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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 5: Life online

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 215

Day 1499 - 8/8 - Sleepy, slow day

Today, for the first time in I don't know how long, I slept in until my alarm went off. I think, counting my regular night sleep and nap sleep together, I still only managed about 8 hours total, but it's good that I slept longer. Lately I've been waking up an hour or 1.5 hours before I needed and have been unable to get back to sleep.

After, it was kind of a slow day. I've just about completely run out of shows to watch. For some reason it seems they are all in break, leaving me with no shows during lunch or dinner to watch.

I decided to play my canceled game a bit. The stuff I'm doing is less frustrating and back to normal difficulty, so it's cool to see the stories. A few hours after I started one of my friends came on. We played together for quite a while. I'd guess about three hours, which is a long time for him. But, he was sick and on the phone a bit, so he probably only got two actual hours of play. Which is extra sad since he can't play often and he's been fairly sick lately. But I had a super fun time when he was on, even though, like the rest of the day, it moved very slowly.

After he left I grabbed some dinner, but again had nothing to watch. So time moved very very slowly with a few very short shows I found.

I spent a little time searching for jobs, but still found nothing. And it again really depressed me while looking. It is getting harder and harder to look. Things are either things I'm overqualified for, or like a few research jobs today, things I don't have experience in. (Research work is not something people are flexible on missing experience on.) There was a counseling position that only required a Bachelors, which boggles my mind to see, but again, it required 1-2 years of previous counseling experience, and with disabled people. So I doubly didn't qualify.

I try to hang on, but as more time passes it seems more and more that this life I am viewing through an open window is neither open, nor a window, and what I am seeing is a movie of things I cannot have.

Day 1500 - 8/9 - This and that

Today I guess I can say I did this and that. I napped, almost as long as I could have. (I probably got about 10 hours sleep total.) I did a little bit of work for my site that could be used on my podcast, did some work for something for a friend's podcast, played my game I canceled for a bit, well need to cancel, watched some shows, played two other games for a bit, and watched a friend do a video stream of her podcast.

Nothing terribly different today. I have a game test survey thing in the morning, so that will alter my usual day, but that's really it. No job stuff, and nothing really noteworthy to say.

I think it's all the little things I miss most, those things you just do without thinking. Like I've needed to trim my nails for a while now. In a home I could just get up, go get the stuff, set it out, and in any one of half a dozen quiet moments during my day I could just do it. I want to do my stretching / small workout, but can't. I'd like to tweak my site a bit, but with slow wireless and constant distractions around me, getting into a creative research type state is difficult at the best of times. Straightening my room would be nice too. Though I'm very Spartan and super organized, so it's almost always neat and tidy, but I actually miss going around and looking at my things and being sure everything is in its place and there is no clutter. Even just doing laundry where I don't have to put quarters in a machine and where I can dump all the clean laundry onto the bed and put it straight into the drawers. So many things I miss that people take for granted every day.

Day 1501 - 8/10 - Odd day

Today was an odd day. I did a bit of podcasting in the morning. I didn't have anything recorded yet. After, I had a game test, so that was very difficult. It wasn't too far, about a half hour drive, and it let out 30 minutes before I was told it would. When I got back to my regular area I played some games for a bit, then headed off to work. I finished my podcast before work, but it was kind of short on content. During my shift my friends streamed their podcast, so I got to see them, though we couldn't talk or anything.

I guess all in all today was ok. It was mostly well paced and I don't remember too many parts where I was overly sad. There were a few though; being on the school lot recording instead of sleeping in and doing it at home, playing at the restaurant because I have no home to cook or play at, recording at work in a sealed car in 90F weather. I suppose overall the day was tolerable, but I still hope tomorrow is a better day.

Day 1502 - 8/11 - Gas attack

Today was a bit odd. In the morning I went to shop or a few things before my podcast drop. After, I played for a bit at the restaurant. They overcooked the burger and partly burnt the bun for the third week in a row. I don't understand how you can have like two or three orders up and overcook / burn something. It's not like a rush. If they do it again I'll complain. They used to get it right every time, but there consistency is getting really terrible again. I played for a bit and watched a show. At around 3 someone said there was a gas leak and they had to close the store. It was very weird and I'd never heard of that happening to anyone I knew. It was fine I guess. I just went across the street and instead had thin pizza for dinner. My day was basically unaffected.

I didn't see my friend until about 6:30, but I only saw one as they needed to install the game we are going to play on the other system. He spent basically the next two hours trying to fix stuff, then poofed offline due to inactivity. I guessed they were having trouble fixing something, and at that point my time was running out, so I just left for the night.

I suppose it wasn't a terrible day in that I could upload my podcast. I could play my games and watch my shows. I could have played with friends. But I couldn't help but think I'd have liked t have slept in. I'm sooooo tired. I'd have loved a shower. I' have liked to have had a hot dog and maybe chips for lunch. I'd have liked to have had citrus lemon with rice for dinner. I'd have maybe liked to have been watching a TV show or movie while my friends figured out what was wrong with their game. So many everyday things I can't do, yet miss so much.

Day 1503 - 8/12 - "I'm all right."

Today was a bit different, but all day, ever since I got up until even now, it feels like I've been forgetting something. I went to work, so I didn't forget that, so I don't know what it could be.

At work there was zero connection. I spent half my shift inputting this week's fail, and the other half doing a podcast something for a friend. I had no real time left over for playing, but that was fine, as I had no connectivity at any point during the nearly 6 hours I was there.

The restaurant was fine, so I went there after work. The manager guy said something like a knob had come off an oven and the manager who was on shift yesterday had completely overreacted. I guess better safe than sorry, but that likely cut their income for the entire day by 50%.

I still had nothing to watch, so I decided to try a rental service I used to use. They have online streaming, so I would be limited to only when I can get a good connection unless I paid more, but most of the time when I'm not at work I can be somewhere with a good enough connection. And, bonus thing, they offered me a free month, so I don't even have to pay anything at all for the first month. When I do, it's just $8 a month. I have like 2.5 seasons of Doctor Who I can finally catch up on. After, or if I want a break, there are a few other series I haven't been able to get that I can get caught up on as well. I shouldn't need more than a month or two to get caught up on stuff I'm interested in. Most stuff I'm current on because it shows online free close to when it airs. (Most show up online a week after.) It's really just special channel's stuff I can't watch.

My friend came on at about 7:30, and we played for about an hour with another friend I don't really talk with anymore. So, while brief, that was super fun.

It was super hot today. It's still even now. I hear crickets going here and there. Times like today make me think back to when I was young at my grandparents in Phoenix's place. When I was five things were so much simpler. Outside of morning cartoons or prime time there was literally nothing on TV because most channels didn't broadcast. Radio and records were king. There was one phone in the entire place, with a rotary dial, and a land line. Entertainment for me consisted of playing with toy cars, making tracks out of some old tiles, or playing with log or puzzle sets. Now someone who is five has a thousand things screaming for their attention, half a dozen devices streaming information at them constantly, like it or not. Things were so much simpler when I was young. I don't know that I want the simplicity back in place of my current entertainment and game possibilities, but I certainly would like a much simpler job life, and at times, I absolutely would like the peace and quiet back.

Day 1504 - 8/13 - The between time

Today I am sleepy. I tried to sleep in at school, and while I did get some rest I woke up after a sad dream. It was only 8:30 when I woke, some nearly two hours before I expected to, but I was awake. It seems last week classes ended. We are now in the dead between time at school. There are contractors doing stuff, but I likely will skip many of these mornings, as there are too few cars, and I am out of place. But for middle schools, and I presume high schools as well, classes start next week. It still seems so strange now being on the outside of the loop. There is no transition for me, no yearly rest times. The days just go on and on one after the next. While I am grateful my days do go on there is no rest, no regeneration, no big change to look forward to after a milestone has been met. I am in the between time. And for as long as I can remember it's felt like I am suck here for good.

Day 1505 - 8/14 - Birthdays past

Once upon a time this weekend Friends would have come over with presents. We would have had pizza or gone out to a fancy dinner somewhere. We'd have come back to cupcakes or cake, maybe seen a movie, and probably played games. But not this weekend. This weekend I will be alone. Though some may send gifts and wish me well there will be noone who comes over. We will not go out to eat or see a movie. I have no house to gather at. There are no friends I hang out or play with who live close to me.

But I suppose I can do these things alone. People can send gifts and I can open them alone. Maybe people will be online and I can play stuff online. And this birthday, like so many others for as long as I can remember, will pass, alone physically but maybe not in spirit.

Week 216

Day 1506 - 8/15 - So so tired

Today I am sooooo very tired. I'm rapidly being beaten down by no nap at school. I may have to find an alternate spot. Most shopping sites are fine. A guy in the passenger seat fairly upright napping is typically considered just a guy waiting on his girl and not wanting to shop with her, so that's an option if things get bad. I'm hoping since it's usually safe to get settled early I can just 'go to bed' a few hours earlier to compensate through the next month I won't have school to nap.

I didn't really do much of anything today. I checked for jobs, played a few hours, but I was so extremely exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. So mostly I just watched shows. In fact, a few times I actually nodded off for a few minutes during shows.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have more interesting things to say, but for now I can barely think straight.

Day 1507 - 8/16 - Comfortable silence and other things

Today was ok, but pretty slow. I was originally going to try and nap, I only got 5 hours of sleep, but there was a graphic card launch, so I decided not to nap and update my site. I am going to have to catch some alternate location naps soon though because I'm just getting so completely tired. Mentally I'm still going. As a homeless person I often need to. But physically if my mind allowed, I'd likely fall asleep in about one second.

I've been thinking a lot about being in a relationship lately. It's likely a combination of the shows I'm watching and other factors, but as strange as it sounds it seems the more likely reason why I'd get back into a home. (Between that and being re-established due to higher income.) I do very much miss that 'comfortable silence' with someone you love. Maybe you are out at dinner, or maybe you are at home doing separate things, but having someone around and you are both quiet, no need to say anything because that love, trust, and support is there while you do your things, even when unspoken. That gentle touch or kiss as they pass by speaks volumes.

I don't know how to date. I'm as bad as it as I suppose everything else. I am, however, a master at flirting, at reading body language, the unspoken things. But it seems so strange to think, even if there were someone interested in me, because it will obviously be someone I don't yet know, I would have to get to know her. I would have to spend time in this awkward phase of talking and being unsure, or simply not knowing her stance on a particular topic. I do not look forward to the awkwardness, even if I do accept the possibility that someone like me could find someone.

I suppose it's always possible I could find that one rare person who is a match, that someone who I share chemistry with and we do 'just get each other'. But I don't know. Like so much of everything in my life it seems I am so far out of normal, so much an alien and outsider from the normal world, that it seems unlikely to ever happen without completely and totally altering everything that 'is me' in order to conform to something I am not just to regain what was lost.

Day 1508 - 8/17 - Super fat

Today I was extremely tired. I was going to take a nap at school, but it was just about entirely empty. I decided instead to just do some podcast recording. The day was ok I guess, but very slow, and I felt really out of sorts is the only way I can think to describe it.

During my shower in the evening I got a good look at myself sideways. I see myself from the front pretty often, and of course anytime I look down. I don't look too bad from those angles. But from the side... it really highlighted how fat I've become. I still am not near a scale, but 260-275 wouldn't surprise me. From pinching the fat I'd guess it's four times the fattest I've been. Reaching all the way with my fingers to where my hip area goes flat, wrapping my hand around the fat if I put my fingers and thumb straight, nearly everything in my hand is fat. Previously, my fattest time would maybe have been one finger worth. Some 75% of this has shown up in the last year. I can only assume it is due to all the fast / fried foods I'm eating at the restaurant. I'm going to have to make an extremely serious effort to get back to good weight because this is just terrible. My back hurts often, and I'm out of breath when I do just about anything. I get winded if I have to do more than basic walking. My skin feels tight in many areas, and I have very little energy and I'm so tired and hungry much of the time. The only things they have that are not fried is soup, chicken, and sausage. Hum. I guess really the only fried things I eat are the hamburgers, maybe grilled cheese, and fries. Though growing up I used to eat fries all the time, same during my twenties, and even my thirties. I will try very hard to have salad with dinner as the side, or start sneaking in healthier lunch meat sandwiches to have. I should probably try and cut down a lot of soda, but that is always a struggle for some reason. My throat, especially lately, gets very dry and I feel like coughing. It likely is due to being constantly hit by allergies. I'm not in filtered air, so I'm constantly battling perfumes and outdoor allergies.

Well, I can try as best I can to keep exercising and stretching when I can, but there is little I can do for my sleep and diet. I suppose though, since my average during my homeless time has been probably 50-75 pounds less that proves recent diet change is the most likely cause. Hopefully I can work some of this off, as it makes me very very sad to see it and be this out of shape.

Day 1509 - 8/18 - At risk

Today didn't go as I'd have hoped. Last night when I finished my podcast my system had 85% power. This morning when I tried to upload the next rabb1t ramblings it took forever to boot, and the hard drive was constantly running for like 5 minutes after it had gotten to the desktop. Also, in one view it did not see anything in the podcast folder, while in other views it did. A few minutes later it shut down like it had completely run out of power. It should have had enough to last 20-30 minutes, not 5-8. When I plugged in and rebooted things seemed mostly ok, but again the hard drive was showing 100% lit for more than 5 minutes. A bit later it did the freeze but leave the mouse active thing while again the hard drive was running at full speed. After a few minutes it blue screen crashed. It had another pause later in the day, so I decided since it looked hard drive related to see if I could make the drive not full. Through great effort I got it down to about 15% free space, and the drive no longer shows red in the explorer. The rest of the day things seemed normal, but I worried.

I was going to do a fancy dinner and movie, but my mind was constantly worried about the system. I decided to do that tomorrow night after I got a chance to run a backup. I think I'll run it once a week from now on.

With my data backed up I won't worry so much. I can reinstall games and programs easy enough, but my site stuff, my podcast stuff, that would be difficult to impossible to retrieve without a backup.

I prey my system doesn't die. It's barely 1.5 years old. If even that old yet. I was expecting it to last 2-3 years and hoped to save up enough for that replacement in that time. If it were to go now I don't even have barely 1/3 of what it would cost to replace it, leaving me with only the non-gaming netbook.

Hopefully it was just fluke symptoms due to the hard drive being full. Once I delete the game I've canceled off I'll be up to about 25-30% empty and shouldn't need to worry so much. I guess only time will tell, but until it's backed up in the morning I'll worry. And even once it is backed up I'll only stop worrying about data loss, I could still lose the system at any time.

Day 1510 - 8/19 - Almost feels like a birthday

Today was ok. It was a bit slow to start in the morning and most of the day I was at the restaurant. I did the backup first thing. I also decided to let the system settle before doing anything. Once upon a time it would take about 30 seconds post boot before the hard drive stopped. Today, twice, it was about 10-12 minutes. But there were no weird symptoms other than that. Well, on the first boot the CPU was at 30-50% load while doing nothing at all, so that seemed extremely strange. But all day things ran normal with no real issues. So, it seems I just have to let it settle before using it, and currently that time takes about 10-20 times longer than it should. Maybe it's just due to the fullness of the drive, or one of the beta clients I have installed, who knows. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

My time at the restaurant was ok. I spent nearly all of it catching up on shows. I do like the streaming rental service thingy, but I really don't think there are enough things I need to catch up on. In a home, sure, it would be totally worth the like $8 a month or whatever it is. But needing to watch costs, not so much.

I tried to play the game I canceled, but I just really wasn't that into it. I played for maybe an hour then was like, meh, and stopped.

In the evening I went to do my proper birthday things. I had a fancier dinner, which was super yummy and did not upset my tummy like so many other meals do lately. But it sure was lonely. I mean, it's how my life is, but surrounded by people on dates or with families, it was tough to ignore that I am alone. I don't have people to celebrate with me physically. I can't go back home and rest in a bed after. Dark Knight Rises was super awesome. I am very happy not everything was spoiled about it by others. I am satisfied with what they did with it since it was a three movie deal. Though a few character origins got altered a bit, but that was ok. It wasn't terrible like what some other movies have done to character origins.

For the past few hours it's almost seemed like a regular birthday. One like several I had when I was in a home. But it's not. Now I am hiding. Homeless. Not in a bed. And try as I might to forget, not at any point did I ever really forget that I had noone to share my fun times with, nor a home to go to when the fun was over.

Day 1511 - 8/20 - Actual birthday

Today was ok I suppose. I wanted to sleep in this morning, but I forgot it was laundry day. That meant, in addition to a medium sized bag of garbage in the back, a couple of things of cans to recycle, that I'd also have a bag of laundry. I decided to pass on the nap, even though it is very unlikely I'd be bothered on campus. I'll try for a nap tomorrow.

It was my actual birthday today, but there really wasn't anything besides well wishing ("happy birthday") on my Facebook wall thingy. One person said they sent a something, but that won't be here for a few days. Other than that today passed as a normal day.

There were some nice things in the morning though. Someone said hi to me, and I didn't recognize him at first, but it turns out he was someone I chatted with about gaming and his system. His power supply went out and I said to check the warrantee and if he needed help with finding a new one to check my site and send me a message. He was super happy I was right and his power supply is covered (for five years) and he said my site was well done and super helpful. When I was at the pizza by the slice place a super attractive beautiful cutie chatted with me for a bit. She was someone that also works at the coffee shop, so it was odd to see her there too. It was super nice to chat, as she seemed to be genuinely being friendly. Though, I have given her my card and flirted a little before, so if she were interested she'd have said something by now.

The day overall was pretty sad and regular, but the unusual things seemed a nice surprise, especially on my actual birthday.

Day 1512 - 8/21 - So good a nap

Today is pretty good so far, though it's only late morning. I have been so tired I had to see if I could nap at school. There was almost noone there when I got there, but about 2.5 hours later when I woke up there were a dozen cars in the area, so it should be fine to nap. It will be a bit before my body catches up though. (If it ever really can.)

For the past few days the side of my right wrist, near the big bone bump, has felt a little hurt. It is sometimes fussy about turning or putting pressure on it. It's kind of like it has a super thin hairline fracture or something, though I've no idea when or why it could have been damaged, let alone been broken in some way.

No plans for today and my friends I play with have been out of town on vacation, so whatever I do today it will be alone. I'm still very glad there are things I can do. I do still have my gaming laptop, so I have my games and shows, and with a car I have places I can go to do that. But still there are no job prospects, no sweetie, no friends I can hang out with offline, and it still seems what I have today may be all I ever can have.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2013
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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