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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 8: Endless Void

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 375

Day 2619 - 9/2 - One shot job

Today was pretty good. In the morning I was suuuper tired. I was up earlier than usual, but by the time I got settled in at school it was about the normal time. I checked jobs and forums I help on, as usual. I played, but remained suuuper sleepy until the early afternoon.

My friend type person with the job came and brought a disk with her stuff. Bt it was everything on her whole system, so we couldn't find the footage quickly. She will get to it when she gets back from vacation early next week. The job is actually for her - a project she really didn't finish during class back several months ago. I was basically the person's job she was paired with to get it to the editor and get cut, but it never really got there (despite the person being put in contact with two other editors, not counting being put in contact with me as well.). So now that class is over she's going to go ahead and finish it herself. She spent like $800 or more on location and food and the camera person for it already, and she doesn't mind spending more to get it edited and actually have something she can show people.

The friend who was freaked out a few times and said he hated me has recently been emailing again and we've been talking like regular people about things we haven't fought over. So he's finally taken my suggestion and appears to be talking about things we don't get upset over and won't fight about. Maybe now we can start trying to discover if there can be a friendship there. So that seems to have turned around.

In the afternoon I actually grouped with the person I've done dungeons with before and a friend of hers, so that was fun. But that was really my day. Pretty basic, slow sleepy start, played online, met with the friend like person who talked about the job, and that was it. And, as sad as it seems to say, that's a pretty good day.

Day 2620 - 9/3 - Beginning at the end

Today was kind of backwards in a way. Normally I record my podcast in the morning, but since there really wasn't much to talk about I decided to do it at the very end of my day.

The rest of my day was ok. Again I was super tired in the morning. Again I felt like I would fall asleep until the later afternoon when I woke up a bit. Nothing happened in my games. People are likely all in the new content areas. I'm considering if I should get the expansion. It's pretty cheap, but it's mostly PvP focused and it will probably be mid to late next week before I'd even be at the level the content is designed for. Though there were jobs to look at, as usual I didn't qualify for any.

I wonder if my feeling sleepy has to do with my weird dreams. Lately I've been sleeping unusually deeply and been having more vivid dreams than usual. Often it's something to do with coming out of being homeless, like I'd recently moved in somewhere, or some moment after that and having a normal life but there are odd aspects that make me feel or remind me of being homeless. I think last night or the night before was something about being at a convention, but the walls and stuff I was holding was all plastic? I don't remember most of it, but they are weird. At least I guess I can be thankful they aren't making me cry or scared like they used to.

I guess today passed peacefully and quietly. And although I wished I could have had people to play with in my game, or friends in real life to play pencil and paper or board games with, I guess a quiet and calm day isn't too bad, particularly in my life right now.

Day 2621 - 9/4 - Goodbye trees

Today was a bit worrisome and a bit sad. In the morning things were a bit frantic. I was going to the recycle place, and since it doesn't open until later in the morning I washed some 'bed' stuff I haven't washed in I don't know how long. After, I dropped it back off to be safe in the ex-storage where I keep it, zipped over to the recycle center, got food, then went to school. So there was a lot of running around in my first 2 hours of my day. I got quite a scare after getting food. When I went to start the car it went 'vrrrr pptt' and stopped trying to start. I was super scared and tried again, and it worked as normal. That sort of happened last time I started a lot in a short time as well. In fact, I think both times it was the fourth trip start that had issues. There were no issues after that in the evening though, so it may just be a thing I have to watch out for - don't make multiple trips in a short time. I've also noted my clock on the CD player is 7 minutes fast. In previous years during that 6 month window between time changes it would only get about 3-4 minutes off. I wonder if there is indeed something off with the battery. When I did that smog check the guy said it was old and should be replaced. I guess I should look into that, but as they tend to be pretty expensive I haven't looked into it. As with all car things, I hope it can hang on until maybe I get a big donation, or someone knows a someone in my area that can look at it free, or I get a boost in money like the tax return.

When I settled in at school something very sad was going on. For a few days now there has been a lot of noise, but being downstairs and unable to see I couldn't see what it was. In the area near the cafeteria entry area there are, or were, several trees. They are big and old. The trunk is probably maybe 3-4 feet thick, but they always kept them trimmed to about 30-40 feet tall. But they were cutting them down entirely. Over the course of the first four hours or so I was on campus I saw them cut huge bits off, take a big crane thing, and put them on the ground to be put in a bin or shredded into tiny bits with the chopping machine. It made me very sad. The trees are nice. They provide shade and make things look alive instead of static concrete. Plus, those particular trees had dozens of housing structures for the birds and squirrels to live in. I don't understand why they would just cut them down like that.

Due to all the business in the morning my day passed seemingly very quickly. I barely got to play half the time I normally would before the sun came into my spot. Though I suppose that is how much I would have gotten if I had a job, even if I were in a home and feeling emotionally 'better', as I would be in a better mood and do other things than just play a single game. I checked for jobs, but there was nothing. There rarely is on Fridays. I checked a few of the online at home things, but as usual I didn't qualify for them.

That was really my day. Clean bed stuff, played a bit, nothing on jobs, and made me very sad seeing the trees cut down for no reason. In a way that seems a lot for a day. Once upon a time when I had a 'normal' life less than that happened in all of most weeks. But today that seems like very little. It feels like more should have happened. I guess I am just feeling philosophical today. I thought of maybe 'doing some voice work' by filming something and doing voice over poetry or talking about something. It might be something different to consider to post. Not sure if there is an audience for it since I'm an unknown person. It certainly wouldn't be something my current 15 subscribers to my 'channel' would expect. But it might be something the 'want to do voice work' side of me would enjoy. I'll have to think about it. I haven't written or done a lot of stuff like that in quite a while outside of the few story type things in the early days of Epic Fail.

Day 2622 - 9/5 - Max, but not

Today was an odd day. Things felt peaceful. Things felt slow. They felt out of place and yet they felt as I expected.

The morning started out as normal. I didn't look for jobs until the afternoon because it's Saturday and there is never anything posted. I played my game, and in the early afternoon I finished the last solo quest. Everything I have now are achievements for certain things (exploring, killing certain bosses, doing certain dungeons, etc.) and group quests. I'm maxed, but not. There are still three more vet levels I can get before the levels stop and I'm truly maxed, but now I'm out of solo quests. It feels odd. I haven't had a max level chaacter in a game for a while. Well, not counting Destiny which is basically designed for you to be maxed after a dozen hours. I still haven't found a guild home. Hopefully I will, otherwise I will get pretty lonely. It's happened in other games where I've been max level. It would be a lot easier in a home though. I wouldn't feel quite so lonely at max solo. I guess we'll see how things turn out in time.

That was really it today. Being the weekend nothing happened. Being a flea market weekend a few people were around, but I don't know anyone. They were fish in a sea around me; going here, going there, but I had nowhere to go.

Day 2623 - 9/6 - Cold shade, hot sun

Today was a bit weird. I don't actually remember very much of it. I rmember it was pretty normal. I remember I got in a long group and got no lunch time show because it ran during that time. But that's really all I remember.

I remember the weather, and feeling cold and hot. In the shade it was cold. I kept my hoodie on until the later morning. But about 3:30 when the sun came at me it rapidly started to get warm then hot. My laptop and stuff isn't in the sun, I shade it with my backpack (and my headphones are shaded with a sideways baseball cap). But it seemed strange to be cold in the morning, then sweating slightly at night even with only a tank top on top and regular blue jeans.

As the sun came at me I was again sad about the trees. They should have given me shade, but they weren't there. My not having shade wasn't what made me sad though, it was just a reminder. A reminder the tree is no longer alive. While some would question if it is alive to begin with, I am still sad it is gone. And all the critter homes. There must have been more than fifty critter homes in each tree, with who knows how many bird and squirrel families living in each home. It seems very sad.

I guess there is a holiday tomorrow and many things will be closed. I wouldn't have even noticed if someone didn't put something on their social page about it. I was really looking forward to being inside and eating micro food. Being outside isn't super terrible I suppose though. It's the same Internet speeds, basically the same power. I'm just missing glare protection, and of course I'm at the mercy of whatever weather is outside, and my back kills me at times due to not being in a chair.

I will make it through tomorrow as I did today. And the day before, and the day before that. And while I continue to hold on to hope for change, it seems I will have to keep waiting for that special opportunity to come along. And until it does I have to try very hard to not lose hope as the 'normal' days pass.

Day 2624 - 9/7 - Return of the 100s

Today was a bit odd. I started my day as normal. I considered parking across the street from school, just to be not weird feeling about being parked there on a holiday, but I remembered the officer said he sees my car all the time but doesn't worry about it because I have a sticker. On the way in the motorcycle guy was coming out and he stared at me. I wonder now if he was a different guy and was looking at the stickers. I have four on there, so they are easy to see at a distance, and maybe he was looking for a valid color. I parked, noticed he didn't turn around, noticed half a dozen cars already in the lot, and went about my day. Oddly within about 15 minutes of my sitting down another officer came walking by. He said hi to me, I said hi back, and asked if he was looking for anyone in particular since he seemed to be looking for something. He said the vending machine was broken and getting broken into at night. I do recall a week or two ago I saw it open and someone had put a dollar in it, presumably because they took a drink.

The rest of my day was pretty normal, save for some very upsetting stuff in the early afternoon. It had thrown me off so much emotionally that hours later I had apparently completely forgotten to eat dinner. I was so messed up emotionally and unbalanced I didn't recognize that the extreme hunger in my tummy was because I'd missed a meal.

It was pretty hot today. I noticed my laptop was a bit warmer than usual, as was my power plug. I didn't think to check the temperature until it was night (again likely due to being thrown so far off normal emotionally) and when it was starting to be night and I finally checked it said it was 90F, and that earlier it was 100F. I absolutely would have moved to the back of the building instead of being in the sun if I knew it had gotten that hot. It seems the weather of the 100s is returning. Glancing over the next few days when I'll be indoors it will again be in the 100s, and later in the week when things are closed again it will still likely be in the high 80s to the low 90s. I don't worry about weather past three days though. Things seem inaccurate beyond that.

I didn't really check for jobs. Holidays like this nothing is posted. I did help a bit on the forums that I always help on. And I got a decent amount of time playing my game before the sun started blasting me in the face (around 3:30, down by an hour from what seems like just a month ago). But now I will wolf down the half sandwich. And hopefully it's not too late. Eating late since I've been in my sad homeless times often leads to an unhappy tummy.

Day 2625 - 9/8 - Excitement building

Today coming on campus there were a lot of students milling around. More and more are showing up getting ready for the next year. It's still two weeks away just about, and I'm sure that will pass slowly, but it's kind of nice. It helps distract from my sad things. And it reminds me that soon there will be new and different classes to take and there will be my professor's classes I can help in.

I still don't know what will happen to me. Things are still more down than up. I still don't really have anyone emotionally helping me through things. There are a few who every few weeks I hear from and sort of remind me there are people out there who care. In general though I am on my own. I have to fight off or get around as much bad and sad feelings as I can to try and hang on.

Someone has recently been pushing that I should do something about the physical things I miss. But he doesn't get it. He's not seeing the real message. Sure, I miss my pepper strips. I miss lemon chicken. I miss steak with sauteed onions and potatoes. And while it may be possible to have those back in some form, it's not the physical thing I miss. It's the ability to properly do them that I miss. The emotional feelings that come along with being in a home-like place where I can cook. It's not about the specific food. It's not about being able to watch movies. It's not about pets I can't have. It's not about, well, anything specific in the physical sense. It's the way you do that physical thing. The how, the when, and the surrounding conditions that make it that complete emotional experience doing something physical. I suppose that has been the strength people see and understand in my writing in that I can persevere the physical sadness and hardships missing those things. But even though I can persevere doesn't mean I don't miss the true forms. Getting a sample of something won't stop me from missing that true form, that complete experience. That is what I miss, despite talking about the physical aspects I miss. And the hope and memory of having that is what helps me keep hanging on to hope of having it again.

Week 376

Day 2626 - 9/9 - Out of the heat

Today must have been seriously hot. The upper part of the cafeteria was considerably warmer than downstairs where I sit. And, when I left an hour or so after it started getting dark, it was what I'd consider comfortably warm bordering on too warm, which means it was probably somewhere between 75F and 80F.

I guess things were ok. Mostly I played my game alone. There were no jobs to apply for and no work at home online things. There were no shows to watch, so overall my day was pretty slow feeling.

I guess overall that's ok. It's nice to have some overall slow days, particularly since I can't ever really take any days off like normal people. Though lately it's felt like I've been forgetting something. I've had that feeling for a few days now. I can't think of what though. All the things I should have done, and could do, I've done. The only outstanding things are things I can't do yet, or don't have money for.

I guess today overall was an ok day save for a few things I'd rather just forget about.

Day 2627 - 9/10 - Still so hot

Today was pretty good, save for some poop that again took up hours of my day, and took nearly the rest of the day to try and re-balance from. Hopefully that poop will stop soon and I can go back to trying to heal my wounds from my sad life and move forward again. These repeated poops have put a serious setback in what was the start of recently feeling better enough to try and make new and different steps forward.

Other than that, in general my day was k. There were a few jobs to investigate, but even though I had the necessary experience I did not have the necessary degrees. There were also a couple of work at home things to try, but I didn't meet the requirements for those.

Outside of that I played my game and had fun with the couple of friends I group with. There weren't any new shows to watch, so I rewatched an old one.

I guess it was super hot again. Again it is in the evening, and again it is still super hot from earlier. I don't know how hot it was because I was inside and didn't need to check. I'll have to keep an eye on it this weekend when I'm outside though, and if it gets too hot I'll have to go to the food store.

I don't know what to expect of this weekend. It will be hot, which will likely make me think back to days of BBQing and watching movies or playing games with friends. With no shows or movies to watch things will likely feel slow, and I'll probably not do much but play games. I might do the job for the friend person. I emailed her today and she is back from her trip, but probably won't have things ready until this weekend or after. If she does, I may do some editing for that. But I don't know, I guess I'll see as it happens.

Day 2628 - 9/11 - Nice people, unexpectedly inside

Today turned out quite differently than expected. In the morning I got to school and there was a very unusual number of cars in the administration area and in the parking lot I park in. I wondered if things were open and peeked in, but saw nothing unusual. Around maybe 9:30 the chef came in and asked if I wanted in as he went in. I told him it would feel weird and I was used to being outside. Around 10:30 a student in a blue shirt exited the building near where I was. (The blue shirt people help with new student orientation.) She asked why I wasn't inside at my usual spot and said the building would be open from this Friday on for students to do getting ready for next quarter. So woooah, I can be inside on Fridays now too. Though I guess it's not a huge difference, as it's just today and next week, and after that school is open again.

The rest of the day when I was inside I played my game and watched a show. I'd already checked for jobs outside in the morning, as well as the forums I help on. I talked with the friendly student security guy a bit when I saw him in the early afternoon.

So, what would have been a good day outside, and hiding from the sun from 3:30 on, turned into a pretty regular inside day. I didn't have micro foods, as I didn't expect to be indoors, but everything was nice inside besides that. And I suppose for my sad life having that bit of unexpected extra comfort and balance can do a lot to lift my mood.

Day 2629 - 9/12 - Gray skies

Today was pretty unusual. In the morning things were slow to warm. So slow, in fact, it never really warmed. There were gray skies. It was nowhere near the 80F weather the weather website predicted, probably being closer to 70F. In the later morning there was spraying going on - some kind of power wash cleaning. I got bumped from my spot and moved around to the back. The connection was tolerable, and I returned to my normal spot an hour later.

I helped on the forums and checked the work at home jobs as well as the jobs emailed to me from my automatic searches. Nothing came up for either.

In the later afternoon I figured my game friend wasn't coming on. She normally leaves by 3 or 4 my time. So I got in a random pickup group. It turned out to b a pretty bad idea in the end. They didn't know how to do the final boss fight, and they seemed unable to kill things fast enough despite being a higher level, so we just died, a lot.

The person who I'm supposed to do the editing work for was feeling sick, so she didn't meet me. We rescheduled for tomorrow.

The skies never cleared up. All day it was gray and overcast. Most of the day I've had this odd feeling - like I've forgotten to do something I was supposed to do. I kind of felt that way yesterday too. But I don't know what it could be, and it leaves me feeling odd.

Day 2630 - 9/13 - Wet butt

Today was a bit out of sorts. In the morning the power wash people who were there yesterday were still there in the outside area at school washing stuff when I came in. My spot was totally wet and so was the surrounding area. Yesterday he said when he did my area it would take 30 minutes to dry, so I just detoured around to the back and waited 1.5 hours to be sure. It was not dry when I went back. But since I'd disconnected a lot in back I didn't want to wait anymore. It was 'dry enough' to sit there. I had a wet butt though, which kind of stayed that way until the late afternoon. But it was ok. I was in my usual spot with a strong and stable connection.

In the early afternoon I met with my friend person who talked quickly about her job. She got me the footage, but her timetable has shifted a bit. She wants to re-shoot a scene and she knows going through the footage will take time as well. But, she does want me to start on it and get me some more monies, so things are in motion.

Today was pretty cloudy again, as it was yesterday. I think it took until nearly 4 for the sun to start to come out and it was warm enough to take off my hoodie.

There was another bad group in my game, so that was sad. I guess yesterday and today both were random pickup people. And apparently neither time they really knew what they were doing. I'm going to insist to my friend that she only find people from her guild. That should increase the odds of finding someone patient who we can work with if things go badly. I guess we'll see if that happens maybe tomorrow.

I feel kinda sad today, mostly because my butt and legs were a bit wet most of the day, but also from the bad group. It makes me sad because it feels like we just wasted our time and lost a lot of resources and died a lot and got frustrated for nothing.

Day 2631 - 9/14 - New power supply

Today was mostly good news, save for feeling sick as I write this. Last night for a very brief period and all today I checked on my new power supply. I don't remember if I talked about it yesterday, but Saturday it was a bit more fussy to set up, and Sunday one of the time I set up it took about 5 minutes to find the right setup so the plug was charging the laptop. So in the later morning I ordered a replacement one with same day shipping. Which boggles my mind that not only could I get same day shipping at all (free since my ex-roomie has me under her plan for some free shipping offers) but it was shipped on a Sunday to boot. I was really anxious because it took basically all of the money I could spare, but today as I checked on the things all of my fears were replaced with relief.

First, the system runs much cooler overall all the time. The battery area when not gaming is nearly as cool as when the system is off completely. It's very hard to feel warmth in the battery area now. And when gaming it's barely warm at all there. For at least the past 6 or 8 months, maybe more, the battery area has always felt very warm all the time, as if the system were drawing as much power as it could to charge the battery constantly at maximum charge ability. When gaming the system is barely warm at all now, whereas again for the past 6 or 8 or more months it felt, not dangerously hot, but I could feel much more warmth than there should have been. If I were to guess overall the temperatures are down 15-20%. And, when I stop gaming the fans stay high for about 2 minutes and then the system is cooled and you almost can't even tell the system is on, as the fans are barely a whisper and there really isn't any heat. I can't remember the last time the system acted like this. It is almost as if the previous power supply lost its ability to monitor its charge and it was always running at 100%, and maybe even running at 110% and putting everything on the laptop into overdrive status. (And as such into, not overheating, but more than the maximum heat it normally should have been generating.) SO I am very happy with the purchase as that means I am avoiding probably what was unhealthy voltage to the laptop. All the issues I thought it may have with the battery, with GPU temperatures, with the hard drive temperatures, with the fans, all of those fears are gone as the system is now back to temperatures I haven't felt in probably as much as a year.

My day went well enough. I didn't do a lot of job checking because Monday and Friday are always dead, so I just did some of my searches, but mostly I played my game and had a pretty good time and tried to relax.

In the evening, however, I felt kind of sick, and still do. The showers were still not cool. It was humid and hot. When I left my ears were ringing like crazy and I felt dizzy and like I was going to throw up. Now, almost an hour later, my ears are still ringing. The past few days I've noticed they have been sensitive to 'popping'. There was a shrieking and slight pain if I did. So I suppose it's possible I'm starting to get a cold or an ear infection.

Other than feeling kind of sick my day was pretty good. I am very happy the new power supply makes my laptop feel like it should, and I no longer fear issues that seemed troubling. And I got to play and have fun quite a bit today. Although I expect I'll do some work for my friend tomorrow, hopeful the good trends will continue.

Day 2632 - 9/15 - Slow and quiet

While things are a touch later for me than usual right now, things have started slow and quiet. When I was up and starting to move around no one was out and about. Hardly any cars were moving, and the food store was completely empty of people. It was like today was Sunday, or like it was an hour earlier than it actually was.

It's nice to have a quiet time though. Maybe it's because I'm different, but I like quiet building up slowly. I would even prefer slow quiet times all the time in the day. Maybe it's because I am easily distracted, so that can easily throw me off if things are busy.

While it is quiet today, next week things will start to get crazy. Not more than usual when school is on, but I'll have potentially two classes (one I'm wait listed for, so we'll see what happens with that), plus the two I TA in. It will be nice to see things start up again and go back to what counts for normal in my life at the moment.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2015
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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