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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 12: Unknown Beyond

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.

View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 1 .pdf paperback book
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View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 3 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 4 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 5 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 6 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 7 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 8 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 9 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 10 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 11 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 12 .pdf paperback book
These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 581

Day 4061 - 8/14 - More presents

Today was pretty good. In the morning I stopped by the ex-house to check for more presents and there actually were some. There is a wrapped box, which feels super light. Maybe it's clothing, like a hat? And there were gift cards for regular monies, so I have enough to sign up for classes. (Which I sort of did, and I'm on the wait list for two classes.) And I'm hoping the rest is enough for at least getting a prescription and a few pair of contacts. I've reached out to an optometrist who is supposed to take my insurance, so we'll see if, or when, they respond. If they don't respond within a couple of days, I guess by Monday, I'll reach out to the next one down the list. Hopefully there will be enough to get a parking sticker too, but I can't get one until I've actually registered for a class (as it only counts my financial aid discount then. It's double if not.)

I had an ok time in my game. Though kids were still off, so as expected the connection started going bad by 1. And by about 2:30 I was dropping a lot and any videos playing in the background would pause about once every other minute, adding up to probably 40% of the time they would have been playing. Supposedly school starts for them tomorrow, so hopefully weekdays will be clear and quick for the rest of summer. I guess we'll see.

So today I remain extra hopeful, as birthday money should help greatly, and now it's just a matter of waiting for replies on things. So I try to continue to be hopeful. And I try to continue to hang on.

More nice presents.

Day 4062 - 8/15 - Too slow, too hot

Today there were still way too many people at the library. I guess high school is still out so there were still teens and likely their associated parents. The library was full and losing bandwidth by 1, as usual.

There was extra sad today because I have my birthday game to download. It was 30 gig, and after trying at the library for about 8 hours it only managed to download about 20 gig. I guess that's sort of ok, as it doesn't unlock for play until tomorrow either way.

It was going at such a slow rate I decided school would be the only guaranteed way to have it by tomorrow. I would have left the library with a few hours before having to hide for the night, but the temperature was showing 100F outside from about noon until almost when I left in the evening when it was only down to 97F. While laptops can run in heat they can't for very long. Hot air in means it can't cool. Even at 85F you shouldn't run a laptop more than an hour. At 100F I would guess even 30 minutes would be risky. Not to mention that heat isn't good for monitors. So I pretty much reserved myself to going over in the morning. It is supposed to be in the 70s in the morning when I'd be doing it, so that should be easy to download beore the library opens.

My contacts are burning pretty bad lately, especially the one. I was really hoping the eye doctor would have contacted me. I may just drive there and talk to them in person. It's about 1-2 day of gas to do that, but I really need an appointment as soon as possible. I've decided to risk finger washing them. You are supposed to clean them between your finger and palm, which I haven't done due to their extreme age. But I looked up how to alleviate the burning and one symptom is protein and dirt buildup. Cleaning them alleviates that. It's probably just age, but I cleaned them, then redid the overnight solution. And I'll change the solution every other day. And putting in eye drops seemed to help, so if my eye hurts or not I'll do that every other hour or so. Hopefully that will reduce at least any buildup as the days go on.

With my recent birthday money, and more money today, all I can do is hope it's enough. Hopefully I can find an eye doctor soon, and get 'enough' contacts to last until I can get more. I got my replacement backpack too, so that's nice to have instead of the torn up old one. So, as always, it seems all I can do is try to hope what I have is enough. And try to continue to hang on until better times.

Day 4063 - 8/16 - Pew pew pew

Today started with quite the run around. I hurried through food buying to get to school to finish my birthday game download as quick as I could. I figured it should be fast enough to even get a shower, which I just wasn't in the mood for yesterday. When I started walking onto campus I heard the loud generators everywhere; a bad sign. There was no power in the outlet when I settled in, the building lights were all dark, and there were no lights on the router. Power was definitely out. I asked some maintenance people who were in the area if it was just this building or campus wide. Apparently this is the one day out of the entire year they shut everything down on campus to do maintenance. Seriously?! So I make this big detour, all this walking time because I don't have a parking sticker, for a total of probably 45 minutes wasted, for nothing?!

I walked the long 8-10 minutes back to the car, having accomplished nothing, and headed off to the library. Even though it would be nowhere near fast enough to get the remaining client downloaded in the hour or so I had before they opened. I had to be unplugged to get any kind of signal, as the plug is through a lot of concrete and brick. When all was said and done and the library was about to open I had surprisingly got about half what was left. And after settling in to my spot the rest was done by 11 AM. Which was good, as the connection was completely dropping me from games and useless by about 1, pretty much right on schedule.

So at that point I played my new game, and in the evening tried to watch stuff. Things were ok and I managed.

So today turned out pretty good. Though it was still incredibly hot. In my brief time in the morning walking I'd started sweating, with just a tank top and shorts on. Similarly the evening when I left was pretty hot. It was so hot I was almost not uncomfortable inside the library with my three shirt layers.

So today was a better day, though not without its flaws. I still think of all the things I am missing being homeless. And although it has become a pretty happy birthday due to gifts and the possibility of getting new contacts, I still wonder if I will ever have birthdays in a home again, with people who I know 'in real life' around me. I guess I will only know in time, but for the moment things seem a bit better. And that is something.

Day 4064 - 8/17 - A step forward

Today I reached out to a different eye doctor since the first hasn't responded yet. This one did. They said they would take my insurance, so the exam would be free. However, they said there was a second charge for contacts, being basically $100? And that isn't covered by insurance? That doesn't sound right. My old eye doctor never charged that. While I had been with him for 30 years at the time he retired, it seems unlikely he'd be waiving a $100 fee every year. So I responded back asking for clarification on what that was.

I found an online contact place that seems to sell them in any amount. My exact brand and type even. So I could just get one box, or several, my choice. It looks like all they require is proof of my prescription. Which again makes me wonder what that extra cost is. Does the eye exam not give a prescription? What is the exam for then? I asked the contact place if they knew what that was and could give me more info.

If that is an unavoidable fee it seems unlikely I'd have enough. I did get some more birthday money from a friend, dad sent more, and another friend also said they'd send help, but I'd be surprised if it added up to the $150 for that required cost and a couple of boxes of contacts. If that is unavoidable I don't know how I'd manage. And glasses make me motion sick.

The day was pretty good though. In spite of that it feels like a step forward for my eyes not burning and tearing up constantly. The connection was seemingly stronger, so I played my MMO until about 4. After that I played my new birthday game and had a super fun time.

So for today I feel a bit more hopeful. So I try to struggle through the pain. And hopefully I can make it to better days ahead.

Day 4065 - 8/18 - Maybe closer

Today I reached out to another optometrist. They are further than the first, who has not responded, but probably about the same distance as the ones who wanted the extra $100 for the contact prescription. To my surprise a few hours later the eye doc replied, and it's a day they are closed. He said the prescription would only be $60, so yeah, I'll see about making an appointment with him instead. I'll have to reactivate the phone, so that's another $10, but that seems unavoidable. I got a big birthday money gift from the person who's sister might have helped (which fell through), so even though this is an unavoidable fee it should be enough to cover that cost and get some contacts. I guess what I can do is be mindful this time to stock up when I can to avoid that $60 fee for as long as possible.

Library bandwidth was ok, so I did some MMO playing. But, as usual, it got bad by the afternoon. Which is fine, as I just played my super fun birthday game. The levels are fun and suuuper huge, so it's easy to have fun and lose myself there for many hours.

The library was pretty cold, maybe more than usual. I guess I'll go back to pants. But it seemed like it was a pretty good day for the most part, even though my contact burning is getting pretty extreme at times. But I try to continue to hang on. Hopefully at least a few things can come together for the moment, and I can make it to better days.

Day 4066 - 8/18 - Ok day

Today was a pretty ok day. The connection at the food store was nonexistent so I played my shooter. After, I got to the library and the connection seemed ok, so I played my MMO for a bit. There was a potential raid in the evening, and a show to watch, so I had to split the day quite a bit. The connection held, but did lag and drop me a few times during the raid, so it may not be really feasible to raid at the library. It was still full in the evening for some reason, so school starting seems to have not really affected population. At least certainly not yet.

I got another bride gift from a friend, so that will help settle contact costs. I am beginning to wonder if my contacts are slowly being worn down by my eyes, lowering the prescription. If they have any acidic quality, which I'd guess they would needing to fight off stuff you get in your eye, it would make sense. And that would explain why it is seemingly getting harder to focus and see clearly. Hopefully I can make an appointment and in a couple of weeks have that done and new contacts in hand. I'll see if I can pay for rush shipping too maybe, as they are estimating about 7 business days for shipping. Getting them sooner would be very helpful.

But in spite of my sad homeless limitations today was pretty good. So I continue to look ahead. I continue to try to hang on to hope. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4067 - 8/20 - Actual birthday

Today is pretty good so far. I got two super cute bunnies, a super cute bunny hat, and the nice keyboard (which actually can be placed on top of the laptop keyboard and not miss-key underneath on the laptop keys.)

I don't know what the day will hold for contact progression. They are itchy today. I am still a few steps from ordering, but much closer than ever before. Hopefully the library will be quick and clear. If not, in an extreme emergency I should still be able to get a free birthday play day from the game center. I considered going there, but the noise and sometimes smell from other people is ... not ideal.

But today will hopefully be pretty good. Hopefully I can get new contacts soon. And hopefully it will be better days soon.

All the bunny presents.

Week 582

Day 4068 - 8/21 - I can see clearly now

Today I had my appointment with the eye doctor. I set it up yesterday, so there was no mention of it in the writing as I set it up after. I got there quickly, so I was pretty early, which was fine as he finished with the person before me 15 minutes early. He said the contact box with my old prescription was pretty much all he needed for a base to work from, so that was great. when he finished some preliminary tests with the contacts in he asked how old they were. I said, 'you probably don't really want to know because they are suuuuper old.' And he replied, "Like a year?" And I was like 'whuuuuut'. Apparently he commonly has patients who try to make a single weekly pair last a year, sometimes two. Which seems mindboggling to me as mine typically start to tear or burn too much after just 2-3 months. I told him it was like 4 months for sure, maybe 5-6, and he said that was fine.

We did more tests and he checked my up close vision since we talked about my 'old man glasses' and how in the last year it's become incredibly common for me to need them when reading. He said the +1.5 power they are is actually probably correct for how I see. He said to try this new pair of contacts which were +4.75, approximately 10% lower than my previous prescription. I was like whoa. Not only were they clear and sharp because they were new, but apparently my old prescription was too strong. I guess because it was too strong it was hurting my eyes, as apparently when you get older your focus muscles lose their ability to focus and adjust quickly, so if a prescription is too strong or too weak it makes the eyes unable to focus at the proper distance.

He also handed me a chart with tiny letters. He said, 'I'll bet you can read this pretty good now.' I checked, and without my reading glasses I could read about half of them, and with all of them. Apparently only the first of six is normal vision. So now my eyes are back to normal. I am even writing this with no trouble at all without my glasses. And when playing games on my laptop I mostly don't need them, whereas with the old ones I was starting to need them about 85% of the time.

It was immensely hot. I had just a t-shirt on in the car on the way and I was sweating a bit. When I was back to the library I changed to my tank top. Thankfully my usual library spot was open, so that was amazing. And for once I was glad of the cold. It still took a good while to cool down to the point of changing back to my T-shirt.

So today, thanks to the many birthday gifts and help, was a good day. I have new contacts I'll probably wear for two months, since that usually seems fine, and tomorrow I'll figure out how many pair are 'safe' to order. If they hold for two months each (instead of the week they are supposed to work for) that means I'd only need two boxes at about $30 each. That would be pretty awesome because if I used them weekly like they should that would be just over 17 boxes.

But despite my driving through weather that was way too hot, today was a good day. So hopefully things continue like this and I can have many more.

Day 4069 - 8/22 - Won a game

Today was pretty good. It started with a teeny bit of stream watching and playing in the morning, then a shower. I watched a bit more of the stream at the library and then won a game! I got to pick from a list of smaller/older games, but one was a game I've had on my list for like a year which is an arcade-like game. So that turned out to be a super good late birthday present.

The rest of the day was pretty good. I played my MMO for a bit, though bandwidth started going bad by the early afternoon, so I stopped and played my birthday game offline. I actually tried to play online to see how that is and it failed. I would guess it's firewall blocked, as for some weird reason most shooters are. I think mostly I'd play solo anyways. I would like to try multiplayer at some point, but if it's blocked at the library I'll likely not bother as it probably wouldn't be stable through the VPN.

In the evening I watched some shows. I also sort of looked at what is left of my birthday money and planned it out. The gift cards will, hopefully, go towards two quarters of school. I will pull out $100 and hold it, as that's 2/3 of my web space cost for the year which is coming due in December. I got a small present of the new role playing game rules on .pdf, and the rest will be saved for some gas and a couple of smaller cost items.

So today was actually pretty good. Though I am still worried about the big bills coming at the end of the year. But hopefully I can hang onto hope, and hang on until forever better days.

Day 4070 - 8/23 - Cooling off

Today was just a touch cooler than it has been. I was chilly again in the library and it was only a bit warmer coming in. The weather app said it was 75F when I checked, peaking for the day at 85F. So that is a lot cooler than it has been.

The library connection started going bad at about 12:30, quite a bit earlier than I'd hoped it would. It ok though, as I just spent the time playing my birthday game. It was okish in the evening, so I watched a couple of shows.

Today was pretty good. My brain is still settling from the birthday gifts and well wishing, so I still feel pretty good. But I'm sure sadness will rapidly return as the money disappears. But for the moment things seem better. And so I try to continue to hang on to hope.

Day 4071 - 8/24 - Not much

Not much for today. I tried for a thing in my MMO and still didn't get it. I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the chase, as I've tried several times every day, like more than 40 times now. Bandwidth held ok, but by 2 I was playing my single player game. Not really a surprise there. It was a bit average in temperature, and not too hot.

I guess it was an ok day, but due to news of a friend's friends death I am again wondering if I will ever recover. And if so, how many years will I have left? Have these years damaged me to the point of losing some of the time I should otherwise have? And if I do, will they be good or memorable at all.

Day 4072 - 8/25 - Out early

Today the library connection was dead pretty early. It was barely after 11 when I started seeing signs of a poor connection. And it was lagging so badly it dropped me from my MMO by 11:30. I struggled along a bit more, but by 12:30 I was seeing signs of extreme lag. I have other stuff to do offline, as well as my birthday game, so I didn't mind much. I still hope weekdays calm down enough to not lose any online time, but I guess we'll see. Last week it was pretty busy more days than not, unusable for gaming basically after 3.

It was warm, but not too warm. The library was actually not super terrible, though I still had three shirt layers and my hat on, so I still wouldn't say it was warm.

I'm still freaking out a bit over my age, death, homelessness, and general health. And with no one really talking to me in real life, always wonder if I will ever find 'real life' friends and love again.

But I have what I have. I continue to try to look at what remains, what is good and nice, and hopefully I can continue to hang on. And hopefully someday I will make it through to better days.

Day 4073 - 8/26 - Must be on hold

Today was pretty good. I tried for an item in my MMO in the morning, then watched a show for a bit. A bandwidth test in the early evening seemed like it would be ok to raid, so I did. But the library let me down. Three times during the raid I locked up for a minute then dropped, and it took several for the connection to settle to come back in. I apologized to the guild people after, and said this is likely a sign I should not raid (in the evenings) from the library. So, no more raids in the evening until I'm back at school. I do have a new raid thing to try to get, but I don't know how many chances I'll get for that being limited to morning and early afternoon, times people don't usually raid. And it's a highly sought after set, so there is likely going to be a lot of competition for it.

I guess despite the bandwidth drops today was ok. I had a good time in the morning with my MMO groups, played my birthday game a bit, and watched some of my favorite show. My homeless limitations made me pretty sad, but being a thing out of my control I try to let it go. So I try to hang on. I try to not focus on what I can't control and just focus on what I can. And hopefully I will make it to better days ahead.

Day 4074 - 8/27 - Tired and meh

Today I felt very tired and meh. I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, likely sad life sadness. I lost a lot of sleep because of it. I feel meh today so far. My tummy is hungry, but also a bit upset feeling. The food store seems much too loud, cold, bright, and there is machine noise everywhere, and bad music.

But I hope the day turns out ok. Hopefully the library will be quiet, calm, and normal. And hopefully I continue to hang on until better days.

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

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