If I cannot bring you comfort...

Very few things this year worked out quite how they were expected.  Well, I don't know how true that is: I'm not sure I expected much of anything.  But the year's almost over, whatever it was.

L is in the process of moving into his new place, and I'm not involved.  The current plan is to not even store anything at my place.  We'll see how long this lasts.

I'm in transition at the office; theoretically, my position is disappearing, though that doesn't mean I'm getting laid off or anything.  I've got plenty of things to do and bosses who like me.  But things will definitely change here in the next 6 months.

I've got two potential date situations developing.  Not sure if they'll go anywhere, but it's more than I've really tried to do in months.  I'm pretty much writing off OKCupid and going to other tools (starting with Tindr).  I can't do Grindr, since they don't have a Windows port, but perhaps that's a good thing :)

Related to that, I'm seeing a specialist about the whole Truvada as PrEP thing.  I'm not really liking the idea of a daily pill (though  I took a daily vitamin for years), and I'm far from being the most at-risk person out there.  I'm also not looking forward to the potential side effects.  But an honest look back at why I haven't dated much or "explored" much in the last few years has to include recognizing my (low but present) anxiety about HIV: I can name at least one occasion when that anxiety stopped me.  It's probably not something I'll ever mention to anyone I date, and I plan on still practicing safer-sex, but a reduction in risk is a reduction in risk.  Sex isn't necessarily the end goal, but it's hard to progress in dating much without sex - and especially in the gay community, sex is often an early requirement rather than a later one.

I never really got into the shape I wanted to be in. I've built up my chest and arms a bit, but my weight and belly fat are still what they were in April.  Now, there was the whole bruised rib thing, but that was better by June-ish.  Since then, I just haven't been able to make a dent.  So, I need to try something different.  We'll see.

I made it to Yosemite, which was a blast.  Didn't make it to Hawaii this year, and only slightly miss it.  Haven't gone on any other camping trips yet, but there are a few my hiking/camping group has planned that actually look interesting (and it's the middle of bloody winter, so it's not exactly the high season).

Haven't really gotten into swimming the way I wanted to, so maybe that will be how I try and get into shape.  Also never got that bike I've been talking about for ages.

I've made a few new friends and have been hanging out with some of them fairly often.

With L's change in situation, I put my foot down on finances.  Yes, I've said that before, but there's absolutely no reason why he can't survive without my help at this point.  He's even getting someone else to pay his first month's rent, so he should be able to build up a financial buffer.  But that's his business: mine will be getting back to a comfortable level of savings and being able to sock money away for a new car and more vacations.  I start getting four weeks of vacation time this year, and I've already got more than three saved up.  I need to start using them.

Also, with L having a roommate, I'm hoping he'll be less dependent on me for social contact.  I've already told him that we're not going to be doing the every-weekend thing, since he's further away now and still doesn't want to drive much; that'll free up time for dates and other activities.

Not sure if I'll pursue the business thing.  I mean, I need to know if I need a license to do consulting and such, but actually getting a D-B-A and registering as a business apparently has a lot of tax consequences.  As much as I love the logo I did up, I'm not sure it's worth it - especially as I've never made any money with my photography.  Oh, related to that, I finally told Flickr they can peruse my stuff for stock use; I'd disabled that when I was trying to work with other companies, but since none of that worked out, I might as well let Flickr do it if they want.  I've still got NC on everything.

Aside from the doctor's appointment tomorrow, I've no plans for NYE.  There's a hike going on (which I'll probably miss).  Also, a couple of friends were talking about having a small get-together, but since one of them is in Canada on a last-minute emergency thing (and not a fun one), that probably won't happen. So, it might be a quiet evening relaxing at home - which may not be all that bad, since it's supposed to be freezing (literally) tomorrow night.  I might even wake up early enough to wander out to the Rose Parade at some point (don't bet on it).

So, I guess that's my year in review, combined with a little bit of what is hopefully to come.  That wave function keeps collapsing; you never know what's going to happen until it does.  Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and keep your head up high - for the night is young, the air is crisp, and the stars twinkle in anticipation of your eye.

The night

Well, it happened.  L finally asked me about the room.

We were at dinner, and he was commenting that a place he's looking at is too far away (17 miles!!).  I said something like, if it's that or sleeping in your car, which would you take?

L: "You'd let me sleep in my car?"
Me: "Versus?"
L: "Well, staying in your spare room."
Me: "... Yeah, that's not happening."

After a bit more back and forth, he stopped talking.  And then stopped eating dinner (he was only about half-way through).  Fine, whatever.  I paid for the meal, and as we were leaving, he still wasn't talking (which is really unusual for him).  I asked if he still wanted to go to the movie ("The Imitation Game"); he said "yes".  That was, literally, the last word he spoke to me for the next half-hour, then the length of the movie, then about 20 minutes after while waiting for the car.

By this point, I was annoyed.  So, as we got in the car, I just said, "I guess I'm taking you home, then."
L: "No, I need to be out with people right now."
Me: "Well, I don't see any reason for us to hang out if you're just going to give me the silent treatment for the rest of the night."
L: "Is that what you think is happening?"
Me: "What else would it be?  Prior to this conversation, you've said one work since dinner."

We went at it a bit.  He said he was hurt, he thought I was his friend.  "I know you've said repeatedly that is your best friend, but I never thought..."
Me: "What, that I actually meant it?"
L: "Well, I mean... It's just..."

I laid into him a bit about bad decisions, about the people (including me) who have been shielding him from the results of his choices for like 10 years, of a few of the times where he's pulled shit, gotten caught/caught out, and ended up needing to be bailed out, etc.  He started by denying it all, then slowly had to admit I was right.

Then he started in with the emotional manipulative shit.  "It's hard to hate yourself."  Well, yes, been there.  "I'm not you, I can't just kill myself."  Okay, yes, been there too, but that's a shitty, low blow.  "How can you be friends with someone who is such a fuckup?" Not touching that one with a 10-foot pole, bud.  "I've made bad decisions.  I was afraid."  Sure, but mostly afraid of the outcomes of bad decisions you'd made prior.

L: "I never wanted to use anyone."
Me: "And, yet, 30 minutes ago you were perfectly content to spend a night with someone you didn't want to be around just so they'd drive you places and pay for your drinks."

Anyway, he kind of accepted it eventually.  At least, he wants to see a movie next week; we'll see how he feels tomorrow (it's entirely possible he'll work himself into enough self-righteous anger to blow me off lest I remind him again about how he's wrong).  But at least the conversation is out there.

I still think he thinks he's going to manipulate/trick me into letting him stay here.  One would hope that after all these years he'd know not to pull that kind of thing on someone with limited empathy.

The movie was pretty good, if a bit depressing in the end (but how else could it be?).  And now, to bed.

A place in the sun

So, Palm Springs was fun.  The place was a bit more... let's say "frisky" than I was expecting, even at a clothing-optional resort, but apparently that's par for the course in PS.  Still, I did enjoy myself, spent a lot of time in the hot tub, and actually slept well and peacefully for a couple nights.

And then came back home and woke up at 5 am stressing out about stuff again.  Oh well.

On the good news front: heard a little bit about this issue at work, and the one part that I've ever been involved with is also probably the only part that is safe, so I'm pretty much in the clear.  Haven't heard about the rest.

Oh, and iOS 8 sucks, but I spent all day Monday debugging and finally figured out the two bugs that were breaking my company's application - one is definitely a bug, the other is possibly deliberate but a change from past OS versions.  At least I found work-arounds that seem to be functioning, so the client who was running into this problem is happy.

L sent me a message complaining that one room he's looking at (he still hasn't found a place) is 17 miles (!!!) from where he currently lives, implying that this is so far as to make it unreasonable.  I sent back something shooting that down handily, but I've also decided I'm done with him playing the victim.  I mean, he's more than welcome to do it, but I don't want to hear about it any more.

[... I feel like I need to qualify that "victim" statement.  I don't hold with blaming victims for what happens to them; that's really bad.  And L has had a few things happen that were just shitty luck or other people being assholes.  But L has also, on more than one occasion, tried to cheat the system, gotten caught or caught-out, and suffered as a result; he then tries to play the "woe is me" card, sometimes even changing his story on what happened to remove any fault from himself.  It's been minor in the past, but lately he's been ramping it up a fair bit - to the point where things that I was around for and witnessed are now being presented differently than as they happened.  And we're not talking about minor changes: things like "had to bribe a doctor to get a note saying couldn't do a deposition" to "but I wasn't well enough to do the deposition!"  If he's starting to believe his own lies, I'm totally done (there's nowhere positive that can go).]

Need to plan stuff for NYE.  I've got a meeting on the 30th I can't miss, but I could head out that afternoon and go somewhere maybe.  No idea where I'd go - most places are booked by now.  But I'm not going to spend NYE with L.  PS was certainly easy to get to, but it's probably even more of a party place for New Years than it was for Thanksgiving.  I still feel like running away to the woods somewhere, but the place in Guerneville doesn't have any cabins.

Decisions, decisions.