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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 329

Day 2297 - 10/15 - Feel sick

Today was ok I suppose. I'm not doing as well as I'd like in my class. The combination of the material being kind of boring, the systems being Macs, my inability to use the systems outside of class, my inability to see almost half of what the teacher is trying to show due to the classroom design, and my losing track of what he's doing by trying to do it myself from his description, has all added up to my doing poorly and not caring. Today I decided, even though I don't have the money at all, I really kind of need to spend the $20 to subscribe to the software to use my own system whenever I want. That way, provided I can get past my depression to do school stuff, I can do it during the day without restricted access. I downloaded the program and there was super good news. Even though I signed in to my account it offered me a free 30 day trial for that program. Woot! I don't have to pay for a month. And, hopefully in a month the class will be past his part and I won't need it anymore. So that was super good news and hopefully access to the program when I want will hopefully allow me to do stuff and feel better about it.

I played for a few hours during the cheap time, but my friend hasn't been in the game since Saturday. I'm not too worried about him yet, but playing alone is sad, so I just stayed during the cheap time and that's it. I could have easily spent another hour doing stuff, but it didn't seem worth the price. In fact, if he stops playing, I may just about entirely cut down to free time at the store to save money. We'll see what happens in time.

After that I showered at school. It wasn't private, but it was ok I guess. After that though I started feeling kind of sick. My tummy feels off and I feel like I may throw up. I think I'm sick because I've been sneezing and sniffling for a few days. And now, my ears are ringing, and my eyes hurt and are itchy. Hopefully I'll be fine. Being sick with my limitations is... bad.

Day 2298 - 10/16 - Feeling positive

Today I feel a bit better emotionally. I spent the morning starting on my project for the class I was getting behind on. I finished a lot of it. I grabbed lunch and ate fairly quickly, as I usually do since there wasn't much to eat. After, I pretty quickly finished the project. During class that's basically all they had to do. So, I went from being behind and feeling a bit lost and sad to leaping ahead and being done and not needing to be in class tonight.

The rest of my day was ok. I talked to a few people in the class that I'm a TA for, and I talked to some others.

For being a homeless day I don't feel quite so lonely. And, maybe more importantly, I got back the confidence I had lost due to feeling behind in the class.

Day 2299 - 10/17 - Fun with friends

Today was pretty ok. It started in the morning at the food store playing my game. Barely anyone was around for some reason. It was odd. In the early afternoon I went to hang out at school and watch some shows. I checked for jobs, though there was only one to apply to. Though I guess that is more than the usual zero. In the evening I went to the Internet Cafe to do group stuff in my game. My friend was there who I haven't seen in nearly a week, and a friend of his was there too, so we did a special thing. It was fun, but we spent a long time getting zero progression. I think sometimes he forgets it costs me per hour to play.

Last night was rough. Nothing bad really happened, but I had some pretty weird nightmares I still haven't shaken the feeling of. They weren't the scary kind, just the kind that reminds you of sad things that make you feel small and unwanted, and that feeling has been with me in the back of my mind since this morning.

Day 2300 - 10/18 - Can't go back

Today was pretty good I suppose. I played in the morning at the food store. It was mostly stable. My friend was on and another person he knows was on, so we grouped for a while. After, I was solo for a bit and dropped a few times, so I left earlier than I otherwise would have. It was super good news, as that means grouping seems mostly viable from there. I don't have to worry quite so much and avoid it completely like I have been.

After, I grabbed lunch and went to hang out at school for a bit. There was some stuff going on, so it felt a bit awkward being there. I didn't stay as long as I otherwise would have.

I left and was going to go to the coffee shop. I sat outside in my car for probably 15 minutes or more. The owner's kid was there, and I feel uncomfortable when he's around. But even if I had ignored him the thought of being there for just a few hours felt... odd... foreign... and in some ways wrong. I turned around and went back to play at the food store a few more hours.

In the coming days, heck maybe tomorrow, I will have no choice but to go to the coffee shop. But it struck me as odd that I basically would rather sacrifice being able to play many of my games and go other places then be there. It's almost as if I can't go back. Like when anything changes in my routine or what I have that I have to adjust and move on in a permanent way.

I'd like to think that's a positive thing. That it's me always wanting to accept what I can't control and move forward. But I know it's not. I am, for the most part, acting out of necessity. In order for me to be moving forward in a positive way it would have to be out of choice. I would have to be free to both chose the new direction, as well as welcome and want it.

But, as always these days, I wonder if I will ever be in such a position.

Day 2301 - 10/19 - Didn't want

Today was mostly ok, but very sad. In the morning when I was playing I started disconnecting a lot. That made me feel pretty sad, particularly since a new friend came on that I could have done group stuff with. I stayed for a bit after that started, even though I dropped every 15-20 minutes or so.

After, I tried to go to the old coffee shop, but even though the owner's kid wasn't there I decided not to go in. There was a manager there who was an ass to me back in the day. I'd forgotten about him. I decided not to stay mostly because of that, but also because it was basically full.

I went to hang out at school and it was mostly ok. But the connection was terribly slow in the spot I was in, so I left early.

I sat in the car deciding... and not deciding. I didn't want to go back to the food store. While playing more would have been fun, I just felt too out of place to go play more this weekend. I didn't want to go back to the coffee shop because I just don't feel right there anymore. I didn't want to spend money at the Internet Cafe, mostly because it's the expensive time. Everywhere I thought of going was something I didn't want because I felt sad and out of place. I am a guy trying to do private things in public spaces.

I wound up just going back to the coffee shop. I knew the guy who was an ass would be off shift soon and I would only be there for a few hours. It seems in the almost month since I've spent any time there the bleh connection has gotten worse. It was barely connected and not at all worth being there due to how slow it was.

I felt weird walking around today. My heart and lungs and chest felt odd. It is hopefully just due to this cold I have. But my heart doesn't feel right. It's working harder and feels tired. I don't know if it's due to my extra weight, stress, or lack of sleep. I think it is mostly emotional. My heart is broken now, and I worry that may be the end of me before I can recover physically to begin to recover emotionally.

Day 2302 - 10/20 - Tummy is crying

Tonight my tummy is crying. When I was at the Internet Cafe I really wanted an ice cream sandwich. Because I'm so poor and my money is running out in a few months I told my tummy no, even though it's only $1.50 and I had plenty in my wallet. I don't know why I so strongly refused. It's a fair price for a dessert, even though it's about three times what it would cost if I could get a whole box at the store. But now my tummy is very sad. It feels like it's crying. I suppose in a way that is just me crying on the inside. I don't know why I was so strict and harsh to myself about wanting one. But since I refused myself that small treat it seems to have brought up all these feelings of when I was young and denied things for seemingly no reason.

I may have figured out why I feel like I am eating soap. I think I literally may be. I keep my toothbrush in the same bag as my other showering stuff, and it just now occurred to me that even though I dry it all it's entirely possible some soap is getting on the brush. I guess I'll have to toss it so I don't do that again. Though I don't know how I'd keep a new one. I can't put it in a case because it would never dry. And even if it did, if the case had holes, it still could get soap or soapy water on it. I used to keep it in an outside mesh pocket in my backpack and it seems I may need to do that again.

I'm very sad i was mean to myself tonight. It's odd, but it' one of these times when the smallest of things hurt me greatly.

Day 2303 - 10/21 - Hopefully ok

Today will hopefully be ok. Nothing new or different is expected, so I don't expect anything special to happen. I got some cough drops, so hopefully that will help calm my throat, coughing, and sneezing. Hopefully my TA class in the afternoon will be fun. And hopefully the evening class will move on to unfamiliar and more interesting stuff. With the program on my system that alone should help a lot.

Hopefully today will be ok, but overall sad life is becoming more and more difficult to manage.

Week 330

Day 2304 - 10/22 - Raider

Today was pretty good. It started weird with getting poked to check my blood pressure stuff. I likely won't hear results on that or nearly a week. I watched shows and checked for jobs and did most of my next class project that is due in just over a week. It's probably more than half done in rough form, maybe 40% totally done if we account for all the tweaking and fine tuning. I'll maybe finish tomorrow, but more likely on the weekend.

In the evening I did a raid in my game. It was new and different and pretty cool. They drastically underestimated the time the new people would require though. We took the time they estimated and only got half way through. It was kind of sad though, as people were like, 'do this, then do that'. There wasn't that cool discovery of the unknown that I'd been avoiding spoilers for. But then, it was probably better that way since I have to pay hourly. Paying for extra time to play, and only getting half way through was already kind of a sacrifice of other play time if I don't want to straight lose the money. It's very sad I couldn't keep playing after we stopped, and ad I couldn't just get in bed after like many others did. All I can do is keep checking things and hope an opportunity for change presents in the things I'm doing. And until one does all I can do is try to keep going emotionally.

Oh, and happy tummy was happy. I got an ice cream sandwich while there.

Day 2305 - 10/23 - Not my test

Today was ok I guess. In the morning I found my unemployment was here early again, so that's nice to have. I watched some shows and looked for jobs, but found nothing. In the afternoon I edited my podcast. I had my TA class today which was very quiet. They had a test and that was it really. In the evening I had my class. There was some confusing stuff so I felt a bit lost. But many people haven't finished their first project, let alone the second. Which is weird since they aren't that tough.

In the evening I decided to play for a bit. I put the stuff in my bag for free play Friday morning at the store, so I played for a little bit tonight. It was super fun, though it would have been nice to play a bit longer and just flop into bed like I used to.

Day 2306 - 10/24 - Not Fridays

Today was pretty fun. I played at the food store in the morning and although there were a few hiccups the connection was very solid. After, I went to school where I checked for jobs and watched some shows. In the evening I played for a couple hours at the Internet cafe to have some guaranteed stable group time. (Though oddly I disconnected from one game, which was only the second time ever to disconnect from there.) I played with some people I did the raid with the other night, though it was the people who's network wouldn't let me talk to. (It sometimes has network setting issues I can't control.)

There are a few new movies at the rental box, though tonight was super fun that did make me realize I now have my Fridays back, but I can't afford to enjoy them, or I lack a home to enjoy them in. Once upon a time Fridays were for staying up just a bit too late, with Saturday fun with friends or evening movies to look forward to. And, of course, sleeping in without the worries of the week. But these times were few in my life. Either I was barely eking by, or in more recent times, in school; so there may have been projects or studying to do. I miss the Friday nights of a regular life; gaming with friends, be it virtual or table top, looking forward to sleeping in, looking forward to a special event or party, or even just looking forward to some time to straighten things up a bit, do laundry, cook a special meal, and relax. I can't clearly remember when I last had these things. It might be half a lifetime ago. Such simple things.

Day 2307 - 10/25 - The Professor says hi

Today was ok I guess, if we ignore my underlying sadness which is constant. I played my game at the food store in the morning. I got a nice surprise of a knock on my chair I have the monitor on and looked up to see my professor saying, 'Have a nice afternoon.' That's the second time I've seen him there and he's said hi. That was nice.

I had planned to go hang out outside of school, even though it was kind of raining off and on today, but something was up in the area that is more private that I prefer. So, I went to the coffee shop. The connection was garbage. It was not capable of gaming and barely could run a show. I left after and decided to play a few more hours in the evening.

Overall today probably was close to what it would have been in a home in terms of play time. It was sad being alone, but playing was fun. Though the way I played certainly was not usual. I was fully dressed (instead of just being in house cloths), I had headphones on, and I was in public in the food store. All a far cry from playing in a home. And now, when it's about dinner time, I'd have been cooking something nice, and been getting ready to watch one of two movies I would like to see that just came out at the rental box. But my evening can't be that kind of evening. My life is not normal. In some ways I don't mind, but in others it sometimes feels like I am a ghost who can never return to the living world.

Day 2308 - 10/26 - Not as intended

Today was partly not as intended. It started with playing at the food store, which was fine. I did my laundry at the local place, which is still weird for a number of reasons. I had been looking forward to doing my project after at the new weekend spot at school, but again something was going on there. I moved to the other side of campus. But I waited. Probably half an hour passed while I decided if that was really what I wanted. I did eventually go to sit at my old weekend spot. I did wind up doing homework. I did wind up doing homework. I watched a show, and shortly after it started I was reminded I should do my online work for my friend, so I did that. Though I don't really like it anymore, I guess it's good I still have it. It only takes 1-1.5 hours a week and it's ok money. After, I only had time for one more show before I was too cold to stay on campus. I grabbed my console and played a little bit more.

Though my project isn't too tough it was sad I couldn't just work on it yesterday or today. With mood and what I do and don't have access to in terms of privacy, and due to my sad things, it is tough to stay motivated. I miss being able to do what I want when the mood strikes m, or when it s the proper time. Though not a particularly bad day, my sad life seemed pretty sad today.

Day 2309 - 10/27 - Bleh project

Today went by really fast. I spent several hours working on my project that is due Thursday. While I was into it at first I'm caring less about doing extra. It's not fun like editing a video, or even script work or storyboarding to film a video. It's tweaking effects on stuff and very tedious and uninteresting. While it could lead to a better understanding of effects like the ghost project I did, it is such basic level introduction stuff it's really not helpful. To get all the truly helpful stuff it would take a much deeper understanding or years of practice. Well, at least this bit will be over at the end of this week and class will move on to the next phase. The professor is super nice as a person, but as a professor he seems a bit strict and the material he's teaching has to be done in a manner that barely touches on my understanding of what to do with it and how to get it to work.

I played my game for a bit in the evening a bit, but not as much as I'd have liked. And again I was alone. I'm beginning to think maybe on Mondays I should just play free at the store. Though I'm only spending $5 or so during those three hours, it just doesn't seem worth spending that for what I've been doing. That or maybe just skip Mondays as a play day. Since I'm fairly maxed I don't have as much to gain and as such maybe I could ease back a bit.

Day 2310 - 10/28 - Unknown difference

Today is just starting, but I know it will be a bit different. A lab will be opened in the morning, so I'll have a few extra hours I won't have to be on the floor. Then, in the afternoon I've got my class I TA for. I'm pretty sure a lot of it will be watching films students have done. So that's always fun and nice to watch. In the evening I don't have to go to class, so I'll be going for extra play time with my game. Tuesday limit based things are reset, so there will be lots of people doing the raid or weekly things, and so there may be some around I can do that with, particularly since it's a day I can't normally play.

Though my sad life is unlikely to change, there may be some little things that make today different and maybe a bit happy.

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

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