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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 225

Day 1569 - 10/17 - Unusual things

Today had some very unusual things, but I suppose no real change. I slept a bit extra before class, which was good, as I really needed it. It felt like much longer than it was. It felt like hours and hours, but it was barely 1.5. In class I was talking to a friendly class person about 'what I want to do for a job' and he was saying that a Greek philosopher said to do what you love. I mentioned what I loved isn't making me any money and showed him my site. He seemed pretty impressed. One of my super best friends sent a message to see how I was doing and that he had been super busy lately and missed me, so that was super nice. I usually don't message friends when they seem busy. I know things... move... differently... for me, and 'normal people' don't miss others as much and often don't feel weird going weeks at a time not talking if they get busy. So I never want to seem overly needy or whatever.

My time having fun and stuff at the restaurant was ok I guess. I wanted to do a project, but things were... disruptive... which made me think of if I were in a home I could just control my environment / surroundings and *bam* it would be done super fast and super efficiently. With my time and windows being what they are it is very hard to focus at times. During different parts of the day or night I feel different; I'm more or less sleepy, I'm more or less playful, I'm more or less thoughtful. Having forced windows instead of matching what I'm doing to how I feel ... is sad, frustrating, and in many cases kills my productivity and creativity. I am still very thankful for what I have managed to still hold on to, but I am always saddened by how much more I could be if I had my freedom once more.

Day 1570 - 10/18 - Skip the homework for today

Today was ok, though pretty odd in things I did. I slept ok at school, but only got an hour more than I did during the night. I was only half asleep there really and some ass face called me at 8:30. I'd guess a robot for a creditor. They hung up when I picked up. I tried to get back to sleep, but couldn't. I decided to do the bits of podcasting that I had. After, I still had time before the restaurant opened, so I tried to go to the coffee shop. Both plug spaces were taken, there are really only two, so after waiting five minutes for them to open I just left. Since I had just under an hour to kill I just listened to a friend's podcast while I sat in my car. At the restaurant I tried to watch shows. The commercials (which don't buffer) were taking 7-10x as long as normal. I decided to call the supposed company since the guy hasn't replied to my emails. Apparently they do still exist, and he does still work there, so I told him the receptionist to tell him to check his emails. I again sent him a message saying the past two days the restaurant has hit hours of 5-10% of the bandwidth that it should, and that yesterday I got disconnected no less than 10 times in the first hour. He said the same B.S. about that he didn't reply because he's gathering info and they were still running tests to get limits set. Really? Like two months later and you are still testing things? Two weeks should be a sufficient sample I'd think. Sounds more like he doesn't know his head from his ass on how to fix the issues and he's just stalling and hoping I stop going. After, I watched shows as best as bandwidth would allow and played games. After a bit I felt odd, possibly from my theoretical cold, so I took a game break, looked for jobs (applied for a part-time one), and updated my RAM recommendations on my site. I guess it's time to redo the system recommendations to be ready for the holiday shoppers, so I should do that. I kind of wanted to do my school project, but I knew my limitations with the restaurant would frustrate me, so I decided to try and do that tomorrow at work and do the online portion on Saturday, probably from the slower coffee shop connection I'd be at in the morning.

One of my best friends came on or a bit and we chatted for just a minute, so that was nice. I posted some stuff on Facebook, but really noone replied. That and all the rest of my day made me feel kind of lonely.

I feel kind of sick still. Today my ears are very tired of headphones, though I didn't wear them any more or less than usual. And I am still very exhausted and tired, but rarely sleepy enough to get the rest I need. I did another day of 50 crunch type sit-ups, so so far that's about three sets each week these past two weeks. My tummy isn't as ouchie was when I started and it feels more in shape, though I doubt there has been any real change yet.

I guess, as always, all I can really do is be thankful for what I can still hold on to and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 1571 - 10/19 - Warm sprinkles

Today was all kinds of odd, but not in a really unusual way. I didn't try to sleep at school. I wanted to get my podcast done so I could do 'homework' during my shift in the morning. It was unusually warm, and when I was in my car doing the recording I had taken my hoodie off. By the time the restaurant had opened I had taken off my long sleeve shirt as well.

The day was ok other than finishing Dishonored. Normally finishing a game isn't too terrible an event, but this was after only playing for about 6 hours. So, that was nearly 1/3 of what I expected it to take me to complete. Needless to say it seemed quite disappointing.

Bandwidth at work was total poo, so I couldn't do any of the stuff I really wanted. My friends streamed their podcast, but my bandwidth was so bad I couldn't see it. I was getting between 1-3 seconds out of about every 30-60. After 15 minutes of trying to watch I just gave up. It was so very sad because I wanted to share in the fun and see my friends and hang out with people in the chat, but it was just so bad it made me feel like crying. It was like being invited to a party, getting half a block from it, then the car dies where you can see the party, but you can't leave your car.

At night the warm day had turned into a light sprinkle. The usually warm weather had me thinking of being in a home. If I were I could have opened the window and gotten fresh warm air. The night would have cooled nicely and I could have had the fresh smell of plants in the rain. Or, I guess more accurately heavy sprinkle.

But I'm not in a home. And, as usual, found no jobs to apply to today. So it is unlikely that will change anytime soon. I can't remember the last time I was able to be in a room in a home where I could decide how much warmth there is, and how I could wear what I wanted, or even go around naked. I don't know how long it will be before I'm in a home again. It may even turn out I never make it back before this terrible journey ends me.

Day 1572 - 10/20 - Families

Today there was an unusually high number of people with little ones at the restaurant. They made me smile and laugh because they were all having a good time it seemed, but it made me sad too. One of the things I'm most sad about, and have been for probably 10 or more years now, is I have no little ones. I don't even have a sweetie. While I suppose anything is possible, and I'm not that old yet, it seems less and less likely I will have little ones of my own. I suppose, while that would be nice, little ones to care for who are not biological children would be fine too. But the reality is, with the average age of having children at 20 (even though many are waiting these days) at 'my age' that means someone I would get together with 'who is my age' would have grown kids with newborns of their own. (Though it's highly unlikely to find a sweetie my age, as there just aren't any around, and for the most part people I find attractive are in their mid to late 20s, and in reverse I likely would not seem attractive to women my age.)

But it just seemed extra sad today to be surrounded by a high number of people who have what I've been missing in my life, and the persistent reality that not only do I not have that, I don't have any connections to create or find any ways towards getting that. So it seems, with the way my life has gone... well, for my whole life... that it shall remain as it is, and I will forever be single and never hear little ones call me dad.

Day 1573 - 10/21 - Brain gone

Today it felt like my brains had left me. When I was on my way to my extra work shift I thought up a couple of things I could do during the shift, but when it came down to it my brain spaced out and forgot about both things until I had shut my system down and it was only about 20 minutes until I was done for the day. I could have done them at the restaurant, but I don't know. By then I just felt sad that I'd forgotten them and didn't want to do them. They are things I kind of have to be in a neutral or specific mood for, and being sad about forgetting them was not a good place for it.

In a home I'd just make myself notes and put them on my desk where I'd see them all the time. They would stay a few days, maybe a week, until I did them. But not these days. These days I can't. I either do something, or I forget. I suppose I could note them on my phone and just check now and then, but these are kind of unusual things.

I feel sad at my chance to be productive, but more sad at the loss of one of my entire systems of keeping productivity up. Doing things for others makes me happy, weather I see results of it or not, and losing an opportunity, even if it's just this time and it just means it's postponed, makes me sad. And since this is a forced life change because of the homelessness, it makes me even more sad, as it's one of those things I may never get back.

I still feel kinda sick. I sneezed on my arm at some point and yuck was there. I'm suuuper tired, but not really sleepy. Which could be in part due to lack of a real opportunity to sleep in.

But, despite how I feel I can't stop. I have to hide at night. I have to move when the sun comes up. School sleep is difficult with all the movement this year. (There are classes starting at 7:30 now, which is much sooner than before.) What I can do that I'd like to do for others is limited by my funds, and heavily limited by my other life limitations. What I have is what I have, and I can do so little to change it.

Day 1574 - 10/22 - Free lunch

Today I got free stuff. I didn't sleep in during the morning. I only had a 1.5 hour window after my morning move, so there really wasn't time. I did my online work in the library, so it was time well spent I suppose. Class was ok, but the entire class was how to change directories and copy or move files. Really? I suppose for a pure Windows (or Mac) user this could be complex, but as someone who used to use DOS, as the saying goes 'I've forgotten more than they learned.' heh. I kind of spaced out and played a phone game and did some news surfing. It was all super basic stuff I pretty much knew already.

I had a check-up for my blood pressure. The good news is that my blood pressure was awesome. The bad is that I'm heavier at 225. The doc did give me an inhaler for teh free, so that was awesome.

I'd been seriously craving a hot dog lately. School, or gas stations, are the only places I can get them. It's probably been 2/3 of a year since I had one. I grabbed one on my way off campus. I was going to eat it with my typical Monday lunch pizza, but it didn't last that long. I nommed it on the way out of the parking garage. I've been so hungry lately. When I got to the pizza place I had one of those punch card coupons and it had gotten to a free slice. I got a slice and a drink and the guy said don't even worry about the drink, so I got a lunch totally free.

Work was ok, pretty much a regular shift. I did watch a movie I'd rented during it and after I worked on my new system recommendations, so I feel pretty good about that.

It rained today, the first serious rain of the season. It started pretty hard last night, then was mostly just a sprinkle in the morning. It cleared up for the day, but now that it is later night it's back. I guess it's supposed to stick around all week. The world has that fresh rain smell I like. I want to get t smell it more though, but what with my being in public places that's not possible because they are closed buildings. I guess it's ok though. Better that than like previous years where I was in a soft-top with roof leaks. I suppose this is better, and that's something.

Day 1575 - 10/23 - Odd offer

Today seems pretty good so far. When I got up to move to school I decided not to go. I was tired, but not sleepy. Oddly too it seemed just too sad, like extra homeless, to be sleeping in my car today. It is probably due to the rain and extra cloths. I just stayed up and finished this generation of system recommendations so those could be up for people for their holiday shopping that's coming soon.

My friend I do online work for sent an email with an odd offer. She has a spare room (full of stuff in storage) and she was thinking lately that her little one is taking up too much of her time. (He's about three.) She said she worries about me and I could probably come stay there a few times a week. (She hadn't discussed it with her husband, who is a super private guy, typically hides upstairs during most of their parties.) I told her I'd keep it in mind. From her description I think it would probably be a bad idea. It sounds like she wants a companion for him, a friend and sort of sitter. She was looking for company too, but more so freedom to do house things. It sounds like a bad idea because he's so young and someone who is a playmate who stays over would become very important to him emotionally.

Back when I was with C&H I became very attached to their little one. (He had turned six during the time I was there.) Very often I feel sad and worried about him. He'd become very attached to me and picked up some of my habits and manners. His parents were very stern with discipline (one reason I don't mind not being friends anymore) and I was a caring and compassionate source of love and affection for him. I worry that missing that in his life he'll grow up like I did, with a parent (in his case two) pushing him away and always disapproving in some way. They aren't as bad as my dad was, but still, without someone always moving with compassion and understanding first (instead of frustration and disappointment) that he won't get the base feelings of support that he'll need later in life.

I wouldn't want to be put in that situation with my friend. While it's unlikely we'd stop being friends, the reality is that my life is pretty unstable. I don't know where I may take a new job, how it could change my hours, or my personality, or where I may have to move to in the future, especially if I get my own family with a new sweetie.

I'll keep it in mind, but I think my life is more complicated than taking any shelter that I find. There are others to consider besides just me and I'm not the type to take such a thing lightly since I've had so much trouble and sadness in my own life without growing up with the right support.

Week 226

Day 1576 - 10/24 - TV time

Today was ok I suppose. In the morning it was pretty rainy. I slept in a little, but part o the time I could have I was not sleepy. I'm pretty tired, but it's not too bad today.

Class was ok I guess, I barely remember it. It was kind of a review of Monday. Only about 15 minutes of class was new. On Wednesdays we have extra time for lab, so it's only half as long as Monday's class.

At the restaurant today and yesterday I just watched shows all day. I only played a game for about 2.5 hours. It's one I haven't played for a while. It was super fun, but felt odd because I haven't played in probably a few weeks.

Today was kind of odd because I got word that one of the higher up people at the restaurant was 'looking for me' on Monday. (He's someone who isn't at the restaurant. He's like a corporate guy or something.) I haven't sent a message to them in weeks, so it seems unlikely to be a reply to that, and it's been at least a week since I talked to the tech. (Their bandwidth was better today, but a low point I tested was 15% of what it should be. It's like normally being on a freeway with a 60 MPH limit being changed to about 10 MPH.) I can't help but worry that it's some kind of bad news, like he's going to ban me from the chain, or say to quit bugging the tech about poor bandwidth and this is what I get take it or leave it. But the logical side of me thinks if it were something like that he would have sent me a note, or leave a physical one at the shop, or have a manager tell me whatever it was. Monday is the only day I'm never there, so it may have just been a passing curiosity. Like, 'hey, that guy that's always here isn't here, I wonder where he is.' I suppose it doesn't matter either way. I've been homeless for years even before I started hanging out at the restaurant and I could be even if I were told not to come back. Honestly I'll probably forget all about it in a few weeks if he never comes forward to meet me. (If he were super mad or something he'd probably have stopped by yesterday or today or just have a manager say whatever. Logically it must just have been in the passing curiosity category.)

I don't know. The people here are all nice to me and nearly all know my sad story. (The one manager who didn't seem to like me much left for a different store. A super nice one is in his place.) Though probably more have forgotten my sad story than those who remember at his point.

My life is what it is. All I can do is try and have the most things to keep me physically and emotionally safe for as long as I can. If things become unsafe, or broken, or I'm not wanted or allowed to be somewhere, so it must be. It is yet another thing I can't control. There are other shops I can go to if need be, and now school is open again, so I'll be fine either way.

But for now, as with everything in my life, I have to let it go and not worry about it. If something comes of it then it does, and if not I have to assume it wasn't something important and retain my regular routine, or change it based on my choice. All I can do is keep hoping that someday I will be back in a home and won't have to worry about such decisions anymore.

Day 1577 - 10/25 - Loss for words

Today I'm at a loss for words. I don' know what to say for my podcast, leaving only tomorrow to record or it will be late.

This morning I slept in for a bit, then went to get Halloween candies for next week. I, of course, can't give them out to proper trick-or-treaters, but I can give them to school people.

I haven't been in much of a game playing mood lately. I was going to play one that has some Halloween content, but the restaurant connection has been total crap lately. It's been about 15% of what it should be, meaning I can do just about zero downloading at all there and it's barely enough to run video at poor settings. It's been stuck like this for a while, so if this is some kind of permanent cap I'm going to have to seriously consider going other places more, as this is now half the speed of other connections in the area and far far less than it used to be.

In the evening I watched my friends do their podcast. They had some guests on and it was a super fun time. I got all excited and was kinda a pest, so I'm sad about that, but I don't think anyone's feelings were hurt or anything.

I don't really know what to say other than that though. No jobs to reply to today. There was a part-time one I applied to the other day, but I've really not heard back from any of these people. I can't remember how long it's been since I've had any kind of interview. Probably years.

I'm worried about my podcast in the morning. I've got nothing I can think of to say. I want to do another Halloween time one, but can't remember any stories. Well, there is still a bit before I go to sleep. Maybe I can think up something.

Day 1578 - 10/26 - Bad start, ok end

Today had a really disappointing and sad start. All I wanted to accomplish today was to do my podcast. I got set up at my usual spot and there was nothing but trouble after. First, there was a constant street cleaner noise. I decided that it should be quiet enough to not be heard so I went ahead and got set up. Immediately after a flock of birds came by and were all 'ack ack ack'. I had to burn up battery charge waiting for things to quiet down. When they did and I started recording the recording program kept going non-responsive and nothing in the system would respond for 5 minutes. Then, when it got free of that, the street cleaner noise would get closer and get really loud. With this repeating in cycles I'd burnt up 75% of my charge in about 30 minutes for only 10-15 minutes of recording. I decided I'd had enough and changed location. After I'd set up the lockups persisted, so I got no podcasting done at the second location. On top of that the system shut down from no power. On restart it did the forced DOS style disk check. For the next half hour at the coffee shop I tried to do editing and tried to let it charge up. I was met with repeated locks and it always showed 0% charge. I gave up completely and shut down and just let it charge and do nothing else for 30 minutes.

I went to the pizza place and things seemed mostly normal. It slowly was charging. There were still lockups with the recording program, so I saved it as a different file name and stopped trying for a while. Once I opened the new file things seemed fine again, and they remained fine for the rest of the night.

This is how bad my life is. I had no expectations or hopes for today except to do my podcasting and post it early. But I couldn't without repeated trouble and missing my window for today. I don't need a great life. I just want a good one, a simple one, one where I can plan to do a podcast and do it trouble free. Most of the day I felt like I was going to lose it and break down crying. My life is bad enough without more trouble, yet more trouble always seems to find me, and all I can do is try and persevere.

Day 1579 - 10/27 - A big scare

Today was pretty bad. It started off disappointing, as I'd one a backup last night on battery, so I had no charge for posting this morning. (I'd forgotten I'd need it.) It wasn't a huge delay, but things didn't get posted until about 1.5 hours later than I would have liked. The afternoon was the bad part of my day. At about 3 the system was doing a lot of non-responsive times and the 'bbbbzzzzzztttt... dooooo... wheeeeee'. When it got into a game it just shut down and blue screened saying it had to do an emergency shutdown. On the next two restarts it gave errors saying Windows can't restart normally. I waited a bit and tried a third time. Thankfully everything seemed fine again.

I remain cautiously optimistic, but after Friday morning's issues on top of today I worry. There is no way I could afford to replace the whole system. At last check a solid mid-range replacement would be about $1500. Even a new copy of Windows (if it were only the faulty hard drive) would still be more than I have since only $50 remains of my savings for any emergencies that may come up.

I continue to remain hopeful that my system, and I, will last until change begins to happen. But it continually seems less and less likely.

Day 1580 - 10/28 - Some tears with my bunnies

Today was warm. It was rainy and cold for about a week, but yesterday and today seem unusually warm again. My system ran fine with no issues. It's possible whatever issues it has are related to the buzzing and whirring I can hear over the headphones. I guess in the future if I hear it I can try shutting off the system and restarting. Hopefully it's just some sort of corrupt start that can be avoided.

There was the crazy homeless guy in the restaurant today. He arrived a few hours before I left. He wasn't very crazy today, just drunk (he drank about three beers in the 5 or so hours he was there and he and his friend reeked of alcohol when I passed by to pee.) For at least half of that time he and his friend were talking openly about being homeless. Most of the time the back area was empty save for us, but still. I guess it's good to share your story with someone. I have been worried I may someday become that guy (though I'm pretty sure he needs meds to remain mentally balanced.) Today though I think Fate helped me see that won't happen. They have given up. What they were saying implied they were happy with being homeless, with having nothing. He said once he had a car, but didn't want to keep paying for insurance and gas, that he was "tired of pan handling". I get that. I wouldn't want to do that either. But then he voluntarily sold the car for the cash. So, he voluntarily dropped himself down to just a bike and this is somehow better? I understand reducing costs, but what, now he's living in a tent somewhere, or in a cardboard box? With a seriously reduced ability to travel to potential jobs? I think Fate helped me to realize I won't be him because I won't give up. I want to bring my stuff out of storage and set it up in a home. I want to keep my car and get places I want to go, or need to go. I don't want to be forced to go to public places to do basic things.

I spent the day alone. I watched shows. I played a game for a bit. I thought about doing my online game, as there is Halloween content, but I feared I'd just be there alone. And it's like, what's the point if I'm alone.

I visited my stuff in the ex-garage. I hugged my stuffed bunnies goodnight before getting some socks from their bag. I kept hugging them as I cried for a little bit. I'm so very sad all the time these days. While I may be surviving and blending in for the most part, that is not what I want my life to be. I just want a little space to put my stuff, privacy and space from the public, and quiet and freedom to play games, watch shows, or do my site updates or podcasting. I don't want a lot, just a little, and I don't understand why it seems Fate is keeping it from me. I don't know what I did wrong, or why it seems I am unworthy or undeserving to have it.

Day 1581 - 10/29 - An ok day for a change

Today was an ok day for a change. I didn't nap in the morning. Often there isn't enough time to be worth it on Monday and Wednesdays what with the early class. Some people took candy, but nowhere near as many as I thought would. I've got probably 75% of what I bought still. Maybe more will take some Wednesday. That's way too much left over for me to eat.

I was alone today, but not extremely sad. My system had no issues and I watched shows. I found a new game for my phone, so that's cool, as it's something new to do while I'm hiding. It was free even.

I guess work was ok. Nothing special today. The sadness of my days of late still linger and I'm still very fragile emotionally. I guess all I can really do is what I do every day, hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 1582 - 10/30 - Pretty good so far

Today is actually pretty good so far. It's late morning, almost time for the restaurant to open. I got a bit of extra sleep at school, but noises woke me up and I couldn't get back to sleep. It's ok though, as I spent the extra time working on my podcast. Everything was fine with the system. No hiccups or weirdness. And, more importantly, because it is not Friday, anything I forget or think to add to the sections that I did, I can. That is what makes me most sad and frustrated about my recording windows now. I have so few I don't always get the chance.

So, so far today I feel pretty ok. Nothing new has really changed or improved in my life, but those little things, things like having candy to pass out, is something. And until big changes come it will have to be enough.

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

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