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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 195

Day 1359 - 3/21 - One more dumb assignment down

Today was ok I guess, though it seemed to pass quickly. It started with doing my overdue laundry. Of the "simple things" I think there is nothing more I like than a nice almost hot shower and putting on clean cloths after. It's sad that it's basically been years since I could do both of those at once.

After, I went to the restaurant and did one more of my dumb assignments. I now just have to worry about the final for the dumb class, which I don't think is due until Tuesday, nearly a week from now. Tomorrow when I get to school I have to try and catch up on lab things for the other class. Ones that aren't due until the end of the semester have gotten very behind. I also have a lab project thin due for that class due Tuesday. I'll probably try and work on that Friday and on the weekend.

I actually finished the school stuff I planned to do pretty quick and was online playing games by 2. I played for a bit alone, then my online friends came on and we played together for a bit.

There was only one car post to reply to, but I don't expect a response. The car is broken in that reverse and 5th don't work. This guy has posted the car three times over the past six weeks, and the last two times he didn't reply either. That's why I don't expect a reply this time. I doubt the repair would be something I could afford, but it would be nice to know the estimate.

That was really it for my day. I suppose it was ok overall, but it was still very sad since it was not in a way I would like to be living my life. I have so many reminders that I'm homeless and doing things that are not what normal people do. I try to escape and distract myself and do normal things, but I so very rarely genuinely feel normal. I suppose the fact that I still think normally and have normal desires; in that they are what I wanted before I guess in some way confirms I am still normal. But I'm still the worst I've ever been physically and possibly emotionally. Though I always hope to make it back to a life I once knew, and a life I envision I could have, I still seriously wonder if I will ever make it.

Day 1360 - 3/22 - Made me smile

Today my professor of the class I like made me smile. Every now and then I say something silly (basically when the class is asked something and they are all like "...".) Today he was doing a review for the final and asked, "What is the relationship between these two?" And for a good seven seconds or more the class was like "...", so I said, "On their mother's side. " The professor chuckled, sighed, then sat back down at his high chair behind his podium and asked me, "Are you sure you can't make my class next semester?" I explained that there are only six where I work that could cover me, and of them two had already said no and the others had not replied and probably wouldn't. He was sad and said, "I'm really going to miss you." It was nice to know I'm appreciated. I do give the class the right answer sometimes, but when they seem stuck I also like to jolt them with a lol to maybe trigger something that gets their brain going again.

Nothing super special happened today. I got to play online with my friends, which was like yay! No replies on cars or jobs though. As always my life really seems to be unmoving.

Day 1361 - 3/23 - Ok alone

Today was ok I suppose. I was alone all day basically. I tried to play in the morning, but the coffee shop didn't have enough bandwidth, so I gave up. I watched a show and played a bit at the restaurant. At work I got a chance to finish and edit podcast 48. There were people in the gym doing something, but if it was going to make the once a week schedule I had no option on my recording time. I tried to watch some people streaming online while at work, but it lacked enough bandwidth at the time, so I missed it.

Today was decent enough, but everything I did I did alone. I don't really mind being alone most of the time, but it would be nice if I could have the normal things in life. Being alone with a regular life, or a life where I didn't have to worry too much about bills and resources, would be fine. I accept there are some things I may never have again in my life; love, "real life" friends, children, but it would be very nice indeed to have the "basic" things; food, a bed, a home. As always, there seems to be nothing I can do to change my life. All I can do is try and be accepting of it while it changes for the better.

Day 1362 - 3/24 - A lab not quite done

Today was pretty good. When I got to the restaurant I remembered to upload podcast 48 right away, so that made me happy. I had lunch and played for a bit. After, I took a break and tried to do the last lab for the class I like. Part of it I figured out pretty quickly, but part just confused me. Even though I had someone's code right in front of me I couldn't figure out how they did it. Tomorrow I should be able to finish without too much trouble.

In the evening I met with my friends and we had fun online. So that made me smile. We are tentatively playing tomorrow, but we will see who is doing what and how it works out. If noone shows up I can do the two projects I should finish by Tuesday, so it would be ok either way.

It's raining pretty hard now, but I'm safely tucked away in a sanctuary. Though I had a ton of fun and put out a podcast, which I do enjoy doing, my day is still troubled. There were issues with my bandwidth and now, as it has been for so many nights, I'm not sleeping in a bed, and conditions overall are pretty sad.

As always, I guess all I can do is try to hang on to my happy memories for today.

Day 1363 - 3/25 - Lonely lab day

Today was ok, but very lonely. I didn't have enough bandwidth to play as much as I wanted before the restaurant opened, so I worked on my lab a bit. I got it to the point that it was doing what it was supposed to and only needed one last step. It took much less time than I thought, so that made me super happy. Though, after lunch when I tried to finish, the last step wasn't working. After some help from the professor it is sort of working, but instead of the right numbers it's like 19455944 coming out of nowhere. It's like what? You showed something like 315 in the data cell. Where are you getting that crazy number from?

I got to play my online game a lot, which was pretty happy. But... I missed my friends. None of them were on for online play. I guess they were busy. I felt lonely and sad.

I am in the dark hiding for the night. I feel like crying. All I want is to have my room again with my stuff out around me instead of boxed up; bed ready to sleep on, and my desktop and home theater stuff ready to go. I just want my regular life and regular freedoms back. Things seem so sad for me and I don't know if they will ever be happy again.

Day 1364 - 3/26 - Ignoring the assignment

Today was pretty good. My professor helped me with my final that I was stuck on. I still don't get the logic, but I did figure out all the other parts. It still seems odd that it works fine as one block of code, but doesn't the other way.

I decided to ignore my HTML class final that's due soon. I'm still upset that so much of it is designing content. That's not how most sites work. Most have staffs of writers and photographers, or at least more than one person generating content. "You" don't have to get all this content and junk yourself. (Unless you are the very very rare person like me who is doing everything for the site.) Anyways... I'll do it tomorrow. I have roughly 2-3 hours in the morning and should pretty easily be able to do something that's passable. The difference in grade between a C on the project and an A is like 5% of the final grade for the class, so I'm just not going to care much and get it done and over with. It has not been a good experience.

I had a good time at work. I had nothing noted for podcast 49 and I wound up doing something like 12 minutes (after editing it down). So the podcast is like half the size of normal already. I figure that I should have something interesting to say about tomorrow's event.

I actually got to do some play with my online friends during work, so that was surprising and fun.

I guess that's all for today. I actually replied to two or three ads on cars, but noone has replied back yet. Nothing really amazing. The one that might be is about a 30 minute bus ride, then over an hour ona train, then whatever more to get to the guy's place, so it's unlikely he'll even bother replying to my questions since I'm so far.

As always, my life is what it is.

Day 1365 - 3/27 - Finals day

Today was ok so far. It's only early afternoon, but it's unlikely anything super eventful will happen. Today was stressful, but in a different way than I expected. I did my final for the HTML class in the morning. My blood pressure checkup was ok, but the doc wants to put me on a different med since it's worse.

I waited and waited for my class friend, but he never showed up early. I guess he didn't have a class before, so he showed up at the last minute. I felt meh about a few of my answers on the final, but it's likely fine. Though I still have a final on Thursday night classes are basically over. It seems strange to be again at the end of something without having goodbyes or any real progression forward to a known and tangible goal.

As always, today seems that despite my best efforts and recent achievements, that it is just a day in a long string of days. And at the end of the day I wonder if anything has really changed for me.

Week 196

Day 1366 - 3/28 - Meet up

Today was different. It started out normal with playing and watching shows at the restaurant. But, I had an event to go up to the city, so I wound up taking the bus/train at 2:30 and spent the next 2.5 hours on public transit. Even though the event notice said to "arrive early" I guess the event staff didn't want us to do that. I got there at about 5:15 and I was the second guy there. (I guess the first guy showed up at noon? ) They said they would not let us in until later, so it was like, seriously? I didn't really eat dinner. They had pizza delivered for Nvidia staff prior to the event, but we attendees got weird catered stuff. (I'd have much rather had the pizza.) There were tiny tacos that looked... funny (plant red with stuff coming out?), and some skewered meat pieces that were super tasty but very small. (Yes, let's give people at an event single bite pieces with 12" wooden spikes and not have anyone collecting the used skewers. Good way for someone to get poked since there were very few trashes. Let's not even count the fact that these are all gamers, people who tend to take such things and play/duel with them.) I was surprised that before the event started the head guy came out (Drew Henry) and he actually remembered me from the GeForce LAN 6 event back like 6 months ago. (I remembered him, but I only met half a dozen people there. He probably met hundreds.)

I suppose the event was ok. They really only told us one thing we didn't already know / hadn't seen. The rest were all charts and demos I'd seen on reviews or online. These days the minute something happens everyone who wants to know about it can. The smell of alcohol and the number of increasingly drunk people really got to me though. There was a lot of smoke smell too from people I guess going outside and coming back in. Most probably wouldn't have noticed, but to my super nose and allergies both were pretty noticeable by about half way through.

I got word on my final for the class that I don't like. Well, the lab final I tuned in. The final test is tomorrow. I got 100%, and a note that he thought it was "well done", which kind of surprised me. It's like, yeah, I'm pretty pro at basic HTML, but still. I don't know that I went all out. I did use basically all the elements he taught, so I guess that's what matters. With 100% on all the labs, and the final project, I am pretty much guaranteed an A if I get even a C on the final test. I don't have the points on the sheet, but I think it's impossible to get lower than an A, which is good.

That's it for the day. With nearly 3 hours each way on public transport I'm totally beat. It would have been so much nicer to have a car, and a home to come back to. I probably would have taken a 5 minute shower, gotten in bed, and been asleep by now with a car and a home. Well, maybe someday I can have a real camera, with some kind of stand to put it on, a decent car, a home, and the freedom to live my rabb1t life and go to these events more regularly and do more coverage. Though events like this heavily drain me now, I think it would be fine if I had the freedom to "do them right".

Day 1367 - 3/29 - Videos and done

Today seemed very busy. It started in the morning by sorting through my footage of last night's Nvidia event. I made the short descriptions of all the videos to post and started posting them. They were going very slow wirelessly, so I only got about half done by the time it was just after lunch. I played for a few hours, then went to school to finish the video posting and gathering stuff for the final.

The final went ok I guess. As I said, I think I should get an A even if I just do meh on the final. There were only a couple of questions I couldn't answer. His test is dumb. He could easily do a multiple choice online and have the class 100% online instead of needing us to come in for 2-3 sessions.

Though that was it for my day, I'm exhausted. I feel so burnt out. My feet are throbbing from the extra walking. There are even tiny blisters. My body is sore from all the extra stress of everything.

After the final I was walking around. I heard a dog barking in the distance. There was the occasional woosh of passing cars. The street lights had their persistent bzzzzt. I was so exhausted by my physical weight, of both me and my bag. The noises of the night seemd unending. They seemed the same noises I would hear out and about when I was 12. I thought to myself I should not be hearing them. I should be in a home, resting. And I thought, at this time it seems more likely these will be the sounds I hear every night for the rest of my life. As it seems my life has become as seemingly unchanging and unending as the night itself.

Day 1368 - 3/30 - Holy socks

Today is kind of sad. I discovered there was a hole in my sock. I went to replace it just now and of the two socks I pulled out, one of those also has a hole. It seems so sad this is happening. I remember it doesn't seem like more than six months ago that I got them. I remember they were soft and fluffy when new. Now they are so worn out I'm having to throw them away. Yet again something bought while homeless that I thought I could keep until I was back in a home. Yet again something that doesn't make it.

I had no school stuff today, which seemed strange. I wish it could be over and I could move on, but it seems as stuck as the rest of my life.

I got to play for a few hours today, then had a work shift. During my shift I got to finish recording podcast 49, so that's all ready to go in the morning.

I saw someone has linked to one of my videos, so that's very cool. It's like at least some kind of recognition and thanks for posting it.

My friend checked in with me too. We were supposed to do online play, but there really wasn't anyone around. She didn't want me waiting and feeling lonely, so she showed up to say hi, which was super nice.

I guess that's all for today. I suppose I did achieve some things, but I still feel as if I will never really recover. I know the things I do touch a few lives, and that is something, but I still can't help but feel as if I'm being punished for doing something wrong.

Day 1369 - 3/31 - Disappointing car guy

Today was a bit disappointing. I saw a car that was posted last night around midnight. It was around 10 AM, and I called the guy, and after like six rings left a message that if he still had the car I would be very interested in buying it. It was one of the cute little types I'm looking for. He actually called me back about 10 minutes later and was like, 'You called me?' And I asked if he still had the car, and he seemed confused by the question. Really? Did you not listen to the 30 second message I left? So I asked why he is selling. Apparently he needs to fix another car, so he's selling this one. I suppose a reasonable enough reason. I ask this and that question, and they are ok answers. I ask if it's been smogged. For those who don't know, California law requires cars be smogged within 90 days of title transfer, and has, last I heard, a much stricter requirement to pass than the other states. He says, "No, but it passed last year, so it will be fine." As much as I'd like to believe that, I explained I had two other cars that died around that mileage, so since it's half not my money I couldn't risk not having it already checked. He said, "I understand." And there was a good 5-7 second pause while I waited for him to offer to do that. I said, "Well, if it did pass and there was nothing wrong with it I'd totally buy it." Again a pause. So I continued, "Well, I guess let me know if you do that because I'm super interested in the car." He again said something like he understood. There was a smaller pause after which I said goodbye and hung up. I was tempted to ask if he would do it, but here's why I didn't; To me, knowing what I know about motivation and psychology, the fact that the car is probably $300 less than what it could be posted at, the fact that he didn't offer, are pretty high indicators that he knew something was wrong or that it wouldn't pass. If he was really confident that it would pass, my offer to buy it would have had him excited enough to say that he would, as it would only take like half an hour to do, and we could have met at the shop or something. The fact that he didn't, to me, implies he feels it won't pass, or simply doesn't care to take the time to do it. And if it's that he doesn't care, he probably hasn't taken proper care of it. With two others dying from natural causes around that same age I absolutely can't afford a 'fixer-upper' type car. The purchase price would have been all the money I had.

So, that was really the only big news for today. Again, close to getting a car, but the guy seemed dumb and untrustworthy. And since this is every penny I have just about, and it really is only half my money, I'm still without a car.

Day 1370 - 4/1 - Stupid coworker

Today I'm pretty sad about the car situation. Not necessarily this most recent one, but not having one overall. I'm sooooo very tired. In a car is the only quiet, private, slightly controlled environment I have. Without, I'm out in bright lights, sometimes bad smells or smells I'm allergic to, in uncontrolled temperatures, and most of all subjected to constant noise. There is no time I get to rest peacefully. More than anything right now I want a day that's peaceful, quiet, private, and that I can control. Outside of renting a hotel room, there is no way I could get it.

I had an extra work shift this morning again. The stupid coworker that was supposed to show up at 2:30 didn't show up until after 2:50 when I called him and asked where he was. I guess he was out in his car sleeping or something in the parking lot?! That 20 minute delay caused me to miss the bus back to the restaurant, which meant I got back like 45 minutes later than I should have. (A full 1.75 hours after a car would have gotten me back.) Additionally, due to buses running less today I have to leave 1.5 hours before close. With a car I could have had nearly 3 more hours at the restaurant to try and relax and watch shows and play. Or, if I wanted I could have rested and had alone time in my car, or gone to a movie, or any number of things.

I saw my online friends a bit. We chatted and had about an hour or so of fun online. I didn't meet up with them again in the evening. I guess they were all busy doing things. That's good though. I don't want them sacrificing a happy life just to be sure I have someone to hang out with. I would rather they do live their lives and have fun while they can.

I feel really super fat today. I've been on the new meds two days now (oddly they look like tiny triangular cat treats) and I guess, in terms of physical exhaustion and potential blood pressure, I feel better. But, my tummy and stuff feel overly large and like I've gained 10 pounds in the past few days.

I feel very sad about my life today, and sorry to myself that it's happening. I suppose I failed at life by not establishing a proper base and moving up. I've always had one general / menial job after another and never had a proper chance for better. Now I wonder if I ever will. I still can't help but feel that I'm being punished for being me. Like someone who is 'in control' is purposely keeping a decent life away from me just because I'm me.

Day 1371 - 4/2 - My normal is abnormal

I realize, particularly lately, I say I want a normal life back. I suppose that's not quite accurate. My normal is not normal and I suppose it never was. My normal has no music, no sports, no drinking or drug use. My normal has video games; with skills I guess you could say are one standard deviation above normal; it has creative times, like with my podcast and website; and it has analytical / philosophical times, with things like going to events/conventions, talking about my experiences, and comparing current things to older things, or ponder connections or interactions with other things.

I suppose too I've never had normal relationships. Maybe I have "for a gamer", but I've always only had a few friends, and never formed strong bonds with family or people passing by (such as school mates or coworkers.) Oh, I get along with people fine, and understand their perspectives and motivation, and even remember or guess details about them others don't, but they are not bonds like others form.

I want what I want and like what I like, and I realize that my "normal" is not true normal. And I'm ok with that.

Day 1372 - 4/3 - The day so far

So far today has been ok. It's super busy lunch time at the restaurant now, but I feel, I guess, a bit better than usual. I did some stuff I needed to do, looked up some stuff for my online game fun, talked (via message) to some friendly online people, did my online work for my friend, and watched a show.

As it has been for years, my life seems to be unmoving. It doesn't seem so terrible today, but sadly the week ends as it started, seemingly no closer to recovery than it was last week.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2012
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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