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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 235

Day 1639 - 12/26 - Eyes and ears hurt

Today was ok I guess. I was just on my own really. Noone was around online and nothing special happened.

I played my new free game and the beta that's like it. I do like it better than the beta, but they are both based on this game that has a single map. I played maybe half a dozen times today and again half a dozen yesterday and it's kinda starting to get boring. I see how some may like it. It's like video game chess, but really fast, so the fact that it's the same map every time seems pretty... repetitive and boring. I will probably continue to peek at them until people start coming back and things are less lonely. Long-term though it just would be too repetitive for me I think. The only thing to focus on is micro managing your character and what gear they get, and I've never really been into that.

Just these past few hours my eyes and ears have really started hurting. I think it's maybe over stimulus or something, so I'll try to be extra restful, but it could just be my cold is focusing on these systems instead of sneezing and congestion.

Hopefully everyone had a good Xmas time. For me... well, things are still so very sad.

Day 1640 - 12/27 - Snack for dinner

Today was ok I guess. In the morning I did my podcast. It went ok, though there really won't be much content this time. I'm kind of running out of stuff to play, and being the end of the year holiday time everyone is out doing stuff, so I've noone to play with.

Overall I feel ok today, though oddly I wasn't very hungry. I didn't finish lunch (which isn't surprising with how much food it is) but then I just wasn't really hungry for dinner. I got a small size snack I'll eat in a bit, but that's it. I suppose it's closer to my normal amount of food for the day, which is good. But I don't know if that is due to cold symptoms or if it's the vitamins helping calm things down and I'm genuinely not hungry. I really don't feel different from having the vitamins compared to before when I wasn't. But I'll continue until either they run out or I get a chance to check my weight and stuff and see if there is any noticeable change there.

No real change for today. Pretty much the same as any other day lately.

Day 1641 - 12/28 - Not at work

Today was weird. It's always super weird when it's a day I normally work, but don't. I guess the day was ok though, I occupied my time with playing a few different games. I was about to go hide for the night and noticed my friends were doing their podcast. It made me super sad I'd missed some because Skype should have alerted me they came on and I'd have known. I guess the game I was playing blocked the messages so I didn't see the alert. I saw some though and we had some laughs.

That was really my day though. Even though I had an ok time with my game and didn't play more than I actually wanted, I do still think I'm missing something. I had more fun sitting and talking with someone for like 10 minutes outside of the game talking about strategies than I did playing. I hope a more social game comes along for me if that's what I'm really missing. I guess until then I'll keep doing single player stuff and occasional online time and keep thinking and talking about my thoughts about stuff.

Day 1642 - 12/29 - Shower at last

Today was a bit different. School often has their swim practice on Saturday, sometimes regardless of holidays, so I took a chance. They were indeed open when I went to look. The water started on the better side of warm, which was good enough. I got to shower and get things shaved, which I haven't done in a week and a day. (Well, I've shaved my face since then, but that was it.) About 15 minutes in when I was pretty much effectively done with showering it started to get genuinely hot, so I just stuck around for a bit longer.

Really the shower was the high point of my day, a few online friends posted or replied to posts, so they were sort of around, but I didn't talk to anyone, and I didn't play with anyone I knew. I played games I wanted to play, but I didn't over play.

Things are still super sad, as I still have all my sad things, and now there are the holidays and winter on top of that. But, I guess I will survive one day and get through it. The world overall certainly wouldn't notice if I didn't, and all that I am would fade away in less than six months, but a small handful would miss me, and I guess that is something to hold on to.

Day 1643 - 12/30 - Not mini-workout

Today was meh. Nothing special happened, nor did I really expect anything to. I played some games and watched some shows and that was really about it.

I'm trying to get more tough on my mini-workouts. I checked my weight yesterday at the school showers and while I was 4 pounds lighter than I have been, I was also totally naked. Cloths and stuff could easily have accounted for that weight difference. So, I'm trying to double or triple my mini-workout numbers. It's still not a lot, maybe 15 minutes if all added up through the whole day, but I'm hoping something is better than nothing. I hope I can eventually drop this extra like 50 pounds and get back to about 175. Being 220ish, when I've lived half my life literally at half my weight. I feel slow, fat, tired, and I think I look terrible in the mirror. (I hit about 125 at 16 and stayed that weight up until I was probably about 20. Then I wasn't a whole lot heavier at maybe 150 up until my early 30s. Only recently at about 35+ have I been 175 and higher.) I breathed so much easier, moved so much easier, and had a lot less muscle ache and allergy problems when I was 165 and lighter. I'm beginning to worry it's not so much my diet, but all the extra depression and slow pace I have to keep due to my homeless life. And with a solid career and stable life nowhere in sight for my future I worry I will just keep getting bigger until it finally ends me.

Day 1644 - 12/31 - Last day

Today was different than what I planned. Originally I thought I'd go to the coffee shop, get lunch at an oriental place around the corner, then move to the restaurant in the late afternoon. Since I had to shave again I decided to check school in the morning. It was still open, so I took a shower. The water was its usual cold to barely luke warm, so I took only the most minimal of showers. I decided for lunch I'd splurge and treat myself to pizza. It was super expensive at like $15, so that was sad, but it was something I haven't had since my birthday. Sure, I have single slices at various places, but those are not from the place I got this pizza. In the early afternoon I went to the restaurant. So, I guess really just my morning was different, but it was kind of odd. It was slightly warm, and without a wireless connection it kind of felt like the early homeless days before I had a system.

I guess it's the last day of 2012, New Year's Eve. Normally this would be a big deal for everyone, a moderate deal for me, and I'd watch whatever cool marathon was on TV and play games. But this year, it is just like any other homeless day, and I have no marathon I can watch.

Day 1645 - 1/1/13 - New Year, new things

Today I feel, I guess, out of sorts. I'm super tired, and despite my 'new regular routine' for a school is not open day, I forgot today was Tuesday. I guess a few things will be new this year. I have the new coffee shop, and one of the main people there seems nice to me. (He peeked over my shoulder the other day at what I was playing and we chatted for a bit.) And a few doors down from there at that mall is a place to eat that has a couple of things I like. So I can ease off the painfully slow restaurant connection. My podcast is a bit different with adding iOS stuff and TV/movie stuff. Though I always said I'd do that in the description I hadn't until recently. I also said I'd do pen and paper and board game stuff, but sadly I don't have the opportunity for that.

I guess overall things are just the same as they have been these past years, but at least for today I am hopeful these changes may mean something greater could happen because of them.

Week 236

Day 1646 - 1/2 - Sad reflective day

Today turned out to be sad and reflective. I don't know exactly why, but for whatever reason one particular birthday event has been standing out in my mind. Looking at some dates this was probably on my birthday in 2007, so almost 5.5 years ago now. My ex-roomie / friend had gotten me a game, which was super happy, but I'd read some reviews that, from what I recall of that time, said it was pretty bad and very short. I spent the day agonizing over if I should open it and play, or if I should exchange it. (She'd ordered it online.) I felt completely terrible about wanting to exchange it because only a few weeks earlier she'd asked for a list (old school hand written style). I finally went to ask if she would be ok with that, and she was fine with it. She even thought I was silly for worrying and being all, "uh... um... would it be ok... er... could I..." Looking at the wiki just now reviews for it were actually really good, so I don't know why I changed my mind back then. I don't even recall what I exchanged it for, which makes me even more sad.

I guess maybe I'm just sad because of the loss of experiencing it at that time. The loss of being in such a position that I had to pick. I couldn't just get the other stuff I wanted in addition to that one. Or maybe I'm sad over it because it's the holidays and besides one gift I got nothing this year. (Though a few others did send cards or well wishing.)

Maybe it is the combination, that I have noone in my life I can expect to celebrate things with and give gifts. Maybe it's because this year, for the first time, she got me nothing, finally possibly turning her back on me as it were after my being put out and homeless so many years ago now. Maybe I am feeling like everyone is pretty much turning their backs on me and I am becoming more and more alone, and times like this, times of celebration and gift giving will simply become more and more empty. And as my memories of such times fade the cold I feel physically will be felt more and more as the warmth I have in my heart becomes more and more extinguished.

Day 1647 - 1/3 - Feeling bleh

Today I feel pretty bleh. The day passed ok, but I'm feeling... bad. My cold has me super congested, I sound bad, my throat is coughing up yuck, on rare occasion I'm sneezing, I'm confused, and I'm very very sleepy.

The day was pretty lonely. Noone was around, so I didn't really talk to anyone. I finished the podcast, so that is all ready to go in the morning. Mostly today though I just played a game I got recently that I talk about on the podcast.

I'm so very tired. I'm tired of not getting enough good sleep. Tired of being cold. Tired of being congested and wheezy. Tired of not having a job I really like and feel at least somewhat fulfilled doing. Tired of not being able to watch my movies on a nice screen with my stereo stuff. Tired of not being able to cook healthy foods and eat portions that are just the right size. Tired of not being able to shower and always having freshly cleaned cloths. Tired of being scared and worried all the time. ... So very tired.

Day 1648 - 1/4 - Hotdog

Today was ok I guess. I'm still sick, so mostly I just was out of it and on autopilot most of the day. I don't even remember much of it. Things were a bit different in that I did laundry. I normally do it before work, but since I haven't worked Monday in forever I left it until today. It was kind of nice to have a regular work day to watch a movie, have a micro dinner, and have a regular day. I have my vacation time off, but since I'm homeless it's not really the blessing it otherwise would be.

I'm having a bugles snack. I don't recall how many months it's been since I got them. Strange thing is when I took my first bite I suddenly tasted hotdog. I guess it's just my brain matrixing meals, as I often would have chips or bugles with a hotdog at lunch, possibly triggered by the saltiness of the bugles. It seemed strange though to be reminded of something so common, something I used to have a few times a week, is now extremely rare. I can get them at school, and likely will once it's open again, but it seemed an unexpected reminder of what is so common for everyone else is so different and unusual for me.

Day 1649 - 1/5 - Backing up all day

Today was sad, but more so disappointing. It's been a while since I've done a backup. Because it was taking longer and longer my weekly backups became more and more often skipped. I don't remember the last time I did a backup and it showed complete. So, I took my backup disk with me today to do that. After more than three hours I simply gave up. It should be like 15 minutes, 30 tops. While I can do whatever I want while it backs up, that is not right. I tried updating the drivers and software and let it try again. After two hours I just gave up again. Using it as a USB disk copying the stuff I want backed up would take 30-45 minutes, tops, less if I skipped non-essentials that only very rarely changed. If I don't hear a good reply from the company I'll just start doing it that way.

So that kind of put a damper on my day. Instead of feeling safe in that what I sort of pride myself on is backed up, I went the entire day wondering why it wasn't working, and now I'm worried 'what if'.

I saw something else that made me sad. I was watching something which led to a female gamer who talks about stuff on YouTube. In just like two years she's gotten over 21 million views. That's just insane. I can't hope to get that popular. It would be a miracle. It makes me sad that I can't do as much as I'd like for my rabb1t life, but also makes me again wonder if it would matter. I'm just yet another guy talking about gaming stuff. There are tons of us. I'm not terribly unique in my views, opinions, or perspective. It's really sad to say, but there are so many guys like me it's very tough for anyone to really care. If I could 100% live my rabb1t life, sure, I could stand out more based on events I cover, how I cover them, etc. But seeing someone that 'regular' have a few hundred thousand followers... it makes me feel small, insignificant, and even if I could get out from under my restrictions that I may never 'really matter'.

I suppose though, in the end, I don't really care if I have hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of hits / views / whatever, because what matters to me is if I make a difference in someone's life. Do I make people feel or think differently in a better way than they did without me? Do I help them live happier, better, and richer lives with my gaming and hardware suggestions? That is what really matters. Knowing I affect lots and lots of people's lives would be awesome and really happy, but knowing I have an affect at all... well, that is what matters most. And I guess I just have to try to remember that even if I only effect a few lives, that's not such a small achievement after all.

Day 1650 - 1/6 - Laughing at night

Today was unexpectedly ok. The morning was a bit slow. I was at the coffee shop and playing games alone. I did a few of the online things I'm doing and people were friendly, so that was ok. I decided to check out a different restaurant for lunch though. They had super tasty low calorie healthy chicken soup, plus a small roll (or chips or a third choice of a something). I'll probably go there once a week for that. Though I don't think they have any plugs, and supposedly they limit Internet connection time anyways, so I probably won't go there a whole lot.

In the morning when I was walking to my car I saw a cute striped black and grey kitty. Sadly she scampered off before I could get close to pet her. She may have been a stray. I don't recall seeing a collar. I hope she has a warm place to be.

In the afternoon I got an email from someone who used to know me from a forum. He was checking in to see if my life was any better and asked about my podcast, so that was a nice thing that was unexpected. In the early evening my best friends came on. We played an online something for a bit and we were being silly and everyone was laughing a lot.

So I guess today ended ok. Though, as I told the person who emailed me, my life is still sad and really unchanged since he last saw me a few years ago.

Day 1651 - 1/7 - Possible drug interaction

Today I did a lot of stuff for my site. In the morning I did a write up for a new tech thingy, which I can also talk about on the podcast. And in the evening at work I edited more than a couple hundred pages to remove something, add a regular email button, and updated some pages to say 2013. It is still sad when I do a site update and there are only a dozen or less site pages, then there are hundreds for Epic Fail. Well, maybe someday, like 5 years after I recover I can delete the bulk of it and cut it down to just the pdfs or something. At the rate I'm going that day will never come.

Today was also the first day of new classes. One class is online and all we had to do was read some rules. The class is pretty much just watching videos, so that will be weird. The other class is with a teacher I liked a lot who I haven't had a class with for 2 years. It's crazy to think it's been that long. He asked how I was doing, though I don't know if he remembers that I'm homeless after all this time. I told him I was still terrible and nothing has changed. He said,"Well, you are here." I sort of shrugged and replied, 'Yeah, I suppose as long as I'm still alive that's at least something.' The room the class is in is pretty crazy. It's got this huge screen, several white boards, remote control shades, laptops at every seat (leashed to the desk), and apparently a sound system built into the room. The building is brand new, just finished less than a year ago. I found this one spot that has clear tiles in part of the floor on the second floor. I dared myself to stand on it and it was like woooaaahhh so scarey.

I wonder if my drugs are causing my extra hunger. I was off of one of the meds for about 3-4 days and I was eating normal amounts. Now that it's been like 3-4 days after I started again I've started to be extremely hungry again. I'll send the doc a email in the morning. It didn't seem related back in the day because the 50 pound gain happened probably over 4 months. But if it is the medication, and I've only been over 185 since I've been on it, then I need to either drop one and very carefully monitor my blood pressure, or see if it can be changed. Being so hungry that I eat like 40% more and carry an extra 20% of my total wight is not ok.

Day 1652 - 1/8 - No Internet morning

Today is starting off sad. I have the big site update to launch and the Internet here at the coffee shop is down. I guess maybe that's why the ping was going bad lately compared to a few weeks ago when I first got here and it was totally stable. I guess the morning isn't a total loss. I can do my writing, the input, and get it all ready for when I'm at the restaurant. It may be 1/25th of the speed, but it's pretty much always on. Since I had work last night the main games I play are already in offline mode, so that's ready to go too. (Though they fixed that and it's ok if it's not set that way in advance now.)

Overall this week I've felt sad. I've felt like even though my rabb1t life is doing better (site updated, and if stats are correct my podcast subscribers may be up to over 400. ) I still feel like, compared to others, I will never make it; that I'll never really matter to more than just a few, that I'm just another non-special voice in the noise.

Maybe the New Year will bring change. One can always hope. But I still can't help but feel like nothing I do matters, that change must come from an outside, as yet unknown, source. And that the change that is meant to happen is entirely in Fate's hands and all I can do is continue to do my best to hang on.

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

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