Zero Hour - 7/1/2008
1:30 AM, the start of a manual log/journal of my time being homeless.
It's the little things that get me. Putting things into boxes isn't what makes me sad, but the things that will go on without me.
- Shutting off my cable box for the last time ever. A box I've had for about 12 years.
- Knowing I won't be able to watch the Sci-Fi channel 4th of July Twilight Zone marathon, something I've done every year they've run it.
- Knowing I won't get to see the rest of this season's Doctor Who.
- Knowing I can't post on my sites.
- Not knowing what I'll do on the 4th, when everyone is BBQing and watching fireworks. Not because I care about that stuff, but because I may not have a place to eat because everything is closed, and because I may not have a place to sleep due to higher levels of police activity watching places I could sleep.
- I know I can eventually watch my shows. I know I will eventually get my stuff out of a box. But not having my shows, not having my stuff around me... it's like being held and hugged then suddenly the one hugging is gone and you don't know where or why. Maybe it stems from my mom dying when I was 13. Maybe it stems from my dad moving us around several times after that. I wonder now... do I always save the packing from things because I am tidy like that? Or does it stem from a deeper knowledge that all things will be lost to me, like my mom. Does it stem from feeling like I never truly have had a home like how I had to move every few years after that?
After I sleep, should I be able to, I'll wake up and zero hour will turn to day zero. How many days will I count 'till I have a good job? 'Till I can manage to save up enough to move in somewhere? 'Till I'm loved again? Why don't I have my "fair share" in life? Everyone I meet seems to have enough in life - enough food, enough money to go out, to buy entertainment, enough love, enough work hours - am I the only one who doesn't?
A recent news article said it's the worst unemployment in my area in decades, somewhere near 6%. Six percent... really... it boggles my mind that I'm at the absolute bottom 6% of the people now, possibly lower due to now also being homeless. The top 10% of people in the world own 90% of the world's wealth, yet I'm now below the bottom 6% in my area?
Part of me is grateful. Even with only a car I still have access to college classes, showers, places to go, rest (at least during the day). In the morning I may find a homeless shelter to sleep in, I can access a computer at school, while many in the world have absolutely nothing. No shower. No car. No computer. No blanket to cover themselves. So, regardless of how little I have I am very thankful for what I do have, mostly due to privileged class based on where I live. But I still can't help but wonder... how did I fail? I'm looking for a job, applying at countless places, where is my fair share? Why can't I even be offered some of that share? What is there that is wrong with me to put me in such a low and lonely place?
I can only think and pray; it is fate, it's destiny, and that I belong here, at this time, for some higher purpose beyond just me.
Day Zero - 7/1 - My stuff - Your stuff
Roughly 1:45 PM. I am nearly done putting my stuffs in the garage space I have. Only like cried once today so far and once last night. Not too many potential jobs to apply for, but being 4th of July week that's to be expected. This week and next will be slow going for work prospects.
Having lunch outside in the back yard. This was a roomies soup, but I took it. I have none of my own. There is a nice breeze, but something hangs in the air. A sense of change, a chill, but a promise for a warmer and happier future. Prophetic power with weather or just my subconscious hoping for the best? Who can really say.
I put some cinder blocks outside about 1/2 hour ago. It's trash day; they come in the morning, but they are gone now. Someone obviously recognized them as something I didn't need and grabbed them. Was mine, now it's theirs. It's the little things like that which make me happy now. I don't need them, well not really, and I'm glad to know they will be put to use by someone else.
I'm glad of the changes to come. For years I've been wanting to change things a bit, but I'm not one to just switch things up for no real reason. Plus, I never had the money to change the things I wanted. I am, of course, not happy with the method of change. It's kind of like throwing a child into a lake to teach them to swim. Sure, with you in the background they will likely be fine, but what if they aren't?
I've been homeless before in my life. Once when I was a teen and once when I got divorced and had to sell my condo. But those times I had a safety net. I had my dad to go back to as a teen, I had several thousand banked after selling my condo. This time... this time all I have is a little support from people at my site. Some friends, some strangers, but it is far from a web of true safety. My peeps have helped me survive this long though. Now I must turn to local colleges for showers and computers to continue my job search and homeless shelters for a place to sleep.
The waiting is what will really get me. That short burst of a few hours in the day to send applications, then hours upon hours upon days of waiting for a reply.
It's nearly time to go. Let the waiting begin.
Day 1 - 7/2 - Cold as ice, just like camp
After my class I went to Golfland and hung out a bit. It's an ok way to kill time, but around 10:30 it started to get really cold. At midnight when Golfland closed I couldn't take the cold any more and went back to my ex-roomies place. They live in a duplex with a detached garage so I just hid in there. I tried to sleep like a Klingon, on the hard flat concrete. It was somewhat comfortable all things considered, but as the night went on the concrete started turning to ice. Not literally of course. Where I live it probably didn't get much below the mid 50s, but it seemed much colder. I probably got about four hours of meditative rest. I don't think I slept at all.
Morning crept forward and became unavoidable. I ventured forth and found the world was still quite asleep at 6 AM. I went to McDonalds and got breakfast probably for the first time since I was a child and did sporting events. Around 6:30 the world began to wake up.
At 7 I made my way to return the cable modem, didn't get a chance to do that yesterday. No luck, doesn't open 'till 8.
I went a few blocks back to one of the college campuses I can visit. It smelled like camp - that early morning wet grass and tree smell. The morning creeps forward and I'm accosted with the horrid sound of a grinding work machine. The library is finally open at nearly 8. Time to see if I have any happy emails, potential jobs, or if the waiting continues.
Oneish - total crap. What total poo chaos this is. I'm back at the local campus a second time. This time mostly just to recharge my phone and wait about an hour 'till the homeless shelter is open so I can go ask about their services. It would be nice if they answered the phone, but I've called three times now and no answer (when they were supposed to be open.)
The whole remote connection find a place to wait ordeal would be way more fun if I had my own laptop. Using public computers is such a pain. Not just because I can't track where I've been (via burnt links) but because I have to use it for a short period, vacate the area, then come back later. Just getting myself somewhere I could use a laptop would be a million times better.
Of course it only takes one good job and then I wouldn't need the laptop. My down hours could be spent relaxing (or at least waiting in one spot.)
I suppose I should go look at the campus cafeteria menu before I leave. I need to find foods for teh cheap. Eating bread and a few pieces of lunch meat only so far (I can't keep a lot of lunch meat, as I have no fridge.) Ah, I see a microwave for teh free. That's something I guess. With some bowls I could get my normal $0.75 lunch soup.
Day 2 - 7/3
I've been feeling pretty sick lately - very likely a combination of total lack of sleep and lack of nutrition. If I were to guess, what with my pants falling over my butt, I'd say I've probably lost five pounds in the past two days. I feel faint, fade in and out of clarity, and have headaches. I got some aspirin and last night I got a solid two hours of sleep with a 3rd quasi-sleeping - a far cry from my normal 9 hours, but also a significant step forward from zero of Thursday. I also got some soups. Tuesday and Wednesday my foods were basically bread, a bit of lunch meat, and one breakfast sausage burrito. (Turns out only the first one I had was yummy. The second was kind of ick.) Just ate a soup and I've got an orange juice. Not exactly a normal breakfast, but hopefully within the next hour the bits will start to kick in and I will hopefully feel at least a little better.
Nearly 9:30 AM now. I'll be off soon to do my first email/job search of the day, however, I doubt it will be fruitful as most are taking a long 4 or 5 day weekend. Surprisingly I did put out a few very strong applications yesterday, so hopefully once people recover from the 4th things will start to spin a positive direction. Next on the agenda will be, hopefully, a nap in the car. During the warm daytime it is much easier to feel safe (from potential probing police eyes) and get some rest. Later on today I'll go put in an application for the homeless shelter. It seems most in my local area shut down outside of winter. That's ok though; apparently the one I'll try for is one of the best, as it rotates locations and you are granted a spot for up to a maximum of 90 days. Though spending my nights on a cot in various churches wouldn't be the Hilton, it obviously would be better than the random few hours gotten in my cramped car.
Evening... bleh. I'm got sick on some Chinese food. I don't know if it's because I am sick (stress causing susceptibility) or if it was the food. Tossed the remaining 1/3 I had. Sad 'cause that's a waste, but better to be safe than sorry.
Day 3 - 7/4
Days and nights are becoming like a MMOG. My perspective is widening out to a larger area, with less things going on. Time blurs into one big mish-mosh. Every minute stretches on like an eternity (in a bad way). I see the slow shift from day to night and back, yet there is no true transition, only the mob spawn truly changes.
I just got about 5 hours of sleep last night, so I should be good to go. I normally sleep around 9 but I can run on 7 quite well if there is something I'm excited about. I can run on as little as 5 for a while.
Today is going to be tough. Nearly everything is closed. Thank the gods that Golfland is open. It's pretty much my primary source of entertainment and time sink right now. When school is open I can hang out there and check my jobs and fun boards about 3x a day, but I will go to Golfland often as they are open till midnight. Today though I expect I'll be here all day. It's 10 AM, they just opened... 14 hours remain.
I miss sleeping in. I miss tossing my dirty cloths into the hamper. I miss jumping in the shower and getting clean if I feel icky. I miss the Twilight Zone marathon on Sci-Fi that I've watched every year it's been on. I miss talking on boards with game peeps. I miss my games. Sooooooo sad.
Day 4 - 7/5 - A MMOG by David Lynch
It seems I will get nothing done on weekends at all. I arrived at college today and found the locker room didn't open till an hour later than normal. Fine enough I suppose, take an extra hour of decent nap time... it doesn't look like the campus is open at all on weekends during the summer anyways.
So, I get to do nothing at all today. I knew it was unlikely I could check emails or apply for jobs, but there isn't much I'd miss there as those don't often have anything going on during the weekend anyways.
I'm beginning to wonder if I've stepped into a MMOG by David Lynch. On the first night around midnight I found some people in an empty parking lot racing remote control cars. Thursday morning on my way onto campus there were 19 fully grown ducks walking around on a road, all in a row, a few happily quacking away. Today it seems there is some flea market here on campus. I previewed a few rows and it was all junk. It seems very David Lynchian to spawn these odd and unexpected mobs at various times on various days.
So here I am... another day of epic fail suck... 9:15 AM... wondering what to do with my day. Normally I'd likely still be sleeping. If I were up for some reason I'd be watching the 4th of July Twilight Zone marathon on Sci-Fi while surfing my boards and talking to peeps; maybe even playing a game. But no, I'm stuck in teh suck with nothing to do. Well, I suppose I could find somewhere to do my laundry.
So at the laundry there was a show on - Yu-Gi-Oh. It's based on the collectable card game (of the same name). It was actually pretty interesting because they were getting all into the trauma of what they had done because of the duels (to the surrounding area and people). I was actually getting into it. I'm totally going to have to get Eye of Judgment for the PS3 once I'm re-established. Though, they really need to lower the price. It's really too expensive for people to really get into it.
So guess where I am... yup Golfland. Going to be spending a lot of time here. This time my car is kind of playing dryer. It's pretty warm today and some of my socks weren't 100% dry. I'll pass on paying more to get them to 100%.
So... it's noon now... about 7 hours till I'll eat dinner. I guess that's something to look forward to.
Day 5 - 7/6 - Sunday Sunday Sunday
Nothing accomplished today so far. Fail on shower at school. They are closed Sundays. I tried a few rec centers; one is closed on Sundays the other won't open till 12:30 and even then I don't know if they have a shower facility. I washed off my parts by getting water from a sink. At least my stinkiest parts are fairly ok now with the towel/soap wash method. It's a really nice day today - not gloomy, sunny - and happy, yet still cool.
I stopped by Auto Zone to see about tint for my back windows. I worry about peeps seeing my stuffs and grabbing it or knowing I'm homeless. I decided against it though. It's only $10, but I don't know if it would stick to my plastic windows, and I honestly think most just won't care what I have in my car - at least not where I park.
Speaking of parking, it seems school is likely a safe spot to catch some Zs. I'll likely make that my new 5 AM to 8 AM spot.
So I'm in the parking lot for Toys-R-Us, Golfland doesn't open till 10, and the library and rec center at noon, so I've some time to kill. There is this hugely immense line forming. I wonder if there is a sale or something.
I had dreams about Blu-ray and some other stuff, so I got an almost normal level of sleep, not counting the inevitable cramp of my parts being shoved/twisted/restricted from car sleeping. I think it could be counted as 5 hours of decent sleep with, so far, an additional hour of quasi-sleep.
The suck continues... I really don't understand why my roomies weren't nice and let me stay just one or two more months. Of all the years I've been there this was the time I needed the most help. Sure, I was there like 7+ years, and I originally only expected to be there 2-3, so, in a way, I guess I should have gone sooner. Still, I couldn't put someone out on the street if I could help. Back in the day there was this red headed cutie that was about to be homeless I let stay with me for a while for super cheap. When she left she said that my room I let her rent was the first home she'd ever had. And there was a friend too, struggling in school and trying to live, let him stay for a while too at less than I could afford to let him have the room for. Side note that my ex-roomies made 125k+ a year and were looking at dropping 20-30k in remodeling, spent 10k before, and dropped 30k+ on vehicles in the past few years, so they didn't need my rent at all for basic survival. There was a third person I helped too. Young girlie just starting out on her own. I don't get it. I mean sure it was way longer than I'd estimated, they couldn't use their space, but a lesser... experienced person would have wound up in the hospital from what I've gone through in the past few days. I can't understand how they can claim to not want to put me on the street and then not let me stay a few more weeks, or a month, or two more, at least till I had a fair income level.
I guess we are who we are at our core, regardless of being up or down, having money or not. I will always be kind, honest, friendly, and helpful. It's just who I am.
Maybe I'll go over to Best Buy and do some window shopping. There is this "Pile Up" skill game at Golfland that has a Nintendo DS with my name on it. Maybe I'll see what games would interest me. I can't take my bags into the store, so I'd be worried about that, but it should be ok for a while. It would probably be fine forever around here, but still... I worry someone may steal my (stuffed) bunnies... that would be super sad. Occasionally opening my bag and hugging my bunnies is about the only thing keeping me together these days.
Well, let's hope tomorrow is the start of something better. I can put in an app at In-n-Out Burger. Maybe I can haz cheezburger job. It wouldn't be much, but it would be more than nothing I guess.
The line has gone in to Toys-R-Us. You know, maybe I'll go in too. They probably have a few DS games to peep.
Well... off for now. Another 12 hours of Golfland to look forward to, interrupted by what will hopefully be a 1 hour check of email, jobs and fun sites. Maybe a shower if the rec center has them. I didn't get the impression they did, but I guess I'll find out.
Oh noes. That was a bad idea. There were lots of peeps in line talking Wii stuffs and being happy buying Wii games and other stuffs. I would guess it was a big Wii shipment and they had some announcement (thus why the big line). The store is totally redesigned though. I wonder if it's more haunted now. Seriously. This is one of the more haunted places in my area. Though I've never experienced things (in the store), I've heard weird stories about toys being moved at night. Anyways... I guess that was a bad idea. Now I'm all sad and stuff 'cause I have no one to talk gaming stuff too, and I'm not a happy person in line waiting to buy a something and take it home to play with, or a something as a nice surprise for a sweetie or child. *sniff, sniff*cry* I don't understand why I don't have friends to play games with, or a sweetie to love, or a place to stay. (Yeah, people just went to their car and they both had Wii fit; had to be a Wii shipment.)
I hope I find a home soon... friends to play with... a sweetie to love... I are a sad bunny. *cry*
Bleh, Golfland doesn't open till noon. Some deal over here at Best Buy. Pretty big line. Doesn't open till 11, but I overheard someone say they were ok on Wii, but didn't know when Wii Fit or Mario Kart would be in.
I need to get back on track. I love this excitement and passing out news about this. It would be nice to get a job reporting on the industry or win enough lotto money so I could do this full time.
I'm ok again now... super sad there for a bit; had some crying time with my bunnies , but they cheered me up and reassured me things would be ok.
Day 6 - 7/7
Not much to say that's new. It's Monday, so everything is open. Got to shower, shave, do all my job searching, even checked in on all my fun sites. It's nearly noon, so plenty of time left for more job/email checking. Only one interview call so far, but it's a good one. If I recall, it's a TA position at a high school, so that's like yeeeeaaa. That's set up for Thursday, so it's a while from now.
Got hardly any sleep last night. An odd thing happened at my now previously favorite spot. I pulled in and in less than five minutes I heard what sounded like a (house) door close, and then a few minutes later a big truck like car comes barreling down the street from around the corner. Mind you, this place typically gets maybe three cars going down the road all night, though also gets a few walkers. Anyways, this car comes barreling down the road, then turns around past me, which is roughly three blocks from the main road they turned in on, and in a pitch black area, instead of a lit area less far down the road. They seemed to be going slow right behind me, creeping up on me; very odd behavior for someone turning around. You don't normally go three blocks to turn around then like stalk a parked car. Then the car seemed to swerve back to the main road and accelerate past. Now... I suppose I could have hallucinated it, that they were looking for a particular house, but teh rabb1t got scared, so I won't go back there again. Looks like my sleep times will pretty much be early morning, 5-8 AM and an occasional nap later in the day.
I'm feeling pretty good today. I stopped by the ex-house earlier to get a Pepsi (got a 'buy 2 get 3 free 12-pack deal, so I had a lot stocked up) stopped off at the side of the house and peeped into my ex-room. It was sad. I was like, "There's my room. I should be in there looking for jobs, having fun, and there is where my bed goes, with my bunnies giving me support and loves." Just a small cry came out, but... it's good to move on. There were things there that weren't happy. But still, the timing and method could have been a happier one.
I've been settled at school here all day, no need to move around Monday, Wednesday, or Fridays, so that has afforded me several hours to cycle the boards, talk to my peeps, check emails that need help, etc. Talking and helping has made me feel a bit better, a bit more... normal I guess. Though, it's super hot here today, must be over 90F. It reminds me of cool Summers I spent at my grandparent's house in Phoenix. Not sure why, but my guess was it has to do with the 'detached from my stuff' feeling in addition to certain sense memories triggered by the heat. Things like concrete and grass have different smell intensities at certain temperatures.
ZOMG I'm so hungry today. At like 6 I had several handfuls of cereal after my shower and nap. I had a big soup around 10:30. I got a Hungry Man TV dinner and ate that at around 2:30 and with how hungry I feel now I'll be looking for something for dinner.
A lot of talk about laptops and HDTVs on the boards today. I guess that's just a mix of students preparing for fall and peeps preparing for more fun. Makes me really wish I had the monies for the Asus Eee PC 12G XP so I could surf my sites from my own system. Not to mention my own mouse. Dear god those Mac mice are poo compared to the speed and buttons of gamer mice.
Ah well... one day at a time I guess. No point wishing or dreaming when so much of my life and so many of my choices are out of my control.
Just now 5:00, about 3 or 4 hours till things shut down here and I move on to... yup, Golfland. Not sure where I'll sleep tonight or if I will even try to. I'm sort of balancing out with just quasi-sleep / meditating through parts of the night (Kelno-reem? heh) then catching a few hours of sleep here at school.
Yeah, totally eating like 2x normal today for some reason. So I was over at In-n-Out Burger and I overheard some people near the door. "I want to be the archer... ok I'll be GM... we need some monsters..." I think they were going to do some LARPing. They weren't totally young people either. Certainly young-ish, but if I had to guess I'd have said they were closer to 30 than 20. I got all excited when I thought about it. That would have been something new, different, and been game-ish. Sadly, because I am pretty shy, I didn't say anything. (Like, "rar! I'm a monster!") If I had... who knows. I could have been having fun now and had a couch to stay on later. I'll have to look up if there are any formal groups in the area on teh Intarwebs. Maybe I would recognize them (from pictures). Damn, even that could have been fun, gotten me some friends... and one of the girls was pretty cute. If that's what Fate intended for me I'm sure I'll see them there again. I am somewhat of an RPer and did do many PnP games when I was younger. LARP is just a step up, or down I guess, from regular PnP games. At least it would have gotten me into a local RL community.
Ah well. There are some cute girls here at Golfland. Three hours remain 'till closing.
Day 7 - 7/8 - Strange infection from Mars!
Ok, maybe not from Mars, but I have no idea what this is. My thumb pad, wrist and a bit of my first two fingers are swollen / stiff. It isn't a ton, maybe 15% or so, but my flexibility / range of motion with my wrist is down like 20%. No clue why. It was itchy last night, maybe in the past 16 hours or so, but it isn't really itchy since it got swollen. I did notice a small scratch on my arm, about 14 hours ago I guess. It's possible something bit or scratched me and I'm having a reaction. I talked to a campus doc person. She basically said to watch the redness and see if it or the swelling / stiffness gets better or worse over the next few days. I'd guess it will be fine since itching seemed to be stage one and swelling stage two.
I can haz yummy breakfast fruits and juuuice. Three dollars; not super cheap, but not totally expensive. Have to stick with stuff I have now for the rest of the day though. I've been going over food budget lately, what with this enormous gas cost driving around everywhere to do stuff and find a place to (not) sleep.
Weird job people. I had two people who I'd interviewed with who were past their call-back time call me to say they went with someone else. I guess that's something, like I was a finalist or something. But still, duh, I guessed you guys didn't pick me already. Ah well, got some good resumes out today so far, which is surprising for my first job check of the day. Usually checks before about 10 AM don't have any new jobs yet.
Welp... breakfast over. Time to go mess around with my fun sites and wait for job calls / lunch / my next job check.
Day 8 - 7/9
Getting a late start on bla-bla today. Nothing really good or new to report. As usual there weren't many jobs posted for my morning check. My infection swelling thing is mostly better, though there is still some limited range of motion. I watched the finally of Hell's Kitchen online. Looks like the new seasons of Psych, Monk, and Burn Notice start this weekend, so I'll hopefully have those to look forward to on Monday. It's just so lame I can't watch them in a home. Got a message from my consolidated credit people. Hopefully there isn't anything wrong there. They just changed some things, so hopefully whatever issue they have is minor. Supposedly they will be online and it was implied I could pull money out of my account, which seems odd to me with a debt repayment thing, but these guys are doing things different from others. I am very tempted to see if I could do that and pull 600 out to get my Asus Eee PC or MSI Wind to get back my unrestricted internet access. It would be bad though, as that's two months of payments, but if I were making the 35k a year I should I could actually dump enough to be debt free in about 1 year instead of 2.5, at least debt free on credit card debt.
So... bleh... more waiting... off to call them and then run my second job search for the day.
Day 9 - 7/10
I'm actually starting out at a somewhat regular hour today. It's about 9:40 now and I slept ok from about 4:30 to 8:30, so wooooooooaaah. That's good because I need to be functional for my interview later. If I recall it's an 8-2 job, so part time, being an admin assistant at a school at a decent wage. That would roxor if it were.
I can haz doughnut and juuuice for tasty breakfast. My wrist is about 90% better, so that's good. The day is warm with a nice breeze so far.
No messages on my phone for jobs. That's not really unusual. As I think I've mentioned, most replying to ads happens in the early to late afternoon, so I don't really expect any replies for about 2 to 4 hours. I guess we'll see if anything is waiting on email. Wish I had my portable. I could be checking that too while I has my juuuice.
Day 10 - 7/11 - Your daily nom
Little bit of an earlier start today. I got a reasonable amount of rest; I'd guess 4 hours at one place then 1-2 more at a second. And this was real rest, had dreams and everything. Still cramped and squished all up, so not amazingly restful physically.
I'm totally hungry. Things don't open for another 15 minutes or so though. Hopefully the cafeteria place is open on Fridays. Breakfast is an important part of your daily nom should you be awake early enough to eat at that time.
The main interview was meh. I answered their interview questions as best I could, but, as per usual for child care positions, they were obviously looking for answers which involved experience. As I clearly state on my email, I have no actual in-class teaching / childcare experience. If someone really wants x, even though the ad doesn't say it's required, let's do everyone a favor and not call them in (for an interview). Gas isn't cheap, dummy-head employers.
Hopefull in mood today in general. Seems a nice enough day so far, but being a Friday we are likely looking at the first of three days of silence in terms of job postings and call backs for interviews.
I am really looking forward to having weekends again. You know, those times you sleep in, then decide if you want to play some World of Warcraft, then call up a friend or two, get your sweetie, and go see Hellboy 2 because it opened this weekend. A normal life; it's all I ask for. I don't understand it. All my life, as far back as about 5 years old, I was always living a life of extremes. I started being super good at school, then I was just meh. I was picked last for sports until people figured out I could hit the ball about 2x the distance of everyone fairly consistently. I had several friends, or I had no friends at all. More recently I had a sweetie or no love interests at all. If my life were a scale it would hover around 2-3 at the low points then go up to 8-9 at the high points, while normal people would waver between 4-7 almost all the time. As Monk says, "It's a gift... and a curse." I guess it certainly puts me in some interesting positions. I mean how many other people can say they have 15-20k unique visitors to their site a year? I mean wow! That's like a whole stadium full. Plus, I hear people mention me to other people (obviously I'm not the only one promoting my site, duh ) But still, I would have to charge people to visit the site if I were to make any kind of living with the site, and there are so few positions that pay which could use that expertise. I may offer system builder services in the future, but I have to get re-established with some kind of regular income. I don't get it... I'm waiting... and waiting... Well, time for some noms while I wait.
Bother... the cafeteria isn't open yet. No yummy juuuuice for me. Guess I'll have to nom in my car; Lucky Charms for teh winz!
Seems there was some conflicting signage I saw and the library (and possibly cafeteria) won't open till 10. So... nom in my car then just chill here with the fountain and you all for about one and a half hours. The only problem with that theory is... I don't know what else to say for today.
Blech! No cafeteria. Gonna just be expensive foods for today (as well as Saturday / Sunday) since I won't have access to a microwave. Four hours of Intarweb access remain. As expected, hardly any job prospects. There is one that looks fair though. Here is what I don't get; why the hell are there these high tech companies that won't accept resumes by email? I mean seriously, wtf? Who still uses fax? Certainly not the general public. That fax machine probably saps way more power than a low cost low energy PC would. Just buy a damn printer and use email lazy ass people. Open email, click, print, done, sheesh.
Well, at least I found something useful to occupy at least a little bit of my time later. It seems Best Buy has the Asus Eee PC 900 in stock. I can go check that out, see if it's size is tolerable. I'd probably find the high battery life of the 1000 helpful, but honestly I don't know if that + a tiny bit of screen size is worth the cost. ($700 vs. $550) The 12G XP version seems to have everything I'd need to get myself back on teh Intarwebs with no limitations, no restrictions and able to track my bookmarks and cookies all proper like again, not to mention access to my regular email program and, as part of that, proper job search tracking. I don't have monies for any version right now, but the 12G XP version is very attractive during my homeless time. Oh, I should also be able to load my web software and site onto it. I have those on my USB flash thingy just in case. That's not a feature I'd need once I was in a home again, I'd just use it for travel convenience doing web / email and the occasional school project, but for my use the 12G XP would be pretty roxor. I don't really need more in a laptop as I just use my desktop when I'm at home. But... no monies for any version right now. Ya never know though, I could get a decent part time job, or money from dad for my B-day next month, who knows. Maybe with the new version coming out I could catch a price break or find one for teh cheap on ebay.
Day 11 - 7/12
I'm sitting here at the Century 21/22/23 over by the Winchester Mystery house. It is an official spooky place. TAPS has been there and everything (spooky, but not "scientifically haunted"); waiting for Hellboy 2. This theater is full of win. It's showing Hellboy 2, Hancock, and Wanted. Hopefully tickets have not all pre-sold and I can get in. Box office opens at 10:50, first show at 11:15, so I am a bit early at 9:30.
I suppose I should talk a bit about the title of this journal, "Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer" and why I chose that. Gamers are often defined within the community by the types of games they play - Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOG), Role Playing (RPG), First Person Shooters (FPS), Real Time Strategy games (RTS), and so on - but I feel it is very important to note that for all gamers, be they hardcore or casual, gamers think and view the world differently.
One difference is a perspective that affects, and possibly defines, motivation. Gamers will, in most cases, game for two reasons. The first is because the game offers some kind of challenge. This offers players some puzzle or problem that's possible to overcome within a set of established rules. This is really the biggest difference between a perspective of a gamer and a non-gamer. While there are certain fields of work and certainly other hobbies that offer challenges there aren't always set goals or set conditions in which to meet those goals, nor is victory an option in every case. The playfield in the real world may not be even for everyone.
The second factor gamers game is because it is fun. Fun is difficult to describe in general because what is fun for one person will be different from what is fun for someone else. For one person fun may be social interaction with others, be that in the living room around a console or across the country or globe via an online game. Fun may be making your character do a silly dance, or beating a level or boss, finishing a track, or unlocking a reward.
Here is why I chose the title - many people wonder if a gamer is still a gamer even if they have no games. Often on the boards you will see people post they have no games they are playing at the moment, so they imply, sometimes even state, they aren't a gamer. Or, they define themselves as a "casual gamer" implying some difference in motivation from a regular gamer. I say this isn't true. I say even when you don't have games you are playing you are still very much a gamer.
If we get in the way-back machine to the very early 70s, when I was a tiny child, I would play in cardboard boxes, turning them into space ships, adding control consoles, drawing monsters to battle. Even in a time before modern gaming existed, I was a gamer. I was making games up myself. In 1973 Blue Box D&D launched, beginning the pen and paper genre, and Pong released, beginning the arcade genre. While I very clearly remember playing Pong a few years later, one of my earliest memories is from D&D years later, probably around the late 70s. I still remember the Blue Box set. My dad had gotten it for me. I guess I must have been 5 or 6 and I don't think he knew what it was. I think he thought it was a board game.
So here I sit. No role playing games to play, no board games, no console games, no PC games, many wonder if I'm still a gamer. Absolutely. My days are filled with remembering my games, the experiences I've had with those games, looking forward to the days I can play them again, as well as looking beyond to games yet to release.
The title "Epic Fail" is a term used in gaming that can mean a few different things. I believe it originated in raids, when something bad would happen and the raid was put into a position of being unable to continue and/or unable to recover. Epic fail can also represent a personal failure of an attempt at something that results in an often humorous result for onlookers.
So here we are. Being homeless I have epically failed and I've lost access to all of my current, past, and future games. Recovery will not be quick or easy, as the attempt at recovery has already taken several months with little success. (Well, no success really. I've been effectively unemployed 5 months now.)
Will I recover eventually? Absolutely. My systems also will be ready and able to game for years without changes (although my PC is due for changes, no part in it will be so far behind as to prevent my gaming in the future.)
In the mean time... until I get a decent or good job... until I get a room in a house or apartment of my own... I will have to wait. I will live a shadow life of a gamer, posting on boards, keeping up on news as best I can. The fact that I can't actually play doesn't change the core of my being. I still view the world the same, actually playing games or not.
Epic fail for now... I just need to find a resurrection point.
(For those curious to read more on why we play games, read my previous article, "Why do you play the game?" found here at my EQ site.)
Well, the morning was super fun. Hellboy 2 roxors my boxors. It's full of win. That's all there is to say about that. Handcock started 15 minutes after Hellboy 2 ended, so I'm snuck into that. hehe. I've never done that before I don't think. I guess no real harm or foul there since I did pay for one movie, and out of probably 200 or more seats (big theater) only like 15-20 people were in there.
Nothing to look forward to at this point tonight. I'll probably go back to In-n-Out Burger since I don't have access to a microwave. Dear gods though, I've had more fast food in this last week and a half than I have in probably the past three years. Hopefully the homeless shelter peeps will call soon and say they have a spot for me. I don't know what they would offer to feed me, but it would be for teh free, and more than likely way better than fast foods.
Day 12 - 7/13
The last thing I remember before waking up today was the song they use in Supernatural; one of the best TV series there is by the way. The only lines I know are, "Carry on my waaaaaayward son", "Lay your head down to rest", "don'cha cry no more." I will take it as a sign from the gods and try not to focus on the negative things about this journey.
I've decided to "release" Epic Fail in book form. This will have likely already happened by the time you are reading this, but I'll put it on the web, put up scans of the original pages, and today I decided to make a .pdf version on smaller pages with a title page and everything so you can take it to Kinkos and have it cut and bound all proper like. It would be kind of neat to see how many download it (maybe have a $5 donation link for e-publishing, heh), but I don't know if my web stats will track the file transfer.
Having a doughnut for breakfast today. I have to be super careful with b-fast because my tummy overloads on sugar and feels bad somewhat easily. Somewhat easy to accomplish with a doughnut, and even more so with fruit. All the pre-made fruit mixes are so ridiculously expensive though.
I decided to hang out at Best Buy 'till Golfland opens, but they aren't open for a while. The weird thing is the lot is half full, which is about 15% more full than during last week's Wii-stravaganza. It isn't weird that lots of cars are here. It's weird that there are zero people in them. Nada, zilch, zip. The people are nowhere to be found. There aren't any local shops they could have gone to. It's eerie. Ah well, got a bit till the store opens. All I have for today, of which now about 15 hours remain before I'll even try to sleep, is one fricken hour of library access, which is nowhere near enough time to do anything really, one job pass and that's about it, and at some point I should do my laundry; which is just ridiculously expensive. It takes like $3-4 per single load to wash and dry. I suppose that isn't really a whole lot, only $12-20 per month, but everything adds up. That's an expense I haven't had on my bills in over 12 years, so that's going to have an impact on my budget if it stays. Ah well, what are ya gonna do.
The wait for resurrection continues...
Seems the store didn't open till 11 (and Golfland and the library till noon). About 75 people poured out of the store at 10, went around back and now I hear laughing and various loud talking. This store likely doesn't normally have more than about 8 people on staff at any given time, so this must be some kind of regional moral meeting, or some kind of all-staff meeting (which would make up a high number if the majority of staffers were part-time, which these places tend to be.)
There was a cute gamer girlie at Golfland last night. I call her "Sega" due to her lanyard. I've seen her there a few times now. She plays one of those push the button music games, well two different ones I guess, but it was running at like a zillion miles per hour. She had combos of like 100-200 and a high of like 400. I was going to try and flirt with her, point at her when she saw me, then point to the "uber micro" on my shirt, then at her again, implying she had uber micro. (It's so hard to hear in there. It would be tough to flirt by chat without yelling.) But... no flirts for teh rabb1t. She never even glanced my way, even including a time she nearly bumped into me once when checking her cell phone. Looked right through me. Not even the smallest real glance my direction.
Ah... I think I have the answer... a smearing of cake on someone's face. Could be some kind of demented 'you must come in work cloths' wedding announcement / celebration.
Anyways... I were a sad rabb1t that the cute girlie wouldn't even glance my way. Am I that unattractive? I haven't had a date or any love interests in 8 years, soon to enter year 9. I suppose she has a sweetie. I was talking to a hotty at school about things, how I have no sweetie and no friends, and she asked why. I have no idea. I mean, yeah, I don't have any real life circles other than school, so I don't mingle with anyone, but, as to why, in 8 years, more if we are just talking friends, why no one has ever 'extended their hand in friendship,' I have no clue. It's not like I'm unlikeable. The other day I chatted with a couple of teen guys at Golfland after one had beaten that satanic Pile Up game that keeps cheating me out of my DS. I got a random compliment (on my boots) at school from a girl at school. (I call her the fountain spirit - seemed one of those free spirit, happy but kind of chubby, friendly but few friend, types.) And the other day a Best Buy employee said he liked my shirt. (The "Uber micro" one. I only have 3 with me. I may get one or two more. Tough to carry lots of cloths since I have a convertible.) So obviously I'm likeable, approachable, friendly, yet I can't seem to find any RL friends or a sweetie. It boggles my mind. The only thing I can attribute it to is the phenomenon ever since I was young - how I was always last to be picked. I wouldn't attribute it to low charisma. I am often considered cute, look about 10 to 15 years younger than I really am physically. I'm always considered a leader type due to organization, suggestion style, and knowledge. So why haven't I found any friends? Hum. I wonder if those who are well-liked leaders have friends. Like military types or work bosses who are liked. Maybe it's that kind of effect.
Ok now I really am out of things to say, heh...
Well, at least I found a close laundry. The wash is a touch more than the one I used up in Mt. View, but what with gas costs, it's cheaper than driving up there out of my way. Then again, this place is minimal; no TV, no people here to watch, zero entertaining things near by. Well, I guess it is only about 1 hour of my total day. Not like I'm in a rush to go anywhere or anything. Heck, I could probably be doing the wash naked and no one would see. But, my undies are actually fresh this morning, I'm using a work shirt I wear 6 hours per week (which is why I consider myself unemployed), and my pants are pretty clean. So here I stand, barefoot, waiting for my laundry. I guess there are too many people with washers around. In all the years I've done laundry outside the home, not once have I ever seen or done anything interesting, as some movies would have us believe. I'm sure in a different area of the country this might be a different story. Welp... about 45 min to go then it's off for my 1 hour of Intarwebs at the library.
Good news / meh news; I found a second set of computers I can use on the weekend, two hour max instead of the one. But... it was moving sooooo slow and crappy. It was like circa 15 years ago, before graphic cards existed. I go to the librarian after I can't take the slowness any more (seriously, waiting literally 1 minute for a click to register or 20-30 seconds for 5 keys of text is too slow) and I say to her, "Hi. I was just using a computer and it was like super slow and crappy. Do you have any that are more powerful?" She kind of giggled and shrugged helplessly and explained it was a combination of the systems being crappy and apparently the library web/internet Wi-Fi being crapped out. She said the web would be fixed and all the old crappy computers would be replaced with brand new ones by the end of the Summer. So that's helpful, but I'm hoping to be out of teh suck by the end of Summer. Hell, I'm hoping by mid-summer to be back somewhere nice before my birthday in late August.
I did get to check my monies today. Good thing I did. I only effectively have $9 to spend over the next few days, $25 more once something flips and like $100 more after my pay flips. I've had someone sending me some pretty huge help. Without his help I would have already run out of monies for food long ago and I don't know what I'd be doing now. *cry* Thanks London friend! *wave* Of course other donations help but I'm lucky to get one a week. Yet I'm thankful for all I get as they really do help. Good thing I found $10 the other day in a parking lot. Even that has made a big difference. (That got me into Hellboy, heh.) Guess it's time to cut my morale boosters off completely for a bit, even though they were only $5-10 a week.
I did get to do a touch more research on the super portables I'm looking at. Seems the MSI Wind, which I was also looking at, is really a competitor to the Asus Eee PC 1000 model. They have the same CPU, same ram, same 10" 1024x600 screen, and the only real difference is the 80 gig 5,200 RPM HD in the Wind vs. the 40 gig solid state flash in the Eee PC. (The battery is also different.) The price is apparently $500 for the Wind and $700 for the Eee PC. Wtf? Nearly a 50% price increase over the Wind? For what seems like just a brand and HD difference? Foooooo Asus better drop that price now that there is competition or they will lose customers. The white MSI Wind is now at the top of my list. Of course... still not having a real job to speak of... only effectively having $9 in my account, which will likely be gone for food and gas before the night is out... no laptop can be bought for a while. Just wishful thinking if dad sends some money, if I get a part-time job, or if I win some lotto monies. I suppose it doesn't really matter right now anyways. All the ones I'm looking at are out of stock. Nearly 5:00 now, so in roughly 15 hours things will be fine - we will be at Monday morning, jobs will be posted, calls will be made, and I'll have open access to the computers for several days roughly 12 hours per day.
Until then... more waiting... more mini-golf channel on the Golfland network... *lols at teen golf noob ricocheting the ball off the course to be lost in a bush* at least the mini-golf channel has its moments. Maybe something new will come up or come to mind at dinner when I get cheezburger. Four dollars and fifty cents for a hamburger with unlimited drinks? $6 for a double cheezburger? Win.
Day 13 - 7/14 - Often a lucky number of change
So the song they use in the Supernatural theme is, "Carry on My Wayward Son", by Kansas. The chorus, the part that's been in my head, and I think the only part in the show goes...
... which seems very appropriate for my life right now. I just need to find the Colt or enchanted knife.
The 13th has odd significance for me. My mom died when I was 13, which has tragically spun my life in certain directions, since she was the source of all my support and encouragement. But, it also began the cycle of me starting to do things myself. Two sides of the same coin really. My most recent ex, who I really consider my first true and complete love, was my 13th sweetie. My life seems to have disasters that cause tremendous change every 13th year. While 1 away from that third cycle now, during the last cycle my marriage was falling apart and we were deciding to get divorced. Will today be a good day of change? Who knows, so many 13ths pass during the months and are completely uneventful.
I'm kind of sad I have this dumb part time night job. The Friday night ~8:00 showing of Dark Knight will, no doubt, be a fun time for all. Down at the theaters near the Winchester peeps have dressed up and done silly things on opening night for such hits, and no doubt Dark Knight will likely be the biggest deal... well possibly same as Indiana Jones 4, maybe even huger, since it wasn't that long ago Batman Begins came out compared to how long ago it was since the last Indi film.
No jobs on the morning check. Not a surprise. No one is up at 8 AM. Next round should be better. I can kill some time with Psych and Monk. Hopefully they will both be on teh Intarwebs for teh free. Doctor Who isn't, Weeds isn't, Secret Diaries of a Call Girl isn't, so that's all sad. Those will be out on DVD, well they all will, so I'll catch up eventually.
Oh, I guess one good thing today so far is some donation monies flipped to my account. I have a fair bit more than the $3 I ended my day with yesterday. That will allow me to get gas and some micro-foods without worry. That's something at least.
Welp, guess I'm off to watch my shows and do round two (of about six today) of job searching.
11:15... hungry... time for some lunchies. I really like the Safeway chicken soup. You can has it for teh cheap. It's often on sale for like four or five for $3. The yummyness to cost ratio is super high. The Progresso Classic (I think it is) chicken soup is also extremely yummy, but at $3.50 a can it is vastly more expensive.
Looks like Monk and Psych start this week. Burn Notice was new though. I like that show. Lots of good spy infos.
Um... nom nom nom... can't really think of anything else.
Seems my USB cover went missing somewhere. My brain remembers seeing it at all points this morning, so it had to have fallen off (or been pushed off by my cloths) somewhere near my car. I hate to think it may be at my morning parking spot. That's all the way across campus. I'll look around the current spot when I go back for a snack / nap later. Hopefully I can find it. I'm sure it's fine without it, but I'm obsessive about those kinds of things. Wouldn't need it if I had my Wind or Eee PC. Hopefully I can get one soon. I figure with a part time job I won't earn enough to pay rent, so that first half month or so rent could go towards a touch of leeway for food and the laptop.
Had an interview not too long ago. When the girl was talking to me on the phone she was talking about me and my skillz, which is very different from the normal tone of phone interviews, where the person makes it sound like you need to convince them you are the most uber thing since sliced bread. The RL interview was similar, but about 50/50 me/the job. It was very different to interview somewhere that seemed like they wanted me instead of sounding like I had to convince them I was right (for the position).
A long time ago, just over 1 year ago I think, a similar thing happened. This guy I referred to as Humperdink contacted me from Curse gaming (.com). They were looking at creating a hardware section and he'd seen my rabb1t posts and was interested in hiring me. He approached me, totally weird. Turns out that never panned out. I kept contacting him every few weeks and he kept not getting back to me. I finally gave up and, last I saw, they still hadn't set up their hardware section (a full year+ later.)
I kind of feel like celebrating. I know I don't have the job and all, but just being wanted and feeling appreciated for a change is very different. I wouldn't go crazy, but I'm considering spending up to $7 on dinner vs. like $2-3 for microwave food. I know, I know, sad state of affairs when spending an extra $3 or $4 is a big deal, but still. I might even buy some foods from this Unamas place. I don't really eat that food, so I have no idea what I'd get. I'll probably wind up going to Mr. Chows. Overpriced these days, but it used to be pretty good back in the day. There is a good one (oriental food) in the cafeteria here next to Unamas, but they are closed for the Summer, so that's sad. Normally when I have monies and want to celebrate I'll get pizza from Round Table, usually Pepperoni or Ham & Pineapple, ideally half-and-half, and then a 6-pack of cupcakes (ideally mixed vanilla and chocolate) from Safeway. It's like, woot, instant party! Too expensive for me right now, plus what with no fridge... Well, I'll go see what the Unamas has and try and decide what to do for dinner. Normally don't eat for about 2 more hours, but I'm so hungry. Maybe I'll just get a small pre-dinner snack.
So the food smelled too yummy - experimenting with a burrito. I think I've only had one or two of these ever. Guess I'm kind of a freak for my area, heh. nom nom nom fairly tasty. I give it a 6 out of 10. Certainly not something I'd go out of my way for, but pretty good and there is lots of the foods, so this is like two meals for me. nom nom nom... you know, I used to get a chicken / beef burrito at Chili's. That one is super yummy. (Edit: My bad. I later recalled that was a fajita.) Something seems fishy about this, like literally fishy, like some of this chicken isn't chicken. Could be the salsa...
6:00 PM. Everyone has emptied out of the cafeteria save for a few. Guess classes started. I've got access to teh Intarwebs 'till 9. I'll probably stick around for most of that time. The job boards pretty much quiet down by 4, so there won't be much for me for the rest of the night.
Seems so strange to me now. People scurrying around hurrying from one place to the next - hurry, hurry - yet I've got forever. I sit. I watch. People move around me as if I were a statue.
So full, but it was just meh. I probably would have liked a micro dinner better. But, ah well, we can only learn and grow through new experiences. Without experience, without new stimulus, we never change.
I was feeling pretty good and happy there for a while, but I guess I crashed pretty hard emotionally there during dinner. It's the times when people are doing mass activities that really get to me. Seeing everyone leave for class, or to go home, off to eat dinner or meet friends, these are the times I get sad. I think of the time, what everyone in my area is doing at that time, and then it hit's me... I'm missing all of that. Besides eating, there isn't a single thing others are doing that I can either afford to do or have the resources to do.
There was a thread on a beta board I'm on, "I'm bored." I posted some very sad things in there, and I'm sorry for that. I did say that in the thread too, but as I said there, I prey to the gods to be bored like a normal person, to have the options of TV shows, Internet sites, movies to watch on DVD, movies to watch in theaters, friends to go have dinner with, a bed to just go to sleep in early; everything everyone everywhere takes for granted on a daily basis, I can't do.
I know, at least I hope, this isn't forever. I know and hope with a 30k or higher job I would have enough to get back into a room in about a month of saving, into my own apartment possibly if I could manage to get a job at 36k or higher. (Though my credit is likely too crapped out for that to be an option probably for about a year.)
But right now, right now it seems so many people take so many things for granted around me. They have all these resources (bed, shower, TV, refrigerator, stove, bathroom, etc.) and all these relationships (sweetie, loved ones, friends), and I pray and wish I had just a few of those. To those reading these ramblings, please don't take anything for granted. Take the minute to set aside the reading, tell your sweetie you love them, tell your friends you appreciate their company, call your mom or dad. You never know when those things, or those people, will be lost.
Day 14 - 7/15
10:00 AM. Finished my morning cycle of job searching and fun stuff. Time for rambling...
I found my USB drive cap. Yeeeeaaaa. It was where I thought it was, at the morning parking spot. I've only ever lost like one or two things in my whole life, so that was weird it was misplaced like that. Guess it popped off when I took it out of my pocket.
My thighs are all crampy today. The folding myself in half to "sleep" isn't terribly good for my parts. I guess I'll have to try and find a position where my legs can be straight, probably have to have my upper body all upright. I found a somewhat better spot for sleeping. It's at that same church, but around back. The front part has people that park then go to nearby houses, so that's relatively safe, but around back is even more hidden. No one goes back there, so there is effectively zero chance of me being seen, and the border are houses, apartments and the church. So again, being discovered is effectively zero, as people would have to be looking-out of their back windows to see me, then report me. What are the odds someone would care if I parked in a back area of a church and the odds the police would care if said report mentioned they thought I was sleeping there? Not to mention I'm only there from about 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Again, effectively zero odds someone would even care at that time, as they themselves would be sleeping.
Pretty sleepy and groggy today. It seems I forgot to grab lunch on the way in from my car. Have to get that later. The world seems groggy / sleepy as well. It's all chilly and overcast today.
There is this momma duck and 6 baby ducklings at one fountain. It's totally cute 'cause they are so young they still have the down feathers, no real feathers yet. The family was there yesterday too. hehe
Um... nothing else really to talk about. Got some decent fun time with posts and board surfing, so that's a nice change. No jobs really to reply to, just a couple of lower pay or part-time things, not entirely unusual for the morning check. It is getting crazy though. The number of posts are getting fewer and fewer. When I started looking, about 7 months ago, the city job sites had a dozen to two dozen posts for each site. Now it's between 2 and 4 posts each. The main job site I use, Craigslist, has fewer posts as well, but it isn't quite as bad. I'd guess it's dwindled to 60-70% what it was. Ah well, only takes one good job, right?
Let the waiting continue...
Lunch time. Cafeteria is packed. Everyone is here for teh nom. I looked at the menu they have - some good looking stuff, but it's pretty much $7 or over for everything. Sheesh that's like double what my expensive soups cost, and is slightly more than In-n-Out Burger. I'm really beginning to question the upkeep cost on this homeless quest vs. the reward. The drop rate is total crap too; not to mention the nearly non-existent boss spawn for the reward.
So... I went for teh cheap. Got an expensive soup I had and the last of the cookies. I am actually in the mood for a burger, which is extremely rare, particularly considering I've had more in the past two weeks than the last like 3 years.
I'm noticing a high number of camouflage items around here. Probably one item every other day or so. I wonder if these people are just getting them because they are in fashion, or do they really consider the political implication of it? Sure, most of the time I wear military / special forces style boots, but I do support the military (just not the current war). In fact, had I not had totally flat feet, and later in life motion sickness and asthma, I likely would have tried out for some special ops branch.
I'm seeing a small handful of regulars here, more then likely temporarily displaced like me. There is "Ballman", who is always bouncing a yellow tennis ball, no racquet. And more recently there is "Businessman", who tends to monopolize my favorite station in the library. He's always semi-business dressed, got a leather bag, and he seems to be doing engineering stuff online (email, documents, etc., and the occasional dating site?). This guy is way wacked though. I peeped what he was doing once and he had regular life stuff set up like a technical manual. He was doing an email I peeped once and his reply was broken down the same way with options. I really hope it was just those items. I'd hate to think this was how this guy's brain worked all the time. There is also "Crazy laughing girl", who is always watching videos. Things like live-action Power Rangers, talking and laughing back at the video. And "The Russian", who watches videos and talks to friends on his phone. There are a few homeless who I see here and there, but they aren't truly noteworthy of a distinct name, and I only see them rarely.
People are sharking around for table space, guess I'll go back to the library since I'm done with my nom and let others do their nom.
If you ever want a taste of what it is to be homeless and without a support system, I think I've got a good way to try it out. First, you need some dirty cloths; not really stained or whatnot, just ones you've worn a few times and haven't washed yet and you go, 'bleh, this is dirty', and you aren't comfortable in them. Put those on. Drive or otherwise travel, to a fast food restaurant. A regular one will work too, but fast food is better. Leave your wallet in the car, so you have no spendable money on you during this experiment. Walk up to one of the windows, not super close or you may be viewed as creepy person, but maybe like across the parking lot, maybe a car or two lengths away. Just hang out there for a while. Fifteen minutes should be more than enough. Watch the people going in to eat. Watch them leave, knowing they are going to a movie, other fun, or back home. Listen to the friends and families having fun, laughing, sharing. Watch them through the window. See how they eat, share their time together, how they put food down, or gobble it up. Realize now that all of that, the eating, the conversations, having fun, coming to eat, leaving to go do other things, sharing with loved ones, you can have none of that. Feel the loneliness in the still and silent air around you compared to the conversation and laughter inside. Feel your hunger, and the emptiness in your pocket representing the fact that you can't or shouldn't buy this food. Watch as families, friends, sweeties, leave, going off to enjoy a movie, enjoy each other's company, off to watch TV or sleep in a bed, and know that all you have, all you can have, is right here in this spot. You can't have any of that. All you get to do is watch it all pass you buy, a silent observer not invited to participate or share in any way.
That's my life right now. That's my life every waking moment, and often times it even penetrates into the few times I can manage to sleep and dream.
Set a timer if you like. The fifteen minutes will end. While it will seem long I'm sure it will pass fairly quickly for you. But for those who are homeless, those with no such timer, there is no alarm to wake us up and tell us we can go back to our normal lives. We live in this moment all the time. Normal life only exists in dream and long ago memories. It happens all around us, but we aren't allowed to take part.