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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 207

Day 1443 - 6/13 - Better and worse

Today I feel better and I feel worse. Most of the time I feel pretty good, with just a bit of a wheeze and cough. But other times I get into a coughing fit and feel like I'm going to throw up and I'm gasping for breath. I'll definitely try and see if I can see the school doctor when I wake up, but it's more likely that I'll have to go to the regular hospital. With it being nearly two weeks since early signs this new, or returned, cold is obviously not going anywhere and sticking around with a vengeance.

I guess outside of that today was decent. I slept nearly 10 hours, getting up just before noon. I had nothing I needed to do, so I had some lunch and watched a few shows. I played a few rounds of one of my games online, and it went decently. At work I watched a silly movie during my shift and had a chance to do some podcasting.

I am hiding for the night now. Just about an hour ago I was coughing and gasping for air, but everything seems to have settled back down again now. There is still congestion and a bit of the chalky feelings in my lungs. They certainly never feel their normal healthy soft and slightly moist that they used to, haven't since that time I threw up a week and a half ago. I wish I was in a home and could rest properly. I wish I had a bed to sleep properly. I'm so very tired of my sad life, yet it seems I am powerless to change it since I have no opportunity to do so.

Day 1444 - 6/14 - Waiting

Today I didn't do some things. I probably should have made a doctor's appointment, but I didn't. I looked up stuff online, and if it is still bronchitis they say it can last up to three months. The people at school were again not the super friendly one I've known forever, and apparently even if I was a student they don't have appointment slots for several weeks. I guess if I still feel terrible I'll make an appointment soon. I don't really feel all that bad. The coughing is bad, but it's sarting to become very infrequent. I do still sometimes cough up a little yuck, but the sneezing has basically stopped entirely. So no I just feel a bit congested (which honestly I feel most of the time unless I'm in a perfectly conditioned and air filtered room) and I feel like there is chalk or ash in my lungs. I'm sleeping a lot now that I can sleep in at school, so I will hopefully recover pretty quickly, as it seems unlikely there is medicine to help unless I overdose since the last round of meds didn't fix me.

I didn't go to the restaurant today. I still feel a bit weird since the signal drop and the confrontation. I only had about 4 free hours, so I just stayed at the pizza by the slice place instead. Their Internet has ads, but it worked ok. It didn't interfere too much. The other day when I was at the restaurant they told me the Internet guy discovered that the hotel people were using it a lot. I'm not sure how they would know that (unless the login times were tractable), but it makes sense since I guess they want $10 a day for access. That's ridiculous. I could see $1 or $2, but $10 is insane, especially when they are already asking $400 a night. No, that's not a suite or anything. If I ran a hotel that charged that people would get free Internet and breakfast because that's just insane. Two nights is about what a room costs here for an entire month to rent last time I looked.

I guess tough, all in all, today was ok. I didn't feel great. I would love to be somewhere that's not constantly bombarded by lights, music, and people, and to be able to cook better foods, drink tea when sick, and take showers to get vapors into my lungs. But it seems that is not my life. And as we near the end of a fourth year of being homeless, while I may be able to accept that this is how my life is now and it seems unlikely to change soon, I am still sad about it, and still wonder what I may have done wrong to deserve it.

Day 1445 - 6/15 - Unofficial appointment

Today was ok I guess. I slept until just about when the restaurant opened. I have had trouble getting to sleep lately though, so I probably didn't fall asleep until about 1:30. I probably got 9 or so hours sleep, so it's probably ok.

I often forget that one of the people that comes with her guy to the guy on Fridays is a nurse. I don't know what level she is (there are like four levels of skill / knowledge / training that I know of), but she thinks I'm just fighting off the same cold. She says if my cough doesn't become worse or more frequent I should be fine. She was unfamiliar with the ash / chalk taste though. I wonder if that's from throwing up a week ago. Even though breathing and eating are different tubes, once it gets to somewhere in your throat it's one, so I suppose if the tummy acid burnt stuff it may have altered how my throat normally tastes in away that could take time to heal.

I guess today was ok. I played online a bit with strangers. After a bit I did start to feel sad that I wasn't playing with friends. They are still out. I got to see a show that hasn't been on in what seems like forever, so that was good. And I watched a new dating kind of show, which made me smile and laugh a bit, so that was good. During my shift I finished podcast 60, so that was good.

That was really it for my day. Nothing new or special. Just the same lonely, sad, homeless activities.

Day 1446 - 6/16 - 90F

Today was very slow and sad. It was super hot outside. I guess my phone app says it got up to 90F. I was in the restaurant most of the day, so I kept cool. But, I still have cold symptoms. I'm super exhausted again. I have felt like I would fall asleep at any second all day. I played my game and had fun for a bit, but most of the day I was alone, watched filler shows, and just felt beaten down by my cold and sad.

Today I wish it was a day of old, where I could have called out for pizza and watched a movie or two while being in my chair or laying lazily across my bed. And then, gone to sleep early. Being out in public bombarded by noise and lights was not what I wanted. I have a headache, have had one all day, my ears are ringing, and I'm so very tired.

Day 1447 - 6/17 - Hardly coughing

Today I've felt a bit weird in terms of my cold. I've hardly coughed at all, which is probably great, but my heart feels surrounded by congestion, super tired, and like I've had an elevated heart rate all day. Plus, I ate probably double normal, which may or may not be a good sign. I slept really good though. My sleep wasn't interrupted by coughing or other things, so that is probably another good thing. Hopefully these are all signs I'm getting better and almost over the cold.

Now that the combined blood pressure meds have seemingly settled me back to true normal, more than anything I'd like to get my weight back under control. I'm probably still closer to 215 lbs. than not, and I'd really like to at least get back down to 185. Unfortunately I have a feeling that as long as I'm homeless I'm probably going to continue to get bigger and bigger. Other than changing food to healthy sandwiches, drinking almost entirely just water, and taking vitamins, I really have no way that I know of to get calories back under control and moving towards healthy. I don't want to go to that extreme yet. Since I have a car again I suppose I can try and remember to get fruit. It's very difficult while homeless due to both cost and that in weather like we have here lately fruit will only last a few hours, or half a day tops.

I guess today was ok. I basically worked all day. I got more than the usual shift, so I only got to spend about 3.5 hours at the restaurant. I sort of could connect online while at work, but I didn't have much to do, so mostly I was bored.

In my homeless life a decent number of hours to work and a few hours to watch some shows or play games and at least smiling for a short while is about as good as my life can get.

Day 1448 - 6/18 - Not quiet

Today I'm sort of better. I've only had like one coughing fit all day, and most of the day I didn't cough at all. My ears are kind of ringing though. One of the things I miss most is having quiet times. For the past 12+ hours I've been constantly subjected to overly loud noise. I miss quiet. I miss having the chance to have volume set how I like, or not having noise at all. What's worse is I really can't look forward to quiet times. Oh sure, when I hide it's quiet, but I'm hiding. It's not a normal awake time kind of quiet. There is no quiet wake up, shower, morning time routine like I used to have. I am either awake and somewhere that is loud/noisy, or I am somewhere quiet but I can't do anything at all. I think quiet is one of those things most often taken for granted.

Day 1449 - 6/19 - Nearly another year

It's later morning. I've got a few hours before I have to go to work, so I'll post the week and picture series now.

The end of the year is nearly upon me. I guess it will hit mid next week. I suppose like any holiday or event in the end it is just another day. Well, I suppose more accurately just a series of days. This time things are different though. I have a gaming system and friends I play with semi-regularly. I suppose at the end of last year I did have guildies I played with, so that's not completely different. While I'm still in contact with several of them I don't think our paths will cross again in games for a while. I suppose though that's ok. There are people out there who enjoy spending time with me, enjoy and/or appreciate the various things I do, and do worry for me in these terrible times. I will not give up. Why should I if gaming and what I do are so deeply a part of my core of who I am? But, as I so often wonder lately, I don't know how long it will take to make my way back to a home.

Week 208

Day 1450 - 6/20 - The secret beta

Today was pretty good, but super extra tired. Yesterday right before going to work I got an invite to the last Secret World beta weekend, which is this weekend. So, I skipped my morning nap today to have extra time to get the client. I'm about 1/4 of the way there after today. It's going to take all of my time tomorrow and Friday to finish before Saturday, which means I will have already lost a theoretical 6 hour play window on Friday.

I also picked up Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Plainswalkers 2013. It's pretty fun and something I can play alone, or offline during work. It was only $20, so it was pretty cheap. That should help during times my friends aren't around to play stuff with online. There's another game was looking at for some single player time because it just got an expansion, but the game plus expansion would be $60, which is pretty steep since I'm kind of bad at that game. (At least I was with the previous one.) I'll see how duels goes. Maybe it will hold me for quite a while.

I got a lot done for podcast 61, so that's good too. It's basically the normal length already and it's only two of typically three sections long so far. If I can think up extra stuff people can get extra ramblings.

I guess that's it for today. My slow downloading game client took up my non-work time, I watched a couple of shows, and had work, and that was really it. No jobs to apply for, and since I can't remember the last one I did apply for, there were no replies for interviews. Today wasn't terrible, but, as always for homeless life, it would have been much better in a home.

Day 1451 - 6/21 - Hot chocolate shorts

Today was kind of sad. I'm spending extra time not napping while trying to get the game client, and while at the coffee shop I split hot chocolate all over my shorts. It cleaned up pretty quick, but I had to go to the ex-house and make an unexpected change at the ex-garage. When I got to work I rinsed them quite a bit and they should be fine, but that was my cleaner pair. Now if I want to wear shorts I have to wear the ones that are a week dirty.

I've been very easy to anger lately. It hasn't resulted in anything bad, but it's like if people are dumb when I'm driving I'm making comments about it for several minutes. I think it's just everything wearing down on me at once. I have 'enough' work hours that this could be a simulated 'forever' work week, as 30 hours a week would be enough to get back in to a room. (Though next week is it, then I'm back to two days a week.) And now that I have a car there is that. So, I think lately my brain has subconsciously said 'this here could be the rest of your life, plus being in a room somewhere.' And that has made me really sad, frustrated, and angry in a way. I don't want to be stuck in the same kind of dead-end job, or career that doesn't pay me what I'm worth like I have been previously. I don't want to go from one cramped apartment to the next with neighbors who don't respect my hours or preferences. I don't want to be forced to have cars that are 'serviceable' or 'better than all the other ones I had to pick from' that aren't ones I am really happy to own. I guess lately I'm closer to feeling like I would in recovery, but it seems a terrible trap. It seems the same sad, stagnant existence, super low income life that I had, with no chance of a way out to something better. Yes, it would be more than I have now, but would it be better? Lately I think it would be almost as miserable, just in a different way. It is beginning to feel like even if I can physically recover, that true happiness, real life friends that I can see, love, may all be things I never have again.

Day 1452 - 6/22 - A podcast visit

Today was pretty good, but it felt rushed. In the morning I spent my nap time again downloading the game client. It ate up all that time and most of the time at the restaurant. I had something like 30 minutes to try and get through the tutorial before work. It seemed pretty fun, but that short of a time was little more than a glance.

My friends missed me while they were gone so I was invited to listen during their podcast recording. It was super fun and everyone laughed when I did talk a few times. The bandwidth mostly held out, so I got to hear most of the podcast fun. Unfortunately one member was super sick and not really feeling good and another dropped after only 30 minutes or so, so they didn't get to record much.

I finished my podcast, so that's all ready to go in the morning. With the new stuff to talk about it was a bit longer than it has been since the change to doing it weekly, so that's good. Hopefully people will enjoy it.

My cough is finally almost totally gone. Only about three times all day did I have any kind of attack, and when I did some yuck came out. I have been sneezing more though, but I think it's just the congestion being loose. One odd thing I have noted though is that my lips feel oddly dry, like I've been out in super hot weather all day. Not chapped, but like they love the taste of salt? It's like I'm dehydrated or something. And it's extra odd lately because I've been having more lemonade flavored water than usual. But boy do my lips and tongue love the taste of salted chips. I wonder if it's maybe a side effect of the dual blood pressure medicines, though I could swear I've done that more than a week now, so I'd think if that were the case it would have shown up sooner.

Not much to say really. I feel pretty good since I had some laughs with friendly people. It will be nice to not need to work tomorrow. Phew, finally some rest (from work).

Day 1453 - 6/23 - A lonely day

Today was pretty lonely. I spent the day playing my game for the weekend test, but I was alone. My friends never showed up, though they said they would. The game is ok, but I don't see it surviving with it requiring a monthly fee. I don't think it's that good compared to other subscription based MMOGs out there and it will have a very hard time fighting new ones coming along that don't have a monthly subscription. There are a lot of old-school ideas that hold it back, and from what I can gather it looks like it's going to be really short on content for a subscription based MMOG.

That's really it for my day. It was nice to have had a day off, but it was a lonely day trapped by my homeless limitations.

Day 1454 - 6/24 - Seeing the friends

Today turned out ok. I had work in the morning, so that was some unexpected money. (Well, unexpected in that it's not my regular shift.) After was pretty lonely as my friends weren't around and I hadn't heard from them since last night. I played my game test for a bit then decided to take a break from gaming for dinner. My friends came on. So, I got to spend a bit of time with them after all. They were only on for about an hour though. I feel sad for them. They used to have more time to play and stuff, and lately they have seemed really busy and tired sounding. I hope everything is ok and that they are just busy doing things they want and not things they need to do. Once, long ago, my life was like that. It's no fun to need to do stuff all the time that isn't stuff you want and have no time left to have fun and relax.

I guess today was one of my better homeless days. But now that I'm hiding in the dark, now while my tummy is rumbling upset at something I ate, now while my throat still feels scratchy and I've been sneezing so much today... I wish that I could go home.

Day 1455 - 6/25 - Cramps

Today moved well enough, but it seemed tiring, unchanging, like this is all I will have for the rest of my life.

My cold is again better and worse. Now it's changed again. I'm sneezing somewhat frequently and my eyes are a bit... sensitive feeling, and I have congestion and still a bit of a cough. But it feels more like general allergies than anything else. When I took my shower my legs / butt cramped up a bit. It took a while to clam down. Now my shoulders are feeling the same. I'm sure it's nothing and will pass.

I chatted with my friend super briefly, so that made me smile. I rambled on my podcast about The Secret World and that was 15 minutes of bla bla, so that was surprising that my discussion on it took up so much time. Hopefully someones will find it informative or at least entertaining.

I guess that was really it for my day. I had a work shift and did laundry before work, but that was it. I decided to get a single serving cake and it wound up being too much, so it was actually two servings. I'd forgotten that most of the time I do that. I really do eat so much less than the portion sizes I am forced to eat. I got a salami sandwich yesterday, and boy did it not agree with me. It wasn't a lot of meat, it was the amount I always used to get, but I guess I'm so not used to it that I probably should have only eaten half.

Anyways... as I approach the end of year four of being homeless and having a sad unfulfilled feeling life, hopefully you all are doing ok and are safe and sound.

Day 1456 - 6/26 - Sad forgetful

Today I am sad. I had some stuff to do in the morning, and it didn't go as expected, and in the shuffle to adjust my brain completely forgot to post this week's fail. In a way it's better, as I shouldn't be posting until the day has actually passed, but I am disappointed in myself for forgetting.

I seem to be forgetting a number of things lately. So far they have all been pretty small things, like forgetting to make an appointment with the eye doctor, yesterday I forgot to get decongestants, a few times I forgot to unlock the side door before getting out or to check for my keys before closing the car door. I guess it's just depression and a frazzled state from all these extra shifts. That will end though. This is the last week of extra weekday shifts, and Sunday was the last Sunday. So, unless I get asked to do more extra things I will return to my regular two day week. I expect I'll get more Sundays throughout the summer though.

Overall today was good in that I watched some shows, got a movie to watch at work, played some new downloadable content, and overall I'm feeling a bit healthier. But there is still too much depression and I am always sad about, well, almost everything, and I worry that I will never truly recover.

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

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