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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.

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These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 619

Day 4327 (V:51) - 5/6 - The steady hand

Today, for the first time since the stay at home time started, my hands are not shaking uncontrollably from anxiety and fear. Trying to hold them still, usually they are, but I still feel some fear and the nerves being unsettled inside. But for the moment I don't seem quite as shaken.

I got a message from someone who I haven't heard from in a couple of years. She is pretty worried about my sad life. I'd honestly forgotten our conversation and that she was out there worrying about me. It seems lately so much is forgotten. I feel sad I forgot about someone who watches out for me. I know they are out there, and knowing they are keeps me going, but with all the struggles so many things seem forgotten and lost these days.

In surprise good news the new high end laptop arrived at the online store site. It shows a launch date of, I think it was the 25th. So I added itto my wish list as it replaces the previous generation high end, surprisingly at the same price. Sadly at $2200 that price is way beyond the $1100-1200 I have to spend, so it's just a wish. Though honestly with all its parts being so much better and more powerful than the entry level system I can afford, it actually would last probably a lot longer than the 'cost per power' when comparing the two. It would definitely be worth the cost if I could afford it. But barring any kind of additional federal help, or a donation of unsurpassed level, it will only be a wish.

I decided to get myself a little treat. I got a few super yummy potato wedges. I think they were about $1.40. But it was enough for a small snack and a few during dinner. They were super yummy and made me smile, and lately these very small treats and moments are all I have to keep me going.

The day is 2/3 over, so I don't know what else may happen today. But these days I always pretty much have to write early. Everything these days is shifted by about 2 hours earlier than it used to be. But I gess I survived the day. There was a little bit of good news, and a nice reminder I am cared for, so I try my best to hang on. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4328 (V:52) - 5/7 - Doesn't seem good

Today more and more I've been feeling like the project I'm working on that is due this weekend doesn't seem good. My original design for it seems kind of ugly and bad. The professor today stressed how it's a work in progress and this weekend is just turning in what we have so far, so I may polish the ok parts and just scrap the bad parts and add a note that I'm refining that bit. I'm sure I'm just overly critical, but with only a little time to use the software each day I feel extra pressured, and extra impaired.

It was extremely hot today. So much so that I have decided to spend a bit of extra time outside of my car. Which will be weird, because in the shade it's cold. I may need to consider wearing shorts if it continues to be super hot like this.

Being a class day I'm writing pretty early. But so far there isn't anything new. I feel extra sad being homeless, all the time I'm losing to nothing, all the time I've lost in my life never finding a good job or good place, and all the permanent loss during these homeless days I will never get back even if I do recover someday (such as my teeth, or these lost years of life.)

But I guess I made it through the day, sad and troubled feeling as it was. And I will continue to hope we all make it through to better days.

Day 4329 (V:53) - 5/8 - Liquid coold chicken / Phase 2

Today I got some chicken on sale. And as seemingly always when I get chicken that is still chicken shaped I almost immediately regretted it when I started eating. I did have a moment of pause before the purchase when I considered if this would happen. But at $7 for three days of healthier chicken food vs. shredded chicken at 60% of the cost and 50% as much in terms of meals, it was the best option. I would still really like to not eat meat, or at least a lot less. But really that is not something I can do unless I'm in a home, as that for me means mostly pasta, or salad, or soups, none of which are realistic while homeless except salad. But salad is a minimum of $3.50 per day, which is upwards of double the cost of lunchmeat type food.

It was insanely hot today. I spent a few hours less in the car than I normally do because the bulk of my in car time was putting me on the borderline of sweating. To help keep the chicken cool I put them under a jug and a half of water I have in the trunk. I figured maybe that would help. The temperature in the trunk was cooler than expected, so the chicken felt cool when I got my dinner part. So maybe liquid cooling the chicken helped.

Apparently California is entering 'phase 2' of reopening. I haven't seen any news that doing so will impact me in any way, but at least that may mean attitudes and concerns may somewhat lessen as places start to become a bit more relaxed in restrictions.

I guess really all that can be said for today is I survived the day. The heat hasn't done too much damage to me or my stuff, though I constantly feel a lot less great than had I not been constantly exposed to extreme temperatures. But I guess I made it through ok. And most times these days it's all I can really do. I try to hang on, and hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4330 (V:54) - 5/9 - Sad day, cool day

Today was a pretty sad day. I did the start of research to do better on my project, but I can't really do more with it until later. With my limitations it feels like what normally takes minutes takes me hours, and what normally takes hours takes days. And of course too there is mood and motivation. When you are in a mood to do a thing you often do it faster or better. So, often with my life my mood doesn't always line up with opportunity, and so I feel like I can't do things when I desire to.

Today I feel very sad about being in this position. How is it I still feel like I'm the only one being put out? I see so many beautiful women and couples out on warm days like this. How is it I've been so alone in life I've only been in relationships for roughly 20% of my life? How have I not been appreciated enough in work to get decent pay? There was a manager that walked by a while ago, returning with a bag of fast food later. I've never had a job where I could afford to go out to eat with coworkers for lunch, or after work, or even just to get it for myself.

Today was pretty warm, but not as warm as I think the weather predicted. I chose a shady spot, and while the morning was pretty hot, once the shade started covering me around noon it cooled pretty quickly as the breeze picked up.

I still hope I somehow get the money for the high end system on my wish list. It wouldn't have as much battery life as the entry level system in non-gaming use, but by the time either would release that wouldn't be as important as it's vastly better cooling, better monitor, bigger monitor, and better CPU and graphics. But I have what I have, and so I may have no choice but to get the entry level system. It will be way better than what I have, but being entry level it has shortcomings that might worry me as it ages.

But my day was what it was. I have what I have, both physically and emotionally. Both now, and in the theoretical near future. All I can do is continue to try to manage as best as I can with what I have. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4331 (V:55) - 5/10 - A Mom's day

Today was Mom's day. Until about 1 there were a lot of people coming and going and getting flowers and balloons. After that it was more of a normal Sunday crowd with very occasional Mom's day purchases.

The day was much less hot than expected. In fact in the shade, especially near the buildings, it was actually chilly. I'm considering going back to pants. But my pants are three weeks or so dirty, while my shorts haven't even hit one week yet. I suppose things aren't too stinky, and I suppose it doesn't really matter since my days are all alone in my car. If things do get bad though I can go to an apartment complex close by with machines.

I'm still trying to save everything I have for the new laptop and bills though. There was early word of a possible new system between the entry and high end ones. I'd guess maybe such a system would be a decent improvement over the entry level one, but probably be about $1400-1600, which is out of my range by a few hundred. This was an 'engineering sample' the reviewer had, so actual launch might still be a couple of months away. I suppose if I really wanted to wait I could take my laptop money out of my bank account (once they are open and could do a big withdrawal), but I still feel fearful it might get nibbled away if I haven't invested in a laptop while I can soon.

The day is only 2/3 over, but I guess it was ok. I felt relaxed for once. Maybe because of the increased crowd and my acceptance of what I can and can't do for school. Though I did make a hopefully big step forward in a big project. So often working on tablet feels like I just mixed a bob of dough together and I can't shape or cook it until later. But the day was what it was. I have what I have. And I can hope for more, but can't really plan until that hope is realized. If it ever is. So I try to stay hopeful. I try to hang on to what is left. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4332 (V:56) - 5/11 - More good laptop news

Today really only has some good laptop news. I took another look at the high end model, wondering if there were some options, and there are. The base model has a 144Hz monitor, down from 300Hz, which I'm sure is enough for me. A slightly less powerful graphics card, which is like 600% more powerful than my current one compared to 620% more powerful. And only a 512 gig drive, down from 1 tb. But I can manage with that and upgrade by adding a 1tb M.2 drive later. And that base model is only $1700 compared to the $2200 of the other. That is still sadly out of my price range having only $1100 to spend, but it feels a lot closer and more possible to stretch to. So I hope more help comes, either from more government help or other sources. That would be such an upgrade for me compared to the base A15 model with no worries about system shortcomings.

The day was pretty warm, though not hot, as some gray clouds and a strange breeze came in starting in the early afternoon.

I guess I felt ok. I'm still very worried about where I am in life, especially now with so many unemployed due to places being forced closed due to virus precautions. But I guess food wasn't terrible and I feel a bit better about where I am on homework.

I try to continue to hang on to hope for more help to get the best laptop I can, to be in the best work from home position I can be (since an 'at home' contract position seems the most likely for me in the near future.) I try to continue to hang on emotionally for these remaining just under three weeks until I can be back in the library. And I continue to hope everything works out ok and we all make it to better days.

Day 4333 (V:57) - 5/12 - Another class day

Today is another class day. It feels strange now. With how limited my life is it feels like weeks pass between class days, especially during the weekend. I'm still tempted to bring my laptop with me, but knowing it would last maybe an hour, and that I'm putting it at risk of damage (from extreme weather or dropping on the hard concrete) it doesn't seem worth the risk. I think I still have plenty of time before assignments are due to be ok. I'll take what I did for one assignment before and probably put it into the software tonight. The other class' project is really just tweaking at this point and can probably be done in 1-2 hours, so I'm not really worried about that one at all since they aren't due for nearly two weeks.

As always for Tuesdays I don't know what today will hold for me, but I continue to hope help comes for me, and all who need it. And I continue to hope we all make it through to better days.

Week 620

Day 4334 (V:58) - 5/13 - Migraine and rain

Today most of the day passed pretty quickly. It was gray and rained a bit, so with little to no sun my mind had no visual cues to fixate on the time that was passing.

For a lot of the day I had a migraine; pounding in my skull, a bit of upset tummy, and my eyes felt like someone was smushing the back half of them. There was a bit of oddness with breathing too. It's not that I couldn't, there were totally clear and I could make deep breaths easily, but it felt like there was no oxygen coming in when I did. I'd guess it had to do with the humidity level or maybe the air in my car being stale.

It's possible I got a headache from homework. In the back of my brain I'm constantly trying to think about what to do about the assignment I'm not happy with. It's considering the art, placement, filters, should I do something 'by hand', etc. But without access to my laptop and the program there aren't a lot of options it can think of without getting frustrated.

I'd still love to get the base model of the high end system. If I had $650 more than I do I would have already preordered in a heartbeat and it would probably arrive at the end of the month. But that much is probably all I get in an entire year, adding both donations and gift money together, so it seems very unlikely. And I couldn't just spend that if it were to happen (gifted all at once), as there is still the big web space bill at the end of the year I have to watch out for. With two weeks until it releases, and still about a month for the entry level system to launch, I try to stay hopeful. But the high end system seems like an impossible dream, especially now with all the virus things going on.

I guess my area has had its restrictions lessened a little bit. But since my area is still super restricted nothing noticible has changed. I saw that the L.A. area (about 500 miles from me I think?) is having an outbreak and their stay at home order got extended through June. They were a bit further along in reopening than my area until that happened. I'm quite a ways from that, so I'm not super worried, but with days like today where I'm so limited I can't do much but wait, and my brain so frustrated it makes me physically ill feeling, I continue to pray my area stays on track and I can be in the library in 2.5 weeks when we are set to lift restrictions.

I guess not really much to say so far today. As always lately my life feels completely on hold and I can't do much but try to hang on and wait. So I try to continue to hang on physically and emotionally as best as I can. I try to do my best with school and hope someday that will lead to some kind of decent wage at a job. And I continue to hope we get a vaccine soon, everyone makes it through who can, and we make it to better days.

Day 4335 (V:59) - 5/14 - Still feel weird, maybe shutting down

Today I still feel a bit weird. I'm still almost constantly a touch dizzy, which is most assuredly stress and exhaustion, as I've felt that way for a few months now. And though I can still breathe totally free and clear, when in my car I still sometimes feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen, even with the window open.

I don't feel quite as bad about things emotionally. I'm beginning to wonder if that is just this terrible routine settling in and parts of me are deciding to shut down due to lack of use. It feels like logical thought and puzzle solving are shutting down because I can't spend a lot of time doing school work or gaming. Emotions and feelings are shutting down because I can barely be social. It feels like muscles are shutting down because I pretty much just walk to the store, or stay outside, then go back to my car, and that's it. And general observation and cognitive thought seem to be shutting down because I pretty much just listen to stuff since there is too little battery life with devices to do much else.

Checking money today was a touch depressing, but I suppose a touch hopeful too. I have barely enough (barring unexpected costs like tax or shipping) to get the lowest entry level system, pay car registration, and car insurance for one month. I'm very tempted to preorder since I'm so extremely close to the line of not having enough for even the lowest cost system, but I don't think they would take the money on a preorder until the item ships and becomes an actual order. So it wouldn't actually protect the money to preorder in that case. I'm still just holding on to hope more help comes to get a better system, and that help continues to come for future bills. But more help for a better laptop seems very unlikely, especially with everyone in a bad place these days. Checking the calendar it looks like the entry level systems still won't launch for exactly 4 weeks, so that still seems extremely far away. (The high end systems launch in 2.)

I guess today there was a lot, and nothing, to say. I continue to try to stay cool in the increasing nearing summer heat. I continue to try my best to hang on physically and emotionally. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4336 (V:60) - 5/15 - Upcoming visit

Today was mostly normal. I was pretty warm in the car, but it sometimes got shady and cooled off. It's on the verge of being too hot again, but isn't quite done with being kind of rainy I guess.

My tummy is still being weird. It seems to rapidly get upset by food, then on days like today when I have salad it's mostly ok again. I guess I don't blame my tummy, as in a home or with access to a microwave I'd not be as one sided about having vegetables or not.

In the early evening I got notice I can have a brief bit of a time in safety outside of someone's house. Mostly that time will be Saturday, as I expect only a bit will be tonight or Sunday. I wonder though if such things aren't equally harmful as they are helpful. On the one hand I'll get a safe space free from worry about bumping into anyone who might be infected, a very overdue and needed laundry, and some yummy foods, as well as access to power and a connection while there. But on the other hand I will still be put out, still on the outside, and most of all the time will just be for a brief moment. I suppose any time I can have that is normal is good. But often it can wind up reminding me what I've lost, and that I am still an outsider. I guess tomorrow is what it is.

I suppose I survived the day, as I must. And hopefully there can be something more tomorrow. Hopefully there will not be too many sads that come with the nice things. And hopefully I can continue to hang on physically and emotionally. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4337 (V:61) - 5/16 - Possibly some good news, and some waiting

Today there is a bit of good news, possibly some good news, and news of waiting. In the good news and waiting category the entry level laptop models dropped in price (a reported 13% according to the note.) Which means the base model is about $250 less, and the higher end model and the 17" version are basically about the original price, which is the price I can afford. So, I have enough for one of those instead of the cheapest base model, if I want. I'm honestly more tempted by the 17" version I think because I use it more as a desktop replacement, so the size is a big boon. But, the boost in GPU power would be better for gaming with the other version. Really it will probably depend on if the 17" version stays cooler. However, in the news of waiting the release have yet again been pushed back by about two weeks. They are now showing a launch date of the end of June. (Similarly the high-end models now show mid June instead of the end of the month.)

In other possible good news I heard there is a second stimulus payment on its way through government. It may or may not happen, but if it does that would open up a lot of possibilities. I think I would be more cautious than not if I were to get more. I may take just a little from a second payment to see if I could get into a mid-range system and then save the remainder for bills. But that payment hasn't been promised yet. And until the mid-range system appears on the market I have no idea when that would be available.

The day was pretty good. I got to sleep in. I got to do a bunch of laundry. I did some school stuff while I did that. But as I suspected, as I interacted with mask and gloves, and was outside 'distancing', right when my laundry was done I hurried it out, as I could feel tears starting. Thoughts of what I've lost, what I don't have now, all the dangers outside, and how I don't know if I'll ever recover to be in a home again, or even make it through these homeless times with all the virus and other things.

It was almost too much. But I moved to a 'safe space' and was able to calm down before too much crying. So I made it through today ok. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4338 (V:62) - 5/17 - Small extention

Today I got a small extension to my time. So I got to stay and play games and do stuff quite a bit. Though near the end of the time, after I'd finished my important game things and was just hanging around, I got pretty sad. I went to my game home. I listened to the sounds of the things, looked at the things I'd placed, sat in a peaceful meditation area I'd made, and cried a lot. The in game home is the only home I have. I made my character emote cry, as they have animations and sound, thinking that might cheer me up so I didn't feel as alone. But then it just felt like I was crying on the outside and the inside, literally. So I cried more.

So I got continued sanctuary for a bit. And it was very happy, but also very sad. And when it gets to night I will be back to my exiled life, not knowing if I will make it through. But all I can do is try to hang on.

Day 4339 (V:63) - 5/18 - Pants falling down

Today pants that usually don't really have much trouble staying up have been falling down unless I tighten the side tightners to full and pull them up to the fattest part of my tummy (a few inches higher than where I normally put them on my hips.) I would guess that area does loot a touch trimmer, but I can still grab half a handful of chubbiness on the side, and a full handful in front, so it doesn't at first glance look like I've lost much more. I am eating more normally than before, but I'm still down at least 15-20% of previous normal, if not more, now primarily because of needing to use public bathrooms, having to walk past people to get to them, worries me.

I guess overall things are back to homeless exile normal. I did my usual routine of a quick morning check online, waiting hours in the car listening to things, a small visit online in the early afternoon, a few more hours in the car, repeat, repeat. Nothing seems to have changed much in worldwide news save for a new tri-drug showing the first "very promising" results in treatment of the virus. No local news about anything opening or being further postponed, which I guess is good news.

I continue to try to hang on to my small life and find happy moments when I can. I try to hang on physically and emotionally, but these days that seems harder than ever. And I continue to hope as many make it through as we can.

Day 4340 (V:64) - 5/19 - Big assignment

Today I don't know what to expect. I know one of my classes will have info about the final project, which I think is three or four weeks from now, so it's still a ways off. But it will be one that requires a lot of research, which may be difficult if I can't pull stuff to read offline. Even then it will still be a question of power on my tablet to read, even when offline and doing nothing else. Hopefully there will be enough time I can manage ok with the other projects I have adding on top of that.

As always all I can do is try to hang on to what is left, hope I have options for finally upgrading my laptop (especially since it seems my old one is starting to have battery issues), hope I can continue to get help for bills, and hope opportunity comes. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2020
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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