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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 73

Day 505 - 11/18 - "Too old to begin the training"

It's been a pretty quiet day so far in terms of nothing going on. I slept in a decent amount. I'm still sick. My throat is still messed up, I'm a bit hungrier than usual, a bit of a headache, and I still tire/get winded quickly.

I watched some of my shows then borrowed the land line to patch my game. There were still no phone or email messages about doing my observation so I guess I'll have to make a bunch of calls tomorrow and be more pushy to get this set up. I updated my site a bit after lunch and tried to do some work on a group final for class.

I still feel between worlds. I felt out of place watching my shows this morning, but looking around I saw that 90-95% of people were all messing around with online web games, social sites, or watching shows. I felt a touch less out of place after noticing that. At lunch, and now too during an early dinner, only a few people are single. Most are with a friend or several friends. The quarter is winding down and people are picking new classes. All on their way down a path that will take them to jobs and careers. Meanwhile I feel lost, as if I'm throwing darts at a dartboard while blindfolded. I don't have money for classes yet, so that will have to wait. Again I question if it will really help. I don't really feel like I'm moving forward. Still, like my degrees and certificates I already have, if they aren't helping I really suppose taking a class or two doesn't exactly hurt. I'd find no more jobs I could take without them, even if I could stop taking classes and completely free up my schedule.

As the days pass I doubt myself more and more. Yes, I'm great at my game. I'm good at doing stuff as well as considering tactics and strategies. I'm good at figuring people out, their patterns and habbits. People I see regularly still say hello in passing and are reasonably friendly. Yet in a career... well I apparently have none. Day by day all the paths I thought were open seem to be closing. I feel less confident about my ability to do them and less and less hopeful that I'll actually find one. Am I forever doomed to be menial job guy because noone trusts me to do more? Because I lack experience in a particular job? Or becaue some mysterious force compells those around me so I follow a specific path?

Day 506 - 11/19 - Tight money

Unexpected work shift. It's about 5:45. My boss got here like one minute after I did. Odd that both times I've been here to cover for someone she's been here. I suppose though this time seemed more like she was here to be sure I covered the shift, but after working here more than 1.5 years and covering shifts several times in the past I can't help but feel more like it's checking up on me to micromanage me. I hate when bosses do that to remote workers. It's like either you trust them or you don't. Anyways...

Not much going on today. I slept in at school but got up early around 8:45. I went over to play at the mall wirelessly, checked for jobs, checked on my observation that's already overdue, and now I'm here.

I haven't had a chance to check my "budget" yet but things will be tight. I have to pay my overdue taxes soon and that will drain me past all my savings into my real money. Hopefully I can time it so they can't cash the check until I'm paid again, but it will be close. I'm basically counting on at least a little money from dad to balance back out. I really wasn't expecting to be back down to this few number of hours per week, so I really didn't get a chance to save up much. (Nor was I expecting to need to drop $165 on a camera or be paying upwards to $20 a picture series.) Hopefully too I can remember to charge and try to sell my iPod that I never use. That should get me around $50, maybe more.

I found out why my online friend has a sad. She has an online boyfriend who is kind of pressuring her into playing and raiding way more than she wants. I feared that may be the case, which is why I've recently been suggesting fun movies for her to rent and spend time with outside of the game. The thing is she has a sick (in a nursing home) mom, he has a young son, and they live across the country from one another. The game is really the only place/time they see one another. I tried suggesting video chat type activities like dinner, social games, or whatever, but she said those don't really work out. I'm worried he's obsessive about the game and she's feeling forced to be equally obsessive and that there won't be anything between them when one of them moves on.

Well... that's it for my rambling tonight. Suuuper hungry.

Day 507 - 11/20 - lol at mister whitehair

Mini work at about 5:45; nothing new or interesting to say really. I finally got ahold of someone for the observation I need to do. It only took contacting four different schools to find someone who would actually talk to me. There is a party tomorrow for the husband of one of the ghosts. It will cost like $7 in gas to go, but I guess that's ok. I can meet some peeps and you never know what may happen because of that.

I got to lol at the ex-roomie who hates me. Back when I was living there he had gotten I'd say maybe 40% white/gray. Today I stopped by the garage super quick and he's 100% bright white. I was like (to myself), 'lol, in the past year he's gone completely gray.' His hair isn't short either. It's long 70s pony tail style. Here I am nearly 10 years old and I'm less gray than he was at 25. lol. I probably shouldn't be so hard on myself about my age. While I am "middle age" now I look and act 10-15 years younger. Even people who I tell "I'm older" have no idea really.

Anyways... that's really it. I changed my WiFi card drivers last night and I seem to have much better stability now. I played wirelessly at the mall for about 6.5 hours and I think I only dropped once ever (compared to 15-20 times in that same amount previously.) Hopefully the new drivers will be good to go. I'm still heavily gimped at minimum settings running at 10-15 FPS compared to a decent 30-45 or good 60+, so my experience still could be a lot better. And I believe that processing speed plays a part in (wireless) video watching, as I've seen others at school streaming video without issue where I typically struggle with the simplest things. Well, hopefully Xmas gifts and hopefully a tax stimulus next year will allow me an upgrade if I still can't find more/new work.

Um... oh I got a movie I didn't think the kiosk would ever rent as I've heard it's pushing the R rating, so that should hopefully be full of lol.

That's it really. Bye for now.

Day 508 - 11/21 - Not my birthday party

It's nearing 9:45 at night and my day is just about over. I've spent the past 12 hours with one of my ghosts at her husband's b-day party. It was pretty fun, but she was the only one I actually knew. The peeps seemed nice enough though. They have two kitties and two doggies so I was surprised that I lasted about 3 to 4 hours before I really started to feel my allergies and 4 or so more before they got bad. Their house is all hardwood floors, so that was likely a big part of it. I'm not sure when I'll see them again, and I didn't really bond with any of their friends (mostly I suspect because they were all couples, but also because of varrying hobby interests.) I seemed welcome enough, so that was good. I guess though their friends with food flaked so they wound up getting pretty expensive food. Oh, the day started at this place called Psycho Donuts. I guess it's a local thing. You can peep the pic and see how fancy the doughnuts were. They are all kinds of crazy.

So... that was my day. I'm off to play my game for an hour or two "before bed" while my body recovers from my allergies. Bye peeps.

Day 509 - 11/22 - Avoiding a frozen system

It's nearing 9 and my day is basically over. I slept in a touch and got up around 9. I grabbed some lunch meat then headed over to the mall. I played all day, checked fun boards, checked job boards, and made a comment on a bla bla that the party ghost wrote.

Yesterday morning when I got up and went to use my system at about 8:30 it was super cold. So cold that the screen had moisture on it from the keys and metal below. I feared letting that happen would eventually damage the screen so I thought and thought and thought and came up with a spot to put it against my bag under my legs. It seems to have worked as it wasn't too cold this morning. It wasn't warm, but it certainly didn't feel frosty cold. Back in the day when it was new I used to just keep my whole backpack under my feet - and I may start doing that again if my feet start getting too cold. It's pretty big now though what with the large headphones, camera, dvd drive, etc. I'd have to take at least some of that out and it just seems easier to keep the system out.

Well, that's really it. Money is super tight, but that's no fun to talk about. I miss my basic things in life, but there isn't anything I can do about it. So that's really all for tonight.

Hope everyone has an awesome fun Turkey weekend this weekend.

Day 510 - 11/23 - One day at a time

Laundry time. Nothing really going on today of interest. I did mini work this morning, doing laundry now, I'll be playing for a bit wirelessly, then I have a dumb meeting with some group project people. These projects are always fail. I always wind up with lazy people and/or wind up doing all the work. This time a couple of the people were blowing off my ideas saying it would be super easy. One sent a something a week ago and it didn't meet any of the grading criteria points, as if she didn't even look at the greensheet. I pointed that out and now everyone else is in a panic.

Sooo... yeah, that's it so far. Nothing interesting; just all daily maintenance type things. My life very much seems to be one day at a time these days.

Day 511 - 11/24 - Aspects of me

It's around 1:30. I'm sooooo hungry, but my soup is a bit too hot to eat, heh. I'm super sleepy because I had to get up early for my observation project. It went pretty good. The kids were nice and friendly twoards me. It would be super fun to teach kids. Hopefully someday I can do that, though my path is no longer as clear as it once seemed. I met with some class peeps for a group project we have to do last night and that looks much better than it did before. It should work out ok.

I still don't feel like I belong here. I still feel lost and out of place. Today I feel like maybe the only place I would belong is on some desert island, banished from the rest of the world for failing to fit in with what anyone else considers normal.

I'm tempted to run away from school and play my game at the mall, but I can't because I have to type up the observation for tonight. I guess after lunch I'll only have about 3.5 hours for that but it shouldn't take more than an hour, so it should be fine.

My schedule since I found the wireless church spot has returned to being a bit more of what I used to do. Now, after I leave campus, I can watch a show or play for a bit "before bed" and I'm settling in closer to the 11 to midnight time that I normally would in a home. I'm falling to sleep pretty much right away and having some pretty frequent (and often crazy) dreams. Unfortunately that time between about 9 and 11 is really my only private time. At the mall I can allow myself to be consumed with what I'm doing and mostly tune out others around me, but it's not truly private as my time would be in a home. On campus everywhere is way too noisy and busy to have private time - even if there are some nice distractions of cute girls.

I am often still surrounded by me things; the soups I like to eat, the drinks or sodas I like, I have my most important game, when I get gift money I can still collect Blu-ray movies - so I have things that anchor me to me-ness, yet I still feel like I'm drifting and lost. Aspects of me are in flux, changing and growing, while others are held in limbo unable to change.

I don't know when my journey will end. Although sometimes very interesting, it is far too lonely and chaotic for my tastes.

Time passes

In class now. It's probably going to go the whole time, which is laaammmeee. I hope all you peeps have a good turkey weekend. Eat enough tasty foods to make yer tummy happy but don't eat so much you get all sick. Have a good weekend peeps. Be kind, caring, and sharing to one another.

Week 74

Day 512 - 11/25 - Pre-turkey

It's about 7. I'm packed up and ready to leave the mall a touch early. I've got a headache from all the noise and people. I need some quiet private time, even if said time will be rapidly cold after I stop my car.

I was kind of hoping to get a Turkey day invite of some kind, but none have come. At this point that likely means the three or so people who may have invited me to a something are busy. I guess it's ok. I'll just chill and play my game, maybe watch some shows. The Internets were pretty laggy and dropped me several times, so the coming days may not be the best experience, but they are what they are. I got a schedule for the mall. Friday they are open late, but there is no time note for Tomorrow. I'd put bets it will close early and I'll wind up moving to the wireless church spot and bouncing between various parks. I guess we'll see when we see.

I'd honestly rather be alone playing my game doing regular weekend stuff then like with a family I haven't seen in forever who don't know me at all. It would be really nice if I were in a home. I could have cooked up a game hen, some stuffing, maybe some gravy, gotten a pumpkin pie, and had some movies rented. I've done that before and I enjoy the me time. Unfortunately with my income and lack of job prospects I think it may be quite some time before I have a normal Turkey day - be that with a family that does care for me and love me or in a home alone with the freedom to cook and eat how I like.

Day 513 - 11/26 - Turkey day not according to plans

It's nearing 10; Happy Turkey day everyone! As I feared, even though the schedule I got did not say "closed" for today the mall is indeed closed. My options for gaming have rapidly dwindled to wireless at the church spot or paying for time at the game center. Since I couldn't afford more than a few hours I don't even know if I'll go. I am selling my iPod today, so that's some money, but after paying taxes I'll only have about $50 left in my account - all the money I'd have in the world. And $10 of that needs to be used to go see a movie for one of my clases (which is one I'd see anyways.)

Even though I didn't expect much I think today will not turn out nearly as fun as I'd hoped. Oh wait... there may be some hope. I see some boxes near the church building. It's possible that's an outside plug. If it is I could play without needing to stop (unless it gets too bright, which is very possible with outside gaming.) I'll go investigate that now.

Time passes

Nope. Power is going from inside to outside, but it isn't an outlet. It's one of those shielded things. Ah well. Since I can't afford to spend much today will likely wind up being switches between gaming and putting my netbook in storage to charge up on power for a few hours; certainly not the Turkey day I had planned.

Time passes

It seems the game center isn't an option either. I double checked my email from them and they aren't open until 6. I didn't remember that until I saw it. I have a vague memory of expecting them to open early last year as well. By then it will be dark and my system will be recharged. (I just dropped it off at the garage and plugged it in. It should hit full charge in 4-5 hours.)

I considered going to a movie, but the movie I need to see for a class is no longer there, so that would really just waste time and money as there aren't any movies out now that I can't wait to see.

I'm tempted to see if the store with the Nvidia 3D Vision kiosk is open. That would help to kill a bit of time. I know they are open tomorrow and pretty sure they are open today. Other than sitting in parking lots all day that's really all I can think of to do today until the early evening.

It's actually super warm today despite being a touch cloudy - A good day for visiting family/loved ones and having back yard gatherings.

Time passes

It seems too this was destined not to be. Upon arrival at the store it was closed and there were already half a dozen people waiting for Black Friday.

My night is over now and I basically just killed some time then went and got my netbook for wireless play and hid in various parking lots. By the time the game center was open it wasn't worth considering going "before bed".

Day 514 - 11/27 - Black Friday

It's after 10:30 at night and my day is over. Today was... strange to say the least. I had a pretty good time spending most of my day playing, but I was very out of place all day.

My day started around 7:10 when a garbage truck came into the sleeping area. I went ahead and moved to the wireless church spot. It was sprinkling, cold, and Black Friday, so there were only one or two other cars. I napped for about 1.5 more hours during which time I was the only car in the lot. From there I went to the mall. When I got there around 8.45 it was already packed. I'd forgotten the crazyness of Black Friday. All day I was surrounded by shoppers. The place was packed. Noone had to wait for a table to sit, but it did feel strange being the only one not shopping. Most only had one bag of stuff, but still.

I was thinking about how different my life is; how rare I am among so many. Every day I must pass by homes of thousands and thousands of people, being around 10,000 or more in a day if I got to school. Yet, my life isn't like any of them. I suppose I should be thankful but I can't help but wonder why. Yes, I have fairly large unemployment gaps on my resumes that show the dates; for school or otherwise. But besides that... is it just experience, or more accurately a lack thereof? Of all those people if even a fraction were looking for local jobs am I competing against 5 years experience? 10? 15? More?

Everyone I pass by as I drive down the streets have a home. They were home or with family for last night's dinner. Some may still be there today and this weekend.

There is one house on my route - I call it the festive house. They always have decorations up for the Holliday that's near. It makes me think of all the other families in all the other houses. Everyone is doing it. Everyone is ok. (Save for the three or four homelss along my daily route, which includes me.) With so many being able to do holliday things, so many in a home, so many in happy relationships or families, so many with friends... I think not so much about why I'm failing - the employment gaps, the lack of experience in some fields, the lack of job postings to apply for - and I wonder more why not me? Out of these thousands and thousands who are literally close enough to hear me shouting as I passed them by if I were to do so... why not me too?

Day 515 - 11/28 - A friends leftover Turkey movie day... what fun it could be

Too early in the morning at 8:45. Apparently I'm the only one who could cover a shift for a few hours today. The gym was supposed to be closed but there are jazzersize people here. I would guess the person running it demanded we open for her. Well, the good thing is they need zero tending. They have their own locker and stuff so I'm going to go take a long shower while they do their thing.

It rained a bit yesterday. I'm not sure how much as there was only a mild sprinkle in the morning, but the ground was all wet when I left the mall. Today so far the coulds are gone and it's a bright blue skies happy day. This would be an awesome day for a leftovers movie party with friends in the afternoon and evening. You know, bring your leftover turkey, stuffing, pie, whatever, share with others, and add in some new foods, maybe some pizza and salad, and watch some movies. Back in the day I used to do a BBQ movie party every few months and that would be a great theme. You could even make it a theme by having what people consider "turkey" type movies, like Repo! The Genetic Opera. Maybe some day when I have friends again I can start the leftover movie tradition. It would be a great day for (local) friends to gather for a friends turkey celebration, you know?

Day 516 - 11/29 - Wishes vs. Cans

It's nearing 9 and my day is effectively over. I got to finally sleep in a bit. I played all day, had some lolz, had some good groups, and chatted with some nice peeps. I'll have a snack and watch a show or two "before bed" but that's really it.

It seems my life is all about what I wish I had or did vs. what I can. Sadly there are still far more wishes than can-dos, but there isn't anything I can do about it.

As always, I still hope tomorrow is a better day.

By Order of the Black Rose

The moon is full this night. That is perfect as the company of my two brothers in arms, Johanas and Dumont, 6th company of the Order of the Black Rose, have a mission tonight. We are not a normal order of Paladins. We three are all there are in the 6th, and we three are all that shall be required. We are not a company of twelve, as the other orders are. Nor do we travel openly in the light of day. We succeed when they are restricted.

Viscount Edmond DuLock was given charge to return the star ruby he'd stolen from the church a week ago. We know he has been using it to research the black arts. The Order of the Light did give their final demand for its return this very afternoon. As expected the Viscount refused. As he stands 100 men strong in his castle Light's company is now on their way home, and it is the charge of my company by order of the Black Rose to retrieve the item.

My brothers prepare. We don blackened breastplate over our leather and chain armor, high softened sued boots and chainmail coif covered by cowel complete our uniform. Shortsword and shortlance are our weapons. No mercy will be given to the wrongdoers this eve. Those who disturb our path and the guilty shall fall.

We are not the paladins you know of. Our armor does not shine in the bright sun. Our lances do not bear the flags of our lords. Honor rules us and our justice is swift and final. We travel among the shadows, and are of the shadows, for it is there where evil lies - for we are the Order of the Black Rose.

- Sir Garrett DuLance, 6th company, Order of the Black Rose

Day 517 - 11/30 - Voice doesn't hurt

It's nearing 9:45 and my day is about over. I'm nomming dinner in the car because I was in a raid for a bit. I got two very important pieces of gaming info tonight. First, it does seem that raids don't really hurt me any more than any other areas (which is somewhat surprising). I did one last night for a few hours and tonight as well and I was no worse off graphically than at other times. Second, I added on Ventrillo tonight and it too seemed to have no negative effects (though I didn't talk, I just listened.) It seems now confirmed most of the wireless gaming issues will be determined by the system CPU/GPU power as long as the network speed is at or above a minimum point. I updated the drivers the other day and since then my stability has been a lot stronger. It actually seems like that if I can indeed get a gaming system I'd do just fine for gaming in regular play as well as higher-end raids (provided the network speed stays at or above the minimum point.)

I had fun with the online friends I see the most (they ran the raids) and I was surprised by seeing a few I haven't seen in a while. They said they'd been worried about me. It's always good to hear there are people out there that care for and worry about me. I mean, sure, I know most of you reading this do, even if you never say so, but it is good to hear now and then.

School is meh. I still haven't progressed. It is still very difficult for me to focus on that and do what I need to do. And I'm still sort of mad at myself about that. In a home I'd be extremely motivated and everything would be done early, but here not in a home... it's very easy to get depressed and feel like nothing I do (to progress my careers) matters.

It's actually been quite a bit warmer lately. The past few nights/mornings there hasn't been frost on the windows. Even now they are 100% clear at nearly 10. Mind you, it's still between 45-55 for the most part, but that's a far cry from the zero some parts of the country are likely starting to reach at night.

Well... I guess I can check the job boards "before bed", watch a show maybe, and maybe tomorrow will be a day of progress for job prospects or other financial recovery.

Day 518 - 12/1 - The end of this week

It's just after 1:15; lunch time. I had a surprise project came up this morning. I had the overwhelming urge to update my Home Entertainment page. I spent about an hour and a half researching changes. Though it was a lot of time there really weren't a lot of changes. The home entertainment tech changes very rarely, happening once a year or less, while PC hardware can change as quickly as every four months or so. So, that's all current for Holliday shopping.

I should really try and do some school stuff after lunch, but I don't know if that will happen. I'm really out of it today. I think it is very likely an effect of car sleeping and lack of true private time to clear my thoughts and mind and rest myself. I feel pretty good though all things considered and it's a cool not uite warm day.

That's all for now.

Time passes

It's time for class. Not much has really chaged. I did get out a couple of resumes, so that's good. One job I'm pretty qualified for, one not so much.

I checked my schedule and I'm gonna have to super scramble to do my projects in time. I have a few I need to do and I guess last week is the last week of the semester. I put out some feelers for one project I need to do, but I've got a couple others I really don't know what I'm going to do about. I may wind up having to be stalker guy and stand outside of the library or something to get them done. I guess that's what I get for procrastinating, but I just haven't been able to focus and as a single guy with no friends with children in the age range the projects involve I really really didn't want to have to be stalker guy and ask random people I don't know.

I guess that's it for this week. I'm so tired, still so sad all the time, and just overall confused feeling about most things. I'm having fun with my game and I guess after I do my projects I'm really free to just have fun for nearly a month before next semester starts.

With the changing of the month to December I'm really hoping that next year I can start recovery. I was really expecting to be at that point a year ago, but that didn't happen. Sadly though with things as they are it really doesn't look like it will happen at the start of this next year either. I have a feeling I may be in for at least six more months of not finding anything and nothing changing. So few jobs come up during the winter Holliday times.

Well, that's it for this week I guess.

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

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