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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 14: Distant Memories

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 705

Day 4929 (V:653) - 12/29 - Angry day

Today is apparently angry day. In the morning someone was talking about a game, and so I typed some big responses thinking they were asking for thoughts/help with it, and they replied with something that didn't seem very nice. So I said fine and deleted it all and was mad and considering blocking them. A few minutes later they said they were sorry if they seemed rude, but they weren't asking for thoughts/help. I saw their point and calmed down.

Later in the day someone sat across from me at my table in the last few hours I was at the library. I was about to tell them to leave, but it was close enough I just tried my best to ignore what they were doing. I suppose he wasn't really doing anything 'bad' or 'wrong', but he was constantly, like 1 out of every 3 minutes, for a couple hours, messing with his belt, shirt, pants, or flipping his hair around. If he comes to my table again I'll, as politely as I can, ask him to sit somewhere else.

Then, when I was driving around after the library closed it was completely pouring rain. I go around a turn, then the road merged from two lanes down to one. This person comes flying up from the straight direction, probably speeding to run the light, going way too fast, I'm ahead of them merging, but they are trying to push past me. I'm like, 'nope, you are going way too fast, at night, in the pouring rain, I'm not slamming on my brakes and swerving hard so you can rudely push past me.' Since I apparently didn't do what they wanted after they were behind me they start slamming on their horn and flashing their lights. I ignored it the first time, they needed to slow the hell down. But then they do it again, and I'm like, no, slam on my horn and start pumping my breaks to flash them back, indicating, 'no, you are wrong, back the hell off.' This repeated a couple of times, each time I got slower, indicating if they don't slow down and keep being an ass I'll just be an ass back. It got to the point where if they did it a fourth time I probably would have stopped my car completely and gotten out and had words with them. But after the 100 or so feet after turning I'd reached my turn and turned into a shopping area. To my shock, immediately after they turned the other way into an apartment area. Yes, that meant in the space of maybe 50 feet they had slammed on their horn and flashed me repeatedly several times. They couldn't wait the extra probably 10 seconds more my driving at a reasoable speed would have cost them.

So, today was mad day. I probably wouldn't have done anything differently if it happened again. But I do know my life is not in a position to be ok or just shrug things like this off when they happen. And that makes me sad.

Day 4930 (V:654) - 12/30 - Did a bit

Today I didn't feel like playing as much as I usually do. I stopped a couple of hours before the library closed and I spent a bit of time working on my site a bit. It wasn't all of what I need/want to do, maybe 1/3 of it, but it was progress. And even though probaby no one will really feel it's useful information, I feel good that I updated. I suppose now it is returning to its original purpose more than not; personal notes and parts for me to remember, just in case I can ever do a desktop build again.

Overall I just feel very extremely tired. I guess maybe it's because of the past few nights I've not fallen asleep until after midnight and lost some sleep, but it could just be a cold too. I'm more congested than usual. It's still almost exclusively when I'm out in the cold. In the library where I'm warm I'm not really congested, so I'm not sure.

I guess today emotionally I feel both a bit more sad, and a bit more ok than usual. Hopefully I can continue to hang on.

Day 4931 (V:655) - 12/31 - Cold Eve

Today it was ridiculously cold. I guess we have a cold front right now or something because the weather shows it will be ridiculously cold for a few more days. It was so cold I only stayed in the outside spot a few hours then spent time in my car while there was still sun on it. I saw the coldest part of today was just about 35F and it peaked at barely 50F. If it will be this cold the next few days I don't know what I'll do.

Needless to say I didn't play much today, probably not even half of what I normally would have on such a day. And I'm extremely tired. When I was in my car killing time I kind of fell asleep for probably 15 minutes, and was half asleep another 15.

It's only later afternoon now, and there are a few very scary hours ahead for me. I hope this year with so many staying home things are more quiet and calm than normal. All the excitement is too scary for me these days. But hopefully I can continue to hang on.

Day 4932 (V:656) - 1/1/2022 - Almost more

Today it is still super cold. The car was a bit frozen over in the morning. I was maybe a bit more ok feeling and wanted to do more with my site work. But due to my limitations I didn't. I was too cold to really think clearly, and my hands and feet were half numb.

When the sun started to get into my area in the early afternoon I started to briefly warm up. I was considering doing it then, but with the sun in the area it was difficult to see. So playing, or doing things that required me to see the screen, were difficult. And if I moved out of the sun I'd be right back to freezing.

I became pretty depressed at that point. I wanted to do the thing, but due to different limitations at different times, I couldn't. Or at the very least I felt so depressed by my limitations I no longer wanted to. I still want to now, hours later, and I may still do some stuff later. But again, it would be limited, in my car, maybe in the dark, without a connection.

And, as always, that made me more sad, wondering how many chances, how many opportunities, I've lost, where maybe I could do, or be, more than I am, because I am not in a positive, or even neutral, environment that would give me the opportunity.

Day 4933 (V:657) - 1/2 - Frozen again

Today was super cold most of the day. In the morning the car was frozen over again. My hands and feet were half numb until probably about noon when they were barely not. In the later morning/early afternoon I actually felt like I wanted to work on my site, but I was too cold. My brain felt like I had a headache from the cold, so I didn't. By the time I warmed up a few hours later I wasn't really in a good mood to do it. I thought I may do it after I changed spots, but the thought of doing stuff in my car didn't appeal to me.

Tomorrow the library will be open again. And in theory school for taking a shower and microing lunch. I guess we'll see about that. I saw no indication of any negative change in terms of classes or move back to in person classes, so I expect it will be the same as last quarter. As to the library, in theory I should be able to be inside most of the time now. Though I think there will be president type holidays in January and February, so I expect I'll miss a Monday or Friday each month, but hopefully not much more.

It's early evening now and not as cold. This cold weather is basically supposed to start passing by today, and by Wednesday it should be back to about 40-45F at night instead of 35F, with highs around 55-60F instead of 45-50F. So hopefully starting tomorrow things should feel a bit better.

Day 4934 (V:658) - 1/3 - Headache

Today was good and maybe bad. It wasn't as cold in the morning, so that made things easier. School started again, so even though I don't have classes it should be fine to shower there and micro an early lunch twice a week. It surprised me though as there were maybe 5-10% of the normal amount of people walking around campus and in the cafeteria area. Which is odd because both of the departments I am taking classes in are still fully online. I thought only P.E. classes were doing in person meetings. Maybe they were just there for a 'first meeting in person' kind of thing and will be online after today.

I've had some pretty big headaches so far today though. My eyes, especially my left, are doing that weird blood flow pressure thing where the eyelids flutter and sometimes my vision gets a little wobbly in that eye. It hasn't happened a lot, but it's happened maybe 3-4 times in the past 1.5 hours.

I did feel in the mood to do some stuff on my personal site last night. It's extremely basic, but it should be done to the point of being postable soon (replacing the now non-supported Flash version.) I don't think anyone will care, but I guess it means something to me that it's viewable and intact. It was strange going through some of the old poems and stories and seeing bits of the me who was.

I guess I'm kind of ok though. Things are warming up, so that's good. And I can be back in the library most days again, so that is good. Hopefully I can continue to hang on.

Day 4935 (V:659) - 1/4 - Mystery Tuesday

Today I don't know what to expect. The cold seems to be going away. While it's not 'warm', it doesn't seem as freezing. The rain seems to be threatening to come back, so it may start raining again.

Hopefully it will be calm and restful and it will be a little easier to hang on.

Week 706

Day 4936 (V:660) - 1/5 - Like a terrible nightmare

Today was pretty bad. Things got bad Monday night and everything seems like a terrible nightmare I'm hoping I will wake up from. I was playing a game, like I often do, and it crashed and locked up. I thought it odd, but that can happen on even the newest of systems. I did ctrl+alt+delete to clear it and it closed and everything looked fine on the regular desktop. I shrugged and tried to restart the game. Almost immediately the system went dead. It was basically 100% game load speed, then a freaction of a second later, nothing, as if it had been off for minutes. I wasn't super worried, and just assumed the crash was worse than I thought and thought I'd just turn the system back on. No response. Hold the button for about 10 seconds, still no response. I noticed it had no 'I have power plugged in' light, so I pulled out the AC power to just start on battery. Nope, still nothing. The system never came back on.

I contacted the company to see if Acer would look at it. They said since it's barely FOUR months past it's ONE YEAR coverage I would have to pay them $730 for them to take it back and look at / replace the unit. That's ridiculous and embarrassing for someone who claims to be the #1 brand. (Though looking around lately I see none of those claims anymore.)

Today at the library I spent much of the day checking various things, pushing the button for a long period to reset the battery, unplugging the battery, unplugging the cmos battery, still nothing. I was going to take it to a laptop repair place for a free estimate on Tuesday, but when I got there there was a sign on the glass saying they were closed due to short staff. I contacted someone online and they said there wasn't any notice from that location, so they should be open. I waited there Wednesday morning with the laptop, and gave up waiting 15 minutes post-open time, as it was apparent the sign wasn't just for Tuesday. So I had to drive to their next closest location about 15 minutes away.

I'm pretty sure it's a battery issue. I did confirm with the person that being a newer internal type battery if there were anything wrong with it that could prevent the system from potentially turning on, unlike older systems like my previous Asus, which can run just fine even though it detects the battery is at 0% and never charges.

So at this point I'm waiting, heartbroken, to hear back. They said they could maybe get to it tomorrow, but they are super busy. I'm praying it's the battery, power supply, or maybe somehow the ram, as each is around the same cost, and all the money I have to spend on repairs. If it's worse issues, I don't know what I'll do.

Day 4937 (V:661) - 1/6 - Hopefully tomorrow

Today passed pretty quickly. I strugged to be properly distracted. My MMO things take nearly twice as long to do on the old system. My shooter is difficult to, as I'll do a move that should have an effect, like stunning the enemy or exploding shots, and everything takes 1/2-1 full second later than it should happen due to my system's slower connection and ability to animate things. I suppose though that I am very grateful that doing it at all is still an option. I at least won't lose too much. If I weren't able to do at least that I'd have to do everything on my tablet, and couldn't game at all. Though with the old system's power issues and overall age, I feel like it's on borrowed time.

Becasue of this disruption, in general, but more specifically the reminder that everything is broken, I feel very bad about myself. I am again fixated on my own issues, my own eventual death, and the fact that I probably only have 40% of my life left. I don't want to be gone. Several times a day now I am borderline P.T.S.D. and start to panic and hyperventilate and I have to do my best to quickly calm down before I lose it. I really really hope the new laptop is fixable and I can afford to do so. I was barely remaining stable with it.

I called them around 3:30 to check things and the person said they just recently started testing it and it likely wouldn't be done until tomorrow. I guess that made me feel good. It means they will do way more testing than I could do. I read about one shop's testing methodology that talked about removing the motherboard and testing all the things. If I were to try to check things myself, I'd have to buy the extra thing, check it, and return it if it didn't fix the issue.

So again I end today trying to remain hopeful the news is a problem that's very easy to fix. I don't really care as much about time now. As extremely tough as it is to hang on, it's more important that I get my new system back in working order for an amount I can afford to lose.

Day 4938 (V:662) - 1/7 - Fearful of death

Today I have been very fearful of death. I had two micro panic attacks during the day, and a few last night. Having the old laptop, in its own stages of death, and the new laptop in possible permanent death (since there's no way I could get the $730 to send to the manufacturer), I am unable to stop fixating on my own death. The fear that I too may 'just shut down and never start up again', or worse, some kind of terrible accident and made very aware of the fact that I'm dying as it's happening, repeat over and over in my mind.

There was no news all day on my new laptop. Which, considering they are doing this all free, is I suppose fair. But, I absolutely will call them and bug them about it tomorrow since I gave them the system Wednesday, they said they were starting tests Thursday, and then that would be a few days total, which is starting to push that to an extreme amount of time. I'm still trying to remain hopeful it's cheap, and ideally something I could do myself if their labor charge would be too high. But all I can do is try to stay hopeful and wait.

I guess I am getting a little more used to my old system. I had a bit more fun than yesterday, but the games are still horribly slow in comparison. My MMO and shooter are playable, yes, and I did so on this old laptop for years. But now having been on the new one for 1.25 years, and the MMO running 50-100% faster, and the shooter closer to 100% faster all the time, not to mention the screen running at faster speeds too, it's a pretty bad experience in comparison.

I was very worried about the old laptop always complaining about it's battery. Today it put itself to sleep twice because of it. So I decided to try just fully removing it and seeing how it did. It seems fine. It shows 225% charge on no battery, which is kind of hilarious, so I'll just leave the battery in storage.

Oh, there was some good news at the end of the day. Dad said he sent some surprise New Year money. Hopefully I don't need it for repairs and can keep it for bills, but I guess I'll see. I'm afraid I may not have enough for the year end bills as recent checks on what I would normally get puts me a bit short, so I'll need everything I get.

So today was maybe a teeny bit good, and mostly bad. It was good in that I made it ok on the old laptop. It was bad because there was no laptop repair news and I am having horrible P.T.S.D. panic attacks over my own death.

Day 4939 (V:663) - 1/8 - Brief return, on to the next

Today the new laptop has briefly returned to me. On Monday morning I'll be taking it to a different place to get diagnosed and hopefully fixed. The shop it's been at is guessing it has a motherboard issue, which they apparently aren't equipped to diagnose or repair. (Which seems ridiculous they wouldn't have warned me about that to start.)

I am trying to remain hopeful it's a fast and easy fix. A video site recommended some videos to me with exactly the issue I have (not powering on), and in about four different videos the person opens up the laptop, diagnoses the issue, and repairs it in about 20 minutes, usually just by removing/replacing one very minor part. So I'm hopeful mine is a similar issue and that parts costs almost nothing, and labor is like half an hour of labor. I guess we'll see. Hopefully the next place won't take as long to diagnose or fix it. Again, all the videos were less than 30 minutes, so that seems extreme the last place took nearly four full business days to do it.

I guess today was ok. I feel pretty heartbroken about the news, and felt pretty sad before that. I'm not panicking or worrying about death or injury as much as I had been, but it's still ever-present in my mind.

But I'm trying my best to not be too sad. And I'm trying my best to hang on to hope I'll have my new laptop back and fixed cheaply soon.

Day 4940 (V:664) - 1/9 - Just too cold

Today it was just too cold to be outside. I stayed in my outside spot maybe 4 hours and that was it, about half what I would have on a less cold Sunday. My tummy is pretty upset feeling, in spite of barely eating due to stress and worry. I suppose I could have done things a bit earlier on Saturday to have my laptop at the new shop, but since it wouldn't be open Sunday I didn't see the point.

I feel pretty bad and sad in general and hope very soon things will be better for me.

Day 4941 (V:665) - 1/10 - Hopefully soon

Today pretty early in the morning I dropped off my laptop at the now second repair shop. I checked when they were last open on Saturday to be sure they could do the repair if it was a motherboard issue. The guy seemed pretty hopeful they would get me an answer today, the person that does that work is an afternoon shift person, but felt it would be absolutely before the end of Tuesday if not today.

I'm still trying to stay hopeful it's 'good news' in terms of repairs, is cheap, and there is no effective chance it will just happen again once repaired. I still feel overall extra sad, and am having a difficult time playing games on my old system. I play for about half the time, doing basically just daily things to keep current. Doing more can be difficult in some cases due to the the slow speeds, so it's kind of heartbreaking to try.

So I continue to try to stay hopeful in its testing. And try to hang on to hope it's affordable and not too much, and my laptop comes back soon.

Day 4942 (V:666) - 1/11 - Maybe returned

Today I am hoping my new laptop will be returned to me after an affordable fix. Or maybe I got it Monday night and I'm starting a return to my regular homeless life. Things have been extra difficult, and many things are on hold, or feel like it, due to the (returned) extra limitations.

But all I can do is continue to try to do my best with what I have, and try to hang on as best as I can; to hope, to life, and to what is left of my sanity and happiness.

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