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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 89

Day 617 - 3/10 - Fold it away

I've got a while before class. I purposely get here early to avoid most of the rush hour traffic but that leaves me almost 2 hours of dead time. Today I got here a bit later than usual and I stopped by the store so I've only about 1/2 hour left now. Normally I'd study or do a project that I need to do but today I'm just sooooo tired I can barely stay awake. I think my body is still playing catch-up on all the rest over the past 1.5 years that I couldn't get.

H and I set up the desk and put my system into the media area of the house. It's theoretically all ready to go save for missing a monitor. I say theoretically as it has been over a year since I've turned the system on. While highly unlikely it is always possible something went bad in that time or got jostled in a bad way in transit. I'm sure all is fine and it will work ok once the monitor is hooked up tomorrow. H and I will have to make quite the trip to get it (about a 1/2 hour drive each way) but C&H are getting it free so I suppose it's fine. I may have to tolerate 1280x1024 gaming for a while though. I suppose it will be ok as I've gotten used to 1024x600, but I am really hoping to be on a current resolution setting with 16:9. I'm actually very tempted to gimp myself down to 1280x768 for 16:10 aspect, as some games will give you a wider camera angle because of the wide screen setting.

C told me something very sad last night, and I'm still sad about it now. She said she wanted me to put the bed away when I'm not sleeping. It's not the physical putting away that's sad, it's just a few minutes here and there; it's the fact that doing so reminds me that I'm nothing more than a temporary guest. While that is what I am I previously felt like I had a sort of home five nights a week. Now... now I feel like I just have a place to put my stuff and sleep at night. Like at the not-sis' place I've got my monitor and PS3. I've got stuff there, but because I have no bed, no place to sleep, I don't live there. It is not my home. While C&H's is also not my home by needing to put the bed up every day it feels like I'm less welcome.

I don't know, it's weird. As I believe I said in book 1, C stayed at my place for several months back in the day. It was effectively the same thing as I'm doing now (only her place is bigger and they can give me more space than I could give her back then.) I don't know how long this will go on though, and without the space I've nowhere to go save for the not-sis' place. Back in the day C still had a place either way; she wasn't really homeless, just in a bad place if she went home.

There is nothing really wrong with what they are asking in terms of restrictions for me, but I want so very much to be home, to have a place to put my stuff that I belong and am loved. But most of all I want somewhere I have a bed, that I feel safe, and can rest and play without worry, fear, or restrictions.

I can have baby steps towards having a life again, but how long will it be until the real thing?

Day 618 - 3/11 - Playing on my desktop

(Written Friday)

Sooooo busy today. First I woke up and H and I ran some errands while waiting for someone with a free monitor to call us back. He finally called and we spent the next 1.5 hours driving over, grabbing fast food nom, then driving back. I got to hook up a monitor to my system and get it all caught up. At long last, after more than 1.5 years I got to play on my desktop again. I had so much to catch it up on and we had so many things to do that I didn't actually play long before we headded off to pick up H's son to spend time with him. After that he had to be dropped off at his mom's and we adult peeps went off to a movie and more chores. After the movie I did get to spend a bit more time with Mass Effect.

Sooooo busy a day, but I finally can play on my desktop again. The monitor is lower resolution at 1280x1024, but it's more tolerable than I expected. All the games I've played have had maxed settings, so though they may be lower resolution they look decent. It's been about five years since I've gamed in something that wasn't wide screen format so that is really strange. I thought of putting some games in a 16:10 setting at 1280x768, but the monitor isn't capable of doing that.

The laundry machine broke Wednesday night but today I discovered it isn't actually broken. The switch that tells it that the lid is closed popped off its housing, so it doesn't know that it's closed which prevents the machine from progressing to certain cycles. If you hold the switch down it runs just fine. Yeeeaa me.

That's it for today.

Day 619 - 3/12 - Playing for real

Today I got to spend several hours playing my games on my desktop, yeeeaaa! I actually stayed up too late last night playing too; 'till about 3 AM (though I only got about five total play hours actually.)

Driving right to class (or here for mini work) then back is so strange. It's what is supposed to happen, but after over 1.5 years of not doing it it seems strange. I'm getting really crazy good gas mileage driving it, like +30% more miles to the gallon. It seems like too much of an increase, like something isn't adding up correctly, but I guess it's right. That is a nice surprise that offsets some of the driving costs. Next school period I should be doing a Monday and Wednesday class, so I'm only really making one extra trip because I work on Mondays anyways.

The weather is super crazy lately. The past few days it was warm; warm enough to wear my shorts for a bit. Today it's cold, cloudy, and pouring rain so much there were rivers running down my back window as I was driving. It seems to have cleared now, which is good as I'll be in my car tonight. The not-sis' mom is visiting so I won't be spending as much time over there this weekend. Saturday night I'll go back to C&H's.

That's all I can think of. I don't have movies to watch this week so it will be a slow shift at mini work.

Bye for now.

Day 620 - 3/13 - Busy Saturday

(Written Sunday)

Such a busy day. It started at the not-sis' house. I got up early enough, I think around 10, but we were doing birthday things for one of the little ones most of the day. We had to go get the cake, then the not-sis realized she forgot some stuff for the party, so we had to go out again to do that. We went to a group party then went to a different party. Since the not-sis' mom was visiting for like a week I figured grandma would be monopolizing their time as much as she could, so I decided not to be there Sunday. From the party I went to C&H's. When I got to C&H's I went crazy playing my games alone as C&H were out late doing stuff.

I had a lot of fun and stayed up way too late until about 1:45 in the morning. There was a message on their home machine that made a horrid beeping in the room that I stay in that blocked me from sleeping. I had to wait until 3:45 new time before they got home and turned it off. (The time shifted +1 hour at 2 AM, so I lost an hour.)

I was supposed to do school stuff, but I was too (emotionally) drained from the party running around to really do anything else.

Day 621 - 3/14 - Busy Sunday

C&H and I got up much earlier than we all expected. We were all up by 11 new time (I was up at 10) - quite surprising what with not sleeping until about 4 AM.

We left to go to Santa Cruz around noon. We stopped for breakfast/lunch, they did some shopping around, we peeped the Mystery Spot - they've never been - but we didn't actually go in, and then we drove back. It's a pretty long drive from their place so we didn't get back until around 4.

I was really exhausted. I figured I'd play for a bit then do school stuff. Unfortunately that didn't work out so well. My brain was burnt and not at all focused. I'll have to do two or possibly more projects tomorrow. The school session has seemingly come and gone so fast. It's so much of a mental struggle to focus when I have no books (not even loaner ones at the library) and little private space. With C&H giving me a space I'm starting to settle into feeling like I do have some private space. I certainly have a reasonably private gaming and watching Internet show space.

It's again too late, after 1 now. Hopefully soon I'll start settling down and getting into bed before 1 (my normal sleepy time.) I'll have to get up pretty early since it's a much further drive to work from here than from the not-sis' place. I expect a lot more traffic slowing me down.

Well, tomorrow is what it is. I guess I have put myself into the bad school project position, but so much of my life is still so chaotic with so little private time that it's difficult to focus and be productive like I used to.

Bye for now.

Day 622 - 3/15 - Last minute projects

It's super late, like 2 AM. I couldn't focus after mini work. I was too tired. I played my games for a bit, then watched some shows with C&H, then forced myself to do the projects I needed to do. It was about 4 hours of straight writing and ended at about 16 pages. Well, that's all done now. Basically that was the last of my work for the semester save for a bit of research and studying for a test. I've been trying to sign up for classes for a week and the system hasn't let me - no clue why. I'll try and do so in person tomorrow.

Well, that's it for tonight. I'm exhausted. Hopefully I can sleep in tomorrow and get nice and rested and have some fun before going to class. 'Night peeps.

Day 623 - 3/16 - Gods and dragons

It's 5:30; one hour until class, half an hour before I go over to type in some Epic Fail. I'm sooooo sleepy, but today has been a good day so far. I got to sleep late last night due to needing to do homework stuff but I slept in until about 12:30. I got somewhere around 10 hours of sleep, so my system is either still catching up or fighting a cold. I've been sneezing quite a bit lately.

Amazon sent me a 'we wub joo' gift certificate for $10 off any game (only good for a short time) so I went ahead and picked up Dragon Age for teh cheap. On my way to class I got to pick up God of War 3 (it was delivered to the ex-house), so now I've got several games I can play.

I was so tired that I forgot to check for jobs and I didn't look at fun boards. What with turning in the big project tonight (effectively finishing that one class) I can hopefully relax and start to feel more rested. I think I get a week or so off between semesters, so hopefully that will help too.

My life does seem to be turning around at least a little bit. C&H wub me and want me safe and I sometimes make them tasty nom for dinner. The not-sis and her kids wub me too. I get to play my games and stuff a few hours every day now basically, so I'm finally re-balancing in terms of gaming. (It seems so odd now that I can consider PC desktop upgrades and a portable upgrade is no longer necessary or required.) Lowered food cost and increased gas efficiency seems to be helping with the increased travel costs.

My life is changing yet still in fragments; there is my school life fragment trying to get a better job, my job life fragment trying to struggle along on only getting ~8 hours of work a week, there is my game fragment which can play basically anything I can afford yet at a lower resolution and sound than I'm used to, and I've a place I can stay with a bed and a place I stay with no bed. I'm constantly around people no matter where I go. But, things are looking up. I'm starting to re-balance physically, starting to have a chance at re-balancing emotionally, and my allergies in both locations are greatly lessening. Of course the only true way to recover will be financially due to the fact that my life will continually be in flux until that changes. Hopefully that can change soon too.

I guess that's it for this week of fail. It seems we end on a positive note for a change , despite the fact that after paying for next sessions parking and classes I'll likely have nothing at all left of the $200 I need to get my eye exam and contacts that need to be done very soon.

Bye for this week peeps.

Week 90

Day 624 - 3/17 - Stranded

It's about 5:30 and I'm stranded. I was driving on the freeway and noticed a radiator fluid smell. I glanced down at my instruments and noticed it was at full hot. I pulled over to let it cool and take a peek inside and saw radiator fluid in several places. It seemed to be running ok before I stopped, and the radiator fluid and oil showed full, so I waited a bit and tried to start up again. Again it got hot and I stopped. I asked if my car insurance people could have a tow driver look at it and they said they couldn't without scheduling a tow. I didn't think I needed a tow so I tried to drive it again but it didn't last more than 5 minutes before it overheated again. When it did overheat it started doing a bit of smoke so I quickly pulled off the road and it shut down from the heat. I had to call to get it towed.

Time passes

I had it towed to a fix it shop. It's just after 6:15 now. It's going to be $50 for them to confirm the issue is what they were guessing, and if it is it will be a couple hundred to fix it. I don't know how I'll pay but I suppose it wouldn't be too bad opposed to like $500+ of a cracked radiator. I don't know where I'll get the couple hundred to fix it though. Hopefully C&H can help because they are really the only ones who might have money to fix it.

Again it seems I'm reminded that when things start to seem like they are going ok they turn to poo. I suppose I should be thankful that it always seems to be the car and not something like a broken bone or cancer. A car can always be fixed or replaced where a biological problem would be much worse.

Well, off I go.

Day 625 - 3/18 - Dead car

It's sort of late, a bit past midnight. The car is likely dead. I called the repair place to see if they confirmed the issue and they said they couldn't start the car and wanted $200 more just to continue looking. I said I didn't have that kind of money. Who knows how much more it would be past that to fix it. C&H will take me at way too early in the morning to the work area and I'll effectively just kill 8 hours until work. I'll have to see what kind of offer the car place makes to buy my car or if we want to try and sell it ourselves, but C&H agreed that spending that money just didn't seem like a good deal at all.

I suppose it's good news that next week is finals. I don't have to worry about too much class time. It's even possible I could skip the class and stay here at C&H's. Though one of the professors is saying she thinks it's unlikely I would be able to pass and that I may have to take an incomplete. She doesn't have all of my assignments, so she is missing points for some reason, so we'll see. I know I did those assignments but I can't prove it until I get to the car. I will see if I can get that tomorrow night or maybe during the day. I wouldn't be able to carry the junk that is in there during the day though.

In good news C&H are apparently considering giving me a persistent place here in the home. My allergies to the doggies and kitties is much better than before. It would be even less if I had a room to stay in. There are things to move and change before that could really happen though - to be more than a folded couch bed and a few items of my stuff - so my journey continues for now.

More on my most recent horrible events tomorrow I'm sure.

Day 626 - 3/19 - Has no car

It's just after noon and I've been stranded near work since 8:45 AM. Dropping me here early was the only really viable option.

Selling the car is the only option. The shop it's at said they wouldn't be interested in buying it to sell it as they've already got a few. We have a way to get it back to C&H's so at least that won't cost more, but effectively I paid $50 for nothing so far. C implied I'll be on my own with no money help, so I have no idea how long it will be before I can replace it. It could be quite a while. I may have to do something like sell my netbook to have enough. I'd hate to have to do that as I've found it to be super useful beyond its (limited) gaming potential.

The store near work that I buy my food at has free wireless, but of course it's now broken and not working. Worked fine from 9 until 12:30, but now it isn't connecting right. I got a TV series to watch from C&H to kill time with today so I can do that, but I kind of was hoping to stay connected to try and sort car stuff online. Ah well, my sad life is what it is and I'm yet again reminded I don't have control.

Day 627 - 3/20 - Plans to pick it up

It's late, about 1:30 AM. I had fun playing my games pretty much all day. We have made plans to go pick up the car in the morning and have it towed here. Since I have to get the registration at the ex-house I've decided to get my clothing drawers. Since C&H basically said I can live here I see no reason not to get the drawers since I'm already leaving my clothing bag here all the time. It will be nice to begin steps to living somewhere again, but I'm saddened that I won't be able to pay rent to them and that I'm taking space in a home of a married couple who have a son with them sometimes. I would have preferred my moving to be somewhere I could afford on my own, but that doesn't seem to be my path. At least since I'm going to be sharing a place it's with friendly peeps and not strangers. At least I have that.

My life is still in shambles. As if my lack of money and job prospects weren't enough it seems I still get to experience random disasters like my car dying. Well, I suppose I knew that would come someday as it was a super old car and I never intended to keep it this long.

My concern though is; will my life continue to improve having made these first small steps, or will it be like my job achievements and really take me no closer to a true life back under my own control with my desires fulfilled in the ways that bring joy to my life with few or no restrictions. Only time will tell. For now my terrible journey continues, slightly less terrible in recent times.

Day 628 - 3/21 - Missing, seriously?

Today was very sad get my car back day. It was sooooo sad. I wub my cute little car. I hope I don't get stuck with an ugly one. I discovered though when I was cleaning it up to sell it that it was left partly taken apart. Seriously? The air filter housing was off and loose, the radiator cap and fuse cap are now missing and who knows where, and there were black finger smudges (the car is white) that were in several spots. Going to have to call and complain about that tomorrow. It's like the person didn't care or respect my car at all.

I got to play my games most of the day though. And their little one here is pretty cute. He loves to spend time with me and grab my arm to snuggle.

Guess that's all today.

Day 629 - 3/22 - Car is sold

Just got up. I'm pretty sleepy. No mini work today as it would have been too difficult to get me there. I suppose though that C is right in that it's good that the car broke now instead of before when I had nowhere to stay. Now at least I still have an inside place to sleep, play, and look for work. Back say before mid December if this had happened I'd likely have had to spend nearly all of my time on the street.

I called the dummyheads and I think the person who answered was the mechanic who left the car taken apart. His reply was 'well, you told us to stop work, right?' I said, 'I told you I wasn't going to spend $200 more for you to continue and that I was going to take the car back. I don't think anyone on the planet would expect to get a car back in pieces.' So we'll see more about that when word gets to the owner/his dad.

It should be an ok day otherwise. I've got a very interested party coming to look at the car (in theory) and I can be warm and play my games after doing a job search.

Bye for now.

Time passes

Pretty good day today I suppose; good things bad things. I have $800, but my car I loved so much is sold. I should be ok and all and may find a something soon but I'm sad. Sad I lost my car I loved, sad I have nearly no work, sad I have to be around people all the time no matter where I am, sad I have no private space for me, sad I still don't truly feel welcome, wanted, and in control anywhere in my life.

That's it for tonight.

Day 630 - 3/23 - I feel strange

It's way too late at night at just past 2 AM. I got a chance to play privately from about midnight on so I guess I've gone a bit late. (H normally stays up until 2 or 3 watching TV or playing games which keeps me up at night. I normally try to be asleep by 1.)

I started the day looking for jobs and looking for cars; no luck with either. I did the dishes, trash, and my laundry.

I had a lot of fun playing my games after. I just finished Mass Effect. I've been playing a lot of Dragon Age lately. I would have finished Mass Effect quite a while ago if I hadn't been.

Despite my slow return to a normal life I feel strange. I'm getting good sleep now and finally losing the persistent groggy haze that I've had for so very long. I feel strange though. I have a few friends, shelter, regular cooked food. Yet I lack private space, I lack a good job, I lack a sweetie. While food, shelter, and at least reasonably safe feeling is all one really needs I don't know that I feel "at home". I still have no control over my environment. There still is no real negotiation of rabb1t space. I have a space within their space. I do not control temperature. I do not control activities. I do not control volume or activity level.

I grew up alone, so I've always had private space. I think now about families who share space. They do feel at home. They call it home. But I think even they have private space. Though a room may be shared they are likely allowed to choose what to put where. Here I have space but no choice or freedom to decide 'I want x at y'. I'm limited in both space and category of item. While I feel welcomed and cared for, even loved, I don't know if I feel in my heart that I'm home. At my ex-house I had a room to myself. I was free to change my stuff however I felt or wanted. Within reason I could watch or do whatever I wanted. Set up my PC how I want, my home entertainment how I want, play games or watch shows how I want... here those are luxuries. Here I feel like a well loved visitor. I feel temporary.

I do not yet have a home and I still wonder how long it will be before my journey is over.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2010
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)

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