PC talk system recommendations blog Facebook YouTube articles and guides links bio
game screensots rabb1t's ramblings podcast email
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 233

Day 1625 - 12/12 - Wishing

Today I wished my life was more free. It's a strange saying for me to say what with only working 10-15 hours a week and being single. But my suffering traps me. While I did do a bit of podcasting in the morning I don't feel like I was at the top of my game, as the saying goes. I was tired. Because of where I need to go at certain times, I was not free to wait and do it later. Because I am homeless I was not free to take a hot private shower and warm up first. I was not free to spend a few hours with another game and then talk about it. While it doesn't seem like it, thinking about my podcast, figuring out what to say, playing the games to have the experience to talk about; it all takes up quite a bit of time. For the 15 or so minutes I've recorded so far I have probably spent 5-6 hours in playing, thinking, planning, and recording. And I haven't edited it yet. And if I were free, I'd have spent even more time on it.

I don't feel like I'm doing my best. I'm so tired much of the time. I'm so pressured in what I do when I do it (unless I add on possibly hours of driving here and there during each day.) And I can't eat or sleep properly to feel physically balanced.

I know I've said I wish I were free to live my rabb1t life before, so this is nothing new, but it's really what I've always been good at. It's what I am truly happy doing. And lately, as good as it may seem to others I often feel I am just doing ok, or as it is many times, that I am performing so much below what I could with basic freedom, safety, and comfort, that it just makes me feel sad, mediocre, and like I am failing at everything.

Day 1626 - 12/13 - Shifting routines

Today I shifted my routine a bit. Instead of the old coffee shop I went to the new one. I'd known about this one probably 20 years ago, or more, so it's a bit odd I didn't check it during my homeless times sooner. Maybe if I had they wouldn't have had Internet, or something else that caused me to avoid it in the later homeless times. At any rate, it is ridiculously fast (faster today at 30 whatevers vs. the average 2.5 of most places around here, and vastly faster than the 0.9 of the restaurant.) I also immediately got to pick from several spots to sit with plugs. (The old coffee shop had only three really viable spots. Though once school is back on this spot may become more busy.) It was really nice to not have people crowding around me and standing literally one to two feet from me and/or watching over my shoulder. I think I will go there a lot more even though there are only two things I'd drink.

I think I'm getting tired of the crap restaurant speed. I'd really almost rather have half or two thirds of a day at something like the new coffee shop and just go wherever to eat than hang out at the restaurant with a barely functioning connection. It was fricken' 68F in the main room today, which meant the side room was likely 66F or so, which is cold like all of the time. I think I'll probably try the new restaurant that opened tomorrow (depending on their prices.) Although I shouldn't eat many, I noticed their menu says they have free fry refills. Woah. I've never seen that around here. If their burgers are reasonably priced that could be a really good deal. I'd laugh a bit at the old restaurant if the new place kills them. In the like year I've gone there the food has not been consistent, it's meh overall, and they have done zero advertising to the local college to fill out the empty times. It's like from 1:30-6:00 the place is empty. Sure, many restaurants get really slow in those off hours, but the place is completely dead most days. I've been telling them for months to beef up their Internet and advertise to students. There are tons who would come to study, game, and have noms. It's probably something like less than a 5 minute drive from the college. But whatever, they don't seem to care about the Internet, marketing to the college, or making better food to prevent other local shops from being better choices.

It seems my routine may be shifting and I guess I'll just go where things feel right. I'm sticking to the old restaurant longer than I should because I don't like instability, the people are friendly, and I can hang out without many other people around me. But the disadvantages are starting to outweigh the advantages.

I put up about four resumes today, so that was good. It's been probably years since anyone has returned my app with a phone call or even an email, so I won't hold my breath.

Day 1627 - 12/14 - Not a new restaurant

Today was my final. Things were super hard so hopefully I did ok. I'm pretty worried. I was getting a B- so far, so hopefully that won't go down. I'm really beginning to think no traditional career is for me, but everything I like to do, everything I'm good at, is too non-mainstream to get me a job on its own. Well, unless it was doing game reviews or something, and I don't have a writing degree nor the official experience to back that up. (I tried once for a very low position which didn't need a full writing degree and still got turned away.) It's very sad because even though I spend maybe 10-15 hours per podcast for everything, I think they could be even better if I had the freedom to do just that. And too there is my site updating. While that doesn't take up as much time week-to-week there are still sections I could go over monthly for a dozen or more hours to keep it really totally updated and every link current with the best parts. But, until I win my lottery money I won't have these freedoms.

Today I checked out the new restaurant. Sadly it isn't viable. It is much bigger than it appeared from the drive by checks. It's a sit down with weight staff and a host type restaurant. And, the person checked and saw no plugs at the tables anywhere, which I suppose doesn't really surprise me for a place with a wait staff. I didn't check prices because there is no point. It wouldn't be viable and if that's the case, and if I'm going somewhere like that, I'll just go to Outback and spend like $10-15 on a steak with rice and veggies.

I guess the day was ok. It was fairly chaotic what with no sleeping in, the test, the checking the restaurant, deciding on the fly somewhere else to go to eat, then being at the new coffee shop. Mostly I remember the test being scary and finishing my podcast. And, as always, even though I appreciated 'the space' while I was doing my podcast, I felt very lonely all day. I didn't really speak to anyone, and for most of the day I was effectively invisible to everyone.

Day 1628 - 12/15 - Many things

Today was kind of a day of many things, though I don't really remember it. I did some free time with World of Warcraft, which I haven't played in years. The pet battle stuff is pretty cool, but I don't know that I'll be pulled back in for the new expansion and a subscription. With noone to play with and an unstable life things are less than ideal. Though it ran extremely fast on high settings, so specs should be no concern if I do make a return on my laptop. I tried a beta later in the day. It was ok, but it's just PvP, so it wasn't something that would really hold my interest. I'll look at it a bit more later, maybe enough to talk about on the podcast, but it didn't really thrill me to see people as high as level 20 against my noob level 1 self. That didn't seem like a fair fight.

Overall I guess today was ok, but it felt pretty lonely. More and more lately I've wanted to have friends to play stuff with in person or video games of a specific type which don't really exist right now. (Just their category, not an impossible idea that can't be matched. I just feel like I'm having much fun with what I could play.)

Despite the things I lack or miss in my life, much like the rain that has been pouring down all day, in time it will pass and things will go back to being clear. They may not be warm or sunny, but it will stop eventually.

Day 1629 - 12/16 - Almost couldn't reach

Today was ok overall I guess, though at the end of the day I went to trim my toe nails and my tummy is so big I almost couldn't. I can still mostly bend over that far, but the chubby tummy pushes in on my ribs and I can barely breathe. If it continues to get worse I'm going to have to get very serious about it. I've been eating a bit less food lately and drinking more water, so that's good. I've again forgotten about the vitamins though, so hopefully when I go to shop for work food tomorrow I won't forget again.

I guess overall today was ok though. I had an extra work shift and I decided to try a few betas I have. They are similar games, so I'll have to play more to compare them on my podcast.

The new restaurant is right out. One of the manager people at the old/regular restaurant had a menu, so I got to see prices. Some buffalo wings with carrots and celery, the top of the healthy food that I'd eat there, was nearly $11. That's insane. It should be like $6-7. At $11 that's nearly all of my entire higher food budget for an entire day. Same with burgers; just about $9. And adding cheese, which is hilarious, is an additional $1.10. Really? While vastly inferior in quality, a double cheeseburger at a fast food place is $1.50-3.50 depending where you go. So, if I go anywhere new it will be the new coffee shop.

My routine is going to be strange for the next three weeks or so. I won't be able to sleep in at school since it's closed, nor do I have classes. I've had to basically be out for an additional 3+ hours nearly every day. Well, I've managed in the past and I suppose I'll manage this year too. I'm actually kind of glad I don't have a cute Jeep-like car with a soft-top. The hard-top is so much warmer and there is no risk of it getting over saturated and leaking. Though I do wish I could get a Jeep-like car with a removable hard-top. That would be the best, especially if it were sectioned so I could just take some off and put it in the back seat.

I guess today passed quickly and peacefully enough, but again I was alone, and I would have preferred to have been having fun with friends, at least for a little while. But, I haven't had any friends I have wanted to game with in person and hang out with in basically more years than I can easily count.

Day 1630 - 12/17 - Sick

Today I think I am pretty sick. I don't have a lot of symptoms, but over the past few days I've been sneezing, super congested, my lymph nodes in my neck are all swollen, and probably worst of all there is an occasional cough that just won't leave. It's like I have to constantly take cough drops, which is terrible for my tummy if I'm not careful.

Today was a bit odd. I went to see an early movie, which threw off my lunch time, so I didn't eat until 2, about 3 hours later than normal. Then I only had like an hour before going to do laundry and work. I suppose the good thing was that was really my day. I didn't really have a lot of non-busy time to feel sad and lonely, though I always do these days.

Nothing really special to report other than my cold has me pretty beat. My throat is messed up, my eyes are sore, my feet are sore, and I lost a couple of hours sleep in the middle of last night to it. I hope the cold will get fought off quickly because with losing sleeping in potential (unless I go somewhere I'd be out of place) I won't have the extra rest to recover well.

Day 1631 - 12/18 - Winter

Today it's pretty chilly. Winter is here and while I'm warm enough in my covers, sometimes at night my parts will peek out of the covers and get chilly, or after I've taken them off to change to day cloths I get chilly and my hands and feet may go a bit numb before I can get to a somewhere or build up heat in the car from driving. It doesn't seem as cold as past years, maybe that's because the world is going to end in a few days, I don't know. It doesn't get coldest until late January / February, so we'll see how the weather goes.

Lately it seems I can't go more than a couple of days before I see one of the local homeless. Every time I've come to the coffee shop there's been this lady, I'd guess in her early to mid 40s. She doesn't look 'bad' in terms of cloths, like me probably noone would guess, but the has this thousand yard stare, the same one I had sitting in my car in parking lots when I had nothing to do most of the day. Sometimes, besides blinking, it seems she won't move for 15 minutes or more. I've never seen her across the street at college, where she could look for jobs and do other things (there is a handful of open systems you don't need an ID for), so I hope she's not just coming here and doing nothing every day. There's the crazy old guy at the restaurant too. It seems he's starting to show up a few times a week some weeks. I saw him at a fast food place the other day too. The ones who confuse me most are the ones who lie. I mean, sure, I get not wanting to let people know you are homeless, but some of the lies make no sense. Like this one I guy I call Charlie Brown, due to his always wearing striped sweaters. I overheard him once tell someone he's a tech and his house is full of server stuff, so he prefers to be out. Ok, believable enough I suppose, but it becomes far less so since I've seen him at the mall in past years watching sport games with no sound. And in recent times I've seen him walking around in the cold as early as 7 AM. (I guess his car is dead. He used to have this convertible he'd park near where he was spotted.) Or a guy on a bike that goes to the old coffee shop. I overheard him once tell someone he's rich, lives at such-and-such, a place some 25-30 miles south of the area, and that he's married. Really? So, you regularly bike 25-30 miles, away from a wealthy home and wife, to get a coffee and then go to sit in a public library all day?

As the days and weeks go on, as I lose more and more to wear and tear and being really unable to keep up with the loss, I wonder if someday I may be like one of them, and if I will become entirely lost as well.

Week 234

Day 1632 - 12/19 - More sick

Today I think I am more sick. I didn't feel bad, per say, but my throat is super dry, I'm coughing, sneezing, my eyes hurt, I think I had a fever at some points during the day, and there is a lot of congestion.

Today was pretty lonely, but I guess it was ok. I did some podcasting in the morning. I played one of the betas a bit. I got caught up on some web shows (which have sort of random release times), and that was really about it. There were no jobs to apply for, and no replies from any.

It was super cold this morning. The car was frosted over pretty heavily on the front window and I could see my breath. It took a while to defrost it to be safe to move. Thankfully such days are rare here and I shouldn't see too many more like it, but it does concern me being sick and nothing changing really. I got my vitamins. I ordered them online because there wasn't really a choice here locally. Plus, they were pretty cheap online for ones that were ok rated on a chart in an article I saw. Hopefully they will help. I've gotten more serious about my mini-work-outs again. I can feel a bit of tightening on the back of my thigh and butt, so hopefully all of everything helps thin me down and gets me back in shape a bit. I guess only time will tell.

Day 1633 - 12/20 - Xmas sadness

Today I was pretty sad and lonely. I think it's because I'm sick. When I'm sick I want very few things; a hot shower if I feel well enough to help my congestion, a quiet environment, and chicken soup. (Meds are also pretty nice, but not always required.) With being homeless I have none of those. I can't sleep in with school not in session without being somewhere they don't expect to see me napping (even if I did go to school.) I have almost no control at all over my environment. Work is really the only place I've found to shower, which isn't close or convenient. School could work, but ever since about 3 years ago they've started turning off hot water unless student events are happening. And although a few places serve soup very few serve genuine chicken soup. It's all pretty much variants of what I'd really like. So... I have to try as best as I can to survive my ills without comforts which are really just basic components of everyday life (when you don't have to work that day.)

I guess I should feel pretty good because I finished the podcast early and it's all ready to go. I haven't finished a podcast early and have it felt complete (in that it's not missing something) in I don't know how long.

I took my vitamin today. Wow is my pee yellow. Not pee yellow, but like super bright crayon yellow, maybe even highlighter yellow. It's pretty weird. I didn't expect any real change for at least a week, but I'll try and monitor my weight and see if it gets better. Oh, but the scale I use is at the laundry place, where I may not go to since it's near work and I'll be off for a few weeks. Hum. It doesn't really seem to have had much of an effect for today. I'm still the same overall hungry as I have been. I guess we'll see what's what in time.

Oh, I was sad that this is my last podcast before Xmas. I guess that snuck up on me. I did wish everyone a happy Xmas time, but I didn't remember sooner to remind people of donation options. I guess people will do it or not regardless. Mostly it just makes me sad because I'm in such a position that holidays are so meaningless to me, so full of pain and sadness when they shouldn't be, that it just makes me sad that maybe my mind is avoiding keeping track of it on purpose. I really hope someday I can win enough lottery money to be set up in a home without worry, live my rabb1t life, and have enough left over that at Xmas I can help those in need and help make sure all the little ones with no presents can have at least a little something. It is, of course extremely unlikely I'd ever have enough to make a huge difference, but knowing I can make some difference would be nice.

Day 1634 - 12/21 - New hoodie

Today I got a new hoodie. It was expensive in that it was unplanned money and I had to use up some of my tiny savings, but it was only $20, a lot less than I thought they were. I'm ok with that because it seems quite a bit warmer than the other. The old one had so many holes and the sleeves were all frayed. My budget kind of goes below zero in a few months though, so that is super bad. I'm hoping for some Xmas time monies or donations will balance it out again.

The restaurant is doing something kind of dumb. They were selling $35 gift cards and you get a coupon for $10 more. So... I hand you $35 and you effectively hand me back $45 in foods? Um... ok. I'll use that in probably a week with school closed.

I watched my friends do their podcast tonight and there were extra lols, so that was fun.

I tried to download a game I haven't played in like 1.5 years, but it wasn't downloading for some reason. I'll try again tomorrow. I'm not sure I really want to play again though. It's online PvP and I was just terrible at it. It wasn't any fun. I suppose I'll do just as badly now, but part of me wonders if I'll see things differently, or if balance will have changed and I won't be as bad.

That was really my day. I posted my podcast in the morning, bought a hoodie and it seems to keep me more warm , then saw my friend's podcast at night . I suppose all in all not a terrible day. But still... just about everything I did, be it the timing of it or the reason doing it, was because I'm homeless. And that makes me sad.

Day 1635 - 12/22 - Raining and sad

Today was rainy and I was sad. Nothing special happened. It was just a regular Saturday for me. But that is why it was so sad, it was not a regular Saturday for everyone else. For everyone else it is only a few days until Xmas. They are going to parties, seeing friends, or doing last minute shopping. Everyone is excited and busy - everyone but me.

I have a few weeks off now. Just a day or so short of two full weeks. But I am not on vacation. I cannot sleep in. I cannot stay up as late as I want. I can't not worry about food or what I spend during a day. There are no new fun activities for me to occupy myself with, and certainly no tours of interesting exotic places.

This year is extra sad. I have no money to get myself or others anything. There are only a tiny handful of people I would get anything for, which is also sad. But today I feel extra alone. There still aren't any games that thrill me. It's like I'm missing something. So not only is there noone to see in real life, there is noone online. Especially since the few I do interact with online are off doing other things with family or friends.

As always these past years the holidays are not really all that sad for me not because I have noone to celebrate with, that has really been the case for the better part of probably the last 15 years or so, but it is sad because basically everyone but me is something special; something rare and exciting. But for me, it is just a time when places close early and I have an extra tough time with resources.

Day 1636 - 12/23 - Xmas eve's eve

Today was pretty sad. Much like yesterday everyone was out celebrating. I was one of only a few not. Nothing different or special happened. I just tried to get by as best as I could.

Well, there was a torrential downpour of rain. It rained so hard that even with your wipers on full blast you still couldn't see more than a few feet. I think in all of my life I've only see in it rain this much like four times total.

I actually seem to rarely see the woman I thought was homeless at the new coffee shop I go to. I've probably only seen her 1/3 of the times I've been there now. Which is good, as that means she either has other places to be, or maybe hopefully she isn't homeless. It is still odd that she sits for hours with that thousand yard stare. Why would someone come and sit for hours with nothing to do? I'd think she'd be incredibly bored.

It was sad and lonely today. I felt out of place, and even if I went to a different place I would still be out of place. It didn't help that the crazy drinker homeless guy and his friend were at the restaurant. I don't blame them and homeless have few places to go, but what does bother me is they talk about homeless things; where to go for food and shelter, what they are doing for Xmas, etc. Again, I don't blame them; they likely have noone else to talk to about such things. But it makes it extra hard for me to be homeless trying to occupy my time and mind with regular life things and they are there talking about being homeless.

It's night and soon I'll settle in. I have made it through yet another day, but I shed a few tears hugging my bunnies. I should not be out all the time. They should not be in a bag in storage in a garage. We should be safe and sound in a home. But we are not. And the longer I am not the more I think the odds will continue to stack against me, and that we may never be in a home again.

Day 1637 - 12/24 - Eve proper

Today I am more sad. There really isn't anything I can think to say. It was a sad day where I was lonely and continued to feel lost in more ways than one.

I played a bit of a game that is free and a bit of a beta of a game that is basically the same thing. It's fun, but I don't know if I'll stick with either since they are really intended for team PvP. It seems more strategic than not of an 'if A then B' type formula. It will probably be fun for a bit, but with noone to regularly play with I think it would just be too chaotic feeling in an I never know who I'll be playing with or their skill level way.

Once upon a time I probably would have gone to my grandparent's house today. I'd have seen cousins and people either that I hadn't seen in a year or never met. I don't know if I would really call that family though. I don't really ever knew them, having only seen them a few times a year, and after my mom died they never really contacted me. Well, they never really did before either. The visits got fewer and far between. It seems strange, and good, that I hear online friends and people's guilds are replacing, I guess I could say dysfunctional families. It's not like my family was ever really dysfunctional in a violent or destructive way, never had those yearly gatherings where things were broken or police called, they just never really seemed to connect of form the bonds you'd normally associate with a connected family. It's good to hear people with both good and bad families can find these bonds and support through online gaming connections.

But I don't really have anything right now. I suppose I haven't more years than I have at this point. I wish I had strong family ties to people I cared about. I wish I was in a home and had the chance to form these strong in game connections again. I suppose these holiday times are the most isolated I feel, and it won't get any worse, but still. I may have nothing, but it's good to know those who are not homeless who do have online friends at least have something.

Day 1638 - 12/25 - Xmas that wasn't

Today is super sad for me. I'm so off my normal routine and thoughts that I almost forgot to close out the week and post today.

It's early afternoon at the (new) coffee shop. There are a surprising number of people here. I suppose because nothing at all is really open and these people are either on their way somewhere, or like me have nothing else to do. Though if I had a home I'd much rather spend my time there, especially if I had an Internet connection.

Today all over the world little ones and adults alike got up with things to look forward to and excitement that, in some cases, may be barely contained. But not me. For me this day is like any other day. While there are a few who wish me well, for the most part I am sad, alone, and nothing about the holiday is a part of my life. Of course I wouldn't want happy people worrying about me. It's nearly 5 hours past when I normally post and I've heard nothing from people being worried, which is good. People with happy lives should be doing happy things.

I suppose I should be happy I still do have some things, and I am. I have a working car, my laptop, and a handful of hours at work, so there is a moderate amount of food. Though still sick and generally starting to feel the effects of being older (or under nourished, I'm still not sure what's causing the joint and muscle tiring), I am, in general, healthy enough I think. Some are not. And some have less than me. And for a sad number of people they will not see Xmas at all due to recent tragedies. But, as always, all I can do is hope my days change for the better soon, and that my sad story helps some in some way.

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

flash required for the logo
best viewed at 1280 wide resolution or higher