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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 545

Day 3809 - 12/5 - Approved

Today turned out pretty good. I had my call for the food benefits and he said it was approved super fast, so it seems I'm still able to get food money help. At least that is one worry off my mind. We had a canceled class for the class I TA for too, so I got about a half day extra to play. And a super cute attractive girl saw my bunny background on my tablet and said she loved bunnies. I guess today I have the little things to celebrate and be happy about. Maybe that will help me be a bit less stressed.

I am still very worried about bill things. I am late on car insurance and I have maybe one week of gas left.

But for the moment I guess I can focus on the little happy things, and that is something.

Day 3810 - 12/6 - Dry upper lip

Today my dry upper lip has driven me crazy. It's been dry and chapped for a couple of days now. I'm not exactly sure why. I have sort of changed my drink, but I've done that before and not had odd effects. I was craving salt the other day and had a ton of salt on something I was eating, but that isn't extremely unusual.

We had our final presentations for the photography class today. I presented my super sad story. I couldn't watch 'the audience' when it was playing though. I regret not looking at their reactions because how often are you sitting in front of people presenting something emotional? But I just couldnt. It is too sad for me that I feared I would start crying if I saw my sad life making someone else sad. But the reverse was kind of true. When I peeked at them I saw they were super interested and I felt more ok, and in a way proud to share my story.

In a bit of good news I got into a super secret test I was hoping for. I really don't want it to preview the game so much, especially since it's just for this weekend. I am really happy because I can test my system. I'm under spec, but not as far as I expected, so this will hopefully give me a chance to see how I perform. I have to download a pretty huge client, so I'll go over to school to do that tomorrow. I didn't get a chance to really do it today. The school connection is way faster than the library, especially if I grab a landline. And it's pretty much guaranteed to be up, whereas the library may or may not have any speed. The test is Saturday and Sunday, so I have all day to get it, with only needing another estimated 1.5 hours. Plus, I can get food to micro, so there is that.

I suppose today turned out pretty well, though it seems the quarter is over already. But I feel ok for the moment, so I try to stay hopeful. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3811 - 12/7 - Cracked lips

Today was pretty different. I decided to be at school today to be sure I could download what I needed for the weekend. It's a really good thing I did because not only did I have most of a 35 gig client to get, but a game wanted a 9 gig patch when I tried to play. At 10:30 the lab opened and I got off the wireless and yoinked a landline. My estimate went from 2-3 hours to 2-3 minutes. It was pulling about 10 gig a minute since no one was around. (Well, maybe 1/4 of the normal amount of people were around.)

I also decided to stay as it gave me access to another micro day. With next week being finals week I'm very rapidly coming up on three weeks without a micro, so I wanted to get that extra cooked food while I can. It was weird being at school instead of the library, but I think it worked out well.

I guess today was an ok day. I had unblocked gaming, so that is always nice to not have to worry about. So I mostly played my games and watched a few shows.

Oh, my upper lip has gotten a bit worse I guess? It's been cracking. It's not super painful, but every now and then when I stretch it out it has that sort of cracking/ripping feel. It kind of feels like the other day I had soup that was too hot and burnt it. So I don't know what that is about since I didn't do that. Hopefully in a day or two it will be back to normal.

I guess today was ok, but deep inside I still feel very sad. I'm worried about bills. I'm sad I couldn't do normal life things anymore since I don't have money. I'm sad I don't have house things; a warm bed, a quiet room, a couch to flop on. But I suppose things could still be worse, so I try to focus on what I have. I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3812 - 12/8 - Good bad

Today was good and bad. It was bad in that I was very sad and the bandwidth was complete garbage nearly all day. From noon on I had a hard time staying connected to play things. Plus, there were no donations, so things are still all bad. But with Xmas around the corner I expect people will just hold them until closer to that.

It was good in that what I did manage to play was fun. And maybe it helped that I did some different things. Kind of shifted perspective and feelings. I also started downloading a silly free to play game. I don't know how much I'll play because it's a PvP game, especially if it's blocked at the library, but it doesn't take itself too seriously, and my brain has been wanting different things lately. So maybe if I try it super casually it could be something different to shake me up now and then.

I guess the important thing is that I tried to feel ok today. I hung on. I didn't get too sad. And so I try to hang on to hope and stay positive. And hopefully help and opportunity will come. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Day 3813 - 12/9 - Meh

Today I feel meh. I did a bit more for the test game and I'm unsure how to feel. My laptop performs very badly with it. It might be tolerable enough, but I could rapidly see it struggling to the point of being more frustrating than fun. So, I'm sad about that.

I played a teeny bit of the silly PvP game. I'll play more and decide tomorrow, but so far it doesn't seem like something I'd get into, and it required I breach the firewall with the VPN. Meaning if I were to play it I'd have to sacrifice time for things I know I enjoy more. I'll hold off judgment, but it seems like it will be a bust.

So I feel sad. There was no financial change, so I am still very worried feeling. There was no game change, so my deeper desire to do something different will have to continue waiting. And it seems I have nothing to look forward to during the break that will be new. That's not to say my life is all bad. There are still the three big games I can have fun with. There is the unknown quantity of Xmas that could bring new things. And with each day there is always chance good change will come.

But for now it seems all I can do is continue to wait. Look at the positive things. Hope positive change comes. And hope for better days ahead.

Day 3814 - 12/10 - No goodbyes

Today was ok, I guess. It wasn't really good or bad. I didn't feel valued or cared about, but that isn't anything new. The two classes I TA for had their final and they are gone. None of them said bye to me, save one, who I think only said it because I'd talked with him immediately before he left. I hope it's because everyone assumes they will see me again since it's not the end of the year. But it feels more like they just don't care if they will see me or not.

I've been thinking of death a lot lately, as I do when it's colder. This year seems extra bad as I'm struggling a bit more in general health. I was right at the point of starting to feel determined about doing my mini-workout two or three times a week when it started turning too cold to continue. I suppose I could put more effort into finding a space where it's warm, but it doesn't feel right. It felt ok in the ex-garage at night among my stuff, but it doesn't feel right at school. (And that's about to be not an option for three weeks.) If my health continues to decline due to my age and homelessness I may have little choice but to turn to the school sport field or something to work out on the weekends. (Once it's warm again.)

So I guess there was more bad than good than I originally thought due to my depression and the bills being one more day overdue. The only good seems to be a half order of abandoned fries I took, and a possible $100 paid survey the weekend after this one. But it is yet another day I lived. Tomorrow will be another change may still come. So I try to continue to hang on to hope. And I try to continue, one day at a time.

Day 3815 - 12/11 - The fog

Today there is a super crazy fog outside. It kind of happened Sunday to a lesser degree. But today you can only see, at most, about 100 feet before all you see is a white wall.

The fog changed an otherwise invisible spider web on my car into something beautiful. It has the tiniest water bubbles all over it, almost making it look frozen. I had to tear it up, so hopefully none were using it at the time.

No donations yet today, so I worry about the bills. The quarter is rapidly coming to a close, along with the calendar year, so I feel very sad about that. I suppose with next quarter already paid I at least have some hope that there is more for me yet to come.

So I try to stay hopeful. I try not to be too sad. And hopefully help and positive change will come soon.

Fogged spider web.

Week 546

Day 3816 - 12/12 - The cutest freckles / Unexpected early Xmas

Today was pretty weird. I think there were only two tests on the floor all day. I saw maybe two dozen people total by the end of the day.

When I went to micro my lunch I got a bit of a surprise. Someone called out for help asking where a place was on campus. I didn't really know, so we checked the map. She was the cutest ever. I think maybe it was her super cute freckles, or her smile, but for whatever reason this girl stuck around in my head through the rest of the day. I'll probably never see her again, but it is good to be reminded there are still girls out there that make my heart flutter.

I guess it was ok other than feeling super weird being one of the few actually around on the floor. I expect tomorrow will be just as empty, if not more so.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention. The friend that sometimes helps me out stopped by last night. She gave me an unexpected early Xmas gift of monies. So I took half of it and put it into the secret stash for the pre-ordered birthday game, and the other half will be for gas. So that covers me for a week and a half, maaayyybe two weeks if I'm lucky. I'm still short for the game, but for the moment I'm at about 65% of what I need. Of course, being behind on car insurance I'm not sure how long that will last.

Also in super good news I got a letter from the food stamp people confirming my 'award'. It's about what I've been getting lately, which is good. (Maybe even slightly more.) But the important thing is it verifies that's through to the end of next year. Phew. Also, if I do get monies for whatever reason I don't have to report it until it's over $1300 a month, up from the previous $1100. That's never been an issue, as donations are really 10% of that at most, but it's good to know if I ever get non-job money I have a bit more leeway before I need to report it.

But I played games and watched shows basically alone in private. Almost all day I was alone on the floor. It felt weird, but at this point I guess I'm used to it, as it's become a part of the normal cycle each quarter.

But with the image and interaction of the cute girl lingering in my mind, and being able to play and watch whatever (school finally unblocked the social pages after more than two months) today was a pretty good day. My sads were held at bay and I wasn't too sad. So I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3817 - 12/13 - Feeling weird

Today I felt weird all day. Not directly bad, but maybe indirectly bad and sad. I think I was feeling weird because I had really good sleep which included vivid and memorable dreams. Even now, more than 12 hours later I still remember some of it pretty clearly.

The reason I think that is the source of my wierd feeling is that both left me partly in a dream state all day, but more so the depth of sleep sort of reset my brain because of the depth of dreams. And while it's super good to think my brain's default is still a life in a home, that emotionally has sort of reversed and removed a lot of the protective emotional layers I added to protect myself from my sad things in my homeless life. I feel closer to being kicked out than I have in a very long time and it may take a week or more to remember that isn't my life anymore - this sad homeless life is.

There were no donations, so the day overall seemed a bit sad. My weird feeling also had me feeling like I'd forgotten something, or should have been doing something different all day. I did do a few different things, so it didn't help reset my brain.

But I guess overall I was ok. Though my options are becoming more and more limited, I tried to still look at the positive. I try to hope help and opportunity come. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 3818 - 12/14 - Passing the time

Today was the first official day of Xmas break for me. It was ok, I guess. The connection was strong enough to do most things I wanted. And it didn't get unstable. But, it was Friday, so I expect it to go bad over the weekend.

I spent time the other day getting two free to play games I sometimes play to pass the time during the break. The big thing I want to do takes the VPN to break through the partial firewall, and with the time allotted for that I'll be limited to 2-3 hours per day, which with 11 hours open on weekdays is significantly less than the available hours. So I need things that don't require breaking through with the VPN. Thankfully my MMO doesn't need it. But I don't know, much more than about an hour there these days makes me sad. That often happens during the holidays because my brain thinks about how people are on vacation and it's a special treat for them, and it just reminds me that my life is opposite of normal.

I also got another reminder of my laptops age with the newest expansion on one of the free to play games. I'm not quite as crippled as the test game I did last weekend, but performance is pretty bad. With every game I have to turn to low settings to be barely playable I get more and more broken hearted. I suppose the good news is great upgrades are in the $1500 range, and good ones that are very solid are in the $1000 range, or as low as $850 on sale. And they will just get cheaper in time. (With massive leaps in required power only happening about every 6 years.) But with no money at all there is no way I can upgrade which leaves me feeling like everything is on a faster and faster ticking away clock.

Day 3819 - 12/15 - Maybe spoilers

Today stared ok, but by early afternoon as I suppose I expected, the connection turned to total garbage. And by the early afternoon it was disconnecting completely. I expect tomorrow will be the same as there were tons of teens studying. I guess they are probably still in session next week, because if they were already out on vacation they wouldnt be here jamming up the library bandwidth.

I had a super happy moment, and a sad one. I guess bittersweet would be the most appropriate term, though that's not a thing I say. I was checking and updating some info on my wish list and got the popup saying someone may have gotten me that item for a gift. I was super happy because it's a bigger fancier item, but sad to have potentially had the gift spoiled for me. I guess I didn't realize it's only 1.5 weeks until Xmas now. I lost track of that. I should probably tweak lists a month or further out from gift times from now on.

But it almost made me cry. Not because the nice gift may have been spoilered, but becuase there is a someone out there who cares. A someone wants me to have a good and happy Xmas time when I am otherwise feeling lonely, lost, forgotten, discarded, and so much like a failure. To know you are cared about and appreciated means so much. I think the vast majority of people just forget that. Or get to wrapped up in the day to day grind they can't let their defenses down to say it to others, or to hear someone say it.

It made me a bit sad too. In a time when gifts should be exchanged and I would normally be worrying about others, my life is so broken and hurting I cannot even look out for me. And what is worse, that I am becoming so out of touch of when these important things are happening because I can't participate like I should.

I suppose I survived the day though, with all the sads I have. Hopefully my brain will forget what I saw and it can be a surprise again. (Though I've never seen that note not be true before, so my brain will have a hard time letting it go.) I try to remain hopeful for the future. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 3820 - 12/16 - Hugging the presents

Today at the ex-house there were two packages for me. One gift was spoilered because it was a gift card and I guess they don't wrap those. But that mostly works out better because I'll probably take it to get an Xmas eve dinner. I'll have to see when the place is open. I know they close early then. Also, it's four meals, so that will be really good. I'll try to save them to space them apart, and probably save the last one for 'just in case' as long as I can.

There are also other presents which were wrapped. I hugged them and it made me super happy to know someone out there cares and that they are happy I am in the world. I don't know if it's the one I may have accidently spoilered the other day or not. It seems too light for that. Right now I am content to let my brain and heart go 'eeeeeeee' at having gifts and I'll find out Xmas morning at the proper opening time.

The time at the library was super bad. The teens once again flooded in and bandwidth was close to zero by noon, and from then on I basically couldn't do anything online. Games would just hang there trying to connect, or almost instantly disconnect if they did. Hopefully I won't have to worry about it for the rest of my break, as I'm sure by next weekend they will be on their break and stay home.

So while the day was very sad and felt like it would go on forever in a bad way, the evening perked up with excitement. And so hopefully I can carry the joy with me into the night. And tomorrow can be good as well.

Xmas 2018.

Day 3821 - 12/17 - Xmas and gone

Today was the first weekday at the library during break. The connection didn't fare as well as expected. By about 2 it was starting to go bad, and by 3:30 it was disconnecting and completely lagged to the point of online games being effectively unplayable. I guess I made it through the day and was ok.

I was pretty sad and depressed about bills all day, and had a few scares of death, but things were manageable. I checked the ex-house just in case there were more gifts waiting. There was a card and monies from dad. Actual money, not gift card money. But it's already gone, as it will pay for December and January car insurance and not really anything else. So with only two months left until launch, what was once a special pre-ordered birthday game remains questionable. Nothing from the dad money can go to help re-securing it. I did have a thought today that I could drop the special edition I got down to the no-frills basic edition and what I have would almost be enough. But I'd rather hang on to the hope the remaining $30 I need will make it to me before the deadline. (But at the rate I've been going it seems I'll have to use what's left as the February car insurance payment comes due. )

So today I try to continue to hang on to hope. I have a few nice things to look forward to for Xmas. I have a little buffer for car insurance, but until it's completely paid off (which I'd need $300 for) I'll still feel its pressure, constantly threatening to nip away at other things I could use the money for. (Gas, school, contacts, a very rare game, etc.) but I made it through today ok, and I hope for a better tomorrow.

Day 3822 - 12/18 - Cold outside

Today is starting slow. It's super cold outside, so I think the thought of the coldest part of the year coming has me a bit down.

There was another present though, so that cheered me up a bit. I think it's a clothing item from my list. I didn't open the package because it was in one of those soft envelopes, implying it probably wasn't wrapped.

I'm at the food store, and there is still nearly an hour before my day really starts. So I try to stay positive. I try to warm up. And hopefully the day will turn out ok. And hope there will be better times in the new year.

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

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