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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 333

Day 2325 - 11/12 - Quick day

Today passed very quickly. I started the morning doing my podcast, so that created a bit of a late start. After, I procrastinated doing homework before lunch by just messing around, then had lunch. I watched a short show, then worked on the project. I spent a few hours on it. It's very tedious. I got tired of working on it so I stopped before it was done. I had just enough time to watch a couple of shows, then left to play my game. My friend showed up, so that was pretty fun.

Though my day isn't over yet it passed quickly, and in a way felt almost like a 'normal day'.

Day 2326 - 11/13 - Thankful people

Today was ok. It seemed slow, but I don't remember much of it. I do recall a few people on the forums I'm an MVP for, and a few students (in person), said thanks for helping them. So that was nice to get some appreciation.

I found out a friend person in my night class is a gamer and likes a few of the games I play, so that was interesting. He said we should play the online game I'm playing together. I said sure. But with as limited as my play time is I don't really know if we will ever be on at the same time. If I weren't limited, the odds would be a lot higher. But restricted to a few times a week, combined with his times, we may never meet.

But, some things were different today. And I suppose that's something.

Day 2327 - 11/14 - The burning

Today was ok I suppose. I don't remember much because it passed pretty quickly. I remember I didn't do my project right when I got to school as I had intended, even though I forced myself not to play in the morning so that I'd do it. (Today was the last day I have the program for free.) I grabbed lunch and watched part of a show. The super cute girl stopped by and said hi for a little bit. After, I finally spent time finishing my project. And, it's basically done though it's not amazing, so that's good. I watched one show and then my time at school was up. I went to move to the unemployment money out of its bank and put it in my bank, then went to the store to play my game.

I smelt a pretty terrible smell while playing. There was this burning plastic type smell. I was worried it was my system. I don't know what I'd do if my PlayStation 4 or laptop died. But, everyone else around me started smelling it. Even people more than ten feet away could smell it, which my system wouldn't make a smell that strong. I theorized someone put a plastic something in the dishwasher at the coffee shop area and it was melting (they cleaned up not too long before this). But some people investigated and it seemed to be coming from outside. I wonder what was on fire to make a smell that strong in such a big area. I may never know, but I'm glad it wasn't my system. I don't have much left in my life.

Day 2328 - 11/15 - Sad weight

Today I have become pretty sad. The day started ok. I didn't need to get up too early. I spent a few minutes 'in bed' thinking how different my day would be in a home - the things I'd do and in what order. Everything today would be different from that list. I had fun playing my game at the store, but as I left the weight of everything felt extra heavy. Carrying all the things was sad. I shouldn't have to be carrying and setting up and taking down anything. I should be in a home. My health should be ok. I should have friends who visit me and play and do other stuff with me. I should be invited places because people like having me around. But I don't. And I don't know if that will ever change.

Day 2329 - 11/16 - Numb toes

Today started pretty good. I had been playing my game at the food store for a bit and my friend I play with came on. That was quite a surprise, as he's not on very often on weekends. I did find out something a bit sad though. We had talked about playing one of the last games I can afford to get online together. It comes out Tuesday. But today he mentioned he's getting it on console. While it isn't too late to change my order from PC, it just isn't a good choice. I already feel risky taking my console back and forth, so I would need to split my 10-20 hours with the other game. That isn't why it's a bad idea though. On PC I can play the game on my laptop offline. The game is primarily the single player campaign, so that's 40-60 hours a week I could play reduced to 10 if I changed. And that 10 would be time I would be doing multiplayer, not the single player campaign. While I suppose I could argue that once the single player campaign is over it would be much better to play online with friends, as opposed to doing it on PC with strangers, it's very difficult for me to justify that change. If I weren't in such a tight spot with money I might consider getting both, and then doing my single player offline time on PC and do the multiplayer with friends. But I can't.

Today was also a bad time in the afternoon and evening. Again something was going on at school where I normally hang out, so I couldn't be there. And the owner's kid was at the coffee shop, so I didn't want to be there. I had no choice but to go back to the food store. For some reason they are seemingly running the air conditioner. The whole place feels like a fridge. By the early evening my feet were so cold my toes felt like they were going numb.

It seemed today, even ignoring the constant reminders, was a reminder I couldn't just play when or how I want. And again I am reminded I have little to no control over my life.

Day 2330 - 11/17 - Flatish

Today went quickly. I don't remember my morning though. It went fairly normally. I do recall I did an extra project thing. I think that ate up like 1.5 hours. After, I watched some streams for the new game I'm getting tomorrow. And in the early afternoon I ran out to grab my console and load some stuff from school before playing from the store. The school connection blocks playing games, but some can still reach the patch servers. I'd heard there was a 2.25 gig patch, which would have been three or four hours from the food store, but was only about 20 minutes at school. After, I did my normal play time at the food store.

The other day when I was getting gas I noticed my right rear tire was flatish. Not totally flat, but it's bulge was like three times wider than it should have been. Today I remembered and went to a gas station to give it air. The gauge didn't work though, so hopefully it's about back to what it should be, and not over filled.

I guess today was ok. It moved too quickly to notice. And I did get to play my game with my friend in the evening, so that was fun. Of course I still wish I was in a home and my life were back to what is normal for me. I miss me.

Day 2331 - 11/18 - New game

Today I am starting by basically waiting for my new game. I've got just under two hours at school, then I'll be going back to the ex-house to wait for the delivery. I'll have a decent amount of time to play today hopefully. It will depend how long it takes to install and update. I'm thinking more and more I'll go digital from now on. Even though my connections are limited, it seems people are almost always allowing pre-loads these days. With several days to pre-load I could easily have been places that had a connection and spent enough time to get the big file. (And it looks like with this game's distributor their downloads aren't blocked at school. Just the online connections to those games are.) If I had done that I could have just stopped off somewhere for like 5 minutes to activate it instead of needing to wait for a delivery.

It's super exciting to get my new game. I've been waiting for it for years. But it is one of only two I can have in my budget. While my budget previously could shift around and I could find money for extra games, with no job and not finding any leads in longer than I've been homeless, even though today will be fun and bright, my future overall seems to look pretty bleak.

Week 334

Day 2332 - 11/19 - A belt

Today was very different. It started out with not recording my podcast. I had only played my new game for between two and four hours, so I figured I'd wait to record until after today, when I'll have had six or more hours to play on top of that. Plans changed. My professor came in, which was a total surprise as she's not normally here at all on Wednesday. And, she opened the lab for me before 10, which is two hours earlier than the days she is here. Since I had an idea for my final project I spent the next three hours busy as a bee working on it. I'm super happy with what I have so far and think it's pretty awesome. (Though so far all I've done is edit and cut video stuff, which I know I love doing.)

So what would have been six hours of play turned into three hours of project stuff for my final, half a TV show, and about two hours of play. Not counting playing my online console game at the food store with my friend.

The day overall was fairly successful and fun. And although I'm proud of what work I did, and happy how it turned out, I am still a little saddened that there was still four or so hours I could have spent working on my project or playing, but couldn't because I had to leave my recourses behind and move on with my homeless night.

Day 2333 - 11/20 - Feel ok

Today I feel kind of ok. I did my podcast in the morning, then edited it. For a few hours after lunch I worked on my final project. I talked a bit with some people in the class that I TA for and my evening class. And I even got to play for a few hours. Overall, besides the fact that I am homeless, today seemed pretty good and I feel ok emotionally. Maybe even normal. Though sadly I am sure these feelings will fade quickly now that I am hiding at night and all my trappings of being homeless are unavoidable.

Day 2334 - 11/21 - Wasted

Today feels kind of wasted. I spent a few hours trying to do something for my final project, but it just didn't work out. The time was basically wasted. It's fine really. I have like three weeks to do it and I'll probably sort of do most of it this weekend, so I have plenty of time.

I didn't get a chance to do much else today. I played my new game for about an hour, and played my online console game alone for a few hours. (My friend I play with is out of town this weekend.) It's raining and cold, and the outlook for this weekend is starting to look extra sad.

Day 2335 - 11/22 - Deteriorating quickly

Today I am very sad. Lately I've been noticing tiny buzzing sounds on rare occassion on my fancy wireless headphones I got. It only happens when they are plugged in and charging, so it is likely related to that. And, it's only a tiny bit of noise, a second or two per hour. Also, the top cushion part has mostly popped out of its housing on one side. It seems they are deteriorating quickly. I suppose that is due to my very high use level. I am using them upwards of 10 hours per day, and with holding a battery charge of only 5-6 hours I'm sure it's not the best idea to have them plugged in and charging for 85% of their use time. Also, it could be because it's always plugged in where the laptop is plugged in. So it is splitting the charge draw between the two. I guess I'll have to mostly keep them in storage with the system. It seems sad to do that, but I don't want them to completely wear out.

So many things are dying quickly on this terrible journey. Some, like the headphones, can be replaced. Though obviously it seems I can't have such nice things. And others, like my teeth and possibly my health overall, may be lost forever. I may yet still someday get back into a home, but the things I will have lost, the things I will have replaced, and the things I can't replace, will forever scar my soul.

Day 2336 - 11/23 - Made my brain not work

Today was ok I guess. There was the usual amount of sad, and thankfully not much more. In the morning I played my console game alone. After, I hung out at school and watched a show, did my online work for my friend, then worked on my final project a bit.

In the evening I decided to go back to the food store and play a different game. After a while I heard a girl say, 'What are ya playing?' And I told her what it was. She was so beautiful. My heart eeped when I saw her. She smiled and kind of bounced and said, 'Oooh. I've heard of that. I see the commercials all the time.' And I said, 'It's usually what I'm playing unless I'm playing like this (and I made gamepad gestures), then I'm playing...' and my brain stalled. She was so beautiful and attractive I couldn't think of words for a few seconds. I'm sure she didn't notice the pause, but it felt like forever to me. She said she's seen me there a lot, which is odd because I don't remember seeing her. I guess it's because I'm paying attention to my games. Although, she is very young, so I may have just visually ignored her before because she's too young for me. I hope she didn't think I was dismissing her or blowing her off. She made me super shy, so I kind of hid in my game.

It's nice to know there are still girls I find so beautiful and attractive that they can distract me like that. I'm sure she's far too young for me, but you never know. She may work for a store in that shopping center and she may come say hi again. I was going to say bye to her when she left, but she picked up and scooted off quickly after finishing her foods. It's unlikely anything will come of it, or that I'll ever see her again, but knowing there are girls out there who can do that to me... I suppose that means I may yet find another someday and maybe there is someone still out there for me.

Day 2337 - 11/24 - Fate's peers

Today was a bit different. The day portion at school was basically the same, but in the afternoon I asked if my friend was going to play the console game since he usually doesn't show up on Mondays. He said no. I went to do a quick session alone, but the store sitting area was full of people. It's not even usually 20% full, let alone 90%. I decided to turn right back and go back to school to do more editing on my project. (I can't get into the lab during the day on Mondays, but I can at night.) It seems it was Fate for me to do so. I wound up spending 3.5 hours editing. There were some people near me from a class peeking at what I was doing and when I was done a couple of them asked to see. I showed them, and the others scooted over to see when they saw how cool it looked. They were all, 'ooooh'. And they offered some advice too. A few said they thought the music with the voice bit was a bit too quiet. I listened again and agreed. I normally put music in games to 50% because I have I guess a hearing problem where if music is too loud I basically can't hear voice. It just all becomes a jumble. So I tweaked the audio and checked the balance by value numbers (instead of just how it sounded to me) and they were right in that it sounds a lot better the new way.

So I guess today my homeless life isn't all sad. It would have been very different in a home. I'd have had the freedom to play more, do more school stuff, do whatever else I wanted, but I also would not have had that peer review type encounter, nor would I have had a quick chat with the cute girl (the one I first saw last summer who I see now and then). So I guess some good came from my being homeless today.

Day 2338 - 11/25 - Lost and found

Today started out a bit different. In my backpack I noticed an envelope at the bottom, pushed down by other stuff. I got it out to see what it was and I discovered it was the time sheet that supposedly never got to me. I guess I did get it on time after all, and instead of putting it on the floor of the passenger area in my car where I normally put that stuff, I put it in my bag and forgot about it. I guess I got the money in time after all and everything worked out ok, but still. It's sad to think my life is so scattered and lacks regularity something like that could even happen.

Hopefully today should be ok. In both classes we are going to be watching stuff. So today should be a pretty relaxed day. It would be nice if something extraordinary happened, but it seems unlikely. And, in a way, I suppose that's a good thing.

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

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