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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 377

Day 2633 - 9/16 - A few tears

Today as I left my school spot I shed a few tears. Thinking about it must have been because today felt kind of normal. The 'blue shirt' person said hi most days this week when I've seen her (sometimes she goes by when I'm playing and she knows I won't hear her.) I checked for jobs, checked forums, got to play a bit, and spent a decent amount of time going over the friend's footage and starting to put something together. So I think when I had to put my stuff away and leave it felt like I was leaving a home. I was 'in the zone' today on all my things, and distracted from my sad life, for a moment forgetting it, and feeling ok about its current state. Until the putting away part. That part reminds me this is not a home. As welcome as people may make me feel by letting me stay, I can't. At night I can't be there. It's not a home.

Another part might be because of what more I could have done in a home. I could have done more work. I could have played more. I could have cooked. I could have done some kind of chores. If I had money to spare I could have donated to a few things I support, or even maybe have reached out for things missing in my life.

But packing up to leave I was reminded of my limitations. Though my potential exceeds what I can reach, without being able to reach that potential it remains untapped or undiscovered. Without that opportunity for change all I can do is wait, and keep my eyes open to see when it comes.

Day 2634 - 9/17 - Feeling sick

I've been feeling more sick from my ears ringing. I've been colder and colder lately too. I think the temperature in the cafeteria might be down, but I've felt super cold. The weather has been wintery lately. It's been so cloudy and gray I thought it rained yesterday afternoon and today in the evening. It didn't, but it looked like it. But my skin has been super cold, like I have chills or I'm somewhere very cold. I even have an extra shirt layer on.

I guess today was ok. I tried to do a work at home thing, but again it failed to work correctly. That's twice out of two times I've tried and it's failed. I don't get it. The trial test thing worked fine, but now when I've tried to do it for real it fails to generate what it's supposed to. I guess it's ok. I did a few hours on my friend's project and I'm still pretty far from even a complete rough cut of it, so that will probably get me quite a bit of work. Of course not as much as a real job, being a onetime thing, but it will help for sure.

I did realize something terrible last night. I didn't work in 2014. As such, I paid no taxes. If I paid no taxes that probably means no tax return. That will hurt quite a bit. I suppose the money from the friend's job will make up for it, but I was kind of planning on the money from that return.

Guess that is all there is to talk about today. I put out a resume for a part time thing, so that's something. But that was the only job to apply to. Played a bit, did my friend's job a bit, helped out on the forums a bit, pretty usual day other than feeling sick.

Day 2635 - 9/18 - Feeling odd

Today I felt odd. Maybe it was because I have that cold still. Maybe it's because I'm not used to being inside on Fridays. I'm not sure.

It was a pretty regular day. I did my regular things for the most part. Save for spending a few hours working on the friend project, which is a new thing lately. I haven't spent as much time on it as I thought I would have. There are a lot of exhausting aspects to it, but I've spent like 10 or more hours on it so far. It's probably 2/3 the way through the first rough cut. It's going better than I thought it could, so that's good.

Nothing terribly special or different today. I feel odd. And I feel extremely tired. There were times during the day my head was almost nodding off to sleep due to feeling so tired. Hopefully it's just a cold and will go away soon.

Day 2636 - 9/19 - Late lunch

Today was pretty different. The morning was normal, but I met the friend person for lunch. She wanted to thank me again for doing it. It was a much later lunch time than usual, later still because she was more than 30 minutes after she said she would be.

After, I settled in to play a bit more. My friends who I haven't seen in like a week were on, so I got to do one dungeon with them, then they had to go.

It was good timing though, as I was in the sun and it was way too hot. The weather has turned from gray and rainy looking to clear, and according to a web check 90F+. So once the sun got to me it was way too hot and I had to go to the back of the cafeteria area.

The day moved quickly since I did so much. It was nice to be out in warm weather, but it was actually a bit too warm. Things are building up for school starting next week. It should hopefully be pretty cool to be back. I know I like helping the people doing my TA thing. I just hope I can find a part time thing that doesn't interfere with the times. It would be very sad to lose a 'job' which has really been the first ever I've enjoyed and would like to do as a paid career.

Day 2637 - 9/20 - Too hot, sweaty

Today was actually way too hot. I di my laundry in the morning, and things were already warm enough I was still warm with just a t-shirt top layer. By the early afternoon I was concerned that my system seemed a bit warm and I remembered to check the temperature. It said it was nearly 100F! Very shortly after hat I went to the back of the cafeteria area and I didn't game for the rest of the night. Even hours later when it was starting to get dark it still showed in the mid 90s. When monitoring my system temperature just watching videos it wasn't too bad. It was pretty warm on top, but the back vents weren't super hot, meaning there was more external heat than internal. And, the battery area and bottom of the system were very cool compared to before when I had the failing power supply, so I knew it wasn't anything to worry about. I would have liked to play more, or to have been able to do video editing (which pushes the system almost as much as gaming) but with the heat I just didn't want to risk it.

Tomorrow will be weird. It is the start of school again. It seems like so long since I was at school, yet at the same time I've been there every day for months, and in a way have never left. But the returning professors, the returning students, going from a very quiet and empty campus to super crazy busy. That will all be very weird. I am both excited and a bit weird feeling being somewhat unable to move on.

Day 2638 - 9/21 - First day

Today was the first day of classes. But not for me, as I don't have a class I'm taking until Wednesday. And even counting classes I'm TAing for there isn't one until tomorrow. It was weird to be somewhere different. Yet I was somewhere the same. I was in my old spot, and even a couple of people commented it would have been weird to not see me sitting there. Half a dozen I knew said hi and chatted with me for a bit. Half a dozen others I knew waved and said hi in passing but kept going. I'm excited for tomorrow, even though it is unlikely I'll help anyone in either class for nearly a month I do like helping and being a TA and giving input and help students understand things better.

Besides that I did the usual job check, forum helping, a bit of game playing, and now in recent times work for my friend's project. I didn't watch many shows mostly because I was busy with other things, but also because something new I wanted to watch didn't get posted until it was time for dinner, which was only a few hours before I left, and there was still a something I wanted to do before leaving.

All in all things made a pretty good day. And I'm sure, in time, the return to school will help balance me just a little more. And who knows, maybe even move me a step closer to finding a happy place in life.

Day 2639 - 9/22 - Up too early

Today I was woken about 1.5 hours before I normally would have (not counting snooze time.) I suppose it wasn't entirely from odd noises, but in part due to excitement. Excitement about being able to go online and play games or watch shows soon. Excitement about being able to get stuff set up in the lab and TA in the late afternoon and evening. Excitement about some thoughts for the final scene of the friend's movie I'm working on and finishing the rough draft.

Though all the things in life are pretty sad, I have a few things to look forward to today. And even a few things these days helps me to hang on.

Week 378

Day 2640 - 9/23 - A different class

Today was a bit different. I had a pretty normal day in the morning and afternoon. In the evening I went to the class I'm on the wait list for. It felt weird. It was uncomfortable. And the teacher talked about the assignments in a way that implied I really wouldn't learn anything from the class. Since I already know so much about sound and editing from my podcasts, plus what work I've done on school projects, it seemed very unlikely I would actually learn anything in the class. So, since all week so far so many have said they are taking such-n-such class and why haven't I taken it yet because it's required, I decided to ask the professor if I could add that class. So, instead of a Wednesday evening class I'll be doing one Friday in sort of the middle of the day. It goes from early afternoon until about 4 hours later. It should be pretty good. Most of the time they are watching movies. I would always see the professor getting the movies each week and ask what they were watching. A surprising amount of stuff are movies I've actually seen. I think I'll like that class more.

I have been getting more and more worried about my car. I guess I shouldn't be. It's been behaving ok, and the temperature increases still seem to only go to a certain point unless I'm sitting parked, which still seems to indicate a more 'minor' issue. If I remember in the morning I'll hop out of the car when I get to school and see if the fan is on since it's over 50% all of the time. The fan should be on I'd think. So, if it's not, I probably don't need to do further testing. I don't know how much said repairs would cost though. And no matter the cost, I wouldn't even have money for even just the inspection, let alone repairs. So I worry. If I lost my car, or my laptop, for any reason, there would be no way I could replace either.

Day 2641 - 9/24 - Unknown cap

Today was pretty good. My day passed quickly because I didn't have much time in the morning before class. And that class went quickly even though it was a review of the previous class. And in the evening there was the class I TA for, where people are pretty chatty and happy seeming, so that should go pretty well.

Someone confirmed I may just be low on coolant for my car. That's something the Gray ghost said a while ago. But I can't find the pace to add fluid. The only cap seems to be to the overflow area. The main reservoir seems a completely sealed contained unit. And the radiator is way at the front of the car under some stuff. Bending and looking around as much as I could I couldn't see any place a cap would be, nor anywhere to access it. But he confirmed that without a smell or odd noises it is probably just a little off and nothing to panic about. I tied looking for info online about checking stuff, so I guess I'll do more since that person confirmed they thought I just need coolant. While it would take about all the money I have (since I paid off the overdue phone bill and a month of car insurance with what my friend has paid me for editing so far) the like $15 that should be would be ok.

So while I am still worried about the car, I am hopeful it's a simple fix of finding where the place to add fluid is hidden and then just monitoring that. Maybe that will lead to better times very soon.

Day 2642 - 9/25 - A new class

Today I stared the new class. It was super fun and interesting, so I'm very glad I changed to this one. I dropped the sound class and oddly heard last night that the person who's the other TA in the classes I'm a TA in is also dropping it. When asked what his reasons were he gave very similar ones as mine.

I got a little bit of play time, but most of the day I was in class. It was a pretty good day though - balanced in many ways. I checked for jobs, watched some shows, played a bit, took a class, and got a shower after the evening was over. (Though I'll likely not do Friday nights again. They used to close at like 9:45, but when I was out of the shower at 9 things were already being locked and closed. It looks like this quarter things are going to close an hour sooner.)

I still don't know if I'm on the right path, but last night's TA, and this morning to afternoon's class going well feel pretty good. It feels like a good path.

Day 2643 - 9/26 - Super

Today might be the super moon I've been hearing about. The moon is sooooo bright. I can hardly see any stars, but the clouds are brightly lit. I can see basically just about as much now at night as I can during the day. Of course I almost can on normal nights because I have super incredible night vision. Normally there are lots of shadows to hide in, but tonight even what would be the deepest shadow is merely a medium gray to me. I guess in way I am thankful to see it. In a home I'd just have likely not cared and just gone to look for five minutes then gone 'meh'.

Today was pretty good I suppose. I helped on forums and checked for jobs. As expected, since it was the weekend there wasn't anything to be found. The friend I'm editing for came by for a bit but I didn't have anything new because I've been busy with classes.

I got to play a decent amount, and although I was alone and didn't group in my game I had a pretty good time. Campus was fairly quiet, though a few were walking around here and there. There are some Saturday classes, so I guess a few students are to be expected.

Overall I guess today was pretty good, despite all of the sad things in my life.

Day 2644 - 9/27 - Magic reservoir

Today felt weird. In the morning I was just out of it. I felt like something was off. Like I was supposed to be somewhere or do something. In the afternoon I played. Half of the time I was alone and just followed the masses in the PvP area. But after lunch the people I play with came on. We didn't have a super good time though. One quest thing didn't track right, and in the second group we just died and died, which is always frustrating and sad.

In the evening my coolant stuff was set to be at the ex-house. I grabbed it and went out and put some in the car when it was settled in for the night. It was dark where I had parked, unlike last night I couldn't see anything. But the reservoir was like some kind of disappearing magic trick. The part I could see look like a sub-divided bit of a bigger thing not much bigger than a cup. But I'd prepared a water bottle's worth of mix, maybe 32 or more ounces the bottle didn't say (4-5 times the size of the overflow area.) The 15% that was in that area didn't rise as quickly as I poured in the mix. I put in 1/3 and it barely changed size. I put in 1/3 more, and the overflow area there was maybe half full. I put in the remaining bit and then it was up to about the mark it showed on the outer area.

It seems crazy that you are supposed to fill an area that says 'overflow' when the 'fill to' mark is nowhere near that cap, probably 10 inches away. There must have been some kind of small opening in the bottom where I couldn't see that connected to the other area. With the car off I didn't see how it could have been getting moved by any pumps.

Hopefully the Gray ghost and the other TA I talked to Thursday who think it's coolant are correct. I won't know until the morning and I likely won't feel truly 'safe' until after nearly a week of driving. But for the moment I feel hopeful. The amount it took indicates of that total area it must have only been 15% full, not the 30-40% just the area I could see would have indicated.

But this discovery makes me feel sad. What has happened to my self esteem to have made me give up before when I checked a few months ago? Why did I feel like I was doomed and helpless? Yes, much of my life lately has been reinforcing that is true for years. But I have always been able to hold on to hope. Always looked beyond just the surface. The car saying overflow deterred me. I accepted it. I did not look for where to fill it until now, months later, when I had pretty much accepted my doom. Was it just because now I have a tiny bit of money and having the $15 to order the coolant seemed worth trying? Or was it the difference in my life position? Has being in school and having a place I belong, as well as a game to regularly distract me, allowed me some balance and I am closer to my older, calmer, less doom accepting, investigative self?

I may never know the answer. But hopefully as I drive here and there tomorrow and other days things will be cool, and things with the car will seem back to normal. ... Save for being about 700 miles over for an oil change, heh.

Day 2645 - 9/28 - Seems resolved

Today driving around the car heat seems resolved. In my trip to school things were still a bit on the warm side, but stopping at school and staying parked for a minute staring at the heat gauge it didn't move. Going back to my nighttime spot I'd even made an extra stop for gas, and the gauge never seemed to be above the old 55-60% range. And, it actually looked even a bit lower than before. I forgot to check again if the level had lowered from last night and it needed more, but I'll guess since it stopped going in last night it probably doesn't. I'll try to check tomorrow though, and certainly keep my eye on both the gauge and the level over the rest of the week. But so far, it seems things are solved and safe again.

I think things have turned poorly though for the editing project. My friend person talked to one of the professors and got her opinion and she said basically the same things I've been saying. What is there is missing too much to be more than it is and it's not worth the time and effort to try and add more. So, she is basically happy with what is there and it seems like she won't be doing more. Which is sad because I was kind of expecting $100-200 more from that. It seems what I got so far may be all I get. I guess it was enough though. The phone bill is paid and I have October's insurance covered. But without more the clock is ticking again. I don't know how I'll pay for future months, or things like the web fees due at the end of the year. Particularly with the realization that I probably won't get anything for a tax return since I paid no taxes last year.

I checked for jobs, but being Monday found nothing. I helped on forums, as usual. And I got to pay a bit and watch some shows. But with the news of my friend probably cutting the project short my worries about all the bills in the very near future suddenly feels a lot closer.

Day 2646 - 9/29 - Worried again

Today seems good o far. It's a bit early on campus, so it is super quiet. I remembered to check the coolant level on the car before starting my day. It's maybe a touch lower than before, but it's 90% or more of the full line. I'll maybe put a touch more in tomorrow night or tonight if I remember, but it's fine at either the new normal (since the coolant change 11,000 miles ago) or if it was above only by a hair. At the light it normally would have gotten to 70-75% it didn't seem over the normal 60-65%. So it seems fine again.

But I'm worried about everything again. While I have nearly half a tank of gas, my bank account is nearly empty. I'm almost out of food money because I was celebrating a bit due to the editing job, getting an extra item here or there, or a more normal sized meal. So I'm worried about that. But most of all I am worried about the near future; gas money, next car payment, my website hosting at the end of the year, getting some kind of phone set up again. Nothing truly immediate, but with donations and help being so rare these days things seem very worrisome.

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

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