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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 237

Day 1653 - 1/9 - Whacky Wednesday

Today was a bit whacky. I slept in at school in the morning. It was ok. There are 7:30 classes now, so it was really just that half sleep because background noise is constant and I heard it the entire time I was sleeping. Hopefully that will settle down soon. It's still just the first week so things are extra crazy. Class was ok, but I was really spacey.

I haven't quite figured out a Wednesday routine yet. I should probably just stick around school, do the class reading, and try and do homework assignments. I have that online class too. I should watch videos for that maybe. I guess I'll figure something out and start to settle in next week.

Today though, since I had no class stuff to do or otherwise couldn't do, I decided to go to Panera Bread and get the super yummy chicken soup. After, I had to grab some cough drops. And I'd been collecting cans for a while, so I really had to dump those at the recycling place. I did podcasting for a bit after that. I'm happy that it's about 30 minutes so far, but sad that it's really more review based lately than I'd like. There hasn't been that much psychological / sociological / philosophical / metaphysical stuff to talk about. The rest of the night I was at the restaurant. Which, as usual, was meh because the connection is so bad that watching a show takes nearly twice as long as it should. If it were warmer I wouldn't mind moving around so much, but since it's cold, and today is rainy on top of that, I kind of like to just stay in one place. So it makes going to other / better connection points difficult since I don't like to stay at other places more than a few hours.

I suppose though, now at the end of the day, today was really just a day like any other homeless day. It was made different in that I did a lot of this week's podcast, so I'm happy about that, and at my last stats estimate I may have 400 listeners now, so that's awesome. But really today at its core was still sad, and still full of things I would not have done, or done in the way I did them, if I were not homeless.

Day 1654 - 1/10 - So much editing

Today was ok I guess. I didn't sleep in at school because it was already pretty crowded when I got there. I didn't want another repeat of yesterday's half sleep. I decided to go do the last bits for the podcast. I spent a bit of time at the coffee shop then nommed over at the restaurant. I watched a show during lunch and after I spent about 4.5 hours editing and getting the podcast totally ready. So, that's all ready to go in the morning. I also decided to try it in stereo to see how much bigger it would be, and for some reason the stereo and the mono file were the same size. So, from now on they will all be in stereo. Though only the music will be, my voice will still be mono.

Almost right after that my friends came on and we played for just a little bit, about 45 minutes I'd guess, but it was good times.

I guess my day overall was pretty good. Though, as with all days, I would have liked to have slept in. It would have been nice if my shows didn't take 50% longer to watch due to really crappy bandwidth. It would have been nice to have showered and eaten better. And it would have been nice to have those extra 4 or more hours to play on a landline instead of hiding in the dark. My life is what it is though and all I can do is try and hang on.

Day 1655 - 1/11 - Terrified of death

Today was pretty sad. Sometime in the afternoon I had a sort of panic attack. I suddenly became very terrified of death. I felt cold and tingly-ish, like when you have hurt yourself real badly or had a 'near death' scare. I thought about how I don't remember anything before I was born, and thus, theoretically there would be nothing after. If I am just a collection of thoughts and consciousness only in this body, my death would end it. At the rate I am going the next 4 years will be very difficult to survive, let alone the next 44 that I should have. I worry so much about what kind of permanent damage my homeless time is doing to my lifespan.

I suppose all I can do is try and calm myself down and think that if I don't remember and continue after I die, then I suppose it won't matter. I won't think back and be sad about what I am missing. And if I do wake up in a new body, well, then it will be like now. I will remember only what that life has and what came before won't worry me.

Day 1656 - 1/12 - Extra extra work

Today was unusual. Right after I'd finished eating lunch and I was getting ready to play something my boss called and asked me to work an extra shift. It shot my entire day, but it was really fine as I'd accomplished all the 'important things' in the day already. After work was sad though. What would have been about a 7 hour window in a home, during which I'd have played, cooked a good dinner, watched a movie or special show, then played for a bit more; turned into a very sad time since I'm homeless. I got a healthy chicken soup, but the wireless there was so bad it couldn't connect at all. Even if I could I would have been limited to 30 minutes. So, I didn't get to watch anything and just ate and left. After, I had time for one game. I could have stayed longer at the coffee shop, but since I could go hide and have private quite time I really feel I need to get as much as I can before spring and summer hit. Once they do everywhere will be very active and I'll probably lose 4 or more hours of private time per day (that I have now.)

I feel like I have a broken heart lately. It's more likely I am not sleeping well and I'm just folding myself badly, but it feels like my heart is aching and the ribs around that part in the middle is all broken and out of place. I am supposed to see my online friends and play tomorrow night, which is happy, but they are all I have really. I have no offline friends. I don't even have a room in a home with roommates. Lately things seem very sad and lonely.

Day 1657 - 1/13 - Absent friends

Today turned out sad. I had an ok time at my extra morning shift, but the rest of my day was slow, lonely, and sad. My friends were supposed to be on to play, but they never showed up. I guess they got busy or something. I was looking forward to that, but they have regular lives and it just happens sometimes that they get busy.

I'm still feeling very sad. Maybe it's the extra cold and yet another new quarter starting where I don't feel like anything I do matters. I don't know.

I wrote to the doc about the weight gain a while ago. I haven't heard back, so I looked up the med online. It indeed lists rapid weight gain as a possible side-effect. I think next week I'll carefully do an experiment. I'll stop taking that med on Monday. Then, on Wednesday I'll check if my blood pressure looks ok. I'll try to remember to keep an eye on it on Monday and Wednesdays before class. Last time my appetite reduced a ton within three days, so I'm sure my blood pressure wouldn't go bad that fast. Who knows, I may even not need both. For that first whole year or so I was just fine on the one.

Anyways... if my theory is correct it is this med that's causing like 30-40% more hunger that has led to an increase of 20% of my previous weight total. Being this big... is too much. Depression was also listed, so that could help too if that's happening. Though for me weight and depression are linked. My life would be a lot easier to deal with if it were like the early days and healthy in terms of weight and general movement is not a concern. I guess maybe we'll see Wednesday, though I don't expect this weight to start to disappear for a week or two at least. But, if appetite is down and I see even just a 5 pound drop by the end of a month that will definitely be proof. I'm not saying I'm sure that self-medicating is the way to go, but if dropping the med reduces appetite back to normal, looses weight, and blood pressure is ok, then I think it must be a good thing. Besides, I had that funny feeling in my heart when I was on the higher dose of the first med, and that turned out to be me feeling a kidney at risk, so I trust my body's warning feelings. And this level of hunger... well, it's felt bad for more than a year.

Day 1658 - 1/14 - The experiment begins

Today was kind of sad for morale. I guess the first lab for one of my classes is due by Friday. I still don't have a book, or the software I need. And, at $90, I won't be buying it. What will have to happen is I'll have to check out a book Wednesday and focus on doing it in the morning before class. It seems really simple, as the class is sort of scripting, so it's elements that are somewhat common in HTML and other programs I use. So, hopefully it will go quick.

Today was the start of the 'fattening med experiment'. I do feel a bit less hungry than normal even just today. My snacks have been small as opposed to full meal sized. And, although I'd gotten a single serving apple pie junk food snack, when I started eating it I didn't wolf it down. In fact, by the fourth bite or so I'd kind of regretted getting it. I did eventually finish it though, about 30 minutes later. I had an odd salami craving too, so I picked up a few slices of that. I've only snacked on a few pieces so far. I guess we'll see how the experiment goes as time goes on.

Nothing else really for the day. No jobs to apply to. I did work. I did something not so interesting for my friend's podcast (a regular thing I said I'd do), and I got to do a special super fun thing too which was like yaaay. But that was really it. All in all a pretty normal homeless day. I'm not sleeping in Mondays so I have time to do my friend's online work and try to study, so I'm super tired. Maybe I can pick a spot specifically to nap in the morning. Though the lot is crazy busy in the morning, so it may be too noisy until later in the quarter. I guess we'll see. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight. I've been sleeping weird due to congestion and the cold weather. At least it seems to be warming up a touch. That's something I guess.

Day 1659 - 1/15 - Feeling slightly better

Today I am feeling slightly better. I liked the thing I did for my bestest friend's podcast. It's a new sound for the current soundtrack. I like doing that stuff. I guess in a way I always have. As far back as I can remember, all the way back to when I was maybe 6 years old, I was using my Star Trek tricorder tape recorder to record stuff on the radio and adding silly things to it. I'd even recorded some of my favorite TV shows. Back then that was the only way to record stuff, video recording stuff didn't come out until about 10 years later.

I guess I'm feeling slightly better about my sad thoughts of death. All I can really do is try to control for what I can. Things like doing my mini-workout when I get a few minutes in the bathroom, try to not worry so much when I sleep so I can hopefully sleep better, make more of an effort to not eat crap all of the time since I have to 'eat out' all the time. I guess overall my life is still pretty stable, though things get a bit tougher and sadder every year. All I can do is hope I still have a while before I'm gone. And while I do I guess all I can really do is try and be as happy as I can, make as many as I can happy, and if possible help them live better lives so that even if I don't get all of the rest of my life maybe I can help others to have theirs.

Week 238

Day 1660 - 1/16 - Feeling bad

Today was kind of sad. It started in the morning with my blood pressure being pretty bad at 140/90. If it's still bad on Friday I will be forced to call off the experiment and carefully check to be sure it goes back down to the like 130/85 it should be near. Next, the book voucher I qualified for to pay for the $95 book and software didn't actually cover the book. Apparently that price was the used price and new it was nearly $140, which meant I still had to pay $40 for it. My only hope is I recover most of that selling it back in two months. I suppose though I have the book and software, which means I can do stuff at work which is very helpful since they are 5 hour shifts. Lastly, it seems there is yuck on my sleeve, like sneeze stuff or something. I'm not scheduled to do laundry again until Monday.

I had kind of a sad time with my game too. I did a PvP fight, like how you are supposed to, but when we were beating them by quite a bit I just felt sad. It's like we are breaking all their stuff, killing all their guys, and they are getting more and more behind. I just felt really sad for them. I know I'd be very sad if people were beating my team like that. So, I doubt I'll do PvP games much, if at all. I don't like feeling sad like that.

I guess today was more ok than I thought in terms of class though. I tried to do the lab and it's sort of working. The stuff in the foreground isn't changing, but the background is. The only problem is that is reverse of what it is supposed to do. So, I have 1.5 days to figure out why. I'll be ok I'm sure. But at the start of the day it was so confusing that I thought I'd never make it. I felt a lot better a few hours later when it was working in reverse.

Guess that's really it for today. Nothing special really. Nothing changed, but I suppose nothing bad happened or came under threat, so at least things didn't get worse I suppose.

Day 1661 - 1/17 - Experiment failure

Today was ok I guess. In the morning I still couldn't figure out what was wrong with my lab, so I set it aside. I played a game I haven't played in a while. It's a bit different, some new stuff in there now, but basically the same. I went to the restaurant at lunch. After, I looked around online and found some examples and figured out where/how my lab thing was wrong, so I was able to fix that pretty quick. I got a reply from a work person about Saturday's shift, so I'll be covering that again. I tried to play my game I haven't played in a while again, but I got disconnected and the Internet was dead for a bit. I'm so ridiculously tired of it being crap or broken. I'm down to only being there four days and it's really tempting to be there less. The problem is I feel compelled to spend almost $3 on a drink when I go to the new coffee shop because the wireless is so awesome. Going there could get pricey if I go too much. I said F the restaurant and left before dinner. I dropped off my lab at school. On the way I paused at the health center. My weight is even heavier than it was when I was on the med . I guess the fattening medicine experiment is a failure. And on top of that my blood pressure was still really bad. So, I took a half pill when I got back to the car and I'll resume full pills in the morning. After that I went to close out this week's podcast and then had a healthy chicken soup and bread. And now just a short while later I'm here.

I guess even though there was some pretty bad news today I guess I feel ok. I have my games. I have my podcast. For the most part at least I am still somewhat my old self. As I get fatter and less healthy, as I can afford fewer games, or my system or car breaks, I will lose more and more of me. But, at least for the moment, I'm still managing to hang on to some things.

Day 1662 - 1/18 - A bad day

Today was a pretty bad day. It started out with a stupid $55 parking ticket for being like one foot into a red zone. The stupid red zone is in some walkway ramp into the middle of a turn on a private street. Noone would use that. It is in the worst place to cross on the entire block. A bit later in the day when I went to check if iTunes was not being dumb anymore I discovered they still are, and the stupid guy again told me that the way I should fix it is to change the name and do all this dumb stuff so it's updated, then change it back. And after that, every single game I tried to play at the super fast coffee shop disconnected. It's like everything I was trying to do went bad.

Today is one of those days it would be nice to have a sweetie. She could hug me and comfort me. She would get me a yummy pepperoni thick crust pizza for dinner as a surprise to cheer me up and we could watch a movie. But I have no sweetie. I have no home. I even had to work tonight. And what is worst, I don't even have the extra money to get myself a pizza to cheer myself up.

Day 1663 - 1/19 - Not studying day

Today I had an extra work shift that took up much of my awake time. During work I had just enough bandwidth to mostly play a game uninterrupted, so I did. I'd taken in my book to study, but I just didn't feel much like studying. I guess I was still pretty sad from how things went yesterday. It's ok, over tomorrow and Monday I have more than 10 hours at work to study, so there is plenty of time to read the like one chapter to get current.

My day was very... mundane I guess. There wasn't anything about it remotely special or unusual. I did not have a fancy dinner I'd made. I did not watch a movie on my home theater stuff. I did not game on a new triple monitor desktop. I did not hang out and play games with friends. I did not even spruce myself up, get all nervous, and go out on a date. What I did today I did because I had to. If I were not homeless, if I had a better job, my day may have gone very differently. Today more than usual my mind wandered to what could be; Things that I wouldn't need to be rich to enjoy; Things that I would have if I had an average salary for an office person with my skills in this area. But as the imagined smell from a game hen with carrots and rice for dinner faded from my thoughts, as the sounds of laughter and feigned frustration of friends gaming die down, as the gentle caress and kiss from a sweetie who does not exist fade from my cheek and arm... I hear the sound of the street, feel the cold of the night, and am reminded that these simple things may never come to be.

Day 1664 - 1/20 - Not study alone time

Today was ok-ish I guess. It started with an extra work shift. Due to the holiday nearly the entire time the place was empty. I also had a decent enough wireless signal that I could watch shows and play games. The last 1.5 hours of my shift had been set aside to study, but the chapter we should be reading is really just code stuff. That tells me nothing. I need to know the goal, or the use, not the form. Form teaches me nothing. It's not how I learn, so I just skimmed.

After work I played some stuff and watched for friends to come on and play. They never showed up. I guess they were too tired from doing stuff. A different friend did some checking in / hi messages, so that was nice.

I guess today passed without much harm. I had my system, had a connection to entertainment stuff, and I guess overall things weren't too bad. But even with these freedoms there are still so many things I am without, and those things constantly drag me back down, physically and emotionally.

Day 1665 - 1/21 - The sad routine

Today seemed sad. I suppose it was because it was a holiday and many had it off, but it may have seemed sad because it was the same routine for me. The same pattern that so many times before has yielded nothing new, found no opportunities, and felt like I've gained so little, if anything at all.

I guess too I missed some chances to chat with one of my best friends. I guess both times I just missed her post and did other things oblivious to the fact she was around.

Today I felt sad. I felt isolated. I felt poor of health. I feel closer to death than I should. And I still feel like no matter what the appearances are, everything around me is falling apart and it will never get better for me.

Day 1666 - 1/22 - Sad times

Today seems sad so far. I'm hoping it will get happier as time goes on but things seem sad, and everything seems to remind me of the things I don't have lately. I don't have a job with enough money to have a home. Because of that I don't have a kitchen and place to store foods to have healthy meals. I don't have a bed to sleep well, so often I am tired. I don't have a space to stretch out and lose weight. I don't have a desktop or my home theater, so I have to have a laptop and use headphones. And as spring and summer approach couples and groups of friends are becoming a more common sight, reminding me I'm single and alone.

I have a few things, which keep me from going completely crazy. I have most of my health I suppose, nothing is broken at least, not counting teeth anyways. And later this evening I will watch some people and be in a chat room, so that should be fun.

But for right now, and it seems most of the times these days, I feel sad, alone, isolated, like nothing I'm doing is going to ever change anything, and that what should have been a very long time left to live is now at great risk of being cut short due to all of my limitations.

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

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