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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 621

Day 4341 (V:65) - 5/20 - Final answer, maybe

Today I feel a weird mix of things. I feel maybe a bit better about things emotionally because I may have thought of a way that could lead to improving one of my homeworks, a breakthrough of sorts with something I was kind of stuck on. But I also feel kind of sick. I lost sleep the past few nights, so there is that, but also in the past couple of days my allergies have gotten worse. There are more frequent migraines, a half dozen sneezes today, and my eyes are pretty itchy. I feel kind of sick overall too and just want to have some nice chicken soup and go to bed, but I can have neither.

Yesterday I may have found a final answer to my laptop search. The 15" version of the high-end systems showed up in a search. It actually has a touch better specs than the previously found 17"; a slightly better monitor (240Hz) and a little bit better hard drive (1tb). At $1500 it's a touch more than I was hoping to spend, and I couldn't do it unless the second stimulus money comes, but it would be way better than the entry level systems. The downside is that it is listed as not coming out until the end of July. It seems with the dates of the new systems, any option I choose would likely come after the stay a home period is over. Not that I don't need it after, I absolutely need a new system, but getting it to do school things and play while the library is closed would have been a big help.

I suppose though things are still the same on a new laptop. It will all come down to how much I have on the launch date. So at this point I'm holding on as best as I can until there is final word on the second stimulus. If it comes, I'd have the awesome high-end laptop preordered, and enough to cover the big web space bill at the end of the year, car insurance for a full year (cycle date in October), the car insurance membership fee, domain name renewal next year, the next expansion for my MMO (in 2021), and a bit for school. Oh, and last night I took my yard stick and measured the screen. It looks like 15" would be about 1/2" smaller vertically, and about 3/4" cut off of each side horizontally. Which the math again verifies is 90% of the 17.3" size. So I really do think with most things it would be easy to adjust to. My MMO, having a text box, and the small panels in creative software would be my only concern. But at $200 cheaper with slightly better specs, really $250 cheaper if you match the hard drive space, it is probably worth the savings, as I really don't have the additional money to up to the 17" size (if I do want to pay all those listed bills.)

I guess not much is different today. I feel a bit sick. I probably should have taken a nap. I guess I feel a bit better about a school project. And I have a new high-end laptop model to look forward to, provided the second stimulus money comes. So I guess I'm a bit hopeful today. And as always I try to hang on emotionally and physically. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4342 (V:66) - 5/21 - Slightest change

Today really the only news is the slightest change in the food store that I sit outside of. They have two entrances and weeks ago they blocked off one and started limiting how many could be in the store at a time. But it looks like, starting today, they unblocked the second entrance and are not limiting how many can be inside. While it's only a slight change it is kind of a big deal these days. The bathroom is immediately to the left of the previously blocked door. So now if I'm just going in to use the bathroom I can go in, turn, and the odds of passing by anyone is pretty low, especially before about 11 AM or after 6 PM. Previously when going all the way across the store, even in the slow times, I'd have to pass close to half a dozen people or more.

The person I've talked video games with before and after class sent a message about a game thing this morning when we were waiting for class to start, so that seemed nice, kind of like older/better days.

I had a strange dream about a friend the other day. He is in Florida, and in the dream I was going in to a hotel bathroom because I was 'sheltering in place' in my car outside and he was there for a convention as a speaker. I wanted to talk and tell him I was worried he would catch the virus (none of the convention people were wearing masks). When I woke up I thought about messaging him on the social page to check in with him, but I saw he posted a new video on his hobby page, so I didn't. I first met him probably about 32 years ago. We always got along great when we happened to be in the same place, at least I thought so. I always thought we could be super close, maybe he could even be a best friend. But for whatever reason he never seemed to want to hang out. So really I've only hung out with him maybe half a dozen times over the years.

I'm between classes, so it's a couple of hours earlier than I normally write. There was again news of a promising drug that's helped 91.6% of those who took it who had the virus, so that was good to hear. But no news of the second stimulus money, no new laptop news, and nothing else to talk about. So while I have maybe a bit more hope than usual, really my day is no different. I try to continue to stay hopeful and continue to try to hang on emotionally and physically. And hopefully we can make it to better days.

Day 4343 (V:67) - 5/22 - Could be the (sudden) heat

Today I don't have much to say. I'm not feeling great, especially physically. It may be the sudden heat we've gotten that is rapidly ramping up towards what will supposedly be 90F+ in a few days. It's making me feel pretty heat exhausted from all the extreme environment changes and constantly being outside. And, as always, making things like my lunchmeat super hot doesn't help.

I guess in good news I had a sort of breakthrough with my other project last night, the one I'd previously mentioned before about not liking how it was turning out. It's in an ok place now, but I would not claim it's one of my best.

In other sort of good news another reviewer had a video about a possible maybe mid-range system. I say maybe because it's one of the 'ultra portable' line, which usually means they have a nice screen (for designing), good specs, but usually their price is higher for the specs it has due to that extra thinness. Which these days I don't really get, as even basic systems are already really thin and like 1/3 of the thickness of my old laptop. Comparing not ultra thin to current regular size there's almost no difference. But with no date or price so I don't know if it will be a better option than my current favorite.

Today there are tons of people at the store. No doubt everyone is getting extra stuff to BBQ for the holiday weekend. No doubt I will smell it everywhere the next few days and it will remind me of what I can't have. I don't know that I really mind not having any, but not having the option is very sad.

I'm so very tired. Very exhausted. But all I can do is try my best to hang on.

Day 4344 (V:68) - 5/23 - Date unknown

Today there basically isn't much news. I planned to watch a video for an assignment but there is no link on the page. I guess it's ok. With both previous big assignments done, and another due in, I think, two weeks, I was going to take today off as a sort of break, as the next big one is a lot of research and then a lot of organizing.

There is yet another laptop change. All of the high-end systems I was watching now show as not able to be preordered with an "unknown restock" date. It doesn't mean it won't happen by the previous date, it could reappear, but it's very unlikely. I suppose it doesn't matter since I don't have the second stimulus money to preorder anyways. The entry level dates have also been blown back, now pushed to the end of July, a full three months past their original launch window. At the rate things keep getting pushed it's going to wind up being my birthday before they come out. (Oddly no other manufacturers have really shown new launch dates either. They are similarly absent or showing late dates. There must be some kind of chip shortage holding everything back.)

There is still no word on the library reopening. I'm still hopeful it will open in a week, as we'd be around day 76 of everything being closed at that point. But it seems all I can do is try to stay hopeful and try to hang on. And hopefully we can make it to better days.

Day 4345 (V:69) - 5/24 - Like a hopeless new normal

Today I feel at peace with my limitations (in spite of having extremely stressful sad dreams about being homeless and abandoned last night, which caused me to cry in my sleep.) It's almost as if my mind has accepted nothing will ever reopen and this is my new homeless normal and it will be so until my days end. More and more I see ads showing places like restaurants are 'reopening' but only for takeout orders or calling in for delivery, making it feel less and less likely the library will reopen in a week, let alone anytime soon. And it feels like more and more I won't be able to look for jobs or play games until the summer is over, especially with laptop launches continually delayed.

I got a big prize in my card game I can play on mobile, so I guess that is something. At least a tiny progress forward. But Tuesday the new expansion for my MMO launches, which I'd preordered months ago. And while it doesn't really matter if I immediately play or not since the content will always be there, it feels sad to not be able to play at all, and even more so the new content I'd been looking forward to for months.

I guess nothing really changed today, save for it starting off feeling hopeful and excited that the stay at home should end in a week. But now, nearing the latter portion of my day, I feel like that won't matter for me, because everywhere I could be will still remain closed and off limits. Possibly for months. But I try to hang on physically and emotionally. I try to stay hopeful for a new laptop that allows me to do schoolwork, look for jobs, and play at least a little each day. And hopefully we can all make it to better days.

Day 4346 (V:70) - 5/25 - Cooked in the trunk

Today and the last couple of days non-liquid foods have been getting cooked in the trunk. Yesterday when I took out some bread from a 6-pack of sandwich sized bread it was so hot it was heated to very warm all the way to the center. This morning when I had 'lunch' the one I got was about 15% dried to hardness. I think I'll just leave the last one for the birds. I've been feeding them crumbs from bread and crackers for about a week now. I know it's not really good for them to eat, but I want the birds to have at least something to eat. It's so quiet around here and I barely see any, so I worry they aren't getting enough to eat with people staying inside.

No news today. Everything is pretty much stopped in general, even more so because it's a holiday. I was expecting it to be packed with shoppers, but I guess they all came Friday. Maybe it's the heat, but it's been pretty slow today. (The weather site said it was nearly 100F today, and will be 80-90F all the way until Friday.)

I sort of started research for the next big project due in two Sundays. I grabbed a bunch of links to read. I guess I lost track of my power use though, as the tablet was down to 'set it aside' amounts, so I'll have to read them tomorrow. I guess it's a start though. It's still sad I'm so limited with everything. I'd probably be half or more done with it by now.

But I guess I have what I have. I have to hope I can continue to hang on to what is left, and hope help and opportunity come to have more. And I try to continue to hang on emotionally and physically.

Day 4347 (V:71) - 5/26 - Hopefully not too hot

Today hopefully it won't be too hot, though it's supposed to be pushing into the high 80s. There isn't a morning class, so that will be a bit odd. I guess in a way I can use that power and try to do research for the big project.

I don't know what else the day will hold, but it will almost certainly be extra sad, as it's the launch of the expansion in my MMO and I can't be there. I don't know when I can be in my game again. All I can do is hang on to the thought that, like things in storage, it will be there waiting until I can get to it again.

And until that day comes all I can do is try to hang on to what is left, physically and emotionally. And hopefully we can all make it through to better days.

Week 622

Day 4348 (V:72) - 5/27 - Still too hot

Today it was still way too hot. Though I did stay in the car more than I expected I would be able to. I did have to take a tablespoon of water to dunk on my head and neck to keep cool in the latter parts of the day. But in the early afternoon a breeze started, and now in the very early evening it's cooling off quicker than I expected.

I'm pretty sad today. There was news in the early evening yesterday that most of California is moving to phase 2.5 or 3 of reopening, save for 11 counties. Of course my area is one of those. I try to stay hopeful, but at this point hearing that news I wouldn't be surprised if things were extended to mid June, or like the L.A. area, pushed to the end of June.

I did struggle through a homework. Limited connection and ability to do stuff, coupled with this recent news depressing me, made it difficult to do. But I did make it through, so I guess that is something. And so I guess I made it through the day. And I continue on one day at a time, as it seems there are only a few things left in my life I have control of at all.

Day 4349 (V:73) - 5/28 - Feels like burning

Today it feels like my parts are burning. All of the parts facing the light have gotten too tan in these past few months. It's still super hot, and now sitting in a sunny spot where I can feel heat waves on my exposed spots feel like they've gotten burnt. I guess I'll have to try harder to always be in the shade.

The day passed extremely quickly. I'd guess that was a combination of having two classes and so much I need to do by Sunday, or very soon, that I feel swamped with stuff. I spent probably 60% of my not class time trying to do what I could for the various projects. I'm sure it will be fine, but still.

Really nothing else happened or changed besides that. Oddly I haven't seen any update about the stay at home conditions in my area. Maybe they are still deciding things. But we are pretty rapidly getting to Sunday, the last day of the current double extended time period. I still feel with the Tuesday news it's unlikely anything will change in my area, but I continue to try to stay hopeful they will let things go back to normal.

But really today has been no different. Things continue to feel like they will be this way until my end of days. And I have no idea when, or if, they will go back to homeless normal. All I can do is try to hang on, emotionally and physically.

Day 4350 (V:74) - 5/29 - Probably not until August

Today I'm feeling pretty sad. Yesterday evening I saw some videos from news reports talking about reopening times in my area. Limited inside restaurant eating isn't going to happen until maybe July 15th. And gyms aren't going to be let open until mid-August at the soonest. While the library can control interaction more by requiring masks and having social distancing, it seems unlikely they would open anytime soon since it's a government controlled thing and they would likely want to be extra cautious to avoid blame.

There is a little bit of happiness. I decided to watch the streamer I used to watch all the time just for a little bit. It felt a bit more normal. A few I knew in chat said hi. And it was a nice break from all my sad things. I probably won't get a lot of chances to do it with needing power for things, but maybe I'll peek in once or twice a week. And after class lightens up and stops I could watch a bit more.

I did a bit of preliminary work for a homework I need to do tonight, so I guess that was good. Though I'm still sad with all the time I have free I could have finished, instead of what will probably wind up being the most minimal amount before it's due.

I passed out for about an hour today from being too sleepy. There are odd red spots on my arms between my elbow and sleeve. I don't know if those are burns due to not being used to so much sun. There are similar ones on my knees too. It could also be an allergic reaction. I'm not sure.

But I guess today is 2/3 over, and so I suppose I survived the day. The weather finally seems to not be ridiculously hot, so maybe it will indeed start to cool. But it seems as always lately I have extremely little opportunity. And all I can do is try to hang on, emotionally and physically.

Day 4351 (V:75) - 5/30 - Back to space

Today there were some unexpected happenings. Some people were talking about a space launch. It happened to be around when I was taking a break from my car, so I watched the launch happen. That was pretty cool.

The weather has gotten gray, and while the launch happened it rained for about 30 minutes. I think it rained last night too, I'm not sure if it did or if I just dreamed it.

I took some time to pull the text for some links I'd gathered for a big project. I don't have enough power to read the copied text today, but now that it's been copied it will take a fraction of the power to go through it, as well as not needing an active connection, so hopefully I can do that offline maybe tomorrow. I basically have to take it all and turn it into a 7 minute presentation, so I've a lot of recording to do, picture gathering, and then putting it into a program.

So I guess today had some pretty important things. Really probably only 2 hours of activity if you added it all up. Oh, speaking of that, I feel a bit more ok with being limited in terms of time with software. Last night I was again wishing things were homeless normal and I realized that would mean I would not have the software on my laptop. Which means I'd have 1-2 hours of lab time per class t work on projects, unless I made a special detour to a lab outside of those times. So, considering I made it through the last couple of quarters like that I now feel a bit more confident about my ability to be ok. Oh, and I hammered out a quick assignment last night that I feel pretty ok about.

It's not even 2 yet, and while I expect the rest of the day to pass slowly it doesn't feel as terrible as it usually does. I guess that is something. So I try to continue to hang on physically and emotionally.

Day 4352 (V:76) - 5/31 - (Not my) dropped food

Today I feel pretty deeply sad. With no new news about reopening, and further sad news from several riots happening, it seems less and less likely things are going to get better any time soon. It seems the early reports of things not opening enough to have somewhere to be and to continue my sad life as it was may have been right, and I may be looking at an additional 60 more days minimum.

I tried to do work on my big project this morning, but after about 2 hours I'd drained what power I could spare and I didn't get anywhere near as far as I'd have liked. I will just have to continue over the next few days and do what I can. As with all my limitations these days I have to accept it won't be as easy or as well done as I'd like. I think why I feel sad about it is because I thought I could make this cool thing that would entertain and inspire, but due to the limitations I have a feeling it will be little more than 'meh'.

I saw someone coming out of the food store carrying too much. I hear a 'flop' and noticed something dropped. Without everything that's going on I'd have gotten up and picked it up for them and followed them to their car. With things as they are I said and did nothing, as I was too far from them to hear me through my mask, nor did I hurry over to help, as you couldn't be that close and I had no gloves on. I did wait there, at the drop, and discovered it was sushi. Most of it was still in the container, but they didn't come back. They just drove off after a short while. I felt very sad for them that they lost special food. And sad they chose to just abandon it. I felt very sad for me. I can't remember the last time I had a special food. It must have been about two months ago when I used the last of a gift card to celebrate what I then thought was the near end of the stay at home period. And I think it's probably been years since I've had pizza, which I've craved lately (not counting micro pizza.)

So today I feel very sad. I feel great and profound loss. And I feel hopeless in thinking that my life will get no better for at least two months. I may try to change with small peeks into the stream on some weekdays, or get a chance to have a very small peek online with my laptop. But usually those feel like the briefest of moments and that the great void of loss I feel is all I really have left these days.

Day 4353 (V:77) - 6/1 - A step closer (for schoolwork)

Today I guess I feel a bit better about the big school project. I felt 'in the mood' to work on it, despite my deep overall sadness lately. And I did a short ' test read' for a bit. The test was about 30 seconds and I had way way way way more text than I'd need for the 7 minute total. I suppose though I'm a lot happier, and far more confident, about cutting down the time than padding up. My expected schedule for it is to record and edit it tomorrow night, then that leaves Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday times to put it into the program. I'm hoping it will take way less than that, but with 1-2 hours per session it seems unlikely. Editing usually takes about 1 hour per 1 minute completed for a solid rough cut in my experience.

Nothing else really to report today. I'm extremely tired and exhausted feeling. I've lost a lot of sleep over the past week after finding that sad discovery. It looks like the heat is coming back for a few days, though it wasn't too bad today. I guess all I can say is I survived the day. Though with looking at 60 more like this it suddenly doesn't feel like I'm any closer to anything.

Day 4354 (V:78) - 6/2 - Hopefully no new assignments

Today is a class day. I hope there are no new assignments due anytime soon, as the one big one will likely eat up more time than I have. In a home I'd have just gotten a special something to eat, maybe pizza, and pounded it out in one sitting. But that isn't my life anymore. I don't have options like that.

I guess today will be what it will be. And, as always, all I can do is hope opportunity for change comes. And try to hang on to what I have left as best as I can; physically and emotionally.

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