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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 573

Day 4005 - 6/19 - Felt bad

Today started out feeling like it would be bad. I don't really know how to describe the feeling. It actually wasn't though. At around 10:30 the head teacher in the department grabbed my attention and let me know they had a meeting and there was extra food and I could go get some. So I got some fruit and a cinnamon roll which I snacked on between lunch and dinner. I also got to do a special thing in my MMO, and although it's a tougher piece to get I'm now only a couple of pieces of gear away from having a full set that I want from the special raid.

I did feel kind of bad overall though. Lately my heart is feeling heavy, and struggles when walking. And my feet hurt and feel heavy and like I've walked miles every day. I think, and certainly hope, that is just exhaustion and things will clear. Though I fear they are more likely cholesterol and blood pressure issues and won't go away until I'm back on meds. Which I do hope to someday, but with needing at least $20-40 for appointments that is way down the list past all the car needs. And at this point even below contacts with this current pair probably pushing into the month five mark.

But I guess the day was ok. I got a surprise snack. I got a hoped for but unexpected special activity in my MMO. I didn't feel super lousy. And, despite my morning feelings, nothing bad actually happened. Though I still worry yet another day has come and gone that the car bills haven't been taken care of.

So, at least for the moment, I continue to hang on to hope help and donations will come, and that I can hang on until they do.

Day 4006 - 6/20 - Cut short

Today will be just a short note. I'm out of paper. I guess it's pretty cheap, and I can't really not write about my sad life, so I'll have to get more in the morning.

Really nothing noteworthy happened. I did sort of get a promise from someone to help me find groups in my MMO for the special thing, so that's good. But mostly today I watched final presentations in the classes I TA for. I guess this will be the last projects I ever see with that professor leaving. I guess I wasted too many years with her since I have nothing to show for it. I guess I will have to change directions yet again since I'm out of film classes. So who knows what the future holds.

As always, all I can do is try to hold on until help and opportunity come.

Day 4007 - 6/21 - Recycled

Today I am writing on paper I found in the recycle bin at the library. I forgot to get some in the morning. Luckily I remembered in the afternoon and there was about 10 pages to use one side of. That should hold me a while. With it being finals week next week it's possible a bunch of scripts will be tossed and I can use that recycle paper too. While I do have the $2-3 to get a pack of like 150 sheets, if it can be avoided that would probably be best.

The day was ok. It went by really fast. The connection was mostly ok, and I even did a special activity in my MMO and am nearly done with two sets I'm looking for. It may be just a couple more to finish that. But, with only getting 2-3 runs a week because it's done so rarely that may be a while to get the pieces I need. But that is pretty exciting to be very close to finishing.

No donations, so I'm still extremely worried about car bills as we inch closer and closer to a full month past due on insurance, and in just under one month the registration is due. I hope help comes very soon. I'm running out of time. But all I can do is try to keep hoping. And hopefully help and donations come in time.

Day 4008 - 6/22 - $68

Today was ok, I guess. The connection was tolerable enough. I did my critical game things, but found no group for anything special. I played my game most of the day, but did watch a show during lunch. I tried watching one during dinner just before the library closed, but the connection had gotten so weak by that point it couldn't even connect to the site.

I got a little gas today. Enough for a week at $8. The person who used the pump before me apparently had gotten $68 worth. I can't even imagine a world where I would both need that much in gas and have that much to spend on it. I guess if I had money to actually fill my car it might be sort of close at probably around $50, which is crazy to think of. At this point I can barely remember the days just a few years ago when I was working part time and could just keep the car full most of the time. I remember times like going across the bay to the gaming group and thinking that $5 wasn't a big deal, and I'd even grab $5 of fast food for lunch on the way sometimes. Those days are long gone. That $68 sounds like a fortune to me these days.

I guess though I have what I have. I have to just look at now and try not to think too much about when, or if, because I may get too sad since those days are gone or may never come to be. But I try to hang on to hope. I try to continue to hope help and donations come in time. And I try to hang on until they do.

Day 4009 - 6/23 - Overloaded

Today the library got overloaded. By about 1 I was seeing lag and locking long enough that group activities in my game would have been unsafe. While I did do couple of lesser group activities, there was no way I could try to find a group for my rare fancy activity. By about 2:30 it had gotten so full of people some were sitting on the floor near tables or other chairs. I guess it got pretty warm, showing 85F outside, and when I got a drink from the car as I was leaving in the evening it was a touch warm.

I guess it was ok though. Despite the connection disconnecting me as much as 2 out of 10 minutes I did still manage to do my important crafting things, and do some more casual single person stuff that I needed to do with an alt character. So there was still a fair bit of not high-end play gained. Plus I got to watch most of a show I wanted to watch, so that's good. (It's 4 hours total, so I didn't expect to watch all of it in one sitting.)

There were no donations or help, so I am still becoming terrified about the overdue car insurance and registration coming due in less than a month. I don't know what will happen if I can't pay it or if I go past one month over due on insurance. But I have no choice. All I can do is try my best to hold on emotionally and financially, and hope help comes in time.

Day 4010 - 6/24 - Recycle

Today was ok, I guess. Early in the morning I regretted my decision to be at school. From as early as about 9:30 the connection was just about the worst it's been yet, disconnecting me so much that I completely gave up trying to play until about two hours later when a few classes had let out.

I guess the rest of the day was ok. After three hours of looking I found a group for the special raid in my MMO I'm trying to do. Sadly no new items dropped that I needed. Which, I suppose, isn't surprising as the number of needed items drop the odds that something I don't need drops increases.

I was oddly hungry. Most Mondays I get a bit more food than usual to compensate for the reduction over the weekend. I probably ate 20-30% more than normal, yet I feel like I ate 20-30% less. I'm feeling very hungry for some reason. I did find some recycle paper to use. There are probably 75 pages.

I got another note from my car insurance. Nothing threatening, just a reminder that my payment (two of them) is due on the first. Which basically means I have five days to pay what is behind or I'll be more than one month behind. And I'm sure that will become extremely bad very quickly. And, as always, with less than a month before $200 is needed for registration with smog it feels like I won't make it.

But, as always, all I can do is try to hang on. And hopefully help and donations will come in time.

Day 4011 - 6/25 - Eight

Today when I parked there were eight cars in the first two rows combined. Normally there would be probably thirty. I expect there will be almost no one on campus going forward after today, and even probably by this afternoon, as most will have finished their test by then.

For me it's the first final of the classes I'm TAing this quarter. I guess the last time I'll ever help in this particular class. I don't feel sad. I certainly don't feel excited, because I'm not moving on to something better. I guess I just feel numb to a degree. I suppose that's partly due to its transient nature, every quarter it's different, so bonds aren't really formed in such a short time. But I think a greater part is I was never rewarded for it, and rarely given the respect of such a position, by students or the teacher. Certainly not the teacher, though I suppose she does, she said so only maybe once a year. There were a few times students did, and a few even wrote to the dean saying I should be compensated in some way, but I never was. I know if it weren't for my presence several wouldn't have passed. And for a few I may have made a life-long change. But there was no compensation. And I may never see the results of those changes after I stop seeing the student.

I fear most for the car bills. I am days away from a full month past due on insurance and less than a month until the car registration. But all I can do is continue searching job lists as I have been. Keep hoping help, donations, and opportunity come in time. And keep trying to hang on.

Week 574

Day 4012 - 6/26 - Current for half a week

Today I had the chance to pay what I was behind on for my car insurance. Last night I saw the older school friend who worries about me. She said she wanted to get me a movie pass but didn't have time, so she gave me $20 cash. I told her that honestly I needed to pay my car insurance more, but I don't think she really registered what I said, which I guess is ok. But combined with money dad sent it was barely enough to get me current, for half a week. Then I'll be late again. At least for the moment it's current. I have only the gas in my car, maybe a week, and that's it. Nothing for the next week, nothing for the next payment, registration or smog, or anything.

I guess today was a better day. I had fun in my game. I tried to do the special raid activity again in my MMO, and in the early afternoon I found a group and did it like three times. I only got one item I sort of need, so it is indeed becoming tougher to finish the sets I want. I did tank though, which I probably haven't done in a couple of years, and never in a raid before, and people said I did super good and they had fun. So that was nice to hear and be appreciated. (I'd originally joined to be healer.)

I watched a few shows and tried to relax. Most things seem to be done for the moment, so I guess I'll have a big pause with shows during the summer. Mostly no one was around. I would bet I saw fewer than a dozen people on the floor all day. I think there are a few classes doing tests tomorrow. I know the other two I'm TAing for are for sure, so I will see at least some people around.

Current on insurance is a big momentary relief. I still don't know if help will come for the registration and things like gas each week. All I can do is try to continue to hang on and hope that help and donations do come. And hopefully I can hang on until they do.

Day 4013 - 6/27 - Maybe see me again?

Today was pretty good. The connection was strong and clear all day. In the morning I watched a few projects for one class I TA for, but that 30 minutes was really the last of my TAing. The rest of the day I mostly played my MMO. Though I did watch a bit of a show in the evening.

When the evening class test period was over the professor went past me. I did a wave and said, "Goodbye forever." She seemed very sad, as if the thought hadn't occurred to her before. She replied, 'nah, I'll see you next week. I'll be in and out to finish some stuff.' I said, 'I don't expect I'll be here,' and she looked very confused and asked why. I said my parking sticker won't be good after that first week, and since I don't have one for the quarter I didn't expect I'd be hanging out there. She actually volunteered that she might be able to give me hers, a thought I'd actually considered a few weeks ago since she has a yearly pass. We'll see if that happens. It kind of seemed like she was expecting to see me, maybe even give a farewell present, and it just hadn't occurred to her that I wouldn't be around. I think all the subtleties of my sad homeless life escape her a lot of the time. I doubt she will contact me again to meet to give me anything, but I guess we'll see in time.

But mostly I had fun today. I did the special raid in my MMO again. I'm down to only one needed piece, and two others that would be great to get. So, maybe I can actually finish those sets soon. Though being limited to the library connection I'll be further limited on when and how often I can go.

There were no donations, so I'm still very worried about car registration. But I guess all I can do is continue to try to hang on and hopefully help and donations come in time.

Day 4014 - 6/28 - Sad, then ok

Today things were ok at the food store, but for some reason when I settled in at the library, had lunch, and started playing my MMO I pretty quickly started to feel sad. A friend suggested we do something and I reluctantly did it. I didn't really feel like doing it. I just felt like logging off, going into a quiet corner, and hugging my bunnies. But then a couple of hours later I was glad I did it, and I had been having a good time, despite how sad I felt, and so the rest of my day was pretty happy. At the very least, not sad.

I guess it was mostly a change in the back of my mind. The realization that this sweat inducing wooden chair with fridge-like air conditioned library was to be, very likely, how I would be for the next three months until school starts up again. Unless the professor gives me her car parking sticker. (Which I may be hesitant to use as it's a staff one.) Or I get a donation big enough to pay the things and have an extra $15 to get my own. But with needing $200 for registration and smog, very soon $40 for the next insurance, and $30 a month for gas, extra for anything seems very unlikely these days.

I guess I am ok. Though overall I do think in the back of my mind I have been focused on the unchanging nature of my homeless life, sad that it seems no matter what path I choose, what classes I take, who I meet, I seem to get no traction or movement towards a better life and recovery.

But, I suppose, today was just today. A day like many others. And having survived it, hopefully I will have another. So I continue to hope help, donations, and opportunity come, and I can hang on until they do.

Day 4015 - 6/29 - Nice feathers / Torn in half

Today on my way to the library I found two very nice soft feathers. Likely from gooses, or some other water bird that are in the area. Once I saw a goose on top of a school building honking away. It was pretty funny.

I played most of the day and had a pretty good time. I was a bit sad in the morning and early afternoon, as it seemed I wasn't going to find a special raid group. But there was one in the early evening and I decided to risk it. It mostly went ok. I did disconnect a few times while playing, but made it through. Which was good, as I got a very important item I was looking for. Now there is really just one thing I'd really like to get, maybe two that would be nice, but not necessary. And, a loot dropped for someone who also needed it very much, so I gave it to them and they were super happy.

I was kind of sad today. There is a yearly thing I'd been looking forward to I thought I might be able to do this year. But, as with the last three years, since I've become unemployed I have zero money to check out any special events. I can't even cover basic needs like weekly gas.

Speaking of basic needs; this morning my contact was bugging me a lot when I put it in. I popped it out to try and arrange it better and noticed not only did it have the crescent tear from before, but on the opposite side a rip running through maybe 1/3 of the way towards the middle. So, adding both together, it's likely torn in about half. So that one is effectively unusable, though I kept it just in case. I got one of the other three I had in reserve and that one is working much better. It burned for a few hours after putting it on, but after some rinsing and time it settled down and doesn't really hurt much.

Another odd thing is my keyboard has a few keys getting very wonky. One is the D key which is terrible, as all games use that. I popped it out and there was a ton of dirt and yuck I cleared out. Some others in that same section of the keyboard were also very yucky. Some of the yuck looked like hairs that were like 1" long, which seems odd to be in the keyboard, especially since it's been at least 4-6 months since I had hair that long. I suppose worst case scenario I'll have to get a USB keyboard, which there is a cheap one on my wish list now for about $12. I have the wireless one for my tablet I can try. Though I think that one would be too small to game on. I'll check that later.

So, I guess some happy things, some sad things today. I guess with all days the important thing is I made it through and nothing terribly bad happened. So I continue to try to hang on until help and donations come. And hopefully I can hang on until they do, and hopefully they come in time to pay the car things on time.

Day 4016 - 6/30 - Sad and hungry

Today I have been feeling pretty sad. I think subconsciously I've been doing the yearly pondering of what hasn't changed in my life. What with the end of the school year (save for summer session, which no one really does), and the end of the fail year, my mind is yet again reminded of notable cycle endings where I am seemingly no closer to recovery.

I got to try my special raid in my MMO, but I didn't get the item I need. At this point it's really just the one thing. If I can at least do it every other day or so it shouldn't be much longer to get it. Then what is the big question though. There is maybe another set I might try for, but it requires a special mode on a raid which no one ever does, so I probably won't ever really get the chance.

I got fruit to eat today and I'm pretty hungry. For about as long as I can remember now all my tummy has really wanted is a hamburger and fries. Not a huge deal from the cafeteria at $7, which has quite a few fries, but certainly way beyond what I have to spend on 'extra' things like cooked food. I think at this point it's probably been a year since I last got one.

I guess overall today wasn't terrible. Though there was little gain in my game, I had fun and could play. I watched a show. And though I still feel hungry, I had 'enough' food. There was so much more I wanted, or could have done in a home, or if I had friends, but I have what I have. And it has to be enough because I can't just have more just because I want to. So I try to hang on to hope. And hopefully help and donations come and I can pay the rapidly approaching bills in time. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Year 12

Day 4017 - 7/1 - The last piece

Today was actually pretty good. I went to school, as I figure I'll be there this week since I have the parking pass from last quarter that covers this week. A couple of people waved hi to me, so that was nice. It kind of felt like I was a teenager and my dad was out of town and I had the house to myself. I think there were fewer than six people on the floor all day, though I did hear quite a few on the floor above me. There are only two classes on the floor for summer, so I expect it will be extremely quiet (should I get a parking permit, and gas, and continue to be there.)

I got into another special raid group in my MMO just before lunch and the second loot that dropped was the last item I needed. (Usually only 5-8 items drop per run.) There is still something that would be nice to have, so I may still do it a few more times, but I now have the two sets I wanted and two others I probably don't really need which were also completed during that time, so big things accomplished. And it feels like a lot quicker than I was originally estimating. (Though it probably was 20 runs in total so far.)

I tested my wireless keyboard today with my shooter for about an hour. It was surprisingly good. The keys were solid and there was no delay in the input. Though they are a bit smaller, probably 95% full size, which is enough that it's both close enough to full size to be fine but small enough that if I move my hand to type I have to look down. It's also a touch weird to have a keyboard on my keyboard, along with my hand position being less than ideal on my lap, but it's manageable. But being battery based, and games pushing multiple keys at once, I expect it probably wouldn't last more than a couple of days per battery set. So it's good to know it's an option if my keyboard becomes unusable, but it shouldn't be more than a hold-over between that failure and ordering the USB one on my wish list. It's weird to not use the laptop keyboard, but it's becoming enough of a problem I need to consider changing soon. (Maybe within the next 6 months.)

I found another feather today. That makes four in the past few days. When I was very young I used to say feathers were a sign from my mom that she was watching over me. (Even though her name was Robin and there really aren't robins in this area. The feathers are all black.) Maybe that's what it is. Just a little message from Fate and Destiny saying that I'm ok, that the path I'm on is not as doomed as it seems.

I hope that is true. I'm now just a couple of weeks from the car registration with smog being due and I have no idea how I'd pay for it without help. So I continue to hang on to hope that help and donations come soon. And I try to hang on until they do.

Day 4018 - 7/2 - Quiet start

Today will be the first classes on the floor for the quarter. I hear people above me, but I've only seen two students on the floor so far. It seems like a slow start. (As I'm typing this in the first class has started, so there are quite a few more now.)

There are no donations yet, so I'm very uncertain of my future. I'll be critical on gas by the weekend, and with no parking sticker even if I get gas my schedule seems uncertain. It would be nice to not have to worry about parking. But not being able to move the car because of no gas while homeless is panic inducing. And, of course, there is the car registration due in a few weeks at a seemingly unobtainable $200. I have no idea how I'll manage that.

My level of need for help seems to again be at an all time high. And I don't know if there is anyone listening to my sad story anymore. All I can do is continue to hang on to hope.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2019
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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