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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 13: Changed World

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 665

Day 4649 (V:373) - 3/24 - Reducing layers

Today I had reduced layers on. I removed one layer of the long underwear as well as the long sweats I had on over them. It was a touch chilly without them, but only until late morning, then it was fine. Now, and in the past couple of days I've only kind of been sweating in my car in the evening, so I may take off the other long sleeve shirt and tank top, so that too would leave one layer of each instead of two.

Really no other real news today. It was a touch warmer than it has been, but it's still very gray for how warm it is. I had fun in my game, but there were no real gains to speak of.

I guess it was a pretty good, if average homeless day. And I suppose that is something.

Day 4650 (V:374) - 3/25 - Feels like forgetting

Today I feel like I've been forgetting something. Pretty much all day I've had the feeling. I don't know what it is or what it could be. It kind of feels like I'm in the wrong place. Like maybe this is a dream, or a memory, or I'm supposed to be someplace else. I've kind of felt sleepy and spaced out lately in general. Like there is one game I'm playing lately, and while super fun and interesting, my eyes literally half close and I see 1/3 of the screen when I play.

I guess overall the day was ok. There was maybe a 20F change though the day. It started pretty cold and smelled like it would rain. I had to put on not only my second hoodie, but my spare sweats as well. In the mid-afternoon I was warm enough that I took those off. Now in the evening in my car it feels just about right for what I have on again.

I had fun in my game and had a few chances for special things, but didn't make any real progress. I did get one large surprise though. In one raid I was a "support dps", which is because to be a full dps I'd have to do at least double the numbers I pull (I've tired but there's just something I don't get.) But somehow I wound up as the second highest dps in the group, by a decent amount. So either most dps were just terrible, or I'm a lot better than I thought. I think the first, because in all tests I've run my dps isn't really that good. (For the higher content, again, I'd need to do double, or ideally triple, the numbers I do.)

I guess overall today was ok. Most importantly I made it through ok. And though I feel like I could fall asleep, and still feel like I'm forgetting something, I guess it was an ok day.

Day 4651 (V:375) - 3/26 - Reminded of heat

Today when it was the blinding hour I was reminded of the heat. I was playing a game, sheltered by the umbrella, but the system seemed hot when I passed my hand over the keyboard. Checking temperatures it was fine. I guess because it was nearly 70F showing on the temperature outside it likely just felt warmer overall because that is quite a bit warmer than the temperature has been lately.

I got pretty upset in the game today. I effectively lost 2 hours to groups failing dungeons. I get it. They were new, not very skilled, don't know what to do, etc. But about 2/3 of the way through I was getting very short tempered and upset. It set my day's plans back quite a bit, and so instead of that play time being for other things it was just lost. I think in the future I will simply set aside X-Y time for that activity. It doesn't gain me a ton in terms of loot or progression, so I think to avoid too much failure and lost time if it goes past that I'll just stop, if I've done all I planned in that time or not. Losing that wouldn't be as bad as losing 'more important' activity time. Especially now if I may need to go back to either not gaming after 3 or moving my spot because of increasing ambient temperatures in that area.

I guess all in all today wound up ok. I am... calming down from being upset. I did sort of get a tiny bit of progress for something. And really in a few days the lost progress will be forgotten entirely.

So, as always, I try to not be too sad about my limitations and what I can't control. I try to continue to hope what I still have won't be lost. And I try my best to hang on.

Day 4652 (V:376) - 3/27 - Hot in the afternoon

Today it again started to feel hot during the blinding hour. I was in a group, so I didn't move, otherwise I probably would have considered it. It was warm enough overall from about 2 on. I was considering taking off my hoodie, but since the sun starts to warm up my headphones I have to keep the hoodie on to pull the hood up to protect it.

I got called to try and help someone today, and boy was that a mistake. I just met them yesterday (one of the fail groups) and they seemed capable enough to do the thing they asked for help with, so I agreed. I guess I wasn't paying attention to the time, so even though there was progress, at the point I'd had enough I'd lost 2 hours to something that should have been 45 minutes, and they still didn't finish. I had nothing to gain there either, so I was just being nice trying to help them with the thing. Needless to say, since I lost time with them yesterday, and today, I won't be helping them with that again anytime soon.

I didn't get to do a raid or anything fancy, but I do suppose I got a tiny bit of progression towards something I'd been trying to do, so I guess that is something.

I felt kind of lonely today. I had stuff running in the background while I was playing. Mostly game news or game related things. I don't really remember any of it. Though it was really just to have background noise, so I don't need to remember any of it.

I've had some weirdness swallowing lately. It's like the bite is bigger than I thought, or like I'm swallowing air with the food, and I can feel it slllooowwwly going down inside my chest. I don't think it's anything to worry about. I did a quick search and that can be related to my acid reflux. I suppose if it gets worse or doesn't go away soon I'll worry about it. But it's already much less bad than it was yesterday when I first noticed it.

So I guess overall some good and some bad today. But I guess the important thing is I survived the day and am reasonably ok.

Day 4653 (V:377) - 3/28 - Nothing fancy

Today was nothing fancy. I didn't do any fancy raids in my game. I had bland boring food. I watched a show that was meh. Overall the day had nothing truly fancy.

The only thing that might be fancy is I got my keyboard. But I'm not really sure how I feel about it in quick non-use tests. It's easily four times the weight of my basic one. And even though it's probably 5 inches less long, it's probably twice as thick, since the keys are big and travel further than the basic one. Part of that means it's in a much higher position for my fingers and wrists, possibly too high to use without a wrist rest. And it's much louder than the basic one. Like WAY louder. I think it might annoy people if I were to use it in the library or a classroom. A nice keyboard like this might be too much for my sad life. I'll have to test it over the next few days and see how it feels and sounds in actual use. I may feel the benefits are worth the costs.

I guess overall today I just felt melancholy. I miss a home. I miss basic things like showering and sitting at a desk when doing stuff and not needing to worry about extreme temperature changes. And most of all I miss me. For what is here is only a shadow, an echo, part of me that reflect pieces of what were once a whole; now shattered and only perceptible one piece at a time.

Day 4654 (V:378) - 3/29 - Heading towards keeping

Today I am leaning towards keeping the new fancy keyboard. Checking the height vs. the old basic keyboard the back is nearly the same (the old one has it hiked up) but the front, and most of the key area, is about 1/2" higher on the new one, which is a big difference. The greatest difference is near the wrist, which is the potential trouble spot. After using it for not quite 6 hours today I'm starting to get used to that difference. Checking the clicks at the same time, the new one is closer to the same volume than not. And, surprisingly, it seems quieter gaming than when typing. I'm sort of just varying the distance of the press of the wasd keys when gaming as opposed to fully pressing keys and releasing each time.

There are some possible downsides though. Due to its smaller size it's impossible to place it on top of the laptop over the keyboard like I can with the other one. It pushes the keys underneath. I suppose small pen sized standoffs would prevent that, and I'll test if that's an option later tonight. But even doing that the wrist part might be too high to be comfortable. Also, the default lighting even at the lowest setting was almost blinding in the dark. I literally couldn't see 1/3 of my screen because it was washed out due to the brightness. I have the software downloaded now, so I can control and adjust lighting, so hopefully I can put that down to about 10% so it can be used in the dark. I need stealth light, not 'I'm a lamp' light.

I'll need to spend more time with it for sure. I do wish it was 'low profile' like my basic one. And honestly I'd forgotten my favorite desktop keyboard I used for years was also 'low profile' like the basic one I have now. Unfortunately there are really only two ten keyless low profile mechanical keyboards. One is by a company I know nothing about, at about double the cost. And the other is by one of my favorite companies, but because it's extra fancy with wireless and a rechargeable battery that can last up to a month, it's nearly triple the cost. So, hopefully in time as TKL keyboards become more popular more options will open up and I can change in the future.

I guess the day was fairly uneventful save for experimenting with my new keyboard. Nothing fancy happened in my game, but I kind of didn't try for anything fancy. I just stuck to smaller goals and got the slightest progress.

I think I have a cold again, or the previous one changed, I'm not sure. I had trouble getting to sleep last night, so I'm extremely tired, and I've been sneezing and have had congestion most of the day. The swallowing issue is less, nearly gone, but my tummy is still super acidic feeling, so if they are related that's not surprising.

I suppose I close the day with sad, but hopeful feelings.

Day 4655 (V:379) - 3/30 - Checking Tuesday

Today I will again be testing my new keyboard and seeing if I for sure want to keep it. I may switch back to my old one on Wednesday though, at least for a bit, to remind my brain what is different, how different, and are the benefits worth the limitations on the new one.

I don't really know what to expect today. Monday was chillier than I expected since it had gotten up to 75F on Sunday. It probably didn't get much higher than the high 60s Monday, so I don't know if today will go back to being warm or stay chilly. More temperate weather is better though since I am still outside all the time.

Hopefully I can get over my cold. Hopefully I can find some peace and happiness. And hopefully I can continue to hang on.

Week 666

Day 4656 (V:380) - 3/31 - Odd stranger

Today there was a very strange event. I was in my spot, getting pretty into my game, so I wasn't really paying attention to the things around me. Suddenly I get the odd feeling of a presence nearby, though no people had walked past me. I look forward, which granted is too close as the wall is only maybe 6 feet from me and I don't wear a mask when sitting there because most turn and go back the other way before crossing me, or they simply don't stop and pass by in a couple of seconds. But standing there looking like someone I could only think to describe as a woman somewhere between 45-55, not wearing a mask, wearing clothes that make her look like a hippie straight out of the early 70s, with a half crazy half elated smile on her face, holding up a peace sign. I'd guess she may have been standing there as long as 5 minutes up to that point that I noticed her. I started at her like 'what the poop' for probably 15 seconds, confused if I knew her, and confused that if I didn't why did she go off the walking path roughly 3 feet further back, to cross through the dirt area, to stop at a right angle to a walkway. I chuckled as I assumed she must feel overly lonely these days. (Assuming she misses contact with people due to the lack of mask and staring at me with a ridiculous smile.) She turned and started walking away, still grinning, when I laughed and said 'Um... hi?' as I chuckled.

It was nice to see a visitor, I suppose, but coming from a direction I never expected, not wearing a mask, getting too close for me to be comfortable, especially just standing there facing my direction for who knows how long, I'm not sure I exactly appreciate the visit.

Today started chilly, probably in the mid 60s, but by about 3 the temperature was 82F. Now nearing evening I'm in my car with just my underwear, pants, and a tank top on, and I'm still getting pretty sweaty. It's supposed to plummet back down to the low 70s, but for the moment I'm too hot. I worry about my laptop and other stuff in temperatures this hot.

I suppose I survived the day. And I suppose it was nice to be acknowledged, or recognized as someone who needs to be outside, or whatever that was. And hopefully temperatures will be calmer soon, and I can continue to hang on until better days.

Day 4657 (V:381) - 4/1 - Another stranger

Today there was another very weird stranger encounter. Someone came by with her mask half on asking if she could 'use my hot spot'. I guess since I'm so off lately I fixated on not having a hot spot and it took me a few minutes to realize I should tell her about the open connection all around there. (I guess she assumed I was using a hot spot because I'd taken my phone out and put it next to me.) She went a reasonable amount of distance away to go to the next plug, so I wasn't worried after that. (It's about 15 feet away.) But after maybe an hour when she packed up to leave she came over and asked what I was doing, with her mask fully down. I said I was playing a game. She sat down slowly about 3-4 feet away, with her mask down, and asked if she could watch. I quirked an eyebrow at her, put on my mask because she was way too close, and replied, 'with a deadly viral outbreak going on I'd really prefer you not.' Thankfully she put her mask up and left. (Though she came back about 3 hours later.) It's like, I'm honored she felt I was seemingly friendly enough, and seemed trustworthy enough to ask, and feel bad for her being so sad she would ask a total stranger something like that, but really? Asking a total stranger to sit next to them, with no mask on, while you have half a mask on, with a deadly viral outbreak going on? Not the smartest choice. And at what I'd guess was her mid 20s, choices she should know better than to make.

I finally took care of the fix it ticket Tuesday. At least the checking off part. I still have to get a check to mail it all in. But now I've discovered an issue that is freaking me out. The light goes out. I have no idea why. If I pop the plug out of the socket and put it back in, it's fine again. But I did that this morning, and at some point during my 1 mile drive it is shut off again. So it's either the casing, which looks like that's about $15 per side, or maybe something going on with the wiring causing some kind of short that popping it out and plugging it back in resets. I'm fine for a while. They certainly can't give me another ticket for something I have a ticket for already. But what if I get a new plug housing and it's not fixed? Every time I drive, especially at night, I'd be at risk of being noticed and caught. I don't know... overall I'm very worried about the car in general. It doesn't like to drive more than 5 miles at a time. It doesn't cool well. It's borderline failing SMOG. And just overall the engine is 124k miles, so no matter what I may not be able to keep it much longer. Anytime there are even the slightest issues starting or driving I just about have a panic attack.

The day was super hot again. I had my hoodie and long sleeve shirt off by 11 in the morning. I think it was pushing 80F again by noon. But it wasn't as hot as yesterday. And I'm not sweating in my car now in the evening. So all I can do is be thankful I made it through the day. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 4658 (V:382) - 4/2 - Completely corroded out

Today didn't go as planned. It wasn't necessarily bad, just disappointing. I got to my spot at about the usual time. I decided to play on an alt just for a little bit in a new game that released yesterday. I had a much harder time than expected. So while it was fun, it wasn't as fun as it would have been if I'd have been on my main character. I planned to do my MMO for about 2 hours, then go back to the new game, and then play another 2-3 hours there. I got in a... bad group in my MMO. I wound up spending an extra hour for almost no gains at all, and that ate up any possible time to look for fancy raid activities. So now I was doubly sad and disappointed. Then, when I tried to go back to the new game it wouldn't load. They were having server troubles, and you can't play offline. So what should have been 2-3 more hours of play there turned into 15 minutes.

Due to the extra lost time and feeling sad I decided to go get the money I need to pay the fix it ticket since you can't do that online. (Unless you are blowing off proof of repair, which is nearly $200.) I took a look at the connection and light again since the light worked for only 2 of the 3 trips for the day. Popping out the light the entire thing had crusty orange corrosion. I could clean the light off pretty easily, but I don't think I can clean the connection without special cleaning stuff. Maybe I'll check online to see what that would take. But the good news is that I found replacement plugs that are only $5. So, with them that cheap I'll assume the other side is just as corrupt and order two. I'm glad I discovered that, as now I feel 96% confident that's the issue (as opposed to only maybe 60% before.) I guess I'll know more when I can get back online and see what it will take to clean. I have some rubbing alcohol, so if it can be done with that I probably have enough.

I guess the day wasn't a total loss. It was cooler. Nothing bad happened. There were no weird strangers. I didn't get to do what I hoped or planned for the day, but I guess that doesn't really matter, especially in the long run. All I can do is continue to hang on as best as I can.

Day 4659 (V:383) - 4/3 - Probably not fixed

Today I tried to fix the corrosion. Apparently it's just a mix of baking soda and water, which I have water and baking soda was $1.50, and that supposedly will clear the corrosion. I don't think it worked. Most of it is still inside behind the 'electrical contact paddles' which are too tiny for me to clean. And probably 40% of the entire corroded area was still uncleaned when I finished. Plus, the light had a challenging time when I put it back. So I'll just see if the fix holds. But if the light goes out, even just once, I'll change the housing. I really don't want to be worrying all the time that I could be pulled over again because of it being out again.

I guess the day was ok other than that. It was reasonably cold again, peaking in maybe the low 70s, and being gray and rainy looking nearly all day. I'm surprised it didn't because I swear I felt some rain while getting out of my car and walking to my outside spot.

I had fun in my MMO, though didn't do anything special. I had fun in my new game, though the servers were dead for a bit, so I lost another hour I could have played. And there were some super yummy bunny sugar cookies on sale at the store. So overall today was pretty good.

Day 4660 (V:384) - 4/4 - Special bunny day dinner

Today was about as good as I could have hoped for. The spot was quiet and calm, as there were maybe only a dozen people passing by all day. The connection was stable and strong, so I played as much as I expected. I only briefly tried to look for special raids in my MMO because it's a holiday. And even though it's not celebrated as much as others, any holiday it's almost impossible to find a raid. Which is fine, as I just spent the extra time in my new game.

As I kind of expected the car light fix didn't work. Within two trips the light was out again when I checked it. So I ordered the parts and they should be here Wednesday. I suppose it only cost me $2 to try the fix, and with the stimulus money that shouldn't be an issue.

I was surprised by a card from dad. I mean, he almost always sends one, but often it's late. This one had money, so that is super helpful. But I think I will put it into game savings. I haven't checked my money to see if I'm on track, but it should be close enough I don't have to worry for at least a little while. If the plan is correct I'm ok on bills to the end of the year, which covers the three big yearly things.

Since it was bunny day, and as always I am alone, I decided to get a fancy dinner with gift card money. I had a bit of it already. I'm still having to take smaller bites though. It's not painful like when the event started, but the extreme acid in my tummy is still happening. I figure when that calms down my throat and chest swallowing issue likely will too.

Today I feel good, but sad. I suppose in a weird way balanced, emotionally and physically. Neither is too good or too bad. And I am seemingly at peace with both amounts. As always though, I hope to eventually be back in a forever home. And hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Day 4661 (V:385) - 4/5 - Freezing again

Today the weather seems to bbe going back to freezing again. There are still gray clouds most of the day, and today there is a cold wind. Checking the weather it's going to stay cold in the mid to high 60s through the week. I guess I'm glad the hot weather is gone to spare my electronics, but my body is sad from the cold.

I'm pretty sleepy today. There was a bird chirping most of the night nearby, so I lost a lot of sleep. I've got a cold, I'm pretty congested and a bit sneezy, so I feel pretty worn out today. Mentally I guess I'm ok. I feel alert enough. And I had fun in my MMO and new game, though even though I got in to a raid I got no progress on loot, so that is sad.

I guess today I continued to hang on. And that is something.

Day 4662 (V:386) - 4/6 - Hopefully not too cold

Today I hopefully won't be too cold. For the past few days I've had to have my second hoodie on (when not in the car). If it gets much colder I'll have to also grab my car sweats to wear over my pants, or considering putting the thermalish layers back on.

I'm not sure what to expect for the day. I hope it's warm enough. I hope I get enough sleep. I hope I recover from my cold. And I hope I can be online and play my games. And hopefully I can continue to hang on until better days.

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