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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 249

Day 1737 - 4/3 - Did what I wanted, but not

Today was good, I guess. I checked for jobs. I did my final edit check on my podcast. I played games for quite a long time. And, I watched a few shows. In a way I guess I did what I wanted today. But I was still out in public. People were smoking near me. The chair wasn't very comfortable. Food choices were good, but not great, and nearly double what it would cost myself to cook at home. Even on my good days I can't help but be constantly and painfully reminded of what I can't control, what I don't have, and what is missing from my life.

I see and hear people saying and doing things; things for jobs or in industries I could have worked in once upon a time. But I feel slow. I feel I have forgotten a lot of what the topic is they are discussing. And most of all I feel it is too late for me, even if I were given a chance in that field. I wonder, is my mind really too slow and old now for the fields I thought I might want to enter into when I started school 14 years ago? Is it really too late and now I'm just stuck with menial jobs someone who is 18 is looking for? Have I missed out on life, and now and forever will I only just barely be able to hold on? I suppose only time will tell.

I do still believe someday I will find my pot of gold and be able to live my happy rabb1t life. But if for some reason I don't... I feel I am doomed to never have more than I have now, and one day I will die and noone will know the difference.

Day 1738 - 4/4 - The island

Today was ok, but I have felt very lonely. I don't know why. I guess it's because I so rarely play with my online friends these days. Or possibly too because lately I've been thinking a lot about how I miss having friends to do pen and paper and board games with. I guess too there was Easter. And every Easter that passes is another year I am reminded I am single and have no little ones of my own.

Even though I got to check for jobs, played a lot of games, and watched shows, the day still had sad overtones I can never fully escape.

Day 1739 - 4/5 - Feeling odd

Today was ok I guess. I spent most of it playing my game and watching a few shows. Lately I've been feeling odd though. I guess it's just that I want to do more with my life. I wouldn't say it's a desire to work more, unless that work is something I enjoy that is either productive or fulfilling. I wouldn't say it is a desire to be more productive with my site or podcast. I am really not sure. I want to do more, yet at the same time I cannot. And in a strange way I want to be alone and have private time and just be sad and alone and do nothing.

I guess lately I am feeling again like I am mourning the loss of me.

Day 1740 - 4/6 - Was always lonely

Today was pretty good actually. For the most part I got to play and watch what I wanted without too much lag or people around disturbing me. I was pretty lonely though. I'm supposed to play online with my friends this weekend, but no word on when that will be, and it's usually on Sunday.

I guess I've been lonely on weekends for a very long time even when I did have a home though. I remember many days of wishing I had friends to play with online, or real life friends to play with or do movies with. I remember having my room peaceful and quiet much of the time. But in some ways it was too quiet. And I remember many many days of playing too much of something because I had nothing else to do and if I did nothing I would just be super sad and even more lonely feeling.

I guess, in many ways, my days have always been how they are now.

Day 1741 - 4/7 - Tears for no home

Today was ok I guess up until the night. I had an extra shift at work, so that was good. Work went ok and I even had bandwidth to play games. I actually managed to do a homework assignment that was due soon. (Which is crazy to have homework suggested to be finished before class has even started.) After, I decided to be bad and get a pizza. I don't know how long it's been since I got one. It feels like months. I was actually good though and managed to stay within my calorie budget. I was supposed to play with friends online, but they got busy with important stuff.

But the night was sad. When I visited my stuff and hugged my bunnies good night I shed some tears. I am so tired of needing to be out in public all the time. (Especially on days like tonight when there are a lot of smokers leaving the door open to the coffee shop and I can smell smoke for hours.) I am so sad about not having a desk to sit and play at, a kitchen to cook in, a bed to sleep in and snuggle my bunnies when sad. It's the little things, like having TV to kill time watching Wheel while cooking that really get to you. You would think that it's the big things that make you most sad, but it is really all the little things that define you that you miss the most.

I just want my simple small life back. And I don't know how to get it back, or if I ever will.

Day 1742 - 4/8 - Sad start

Today was pretty sad. It's lame because it likely wouldn't have been so sad if something hadn’t happened at the coffee shop. There was a new clerk there who I've only seen during the afternoon shift before. Without giving details, he basically was an ass to me and tried to push my buttons for no reason. Had we been anywhere else and he said one more bad thing I likely would have been very tempted to pop him in the face to show him button pushing can very easily lead to negative results. It was just two statements and who knows if he was having a bad day or if that is his normal attitude, so I'm willing to try and forget that happened. But, that set a precedence for the rest of the day. Why did he feel the need to indirectly insult me? Why did he do it a second time? If I weren't homeless and needed that coffee shop as a resource I'd have happily challenged and insulted him back. But I couldn't. All I could do was squint stare at him for a few seconds and walk away.

But that one thing so early in my day made me sad. And it made me homesick. I don't like taking advantage of resources. And it made me yet again wonder if someday I will no longer need these resources and not be forced to be around so many inconsiderate people.

Day 1743 - 4/9 - Beginning again

Today seems ok so far. I decided to just post in the morning since my class may disrupt my brain to the point I may forget to do it after. I doubt anything interesting will happen, and as always if it does I can always edit it in later.

I slept pretty well, which is unusual. Lately I've been off for some reason and have had a lot of trouble sleeping and getting to sleep. I'm a bit congested and coughing, but then it seems that isn't going to go away until I'm no longer homeless. I discovered yesterday that my new SSD was almost full. I have cleared off a few games I don't play, I'll push to finish a few other games I don't expect to play again after I'm done, and there is about 50 gig of backup stuff for my podcasts I can clear off to elsewhere. I should be fine again after some cleaning, but with games taking upwards to 15-20 gig for the really big ones these days, and 5-10 on average, space is eaten up fast.

The day is warm and it's only just starting. Hope is in the air as the last real quarter of the school year starts. (I don't count summer, as hardly anyone goes.) Me... I suppose I feel hopeful in a way too. After all, any day can change your life forever. But deep down... It feels like it is just another day like any other before in these sad years.

Week 250

Day 1744 - 4/10 - A day off

Today was truly ok I guess. I mean, yeah, I'm always sad, and things like not being able to shower, sleep in, do homework in a quiet calm environment, or cook, always bother me, but it was a nice warm day and things seemed to bother me a little less.

I stayed at the coffee shop all day and decided to have a day off. I could have done homework, but I'll wait for a refresher tomorrow and skim read the book. Also, I've got three work shifts between now and when they are due, so that is practically 15 hours of offline time to do 2, maybe 3 hours, of work.

I watched shows, played games, and did a bit of web surfing. All in all things were ok, though the game I wanted to play has been having server trouble lately.

I did check for jobs before closing out my day. But, as usual, I found nothing to apply to. I keep hoping things will turn out ok and I can live a happy rabb1t life, but eyeing the six or so regulars I see at the coffee shop I've come to the conclusion they are unemployed and/or homeless. It is tough to really feel like things will turn out ok for me.

Day 1745 - 4/11 - Group project

Today was actually pretty good. I finished my podcast in the morning, though I had to do it somewhere unusual. Class was actually pretty good. There was good info and a class project where we had to work with others and I felt ok. I didn't feel like they were uncomfortable with my being older and whatnot. It is like they didn't notice, which is good. After class it took forever to leave the parking lot. (Seriously. It was like 30 minutes when it should be about one without traffic.) I may start studying after class if that doesn't thin out next week. And after, I watched shows and played games and tried to relax. I do have a couple of assignments due for class, but I've got all shift Friday, Sunday, and Monday, so that's 15+ hours to do stuff that should only take 2-3 hours.

Today I felt pretty good, other than my orange juice getting a bit too warm in the car. As night settles in though I am always made more aware of everything I don't have, and I feel a bit more sad and homesick as I wonder if I will ever have a home to drive home to at night ever again.

Day 1746 - 4/12 - A bunny, a bus guy, a close call

Today will hopefully turn out ok. There was a close call with being discovered in sanctuary this morning. I don't think anything bad will happen, it hasn't before, but each time I'm discovered or nearly discovered I worry I will lose it forever.

I got a super cute and soft bunny from the food store. He was the only one left from Easter and he was all alone. I saw him and hugged him for the very first time maybe a week ago. I don't really have a spot for him while homeless, so I passed. I saw him again early this week. Again I hugged and kissed him and promised if I saw him again I would buy him. Wednesday morning I was there at the store, but forgot to check. He was still there this morning though, so I grabbed him and took him back to my other bunnies. It was so sad to think such a cute and soft bunny was left alone with no home. I don't know if my storage is any better, particularly with no room in my bag with my bunnies. He may have to go into an overflow box. I don't know if that is a better life for him. I do know from working there years ago such a lost critter is usually fated to go into the back in a big pile, usually never to be seen again. But the thought of him missing out on a proper home with a child who would love him and play with him makes me sad. But then, like April Bear who I also got recently, I guess he was left discarded and alone.

After I left the store a guy asked for $0.75 for the bus. I looked at him, felt distrustful and almost said no. But I saw in his other hand he was holding $1, presumably having taken it out and noticed it was not the $2 he expected to find. I decided to help the guy out.

At work I did one of the two homework things I have to do. It took about 1.75 hours though, longer than I'd expected. The other isn't due until Tuesday, so I'll do that Sunday at work. I didn't have a connection, so I played an offline game. I had almost all day to play online, and watched some shows when I wasn't playing, so I guess it was ok.

All day I kept thinking about how the bunny has no home to be taken to, and how different my day would have gone without worry or activities done because I'm homeless.

Day 1747 - 4/13 - Take a pass on the restaurant

Today was ok I guess emotionally. I don't really remember much of it. I do recall being very sleepy. I played games and watched shows. I turned in my homework from last night. I'd nearly forgotten to do that.

I think I'm going to pass on the restaurant from now on. The food is just meh and the Internet has been intolerably slow for I don't know how long now. It will be a very rare day I go back. The coffee shop is way better in terms of speed and food pretty much anywhere is better quality than the restaurant. Plus, any meal there is like 60% of my entire day's calories. When I left I nearly threw up again. I think it's the Saturday burgers. For several weeks now, always on Saturday, it's happened. That can't be a coincidence. I never coughed and felt like throwing up in previous years unless I was really sick, so I think that pretty much seals the deal on the restaurant.

I don't know where I'll go instead. While the coffee shop people (for the most part) don't seem to care that I'm there nearly all the time, I still feel odd staying in any one place more than 4 hours. It is getting warmer, so maybe I'll do picnic type lunches in my car, or just spend an hour or two getting quiet semi-private time. I don't know. I do think the blaring music and nearly throwing up tonight leaving the restaurant pretty much put a stop to my visits there. It is no longer worth going for the cost outside of rare trips.

Day 1748 - 4/14 - Sad and tired

Today I was basically sad and sooooo tired. I had a work shift in the morning. I started out trying to do my homework, but rapidly got stuck on something I didn't know how to do. It's due Tuesday, so I'll have to go to the library tomorrow and see if I can get an answer from the book. I haven't read it yet, but this assignment technically is from stuff we learned in a previous class. For some reason after work I was so hungry I basically had to get a second lunch. I played and watched a show, but it was very lonely. My friends are out doing stuff, so I'm on my own all the time. It was ok I guess, I'm used to it, but it made me sad. When I went to get dinner I guess I went too late. The place I wanted to eat at was already closed, so I was forced to get dinner somewhere else. It was not what I'd been looking forward to all day. It's not a big deal though. I eat it a few times a week and may tomorrow, so missing it tonight wasn't tragic.

I'm so very tired. What with the scare a few days ago I've lost sleep. And when I do sleep it's troubled. As always with a scare I'm worried and stressed now. My eyes are sore and tired. My poor feet are sore nearly all of the time from being forced to always wear shoes. My back is tired and stressed from sitting and not having a bed to lay flat on. My immune system is tired from fighting smoke, perfume, flower smells, and everything else all the time. I'm so very very tired.

Day 1749 - 4/15 - A terrible day

Today was one of those days my future looked very sad. It started late last night, getting notice one of my assignments got a zero. That kind of implies the one before it will also be zero. The comment from the teacher was not the least helpful. In fact, it was insulting. She wrote, 'What made you think this would work?' Gee, I don't know, maybe the fact that I pushed compile and run and the code did what it was supposed to? That wasn't the first time she insulted me either. About three other times she's been insulting towards me like that. And she is the head of the department. You'd think she'd be better.

This morning I tried to get some solutions for the homework that's due tomorrow. I spent an hour with the book and it was no help at all. So all day I was worried if I'd need to drop the class. I found a solution during work and the homework is nearly done. I have to do some polishing up in the morning but it should be fine. Though, by the time I'm done it will have taken 4 or 5 hours total instead of the 1-2 I'd estimated it should take.

But in all my stress, worry, anger, sadness, I looked around a bit. If I drop the class or not there are only about three or four more total that I can take. That's it. I'd be surprised if that got me anything. But then what? I can't really afford a four-year college. (When I left about 7 years ago it was about $1250 for tuition each quarter with financial aid.) And even if I did get some kind of degree, what then? None of my degrees have helped my job search at all. Have I wasted the last 14 years? Am I no better off now than when I started? If they never help am I stuck with menial jobs forever, never able to get past the kind of job someone half my age should get?

I will wait and see what the teacher says about homework tomorrow. I'll see what grade I get on a quiz. But it may turn out that I'll be dropping the class in less than a week. Not because I can't do the work, but because the teacher failed me by failing to encourage and help.

And what of my life? Stay or go in the class, it seems nothing has changed for the better, and I may rapidly wind up exactly where I was 14 years ago, only far worse off due to now being homeless and having so much debt.

Day 1750 - 4/16 - Still unsure

Today had a pretty terrible start. I had already spent 3 hours on the third lab thing yesterday, and this morning I spent 3 more trying to get it into the final form it's supposed to be. I couldn't figure it out. It worked fine in the simpler form, but hardly at all in the form it's supposed to be. I did get full points for the first one, so even if I got no points on this one that would only be about 3% of my total grade lost. My concern though is I may not understand the core syntax behind how to do it. It's not explained in the books well, nor online. And, so far, the teacher has been the reverse of helpful. I'll wait though and see what she says about the bit I turned in today and a quiz we took. If I am missing core understanding maybe it would be best to drop her and take it in the future. This is the last time the class will be taught like this, so in the future maybe I would get a different explanation of things.

I don't know. I am so very sad about my life lately. What I love to do, what I like and enjoy, what I am good at but not formally qualified for, they are all things people won't hire me for. Either the industry in question is so small that only an elite few have the positions or they require degrees I don't have and/or can't get. These new directions I have been trying don't seem to be panning out and it seems I may be in a far worse position in life after going to school than when I started.

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

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