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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 239

Day 1667 - 1/23 - Around and around

Today starts another week of fail. But really it is no different than any other. I had class, I had to be very careful to not spend too much on food (especially since all I have is the few dollars in my wallet and about $8 in the bank), I applied to a job that was just more junk, not a career or something that could really lead anywhere, and I flirted just a tiny bit with a super cute attractive girl who is way too young for me at Panera Bread. (She works there. I have a free fancy drink thing that I wouldn't use and told her she could have it.)

It's not that I don't want things stable this week, but I am not looking forward to the same-ness. There is nothing special to watch for and with how things have been for me, that seems unlikely to change.

Day 1668 - 1/24 - Bad to worse

Today was a bad day. I checked my iTunes last night and all of my podcasts completely disappeared from iTunes. You can't find anything searching for it. There is still no reason why. Again, the only solution they have given so far is to change the name, the rss, rename it, resubmit it, wait for it to be re-approved, then change everything back. No thanks. That's way too disruptive to current listeners. So, I don't know how long it will be off if that can't be fixed. I spent about two to three hours trying to see if it was anything on my end, but it's not. The rss checks out as ok on a validator thingy.

As if that weren't bad enough, later in the day I spilled a nearly totally full drink on my table, my pants, and a bit on my system. It seems to have not gotten anything important and my pants seem fine, but still.

Also, the coffee shop seems to be getting more and more unstable. I played one game and it got stuck more than once and nearly disconnected me completely.

It seems no matter what I do, no matter what I find that is better or achieve in time, it always goes to poop and I'm right back where I started.

Day 1669 - 1/25 - Another sad day

Today is another very sad day. The new coffee shop continues to have an unstable connection, so much so that it is actually more unstable than the restaurant which is only 1/25th of its speed. It took hours to finish editing my podcast for posting, and still iTunes shows nothing. It's possible one of my best friends helped me figure out what is wrong, so it may be fixable, but it may still need to be re-submitted as new before it shows up. There is supposedly a way to get iTunes to see a new feed location, so I'll try that first and see if anything happens. It needs at least 48 hours though.

In the evening I had almost no bandwidth. Again I've looked forward to seeing my friend's podcast live and be in the chat room and again my bandwidth was so bad I couldn't. It's like going to a party and then being forced to sit outside in the car alone. I got so sad I just left. I couldn't see or hear anything.

I'm so tired of my life being so sad and having so many problems.

Day 1670 - 1/26 - Friends for 3 minutes

Today was a bit different. The coffee shop time was filled with adjustments to my site for what I could do for the podcast for now. I tried to play a couple of games, but as usual lately the connection was unstable. I went to the restaurant for half-off burger day, but had to leave pretty quickly. I had one of those paid test things in the early afternoon.

The game I tested was pretty bad. A chubby, but very attractive and cute redhead sat next to me, and her boyfriend she arrived with next to her. A few times during the 2 hours we were there testing we chatted. They seemed nice. After the test was over they were walking near me and they were talking about how bad the combat in the game seemed, and we were like 'it would have been better if...' The chat trailed off and I went to my car. I noticed they continued walking way deep into the parking lot. I wondered if they parked really far out or were on foot and needed a ride somewhere. I exited that side to see more. They were still walking, so I pulled over next to them and asked if they needed a lift somewhere. They pondered, shrugged, and said sure, they were headed to BART. They asked if I knew where it was as they settled in and I replied, 'Nope. I assumed you would know here you were going'. We laughed. We found our way there pretty quick, but for about three minutes I was just a guy taking some friends to BART. It was nice. It's been like months since I was with someone in my car being friendly, and years before that time. When we arrived they introduced themselves and I told them I go by rabb1t online and have a domain. I said, 'bye friendly people,' and they said bye and we parted ways.

I doubt I will see them at another test thing. And too I doubt they will try to look me up online to maybe be friends. (Which is made even tougher since I don't think I specified it was with a 1, nor did I give them one of my cards. They seemed hesitant to trust me and I didn't want to seem pushy.) But for a few brief minutes it was nice to have people who were like real life friends. It seemed normal. It seemed like having friends is the way things should be. It seemed like maybe someday I can be normal and have a normal life again. For the moment I am happy for a brief time that I felt normal being around people. But I know the feeling and memory will fade all too quickly.

Day 1671 - 1/27 - Long day, quick day

Today seems like it was really long, but passed really quickly. I got an extra work shift, so that was good. During the shift I tweaked some code for my podcast, though I don't think it was really necessary to do it. It looks more code-like, so maybe that will help (machines), but I'm pretty sure it is just invisible user stuff that doesn't really affect the code.

After work I only had a few hours to play before friends came on. My lag was pretty bad though, so play was difficult. My friends have been having terrible trouble though, and tonight was even worse for them. Calls and voice chat were being dropped and the game dropped them. It was sad. They got pretty frustrated and kinda mad.

I guess for me though today was meh. Nothing new has changed. My not being able to play on a good connection with my friends was sad though. And because things were sad on their side things were extra sad overall.

Day 1672 - 1/28 - Unreliable

Today was pretty sad. It started promising in that there were a lot less cars and activity in the lot. It could be people have dropped from morning classes. That is good news for days I want to try and sleep in. But after class I was going to try to do my homework lab thing that's due Friday. I had a hard time focusing. I would have gone to the library, but it was packed and the network was too slow by 11, so after class at 1:15 it just would have been worse.

The worst part of the day came after. I had about 1.5 hours between class before laundry. I decided to try and play. Everything I played at the coffee shop got disconnected due to lag and instability. For the past week or so there has not been a period of 15 minutes where it hasn't gotten ridiculously laggy. You wouldn't be likely to notice on the web or with video as much, but it is extremely deadly to games lately. So that really leaves just the restaurant, which is slow as hell, the pizza place by the slice, which forces ads on you that can interrupt stuff, or the old coffee shop, which only has three spots with power and everyone in the whole place can see what I'm doing.

It seems my only options for a happy gaming life are almost non-existent. With what my options are the ridiculously slow restaurant is really the only viable option. And with how slow that is, and the foods not being really good for me there, I'm really trying to not go there very often. As it is I still wind up there four times a week.

Today things were yet again not what I wanted. But then, as always, I guess I don't really have a choice.

Day 1673 - 1/29 - Feeling unbalanced

Today I feel... unbalanced. There are things I'd like to do, but everything seems... difficult. I was hoping to try and sleep in today, but the car was too cold in the morning. I would like to do my lab thing today, and while I still really have all day, due to my being so very tired it seems unlikely I'll be thinking clearly enough anytime soon. I'd like to get my podcast being back on iTunes into motion, but I'm waiting to hear from a friend how he did it. I'd like to do my system build updates, and I probably will, but wireless on a laptop the process feels very tedious. And I'd like to play games uninterrupted, but here at the coffee shop, at least for the past week, it seems unlikely due to the instability of the connection.

The day is still just starting, and everything will likely turn out fine, but, so far, I feel, due to my limitations, I am already failing. I suppose though, as always, all I can do is try my best in spite of them.

Week 240

Day 1674 - 1/30 - Lab done

Today was more ok than I thought it would turn out. I made no progress on my lab in the hours before class, so I set it aside. Class material seemed somewhat easy in comparison to before. After class I showed a fellow student and he saw nothing wrong, and when the professor looked he didn't either. He copied the code, deleted the 'project', started a new one, and we found out that somehow a necessary line of code created by default had been lost in my version. So, over the next maybe 30 minutes at the restaurant I recreated some parts, pasted the code back in, and with a few minor tweaks it worked as intended. So, phew, that's done. I was worried that would take tomorrow and potentially Friday. There is other stuff I still need to worry about and do, but it either isn't due for a while, or it's something I should have plenty of time for doing at work.

The cutie was at the healthy restaurant again. I again offered her my free fancy drink thing. She said she thought of me earlier in the day and wondered if I would show up. I was kind of sad though because she didn't immediately recognize me, and it was a regular kind of thank you. I suppose I shouldn't be too sad though. She's certainly 'way too young for me', so not getting a flirty thank you isn't a surprise.

Overall I'm not really sure how I feel today. I guess I feel somewhat free having finished the lab. I'm happy I found something yummy to eat at the healthy restaurant. My tummy never feels bad or heavy in an unpleasant way here.

Some friend/ex-guildies sent me encouraging words. Some people 'liked' my post about the system builds, which even just that small gesture made me feel appreciated. And, I got to play a few games after my lab. Someone was kind of being a jerk and I called them out, and someone else said 'well said' and appreciated my defending others by saying if that person is going to be like x this is not the game for them. So that made me feel appreciated and like at least some people's play time was made better because I was there.

I suppose even though only seemingly a few lives are touched by me, I guess today I feel a bit happier to know there is at least that.

Day 1675 - 1/31 - Feeling like I'm forgetting something

Today was odd. I guess it went decently enough. I recorded my podcast in the morning. I edited it in the morning / afternoon. I watched some shows and I played some games that I didn't lag out of.

Oddly though I've felt like I've been forgetting something all day. Like I had an appointment or was supposed to do something and just totally forgot what it was. I can't think of anything. The only due thing was the lab, which I finished and dropped off yesterday.

My iTunes listing still isn't working. It's been five days since the re-direct pointer line was added. It was supposed to have taken effect by now. There were several references that it, and other features, were removed. My friend who had to change his feed's address also seems doubtful I can change mine since it is 100% gone from view. It's like a ghost though in that iTunes still thinks one exists with its name. I guess he could still see his podcast to 'delete it'. I can't see mine at all, so I have no way to manipulate anything. He did suggest talking to a person at the store, so I have an appointment to do that, but the appointment site referenced hardware, so it may be they can't help with it either.

I feel kind of icky lately too. My tummy has been upset and my parts feel bad when I move certain ways. I don't know if I'd call it strain or fatigue. My body is crying out to eat more healthy, so that is probably it, but it is so difficult for me. There isn't much I can control for without costs going through the roof.

Well, despite still feeling like I'm missing something the answer will not be found here, so I'll put away my writing for tonight.

Day 1676 - 2/1 - Possible help

Today was kinda sad but I may have gotten help for my podcast. The people at the store found an internal article the previous guy I've talked to, twice, should have seen and used to escalate me to a higher help tier. So, maybe that can get me some help in a few days.

Other than that though my day was pretty regular, though I didn't get to play much because the game server was down for half the day.

I guess the day was ok overall, but I am still cold, still not feeling too good, still wish I had a regular career, and had regular play hours in a home. I don't know how I missed getting to where everyone else is. There are so many I know younger even who are in better life positions than me in terms of stability and future prospects. I hope things turn out ok for me in time.

Day 1677 - 2/2 - Surprise play time

Today turned out ok I guess. I don't remember much of the morning. I did random things I think. The one game I tried to play at the coffee shop didn't lag too badly, but it did lag, so that was sad since it used to be so stable there.

In the afternoon I got quite a surprise though. It looks like a German site is linking to my podcast. At first I was going to be mad because I can't track subscribers and stuff if it's not at my site, but upon clicking around I found out they actually are linking everything back to me. So, yay. That helps get my podcast out there. That might even explain the sudden jump to hundreds of listeners. Odd though they would follow an English speaking podcast. It was also super happy that it had an overall rating of 4/5, and skimming through it looked like individual podcasts got anywhere from 3 to 5 out of 5. There were no bad ratings. (Though there were some with no ratings.) It was odd and cool to see a foreign site but see me there. I hope other sites are nice and link back to me like they do instead of copying the podcast and keeping hits for themselves. I suppose as long as donations and stuff do come back to me I'm sort of ok with it though, even if I can't count all the subscribers. Of course, I haven't gotten a donation in forever.

In the evening my friends came on for some unexpected play time, so that was super fun and super happy.

I guess today had some pretty good stuff going on.

Day 1678 - 2/3 - Money in, money out

Today overall was ok, but it felt very lonely. I got an extra work shift, so that was good, but overall I felt very lonely. Everyone is doing super bowl things. I don't really care that I don't have anyone to do parties with for that, but the fact I have noone to do anything with today seems very sad. Once upon a time I would have gamer friends over and we would play board games or card games and the game would be on, but it was muted. We would only un-mute to see the funny new commercials. All my friends are online now, and those I do 'see' I don't see very often. While being in a home guarantees nothing beyond that it feels like I am missing so very much lately.

I noticed my tax money came in. So that is pretty awesome that it came so fast. The sad reality is that it is at least half gone already. I have to pay for that lame parking ticket for being one foot into the red zone, I really should get new boots as the ones I got 1.5 years ago have holes that are doing bad things to my heels, and pushing my budget out to July, with zero money for games, it shows that it's slowly draining at about $50 a month. While it is likely that my hours may double from May through August that isn't guaranteed and so it looks like this boost to savings won't be likely to make it through summer, let alone sit happily in savings and be 1/3 of a new laptop, or 1/4 of a replacement car, or money for other emergencies.

Even though I claw my way forward, it still feels like I'm forever slipping further and further back and will never recover.

Day 1679 - 2/4 - Sad times

Though today was ok, things seem like sad times lately. The day started with the online work I do for my friend and a fancy lunch. Class went ok, and actually got out early. I decided to go to the coffee shop and play a bit before laundry, but there were a few guys being poo heads, and on top of that the connection was really horrible again. Work went ok, and I did a bit chunk of my lab thing during my shift. I still have to finish it, but it shouldn't be too tough.

Despite things being fairly ok I still feel very sad. Nothing is changing. No classes I've taken have helped me find a job of any kind. With my job attractiveness being no better I am likely stuck where I am; not minimum wage, but at jobs teens and recent college grads do for the most part, where I'm getting half the pay my skills are really worth (or less) and zero benefits. With no change in my income my budget will continue to remain at zero, or fall below. My prospects don't look good, and with little to no recognition for anything I'm doing my future doesn't feel very hopeful.

Day 1680 - 2/5 - Wet socks

Today has just started but I'm super tired. I guess yesterday my socks didn't quite get 100% dry. When I was putting them away after work both pair I'd washed were just a little wet. I put one back into the dirty cloths bag and I'm wearing the other now. This one should dry out in hopefully an hour or so.

Hopefully today will turn out ok. I will go do some podcasting soon, and then I'll wait for Dead Space 3 to show up. Hopefully delivery won't be later than its usual 11 AM. It looks like I got into a beta weekend for this weekend, so that should be fun. After waiting for the delivery I don't have any plans outside of the usual Tuesday, so hopefully I can relax a bit and have some fun. With as sad and lonely as I've felt lately I could really use a good day.

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

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