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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 10: Wisp of Hope

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 487

Day 3403 - 10/25 - Abandoned nuggets

Today was pretty good. The morning started with my birthday pre-ordered game releasing, so I spent all the time I had before class playing that and had a super fun time. Then class was pretty fun. We are doing fewer jobs in the lab part, but we are still messing up, so we still laugh at ourselves and have a good time. I played my new game a teeny bit more during lunch and after class.

My professor had me sit in and watch the first projects that this quarter's students did. I still feel weird about it because I'm not supposed to be there helping. As always I said lots of helpful things, and even just my being there reminded the professor of certain things to say.

It has become super warm again after being cold and almost raining, which is odd. But that means I saw probably a dozen cute girls in warm weather cloths. I'm still super sad though, as it's still an odd mix of feeling hopeful because of that reminder and feeling like it's just a reminder of what I can't have.

I think tomorrow I'll break my new schedule and be at school. The new game was firewall blocked at the library during the beta, so I expect that is going to be the case for release. Since I've only played 3 hours so far I'd like to play at least 4 more hours tomorrow before talking about it on the podcast. Even 8 hours in would still likely be a pretty early look. Plus, what with my sniffling, sneezing, and being sick, an extra day of micro food would probably help me get better.

Oh, I almost forgot. When I went to micro dinner I found some abandoned nuggets. It was one of those times they'd pushed it to the center of the table and they were nearly ice cold (from cooling after being cooked.) I felt guilty taking what was effectively a full order, but it was late, they were cold, and since there were a few small fries in there too, this was obviously extra someone had set out who didn't need them. (I'd guess multiple people's orders combined into one left over.) A bit of a health risk, certainly not something I'd do if I had money to buy my own. But with my life what it is, that is a big treat for many reasons. I think it's been probably more than six months since I could afford nuggets.

But overall today was a good day. There were no donations and my life did not change for the better in real life, at least not in a perceptible way. But I got to begin my new journey, a new life in a new world. And with all my worry and sadness in this one, that is something.

Day 3404 - 10/26 - Half the positions

Today as actually super fun. I went to school to be sure I could play my new game. I had a super good time. Though, like the first one, I'm about 12 hours in and nearly done with the main storyline. There is still so much to do though, like I haven't done any of the 'dungeons', or done any real side quests or looked around yet. (Some things are locked by the story so I'm kind of pushing to get all the things unlocked.)

I'm glad I did it, both because I had fun and because there were a few that said hi and chatted with me that I otherwise woudln't have seen. I will probably go ahead and be there on future Thursdays too, we'll see. It depends how weird it is in the future.

I was worried about my sad life in the back of my mind though. And one new thing that popped up just about gave me a heart attack. It seems the power on my laptop is questionable. It dropped to battery a few times in the morning. I discovered this seems related to the angle the plug is in. It has a 90 degree angle type. I have no clue why some manufacturers bend it at an angle like that. But it seems if it's partly down, a position it would only be in while on my lap, there is a fair chance it will disconnect. And when I first discovered this the connector was very warm, and the heat vents were kicking out extra heat from the battery being very warm. Thankfully I discovered it's only in this position that happens. I was let into the lab almost immediately after discovering it. Being set up on a table puts the plug pointing back. Within 5 minutes it was completely cool on the connection and the vents calmed back down. I played almost 7 hours (not in a row) with no power dips. When I moved back out of the lab to the hall, it happened again while on my lap. I pulled the plug cable over the front corner, which made the plug point forward. It seemed fine that way. No drops in power or extra heat built up on the plug in the 2.5 hours I was there. So it seems, hopefully, the plug is just in a very early stage of death. And hopefully if it goes I can simply replace the plug and power brick.

I am very worried though. If it's an issue with the plug on the power brick that's fixable, though I don't have the like $60 to fix it now. If, however, it's an issue with the laptop, it's more likely that it would be too expensive to fix.

Of course I would love to replace the laptop before it gets worse (if it does.) The new generation more powerful chip is now cheaper. A system that gets 17,000 benchmarks compared to my system's 3,500 has now dropped to around $1500. Which is an amazing deal.

But overall today was a very good day. I had a super fun time with y game. There were cute girls around. A beautiful girl from a class I previously TAed for said hi and chatted for a bit (though she was with a male friend during class break.) And while I had my worries, and now the new worry of the laptop power. Hopefully things will continue to be ok in the future, and I can hang on until things truly get better, and I have my forever better days.

Day 3405 - 10/27 - Pew pew pew

Today was pretty good emotionally. Though I only got to play my new game a couple of hours, and that time was forced into solo activities, it was super fun. I played my MMO for a bit too, so that was fun. In the future my time not at school will be when I catch up on shows since the library firewall blocks my new game. It does in a weird way though. I can sort of connect, sort of see the zone, but there are no people at all, and I lose connection after a short while.

But nothing really bad happened besides a bit of very brief sensitivity with the laptop plug. Mostly I had fun with my day and nothing got worse (besides the plug.) So I try to hang on and hope donations come until I get opportunity, and hopefully I can hang on until my forever better days.

Day 3406 - 10/28 - Early

Today I am doing things early. I left the library about 1.5 hours early to get a bit more time to play my new game. I'm super hungry now, though I'm not sure why, so I will be eating a couple of hours earlier than normal as well.

I had a good day so far. It's early evening now. For some reason I'm completely exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open. I have lost sleep lately. And I have been fighting off a cold. So maybe both of those are factors.

But besides that I'm feeling pretty ok. I had fun with my new game before the library opened. Then I played my MMO for a bit. And I had just a teeny bit of money, so I did my laundry. So overall I feel ok. But, as always, hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3407 - 10/29 - Split with school

Today was pretty good. The morning and night when I normally would have been at the food store were spent outside of school. I wanted to be sure I had a strong and stable connection for my new game. I'm not sure how much I'll do this in the future though, as it was already pretty cold and I don't expect things to warm up again for almost six months.

But today I had fun. No donations or change came. But because I was warm enough, had a connection, and could play on my laptop, I was distracted with fun things. And I didn't feel too bad. As always though, I hope tomorrow is a better day, and I hope help comes and I can hang on until my forever better days.

Day 3408 - 10/30 - Fun

Today was a pretty fun day. I did my important job checking things in the morning, as I always do though rarely mention these days. Then a quick forum helping, and then the rest of my day I played my old MMO and my new game. More so my new game because there is more to gain, but also because a special vendor is there who is only there from Friday to Monday, so I wanted to get as much as I could before he was gone.

I also helped in the class I'm not supposed to help in. I doubt I'll help again for a few more weeks though.

But today was pretty good. I helped a bit with people coming by my spot with questions, and I got to play my fun games and be distracted. There were still my sad worries in the back of my mind, and things I feel I am missing and may never have in my life. But for today I was ok with how things have turned out. All I can do is try to make it one day at a time. And hopefully someday I'll be in a better position, financially and emotionally, to accept and deal with the bigger sad feelings I have.

Until then I hope help and good feelings come my way. And that I can continue to hold on.

Day 3409 - 10/31 - Not my holiday anymore

Today is sad. What was once a fun holiday in my life is no more. When I was very young I would go out Trick or Treating. Later there were parties, though I never had enough connections for them to be the very big fun parties, nor did I have lots of party options. As a young adult there were decorations to put out and Trick or Treaters to give candies to. As a near-mid adult there was no longer anyone in my life for either, so I started giving out candies at school. But now my sad life has gotten so bad I can't even afford to do that, so I am left with nothing.

I suppose I don't have nothing at all. There is some silliness in my MMO with costumes and masks, so there is that. But today I expect I'll check for jobs and find nothing, help on forums for no thanks or rewards, but be warm, restful, and be able to play my fun games. So I try to look at what I do have. And I try to hang on to hope that better days will come, and maybe someday I can celebrate holidays again.

Week 488

Day 3410 - 11/1 - Inspiring?

Today stared kind of poorly. I went to take an extra long shower because the water was cold on Monday and it was still cold. I'm still not sure if it's on purpose or if it's something mechanical. The pressure is lower than normal, so that seems within norms for it being broken again.

The day was pretty good though. I had class and it was pretty fun. Before and after class I played my new game and had a super fun time. I'm very glad I both decided to get it, and had enough gift monies to do so. In the week I've had it I have probably played 40 or more hours. In probably another week it will be less than $1 per hour, so that will be super cheap. And even just at 40 hours so far that is more than a lot of games I've gotten.

Someone posted on their social page that they thought I was inspiring. Back in the early days of the Fail writing I would agree. There was a lot of philosophy on how thing went wrong, both with this most recent disaster, but also in my childhood. Things like my dad not knowing he was creating this huge self-esteem issue, and how when I lost my mom there was no emotional support anymore. Or how maybe that loss has affected how I see all relationships now, and possibly why I have difficulty finding friends.

I talked a lot about loss and connection too. I know more than a couple found that inspiring and reached out to those who they missed in their lives and re-examined why they separated.

Lately though I don't feel very inspiring. I used to be able to help in classes, being an unpaid TA. (Though being paid certainly would help.) I can't do that anymore. Though how can you not if you are that type and still around? Before the professor asked me to (officially) help I was helping others, much like I am now that I can't (officially).

And I help do tech support on the forums of one of the biggest most well known game companies in the world. Though I don't get anything for doing that anymore. I suppose I never really did. I got a virtual convention ticket the first couple of years, which wasn't much, but I haven't gotten anything at all since 2015 ended. Really the only reason I still help with that is because I know it does help some each day. And really it's only 15-60 minutes per day, so it's not a huge amount of my day. Especially with my currently not working or even helping in classes.

So, I guess that stuff is inspiring. Wanting to help others even though I get nothing for it. But really I'm just a guy trying to get by. Now I am really just a survivor of a terrible ordeal, still in it. At least so far. As long as I continue day to day. But I am just a guy who's lost nearly everything trying to hang on to what little is left, both emotionally and with the few physical things I have left. And, as I have been ever since my teens, just a guy trying to help others, so they do not suffer the same pain and troubles I have.

Day 3411 - 11/2 - Felt much longer

Today was both super good and kind of bad. In the bad, my power on my laptop flickered out for about one second a couple of times during the day while it was sitting in 'a good position' on the desk. So I probably have a few months before it starts to get really bad if it dies like the previous power supplies have died.

There was also a time when I was playing my super fun new game and someone was being extra silly. I thought about people, personality, those we know as being memorable for certain things, and had a sort of minor panic attack as things then turned towards myself and how when I am gone others may think of me in such a fashion.

But overall my day was super good. I played my MMO and did my daily things. The Halloween event is over, but I guess another is coming in a few weeks, so that's good. In my new game I played and had a lot of fun. I guess I was having so much fun it felt like time was passing faster than it actually did. I thought it felt like 5, and was getting hungry for dinner, but when I checked it was actually only 1:30. When it felt like it was almost 7 I checked again, and it was only around 3. So it felt like about double the time was passing than was actually passing.

I had a super good time with my games, but the $100 for the web stuff, and $40 more for the next insurance, both due in about a month, were always on the back of my mind. Particularly with the new addition of needing a power supply, which after checking online (and putting it on my wish list) is about $45. And I still don't know for sure the power supply is really the issue. I'm just guessing it is since this power supply did take some damage before I got a surge protector on it, and the others before it died after about 1.5 years of use.

But I try to focus on the fun I had. I try to focus on that I have places to be that are warm, and most days I can micro food, so things aren't as terrible as they could still become. For the moment my car still works, I have some gas, and my laptop is still hanging on. So I try to focus on the good. I hope to catch up on sleep so I don't feel so exhausted. And I hang on to hope that help will come, and I can make it to my forever better days.

Day 3412 - 11/3 - Owie paw

Today was mostly good. The end was a bit spoiled and I'm still irked about it. I decided to go to school; mostly to play my new game since the public library firewalls it, but also because I'm congested and coughing with a cold, and I'm not feeling super great and that would both be a warmer environment as well as giving me micro access. But I was hanging out in my spot and at 5:30 two student security - who have no more authority over students than I do - come by and say that I need to leave because they are closing up the building. Every quarter I've been there this happens. I tell them, 'no, there is a class going on literally on the other side of this wall behind me (which there is a door you can see in which they already passed less than five feet from me), that lab is open, the other lab is open, the floor is open, and the staff in charge of all of that is down the hall and here until at least 6.' They stood there arguing and trying to push me out saying they were right and I needed to leave for probably nearly 5 minutes. I repeatedly said, 'no, go talk to the teacher, go talk to the staff in charge of the floor.' Granted, I could have handled it better by immediately walking them right over instead of staying in my spot and pushing back, but I don't react well to people trying to assert fake authority over me. I can't really blame them though. Their boss, the actual (on campus) police, told them something which was incorrect. However, they should have immediately taken me at my word, had one of them stay with me, and the other go verify my story, instead of standing there and both arguing with me. But I don't really blame them, as they are extremely young and very inexperienced. I try to focus on the good of the day and let this go.

My back is killing me though. It's not used to so much time sitting on the floor. It's been probably more than six months since I was at school all week and Friday.

I seem to have an owie on my left foot bottom too. For a normal person this would be nothing. But for me, with my flat feet, it's right where a bulk of pressure goes when I walk. So it's like, step, ow, step, ow, step, ow. It's like the area got overly dry and cracked there. I checked this morning when I was first feeling it, and it's red and a bit sore around the cracked wound.

But today I tried to relax. I tried to recover from my cold. I played a lot and had fun. I tried to watch shows, but the network site with the shows I wanted to watch wasn't working, so I had to watch something that was meh. (I'll probably just stop watching that show.)

I suppose today was just another reminder how my life is not in my control. I could not control my environment. While I ate better than I would have at the public library, it certainly was not what I'd have eaten in a home. And while things were restful, due to various physical discomforts it was not as restful as it would have been in a home. But it could have been worse. It still may be worse someday. So I try to look at what was good, and I hope to make it to better days.

Day 3413 - 11/4 - Quick

Today passed very quickly. In the morning I needed to go ridiculously out of my way to recycle. That is such a bother now. It's so far, and even with a mostly full trunk I barely get anything.

My time at the library passed very quickly, as well as a bit of time at the food store. I checked for jobs, helped a tiny bit on the forums, but mostly played my games and watched a few shows.

I was still very worried about the upcoming bills. Besides the $100 for web stuff, $40 for car insurance, there is also $50 for next school quarter, $40 for an overdue oil change as soon as I can, and eventually $45 for a new laptop power plug. Not counting bigger things down the line like $200 for contacts, which without buying all at once I'd have to buy in smaller amounts at poor prices for what I'd be getting.

But I had fun. And for a few brief moments I could ignore my sad things. But hopefully help will come. And hopefully I can hang on to hope long enough to get to my forever better days.

Day 3414 - 11/5 - Cold winter

Today was sad. The morning started with the first sad thing. I had my foods and went to pay for them and apparently there wasn't enough food stamp money for what I had. I had a gift card someone sent spared since my birthday, so I used that to cover the overage. But I was very worried as to how I would pay for food in the future. I immediately regretted celebrating the holidays by getting a small pack of candies to share during Halloween, and the single slice of pumpkin pie I got last night.

I discovered there is still $15 left on the card, which if I were extremely careful I could stretch to a week. So I guess things were ok. I also later discovered today was the 5th, and my money cycles again on the morning of the 6th, so I'm actually fine. But that fear, added to all my other money worries lately, put an early damper on my day.

I had fun the following couple of hours playing my new game. The connection at the food store was just enough to play. When I left there was another minor scare, as my car clock showed it was nearly 1. I guess I didn't notice when I was in the car earlier that it shows an hour off from my tablet and laptop. I guess the time change happened last night. But that reminded me it's winter. Not that the cold and recent rain hasn't already done that. But it, and the extreme dark when I left the library, reminded me that there are many cold and sad nights to come.

There were more sad reminders during my day too. The library was full, and the connection slowed, limiting what I could do. And someone was sitting at my table who alternately smelt like pee and farts. Both seemed like reminders I am not in a home. I cannot control my environment. And there too was the thought that of all my games, I have not experienced any of them to their fullest. It has always been on my laptop with headphones. Never on a desktop, with a regular monitor, and proper speakers.

And, though probably very minor, my laptop power again winked out for half a second while I was playing. Not enough for most to notice, but I did. And it reminded me everything I have is on a timer. And that timer ticks away each day.

So today overall seemed like just a reminder that I am in a sad place. It reminded me of what is missing in my life. Making me worried I may never get to experience certain things in life like others do, or might never experience some things at all.

But I try to remember today was just today. Anything can happen tomorrow, and so I hope for the best. I hope for change. I hope help will come. And I hope for fun times, so I can hopefully set aside the bad, until I am through it.

Day 3415 - 11/6 - Like twelve times

Today was very fun, but also very worrisome. During the day, a day where I was sitting on the floor so there was a lot of movement, the power dropped on my laptop maybe as many as a dozen times. And once it even just went 'poof' and shut off completely. I am still hopeful and fairly certain it is a plug/power brick issue, as this is the exact same thing that happened with the previous plug death. And, if I can keep the cord stationary it is safe and stable, which both of these indicate to me it's a power brick issue. But the stressful part is I have no money to replace it. And, if it gets much worse gaming will become increasingly difficult. Right now that half second dip in power just means poor frame rate for 1-3 seconds while the power gets to the parts again, which is manageable.

Besides that worry, my regular bill worries, and back hurting from extra floor time, the internet completely dropped for about an hour which was sad. But I just played a single player offline game during that time.

But all these worries aside it was a pretty good day. I had fun with my games. I watched a show. A few people said hi and I had a few laughs. And I suppose most important in these times I was warm, restful in my spot, and had enough to eat.

So I try to not let my worries crush me entirely. I try to continue to hope help comes. And I hope I make it to better days.

Day 3416 - 11/7 - Trying to stay hopeful

Today I am trying to stay hopeful. My gas is almost completely gone. I have a bit of money I could use, but it wouldn't be more than maybe a week. It seems dad won't be sending anything for Halloween, as I kind of expected he would.

It was very cold last night. And I am sniffly and seezy, so I worry about my health. I still feel oddly like my tummy is fatter than ever before. Yet my legs and lower part of my arms feel less fat, almost tight.

I am worried about money, as I have none and there are so many things coming up.

But I am settled in at school now. I have foods to micro and I spent a touch extra getting myself a snack to maybe cheer me up. So I try to remain hopeful my day will be ok. I try to remain hopeful help will come. And I try to hang on until better days.

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

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