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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 317

Day 2213 - 7/23 - Feeling heartbroken, again

Today I was feeling pretty heartbroken. I spent my day at school. I got there somewhat early and got let in to the lab I hang out at by 10. I checked for jobs, checked news, did my MVP posting, and edited my podcast. I actually didn't play any games. I just didn't really feel like it. While tempted to go play Destiny I felt sad at the prospect since play time would cost me money and it's only a beta. (Even if I did go somewhere like the pizza place to connect from I'd still have to buy something. Which I may consider doing on rare occasion, but am very hesitant to since the risk seems higher.)

While the cute professor's class was in the lab for a bit, and I did talk to and suggested ideas to a few people, mostly I felt sad, alone, lost, and unwanted. The games I did want to play were inaccessible. Jobs I would like to do for a living, I can't. And life in a home at this point is such a distant memory that the last home I had is no more or less vivid in my mind than the one I lived in 30 years ago. Thoughts of a life of going to a work I can at least partly enjoy, having enough money, and living and playing in a home seem like an impossible dream.

Day 2214 - 7/24 - In a group

Today was a mix of sad and happy. The day started with promise. The owner's kid was there at the coffee shop, as he often is, but he didn't give me any poop. I tried to have some fun with my online card game, but the connection was so bad it was disconnecting me at least a dozen times an hour. I couldn't get through the 10 minutes it takes per game without it disconnecting. I guess even if they hadn't said no to my console play it wouldn't matter since it doesn't really seem to have stable connectivity. Of course I checked for jobs a few times, and spent a few hours doing my MVP thing.

An ex-guildie said he'd be on to play the Destiny beta, so I planned to play that for a few hours in the early evening. At first I thought I was out of luck, as someone was already on the system when I got there. But, in less time than it took to have dinner they finished and left. I played a few games and it looked like my friend wasn't coming, but he did show up not too much later. And, he brought someone else I knew from that old guild. So the three of us played and I had a super good time. Even though they had to go and I was out of time, I didn't want to stop. My long and sad day had changed to a happy fun one for that brief time.

For a few brief hours I was not alone. I was not sad. And I had a somewhat normal life playing with friends.

Day 2215 - 7/25 - Paid, not paid

Today was apparently super hot. I went to take a shower in the evening before dinner and my soda cans in the trunk were almost hot. And during my shower the shaving cream was genuinely warm when it foamed out of the can. That's crazy.

I checked the ex-mail for unemployment stuff. I had some stuff waiting. One thing said one week was unpaid because it was a waiting period. Waiting for what exactly? Would I somehow be less fired? Would I be lying about being fired? I don't understand. Another thing said I had a week paid. But... there was no old-school check with that, nor any kind of notice on how I would get my money. I'm confused. And a third thing was my next 'time card', so that's good. It was feeling like it was running late.

Today was extremely extremely slow and very very sad. I guess in a way it doesn't matter that the owner's kid said I couldn't set up my console at the coffee shop. Again it was dropping me 10-20 times an hour and I couldn't even stay connected long enough to play my card game. All day it was drop after drop after drop. I wish school were open Fridays. I'd have just gone there. Soon I won't even have Monday through Thursdays as an option. At least not without sitting outside on my butt on hard concrete.

I wanted to play my beta today. I wanted to watch my shows uninterrupted. I wanted to play other games. I wanted to cook my dinner and sleep in a bed. But I can have none of those. And the longer this continues, the less I can even imagine a normal life, let alone one where I have enough, I can excel, and I am happy.

Day 2216 - 7/26 - A different day

Today was different. I decided to extend my time at the Internet cafe. I was originally going to be there for 3 hours for the special end of beta event thing, but looking at the price it was only like $2.50 more to get a 6 hour pass, so I did that. The shop didn't open until noon though, so I decided to try somewhere which is not the coffee shop. I tried the food store wireless for the first time since they moved. It is much stronger than before, and unlike the coffee shop, was 100% stable. I had more fun playing for about 2 hours there than all of Thursday and Friday playing at the coffee shop combined. I may consider going there more in the future in combination with more time at school.

I had a super good time with my game. Though this was my last chance to play until about six weeks from now at launch. I had a few hours to play alone, but then the two guys I played with the other day came in. We had a super fun time and checked out some content that was only available for a few hours.

It feels pretty amazing to have played, had fun, and watched a few shows without any interruptions. It was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Maybe someday I'll be able to find a job, or win enough in the lottery, and I can have such a life again.

Day 2217 - 7/27 - Sunday Sunday Sunday

Once upon a time Sundays were special days. They were days off to relax. They were a day to sleep in. They were a day with no plans, yet sometimes fun and plans emerged from the nothing. While nothing was expected, it was much like Easter, in that any surprise could come along and make it fun, or it might just be a relaxing and enjoyable day.

But not this Sunday. I did not get to sleep in. I got no shower after. There was nothing relaxing; only worrying about my future, my finances, and what will pass in the coming months that will be a new terrible tragedy.

I suppose it wasn't extremely sad. I did get some well wishing and words of hope and encouragement from the nicest person at the coffee shop. The owner's kid didn't give me any poop. And in the afternoon I chatted for a bit with my friend who I don't talk with much. And, suffering through pauses from disconnections, I got to watch at least a few shows.

But really today was no different from all the others. I was lonelier than I'd have liked. I didn't get to eat how I'd have liked. Nothing new or exciting happened. And while I got to play and watch shows, it wasn't what or how I'd have preferred. And I still had no job and found none to apply for.

All in all today was not a Sunday. It was just a day.

Day 2218 - 7/28 - Closing early

Today I was extra hungry. I'm not sure why. By 10:30 I was so hungry I had my lunch. Again at 2:15 I'd gotten so hungry I decided to go get a slice of pizza for a snack and chicken nuggets for later for dinner. But the school cafeteria was closing for the day. I didn't know it closed so early. I guess it's because it's summer.

Today I had a pretty quiet and lonely day at school. My friend from high school again spent a lot of time and effort trying to convince me he was right and I was wrong about a game I love a lot. I really don't understand it. I've never seen anyone fight so hard against someone when they say they really like or love x. It's like, why doesn't he be happy for me and think it's nice that something can make me happy during my sad times? If he doesn't want to play that's fine, but I don't get why he's trying to ruin my fun. Usually people try and understand another person, not beat them into changing and submitting. That's what bullies do, not what friends do. Again, at about two different times today he was literally one more bad or hurtful message away from being unfriended and banned. I don't get how he can't see that what he says is either insulting towards me as a person, hurtful, or is pooping on things I enjoy or believe in.

I suppose things were ok today. (If we ignore that said messages stressed me out more than the fact I may be out of money completely by next year.) The day was peaceful. Outside of an unusual drop of the school network I was stable and connected and could look for jobs, check my forums, read news, and watch shows. I did apply for a couple of jobs. One was for 75k a year, which I'm really not qualified for. But if you never reach you'll never get anything. Not much harm in trying.

I guess that's really it for today. Though I'd prefer to have the freedom to talk about movies and games on my podcast, stream games, and do game related stuff as my main thing that seems like it's not going to happen. Certainly not today or tomorrow.

Day 2219 - 7/29 - Rage quit

Today I am a little sad, but also a little relieved. My friend from high school which has caused me so much pain and stress lately has sort of rage quit. He again left a ton of messages during the night, and at the end he basically said he is done trying to find common ground. What I really don't think he understood is what he really said in all of that was he is done trying to change me. But I still don't understand, not really. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the path my life has taken. But I've learned to never try and force people to change. You accept who they are. You celebrate them for what makes them unique and special. It may be something big, it may be something small. It may even be their stubbornness and fear of change. You never try and change someone, only see what they enjoy, where they are going, and suggest paths you think they would like. You never try and knock someone off it to get them on a path you want. I don't get why he kept trying to make me think and feel the way he did about everything. Just because the way I do things isn't the way he does them doesn't make them a poor choice for me.

I did have a revelation yesterday which may lead to a minor victory. The PlayStation 4 uses the new school 4-plug media jack type. That was the only reason I couldn't do voice chat with my friends when I was playing Destiny. So I've been looking and looking at headsets that would work, and very sad at the prospect that I'd need one that was $100 to match the audio quality of what I have, and the reality of that meant I have to settle for less. But yesterday I wondered if there were a something to connect my current headphone 3.5mm jacks to the new school 4-way plug, and there is. And it's only $7, so that's super cheap. While it would still be nice to get specifically designed headphones, as they would likely have improved volume and other useful features, that could at least work in the meantime until I got some. However, it seems, at least for the time being, that is only a theory. In testing my headset it seems the mic isn't picking up sound. So either the mic is bad, or the headset, I'm not sure. So it will have to be replaced. I contacted them for an RMA this morning, but it could be a bit for a reply.

I guess today seems ok so far. I am at school again, so things are pretty quiet, calm, and I have a connection to everything but online games. I have enough money I won't be hungry, and a teeny bit of flexibility for games. I suppose, as sad as things are, they aren't super terrible.

Week 318

Day 2220 - 7/30 - Playing different

Today was different. I spent some of my morning at the food store to try and play games. One game was fine, though I actually didn't feel like playing much. The other was mostly ok, but lost bandwidth and got laggy half way through. But mostly I spent the day at school where things would be quiet and calm.

It seems odd. I don't actually feel like playing much lately. It's partly because I had so much more fun in Destiny than in my other games, and I think partly because my other game play has been interrupted so much lately by poor bandwidth and droppy networks that I am substantially discouraged from wanting to play.

I don't really remember much of today. I did my forum stuff. I looked for jobs. I edited my podcast. I talked for a bit with some people about film things. And I talked for a bit with the cute professor about a class she is doing in fall. She had the same reaction hearing I was fired after 6 years with no reason that I did, heh.

But it's strange. Now that today is over, even though it was only an hour or so ago, it feels like it's been over for a long time and I barely remember it. Back when I was living in a home I could barely take the strain and excitement of even being out for a small part of my day. Now I'm so exhausted and beaten down all the time I don't even notice any more.

Day 2221 - 7/31 - Cake no cake

Today was disappointing. I haven't been to the coffee shop since Sunday. The connection has just been terrible, plus I've been trying to save money (not buying hot chocolates.) Well, today solidified the fact I should find other places by again being so bad that I couldn't do anything. In the first, and only, two hours I tried to be there it disconnected about 10 times an hour, and of those about three per hour the network didn't even show up at all. I'll pretty much be forced to be there most of Saturday and Sunday, but for the rest of the time even if I don't get into my favorite lab spot at school I'd rather be at school. I'd rather have a 99% reliable connection and no online gaming and then go somewhere else to game for even just a few hours reliably than spend money to be at the coffee shop all day with a crap connection. It is no longer worth it at all unless I have no other choice.

In the evening I felt bleh. I was pretty hungry so I got a decent amount of food. I've been having a craving, so I got a single serving piece of cake. But, dinner was such junk that I felt kind of sick after. I've lost my tolerance it seems. It used to be fine to get that kind of fast food once every few months. Now, having it about once a week I'm rapidly losing my ability to tolerate it. I'm going to have to consider other things, or finding alternate foods.

I guess today was ok, but changes will have to continue to be made to my routine.

Day 2222 - 8/1 - Birthday month

Today was kind of sad. Some people yesterday said the building and lab was open Fridays. I thought it wasn't, but I went to see. It wasn't. I was forced to go to the coffee shop. It wasn't as bad as a connection as I expected, but it was still barely stable enough to do anything. I'll absolutely be spending as little time there as I can.

Today is the first day of my birthday month. But in recent years it's meant nothing. Though there may be a few well wishers, perhaps even a present or two, more than likely I will remain alone and thought of very little. And, this may be the last birthday of its kind. As little as I celebrate at least I would have some options. Next year, should I make it, I may have none.

Day 2223 - 8/2 - Suffering through

Today was, as expected, a bad connection at the coffee shop. I suffered through in the morning to get a bit of playing in, but by the time I'd had lunch I basically just gave up. I got some video footage of a game and made a sort of music video which I'll post probably Monday, so that was fun. I guess though right after I shut the program down it's now locked me out. I wanted to adjust the edit and it refused to boot the program up again. So that's super sad.

Not much happened today. It was pretty slow and sad. And, due to the poo connection I didn't do much. I even got so sick of it I left hours early and just basically sat and did nothing. There were other places I could have gone, but I don't know. I just don't really feel like doing anything. It was probably my being sad too much.

Day 2224 - 8/3 - Tasted meh

Today was slow. Mostly I wanted to edit my fun video some more. I mostly finished yesterday, but I noticed a few tiny details I wanted to change. and now that the program has locked me out I'm very sad because any editing I do will have to be moved onto a school system to do it.

I was very hungry so I got a more rare big dinner. Though I was super excited before I got it, while I was eating it it just tasted meh. And now, a brief period after, my tummy is all gurgly gurgle unhappy.

Today seemed really slow and boring. While I'm sure a lot of my depression is due to the fail connection at the coffee shop, I just didn't really feel like playing anything today. The only thing I did want to play I can't until launch early next month. And even then I'll have to pay at least a little something per hour to play unless my life changes significantly between now and then.

Things seem sad, with little or nothing to look forward to.

Day 2225 - 8/4 - Wireless

Today was pretty good. It went by very quick and everything worked out as planned. It started with doing laundry. I had enough time while there to input this week's Epic Fail writing, so that was double use of the time. After, I played for a bit from the food store. The connection isn't amazing, so I can't play all my games there, but I can play enough of one to be happy. Just before 11 I went back to the ex-house to wait for my headphones. I waited just a few minutes and they arrived exactly when expected, so I intercepted that before the ex-roomies could have noticed. After that I went to school to spend a few hours finishing the fan video I was working on before my software locked me out on Saturday. I think it turned out super good and I like it a lot. What was left of my day I checked for jobs, forums, and watched a show. I even felt happy enough to play an offline game for a bit before leaving.

Though the headphones were something I shouldn't have spent money on (in that I probably shouldn't have spent any) they are almost as good as my previous ones. They are close enough that only after a few hours my ears ad forgiven the minor differences and they sounded fine. It's amazing to not have to worry about a cord. I was constantly pulling that around or worrying about it hooking on my foot as I got up. I even tested the range by walking away from my system. They lost signal after about 20 feet, but when I was in range again they actually found the signal again. Plus, now I have ones with a mic to use when playing with my friends on my console game. With the mic broken on my old headset, trying to get it to work with the console wasn't even an option.

Today was a pretty good day. I have clean cloths. My enjoyment of things improved with the new headset. I got to play games a bit without my signal completely dying. And I made a fun video I like a lot. For a day being homeless with no friends that I see, being single, and not having a job, it was actually pretty good.

Day 2226 - 8/5 - Maybe

Today may have some surprises. I told the company about my video I made for the game, so they may surprise me with a reply or mentioning it on sites. I would be surprised if they did though. Tonight I've got a movie to see. It should be awesome. It's basically the last movie in my budget. I guess that's ok though. There are only a couple of movies I want to see coming out soon.

So maybe today will surprise me. That would be nice.

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

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