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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 455

Day 3179 - 3/15 - Anxious

Today I am anxious for a number of reasons. First, tomorrow right when I get to school I can start downloading the preview for my beloved game. Once that's downloaded I'll have 10 hours of play time to find out if, and at what level, my system can run the game. I am still hopeful, as the other two games I got just a few months ago with similar requirements ran at low settings. But I won't know for sure until tomorrow.

Second, I am anxious because I have so little money. It still seems like a crazy dream that I had some because it seems like it happened and was gone so quickly. So I am again so very worried as all the things start coming up that I need to pay for.

And lastly, I once again had a scare and minor panic thinking about and fearing death. I thought about my poem I wrote and spoke, but haven't yet set to video. I thought back to years ago at the start of my sad story where I talk about a lack of connection to others. And I thought how now it seems more like a safety net than chains. The more connections there are, and the more connections there are to others, the more the net changes from a loose weave to a thick rug.

I thought how one can become a safety net, and if tight enough, one can stand up and walk. And much like walking through life, one can walk on such a surface without fear of falling into the darkness below.

But I only have a few thin strands left to hold onto. And calling out to the darkness around me I can hear very few replies. I am surrounded by the void. All I know is darkness. And I have not enough net to lay on without fear, barely having enough to cling to a few threads.

But I try to think how long my life seems so far, and how the time will grow once I return to a normal life and can do normal things once again. I try to focus on what I have. I try to allow myself to enjoy the happy distractions I can still do. And I try to continue to hang on until better days come.

Day 3180 - 3/16 - Happy as can be

Today I am a very happy bunny. I have confirmed my current laptop appears to be fine for my beloved game in both single and multiplayer play. Unfortunately it is forced to such low settings it looks pretty bad. Surprisingly it doesn't look as bad as I expected, but it's running at 1280x720, which I haven't run at in about 18 or more years. That's about 60% of the size of my 1920x1080 screen, so scaling up looks pretty blurry and bad. Not to mention the textures and polygon count being so low.

But it's a very happy day with that confirmation. I can now rest easy that my pre-order items are secure, and the money will not be wasted. Of course I would still love the full experience, as low graphics really kind of discourage me from playing, but at least for today there is nothing I can do about that. But I do get to still play, so that is super happy.

There really isn't anything else for today. It was cold again, only being warm mid-day. The rest was gray and threatened rain.

So tonight hopefully I can rest easy knowing my future with my beloved game is secure. Even though everything else in my life may be in question and sad, at least there is that. And hopefully I can continue to hang on until better days come.

Day 3181 - 3/17 - Hurting bank

Today was pretty good. There was a good movie in my movie watching class, so that was fun. I also got a shower in the morning and spent a bit of extra time carefully showering all my parts, so I always feel happier after that.

I played a bit more of my beloved game. I tried turning it up to medium and it looks way better than the auto-detected low settings. But it's a lot slower. I may not be able to keep it there. I'll likely have to find somewhere between the two. I'll probably not pick at it too much until official launch Monday night / Tuesday morning. I only have a few play hours left.

My bank is still hurting very badly from those pooheads double charging me. Not only am I down the $50 for that, but an additional $35 for the temporary overdraft fee. If that doesn't reverse soon I'll be hurting even worse. I can recycle in the morning, which might get me enough to carry me to the end of the week, but if things don't reverse by then I don't know how I'll get around after that.

So things, as usual it seems, are extra sad and stressful again. I'm still incredibly sad that trying to make change for myself just drained my money and got me nowhere. Even more so that it seeming did it so quickly that I didn't even get a full year without worry. But I guess I should be proud I stepped out of my fears enough to try. And I suppose I shouldn't blame myself for it going so quick with things like the unexpected $750+ over budget that car things cost. That was a huge uncontrollable and unpredicted chunk.

And I suppose, above all else, I should try and focus on what I do have, and try to hang on until better days come.

Day 3182 - 3/18 - Sooner than expected

Today was pretty good, though it started poorly. As usual I had a hard time remembering where exactly the recycle place was. It's always ridiculous that I have to go like twenty or more minutes away to do that. But I got back just in time to get in to the library right when it opened.

I spent much of the day playing my beloved game at medium settings. Sadly it seems the library firewall blocks the multiplayer connection, so I'll only be able to do that from school. But it was way better and way more enjoyable than the previous lowest settings. It's a touch slow, but not so slow as to be unplayable. At least for the moment. I expect the deeper I get the more demanding it will get on specs. I hit the quest line gate, which was a bit surprising. There is still stuff I can try and do in single player, but with less than two hours left I'll probably just spend it in multiplayer since there would be more to gain there.

After, I watched a show and the library closed quickly after that. For some reason when I started the show I thought I had time for two shows. I guess my brain forgot the closing time for some reason.

So things seemed to move quicker than expected today. I am still sad about all the things, but happy enough my sad things were at the back of my mind. Hopefully I can continue to hold on until better days come.

Day 3183 - 3/19 - Sneezing

Today was pretty good. I slept in a touch, which is a rare thing. Then I went over to the every other week game early to try and do some work for a final. Sadly I wasn't really feeling it and didn't really get much work done. I have until Tuesday, so hopefully I can easily finish in time.

The every other week game was super fun. We didn't accomplish a whole lot, just kind of made plans most of the time, but that happens some games. We laughed a lot, and that's the important thing.

I don't know if I have a cold, or if it's just allergies from flowers starting to bloom, but all day I've been sneezy. Not a lot, maybe once every half hour, but it seems a something is up.

Things felt sad as I spent time alone in my car after the game while I ate dinner, but I try to hang on, and continue to hope for better days.

Day 3184 - 3/20 - Goodnight, good cleric

Today was ok. I actually got a chance while TAing to finish my big writing assignment that is due Thursday. So I'm glad that is out of the way and I don't have to worry about it.

When I walked across campus it looked like it had rained. There was an odd yellow pollen everywhere. It seemed strange, as if there was pollen in the rain, and as the rain dried and the water evaporated, the pollen remained. In the night, after my game, the rain returned and it was actually heavily storming. Hopefully it clears up, as this was dangerous levels of rain. (Cars were blinded and slipping around.)

It was the last game for my weekly game. Which was good and bad. My cleric will rest now. I doubt I'd do any more group play. Certainly not now in these extra hard times. Maybe in the distant future, when I've got income again and things are settled.

I'm still sad the path led nowhere. Yes, I had some fun, but I clung to that path so strongly. I had such high hopes to find lasting friends and form strong bonds, yet it has not. At least not so far. And so now I still feel like all that money was lost for nothing. And while the items I have didn't cost too much, all the surrounding costs like gas, extra foods, and other expenses, probably added up to hundreds I could have avoided spending these past seven months.

Ignoring the lost money, ignoring that I am in such a bad position and had hoped for opportunities from these encounters, I'm not sure what Fate intended for me with this. I don't know if there is a take away lesson. I suppose I should have known the result. In online games I only extremely rarely meet people again, and in all these years only a small few have stayed in contact. So I suppose had I thought of it, I should have assumed this would be no different.

But now I am very sad. I should have held onto the money better. I should not have become so single minded and lost sight of the bigger picture. With almost no money, currently none at all with the double charge still putting me overdrawn, I look at my 1/4 tank of gas remaining and can't help but feel like it measures my life.

I try to look forward to playing my beloved game in the morning when it officially releases. I try to focus on the fact I at least have that, and most of my health, and some kind of food. And most of all, I try to hold on until help comes or better still, opportunity for my forever better days.

Day 3185 - 3/21 - Finally out

Today should be pretty happy. There should be fun things to watch and talk about in the directing class I TA for. And the beloved game I've been waiting years for is finally out, so I can play and play and play.

I am still very worried about gas. And it seems like now there is an overdraft fee for the overdraft from them double charging me, so that is even worse now. They better reverse that and fix all the damages because that's ridiculous.

But I try to hold on to hope. I try to stay positive. And I hope for better days through my sad times.

Week 456

Day 3186 - 3/22 - Smells like death

Today was pretty good. This was basically the last day of the basic class I TA for, so we watched all the things. And then I just stayed for a tiny bit in the intermediate class, as they spent most of the time doing an in class shooting assignment.

So, much of the day I got to play my new game. Which I'm super happy with. I have been playing at the proper 1920x1080 resolution of my laptop at medium settings, but it is starting to get slow in some points to the point of needing to consider lowering some settings. But it's super happy, as I was worried that being so below minimum specs I wouldn't be able to play at all.

There are still many reasons and benefits to getting the new version of my laptop, which is still a high priority. But without enough money to make it through the end of the year (on bills), let alone the $1300 beyond that for the laptop, that it might be years before I can upgrade.

My car has smelt strangely lately. For a few days now there is this very light smell of death, like some kind of rotting leftover food, or like spilt paint thinner. I'm not sure what it is, or where it's coming from. And it's very faint, so I'm not sure if the source of the smell is actually something in the car, or maybe something that is stuck in the undercarriage and the smell is just coming up inside during the day. It's been too cold to leave the windows open to air out, so I don't know.

The rain has been coming and going. And with it the cold has returned. I'd love to take off my winter layers, but I'm actually going to put my lower layer back on after having it off for about one and a half weeks. I wish it would finally warm up and I could at least sometimes not be cold.

But my laptop can still run my games. I have my beloved game now. I can watch my shows. So despite the cold weather, despite my sad life things, with the additional trouble of the overcharged amount, and overdraft fees that have followed; I try to hang on. I try to remain positive. I hope help will continue to come, and I try to hang on and look forward to better days ahead.

Day 3187 - 3/23 - Maybe the apple

Today was ok. I had a lot of play and TV time since I'd already done the stuff for my Thursday class.

I wonder if the funny smell in the car is an apple someone gave me last Tuesday. It was fine, I ate it yesterday, but the smell is starting to lessen. It would be strange that a fresh fruit would be making a smell like that, but I can't think of what else it might be. I peeked under the passenger's seat and there was no food. And the smell is definitely not in the trunk, so I have no idea what it is.

I suppose I feel ok, just very sad about all the things. Particularly with the bank mishap still over my head some two weeks later. So I'm very worried about all the things. But I try to hang on. I try to focus on the happy things. And I try to keep hoping for better days.

Day 3188 - 3/24 - Rain and pinching

Today I feel pretty good. The movie in class was pretty good, though not something I'd have watched on my own. I suppose that is the point of a lot of the class.

During lunch I got caught in the rain, so I got pretty wet running to the other building to make lunch. Hopefully my sneezy cold doesn't get worse because of it. It's been pouring for a few days now, and what was warming temperatures have turned back to cold weather.

As part of that I'm back to underwear with long underwear over that. Which is good as it keeps my legs warm, but bad in that both have elastic around the waist, so I feel very pinched a lot of the time. Hopefully someday soon I'll be back to a warm home and no longer cold, and I can go back to comfortable house cloths when I am home at rest.

But for now all I can try to do is focus on the positive and hang on until those days come.

Day 3189 - 3/25 - The book, and the threat

Today was very sad and stressful. The people still have not returned my money. I sent a not very nice email to the person saying if she hasn't escalated it already to do so, because 2.5 weeks is ridiculous. I said if it's not cleared by Monday, and I don't hear back positive news, I'll be complaining to the better business bureau and telling my bank to reverse the charge. I don't want to need to do that, but it's wrong of them to not say something or offer compensation other than reimbursing it. Especially if it's not reimbursed immediately. It's not ok. I've had reversals of charges before and it's never been more than five business days.

Yesterday I took a book out of the front seat and moved it to the back. The funny smell is almost gone now. It must be something very faint with the book. Either from the water damage it sustained a few weeks ago, or the pages warming in a way when sitting on the seat, I don't know. Hopefully this will clear the odd smell.

I played my game a ton and had a super fun time. So much so that I almost didn't leave any time to watch a show before I left. I only watched one short show.

Even though I had a super good time I am still left feeling like I am going to cry or throw up, or both, due to all this extra stress. Living on the edge as I have been is no way to live. Even when I had the buffer of the death benefits it wasn't a whole lot better. I suppose that is in part why I tried so desperately to change my situation and get free.

So today my life continues to be sad and terrible and some of the worst days in my life. But I try to hold on. I try to focus on the wonder, beauty, and laughs I can have in the other world I play in. And I try to hope that someday maybe I can have those experiences in real life too.

Day 3190 - 3/26 - Feeling sad

Today I am feeling pretty sad. I am still overly stressed and worried about all the things. And I still wonder if I hadn't tried to change my life, if I'd continued to just live small, would I still have enough money to not have to worry about things for a little while. It still feels so fast that I can't help but feel like it didn't actually deposit it all. But I did. I've checked and rechecked several times.

I suppose there is still a chance those who I thought fun might pan out to be real friends, and I may be invited here or there. But with it already seven full months with nothing happening yet, it seems very unlikely. Even more so since the Monday group's last meeting was last week.

So, for now at least, I continue on my own, still wondering after all these years why it seems I don't have friends like everyone else seems to have. I wonder why I am not in a comfortable home with strong connections. I wonder why I do not have a sweetie who has organized a surprise cheering up pizza and gaming night after she noticed I have been quiet and sad all day.

For now I retreat to other worlds. Worlds I can explore, solve mysteries, and learn about new and interesting people and places. Maybe someday when Fate feels it is right for me, I will have these things in this world too.

Day 3191 - 3/27 - Power scare

Today was pretty good. It was a bit odd being the last day of the quarter for the basic class I TA. It passed weirdly, feeling like it was the end of the middle of the quarter, and now at the end it feels like the middle, or at least not the end.

There was a big power scare in the early afternoon. At first I thought something bad was happening to my system. It got al super slow and weird in the game and then crashed. But then I noticed the lights were out in the building. Apparently the building lost power and it was on a backup generator. I tried to play again since the room I was in seemed to have power, but again I got scared as the system plugged in light blinked on and off. I thought that even though it was on the tiny surge protector it was somehow damaged. But it wasn't. It's fine, so it was probably just not getting enough power during the partial downtime state.

I was doing homework final stuff for a bit waiting for official word that the power was back on when things went completely black. Thankfully it was less than five minutes before the power was fully restored and things were fine again.

I suppose it was an ok day though, as I played or watched shows most of the time. But I am still very worried about all the things, particularly money, since again the person ignored my email requesting a status update on the refund. I'm beginning to think they lied to me that it happened. It's been nearly 20 regular days and more than 12 business days.

But I try not to be too sad about all the things. I try to hold on to hope. And I try to focus on looking ahead to better days.

Day 3192 - 3/28 - Very worried, almost out

Today I am very worried. The money is still being held and hasn't reversed. I'm down to barely any gas. I have a day, maybe two at most, before I need to leave my car and not drive. I don't know what to do. All I can do is hope a few people send help and it's enough to cover the temporary overdraft fees and get me some to continue hanging on until the reversal goes through and I have the money back.

As a believer in Fate I wonder what lesson I am supposed to be learning. I have suffered for so long. I've been alone for so long. And the help with things I do enjoy doing goes almost entirely unacknowledged, and never has gotten me income, and hardly any thanks.

So I worry so very much. And I fear and jump and have tears over every little thing. And all I can do is hope that help will come and I will someday, somehow, find better days.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2017
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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