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 7: Dying embers

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 315

Day 2199 - 7/9 - Canceling my life

Today was extra sad. While it was nice to have a fairly stable connection to play on, I had to continue my preparations for my disaster by canceling more things. Most notably today I canceled my video editing software license. While I suppose it's not a total disaster since I can still use the school systems, it still felt like I was losing a part of me. With each subscription I need to stop, and each pre-order I need to cancel, I again feel like I am losing my future.

Day 2200 - 7/10 - Lunch for dinner

Today was my first lunch for dinner in years. I'm going to have to cut back my regular meals for dinner to about three a week. Which is tragically sad, since these are basically $5-7 meals. It's not like they are really expensive. But, being so very short on food money I have to consider things like saving $2-3 and having barely any lunch or dinner. I had like five cuts of lunch salami with a bag of chips for both lunch and dinner.

While tolerable, it was very sad. It quickly brought back memories of those early days of being homeless that I'd finally begun to forget. But now the memories are not only back, they are how I must live again. I must again consider a few pieces of lunchmeat and crackers for lunch and/or dinner. I must consider cheaper soup or ramen microwaved at school. I must focus on saving that $2 meal for another day or I may have nothing at all. Hopefully soon things will change and the unemployment money will come through. And, added to my online work for my friend, I can maybe get 60% what I used to have budgeted and still be somewhat ok. But I can't count on that.

What is most sad is that along with the memories of the sad meals came the feelings along with it. The complete feeling of loss and helplessness. The feelings of being alone and noone caring. The feelings of being lost in the world with no future. And although I have a gaming system and access to my shows and games, all those early homeless feelings of having nothing, or just having the netbook, have also returned and I feel like there will be no gaming in my future at all.

Day 2201 - 7/11 - Got my Fridays back

Today was kind of strange. I'm still not used to not going to work. So much of my schedule was set around that. It's odd to just do whatever and not worry about needing to leave for work in the evening, or planning to do x during work.

I guess there really wasn't much to say about today. The people I'm MVP for still haven't mentioned my video to the community yet. So that seems really strange since they've announced other things community people did three different times since I told them about mine. It makes me sad and again I feel like I'm unwanted and not special enough to be considered noteworthy.

I guess I just have to keep on doing what I want for me and if anyone ever acknowledges, wants, or recognizes me they will. But it seems I shouldn't plan on it.

Day 2202 - 7/12 - Not for me

Today seems like nothing is for me. There were no jobs to apply for. There were no donations or messages of well-wishing. There was noone thanking me on the forums. There were a few things I wanted to get for food, but I had to have what I could afford. And there were some event things I wanted to do, but couldn't afford.

It seems like while today was not against me in any way, it also was not for, or with me. Thinking back to times which should celebrate me, I can really only remember the ceremony. Very few times in my life have I ever truly felt celebrated.

Day 2203 - 7/13 - Same same

Today there is a lot of same. The day flowed basically like yesterday. I had the same lunch. I had the same dinner. I played just about the same amount of the same games and watched about the same shows.

Hopefully in a week on Tuesday I'll have some good news. That's the 'soonest' an unemployment person could call for an interview. I'll delay next week's Epic Fail posting by a few hours to include any news, if there is any. But it likely will be another week or more after before any money is processed. I should still have money then, but it will be running out.

Hopefully they will award me at least 25% of what I'd been earning. From what I recall last time I qualified I got something around that. That amount, plus my online friend work, would be about 60% of what I had budgeted for income. With that I could at least return to a normal food amount instead of the like 70% I've cut it down to. At its current amount I barely have about $6 a day. Getting that up a few dollars a day makes a huge difference. I guess we'll see.

Having no future to plan for seems super sad. It seems like less than a year ago I decided to live for me and have as much of a future as I could plan and things were just recently starting to feel ok. And now things have come crashing down again and I'm right back where I started; needing to cancel game orders, just about cut my budget so far I'm partly starving, and not able to plan past today.

Day 2204 - 7/14 - Dinner for lunch

Today I went to school to be there for the day. I decided to get a micro dinner like I used to during my work shifts. The more I thought about it the more it seemed like a bad idea to keep a frozen food nearly 12 hours before eating it. So I had it for lunch. It was sad. Sure, it was healthier than I normally get for lunch these days, particularly with the rationing, but I don't know. I've really only ever had that one at work, so it seemed sad.

Today my heart feels broken and heavy. It seems there is little that could happen to lift my spirits. I didn't play any games at all today. Partly a combination of being too sad and partly that all the offline stuff I've either finished or haven't played in a while.

I was bad and got a chicken soup for dinner. While not expensive at less than $5.50, it was more than I should have spent since I'd already spent $3 on lunch. But I needed a break. Just having more salami was... too sad. I needed... at least a little something.

Day 2205 - 7/15 - Moist cuffs

Today I discovered my pants feet cuffs were a bit wet. I'm not entirely sure why. My only guess is that last night when I took a shower they got wet when I was getting dressed. And since I roll them up at night they just stayed wet.

I don't expect anything to happen today. I try to remain hopeful, but lately my life seems unchanging, sad, lonely, and without a possible future.

Week 316

Day 2206 - 7/16 - No help

Today seemed sad. At the same time it was both long and short. I was at school, so things were pretty quiet. I think I only played for about 1.5 hours. The rest of the time I either watched game stream stuff or just watched shows. Not counting, of course, time spent helping on the forums I'm an MVP for or checking jobs.

It seems no help will come and I am on my own. Which is a bit surprising, as I figured the half dozen or so which had helped in previous years would at least be the ones to help me. But so far there's been nothing. I know a few are still reading my sad story and listening to my podcast, but I wonder how many. It seems I am really just talking to myself, and I'm really not reaching anyone.

Day 2207 - 7/17 - Good start, good news

Today started slow and sad but ramped up to good times and good news. I edited my podcast in the morning, but I also decided to go ahead and bring in my console to peek at the Destiny beta to see what I may miss if I had to cancel. It took forever, as the services were hammered by players causing unexpected downtimes. I didn't get an invite and access to the download until about three hours after it was supposed to start. It took hours more to finally download it. But wooooo. It was so much fun. It had everything I'd expect and almost everything I'd hoped for. (I'd still like a bit more character talent and perk depth, but this does have a PvP component, so I guess fewer selections help keep things fair.) I played for 3.5 hours and got as far as I could in terms of levels. I'll play more to see if I can get different loot and such a few more times before beta closes.

I checked the ex-house for unemployment news, and I was right and something was waiting. It was potentially super good news. It's listing an award which is basically double what I'd been thinking I would get. So if I do get awarded that amount, which I'd think I would know for sure Tuesday, then I'll basically have what I had budgeted for regular pay. So I'd be totally fine on budget for food and a few games. At least short term. The coverage will stop in six months, so I will have to be pretty careful. But I shouldn't need to be penny pinching starving like I expected.

So, super happy fun game. Super happy good news in that it looks like I won't have to stop by being forced to cancel my pre-orders. And although that stability might change in the future, I was only dropped from my game while playing one time.

I certainly won't say my future looks bright, but I can at least say the gray skies are gone, and at least I can plan to have a little bit of a future.

Day 2208 - 7/18 - Putting it away again

Today was both amazing fun and extremely sad. The morning was a bit slower than I expected, basicaly due to waiting for someone to leave my spot. But from noon on the day went fast. I played my beta on my console and had a super fun time. I had hit cap, so there wasn't a whole lot for me to do or get, but it was a super fun time anyways.

I was very sad when I had to put it away. Even more so when I put it back in the box in storage. Although I did check my bills to be sure I could afford it at launch, it was still very sad to put it away. It wasn't sad due to the physical act of putting it away. I put my laptop away all the time. It's just looking at it on the little shelf area next to the spot I sit at the coffee shop I thought about how I might set it up in a home; vertically or horizontally, out in the open or on a shelf system. Things were sad because I couldn't answer those questions. And I don't know when I would be able to. I may win lottery money and be in a home and playing on a 70" screen by the time launch comes. I may still have the sad life I have now and only feel safe playing a few times a week Something may happen to prevent me from playing at all. I just don't know what will become of me or my life. And that is why putting it away seemed so very sad. As per so many things, it felt like I was reliving needing to move out again, and feeling all the loss and rejection that goes along with it.

Day 2209 - 7/19 - Don't want that

Today was sad. Most of the day I didn't want what I could have. I wanted different games. I wanted different shows. I wanted different food.

I suppose though, for a limited time it was ok. I can have shows. I can have games. I can have food. And that is more than nothing.

Day 2210 - 7/20 - Mean shop, nice shop

Today was extremely sad. It seems yet another plan has fallen through and I am again reminded how I am not living a normal life and people who do have little tolerance for those who don't. The owners son was in the coffee shop today, as he is many days. Right after I'd set up my console, after being there a few hours on my laptop already, he saw it and was like, 'Woah. Isn't that too much?' So, apparently he won't let me set up my console there, despite the fact that it takes the same amount of space as a laptop. So now I've lost my nights at work to play and lost the option to play at the coffee shop.

If I am to keep my pre-order and play at all I either have to find somewhere else to set up my console, which I may be able to do at the pizza place, or look at alternate options. So I decided to check in on the Internet cafe I used to frequent back in the early days of being homeless. They do have the console, and the nice owner person said they would have it at launch and if I wanted I could load the beta. I'll have to consider the options and prices, but with cheap times a few hours a day, if I played a few times a week, I could micro a cheap dinner, play a few hours, and it would work out to be the same cost as a coffee shop drink and slightly more pricy dinner.

It seems my homeless life is again more sad, and again I am reminded of so many places considering me an outcast, and there being so few who accept it and are at least a little bit willing to help where they can.

Day 2211 - 7/21 - Life, out of order

Today my life was almost reverse of a normal Monday. It started with laundry in the morning, something I used to do before work in the early evening. And while in a home, it was something I'd do in the late afternoon or early evening so I'd have clean bed sheets right before bed. I had to make a ridiculously long trip to take my recycle somewhere I'd get money for it. The stop at the food store stopped being there when the store moved. (Which is dumb since they are literally about two blocks away.) So now the closest one is about 10-15 minutes away. After, I finally settled in at school for the day. It oddly went very quick. I did my online work for my friend, then watched a show, and it was already around 2. I spent the next few hours looking for jobs and doing my MVP help on forums. I still haven't heard anything back on the community manager position I applied for with them. I watched another show and then it was time to leave to shower before hiding for the night. In a home I would only shower before bed if it was really hot. Usually I'd shower a little bit after I'd gotten up. I'd usually get up, check my online news for gaming stuff and new hardware, then take my shower before starting my day.

As I left school I couldn't help but feel how long of a day it was and how it felt like a job, not a day of doing fun stuff, as if I'd just done a work shift. Indeed it was about the same 9 hours a normal work day would have been. But there was a big difference. Had it been a work shift I'd now be going home. My evening to relax, eat, and play a few hours, would still be ahead of me. But it wasn't. I am homeless. And all I had to look forward to were hours lost hiding, needing to be quiet, and not getting to sleep until probably later than I'd like. My window for fun was basically over. And unlike living in a home with relaxing times ahead of me all that there would be for me is fear, worry, and trying not to be spotted; and if I were, hoping I looked like I belonged enough that I would be ignored and quickly forgotten.

Day 2212 - 7/22 - Waiting

Today I've been waiting for the unemployment people to call. I've been doing general forum stuff, putting everything else on hold so I can just grab the call whenever. It hasn't come. Their 8-10 AM window is now past. I'll keep an eye out for the call, but I'm not going to keep my life on hold. I'll proceed with my normal job checking, then move on to game playing and show watching. Hopefully they didn't actually need any questions answered to put the case through as-is and get my things processed. Honestly I told them all the details already. Besides saying it all again in person I don't know what a phone conversation could achieve.

I'm sad today. I don't really feel welcome at the coffee shop anymore. It seems, as it was 1.25 years ago, it may be time to consider looking for somewhere new to be, or further consider changes to my routines.

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

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