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1997 Continued

9/2/97: 10:25AM: Just wrote DREAMS:9/2/97, now to my added list of depressions: besides the mouse not working, the printer started acting up yesterday, skipping from page 12 to 28 of my play, running light on pages after it was going for a while. Then the odd anomaly (I hope) in Cindex when nothing worked and I'd feared losing about fifteen minutes of input, but it recovered nicely after resetting. Then Charles telling me about Princess Di's death in an auto accident in Paris, depressing me more when I watched my recording of Sunday's 60 Minutes last night than when I heard the news. Then the excision of part of my right thumb when the projector-screen collapsed in an unforeseen way after putting it away after showing Lina my trip-slides. Then the phone call from Sherryl that David walked out on her completely, making her very sad and lonely. Then the call from Pope Saturday night that he'd felt dizzy and almost fainted and fell in his apartment, leading him to death thoughts and making sure I'd have a key to his apartment to throw away porno before the Witnesses had access to his rooms. Then the pressures of things to do today: print up the 98 pages of the Marketing Research index to send it out today, getting to the index re-do from Springer for only $450 which will clearly take more than five hours to do before Thursday, going to the gym (with the accompanying "But I just WENT to the gym," showing the speedy passing of each set of four days, and the depressing thought that I ALWAYS greet my going to the gym with morbid displeasure, surely minimizing the physical benefits I get from the actual exercising and aerobicizing. Never HAVE gone swimming (as I'd tried blackmailing myself to do by buying two swimsuits), never HAVE gone more than each four days, surely not enough, and even now thinking to REDUCE the level of exercises I've been doing for the past 18 years (counting 1980 as 1). Then the smell of dinner last night lingers in the apartment from the dishes and bottles and trays left standing since we finished and Lina left at 9:30PM, when I didn't quite finish my videotapes, which I should do before setting them up to record tonight while I'm at Village Playwrights. Then I have to yellow-mark the speeches, hoping that all the printing that I skimmed in the 33 pages is OK for the reading, hoping that Eric WILL be coming since he didn't phone to say he WASN'T, and I really don't want to impose by phoning today to ASK him if he's coming---and then there's the threat of rain to keep people away tonight, too---though if it rains out the tennis matches, that might mean Marj has a better chance of coming. And think of details of setting up the "briefcase prop" with phony scripts and layering unread pages to the back of the two sheets from Act II to fool EVERYONE into knowing how long the play will be. Not to mention the slight uncertainty that Ector hasn't even scheduled us a ROOM for tonight! Maybe I should at least call HIM to double-check? AND phone the dentist for an appointment, since I may have even had a SECOND small piece of tooth or filling in my mouth yesterday from my upper right wisdom-tooth-rear, which will be a real PAIN to repair! Last few hot-humid days now, so I hope at least my mouse will be working better, though WHEN will Owen call to say he's gotten my message? But all this will pass, as everything will pass, and on into day!

9/9/97: 11:25AM: Still problems with printing, but at least all of ACT II of my play, being read tonight, is printed, only the last sheet remaining in printer to be ejected when I print THIS. 12:32PM: It ALWAYS takes longer than I think it will take to mark up the scripts, print the few "Danny" pages for "C," and make notes to myself what I have to go over with Al and Eric and Danny before we start---as WELL as bundle up the "Welcome" and "Members" sheets to hand out, which I should have done LAST week! But it's all DONE, as well as having fixed up the apartment to REASONABLE shape IN CASE the "Mensans at Leisure" find it raining after they leave the Park Plaza Restaurant and decide to drop in HERE for a taste of Brooklyn Heights---depending on how many there ARE, of course. Got THREE packages from FedEx this morning, two batches of Spectrum's pages and the "final" (one sure hopes) set of pages for the disaster of a Springer-Verlag index that I'll have to get into TOMORROW to find if there are questions or "flow" for which I can legitimately ask for MORE than the allotted $450! So I was able to do ALL the things of this quite-busy week: Starting Tuesday with ACT I at Village Playwrights and dinner after with Charles at Empress Szechuan, Wednesday Carolyn here to find Pete's Downtown after seeing that 1) Cinnamon Tree was no longer on IGT or A la Carte, 2) Stubs is now changed to Brooklyn Cafe which does NOT take IGT, 3) the Mexican place was taken over by "Whatever" (or whatever), and 4) there was an impossibly long line in front of Patsy Grimaldi's and 5) an awful cigar-smoke smell coming out of Cigargoyles, so we ended up at 6) Pete's Downtown for a good dinner with a bottle of wine that made me suspicious of our having the Piper-Heidseik with her pot afterward, but it went down perfectly smoothly, with the Enya thankfully throwing a bliss over the evening that reminded me nostalgically of my nights smoking with John and Bob R. and Arthur M. and lots of OTHERS with wonderful music and superlative grass, hoping that Carolyn wouldn't make a pass at me, and thankfully she didn't. We were almost down when I put on The Orchestra, but she napped only during a little of it and said she enjoyed the evening VERY much when she left about 11:15PM, calling a town car to drive her home. Thursday was taken up with Sherryl and my trip to the NY Hall of Science (right next to the parking-lot-filling Ashe Stadium for the US Open this week) for lunch there and then back to meet Charles at 8PM at Twirl for the Physique Calendar and humorless master of ceremonies, which we left at 9:30 and got to Bolo (which I'd called for reservations for 10PM, but they said they had them only at 9PM, which echoes the Balthasar "no reservations" and then we’d been SEATED in an almost empty restaurant which, admittedly for Balthasar, had then filled up, but at Bolo there were plenty of empty seats and we practically CLOSED the place). The food was good, but we didn't have the lamb shank (forgot to look for it), and it didn't seem great enough to make the trip back for. Friday Shelley and I left for the Casino Boat at 1PM and I got nauseous in the CAR from taking two precautionary Bonines; the ship-ride was quite smooth, we had to pay for mediocre sandwiches and I won the two Scrabble games, but the day was wonderful: sun for her, shade for me, and we got off precisely at 6:30 and drove back home for me to feel positively EXHAUSTED, probably as a side-effect from the Bonine that lasted WELL into the next day and possibly lingers SLIGHTLY even NOW! BAD TRIP! Saturday I still felt wiped out, but I managed to get FINALLY to Pope's, where I decided that a Mac was JUST as uncooperative, user-unfriendly, and unhelpful as any PC, got to the gym, and watched The Naked and the Dead on Channel 13 before falling into bed, having eaten pizza without the Times when it wasn't OUT by 8:45PM! Did the END of the play sometime before this, in three pages, but went to Barbara K.'s birthday party with Carolyn at 1:20-5PM, after getting the Times and spending odd time with the diagramless puzzle, and got home to WRITE ACT II to page 53, with relief! Bed early and up late Monday to futz about before meeting Spartacus at 11:15AM for the mediocre Malaysian (except for GREAT duck with hoisin sauce) buffet at the United Nations, and back to leave for Sandy's dinner at La Mangeoire, bed early, to page 55 today!

9/11/97: 12:15PM: Miscommunications: Got to Park Plaza Restaurant to meet the new "Mensans of Leisure" group at 1PM, but no one was there! When Blanche finally returned my message at 4PM, it was to say she thought I said I could NOT (rather than PROBABLY not) attend, so she didn't think to call me when she got only one response (from the north Bronx) and decided to cancel the day and possibly the entire group. But I didn't have far to go. Reception of ACT II was enigmatic: Andy only said that Al was "babelicious" and Danny thought the two acts didn't fit together and Manuel said he "lost" the "And I Shall Die Before the End of This Play." So HE didn't listen, either. Charmed by the way Erik RESPONDED to the play just as "B" would have: pained puzzlement! What was THAT all about!? Marj said she loved it that night, then she called at 3:10 yesterday just as I was about to get out to the gym, so I said I'd call her at 5:30, which I did, but we got off the phone at 7:30! So when I got the "mystery call" at 10:54PM "Where WERE you," at first I thought it was Alvin calling about his reading of the scripts I gave him Tuesday. But I got his machine! THEN I remembered and called Charles, and I had not only forgotten he'd told me last Thursday, at Twirl, that he'd bought tickets for Rough Passage at the Jean Cocteau for WEDNESDAY, since Thursday was Bill's birthday and he HAD to be back on the island that evening, and that he might NOT be able to attend Tuesday's reading. But I DIDN'T write a note to myself, and even SEEING "Rough Passage?" in my calendar for Wednesday or Thursday made me (as I told Marj this morning) SUBCONSCIOUSLY CONSTRUCT the following: since Charles wasn't IN TOWN Tuesday night, he couldn't have bought tickets on Tuesday, and since he didn't phone me on Wednesday, he didn't buy tickets on Wednesday, and still probably wasn't in town, so there was NO REASON for me to phone him---when he would certainly have REMINDED me about the tickets ($24 each) he'd bought last week. I confessed to Marj, after she confessed some craziness about Stacy's index a couple weeks ago, which I just got messengered to me, that I had to LIE to Charles, unable to ADMIT I'd forgotten, just saying that since he wasn't at the Village Playwrights meeting I assumed he wasn't in town, so we weren't GOING to the play. Marj asked the same question that comes up in MY mind: That really didn't excuse me from acknowledging that I STILL had tickets to the Cocteau last night! But I said that in some intermission or dinner-break I'd probably shame-facedly confess the truth to him, possibly in response to some shame-faced confession he would make to ME about something he forgot, or bobbled, or "was human" about. THEN this morning I woke with the thought: GO to the Cocteau at 6:30, wait around till 6:40, and ask at the box office if there was a ticket left for me, hoping it might be the SAME person as last night, who'd have compassion on me for forgetting I had the ticket LAST night (or confused that the ticket was for THIS evening) and let me sit in some empty seat not claimed because it's supposed to be raining hard this evening and there will probably be SOME cancellations. Charles described the 7 black homeless circling around the elegant crowd waiting outside, so I'll have to confront the same group tonight, probably, but I'll even (at the outside) be hoping to pay ANOTHER $24 and at least SEE the play that's been on my mind so long, even though he DID say the idea was stolen from Moliere before Stoppard stole it from Molnar. Stock market going down and I'm still confident that my $150,000 is safe enough, just finding out that the $7000 is being "debited" to me on a 1099-K, so it'll just be counted as regular income as they said it would be. Also phoned the Rent Stabilization office to make SURE that my 7/96 rent-raise was legal, seeing as some kind of 10/95 service-shortage (no permanent janitorial care) judgment disallowed their application for increased rent due to their (grossly inflated) $20,000 electrical and heat-timer expenditures. Still no sign of Ms. R., and the indexes are now POURING in, and I STILL hope it'll be BELOW last year so my taking out $7000 won't KILL me in taxes, though it will still be bad. Threw out more indexes today, leery of the 9/29/97 PAPER-SEPARATION addition to the recycling rules. Let's hope SOMEONE puts a GREEN can out FOR the papers, then!

9/19/97: 9:20AM: Finished typing DREAMS:9/19/97 with moans about daily living, so this will continue with JOY with the number of indexes coming in at this time, TWO more from Birkhauser, one from ASME, and finished the Vascular Surgery for Spectrum yesterday in good time and large number of lines. But DEFINITELY feel physically challenged, adding the moan that my thumb-arthritis is REALLY worse over the last week, and another moan that the right margin has been regular at the last four, then five, now SIX line-ends, tempting me to look at the word I am about to place at the end of the line to CONTINUE the straight-line progress which was just broken. Monday was BLESSED with absence of noise from upstairs, but the last THREE days have been awful (though it's quiet again now except for banging in a window at Mansion House and noises from Dennis's downstairs at times). GOT to write a letter to R. about the bathroom-sink problem so that I can register a complaint! F. CLEARLY KEEPS messing things up! Nothing on my calendar for the rest of the week, though Charles is interested in doing something and Carolyn finally returned my two calls. OH, and the delight of hearing that my champagne is QUITE RARE, and would sell for about $150 per bottle!! And checks are COMING IN and are DUE, though I have an increasingly postponed Visa balance (for the first time in AGES---maybe EVER---beyond two months), not to mention the escalating interest on the $5000 I owe Rita, not to MENTION the larger bill to Mom---though it's AWFUL to think she'll PROBABLY die before I pay her off, and THAT will cancel the bill. Pope, too, is dickering for entrance to a nursing home at LAST. But my tower-case "tick-tick-tick-CLICKS" back at me, so the IBM hard disk is going wrong again and Owen did NOT show up last night with my new mouse---my old mouse continues to work but even MORE tenuously than before, putting the fear of continuing with indexing safely in my mind, though I know it DOES boot on the B-disk to a C-prompt. DOES boot: DAS Boot? No more now at 9:30: to the letter to R.!!

9/26/97: Week CONCLUDED busily: Friday 9/19 to Tracers and Meriken dinner with Charles. Saturday 9/20 Tibet Does Not Exist, and New York Times. Sunday 9/21 SOAP Dance of Frankfurt at Joyce, dine at Sonargaon with Charles and Spart, then More Stately Mansions, watching TV tape and finishing a book. Monday 9/22 did the awful Neurotoxins index, Tuesday 9/23 decided I HAD to restore the library to the pre-Mensa 9/14 state, doing a little vacuuming before going to VP. Wednesday 9/24 I HAD to get out, so went to TKTS before bussing up to FINALLY get my Chinese visa application in, paying $8 for 4 photos; had lunch at Burger King to get rid of ONE dining-table do-list, saw Side Show and dined at Les Sans-Culottes with Charles. Thursday 9/25 threw out more indexes, sorted through 1996 Christmas cards, went to C. for hepatitis vaccine and a liver-profile blood test. Today 9/26 I phoned Owen again (coming 10PM?), left word with Tony to phone, HAD talked to Vicki and Sherryl and Peter B. and Shelley and Pope, DID get to the gym after SIX days yesterday, and THIS MORNING cleared out the desk-top top-niche, updating MEDICAL [MEDICAL:9/26/97] and COMPCHRO [COMMPCHRO:9/26/97] and finally getting to THESE notes from OVER SEVEN MONTHS AGO (it's about TIME):

Note from 2/11/97: 6:30AM: Another "Dark Night of the Soul": Depressed about 1) Physical condition: a) foot-pad callus: scratch, b) stomach-stuffedness, c) increasing arthritis: hands, neck, knee? toes? d) increasing age--won't be STRONG enough for travel, e) teeth need MORE brushing/care, f) spot at base of right thumb, g) hiatal hernia worsening? h) THIS sleeplessness! 2) Radiators banging. 3) Continuing jury case. 4) Telephone answering-machine loop repeats. 5) Computer troubles: a) Win95 undoability, b) hard-disk fan-whirr? c) Dr. Data WON'T call back. 6) VP non-scheduling collapse? But MOST of those PASSED satisfactorily!!

Note from 2/11/97: CAN'T find Collier: His Monkey Wife. Did I LEND it out? Did I read it from LIBRARY? But it's not ON My "books read" list! Did I read it BEFORE I kept lists? Is it MISFILED somewhere: green paperback, no? 2/13, 12:15AM: FOUND it, it had been DOUBLE-SHELVED behind ECO books!

CONTINUED transcription of very-old notes from desk-top top-niche:

Note from 2/16/97: Kiki Morra and her sister, Glocca, the whore. WAIT, this should go on the seldom-thought-of BON MOT page!

Note from 3/10/97: Jalal ad-din ar-Rumi (EB under J) founded Mawlawiyah (in Turkish: Mevleviya). His TITLE was Mawlana (Our Master). Talked of "mystical love" of two commoners, an ascetic and a goldsmith.

Note from 4/5/97: Shopping: $5.95 cash for hair color, $26.49 at Perelandra for DGL and turmeric, $37.96 at Barney's for Aleve and Vitamin C, $36.94 at Duane Reade for fish oil and ginger, $20.16 at Key Food, $186.60 at Vitamin Trader for multi-vitamins, and $31.00 for AARP Gemfibrozil, for a total of $345.10!!!

Note from 4/15/97: Financial status: "fixed" only by NOT paying IRS estimated taxes!

Note from 5/7/97: Jean-Georges tasting with Paul (wines were a St. Veran and a merlot): 1) lobster and shrimp tartare with orange and carrot sauce, 2) asparagus with HUGE portions of morels, 3) sea scallops under glazed cauliflower, 4) frog-leg soup, 5) halibut under FABULOUS sauce, 6) lobster tartine in sauce/soup and peapods and shallots, 7) squab and foie gras on corn fritter. 8) Desserts: a) strawberry wafer and tofu, b) kiwi tart and "wafer," c) chocolate tort, d) guiverin and sugared leaves and chocolate treats, with home-made marshmallows!

Note from 6/8/97: Tonys: Musicals: Candide(1) for costume design; Chicago(6) for choreography, lighting, direction, revival, Bebe Neuwirth, and James Naughton; Life(2) for Chuck Cooper and Licias(?) White; Titanic(5) for musical, book, orchestration, scenic design and score. Plays: Doll's House(4) for direction, revival, and Owen Trale and Janet McTeer; Ballyhoo(1) for play; American Daughter(1) for Lynne Thigpen; Barrymore(1) for Christopher Plummer; and nothing at all for Steel Pier (closed) or Jekyll and Hyde (cultish).

Note from 8/18/97: FINISHED last-to-be-read stack, started 10/29/96 with 14 books.

Note from 8/18/97: WRITE 12:45AM to 1:45AM, DIRECTS2 for VP#1, turns out 8 pages. 8/19 from 7:25AM to 9:45AM I edit first 8 pages and add 6 more.

Note from 8/20/97: In "Bridge over Troubled Waters" "Sail on silver BIRD" is much more poetic than GIRL. IN "Eleanor Rigby" "All the LOVELY people" more mysterious then LONELY. There are a few other examples I can't think of right now.

More from 9/26/97: 12:05PM: Now that I've HAD the blood test for liver-profile, I would think the pain would VANISH, but it seems to be OMNIPRESENT, which REALLY doesn't make me feel very happy. AND my RIGHT teeth seem to be acting up, maybe because I'm chewing so little on the LEFT---and I STILL haven't upped the frequency of cleaning to more than once or twice a week. Sitting in a sweater because it's CHILLY in here and the heat doesn't have to be on until October 1? Ms. R. called and chatted, but she now has the idea I'm BUSY so she doesn't talk for HOURS. An index on Gene Quantification to finish today, waiting around tonight for Owen to bring a new mouse and look at the print-skipping pages, the first MAN of the season tomorrow, Sherryl coming on Sunday for Atlantic Antic, dentist's appointment on Tuesday, just called Bill P. to bring in something for the not yet scheduled VP time on Tuesday, and the switched-date Met Opera tickets should arrive before Bartoli's Cinderella on November 12. Vicki is searching for a less-crowded bowling place than the 2-hour-wait Chelsea Piers for Saturday the 4th and four of us are going to Yale on Sunday the 5th for John Martin. And I'm STILL "not quite convinced" that the China-Tibet trip is ACTUALLY coming up in SEVENTEEN days!

10/4/97: WHERE AM I NOW? Liver "perfect." Back better today. Tiny filling fell out on left and cracked filling on right, but left wisdom-tooth "spur" filed down OK. Deciding to take BLUE shoulder bag INSTEAD of duffel bag on trip seems somehow a great RELIEF. Trip really is SHORT! Got rid of ill-fitting sheets and VERY dirty jeans and shirt to laundry yesterday to get back before leaving. Two indexes on table ready to go out today, another to be done this morning. Then two BIG ones remain. $4000+ (amount owed VISA!) in bank, another $6000+ due in and $4000+ to be added in next WEEK! Heat STILL not on, but it's not down to 55° yet the past few days. New mouse works OK, MAN went VERY well last week, Sherryl (who gets a breast biopsy 10/16!) and Carolyn and I enjoyed Atlantic Antic on Sunday and let's hope tomorrow's trip to Connecticut is OK. Got e-mail from Don O. and will send one to Helen today about New York magazine nursing article. Vicki now enamored of FreeCell. Printer just went: last line seems to be connected to 10-minute WP5.1 maintenance-save! Ordered $85 Word97 suite from PC Connection with (ungiven) update assumption. Indexes will keep mind occupied next week, with Jean-Georges Monday, Ponte's Tuesday, and wine-tasting Wednesday! And Carolyn over tonight for my tuna (?) and champagne and more grass. But I can't seem to FINISH Actualism session: mind just RACES ON before I get cycled through levels. Anyway, I feel SOMEWHAT good!

10/12/97: 8:45AM: WHERE AM I NOW? Got through a couple of Actualism sessions, which may contribute to general good feelings. Awful COLD that MIGHT be a side effect of my flu shot on Tuesday, since it hit late Thursday night, but I just checked my calendar from last year's 10/15 flu shot and I didn't record ANY cold-like ill effects THAT time. Just checked my October billing from indexes: only $4300, considerably down from what it COULD have been had I finished the $4565 (bigger by far than this year's so-far biggest of $2880!) biggie that will come in NEXT month's figures, but it's STILL only 8th best for index earnings and 6th best earning year when INCLUDING the $7000 IRA withdrawal. All the events went reasonably well: LOADS of interesting paintings and African art awaited us in New Haven, Jean-Georges was not QUITE as overwhelming as with the better-company dinner with Paul the first time, Ponte's poor, and Charles couldn't find me at the wine-tasting so he just LEFT! Triumph of getting front-row seats for $10 each for Iphegenie en Tauride at the New York City Opera through Channel 13 membership, getting GREAT looks at the bodies and hearing the wonderful singing clearly, and adding a pleasant Misalliance yesterday afternoon with Spartacus with so-so mixed grill at Argentine Pavilion afterward. Only packing essentially left to do today, after the Wall Street tour with Spartacus at noon, where I pay him back the $20 from dinner last night he let me keep in case I couldn't get ANY cash from the cement-laying-bound Republic cash machine, which I DID get last night, all planned $400 of it, and could deposit the $700+ checks, too. But Remsen Books was closed so I couldn't get my Lem for reading on the trip. And I guess I should take the Nyquil WITH me on the trip, in my handbag as opposed to the shoulder bag of major articles. Will check e-mail later, watch some of the backed-up videotapes. HELEN just calls (letting me talk with Jimmy, whom she now freely admits has Alzheimer's) to tell me that Jimmy R.'s mother just died at the age of 89. He's now going by the name William G. R., has kidney problems and----and my brain STOPS!---diabetes (as I think of the disease-name after three seconds of wonderment). Will start taking melitonin this evening at 8PM, diamox tomorrow along with my usual morning pills for the "12-hour added" time-border crossings, coincidentally having an EXTRA set of morning pills that I'd forgotten to take a couple of days ago. Hope just over $500 in cash is enough, but I brought back lots of cash from France last time. 40° when I looked out at 8AM this morning and the heat's not substantially on YET. But they've put up new (Zolnezak) names and a carpet at the entrance and John talked them out of painting our doors TURQUOISE. Getting hungry for breakfast now at 9:30AM, will be on planes in LESS than 24 hours! Glad when trip's OVER!

10/13/97: 5:30AM: NOTE from past few hours: 10/12: Bed at 10:50PM, after packing took MUCH longer than I thought it would. Alarm set for 5:50AM for the car that is to come at 6:15 to get me to JFK by 7AM. Think AGAIN about reconfirming my departing flights, and 11:15-11:25 try to get China Eastern Airlines and can get CHINA Airlines and the other numbers don't work. At 11:35 I decide to record Don M.'s California numbers: in L.A. and in Palm Springs. at 12:10AM I think about the computer resetting and buzzing drive B, so I leave a note telling him to take the diskette out (which I change this morning when I can't get the mouse to CLICK, so I have to reset myself, taking out the diskette). Manage to get just over 2.5 hours sleep and up at 2:55AM to pee. Try again to sleep, but at 4AM I can't sleep, decide to stay UP: after all, it "is" mid-afternoon in China! Putting on my socks after showering last night, there was a TREMENDOUS gripping-cramping pain low down in my right groin, that I thought for a terrified instant might be a burst appendix, but a light touch seemed to put some intestinal loop back into place and the pain vanished. Might I have a hernia? Then there was a more-than-usual recurrence of the pain just below my lower-right ribs, where Dr. C. had said the liver felt perfect. Feel the stitch sometimes when I get out of bed: feel that I have to be CAREFUL! Finish packing and putting the video camera wires into separate bags and putting in MORE plastic bags, and weigh the whole thing to find that the blue "big" bag weighs 14 pounds and the brown "light" bag weighs 16 pounds, for a good total of 30, sure to increase with papers and souvenirs. Taking just over $540 in cash, hoping that will be enough. Only one check, since I've not used ANY on recent trips---well, one on the Atlantic Islands boat for tips. Dress and comb hair and decide to have my breakfast pills for breakfast with Wheatena at 5AM. Then start this at 5:30AM when I've finished with everything else I can think to do: checking the "pack" list at LEAST six times, adding lip balm when I see it and include it, and toilet paper when I take THAT in the form of tissues, if needed. Now 5:40AM and car will be here in 35 minutes. Guess I'll take the rotting meat down and the roll of film to the mailbox! Back at 5:50 and take the phone OFF the machine since the car will PHONE when it's here, and put a note to put the phone machine back on, the LAST note I'll leave myself. Depressed about the dumbness of people: the guy who let his dog walk across the fresh cement across the street, the meat-wrapping bottom upside down in a flower patch around a sidewalk tree---the people starting to walk around upstairs already! Passed three people on the street, and one car passed. Day's activities are starting and there's not the SLIGHTEST hint of light outside yet. Not afraid of the plane's CRASHING anymore, just of the BOREDOM and SLEEPLESSNESS of what I'm going to feel on the six hours to L.A. and the 12 hours to Beijing. Should have reserved a seat EARLIER on the L.A. flight, but hoping to find an empty window seat to keep me awake PART of the time at least. Have Sunday's Times puzzles to keep me busy if need be, and there are always books. Throat dry: put Vicks up my nose and try to shit---not that those two are CONNECTED in any way. It occurs to me I won't SEE sunset until Beijing, even though, because of the dateline, it'll be TUESDAY when it sets for me. Now 6:07AM and I'm debating double-checking the car service, but I won't do that until he DOESN'T call, just wanting to get to the bottom of the page so I can print this out and finish the LAST thing to do. Only the trip to Angel Falls left as a MUST-DO trip, and THAT is only a three-hour plane ride, or maybe that's from Florida, but anyway NOT NEAR as long as this, which next time I must try to break up with lots of stops between, like with someone like Don on the west coast to break up the ENTIRE day of plane-riding, which I'm not looking forward to. But if I can sleep in the DAYTIME today, I'll be sleeping in the NIGHT in China, and getting time-changed in the RIGHT way, not in the EUROPE-way I was doing by going to bed EARLIER and getting up EARLIER. I'd have to get up at 5PM and go to bed at 9AM if I wanted to adjust to China-time in NYC, and THAT would just be SILLY. Not that anything ELSE is much OTHER than that, at 6:10AM 10/13! TRAVEL:CHINATIBET

11/7/97: WHERE AM I NOW? Just so MANY things to do after getting back from a trip: catching up with the mail and magazines, which I did for the most part of yesterday, phoning people, which took most of the remaining time on Wednesday before I came twice and crashed, only to wake at 3:15AM and stay up, taking a nap---but all this should be at the end of my trip notes, which is ANOTHER thing I'm not looking forward to, though it should be "only" about 16 pages again. Feel "out of sorts" because of jet lag, though I managed to stay in bed until 5:30 this morning, hoping that I'll survive the opera all right tonight with Charles. Thank goodness the enormous Spectrum book isn't NEAR finished with pages, though ASME has sent TWO books for me to do ASAP, but the first one isn't due until next week. Just threw out old indexes, and this page is IN PART being typed now to clear the printer of the INDEXES DONE page, which is MUCH longer this year than I expected it to be. The news of the demise of the indexing business is STILL premature. Refused to see Carolyn for lunch today, partly not to talk to HER about my trip before talking to EVERYONE on Monday at 6:30, and partly because I'm tied up with things here (though it was nice to take a couple of hours early yesterday to catch up with the MAS days and new programs---though I think I should just drop it since it hardly deals with things that interest me---, [to use a Nicholson Bakerian dashcom] and with some FreeCell games and winning two Mahjongg games). Might have to take a nap this afternoon, too, since I'm feeling heavy-eyed and vaguely sick, though it just means I'm tired. Having trouble balancing my checkbook after the past month's activities, being off by something like $100 but I can't find why. Also called Sherryl again, though I'd thought not to get back to her until she phoned ME, but I just felt I had to tell her that Vicki told me about her lumpectomy and I'm holding the best wishes that everything comes out all right. Lots of enthusiasm for Monday at 6:30, which is pleasant: it will concentrate on the IDEAS of Tibet and China so that the subsequent slides (which I've GOT to package and get out today!) will be able to concentrate only on the VISUAL side of the trip, though I've committed myself to going through the almost six hours of videotape to choose highlights to illustrate what I'm going to be talking about. Mildred is taking care of Thanksgiving dinner at wonderful Lespinasse, which I hope Charles can make, though I suspect he'll probably have to be with Bill on the Island. Which will leave Ken to join us, whom Mildred doesn't particularly like, and I must admit he's not the flashiest of conversationalists. Got all the dirty clothes away and most of the unpacking done except for the souvenirs, the large, bulky ones of which I've got arrayed on the dining room table to show off for Monday evening, and to which I'll add most of the books, hiding the tiny slips of paper that indicate my own compulsions. Felt great putting $5852 in checks into the bank yesterday, so that I can finally pay off the Choice Visa account and maybe even have something left over to pay estimated taxes, with $2800 still due in and a partial billing of $1500 for the Spectrum book into the bargain, though they've taken over a month to pay the recent bills. My "D" drive seems to be acting up again, giving that bouncy klink when it comes in and out of usability. My new mouse has worked OK, but I still have to learn how to do indexing with Word for Windows. Laundry to get out, Tony to get over here some evening, the trip-list to make up as described on the last pages of the trip-notes, and lots of operas to be seen: let's hope that we continue to get great first- and second-row seats for my Channel 13 $10-entry card! Depressing that sunset is at 4:45 these evenings: I thought that didn't happen until the middle of DECEMBER! Jerked off again last night, which should take the edge off for a few days, and I can't even THINK about starting in at the gym again, though I SHOULD start taking the hyper-expensive pills from China to TRY to get some help with lessening pain in my thumbs from arthritis. It would be nice if SOMETHING worked, since the glucosamine obviously hasn't done any good. Good Carolyn is bringing some merlot to help after my $150-champagne bottle, maybe others will volunteer to bring snacks so I won't have to worry about them.

11/13/97: 1PM: LOTS going on! Owen will get a soundcard so I can play my terracotta-warriors CD-ROM, and is looking into my V32bis SupraFax modem to see if it can usefully be replaced by something faster, unless my phone lines won't handle it (there being a diagnostic PROGRAM downloadable to test IF a CONNECTED 56k modem is POSSIBLE on my lines, and maybe Owen will bring over a 56k to TEST them). Tony's supposed to call this afternoon, but the apartment is rather cool, so IF he calls (which I refreshed the video-battery for) I'll have to heat up the room! Got out the trip notebook to transcribe, changed the printer ribbon, but then I was on the phone with Marj for about an hour and a half as I talked about my recent memory-lapses, the party on Monday, and sending Facades to Kentucky and to E.S.T., which she insists should NEVER be pronounced "est." LOTS of things I have to do, so I sat down and played 4-5 games of FreeCell before opening WP5.1, tried to find where I'd transcribed something about the trip before, but couldn't find it and decided it must have only been on the preceding page. OK, let's PRINT this to see if Ribbon G works at all, and get ON with a new file in the TR directory about my Tibet/China trip! Don't really WANT to take the time to get to bottom of page!

11/16/97: 8:45AM: Tony didn't show up, haven't sent Facades out yet, though I now have a dark-print ribbon for copies of play. Just finished the last of 14 pages of TIBET travel, but still have to "amalgamate" dreams to one page and perform other statistical tables: 1) times-waking-at-night, 2) shopping vs. TOUR hours, and 3) j/o update. The Monday slide-group started at 8, but Vicki had to take Sherryl to the doctors for her (good) pathology results, so we 7 were me, Charles, John, Arnold, Pope, Mildred, and Carolyn, all of whom enjoyed the others, but I was SO tired I really DIDN'T participate. Calculated the COST of the champagne we drank: 1) Zalacain $83.55, 2) Centenaire $35.73, 3) Lucas Carton $146.18, 4) Crillon $130.87, 5) Guy Savoy $206.87, 6) Ritz $97.90, 7) Taillevent sadly NOT KNOWN, estimated at $190, 8) Grenouille NOT KNOWN, estimated at $110, 9) Bernardin about $120, 10) Le Cirque about $160, for a total of $1280. Figuring 16 glasses from two bottles, that's $80 a glass, and if I ARTIFICIALLY include the supposed $300 purchase price for 15 glasses, that would "add" $20/glass, making a grand total of $100.00 per glass of bubbly! Gave a heat-complaint yesterday, and the bedroom thermometer registered 65° this morning when I got out of bed. Started watching TV tapes, but Bob L. lent me Fedora and Spartacus lent me two MORE tapes last night, so I STILL have a stack to watch though I've WATCHED a lot already. FORCED myself to stay up to 11:30 last night because Charles should be buying tickets for us to Cremaster 5 tonight at 10:30, which will get me to bed after midnight. Yet to buy the Sunday Times, have note to check books out of library to read since I'm starting the LAST book I have yet unread!, and hope I can find a spare ticket to Xerxes this afternoon, though I have the Homogeniuses meeting as a backup before going to meet Charles and Sherryl for dinner at Svoboda at 6:30. Busy busy! Keep thinking of books, tapes, movies, cassettes, souvenirs, travel stuff, stamps to re-sort and reduce and clear out, not to mention the absolutely FILTHY carpets and kitchen floor, though they're in the process of painting the hallways, which leaves a fine white dust over everything, which John complains bitterly about. Got cash from the bank, but STILL the bulk of my $5800 hasn't cleared for paying bills! Depressing that it gets dark so early, about 4:30PM, while there's OVER A MONTH left before the period of MAXIMUM darkness and the slow upward slog toward daylight. Still stacks of magazines to catch up with, waiting for slides to come back for the increasing list of people who want to see them, including Kit, Barbara K., maybe even the Y.s. Calendar filling up, jet lag hopefully over THIS week, though it would have usually been LAST week when I was younger. Still haven't taken definite steps to solve my sexual aloneness problem; still hasn't heard from Don M., though Marilyn is "back" with a woman who TOURED Venezuela and who knows a gay Black in the neighborhood I should meet. Let's hope it all HAPPENS!

11/19/97: 7:20AM: DISAPPOINTMENTS: A) STAMP COLLECTING. When I was a kid, it was magical: colorful messages from all different parts of the world, or from different times in the United States. Then complications began to set in, in roughly the order that I recall my disappointments: 1) CONDITION was important. It MADE A DIFFERENCE that some of my Polish stamps were glued together. I had valued them because they were unused, but because they were "beasts with two backs" that I couldn't soak free of each other, they were relatively valueless. 2) PERFORATIONS were important. I found I had to use the pesky perforation-card measurements if I wanted to distinguish between cheap, more recent stamps and more valuable, older stamps. I couldn't just LOOK at the stamp and tell which it was. 2a) PERFORATIONS were also important by their presence: if I was missing one or two of them, I was disappointed to find that they just weren't as TRADABLE as others that were perfect. 3) OTHER STAMP COLLECTORS became disappointing: they wanted to trade stamps according to VALUE, rather than just "I don't have that one, you don't have this one: let's trade." So you had to refer to CATALOGS and CATALOG NUMBERS and CATALOG VALUE. 4) But then, VALUES were relative: Scott Stamp Catalog prices weren't GOSPEL: you could buy stamps at 1/2, or 1/3, or even 1/10 Scott value. 4a) And of course the ULTIMATE value disappointment was that the Scott "value" was only the price they wanted for SELLING ME A COPY of that stamp: they would SELL me a recent US stamp I'd missed for TWICE its face value, but it wouldn't BUY ANY stamp from me for the value printed in its catalog! What a disappointment! 5) As I grew older, CONTEMPORARY STAMP COLLECTORS just vanished, except for oddities like Bill H., who used old US mint as postage when their values didn't appreciate as he'd hoped. I was left with no one to trade with, even when I tried going to "stamp clubs" that were only groups of people with enormous stock-books looking to sell stamps to unwary newcomers. 6) Then even the CATALOGS betrayed me: where they had once printed each pretty picture, now sets were represented by only their LOWEST value, and I had to read the fine print and try to identify the stamp from a DESCRIPTION and a COLOR, which was much more difficult to do. 7) COUNTRIES made the catalog problem more difficult when they started MULTI-YEAR DENOMINATIONS with the SAME picture, even though Scott tried to keep up with its ONLY SOMETIMES helpful listing of "see also #xxx-xxx." That caused a problem with ALBUMS: do I keep the stamps in catalog-number order or collect sets THROUGH THE YEARS, which was difficult, since in most cases sets were "continuing" when I would have liked them to FINISH AND GO TO A DIFFERENT SET. 8) "FALSE" countries began issuing stamps: first they weren't listed at all, causing problems, then Scott started its "For the Record" section, which made cataloging more difficult and album displays even more problematic---since these Ajman and Fujeira and Equatorial State of Guinée masses weren't really STAMPS, but only fund-raising rip-offs by Emirates or Communist parties, they couldn't be legitimized by album-space. 9) UNLISTED countries were even more difficult: how could I even ORDER Cuba or North Vietnam or North Korea when Scott didn't even list the COUNTRY as collectible? 10) Is it age or are the PRINT SIZES and PICTURE QUALITIES in the Scott catalog getting smaller and harder to distinguish. It's not FUN looking through for a new stamp anymore. 11) The age of AUTOMATION has even begun destroying STAMPED ENVELOPES: Mary V. is supplying me with more and more PREPAID envelopes, ELECTRONIC-TAG envelopes that aren't really stamps, other stickers and tags and privileges that seem capable of ELIMINATING stamps eventually from foreign countries! 12) The DAMP IN MY CLOSET didn't help, when some of my "complete United Nations" collection was destroyed by a downspout leak, RIGHT where I was storing them! It's true that cornstarch rescued SOME of them, but my United Nations collection is NO LONGER complete: thank goodness I stopped ordering "one of each" BEFORE I found that I'd been undermined in the MIDDLE of my collection. 13) My COMPULSION to fill PLASTIC TRAYS has even taken over my compulsion to FILL ALBUMS: some plastic-tray stamps, I'm sure, are UNIQUE!

Also from 11/19/97: 7:45AM: DISAPPOINTMENTS: B) INTERNET: First I joined MAS and it seemed a great help with starting out with PC computers: how to transfer data from my Radio Shack to my PC. I logged on a couple times a week and participated in some of the chat. 1) Then MAS GOT TOTALLY TECHNICAL, so that currently when I look at the chat, I'm not interested in ANY of it. Have been thinking for a number of months that it's not even WORTH it. 2) DOWNLOADING has lost its charm: I'd downloaded SO MANY PROGRAMS that I looked at once and decided not to use, and so many OTHERS that I decided I WOULD use and just DIDN'T! 3) InterCom seemed cheap and interesting, but then it got more expensive and offered less service, finally NOT wanting to support me WITHOUT Windows 95 (and maybe sabotaging my modem, or exchanging it for a less-capable one), so I LEFT them when AT&T was reported to have a FREE service. 3) But AT&T was charging $5/month by the time Dr. Data finally connected me to it, which seemed OK since it was still less than InterCom, but I seemed to USE it less and less for e-mail, CHECK it less and less so e-mail wasn't PRACTICAL for any BUSINESS use, so when, now, it's going up to $10/month, it just isn't WORTH it. 4) INTERNET ITSELF isn't charming anymore: I don't want to use the chat rooms as Bob R. does, most of the connections I try are SELLING things, the GRAPHICS take too long to download, and VIDEOS are simply more satisfying for SEX-graphics. Not to mention that NETGUIDE seems to have gone out of business in the middle of my subscription! 5) Made myself a note this morning to check with John, Vicki, Carolyn, Pope, Spartacus, and Suzie the idea that I'll be getting OFF Internet. No use checking with Susan, since she seems to be VANISHED! JOHN doesn't care. MIGHT get back to MAS and check on what I seem to remember are FREE e-mail handlers. Will of course keep (and maybe even update, if Owen finds a good price) my modem for the occasional FAX-use and a possible FUTURE return to SOME kind of e-mail connection.

11/22/97: 1:20PM: Sometimes it just doesn't pay to TALK to someone: A) got an e-mail from Bernice, so I phoned her to hear 1) about her 27-year-old nephew's suicide by hanging from a bridge in NYC because he was facing a 6-month's sentence for his third DWI charge, a problem he'd had "for the past 14 years, so the parents were in part relieved that his problem was OVER with," 2) about Valda's "total immersion in work, a complete change of image with no hope of help, maybe has emphysema and is very sick," 3) about Alice recovering from two hip replacements, Elizabeth no longer working, Penny working just a bit, and Stan getting crazed about "doing what's always been done," though the BIG troublemaker has been removed from the Board of Directors. B) talk to Suzie, who says that 85-year-old Mack can BARELY move with his bad knee, thought Garnet Hill was at the peak of color when the thermometer didn't move above 32° for her first two days, and I told her she COULD consider me a possibility for a few days at Letchworth in May with the G.s---SHE'D drive us both up if I wanted. Then Shelley picks me up for brunch at 200 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, under the influence of at least FOUR (Shelley thought there may have been five or even SIX, which I doubt) Kir Royales, and she took VERY WELL the ticket she got even though I was out at the car with a quarter BEFORE the 3:20 which would have been the ORDINARY expiration of the meter, but he gave her the ticket ANYWAY, which she thought would be $45 and she paid without thinking, just as she paid the $250/month garage fee, thinking that it was "one vacation a year at $3000, but it gave her a vacation EVERY DAY from thinking where to put the car." I'm typing now at 4:30, thinking to jerk off because of the buzz from the champagne, but decide to balance my checkbook from the mail and finish this page and do the MEDICAL:11/22/97 note BEFORE watching the end of Nobody's Fool, noting that F. isn't coming TODAY but on Monday or Tuesday, and noting John's call about the globe-light in the hallways (a GREAT improvement over the fluorescent tubes), and things are GETTING done, and GETTING caught up with, and note MAN tomorrow at the video studio, which should be fun, and still have lots of things to look at for the FLORENCE trip!

12/1/97: 2:25PM: Just printed the letter to OAT complaining about shopping and my having to pay $147 for a room at the Wyndham that should have been discounted. Paul is packing to leave, and people upstairs are tromping around.

12/10/97: 10PM: WANTED to get down my thoughts on going to the annual Internet circus at the Javits Center: the hundreds---THOUSANDS!---of exhibits, the search for free diskettes I can send out indexes on, currently replaced more often by CDs, and the candies: whipped chocolate with nuts wrapped in gold foil, other chocolates circled in emerald foil that I pop into my mouth and find that they have an ADDITIONAL paper cup beneath them that I have to fish, dripping and sticky, from my chocolatey mouth, and what look for a distance like jelly bears that turn into jelly SNAKES that mash suggestively like tripe or intestines between my teeth, surprisingly resilient like the flesh of a snake might actually be. Then the salesmen (and women, but who notices THEM): the successful ones talking and gesturing and expanding their egos to a listening audience, and the unsuccessful ones looking wanly out at the passing crowds, wondering why they've failed, how they don't appeal, almost as someone cruising who doesn't get all the attention they desire and feel bewildered concern about their lack of activity. But THIS time I had NO inclination to try ANY of the three "hole-in-one" golfing games, ANY of the intriguingly empty demonstration screens from numbers of companies (I'd debated about going early on the first day of their three, thinking it might be the most crowded, but it was blessedly UN-crowded), and I couldn't get into it at all: NONE of the signs appealed to me, NONE of the advertisers sold me on their product, NONE of the promises and gimmicks and "improvements" impressed me as "I gotta get THAT." But it WAS all Internet: not MUCH hardware, and the serial processors and other modules seemed out of place. Even looked to see if Juno were there, but it wasn't, which reminds me that I haven't checked back to MAS to see if there's a number for it, nor with Owen as to where my soundboard is. But then I've been rather RELIEVED this day, as will be described below.

Also from 12/10/97: 10:07PM: HAPPY for a moment when Mercy said that I didn't have to give her the corrections over the phone, that the pages would CONTINUE to be corrected into the future, and I could just mail the pages with errors I've found in with the INDEX. So THAT pressure is off me! Finished the third of the three library books last night, so I could Xerox the pages I wanted to save this morning before going off to the Javits Center, AND I got finished with the 40-minute video on the CAVES trip this evening. Then watch the San Francisco Opera House's gala on fund-raising Channel 13 (having dumped out the entire contents of an enormous white bag to NOT be able to find my December Channel 13 booklet), and get ready to tape Arthur Clarke's Colors of Infinity at the WORST possible time, but as soon as I finish this page and print it out, I'll start FreeCell to occupy the fund-raising minutes. Everyone on the program raving about the mediocre Stravinsky Rake's Progress at the Met, particularly by guests Sam Ramey and Jerry Hadley, who WERE in the cast that Charles and I saw. But then there were the incomprehensible stretches in the 10.5 hours at the Saturday AIDS Dance program at St. Marks in the Bowery, the head-scratching messing-around in Geography at the BAM preview (WITHOUT the wonderful caramel crunchies furnished by La Cucina that graced Spartacus and me at the Part and Messiaen rehearsal on Friday) at the Majestic, which Carolyn tried to say I did NOT direct her to, but then she hasn't returned my jar of Magic Mushrooms, either. Tomorrow is another dentist's appointment and then dinner at the Y.s'. AND I'm getting a THIRD index from Springer-Verlag to bring the year to a rousing financial close, though I've probably billed all the amounts---hmmm, JUST checked and I DID borrow ANOTHER $7000 that I'd forgotten from Rita: the $7000 from my IRA withdrawal was in AUGUST!! AND have to get the CHRISTMAS page typed and at least the foreign ones sent out: which means I have to get CHRISTMAS STAMPS. The list of things to do is UNENDING!!

12/13/97: 7:10PM: The moment of happiness on 12/10 (above) didn't last very long. Played FreeCell much too much. They didn't have my appointment written down (was glad I took my appointment SLIP!) so I had to wait until Dr. Orthodoxou was free, then had to pay for last time's cleaning AND this time at $39, a bargain, except that my lip was numb even INTO the dinner at the Y.s', which turned out to be quite wonderful, though my videotape did have a few longeurs, but they seemed to enjoy it. We also seemed to have planned to meet in Chicago in the summer! I DID get my year-letter typed on the 11th, but AGAIN got caught up in FreeCell, tired from the fruitless day (with loaded shopping bag nonetheless) at Internet World, though I did get some more merge-messages typed out. Friday was a disaster: waiting for a conference call between the author of the Java Tutorial in California and Sarah at Addison in Massachusetts and me in NYC! But it never came, so I never got to the gym, watched some fund-raising on Channel 13, and AGAIN got involved in FreeCell until 7:05, when I had to leave for Thicker Than Water at E.S.T. with Charles, which wasn't that great. Nor was the dinner at Julian's when he refused to eat in Old San Juan because the diners were fat and loud, though Julian's surpassed the evening with loudness eventually, blaring forth Christmas carols from the jukebox. Home at 1AM, resisting FreeCell. Today at least I got to the gym to make up for yesterday's laziness (and it fits in nicely with the afternoon MAN tomorrow), phoned Rita for almost an hour to celebrate her 50th birthday, and she clarifies that the $5000 was from MOM and the $7000 was from HER, but she'll take care of my payments. Mom (awful to say, but, sadly) is NOT declining! Then Vicki calls to cancel her and Sheila out of Cafe Pierre because it's too expensive, alienating both me and Mildred, who's now trying to find someone else to go with us if the Pierre will charge her credit card for people at this late date. Got through the mail, finished the last New Yorker Cryptic Puzzle, which had stymied me for three days, and found that I hadn't updated the Christmas Card List earlier this year. So I fixed that up and printed it and decided I had to do THIS page just to GET MY FEELINGS OUT and to print it to eject the card-list so I can WRITE on it as I send out the cards, having given the first one to Spartacus when I FINALLY returned his and Bob's tapes and clippings, clearing the table from THAT. AND read the Geography pre-review in last Sunday's Times without learning ONE SINGLE THING more about it. Got more Xmas cards today, and lots of "business and charity" ones, some of which I threw out, some of which I kept to add to the list. Depressed that Charles and I couldn't find anything at Audience Extras to interest us when Clue was taken today at 6PM and 9PM, though out of desperation I did get it for us tomorrow, adding to the Open House for the Ford Theater at 10:30AM and MAN from 3-7. GOT to get the foreign cards out to the post office tonight before picking up the Sunday Times, which the sofa has to be readied for by moving the stuff from Internet World to the OTHER sofa. Seem to have gotten ANOTHER indexing job from Princeton for January, which is going to be uncharacteristically billable! But still have to pay the SEPTEMBER estimated taxes next week, which will deplete my checking account until more checks come in: the first partial bill for $1500 to Spectrum is now TWO days overdue, but Mercy said she'd check it. Spartacus poked fun at my pot before serving me two cookies, grinning when I said, "But I haven't been to the gym yet!" NO ONE has said anything about my haircut: I guess it's just old hat. Mixing a metaphor. Just as I'm finishing the LAST book I had to read (Hofstadter's unsatisfying cognitive computing work), I get a card from BPL that the FIRST of the four books I requested has arrived, so I put THAT on the table to do next week, along with the Metropolitan Opera tickets to change, the reservations for Florence to be made, the rest of the Christmas cards and letters to be sent out, the Spectrum index to finish, the Java code-sample index to price and specify, and VACUUMING and cleaning the FILTHY kitchen floor finally to be done now that they've finished painting the hall and my bathroom, and the heat seems to be reliable at LAST! End of page!!

12/16/97: 9:10AM: Got dressed so that I wouldn't be caught the THIRD day in a row in my bathrobe for a 9:05AM delivery, but the buzzer hasn't buzzed yet, though the DOGS are barking, a new pain-in-the-ass. Mercury retrograde does cause problems: Clue was canceled Sunday night, so Charles and I ended up going to the Angelica where The Sweet Hereafter was the logical choice, and the woman behind me made me slouch down in my seat, rather uncomfortable, for the entire screening. MORE uncomfortable are my THUMBS, and, lying in bed tired last night after reading some of the latest New Yorkers just to try to get the pile down from a constant SEVEN magazines (surprised when January's Scientific American came yesterday!), found that I could feel my TOES, KNEES, and even ELBOWS beginning to throb with the arthritis-tingle that's intensified in my thumbs so that I feel them almost CONSTANTLY, including now when I'm typing. Sunday was full of misplanning: Charles and I met (separately, since I was so late he'd gone inside) to view the Ford Center at 10:45AM but it was too cold for Charles to visit the Borders bookshop on 57th and Park, or the Lord & Taylor windows on Fifth, or even walk to the library to get warm with me to pass the time IN town from noon until going to MAN at 3PM, so I went home where I USED the time effectively to get Christmas stamps at the post office with my Visa, which I used for LOTS of groceries when all I really needed was milk and salad stuff (but ended up with $32+), and then got to Sherryl's tearful call for "a friend" to console her for having to make a chemotherapy decision with new recommendations from her radiation oncologist, as opposed to her oncologist, which Vicki said was only causing a problem with Sherryl's "need to control," and Vicki said she WOULD phone Mildred to apologize for canceling to keep on the good side of her for future encounters. VERY aware of things to FIX: got to get to the ROOF to check the antenna to see if there's a problem THERE with my TV reception that RUINED my chance of seeing the new version of Stanley and Livingston after struggling through the dreadful copy of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book AFTER ANOTHER Channel 13 glitch to add to NOT showing a REPEAT of Cirque de Soleil, which I wanted to tape, but ANOTHER showing of Andrea Bocelli (though I'll be getting a tape of the THREE Cirque de Soleil videos from Spartacus to MORE than make up for it): they didn't show Fonteyn and Nureyev yesterday at 8, but Abbey, with Alan Bennett, for a SECOND time, though I watched it with interest. AND now there's someone banging DOWNSTAIRS again!! Also have to take care of the HI-FI going bad twice with Carolyn while we were smoking: and new advertisements DON'T show turntables to add to the tuner-amplifier of mine which will obviously soon need replacement. Speaking of replacements, I DID get a replacement AIR CONDITIONER by being home Sunday afternoon: as I was going out to MAN, the women downstairs lugged their slightly used conditioner to the curb to be taken: "Does that WORK?" "Absolutely: we said it'd be gone in a minute." So I took it, lugging it upstairs, thankful it's lighter than my old one, and, after some thought, stored it beside the dining room table, which is becoming the storage-area for the apartment, meaning I DO HAVE TO get to the disposal of many of the books to open the space for more storage. Got more videotapes from Spartacus, still have spare camcorder tapes (now that I know which are free, from having made my list), and intend to address about 5-6 MORE Christmas cards this morning to add to the 19 I finished last night to be mailed today to finish the MOST of THAT task, conscious that I'd better get to the reprint of I Shall Die At The End Of This Play before the 31st deadline! Think also to update the restaurant list and USE it more often: it's REALLY fallen into disuse in the last year---see to my surprise that I used it NOT AT ALL in 1997 (well, I DID go to Ponte's and Brawta and Cucina, just didn't RECORD it there!)! About time to update the book-wanted list, too, and check Coliseum for the last few hard-to-get ones after trying the last chance for the Remsen special-order and the Strand half-price section. And lots of MUSEUMS to see before the end of the year, including Asia House this afternoon with Charles, which has no near-restaurant for lunch BEFOREhand from my list.

12/18/97: 11:15PM: A Christmas letter to Elizabeth typing away in the background, a new printer-ribbon working nicely to print out the FINISHED Pregnancy index tomorrow---things are going WELL. Tempted to read more of the magazines to get rid of them. FOUND a near-restaurant in Payard for Tuesday, and had a BUSY day: talked lengthily to Rolf H. about his markings for his index on Materials, looked at Borders bookshop, walked up to lunch at Payard, then to a GREAT Mandala exhibit that impressed me so much (with photos of the bronze 3-D mandala I'd seen in the Potala!). I had to BUY it for $27! Then to a Village Playwrights meeting that the actress didn't show up for so it was canceled in time for me to get a good seat for Terrence McNally speaking from 7-8:30, and then home to talk to shitting Bill P. about the lack of meeting. Finished 4752 lines for the $4565 from Spectrum for the index in only 33:35 so far, so will make somewhat in excess of $126/hour if I can print and mail it in two hours, except that I have all the pages to extract to send in for corrections. THEN I can start working on the first 100 pages of the Materials book to see how the density is, and will be getting the last pages of the Java Tutorial tomorrow with the specification of NO Code Example Index, except for indications in the solitary index FOR examples. Glad that I sent a card to Gladys G., because I got a card from her today. Almost more cards from BUSINESSES than from PEOPLE. Well, the P.s from the CAVES trip, the people who did NOT like it at all! Have they nothing better to do than send cards to people on a trip they didn't like? Found that the wire from the antenna is SEVERELY frayed, so it'll have to be replaced, except that the reception this evening of Channel 13 wasn't that bad at all, and Nicolas Hubbe was totally seductive in the Marsalis jazz-piece. As planned, the naproxen sodium from AARP arrived this very day, PRECISELY when I needed it, and the shipping cost will more than make up for not having to go out and find it at some small price. Playing many games of FreeCell, and it DOES seem that all of them are solvable, though not always on the first go-round. Then there was the SHOWER from the bathroom-doorway last night that Judy seemed NOT to want to take responsibility for: "Probably the pipes are leaking." But they haven't leaked for the past MONTHS, and Ed had to talk to her in the BATHROOM, so I SHOULD have taken up her invitation to go upstairs and see if there were no water on the bathroom floor as she said. Tried phoning F. for about half an hour but his line was always busy, so I had to settle for telling him this morning, and he seemed to be on my side. Two more indexes to do and then it'll be time to transcribe the year's activities from the datebook. About time to clear out the desk-drawer for next year's files, too. Not to mention throwing away Dennis's files from his other file cabinet and figuring where to put the one still sitting in the middle of the living room floor. I phoned hardly anyone today and let Arnold and Ken call ME about possibly visiting (Arnold didn't), and dinner tomorrow (returning my call), respectively. Will HARDLY get all the answering Christmas cards back before Christmas: running WAY behind schedule as it is. Still haven't looked at the pile of stuff from Internet World, either. But the SECOND card came back from BPL, so my gamble to wait until next week is paying off: maybe I'll even get the third or fourth by then. But still no check from Spectrum! Not enough in the bank yet to pay off the September estimated taxes, which I DO want to do before the end of the YEAR! Then the plants are CRYING to be taken care of: dead stalks and leaves removed from around the windows, fast-growing aloes to be replanted in their root-out pots. Been trying to bind and take down the newspapers for three Tuesdays straight now, but no luck so far. My winter coat has about had it: will wear my cashmere tomorrow night (and to Titanic tomorrow afternoon, just to prove to Spartacus that I HAVE a good coat), spend the rest of the afternoon in the library before going to La Grenouille at 7PM with Ken and two of his friends. AND have to check whether Matt has anything to say about my slow downloading from MAS. Now an effective do-list to check for things to do by the end of the year, when I finish with my indexes and start searching for tasks to occupy my time WITHOUT playing FreeCell.