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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 9: Fractures

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 431

Day 3011 - 9/28 - Tired

Today my lack of sleep from getting up early and not getting to sleep for several hours a night is catching up with me. IN the evening during a show I was watching I was nodding off. Hopefully tonight will be different and I can maybe catch up a bit.

My boo boos are getting much better. The shin area is still very visible but most of the rest are almost entirely gone.

I guess today was pretty ok. I didn't do much, just was available to TA. But since it's early in the quarter that mostly means be in class but play my games most of the time.

Hopefully I'll sleep easier tonight, and tomorrow will also be a good day.

Day 3012 - 9/29 - Ok day

Today was an ok day. I had a decent time in the class I TA for, though I didn't help really. And after, I just kind of chilled, watched one show, and played just a little bit.

Again my mind wandered with thoughts of pen and paper game things. What potential there is for character or campaign things. I wonder if that's a good or bad thing though. It's good that it is a nice distraction for my current sad life. But it is bad in that most of the thoughts, even if I make characters or make notes, are simply daydreams and likely will never actually be things I do.

I suppose it was a good day though. I was in my spot. I was warm. I talked and laughed with a few people. So I felt a bit normal and a bit safe. At least for a brief while.

Day 3013 - 9/30 - Very very tired

Today I am very very tired. It wasn't so bad in the morning and afternoon. In fact it really wasn't until late morning and even evening that I really started to feel tired. Up until that point I could focus and remember my day. But as it went on it got harder and harder to focus, my memory became shorter, and at this point I really don't remember much past about 3:30.

I guess that was ok. I had class which had the most boring movie, but besides that it was an ok day. I got to play a bit and watch shows a bit, and overall it was a fairly relaxed day.

I did do some things that made me really sad I was not in a home, as they would have been more enjoyable, or easier to take out and put away in a home. But as always, that is not something I can control, and have seems little more than a distant memory I may never know again.

Day 3014 - 10/1 - Felt weird

Today was weird feeling. One of my class professors said there was a two Saturday class that would pair well with the course, so I went ahead and did that since it wouldn't be a big deal. So in the morning and afternoon I was in class.

It didn't really leave much time to be productive or even to play, as the library closed a few hours later. I did have time to do just a bit of a fun thing, so that was ok.

I'm doing laundry now, but after that the night is basically over. It will be quite hiding time where I can't do much. Hopefully someday soon my life can be back to something more normal in a home.

Day 3015 - 10/2 - Gray clouds

Today was pretty good. It started out very sleepy, and I suppose it stayed that way since I was pretty quiet all day. In the morning I was at school for a bit. I worked on something for the pen and paper game, but it felt kind of pointless as it may or may not ever be something I'd use. In my brief time in the library I printed it out.

I went to my every other week game and had a pretty good time. We didn't do much fighting. We actually didn't seem to progress in the story much at all, which is fine. It actually turned out to be an important part for my character, as it touched on his back-story quite a bit. It had been so long since I wrote that part of his story that when the DM was describing things it took me a bit to go oooh and remember. What was cool though was another player needed a thing and I said 'oh I just printed some things, you can borrow this.' So that stuff I had which felt pointless actually was immediately useful. I may or may not ever use it for my character, as it's one that is for if my main character dies, so we'll see how much use I get out of it. But it's nice to know it did get some use already.

I feel good about the game, but I still feel sad overall. Lately I have been missing a home an extra lot, very likely because this pen and paper stuff used to be very easy. I'd go to my shelf of only a few things, get the book, do the thing, put the book back, forgot something so go get it and put it back again, then print as I like on my printer, adjust, print again. Now it is a much more difficult process. Though I'm very thankful I can do it at all.

Hopefully soon I will sleep. Hopefully I will not lay unsleeping until like 2 AM, as I have done so many nights lately. And hopefully tomorrow will also be a good, or better, day.

Day 3016 - 10/3 - Sprinkled

Today was a bit of odd weather. Just about a week ago it was 80F and up. And the week before that it was chilly. Now it's again getting a bit chilly and it even sprinkled a bit.

My weekly premade campaign was pretty fun. Though I still would prefer that one guy not be in the group. Just his base personality really doesn't mesh with my style. Because he's an experienced DM he always has this attitude of 'I know everything you could do, all the monsters, and know how this campaign goes and what we need to do,' etc. etc. And he typically wants to rush things as quickly as possible unless things are revolving around his character. But at least three different times during tonight's game he was like 'me me me' about what he's going to level as and how cool his character will be by min/maxing different classes.

And the thing I really don't get is he has almost no interest in getting to know the other character's stories, interacting outside of the campaign requirements, or letting others take the spotlight, yet he's making a journal of his character adventures and posting it on an open social network group. I guess that does make a fair amount of sense upon reflection, as that still all revolve around him and 'how cool his character is' and that everyone should be impressed by it.

I think this really solidifies that I need to find a home made campaign in someone's home who are all people I either get along with, or am at least neutral towards. With guys like this in the group, particularly in games that happen one time a week and you may never see those characters and players ever again, just isn't my style. It's why I don't do a lot of dungeoning in online games. Why be with people who don't care about you and are just there to consume the content as fast as possible and not care to be involved in the story the players interaction creates.

Well, I suppose today wasn't a bad day, and that is something. Hopefully I can sleep early and quickly and tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3017 - 10/4 - A late start

Today had a bit of a late start. Apparently I set my alarm an hour later than I have been this quarter. I got to school late enough that I passed on a shower and instead have just wiped myself off. I'm not stinky and half my clothes are fresh today, so I really will be fine to just take one in the evening or in the morning tomorrow. I guess it worked out fine. I parked just a bit further away, maybe 50' from my usual spot. And I saw the most beautiful and attractive strawberry blonde. Of course I was too shy to say anything to her; as usual she was likely less than half my age. I did leave a note on her car saying that though.

Today I have my TA class and that's it. If I'm not too sleepy later I may work on an assignment. But since I'm so very sleepy what with only getting 5-6 hours of sleep a night lately, hopefully today will be calm and restful.

Week 432

Day 3018 - 10/5 - Maybe sick again

Today was pretty good. It had a bit of a slow start. The few hours before the class I TA for seemed to drag on forever, though I didn't really do anything. The class was pretty good. I only helped a little teeny bit, as it's still in the very early stages of class.

After class I was very extremely tired. And, as I was yesterday, really extremely hungry. I'm also ridiculously tired, and I get winded on even very short walks, as short as to the bathroom. It's possible it's just overly high stress levels. But tired, hungry, winded, it typically adds up to a cold. Though I really have no symptoms other than that. There were maybe one or two sneezes all day, but that was it.

I put the last of the money in my bank today. I still had a few hundred left, so it was more than I wanted it in the bank instead of hiding in my cloths. I suppose I feel extra stressed now because of it though. I'm again at a point where I have what I have. I am still on track for the end of 2017, or a bit less if I get a tablet, so I still have at least a year before I'd be out. But still, it's not much. Enough for my small sad life, yes. But nowhere near enough to consider moving in somewhere, even if I did have a job with regular income. And even losing my car or laptop would swallow it in an instant.

But still I try to hang on to hope. While historically nothing has changed in years, on any given day there is another chance. Everything could change, or things could be set in motion which eventually lead to change. As long as there is life and mobility I hold on to hope. Though some days that seems easier than others.

Day 3019 - 10/6 - Purchased and canceled

Today was different. Mostly I was just distracted all day. More and more thoughts of getting a tablet consumed me. For hours I debated a purchase. And later in the afternoon when I checked my banking stuff more closely I discovered I actually have a touch more than I thought. I guess I've been more careful than I thought and doing my bills in Word, instead of on a spreadsheet program, revealed more money. So I pondered some more, put the things in the cart, left them there and watched a short show, then decided to go ahead and make the purchase I've been pondering many hours for weeks now.

Within 15 minutes though it felt wrong. That kind of 'something is wrong' feeling I get in my gut sometimes. I had too many feelings of 'what if' come over me. I started to spiral into a panic and canceled the order. It felt sad. I've not canceled an order in probably more than 20 years. It felt like I let the companies down who would have fulfilled the purchase. It felt like I let myself down by not having the freedom to make such a purchase without so much worry.

I think I will be tormented either way. Either I am sad I don't have it, or I spend more than I'd like and do. I'm still uncertain if I'll get it, as it is more than I'd like to spend and I do worry about 'what if' I get it and wind up hardly using it. But I did think about a conservative figure of about 100 hours used before the end of the year. And if I don't use it for any classes at all next year, probably 250 or so more hours used. But since it is likely I would use it in classes, probably 500 or so hours used next year conservatively. Plus there is all the pen and paper gaming stuff I could then convert and leave digital from then on, playing casual games again, having a something when I would not be able to otherwise plug my laptop in somewhere, a something 'just in case' the laptop died, etc. So I most certainly would use it a lot.

Logically it makes a great deal of sense to get the tablet. So I don't know if my hesitation was real, or if it is just my growing incredible fear of change to my routine. If it were a new laptop or car that wouldn't really be a change, as those would be replacing an existing item, those would be something familiar done slightly differently. But a tablet... it would both not be used in the way I use my old phone now, nor for all the things I do on my laptop, so it would lie somewhere between, somewhere new.

But thoughts of what if will likely consume me either way. I am often more passionate than anything else and once those passions ignite it is very difficult to quiet them. I don't know if I can resist both the passion and the logic of the hundreds of hours I'd use the tablet in the next few months alone.

I suppose it is the unknown which holds me back the most. Because it is different I don't know. It will lead new places, new ways, and I don't know those things. And then there is the path not taken. While it would be tragic to have really nothing to show for the money from my grandmas death, if I do get a physical thing for a short while (5+ years), what thing may happen that does not happen because of that change?

I feel greatly torn both ways. And that is not a good thing to feel because of the way it tears me. Hopefully someday I will again be in a normal life, and such things will be happy decisions and possibilities.

Day 3020 - 10/7 - Forgot

Today was pretty good, but I was tired and a bit sad. Again I pondered if I should get the tablet I want for several hours. I looked at more reviews and again checked news. I'd remembered there were rumors they may announce the new one in a few weeks, but also found news that reminded me other rumors say it won't happen until March of next year. I again opened the store page, and again looked and looked at my bill plan. It was then I very sadly realized I'd forgotten a critical fact. I apparently didn't remember when I made this bill plan that since I am not working I won't get a tax return. And that was marked for the end of this year and the next. So sadly, without another boost of cash I really really need to save it as much as I can to last as long as it can. Hopefully it will still last to about a year from now, but with that tax money now removed, making the money last that long will require some bill juggling near the end.

So that was some very sad news. I'd still love the tablet. It is on my wish list, but it is quite beyond the price of previous gifts and donations, so it seems very unlikely to be gifted. But I will always hold on to hope a nice person will come along, either by helping in general, gifting, or passing down an old device I may be interested in. Gods know I was such a person myself for the majority of my life. Even now in my darkest days I still do it when I can. It is likely longer ago than I think, but I passed down my old desktop and later my laptop to my friend in need.

But with that knowledge perhaps my mind will rest, all-be-it a bit sadly. I did sleep after getting 'in bed' without trouble last night for the first time in I can't remember how many weeks. Maybe tonight I can again. And in the morning it will be a new day. And hopefully I can focus on what I do have, hang on to hope for the future, and it will be a good day.

Day 3021 - 10/8 - Fast day

Today passed very quickly. I had class in the morning until the afternoon. Then, since I'm ok on gas, I went to the library for a few hours. My day passed super fast and now it is early evening and I am doing laundry.

I definitely have a cold or the start of one. Yesterday and today I've been extremely tired, super hungry, and sneezy. I can't focus very much on things, which I guess is ok because I don't really need to since it's the weekend and I don't really have anything I need to do in terms assignments until just under a week from now.

I still feel torn. Parts of me still feel like getting the tablet would help make a step forward. Maybe it's that because it is one of the few steps I can choose and make at my own pace instead of one I am forced to make. Yet at the same time there is no way I could afford it. The literal cost is too high. And still part of me feels scared, particularly if I spent my own money. Scared that the change now would really be inconsequential without other opportunity for change. Changes that would be largely undoable due to the other remaining restrictions in my life.

Without an extremely generous person buying it for me off of my wish list (or sending me a slightly older version) I may never know the answer. I may never know what would or would not come to pass because of such a change. Like great gears of life, as time passes the gears turn and shift. Such a line of events brought about by change may only last a moment. Since I can not both have it and not have it I will never know which path reveals what differences, only that in this case I again feel I cannot cause the change myself.

Day 3022 - 10/9 - Short but long

Today was odd. It was old school style, where I started outside of school then was at the library. But it actually felt incredibly short. By the time it was 2:30 I felt like it was nearing 6 and I was very tired. I suppose I didn't do much today, but I did do some homework and reading that I needed to do. Maybe that's why things felt different.

It was a super warm day. I wore my shorts, but the warm day held nothing for me. I was in the library during the warm, so I missed it. I have no (local) friends, so there was no warm day hang out gaming and BBQ that could have happened. There was no trip to the beach or amusement place (which I'm about 45 minutes from two different ones.) Nor did I just relax by a pool.

Still, I suppose it was a good day. I played a bit, watched a show, and I suppose most importantly did some homework stuff. So I guess there was some forward progression, though likely nothing will come of it. Hopefully I can rest well tonight and tomorrow will be a good day.

Day 3023 - 10/10 - Ok day

Today was an ok day. It seemed pretty busy. In the morning I had class. Then there were a few short hours before my Monday game. There is still the guy who irks me in the group, but I don't think he will change ever. Again he said something that bugged me. He said, 'Oh, I think I'll do this to prove you don't need to optimize your character,' when he's already split his class to get an extra fancy ability. And less than 10 minutes later he said, 'Oh I may do this and this to get this special thing.' It's like OMG just stop telling everyone how you are going to optimize and make choices that make no rational sense already. Every choice you make flexes the rules so you can maximize.

But there was one vindicating moment. At one point I said I do a thing and he said, 'nope, that has to be y only.' And I'm like uhhh, no I'm pretty sure it's on x or y'. He looked in the book, said I was right and then conveniently got up to go get a drink at that moment, saying nothing more. Three others at the table giggled likely because they know he has that 'I'm right and know everything' air about him all the time. And they have probably known him for quite some time.

But I suppose today was good. I was helpful in class, and helpful to some in the Tuesday/Thursday class who visited me. And then I had an ok time with my game.

Still, it would be nice to be flopping into a bed. It would be nice to not need to set my alarm extra early to be sure I had time to make the extra distance to shower in the public spot. It would be nice to not have to consider picking what to eat tomorrow. And it would be nice to not have any of this extra stress from sad things.

Day 3024 - 10/11 - Upset tummy

Today my cold is a bit worse. I've had a fair bit of sneezing the past few days (a few an hour). I'm still very tired, extra hungry and thirsty, and as of last night my tummy feels icky. It's an odd icky though, as if there is a little bit of a lump in there. I don't know if it is a cold or if it maybe was something I ate.

But today is a TAing day, and they are starting to get to the fun projects, so today should be fun. And tonight I've got an extra (single) pen and paper game, so hopefully that will be fun too.

I'm still sad about all the things I can't have, all the things I'd like to have to help my life and by extension help me help others or at least entertain them more. And I try to focus on what I do have and hope for the future.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2016
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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