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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 2: Rise of teh Bunnah

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.

Week 71

Day 491 - 11/4 - Church connection has a fail

It's super early lunch time at around 10:30. I was woken up early by lots of stupid car alarms and people with absurdly loud motors.

The church connection had a lot of fail last night. I got there at around 8:30 but it failed to connect until around 9. It went ok until about 10, but from 10:30-11 (when I gave up) it was at absurd ping levels (over 9000!) and I couldn't play at all. That happened one other night I was there. In total it's been two bad nights out of five visits, so hopefully those were just anomolies.

I feel out of place again. I'll leave to play at the mall after I finish lunch. I just don't feel right here lately or that I belong. I almost feel as if I'm lost in another country. (But I somehow expect that if I were people would actually see I'm lost and give me help, while here I'm just invisible.)

Today feels like a moderate and sad day. The sun is moderately shining. The weather is between cold and warm. There is a very gentle breese. There is some morning fog left. It feels like a day I'd just sit at home and play all day instead of going to work or school, like one of those days you know will be average and ho-hum.

Day 492 - 11/5 - The sadness in the wind

It's 11:15. You won't guess where I am. I'm at all I can nom pizza/salad lunch. I haven't been able to do this for dinner since school started and I've missed it. I think it's been about a month and a half since I've had pizza, not counting a single slice at the school cafeteria.

I got my paycheck today, but even with the extra it's pathetically small. The total for two weeks is what I should be making in about three days. (And my average week is close to what I'd make in a single day.) Things are going to be getting super tight as winter continues. Paying my taxes by early December when they are due will be very difficult. I guess dad didn't send any Halloween monies. I didn't really expect it, but it really would have helped to pay taxes. I suppose I should have paid it sooner when I had more money but I was more concerned with emotional survival in recent times.

It's windy and gray outside again. The wind carries with it a sadness, a final farewell to summer and hello to fall. Jobs are already scarse enough but with the coming Hollidays things are bound to thin out more. I'll check jobs while I have lunch but I don't expect anything. It seems I may be stuck homeless with little to no movement for quite some time.

Day 493 - 11/6 - Gray sky Friday

It's later in the evening at nearly 5:45 at gym mini work. I haven't written earlier because there really hasn't been anything to say. It's just a regular Friday save for the gray clouds and very light sprinkle. I got up a bit early at around 8:45 and watched a show. I picked up chicken and salad for a chicken salad - the chicken was so hot it warped the plastic fork, hehe . I played wirelessly for a bit after that and that's been my day.

I did do a touch more research on laptops and found a cool Sony. Tweaked with a slightly better CPU, 4 gig (for +$20), Nvidia GT 230M (for +$50), Icy White color, 14" screen (base), 1366x768 resolution (base), free Blu-ray upgrade, all for $840-890 (final price depending on if I get the larger battery upgrade or not). So that would be super win if I could upgrade to that. That would be a powerful enough graphics chip to play any game I wanted as well as allowing me access to my Blu-ray movies. I could carry around a half dozen at any one time if I liked.

Sadly there really is no movement towards higher pay or a new job. I did get out one resume but that's it. I saw a burb on TV at the mall that said unemployment was near 10% now (which means where I am is likely closer to 13-15%, as we were at 10%+ when the overall nation was only at 6%.) It's crazy and all I can do is just keep plodding along.

I did come up with an idea for a site tweak. I'll probably slowly work on that and have it ready for 2010. Not a huge deal, just a menu re-design, so that it's horizontal instead of vertical. It should be cool.

That's all for now.

Day 494 - 11/7 - Sprinkling Saturday

It's late, I think around 9. I'm having dinner in my car while trying to watch shows. The church wireless is pausing but mostly ok. I spent the day playing at the mall and that's it really. Nothing going on on the boards; no jobs to apply for, no emails or calls.

It sprinkled very lightly but I don't think it will rain until later tonight or maybe tomorrow.

That's it really.

Day 495 - 11/8 - Okish time

It's dinner time later in the evening, probably around 8. I had an okish time today. I got to sleep in. I played wirelessly mostly lag free. And now we are at the wireless church spot to watch some shows "before bed".

I'm balancing a touch more now that I can watch shows (or movies) in the evenings (in relative privacy in a quiet area.) It seems more... normal... more me.

That was really my day. I chatted very briefly on fun boards, checked job boards, checked news; but mostly I played. Nothing good or special happened, but I suppose that nothing bad has happened either.

Day 496 - 11/9 - Being productive

Early lunch at mini work. Something I overheard someone say to his friends yesterday at the mall has been bouncing around in my head. He said something like, "I couldn't sit and play games all day. I have to work or I don't feel productive." I glanced up at the guy, listened to a bit more of what they were talking about, and I thought to myself that this guy would do just fine in life. He wouldn't have the problems I've had. He'll have a wife, kids, and buy a home. But the thing is, twenty years from now he'll look back and ask himself what he's accomplished. Besides his wife, kids, and home, he'll have nothing. I think that's the greatest difference between us. To me "being productive" means producing something. I don't see changing tires or oil (what he did), or selling stuff in a department store, or working at a fast food restaraunt, or here at the pool or gym, as "productive". To me that's maintenance. To me being productive is about creating or applying knowledge and affecting change. Sure, he changes tires, he changes oil, but I'd disagree that he's being truly productive. Now, if he were writing discussion on which oil is better and why, or which tires have better grip on the road, I could see that as producing something. But to me (doing it one person at a time) that's just maintaining. Sure, it accomplishes something and I'd agree there, or that the janitors I see at the mall cleaning tables and taking out the trash accomplish something, but I'd disagree that they are producing.

Maybe it's just poor word choice. Maybe I'm being overly picky. But I've heard it before, particularly from my dad. While playing a game may not be productive you could certianly apply the knowledge you gain from playing in ways such as creating a strategy guide or comparing different games in discussion, which could lead to production. I suppose that's never sat well with me in my life in terms of a job - so many just seem like maintenance, not production. I would be happiest where I can generate or pass on knowledge and affect change. Maintaining what is, minor changes that don't alter a person's experience, these kinds of jobs don't interest me. Sure, I could do them, but so could anyone else. You need to do what you love and you need to know if you would enjoy a job that maintains or one that produces.

Day 497 - 11/10 - Work gets more lame

A little bit later lunch at around 1. The cafeteria is full of life and busyness what with everyone being with friends and nomming lunch. I keep forgettting to mention that I got 100% on the test for my Wednesday class. In theory we get the Tuesday class test back tonight. (We did; I got a B/B-, which is about what I expected.) I'm still feeling a bit sad and apart from everyone. Maybe it's my continuing stagnation in my career/job path. More likely though it is due to how different my life is from what is "normal". I watch shows, movies, and play games just like everyone else, but the way in which I do so is different. I eat and shower, but again in a different way than everyone else. I'm here when campus is completely packed and when it is completely empty, yet neither time do I feel like I belong - I'm only here out of necessity.

Two new games launched lately that I've been wanting to play. Yet more fun everyone else is having that I can't have.

After lunch I'll work on my site redesign a bit then try and do the reading for Wednesday's class. The professor found an older book that she's letting me borrow as long as I need, but it would be nice to get through it quickly so I can return it. Since I got 100% on the mid-term I'm sure using the one on hold in the library is fine for future study needs.

Well... I guess I'm off to find somewhere quieter than the crazy cafeteria to do my stuffs. Bye for now.

Time passes

It's dinner time before class around 5. I got to finish my new menu redesign and it's full of win. It actually shouldn't take too long to tweak the site pages, certainly less effort and time than I expected. It's possible the redesign could go up within a week.

Unfortunately I was distracted and unable to do much studying. I got an email from the new pool boss person saying that at these manditory trainings she's going to force we who are general office people to do swimming and other excercize. This caused a bit of panic as there is no way I can keep up with kids half my age who go swimming all the time. The reality is that I haven't been in "good" shape since longer than most of them have been alone. While not in terrible shape at roughly 190 pounds (at 5'8") the reality is that when I walk more than about 100 feet I'm winded and breathing a bit heavy. I would love to get into shape, as you all know, but there is no way I can do that with my current life limitations. And even if I had the money to buy any food I wished and time to do any workout I wished I would also like to check in with a fitness expert before/during to be sure I'm ok. There is no way someone is going to snap their fingers and I'll be in shape. If anything forcing me into heavy excersize would be hazardous to my health and I certainly don't trust anyone without at least a masters in physical education to push me in any way. (Particularly when said person's most recent rule change was to impliment a "parka log". Yes, the guards who sit out in the cold with no shelter now must check in/out a jacket to keep them warm during their shift.)

So, bit of a panic there. While it won't influence my 5 hours at the gym it may become forced/necessary to drop the 3.25 hours at the pool because people who answer the phones are now somehow required to be in similar shape as the lifeguards. Sorry, but I just don't fit that description and I won't be getting there anytime soon.

Well, just a short while before class and my night is rapidly over. Guess that's all for this week. Bye for now.

Week 72

Day 498 - 11/11 - Brain has a fail

My mind has a total fail today. It's been all sleepy and doesn't really seem to remember anything. If I try and think about something it just fizzles. It's super early dinner time before class.

I have a vague recollection of checking job boards. I sent an app out yesterday but nothing today. I finished the reading for my Wednesday class too, so I can return the book. It was only two chapters total.

Back in the day I was told by my web hosting people that my site would work with or without the www; it was optional. With the recent redesign I decided to finally make a check on that. The site works fine. However, for some unknown reason the flash menu does not. Without the www the menu acts as if it has no scripting for the buttons, but with the www it works just fine. The truly puzzling thing is that my everbecoming site, which is entirely flash, works just fine with or without the www. There were a few different lines of code which I tried changing out but that doesn't make any difference. My only guess is that it has to do with how the site was set up (incorrectly) by the web hosting people. I'd change it if that is the case, but I'd have to change my $7 a month plan to double that. Right now that would be a cost I don't need to spend.

I was thinking about 3D gaming again today. The monitors available for Nvidia's 3D Vision have remained exactly the same since launch roughly 10 months ago. To me this indicates a potential problem with production of compatible monitors. The puzzling thing is they now have a "Vision Discover" set of glasses which supposedly work just fine (in a lesser and red/blue colored kind of way). If you have a strong enough Nvidia graphics card (and a certain type of driver or higher, which you can download free). It strikes me as odd that they aren't selling those glasses at a low cost (say $10-15). Apparently they can be gotten at special trade shows and conventions. While this seems perfectly logical in that they can go 'here is what the Discover version looks like, but look how much cooler the full version is.' But it doesn't seem logical that they aren't dropping the glasses on the market to drum up more interest in the full product. This, and the lack of 1080 compatible monitors really makes me wonder if the product was launched prematurely or if it is in flux for some reason. I wrote to them and asked the questions but I doubt they will answer a crazy rabling homeless bunnah.

I'm still feeling sad lately but I'm sleeping well enough. Though I'm still cramped up and not sleeping well physically, I feel safe enough at the sleeping spot and school to get enough rest mentally. (Not counting days like today where my brain and memory seems completely non-functional.)

I wonder if I have a cold. My tummy has been very active and wants lots of different cafeteria food. Usually it's all super hungry and wants different food when I'm sick. The brain fail combined with various cravings could be an indication of a cold.

Well, that's all the ramblings for now I guess. Oh, I did the site change last night. It actually took hardly any time. Just had to copy and paste something to about 40 different fils and it was done. Easy peasy.

Day 499 - 11/12 - A, E, I, O, U, and sometimes keyboard

It's dinner time at the gym. I can't call it an extra shift so much as an unexpected one. With the upcoming Hollidays I'll be down to about 35% of my normal income during the last two weeks of December. So that, in addition to the fact that I really need to be working 25+ hours a week, really makes anything less than that not so much "extra" as 'more than I was expecting / scheduled for'.

I had a pretty good day I guess. I slept ok and had a fun time gaming at the mall. No job apps or replies though, so that's sad.

I got a reply back from Nvidia last night. It seems that they do sell the glasses at their online store in 10 packs for $10. There is also apparently a kiosk with a demo system set up in a store not too far from me. I'll have to go check that out. It still strikes me as odd that they wouldn't pack in free glasses and advertising with every single graphics card of x level and higher. Maybe the free ones are just 'gimicy' and aren't designed for long-term wear (unlike the full version). Maybe too they are affraid that the level of performance would deter sales more than help them. I suppose I won't know the answers until I either see a comparison at the kiosk or upgrade to my Sony that I want and try them out myself.

I found that I really do like to still use my keyboard when I'm in my car, but not at any other time. I guess it's partly because I have to sit far from my netbook because it's on the dash as well as it being more like a normal multi-level desktop setup.

That's it for now.

Day 500 - 11/13 - Thirteen

Ooooh. Spooky Friday the 13th. I haven't seen anything funny today. Sometimes people dress funny at school or work on Friday the 13th. School was closed today though due to a postponed Veteran's day from Wednesday, so I spent the day at the mall. I actually didn't get too much sleep because of that, as I had nowhere to sleep safely after it started to get lite. I did go to the church wireless spot and get a little bit more sleep, but I've probably only gotten about 6 hours total.

I guess I had an ok time. I mean, yeah, it's like 'yeeeaaa for my system and gaming and teh Internets '. So, life is much better than just seven months ago. But at the same time, everything else that is my life is the same, or worse. I've had another tooth go super bad, the weather is getting colder again, and it seems I'm wearing out the fabric on my car seats. The driver's side has a big exposed section of the seat foam now.

It's nearing 5:45 at gym mini work so my night is basically over. I have another dumb "manditory training" tomorrow. It's an hour. In the middle of the day. And it takes like 10-15 minutes for me to drive each direction, not counting the time to pack/unpack and go to/from my car. It's so completely unnessary. Nothing at all has changed at the pool or gym in the past month, or even the past nearly three months since summer ended. It's just a waste of city payroll and everyone's time if you ask me. But then maybe that's just because I've got a degree in Psychology and know these kids aren't going to care or learn at this job. It's too temporary. It would be like trying to teach camp counselors how to do accounting spreadsheets. Sure, it may come up in a one in a million situation as part of their job but it's not likely. Anyways... rambling.

My days are still better now with my system but I still feel lost, sad, alone, behind everyone else, and gimped (in game, entertainment, and most of all career).

That's all for now I guess.

Day 501 - 11/14 - Sick and tired in the rain

I guess I'm having an ok enough time today. It's after 6 and I'm just taking a break from the game (mostly because my ears hurt from being smooshed.)

I'm definately sick. I started getting tired and winded easily back on Tuesday night, but now I've got congestion, fatigue, sleepyness, and I get winded just walking a short distance.

I called my boss to tell her I'm too sick to swim and ask if I should come in to the meeting or not. She said, "don't worry about it." I guess I should have asked for clarification. I took that to mean 'don't worry about not swimming', not 'don't worry about it, stay at home and don't come to the meeting.' I did however mention that I was checking to see if I should come or not due to that, and she again repated "don't worry about it". I responded, "k. I guess I'll see you at 12:30 then." To which there was a pause and I said bye and hung up. When I showed up for the meeting she was like, "What are you doing here? I thought I told you don't worry about it." So that trip wasted an hour driving/parking/walking and a couple of dollars in gas / car costs.

Nothing else going on today save for playing at the mall. I've been bad and been putting off an observation for school that's due on Tuesday. I should try and contact people for that.

It rained lightly last night. Early this morning my car was wet when I got up at 6:30 (but not the last time my sleep was disturbed at around 3.) Thankfully it wasn't enough to leak. It hadn't rained since, but it's dark outside now so I can't see if it's raining or not.

That's all. Hopefully I can get some extra rest over the next few days and get better. It's been super cold lately.

Day 502 - 11/15 - Twelve hours

It's later in the evening nearing 9:45. My day is basically over, though I may watch a show "before bed". I'm at the wireless church spot and I basically just finished 12 hours of being at the mall. I got there around 9:30 in the morning after taking a 5 minute mostly cold shower at school. (I'll likely stop trying on weekends as it's always colder water.) I did do a quick job and board check but I basically just played my game all day. Mostly there were good groups and I was with my two online friends for a bit. One has a sad though and I don't know how to cheer her up.

I'm a lot better today though I'm still getting winded pretty quickly. I stayed bundled up with an extra shirt layer and my sweater all day (so I had an undershirt, t-shirt, house shirt, and sweater on my upper bits.) In a home I likely would have just had an undershirt, house shirt, sweats, and thrown a throw blanket on me to keep me warm while gaming.

People are starting to recognize me at the mall. One of the workers said hi to me as I was settling in this morning and a kid who chatted with me about the game about a week ago waved. Since it's getting so cold at night I'll likely be there a lot in the coming days, particularly days when school is closed.

"For here or to go?" struck me as a very odd question tonight as I got a couple of dollars of cheap fast food. I've probably been asked that a hundred times or more in the past nearly year and a half, but tonight it seemed different. I flashed to happier times. Times when I actually had somewhere to go; physically and mentally. I thought of the times when I was young with friends and we got food to go on the way places, or in more recent times when I was coming back from classes (during the days of my Associates and Bachelors) and it was later in the evening and I was too tired to cook. These days I'm always driving everywhere, yet never going anywhere.

Day 503 - 11/16 - Two towels

I'm a bit better from my cold, but I've still got quite a bit of chest, throat, and nose congestion. I've been coughing less, but sneezing more.

I slept with two towels last night. One has to go under me to protect me from cold air cycling in from under the seat, and the other goes between me and the blankets. It keeps me decently warm but the towel that goes under me gets totally smooshed; and both must be dry in order to do it. Having a smooshed towel isn't a super big deal, but it is one of those comeforts people normally take for granted. Having a super fluffy (and warm) towel after a shower for drying off is win.

That's really it so far. I'm at mini work so nothing has happened yet today. I haven't decided what to do with the rest of my day yet. I need to do laundry but after I don't know if I'll spend extra time at school to watch shows or if I'll go play at the mall for a bit. So lame having to choose and there being such a big time sink of a difference between locations. All this going back and forth and here and there just to do simple things I could do around a home is so annoying and sad.

Well, that's it for now.

Day 504 - 11/17 - Headache

It's around 4:30 and I've been bad and been in the cafeteria since lunch working on updating my tips file for Death Knight. I haven't gotten any replies for my observation paper (which is actually due tonight), so I guess that will have to be late. That's really all that's happened today. I spent the first half sleeping in a bit and watching shows, had lunch, then worked on the update. I have the worst headach so I may be bad and eat some real food. I don't know if that's because I'm still a bit sick, because I've been in a noisy cafeteria for the past 3 hours, a combination of those, or what.

I've got class in a bit and I may play for a brief while or watch a show "before bed" but that's really it for my day. Sadly nothing interesting to really talk about today. But then, I rarely have anything truly interesting to talk about.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008, 2009
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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