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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 761

Day 5321 - 1/25 - Maybe money

Today I tried to sort out maybe getting some money soon. I got a letter from my ex-employer with bla bla about my retirement they'd paid into changing holders. Apparently the new group is cashing everyone out who's account value is less than 5k and I have been identified as being in that group. I guess the letter says it could be a couple of weeks until they contact me, so I tried to see if I could contact them to speed that up. The people were extremely stupid though and just kept running me in circles saying to call them. I don't get why everyone only does things on phone now. I have 30 minutes a month, not everyone has unlimited phone time. I can't sit on the phone waiting on hold, or who knows what just burning time.

I'm hoping it's going to be quite a bit. My estimate remembering what I made during those years shows it may be, but even if it's just $750 that would be an extremely large boon. That would mean if my current help I get continues, added to that, I could pay all the bills through the end of the year without worry, and spend the like $200 getting the contact prescription and contacts for at least a year, possibly two depending how careful I am with them. And at least some of the gift money I get on holidays could actually be used for gifts.

I am not feeling great still. My eye goop has finally stopped, but yesterday my congestion turned to regular congestion, and is probably more. So my throat is completely wrecked in terms of my voice, I'm coughing up yuck now, and I'm a touch wheezy. Though thankfully my throat doesn't hurt like it was with the weird congestion.

So hopefully soon I can sort out how many monies I'll get and make some plans. And hopefully I can finally get better soon.

Day 5322 - 1/26 - Still not great

Today I am still not feeling great. Yesterday, especially at night, my congestion got very extreme. I started uncontrollably coughing from about 5 PM on. Not a lot at first, just a few times an hour, but by about 10 PM it was maybe every 5 minutes. I decided to overdose on decongestants hoping it would help. It actually did. It seems like I have to double dose to get any kind of clearing effect. So this morning I did that again, and I expect in a few more hours when I 'go to bed' at night I'll have to do it again.

But my throat is completely wrecked from all the coughing. It's scratchy and any time I try to talk I sound like hell. Thankfully there really is no reason to talk, so I've been quiet all day. At least playing. I did a decent amount of online school typing talk, so my brain has talked quite a bit.

Because of my sick I was moving slow this morning. My day started a bit late. I was taking forever to start the day activities; morning play was late, my assignment starting was late, my after assignment playing was late. It was fine though. It basically meant that I played maybe half what I otherwise would, and really the time of when I do things don't matter at all.

Hopefully tonight the double dose of decongestants will keep me clear and I can get a proper rest. (And hopefully double dosing has no ill effects, as my total taken for the day is about the same, since I double dose but do it less often than the suggested single dose periods.) And hopefully I can hang on with money until help comes, and I can start to feel better soon.

Day 5323 - 1/27 - Regular bandwidth

Today I am a bit confused. My VPN free time reset and it showed the previous/full 15 gig. At this point the only thing I can think of is that I did not have 7 (and change) at the start of the last session, but rather 2. The numbers do look very different, but it's the only explanation I have for missing 5 suddenly when my use tracking software verified I'd only used about 1 gig during that time. And there is a difference of 5 between 7 and 2, so there is that.

I guess other than that it was a pretty regular day. Things are quite though, and nearly all day I was the only one at my table.

Though I am still pretty sick. My ears are still ringing and I have pretty extreme nose and lung congestion, causing me to cough every 20-30 minutes. It wasn't super bad coughing, I'd guess due to the filtered library air, so that was ok, but my throat still seems wrecked. And I am clearly still sick.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a restful day and I can get better soon.

Day 5324 - 1/28 - Tried to rest

Today I did my best to try and rest. My ears are still ringing like crazy. My nose is a bit stuffed, and my lungs are pretty stuffed up, so my throat is pretty rough.

Nothing super exciting or good happened really. I tried my best to get as much rest and be as restful as I could. Hopefully I will feel better soon.

Day 5325 - 1/29 - Still pretty sick

Today I am still feeling pretty sick. During the day at the library I didn't cough too much, but it was still probably about every 45-60 minutes. My throat didn't feel as rough or bothered; it's more that choking feeling along my throat from all the congestion.

I guess today was ok. I did a tiny bit for school stuff, then mostly played. I wanted to watch some shows, but there's nothing new. I actually only have a very small number of shows these days that I watch. Mostly it's older stuff, or stuff I had to wait for a physical release for because it was on a streamed channel, and I check those out from the library.

I'm trying my best to hang on and get better. Mostly I feel like I can't really control how I feel or how fast I'm getting better. All I can do is hang on.

Day 5326 - 1/30 - Maybe school project

Today I expect I'll be starting a painting thing for the color class. I have a little over a week to do it, and with how bad I am at painting I expect I'll say it's 'good enough' after a few hours and be done today. But I guess we'll see. I have a complex idea (for me) so we'll see how far I get into it. Or how detailed I care to pursue it.

I don't know what else to expect today. Saturday was warming away from the recent cold weather, but Sunday it started sprinkling and there was a biting cold that came with it. I guess we are not even into February yet, so I should expect it to still be cold, but I'd hoped it was starting to warm up.

Hopefully I can get better and be over my cold soon. I still don't feel great.

Day 5327 - 1/31 - Probably regular Tuesday

Today will probably be a regular Tuesday. Hopefully I can be restful. I expect I'll do Tuesday class work and be first to do it. (Not surprisingly I seem to be the only one doing them the day they are posted.)

But hopefully I can be restful, warm, and maybe recover from this cold some.

Week 762

Day 5328 - 2/1 - Sort of better

Today I am finally sort of better. I am still pretty tired. My ears are still ringing most of the time. And I am still a bit congested and cough yuck on rare occasion. But, this was the first morning I woke up and did not start coughing and feeling like I was being strangled. I've only coughed maybe a dozen times all day. So I may finally be starting to get better.

I got some surprise money. I guess it was another California stimulus? Pretty small compared to previous ones, but completely unexpected. And I went ahead and called the people who wanted to cash out what extremely little retirement money they'd set aside for me. I guess a ton is being taken out because it counts as taxable? But if I'm careful it should be enough for bills for this year, contacts that should last 1-2 years, new boots, maybe a few games, and then maybe bills for next year too. Only one year of gas is accounted for, so just how much of 2024 can be covered will depend on various little things like that, or like if I get cooked meals, as those will add up quickly. Also if there are any emergencies that will eat away at it. I also have that $200 estimated car repair to consider, but it only affects me less than 1% of the time, and when it does just for a few minutes, so it doesn't seem like a priority.

I called my food stamp person to see if I'd be in any kind of trouble or hold for getting that much, but they haven't gotten back to me. The recording said it could be 24 hours or more, so I won't worry for a while. It's not like I can control it though, it is how much it is. It's about 2x what I'm allowed to make and not report in a month, and my guess is there is some invisible number that is probably like 10k or something before I'd get in trouble.

I guess it was a pretty ok day. Mostly I got to play, but I did do my Thursday assignment since the Wednesday class hasn't posted anything yet. I tried to stay restful and calm to recover from my cold too, but the cafeteria is a bit chilly for some reason. But hopefully I can continue until the money comes, and continue to hang on.

Day 5329 - 2/2 - Pretty tired

Today I am pretty tired. I am not as sick as I was, but I think I am still sick enough that I feel pretty run down.

Mostly today was a restful day. I've already finished my class project that isn't even due until Wednesday. And I did all the homework stuff for the week, so I'm free to do whatever this weekend. In my shooter I even finished a big goal, so even with that I'm free to do whatever.

Since I'm still feeling pretty tired, and it's been so cold lately, I hope I can be ok enough tonight, restful enough, and I can continue to hang on.

Day 5330 - 2/3 - No penalty

Today I feel ok, but not great. I'm still a bit sick from the cold. Mostly it's settled into ringing ears, a touch of nose congestion, and lung congestion that still makes me cough a few times a day. I think I'm mostly better though.

I may have eaten bad lunchmeat today though. I got some roast beef from the deli and when I was putting it into the bread I noticed parts of it had a golden sheen. I have a vague memory that maybe means the meat is bad? (Looking it up now it's fine, and that's just an effect of how the meat is cut.) My tummy is much more upset than seemingly normal for a roast beef and cheese sandwich.

I got a confirmation call from the food stamp people that my getting money is totally fine. I may have misunderstood what the like 1450 per month limit is for. I guess that's the amount I can make up to without reporting I have income. And I guess things like this that are one shot gains I technically don't need to report at all? And only if it's over that mark, and it's regular income, then I have to report it. Kind of a moot point now I guess, but the important part is I shouldn't have to worry about other big money gains unless it's regular and repeats, like from a job.

Today went quickly. I started updating my site a bit, which some parts I haven't done in a year. I've been very super sad, so it's been hard to find motivation and love for it updating parts people seemingly don't at all care about. Even my podcast I wonder if anyone cares because this time I missed the regular date and no one said anything or asked if I was ok, so I wonder if it's missed at all.

But I tried to rest and get better. I am trying to hang on to what health I can. And hopefully I can hang on until better days.

Day 5331 - 2/4 - Big money, different boot

Today was quite the surprise in that the big money has already appeared! I only have access to a part of it until Tuesday, so I just got boots, an art carrying bag, a teeny bit of gas, and a celebration cooked dinner. The bill paying and other stuff will wait until the middle of next week.

I also got tired of my broken boot zipper. It kept not zipping at all today, so I dug into my trunk and swapped it for one of the last pair. It's a thing poor people do; keep the previous pair just in case of something like this. Though really they just have to last until the new ones come Monday, so it probably would have been ok. I guess it would have been a risk though, as my ankle could flop around with it unzipped.

So today things seemed quite a bit easier to hang on. I have hope for some relief with the big money coming in a few days. And I continue to try to hang on until better days.

Day 5332 - 2/5 - Art bag

Today I got my art bag. It's a bit different in that it is primarily set up as a backpack. Which without reinforcement to keep it flat is kind of a terrible idea. But it has pockets to carry things, so I've got my pencils and ruler in there, and my little scissors, so that's good. It also has all the paints, but I'm going to remove those and only carry the ones I need at the time. But it is probably better for my sad life, as those things can stay in the bag since I don't have a proper shelf or drawer to put them in, as a person with a home and regular life would have. If I did I'd have been fine with just a regular over the shoulder one without pockets.

I feel strange today. Maybe it's because I still have some congestion and some coughing, but my mind has also been focused on death and terrible things happening to me. I also feel very melancholy maybe about what I am missing in life and may never have again. I feel like the money for bills and a few small nice things has given me some hope back, but I also feel like I'm stuck in life, again feeling like no one really cares about what I do.

But I know that's not totally true. At least not completely. The art professor lent me lots of stuff so I could do the color class this quarter. The professor I'm friendly with I do know cares (though he's never really tried to help, but I don't blame him, as I'm in a very tough spot.) And when I was working on the last art project a couple of regulars at the nearby group table were very curious about it and thought it was really good.

But I don't know. Today I guess I just feel like I will fall into obscurity, and soon I will be gone, much sooner than I'd like, and only a few will remember me. But I guess that is really all of our fates unless we have some level of fame. And so I try to stay as healthy as I can. And I try my best to not think about my end, and try to hang on emotionally.

Slightly better with brushes.

Day 5333 - 2/6 - Break Monday

Today I expect I will have a break. I'm still ahead in the one class by probably half a week, and current in the other, so I don't expect any new class stuff to come up today. I've been trying to update my site, as some parts are a year old, so maybe I'll do that some more.

As always I will try my best to hang on.

Day 5334 - 2/7 - Probably regular class Tuesday

Today will probably be a regular class day. Technically I may have access to the big money, but I think I'll wait until tomorrow to start burning it up on bills.

Hopefully today I can be warm enough, restful enough, and have an ok time with class stuff. And hopefully I can continue to hang on and be ok.

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