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2007 September thru december

FRIENDS DON'T INVITE PEOPLE OVER                                   9/7/07

After Actualism this morning, suddenly think that I invite people over for slides and pizza and talk, but hardly anyone else EVER invites people to their place: not Charles, Mildred, Ken, Spartacus (except once). Fred has his New Year's Day party, Carolyn has her "business" gatherings, Anita and John C2. never invite me to their places, Shelley and Sherryl DO have people over, but Steve H. (except twice) and Bill P. never invite me. It used to be that people like Joan and Dennis would ALWAYS be looking for an excuse for a party; even John had people over for dinner on occasion. Has "the circuit" changed, or have I just been aged OUT of the circuit?

DARIUS-FANTASY                                                     9/7/07

Sadahiro calls to ask if I'll accept a $1200 wire transfer to my account so that I can give the money to Darius. I make the arrangements, the money is cleared, so I call Darius, who says he wants to come over. He has an accent, and I spend the first time in ages FANTASIZING about how the relationship might go. He'll be young and attractive, and being from Poland he'll have a lot in common with me, including sexual likes and dislikes, and we'll turn out to be a wonderful couple. The fantasy extended, but it WAS some time ago, and from the moment he stepped out of the elevator looking like a not-too-well-preserved 60-year-old, despite the fact he said he was only 47, and then almost immediately, maybe even to fend off any lingering fantasies that he may have perceived (being Polish, he's very perceptive?), he self-describes as a "rice queen," and I'm clearly not for him as much as he's not for me. Well, better luck next time; the fantasy was fun while it lasted, and I mentioned it to Sharon by saying that I USED to do it a LOT, but haven't done it in YEARS (except fleetingly to look lovingly at someone on the street or in the subway), and this was like a resurrection for my fantasizing process. But it didn't work out, and now I can cross that item off my list and print out this page! I'll fill his fantasies and he'll fill mine!

Note from SATURDAY, 9/8/07: 5:37PM: Doing printing, going to other tasks in comfortable air conditioning before leaving for Beard in less than an hour. Weigh exactly 190 pounds in shorts and sock BEFORE Beard meal, and 192 pounds after. Midge comes up with her acronym: Back-Of-Book (Indexer) Bob! Bed 10:58PM, stuffed.

SUNDAY, 9/9/07: Pee 3:15AM. Up at 8:09AM. Leave word for Spartacus, but he doesn't phone at all, nor on Monday. Read the Times quickly, decide to watch all of Ken's tapes before tomorrow: Forty Shades of Blue, which I'm SURE I watched (or skimmed) before, but can't find LISTING for it; Without You I'm Nothing, awful Sandra Bernhard one-person play; Female Trouble, with ugly Divine as both male and female; Queen Bee with dated Joan Crawford; and Decoding Nostradamus, not that new. Stop recording when I go to bed.

MONDAY, 9/10/07: Finish Ken's tapes with I Married a Strange Person, by Bill Plympton, a bit repetitious, and Everyone Says I Love You, which I find, too late, is a musical by Woody Allen, with some minor actor parroting him, too. Then watch a 2-hour History special on The Universe: Beyond the Big Bang, and add seven items to the "100 Things to Do" List, leaving only 40 more to do in the 14 days until leaving on next vacation. Still not started proofing the old ASME index, which I have open on my desk to do next, now at 5:35PM, A/C on against awful humidity outside.

EVERYTHING'S FUCKED UP!                                            9/12/07

For three weeks I put the second box down to be picked up by HHMeals, and finally on Monday she said, "Just throw the box out." So I did. So Tuesday about 10:30PM I get a call from Security: "HH is here to pick up the box." "But delivery is tomorrow." Then I figured they were picking up the SPARE box, which I vaguely recall someone at HHM saying, "They'll come BACK to pick up the spare box," but I thought that meant the SAME night, not TWO NIGHTS LATER. So now at 1:45PM I phoned Josie to tell her what happened. Left at 9:45AM this morning for what I thought was a 10AM appointment, but of course it was a 10:15AM appointment with Dr. S., so when I was told I'd have "a half-hour or an hour's wait, with five ahead of me," I said I'd be down in Dr. C.'s office. GOT two flashlight batteries (for $8+!) and picked up two stamp volumes and came back to wait in Dr. C.'s office, finishing two MAGAZINES by the time he FINALLY calls me at 11:48AM: 1) NO cotton in ear, but I cut the eardrum with my tweezers!, 2) I DID have to have a referral for the out-of-house A., but didn't need one for the in-house S., 3) Blood results: cholesterol 182, HDL 34, LDL 119 (so Zetia is STILL needed), Triglycerides 144, so fish oil is working; 4) No nurse-practitioners anymore. To S. 12:02: "Still have last patient on screen. Of my 6/22 Doshi CAT scans he has the PELVIC (which shows no abnormalities in groin, bladder, ureters), but not the ABDOMINAL (which would show kidneys and liver). Never DID find out what my urine cytology results were! So I go to Donna in Special Services at 12:48, after getting a form from Tiffanie at 12:45, and get a 9/19 9AM appointment for abdominal with and without opacity. STILL haven't gotten anyone to come up to take the screws out of my windows, though when I dug into the depths of my clothes closet I did find more feet of carpeting to piece in a rain-drop preventative as well as a "higher A/C drip" preventative. Mildred found that Aureole isn't open for lunch on Friday, and we can't have dinner because slides are that night. AND, finally, on my slide-scanner, the first photo was great, the FIRST try at 16 slides put them in upside down, the SECOND try had me starting, as usual, from left to right, but when they came out VERY confused I find they're NUMBERED right to left, which I should have noticed. Gradually learning how to do it, happy that, though it SAID only Vista, that it works with whatever Windows I have on my Dell desktop, which is about five years old now. Other things must have gone wrong but I'm hungry for lunch, having ordered more meals, at 2:15PM.

SHARON B. 41                                                  9/12/07

Other woman is talking away as I enter, and then Sharon goes to the john and invites me in about 5:32PM. I start with bitching about all that went wrong today: bruising my eardrum trying to get a nonexistent piece of earplug out, taking from 10-1:30 at HIP, and having to re-do an abdominal CAT scan because Doshi "lost" my original (if it, in fact, was ever done), but still did lots of useful things, though I laughed about all the WRONG ways I used my slide-scanner. Then decided to turn to what she wanted to talk about: what in my early life could have brought on my obsessive-compulsive and control-freak characteristics. "Was there a lot of control at home?" Not really, since I had my chores, all of which HAD to be done, without question, and I knew they were my tasks and that I had to do them, just as simple as that. She worked, was always tired ("Maybe that's part of the reason I get annoyed with MYSELF when I get tired, because I got annoyed because she was tired all the time"), and our usual communication was my naming the songs she didn't know the titles of on the radio. Told about creeping out to listen to the radio, then inventing that I was "sleepwalking" when she heard the floorboards squeak in the hall; even telling my trying to get attention by "falling out of bed," and even doing it "twice," which she heard, and remarked about, but never really "called me" on it. Again went through the traumas of Mom and Dad arguing, realizing with a new kind of clarity that he was in the ARMY from 1942-1945, so I was NOT subjected to their arguments between my ages of 6-9. And then my sister was born, but I also mentioned a small period after he got back from the Army that we went to his parents', once for dinner where I had rabbit for the first time, though I was aware of "chickens running around with their heads cut off" from the neighboring store. Alone most of the time because the boys in the neighborhood liked sports, playing ball in the streets, which I didn't like, and though I DID like playing with paper dolls and dollhouses, with girls on the block, I knew this was something I couldn't admit to, as it "just wasn't done in Akron in the early 40s." Talked of my "Noah's Ark" of puzzle pieces lined up outside the box, putting one into the box, moving all the others up one, then putting the next piece into the box, just to occupy my time: I didn't have to think of what else to do, I enjoyed doing it, and the time just PASSED. Remarked again about resting under the weeds in one of the back lots in the summer, thinking, "I'd better enjoy all this time, because when I'm grown up I'll wish I had some of this time because there'll be so many things I'll want to do that I won't have time for." At the end she summarized, "Lots of free time, but time in the house was controlled, a poor mix, and then times of trauma," which I kept, for some reason, insisting didn't happen over a GREAT PERIOD OF TIME: no argument would last for more than a half-hour, and the "knife to the stomach, kill me" episodes weren't more than five or six times, that I remember, probably all before he went into the Army. She even said something like, "We only have a few minutes left" at 6:12PM, said we'd done very well, and that this combination of freedom and control and trauma would have contributed to my feeling of a need to control. "Do you fear something bad about to happen?" "No, today I think I was justifiably pissed about people's mistakes." She talked about underlying anger in my behaviors, and I said it probably applied to what I call my IRRITABILITY: when someone whistles in the gym, annoying me, I'd like to think of some good way of just getting them to STOP, and a way of telling the women blocking the doorway or the subway entrance to just move out of the way without appearing to be some kind of freak. We established we had one more meeting next week, then I was away for two weeks, and she said she'd be going away the last week of September, too, but I didn't think of asking if she were going anywhere. Leave at 6:14PM, thinking that she's really perfected the 45-minute hour, five minutes better than the 50-minute hour. Mentioned Grandma's cottage at the lakes, jerking off with younger guys, glad they weren't Catholic and guilty as I was, and she said she had a much better idea of the background of my problems.  (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 42) (RETURN TO SHARON B. 40) 

WEDNESDAY, 9/12/07: 6:45PM: Finish my page about the session with Sharon, desk slightly littered but the number of piles down to about 14, which is great, even having two stamp catalogs if I want to "play with my stamps." Also a box full of mail to do before dinner, for which I'm already hungry. Marj called back, but I'll leave it to tomorrow to call her.

THURSDAY, 9/13/07: 12:05PM: Paul and Julio (didn't know who he was when Ron mentioned he hadn't seen him around, but it turns out to be the attractive guy who was usually at the desk at 10 Clinton) are STILL working on making my window openings WIDER (they REFUSED to let them open all the way, for fear "the wind would catch it and it would smash against the building and shower glass down the unprotected facade," as they insisted), despite calls that they should be in 15B to prepare for the window replacements there. Managed to slip Julio $10 when Paul's back was to us, for which he said "Thanks," with obvious pleasure, checking to see the denomination of the folded bill, and have $20 ready in my pocket for Paul, who not only handled the screws, and the meeting he was said to have had with Yves and L. discussing the possible openings in the windows, but also cut my carpeting to size for the replacement pieces at the top of the living-room and new bedroom A/Cs, even, as I checked with bated breath, cutting the ventilation holes into the two places on top. They worked 11:19-12:14, starting time checked with Marj, on whom I hung up when they knocked on my door, that is, after she called back from yesterday, when I left her the message "Nothing fucking WORKS," which I'd forgotten, so she could read it back from her notes from yesterday! So, at last, that whole phase is finished, though Paul says I'd have to call Yves about the "wind-resistant insurance" rebate. Moved the plant, that EB sort of said was NOT Schefflera, even farther back so he could easily move the ladder into the window recess to drill the new holes for the larger openings. I keep apologizing for causing so much trouble, but they say they understand. 7:50PM: played Spider in two lumps today, a total of 3:45, but each lump increased my average, leaving it at 49.31895, and Spartacus calls back, SAYS he can make it on the 21st since he just canceled tomorrow night, and says he'll be going down for his mail, which reminds me to get MY mail.

FRIDAY, 9/14/07: Start with Sudoku, but don't finish, but then Mildred calls, ADMITTING OF THE DIABOLICAL PUZZLE, which I put in the same category with Ken's admitting he was wrong when he said at the Beard, with Midge, that he was certainly NOT available for my slides on the 21st. BUT that puts me back to the puzzle which I'd left largely unsolved, but finally got down to the 18 missing squares where a number had to be TRIED, and the 5 was wrong, then I got the 9 wrong, tried the 5 again, wrong, tried the 9 again, and it WORKED, but it took until 1PM (I waited until 11:30AM when I decided I HAD to have breakfast), and I catch up with this at 1:05PM, deciding I MUST go to the gym, or I won't get that done at all. 5:50PM: Then decide I should SCRUB things first, so I vacuum, scrub the floors, cleanse the sinks and toilet, and then go to the gym at 2:15, getting back to have lunch by 4PM, then start setting things up: projector, screen, chairs, dishes, and pizza-stuff on table, bottles and glasses in the kitchen with receptacles for whatever anyone may bring, with bottle opener at least for Anita's red wine, and put the air conditioner on to make it less humid in here. Pour myself a nice, tall glass of apple juice, pick pieces of trash off the floor, and sit at the computer, with the air conditioner on in the bedroom, too, and catch up at 5:52PM, ready for Mildred at 6:30PM or sooner. Decide there's nothing better to do than Spider.

MONDAY, 9/17/07: Note from MONDAY, 9/10/07: Try to j/o 10:30-11:40, but can't. To bed 11:45PM. What next? Put Vicks on feet, make a list of topics to take up with the dermatologist tomorrow to 12:13AM, Tuesday. Didn't want to reprint page 34 with this stuff on it, can change it when it's edited for website.
12:08PM: Caught up with printing out missing pages in DREAMS and sorting pages in order, waiting for the first part of Foolish Wives to record VHS to DVD until 1:15PM, when I have to watch for the title that will start the second part of the recording, FINALLY learning how to set the recording density for DVDs!

WEDNESDAY, 9/19/07: Bed 10:45PM last night stuffed from Beard. Reflux at 2:21AM, trying hanging head over side of bed to disgorge sour fluids from the tops of my lungs. Wake at 7:30AM, dazed, rub on Ersatco, shit, type dream [DREAMS:9/19/07]. 8:27PM: Finished dream, have to get to Doshi by 9:30AM, so will do stamps before that.

FRIDAY, 9/21/07: 3:55PM: JUST as I was thinking, "Gee, I could prepare the disk for Tris when he comes over tonight," he calls and says, "The radiation machine broke down, so I'm just leaving Temple, and it would take four hours straight driving to get to your place. I'd planned to be home two hours ago and rest and get to you, but I can't." So now I don't have to make the disk, and I give myself permission for some Spider, first since MONDAY!

SATURDAY, 9/22/07: 11:25PM: Take Ambien and Librium and bed, then about 15 minutes to get to sleep.

SUNDAY, 9/23/07: Look at clock at 8:04AM, over EIGHT hours sleep, NOT interrupted by peeing. Look again at 8:33AM. Do stamps for volumes 3 and 4.

MONDAY, 9/24/07: Bed 12:30AM, having eaten late after getting back from Tribeca Tropfilms festival at 11:15PM. Take Librium, and up at 6AM, forcing myself out of bed at 6:05AM to be tired EARLY tonight. Take a Librium again at 6:15AM and jerk off painfully to 8AM, finish watching Holes. Go to the Internet to get two messages from Knox and one from Alex, responding to both. Look at website and SF is not updated and HISTORY doesn't have memos 7 and 8 yet. Talk to Tris and he's still working on coding. Make a "Before Ukraine" list and do most: 1) John: water Sunday: he says not to worry about repotting plant. 2) Bill P. to pick up Times two weekends. 3) Sun delivers late today and stops until October 8. 4) Record phone message. 5) Pack. 6) Send indexes and check with W., and he gets it on second try. 7) Mail 3 disks. 8) Look at Knox index and call them. 9) Shave. 10) Gym. 11) Check United bill, due only 10/20. Return stamp catalogs, deposit $2000 from Schwab One to HSBC for all incoming bills, get $40 in singles for trip, and buy 12 disk mailers for $12.87. Watch Men with Guns while having lunch, and do all but 4), 5), 7) and 9) by 6:10PM, typing now. Finished the 100 list, which I'll update now. Also started list for "Return from Ukraine: 1) Times from Bill, 2) Send slides rolls, 3) Sort mail, 4) Order from AARP, 5) Repot plant, 6) Call S. for Doshi results (letter in HIP file), and 7) Do Knox index. More to be added, I'm sure: 8) Pay Ken $238.87 to balance Baltics trip, 9) Pay United bill of $64.75 by 10/12, 10) Edit Baltics slides and type slide-list, 11) Marj: Send tracking disk. 12) Finish Ukraine Summary and print pages, 13) Get Ukraine frequent-flier miles, 14) Finish Ukraine expenses, 15) Get generic Ambien prescription, 16) Order Kodak slide film, 17) Buy overcoat, 18) See Asia House. Finish printing page 30 at 6:25PM, getting tired. Go through mail, pay bills, vacuum, update Baltics expenses and put final packet into folder, preparing to check Visa and HSBC bills at 7:35PM, even more tired. Have a late dinner, watch TV until I sleep during sections, and bed at 10:33PM. Sleep quickly.

TUESDAY, 9/25/07: 9:26AM: Up at 4:42AM, feeling slightly sleepy: in 24 hours I'll be in Odessa! Up and finish watching Rich in Love, have breakfast, brush teeth, watch Plan 9 from Outer Space to finish Ken's tape, fill pillbox, record phone message, clip toenails, shave, phone Beard about $150 charge on 9/3, leaving really only packing. Took Librium on arising, feel somewhat disconnected, which is probably good. TRAVEL:UKRAINE

SHARON B. 42                                                  10/10/07

Reading the Times when the phone rings: Sharon asks, "Weren't you planning on coming this evening?" Ohmigod! It's 5:35, I dash out, getting there at 5:45, and she "has a telephone session," so I can't go over 6:15, and she has papers for me to sign. Well, it wasn't the best session ever. I DO say that the trip was great, the weather, the food, our partners at the table at meals, sitting on the deck looking at the riversides slide by, looking at the locks, going on tours in the town and bringing back books for Shelley to see what she missed, but I had to admit that I was depressed by the old people on the trip: is THIS how I was going to travel in the future? Barely moving around, hardly seeming to enjoy most things, or rattling on endlessly like Roy. THEN I got into the non-cumming yesterday, the frustration, disappointment, depression, PAIN from trying and not succeeding in having an orgasm, realizing that this would only get worse rather than better, though I did confess to having a greater than usual emission this morning, rather making up for yesterday. I DID finish the index, lying about "pulling an all-nighter" to send it off early, and I DID enjoy talking to Marj, who shared my obsessions, but I felt that I was talking on the phone about my trip, so enjoyable, with a voice that seemed tired and depressed. AND my next trip, which I AM looking forward to, starts as early as the FIFTH of November. Rather surprised, I must say, that it was almost a MONTH since the last session with Sharon, confessing to having missed them, and she even admitted that it was the worst possible time to have to cancel, but she knew I wouldn't stay away "on purpose," but that something must have happened, or, as it DID happen, I'd simply lost track of the time. Talking about being glad to be home, glad to have seen NO one except Bill to pick up the Times, happy only to talk on the phone, and it doesn't MATTER if I don't get the rolls of film off for slides in the next few days, and a few of the fires that had to be taken care of (not detailing the Visa-check "vanishing," the---what WAS the other fire I had to put out?). Oh, fuck, let's end this, as I told her, "I hope I never have a session like THIS again," as she concluded that it all had to do with advancing age, as if this were news to me. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 43)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 41)

TUESDAY, 10/16/07: 10:05PM: Days after my Ukraine trip are noted at the end of the Ukraine file [TRAVEL:UKRAINE]. Yesterday I made (and did) a list for "20-thing-do-Monday": 1) Read Sun, 2) Bundle and take out newspapers, 3) Take out bottles and garbage, 4) Pick up and store food, 5) Mail OAT bill, 6) Do Ukraine Summary page, 7) Reserve for 10/24 SAGE walk, 8) Tell Ken to pick up tape and check, and he calls back to say he got them, 9) Leave word with Charles (ditto today): Agrippina Tuesday 7:30?, 10) Proof and print all Ukraine pages, 11) Fill in datebook pages for Ukraine, 12) Improve Spider score (twice!), 13) Spartacus: call!, 14) Check I HAVE Patagonia-air window seats, 15) Check NO Brazilian visa required for my trip, 16) Gym, 17) Dr. S. has LEFT (thank goodness), and make appointment with M., new urologist, 18) Process mail, 19) Count index pages, 20) Put this list into NOTEREPL, which I do now, waiting for Spartacus to call back. Start "10-thing-do-Tuesday" list: 1) Ken over, 2) Agrippina, for which Arnold got me a $9 seat with someone standing outside State Theater at 7PM!, 3) Sherryl: arrangements in HER court now, 4) Charles: AGAIN call, 5) Arnold will call back. Transfer old "Tuesday" list to "On Return from Ukraine" list, with 17 items, 7 still undone: 5) Repot plant, 13) Get Ukraine frequent-flier miles, 14) Finish Ukraine expenses, 15) Get generic Ambien, 16) Order KODAK slide film and mailers, 17) Buy overcoat, 18) See Asia House. Now to reorganize piles on coffee table at 12:15PM. Then Spartacus calls and I go over to Xerox stuff for frequent-flier miles, give him lots of gifts, get two porn videos I think I didn't have before, and lots of DVDs with other programs, though he has a list of about four MORE DVDs that I want. Back to call Ken to come over, so I put on Juno to start with, and he arrives before I finish. He leaves three tapes (I thought he said there'd be more), enjoys Apricot Liquor, writes to El Bulli from ME, hoping to get a better answer, and I finish "10-thing-do-Tuesday" list: 6) CVS, both Rxs ready, 7) Subscribe to Bestway newsletters, 8) Asked Fresh Direct for phone number for Mildred, 9) Subscribed via Discount Press for 56 issues for $24.95, better than TV Guide's own 52 issues for $30.68, 10) Entered this on computer, and, not to cheat from 10), 11) Start index, now at 3:55PM.

WEDNESDAY, 10/17/07: 7:35AM: Type even more notes to follow up the dream already recorded [DREAMS:10/17/07]. More connections: 1) Dream REFLECTS my ACTIVE life NOW: a) travel, b) index, c) recording and keeping, d) ordering and prioritizing, e) DOING and WANTING to do, f) NOT wanting to STOP, to DIE! 2) I can see why people "invent" aliens observing us to give a REASON for common compulsions/ madnesses. 3) AGAIN, my "transmitting" my life TO a distant alien, or god, or computer. 4) My LSD "observation" that "records are USELESS, throw them OUT" was regretted when I did NOT keep journals for some months afterward. 4) And ACTUAL PANIC on losing 98 pages (5 or 6 pages PERMANENTLY) of file. 5) ENDLESS RECURSIVE thoughts, like "reliving life at the moment of death, then reliving the RELIVING, then RECURSIVE, ENDLESS reliving". 6) Maybe based on yesterday's reading (or re-reading) in Scientific American about reversible universe BEFORE Big Bang---MY old idea, in some of my old writings, like "Gain," and "A Sound and a Light."

SHARON B. 43                                                  10/17/07

Curious now as to when I STARTED with her. Have to check back to JV, NT1-98, to find it was SEPTEMBER 20, so I've already been with her THIRTEEN MONTHS! Told of compulsively detailed and written dream of last night, of small panic attack earlier in week, and read her clip from the New Yorker saying we store memories BEFORE age 2, but they're IMAGES, which is what DREAMS are, which makes them so important! Decided there are two more visits before my next vacation, I AGAIN stressed I was battling THOUGHTS OF BEING OLDER, had another failed orgasm, but said I liked her AS a woman, didn't feel intimidated by her being female, and many other things I've now forgotten, writing this FRIDAY! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 44)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 42)

FRIDAY, 10/19/07: 2:15PM: Just finished writing SHARON B. 43, checking that I started with her September 20, 2006, 13 months ago; put stuff into 13 (HA!) neat piles on table, checked Juno again for Ken's response from El Bulli, and note that I have to weed out Ukraine slides for Shelley starting 10/28, so she can feel better and maybe invite the K.s, and I have to have lunch now before meeting Spartacus at the BMT station to get to the Wheeldon rehearsal, something at MoMA, then tonight's ballet, more tickets, and more later!

TUESDAY, 10/23/07: 9AM: Typed a dream from this morning [DREAMS:10/23/07], which lasted, it seemed, from 4AM to 8:42AM when I woke for the fourth or fifth time, amazed that so much time had passed because I thought I hadn't been napping between times. Pick up the Sun, type the dream, and still feel hung over from all the wine last night at the Beard, where Ken and I had a table for five to ourselves and I personally finished two of the three untouched glasses of the first wine, finishing up with the two dessert wines while picking the final course of chocolates off plates right in the kitchen that Rosa was offering those who were leaving. Gave Ken his three videotapes that had occupied most of my Sunday and Monday's time, and he returned two, giving me more to watch aside from the approximately 8 hours on three of my own videotapes recorded in the past week that I haven't had time to catch up with, using one of his already-viewed tapes yesterday to record The Voyage of the Unicorn when I didn't have any tape available with four blank hours on it, and then recorded two hours last night at the end of Gothika, a 6-hour blank tape with this two hours in the middle of it. Then remind myself I've GOT to order Kodak mailers, phone AARP about why my calcium hasn't arrived yet on the ELEVENTH business day after ordering it "in 6-10 business days" on 10/8. Other piles of things to do before going to the American Ballet Theater gala tonight at 6:30PM.

SHARON B. 44                                                  10/24/07

Walking out of 101, I think, "How do I start telling about my anxious feelings on Monday? They just came out of nowhere?" And just as I have that thought, it starts RAINING---OUT OF NOWHERE. So I start telling her that even before I sit down, and then the session goes balls-afire until the climax, four minutes before the end. I tell her how lucky I felt when today's SAGE walk was canceled, because of all the things I wanted to do, and then when I tried phoning Mildred at 9:15AM, to tell her that BESIDE enjoying lunches with her, she's one of the few people I could THINK of calling as early as 9:15AM to tell her how happy I was that the SAGE walk was canceled! When her line is busy, I figure she's talking to Charles, so I phone Charles---and he answers! We talk for an hour and a half about our various frustrations: his "computerized" info that could be done from the office in five minutes, and finally the information that the program doesn't work on MACs; his workmen who never show up or do shoddy work, the bills and taxes and incompetence of city workers. MY hanging up on AARP and going to Puritan Pride when they have NO record of the order I've waited OVER TWO WEEKS (10/8-10/23) for; my leaving the Spanish (replacement) movie at MoMA when it's boring; my not being able to register my domain name; the audience's wild applause for a perfectly mediocre Don Quixote pas de deux with the admittedly beautiful Jose Manuel Carreno. Talked more about how I was angry with myself that I couldn't CONTROL the anxiety coming "out of the blue," either in the middle of something, or after I finished something. Then leapt into the dream of blood running down my arm, and she was particularly interested in the detail of my mother's thumb, which I ended up saying was more like the bottom of a sweet potato than anything else, and I was surprised that I was with her, not particularly in Akron or New York, but it might have been Florida---where Sharon immediately picked up she was with ALZHEIMER'S, which I'm afraid of inheriting from her, and when I said that SHE had the same wound as I had, it was the first moment that I thought of INHERITANCE as being part of this wound. Then, to rush to the end, she asked if it was like CHRIST'S wound, and I said I'd just watched a TV blurb that said the nail couldn't possibly have held had it gone through the palm of the hand, it would have had to go into the bones of the WRIST, and that I had SINNED by not doing enough work, and my PUNISHMENT wasn't a wound in the wrist, but an unwanted anxiety coming "out of nowhere." I was stunned into silence, and she kept saying that it wasn't anything that SHE had to put together, that I had done all the work and she just listened to me. I, before that, had gone on and on about the ups and downs of the week: trying to get a domain name but messing up four addresses before finally phoning Tris to do it for me, "Charging me, of course," as I added. Talked of Sherryl bringing up my irritability on the phone with her, and that I’d reassured her that I HAD been talking about that irritability for a LONG time with my therapist, and I said to Sharon that I couldn't dream of telling Sherryl THEN it was mainly due to HER, rather than to me, but I could use it as an introduction to talking about it at some future time. She praised my standing up for my own satisfaction by hanging up on the AARP salesperson who couldn't find any records of my order (and got the Puritan Pride order THE VERY NEXT DAY!), and by walking out on the movie, and not saying anything to Spartacus when he was so SURE he was asking about Merrill Ashley's connection with the BALLET, which I knew she'd staged, rather than my thought that he was asking about her connection to the COMPANY, which I said I didn't know anything about: whether she was hired, whether she volunteered, whether she was part-time, anything! So I just didn't respond to him, letting him stew in his own frustrations for not explaining exactly what he wanted to know. I said it was a full weekend, I had every reason to be pleased about using New York City so well: ballet, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, opera, Beard, MAN (the last three I didn't actually mention to her, but I thought about them), but yet when I just felt too TIRED to do anything productive I'd go to Spider, complaining that it wasn't that I WENT, but I didn't know when to STOP, and I'd actually "cheated" three or four times recently by not even recording the TIME that I spent, and she kept insisting that I NEEDED to relax, to take a break, that I couldn't be working productively ALL THE TIME, but that I thought I had to, and that I was SINNING when I wasn't doing anything useful. Then the blast about thinking of myself as Christ, being punished, and only on walking back did I think of my mother's being somewhat in the position of Mary, though we did talk about my fear of inheriting the Alzheimer's from her, though Sharon again assured me that I showed no signs of it and really didn't have to worry about it. She said I had more energy and did more things than practically anyone she knew, then asked if I could come in on Monday next week, which I phoned her cell to say I could before launching into this marathon of typing. Stopped into CVS to inquire about over-the-counter Ambien, but there’s only GENERIC Ambien, which still needs a PRESCRIPTION, though of course it IS cheaper than when it's branded as Ambien. Talked about my concerns that the second anniversary of the website is in two days, and comparatively speaking very LITTLE has been done with it. Though I did mention catching up with index-list and having more indexes both years, four each, than I'd really thought. In the middle of it I felt that I was just babbling on and on, but then when she came up with the SIN idea, I was stunned into silence, then thought the session was over, but she said there were four minutes left, and I went on about something or other, maybe about watching more videos, thinking of the Gothika that I'd interrupted to be sure to be on time, not taking an umbrella though rain was forecast for the day, but putting up the hood on my jacket sufficed to keep me dry enough. AND told about the rather involved story of my MAYBE getting a copy of the LAST book on my book-wanted list: Love in Time, by John Wyndham, as the Indiana University Lilly Library has it, after the third phone transfer, and since she hasn't called back yet to say it CAN'T be copied, I can hope to get a copy at 50¢ a page, with a $5 handling fee and some kind of mailing cost, but I might be able to READ IT AT LAST! So I have so MANY reasons to feel good! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 45) (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 43)

WEDNESDAY, 10/24/07: 7:11PM: Recorded most of the events of the day in my recital of what I talked to Sharon about, but must add that I checked at CVS for ANY slide processing and they do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with slides, which I bitched to Sharon about before, saying Kodak had told me about their mailers the week before and Adorama said they didn't CARRY mailers anymore. Do I have to get a new video camera or use my digital (which I haven't learned yet)? Have to find out about getting a flu shot before going on the trip, and also renewing my mefloquine prescription, and getting a prescription for REGULAR Ambien so I can sleep for 3-4 hours rather than "needing" 8 hours with Ambien CR, or whatever it is. And I opened the Puritan Pride package and gobbled down four tablets, which is only 880mg, so I'll have to take SIX a day to get the minimum 1320mg. Didn't tell her about my travel-qualms when the FedEx package with my Route of the Maya trip came in yesterday. AND we have just ONE session left, unless she tries to squeeze me in on Friday before I leave, also. WHAT A DAY!

SATURDAY, 10/27/07: 2:35PM: I THINK I'm formatting a CD-RW disk with Sonic DLA, which I've minimized on the task bar with 22 minutes left. I put my overcoat and shirts away, piled my desk with other stuff to do, and tried putting 16 slides from the Galapagos into the scanner, but then saw that I MIGHT be able to scan them TO the DVD or CD directly, so I tried that, but when I tried putting in OLD REWRITABLE disks, they couldn't be erased: called "Read only," and indicating NO disk space available. As I look to my left, every so often the yellow light goes on for Drive F, so I have to assume it's working still. Let's check. It did continue, but I had to content myself to just scanning them into storage. Watched the last part of Ossessione. I left the penultinate group of 16 in as I left for the ballet, and put in the last group when I came back, finishing before I went to bed.

SUNDAY, 10/28/07: Took my first mefloquine for the Maya trip, put all 80 slides on a DVD, taking almost a megabyte, didn't have time to read the Sunday Times, had breakfast at noon and went to the gym 1:15-2:45, rushed out to MAN, a good-looking group that I entered at 3:50 and left at 5PM to give enough time to get to Carolyn's party. Home, set up to record Bruce Almighty, and get out the wine and disks to take to the party, calling Carolyn and leaving a message at 6PM. Left at 6:08 and got there in a little more than 20 minutes, racing every step. The party's jammed with screaming kids, so I retreat to Carolyn's computer, where I can finally read in the CD with the 16 inverted images, but can't get the machine to read the DVD. Give them to Tris and just HOPE! Eat more, on top of all the veggies and dip, deli stuff, and fruit and white wine at MAN, starting with Tris's marvelous boeuf Bourguignonne, then to someone else's spaghetti, opening one bottle of my Prosecco, neither of which was fabulous, and had the last of the mousse dessert and started Charles's truffled mousse with his crackers, opened the second Prosecco, ate more, kids left, but I decided to leave about 9PM with Charles. Home at 9:25PM to find that my Panasonic had dropped BACK an hour, saying it was 8:25, when it should have started recording Bruce Almighty 25 minutes ago! Put it on "record," take my night pills with two aspirin against all the wine, and get into bed about 10:15.

MONDAY, 10/29/07: 3AM: Wake with a stuffed nose, pee, and can't get back to sleep, so I take two Nyquil and finally manage to drop off. Out of bed at 8:15 to pick up the food and put it away, and then get into the day. Pile things to do on my desk, read the Sunday Times and the Monday Sun, and have breakfast about 11:30AM while finishing off Bruce Almighty. Then tape a plastic bag around my cold air conditioner, which I can't seem to close off from outside air, so the plastic is puffed like a cold pillow. 1:20PM: Type the events of the weekend, clear stuff off my desk into stacks, and I've got two notes left: 1) Ken's e-mail to El Bulli from "me," was sent Tuesday, 10/16, at 2:15PM. "No" gotten 10/26, but he still had hopes on Saturday because he hadn't gotten his "No" yet. Then I suffered horribly when I looked at the end of the Ukraine file to find that it ended the day after I got back, thinking I'd destroyed the last page of notes from 10/8-15, but then discovered that I was looking at the end of the SUMMARY page, which didn't have the additional notes, but that they DID remain on the back of the UKRAINE file itself, so I don't have to re-transcribe it! Worked on the remains of my "On Return From Ukraine" list: 13) On Thursday I sent out the Xeroxed papers for my Ukraine frequent-flier miles, 14) On Friday I got my HSBC statement so I could finish Ukrainian expenses, Friday was a busy day: Called C. for my Ambien prescription, saw the "flu shot available" sign in the elevator and GOT it, and 17) bought the overcoat, some AA batteries for my digital camera (which never worked), and, after three stores didn't have them, four flannel shirts from Modell's for $13 apiece, much more than usual, but I HAVE them. Had ordered ten Kodak films from Adorama, and the mailers came but the film didn't yet. Since I had the ad for Asia House on my desk, and I finally cut the bottoms off the broken plant-stem on Saturday, I could THROW OUT my "On Return From Ukraine" list and start a "Before Trip" list: 1) Get haircut, 2) Stop Sun, 3) Bill P.: pick up Times, 4) John: water plants, 5) Mefloquine prescription, 6) Do laundry, 7) Check camcorder, and 8) More AA batteries? Now I'm ready at 2:05PM to reconcile my many-slipped HSBC account, keeping in mind I'm with Sharon at 5:30 today.

SHARON B. 45                                                  10/29/07

Go taken in just after 5:30 and go into a string of triumphs: getting the flu shot when I just went for a prescription, getting to Carolyn's on time after the MAN meeting turned out successfully (the guy putting his hand on my knee, meeting others I knew), though Carolyn's wasn't that great: instant attraction to two relatives of Tristan: his son (Eric) and his son-in-law (Vince, absolutely devastating in his devil's face and horns, which I had no compunction of praising to the skies as a fabulous job), and I felt I couldn't continue talking with them or my avid desires would come out and I'd turn into a dirty old man, disgracing my work with Tristan. Charles had no problem. I said that I didn't feel there was anyone there I WANTED to talk to. I talked of my frustrations with the CDs and DVDs of the slides, not bothering to go into the UNNECESSARY density which the website won't even accept, being limited to 72 dots per inch, less than the default 300 dots per inch for the 400% enlargement of the slides. Mentioned the "luck" of falling into the fifth trip of the year, and she made my next appointment 11/26, which happens to be the date of Norma at 7:30, but I'll just have to have an early dinner and go from her office to the Met. DID mention the "things on hold," which could be a reason for worry, but I'm looking on the bright side: 1) not got Love in Time from Indiana University yet, 2) Ken's not gotten a final refusal from El Bulli, 3) didn't get a call-back from Herman about a possible index from Thursday, though I DID get a call when I got HOME from Jeff G., who'll be sending me a catalog to index for a possible fixed price of $500, aware that I'm going away on Monday the 5th. When all the GOOD news was given out: I've "touched" on Wednesday as a magic talisman whenever I come to a place where I'd ordinarily get depressed or anxious, and it's worked so far, without LEANING on it, but we agreed not to talk about it. I felt like I was operating 30-40 years ago: smoothly with nothing to worry about. Even "bragged" that I didn't get trip cancellation insurance for the 6-day Aruba trip. Told about getting a cold, maybe, on Thursday, but getting the flu shot anyway, thankful that a cold is ordinarily gone in ten days, so it'll be gone by 11/5. Lastly, brought up the Sunday telephone conversation (she got confused about the time-change, too) with Spartacus where my "I'm apologizing for saying the wrong words" didn't appear to have any effect; she said that I was handling it right: HIS problem! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 46) (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 44)

Note: And, to add to my record of the visit this evening to Sharon, I haven't even been COUNTING the number of days to the trip, having left it back on Wednesday when it was arguably 10 days until the trip. Will get everything done in good time, even mentioning doing the stamps because the catalogs are due on Thursday.

SUNDAY, 11/4/07: Kept doing things and doing things, including changing all the ten clocks back an hour for the return to Standard Time, crossing items off list of things to do before trip, managing to get to Cendrillon for the Saturday matinee which was marginally better than the Agrippina, and editing the Ukraine slides down from 403 to 258, too many for a show, but Shelley said she wanted to see all the things she hadn’t seen. Got through most of the food from HealthyHeart, but they never returned my Thursday call about what to do with the new, seemingly disposable, boxes loaded with Poland Spring water bottles and Styrofoam. Didn't think to cancel the Sun until Sunday, when all I got was a perpetual busy signal, so I had to phone Bill to take care of it for me on Monday. Talked to Marj a long time about her proofing-queries letter, missing Rita's call at 11:30AM, managed to get through two meals and record the last 45 minutes of the Channel 13 special on Groucho Marx, and at last read the Sunday Times before dashing off to the gym at 3:25, knowing I'd get home just before Shelley and Normandale were to arrive at 5PM, hoping they'd be late. I had no real wine to serve, but just HAD to stop off at the subway shop to get a container of unsalted cashews, which I'd put out with a bowl of raisins for their nibbles. Got back at 4:50PM in time to rush all the junk from the living room into the bedroom, hustle the slide projector, screen, and slides into the living room, and am just moving the chairs into position when Normandale buzz, saying they apologize for being early, and it's actually 5:01. He brings a delightful bottle of Moscato d'Asti which I serve in champagne glasses, everyone wishing there were more of it, and it takes me TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES to find the correct plug for the slide projector, disabling my phone machine, which sent Sandy G. to my computer the first time he tried, for the first time he's phoned in at least 15 years, and then Bill P. called to take notes for stopping my Sun delivery, which I stupidly delayed until Sunday, when they're closed (or at least give off a permanent busy signal). And then RITA called at 4:50PM, and I said it was exactly the wrong time, so I phoned her back at 9:15PM, she phoned ME back because her phone was free, and we talked until just after 10PM, both of us rather tired. Charles also phoned today, saying he'd had to go to the island after Carolyn's party and only returned today, to go back to the Island soon, wishing me a good trip. I didn't call Mildred to ask about her health, since I could see no good coming of it, and maybe I had her same everlasting cold which, having caught eleven days ago on Thursday, I surely hoped would be gone by now, and it was even a bit WORSE today, my nose-stuffiness lasting well into the morning. Shelley arrives at 5:04PM, bringing a little baby-powder container to solve one of my packing problems: sweet of her. They sat and chatted while I kept trying to connect the slide projector: stymied for a good while when I plugged my crosswise extension incorrectly so that one side of the prong was in the wrong slot and the other was merely off the side of the extension, of course making no contact. Norm kept insisting that I turn on the "on/off switch," refusing to conceive that it might not have one until after the show when I disconnected it and handed it to him, which he then turned over and over trying to find the nonexistent on/off switch. I couldn't find my usual orange three-prong-to-two-prong adapter, so I pulled out a major plug under my bed in an attempt to find it there, then even disconnected my phone machine to try that connection, and finally corrected the cross-extension connection and the machine blessedly turned on at 5:25PM, at which time everyone had already eaten the too-crunchy stale cashews that I picked up at the subway shop and had ignored most of the too-dry raisins that I put out in addition, and I got to finish off the last of the delicious Moscato d'Asti. The show finally got started, and I thought most of the slides were rather boring, but they got interested comments from all three viewers, and finally it was over about 6:45 and we wondered where to go for dinner. I showed them the two ads for 50 and 60 Henry Street, saying that we could always end up at Le Petit Marché or Henry's End, and we walked slowly down the street and settled for the Marché when there were lots of tables available, and they liked their mussels with cones of tasty fries, Shelley liked her steak frites, and my lamb shank was delicious and filling after my wonderful onion soup, which I remembered having before only AFTER saying I didn't remember WHAT I'd had there before, and Norm found a good Riesling that fit with all tastes, Shelley even had a bit of both wines, and we were much too full for dessert. Leaving at 9:30, Dale graciously said they'd slowly walk Shelley back to her apartment so I could rush home and start packing, and I kissed her gratefully and did just that. Kept putting things away until 10:45PM, not even really starting on packing except for putting crucial items on the dining-room table, and took a sleeping pill at 10:55PM and crawled exhausted into bed at 11:01PM after having clipped and buffed my toenails, having miraculously connected everything under the bed while unraveling two seemingly useless extension cords which had gotten added to the incredible tangle. Piles of stuff on the desk to be handled from the last few days, and I got to sleep almost immediately by 11:15.

MONDAY, 11/5/07: Woke at 5:25AM to pee, lay for a bit stupefied by the number of things I had to do before the car arrives at 9:15, arranged for yesterday, and then got out of bed at 6:15, taking a Valium, deciding it was time to get into the day, starting with catching up on this journal for yesterday and today until 6:57AM, when I've got to start clearing things off my desk before even considering packing, printing one dream page and one notebook page already, and still getting a busy signal from the Sun subscription department. 7:30AM: Finally get the pile of stuff on my desk put away except for the "On-Return-From-Maya" list, the Sun number to still try to cancel before I leave (and call Bill P. to let him off the hook, and the end of my "Before Trip" list: Got haircut Thursday, called Bill and John for tasks on Sunday, found that the camcorder doesn't work AT ALL and add it to the "after trip" list, as I did for the digital camera; Ken still optimistic about El Bulli since he's not been told NO yet; never got a response from Jeff about how long the index actually WAS that I didn't do, showed the slides last night, got old Tikal and Copan books to take with me, along with old travel-journal pages, and changed the clocks, all ten of them, yesterday. Now decide to check e-mail one last time, absolutely nothing by 7:38AM, just about 97 minutes left to pack, including immense pillbox-filling! TRAVEL:MAYA

SHARON B. 46                                                  11/26/07

Felt great to be going while I was still high from the trip, and related MANY of the glorious details, and she seemed to want to make the point that I could get along with many different kinds of people, and that I wasn't irritated with them when they weren't being irritating, sort of justifying my irritation with people I get irritated with in NYC. I crowed about the group, the itinerary, the sights, the guide, and my energy, saying that it felt like it had taken ten years off my age to be able to be very active through the trip, even with a head cold, and enjoy everything so much. She asked when I was last so happy, and I really had trouble remembering: maybe some previous trip. Said I was sorry that I didn't bring in any dreams, and she expressed appreciation about hearing POSITIVE happenings for a change, rolling her eyes about all the clearly NEGATIVE things she usually hears. She asked if I wanted to come on Wednesday, but I said that the following Wednesday would be fine; I really didn't feel like I had anything more to say than I'd already said, except that I was going to see Norma this evening, and she hoped I'd enjoy it. GREAT! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 47)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 45)

MONDAY, 11/26/07: Pee 3:11AM. Pee 3:37AM. Up 7:53. Phone Shelley, John, Odyssey, Susan H., Suzie M., Blanche, and leave word with Ken. Unpack, water plants, get to gym, see Sharon at 5:30, see Norma with Charles, eat.

TUESDAY, 11/27/07: Bed 12:40AM. Dream and pee 6:32AM. Up 7:33 to j/o. Panic over slides and show to group and Spartacus and Steve H. Finish 11/25 Times. Order more meals. About 6 hours of History Channel TV on The Universe.

WEDNESDAY, 11/28/07: Bed 1:09AM. Pee 7:10AM and stay up. Clean out dop kit. Enter and proof Maya journal. Space 121 lines in file 8 to see how close I was to filling it up: not very. Put souvenirs away and collect notes for this typing to 7:50. Record the mympths of 11/18, 7AM in Guatemala City. Then proof dreams from trip to 8:25PM. Also record here that on 11/23 I played Spider 10:12-10:27 to a new high, and 5:27-5:47 to a new high. On 11/24 played 5:35-6:50 to another new high. On 11/27 played 11:30-12:15 and 3:55-5:15, both times to new highs. Today I played 11:40-12:40 to 49.25774, the newest high. Now to record Sharon's session on 11/26, doing that to 8:35PM. Erase AlphaSmart files. Now have pile of stuff on desk to contend with, hoping to "catch up" with everything before the slides come back, which will take a LONG time to go through. Bed at 11:15PM

THURSDAY, 11/29/07: Wake at 7AM and decide to stay up. Pick up the meals and take the boxes apart as usual. Have a-month-ago Thursday's snack for breakfast to get RID of it. Take out three bags of garbage and all the meal Styrofoam when I go to the gym. 2:50PM: Coming through the process! Finished the Spam for lunch, leaving today's breakfast and lunch for tomorrow, moving all up to furnish food for Sunday. Made the five-page slide-list for the Maya trip, and now prepare for the Summary page by moving the previous three days from MAYA to NOTEREPL. Bed about 11:15.

FRIDAY, 11/30/07: Up at 6:45 and watch Colors of Infinity. Print all the Maya pages, and mail five items, and got the SLIDES, which I'll now look at at 2:25PM!

MONDAY, 12/3/07: 10AM: Just transcribed a non-dream from this morning, just to DO something there, and now want to describe my heroic effort to rescue my humidifier, which went on the blink at the end of last winter, but rather than looking at it to repair it, or throw it away, I just put it back on the shelf to be tried again THIS year. So I tried it; it didn't work. The vibrator plate didn't seem to be vibrating; the air-blower was blowing air, but there was no vaporized mist to blow out. Debated just throwing it away, but then decided (after getting out the little KAZ humidifier from under the bed and finding that IT worked) to try to FIX it. It sat in my sink for two days before I tried fixing it after breakfast this morning about 9AM. I turned it over, hexed the four obvious screws off the four corners of the bottom, but the bottom still wouldn't come off. Tried to twist off the other two rubber feet, and it turns out THEY were screwed into the bottom plate. Took those out and the plate came off. Looked at the wires, and though they were cobwebbed and dusty and in some places coated with water-scale, they seemed to be whole and complete. My fantasy of finding a loose wire, reconnecting it, and having the thing work again was stalled. The vibrator plate seemed to be under some special housing, which just pried off, revealing a black, quarter-size, elliptical housing over the vibrator plate. Took THAT off to reveal absolute COATINGS of yellow-brown water-scale around the black plastic plate-holder itself, and around its plastic socket. I couldn't imagine removing the scale from the PLASTIC would improve any ELECTRICAL connection, but I did it anyway, in a long, laborious process, put it back on, tested it, AND THE WATER LEAKED THROUGH it! I MAY not have attached the plate-base FIRMLY enough, but THAT was it: I THREW IT OUT!! Then Charles came over at 2:45 and we went to Five Guys for OK burgers and lots of screaming kids, then he went to Gristede's and bought blackberries, skim milk for them, and a quart of ginger ale. We saw half the Maya slides, shared blackberries and milk and honey and sour cherries, then saw the other half of the slides as his eyes kept closing: he goes to bed at 4:30AM, gets up too early, and always feels tired. I get to bed about midnight, feeling OK.

TUESDAY, 12/4/07: Prepared for Paul to come in practically all day to move furniture away from the window in preparation for the curb-cut tomorrow. I take the time to make captions for the 382 Maya slides, debating how to cut them in half. Then at 5:15 Carolyn calls to ask why I didn't read her e-mail, is in the neighborhood, so I invite her up, she bitches about my smell, takes more leaves off my plant, says the two in the wastebasket should be given more time, and we sit down for "45 minutes" of slides, which turns out to be exactly the 138 that takes us up to Guatemala, supplemented by a few from the Rosalila Museum objects. Then out to look for new places on Henry for dinner, find 60 Henry has been closed since January 7, 2007, Oven serves only fairly expensive pizza, and then she suggests I buy the dinner, and suggests Chinese, so I decide we go to the Great Wall, order a special egg foo yung, and bring it to my place, where I'll have a spare Healthy Heart meal ready if this isn't enough. Accosted by a half-dozen koshers wishing us Happy Chanukah. Thanks a lot. We both pig out on the Carlo Rossi Burgundy; I have about five glasses, she about three. We finish the egg foo yung, with her adding my cupboard-found Tabasco-flavored soy sauce, and we open the Florida Citrus package I got by chance that evening from Rita, sharing two enormous tangerines, both agreeing we're stuffed: she even finishes part of my last half of the wonderful egg foo yung. Then I show her my early photographs, and get out the souvenirs from the Maya trip, which she looks through until SHE starts falling asleep about 10:15PM. I put away the Maya and Guatemala slides, finishing EVERYTHING on the trip except expenses still coming in, take a small shit, stuff Vicks up my nose, and get to bed about 11:05PM.

WEDNESDAY, 12/5/07: Wake at 5:37AM with a dream [DREAMS:12/5/07] that I jot on a note, doze on and off, and finally get up at 7:30 to shit, bring in the Sun at 7:45, and start draping black plastic and newspapers over EVERY available dust-gathering surface in the living room, surprised that they haven't knocked at the very dot of 8AM. Finish with covering everything: plants, books, shelves, chairs, tables, paintings, souvenirs, and decide it's time for breakfast. Finish THAT by 9AM and they STILL haven't started. Hear people in the hallway as I put the breakfast stuff away, do a last pass on the newspapers by putting weights on them so any wind won't easily blow them off, and start updating NOTEBOOK, up to date now at 9:25AM, STILL no curb-cut workers! Transcribe dream. Still no workmen. Read the Sun. They come at 10 and start working away; I finish Sun at 10:30. 10:45AM: Check "On-Return-From-Maya" list, and did 3) sort and handle mail, 4) send out slide rolls, 5) unpack, 6) check e-mails, 7) Chinese laundry out, 8) read Times, 9) proof and print Maya journal, 10) go to Met Museum (scheduled with Sherryl for Friday), 11) order food Friday, 12) settle cystoscopy appointment, which I did today, with a CAT-scan viewing with Dr. M. scheduled for 12/19, since he's only in on Wednesdays, 13) phone Marj, 14) order Zetia. So that leaves only 1) check camcorder warranty and 2) check digital camera "show," both of which are on my 11/24 do list, so I can throw THAT one away! On my 11/24 do list: 1) Odyssey to Dale, did 11/26, 2) check St. Pierre and Miquelon, said FORGET about it on 11/28, 3) check Azores, put onto "El Bulli plans" stack, 4) get Capitoline Museums guide not gotten in Rome, 5) order more slide film, did 12/1, 6) call Susan for Tuesday, did 11/25, never got a response, 7) call Piri, but I called Blanche and she uses the name L., 8) unpack, did by 11/25, 9) Maya journal and calendar by 11/29, 10) that "late" Citi pay still undone, 11) update Century Club list, did 12/1, 12) update Future-Travel list undone, 13) order Carl's camera undone, 14) check digital camera undone, 15) check Sony warranty undone, 16) finish old Times puzzles, did 11/25, 17) finish new Times, did 11/27, 18) re-subscribe New Yorker, did 12/3. Since that card is filled, decide to make SEPARATE piles for each. Pick up Chinese laundry and get groceries by 11:55AM, then go through Travel pile, update Future-Travel list, still long They leave before noon for "half an hour" and they're not back by 12:35PM, Beverley saying they're not supposed to WORK if it's below 40 degrees! They leave about 4:30 and I SEE them push the button on the bottom lock, but don't DO anything about it, so that when I come back from Iphigenie en Tauride the bottom lock is LOCKED and I don't have the KEY. Down to Julius(?) on the desk and he calls Jeff(?), the new super, who comes down with a load of keys and the FIFTH works! Call Spartacus to tell him about it, and get to bed about 12:50AM.

THURSDAY, 12/6/07: Phone Paul M. and he says he'll go to French Guiana only if I come up with an itinerary suitable to him. Phone Tris and hammer out how a NOTEBOOK day will end with a button for the appropriate TRAVEL entry, which will end with a return to the next NOTEBOOK day. Which leads me to phone Marj, and we talk about how, for a dream, she puts in DREAMS:9/15/92 for the button, and I don't have to WORRY which DREAMS series the page is in, and then look through for NOTEBOOK self-references, and AGAIN the date ELIMINATES the problem of going from NOTEBOKA to NOTEBOKB, etc. WONDERFUL! Call Sherryl and agree to the Met on Saturday. Then phone Tina, get referred to Melody, who knows Trinidad, and whose son has a friend from Guyana! Find the key to the lower lock to take with me. Meals calls me, tells me you can take a day-trip to Curacao from Aruba, and says she'll call on 12/21 for my next order, having taken my order for 12/20-22. Call Spartacus, waking him; he'd tried to call me on my busy phone, and he says to come over at 4:30. Call Mildred and she'll take the Red Herring to read at Gotham's lunch tomorrow at 2PM. How energetic can I BE! Now at 2:46 to get a diskette with TR files for Tris. Already mailed Marj NOTEBOKA, NOTEBOKB, NOTEBOKD, and NOTEBOKE yesterday. Work on the TR files and put on 11 files for seven continents: 1 Africa: AFRICA; 1 Antarctica: ANTARCT; 1 Asia: CAMBODIA; 2 Europe: CAVES, EUR2MOS; 4 N. Amer: CANCRUIS, CARIBCR, COPPCANY, COSTARIC; 1 S. Amer: GALAP; 1 AUSTRALIA: SPACIFIC, for a total of 323 pages, filling a diskette. Also typed Christmas PRILET07, printing one for Rita, which I sent today with her "birthday" card.

FRIDAY, 12/7/07: Go early to the gym, then to the post office to buy Christmas stamps, regular stamps, over-one-ounce 17¢ stamps, and three Priority envelope-stamps for $4.60 each, with which to send SMALL clutches of slide-rolls without the expense of Express Mail (which reminds me that Jodie called from Healthy Heart to say that meals will be sent FedEx on Tuesday and Friday after I get back from Aruba). Workmen come in at 11AM, and I printed out more Christmas letters, eventually putting 13 more in the mail when I went out to lunch with Mildred at Gotham, giving her the Red Herring to look through and discuss AFTER I get back from Aruba. Go to Sharon at 5PM on the dot.

SHARON B. 47                                  12/7/07

Get there the dot of 5PM, she opens door before I sit in lobby. I say how WELL things have been going, probably influenced still by success of Maya trip. Tell her of "guessing right answers" dream, and when she asks how I feel about it, I concentrate on the "luck" aspect, which has been so good now. Talk of my chats with Spartacus, Tris, Marj, and Mildred; how I'll e-mail Dale; how I'm tolerating delays in putting in curb-cut; how I'll try "That HURTS" with Spartacus, how no one else puts me DOWN, and I confess I feel Sharon puts me UP a bit too much, for which she thanks me, and I even have the gall to announce that the session's over at 5:45 because I'm struggling to come up with things to talk about, and it's all EVENTS, not really therapy. Our next sessions will be the usual 5:30PM on 12/19 and 12/26. Leave happily, get to Spartacus's 5:53PM. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 48)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 46)

SATURDAY, 12/8/07: 8:30AM: Bed just after midnight, wake just before 7AM, make a do-list for today: 1) Met Mus, 2) E-mail Dale---Odyssey?, 3) Write up Sharon, 4) Spartacus: a) TV OK?, b) I FOUND my 12/3 New York magazine! Up at 7:45AM to shit, start typing, hear the Saturday Times about 8:10AM, print out the last of the Christmas letters: they're faint, but not crushingly so, and I end with a NOTEREPL page printed and this done at 8:32AM. Have breakfast, then decide to leave at 9:30AM for the Met Museum, seeing 1) Ghiberti's three Florence door panels 10:40-10:50, 2) drawings and prints with the Dutch Painting collection 10:55-11:05, 3) early British photos in the corridor 11:05-11:20, 4) British photos in the gallery 11:20-12:35, taking MANY notes and quotes: a) Lewis Carroll took up photography because of his uncle, Lutwidge, b) lots of Malta photos, c) Sevastopol memorials, d) Dnieper River views near Kiev, e) "Benares is believed to be perched upon the top of one of the prongs of the god Shiva," (and what, pray, is his prong?), f) then "took us 20 arduous days to reach Halebid (which John and I saw in a car from Bangalore the same day we saw Belur and Srvanabelagola), and as a final "coincidence," g) Capitoline horseman: I should be getting in my newly ordered guide! Then meet Sherryl, early as usual, and go through the Dutch Paintings 12:45-2PM, which she'd done before with Joe's "inimitable" commentary, then go to a quick lunch (decent burgers, good blueberry smoothie) 2-2:40, to 5) Tapestries 2:52-3:35, tiring, and take crosstown bus with Sherryl to subway, home to play Spider 5:10-6:10, not getting another high. Then I read most of the papers and get to bed 11:20PM.

SUNDAY, 12/9/07: Wake 4AM, j/o to 5, Actualism to 6, think to 6:30, then decide I can't sleep, so I might as well read New Yorkers, getting through all of them by 8:42. Spend the rest of the day watching TV, except when recording Tin Man, then I read more papers, do the TV Guide sudoku, and do Spider 9:10-11:20. Can't sleep, so I take Valium at 11:36PM, reminding myself to check with CVS about renewal from C.!

MONDAY, 12/10/07: Pee at 6:54AM, thinking a lot, up at 7:30, getting ready for more window-work. Put things out of their way and then check e-mail, getting some kind of odd "modem load" at the start, and then it won't GO! Restart computer, same. Shut modem on and off and at 7:59AM it finally goes, downloading Sibyl's four 1.5meg photos to 8:19AM. Thank her, and get reply from Dale, to which I say, "November would be best for me." 8:40AM guy comes in, looks, and says he'll look for his supervisor and leaves at 8:45. 9:30 ANOTHER guy in, says it's "OK for today, will be finished by 2:30, and will be back shortly. At 9:40 the same two guys back, working straight through to 2:45, and one of them turns out to BE Yves. Mildred calls and talks a long time about the Red Herring, saying I should vote FOR it, since "the next administration might decide they're not supporting ANYTHING, and you're out of luck." I do Spider 9:40-12:20, have lunch while they're working, and play more Spider 2-2:20PM. They leave, I try door, and CAN'T open it! Call Yves, who comes up and tells me how to work it WITHOUT keys. Then Marj calls, Toba comes in to check, I call after guy to put sofa back, then finish with Marj to dust off atop the mirrored cases and put the souvenirs back JUST as Julio and another guy come in to put up the venetian blinds, move the sofa, move the plants, and leave at 4PM. I call Melody, who'll call back. Call It's About Time, and she'll call back after noon tomorrow. Call JetBlue and she says I just show up with confirmation number, and gives me the hotel confirmation number, rather like my Getaways confirmation number. Don't phone Tris or Ken or Fred, waiting for Melody's return call. More Spider 4:37PM-7:47, during which Tris called, I waited until 7:47 for Melody, then called Tris, who for $36 a year got me as a domain name. Now I'm hungry for dinner at 8:20PM, not picked up my Valium from CVS yet. Take Ambien CR at 10:42, bed 10:53, asleep just after 11PM.

TUESDAY, 12/11/07: Up 6:50AM, take last Valium 6:53. 7:15 clip toenails. Breakfast, gym, lunch at Five Guys with Shelley, phone Julienne, read Shelley's Friday Times and do quick puzzle, take Valium at 4:20PM. Start packing, lots to do, and finish at 5:30PM, taking 7 rolls of film, $297.90 cash, and my ONE carry-on bag weighs 24 pounds. Print page and finish this at 5:40PM, determined to get to slides of Antarctica, have dinner, and get to BED. TRAVEL:ARUBA/BONAIRE/CURACAO

SHARON B. 48                                                  12/19/07

Decide to go a bit early, getting there at 5:20PM, and the door's locked! Rap and she comes to the door smiling but confused, since she thought our next meeting was AFTER Christmas. But then she insisted it was OK, I could have my session, she had to wait for someone after me anyway. So I walked in, started with my dream, and she kept asking how I felt about it, how I felt out of control; did I feel angry? Frustrated? Then I started talking about the trip, including, among other stories, how my nausea after snorkeling (energetically, thanks to losing my too-large flippers at the start) was now just an acceptable part of my life, something I'd learned to put up with. I just sat and ignored the chance for the third snorkel session of the day. Then I described the messed-up plane flights, and she agreed that I had every reason to feel terrible and angry about it, but kept insisting that at least I had HANDLED everything that came along, that I didn't let it detract from my overall pleasure in the trip, and that I could look at it from a few days' remove with the spirit of ADVENTURE. Repeated that my keyword for my life was "Luck," and even told her that I'd solved my problem of what to do with my "extra" day in Aruba, and that the following two days settled easily with the only two tours left that I'd want to take, and I ended feeling that I'd completely seen Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, and she kept complimenting me on how well I handled everything, kept asking about my anger and how I felt about it, though I kept insisting that I was learning more and more how to control it and direct it to the people who DESERVED being angry with, rather than those "just on the side." Told her of the taxi driver's suggestion about the letter of complaint, and my appreciation of Spartacus's suggestion of how to put it in the letter, saying that I hadn't had time to DO it yet. She asked how I was feeling after I went through all this, and I said that, uncharacteristically, I'd JUST had a rather large lunch an hour ago, and I'd never been through a session with her in which my stomach felt as FULL as it did now, which gave me the impression of anxiety, or anger, or pressure, which I assured her wasn't anger with her (or, joking again, with her not expecting me today, as she'd joked a couple of times, too, saying that her schedule was VERY confused around the holidays, but she DID expect me on 12/26!) or with the situation. Told her how AUTOMATIC the flight back seemed: relief that we weren't delayed on taking off because of the snowstorms in northern New York, how comfortable the seats on JetBlue were, and how I enjoyed looking out over the Dominican Republic and watching the sunset before getting to the not-too-cold taxi stand, where I got a cab immediately, but goofed in saying "South Conduit," rather than "North Conduit," though he made it clear he understood when he said "Atlantic Avenue." Also told her of talking about my SONY computer with Spartacus three or four times before realizing I was talking about my DELL computer, Sony being my camcorder. Told her of another slip of the tongue with Marj, and how we laughed about such slips, yet felt it was something we could deal with. I said that I felt RELAXED because the trip wasn't rushed, and even told her about my happiness about the November 2-22 trip to Egypt and Petra with Dale, whom she remembered from the Mayan trip. Also said it was good we could finish EARLY, because I was supposed to meet Spartacus for the free Sweeney Todd at the theater at 7PM, and now I could leave even BEFORE the 6:15 I'd planned leaving at, though it was that time by the time I got to the subway station. Felt good about the session, saying that I promised to have more dreams when I saw her next time, and even talked about ANOTHER coincidence (I forget which, now) at the open door, which the woman waiting outside for HER appointment could obviously hear. Good! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 49)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 47)

SATURDAY, 12/22/07: 3:47PM: So far the day has been VERY simple. Got up at 6:15AM and started playing with myself, getting out all my paraphernalia at 7:15AM, and deciding it just wasn't working at 8:15AM! Did all the puzzles and finished the Times by 12:25. Then played Spider from 12:40-3:45, getting 11 consecutive wins and an all-time high score of 49.45217. Now for lunch!

WEDNESDAY, 12/26/07: 7:30AM: After hours of frustration on Juno, I finally think I managed to get SOME kind of complaint off to them. Woke just after 5AM, tried Actualism, looked at clock at 5:55AM, and decided to GO to another Actualism session, just to see what's going on now (with them AND with me!). AND decide to phone Edgardo, getting one of his sons: Edgardo and Marina are in INDIA until January 2! Tried phoning Jean-Jacques, but can't connect to the number. Then reply to John L., sent some earlier e-mail which I've forgotten, and look forward to getting into my day, having finally finished the last of Ken's 4 tapes, taking up an enormous amount of time since I finished his FIVE tapes, and he phoned at least three times yesterday to report on his $2000 car rental, then his $1700 car rental, and other progress on our El Bulli trip. LOTS of things to do on my list, still piles on desk and coffee table. But now I think I'll stop for breakfast, so I can have lunch before meeting Spartacus for the 2PM Receptionist.

SHARON B. 49                                  12/26/07

She left me sitting until 5:30, then I announced that, though the paper said it would rain, it didn't because I carried my umbrella with me all day, and in fact got in from the session, buying wine, picking up Zetia, and it IS raining at 6:45PM as I type this! Said that I was so BUSY lately that I haven't had ANY time to feel anxiety, which is only a SLIGHT lie. Talked of the Beard, of the play this afternoon, The Receptionist, that I DIDN'T get the point of (that the company was torturing people) until Spartacus TOLD me about it. At the end, she said she got an iPod for Christmas, which she was scratching the surface of, and I told her of my DSL, with Tris's wonderful phrase, "The path of least resistance would be..." I talked of thinking about calling about Actualism again, to get in with a younger group, valued Carolyn because she knew a young, vibrant group, and even Dale tried to make himself cheerier when he saw how chipper I was in dealing with Arnie and Bob. Congratulated myself on getting so many phone calls about Christmas from overseas, and then calling Edgardo and getting only his son, and she remembered the shock I felt when he said how much in love with me he'd been. Then calling Fred and getting invited to a 1/3 party, extending the holidays. I said I DIDN'T respond to the J.s' e-mail, and didn't feel that I HAD to, didn't feel guilty about NOT doing it, though I made sure to respond to Victoria's card immediately. Mentioned not recognizing Susan's voice because it was so much OLDER than it was last time we talked. I said that last time I came with a full stomach, and this time I was starved, and she actually offered me (and I accepted!) the eighth and last piece of Godiva chocolate from a box that she said cost "only about $12," as a Christmas gift, and I went on AGAIN about how happy I was for the elderly people I saw in this "rich neighborhood," who had obviously had a long and productive life, including the white-bearded, skinny 90-year-old on the subway coming back from the play this afternoon, and she said it showed ALL of us happy in old age: she mentioned the 105-year-old here, who'd BEEN here for 35 years, who "still has it all together and is the center of all the conversations," and how I'd been complimented for having a good sense of humor, and kept thinking of Actualism's "Higher Will, Good Will, Good Humor," and wanting MORE humor, and "Where did this start?" coming back to the humor-filled, cheery group with the Mayan tour, with a good guide and good itinerary, and that lasted into enjoying all three of the ABC islands, and I hope will continue down to Patagonia, even with the 13 hours flight, for which I'm developing "sitzfleisch" by watching endless TV. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 50)  (RETURN TO SHARON B. 48)

THURSDAY, 12/27/07: 4:45PM: Decide to type notes from Met Museum visit on Monday, 12/24. Called Sherryl Wednesday evening to agree to meet outside the Abstract exhibit at 1PM. I leave about 10AM to find the two new galleries of American Indian Art and Oceania Art CLOSED! Look at glitzy photos in Depth of Field exhibit 10:52-11:07, some of my slides better. Only other new thing to see is the setup of new French galleries, which I do 11:08-12:05, some rather mediocre things added to some dynamite paintings that I remember from before. Then to Tibet Arms and Armor 12:20-12:40, small but interesting, and start up to the Abstract exhibit to find IT closed! Where to meet Sherryl? Guard suggests main lobby. I look there, but figure to look downstairs, and about 1:05 she finds me, figuring we'd both know to look down there. To the newly reopened Wrightsman Galleries 1:16-2PM, we're both hungry, so down to crowded lunch 2-2:50, then stay downstairs for Lehman Art 2:53-3:27, when we're both tired enough to get our coats and get the crosstown bus for home. Tired.

SATURDAY, 12/29/07: 6:14PM: Dream page printing, modem not installed though Verizon phoned to say they'd start billing, maybe even yesterday, and I've got to get dressed for Insieme this evening, also having Del Posto on Monday, and noted that the gym is only open 1-6PM on Tuesday, first day of the new year!