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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 15: Digital life, dreaming of a real one

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.

View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 1 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 2 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 3 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 4 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 5 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 6 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 7 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 8 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 9 .pdf paperback book, View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 10 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 11 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 12 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 13 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 14 .pdf paperback book
View/Download the Complete Epic Fail Book 15 .pdf paperback book
These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 743

Day 5195 (V:919) - 9/21 - Heart feels bad

Today my heart feels bad. It has for a while now. I'm pretty worried, but there isn't much I can do about it. Getting back on blood pressure meds, if the medicine is still the free prescription, would still take about $300 since the appointments cost a little and the tests that are required aren't covered. Hopefully I'll get both classes at school this quarter and I'll be able to micro three times a week, with an extra day stopping by to shower and micro in the morning. So far only Tuesday is confirmed, and it's listed as a hybrid class, so I think it's just that one day.

I guess today was ok. There was about an hour the connection was almost completely unusable, but other than that I got to play and be restful. I got myself some snack chips, so that helped cheer me up a bit, though it is unlikely it will help my heart at all. I do have some old multi-vitamins I guess I could try.

But today I tried to hang on as best as I could. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 5196 (V:920) - 9/22 - Operation: Save grasshopper

Today started with a bit of a surprise. I was in the shower and saw a black shape on the ground when I turned around. I thought, "Eew. Gross. Another cockroach." And pushed water at it getting ready to push more to flood it down a nearby drain. But to my surprised it hopped out of the way. I examined the head and back legs more closely and it was a grasshopper. I said, "Oh no. You aren't supposed to be in here. Let's get you out safely." I carefully scooted my wet feet over to the paper towels to get a couple to scoop them up. I had to chase them a bit, but eventually got them and gently closed the paper towels around them so they wouldnt hop out. I did the short walk through the locker room carefully since my feet are flat and I was wet and could slip easily. Not surprisingly when I opened the side door no one was around. I gently put them down, and I was happy to see them hop away ok from the carrying to be safe outside.

I guess the rest of the day was pretty regular. Either no jobs to be found, or very far from my area. And nothing special happened in my games.

My heart still feels... bad... I forgot the vitamins yesterday, so I set them up in the car drink holder to remind me. I doubt they will help, but you never know. I expect the issue is increased strain from poor health, bad blood pressure, and overall stress from all the sad things. I'm trying to do a very very light start to working out to try to lose the weight I've gained lately, but it's more likely changing to micro food in the coming weeks will help my health more overall. I have quite a bit of food card money saved since the covid increases, so hopefully I can look at some better options. Though micro food options don't really get great, especially with some of the changes companies have made in the past couple years due to various shortages.

But today I tried to hang on as best as I could. And hopefully I can continue to hang on, emotionally and physically, to make it through to better days.

Day 5197 (V:921) - 9/23 - Medical issues

Today I have some medical issues going on. I woke up with a bit of swelling in my jaw, where it was on that one side and my lymph node a few weeks ago. I must have poked it with something yesterday to irritate it. The swelling was barely visible, and it was 90% back down to normal within a few hours of being at the library, so it didn't really bother me like I worried it would. But I still have that 10-15% intensity chills feeling all over, and my forehead feels a bit warm. I'm still feeling sniffly and sneezy, and have a bit of headache, but not so bad I felt I needed to take pills. My food is running straight through me though. Not in a bad emergency way, just in a my body is processing it almost immediately and then wanting to get it out way.

I had a pretty good time with my games. The streamer I watch was doing an all day thing, so there was extra going on with that. And right before I left they did a game with 'the community', so some of us from chat got to play a silly game, so that was fun.

Overall I guess today was ok, and I hung on as best as I could.

Day 5198 (V:922) - 9/24 - Snap goes the zipper

Today my zipper on one of my boots snapped as I closed it. The handle part broke off. I stopped by the ex-garage to get a wrench, figuring I could trade an 'extra' backpack one, but I guess not. I guess the boot loop is closed somehow, so I couldn't pry it open and swap to a new one. Thankfully I had an extra ring on my key ring, so I removed the keys and used that.

I still feel pretty off in a kind of yucky sick way today. I am still very exhausted feeling overall, had a few sneezes, and though I didn't really notice until now, had ear ringing all day, my jaw has been clenched, and there has been a bit of a headache. I guess it must just be constant prolonged extreme stress at this point. Hopefully I can get both classes and feel somewhat balanced and get some micro meals to hopefully help balance things a bit.

Well, as always all I can do is try to rest and recover as best as I can. And hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 5199 (V:923) - 9/25 - Old game, meh

Today I spent quite a while in an old game I haven't played since the previous new laptop died. Though by that point I'd pretty much dropped to 10 or fewer hours per week already. It is getting an update that will streamline some things, improve crafting, add a new weapon type, and a new zone that's big with a new dungeon, all for free, in about a month. I never hit max because it was so incredibly grindy. Once you get to max level, the gear score grind becomes pretty much unbearable if you are a soloer like me. I thought I'd go back to see if I could get that higher before the new stuff. I don't know how much I'll continue doing that. I spent hours and found no dungeon groups. Pretty much everyone is doing all the super high end stuff that I don't qualify for. And since it is a game with tiny servers, level based play, and no scaling of content, there are only a small handful of people interested in the content for my range. So any progression will apparently still be a pretty horrible grind until that change.

I still feel a bit off. The multi-vitamin doesn't seem to be improving anything so far. I'm still hopeful being at school and eating better will help. It will certainly make my tummy and brain happier to eat something closer to real food instead of lunchmeat or a few ready to eat things.

I guess overall today was more good than bad, and I continue to try to hang on.

Day 5200 (V:924) - 9/26 - Theoretical fist day

Today is theoretically my first day of class. Well, I mean it is, but I may or may not get to keep the class. I'm on the wait list, so all I can do is show up and see if anyone has recently dropped, or drops on that first day.

I got a shower, so that was nice. There are a couple of hours to have fun and eat lunch before class. I'm a bit nervous, but I think that's more on if I get the class or not than anything else. I really need two classes to keep financial aid off my back about loans. I guess it has been 2 years since I took a class though. I wouldn't say things feel normal, as everyone has to wear masks, say spread out, and I'm no longer a T.A. (Though that last year I wasn't anyways.) Plus school is a ghost town compared to before. I still wish everything were the way it was and I had a permanent position helping students. But with the school refusing to allow me to take a paid T.A. position, it seems very unlikely I'd get anything higher than that with no way to get my foot in the door.

I still feel so very lost and alone in life. But I try to keep hanging on.

Day 5201 (V:925) - 9/27 - Theoretical second day

Today is theoretically my second class day. It's the one class I'm actually enrolled in, so if Monday doesn't work out this would be my one day on campus with a class. I'd have to decide what my schedule would be for on campus and not if that were the case. It would be strange to be on an effectively dead and empty campus all day with no class. I mean, I did come by twice a week to shower during summer, and got micro food during the first part whey I could, but there really wasn't a way I could stay on campus, so it didn't feel so strange to just divert there for that.

I guess the day will be what it is, and I can only see what it may be once this first class week passes. And I try my best to hang on and make it through.

Week 744

Day 5202 (V:926) - 9/28 - Part ghost town

Today I am very exhausted. I guess it's just for having class and thinking differently putting extra stress on my brain. But today and yesterday I've been exhausted and had headaches. The weird heart and chill-like feelings are easing up a lot, so it does seem like that was definitely poor food diet related. I've decided, at least for now, to just stay on campus Thursdays instead of doing a micro in the morning, immediately eating it at like 9:30, and then getting a micro for dinner that I know would last through the day. Staying means I have a lot more options and no stress about eating.

I've discovered the school is only part ghost town. It depends on where you are, like near the pool when I take a shower in the morning it's a ghost town. And early when I did my writing in the cafeteria it was pretty empty. But as it got closer to 10 it got to be 15-20% full (0-2 people per most tables.) It actually got quite loud, uncomfortably so at some parts. I had to put my game and shows up at 70 volume where I normally have it at 20. I think a lot of that was first day excitement though. I expect in a week it will calm down a lot.

Over near my class it was somewhat busy as well. People were walking around quite a bit. But only maybe half of what it used to be, at most. And my old department floor is effectively dead. I think I saw two classes running at the same time at most, compared to what used to be as many as six. And there are apparently zero evening classes in the old department. I've walked through when I left pretty much each day and the labs are always closed and dark, and there is no one around. Though I think they aren't opening any of the three labs on the floor at all. I've never seen them open or lit during the day when I've gone to check for the professor I used to chat with. His schedule seems different this time, so it may be tough to see him. And my two classes are over in the art department area, which is a different area.

I guess my classes seem like they should be pretty fun. Though there is no one even close to my age. Maybe one student in each class is around their mid 30s, but other than that everyone seems in the 18-22 range. I guess it makes sense with no night classes and so many classes online now.

But I guess I made it through this first class week. And I'll see how I settle in as we go through next week. And as always, I'll just try to hang on as best as I can.

Day 5203 (V:927) - 9/29 - A call hello

Today had an unexpected hello. I started with a shower and decided to just stay on campus on Thursdays after that. The morning passed pretty normally, but in the early afternoon there was one of those religious people bothering students asking for money. I know security will bounce them out, so I went around and down the building to report them because they are only supposed to be in the outside areas. Had that not happened in the 1-3 minute span of time that it did, I would have missed a chance meeting. On my way outside and around the building I heard someone calling out 'Eric'. I looked around and noticed on the upper walking area was the professor I chat with sometimes. I looked for him Monday, when he usually does class, but then checked his schedule online and found Tuesdays after my class there's a tiny window I could visit, but forgot to do so. So we chatted for a quick minute and he said he'd been looking for me and wondering if I was around to chat. So it was nice to be recognized and said hi to.

Looking through the film classes it looks like he and only one other professor are left who know me. The other professors are all ones who are totally new this quarter, or who were new just before the apocalypse and I never met. I even finally saw a new professor is moving into the professor's office who I used to T.A. for. So the floor seems super weird now.

I guess the day was pretty good, though it did get pretty noisy after 11. It started much quieter, so I do think a lot of things are settling down. I guess there are more groups than in previous years though. That may be because people have had to be in isolation the past few years and didn't like it.

I still don't know what my future holds, but even though I don't feel a part of things due to my age, and no one really talks to me, a few have said things in online discussions to me, and a few saw me playing in the cafeteria and said things, so I guess I do sort of feel on the outside edge of activity and hope again. I do feel recharged and back on the right track being able to be creative again. But I still wonder if I'll be able to find my way to that better life someday.

Day 5204 (V:928) - 9/30 - Upset tummy

Today my tummy has been pretty upset. It started I guess yesterday afternoon with a lot of gas. But at around 11 PM it hit hard in my tummy. It had that same kind of gas feeling, punched feeling, starving for days, kind of pain it's had a few other times in recent months. It's evening now and it's still there, though only maybe at 25% intensity. I haven't felt good though all day.

It was kind of nice to be at the library today though. It was very calm and quiet in comparison to the chaos at the cafeteria. Hopefully tonight I can be restful since the pain kept me up until at least 2 AM, and after that what rest I did get was wracked with pain and low-level chills and sweating.

Day 5205 (V:929) - 10/1 - Big idiot and crying

Today started off pretty good. I got to be in the ex-garage last night and sleep in this morning and to stay a bit during the day. It got me 10 hours of sleep, so that helped recover from the other night with all the pain.

But I am a very big idiot. I'd had my keyboard cable set to the exact length it needs to be on a desk, so extremely short. I was moving position, crossing my legs over, and one caught on the cable, yanking it, and my keyboard fell onto the laptop, pushing over and into the screen. I immediately started freaking out and crying because I could very easily see scratches on the monitor. Even though I knew it was covered by the special accidental coverage, and maybe the general coverage for a year, and the special 3 following years I paid for after that, it still took about 10 minutes to calm down and stop crying and freaking out. I put in an RMA and it was immediately approved and I'll drop it off Monday morning. But that means (assuming nothing further terrible happens to it along the way) I'll be out my new laptop for three or four weeks. Though I am hopeful a miracle occurs and it's closer to only two. The companys repair spot is just across the bay from me, maybe a 30 minute drive, so hopefully the shipping will only take a day or two instead of its normal week. (If my car could drive more than a couple of miles I'd probably even just drive it over myself.) So I'm hoping that means it will be closer to only two weeks out with the close shipping distance.

I guess I have to make a new rule of no mechanical keyboard unless it can be fully flat, not moving, on a desk. I knew it was heavy, probably as heavy as the entire laptop. I knew it was sharp, as it's popped a soda before in my backpack. So, upon reflection, I guess I was waving around a sharp object dangerously close to my laptops all this time when I am not at a desk.

I am brokenhearted that it happened. It makes me feel like I am incapable of having anything nice or getting a break. It feels like everything that I get that is nice will be broken or lost or ruined, at least partly, in some way. And even though I know it should be fixed without issue, and if for some reason it can't be it is not a dead or unusable system, I can't help but feel helpless, and like my terrible situation is not only terrible overall, but that everything I can manage to get that is nice will be lost or ruined because of it.

Day 5206 (V:930) - 10/2 - Sad boxing up day

Today is sad boxing up day. As I expected, most of the day I have been very down about needing to box up and lose my new laptop for 2-4 weeks. I just got it. I am extremely glad it should be covered. I would have to learn to live with the scratch if it's not though. It's more than I thought though, with about three visible scratch points with an almost invisible constant scratch down probably 75% of the monitor. The three marks are just the deepest points. It's supposed to be covered with the new accidental coverage the company has been doing for about the past 1.5 years, so I will try to stay calm, hopeful, and hopefully it will come back quickly, and it will have a nice new screen when it does. (Though there would be zero reason to change the other parts and it not return, especially things like the hard drive.)

I guess, other than my expected depression all day about the loss, it was a pretty good day. I didn't do anything special in my mmo, but I am peeking back at the old one that was too grindy. Some things have been changed to be a lot less grindy, and with the free expansion coming soon, there will be a patch that supposedly also makes crafting way less grindy, which was my biggest gripe. I have no idea if the old laptop can run it though. There can be some daily progress that I can do solo if the old laptop can run it though, so I won't be at a full loss there.

I guess now is an ok time to lose the new laptop for a while though. The classes are pretty much physical production work, so my old laptop likely will do fine with whatever digital stuff needs to be done (like take a picture of it for submitting for grading.) And while my two main games will run slower and not be as enjoyable, I ran them for years on the old laptop, so I'm sure a few weeks more will do just fine. The only new game I'm looking at isn't out until late November, and I don't have money for it, so the laptop would definitely be back in plenty of time if I can get the money for it.

As always, my sad life seems to have taken my nice thing. All I can do is hope everything goes ok, goes quickly, and I get my new laptop back very soon.

Day 5207 (V:931) - 10/3 - Predicted Monday

Today is a predicted Monday. Since there is the boxing up of the new laptop, and I want people to be sure to see everything ok on Monday, I am writing this Sunday night, so I can post it right when I get settled Monday through my games/web stuff on my M.2 via external housing through the old laptop.

I have my new Monday class today and a little time to work on homework and play. I don't know what to expect for the day, but I think we are doing more painting and such. It seems like it should be a pretty fun class, though I have some guilt about not having any supplies and needing to borrow everything.

Hopefully the new laptop being dropped off first thing in the morning gets it to the repair center across the bay super fast, and it will be returned very soon.

Day 5208 (V:932) - 10/4 - Other class

Today is my Tuesday class. I think we are doing another kind of drawing. I'm super bad at it so far. I have proportions that are way off. It's almost like I'm drawing blindfolded. The professor is pretty funny, exciting, and fun though. I kind of wish it was in person Thursday too. But it's fine just being the one day. It means though I may have a few hours of homework outside of class, but I can do the work whenever. Which I guess is good to know I have that flexibility.

Hopefully the new laptop will come back very quickly, and I can be ok on the old one until it does.

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