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2006 October thru December

TUESDAY, 10/17/06: 8:25AM (by coincidence, the SAME time just ABOVE): Finished typing the BUDAPEST log at 7:47AM, did a few more things; then decided I had to find how many Mefloquine I needed for the Amazon trip. So I had to find how many I had. So I looked in the Peru-trip file, not there; looked in the medicine cabinet, not there; WHERE could I have PUT them? Look in the dop kit, not there; look in the "spare travel" bag, taking out everything on the bed to make sure I don't miss it, not there; look in the medicine cabinet AGAIN, not there; sift through the Peru-trip stuff again, not there; getting DESPERATE!; get a chair and look to see if it may have fallen OUT of the "spare travel” bag on the top shelf, not there; take EVERYTHING, piece by piece, out of the medicine cabinet, not there. TRULY DESPERATE! Look through the Peru-trip stuff for the THIRD time---and there are the two Mefloquine in their wrinkled silver wrapping. HOW could I have missed them the FIRST TWO times through??? But HAVE them, and I've TYPED this, and it's 8:31AM, and I'm starving for breakfast! Start watching AKA with breakfast, and have to finish it, followed by Shaun of the Dead, really campy. Somehow through the day I clear the table of the stuff from the trip except for souvenirs, finish the last of the egg foo yung for lunch, see the Gary Cooper slides through Heights-Hill and get to St. Margaret's for Libya slides to see a concert version of Norma underway with not-bad singers, and somehow think the slides will be after that, but it goes on and on and finally I ask the clerk behind the desk, who points me to the numerous signs directing people who aren't blind to the back room where the slides are being shown. See the last 20 minutes, telling myself the place really isn't THAT interesting. Back to have more tuna, watching The Devil's Backbone until my eyes just CLOSE. I take a whole melatonin; bed 10:30.

WEDNESDAY, 10/18/06:  Wake at 2:50, 3:25, 4:25, and pee at 4:40 . Jerk off 5:20-6:11, in bed VERY WELL! Shit and put stuff away and back to bed at 6:51AM. Start Actualism, get only to Will, and wake at 8:02 with INCREDIBLE dream that I transcribe for me and Sharon [DREAMS:10/18/06]. 9:10AM: Just finished recording the incredible dream, printing it out for Sharon this afternoon, and really MUST have breakfast now. Breakfast while watching the end of the film, then MUST do something useful, so at 10AM I decide to take photos of MAPS for the slide-shows that don't HAVE them: #19 Budapest, #20 World, #21 Kenya/Tanzania, #22 Germany with Fred in red, but fear it won't be in focus! #23 Morocco with Ken, even more out of focus? #24 Caribbean with a FLASH yet. #25 Madagascar and South Africa, #26 Yugoslavia and Greece, more and more desperate that these won't work out at all, tipping the lamp on the side so the camera isn't tempted to use flash, but they just won't be in FOCUS because they're too SMALL. I'm sweating and terribly uncomfortable, but determined to use up the roll. #27 Ireland, #28 Scotland, #29 Spain, #30 France, #31 Venezuela, but disheartened, so I follow my original idea to use up the roll with shots of the apartment: #32 my stamp-collection storage unit, #33 my file-box storage unit, #34 panorama of stuff atop "kitsch" cabinets, #35 panorama of stuff atop "prime souvenirs" cabinets, #36 my balcony view from inside the apartment, #37 new buildings blocking my East River view. Finish about 11AM, prepare them for Express Mai1, sending two "Akron" puzzles to Rita, and make out the deposit slip for all the indexing checks that came 4 in the mail. 0ut in shirts1eeves in warm-feeling 63-degree weather to get four fu1l bags of groceries, having sandwich and salad for lunch for the first time since my trip, and watch Ken's Night Moves, interrupted by a call from Kenneth P. that I answer "What do you want?" when he asks for Mr. Zolnerzak and I think it's a sales call, and then apologize profusely when he says who he is, telling me about I401(k) and will send me the application for it, which has to be before December 31. Call C. for a flu shot but they won't have them until maybe even the first week of November!

SHARON B. 3       10/19/06

Worried about what to eat before the American Ba11et Theater gala and get out to Sharon just before 4:30, hoping she's there for our 4:45 appointment, and she says she made it for 4:30! I don't argue, which is one of our main topics: I'm not so demanding of myself (allowing me to play Spider or sudoku when I want to, without jeopardizing anything that MUST be done), or of others: letting arguments just lapse, like with Spartacus and Mildred. She seems to want to say that Mom gave me my self-pushing desire for perfection, but I also describe her sister Helen, who hosted me for a year in California. I talk of some of the pleasures and disappointments of the trip, as well as my lingering tiredness, and we agree that I'm worried about becoming less critical, since that was the clue that something was going wrong with Mom: the beginning of the descent into Alzheimer's. About 5PM my throat was dry from talking so much; she had only to take notes, and I asked if there was a water fountain. No, she said; but she could get me some water from her sink, if that was OK with me. When she left, I turned around and noticed a distinctive back of a book jacket; I looked at the front: The Shell Seekers. I looked at the diploma on the wall to see that it WAS for Sharon B., and when she came back I asked if this was her permanent office, which it was, and if these were her books, which she said she'd borrowed from the library for a friend to read, who returned them saying they were "too heavy" for her. I said it was a remarkable coincidence: in all my readings, only once did I order five copies of a book to send to friends, insisting they must read it: The Shell Seekers. She was happily very impressed with the coincidence, saying she'll now have to read it. She also accepted with seeming appreciation my 9 pages of typed dreams from my vacation and from that very morning. She wanted to know if I wanted to talk about any of them, but I said it was just as a way of asking why I always had such rich dreams while I was on vacation, and not so much when I was just at home. I explained to her the significance of "1221 Dietz," and of the mentions of phases of Actualism, and she confessed to having never been involved with anything like an esoteric teaching, so I only briefly pushed my idea that we can not only create our lives [amused that that word was mistyped “liver" before I corrected it], we can create our afterlives: if we believe in Heaven or Hell, we'll GET it; if we believe in nothing, we'll get that. I started with the idea of putting energy into something to create it, but it sounded too, well, esoteric, so I stopped. Many ideas came up in succession, and I just went with them, as she encouraged me to do even when I stopped to ask if SHE had any questions, but she simply stated that I seemed completely aware of what I was doing, where I was suffering and where I was healing, where I had problems and where I didn't, and even agreed that there was some congruence of obsession-compulsion with manic-depression, when I said that when I was BEING manic with my obsession-compulsion, things were fine: I was absorbed, accomplishing, fulfilling my current desires; but when I was depressed (or tired, as I am frequently this week, like right at this moment!) I was NOT feeling compulsive enough to do anything useful, though she did praise the idea that I felt like giving myself breaks, mini-vacations of sitting on the Promenade, or just watching TV. I said I hadn't yet called GCT to ask about my ex-roommate and a possible refund of half the single supplement taken from me without my feeling paranoid about the “friend of the founder" using me somehow, or being the victim of an elaborate bait-and-switch with a lower fare being supplemented by $414. I also said I hadn’t called many people on my return as I usually do, because I felt I was being too stereotyped and bored after the fifth or sixth recitation of essentially the same trip characteristics, and again she praised me for my newfound sense of freedom and willingness to wait "until it felt right" to do it: when I was less tired, or more enthusiastic, or simply needing to speak to someone else, which I brought up at last with the idea that most of my friends are older than I am, and will probably die off first, and for the last few days when my phone wasn't ringing AT ALL I had the feeling I might continue this increasingly through my life---fewer friends, making no new ones because I found that hard to do, and anyway, WHERE would I make new friends, since I no longer liked to cruise, and (she said to bring this in next time) didn't care for the older people I met, for the most part. I looked at my watch a few times, and at 5:20 she indicated we were finished, the first 50-minute hour of the three so far, telling me there was a bathroom at the end of the hall in case I wanted to get rid of some of my fluids before a long ballet evening, and I used it with gratitude, glad for the time I had to have a quiche before the ballet evening, saying that we'll meet for our fourth time next Wednesday. (RETURN TO SHARON B. 2)  (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 4)

More from WEDNESDAY, 10/18/06: [Typed THURSDAY 10:30AM]: So addled by all the investment talk with P. I decide to phone Mildred and talk till 4PM, when I start getting ready for Sharon B.: Third Session. Then I leave in enough time to get to Fluffy's Bakery for quite good quiche and a Snapple pink lemonade for $7.70 before the Ballet Gala, decent seats for $45 for a gala event, starting out very poorly with "Symphonie Concertante" which has no great Balanchine choreography and no great dancers except for the new principal Michele Wiles, who's pretty and good enough, but I tell Spartacus that's a TERRIBLE way to start a gala. Dislike Sinatra's voice in "Sinatra Suite" but Herman Cornejo is charismatic enough to deserve his place on the cover of the program, and Sarah Lane allows herself to be thrown about adequately. "Meadow" has the picture-featured crotch of Marcelo Gomes mostly lifting Julie Kent around, and he's developed a dazzling curtain-call smile as well as even thicker thighs and fuller crotch and cannonball shoulders. Maxim Beloserkovsky is gaunt and strained, while Paloma Herrera just isn't up to the "Swan Lake Act II Pas de Deux," But Jose Manuel Carreño is totally stunning with his 1) hairy legs, 2) great upper body, 3) fantastic chin line, and 4) dazzling smile and seductive moués, while Xiomara Rayes struggles with her lesser beauty and skills in "Diana and Acteon." "In the Upper Room" has more smoke and less Glass-music drive and less-inventive Tharp choreography than I remember from having seen it fairly recently, I guess with ABT, since it seemed to have the same cast. It was over at 8:40PM, good for my lingering jet-lag fatigue. Home to struggle through the TV Guide sudoku and get to bed the latest yet at 10:55, still a strain.

THURSDAY, 10/19/06: Pee at 3:30 and at 4:07 start Actualism, which must do some good, since I'm up at 6:55 to look out at the bright red sun at 7:17AM, wasting ten blank sheets of paper trying to get them to feed through the printer after removing chewed-up bits of edge-hole paper from the rollers that kept crimping and destroying new pages that I tried to spin through. Then encountered anxiety-causing problems with the DREAMS pages: no title on page 77, decided to add title pages, which means I'll have to add end-pages to END the title sections from the trips, take out the hand-done headers and replace them with an automatic header, and renumber many pages, since I decided that the dreams should be in order for the Budapest trip, and somehow I'd had a BLANK page 80 in there, which I took out, of course changing many OTHER pages. What a HEADACHE, and I'm TIRED now, so will succumb to Spider to "wake up." Maybe I shouldn't have indulged in a lavishly buttered Thomas' muffin after my breakfast oatmeal. Finish this at 10:42, thank goodness nothing scheduled until Tuesday. Decide to phone Sherryl at last. We agree to talk tomorrow morning about walking through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, after talking for a long time about my trip, her tiredness but retention of taste with her current scheme of therapies of which this is the fourth, she thinks, of a series of six two-weeks-on-and-one-week-off treatments. Then call Shelley, who says she'll call me right back at 11:45, which she does and we talk to 12:30, and I'm HOT again! Spider to 2:05PM, just to "relax." Have lunch, tackle the pile of souvenirs, fitting them into a file folder I put on the DIARY shelves next to KENTANZ, and keep the bills ready for checking against my Visa and HSBC statements. Ask Anita for her new Web address and e-mail "Purple Hats" to her, then look at website and he's done LOADS of stuff, but in checking title pages I find that he IGNORES DASHES! He's got to "recognize" them and REDO them! Print out lots of pieces, annoyed because MY print goes off to the right and has to be transcribed into the left! Leave word with him about 6:40PM and check my Citi bill and prepare to look at the mailing from High Country Passage. Watch Dr. Who while dining and get to bed at 11:10PM, a new late!

FRIDAY, 10/20/06: Pee and dream-type 2:51 and 4:59 [DREAMS:10/20/06]. Up at 6:45 to j/o to 8:40, burning two holes in bathrobe with bidi-embers! And burning myself a bit, too! REALLY feel STUPID! Not to mention edemizing my cock so much I put on antibiotic cream. Watch two-hour TV Marie Antoinette during breakfast, and Tristan calls to lead me to find how to display characters in Word and find that his program ignored DASHES (which are MANY of my page-break "hyphens") and shows me how to use FIND and REPLACE to replace all the dashes with hyphens, but when I go through MANUALLY to make ALL the dates consistent in the form "Title.(Mon N)," even struggling through to figure how to make a MACRO to "erase hyphen, put in open-paren, skip to end, put in close-paren"---and even figure out how to MODIFY macro (by changing the "erase" count from 1 to 2) to erase TWO hyphens---which takes practically ALL DAY, postponing lunch and dinner until WAY late---I find some dashes that inexplicably remained. E-mail the new TITLES file to Tristan about 11PM, have a late dinner, watching part of Even Scarier Movie Moments, and bed at 12:10AM, saying, "At last!"

SATURDAY, 10/21/06: Up at 8:08AM, NOT HAVING PEED! Get the Times and do all the puzzles easily enough. Think to do lots of little things today, but decide to WASH WINDOWS while it's warm enough out to leave the windows wide open, not due for rain for the next few days, and it goes remarkably easily and feel GREAT about it! Have a late lunch and go to the gym, ending at 6PM when they announce the gym will be closing in a hour, the first time in AGES I've heard that one. Proofread Budapest to the end, watch Ultimate Avengers II, VERY homoerotic, on real-time TV until 11, and bed at 11:20PM.

SUNDAY, 10/22/06: 7:28AM: Cheated by describing this morning in DREAMS:10/22/06.Type dream and pee at 5:30. Watch sunrise 7:15-7:18, brilliant. Watch all of Prison Break, Second Season through the day, actually only four hours missed, breaking in to fill out the Japan-trip form with Ken on the phone, which he HAD to do, since he knew about flight connections he HAD to tell me about, letting me say, "I told you so," when I said he was WRONG when he said I should be able to fill them out without his help, and, having gotten a call when I was at the gym yesterday from Carolyn who wanted me to take her to dinner for her birthday, I'd read about Mike's Steakhouse in Saturday's Times, so I went out about 1:30 to check it was open tonight, with a VERY expensive menu, and Carolyn changed the time to 6:20, so I ate mostly Thomas's English muffins all day, with a can of pea soup to fill in the spaces. Type the Budapest photo-list, and the summary, and type it all out, the "old" printer ribbons fading out VERY quickly! Play Spider, getting to a new high of 48.59605 at 6:15PM before rushing out to dinner. Mike's Steakhouse is sort of a disaster: my skirt steak is expensive, big, and vey greasy, Carolyn's salmon steak is big enough for her to take half home, her broccoli was cold, they SAID they'd give her sweet potatoes and then DIDN'T, though the roasted white potatoes were really very good. The Valpolicella for $21 wasn't bad, and made us high enough to escape the screaming kids at the big table and go across the street and pick up two mediocre desserts which we came here to eat, so I could show off the clean windows, my new balcony-bench, and my last Beard "tea ball" that blossomed into a red flower that fell apart, but she said she loved it anyway, getting out the old honey which has turned VERY dark to sweeten both teas, and we watched my Budapest videos before turning it off at 9PM for recording the Discovery Channel's Atlas program on Australia. Watch a bit of it and feel just too tired, so to bed at 9:57PM, falling right asleep.

MONDAY, 10/23/06: Pee at 4:42. Up at 5:54 when Actualism won't work and it's almost eight hours anyway, and turn on computer to Spider, so play, sort of cold in the pre-dawn darkness outside, to a BREAKTHROUGH record of 48.60133 at 7:25AM, then notice the sunrise and move the enormous plant to get to the window to watch it, still in sight at 7:30, and then back to catch up on these last days, figuring I've had enough of jet-lag notes from Budapest after ten days, coffee table LITTERED with notes to do from a Friday-morning productive Actualism session. Printer is SO light I change ribbons AGAIN, noting that new ribbon's plastic packet is OPEN at the side, allowing it to dry out! Just sent BUDASEND to three people. Can't WAIT to hear what they think---if they ever.

SHARON B. 4        10/26/06

I get there about 4:51PM, rather surprised to find her office door closed, and this is the time, of course, that I didn't bring a magazine to read while waiting, since I've never had to wait before. Look at the bookshelf and there are only old AARP bulletins, which I've read, and three photo albums. Flip through the two small ones which are only one picture per page, all of old people at Pierrepont House, some of whom are celebrating their 100th or 90th birthdays, or the 10th or 20th anniversary of something or other, or Thanksgiving or Christmas of 2004 or 2005. I'm halfway through the larger, four photos per page, book, noting that Sharon appears in some, and that some of the photos are duplicated, and I hear her door opening and she comes in to greet me, and I remark, "There sure are a lot of ways to get old." She smiles and turns to go into her office and I mention the brightly colored falling-leaf patterns on the back of her sweater as being remarkably appropriate for autumn. She appreciates it. We sit in our usual skewed positions and I start by saying how difficult it is to make ORDINARY friends: retell my connection with Diane toward the end of the trip, reminding Sharon of her story of the virus-declining mother whom she feels obliged to accompany on the trip, and the novelty of reading Sharon's e-mails to find she's afraid of flying, didn't look forward to the trip, sends appreciation to all her friends and family who are supporting her, and it certainly sounds like it's her 21-year-old son Kevin, in Park Slope or even farther south, who's gay, rather than her 17-year-old---where? I describe how I USED to panic on flying, but now the plane can turn, or encounter mild turbulence, and I'm not panicked, though I relate how earlier I concluded it was the LOSS OF CONTROL: the screaming, pissing, shitting, desperation of the COMING death, rather than the actual death itself, that was so upsetting. Got somehow to the story of "falling downstairs and my mother cradling me upstairs with soapy hands, with one of my eyes put out," and she keeps repeating that it doesn't matter whether it's a TRUE memory or a MADE-UP memory, the significance is that it's THERE to be TOLD. What does it make me think of? I fly off to LSD, saying that during THAT session I came to the conclusion it wouldn't even be THAT bad if I went out of my mind and had to be institutionalized: I'd be taken care of, fed, not cold, not homeless, and what I'd worried about before became something not to worry about, like not REALLY having to worry if I NEVER get another indexing job, though I'm rather sorry to be taking ALL that money out of my saving account to pay for recent trips. She keeps asking about my absent father, I tell her about the LSD-connected trip to Akron where I re-met my father that my mother had made into the victim, the enemy, and we sat in a bar and I couldn't even bring myself to tell him I was gay, connecting it again to the clipped-out male and female nudes I found in his bedroom cabinet (much the place I keep my porno, it occurs to me now) after his death. "So you were much closer to your mother," she says in an attempt to "explain" why I find it easier to relate, and become friends with, women, because there's no sexual component to it, while I feel PARALYZED trying to make friends with attractive men, telling her of the "gimmick" at the baths that was so successful while it lasted: that I had to he turned down as many times as I turned others down, but then AIDS hit and the baths closed and I don't like going to bars, and here I am wanting new younger male friends and we haven't even begun to address how I could possibly find them. Noting that my father seemed to have VERY few friends before he died, living only in his mother's house, and I fear ending up the same way, with my mind deteriorating like my mother's, or like Diane's mother's, about which Sharon is quick to add, "And that may not even happen." I keep talking on and on, pausing once, at which she asks, "What are you thinking now?" and I can only say, "I've finished what I was going to say and was just thinking about what I'd say next." And she keeps saying to just say whatever it comes into my mind to say. At one point my dream-file comes up and she asks if I'd want to discuss any particular dream, or if I just wanted her to read them to give her some background on me and the way I think and remember dreams, and I say it's "just the heft" of the dreams that I wanted to relay to her, not any specific detail about any specific dream, and she ends up saying that I should remember dreams to bring her: "They don't have to be so detailed, since it's important what you remember AS important from the dream, rather than all the details surrounding what was important." So when I typed the dream I just finished, I put in a sort of summarizing line which I'll reread before going to her next week, let alone what may happen in the six days before the next session. When she mentioned having compassion for myself, I went back to tell her about the way I kept up with the "new energies" in the five years I've been away from Actualism, and the last one, Compassion, I perverted, or emphasized the SECOND meaning of it, to have compassion for MYSELF, to make myself feel better about myself, to be more tolerant of what I'd considered "wasting time" or "not being so hard on myself" or "forgiving myself" or "feeling better within myself," which I have to admit I feel lately, in contrast to the DRIVEN feelings I've had to tolerate from myself before. Told her about the accomplishment-filled week during which I got many things off my list, did many things, and "didn't spend any marathon six-hour sessions with Spider." Find myself repeating, "Maybe I told you this before," and at times she seems to perk up and write things down that she feels to be important. I'm aware she wanted me to talk about "meeting new friends and having no new ones as I get older," and other things that I'd fear about getting old, and my mind returns to that when the current spate of talking dies away, and then---I've not looked at my watch even once, though I did react where there was noise in the outside office and she merely said, "I don't know who that is," but didn't attempt to go outside to find out, and as before there was never anyone waiting to see her next, but we do remark about the Halloween witch I'd noticed last time and she talks about the supervisor who did it "for some reason"---and she looks at the clock behind me and say that it's about time for the session to be over, and I'm even MORE amazed because I didn't even have to ask for water to soothe my constantly talking throat, and she laughs and says, "You sit down thinking how to fill the 45 minutes and then it's over." And it's 5:45 and it's BEEN about 45 minutes, rather than even the 50 minutes the last time that was less than the hour, or possibly even a minute or so OVER an hour, of the first two times. Thank her and say I'll be seeing her next week. What else did we talk about? Diane's acceptance of my shits and j/o possibility leading me to say she could be a therapist, talking about my new "psychoanalytic psychotherapist" Sharon, but messing up the first word, I guess saying "psychotherapeutic" and she had to correct me, and I laughed and said I'd FEARED messing it up without looking at her card for verification. Lamented making such a good contact with no real hope of meeting her again, even with my disappointment that she didn't call me when she was in Brooklyn for the few days after she returned, noting the tentativeness when I wrote "felt so close to you" on the trip because it might be more than she wanted to hear, though she was saying essentially the same thing, and nothing could happen because she was married and lived in California and didn't travel that much and had a sick mother to worry about. I talked about my closeness to my aunts and not uncles in the family, and came to the rather amazing observation that I'd never SEEN my father interact with his parents: father absent, mother serving and only being persuaded to sit at the table after she served us. And her insistence on the validity of my "maybe" memory of the 3-year-old falling downstairs even if it WASN'T actually true, and she didn't leave ANY "next time" except parts of dream I might remember. (RETURN TO SHARON B. 3)  (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 5)

THURSDAY, 10/26/06: Woke at 5:55AM with a dream, transcribed it [DREAMS:10/26/06], then decided I had to catch up with Sharon's session yesterday, typing to 6:43AM! Mark on my calendar that this is the FIRST anniversary of my website, first known in a memo dated on that date as Zolnerzak's World. Maybe got the slides just before this, since I seem to remember finishing looking at them before leaving for G. checkup, at which I find that it's HE and HEATHER (not Helen, as I'd mistakenly read on the baby announcement) who had the baby on October 6! Try to take the remaining points off the do-list from 10/19, having contacted Mystic Stamps on Monday, playing phone-tag back and forth and finally establishing that I phone him on the day I'm back between Chicago and La Paz to see when he might visit me, having refused to send my entire collection to him before getting a BALLPARK worth: I say I figure $30,000, but my response to him will be different if he ballparks $10,000 or $50,000. Got a haircut on Tuesday after the gym, figuring it would be convenient, or it WOULD have been had I remembered to take my WALLET, and then re-ascended the elevator to get my Key Food card, which I'd also forgotten. On Wednesday I watched the videotape and noted the salient points, and on Thursday found that the bookshop didn't have the Sierra Club datebooks in yet, so I only bought adapters and soups, leaving the adapters on the table, signaling that I haven't done ANYTHING since Thursday, except setting a new Spider record of 48.6409 after 3 wins at 1PM. Left word with John, who will accept a copy of his witnessed paper of my committing my body to Cornell Medical Center, phoning them to get a replacement card, which they said they'd send, though they didn't have a record that I was a prospective client. Just watched Ken's Cujo and Madagascar before bed.

FRIDAY, 10/27/06: Still don't feel like doing anything productive, watching part of Scariest Movies before Sherryl calls, doesn't want to see the Tokyo exhibit in Grand Central, so we go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, nothing much, from 12:45-4:10, watched Hellraiser in the evening, played sudoku and made a new Spider record of 48.65638 after 4 wins at 11:30PM finally to bed.

SATURDAY, 10/28/06: Most of the morning solving three New York Times puzzles, getting to the gym in time to subway to the Tokyo exhibit in Grand Central from 3:05-4:10, missing getting a Tokyo gift-bag, only three Hiroshige postcards, seeing the movie with ticket #13 but winning no prize, then bussing up to the Homestead for a good MAN, talking to Bob and getting the place-name Sitges for our Barcelona trip, and Bill's friend Stephen talking of Voelkopp as a gay ghetto east of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Watched The Craft and Small Faces while eating snacks for dinner, setting my bedroom clock back an hour.

SUNDAY, 10/29/06: Cum finally in the morning for the first time since Friday, the 20th, not doing too much cock-damage. Set the rest of the 12 clocks back (three were reset automatically), finish off the Times and put them away, and WANT to do more good things, but try a difficult sudoku, then go to Spider to set no new records, and watch The Desperate Trail, not that great, and Lemony Snickett's A Series of Unfortunate Adventures, rather fun. Bed at the new midnight, really 1AM, too late, but I'll catch up some other day.

MONDAY, 10/30/06: Cum again because I feel I can, taking just about an hour, then have breakfast just to get it done about 9AM, decide to leave the shade down so I can winnow the Budapest slides, getting them down to 155 from the original 295, and then file the working map-slides with the respective shows, thankfully rather easily done by 1:30, then MUST get caught up with reprinting pages, which goes easily enough, and then get caught up with this by 1:50PM, hungry for lunch, determined to get stuff DONE, rather than sloughing off lazily with sudoku and Spider, after I pad this out enough to get to the last line on the page so I can type it out now at 1:54PM ready for day!

TUESDAY, 10/31/06: 7:16AM: Dragged myself out of bed at 7AM after two dreams, transcribing them accurately enough [DREAMS:10/31/06], then remembered some details I'd forgotten before: 1) Paul M. phoned on Sunday, ready for the trip, and I'm to meet him at 6PM at his check-in American International desk and we'll go somewhere for dinner before our 11PM flight. 2) Took a Valium Monday morning, because I'd been feeling vaguely nervous on Sunday and wasn't willing to feel the same on Monday. 3) Shelley calls Sunday with a cold, thanking me again for the Budapest postcard. Now to get caught up on Monday. Have lunch early, do two sudoku, start filing through the papers piled up in the living room and of course the two throwaway papers I picked up Thursday (with the soups I got, still fretting about the complicated "two for one" Progresso soup signs that said that "chicken and wild rice" was OK, so I got two, only to find they didn't have a DISCOUNT on the HALE AND HEARTY chicken and wild rice, and left, thinking three steps away from the door, "If they're going to make it so rough on the customer, I should make it rougher on THEM by demanding they take those two soups OFF my bill and refund me the money," but then decide that was really TOO petty, and would take time I didn't want to take, and let it go, though it still rankles) each has an easy puzzle and an easy sudoku, which I have to do, and clear away the junk and put some things away and take a stack to be handled into the bedroom. Go through the Schwab quarterly report to find the only thing of note is that Ball Corporation is rated D, even though it has a three-star S&P rating, and that my accounts are unbalanced according to their large-cap/small-cap/whatever measures. Lots of paper coming due in 2007, including two very low interest accounts I was told to keep anyway. File it. Look at the insurance claim form and find it's for Trip Cancellation, not really set up, as I can see, for roommate-supplement repayment, so I have to phone them today. Will phone C. again and get 2 Amazon prescriptions even if he doesn't have the flu shots yet, noting that SAGE will have them Thursday morning 10/9. Try my copy machine and it actually works for the copy of the Cornell page that John wanted, and think to update the will page for my Cornell, organ donor, and cremation wishes, but figure to check for mail at 7PM to see if the Cornell card has come, and get a STACK of new mail, including the ING mailing because my check has to have my NAME printed on it! TV Guide with another sudoku carries me through to Prison Break with good overcooked sausage for dinner at 8PM, then finish with the mail and MUST brush my teeth, so watch National Geographic on Rameses' Egyptian constructions, tape an hour on Halloween's history, and get to bed just after 11PM. Wake only once to pee, then at 7AM to check that sunrise is more like 6:30AM, but coming closer all the time, and type dreams and finish this by 7:32AM, feeling vaguely constructive and like catching up. Check e-mail and Diane's written back, so I respond, have breakfast, phone C. to find the flu vaccine is in but he isn't, so try calling tomorrow. Phone Trip Mate and get told how to fill out form, which I hope they honor. Updated the Last Will Attachment and print it and send it out to John, Ken, Shelley, and the lawyer. Make a list of my stamp, coin, and valuables locations. Phone John about it, who insists I put all my VALUABLE books together or he'll just sell them all off. Then tackle Wikipedia, getting Zones on Internet into an account by ZoneMaker, with password ZONEM, and end up getting a definition (with Zones on Internets as plural) in Wiktionary! With Tris's and my addresses, leaving word with him that it's OK. Phone Charles and we agree to dine at Veritas at 5:30 and then go see the Thanksgiving Parade. Have an early lunch and get to the gym and back to type this by 2:55PM, feeling accomplishmentful for the day. Oh, and checked with P., who came in from lunch just as I walked toward his closed office, who said he'd be voiding the $1000 check, so I can pay Visa with the Ridgewood account and send a NAMED check to ING Direct for $1000, and pay my rent with Schwab---FINANCES! Then Spartacus said National Geographic for $15 was a GREAT deal, so Charles and Shelley agreed they wanted it, too, and Mildred cursed their anti-Jewish anti-Semitic policies. Ready for dinner at 4:37PM.

SHARON B. 5     11/1/06

Again I get there at 4:50 and sit and read until she comes out to unlock the john so I can pee at 5PM. I tell her about Slava's Snowshow, the good restaurant last night, the Thanksgiving Parade (and only at the end does she say she was working at 22 W. 21st Street and watched the parade exit below where she worked), and toward the end about my three past-life sessions with Roger Woolger, only after her saying it was all over at 5:45 concluding with my "past life" as a Japanese pilot who crashed his plane, which allowed me to feel free of fear of flying for a number of years, but that it has been building up again since then, reminding me of the est saying that "Once you solve one problem, you only get another to take its place," and that I've solved everything except fear of flying, and I've maybe distributed the fear over wondering if the trip would succeed, but that all STOPS with relief once the plane LANDS. We keep using the word "engaged," that I'm happy when I'm engaged in indexing, I remark that I'm happy flying when I can be engaged looking at the scenery we're flying over, when I actually feel HAPPY to be flying, though at night, over the ocean, feeling turbulence, I'm just as worried as anyone else, again stating my fear of losing control at the end and pissing and shitting and screaming just like everyone else. In the middle of the session, not knowing what to say next, I confessed that I suspected she thought there WAS something in my early life that I'd repressed, but she laughed and said no and that she was "just fishing," and she really didn't think she'd find anything, except that when I again described the trauma of my mother's running into my bedroom with the butcher knife pressed to her stomach, screaming at my father to "push it, push it" and not until much later realizing how manipulative and CRAZY this was of my mother to confront me with when I could obviously do nothing about it. I described the only time my mother thought I did something so awful that my father should take me down to the basement to spank me, which he did, and it hurt, but aside from that he never touched me, nor did I know he ever raised a hand to my mother, who did most of the screaming, while he remained silent and finally just had to flee the house. Surmised that I might have been more comfortable flying in the past because I would have been working, too, and would have been productive and accomplishing something, as well as earning money. Also mentioned, somewhat in desperation, though in fact it did pass through my mind and she always encourages me to say the first thing that comes to me, about my grandmother's favorite saying of "I must," which she cleverly translated as "I have no options but to," and I said that my mantra was "just DO it" when I had to finish an index but didn't particularly feel like doing it, knowing that if I started I'd get absorbed in it and the time would pass and it would be finished mostly before I'd estimated it to be. Then told her, I think for the first time, my promise (which to an obsessive-compulsive is a terribly binding promise) to devote the $10,000 I didn't invest in The Producers into productions of my own plays, having taken the tiny step of knowing where the head shots and resumes of Village Playwrights actors and actresses were kept in Brooklyn if I ever wanted to phone anyone for auditions. Told her about my wonderful breakthrough with the website, solving the problem of how to put the notebooks in (as journals) and making clear to Tris that the whole thing would now fall into place, knowing where to put everything, with this one page of explanation. That felt good, I told her, just as I could invalidate the claim that I was jaded by so enjoying the truly wonderful dinner at Veritas, liking the play even though I thought I wouldn't (giving her a spare ticket so that she'd remember what I'd recommended so highly), describing the goodness of having kids in the audience who laughed at the broad gestures while I appreciated the slightest eye-shifts and mouth-moves that would go over the kids' heads. Confessed to feeling tired (though she seemed to think the parade last night and a play this afternoon was a LOT) and we'd talk about that more. (RETURN TO SHARON B. 4)  (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 6)

TUESDAY, 11/7/06: 7:20AM: Lots of time spent with the TITLES file losing numbers between my sending it and Tris putting it onto the site. I tried sending it from storage rather than diskette, I tried RTF and TXT formats, and then HE tried opening it with a different program, which seemed to get some of the numbers back, and then on Sunday I tried changing a page number with the Help icon active, and it actually said, "Do you want numbering disabled?" and presented an AutoFormat menu that enabled me to DISABLE NUMBERING, for which I felt an ENORMOUS sense of relief, but then when I actually went to the icon bar and brought down AutoFormat, it was a BRIEFER menu that did NOT list disabling as one of the options. Got a $1025 bill from Tris that he at first said he didn't need until January, then DID need, so on Sunday I borrowed $1000 from Shelley, interest-free, until January 30, deposited it (at the window, not thinking to check Ron's call that I'd gotten a package which WAS the new HSBC card, which I'd inadvertently thrown away the renewal of as a debit card a year ago, along with the Sierra Club Engagement Calendar) on Monday when I exchanged the Casanova DVD for the To the Ends of the Earth DVD, and went to the gym, forgetting to return the $1000 check for the balcony-door-cut which I have to return today, also making a note to have John water plants and Bill pick up Times for BOTH upcoming vacations. As well as washing clothes and packing and phoning Ken from his lengthy two-call message on Sunday. Checked sunrises through the weekend, the last seen on Sunday, 11/5, with a mirror held out the window at 6:36AM to see what must have risen about 6:34, but tried Monday and Tuesday with mirror and it was cloudy AT the horizon, and I couldn't see what was probably a risen sun, even with the mirror strained to maximum at 6:37AM Tuesday. But slept wonderfully: bed at 10:30PM, though not immediately to sleep, and awake only at 6:26AM, almost eight full hours without waking or peeing, to take dream notes [DREAMS:11/7/06]. Finish this at 7:32AM, feeling like I've gotten into day by making 10-item do-list before trip the day after tomorrow, only having to wake up TWO MORE TIMES before trip!

WEDNESDAY, 11/8/06: 12:01PM: Did lots from the list yesterday: 1) Phoned John about plants; he'll do. 2) Phoned Bill P. about papers; he'll pick up. 3) Washed clothes. 4) Mailed check to Tris. 5) Returned DVD to Spartacus. 6) Took new $1000 check to P. and got old back. 7) Told Ken I got long message, and got another from him at 10PM this evening about car. Phoned car about 11AM and they were too busy to take order for tomorrow morning. Woke at 4:40AM after taking Valium last night, feeling anxious but not enough to take another, yet. Found to my horror that I'd FORGOTTEN to mail form 5500 on July 31, even though it was on the calendar twice, but since I still had BOTH copies I'd ordered, I MUST have forgotten it. If they DO charge me the $25/day penalty, it could be on the order of $2500! I have all kinds of excuses, including Alzheimer's, ready to contest their charge: do they NEED to charge me? Mailed that at 10AM and got Gene S.'s 3 KENTANZ DVDs, not playable on TV, and troublesome on computer, but liked some, tried Googling him for an e-mail address, but didn't get it. Checked TITLES on website and still LOTS missing. What a PAIN! And now my space key is working over-slowly! Phoned Schwab to find my non-spouse doesn't need notarizing. Raining hard out, but still, I guess, will go to the gym. Leaving in 22 hours, got to start PACKING! Felt just a bit hungry, so I had a can of soup before the gym, thinking about every last thing I did as maybe being the LAST time I do that at the gym, obsessing about the trip! Back and get the car scheduled, but then it's getting close to 3:30 as I start putting things out, piling up on pills, getting out my suit to pack only tomorrow, and then figure I have to finish the ham and salad, so I stuff myself with lunch until about 4:30, wondering if anyone will be at the Dean Street pool if it keeps on raining, though it's surprisingly warm, now at 6PM, at 59°, and Ken says he's been checking the weather in Chicago and it's been much like New York. Good session with Sharon, which I'll do on the next page before playing games before leaving for MAN.

SHARON B. 6      11/8/06

Raining, her door's still closed, and during the session she says I can call her on Friday to come to Manhattan for an evening session if I want on the one day back between vacations, which is nice, and I'll admit being curious about her place at home. She concludes by saying this IS her day job, she's here most of the days, only working at home two nights. I say how useful I've found the concept of "being engaged," so that I don't obsess about the negatives of the trip, saying that I felt responsible for BOTH me and Paul on the La Paz trip, having to take care of him if he doesn't feel right, which is not the independent relationship I have with Ken. She talks about the POSITIVE aspects of the adventure of the trips, which I frankly admit being surprised hearing about, realizing that I haven't done that in a long time, though I describe the technique I once used of dating my anxiety to the END of the flight, when the trip BEGINS, rather than to the START of the flight, when all the anxieties peak. We talked about my taking a Valium last night, but that I was happy that I got to sleep quickly. Then got out my notes and talked about "Lance Loud" bringing up "no children, no family," and I told her about my "From the Father to the son to the son" breakthrough with the third LSD session with the father who guided me through it, and thinking even I might have a child, but talked about Madge wanting one WITHOUT saying that I ended up with a therapist who asked THE question: "Do YOU want to get married, or do OTHERS want you to get married?" to which the answer was definitely OTHERS. Said that I felt my circle of friends was getting smaller, and older, and brought up the In the Life comment about loneliness in New York City. Then went right to the woman at the William Randolph Hearst talk at Heights-Hill with Susan's husband, and the woman crying at the table about being lonely and depressed and just WEEPING although she had no physical pain, and I feared being in a like place. Though I balanced that later with meeting Del in the office and her being surprised at my being 70 (at which point Sharon AGAIN said she was surprised, though she knew it, having looked at my Medicare records when HIP gave her my number), and I again repeated that my indexing customers have no idea they're dealing with an old fart. Then I told her about FORGETTING to send in the 55OO-EZ, with a possible penalty for $25/day for 100 days, with my giving all kinds of Alzheimer's-based excuses if they actually try to COLLECT that late fee. Told of getting up at 5AM and feeling anxious, but not taking a Valium because I wanted to be "sharp" for our meeting tonight. She gave a lot of positive feedback about all the adventurous trips I was taking, how I was living up to my promise of never having to say, "I should have done that BEFORE," and she said I was doing it even though it took a lot of effort and DID cause anxiety, but she seemed to be getting to an idea of BENEFICIAL anxiety: that I was planning ahead, worried about what might actually go wrong, concerned about my responsibilities for Paul's well-being on the trip that I suggested---not telling her that it was, long ago, PAUL who actually said he'd wanted to go on the Amazon that led me to think about going UPRIVER rather than downriver. But then I started thinking about the adventure, telling her about my dependence on seeing the Nazca lines and being ready to be really PISSED if they don't let me have it because I didn't make the prior reservation some of the forms said I should have. Told about Ken's large luggage pieces that we both make fun of, his over-organizing, though part of it might be my envy of his 62-year-old energies for organizing which I HAD had but now am willing to let him do. Got back at 6PM and debated washing the dishes, but decided I had to put down this page while it was fresh in my memory, not wanting to start a trip-page just yet; and thinking I could go later than the 7PM starting time for MAN since it was going to 11 and I certainly didn't feel like eating anything at THIS time, telling her that I wasn't about to return from Chicago ten pounds heavier, either; she said I'd walk it off in the activities Ken planned, I told of my pride of actually being able to leave something uneaten on my plate at dinner and now it's 6:15. TRAVEL:AMAZON    

SUNDAY, 12/10/06: 8:15AM: Just a week after return from Amazon, still with a stack on the table to handle, just MUST start back with this, filling in summary page on datebook pages to finish THAT part of the trip: expenses and lists still to be updated, Christmas letter to send to Rita, slides to get ready for Tuesday France show!

SHARON B. 7     12/6/06

Sat outside waiting for her again, and she comes out with her usual chipper smile, asking how my trip was. I unroll all my horror stories about the chattering women on the boats scaring away the wildlife, followed by my explosion at poor Cheri, the least-offensive of the Screaming Six, and the fact that most of the last meals Paul and I were alone at our table with all the other chairs filled with people avoiding us. Spoke of how glad I was to have Paul along, neglecting to mention his sexual exploits while I was in the room. Talked about my impatience, my intolerance of crudeness in travel, which Sharon seemed to support me totally in. She also agreed with my refusing to take the trip to Spain if Ken couldn't get reservations to El Bulli. Again the topic went back to my ease of making friends with women and the difficulty of approaching gay men that I found attractive, saying (maybe for the second time) that I missed my bath-tactic of demanding that I be refused as many times as I refused, being amazed at the people I would get, and again she supported my ego by saying how attractive I was, and then asked what type of person I'd like to meet and get involved with, and I gave her the standard answer: Someone just like me! Which she laughed with and agreed with heartily, saying that we'd have to work on my sensitivity to rejection in future sessions, at which point I looked at my watch just before she looked at the clock, and there were a few more minutes left in which I told a few other tales, maybe about Chicago, citing Charlie Trotter's as the reason for having to go BACK to Chicago, and I didn't need a missed reservation to say that I didn't want to return to Barcelona so soon, and that Fred wouldn't be willing to go with Ken, either. I asked her what her schedule would be during the Christmas holidays, and she remarked that she worked every day except the actual holidays themselves, and we checked that December 13, 20, and 27 would all be available for sessions. Left at 5:55, signing out just an hour after I signed in. (CONTINUE SHARON B. 8)

WEDNESDAY, 12/13/06: 4:22PM: Managed to get out the foreign Christmas cards on Tuesday, and the rest of the 37 by 1:30 PM, dropping them in the mailbox as I made my way to the gym for the first full-weight session since my return from the last two trips. Monday was terribly hectic because I was determined to put together the Northern France show THAT day rather than waiting and panicking on the Tuesday-day-of-show itself. Made a list of the 8 slide-shows that included France, discouraged at how many trips seemed to be concentrated in the south. Susan called to verify at 10AM that I was going to show up at 2PM, and we set the next date at February 13. Look out now at the gloominess of the day, raining most of it, with the clouds that prevented seeing the Geminids last night and probably tonight, too. But found some opening slides of Strasbourg, had a lot from the auto trip on the Loire with Paul B., including Giverny as a comment-free indulgence in flowers and color, and had a lot of stops in Paris which no one seemed to complain about. Started late at 2:15 because people kept coming in, a bigger group than I usually get and Susan said bigger than any in quite a long time, and when it ended at 3:24PM no one complained about it being too long, Sherryl said it was great, Steve H. said he particularly liked the penultimate shot of the Gare de l’Est and the railing at Nantes, or wherever it was, which Sherryl said she liked, too. A woman in a walker particularly complimented the beauty of the slides as well as the content, and her husband expressed sorrow that he hadn't seen the Italian slides, and I took his phone number to add to the dozen that I’ll try calling sometime soon to get together for the SECOND Italy night here, since more people still want to see it than the 8 that showed up on Monday night (sadly the only night Fascati's is closed meaning that we had to get pizza from Domino, not very good, though the large mushroom was better than the medium pepperoni). No one brought wine, they opened three of my bottles, one of white accidentally, and the seven of them managed to scrape together $28 for the pizza, which came by bike with a $4 tip. Anyway, when Spartacus came by to drop off the last two chapters of Prison Break and pick up the fleur de sel from the Beard, he buzzed as I requested that I had a blip on the board, and went down to find that I'd gotten the Amazon slides back! Insisted I not look at them until I got the France program together for the next day and the living room set up for the Italy show Monday night, made easier in the future by transferring the porno from the nightstand into the filing cabinet, making it a snap to move the nightstand into the living room for a projector stand. Carolyn bitched about the smell in the bathroom, which Sherryl said she never noticed. Got the room set up (except for the bowls of treats, of which Carolyn brought popcorn, Stephanie two containers of cookies from Hope, Faith, and Gluttony, and Piri grapes and cheese. At 6PM I decided I could spare some time to watch the Amazon slides, at which exact moment Susie rang in from downstairs, and I demanded she bring in a chair and watch them as I sorted through them, which she obliged, and even obliged by dialing “9” on my living room phone when people buzzed from below, continuing through the evening, much to my relief, even when Spartacus came in about 7:20 and Judy brought up the rear about 7:40. But everyone enjoyed those slides, too, leaving about 9:30 and letting me put most of the stuff away before collapsing into bed. Tuesday’s slides went well, and I kept to my pattern of watching movies in the morning so I could clear the tape to make another tape of movies the next evening. Problem with the bulb on the torchiere, so I went back to the corner to trade in a too-small lamp for two larger ones, managing to connect one which went out last night as I did the TV Guide (which I ordered online, cheaper than through the mail from TV Guide itself) sudoku puzzle, and which reminds me that I finally called Marj to thank her for the "sudoku shit" that she keeps sending me, and will CONTINUE to send since I said I actually liked it when we talked this afternoon. Carolyn finally tells me that Tris and Tori are on a ten-day cruise, which is why they haven't ca11ed me back. Finish this at 4:35PM ready to fill up the printer, the ribbon of which is ALREADY dim from cards.

SHARON B. 8     12/13/06

Pick Christmas fir-greens out of the trash at Henry and Montague where they discarded extras after decorating the lampposts, so I arrive just at 5PM to find her door still closed, but when I walk back to waiting room there's the sound of her door and I go back to find her getting water in the kitchen, and offer her some greens but she says no. I heave a long sigh and say that I really feel like I've been accomplishing something, describing getting out the Christmas cards, organizing the North France show (she keeps saying how wonderful it is of me to give of myself like that) while setting up the room for the Italy night, which may be repeated, even with a new couple from 75 Henry Street. Then talk about tonight's MAN meeting, where I'll feel self-conscious about talking to attractive men, but tell her about my surprise with the younger, effeminate guy on Saturday who turned out to be far more interesting to talk with than I would have judged just from his appearance, even tolerating his "Dear," "Sweet," and "Honey" thrown in at random. She says I should have no difficulty with my wonderful smile, and I say that I recall seeing myself in a mirror when I was NOT engaged and wondering, "How could anyone even want to LOOK at someone like that?" She keeps insisting that I'm so interesting when I start to talk and engage that I should have no trouble at all, and directs me to remember what goes through my mind, what I'm feeling, when I think about making contact with someone at the gathering tonight. I joke that it'll make me even MORE self-conscious, and toward the end say that she SO often compliments me that I feel glad and somewhat suspicious, but she hurries to say she'll stop that if it embarrasses me, and I assure her it's good to hear, and not enough people say enough kind things. "Why can't everyone be like us," she says delightedly. Earlier, we'd talk about how my mother always judged me: harshly to my face, much more in praise when talking with someone else. "Why couldn't she be the same person?" I said that when I would at times be annoying to friends, they'd learn to say, "Oh, you're just like your mother," and THAT would shut me up quick! I really teared up when I had to admit that what she---Sharon---said made me feel good, and she assured me that she was completely serious and sincere with the good things she said she saw in me and my way of talking with her. "Talk about your travels, but not too much," when I said I could sometimes go on too long and see them turning away from me. I described the group as being divided into the "desirables" and "undesirables," and if A wants to get to B, but B sees A talking with ME, B will get a poor impression of A which A won't like, thus wouldn't want to be seen talking with me. I said that I'd become aware of people planning parties afterward to which I wasn't invited, and even thought of inviting people to my place, but dismissed that quickly. "They go to MAN looking for a sex partner, not for pleasant conversation," but had to add that that was only my impression, and not necessarily the case, though I did admit that formerly there were many older than I, but most of them have stopped coming, so I'm about the oldest there, making me feel even more self-conscious. Talked about getting to know some people who then dropped out, so I'd never see them again. Talked about the few times someone attractive talked to me and I had a good time even if it didn't involve sex. Didn't mention the occasional erections that made the voyeurism so positive. Talked of my laziness of just sitting and watching and eating, not interacting with anyone. Talked again of my good relationship with my sister, who even understood that I wasn't about to come to Florida for my nephew's wedding, even though she may have wanted me there. Just talked to Rita, who got my card today! Talked about my "curvilinear" accomplishments without making a list, which "squares it all away." And about how delighted I'll be when I'm actually ALL caught up from the trips. And remembered how Marj supported my bowing out of the Spain trip if Ken couldn't get a reservation at El Bulli. And it's now 6:27PM and time to print this out and get ready to go to MAN, the fir scent wafting way in here! (RETURN TO SHARON B. 7)   (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 9)

TUESDAY, 12/19/06: 8:12AM: Lots happening, lots accomplished, lots still to do, yet for about the first time since returning from the Amazon over two weeks ago, I feel finally that I'm not still exhausted from a spate of traveling from which I'll never recover. What happened?: 1) Financial problems: starting with my mistake that the $8500 High Country Citicard charge for the Japanese-trip payment won't be transferred to my VISA card for payment in January, but is transferred to my HSBC checking account for payment on December 1! On 12/4, the day after I got back, having checked the mail, I find that as of 12/1 my HSBC checking account has a NEGATIVE balance of $8772.91, which somehow changes to a negative balance of $7856.56 on 12/4, and to find the reason, now at 8:26AM I start sifting through the pile on my desk (finish that at 2:25PM, tentatively balancing everything, knowing there are finance charges and interest and even HIP bills that I don't have a record of). Get $12,000 cash from Shelley on 12/5, and go to Citibank to write two checks, 1499 to Visa for $3250.30, paying that off clearly, and 1500 to Citicards for $7900, which I know is more than the $788? my balance was, and then write four more checks on 12/6 and 12/10. Then on Thursday, 12/14, I get a statement that everything bounced! Phone HSBC at 8:45AM Friday, 12/15, and find that Citi TOOK the $8772.91 on 12/5: "I should have filled out an affidavit saying $8772.91 should NOT be resubmitted.” That Citi affidavit is FIRST step in clearing all this up. 9:40 I go to Citibank and Tricia L. has me stand at the desk, my coat on the floor, and ends with "Wait two weeks for $7544.43 refund check from Citicards, then DEPOSIT that check with HSBC. Also, stop check 1499, do NOT redeposit. Write SECOND check and I will cancel all finance charges." That takes to 10:15. To HSBC at 10:30 and at 10:37 Dimitri says, "1499 was PAID, and 1500 BOUNCED and should NOT be in account [since Citi says I have a credit of something like $16,000!]." At 10:37 he says to STOP 1500, no charge, and go BACK to Citi. 10:50 BACK to Citi, she finds that'll straighten things out without my waiting for a check, and at 11:15 I stop at Shelley's to complain, but she's not home. Then on FRIDAY I get ANOTHER set of bounced checks that warns me I deducted only$7900, not $8772.91, from HSBC checking, so I go BACK on Monday 12/18, paying $217.72 cash to void my overbalance account, and have $20 in cash, not depositing $220 Ridgewood check I wrote if I needed cash. Still waiting for statements to verify my calculations. But then decide I have to have breakfast, and eat that while watching the last of the 18 movies Ken gave me, Songcatcher, the best of the lot, and get back to my desk at 10:39AM! Look for about two minutes when Tris calls: he tells me of his Princess Line cruise that he flew to Fort Lauderdale to take, I tell him of my trips, and we talk about site, finding problem of "still vanishing" dashes in SF before DIARY PAGES showed up the problem of disappearing dashes, and he suggests trying the Word-dash, which I e-mail him a test of. Call Piri about her possible index. But now it's 12:55PM and my desk is STILL not cleared! Separate stuff into "file away" and file them, "look at soon" and make a new pile on table, and "finances," which I'll tackle after lunch, interrupted by another call from Tris who says the Word-dash works, and get back to desk after lunch at 1:50PM, gym still to do. 2) Ken's tapes and other movies: watched 12 of his 18 movies and 11 OTHER films through the two weeks, a SURFEIT, but at least I'm caught up to where I have only two tapes of mine and two DVDs of Spartacus's to watch. 3) Played sudoku yesterday morning to celebrate my "almost catching up," and this morning woke at 7AM thinking I'd call people on "spare Italy" list to see if they REALLY want me to call them. Also got Visa statements that will let me finish the Chicago and Amazon charges. Got to go to gym now at 2:40PM after I take a shit.

SHARON B. 9     12/20/06

Playing Spider, I get there just at 5PM and her door is open. I start bitching about how tired I feel "after only four hours at the Met Museum," when in fact I was just there for 3:20 INCLUDING a 35-minute lunch! She sympathizes, saying I don't like the feeling that my body's getting old, and doesn't have the energy it used to have, though I still demand a lot of myself. I go on to describe my going to MAN a week early last Wednesday, having a nice conversation with Keith, who didn't remember me from before, which disappoints me, but I'd going back tonight and maybe will have a chance to "make nice" with someone. I talk about my impatience with this woman, years ago, who still had to talk about her mother, and I'm disappointed that I still have to talk about my mother. She keeps asking me what I FEEL when I think about these things, and finally I come to some kind of conclusion that I know I accept the fact that I'm getting older INTELLECTUALLY, but maybe I haven't accepted it EMOTIONALLY: I waste more energy REGRETTING that I'm getting older when I should just go ahead and ACCEPT it as the fact that it is. Somehow I come to the conclusion that I'm living a paradox: I'd long ago decided I wouldn't have the problems of an emotional relationship (based largely on the lack of sexuality when I started taking Proscar, and had it proved that I have very low testosterone levels because of it), but I suddenly realize that, having GIVEN UP on the emotional, I've let my whole emotional LIFE go into abeyance, and I'm not USED to having strong emotions. At first I thought that was a positive thing, but now, comparing it with the body, which I know I have to keep "in shape" by going to the gym and continuing "doing" and traveling and pushing myself PHYSICALLY, I've let my EMOTIONAL self go COMPLETELY flaccid, unexercised, so I haven't evenEXPERIENCED great sadness or great joy EMOTIONALLY in a long, long time, thinking back to John's ups and downs that ended in the 70s, Dennis's ups and downs that ended in the 80s, and maybe Carr into the 90s with that awful try at a relationship that totally didn't work, but nothing since. It's out of shape, disused, rusty, and she cautions me to go SLOWLY, realizing that I'm "out of condition," and that I shouldn't rush into anything, but have to KEEP IT GOING so that I don't lose it completely. When she keeps asking how I feel about these things, I say that MAYBE I've come to the conclusion that I can AFFORD to feel, maybe even badly, so that I can prove to myself that I CAN still feel, and a rebuff won't, maybe, be so terrible if I can just EXERCISE my emotions a bit more. For a long time I felt GOOD that I'd left strong emotions behind me, but she seemed to put it in the context of having TIME to indulge in the emotional life: I don't have the work or the travel to occupy myself now, so maybe I can spend time in the EMOTIONAL aspects of living, since I've already become an expert in the intellectual part of it. She suggested I use HER to vent all the NEGATIVE feelings, because that's what she's here for, and I should try to accumulate some of the POSITIVE feelings that I've been missing. Even thought that I don't cry as much at MOVIES or TV as I used to, so I AM getting out of practice. She keeps reinforcing what "a great fellow" I am, and that I should share this with others more often and more deeply, that I come alive when I engage with others, that I had a good time even with the mistake of visiting Keith and Kevin on last Wednesday instead of tonight. I'd said I'd felt GOOD yesterday that I was finally caught up, that I felt rested, but was disappointed when only a short time at the museum exhausted me, but then I said that getting all this off my chest actually made me FEEL more awake than I had before (after going through the "I'm not the type that naps," having condemned ARNO in the past for taking naps, now I have to accept MYSELF maybe taking naps, as I did a few years ago on the trip through France with Ken. As I have to accept still talking about my mother's influence at an advanced age. She wishes me a Merry Christmas, saying that our next meeting will be AFTER Christmas, and she reaches out to touch my arm through my heavy coat as I get ready to wheel out the door, getting downstairs to sign out at 5:50PM, really making it the 50-minute hour. She still asks me to remember what I FEEL when I think of approaching someone, why I will or won't talk with them, and I feel PRESSURED! (RETURN TO SHARON B. 8)   (CONTINUE SHARON B. 10)


SUNDAY, 12/24/06: 1:30PM: Woke at 4:04AM with a sexy dream, recorded in DREAMS:12/24/06, and felt so good [and I feel so sexy now at 1:32PM that I go into the living room to jerk off, cumming quickly at 1:54PM because I don't want to muff the chance to see what comes out after my "what was it, an orgasm?" experience this morning: and what came out was a LOT of pre-cum, which implies that I didn't ejaculate at ALL earlier, and it WAS all saved up, which made me excited as I typed, and now it's gotten rid of, as are two small butts that I had left among the three in the bag, and as is the one-match-left matchbook that I used and put away, putting EVERYTHING away now that I resume typing this morning's experience at 2:12PM] that I played and teased with the lights out until the feeling got so intense that I HAD to put on the light and get out the stuff, putting on two rubber bands and smoking a new bidi just to have something to last, which it does: it lasts and lasts until I'm almost finished with the entire bidi, feeling just wonderful, and I tickle the cockhead and fantasize that I could cum this way, just tickling, tickling, tickling, feeling absolutely wonderful, delighted that I have the leisure to do EXACTLY what I want, delighting in the intensity of the feeling from my over-erect cock, playing so gently that there's no threat of edema or bloodletting, as happens too frequently recently when I get close to cumming, particularly watching my porn DVDs---and it's about time to end this sentence. I'm amazed and pleased that I remain rigidly erect through all the barely touching teasings, writhing on the bed to intensify the entire-body feelings, thinking that this could go on as long as I please, with no impulse to get out the paper-porno or go into the living room for the DVD-porno, just lying in bed, my cock feeling absolutely glorious, seeming ready to go into still-uncharted areas of sexual arousal before orgasm. I now (at 2:18PM) check to see that I've typed out the preceding NOTEBOOK page, so I can continue with this to the bottom of the page, trying to put into words the wonderful, almost-new feelings of arousal and excitement in my rock-hard cock, shining in the dim red-orange light, as I pump my hips and alternately raise and lower my knees to captivate the feelings in the prostate as the cock gets nearer and nearer to levels 8, 9, or 10, looking forward to what I'll be feeling when it gets near the edge, and finally I DO allow it to get near the edge, and it feels---there ought to be a better word than "fabulous"---extremely gratifying?---to be able to devote such erotic concentration in a 70-year-old cock, driving it to truly new levels of experience, only a foreshadowing of the climax which DID encompass a new level of experience, if I can only hold out in describing until I get to the bottom of the page! Finally I reach the edge, entire cock tensed, entire body ready for the orgasm, yet content to stretch the limits and remain at the edge longer and longer, fingers now flying over the keyboard like my fingers brushed the underside of the cockhead with increased sensitivity, thinking for a moment of (but discarding) the idea of the vibrator to tease it still more, but delighting in the sensitivity of my fingers to the increasing pressures to cum. I play at the end, tease at the end, tickle at the end, until I plump up the pillow and gaze down at the shiny, purple-red cock, and make a few final strokes, and the feeling builds ALMOST to the seizure of orgasm, but maybe doesn't QUITE make it there, because I feel a spasm, my balls clutch, yet I've got the feeling that the peak of the orgasm, if it was an orgasm, is over, and I allow my cock to relax, but it really can't relax, again leading me to think that I really didn't cum, and I feel the dry cock-slit, gently take off the rubber bands, still feeling the dry cock-slit, and I turn over and bring up the covers to attempt a sleep position with the stuff still on the bed and the light still on, thinking to do Actualism to put me to sleep, rolling over when my cock is still dry, allowing it to rest on the sheet, and I put the stuff on the floor and shut off the light and rest until I get up, and type above, and stop at 2:26PM.

Note: 2:37PM: SUCH a productive day (started above) that I'm compelled (sure!) to continue: came twice, an event in itself, and decided to "solidify" the stacks on my coffee table by adding 1) the stack from the shelf, to be sorted through to see what's imminent, 2) the Beard stack, which is getting close to capacity and should be filed, 3) the Travel stack, which has long since sadly overflowed its meager shelf, 4) the Cruising stack, again overflowing and on my mind to take care of. To allow all the stacks, I tripled up on 1) United frequent-flyer miles, 2) American Express positive balance to be used, and 3) the Palmyra freebie flyers. I now have 10 symmetric stacks, and, with nowhere else to put it, I add the "call Tina on Tuesday" card to stack #10, which I put on my desk to further winnow NOW at 2:40PM, having started the Kenya-Tanzania slide-show by phoning 1) Ken, who can make Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, 2) Fred, who's busy the 27th and can't come, but who could make the 26th or 28th, and 3) Anita, 4) Carolyn, and 5) Steve, leaving word on possibilities.

MONDAY, 12/25/06: 9:05AM: Finished sorting through 1) the stack from the shelf, 2) the Beard stack, and 3) the Cruising stack, untripling the triple stack, disassembling the "now" stack into separate items, and ended up with NINETEEN stacks (one cheat: Xmas cards and journal-typing listed on one card to do when most of the others are taken care of), with the Travel stack on my desk to be done next. Made it to Veritas just five minutes late when the R-train took ages to travel, had a stuffed-feeling meal with good wine for "only" $33, and got back to finish Mary Poppins and watch Bridget Jones's Diary before going to bed just after 11:30PM, but not really sleeping until after 1AM. Then up and shit and open blinds and think to do a bit of Spider before starting my TV-watching day, but found NOTEREPL sitting on the screen, so DO it.

THURSDAY, 12/28/06: 8:55AM: Continued Monday with mostly TV-viewing: The Line of Beauty, Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Kontrol, In the Mood for Love, which I kept thinking I'd seen before, but hadn't. Tuesday finally finished all of Ken's tapes with Captain Newman, M.D. and Sleepy Hollow, which I hardly remembered I'd seen, and watched two hours of Dexter from Spartacus, returned old and got back new stuff to watch that doesn't deserve a list. Got rid of some stacks, trying to do three a day until exhausted, leaving fifteen stacks for Wednesday-Sunday. Wednesday I finally got through the Beard list, leaving lots for the next Visa bill, and put away the HSBC statements until next time too. Took a lot of time preparing for the Italy-slide evening, setting up for TWO nights, putting the remaining stacks on top of each other by the bed. Played lots of Spider, coming to a new record of 48.73911 after 3 wins at 9:20AM Wednesday. Took my Citi check to the bank, got to Sharon late at 5:05 (see below), inviting her for tomorrow, and had a successful slide-show with Mildred, Charles, the B.s, Sherryl, and Shelley, and finished with another 2 hours of Dexter. Up today to sort stuff into NINE piles on the floor (for Friday, Saturday, Sunday---I wish!), go through Xmas-card list, and have my three stacks for today on the desk: 1) 2006 trips, 2) OAT/GCT list, 3) Thursday's KENTANZ slides, with as many as 10 people! Type this now to 9:05AM.

SHARON B. 10     12/27/06

Totally occupied with setting up for the reshow-Italy slides until 4:50, when I erroneously decide to go to the bank BEFORE seeing Sharon ("at 5PM"). Slow elevator down, long walk to bank, slow transaction, back to Pierrepont at 5:05 and the doorman won't let me in! Finally rap, we talk, he lets me up, and Sharon had actually PHONED him about me! Get up about 5:10 and she'swaiting, and we talk about eye contact, which she says (again making me embarrassed, which of course is suppressed joy) I do very well for someone who isn't used to it, and we talk about how my family just "didn't do it," and since it was my family, I assumed it was the same everywhere. Then talked about Mike T. (calling him Steve since I didn't remember his name as I spoke to her!) and how that was just about my last eye-contact person, more recent than Carr, whom I'd described as my most recent attempt at a relationship. Talked about the last MAN meeting, where I kept observing others, effortlessly discarding those older ones I wasn't interested in, loved looking at the cutie who brought in more wine and I'll have to find out who he IS, just lovely to look at though thoroughly out of my realm of possibility, and my increasing talk with Robert G., who shared our conversation that evening by talking about "shoulds" and rather deep mystical concepts, and he confided in me that his lover had died a number of years ago. Sharon was uniformly encouraging, again asking how I felt when I made decisions, and I went back to describe the Beard evening with Ken and hunky Bob, who reminded me of the subject of eye contact with Ken at the Christmas Eve dinner and now with Sharon. I talked of how Ken "came out" at the dinner easily, saying, "If I make a mistake, it only affects the next few hours and we don't have to see them ever again, but on a trip the bad effects, if any, might last for days," and the next time Sharon asks how I felt about being rejected, or making the wrong move, the phrase that pops into my head is "If I'm rejected I made a mistake in evaluating the person's response to my advances!" I say this aloud as a revelation, suddenly convinced that I'm MORE concerned about my NOT HAVING READ THE PERSON correctly, than the person's actually rejecting me. She thinks this may be a startling breakthrough, too, and we talk about that for a while, the idea still too new to me to be meaningfully engaged in conversation (which may mean, I think now, typing, that I haven't had time to rationalize it and put it into a mental construct, where the "popped into my head" was more an EMOTIONAL revelation). I again apologize for being late, saying I'd gone to the bank before rather than after to prepare for the slides at 6:30, and ask her if she's busy tonight, but she's meeting people for dinner, and then tomorrow she's free, but won't stay around to eat anything afterward because she has a two-hour trip back to Tarrytown. "I thought you lived in the 20s?" "No, I wish I did, but I commute two hours each way from Tarrytown." "It's nice up there." And she'll phone if she decides she CAN'T come. With the B.s maybe coming, Shelley maybe coming, Spartacus maybe coming, Carolyn maybe coming [and I look at the shelf this morning and I forgot AGAIN to give the TicTacs to Shelley!], we may be as many as ELEVEN, a new record. Leave at 5:45 by her clock, 5:50 by my watch, and walk partway to Henry Street and dash back to say, "We'll just say I met you at the St. Charles center talking about slides," and she says she's glad I thought to talk about it, and then Leon B. adds to the possible confusion (what if they KNOW Sharon from St. Charles?) by saying he mentioned my slide-shows to Christina at St. Charles, who'll be calling me about presenting them there. I'm aware, going to bed last night and getting up this morning, that I'm PRETERNATURALLY calm and centered in doing things and catching up with things, partly thanks to Sharon, I'm sure, and the work I've been doing with her, and my energy (at last, recovered from all the trips, no longer exhausted evening and morning) is holding up, and the stacks are diminishing, and I've actually managed to fill this page, better than what I'd thought before: just adding it to the end of the previous page now 9:25AM. (RETURN TO SHARON B. 9) (CONTINUE SHARON B. 11)

YEAR-END SUMMARY          12/28/06

In a year devoted primarily to my website and travel, catching up with my last trip (which has taken almost a month now), I find the solution to two remaining stacks of things to do: this page. 1) I can type up my 2006 trip-list:

  1.Carib Cruise(Fred)       12                 6         $2134
  2.Morocco (Ken)             22               16          5408
  3.Germany (Fred)           14               10          4064
  4.KenTanz (Ken)             17               12          6600
  5.Buda/BlackSea(alone)   13                8           4723
  6.Chicago (Ken)                8                2           2244
  7.Bolivia/Amazon (Paul)    16                9          4807
                                                        63@$10/      630
     TOTALS                     102  days                   $30610
  or $300.10/day! And another stack hits the wastebasket!

2) I can type up my OAT/GCT/Other-tour list:
1.A&K (Delores and Michael)   South Africa  1992

2.Beasley, Florence (Ken)     Caves     1997
     Morocco     2006

3.Discovery Lines     Pacific (Ken)2004

4.Go Ahead (Fred)     Spain     2003
     Ireland     2005

5.Grand Circle Travel (GCT)     Turkey(Alone)2001

6.Grand European Tours (GET)     Germany (Fred)2004

7.Liberty Travel               CostaRica(Ken)2002

8.Marine Expeditions (Alone)     Atl.Ocn.Isls. 1996
                              Amazon         2000

9.Norwegian Cruise Lines(NCL)     Canada (Fred) 2002

10.0verseas Adventure (OAT)     Tibet/China(A)1997
                              Camb/Thai/NVt 2000
                              Malta (A)     2004

3) So I might as well record tonight's list: as of 12:30PM, 5 attending: me, Anita, Ken, Fred, and Charles; 7 can't: Steph, Piri, Leon, Elsie, Sharon, Shelley, Carolyn, in order of no (cases 1 and 2) or cancels, rest of them. Yet to hear from Steve, whom I've essentially given up on, and Spartacus undecided. 3:50PM: Charles canceled at 12:35, bringing it down to 4, Mildred saying no. Finish setting up most everything and decide to play Spider. Ken doesn't show up by 7:30, he thought it was NEXT week! Like 13 others DIDN'T! THEN he told me he SAW the KENTANZ slides!! Spartacus shows up, we four share 8 wonderful slices, he leaves about 9:30, when Anita and Fred want to see Italy, so I put THOSE slides back and show them, drinking LOTS and they leave just after 12PM!