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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 11: It Goes to Eleven

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 539

Day 3767 - 10/24 - Sneezy all day

Today I was sneezing almost all day. I don't know if it's a new cold, the old cold, or allergies. My nose hasn't been as completely stuffed up though. It's just a little bit and then all the sneezing. It certainly feels more like just an allergy attack than a cold. I'm super tired though. I felt half asleep all day.

I guess the day was pretty ok other than that. I felt appreciated in the morning class that I TA for. I played and rested quite a bit the rest of the day. And I watched a show.

I'm still extremely worried about the car insurance and phone being out of time. I've maybe lost as many as four paid survey chances due to my phone being out these past couple of months. So I hope help comes soon for both of those. So I try to rest, recover, hope help comes, and try to hang on until better days.

Day 3768 - 10/25 - Doesn't seem to help

Today I've gotten pretty exhausted pretty quickly. It might be my cold, but lately it's seemed like the blood pressure meds aren't doing anything. It is probably because the doc didn't even want to give me any and it's only one of two prescriptions I used to take. I remember it took several tries to get the dosage effective. Maybe I'll remember to check at the food store or school soon. Though I don't know if it's critical to check since we are probably half way done with them already.

I guess my day was ok. Classes went ok. Though I was still pretty sick feeling with sneezing, congestion, a bit of extra hunger, and a general tiredness.

No donations, and we grow ever closer to the end of the month, and I grow more and more worried about the car insurance payment. But I continue to try to hang on to hope. And hopefully help will come and I can make it to better days.

Day 3769 - 10/26 - Probably not enough

Today I was very sad when buying my food. I got a couple of bigger items to stock up, and the amount left is probably not enough. What I mean is that there is about $3 left per day, while my food is typically $2-3 per meal. So that means I'll have to do extremely minimal meals, like cheap $1 soups or $1.50 micro meals to try and make it. I will likely wind up more hungry than not during this last week of food money cycle.

But I have enough for today. And like most Fridays the bulk of my Friday, Saturday, and Sunday food has already been bought. So I try not to worry for the moment.

So for the moment I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully help will come. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3770 - 10/27 - Not the best

Today was not the best. I had fun with my online game in the morning, so that was good. But because the bandwidth got pretty bad by early afternoon the rest of my day was not the best.

I peeked into my shooter, which I can't remember the last time I played. I think it's been about six months or more. I already felt very hurt and let down when they mentioned that people would have to spend another $75 just one year after launch if they wanted to keep playing for the next year. That is some serious BS that I don't support from any company. It's been a few months since that announcement, but I kind of really wanted to play. So I log in and see nearly everyone is level 50 while I'm capped at 30. I'd already heard the achievable 'light level' was over 600 up from my 340, but to see that I'm also level capped really means there probably isn't any point in even trying to play anymore. It would be impossible to reach that 600 because the level cap will stop me from reaching anywhere near that.

I'm very glad I have my birthday game money saved. It's also a sci-fi shooter where the company has a firm stand against 'gated content' like that. Everyone will be able to play with everyone regardless how much new content is added without needing to make extra purchases. And, it won't be the same stuff over and over. They have already said they are going to be changing content weekly. And that isn't even counting all the different missions for the different faction, which I think they said there were hundreds of. So I'm very super excited and can't wait for it to come out in about 3.75 months. I just have to prey my system can handle it, which sadly, seems unlikely. (I think a demo is supposed to come out 3 months so I may be able to check a few weeks before launch.)

So there was that disappointment, and the connection being bad in general, so watching shows wasn't the best either. But I have what I have. And with no donations or other help my worries about gas and car insurance continue to grow.

But I try to hang on to the good memories. I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully I can make it to better days ahead.

Day 3771 - 10/28 - Already hungry

Today I am already pretty hungry. I have a bit more food for tonight, a half meal snack, but it is going to be extremely tough going soon. I can hopefully get enough food for the next 1.5 weeks, but it will likely require some... creative options.

I guess today was pretty good. The bandwidth got pretty bad pretty quickly, so I did everything solo. In both online games I played that made things feel a bit lonely, but I'm used to it. And unless I wanted to sit outside of school I have really no choice about it.

So I try to hang on. I sneezed a ton, but tried to rest and recover. I tried to relax and play what I could. I tried to hang on and not worry about gas or car insurance. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3772 - 10/29 - About half

Today went by extremely quickly. I barely remember any of it. The first class I TA for we watched projects the whole time. So that explains why they went so quickly. The second class had stuff to watch too, but I half watched and half played games. And then time flew by as well. Now in the night time it barely feels like it's the afternoon.

My muscle layer has felt weird lately, particularly in my legs. Maybe I'm dehydrated a little. The area between the skin and my muscles feels... sprained, as if I'd worked out a lot, but I haven't. Ever since about a week ago when I woke up coughing up tummy acid I've drunk a lot less. Looking in my bag as I was leaving school for the evening I noticed I'd only drunk half the normal amount of soda. And there have been other nights like that too. Sure, I'm drinking more water, maybe replacing the same amount as the missing soda. But overall it really feels like I'm drinking half or 75% as much as I used to. I'm just not thirsty, or when I am I take a few sips and that's it. It's like some subconscious switch has flipped, or there's some kind of block associating the risk of coughing up tummy acid with drinking more liquids.

No donations today, so I'm getting extremely worried. I have maybe a week in gas and then that's gone. And I have nothing at all for the insurance payment due in a few days. All I can do is hang on and hope that help or opportunity comes. Hope that I can make what food money I have left last. And hope for better days ahead.

Day 3773 - 10/30 - Getting cold

Today I was pretty chilly coming in to school. It's getting super cold. The time change will help with being warmer in the morning, but that won't alter the fact that it is officially turning to winter weather. Hopefully I'll be fine. I have been many years before, but it's always extra hard to be homeless in the colder times.

No donations, so again I grow very worried about car insurance as it's due tomorrow, technically today. And gas is always dwindling, so that is always a slow ticking clock.

But I try to hang on. I try to focus on the god times and hope donations and help comes. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Week 540

Day 3774 - 10/31 - A pretty big deal

Today I got a donation. The person was sad they couldn't send more and I guess felt it was a small amount. It was actually a pretty big deal. Sure, it's about the cost of an adult dinner at restaurants, so in that regard it's small. But it covers my bank fees for the month, which is a pretty big deal. And I don't recall any other donations since my birthday other than the Gray Ghost help. So it is much more than the average of nothing. It still boggles my mind that if half of the people who saw my social page posts just last week had sent that same amount I'd have more than enough to pay for everything for the entire month. (Based on yearly need divided by 12 months.) And if all the people did, again just for that one week, I'd have more than enough to pay for the car insurance for the entire year and sign up for next quarter. I need so little compared to regular people's lives, yet I'm lucky if I get one donation in a month.

Today I was pretty hungry, and it's not a good feeling at all. I couldn't do any ... creative food shopping this morning, so I was down about 30% of my regular food amount since I have so little left in food money. No one should ever have to go hungry. I found one tiny part of a single fry while microing dinner, and it was so yummy. I can't even remember when I last got curly fries with a food item at the cafeteria. I'd have to guess probably more than six months ago.

It's Halloween and there are more younglings out and about than in recent years. Though they seem to be teens more than very young, so maybe the high schools or middle schools are doing something that they haven't before. I can't tell where they are going, as it doesn't seem like they are going house to house. I guess of all the holidays this is the one I miss less than others. Though I suppose it is one of the ones which is far more friend party oriented than others which tend to be more family oriented.

But I have to put sad thoughts behind me. My car insurance will be past due tomorrow with nothing saved for it. It will still be five days until my food money cycles. But all I can do is hang on. And hope more people who can send help do, and that I hang on until better days.

Day 3775 - 11/1 - Forgotten day

Today was forgotten. Normally I write in the evening after I leave school, but for some reason today seems forgotten. Likely it was due to worry and depression; the insurance now overdue, gas running out, being hungry. There was a bit of weirdness in the night that might have thrown me off too.

Day 3776 - 11/2 - Birthday present money robbery

Today I am very sad. I am almost completely out of gas. I was hoping help would come for that, but it hasn't yet. And I am in no shape lately physically or emotionally to walk. So I am going to have to rob myself of a little bit of my birthday game money. There are 3.5 months until it launches, so hopefully I have time to replace it. But it feels terrible. Even just taking one week's of gas at $7-8 seems like I may not get my birthday game because of it.

I hate being hungry. I hate not having enough for basic bills. I hate having to worry about everything. My life is very sad and terrible emotionally lately and it's getting very hard to hang on to hope and see the other side in the distance.

Day 3777 - 11/3 - Risky chances

Today I am very extremely sad. All week I've been looking forward to watching some people stream today and because the bandwidth was so bad at the library I probably missed 40% of what I would have otherwise been able to watch. It was extremely sad to miss out on the fun that is one of the few things which are free.

Since I had to use birthday game money for gas I took what was left of that part I took out and put it into my phone. I am very worried that the $20 I took away won't come back in time to get the present when it launches. But it kind of needed to be done. I got now a fourth paid survey offer in the past 1.5 months or so, though probably only two are still available. (Normally they do the initial survey questions about 2 weeks before the paid portion.) But with no money on my phone I'd otherwise have zero chance to get the call for the paid portion. The phone money will cover things until early February if things go well, so hopefully in that time it will be worth the cost. If I do even just one survey I'd have the money to put back the birthday money I had to rob myself of.

It's not a good feeling to take presents away. My dad took my Xmas presents away from me once long ago. I must have been around 8 years old. But the pain, sorrow, and crying, remains a deep scar on my psyche all these some 40 years later. Every time I have to take something nice away there is at least a little bit of that pain and memory.

So today was full of sorrow, possible future regrets, worry no help or opportunity will come and that I will just continue to fall further and further. I try to hang on to hope, but it becomes more and more difficult to do so these days.

Day 3778 - 11/4 - Shooter

Today I couldn't really do anything online. By about noon the library connection was basically 99% dead. It was so bad it couldn't even buffer video at the lowest settings. I still have my new game I got for a late birthday present. I'm about 45 hours in when many say it takes 80 hours or more to finish. So there is still a tooooon to do. So I did that offline as it's the one offline game I have that I'm playing right now.

I wanted to play my shooter. For some reason about a week ago I had the urge to play again. I don't have the newest expansion, so I'm literally half of everyone else's level and 95% of everything I have is outdated and useless. So it doesn't at all feel like I'm really welcome there (by the developer) without upgrading. Which is really b.s. as I just gave them $100 for the special edition only a year ago. If they are going to require people pay an additional minimum $70 a year there is no way I'm giving them any extra for special editions anymore. I'm considering getting just the minimum to get current, but even that seems like they are asking too much. I have been having fun since I came back though. They changed it so there is a lot more for a solo player to do.

Though it's a weird feeling. Much like my MMO I'd be gearing and leveling up to be ready for content I can't do solo. So I have to examine it from basically an 'I will always be solo' and 'is this really what I want to spend my only money on for a solo game?'

There are a couple of other games I'd like to get. One I can't get with anything but cash. It's not sold at the online store I have monies for. And the other one I want doesn't have a real release date. They are estimating next spring, and I don't even know if my laptop could handle it.

As you can tell from my rambling I was distracted today. At least on the surface. At a very deep level I still can't stop worrying about the car insurance, gas, food, warmth as we get into winter, and my overall health, more physically than emotionally these days.

But I try to hang on. I try to accept my distractions and focus on the ones that help me the most, today, because I no longer know if I have a tomorrow ahead of me. And if I do, how many I may get.

Day 3779 - 11/5 - Pew pew

Today was pretty fun. In the morning I played my shooter game. I paused in case I was needed for helping in the classes, did some time in my MMO, then returned to the shooter. Most of my morning I was pretty sad that I didn't have the new expansion. In recent times I've probably done 20 hours there and had a lot of fun. Then a public event happened. Public events scale based on where they are and who starts them. In this case, some max level players had started the event. Since I didn't have the expansion I was half their level. Even though this was a 'year 1' area, apparently this area was allowed to scale to max. I could do absolutely zero damage to the bad guys. I had to basically just buff the other player's damage and try to debuff what bad guys I could.

This was kind of the final straw. It was the final proof I would have to accept the forced upgrade, wanted or not, or accept that playing without isn't really worth my time at all. And that seemed to hit extra hard. While some are right in that I'm 'wasting time gaming', the games are really all that's holding me together emotionally right now. The thought that I can go somewhere else where I am capable of doing things, in a world where I don't suffer from the things I do here, is a very important escape.

It was the time spent that hit me the most. My life has become so unpredictable and unstable lately I don't know how much time I have. I hope I still have 40 years, but what if it's only 4? What if it's only 40 days? Or less? I decided I should try and have fun with what I am having fun with now. I can't predict the future. While I can hope for it, I don't feel like I can count on it being there. Especially after overhearing someone talking about how they knew someone whose brother just mysteriously died, and they were only 24 years old.

So I spent what was left from the birthday and other gift money at the online store to get a code for the cheapest version of the expansion content. There is only a very tiny bit left, but I think it will be ok.

I spent about two hours with the new super fun content. And though it didn't completely push away my sad thoughts and fears of unpaid things, it helped greatly. I got a donation and compliment too, so that will be a big bump towards a car insurance payment or some gas.

So tonight I can hopefully go to sleep and have just a little bit more hope, and a little bit more happiness. And hopefully tomorrow can be a better day.

Day 3780 - 11/6 - Spying on nothing

Today I noticed something kind of hilarious. On my way to school there used to be a small office complex on a corner with maybe four shops. About maybe eight months ago over the course of a couple of weeks they tore it down to a dirt lot with a chain fence around it. I noticed today along the back wall there is a wooden pole with a solar panel and a spy camera. It's spying on nothing, with no reason to do so. There is nothing to be vandalized. And this isn't even an area people do that. There are three parks within a 5 minute walk / one minute drive, so if teens were looking for a place to drink there are way better locations. So, why spy? Super weird.

I'm pretty hungry, but my food money cycled today. I am super thankful I still have that. So I have a normal amount of food. No snacks though, maybe tomorrow. I looked for my favorite chips as the brand was having a sale, but my chips weren't, so that was sad.

But I'm not as congested, still a lot and sneezing, but at least I can always breathe. I have only a little bit of time for games and shows between classes, but today should be ok. Hopefully I won't get too sad about bills, and hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2018
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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