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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 205

Day 1429 - 5/30 - Quiet sleep

Today was the second morning I got a chance to sleep in. I always forget how much quieter cars with regular tops are compared to soft tops. Of course too they are ovens in the sun. Fooooo was the car hot today. It has air conditioning and I'll need it until I get used to how hot it feels. But it was very super quiet in the morning at school, so that is good for sleeping in. In risky to sleep places that could be a bad thing, as I would not be able to easily hear others coming up on me. I have the sanctuaries though, so as long as those are available I shouldn’t have to worry about risky sleeping places.

I'm still not caught up on getting back in a car. I still have to change the title over, go get blood drawn for a test, and set up / go to an eye check-up. But in a few weeks all of that should be taken care of and I should be all settled again in terms of routine and al.

I guess today was ok. I'm still pretty sick. Mostly it's just sneezing and congestion, but sometimes too it's coughing, wheezing, and feeling chills. Sleeping in and the decongestants seem to be helping a lot, so hopefully in about a week that will be cleared up. I only remember a few bits and pieces of today. Sleeping in at school, playing with friends a bit in the afternoon, trying to play but having bandwidth cut out in the evening, getting caught up with one of my shows with a collected season.

I guess all in all it as an ok day. But still, at the end of it I do not go back home. I do not sleep in a bed.

Day 1430 - 5/31 - Lonely, in a different way

Today seemed lonely, but in a different way. It was more busy than not. It seems now that I can go places I almost seem to be hurrying about to and fro from various places. In the morning I had to transfer the car title. That was nearly $150 to put into my name. And the fees are due in a month, which is another $100, plus a tune-up, which is like another $250 after that. I didn't have enough time to rest after I did that if I wanted to be at the restaurant when it opened. I did have nearly two hours, but with the time it would have taken to get to sleep, time to wake back up, it would have been closer to one hour, which didn't seem worth it. So, I instead just went to the coffee shop. I played for a bit there, played at the restaurant a few hours, then went off to work.

I didn't see any of my online friends today. Everything was quiet really. It was lonely, but not in a way I have felt lately. This was more like the old days, back when I had a home, but was too busy to be able to stay in one place for more than a few hours at a time. I am thankful for work. The 30 hours a week I'm working for these few weeks is what I really need to be working if I'm to get back into any kind of home. But, it is just temporary, and in a few weeks it will stop. (Though I may get other kinds of extra hours or day.)

Soon I will be back to my normal homeless state and times. I will hopefully settle back down in weight, emotion, and sleep. But, as always, I wonder if Fate has forgotten about me. I wonder if I will ever be in a home with a truly regular schedule and life ever again.

Day 1431 - 6/1 - June bug

Today was another day that passed seemingly quickly. I slept in at school for a few hours, so that was good. I'm still a bit worried at just how much I don't hear when sleeping in the car, but I've never had trouble on school grounds, even on days when it was a lesser holiday and I was one of only a few cars there.

After I got up I went to get poked. I guess it was a little over a month ago I got the new blood pressure meds and the doc wanted me to get re-tested to see that my blood work was ok I guess I may hear back in a few days. I think she wanted to add on the old meds on top of the new ones to see if that helped. So, if that's the case I guess I'll hear back on if the blood work looks ok for that.

I tried to play one of my online games for a bit at the restaurant. I only had a few games with others. Mostly the people were dummy heads and not coordinating or trying to do things beyond their ability. I miss my online friends playtime. I did get to play online while at work, but I couldn't connect other nights. Hopefully over the wekend we can play and have fun.

It's June today. The start of the last month of the Fail year of being homeless. It's tough to believe that another year has passed with really no change. I suppose this year it doesn't seem surprising. I remain trapped by the limitations of both what I am able to do and the knowledge I have in terms of ways out. Obviously something needs to change, but the ways I know are the ways I know. Previous thoughts and searches for alternate paths revealed nothing, and would be the same if I were to look again. I guess, as I have for so many years now, all I can do is try to get by one day at a time, and hope that whatever it is Fate needs me to do comes soon and I can move on. I am ok with who I am, but it seems apparent I am not yet in the place or time for change to occur. So until then all I can do is try and hold on.

Day 1432 - 6/2 - Internet trouble

Today has become sad. It's only just nearing 6:45 PM and my day is basically over. The Internet went out at the restaurant about an hour or more ago and it hasn't recovered yet. They claim to have reset it a few times and basically noone can connect. I've been telling them for weeks they should have someone look at it because it's been dropping connection a lot and that's not normal. Maybe one lost connection every four months, sure, that's not unheard of. But more than that is not normal, let alone one or more drops every day several days in a row.

There are a few other gaming grade connections I could try in the area now that I have a car, but my main friends that I play with are busy until 7 or 8 my time, and after a day of doing stuff it's very unlikely they would feel like playing.

So I am sad. My connection to everything was cut off for a long time. When it was supposed to be working again it wasn't, and I am forced to move if I want one. And while it's possible moving somewhere and reconnecting may make me happy, without friends around, with noone to talk to and share things with who I enjoy the company of, I just don't think it's worth trying to reconnect somewhere. I would consider going to a movie, but when I am sad is not the time for that. I will probably just be sad, accept the limitation of my homeless life, and go be in my car somewhere and do nothing, listen to podcasts, and maybe try and sneak in "to bed" early. Sad day in my sad life is sad.

Day 1433 - 6/3 - Feels like broken ribs

Today I feel extra bad. I don't really feel more sick, but last night when I was getting gas I got sick. I started coughing and coughing and my rib cage was squeezing and I threw up. Twice. Not a whole lot, maybe half a soda can worth, but still. Today my ribs feel kind of broken. My lungs feel... bad. I think it was a mix of several things; too many medicines, too much congestion in my lungs and tummy, too much dairy (I'm lactose intolerant and even in the best of health too much is risky), and all of the general stress and sadness in my life. It was just after I'd left the restaurant and done my writing too, so that (losing Internet) stress may have been part of it as well.

I had an extra work shift this morning, so that was good. The first few slots were empty again. I should have napped in the office, but I didn't. The calm and quiet environment seemed enough at the time to just be restful, but now I'm regretting not napping. I'm so very exhausted. Other than some extra tiredness and congestion I don't feel too bad.

The restaurant didn't connect to my phone when I tested after work, so I drove away immediately and went to a different connection point. I saw my friends and we played for a bit. It wasn't long though, only about an hour.

Since they left so early (it was barely 5:30 my time) I went to see a movie I'd been wanting to see since it came out like a month ago. I'm glad I finally saw it and didn't miss seeing it in a theater. I'd decided long ago to continue living my life even though I was single and without friends to do things with. But then, I wouldn't want to be with people just to not be alone. I want to have friends I get along with, and a sweetie who is like my best friend. (I suppose theoretically that wouldn't be terribly hard since I have no offline friends. I do like my life at times. I am quite sensitive to volume, incessant or even repetitive music playing, scents, routines in terms of activities and energy levels... I do remember through most of my life when living with people these can be disrupted. But, I would like a complete life back. I would like a home back. I would like (offline) people in my life who understand and respect these things. I do so hope to find these things again, but I worry that I never will.

Day 1434 - 6/4 - Taken by the void

Tonight I am very very sad. There is this place in the ex-garage I call the void. There is this furniture thing I have to put some of my stuff on, and the area behind it is the void. Before tonight it had already claimed a large collector's box of a game. Today I got a new smallish box to put some movies and games in that have been scattered here and there. I put some into the new box, then placed it on top of the furniture thing. I heard a 'shwoop thump' of the box sliding off the top into the void. I moved some junk and recovered, I think, most of it. I don't even know what all I'd put in there. But I can see at least three or four items still in the void. I can try and move like a ton of stuff to get to that section of the void, but I'm guessing it would take at least an hour because the ex-garage is getting more and more full of junk and there is nowhere to move stuff to. (And yes, most of this is literal junk. There is hardware here that is between 6-15 years old, stuff long past being useful, and much of it not compatible with anything anymore. There are other things that is stuff noone wants that's not been moved in 3-14+ years. There's even a bin of baby toys here for when the not-sis visited that the ex-roomies had borrowed, and the not-sis' little ones are now in their teens.)

The easy thing to do would be to have some kind of 6+ foot long grabbing thing to get the items with, but I don't think such a thing exists. The longest I've seen is about 2-3 feet, and a child's toy.

I hate this. My precious things are in such risk of being lost and forgotten. The only reason I remember the void has my collector's game already is that I put it at the forefront of my mind every time I go to the ex-storage. At this point I would never remember the other items it has. After a week or so I'd be sure to forget what they were. Best case scenario I recover these then get them into the new box and maybe tape it shut or something. But then what? Do I stop buying things so I have no new games or movies to worry about losing? Do I stop buying or being gifted other things? My only other option would be to move my stuff into a storage unit, bringing them out from behind layers of stuff that's not mine into an environment that I, in theory, 100% control. But that isn't financially feasible. Last I looked the smallest spaces are $100-150 a month. And, I wouldn't have 24/7 access, which is a pretty important feature to keep me emotionally balanced. I guess my only real option is to recover what I can and be super extremely careful of placement. Beyond that my only option is to sell stuff in the shelf area to possibly make some room for the new stuff that's in an overflow area. I guess maybe too I could get a bigger bin, one not at risk of falling into the cracks. But a big bin is more obviously spotted.

My precious thins... the fragments of my life... are starting to be buried and lost.

Day 1435 - 6/5 - Get a bigger bin

Today has been a nice surprise so far. It's nearing 1 and everything I'd hoped to do before my work shift is already totally done. Since the Internet has been broken at the restaurant I decided to start my day by sleeping in at school with no alarm. I had trouble getting to sleep at first, but then I slept until just past when an alarm would have gone off. It was nice to let my body sleep with no stress of alarm though. I went to pick up a bigger bin at the store after. I got the smallest big one for $10, which is less than I thought it would be, so that was good, I went by the ex-garage to see about the retrieval project. Not only did my Tetris plna go as well as expected it only took about 15-20 minutes from start, to retrieving my items from the void, to putting all the junk back. Now all my recent precious things are in a big bin safe and sound (including the magic hat.) I dropped off some chips to my friend/ex-roomie at the ex-house on the way out. (The mixed pack comes with some I don't like.) She was there and invited me in and we chatted and stuff for about half an hour. Nothing in the ex-house has really changed in the like year+ since my last visit. There were some pictures on canvas that were new. She found a place that takes your pictures and does that. They looked pretty good. (Likely a straight digital printing of some kind from the file.) Things like the table with junk that had been there for the last 5+ years appears to be untouched. I guess it's more normal than not, maybe it's just my Spartan lifestyle, but I would never leave stuff like that around when I didn't want them there. Stuff out that I didn't want there would bug me, especially if I had decided I didn't want that area messy.

So here we are, mid-day, and everything I'd hoped to finish in the whole day is done and I can try to relax. The restaurant Internet is still down, so I'm somewhere else. Since some managers have changed and they've shown no interest or care to fix it, it may be days or weeks or never before it's fixed. At least I have other places I can go to try and play. And, as sad as my life remains, I know there are people who worry, care, and hope I recover. All I can do is try to hang on until I do.

Week 206

Day 1436 - 6/6 - Off balance sick

Today I feel sick from being off balance. My whole schedule is chaotic now from the restaurant being out. I slept in at school with no alarm, which was awesome. I got nearly 11 hours of sleep total I think. But then I went to two different, well three different, places. One to get food, one to have Internet for a bit, and one to try to sign up for a 'season of movies' since I have extra hours through the end of the month. I guess the local store is closing down though, as all rental stores have, so no more store rentals for a month for me. It could explain why the rental movie box is shut down as well.

When I left work I almost threw up from coughing. While I am super congested and sneezing I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't more stress related than anything else. It did start when I lost Internet at the restaurant. Before that I did feel sick, but not this kind of sick. Routine and stress management have been critical to my staying mostly ok, and I think this has really thrown me off. I think tomorrow I'll go back and see if I can get them to reset the modem again. The other connections around are too unreliable really, and not the best place to be for gaming with friends.

I did a bit of work on podcast 59, so that was good, as I had nothing so far for it yet. I don't know if it's my balance being wrecked lately or just because my friends aren't around to play with and talk to, but I don't really feel like playing much lately. Granted that in itself kind of imbalances me too.

My whole life is in flux and off balance again because of one change. I really wish this stopped happening and I could recover to a normal life.

Day 1437 - 6/7 - Disruption

Today was kind of about disruption. It started at school, where I was having sad/scary dreams and forced myself awake to show myself that I was safe and sound on school grounds. It was strange to think such a bad dream could have come less than 1 hour after falling back to sleep.

I decided to eat at the restaurant and the second disruption came. The wireless was on and connected, but only for 2.5 hours, when it decided to drop me mid-game. I have been talking to their corporate tech support and I guess the issue has something to do with the cable lines themselves and goes deeper than the modem / router. So hopefully that will be resolved soonish and I will have the option to go back again.

In the evening my cookie eating was disrupted by them being all melty from hot weather even though they had been in the trunk. I put them in the fridge for a bit at work to re-solidify the chocolate, but that just got them all stuck together after.

Haven't seen my online friends in a while to play. I guess they are super busy with stuff for the next few weeks. An ex-guildie friend checked in with me though, so that was nice.

One thing did stick with me today. When I was at the restaurant with my headphones on but not listening to anything - I do that sometimes to block out the incessant loud music - I overheard someone in a group of about six say to his friends, 'Awww Look at that guy in the corner all by himself.' It was nice to be noticed and seen, but it kind of reminded me this is how my life is. I'm the guy people see alone in the world. And, in a way, I've always been sitting alone in the corner. I don't know why, but I've never really had more than just a few friends. I've never been one of half a dozen in a lunch group like this guy was. I don't know why, nor do I know if that will ever change.

Day 1438 - 6/8 - Movie, no games

Today was a bit different. Since I didn't know if I wanted to see a movie this weekend with a crowd I decided to see one in the late morning. I guess it was due to it being opening weekend that the theater was as packed as it would have been at night, so that was kind of sad. They were all quiet during the movie, and noone sat in my section at all, so there were no scents to bother me.

After, I only had about 1.5 hours before I needed to head to work, so I just had lunch and did some web news reading type stuff. There wasn't really any time for games.

In the evening I did most of the finishing of podcast 59, and watched a couple of movies during my shift. Both work locations will be closed for a few days for school graduation, so I actually get three days off in a row. As odd as it seems to sound it seems like forever since I've had a break like that.

That's really my day. Nothing interesting or really special happened. As always, I wished I had a sweetie or friends to have shared the movie with, among other things, but my life is what it is. And that's how it seems it has to be for now.

Day 1439 - 6/9 - Faded pictures

Today was a surprise. I decided not to sleep in, as it would have been later than usual since I posted my podcast first thing in the morning. I decided to go get a burger for half-off at the restaurant. Much to my surprise I could connect to the Internet, and it stayed connected all night. I guess maybe it's fixed now. So that was quite a surprise to find. I look forward to going back tomorrow after my moving post-nap.

On the way to hiding I saw into a few people's windows. It's getting warm again, so some people had their windows open with covers drawn. It made me think of my rooms in the past. My stuff is not in a room. Nothing is out to have things properly put away. In fact, the memory of my last place is now as faded as the one before, and the one before, and before, all the way back to my first room I had as a child. I thought of all the pictures and screenshots I have on my computer and phone, and realize they are more vivid in my memory than my room, even for places I've never been and people I've never met. As much as American culture focuses on being an individual and being different, and while my life is unique and different from everyone else, I wish it wasn't.

Day 1440 - 6/10 - The language of pew pew

Today was pretty sad. It started with not being able to sleep in at school. There was some event going on with a heightened police presence and who knows what kind of audience.

Then at the restaurant the manager who was once nice, but has recently seemed unfriendly and like he's pushing me out came to talk to me. Apparently he saw the messages I sent to corporate and was like mad that I didn't talk to him about getting things fixed. I told him his server said they, implied the management, weren't interested in looking into the problem. We chatted for a bit and he seemed interested in trying to fix the problem, yet at the same time was trying to deflect blame on me claiming that I had high usage and that was causing the issues. Sorry, but no. If my normal gamer activities on a slow speed connection (landlines go 6-10x faster) was capping bandwidth and causing issues then I'd guess just about 75% of every gamer out there would be having issues. After our talk I found reference to a 300 gig a month soft cap for residential customers (which they are probably under). After 9 hours there today my regular activities had barely used 1 gig. So, even if I was there 100% of the open hours and open days, which I'm not, my average monthly use would be about 10% of their total monthly cap. There is no way my gaming / show watching is causing issues. If that were true and possible so many gamers across the country, and probably the world, would have serious issues. So, while he explained he has been overworked lately and was sorry for the outage and misunderstanding I don't know how I feel about his blaming me for the outages. (Especially since I've now been coming here for nearly a full year, having the same habits I do now in terms of bandwidth use.) I already feel weird enough being there so much to try and have somewhat of a normal life and keep my sanity. But he can't understand that. Noone who hasn't been homeless without any help for a long time possibly could really know how it feels to, in a way, need to force/impose yourself on others to try and cling to some kind of feeling normal.

The afternoon was ok. I played a game I don't normally play. I grouped with some strangers online. There were some people speaking, I think, Russian. We did pretty good together. It was funny because after a while I had figured out both voices were coming from one person's account. I guess there was a girl playing and she was explaining stuff to the guy. It was funny because I could kind of tell by her tone/inflection what they were talking about in terms of what was going on in the game. We did mid-level difficulty missions and did good for several rounds, which is rare, so I'm again impressed that even though we couldn't talk to each other we understood enough about the personality and style of the other that we did good as a team.

I think I am definitely sick again. I'll probably make an appointment tomorrow. My throat and lungs feel dry, and taste oddly. I am still coughing so much I sometimes almost feel like throwing up (usually when I taste the odd taste from my lungs). I'm sneezing a ton, and since last night my ears are ringing and get plugged up.

More than anything I want to be in a home, alone, save for being with friends or a sweetie of my choosing (not just people I am friendly to, like roommates in a house, that I never spend time with when they aren't around.) And more than anything I want to be in an environment I can get healthier, like running an air purifier, and cook healthy / good foods. At the end of the day these are always the things I hope for, but lately wonder if I will ever see.

Day 1441 - 6/11 - No appointment yet

Today I felt pretty crappy. My ears are still ringing, I've been coughing and sneezing and feeling bad. Before my nap I tried to make an appointment at the school. The person wouldn't set me up because I show up as not a student now. I'll try again on Wednesday maybe and see if the person who has known me forever is there. This was not the usual receptionist person. If I am still not snuck in then I'll have to go to the regular hospital. It wouldn't be terrible, but it would be like 30 minutes drive, plus waiting to check in, plus waiting to be seen, etc. etc..

Other than that I guess today wasn't bad. I spent the day at the restaurant since I had the night off. I didn't play much though. As I've said, without my friends the games I have that I'm currently playing just don't seem as fun.

I did my online work and that was really about it. I had strange dreams again at school. Not bad I don't think, but strange enough to remember that they were strange.

I chatted with someone at the restaurant about bunnies for a bit. She saw I had a picture of some on my phone. She mentioned that since they are a preyed upon species they don't show weakness until it is basically too late. She lost her bunny because they couldn't tell he was so sick. I suppose that's another thing I share with them. People who don't know my terrible story would never guess it's there.

Day 1442 - 6/12 - Returning to (homeless) normal

Today has just started. It's just past noon and I just woke up a little bit ago. I'm at the pizza by the slice place having lunch noms. Things are possibly slowly returning to homeless normal. I was undisturbed and uninterrupted at the restaurant yesterday. When I checked my blood pressure it was way down at 122/81, which is the closest to my previous 120/80 that I was in more years than I can count. My body has been sleeping in and catching up on sleep for a while now. I've got a few hours today and then I'm off to do laundry, which will include a couple of extra loads to do my sleeping blankets, which haven't been done in probably 8 or more months.

It seems today things may finally be returning to homeless normal. If that's enough to allow me to eventually return to a truly normal life, only time will tell.

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

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