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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 253

Day 1765 - 5/1 - The missing link

Today I'm pretty sad. The combination of having to drop the class, a few disappointing games lately, and my lack of sleep, has really got me depressed feeling. I may have to start trying to sleep in at school to try and catch up. It still feels weird to do that now though for some reason, so I'm trying not to. I wonder more if it's just the thought of if I was working a 40 hour work week I'd have to get up this early. I don't have to though, so for the sake of my sanity I probably shouldn't deprive myself of sleep.

I've been getting very sad about my game as well lately. I still feel like something is missing - a social connectedness with people which isn't there. Maybe it's a change in how video games encourage or discourage player interaction. Maybe I just really miss having real life friends to play stuff with, and so I miss the combination of that friendly social interaction and banter. I'm hoping that will be an option with Hearthstone, but I won't be able to see for at least 1.5 more months.

In general I feel more like a failure lately. I haven't found a better job. And at the rate I've been going in the past, well, forever, it seems I may never have a real job or one that I am at least happy doing. A few podcasts I've listened to lately have made me feel bad about myself too. Not that they did it on purpose. It's things I might like to do, but those people make me feel odd, lost, not on-par in terms of knowledge and understanding, and that even if I had a chance to do what they are doing I simply wouldn't be as good, or as desirable, to listeners. I'm very happy and thankful for my 200-ish listeners, but at nearly 2.5 years now I'd have thought I'd have had a lot more. And for the past 3 or so years my site has been oddly around the same numbers. I suppose it's good I'm not losing anyone, but I'm not gaining a huge number either.

Lately I feel more and more like my future holds nothing for me, and what I am doing that I love just isn't good enough to gain any real kind of audience. I feel like, sooner than I think, I will fail more and simply fall into oblivion without more than a handful of people even noticing I'm gone.

Day 1766 - 5/2 - Feeling better, feeling sicker

Today was, I guess, a mixed day. On the one hand I talked for a bit with my online friend, so that was good. On the other hand I am super tired and I think I have a cold. I'm sneezing and sniffling quite a bit. I probably should have tried to get extra rest at school, but I didn't start to really get tired until the afternoon.

I do feel slightly less sad today. In the morning I worked on a silly thing for a friend's podcast and I edited my podcast. That always puts me into a happier mood, even if I don't really say anything important or special on the podcast. It looks like my listeners may be up a bit, maybe around 225 if the reporting and wibbly-wobbly math is accurate. Which it probably isn't since I'm taking a huge time period of more than a year and simply dividing by the number of podcasts during that time. I expect it's a curve over time as more listeners add on. I may never get accurate numbers. I got a cheap silly game to play as well, so that's good fun.

I put out a resume in the late afternoon, but it's for less pay than I make now, for basically an entry level position that isn't likely to go anywhere. So, that is good and bad I guess.

I decided to splurge a bit and get two new pairs of shorts. What with my being bigger, my tummy has outgrown the other ones. Again, I saw myself sideways in the mirror and got sad. My tummy and cheeks are so big compared to just a few years ago. It's hard to believe I only weighed about 175 pounds when this terrible journey started. Now, only 5 years later, I'm 50 pounds heavier.

I guess that's really it for today. I should really try to sleep in if I don't get at least 8 hours of rest. It's rare for me outside of winter, but I'm losing too much lately that not sleeping in at school may not be an option for long. I may start to randomly fall asleep. I did yesterday for a few minutes in the afternoon.

Speaking of yesterday, I looked for some tutorials on what stuff there was in the class that confuses me. I guess I may just have to wait. The tutorials did not explain it any better, nor help my understanding at all. I still have time to try and maybe check the library, but I'll have to get more sleep before my brain can think. I'm barely able to function lately with as little sleep as I've been getting lately.

Day 1767 - 5/3 - Of islands, bows, and ziplines

Today was pretty good I guess. I mostly don't remember. I'm still super sleep deprived, so most days lately are a blur.

I got two new games today. One was on sale because it's already older. It was $25. One was a downloadable cheap one for $15. But this one makes me feel ok with being older. It's sort of this crazy tribute to the 80s style cartoons and sci-fi movies. It's got a post-apocalyptic 'future' with cyber-soldiers who are part ninja and there are dinosaurs that shoot lasers from their eyes and mouth. It's like the most epic game ever for my 12-year-old self. It's hilarious and super fun. But why it makes me feel ok about being older is that all these ideas are pretty ridiculous these days, but they get them so right in the style of the day that everyone loves the game. Reviewers are raving, and several of my friends play it and love it. So, for possibly the only time ever, I feel ok being older. All these people are having a super good time with a game based on concepts I grew up with. And that is something.

Day 1768 - 5/4 - A movie

Today was ok I guess. I got a touch more sleep; around 8 hours. I actually woke up a touch before my alarm, so that was sad, but I guess I caught up as much as I could for one day.

The day was lonely, but ok. I played my games and watched a couple of shows. Despite it being opening weekend for a movie that I wanted to see, and nearly 80F outside, I decided to check if there was space. There was plenty; only about 40% of the tickets were sold when I got mine. So, that was good. And although there were some younglings there, everyone was super quiet.

I guess it was an ok day. But, as always, it didn't go how it would have if I were in a home. Though I did get some more sleep, I couldn't stay and catch up as much as I needed. I had to have headphones on all the time. And my day ended hours earlier than it would have if I had my own space, as well as staying up and go to bed when I wanted instead of when I needed.

Day 1769 - 5/5 - Meh day

Today was fair. The weather has gone from hot to chilly and breezy, which is odd. I had a shift in the morning. I got Sundays all this month, so that is a decent something extra.

I didn't really do much today. I played my games, watched a show, and that was really it. I did get super sleepy later in the day, and my eyes were blurry. I think though that is due to my cold more than anything. I've been sneezing and feeling tired all day. My brain isn't really working right. Normal thought is difficult. It's like sleepy time thoughts brain. It can't do much that would be taxing.

That's really it for today. Yet another sad day, but the promise of eventually having some savings is something at least.

Day 1770 - 5/6 - Mysterious pain

Today I've had a mysterious pain. I woke up with it, so I'm not sure why it came about. It feels like a few of my teeth, the area in the gum above them, and a quarter of the area behind my nose, are all numb. It's like circulation has been cut off. Or maybe if I bit into something so hard it jammed my teeth into my gum. It's got that weird pain / throbbing / tingly waking up after losing circulation feeling. I haven't sneezed all day, and it does feel like it's in that area, so it could be what is referred to as sinus pressure. I suppose it could also be that front tooth's root has gone corrupt. Either way, it's very painful and I hope it goes away soon. Overdosing on generic aspirin doesn't seem to be helping at all.

I guess the day was ok other than that. It started off with my watching shows. I didn't really feel like playing my games. In the early afternoon I did do some podcasting. I have to remember not to be at the park where I normally record if I'm going to do it in the afternoon. Fooooo was it hot. I was heavily sweating and my mouse and metal bits on the popper stopper nearly burnt me they got so hot in the sun. After, I did laundry and work. And that was really it. Just a regular Monday for the most part. Well, outside of the constant high pain levels. Thankfully I've had so much pain in my life, both physical pain (mostly tooth related) and emotional, I can sort of mentally shut it off. As I think I mentioned during my broken paw hospital visit, my rating of 5 of 10 is probably what most would rate at around 8, so I've got a pretty high tolerance.

Day 1771 - 5/7 - Still hurting

The pain is still here. It's not as bad, but it's not a whole lot less. Hopefully it will get better soon. It may be, at least in part, from grinding my teeth in my sleep. If I press my jaw closed it does poke my front teeth up. It's possible a night of that made the gums above sensitive. Though I'd think the jaw muscles would hurt too. I still think it is from some build up of nose pressure. I did use some decongestant nose spray the other day. It seems when those are more than a month old they do more harm than good, so that could be it.

I feel like I'm forgetting something; like I am supposed to go somewhere or something is supposed to happen today. Outside of posting Epic Fail I can't think of anything I need to do or have possibly planned. It's always a weird feeling when this happens. I guess today should be ok. It will be a day at the coffee shop unless plans change. I guess it's good I have a few places to be. But, as always, more than anything I wish I could be back in a good home.

Week 254

Day 1772 - 5/8 - Not working tonight

I don't have work tonight. That was odd. I'd left early from the coffee shop, got a micro dinner, and made the drive to work. Before opening someone else showed up. I was like, 'uhhh... hi?' Apparently the new extra shift I am supposed to cover is Tuesdays, not Wednesday. So that was a bit confusing. This one is a temporary one though, only lasting through May and June. But still, with this and my Sundays, my savings will now hit $1500+ in I think it was about 4 months. So that is a lot quicker than the previous estimate of late October. So that is good news since no other summer increases have been mentioned yet.

I got a sort of surprising email from a moderator at Blizzard. He was sending thanks for all my help on the Hearthstone Facebook page. This likely means early beta entry for me, which will be awesome. I did it though because helpful bunnah likes to help, and I know that I don't like to be left hanging when I ask a question on a site. Even if it's not an answer I want to hear I'd rather get a reply within a few hours than not. Will it lead to more? I suppose one never knows. In one universe I'm sure he'll reply tomorrow to my reply and it leads to an interview at the main headquarters down south, and within a year I'm in a full-time moderator position, and I have new friends, and I'm living a happy life in a new town and all my troubles are gone for good. Within 5 years I'm a head moderator and my opinion on stuff in development is sought after by programmers and developers within the company. Will that be what happens in this universe? Highly unlikely. It probably just means I'll be short-listed for early beta entry or Friends and Family alpha.

But whatever the result, it was nice to get a message acknowledging my help. It happens so rarely, especially from people within the companies themselves. Even though today may otherwise have been a sad average day for me, at least that was different, and I have one more item that validates my thoughts, feelings, predictions, and actions, are noticed and appreciated.

Day 1773 - 5/9 - Should have napped

Today was pretty good I guess. I didn't really play games. In fact, I don't clearly recall playing any today save for a few minutes on my phone. I must have a cold because I'm suuuppper tired, and unusually hungry. I didn't really feel like playing either. I just watched some shows and saw a cool stream of some Hearthstone games. I did edit my podcast too, so that is ready to go. I was so tired by the afternoon though. I should have napped today. I think I'll definitely try tomorrow morning. It's Friday, so the parking lot should be at a low activity level, making it easier for me to be undisturbed.

Not really anything new besides that. It was still nice to be appreciated the other day. I am still happy from that. But now I'm so very tired. The shift in sleeping times and being unable to get to sleep easily some nights is really getting to me.

Day 1774 - 5/10 - Nap time

Today was a pretty regular Friday. Nothing really of interest happened. I didn't sleep in in the morning, but I did decide to nap before work. Oddly, of the two hours I could have slept I think I only slept one. Hopefully that means I didn't need as much sleep as I feel like I do.

I do feel a bit sick, bad feelings in my tummy. But it's subsiding now, so it likely was just tummy not agreeing with my different lunch.

Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 1775 - 5/11 - Lonely day of shows

Today was lonely feeling. I guess it was ok though. As I said in the early days, with a laptop I can at least watch shows and stuff even if I don't play games. And that's just what I did today. I watched shows and just messed around looking at a few forums. It wasn't bad. Earlier days were certainly far worse. Though I was super cold. I guess the coffee shop was blasting the air conditioning all day. It was nice and warm in the morning, so I guess it must have been hot for them to blast the cooling like that. It's evening now and it's still warm, but not at all uncomfortable.

I guess my life isn't too terrible now. With more hours and my laptop I can still do many of the things I like to do. But with still so much of what I had missing, with so many restrictions, with some things in life never achieved... I am still very sad all the time.

Day 1776 - 5/12 - An unspecial pizza

Once upon a time when I would get pizza chances were it became a special occasion. It was a happy thing. Rarely was it to celebrate anything special. More often it was to simply celebrate life and enjoy these moments. I would call for delivery, then take a shower or a quick bath. When the pizza arrived I would get out if I hadn't already, set up some drinks, put the lights into low movie mode, and watch a movie while I ate. As I often got a large on sale I would try not to eat too much, and I often succeeded, sometimes I didn't, but it didn't matter. This night I was celebrating ... me.

Tonight was not such a night. I wanted pizza, so I got one after work. My shower was in a public place in the morning. I had no option for special lighting or volume of things. My shows were on a laptop. My sound came through my headphones. The temperature, a high warm outside, overly air conditioned chilly inside.

My life has gone from little everyday things being put together in combination to celebrate life, to simply being everyday things and nothing more. The pizza was just food; to be wrapped and counted out by meals. The shower was quick, and little more than to get clean. No additional relaxing was done. And the way I watched my shows was the same as I did every day.

The things I do can no longer be made special. Everything intrudes on them. Everything disrupts what they are. I can never have more than everyday things. The special things are no longer special. They have become rare, for sure, but they are nothing more than that.

Day 1777 - 5/13 - Overly hungry

Today, and yesterday too, I've been overly hungry. I suppose too I'm overly tired and congested, so I suppose it's possible I'm fighting off a cold.

Today seemed like it was moving extremely slowly moment-to-moment, but overall it passed quickly. As so often these days I am in a sort of mental haze. I expect my attempt to sleep in days will be Wednesday and Thursday, as I have nothing important in the mornings those days. Maybe I need more sleep. Maybe it's just a cold. I don't know.

All I know is it's times like this when my homelessness feels the most damaging. Back in a home I could sleep as early or late as I wished. There was no stress about what to do or my needing to carry something around with me. I would just leave at the last minute to go somewhere and take only what was absolutely necessary. I am so extremely tired, and I have no idea if I will ever be able to stop and truly recover ever again.

Day 1778 - 5/14 - Feeling awake

Today I actually feel awake, almost not sleepy even. I got pretty good rest, but I hope it wasn't because I totally overate. I was so tired and so hungry yesterday that I decided to just eat and not be hungry. It looks like the day closed way over budget at 30% over calories from max. My managing things doesn't seem to be making any difference though. When I weighed myself I was the same as I've ever been. I'm going to try stretching and doing mini-workouts during my work shift, but it really looks like about 220 is my minimum homeless weight. Well, unless things go back to the early days where I was literally starving and could only afford one small soup and one can of soda for an entire day.

Today seems ok, but it is still early. I will likely just sit at the coffee shop and do nothing really special, then leave for the extra work shift in the early evening.

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

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