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[April 2002]

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April 2002

some very positive life-altering events

Best thing that happened
I realised just how great my life is right now
Worst thing that happened
Healthcare Runaround (but that's not so bad and it happens a lot anyhow)

Opened a LiveJournal account

After a lot of encouragement from Hope and others, I finally opened a LiveJournal account. This is similar to MikZ's Months, but I post to it far more regularly, so you can find out what's been happening to me more recently and in more detail by viewing my account. I'll also be making links to important LiveJournal entries from here.

The main reason I signed up was so I could be on the "friends lists" of Hope and others. It quickly became a regular part of my life, though, especially when I found out how cool it is. This is what I wrote about it on my first day.

Four Positive, Life-Changing Things that Happened This Month

Even without LiveJournal, I would've remembered the second week of this month for a long time. A lot happened that made me do a lot of pondering and soul-searching, but most of it ended up really positively and all of it made me come out as a better person, in my opinion.

1. My Dream Poly Household

The most exciting thing that happened this month, and indeed the most exciting thing that's happened since I moved to the U.S.A, is that Hope, Sinboy, Rose and I have decided to move in together. I've had a dream for years to live in a household with multiple lovers, and they share that dream. Better yet, the details about the kind of house we'd like to live in are the same... a house with character in a cool urban neighbourhood with lots of geek toys and pillows in the living room and all sorts of other details.

I should point out that I'm not in a relationship with all three of them. I'm more in love with Hope than I have been with anybody, but Sinboy and I are only seeing each other pretty casually, and I'm only just starting to get to know Rose. They're all fantastic people, though, and definitely the kind of people who I'd like to live with. We have the same attitudes to relationships, cohabitation, and communication, and we get along extremely well.

When will this happen? At this stage, it looks like it's a year away. Hope and Sinboy need to become employed and get their finances sorted out again, Rose has to wait for her current lease to expire, and I'll be living on two other continents before it happens (see #2 below). An alternative scenario would be the end of this year, but that would cause problems for Rose's lease, and it would mean that I wouldn't really be living there for the first few months because I'll be in Australia. But we'll see what happens.

2. Brought my Ticket to Holland

For a long time, I've been planing to live in Holland, and I have my sights set on Amsterdam. The visa is easy to get, I've paid off all my credit card bills, and this month, I bought my ticket! I'm flying from Austin to Amsterdam at the end of July, and from Madrid back to San Francisco at the beginning of December.

I'm leaving from Austin because I plan to drive there from here in San Francisco in the second half of July. I want to stop through L.A. to see Shelly, go to Biosphere II in Arizona, and check out New Mexico since I've never been there before. I'll also dying to go for a drive in the desert. My friend Marti and lover Terri live in Austin, so it makes sense for me to fly out of there. I'm also planing to sell my car there before I leave.

I'm leaving from Madrid simply because I want to check out Spain. I've been fascinated with the place ever since I saw the films Sexy Beast, Nico and Dani and Amores Perros. I figure that I can take a train from Holland to Spain, and probably see a lot in between. It turns out that Reverend D is living in London at the moment, too, so I'll probably visit him a few times while I'm over there.

Buying the ticket was a big step, and it finally made the decision really clear. I was worried about how my housemates would react to me moving out so quickly (see this LiveJournal post) but they've taken it reasonably well. Romijordanna is planing to move into my bedroom after I leave, and hers will be easier to rent out. Hopefully they'll allow me to store some of my stuff in the garage while I'm in Holland and Australia, in exchange for money that I'd be spending on storage otherwise.

3. I got back in touch with Skud

I sent her e-mail a few months ago, and finally heard back from her. It was the first time I'd heard from her since the End Of Millennium party I travelled to Australia for back in December 2000. She's got a LiveJournal account too, so now I'm kept pretty up-to-date with her life.

Not only is it great to be back in touch with an old friend, we sorted out some issues from the past as well. To cut a long story short, there was a weekend about five years ago where I drove down to see her, and she treated me like shit. I figured out in the meantime that whatever I did to upset probably had little to do with why she was so amazingly pissed off, but this month via LiveJournal, we discussed all that and found out exactly where we were at at the time.

Although questions about exactly happened that weekend nagged at my mind a few times over the years, this was hardly an issue that I still fretted over. Still, revisiting those past events brought some of my present insecurities into focus, so I've been able to work through those this month. For example, sometimes I worry that the fact that I talk so freely about the intimate details of my life puts people off, and since that was one of the things I initially blamed the events with Skud from five years ago on, it made me realise how silly that is.

Best of all, however, this showed that even things from long in the past can be resolved, and that reconciliation about that sort of thing feels good. This ties in with...

4. M wants to talk

In the letter I received from M in January, she wrote that she wanted to meet me just one more time, and that everything I had to say and ask about our relationship would have to be discussed then. Obviously that proposition is impossible, because there's so much that I have to say, and so much that I really wouldn't have the words to say unless I was in an ongoing mutual conversation.

I got voicemail from her this month, in which she said she wanted to talk. I didn't return her voicemail until a few days later on the 12th, because I didn't listen to her voicemail fully until then—I was expecting it to be in response to some "administrative" voicemail that I had left her earlier in the month. A couple more voicemail and e-mail exchanges established that she's no longer set on the "one last talk" idea. We're getting together on a Saturday in May to do something outdoorsie and fun, and we can figure out where we're at then.

I have been pleased in the last six months or so by the fact that she's established a close friendship or two, and this appears to have made it easier for her to deal with things in her life. I'm even more pleased now, because she's getting therapy and treatment for depression as well. The fact that there's a medical reason for her having been so unreasonable lately, and indeed in the last three years, is somehow a relief. The fact that it's getting worked on is very positive.

Speaking about medical attention...

Treatment for some Outstanding Medical Issues

You might want to skip this bit if you're squeamish.

There are two medical issues that I've been grapling with for years: hemorrhoids and erectile deficiencies.

Western medicine never helped much for the hemorrhoids, even after I had an optic fiber camera stuck up my bum, so I've been getting acupuncture to deal with it for nearly a year now. Acupuncture has definitely reduced the problem, but it hasn't made it go away. But this month I finally started reading a book that I bought years ago, Anal Pleasure & Health, by Jack Morin, Ph.D. I've mainly been reading it to increase my knowledge and enjoyment of anal sex, but it talks about health issues as well, including hemorrhoids. I don't know if the techniques it talks about will actually make them go away, but if it can make them less painful and eliminate the problems they cause for me having sex, then they're well worth it.

I've had erectile deficiencies for pretty much my whole life. They're not severe, but they have caused problems for my sex life. They helped me get more into oral sex as an adolescent so it's not all bad, but when I got a prescription for Viagra a year or two ago, my sex life definitely improved. But I don't like relying on a drug for sex, and since it takes 30 to 45 minutes to kick in, it means that I can't have sex spontaneously like most people can. I was hence glad when I ended up talking to a sexologist about it, and got a referral.

The sexologist is a guy in Berkeley who I got in touch with because I volunteered to take part in a survey for some research he's doing. When I mentioned my problem, he seemed to know a lot about that sort of thing, so we ended up talking about it a lot more. The nice thing is that he's giving me his time and professional advice for free, just because I helped him with his survey. Cool!

Anyhow, he said that the first thing we needed to find out is whether the problem is a physical one, or if it's all in the mind. I've seen people about this before, and they were all quick to conclude that it was just an attitude problem. It turns out they're wrong—a urologist in the South Bay found that my blood pressure in that general area isn't high enough, and that this could be the cause of the problem. I'm seeing the urologist again in May, by which time he'll have gathered all the information he needs to diagnose me properly, and come up with a treatment.

Harbin Hot Springs

Hope, Sinboy, Rose and I went to Harbin Hot Springs on the first day of this month. (It was a Monday, but I took the day off work for it.) It was a wonderful, relaxing day, and I had the opportunity to get to know Rose better.

Rose became very involved with Hope and Sinboy this month. This prompted me to feel just a little bit jealous, which was interesting, because I haven't felt jealous in years. It didn't take long for that to ware off, though, especially since it's part of the reason that Hope's so happy. Rose is really cool.

Anyhow, the only bummer about the day was that Hope was still sick, with pretty much the same thing that I had last month. Thankfully she recovered from it more quickly than I did.

Picnic and Cocktail Party

To welcome in the spring, I hosted a picnic and cocktail party on the 6th. The picnic was at Temescal Park, which is just down the hill from where I live, and the party was another one of my famous Mad Scientists' Cocktail Parties.

The picnic went really well. More people turned up than I was expecting, and we had a barbecue, went for walks around the park, and played with a frisbee. The party was also a success, even though I got more drunk in front of a bunch of people I know for than I have in years.

Click here for my LiveJournal entry about it, which includes a reference to Hope's post, since she remembers more about the party than I do. =)

[group photo] [Lake Temescal] [Lon with barbecue, Troy playing frisbee]

The group photo shows Troy from the Rabbit Warren, Hope's mum, Sinboy, Rowan from the Rabbit Warren, me, and Lon from the Rabbit Warren. While Lon is barbecuing, you can see Troy playing frisbee in the background. The other image is Lake Temescal. All the photos were taken by Hope.

Another Small World Brunch but Off To A Slow Start

The people who helped plan January's successful Small World Brunch started getting together again this month, but with much less vigour than before. Our meetings at the Crepe Vine just haven't had much of a turnout this time. I'm not sure if it's too soon after the last one, or if people are just too busy doing other things, but there doesn't seem to be enough people willing to put in the energy. We're thinking of making it an outdoor event this time, and setting the date in July. Right now I wonder if it's really going to happen, though.

A Trip to Sacramento with Hope

On the 13th I went to Sacramento with Hope. I showed her around Midtown, where I used to live, and we stop by my "um"-friend Burn Juggler's place so I could get my hat back and so we could watch her juggle a bit. We had dinner with Denise and drove back along the scenic Ca-160, which follows the levy roads by the Sacramento River back to the Bay Area.

It was a wonderful day, and Hope describes it beautifully and with much more detail in her LiveJournal entry about it. The photos were taken while Denise was driving us around in her convertible, except for the sunset, which Hope took from Ca-160.

[Denise and Mik in Denise's convertable] [Hope in the back of Denise's convertable] [Sunset off Ca-160]

Great America with Anna the Bean

I had a fantastic time. This LiveJournal post tells everything about it.

No Longer Seeing velvetandsatin

I broke off my casual relationship with velvetandsatin, the woman I met at Sheets two months ago. I'm not really sure why; being with her just didn't feel right. Although there were communication issues, we did manage to work through any concerns that either of us had, but somehow that wasn't enough. I feel a bit strange for breaking off a relationship without really knowing exactly what the problem was, but at least it ends some of the awkwardness that I've been feeling in the last month or so, and hopefully I'll eventually work out exactly what I was feeling.

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Mik Scheper, 6 May 2002
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