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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 241

Day 1681 - 2/6 - Almost cried at dinner

Today was a big failure. I took my book with me in the morning and was going to try and finish my lab. I was way too tired. I ordered a kind of expensive lunch because the sliced pizza I wanted wasn't even started yet, and the guy put something on what I ordered that was not listed. I questioned him and got him to take off as much as possible. After lunch I had class. We got out early and I did some podcasting. I guess that was the only part that wasn't bad. But I sat there in the car for the longest time. Just sitting. Thinking this is what my life is like. I have to be out somewhere, doing unusual things, because I have to be out. Because I have no job to be at during the day. I went to the coffee shop after and again thought I'd try and do homework. I edited my podcast, but again I just really wasn't interested in homework. I looked for jobs and played some more. Right when I was starting to be motivated and in a mood to do homework my night was over. In a home I'd have easily had 4-6 more hours, but homeless I had to go eat and then try and hide for the night.

At the restaurant I nearly cried. While it was nice the cutie remembered me and smiled and waved I couldn't help but stare out the window and think about all the people driving by. People were going home. People were getting off work. People were going to the shops to shop. But not me. I had nowhere to go. I didn't just get off work. I had nothing I needed to buy, even if I could have afforded it. And it made me wonder.

It feels like things will never change. Even if I get recovered enough to get a room, or a miracle happens and I can afford a place of my own, I am still single with zero prospects. I have no sweetie, let alone a wife. I am not starting a family. I have no friends to share adventures with like movies or pen and paper, board, or card gaming. In a home I would still have no future prospects. My life, while free from stress, worry, and fear, would likely be filled with grinding at work day after day doing something unfulfilling. I would go to work and return home to an empty place. All the things I am sad about every day would be happy. But long-term, the things I really want, the things I feel are really missing in life, still would be. And even if I can recover, these things may elude me to the end of my days.

Day 1682 - 2/7 - Don't understand the lab

Today was kinda bad, kinda good. I finished my podcast in the morning, so that is all ready to go. That was fun. After, I tried to do my lab. I don't understand it at all. I guess I have to go over the slides and reading again over the weekend. If I still don't get it there is Monday and Tuesday to ask for help before it's due on Wednesday. In the evening my friends came online and we had fun. That was a nice surprise.

I guess overall I feel ok about the day, though I am still limited by being homeless. I'd have 4 hours more every day to do school stuff or whatever. There is so much I could have also done today that I kind of wanted to do, or any day before today as well. But I guess, since no change or opportunities seem to come my way, that I am meant to suffer and remain where I am.

Day 1683 - 2/8 - The worst sad

Today was a very bad day. Last night started hopeful in that I saw the 'shell' for my podcast back on iTunes. This morning though I got word that iTunes still can't find a particular thing. That thing, as I feared, apparently is something that may change due to my being on a shared server plan. In order for that to remain static I'd have to pay $250 a year vs. my current $75. I just don't think that is really affordable. I'll have to think about it.

I tried to relax in the morning with play, but the connection was horribly unstable. I tried to do my lab but I really don't get the syntax at all. It's like trying to learn a foreign language by being dropped into that country. There are some things I can try before Monday, but it seems I am at square one and in need of serious help. I got a yummy pizza and some cookies to cheer myself up at work. During work I was hoping to see my friends do their podcast and be in the chat room, but the work bandwidth was so bad I couldn't connect at all, leaving me very few options on what to do. I tried to play an older game I haven't finished and it was locking up every 5 minutes.

Today I have the worst sads. Every place I've gone the connection has failed. All my attempts to do homework failed. Trying to play and have fun failed. And unless I drop $250 a year for my web hosting it seems I'm now permanently off iTunes (as any return would equally be at risk of losing connection again.) And, by the time it came to watch my friend's podcast and I couldn't, I just about broke down in tears. A few slipped out, but I managed to hold them back for the most part.

There are other places I can try to connect from to be stable. I can try to see if $250 a year is affordable. And not seeing my friends this week isn't the last time I could. But everything feels like it's collapsing around me. And when you have so little left it is not easy to shrug problems off like a normal person could. To me it feels like everything I have left, what little there is, is being lost and taken away from me, and I am not being allowed to participate in anything. And no matter how much I try to succeed and recover all those efforts are ripped away by things I can't control.

Day 1684 - 2/9 - Sad options and not options

Today was pretty sad. I did check out a beta I'm in a bit more, so that was fun. But due to how slow the restaurant was it took twice as long to watch shows. In nearly 3 hours I'd barely watched 1.5 hours of show.

While the beta I have access to this weekend is pretty fun, I spent a fair bit of time watching the Neverwinter streams of the weekend beta they have going on. I am very tempted to pay for a founders pack. The reality is though only the $200 is really "worth buying", and I don't have that much to spend. Sure, the $60 one would get me weekend beta access, but at this point that's only 6 days, during which about 1/3 of that time I'd have no access or be asleep. It would get me a 3 day head start too, but let's be honest and consider I potentially have 8 hours easily to play per day when I'm not at school or working. If it does come out next quarter I may have classes, but if it's late and comes out in late July or after I'd not have school. So really only the extra playable race, extra character slots, foundry access, and in-game money are worth it, which are all restricted to the $200 pack. However, I just don't realistically have that option. That's probably close to an entire year's budget for games if I don't get extra summer hours.

There is also the sad reality that it looks like a return to the iTunes store is not possible without spending $250 a year on web hosting. Maybe I could find a different web host for cheaper which does conform to Apple's new standards, but for some reason it's looking for a server address in addition to the URL. And that address isn't static and won't be found on a shared server space if the web host moves my site behind the scenes.

So today was sad for me. I want to be in Neverwinter having fun and running video and getting info to podcast about, but I really can't afford to get the package that is really worth it for me. (Nor is streaming even an option on my laptop wirelessly.) I'd also love to secure my space and get back onto iTunes so more people can hear my podcast (and I'd never have to worry about bandwidth limitations), but again my life is not a happy rabb1t life. I can't afford that either. Today seemed like a reminder that my options are far less than optimal, and none of them seem to be allowing me to have the happy rabb1t life I want to live.

Day 1685 - 2/10 - Another terribly sad day

Today was another terribly sad day. I wanted to try and do some homework at work, but was too tired and too sad. I had some bandwidth so I was able to watch a few shows and play for just a little while. At the restaurant the connection was slow, but not intolerably slow like it was the other day. (Well, not more than its usual 0.9 whatever, compared to like 60.0 on a land-line.) I played for just a little while then tried to do some of the lab homework. To my surprise I got some of it to work right, though some still generates an error and I don't understand why.

I guess in a way I feel more ok than usual, but as often happens lately I have felt super sad and depressed all day. While my podcast has more listeners and I'm very happy for that, I'm still getting zero donations and no feedback or interaction. While I did get a shower, it was at work. While I had plenty of food, it was all pretty bad for me, and not what I'd have enjoyed cooking. While it was a touch warmer today, because I'm homeless I had to stay indoors in public places that were noisy and cold.

Today again feels like one of those days where I'm the one left over doggy or kitty at the pound that noone wants. I am alone in my cage; cold, lonely, and forgotten.

Day 1686 - 2/11 - Slightly better day

Today is a slightly better day. I took the morning off and did my online work for my friend then played for a bit. In class the professor helped me figure out what was wrong with my lab. I went and did some podcasting after class and played for a bit before work. During work I watched a movie and finished the lab. So that one is finally done and I can move on to the next.

With my lab done and being able to move on, with my podcast being back on iTunes, things seem to be looking up a bit. I feel a bit better, but still feel constantly constrained by my sad homeless life.

Day 1687 - 2/12 - Owie jaw

Today seems like it may be ok. My jaw is really hurting when I open it though. I must have yawned and sprained it or something. Hopefully I can eat ok later. With my week being so bad I had a tough time lately. Though I haven't slept in at school in a while the crowd seems to be thinning out, so maybe I can if need be soon. With it being winter though activity at night is down, so I can usually 'be safe' and get a few more hours sleep.

The bad times seem to be turning away ever so slightly. Things are still not 'better' in any real sense, but things which have been extra sad lately seem to be resolved, and with that my mood is lifting a touch. The weather seems to be on the verge of warming up. Some days, mid-day, the weather is genuinely warm. Yesterday I had my hoodie off for a few hours for the first time in months. Maybe soon I can feel not so super sad anymore and things can begin to go back to my balanced homeless 'normal'.

Week 242

Day 1688 - 2/13 - Hello and goodbye new boots

Last night I grabbed my new boots before hiding for the night. Trying them on they weren't too bad, but they were a little pinchy in a few places. However, they kind of slipped around as I tested them out. Upon inspecting the bottom it seemed to be a hard plastic instead of the medium density rubber a shoe should have. I decided to take the small loss in shipping costs and send it back for a refund. I am not going to risk my paws and other parts, especially since my paw is just now getting to the point that I can go up and down stairs fairly confidently without holding on to the hand rail.

Today was ok I guess. I messed around a bit in the morning. I had class, which ran very short as it was the last one before a test. After, I went to record my podcast. So that got mostly done. I'd like to get some more content in there, but I don't know if I really have anything left to talk about this week. After, I only had a short while to play for a bit more before watching some friends stream some stuff.

I guess all in all things weren't bad. But if I were in a home, wow, things would have been very different. I'd have had much more fun with playing, had 3.5 more hours due to not needing travel or needing to hide for the night. I would have been able to shower, do better podcasting, played more, eaten healthy, and generally been more productive. Years ago I said having a gaming system would make me happy. And I am, but I am still sad about all the basic things I am missing from my life that people take for granted every day.

Day 1689 - 2/14 - Sad not Valentines Thursday

Today was very sad for several reasons. It started with bad news at my oil change. The oil change went fine, but a nail/screw was discovered in one of my old tires. The guy at the tire place said they couldn't fix it. It was so worn out it was unlikely to be safe even if it did survive the process. So, since just getting one tire is unbalancing and unsafe, I had to get two... again. I guess technically it's a cost that I needed to spend anyways, but for how little I drive they could have lasted 1-1.5 more years before I needed to really change them. So there went another $175 I wasn't really expecting to spend on top of the other tires I just replaced a few months ago. That ate up like 90% of the remaining tax money I planned to put into savings. I guess the only thing to be thankful for was that I had the money to spend.

The rest of the day was pretty much a sad not Valentine's day. That cost and loss of time threw off most of the rest of my day emotionally. If it were just a lonely Valentines that wouldn't be anything new. My last like 15 years I haven't had a Valentines, so it's nothing new to me.

I saw my friends and played for a few hours, so that was nice.

But at the end of the day when I am sad, much poorer, alone, and heading off to hide for the night, for some it is just beginning.

Day 1690 - 2/15 - Feeling sad again

Today was mostly ok, but I am feeling sad again. In the morning I uploaded my podcast, but I haven't gotten a confirmation from iTunes that it is looking at the new URL yet. In their 'we got it back up' notice they specifically mentioned the old URL. I really don't understand why we don't have better control. Having all information invisible and not controllable after the podcast has been approved is just... silly.

I got some pretty bad news. One class is having the test next week, a week sooner than I thought it was. And I haven't been watching the shows because they are the most boring ever. (It's a watching the lecture online thing.) Nor do I have the book because they are really just too expensive. I'll have only about half a day to cram for the test if a book is in the library. I'll try to watch the videos and get caught up, but they are the most boring 1.5 hours ever, and there are like two per week.

I decided to stay at the new coffee shop instead of moving elsewhere before work. Lately I just haven't felt right or welcome at the restaurant. Bandwidth was ok, but there were more than a few times I lost connection or things got so lagged they got stuck. It made me sad about needing to use public connections and that my life is still unchanging.

At work I watched a movie, which was better than I expected it to be. But I was ridiculously hungry and ate like double or more than usual. I started my next lab thing and it's going ok, but part of it isn't doing anything at all.

After that my friends did their podcast stream. It went ok, I could see most of it, but there were issues with it not working right away, and several parts got stuck and I couldn't see anything. After it was over my friend said people were annoyed at me for talking about my problems. It made me sad because apparently people were leaving because of it. And it made me sad that people didn't seem to want me around because I was talking about it.

Tonight I feel like nothing is ever going to change, like noone wants me around. I feel like I should just pack my car, shut all my online stuff down, and just disappear. It's like if noone cares about me maybe I should just go away.

But where would I go? Without money I couldn't go far. I certainly couldn't just live on savings. I'd run out in just a few weeks, even if all I had to worry about was food. Even if I did go somewhere, whatever it is about me that pushes people away... there still would be people.

I don't understand how, all my life, I have been the one to care for others. I have always been the one to stand up to bad things when others wouldn't. I was the one who counseled people during (emotional) pain. I was the one who took in not just one, but three friends over the years who were down on their luck and needed a lot of help to get back on their feet.

I have a few friends who do care, so I know there are some people out there. And I know a few others do find what I do on my site and podcast helpful. And I know there are a few who are helped by my words and thoughts. But I wonder why so many people I meet or who see me treat me like this dark shadow they fear to be near and they run away. I don't understand why I am still out in the cold. Why after so many years I am so single. Why it seems every night lately I go to sleep and feel like if I don't wake up noone would truly miss me or feel the absence of my presence.

Day 1691 - 2/16 - Goodnight, bear

Today was actually pretty good, but as I left work and night came I got pretty sad. There is a stuffed bear at work someone lost. I guess a girl by the smell of the bear and the slight glitter on the fur. I think it was maybe three weeks ago now. It makes me very sad to think how much the bear's family must miss them. The other staff in the office has not kept the bear in the window despite my leaving a note that they should help them find the bear's home. When I left from work I set up a spot on one of the cushioned chairs in the office and covered them up with a towel. I hugged them and gave them a goodnight kiss since they'd been missing so many from their family. I think tomorrow I'll bring bear with me to the ex-storage to prevent further abuse at work. I promised bear weeks ago that if we couldn't find their family I would take them and drop them off at a donation place so they could find a new home. It makes me so sad.

I feel very sad and alone tonight. Maybe it's because the weather lately has been a bit warmer. Maybe it's because I've worked a few days extra now. For some reason, maybe because of so many young teens around me, I find myself thinking back to my teens and 20s and how lonely I was on weekends, and how I'd have so much fun with friends when I did have them.

I guess it just ties back to my sad thoughts of the past few weeks of how I will, more than likely, end up with a job I don't like, one that grinds the time and my spirit away, and even if I do get into my own apartment there will likely be neighbors I either don't like or who are non-interactive towards me. Doomed to live an unfulfilled life in a small space never really having enough freedom to really pursue my hobby in a way that truly makes me happy. In some ways I fear that what I may recover may wind up being more of a prison than I am in now, particularly emotionally, since I no longer have support of possible roommates that I know, and I am truly on my own.

Day 1692 - 2/17 - Bear with me

Today seemed sad. I had an extra work shift this morning, which was good. Noone was there most of the time, so it was super quiet. It was supposed to be a day of mostly studying, but I could barely keep my eyes open. I was not awake enough to study for more than about an hour.

After work I brought the bear with me. She's been without a family for about three weeks now and it makes me very sad to think she is lost without a home too. It makes me sad to think how terribly her little girl must miss her. I don't quite know what to do with her yet, but for now she can be in my ex-storage with my bunnies where she won't be alone.

I got to see my friends and play online for about an hour, but that was really all I played. The rest of what little connection I had at work, and a few hours after, I mostly spent watching shows. Mostly my mind keeps wandering to being a GM in Neverwinter and making campaigns in the foundry. I suppose, in theory, I will only have to wait two months for that. I'd still love to get the $200 founders pack and get immediate access, five days before launch even, but with the tires costing me nearly $400 in the past few months that has really become an impossibility unless someone gets it for me as a gift. I can afford the $60 one, which gets me in three days early, but I don't get instant foundry access among other things I'd like to get. I am entering all the contests I can to win one, but odds don't seem favorable.

Today overall I feel sad for me. Sad I don't have a real career to earn decent money. At the rate I'm going I may never. Sad for the bear and the girl who lost them. Sad that after so many years of trying and suffering things seem no better for me then when I started. And sad that, in my gaming hobby life, as an older male, I am just 'yet another' voice among a crowd of so many that noone cares; I am not considered special or unique, and noone really seems interested in supporting me for it. (A few have helped now and then, but certainly nowhere near the kind of numbers I'd need to 'make a living at it.') And I feel sad for everyone else who, like me, may never achieve their dreams, or worse, truly wind up like me and don't even achieve what everyone else seems to have. I have become like a shadow. Noone considers me out of place when they see me, yet noone looks for me or cares that I'm there unless I'm in their way.

Day 1693 - 2/18 - The parallel shadow world

Today has been lonely. There is a greater and greater feeling of depression always within me. Though there are brief moments of happiness - playing online with my friends, talking to ex-guildies or others, playing a new game, working on my site or my podcast - nearly all of the rest of the time I feel ... beaten. I feel like nothing I do will matter. I feel like I have failed at life and there will never be a way out. I feel like, more and more, the memories of being in an apartment, being in a home, cooking, sleeping in a bed, playing at my desktop, watching movies in my chair, all of these memories will fade and all that will remain is the permanent ringing in my ears from fluorescent lights and constant unwanted music.

I've never been an ambitious guy. I tend to stay in the same job spot and home for years and years and years. Maybe that has slowed me down too much. Maybe getting 'just enough' and being satisfied has caused me to be perceived as someone not worth having around.

Whatever the reasons or causes for where I am and why I can't get out, lately I feel that this terrible world I've been forced into has no exit. It may exist in parallel with the normal world, but lately it feels like I will never again be able to be a part of that world.

Day 1694 - 2/19 - Worried for tomorrow

Today is just starting. I'm super tired. My eyes have that tired sore feeling. I've been super sniffly, sneezy, and have yuck in my throat and lungs.

I'm worried for tomorrow. I don't like cramming for tests, let alone one I haven't liked. And what makes it more dangerous is I haven't watched all of the boring videos. I'll have to spend too much time doing that today. Hopefully there will be a book in the library I can skim and take notes from. I should probably go check that today, maybe I will, I'm not sure yet. It's open book, open notes, do it online, so the questions would have to be impossibly hard to not be able to find help online should there not be a book to check out. I'm bad at reading and reading last minute, well, a few hours tomorrow would likely be as good as a few hours today. Besides, it's probably better to try to focus on the boring videos today and worry about the book tomorrow. There may not even be a book on hold for the class. I should have not been lazy and been doing that all along, both watching the videos and keeping up with reading, but the weeks have gone quickly, and lately motivation and feeling ok has been very difficult.

Even though I have things that do make me happy lately, these past few months have seemed the toughest. I've had huge losses with the car tire poop. My health hasn't been terrible, but it's not been great either. More and more as we approach the end of year five I feel like nothing is ever changing, like I am trapped at the level I am, and that while things are tolerable now, as time goes on I will just continue to lose more and more and that recovery is becoming less and less likely.

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

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