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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 295

Day 2059 - 2/19 - Gave up on it

Today was not at all what I'd hoped for. Wednesday is one of my two big days for playing and having fun, and the only one that's during the week. All the others I have something that interrupts my time; be it a class or work. The day started off seeming ok. I checked the forums for a bit and all seemed well. So at about 9:30 I started playing. By 10:30 I'd thought the day was going to be a good day of gaming, but just 10 minutes later it flipped to the exact opposite. By the time a live stream was on that I'd planned to watch at 11 the connectivity was below 50%. I'd literally get about 30 seconds of stream for every 2 minutes disconnected. I couldn't game at all after it was over. Even one of my new game tests which tries to reconnect was disconnecting every 30 seconds. By 1 I'd decided I'd had enough. I did offline stuff for a bit, and at 2 I left the coffee shop.

I was sad, as that meant that one hour of my gaming for the day would be all I got of what otherwise could have been a 12 hour day. But I was glad to leave somewhere which no longer connected me to anything.

I wound up sort of accidently napping in the car for an hour at a park. It didn't matter, as I had tons of time with very little to do. After about an hour of nap I woke up and did my podcast. I still had a few hours to kill before dinner, so I went to a good spot I know of at school. I wouldn't be able to play online, they firewall block all games, but the coffee shop had proven it wasn't going to let me connect to anything, game or not. I did some forum stuff and show watching.

Again today seemed like little more than a reminder that I can't do what I hope to do, when I want to do it, or how I want, until I'm back in a home. But in all this time of being alone it seems like that is less and less likely to happen, as nothing about my life is changing. And without some kind of miracle, it seems as long as I'm alone and on my own I will never be able to recover.

Day 2060 - 2/20 - Sad news

Today was again a pretty terrible connection at the coffee shop. I got to play online for about 30 minutes, and it started to become unstable after that.

The raise I got at work is about $0.50, so that's not a lot weekly, maybe $25 a month or so, but it was enough I could get a something extra for myself. I got a game that isn't done yet, but can be played offline. So that's super fun and will cover me hopefully until the coffee shop becomes more stable.

I may have gotten some super sad news. One of the coaches was at the work with the good new connection. He thinks the school district may be controlling it and turning it off when they are not here. So, it's probably going to be off during every vacation time, possibly weekends, and maybe even weeknights. It seems the new super awesome connection at work may not be something I can count on.

It seems I may be on my own for a stable connection, again leaving me in the position that I may only have one if I ever become not homeless again.

Day 2061 - 2/21 - Some fun

Today went by super slow, but I actually got to have some fun. Since the wireless seems less bad in early morning I tried to play right when I got to the coffee shop. I got nearly 2 hours of fun before I was disconnected. The rest of the day it still disconnected me on occasion but it wasn't really as bad as it has been. Shows were only very rarely interrupted and I actually played again for about 30 minutes later in the day (before being disconnected.) That's really all I need online with gaming to be happy these days. The other times I can play offline or do other things.

I'm still extremely sad about things. I'm very tried from having to constantly sleep and wake up at certain times. I'm almost always cold. There is never really a time I can let my guard down and relax and have private time. I'm starting to feel like I did in the early days when I felt like I was in a war zone and everything was bad and unstable.

Day 2062 - 2/22 - Wrong way

Today was prett ok - not counting some pretty extreme tooth pain. I only spent about an hour at the coffee shop, then was off to see my friend who is sort of close. It was his little one's third birthday, so I went to visit for that. About half the day had family (who I didn't know) and pretty loud children, but the other half was pretty much just me and him hanging out. It was a pretty good time. I guess I started heading back the wrong way though, as the return trip took two and a half hours, twice what it should have taken.

It was an ok way to spend the day. It was a decent distraction from being homeless. (I didn't even really mind the extra hour on the road, as I had stuff to listen to, though the extra $5-10 lost in gas was a bit sad.) But it was really a reminder of all the good, and bad, things that I'm missing without my own children.

Day 2063 - 2/23 - In space

Today was ok I guess. There was zero connectivity at work in the morning, but I played my new game I got. It kind of makes me a bit sad though. It's about making a space station. You have to make sure all the people have the basic things, as well as all the nice things. So I'm ... overly affected by the sad people, or when new people come to the station saying they are looking for a home.

The coffee shop had pretty bad connectivity. Again I got disconnected from my online game. I mostly just talked on the forums. I kind of had to get caught up from not doing them yesterday. I'm basically one of the few community manager-like people in the tech areas. There are a few others who are official who do post and know more than me, but in terms of attempts to help it wouldn't surprise me if I posted twice as many posts. Sadly though all of this volunteer hobby stuff seems like it will never be rewarded. Noone really seems to pay attention or care save for the few I help. Well, I guess it does help some, and as long as I'm happy being helpful that's something.

Day 2064 - 2/24 - No connection, yes connection

Today started off pretty sad. I was disconnected from my game several times in the morning. It got so bad I again just gave up on the coffee shop by about 1 PM. From tomorrow on for a bit it won't matter, as I'll have another new game I can play offline.

In the evening I got some happy news. One of the coaches told me the wireless was off because he turned off the power strip. I guess the school sends reminder emails to conserve power when they are closed, so out of habit he turned it all off. He said in the future he will try and remember to keep it on for me. But, I guess they won't have full control, as apparently the district somehow controls it, so it may still be shut off 'at the source' remotely somewhere else. I guess we'll see. The big concern will be the couple of months they are closed during Summer. But, the coffee shop is empty during those months, so, hopefully things will be ok. But I guess we'll see in time. That's still about 3.5 months away, and I always hold on to hope that things will get better and I'll eventually be back in a home.

Day 2065 - 2/25 - Expecting sad and stupid

Today I am expecting sad times at the coffee shop. I've been connected less than two minutes and it looks like it may have already disconnected me. It's probably ok for a while though, as I've got my new single player offline game. I bought a digital copy, so it just needs to be told the game is released now.

Later I'm expecting stupid. The class has these group presentations we have to do. Mine is on Thursday. We've known our group for about a month. While I admittedly have been too sad or lazy to do my solo part so far, really noone has approached me to make a plan on what to do. None of the group people have been there regularly save for me. We've never had all four people in class at once. The one person who did approach me about it was about a week and a half ago. We talked for about 15 minutes. But then after last class he said he wasn't in the group anymore. So I really have no idea if the other guys did anything on it or not. They said they wanted to do it Friday, but I never heard from them after that. So with only today and tomorrow left to work on it I expect they will be dumb and want to do it in a panicked rush after class today.

As always I hope things will get better and change, but as usual things are outside of my control to affect that change.

Week 296

Day 2066 - 2/26 - Six months ago

Today was pretty sad. The coffee shop let me play my game for an hour, but almost immediately after I stopped for lunch it went to crap. Not only were the TV shows I tried to watch pausing and not working right, one was completely unable to show video and sound correctly (as well as flat out disconnecting and restarting several times.) By the early afternoon I'd given up and left to do my podcast. I had to go somewhere different because it was pretty rainy. Hopefully it's ok. After, I went to school where I knew I'd at least have a stable connection and could play offline.

An odd thing happened today. I noticed an odd area that I had a message in dated from September. It seems one of my best friends from childhood, one I think I've mentioned before, sent a message. I sent some messages back, but I feel terrible that it's been almost 6 months since he sent it. Over the years I've always wondered if he was ok and was doing well. That's sad he found me and then probably thought it wasn't me because I didn't reply, or that I didn't care. I guess I'll find out in time.

My tooth pain is lessoning. I'm having to overdose less, but I still worry about them overall. Because of how bad they have gotten I'll likely have to replace them with fakes. I think I've been losing a lot of sleep over it lately. Yesterday and today I was fading out, and at times my eyes were half open and I could barely stay awake. Hopefully the pain will subside and I'll start sleeping and feeling normal again soon. But I have a feeling I'll never really be able to feel normal again.

Day 2067 - 2/27 - Finally a good day

Today was finally a pretty good day. I had some car stuff to do, so I did that first thing in the morning. I nearly finished editing my podcast during that time. After, I went to school to be somewhere with a stable connection and played offline for a bit before class. After class I had work, and again the awesome connection was up and stable, so I played online.

It's amazing how good and less troubled I feel with even just a few hours of reliable gaming time. Having somewhere I can go where I will be relatively, or completely, undisturbed to play or do show watching or whatever makes a huge difference.

I suppose it's not something parents of little ones get in their lives for a bit, but it's one of those things I think everyone takes for granted. Being able to do your happy without disruption things (in the doing of it or the privacy of it) and being able to count on times you enjoy doing it are a really big deal.

I may modify my Thursday schedule to always have school and editing time in the morning and game at work in the evening. At least until the coffee shop becomes reliable again.

Day 2068 - 2/28 - A month of Sundays

Today was bad and ok. It was bad in the morning. I wasn't at the coffee shop 15 minutes before it not only disconnected me, but disappeared entirely. I should have just left and gone to school. But I tried to stay and throughout the day I never got through 1.25 games online, if even that many at a time. I didn't get through two 20 minute shows. It kept disconnecting during the second. I started playing offline things after that.

At work there was no signal, as expected. That wasn't the work location that has it, but I had offline games I could play.

The Sunday guy asked if I could cover. I don't get why he doesn't just quit. I'm covering 3 out of 4 of his shifts these days, sometimes all 4 in a month. He's working less than one day a month and apparently has another job that must be paying at least 40-50k to start. Why bother with an extra $50-60 a month? Well, more for me for another month. And, more importantly it guarantees Sunday I'll have a solid game capable signal basically from 9 AM to 2 PM.

Day 2069 - 3/1 - Drop city

Today was sad. The connection at the coffee shop wasn't stable at all. Nothing would stay connected. I had to play offline most of the day.

I can't remember when I last had a normal weekend day off. It seems like it's been months since the coffee shop was stable. And it's been years since I was in a home and had a regular routine with private space.

I can't even remember what my normal life was like. I've proably probably more than I remember about it. My old life seems like a fading memory of a dream.

Day 2070 - 3/2 - Tired and sad

Today I was so tired and sad. I was kept out of sanctuary for a long while last night and didn't get to sleep until about 4 hours later than I thought I would, barely leaving me 5 hours of sleep.

I had a good time playing online at work. It's amazing how much better I feel with even just a few hours on a stable connection that I can count on being there.

But overall today I was so very sad. I didn't feel like doing anything but messing around all day.

Day 2071 - 3/3 - Schedule

Today was pretty sad until I got to work. I hadn't been at the coffee shop for 5 minutes when it started disconnecting me. I guess lunch was ok, as I told them the soup was off last time, and they gave me a free one.

At work the connection was super solid, save for winking out for a short bit. A coach happened to be here and we talked about it for a bit. I guess the reason they are changing it is because in about a month the entire local school district will be on the same network, as they are changing all testing to be online, which seems a bit weird for a middle school. But, that probably doesn't bode well for my having a connection during the summer. If the network is controlled at a central district wide part it will likely be off all summer.

I also realized just now I'm going to need to do some schedule rearranging. I used to enter Epic Fail at work since I had no connectivity, but since I do now I completely forgot this week's entry so far. I'll have to maybe move that to Friday during work when I won't have a signal.

I talked with my friend from a long time ago today. I think I mentioned him way back in year one. But back when we were young - those memories of playing tennis in gym class, a camp trip we went on, my flying out to visit him after he'd moved across the country - those are most of the few happy memories I have. I haven't really had many real friends since those days. The few I had in high school haven't spoken to me since that one meet up maybe almost 10 years ago now. And the friends I had in my 20s all pretty much stopped being my friend by the time we were 30. Well, accept for the one who's little one's birthday I went to last Saturday. He's the only one I've heard from since back in the day.

I'm so very tired lately. My tooth pain comes and goes. Sometimes it's fine and other times I have to overdose on pain pills. Mostly I'm getting extra stressed out by the lack of connectivity at the coffee shop. My weight is getting even worse because of it. I was 225 today, and was almost 230 a few weeks ago. It seems like it's all tied together though. I can't be less stressed while homeless. Sleep can't be controlled. I still think if all those went away I'd quickly go back to my 180 size and be happier and healthier again. But I either need a place to live with a new job in place before I move, a bunch of money to cover any attempt like that (or someone with resources to burn to cover me), or to just flat out win enough to not have to worry about it anymore. Sadly, I still seem trapped and pinned in place and that nothing can change.

Day 2072 - 3/4 - Trying something different

Today I'm going to get a free game to peek at and possibly play with my longtime friend. I will play solo for a bit and level up and see if I like it first. There is stuff I'd much rather play, but all the things I'm really interested in and expecting to play long-term are 6 months to a year off.

I'm sleepy, super hungry, and woke up an hour before my alarm would have gone off for some reason.

I guess we'll see how my day goes depending on if the connection at the coffee shop is stable or not. I have class later, so if the connection is bad in the morning I'll just stay offline and do single player stuff offline after class. As always I have no control over things, so what happens happens.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2014
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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