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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
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View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 6 .pdf paperback book
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View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 9 .pdf paperback book
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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 597

Day 4173 - 12/4 - Doom clock

Today the doom clock started. Actually it started yesterday afternoon. People who regularly follow on the social page would have seen the notice. My car insurance has officially given me warning that if I don't pay what I owe they will cancel the policy. I did call today and get a few weeks extension, but I basically have to pay three months owed by January 1st. Which sounds more unattainable than it is. Yes, without help there is no way I'd have the money. But it's only about $120 total. Which, if dad sends Xmas money in cash, not a gift card, and he sends a big amount, like he often does for Xmas, I'd only need one other person helping to make it. So, it's within reach, but I will have to hope there is help.

I hate to do that though. Gift money should always be spent on gifts. They should be a celebration of you, and the person who sent them, and your relationship. I've never felt good about spending gift money on bills. Sadly, much of my life has forced the issue. At this point I've spent way more gift money on everyday things I couldn't otherwise pay for.

These days it always feels like I am on the verge of uncontrollably crying over what I've lost. And that I am not in a position to help others who need help. So many are in pain and can't ask for help, or won't. I wish I were in a position I could be the guardian angel for others, instead of the one in pain and needing help.

But all I can do is try to hang on. The web space is spared for another year. School is secure for another year. And while things are still unpaid and under threat, I have to continue to stay hopeful help will come in time.

Day 4174 - 12/5 - A big help

Today my online friend who sometimes sends help sent a pretty big help. I'm not safe yet, especially if we look beyond a month's time, but with one other medium sized help before the end of the year I'll be able to make the three car insurance payments and be clear through January.

I think I mentioned in the past how the professor I'm friendly with who I chat with has paid TA positions. He asked me earlier in the quarter if I'd be interested, but I couldn't qualify as far as I knew due to many reasons. I recently found out some of those might be able to be waived, so tomorrow I'll make a detour across campus and see if that's possible for me. It seems unlikely, but I'll check. It wouldn't solve my problems completely, but it would help quite a bit.

I was feeling very sad and down today, and on the verge of crying most of the day. When I got notice of the big help in the afternoon things started to seem better. The sad cloud that has been around me has parted some, and the haze of confusion, depression, and constantly feeling sleepy has lifted a bit. Not completely, as I'm not safe from even the car insurance yet, let alone other costs. But being much closer to at least partly safe has helped lift my spirits quite a bit.

There were odd things I discovered yesterday though. I guess finals week is next week, not the week after like I thought. So I had quite a lot less time to do my big final projects than I thought. I powered through the one I've been working on and finished early. It's ok. I'd say C work, maybe a B. I am not really proud of it. It's just ok. There are some good things, but I don't have the week more that I thought I had to polish it. But that does mean I have to do quite a bit this weekend on the next to pound it out in the software on Monday. Which is also good and bad. It should be plenty of time, as it's more research and concept than time with the software.

So I guess the day started bad and sad, but with the news of help coming my spirits are greatly lifted and I have hope again. But there is still more around the corner. And I'm not safe yet. So I continue to try to hang on. And hopefully more help will come in time.

Day 4175 - 12/6 - Fundraiser

Today the 'fundraiser' I set up on the social page has finally been approved. To my surprise two people sent help a few hours after it went up. And, one person sent so much help it funded the two car payments I was asking for help with. (It has a few days until completion.) So, I'm still hoping more will come in the days it will stay up, but there is enough to be safe. That is assuming the money comes by the 1st. The page said it could take a few days to be sent, then a few more for the bank to process it. So hopefully it will be there in time. Or, hopefully more will come through regular donation channels that can be drawn immediately.

It would be really great if they added up to enough to pay it off entirely. For some stupid reason they charge almost an extra $10 a month if you pay monthly, which is like 25% interest. Which is some pretty big BS there.

I still feel really extremely sad though. All day my mood has been incredibly low. Possibly one of the lowest days ever. I guess maybe I don't feel the stress relieved because it's not actually paid yet. That would be logical. But I don't know. I feel like I'm isolated in a house on the side of a snowed mountain. And looking out of the window all I see is snow and storm, and I have no connection to anyone or anything.

Maybe it's stress, in general, doing massive damage to my heart. I have been feeling extra bad lately. And so I am very worried about my health.

But hopefully help will continue to come. Hopefully I can fully pay off the car insurance, maybe even have extra to save towards other bills around the corner. But all I can really do is try to continue to hang on. And hopefully I can hang on long enough.

Day 4176 - 12/7 - Pouring rain, dead table

Today it has been pouring rain most of the day. On the good side that means the library actually turned on the heat and I didn't need to wear my hoodie. On the bad side it meant that from about noon on it started to smell like a wet dog everywhere because people were wet. Thankfully it wasn't too bad though.

About an hour after I was at the library I noticed my laptop had no power. I didn't panic as I knew the tables are often dead, and the other side of the one I sit at has been dead for years. Checking with a different device, and plugging in to the outlet directly, I confirmed the table was dead. Really? They spend who knows how many probably tens of thousands of dollars 'updating' the seating in most of the library, but they didn't think to check the plugs at the tables they didn't change?

I guess today was ok. I had an ok time in my game, though everyone was quiet and I didn't really group. I spent a few hours doing what feels like decent progress on the final school project. Hopefully I can finish tomorrow and then just hammer it out Monday when I have access to the software.

I feel a bit better about the bills. But I continue to hope more help comes, as it's better to have things paid in advance then to worry about the doom of their approach. For the moment I should be safe though, it's just a matter of the monies getting to me. And hopefully I can continue to hang on emotionally.

Day 4177 - 12/8 - Clear for a bit

Today the sky, and my mood, was clear for a bit. It was moderately raining in the morning, and partly in the afternoon. But by mid-afternoon the skies cleared and it actually looked very nice out. Yesterday and today when it was raining I could also see a rainbow outside, which stayed and slllooowwwly crossed the sky for a few hours.

My mood was a bit better too. I wasn't quite as sad. There was no one around online. And even though it showed 20 in the guild, no one was chatting. I stopped playing my MMO early and left to watch things and play a little bit of another game.

Nothing changed today really. Just a regular Sunday, but I try to stay hopeful more help comes, and I can hang on until better days.

Day 4178 - 12/9 - Clear day

Today it was a clear day. I don't think it rained at all. I played for a bit in the morning, then did the important project, then played a bit more. I visited the ex-roomie again. I think maybe recently she has had some guilt due to the rain and the extra cold. Though I'm not sure it's more of either than it normally is.

I guess my mood was a bit better. Though I'm sure things will get more sad and distant feeling again once we hit vacation and I'm at the library (which doesn't feel as private as school.) But I try to continue to take everything one day at a time. It's really the only way I can manage these days. And hanging on lately is tougher than ever. But trying to hang on is all I can do. And hopefully better days will come.

Day 4179 - 12/10 - Safe for the moment

Today I expect a calm day. There are a couple of classes people are waiting to take a test for now, but I expect things will be pretty calm and quiet for the most part.

Yesterday I got word my food money was approved again, so I have food for at least a bit again. I don't know when the homeless food money help will run out, but due to the few months it was delayed I may want to try and save up a bit just in case. (As far as I know there's no point they 'take it back'.)

There is the car insurance 'fundraiser' help that will close tomorrow and be on its way to me. It seems like the few that have helped so far will be it, but it will be a cushion for a little while.

Sadly I got a confirmation I'm disqualified for any paid TA work due to having too many units, which while not surprising is a bit disappointing.

I don't really know what the day will hold for me, but hopefully it will be calm, quiet, and I can continue to hang on until better days.

Week 598

Day 4180 - 12/11 - Early notice

Today was ok. The final was super short, barely an hour. Then I spent the rest of the day trying to relax and stay stress free. I'm not really sure I succeeded though. I was extremely tired. I felt like I should just go out to the car and sleep all day. And I was pretty depressed. There were a few moments of happiness or laughing, but mostly if someone were to look at me I'm sure they would have seen a frown more often than not. And I really only said a few sentences all day.

I suppose in good news I got word dad sent Xmas money early. And it's a bigger amount. I'm not quite sure what I'll be able to do with it, as I'll have to put it all in a big pile and see what I have before spending anything, but I'm hopeful it's enough to at least have some options.

For the moment I'm still trying to hang on and make it one day at a time. I continue to hope more help and donations come. And hopefully I can make it to better days ahead.

Day 4181 - 12/12 - Hurting paws

Today my feet have been hurting pretty badly. I haven't walked any extra lately, not really, so it must just be from how flat the bottoms are getting. If I remember I should check my car for the gel things I got years ago. Maybe that will help alleviate the pain until new boots come. I have a vague memory that I couldn't use them last time I looked, but I'll check when I remember.

I guess today was ok. It was really dead in my game. No one was talking in guild chat and again world population was probably at half of normal. I'd guess people are starting vacation and doing other things and not playing online. That tends to always happen around this time of year.

My fundraiser money is supposedly processed and on the way to my bank now, so that's good. That would be great if the estimated 3-5 days was actually just one. That would speed up things greatly. I probably won't get dad's money until the weekend or early next week, so I'll know how much I have to work with and plan then. In rough calculations today it would only be enough for about half of what is remaining on the car insurance, so I won't be able to pay it off entirely. But I can pay some and save enough for some regular payments. Maybe that will be a bit of a cushion. We'll see.

I guess today was ok. Though it felt extremely slow, quite lonely, and a bit sad. But hopefully things will get to my bank soon. And hopefully more will come in the future. And hopefully I can hang on until it does.

Day 4182 - 12/13 - Weird by noon

Today things got weird by noon. As has been common the past few years, really no one is around on the floor anymore. As tests let out people immediately left. So when the last test on the floor ended around 11:30 the place emptied pretty rapidly after.

I guess today was an ok day. I felt a bit lonely and sad while playing. Again almost no one was around. Because of that I've kind of started playing my shooter a bit again. There is a new 'season', so things are a teeny bit different. I'm still on the fence about the game. On the one hand I get that they can't change too much or they will throw off the balance. Because shooters are a lot harder to balance they have to be really careful with that. But on the other hand I'm still really kind of doing the same things, in the same way, as I have for years. What little has changed is too small to alter those patterns.

My tummy is pretty upset over lunch and dinner food. I decided to get hot dogs, as a pack lasts two days, but microing them makes them pretty greasy. And so my tummy is all upset by that today.

There were no new donations or help, but in a huge surprise I checked my bank and it already shows it pending. I just need dad's money to pile it together. It's more than I needed to not be canceled, but I'm worried it will only carry me through a few months. And with help so rare these days I could be in a terrible spot again pretty quickly. But I have to try to not let it get me down. As always I will have to just try to focus on what I have left, how I can survive (just) today, and try to stay hopeful more help comes soon. And hopefully I can hang on until it does.

Day 4183 - 12/14 - Broken feeling back

Today as of the early evening my back has felt kind of broken. I don't know why, but it's almost as if it's locked up on one side. It's difficult to stand up straight.

Other than that the day was kind of good. The library connection was strong and stable all day, even under full load. I had no problems playing or watching whatever I wanted at any point all day. It was nice, and with several weeks before school starts again, a relaxing time. I was actually warm enough to have my hoodie off until it got dark. And it seems like (since my recent email griping about it) they actually fixed the plugs at the table I normally sit at. Quite the surprise since I mentioned it years ago and it hadn't changed.

There was no new help or donations, but with a recovery day I feel ok. And so I try to hang on until more help will come. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4184 - 12/15 - Like a snack

Today I am pretty hungry. I had what was left of salad from yesterday and a small fruit bowl. I don't understand why fruit doesn't feel as filling anymore. When I started somewhat regularly having the bigger bowl maybe six months ago, that and a bread roll would be enough food for all day. Now if I have it I am almost immediately hungry for more food. As if my tummy doesn't think fruit is a food anymore.

The high school kids must not be done with their quarter yet. There were a ton in the library studying yesterday and today. Hopefully during the week it will turn to almost empty. Oddly, in spite of it being pretty full the library connection again stayed stable and solid in my game playing and show watching. So again I did that uninterrupted and tried to relax. It's still odd because my brain still feels like there are several weeks left of the quarter. And even now, four months after the new school year has begun and I haven't been TAing for the previous professor I still can't fully grasp how, after roughly six years, she just dropped me and doesn't seem to care about my struggle or value the time I spent helping her. I haven't heard a single word from her, nor has she replied to any of the three funny notes I sent to her.

But, despite my hunger, and continuing back pain, I guess today was a better day. I laughed a few times at stuff I watched. I had fun with my games. And though I was in public, my brain was relatively able to block it out and try to have a bit of privacy. There were no new donations or help, so I'm still at the very least waiting for dad money to make a plan. But hopefully help will continue to come. And hopefully I can continue to hang on until it does.

Day 4185 - 12/16 - Table wars

Today there was a bit of table weirdness at the library. It started in the morning when I got to the table a few seconds before someone else. She asked if she and her friend could sit there and I replied, confused why she was asking for permission, 'sure, there is plenty of room.' She said, 'oh, my friend needs to sit on your side because he's tall.' Which I guess he was probably 7' or taller. I replied, 'I don't understand. There's a space here,' and gestured next to me. She said, 'oh there will be four of us. You can say no, it's fine.' Reluctant to give up the one space in the library I am comfortable where I always sit, I replied again that I didn't understand. We exchanged a few more words before they left. She seemed fine with it, but I genuinely did not understand why they felt it important to have my spot. Yes, there are single couch like chairs behind me, so there might be 1-2 more feet of room. But it's the same as four more down, and five, and at ten at the end of the row. On that side of the library there are several tables with the same amount of room. I don't get why they gave up completely and went to the other area of the library. I guess I'm the bad guy there or something.

The next was a much more subtle weirdness in the afternoon. Someone sat next to me who smelt odd. A little... not to my liking, but not 'bad'. It smelt off in some way. About an hour after he sat down, and every hour for the next six, he kept snacking on little chocolate Halloween type candies. Then it hit me about what smelt off and slightly wrong. It's that same kind of smell that is around in a bucket of Halloween chocolate that has been out for a few weeks. You know what's inside is still ok, but overall it just doesn't smell good.

I guess it was a pretty good day. The connection was stable and solid all day, which is super happy. But it wasn't as empty as I'd hoped it would be. After about 1 people started filling the place up. Again there were a bunch of teens and college people. Hopefully they will be done tomorrow or the next day. Having the library full for the next few weeks would be... taxing.

But I had fun with my games and shows. I was warm enough. I had enough food. And I suppose the weirdness is just a one and done thing. Hopefully it isn't something that will repeat and I can be back to semi-private space. Though I do really miss the smaller more private two-top table I used to sit at.

But I try to continue to hope more help comes. And I try to hang on until better days.

Day 4186 - 12/17 - Big pile

Today the money from dad is in the bank. I'll sort through things later today and see how much I can send to bills now and how much I need to save for future payments. Until it's paid completely they want the same amount each month, so a bulk payment that doesn't pay it fully isn't as much cushion as smaller and saving for more payments.

I had good but strange dreams. I woke up feeling rested, but now out in public I feel tired and a bit drained. I checked for my shoe gel pads and have definitely lost one. I'm not sure what happened. I only have a vague memory of the other tearing.

No other donations today, so I will see what I can do with the money I have. Hopefully the day will be ok. And hopefully I can hang on until warmer and better days.

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

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