PC talk system recommendations blog Facebook YouTube articles and guides links bio
game screensots rabb1t's ramblings podcast email
Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 6: Fading memories

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 267

Day 1863 - 8/7 - Miss desserts

Today seems sad. I really wanted some cookies for a dessert snack, but I can't have them. In the heat and needing to keep them in my car most would just go bad very quickly. I suppose I could get Animal Crackers, which really are my favorite, but lately my tummy has wanted specific flavors. It is difficult to resist, and difficult not to think about. Really I can resist only because it's been so long since I was free to just buy whatever. And even though I can sometimes afford such treats, it was only a few years ago where seeing them, or a tragedy of spilling a soda, could bring me on the verge of tears. In many ways I still feel like that now. In many ways now is worse, as I never know how long I really have left.

I made some hot dogs today. It's been so long since I bought them in the store they are about 50% more expensive than I remember. I guess either I failed to cook them correctly in the microwave, something I've never done, or microwaving them is just terrible in general. I covered them, so I couldn't see what was happening, but with two different times they exploded open and became shriveled and wrinkled. They were acceptable, but not great. I was even surprised I hadn't gotten them before, but with only working regularly at a single location twice a week keeping something in the fridge wasn't really feasible. With my extra shifts this week it seemed ok.

Today seemed little more than a reminder I may not be around that much longer because of how much my life has changed. Lunch turned out poorly. My shower and trimming my toe nails in the morning was awesome feeling. My shows I was watching disconnected a dozen times or more because the connection at the coffee shop is crap sometimes. And in the evening I couldn't get dessert. And all through the day I've felt really fat. My heart and chest feel super congested. And, I've been sneezing a lot. Its' the little things, like not being able to get in bed for extra rest when sick, or having a tissue box close at hand, that really make me wonder how long I have before the little things finish me off.

Day 1864 - 8/8 - Things seem sad

Today went by pretty quickly. I had the extra short morning shift, then my regular evening shift. So I only really had a few hours to do stuff in the afternoon (since I seem completely unable to connect from either work location anymore.)

Today things seem pretty sad though. I could have possibly signed up for classes, and I suppose I should, but it feels so hopeless. Nothing I've taken has helped me get a job. It seems more and more I'm just wasting time. And as the time passes, I just get older while going nowhere. I still see people talking about things they are doing, seeing their lives move on, yet mine still effectively stands still.

I don't know what I can do anymore. My path seems lost. It seems no matter what I try for, noone cares. I've put out a few applications over the past few weeks and it seems regardless of if I'm qualified or not I don't hear back. And my hobby life... while I have an interesting perspective on things that some do appreciate, there are just so many out there doing the same thing who are younger, more attractive, or whatever. It again seems like noone really cares.

People do though. Just recently someone who I met probably 7 or 8 years ago now on some forums said he's local and thanked me for everything and asked if I wanted to meet. (I'm scared to make new attachments, but offered some thoughts on it.) And I know a few out there do see my stuff and enjoy my perspective and do care. And even those who don't know me sometimes seem to as well. Like today I put a post in the EverQuest Next forums and pretty quickly got three likes and a positive reply.

So, I know if I were free to live my rabb1t life people would care. But without somehow becoming free, without getting a high paying enough job to be at least partly free, I just don't know how much I can hang on to. The more time that passes the further things seem to get from my grasp.

Day 1865 - 8/9 - Cookies

Today my tummy would not hush about cookies. I'll have to get some to shoosh the tummy. Once upon a time that decision was not a decision. I'd get some, store what I didn't eat, no biggie. Now I have to worry if they will melt or go bad in the heat. If so, do I carry them around constantly in my backpack? Simple things are so complicated now.

I guess today was ok. I again had the extra morning shift and my regular night shift. So most of the day I was busy with only a few hours between to do fun stuff and look for jobs.

I spent much of my free time talking on a forum. The game it's attached to probably won't come out for a year, maybe a year and a half, but it's nice to know that the few posts I have done have gotten 'likes', and one person is even 'following' me. So, it's nice to feel welcome and appreciated.

Overall I'm pretty sad today. Today seems lonely. And while I worked a decent amount, my life still is very sad. I'm missing so much. And, as time goes on, it seems unlikely I will ever regain those things or be in a better place.

Day 1866 - 8/10 - Sad Saturday

Today was a sad Saturday. But then, I suppose most have been for more than five years now. I was not in a home. And, as time goes on it seems less and less likely. I forget why, but I was recently talking to someone about housing. I checked the prices on rooms. What was a $600-800 room when I started this terrible journey has become an $800-1000 room. Even the cheapest rooms in the area rarely dip into the $500 range. And an unusually high number are furnished, or selling to commuters only. Small apartments have gone from around $1500 to closer to $2000. And a 2-3 bedroom apartment or house, forget it, that's in the $2000-3000 range. So while my potential income has remained relatively the same, it seems what would be rent costs have increased in the past years 25% or more. I have gotten some raises, but that's been maybe 7% in that span of time, nowhere near the same kind of increase. It seems like it should be closer to a 3% raise minimum each year. If I had gotten that I'd be making closer to $1 more per hour.

I guess all I can do is continue to try and be awesome as I can at all the things I enjoy doing, and hope that eventually an opportunity comes up and I can somehow get back on my feet. I fear though, even with the right income I will have an extremely tough time finding people I feel comfortable trusting and living with. (The odds of getting a high enough income to get a place on my own are basically astronomical, not to mention noone would touch me with my terrible credit history.)

Day 1867 - 8/11 - Dinner in a box

Today was ok I guess, but dinner was disappointing. A while ago someone brought in some food to the coffee shop. It smelled pretty good. He said it was from such-n-such deli at a food store, one of those places you just go pick what you want and assemble it yourself. Today I decided to try it in early celebration of my birthday. First, the meal was $10, which is pretty expensive for what I got. But more importantly all of the food was kind of bad, certainly not worth the $10 I paid. The chicken was too dry. The potatoes almost raw in the middle, yet overcooked on the outside. And while they were primarily bland, they had a funny wood / cast iron taste to them. The sausage was bleh, and it too had that funny aftertaste. Sure, this stuff had sat who knows how long in the pan, but really, for $10 I could have gone to one of several restaurants and had something similar fresh made. I expected much more from a place that sells cupcakes for $2.50 each which are barely half the size of ones at the regular food store, or cookies that are $3 each.

I basically just talked and debated stuff on the EverQuest Next forum. A few people there always 'like' my posts and someone even sent a message saying thanks for pointing out insights on one particular post I did about statistical gathering methodology. So, it feels nice to know that my posts in the threads are appreciated.

Overall today though things were sad. There was no work to distract me. I was at the coffee shop for 10 hours or more, mostly just in one spot. While what I did was enjoyable, it was not how I would have spent my day. As I've said so many times before during these sad times, I seem unable to find an opportunity to get myself unstuck.

Day 1868 - 8/12 - Feeling sad

Today I'm feeling pretty sad. I'm still not playing any games, and all my shows are hitting break points, so I have little to watch. I've tried a few times in the past few days to sign up for classes, but for some reason the site keeps crashing and giving some weird login type error. I may have to go to the college in person and use the systems there. I think I can't sign up until closer to my birthday anyways. It's still a month and a half until classes start as well.

I decided to send my headphones out to be fixed. It was only about $8.50, so that was good. And I guess it's somewhere in California, so it will only take a day or two to get there. The ear pad had come untaped, so I guess tape wasn't a viable long-term option. I'd have had to keep re-taping it over and over every week.

I've been feeling very very sad lately. In a touch over one week yet another homeless birthday will be upon me, the sixth in a row now. With everything slowly falling away I feel less and less like I will ever recover. I've started seeing enough jobs to send a few resumes out a week, but I think it's been about three years since I had even a phone interview. I've never been good at finding jobs really. I guess, in a way, I've never been good on my own without people to help me at all. I mean, sure, I survive just fine. I can cook, do my laundry, have various skills to fix minor things, and being alone isn't an issue. I've been alone all my life, and even when people are living with me I tend to be by myself and I'm quiet and shy. I guess it's that most either don't feel like I get along with them (due to my quiet nature) and they don't 'let me in', or maybe I push some away for one reason or another. I am, after all, very picky about, well, everything. But lately I'm just so very tired all of the time, so very sad, always thinking about the things yet to come that I will either completely miss or that I'll be forced to experience in a diminished or limited way. But I suppose most of all, I feel trapped. Unable to move on, or trapped where I am because such a move could potentially put me in a worse position.

I am starting to become afraid... of the world. Not in a way I feel I could be hurt, but that if I try to step too far what little is left of me could be lost as well.

Day 1869 - 8/13 - Less sad day

Today I am super sleepy. I couldn't get to sleep for an hour, then had bad dreams. I suppose though, in a way I feel less sad about my future things. I'd love to play EverQuest Next on triple monitor with my surround speakers, but that seems unlikely even though it's launch is likely 1 to 1.5 years off. But I suppose I should look at it more like my laptop is the base experience and more is extra, rather than looking at it like my laptop is a diminished experience from what I would have on a desktop. Hearthstone is a much closer reality with beta coming any day now. And while it too would be less on a laptop than desktop, I suppose the only thing I really will be missing is network stability.

Overall I do still feel sad and like I will never recover, but I suppose with pizza and a movie to distract me later things don't feel quite as bad as they really are.

Week 268

Day 1870 - 8/14 - Too hot

Today was too hot in the coffee shop. They again did not have the A.C. on and had all the doors open to the outside heat. My app said it was over 80F outside around noon. By a bit before 6 I'd had all I could take. It had been hours since I didn't feel half asleep. I couldn't think or focus on anything. When I left the overly hot building to the now cooler outside, I found my car was barely warm. I opened the windows, and a cool breeze ran through. I drove a few blocks to the park to podcast, and while there opened a door for cooling, and within minutes my legs were actually getting chilly from the breeze.

I really wonder if these business owners really have no common sense or if I'm just like some super brainiac guy. Cake slices for $3-4? No, cut that by half. Why? You'd still make a killing and cake makes people's mouth dry, which influences more drink sales. Plus, it would be much fresher because you are actually selling some. Waffles at $2? No, cut that to $1 for two, and instead of cooking them at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, cook them at 7 AM right when you open so they sell hot and fresh and people get that breakfast smell right when they walk in the door. Sell fruit cups as well for $2, and now you are pulling in customers that would otherwise be going across the way to the restaurant for a $10 breakfast, instead now giving you like $8 for some breakfast and coffee. You may not specialize in that, but make it ready, fresh, have that smell right when people come in the morning; you've got sales for sure. And those montly events that happen, or twice monthly, have someone over there giving out coupons. People who wouldn't normally come over just might.

I guess I'm rambling because my brain still hasn't recovered and I don't have much to say today. Since my brain hasn't been able to function I did very little today. And in terms of my life changing or getting better, nothing is different. I feel like days like this are wastsed becasue I have so few options to be procuctive in any way.

Day 1871 - 8/15 - The tax man and the dead battery

Today seems extra sad. Last night I checked for mail at the ex-house and it seems the IRS sent me this fat packet saying I need to fill out this form and I owe them $500+. What? I already did that form and was exempt from that. I guess they didn't get it. (Two years ago.) That, or they denied my exception and are insisting I pay. If I can't fight it there goes all my savings for emergencies like car stuff or the laptop dying, or anything fun like a PlayStation 4.

If that's not bad enough, it seems my laptop battery completely died yesterday. The laptop basically can't run on battery at all now. I think it worked for 5 minutes last time I tried and that was it. It also seemed to have issues charging. It seems to be fully charged now, and it seems to run fine plugged in, so hopefully it will be ok until the new battery gets here. It supposedly will be a week or more, so that could be bad. Also, I'm a bit worried as it didn't respond the first two times I tried to turn it on when I'd gotten to work.

I guess I feel ok other than that though. I always feel a bit better when I get to do my podcast and I feel like it turned out ok. I'll post in the morning, as usual, and as soon as I can remember to I'll try and get a backup of everything. It's only been a few weeks or a month since the last backup, so not much has changed.

Things seem off to a bad start as we near my birthday. And sadly, I don't think much will change by the time it gets here.

Day 1872 - 8/16 - Some appriciation

Today was pretty good. I got two surprises. The first surprise is that the Hearthstone beta started and about an hour after the announcement I got an invite. I got to play for about 3 hours before work. I was going to drop $20 into boosters, but I decided to hold off a bit and get a better feel for things. I mean, it's very likely I'll play, it's super fun, but something may happen to change my mind.

Later in the evening the second cool thing happened. I got an invite to be an MVP. It's basically something that flags me on forums to show others that I'm super helpful and friendly. (And awesome in that I know my infos.) I have a something I have to read and agree to before it's official, but I'm sure that is stuff that I do anyways.

I feel kind of appreciated today. I can't help but still feel super sad about my life. Everything else is still bad and sad. And lately I've even developed an eye twitch. I called my eye doctor to be sure, and he agrees, in 99% of these cases it's just stress and goes away after a few days. It's not like I have new stress, well not counting the $500+ the IRS wants and the battery death. I guess it's just the extra worry that with getting a year older nothing has changed. Nothing in my sad homeless life is different, and more so, my life overall. I'm just still very worried that each year passing by is another I'm further from getting re-established.

Day 1873 - 8/17 - More and less

Today I'm actually feeling pretty good. I spent almost all of the day playing the Hearthstone beta. I had a super good time, but I'd forgotten how long it takes to get up a collection for a collectable card game. I only spent half of what I budgeted so far, so it's fine. I can get more cards if I want. However, I'm trying not to, as the collection will be wiped in a few months at launch. So until then I'll try to gain insight for the classes. (You get your money back in credit if you do spend some.)

There was one sad thing. At right around 6, mere minutes after the ass came on shift, the coffee shop Internet died completely. It had been somewhat unstable all day, but when it goes out completely for more than 2 minutes it tends to stay down until the modem gets reset. I heard someone ask him and he said, 'No, I can't control that.' Really? You refuse to spend the like 30 seconds going over to the modem, unplugging it, counting to 10, and plugging it back in so all of the customers have Internet? You are that bothered by people staying and using it that you refuse to do that? (I've specifically heard from other workers there he doesn't like people staying long. Which is the most ridiculous thing ever since they are directly across the street from the college, and many students come over, buy stuff and study.) I tried to not let it get to me, let a few people know it's unlikely to come back up without a reset, and moved on. When I left it was just about dinner time anyways, so I left to have dinner, then hung out in a different coffee shop for about an hour before my evening was up and it was time to hide. The time in the other coffee shop was actually better, as they do have air conditioning on, though the drawback is their Internet is not strong enough to watch videos or download stuff on.

If I had been in a home, if I were free to do what I wanted, I would have done more and less. I'd have done more overall; showered, watch TV, cooked lunch and dinner, tried to exercise a bit, and who knows what else. And, I'd have done more in that I would have had 3 or more hours I could have stayed up (instead of needing to hide in the dark). (Though I suppose I also wouldn't have gotten up for 3 more hours, so maybe it would have evened out. But then, that too is a something I could have done more of.)

I suppose I feel ok today. I got to play a lot, talked on some forums, and I sent in the thing for the Blizzard MVP thing, so I feel happy to be appreciated and recognized.

Day 1874 - 8/18 - Brush with fame

Today was meh up until after work when I was playing my beta. I had a super good time playing. More importantly though, I had a match with a famous person. Whuuuttt??? The very super famous, over a million subscribers to his channels TotalBiscuit was my opponent. I had just made a brand new untested deck, so I was like poop! This guy is super famous and super pro. I made sure I did my best. There were two or three times I thought I'd drop from lag, but I didn't. Not only that, but I won! I have a feeling though he had just started recently, or hadn't fine tuned his deck. I don't expect to beat him if we meet again. But it was super cool to see someone famous. After our game I sent a message apologizing for the lag. I figured if it were someone impersonating him then that would verify it. But he replied back saying the lag wasn't a problem. Woo hoo, so famous the opponent.

My day was pretty happy because of that. I'm very happy I can play and have chances to interact with famous people, but my sad homelessness makes me sad. Had I not been homeless that wouldn't have been an issue. I wouldn't have needed to even give it a second thought. I hope someday that is the case, that I can be in a home again. But as time goes on it still seems less and less likely.

Day 1875 - 8/19 - Tomorrow

Tomorrow is my birthday. I'll try and be happy and enjoy it. I think I'll get myself a something in Hearthstone, and in the evening go to a movie and fancy dinner. I don't know if anyone will send me a something. I don't remember if I got anything last year or not. I'm so exhaustedly tired I don't remember. And it makes me very sad that my days are so sad and I can't remember things like that.

Day 1876 - 8/20 - A birthday

Today seems ok so far. Several people have sent happy birthday wishes, and some even sent some monies. I was going to play my game and get some birthday booster packs, but it's down for maintenance for a few hours.

I did start to remember last year. I think some friends sent me a few movies, I got one or two money gifts, and a few e-cards. I'm still super sad I don't clearly remember. So often these days are just blurred one into the other and a haze overall.

It seems odd that so many schools have started up again. I guess I've always tracked time by the summer, ending with my birthday and school starting back up. I feel sad, because since I've spent so much of my life in school it feels like an end. But I suppose for many it is more of a beginning, and I suppose that should be celebrated.

Today should be ok. Hopefully my game will come back on soon. In the mean time I can check forums and watch a video. In the early evening I'll go eat a fancy dinner, then go watch a movie I've been looking forward to for a long time.

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

flash required for the logo
best viewed at 1280 wide resolution or higher