7 down, hundreds to go.

One week in, and the first round of side-effects is pretty much gone.  I still get a little queasy right after meals, but that fades quickly.

Some of the last-minute supplies for the camping trip are coming in.  My shower should arrive today or tomorrow - it's a pump kind, not an overhead hanging one, since I'm not all that sure there's going to be anything to hang it from at the campground.  I'll have to test it out before we go.

I still need to decide if I should get a smaller tent or just take my big one.  It's not supposed to be that cold, though it can be at times, so the extra space isn't as bad as it would be if it were close to freezing.

L's staying at a friend's place and moving into his new room on Saturday.  He says it's already paid for through February and that he's signing the lease tomorrow, so on Sunday I may finally be able to stand down from my internal DEFCON2 status.

He said something else on Saturday night that.. well, I can't say it surprised me, other than he admitted it, but it's making me think.  He got angry that someone dared to have a coat resting on an unused chair at our table (we were on one side of the table with three extra chairs on the other side), and in the ensuing kerfluffle, he said something like, "You and I obviously have different notions of propriety."  I was annoyed and didn't stop myself from responding, "I wouldn't call it propriety.  I'd say you have a stronger sense of entitlement than I do."

L replied, "Yes, I do.  I feel I'm entitled to being treated in a certain way, and if other people don't respect that, it's my job to put them in their place."

That's really problematic to me.  I mean, I've always known that about him: that, in essence, he's fallen from a definite level of privilege but still thinks the world owes him something just because of who he is.  But I was never sure if he realized it, consciously.  I guess he does.

Thinking about it on my walk yesterday, I've never known him to do anything charitable.  He flat-out stated that he just ignores "those people" if he encounters them on the street, but even with friends, I don't think he's ever done anything that didn't in some way benefit himself.  So I have to decide - scratch that, I have decided that I'm not going to waste extra effort on someone who is so ruthlessly self-centered.

I mean, I have a thing where over the years I've basically "adopted" people who I think have something useful or worthwhile to give back to the world if only their financial or other situations were stabilized.  My goal is never to change someone but to help bring out the best in them, to in a sense take away all the things that might be holding them back and say, "Okay, here: you've got the means and opportunity now; what do you want to do?" and hope they pick something that helps others.  In general, it's paid off, and I can count a handful of success stories; there's only been one failure and one "still waiting to see", though at least this last one is independent and far more happy than he used to be.  I don't know that I've said it here, but one of my philosophies has always been that you can't save the world but you can help teach the world to save itself: those are more than just words to me, and I've spent a lot of resources in trying to do it.

When I first met L, and even until today, he talked a lot about improving the world in certain ways and trying to solve various problems.  Thinking back on them, though, all his solutions or methodologies always involved him becoming rich, successful, and/or powerful in the process.  In a sense, the way he wanted to save the world was by ruling it - not for the world's benefit, but for his.

Well, if nothing else, he's to a point where he should be more stable.  I don't know if it'll mean he's more productive or happy - I hope so - but I doubt it'll mean he'll turn around and try to help others.  So, I guess that makes two in the "we'll see" column; who knows, he may surprise me.

Got a couple of hits on Tindr; we'll see if they lead anywhere.  I've also gotten back into working out more (I never really stopped, but it did fall to a pretty low maintenance level), so we'll see how things go.  I also think I'm going to sign up for a massage at a place down the street this week; it's a formal spa but only $50 for an hour.

Out with the old, in with the new.

You spin me

... just a short post, but dayumn this pill is making me feel weird.

Like, okay, I expected the nausea.  That's not horrible, though it feels more like indigestion to me than queasiness.  What I didn't expect - and am not sure how to interpret - is the weird blood-pressure-type dizziness and weirdness.  I keep getting that blurry-around-the-edges tunnel-vision thing you get when you stand up to quickly.  That's the worst piece of it, because it's actually making it hard to concentrate/focus.

Two days in a row now, it's kicked in about 1.5-2 hours after taking the pill.  I've eaten something for breakfast both days, just to try and minimize the nausea, so it's not like this is on an empty stomach.  Yesterday, it lasted until about 5-6 (so, roughly 11-12 hours).

Let's hope I don't get a bout of BPPV while this is going on; I'm not sure I'd be able to sit up.

(Got my car battery replaced yesterday and my oil changed.  Yay for adulting!)

The new one-a-day

I am so not used to spending multiple hours at the doctor's office.  My usual appointments are 15-20 minutes waiting, then like 5-10 in the consultation, then maybe a prescription on the way out the door.

First off, they took me back about twenty minutes late.  Then, the consultation with the doctor was about 20 minutes.  Then I had to talk to the pharmacist for about 10 minutes.  Then off to the pharmacy for 15 minutes, then off to the lab to get some blood drawn for yet more tests and another 20 minutes.  All in all, I was there for about two hours, but I walked out with bottle of (not-so-little) blue pills.

You're supposed to take them at the same time every day, so I'm waiting until tomorrow morning for my first.  Hopefully I don't react badly to it; the big concern is kidney function, but since those seem perfectly fine for me, the doc doesn't think it'll be a problem.  Apparently osteopenia is also a potential issue, so that's what today's blood draw was for: calcium and vitamin D levels.  My calcium test already came back fine: isn't it great that we live in an age where we can have blood drawn and two hours later have an email notifying us that the results are ready?

I'm not sure I'm going to tell anyone I'm going on this.  I mean, you guys know, and I'll probably tell one friend about it (he's thinking of going on it and is more nervous than I was, but he's also much higher risk and has already had one "scare" that included post-exposure treatment just in case).  But I'm not telling my parents or anyone else, I don't think.  It's no one's business.

I also got the first of the three Hep B shots that I'll have to take over the next six months.  Yay, I guess (this one's really made my arm sore).

The camping trip is all booked, and I'm trying to decide if I should get a smaller tent, since the only one I have is the big 6-man (which actually only really would fit three or four adult men).  That's kind of overkill.  But I'm also starting to get a lot more careful with how much I spend, especially now that I shouldn't be supporting L any more.

... Oh, right.  L.  So, he's been staying in a motel.  He's apparently got another place he's moving into on the 24th - a room in a house in the valley - and he seems kind of excited about it.  Now, last time it fell through at the last minute, so I'm not going to hold my breath against the odds of him snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but it's encouraging.  However, the people paying his motel are stopping that today, so for the next 12 days or so he's going to be staying somewhere else.

A nursing home.

I'm... kind of at a loss as to how this will work out.  I could be wrong, of course, but every nursing home I've been to or seen has been a pretty depressing thing overall, and most of the residents didn't have much in the way of freedom.  L's not bed-ridden, isn't doing physical therapy, and isn't going to want to be trapped in a room all day.  I'm not sure how he'll take it, but we'll see.  It's only for 10 days.

The really awesome - to me, anyway - part is that he's actually been listening and is planning on saving as much money over the next month as he can for a buffer.  He's realistically targeting having about a thousand dollars put aside by the end of February, which would be great if he can pull it off.

This weekend was the first time in literally months - probably 3 or 4 months - that we've hung out and he hasn't either hit me up for money or pressured me about staying here or both.  I was shocked.

Anyway, without his periodic demands, I should be able to manage my money better and actually plan for things.  I also really do need to set up some outside consulting stuff to bring in a bit extra to help pay off bills and buy toys (and yes, I've said this a lot).

On the try-new-things side, I used the sauna downstairs for the first time since moving in 3.5 years ago.  I guess you have to turn it on an hour or so before going in, but once it warmed up, it was pretty decent.  I'm going to plan it better next time so I can do the steam thing as well as have a shower in between sessions (heating the place up for one 10-15 minute shot seems a waste).

Going on a hike tonight; it'll be chilly so need to dress warmer than normal.  We'll get to see how the latest rains reshaped the trails.

Minor things for the week

L is.. well, I don't know what his current state is.  Last I heard, he was being put up at a motel by a charity, but that theoretically ends Monday.  We're hanging out tomorrow, so if he doesn't have a place yet, I expect to get harangued all night.  It won't change my answer any, but it may be the last time we hang out if he doesn't give it a rest: I'm willing to put up with someone being unpleasant to be around, but I'm not willing to spend hours being harassed.

Booked a weekend camping trip in a few weeks.  Going with the hiking group out to the desert, so that should be fun: I've been wanting to do star shots out there anyway, and this is a good trip to be my inaugural with them.  Also, my friend D is coming (his husband may not be able to get time off of work), and it'll be his first camping trip in ages too.  We're going to carpool out there.

It does mean I need to get a few things.  Like, I don't have a solar shower yet, so that's one thing; I found a pump one that looks cool but is kind of expensive, but I think I can afford it.  I'm also thinking about getting a smaller tent, since I need one for backpacking anyway.  That would be expensive, so I have to consider it carefully, but putting out a 6-man tent for myself, especially if it's colder temps, is probably a bad idea (D is taking his own).  I also want to grab a couple of those pocket warmer things just in case, but those are cheap.

Oh, I got a 3.4% raise for work.  It'll probably end up being an extra $40 a week, give or take, which will pay for the rent increase I got and then some (not much, but some).  That kicks in Monday, so I won't see anything from it until the end of the month due to pay cycles, but it's still nice.  Apparently, that's the maximum raise the company is giving out this year; I got the maximum last year, too (3% then).

I also get my pay-out from unspent holiday pay next Friday; that should be ~$470.  I suppose I could use that for camping stuff, but I originally going to put that towards other things.  We'll see how my pocketbook looks after this weekend.

My appointment with the MD to talk about PrEP is on Monday.  I've gotten all my test results back; nothing seems odd to me except that my Hepatitis B vaccination apparently never took (I guess you need multiple shots; I only ever got one).  So, I'll probably be getting that vaccine here too shortly.  But I don't think there's anything to stop me from going on the meds starting Monday.  This will be interesting.

In a random note, the gym at my apartment put in a new machine downstairs; we had one of those multi-function stations, but this one is all pulley-based.  I haven't used the weights down there in ages (I have free weights in my apartment and generally only use the treadmill in the gym), but I might try the new thing out to see how well it works.

Hot and steamy

I went to a Korean spa on Saturday.  Now, I've been to plenty of clothing-optional resorts, and I'm not exactly inhibited, but this was literally the first time I'd been to any kind of spa or bath house.  So, I was a little anxious, but I went anyway: my friend D and his husband are the ones who asked if I wanted to go, since they were going (and apparently had been before).

It wasn't bad.  Some of the steam rooms had the steam on way too much for me (I actually had trouble breathing in one of them), but overall the experience was pretty relaxing.  And since I'd spent the afternoon (this was at night) with my best friend, it made Saturday a really awesome day.

Which is just what I needed, since L's been having his typical chaos.  The guy he was supposed to move in with on Saturday decided to "cancel" their agreement on New Year's Day.  Technically, he couldn't do that, since L had keys and a contract, but the charity paying L's moving costs didn't want to pay to move L into a place where he wasn't welcome.  The problem, of course, is that the lockout happens today (Monday), so this put L in a bit of a bind.  The service said they'd put him up in a motel for a bit and move his stuff into storage, but that the hotel funding would take a few days to set up.

So, of course, he sent me an email saying, "Give me a call when you have a chance."  Which is a signal that he's going to try and strong-arm me into something, since otherwise he'd just ask in email or call me himself.  Again he asked if he could stay with me, and again I said no, and he got angry.  Then his phone started cutting out, and he just hung up.  I haven't really spoken to him since, so no idea what's going on at this point.  But I'm also not sure I care much.  I mean, I hope he gets his living situation worked out, but if he decides he doesn't want to speak to me or that I'm a horrible person, well... that's his decision.

The couple hours at the spa relaxed me, and I slept extremely well Saturday night.  Also checked out a new coffee house yesterday, before hanging out with D a little; it was okay, not somewhere terribly comfortable but not horrible either.  I'm still in search of a hang-out-for-an-afternoon kind of place.

Had my blood and pee tests done on Friday, and the results seem unremarkable (I don't get the STD results online, due to disclosure rules, but there's not going to be anything exciting there; the resultsI did get was things like kidney function).  A couple of numbers might be a little cause of concern if they were accompanied by other signs, but they're probably just normal human variation (trace values where ideal is none kinds of things).  I have my appointment with the physician to go over the results a week from today, so that would be the day I start PrEP if she sees nothing concerning.

I was actually thinking about that at the spa.  The place is Korean, so there's that population obviously, but it's also something of a gay cruising joint (though relatively low-key apparently).  I didn't see anyone doing anything risque, but I definitely got a lot of looks/stares.  Some of that may just be because, as I said, I'm not exactly inhibited and tended to walk around naked rather than wrapped up like most of the guys.

Anyway, the thought was that I really shouldn't do anything even if the opportunity arose :) The nurse I saw pointed out that the idea of the initial STD tests was to form a baseline before giving me the prescription and to be absolutely sure I was "fine" before I started; he also said I should be careful not to do anything that might change my status between the tests and the consultation, which is basically saying "don't have sex for the week between".  Which normally wouldn't even be an issue, but I also don't normally go to spas :D

Anyway, nothing happened, and it was great, and I'll probably go back again at some point (with or without D & C).  It's kind of a drive, so I might also see if there's something closer to me, but I could also justify it if I got a massage or something while there (which they offer).

Should be a slow week this week (and of course saying that, things'll go crazy, right?).  Though I think I want to book a camping trip out to the desert: my hiking group is going, and it's time I actually took advantage of the opportunity.

... That may be the motto for this year: taking advantage of opportunities.  We'll see.