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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 231

Day 1611 - 11/28 - Slow, blurry, and sick

Today was meh. I'm still pretty sick, so I'm suuuppper tired. I didn't have a chance to really sleep in at school as there wasn't enough time before class. I'm kind of lost on the current material, so that's bad, but I'm sure I can figure it out. I'm pretty sick, so I think that's part of it. My brain is slow and confused. My eyes are often blurry and can't really focus. I had some of the lemon zinger tea which helped, but now my nose is still congested. I really wanted to take a nap today. In a home I probably would have slept quite a bit. But I didn't nap. Things are not peaceful enough. School seems very busy this quarter with people driving and making noise, and I didn't want to nap anywhere else because it's been raining much of the day.

The poor bandwidth at the restaurant has really been stressing me out lately. My back is all tight and messed up. I wrote as polite of a message as I could while still informing them they are being idiots for having a service that is 35% as good as all the competition around them. The connection can go to 6 whatevers, so capping it at 0.9 (which means it really goes 0.5-0.7 most of the time) is just lame and embarrassing for them. If I worked there I'd be ashamed of how bad the connection is, and I know a few who do work there and are ashamed of it. It just doesn't make sense. I expect they won't care and won't reply to my message, forcing me to go back to something like the days before I was going there of being at school and offline for gaming most of my time. I guess it wouldn't be too bad as mostly I don't do online things these days, but because this is stressing me out so much and making me depressed I am ignoring several game tests I could be participating in. It's like I just don't want to do as much.

No jobs to apply to lately, as expected, so no change there. I guess, as always, my life is what it is, and I just have to keep trying to manage with the little I have as best as I can and try to keep my spirits up despite feeling so sad about things all the time.

Day 1612 - 11/29 - Fun day ignoring wireless

Today was a pretty fun day as long as I ignored the wireless connection. I keep saying it but I'm definitely going to have to seriously consider not going to the restaurant as my main place anymore. The connection is still total crap. It dropped me four times in the first few hours being there, and it was running at 0.5-0.7 speed the whole time. It takes twice as long to watch shows. I decided to ignore it and play single player stuff so the connection wouldn't matter. I've got two new things that were cheap that I'm having fun with, so that's good.

I checked my paycheck and there was a touch more than expected. So, I set an appointment for Monday to get the tires. If I drain everything I have it will be enough. I couldn't do it sooner than that because they are apparently out of stock and have no open appointment times. Some former guildies sent me some help too, so I may be able to keep a little bit in savings. Supposedly someone else sent some help too, but I haven't gotten that yet.

It was pouring rain today. Oddly that makes me miss being in a home more. I think because I used to have candles going for warmth and would open my window blinds so I could see the rain. I don't know why but it always seems peaceful to me. I think because I like things clean, and it's a form of cleaning. Maybe it's just because I'm a 'fire sign', heh.

That's really it for today. I did some podcasting in the morning and it's just about done, so it can go out early tomorrow. There were no jobs to apply to, and it is still very difficult for me to be in a school mood with all my sad things. And now the one single home-like thing is going to crap and I probably will have to change my routine. Well, I guess as always, I will have to adapt and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Day 1613 - 11/30 - Nearly covered

Today was extremely slow. I decided I was sick of the crap connection speed at the restaurant, so I didn't go today. I just stuck around at school. Though I couldn't play stuff online the stuff I'm currently playing can be played offline. It's single player stuff, so it doesn't really matter if I'm online or not. I can't describe how good it was to watch some shows, on my own system even, that were not intolerably jerky. Commercial breaks were just that, not 10 minute jerkfests. The closest thing I could think to describe it would be if your hot water heater broke and you had to take cold showers for a few weeks. I will definitely hang out there on Fridays in the future. On other days I probably won't though, as there are so many people there the network gets really slow.

My day was super slow though I did a lot. I finished and posted my podcast. I played my game. I watched some shows. And in the evening I went to work and watched a movie that I rented and played for a bit after inputting some Epic Fail. I even stopped to download a game for a bit at the church (at 10x the restaurant's speed.) It must be due to my cold that I feel like the day was long and trying.

I got the second donation today. It was pretty big. So that, plus the first, plus my extra work shift will all cover the tire cost. I won't have to cut into savings at all. So, phew. At least I'm not worse off than my budget has set. Of course, with only two days a week pay my budget is really terrible as it is, sooooo...

Day 1614 - 12/1 - Meh and slow

Today was meh and slow. I didn't really do much. I found an old show I used to watch that I'd lost track of during my homeless times, so I watched a few shows of that. I played my games. I was actually feeling pretty good so I stopped and did some of the lab that's due soon. Maybe I'll try and do the rest tomorrow, but it's material that we haven't gone over, so it will probably just confuse me.

The restaurant connection was still terrible and disconnected me a few times. If I had anywhere else to go on Saturday, or my battery wasn't just 30 minutes, I'd have more options. But I guess I'm just fated to suffer through it. Even if it were a better connection it would still be a restaurant and not a home. I would still be sad and miss many things. In some ways I am more free than I would be with a home. But in so very many more I am a prisoner.

Day 1615 - 12/2 - A sad not future

Today I am very sad. The day started ok enough I suppose. I had an "extra" work shift. I played a game most of the time. After, I went to the restaurant and watched some shows.

But I couldn't help but think the money from the shift is already gone. It needs to go to paying for the tires. Even though with the help I get to keep my $75 in savings, that really isn't a savings for the future. And this is yet another disaster barely avoided by just a few people helping and my spending just about everything I have.

Another big holiday is coming. Holidays are times of visiting grandparents, then when you are an adult celebrating with your children, and when old with your grandchildren. I am alone. I don't even have close friends to celebrate with because the only real friends I have are online. (Not counting the one I do online work for, who I think I've seen maybe once a year since we reconnected.) There are no close friends I hang out with in person, no sweetie, no family, and thus there currently will never be more, like children, nieces/nephews, or grandchildren. With no people in my life besides those I know online, with no money in savings, I have no future. All I have is today. Sometimes that is enough, but most of the time it just makes me sad.

Day 1616 - 12/3 - Odd day

Today was a bit odd. I was kind of spacey during class, but it was a basic concept that, for some reason, people had a hard time grasping. The teacher went over each bit basically 3-4 times. After, my class friend and I were chatting and he wondered what I was doing, so we hung out for a bit. It's kind of funny that he is Russian, like my previous class friend, and when I asked what he wanted for lunch he had the same difficulty deciding. hehe. He bought me a pizza by the slice pizza, so that was nice. After a bit he left and I had just barely enough time to watch a show before going to get my tires. They were done early and super quick, so I was nearly an hour early for doing laundry. (It's across the street from the tire place.) I didn't have much else to do but listen to a podcast for that time.

That was really it for the day. Pretty regular besides that. Still sick, so everything seems slow and I'm super tired.

Day 1617 - 12/4 - Next quarter

Today I am sleepy. I couldn't get to sleep until about 1:30 for some reason, so when I got to school after my move I slept until just now. I'm going to torture myself with the slow restaurant connection. I don't need Internet to be fast today, so it's ok. I don't like to be at school on regular population days because it makes me sad. Friday and other low population days are ok. I can be in my own space and the people around me are few enough I'm not sad.

I need to finish my lab thing today. It's due Monday and that is the last day of class. It's over already. There is a final on Friday after that, but it's done already. It doesn't seem like that much time has passed. I could sign up for classes last week, so I really need to make my plans for next quarter and get signed up.

My life is the same really. Very little has changed these past homeless years. I keep trying to take classes to get a new job and certification is either so far off, or the jobs so few, that it seems like it will never matter. I have few friends, which are only online. I never seem to meet people in person, and it's been more than a dozen years since I've had a sweetie. I can't even remember how long it's been since there was a girl that was friendly with me and I got even just a hug. But it is what it is. And, as sad as my life makes me, I seem unable to change it on my own. All I can do is keep trying and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

Week 232

Day 1618 - 12/5 - Too much walking, too much driving

Today was, I guess, ok emotionally, but very bad physically. I had planned on staying at school today, but everywhere was packed. All the library spots I could use on both floors were packed. The lab was packed. I decided to do some podcasting, then go try another coffee shop in the area. It has an insane wireless connection. It connects at 25 whatevers, which is about 8x the fast church speed, 10x the average connections in the area, and more than 25x the speed of the crap restaurant. It's probably the speed of what a landline would be. Sadly there are only two drink things here I would ever possibly order. So, it's not somewhere I'd probably stay for more than a few hours. The two guys working here kinda seem like zombies too. They don't seem at all interested in the shop or the people. I went to go do more podcasting then have dinner. I tried school again and it was finally pretty cleared out.

I guess overall emotionally today was ok. I thought of what to say for the podcast and finished, so I've got extra time to tweak it if need be. I got to watch my shows, not only basically uninterrupted (it only dropped me like twice), but in high-def quality. And, I got to spend some time with two games I got for super cheap, one of which I'd been waiting for for a while and talk about on the podcast.

But physically, fooooo. I'm so tired. I walked around on campus looking for a place to hang out and walked maybe 5x as much as I do on a normal day, plus when I left campus there was more walking and driving. I'm so very tired of not having a home and having a nice life being all settled in somewhere.

Day 1619 - 12/6 - Trying to have a nice day off

Today I tried to have a nice day off. It partly worked. I got to sleep in a bit at school, though weird dreams prevented me from sleeping as much as I could have. I went to the restaurant since I was going to mostly do offline stuff. It's a very tough call between the frustration of the crap connection and the overcrowding at school. Some days I'm not sure which is worse. I played a few games, but I spent a bit of time working on my podcast. I actually wound up needing to do some extra research because I discovered something I'd said was wrong. I had to re-record that bit after spending some more time with the game in question.

I guess it was a pretty regular day. I played some stuff, watched some stuff, found no jobs to apply to. I got word that in about a week I should get a package from my bestest friends. I have no idea what it is. It's probably an early xmas thing or something.

I'm still very sad lately about how sick I am. And it seems lately I am getting more reminders that time is passing and things are not getting better; my hoodie has holes and the wrist parts are all frayed, my boots have holes, my tires being bad, for the past few days I've had pretty bad tooth pain where my gum is poking through on one, and today when I turned sideways and saw myself in a mirror I looked absolutely huge. So many things lately seem to be falling apart and slipping through my fingers. And what I think is most sad is that they all seem to be things that money can fix, yet a way to get steady money continues to elude me.

Day 1620 - 12/7 - Ending with smiles

Today was an ok day I guess. I tried to sleep in without an alarm, but some dummy had some radio show going in their car for like an hour. So that slowly crept into my sleepy brain, gave me weird dreams, then woke me up.

School was mostly empty. Fridays are usually slow and this was the last class Friday of the quarter. I mostly watched shows and messed around, but I did spend a few hours on my lab homework. I found more things wrong than I thought, so that was good, and it's as done as it can be just about. There is a teeny bit more to do, but it shouldn't be more than about 5 minutes.

Going to work seemed weird. Even though it's only been a week since I last worked on a Friday it seems like it's been more like three. I don't know why, but this week has been very long. I have made myself a bad promise to always look at myself sideways in the mirror when I shower. I look huge. I am, at last check, about 30% over my normal weight, so I actually am pretty huge. I stayed super in control of my soda drinking and only had about two cans. One more over night will make three, which is pretty low for me, especially since I probably have been hitting 6-8 due to the unlimited restaurant drinks. Although, by not being at the restaurant I can't do my mini-workouts, which is maybe 40-80 something I'm missing per day that I am diligent about doing them. Though with sodas being like 150 calories a pop, going down to half is really 500-750 fewer callories per day. The fries at the restaurant probably don't help either. Anyways... hopefully with the sad mirror checks I can be more committed. I feel super fat and unattractive.

My day did end on a good note though. My friends did their podcast, so I got to watch that and that was fun. And there were a few laughs, so I smiled a bit.

That's it for my day though. No jobs to apply to. No replies from any. I did fill out a survey for a chance at $250, so that's something. I also got another extra shift, so that's a little something in a few weeks. That's it though. No real change.

Day 1621 - 12/8 - Lonely day

Today was ok I guess, but super slow. I couldn't sleep in because I just don't feel comfortable at school on weekends anymore. Plus, during winter it's tougher due to less activity to blend in with.

I spent most of the day watching shows. I did play a game for a few hours but really I just felt kind of sad and lonely I guess. In a home I'd have more to preoccupy myself with - shower, picking what to eat for lunch and dinner, setting it out, preparing it, watching a movie at night if there are no online friends to play with, maybe researching for a site update, doing a bit of stretching or exercising to get rid of weight - but while homeless all of my limitations make me feel very sad. So often I just didn't really feel like doing many of the things I enjoy, especially since of my long list of things I enjoy only a few are actually doable while homeless. I guess, at least, most weekends it seems the restaurant bandwidth is tolerable. Slowdowns aren't as bad as on weekdays, though streaming (like on commercials) can still take two or three times as long, but sometimes it runs at almost normal speed. I guess that's at least something.

Mostly today I think I felt lonely. While there are people who are friendly to me at the restaurant my friends are all online. Today I would have liked to have called people over to eat around 6, then from 7 on play games, maybe even a regular pen and paper type game, but I couldn't. Not only do I have no home, I have no friends I game with that aren't online. Today I felt extra isolated and alone.

Day 1622 - 12/9 - Feeling strange

Today was tolerable and ended ok, but I felt a bit strange. I had an extra work shift this morning, so I got to shower, and I played for a bit and watched a few shows while the connection held.

After work though I wondered what to do. I didn't really want to go to the restaurant as it's so slow and kind of expensive unless I get soup. I don't mind upping my food budget and giving it to them for housing me and having good Internet, but if it's barely functional Internet and the back room is often chilly... I don't know. I'd rather not give them as much as I have been. I couldn't think of where else to go really though, particularly since I'm usually alone in the back room and undisturbed. I stopped by the potential new restaurant. I guess it won't be replacing the current one. I checked the speed and it only has about 1.5 whatevers compared to the restaurant's 0.9. While that is better it certainly isn't the 2.5 average of most places around here. And there was a note that they limit you to 2 hours. That isn't in place yet, if it ever will be, but that seems pretty limiting to my life. I may just use them as a place to occasionally eat.

My day seemed similar to yesterday; sad, lonely, and with limitations. It ended ok though. My bestest friends came on and another new person we play online with was on, and we had a lot of laughs. I smiled and laughed a lot and I think I made them laugh too.

Day 1623 - 12/10 - Not starving

Today was ok I guess. It was pretty busy so it went by pretty quick. I had the last class in the morning. Even though I was pretty spacey it was kind of a waste of time. People asked stuff it would take a minute to look up, so it wasn't a proper review for the final on Friday. Hopefully I won't forget. It's not a usual class day, which is dumb.

I did a few hours of work on stuff for my best friends. It was a nice change of pace. I like to do different things now and then to keep things feeling fresh. The thing is nearly done, and fun and silly. It isn't nearly as cool looking as I'd imagined. But then, things rarely are. I'm more of a manipulator of stuff than I am a creator from nothing.

I ate about double the normal amount for dinner on purpose. I have to get poked for a blood test in the morning, so I have to not eat or drink anything but water. I figured over-stuffing myself would hold my tummy long enough to fall asleep. Then the time should hopefully pass quickly. I really hate getting blood drawn, but I guess it's ok as it checks to make sure my levels are all ok. But, I'm so fat now I'm feeling more balanced than over-full. I really need to get back into shape. This extra like 50 pounds over where I should be is terrible. I think I may try some multivitamins and see if that helps. I remember them being pretty expensive, and the better ones are, but the ones that are just meh should be pretty cheap. I'll try and see if any of my symptoms get better (hunger levels, tiredness, energy, tendon or muscle aches, etc.)

Well, my day was really nothing special. I need to try and sleep before I start to get hungry or start coughing (since I can't do cough drops.)

Day 1624 - 12/11 - Another break

Today started out different. I had to get poked and blood drawn for the check. Hopefully everything is fine. It took an hour longer than I expected, so my day is thrown off a touch.

I'm settled in at the restaurant now, though I gave serious consideration to not coming with the Internet being so bad and food being more expensive than other places I could go if I just wanted to grab food and go.

School is on another break now. Though I still have to do the test Friday it is odd to be at another break point. Yet another change where many anticipate moving on and progressing, yet for me it's meaningless. For me it's just another pause in something that feels endless. Another renewal of a cycle that must continue despite how I feel about my life because I really have no choice.

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

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