'm tired of meh, bad, or worse food options. I'm tired of not having privacy where I can be and do what I want. I'm tired of everything in my old life being restricted, limited, or reduced if I try to do them now.

I want to sleep until I wake up without need to be up at a certain time. I want to have private quiet space that is undisturbed. I want to be able to shower and wear clean cloths and smell nice. I want to store and cook healthy foods. I want to game and watch shows in a comfortable manner. I want to be at peace, and free.

Such simple things, but I cannot have them.

Day 1249 - 12/2 - The tiny home

Jenesee of the Grey Area podcast got me a tiny home. It's a handmade jewelry from a place in Oregon and it looks almost identical to the ones I've used on the cover of book three and four. It's a necklace, so I could wear it, but I'm not sure what to do with it. On the one hand I could wear it and it could bring me hope for a better tomorrow and the reminder that there are people out there who care about me, think about me, and care what happens to me. On the other, it might serve as a reminder of what I'm missing in my life, things that are often in the foreground of my thoughts as it is already. Plus, the longer I would wear it the more I would worry it would permanently become associated with just the sad times in my life, the terrible time I was homeless. And there is always the risk of damage or being lost if I wear it, which would make me extra sad. But too, I'm worried that in with storage it may become lost and forgotten. I don't know what to do with it. It's not a movie, so I wouldn't just go with other movies, pleasantly re-found when I'm back in a home if I did forget about it. It's not a game, to be installed, played, and enjoyed. So, I don't know. I fear that so many small and precious things may be lost along the way during this terrible journey.

Day 1250 - 12/3 - The fast unwanted day

Today passed very quickly. It seems just hours ago it was, well, now, but yesterday. I didn't really do anything today. Like yesterday I ran around and around and around in circles trying to find car ads to reply to. It's crazy how time consuming it can be when I check then go back and recheck older ads every few hours.

I tried to watch a few shows in the evening while I was at the less expensive restaurant, but the Internet cut out. It cut out at roughly the same time and same day as it did last time. So something is definitely up, because it doesn't drop that close and in the same way if there is a random issue. This is likely something the server is doing, or that their ISP is doing; maybe a monthly event. It wouldn't be that predictable if it weren't a scheduled thing.

I suppose I can't complain. I mean, sure, I can, but this is my life. I am without my own Internet; I am without my own car, so this is what must happen. Troubles and limitations must be accepted as a part of it. And it will likely continue for some time as well.

I had a dream I was with a sweetie and we were getting ready to go to a LAN event. But it was when I was living my rabb1t life "full time" after winning lottery money. I had met her in the L.A. area where I'd moved to. So, if this were a vision of the future (as some of my dreams have been) it may be a while for it to come true, as I have not yet won enough money to live my happy rabb1t life.

For now my life remains sad. Things that should be simple and easy, like doing laundry, are incredibly difficult and exhausting. I am not looking forward to it. My life is poor, and after dreams where I am free, when I wake up I feel all the more trapped.

Day 1251 - 12/4 - Cold all day

Little to talk about today accept for that I was cold all day. The place I sit in the less expensive restaurant is a bit colder than the rest of the place, but today it seemed like it was blowing cold air. The manager person said that I could take a look at the Internets. They were still broken this morning. Sure enough, unplugging the wireless router to reset it worked. He didn't want o risk doing it himself. I guss the registers connect to somewhere over the Internet. But, that router is connected to a hub, and the landlines on it only go from the hub to it, and from it to an Internet radio (that connects to the stereo system). So, sure enough, unplugging just that router worked. I didn't do much on it today, but I did get to do the car searches and watch some shows (that I don't normaly watch) during dinner.

I looked for cars and put out replies for about four I think. Only one replied back so far, and he was being dumb about it getting smoged first. Really? Why do these people with cars that supposedly "run good" think I'd be trusting enough to buy a car that isn't already smoged recently. Oh sure, it's like $50-75 depending, but if your car really is fine, if it really is what you claim, and you price it anywhere close to blue book value, there is no reason it can't sell in a week. Heck, there was one guy that replied his car was sold and I'd gotten that email within about three hours of his post. This and people not replying at all to my replies are the biggest stumbling blocks I'm facing. I'm willing to accept that I will have to settle for a car with faded paint, imperfect interior, and very likely something that just looks meh overall. But I don't get why people are unwilling to 'prove' their car "runs fine" by having a smog, or by even being registered. (There seems to be a bunch of unregistered and unsmoged cars lately who claim the car is fine.) One guy even said he needed to sell his car to pay off a suspended license. Really? So, what, you'll have your license back but no car? That makes no sense (unless you have 'extra' cars.)

I signed up for classes the other day. Neither class seemed like something I would really want or find interesting, but they are entry level / required for the networking path. I really hope I can win some money to do what I want and get out of these slow paths to careers that seem unlikely to help. Though doing network admin stuff could make me happy, it would be years, even if I could go to school full time, before I was certified to do anything. And even then, would anyone touch someone with no network admin experience? I'd much rather be spending those approximately 10-15 hours a week over the next few months learning cascading style sheets or maybe a scripting language to make my site cooler, faster, and flow better for everyone.

I guess today and all the plans I make really just add up to my spending my life not how I'd like, and having little to no control or choice in changing it for the better.

Day 1252 - 12/5 - Uneventful day

Today was basically uneventful. I have a hard time even remembering what I did when I was at school. I spent too much time looking through car ads, checked for jobs, and spent a few hours playing games. Work went ok, as usual. I did get an unexpected window to do some podcasting, so that was good, as I basically finished podcast 35. And, it's basically the normal 20-25 minutes long, so that's happy since last time was a bit short.

That was really my day. Nothing memorable really happened other than my podcast, which will go out Saturday.

Day 1253 - 12/6 - A rare ok day

Today seems pretty ok. I did the final edits for podcast 35 (though I still have one more recording session before it goes out, so I can still change it if I want.) I shared some lols with online friends. I looked for cars, again people are being dumb. It's early afternoon, but I'll likely just do my online work for my friend, play some games, and watch some shows.

Next quarter is going to be lame and sad. I'm not really interested in the classes I'll be taking, and one is from like 1:30-5 Tuesday and Thursday, so that's annoyingly right in the middle of everything. I keep hoping to win some monies in the lottery or find a job that I'm at least moderately happy with. I'm so tired of being on these slow trains nowhere for a career.

With all the continuing and recent fails in my life it's becoming harder and harder to stay positive and remember the happy things I do still have. They are there in my mind and heart, but my sad often overshadows them.

Week 180

Day 1254 - 12/7 - Do not feel good

I'm feeling more and more sick lately. My tummy does not feel good and I've got a pretty bad headache. This winter seems to be weighing on me extra heavy with not having a car, feeling sad about everything in my life, likely worsening blood pressure (construction at school makes it very difficult to get to the machine to check), and all the added stress of yet another winter and another year coming to a close.

I bought a "throw blanket" to help me stay a little warmer. It's super soft and was pretty cheap ($10). It's a bit smaller than my others I'm using, but hopefully that will be ok. My sanctuaries that I hide in keep me... warm enough... at night. As long as I remain undiscovered they will continue to be a safe place from the elements. It's all the walking and waiting for the bus in the morning and night that is doing the real cold damage to me. That and the times I'm outside of the sanctuary dodging unusual activity.

Once upon a time I could get out of the cold of winter. I'd step outside, go bbbrrrrrr and go back in as quick as I could. I would eat treats for the holidays, sure, but I could cook healthy food like chicken, rice, and veggies, and only eat probably half as much as I often do these days. Stockings would be put up somewhere, I rarely had a chimney, and although I've never been one for big trees with lots of decoration, there would be at least a small tree lovingly cared for. (Though in later years I've become more sad about having them. Even though they are 'just trees', chopping so many down seems sad. It's part of why I started getting smaller ones.)

Now... I'm alone physically. My stockings are in storage. My choice of food is junk, worse junk, meh, and pretty good but very expensive. Lights and trees are signs of a different world I am no longer a part of. They are at the house with warmth, family, friends, and holiday cheer. I am but a shadow in the cold dark, passing by in the night, quite possibly gone forever by morning.

Day 1255 - 12/8 - A blur of noise

Nothing really happened today. I suppose that's a good thing considering how much bad has gone on in my life lately. Most of my day was spent at the less expensive restaurant. I still feel a bit icky, so even though I knew it would mean I would constantly be subjected to semi-loud music, I decided it was worth it. Now that I know for sure how to reset their Internet it means I would have a solid fairly fast connection compared to the horrid or non-existent speed of school. Also, the couch like booth I sit on is pretty comfy. The school library just has hard wood chairs with no padding. And they have a cheap soup that's super good. (It's $3, which is more than some soups on sale, but it also isn't a microwave soup.)

Today was a blur of noise. I don't really remember much. I spent most of the day looking for cars. I did do some board surfing and news reading too, and watched a couple of shows in the evening. I only played games for like an hour, which is very unusual for me. Mostly I'm trying to stay focused on getting back into a car, as it is only going to get colder. People are still being stupid about not replying. It seems I may not be able to find one before the end of the year. I figure there will be one more week of sale panic to get money for the holidays, but after that I expect the posts (much like the job postings) will drop to just about zero during the holidays.

Well, as always it seems my life is what it is, and without the opportunity for change all my readiness is for nothing.

Day 1256 - 12/9 - Nothing to say

Nothing much to say for today. It was yet another day of car people not replying. And the one that did, big surprise, had some major repair work needed that was not mentioned in the ad (something about the suspension being bad.)

I started podcast 36, but I have no idea what to say. All the games I'm playing I've talked about. And now that I'm not in an MMO there is really no interaction going on to talk about. Hopefully I'll think of something or I'll wind up just talking about my sad life, which I don't want to do on a podcast set to release just a few days before Xmas.

I guess that's it for tonight. Maybe there are better days ahead. One can only hope.

Day 1257 - 12/10 - Not 36"

Not much to really say about today. I spent the day looking for cars and watching a few shows. Again, due to how much time the car searching took up, I didn't do much gaming. It's ok. I don't feel like I'm missing out. I think part of it too is that I'm getting more depressed as the weather decreases and cheer around me increases.

My pants I got not too long ago that were/are too big now were really annoying me lately. (They tend to fall down even past my butt if I'm standing still.) I couldn't find my belt since I got them until today. To my sad surprise the belt is a few inches short of going all the way around me. I suppose I'm not surprised, as the last time I used it (maybe a year ago?) they barely fit on the last setting. I flipped it over and it showed 36". I've had it forever. I think I was 34" when I first got it. But now, I don't know how big I am, but my cammo pants I got had to be the size that goes up to 40". I don't put it all the way out though. Oh good. My falling down pants show 38", so I must be around 37", not a whole lot bigger than the 35-36" I used to be. I feel a lot bigger though. I can't get to a scale to check, but I really need to get back in a car so I can go back to my regular eating habit and maybe start exercising a little. (I don't really have the time while riding on the bus, as there are no private times to do it.)

I feel so out of shape, unhealthy, fatter, and sad about, well, everything.

Day 1258 - 12/11 - An odd day

Today was a bit odd. It started as a normal day, but in the early afternoon I decided to update some games and play one I haven't played in nearly six months. My ex-guild leader was on, so we played a few games as a team and chatted a bit. I guess it was his birthday today. I also got an Xmas time card from my ex-guildie friends that check in with me, so that was nice and made me smile.

That was really it. I spent most of the day looking for cars. It's been like six weeks now, which is pretty crazy, but not entirely unusal with my history of getting cars. It would be very nice to get back in a car before the end of the year.

I guess school should be open this week, though it's shut down for three weeks after that. I guess I'll know more tomorrow. Work will be shutting down for a few weeks soon too, but my boss has been super lazy about saying when. Not really surprising now that her forgetting to put the time cards where they go every other week is likely nearing a 60-75% failure rate. Seriously, if it's so hard to remember to spend 15 minutes driving to two locations every other week when the time cards come delegate the duty to someone else.

While waiting for the bus today it seemed warmer than yesterday. Last night I was coughing and gasping so bad I felt like I was going to throw up. Tonight though I was fine, a bit chilly but I walked at a normal pace and had no cough. Checking the temperature thing on my phone it was just as cold, so maybe I've been getting over being sick or something. Still very sad about my waist size and undoubted heavier weight, and that's not going to get better over the next few weeks to a month while I have no microwave access and no private time to myself. (I really don't know how I'm going to manage podcasting.)

As always, it seems my life is at the mercy of my surroundings, and try as I might they remain unchanged.

Day 1259 - 12/12 - Not much

Not much to say for today. There was zero Internet connectivity at school, so pretty much all day I couldn't do anything. I made the extra trip to the store to grab a micro dinner and another item I needed. When I got to work I ran a car check. As expected there were hardly any, and none worth replying to. Work went ok. I finished podcast 36, so that's ready to go early unless I think of something else to say. I'll probably put it up early Saturday. (It's not scheduled to go out until Wednesday.)

That was really it. Nothing got better or changed in my life.

Day 1260 - 12/13 - A nice sound

Nothing changed for today in regular life stuff. Still no cars to reply to. I even took a risky / desperate step of posting a 'please help' post on the sale pages. I got one reply in the past 2.5 days it's been up. Job posts, as expected during the holidays, are non-existent.

The good news is that after weeks of suffering through bad sound and needing to max things beyond max and cover my ears just to hear things, I now have good gamer headphones again. I got some Creative Labs Fatal1ty MKII ones on sale for $50 down from $75. They are louder and better sounding than my last pair. (Which were an older version of the next step down from the ones I got.) They have fancier insides and gold plated connectors. I'm mad at myself though because I threw away the nice bag that came with the last one. This one doesn't come with one. It used to, but I guess they stopped doing that.

The day is still pretty early but I don't expect much to happen. Though my car and job situation are not likely to get better anytime soon, at least I have good sound again, so the things I do to distract myself will sound as good as they can again. (Extra important as the next few weeks I'll have no work and not be able to school, meaning I'll always be in places with constant/loud music blaring.) In my sad times and limited life, at least that is a small something that's positive.

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

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