Any comments or questions about this site, please contact Bob Zolnerzak at





2008 january thru march

SHARON B. 50                                                  1/2/08

Rewrite some of the letters in the dream-note that I took this morning, and start off by reading them to her, saying that the first reminds me of all the work I did over the weekend with installing Verizon DSL on my computer, telling about the trouble with the dial tone, the mistyped address for Ken, the "junk" filing of Tris's e-mail, and the puzzle of why Gerry M.'s FIRST address-change e-mail wasn't returned, but the second e-mail WAS unsendable. Tell of all the good New Year's greetings: on the phone, returned phone calls, even the woman from the elevator when I got back at 12:15AM after the disappointing fireworks in the Hudson on New Year's Eve. Happy with the dinners with Ken, even though the food was disappointing, and he said that my concern about his spending the evening alone was nice on my part, but totally unnecessary, as he was "completely over" the relationship with Jay. Told Sharon of my "STRIVE" acronym when Mildred asked what the aims of my life were: Sex; Travel; Relationships (even if I had to sift through many: Arnie, Sherryl, Fred, Carolyn, Mildred, before finally getting Marj to say "warm the falafel," and Charles to say he really didn't like it any way); Indexing (and bragged that I was just offered a FIXED-PRICE contract at $3/page, more than I would have dreamed of asking for); Verizon, amazing in its speed and convenience now that the Internet is on my desktop Dell, rather than my under-desk PC; and Entertainment, including opera, ballet, galleries, museums, places, meals, including my pleasure at getting my $75 frequent-diner dinner on Tuesday at the Beard. Talked of a real NEED to talk with people over the holidays, which people traditionally spent with their families, and I had my CHOSEN family to communicate with, all around the world. THEN I mentioned the CLUNK of an anxiety attack on my way to the gym yesterday: "As if my mind was TOTALLY unengaged while going from my apartment to the gym," and she very quickly said that that was definitely from my PAST, when I was too young to have anyone outside my family to reach out to and had to invent things to fill in my lonely hours at home. "And it really helped my obsessive-compulsivity," I said, as she praised my imagination in coming up with things to occupy my time. I was almost startled with the speed with which she threw that out, even though I'd said that I realized how much she LIKED my dreams, so that I DIRECTED myself last night to have dreams, which I remembered, and she delighted in writing much while I was relating them. She acknowledged my energies in making the sessions with her, and my relationships with others, successful, and praised my continuing idea that a sexual relationship was STILL possible, even now! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 51)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B 49).

WEDNESDAY, 1/2/08: 6:50PM: Caught up typing a dream, typing the session with Sharon, and feel compelled to add here that I did what I could today: 1) phoned the Beard and got Chevy to call back with my reservation for next Tuesday's frequent-diner $75 meal; 2) phoned the travel agent to find that both my workers were out sick today; 3) tried the Internet last night to find that the Azores were really quite inaccessible on my way to Barcelona, and knowing enough to call it off (didn't add to my Sharon page the "miracles" of finding the print-enlarging slide at the bottom of the screen for Marj's "too-big print" problem, and my finding the right wires to connect to the plate to give dial tones in both bedroom phones after pulling out the wire after Spartacus left), 4) found why the two "not delivered" e-mails weren't delivered: Ken's wrong address, Tris's junk mail; 5) but still haven't called Bernice about a possible Actualism meeting, nor have I yet started on bringing my DATEBOOK up to date with 2007, even with the idea of simply putting a "T" for Travel in front of all trip-Summary pages rather than having to retype all the places and tours. Watched two of Spartacus's movies today after finishing off Ken's tape last night, and haven't yet read the Sun slipped under my door, by Beverley, I suppose. It snowed a bit today, but stopped quickly, and now it's down to 21° and cold from the window. Haven't updated the Christmas card list yet, which was good because I got Stephanie S.'s card only today, along with the earlier return of the three rolls of Aruba/Bonaire/Curacao slides, not terribly thrilling, but there ARE the islands in my photos, waiting for the last ten slides to develop with the Patagonia trip, which I told Sharon left us only TWO more sessions before I leave on that. AND sent the remaining nine travel files to Tris, taking hardly ANY time at all, leading me to think to try to e-mail the scanned slides! Well, why not now? That led to HORRIBLE problems: the five slides I tried first "exceeded the estimated 20480K at 20482K and were not sent." What the hell did THAT mean? Then when I tried to send TWO slides, the five hadn't been deleted, and when I came back an hour later Verizon was still trying to "succeed with 0 e-mails out of 2."

FRIDAY, 1/4/08: That meant I had to fight to find how to cancel the mailing so that a queue of seven e-mails, including three from Jillian, could come through! Then I couldn't PRINT from my Dell because it insisted I have a CANON printer, so I had to copy the contract onto A, transfer it to the PC, and try to print it, first going off to the right, then centering, but in both cases leaving out the heading. Do they have to MAIL me a contract, or can I just sign a printed copy of the second page that they'll accept? Endless HASSLE!

SUNDAY, 1/6/08: 12:55PM: Trying to get caught up: took out two bags of trash, one down the chute, the other a full bag of plastic Meal trays; did the dishes, packed out two loads of newspapers, picked up spots from the living-room carpet, tried to scrub what looked like dirty-water drops on the radiator, but they're somehow embedded and just won't come out, though they look somewhat less offensive after they've been scrubbed. Watered the plants for their first regular Sunday watering in a long time. Then transcribed Wednesday's dream, sent the Sunday dream from AlphaSmart to Dell and proofed it, then caught up on these last few days. Just got a call from thoughtful Fred saying he has books from 1994 on Petra and Jordan, but will put them back on the shelf, since I'm not going until November. Determined to start the index today, but first determined to get all the junk off my desk and get DEFINITIVE piles of things to do on my coffee table! Well, I just piled junk onto the coffee table and worked on the index for 2:55, interrupted by lunch, and I FEAR number of INDEXABLE lines may EXCEED to those allowed in book!! Take solace in Spider at 5:05PM.

MONDAY, 1/7/08: 9:05AM: Couldn't sleep after Actualism to 7AM, so I got up after only 5+ hours of sleep (NOTHING scheduled today), did the Sun, had breakfast, printed PRILET07, and print this page to get it out of the printer so I can finish the Christmas-card list update.

TUESDAY, 1/8/08: 11:30AM: DID the Christmas-card list update AND the complete 2007 LIFELIST, feeling good about it, even to getting four previous dates when I saw films I figured I'd seen before. Ordered food, printed out IAT's W-9 form with great anxiety, and got a message from Tris that I have to download Adobe for my computer, which I'll do now after I THINK I got blood-work scheduled for tomorrow, AND got retroactive JetBlue points even though their website (or actually Microsoft Internet Explorer, which gave the message) said that 12/12/07 was more than 90 days prior to current date.

SHARON B. 51                                                  1/9/08

I get there at 5:25, the door is locked but the lights are on, so I knock, loudly (knowing there's a truck grinding outside preparing to impound a motorcycle) four times, until 5:30, when I conclude she's just not inside. Go outside and try to locate her window, seemingly to the west of the canopy over the entrance, and there's no movement, though the computer screen is lit. I wait until 5:35, then go to CVS, and get home at 5:43 or so, to get a message from Sharon: "Where are you, it's now 5:35." I phone her, she says to come in, and I get there about 5:54, and sit right down to start, saying that I WAS pissed that the door was locked, though she said she tried to close it without locking it, though there have been robberies recently. She went upstairs, she said, from 5:20-5:30, but maybe her time was off, though we agreed that her watch agreed with the clock in the room, which was at 5:56 at that point. I sit down and read her my dreams, but they don't seem to impress her. I tell about the "frustrated, frustrating, frustratable" day yesterday with the computer, wishing that the world would just operate CORRECTLY, and she leads me to say that I'm angry, which leads me to report on yesterday's Beard House encounter with the word-halting photographer of whom I have the rudeness to ask the cause of her speech pattern, which she insists isn't unusual. I complain about the "two steps forward and three steps back," until I'm forced to admit that I AM making progress, DSL IS benefiting me, I AM doing things, so maybe it's more like "three steps forward and TWO steps back." Report on having to return from the elevator to pick up the dream-note before coming here this evening, and phoning Ken to apologize for forgetting the tape-exchange last night before the Beard. I feel worn out by my anger with the system, increasingly using Marj as a "shoulder to cry on," not having anyone to relate to, and no one seems to be HELPING me, as Tris did in the past, but now that I'm "catching up with him," all he can do is ask me what I'm doing WRONG when I can't do what he thinks I should be able to do, like make the image of the PDF DARK, and operable, which it does after about THREE tries, as if the world were TRYING to make things difficult for me. "I feel IMPOSED upon, made to feel that I'm ignorant or that I'm making mistakes, that it's MY fault rather than anyone else's fault," though I do admit that Spartacus and Mildred haven't gotten mad at me recently, and I might have been falsely accusing Carolyn of calling me for lunch today because she wanted me to pay for it AGAIN. She verified that Prozac takes at LEAST a week to get into, and then has to be taken constantly as an antidepressant, while Valium CAN be taken as an instant tranquilizer, for instant action, maybe even lasting to the next day, so it's really what I need. Joked that maybe I'll QUIT therapy now, since it's exceeded the number of times I went to the previous one, but added "I'll see you next week" a large number of times, and she admitted to being scattered the last few weeks, making mistakes, and apologizing again for not being here for me, offering me even TWO pieces of fancy Belgian chocolate that she left out on the counter FOR me. She'd also called her next client, asking her to come later, so I actually left at 6:40, about the same amount of time I'd usually get, but postponed making this documentation of the session until after Spider 7:05-8:05, TV to 11, now 11:17. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 52)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 50).

SUNDAY, 1/13/08: Spartacus calls at 6PM, asking, "When are we going to meet?" I quickly look at my datebook: what hadn't I marked down for this evening? He'd just heard on the news that the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Victoria, and the Queen Elizabeth 2 would be together in the harbor, under fireworks, at 7:30 this evening. We agree to meet in front of my place at 7:20, figuring the Promenade won't be crowded for the 41° unpublicized event. I put on a second pair of socks, long-john pants, and take a scarf, my beret, and my warmest gloves and meet him downstairs for only a few dozen people on the Promenade, the enormous bulk of the Queen Mary 2, its name in white neon on top, and maybe as many of 19 countable levels of lighted windows, from the lowest row of yellowish portholes, up the three rows of cabins to the main deck, then sets of lights, accentuated by a row of twelve VERY bright lights at about 8 decks up, and many small spires on top with bluish tints. Some VERY small fireworks went off about 7:45, which couldn't be the end, since there were at least a half-dozen helicopters buzzing near and far all the while, and the blue lights of the police boats cordoning off the main channel (the ferries came and went down Buttermilk Channel, stopped during the fireworks, and only returned as the three ships were sailing south toward the Verrazano). It started raining about 7:55, nothing appeared to be happening, and Spartacus left at 8PM, saying I should report to him. At 8:05 I noticed a row of lights over the South Ferry buildings, and as I trained my binoculars on the upper decks, the name Queen Victoria sailed majestically, letter by letter, into view. Fireworks started, much closer than those before, at 8:09, primarily red, many bicolored red and a kind of reddish orange, and some skyrockets, though most were simple spheres. The waters were lit on the NEAR side of the QM2, but as it sailed south, and the QV took its place, the waters were lit AROUND THE FRONT of the QV, which was obviously closer, and its number of lit levels was more like 15 or 16, though it appeared about the same height at the QM2 because it was nearer. As the QM2 passed the body of the fireworks, and the QV was in the midst of them, a large orange stack appeared around the side of the tallest building at the South Ferry area, and the QE2 didn't even deign to have a visible name in neon. The fireworks continued as the QM2 passed the Statue of Liberty, the QV nosed toward it, and the QE2 revealed a rather old-fashioned, under-lit, much shorter profile as it came into view, maybe even closer to the QV, which isn't nearly the small "boutique" ship that Spartacus said it might have been. The fireworks went into their finale, spectacularly, as the QM2 sailed out of sight behind the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel airshaft, at 8:24PM, a fifteen-minute display in all. At times, the helicopter spotlights picked out the sprays from fireboats, some of which also had their own internal illumination. The QV disappeared behind the BBT airshaft at almost the same height as the QM2, but it may have been closer. The QE2 looked under-illuminated by comparison. The rain began letting up, though the Promenade at this point contained no more than a dozen people, some merely strolling and uninterested in the parade of ships. All three were visible in the lower harbor as the QM2 turned east, showing a fuller profile, the QV remained foreshortened as it was still heading southeast, and the QE2 appeared almost lopsided with its lack of lights below the halfway-in-height mark. I waited as the rain let up even more, though my coat was dripping down my sleeves into my pockets and my hands were cold because I was holding the binoculars. I left about 8:40PM, as the QM2 began to disappear behind the cranes along Brooklyn's western shore, the QV began to straighten out as it, too, turned east, and the QE2 appeared more like a crooked aircraft carrier than a luxurious passenger ship, soon to be a hotel off Dubai, Spartacus says. I got back and phoned him to report at 8:55, and then started typing this about 8:59, getting off the phone as he had to take something out of his microwave oven. Finish now at 9:14PM, happy that I could have filled most of a page, even though that doesn't matter now that everything is done in view of being on the website, where pages are no longer numbered; the fact that I've filled this to the very last line becomes completely unimportant.

SHARON B. 52                                                  1/16/08

Have to laugh, as the front door is propped open as I come through the stairway door! Have a mediocre candy and she comes out smiling. I carried my laundry inside and she remarked that it was packaged like a gift, so I added the detail that I had told the woman at the laundry to fold the pants inside, too. Started with the feeling of being "not quite me" at one point when I was doing so many things that it seemed like a throwback to the time when I was busy ALL the time: work, sex, social life, cultural life, travel, parties, entertainment. I emphasized again and again how good it was to have a company that seemed to have a lot of books for me, that phoned to say that I could submit an invoice WITHOUT a signature to get in the billing period ending on the 15th, and that when I thanked her for being so considerate, she effused that THEY were so happy to have found someone who seemed to be so good at indexing! "So you feel good to be appreciated," said Sharon with a smile, implying that SHE felt I was easy to appreciate and that most people WOULD. I said that I'd taken a Valium the last few days, so that even the "hacking" of my Visa card, so that I had to get a new card number and phone seven companies to change my number, adding that I'd have had to change the expiration date in March, anyway; the mediocrity of the meal last night for $192 (though I didn't mention the price); and the fact that Paul doesn't want to go on the Guianas trip, though he mentioned a houseguest who might go with me (it occurred to me only after a moment that he THEN said that the guest was planning on a trip starting March 10 so that he would NOT, in fact, be able to go with me)---so, in a sense, I lied to make things seem even better than they were. Talked about the pleasure of going to the Met Museum today with Mildred even for a few hours, though in the past I could have spent the whole eight hours there on my feet. Sharon observed that I really had a busy day, after I crowed that I'd finally gotten the last piece of construction, the window screen, finished, and SO much enjoyed the view from the 20th floor. AND, I said with some amusement, I have NOT been plagued with the "usual" idea that, now that everything's going well, some grand disaster will overtake the Earth, or me, or the city, or the economy, or "I'll be hit by a car going back from this session." Remarked a number of times how much her insights have been taken into my life: that my angst over having nothing to do stems from my childhood sitting alone in my room wondering how to fill great spaces of time; that taking a Valium in the morning doesn't seem to do me any harm, and that it was a good idea if I took Zetia and fish oil along on my trip if it turned out that the Zocor, which I was going to start taking tomorrow, didn't agree with me. I expressed great difficulty in EXACTLY saying how I felt when I "wasn't myself": it wasn't that I had an out-of-body experience and looked down at me with a "Who is that?" question; nor did I take it in a NEGATIVE way of not REMEMBERING who I was; just that I was looking at things in a way I didn't ordinarily look at them, happy at being busy, that most things were turning out well (even that Juno finally downloaded mail after three or four tries when it wouldn't), so that I could, among other things, get the address of the bookseller of the Capitoline Museum guide to see why it hasn't arrived YET. Mentioned that the IRS forms arrived, so that'll be something ELSE to handle, though I'll be leaving Marj with lots to proofread (ah, yes, SHE came in for lots of praise for her constant joining me in laughter, appreciating my work, supporting me, even though she's mainly a recluse)---to which Sharon added, "See, you can even give HER the pleasure of supporting you"---who's had the same lover every Friday for TWENTY YEARS. I said I found it easy remembering names of PLACES in my slide-shows, but not the names of the people on the trip: STILL not really identifying the couple that sent me a Christmas greeting, though "I guess two guys stand out more than the usual man-woman married couples on these trips." I just bubbled on, looking at the clock, establishing that my next meeting was February 6, she wished me a good trip, and I was glad I hadn't farted too much during the session, since the smell was FOUL siphoned up through my overcoat! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 53)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 51).

WEDNESDAY, 1/16/08: 7:05PM: Copied out a list of 11 items yesterday, doing only a few of them: 0) gym, 1) pay taxes, 2) 2PM Hedy Lamarr slides, 3) 7PM Ken at SushiSamba, 4) send DREAMSC to Tris, 5) buy wine. Then today I completed more: 4) C.: blood results: LDL worse, so he recommends me coming off Zetia and fish oil and going onto Zocor, for which he left a prescription which I'll have to pick up tomorrow, 4A) corrections to DREAMSB and resend to Tris, also looking at Zone and noting MANY improvements which I have on a list to tell him, along with the still-undone 9) finish CX with Tris, which it's too late to do tonight, so I hope to do it tomorrow, which I look to see has NOTHING scheduled for it, though I told Mildred and Sharon that I HAD something scheduled, but couldn't remember what it WAS. Then this morning I finally scrubbed the filthy kitchen floor, as well as the hall and the bathroom floor, clipped my toenails, picked up the laundry before seeing Sharon, got the screen put up from 11:15-11:30, clearing enough space so they could do it, then dusting the metal filings off my desk when I put the computer stand back. Got to the Met Museum with Mildred for a nice time with Abstract Expressionism and Egyptian gifts to the gods, and then of course saw Sharon at 5:30. TOLD her I'd probably do the index tonight, but I feel an urge for Spider coming on, continuing to get to new highs, breaking through to 49.56283 last night from 4:10-5:10, DO have to do the index, but I have all day tomorrow, and still have mail and Sun sudokus to do, and puzzles, and Zocor two-step tomorrow. But now at 7:13PM I feel I need SPIDER!

FRIDAY, 1/18/08: 4:37PM: Almost going out of my mind preparing for the trip, and I haven't even started PACKING yet. But I started by making out a list of things to do "On return from Patagonia," which includes, so far, 1) unpack, 2) slides out, 3) read Times, 4) sort mail, 5) check e-mail, 6) pay Visa at Citibank, 7) back to Guianas trip-planning, and 8) HIP: WHEN Brooklyn Hospital? DID manage to get through most of the list that I made for today: 1) stop Sun, which AGAIN reminds me they need TWO days to do so, so I'll GET Monday: TOUGH! 2) pack, not started, really, yet, though I have pills out, stuff on the table, and cards out of my wallet, 3) send index and invoice, 4) OAT: still roommate (yes) and where is stop (they don't KNOW, ask at JFK!) (and I find that LanChile is affiliated with AAdvantage, so I take THAT card), 5) shut off modem and radiators, 6) leave phone message, 7) gym, 8) call for car (at 7:30 for a 10:30 flight), 9) shave (which I just did), 10) Taschen with Charles (who didn't show up because of elevator problems in his building, and I got only a Giger book), and 11) pick up mail, which I haven't done yet. Also took notes this MORNING: 12:30AM, take Ambien CR: 24 hours to PLANE, 36 hours to destination, which I update NOW as 19 hours to destination. Up, tired, at 8:10AM. Take Valium 8:30 and have been fighting the urge to take another since about 3PM. Less than three hours to the car! 6:30PM: Absolute PANIC as I search for about HALF AN HOUR for my packing checklist, just CAN'T find it: tear OLD bags apart, search through Aruba file, and FINALLY find it in the LAST corner, up against a side-wall, in my suitcase! DAMN! STILL have to eat dinner, take out the garbage, and actually PACK all my stuff! But the rest will be on my AlphaSmart: THIS has to STOP. 7:22PM: ACTUALLY finished: ate dinner by gulps as I packed, weighed the bags, got spare toilet paper for my pocket, put on a short-sleeved shirt under my long-sleeved shirt for the warm temperatures tomorrow in Santiago, Chile, and put everything in the hall, all the dishes away, shoes on, stuff in pockets, but shoulder bag is REALLY too big to fit into case, so I'd have to take it apart and put things like cameras in my jacket pockets to get everything into one IF they demanded it. Sitting typing with my jacket on, so I'll be warm in the car even though it's "all of" 41° outside. Hope I'm not cutting the time too short, but there shouldn't be THAT much traffic to JFK at THIS hour. And now it's 7:24PM by the clock outside, and maybe I'll just go downstairs and wait for the car. TRAVEL:PATAGONIA

Smithsonian Magazine: 28 places to see before you die              2/6/08
A. Portals into past
     1. Mesa Verde
     2. Pompeii
     3. Tikal
     4. Petra
B. Engineering
     5. Pyramids of Gizeh
     6. Taj Mahal
     7. Easter Island moai
     8. Great Wall of China
C. Matter of timing
     9. Aurora borealis
     10. Serengeti
     11. Iguasu Falls
     12. Macchu Picchu
D. Triumphs of vision
     13. Louvre
     14. Zen Garden in Kyoto
     15. Uffizi Gallery
     16. Fallingwater
E. Scale new heights
     17. Yangtze River
     18. Antarctica
     19. Mt. Kilimanjaro
     20. Grand Canyon
F. In the presence of gods
     21. Pagan
     22. Parthenon
     23. Angkor Wat
     24. Ephesus
G. Here today, gone tomorrow
     25. Venice
     26. Amazon Rain Forest
     27. Great Barrier Reef
     28. Galapagos Islands
So after I see Petra, the only one I won't have seen is the Great Barrier Reef.

SHARON B. 53                                                  2/6/08

I phoned her at 2:30PM just to make sure she knew I was coming in at 5:30, saying she didn't have to call back if that was OK, but she DID call back to confirm, starting with "Welcome home," which was nice of her. I noticed a spectacular lemon green set of sunset clouds as I walked down Pierrepont at 5:17, so I detoured to the Promenade to see the last bit of sun setting at 5:22PM and great cloud formations with a cute guy taking photos. Upstairs to find the door propped OPEN, which I closed, and she said she'd left it open to be SURE I got in OK. I started off with the dream, during which she took notes furiously, asking for details about how I knew it was the digital camera which I still haven't learned how to operate to take on a trip, that I was relieved that the dream was AFTER the trip so that I wasn't concerned about my camera ON the trip, and the rolls of film were already safely being processed. Then went into the trip in GREAT detail: the seating at our dinner table for four, the age of the group, my being paired with the 88-year-old Larry with multiple bleeding skin cancers (and the coincidence of the 17 years' difference in our ages, added to his age, produced the "magic" 105 that I'd always figured to live to---admittedly now without very much positive anticipation). Then went on to the free drinks, the upgrading of our windowless cabin on the ship to two picture windows, my apartness from the group, which I appreciated as a chance to enjoy the totally spectacular scenery: my luck with weather extending over the whole group for our entire stay without rain or clouds over the normally invisible Torres del Paine. Detoured into my questioning my increased interest in my personal sexuality with the cessation of Proscar, thinking it might be easier if I just went back on and enjoyed the relative tranquility of NOT being obsessed with jerking off. Talked about the sisters' vigor in their 80s, walking faster than I did on most of the trails; the negativity of Judy, which became almost a joke in its vigor and inventiveness of things to be disgusted or displeased about in amazing ways; the pleasure of finding that Bob was an enjoyable dinner partner, and NOT wanting to be at the tables of the loud-laughing women or at punster Jay's side, as Larry was, even having the nerve to say, "Jay, shut UP," at one point. Moaned about the "price of the trip" being more than the finances (though I pointed out that I DID feel good about the indexing business picking up with the new phone call this afternoon and the promised work from It's About Time), and the piles of stuff (50 piles reduced to 40, which she assured me I would finish and take care of without major difficulty) that I had to deal with, though I confessed to almost not "recognizing myself" at my lenience in dealing with things: doing the puzzles when I wanted, playing Spider when it hit me, taking care of things one by one, sometimes even out of order, like reading for two hours when I didn't feel like sleeping one night, getting up after five hours' sleep a few mornings, confident that I could take a nap during the afternoon if I really felt tired, and even today's uncharacteristic buying of egg foo yung at 4:45PM after the gym (also after buying bottles of plum wine and blackberry brandy at the wine store), to have one before coming to this session, deciding NOT to have it with plum wine, which would be TOO much for the session. I talked about doing "nothing useful" this time, and the time went fast, and she accepted the idea that this time was about the trip, and intimated that NEXT time we might talk more about the notes she jotted about my camera-falling-apart dream. I said I felt different because I didn't HASSLE myself nearly as much when I did puzzles rather than pushed piles around on the floor, happy that I missed the personal arguments and aggrievements of Restaurant Week, which I'd plan to be around for in the summer so I could try to make things better among Mildred, Charles, and Spartacus. Session went quickly, I stopped it almost precisely at 6:15PM, intending to write this last night, but was sidetracked by Leon calling for the YMHA tomorrow, which Charles will attend, when I can give him the Christmas letter that he specifically requested to my rather concealed delight.

THURSDAY, 2/7/08: 10:20AM: STILL so much to do: phone HIP for colonoscopy date, phone Jessica about catalog index, get back to Tris with the errors I found in about three hours' scanning of DREAMS, primarily the ABSENCE of ITALICS, dammit! And need breakfast NOW, while printing Sharon's page, which releases Charles's letter from the printer.

MONDAY, 2/11/08: 9AM: Decide to get RID of the piles in the living room, now that I've been back for TEN days, and start keeping a list, which is VERY gratifying, as it DOES clear up the living-room piles: 1) Beard: Colleen changes my e-mail address, but there's no room at the frequent-diner meal tonight. 2) Cystoscopy: Donna finally gets back to me with all information at 12:20PM. 3) Start replacement AmEx card. 4) Charles finally calls back and I order ABT tickets for June and July. 5) C.'s assistant says I can come in and pick up the mefloquine prescription for my Surinam trip. 6) Odyssey Tours tells me I get back to NYC about 6PM 6/6 (11PM Iceland time, so I'll be tired), and that I can pay my final bill on the phone with Visa, a relief! 7) Fill out Patagonia evaluation by 12:30 and start stack of letters to be mailed. 8) Fill out the window-screen form for Cadman. 9) Scan and throw out "Brainwave" folder. 10) Throw away Navarra wine-tasting information. 11) Order Scientific American from for $19.97, later reading how rationally they treat their "automatic renewal" policy, which sounds good all-in-all. 12) Cancel United Airlines credit card. 13) File Schwab year-end report in the overflowing desk file drawer. 14) File AmEx "new card" letter. 15) Discard Schwab IRA distribution reminder at 3PM, amazed at how such little things can take so much time. 16) File IRS stuff and write note to "do it." 17) Decide that Citi $1.72 "fee" isn't worth hassling. 18) Send letters to two Curacao ministries. 19) Set up Rubin Museum for Saturday with Sherryl in her new ginger wig at 4PM. 20) E-mail Dale on Abu Simbel extension at 8:50PM after having lunch at 4PM, taking down a bagful of papers, mail four letters, and pick up today's mail, getting second check from Herff. Talk to Charles while recording Prison Break, have dinner while watching it, and watch Life Begins and get to bed 12:15AM, GREAT!

TUESDAY, 2/12/08: Write 3AM dream [DREAMS:2/12/08] on AlphaSmart and wake again at 8:15AM, getting my much-needed eight-hour sleep. Just finish the Sun puzzles when Tris calls to say he'll need Word files for italics, so I have to yet again resend DREAMSA, and saying I should relabel DOCX files DOC when I finish with their tracking corrections. Type yesterday's wonderful note and finish this at 10:15AM, hungry for breakfast, late before meeting Mildred at Florent at 3PM.

SHARON B. 54                                                  2/13/08

Door still open on arrival. I tell her my dream, saying how much I realized it applied to MY life, and she praised me for realizing that. I told of calling Marj to "diffuse my frustrations from Sharon," which Sharon made sure I knew wasn't necessary. She AGAIN assured me I can say what I want---even coming to another "realization" with Mildred: I COULD have said, "I really needed to hear that," when she said I was financially incompetent, or that I didn't know myself. I mentioned the B.s bickering with each other, my apologies to Charles for being impatient with him: but "I want everyone in the world to be as perfect as I am, and clearly I'm not perfect," telling her about calling GCT to make an Odyssey-trip reservation. Said how glad I was to get the piles done. "Are they all necessary?" "Absolutely," I insisted, "it's only when I FINISH what HAS to be done that I indulge in bringing OTHER things up to date, like keeping track of HIP medical payments, movie lists, Ken's tapes, which I DO have to finish, even though I DO like them." I said she hid the clock, she said it was HER job to watch the time, and it WAS late: I signed the papers, added the GOOD points of two e-mails from the Surinam visa handlers, and left at 6:20, telling her about the bedbugs-in-building meeting I'm attending later this evening. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 55)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 53).

WEDNESDAY, 2/13/08: 6:44PM: Should have kept a list of the things that I did TODAY: 1) Got through the Sun, 2) Filed "general travel" things in "next trip" slot, 3) Made a pile of "price Patagonia trip," 4) Phoned Accessory Genie and left word for them to call me (AS IF!), 5) Phoned Citi Visa, who said it would take FOUR WEEKS to get a detailed statement for the 12/10/07 $24.98 charge, 6) Filed apartment things away, 7) Got the mefloquine prescription from CVS, 8) Saw Sharon, 9) Typed up page for the session, 10) Sorted out and took down two stacks of Styrofoam from Healthy Meals, 11) Will go to the bedbug meeting, 12) Sent DREAMSA as a Word.doc to Tris, 13) Checked that Schwab One has $9,000+ from Keogh Minimum Distribution, 14) Invested $16,000 in a 6.25% CD, 15) Labeled this week's meals, and probably did OTHER things I've forgotten, too, but I stop at 6:50PM to put mefloquine dates in calendar. Notes from 7:40-8:35 bedbug meeting: 1) Bites, like THREE mosquito bites, on upper torso. 2) Blood dots on clothes or sheets, if so, call exterminator by reporting to office. 3) They get in EVERYTHING. 4) Droppings like PEPPER in sheet linings. 5) 2-4 treatments usually needed. 6) Pyrethroid works 90 days. 7) Vaseline or mineral oil in cups under bed legs.

THURSDAY, 2/14/08: 10PM: A day of triumphs! 1) Called HSBC when I couldn't get my balance online, though I will get info in the mail about IDs and passwords, and found I'd added $771 TWICE, so I have LESS than I thought, so BOTH checks to Marj and Tris will clearly be from Schwab. Mail both and 2) Buy a wireless mouse for my laptop, for 10% off since I got ANOTHER credit card from them. 3) Buy groceries, but forget Spam and soy sauce. 4) Tris calls and I tell him he's using Juno, still, inadvertently. 5) Call Marj and crow about day, going through first 22 pages of NOTEBOKA notes. 6) Watch two of Ken's movies, record an ecological two hours, and in passing time, SOLVE the 1/5/08 Times crossword that's been in and out of my consciousness for MORE THAN A MONTH, and feel GREAT about it! FINALLY count number of PILES left: SIXTEEN! And have a small stack of FOUR to do on computer NOW: 1) Medical stuff from 1/11 blood test, 2) CASTINGADVISOR.COM for head shots free, 3) two giveaway entries, 4) Roger E. got new web address? But FINALLY have a NUMBER of DISCRETE piles to take care of, ALMOST as small in number as the 13 I left BEFORE I went to Patagonia!

MONDAY, 2/18/08: 9:33PM: Piles have increased, but I've been OBSESSED about watching all of Ken's tapes, taking four back to his building when I meet Sherryl for the Rubin Museum on Saturday, which is good because he got back Saturday to leave me a message about 4:30PM. Intended to start catching up with about last 20 piles on Sunday, but just did the puzzles, watched more movies, and played more Spider, getting to an all-time high of 49.74193 at 11:25PM on Sunday, but then crazily continued to 2AM Monday, getting nowhere, finally just quitting with a terribly lowered score of 49.72493, lowered even more today from 4-5:10 to 49.71832. Disgusted with myself, uncomfortable with the 55 degree temperatures today, talking Marj through a panic attack of losing some list, but while we were talking it DAWNED on her: she used it as a bookmark in the Chicago Manual of Style! Felt good to be able to talk her through it, both admitting that I was the only possible person who could see her through this. And was I ever happy she FOUND it! Watched TV all day today: Prince Igor, Pan's Labyrinth for the second time, When Stand-Up Stood Out, a lousy movie about comics in Boston, and Alibi Ike, which finished just before I started taping the season finale of Prison Break, which I'll watch now that I've printed out this page so that I have the Patagonia Summary page to copy onto the calendar pages tomorrow and finish at least ONE task from the many I've been delaying doing. AND told Marj that I got a rate-sheet for the Community Room downstairs after signing up for CASTINGASSOCIATES.COM for head-shots through Audience Extras, so I'm going to start thinking about casting and producing MY plays, now that the website is "fairly" underway. AND realize that just four weeks from today I'll be in TRINIDAD, starting on my "first official" trip of my 72nd year of age!

SHARON B. 55                                                  2/20/08

On my way there, I thought to "test" Sharon by saying, "I have a dream, and a trauma; which would you like to hear first?" But of course I rather expected her to say something like "Which would you like to talk about first?" But then I thought of the NEWS I had for her, which I DID start out with, after I walked in the open door at exactly 5:30PM and continued around to meet her in her doorway about to come out for me: "Someone from here called me and I'll be starting showing my travel slides on Wednesdays at 1:15PM sometime in early April," and she said she was delighted to hear it, it was a good room for it, and she'd finally be able to see my slides too. THEN I asked her my question, she answered it as I'd supposed, later saying that, "You wanted to GIVE me the dream because you wanted to please me, but you wanted very badly to talk about your trauma, and I'm here to listen to you, not for you to cater to what I'd want. But it's a sign of transference that you're trying to make me into one of your demanding friends who want you to do things for THEM, rather than for yourself, and I'm here to help you understand that the best thing you can do is what YOU want to do, thereby helping yourself." I was on the verge, then, of saying what I'd wanted to say a few times in the past: "You seem to be having enough background on me that you can make VERY PRECISE suggestions of how I can benefit from something I've done, or something I'm thinking of doing, or some way I can hold what I'm doing to make things better for me." But I didn't, saying that I felt great relief in being able to say exactly what I wanted to say, so I told her in some detail (which I'll record tomorrow in a regular date-page) what happened, and she sympathized greatly with what a horrible day I'd had, how well I'd handled it, and how she applauded the fact that, when my eyes started closing while doing a puzzle this afternoon, I simply put it aside and went to lie in bed for a couple hours, regardless of what I SHOULD have been doing, since I felt worn out by the day. I repeated Chrystal's comment that I did things at right angles, but that I should be more flexible and CURVE in and out of activities, which Sharon said I did TODAY when taking a rest when I felt like it. I said I'd also been making progress with Spider: less and less would I play until I made a certain score, or number of points, but when I got tired I'd just QUIT: it was supposed to be FUN, not something that I copied onto a list and then did out of a sense of DUTY, as I'd done so often in the past, denying myself the sense of doing something I WANTED to do, rather than NEEDING to do something I'd decided I SHOULD do. Told her about helping Marj on the phone to find the paper she'd put in as a marker in a book, after she'd absolutely despaired of EVER finding what she'd lost in her tiny apartment. Sharon also asked if I'd ever gotten the headache I'd mentioned last week, and I said I hadn't, so I don't have to check with C. about it. She surely sympathized with the fact that the DOCTORS should have told me to stay away from aspirin, as a blood thinner, for a week before my cystoscopy, and I said I hoped I'd be CURED by then of the bleeding, which at 11PM this evening was still going on, though much more lightly. Told her about my getting the rate sheet from the building (she didn't know what the rates would be for THIS community room, but she thought it would only be open to people here) in order to start thinking about producing plays, something that I thought would hold me in good stead when I FINALLY finished the pile of things I had to do and was looking for something ELSE to do before going on my NEXT trip. Mentioned the luck of getting a good seat for the Turangalila symphony by talking to someone, not mentioning the two people I'd talked to on the street that same day, which surprised me since I NEVER talk to anyone on the street. Took a candy as I left at 6:15 on the dot, feeling that I'd finished "running a marathon" as I got everything out and sat panting in my chair, breathing deeply as if having run a distance, and she HAD remarked that I had a VERY trying day, and my 155/98 blood pressure WOULD be symptomless, and was happy that it was unusual except when I was under stress. Disappointed about having a cold! (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 56) (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 54).

SUNDAY, 2/24/08: 7:45PM: Just got back from a cholesterol-heartening bacon cheeseburger and most of a pitcher of sangria at Big Nick's Burger Joint with Charles, now having to wait until 8:15PM to phone Shelley for permission to come over to watch the Oscars while I tape the last two hours of Pride and Prejudice. Tris called back after I called him back Saturday after he called me on Friday, but I'll call him back on Monday. Found to my dismay that on page 40 of NOTEBOKA (which Marj proofed and I spent endless hours going over her five-page memo with her to explain what should be, concerning my Rosicrucian trip), I recorded my dreams IN the notebook pages, which is probably what I may have done with the Florence, Chicago, and Akron dreams that now have only lines in DREAMSB, which Tris is questioning. Came, on the phone, to the conclusion that I should DUPLICATE the dreams into the DREAMS file, and LEAVE the original in the NOTEBOOK file. More work for everyone, but it'll be good in the end. Actually down to about 18 piles now, but Paul C. is showing up on Friday, which will either severely hamper my workday, or give me an excuse to WORK, so that I don't have to worry about what he's doing during the day. Don't look forward to the cystoscopy on Wednesday, for which I have to call for the hour-due on Tuesday between 1-3PM. Also have to figure what to do now that my TRIPLIST is coming up to the maximum for one page, and I can't really see taking out the shortest trip, since that would include the just-done Aruba; nor the cheapest trip, since that would take out the second-longest trip across the USA; nor the few US trips, since that would remove Florida/Paul, Santa Fe, Florida w.A., USA w.camper, and USA w.Greyhound bus. Guess I'll just have to go, at first, to a longer page, which might add the five trips due in 2008, and THEN we'll see what'll happen NEXT. Told a number of people about my "four nude locales in one day" yesterday: 1) home, 2) gym, 3) MAN at Dugout (which came into the conversation AGAIN today TWICE: with Mildred slipping on the ice leaving Florent when I left her with her martini, and with Marj questioning what I meant with "left (broke)" elbow outside the Dugout when I was LAST there at a MAN party in snowy weather, and 4) the Gay Center for the photo show that's trying to make public nudity OK in NYC (fat chance!) with MAN members showing their members and a few new guys making the scene somewhat more attractive, though I couldn't get the ginger-crotched Jerry to admit that Bill (or whatever his name was) had a wig (and Steve was inclined to agree with me), though his body made anything acceptable as far as I was concerned, and there didn't seem to be any chemistry between him and Mark, whose lower back legs I'd admired, and then had a chance to admire his long cock, somewhat diminished by a kind of pot, though nothing compared with mine. Got to the gym today, getting rid of the blood-stained shorts from Wednesday's aborted cystoscopy anesthesia, and leaving me with time to catch up with more piles, as I sent out the Visa check and put away the HSBC statement, and finalized my access to my HSBC account on the Internet at last. Will have to tell Bill that I'd seen his All's Well That Ends Well recently enough that I don't have to see it again, and then MUST get to editing the Maya slides so that I have a reasonable show for Steve when he shows up with many others on Tuesday, though I'm tempted to just leave it at my original plan to show it in two parts, since I think I edited out all the bad slides, and STILL have two large shows. Then there's the problem of going back through the website to see which of my corrections have actually been done and which have yet to be done, to make a final list for Tris. Then the attraction of the plays is growing: have to do SOMETHING with my year's free membership for CASTINGASSOCIATES, and the fantasy of meeting some dynamite actor for a part in A Gift of the Alien and entering into a new phase of my love-life is appealing, even if it's with the fellow who might be perfect for "my" part, as opposed to the universal-doll type that I'm hoping to find for the Alien himself. And still fantasizing getting Marj involved with it, as she's actually admitted it might be possible for me to RING her at her building if I find myself in the neighborhood with a few minutes to kill, though I DO think she'll merely come down to the lobby for me.

SHARON B. 56                                                  2/27/08

Leave off two prescriptions for Avodart, for prostate diminishing, and Sulfamethoxazole, as antibiotic post-cystoscopy, which I pick up afterward at CVS. Start with trauma of 1) not having an appointment, 2) actual pain of procedure, and 3) stream of blood from the following three urinations, saying I'm reminded of what women must have to go through each month. She sympathizes on all points. Then I rejoice about having one island departure delayed from 4AM to 6AM, somewhat livable. Then I get out dreams: 1) Dennis writing song titles on his glasses, saying that it was "in the moment," which means he was still alive, and she questions about how much I LIKE being "in the moment," as I was the last few days when I HAD to get the slides together, get things done, get ready for Paul's arrival on Friday, though I may be able to use all the things I have to get done as excuses for NOT doing things with him. Then go back to the food-drink dream, thinking it might have to do with an overcrowded refrigerator with still-uneaten meals that I'm falling more and more behind on. She makes nothing out of the car flooding, nor about the Adirondack climber, nor about the Met scenery. When I get to the "missing" Chihuahua, I tell her about my Grandmother's Tiny, who danced around urinating when she came into the room; and the parakeet puts me in mind of the "missing" photos associated with the World Trade Center, which movie I watched last night, along with The Falling Man, which was really awful. Then reported the "sudden" panic attack on the walkway between Spartacus's and my place, which put me in mind of the two "sudden" attacks long ago in NYC: 1) the hard punch on the overcoated shoulder by someone crossing against me on Broadway long ago, and 2) the shocking flick of a subway-poster metal guard-strip thrown at me inside the subway, again protected by an overcoat, by someone on the platform, totally unexpected. In there somewhere was my repeated childhood dream of being frightened going into a funhouse (based on an actual funhouse that my father, not realizing I was in a state of panic and probably thinking he was making me "more a man" than I needed at the age of five or six), ending up with sticklike cartoon figures from a childhood comic strip, and a brightly colored fish, which immediately took me to Pinocchio and Cleo, the ceramic fish which Mom told me to "feed," (connecting back to the food in the previous dream?) and I asked whether obsessive-compulsive behavior was inborn or trained, and she said the predisposition was probably born, but it had to be cultivated, and I said that Mom sure cultivated it: I picked up odd bits from the carpet (which I said I STILL do, to my satisfaction, rather than vacuuming), I fed the fish, and I pleased Mom. She said that these obviously all stemmed from some VERY early trauma which I don't remember, but which we're getting closer to with these dreams and my free associations from them, and she says we're doing very well, and indicates we'll have to finish and I glance at the clock to see that it's 6:20PM already, I've actually gone over, and I said, "Well, THAT really went fast," and she repeated that it was all to the good, and then I laughingly said she no longer has to leave the door open for me, and she said something about having thefts, which would lead me to think she'd want the door closed, and I resisted the impulse to again assure her I didn't hold against her her not being there that one time. I kept repeating that I was saying whatever came into my mind, and she kept encouraging me to do just that. I also said that I'd gotten very few homophobic attacks, not appearing that much to be gay, but reminding her of the two people, Uncle Edward and Don, who were the only ones who said they wished I hadn't told them, and about how I take care to tell only the "right" people, who usually have friends or relatives or SONS who are gay, and make me feel all the better for having "come out" to them. Very productive session, and she seems to think that these dreams, which I should continue to report on, may be a good way to lead to some long-distant, totally repressed event or series of events that might explain my apprehension and fear of something coming "out of the blue" even worse than those I've already reported. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 57)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 55).

WEDNESDAY, 2/27/08: 7:30PM: Wake with dream [DREAMS:2/27/08] at 5:33AM, doze, up at 6:10, have breakfast, leave at 6:45 and sign in at 7:07, going through the trauma on MEDICAL:2/27/08. Back to have an early lunch of snacks left over from before, do puzzles, make a reservation for a 3/10 Beard special to which Ken won't be going, and called Tina, who pleases with hotels she's found and a 4AM departure moved up to 6AM, though I'll still have to rent two rooms for that day. Hungry now at 7:35PM and will have dinner, watch TV, and get to bed EARLY to FINISH this awful day!

FRIDAY, 2/29/08: 4:50PM: Went to the gym, deposited a check, bought Merlot, took in laundry, got the mail with the IRS forms requested, changed the sheets, washed dishes, cleaned (sort of) kitchen and bathroom, and this morning decided to chart my previous four years' trips:
     YEAR      # trips   #days     Dollars
     2004      3         50       $12,247   (one $6,450)   ALL with KEN!
     2005      3         58       16,022   (one  8,784)
     2006 (70) 7         102       29,980   (one  6,600)
     2007 (71) 6         88       39,074   (one 15,723)
     2008 (72) 5         100+?     97,323!

TUESDAY, 3/4/08: 8:20AM: Paul's visit has been unpleasant: he tries too hard to be affable, with his forced laugh, his nervous cough, his interrupting my reading or writing with "interesting" observations or comments. Friday evening's dinner at Oven was good enough; Saturday's dinners of leftover HeartHealthy meals weren't that great, but they sufficed; Sunday was good at Merkato55 with Ken, but Monday was desperation in noisy Henry's End with a trio of loud, fat, unpleasant women at a near table adding to the general clamor, though the sauce on my Lemonese Veal was rich and delicious, the bread was good, and Paul kept insisting on how much he liked the fairly mediocre half-carafe of Chenin Blanc. Then last night I felt overwhelmed by the things I had to do today, eventually coming up with a list: 1) Sharon: 5PM Wednesday? 2) Tina: Only ONE hotel on the early-travel day? 3) Airline: E-ticket? 4) Marj: I HADN'T actually done the work I'd just INDICATED doing on the CURRENT website files! 5) Taxes: MUST concentrate on them today (not least for Dell's notarizing visit here tomorrow which I probably in NO way could utilize), since there's less than two weeks before my trip, and then less than two weeks to the deadline after THAT! So no Morgan Library today (at least I won't have to listen to Paul's comments and attempts to make the experience "better" for me), and I'll have breakfast now at 8:30, hoping at least the SIX people who confirmed for tonight will show up without FURTHER cancellations.

SHARON B. 57                                                  3/5/08

Got there 5:01PM, early for King Arthur, and went right in to complain about Paul's presence. She said, "You like to keep busy, but taking care of two people's lives is understandably too much." I bitched about "knowing" I made corrections, but when later I MADE the corrections, it became clear I HADN'T made the corrections. Felt tired and stressed-out, wanting things to be easier yet desiring to keep busy, since "I hadn't had TIME for a panic attack the past week." Told of pleasant restaurants; Paul's self-sufficiency; our failed attempt at sex, only through my courage to ask to try again; my looking forward to the opera and dinner tonight; how the trip was coming out, how well the slides went; then into the dream, which she took notes about constantly while I talked, asking how "typical" it was and how I felt, and she even accepted Mildred's statement of vague acceptance if I'd shown up with Charles there. I talked so much, she was so accommodating, that I asked for a drink of water as I left early at 5:40, giving me time to leave off the mefloquine prescription I had no time to leave off before, which was good, since it took a long time but subway came instantly and I was at King Arthur first. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 58)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 56).

THURSDAY, 3/6/08: 8:03AM: Took a sleeping pill with all my night pills last night, and took a Valium when I shit smellily this morning after Paul had gotten out of bed about 7:15AM, to my relief. Cold, so I put on both radiators, finished Sharon's page and printed it out, and prepared to get into the last full day of Paul's presence, being encouraged to have a bit of his St. Marcelin cheese for my lunch. I still had Wednesday's Sun's puzzles left to finish and Thursday's to read, and STILL hadn't gotten anywhere near the complexities of taxes left to calculate in the ten days before my vacation and the 13 days after I get back to finish the whole thing. Jump tonight with no real idea where, probably Paul and Charles and me, will have dinner before the performance at 7PM, though it might be afterward as it was after the disappointing King Arthur (disappointing in sound, both Paul and Charles recommending the German transvestite Nomi's rendition of the classic "Frost" aria on CD, and greatly inferior choreographically to Morris's joyful climax of Orfeo ed Euridice last year at the Met). Also vaguely disappointed at the lack of meatiness of the ribs at Dallas BBQ, though the potato was well-cooked and hot and buttered, left unfinished along with the cornbread when my dozen butters ran out prematurely, though the beer was refreshing, and then there was the hassle of the bill, where somehow I'd put out TWO $20s, then giving back Paul his extra $2.50, though his bill of $18 was hardly satisfied by his paying only $20, and Charles got the raw end of the deal by paying $9 for chicken and $4 for beer and yet put in $18 in all when it should have been more like $16, and Spartacus, who just wanted to split the bill in quarters, had nothing to drink, so his $20 should have been more like $15. But that's how it went, and I felt tired and unenthusiastic on the subway back when Spartacus convinced me to walk all the way to the Broadway station when I just really wanted to take the C local to the A transfer right at the corner of the Dakota, which he ludicrously said (though he later denied he would EVER say such a thing) was named for the distant Dakotas because it was north of the Plaza, which was then regarded at the northern boundary of Manhattan, though I'd never heard of the northern boundary of Manhattan having been DETERMINED by the positioning of the Plaza Hotel (1908)---which may have even come AFTER the Dakota (1884)??

FRIDAY, 3/7/08: 10:35AM: Wrote what fragment I could remember from the dream from last night [DREAMS:3/7/08], taking place even though I took a last sleeping pill, though I was asleep when Paul finally came in from watching porno in the living room and turned off the red light I left on for him, which didn't trouble my eye-masked eyes. Yesterday went by in flashes of accomplishment: 12:15-2:35 two new highs in Spider: 49.80965 after 4 wins, and 49.80967 after 4 wins, since I just didn't FEEL like doing anything after finishing both puzzles and the Sun and going to the gym, then leaving early for Jump at the Union Square Theater to pick up our three Theatermania tickets at 6:20PM before the 7PM performance, getting out at 8:10 to find Bar Jamon just a BAR with people eating small plates of food with large glasses of wine, and Cafe Mono with a 45-minute wait, so we saw Pete's Tavern down the street, passed FANTASTIC straight men at the bar, and into the corner booth for decent steak frites for me for only $18, sole that Paul didn't care much for for more, and Charles happy with his awful chicken livers and late-delivered spaghetti, with a good $22 bottle of Riesling and a shared hot apple pie for $4.75, for totals that came to $31 each, though Paul commented, "I wouldn't go back," though Charles and I enjoyed the 1864 ambience, and Zagat lists it fourth in age, behind two restaurants which merely INHABIT older buildings, and Fraunces Tavern, which had been closed for years, so in a sense we went to New York City's oldest continuous-serving restaurant, which was Zagat food-rated fairly just under the borderline for fair to good. Still feel tired at night, maybe because of the sleeping pills, maybe because of the tensions of putting up with Paul's constant talk, though his discussion of the West Side Sauna, in the 20s, about 4PM, was truly exciting and sounds like something I'd like to try for the mere $20 it costs with the fast through-put of Wall Street types and others quickly in and out.

SHARON B. 58                                                  3/12/08

Get there just at 5:29PM and hear her talking on the phone and think she has a client, but she comes out immediately to call me in. I start with the terrible embarrassment of leaving Charles waiting for me at 6:30PM last night at the City Center, where I was supposed to show up for the Paul Taylor, which I'd written on the AD, but not in my CALENDAR, for which I offered profuse excuses, for which he excused me, then made me feel better this morning when he called back and said he COULD make Friday's performance with me. Then I got to the awful feeling of impending danger about the trip on Tuesday, when I took a Valium about 3PM so it wouldn't get any worse (though I DID mention going back for a few consecutive evenings with Actualism, which seemed to help a bit as I even did an "ego-squeeze" to disempower the ego who kept worrying about the trip. Later I DID say that I did mostly independent travel when I was younger, but recently got USED to either a group or to Ken's plans, and it took Aruba to prove that I could do it on my own, though the $140 isn't repaid from my two nights in the same hotel yet. She said that of course part of my anxiety was based in fact: I'm going to three strange countries entirely on my own, with no one except MYSELF to blame if anything goes wrong. Told her that I'd gotten to the Internet last night and found there wasn't much even THERE (though I still haven't checked out Trinidad and Tobago), but feared that I could only blame MYSELF if the trip was a flop: I didn't see what I wanted to see; there WAS nothing much to see, or worst, if I'd planned AHEAD for something (like flying to Kaieteur Falls but finding that all the days were full, or empty, but they COULD have gone if I'd reserved earlier), I COULD have done it, but since I'd FAILED to plan ahead, I can't do it! Talked about the relief when Paul left on Friday, but then the blank spaces were filled with anxiety and "what-ifs." I described early the feeling that I'M PUNISHING MYSELF for something: why am I DOING this to me?? Did I do something WRONG? I KNOW it has nothing to do with relationships, though there ARE those things that I should have said "Yes" to in the past that I said "No" to, or vice versa, which I surely remember, but I don't feel that I should be PUNISHED for it. I'm comfortable with being gay, I like myself well enough, though not enough to "want to be called beautiful" as one of my dreams had, and she said something like, "Maybe you start worrying when feelings come up that you don't want to feel." I said that I started worrying and THEN the feelings came up, but there was no particular feeling that STARTED, that I had to GET AWAY from by worrying. Mentioned my relief when my cytoscopy came out OK, and even the doctor apologized for not telling me NOT to take aspirin or blood thinners for a week before the operation, OR that I'd bleed for TWO days during urination AFTER the cytoscopy, and he apologized and said it would certainly be corrected in the future (and I'd need another sonogram SOON, it being over six months [actually NINE months] since the renal cyst was first found). Talked about completing taxes, how I was like Fred in being a "depression baby" and squeezing every dollar, but having spent almost $100,000 in the last four years on trips and not being NOTICEABLY poorer, I can now AFFORD to go alone on trips, paying single supplement, and not HAVE to worry about the quotation from this morning's dream: "This is NOT a good way to go." Maybe I WILL wait for someone to go with me, or just not GO until someone goes, or a planned trip goes. I read into the "balcony hut" that I could SEE this side of the argument and THAT side of the argument, but not the CORE of the argument, which she said we might not have reached yet. She hopes I have a good trip, knows she won't see me until April 2, and we actually talk until 6:20, a fifty-minute session to make up for the less-than-forty-minutes last time. Felt concerned that I'd want to shit while I was in the session, but the feeling passed (HA!) completely while I was there, and I managed to get five extra Avodart from next month's bottle, two-for-one fish oil on sale FIVE DAYS ONLY, my luck again---reminding me that I fear being PUNISHED for relying on my GOOD luck so that IF it goes bad I'll blame MYSELF for putting myself in a bad spot. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 59)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 57).

WEDNESDAY, 3/12/08: 7:05PM: FINALLY sorted through the Patagonia slides, discarding exactly 42 of the 282 to get it down to 240, or three full 80-slide reels. Then in transcribing the titles, I stopped after 120 at 3PM for lunch, worried that I won't have many magazines to read in spare times on the trip, since I won't be getting any more than the two I have left NOW, and then the LIGHT wouldn't go on, and the BULB burnt out, though I seem to have TWO spares left. But it DID work---and then I hit what may have been "Scroll lock" on the upper-right keyboard by mistake and it SWITCHED COMPUTERS on me, but I don't want to take the chance to TEST it to see if that's what DID happen. Now I have to number the slides 1-240, file them away, and do more Internet work on the trip, which I promised myself and Sharon that I'd do, now that I've cleared up the taxes and many things from the PREVIOUS trip, and it looks like my "final" pile count will be FEWER than the 13 I left myself before the LAST trip. MAKING PROGRESS! Even managed to break through with an EVEN 49.82% with Spider on 3/10 after three wins, and upped it to over halfway to 49.83 with 49.82698 after four wins (and two hours and 50 minutes!) yesterday. Now let's see what'll happen TODAY, since I WANT to relax with it NOW!

THURSDAY, 3/13/08: 7:19AM: Fantastically energized this morning: woke at 5:17AM with a dream [DREAMS:3/13/08], which I transcribed onto a note and uniquely left it on my BED rather than putting it back onto the night table. Thought about 1) writing THREE e-mails to the three "best" Kaieteur Falls companies, saying that I want to go to Kaieteur, maybe even stay overnight, and ALSO inquire about flying over Kukenaam, King Edward VIII, and King George VI falls, if possible, for less than a mint; but that means I have to locate the falls on a map to see how close or far they are from each other, and also check my itinerary to see which days I'll actually be AVAILABLE for such trips: when do I fly in and out of Paramaribo, when do I have hotel-nights reserved; 2) calling Carolyn to just TAKE my two Dell computers with ALL my files and coordinate with Tris and Marj to get EVERYTHING on my website, reminding her of my legacy in case anything happens to me; 3) going down to get a cart for my laundry, and find that the door is LOCKED until 8AM; 4) picking up the Sun to see that Spitzer is indeed out and Patterson in; 5) calling Marj to "finalize" plans about plays on files if Carolyn gets them, reminding her of my legacy in case anything happens to me; 6) calling Bill P. to pick up my papers and ask HIM to share in the play-productions with Carolyn and Marj; 7) calling Mildred to babble about the pleasures of being energized; 8) calling Spartacus to actually WATER the plants on Saturday or Sunday, giving him a set of my keys, which he'd then do three weeks in a row until I return from my trip; also asking if he has any DVDs for me to see; 9) starting on the NOTEBOKB so I can send flash drive and check to Marj, 10) sending the Travel head-note by e-mail and the check to Tris, and bringing him up to date with Carolyn taking my computers themselves; 11) going to the gym; 12) phoning to stop the Sun; 13) DOING the laundry; 14) phoning Schwab to find how, most expeditiously (website, e-mail, checks-in-mail, in order of expeditiousness) to put in my Keogh and Roth Ira 2007 contributions from my Schwab One cash; 14) at last calling the two gals at Beard to change my address and say I no longer need e-mail billing; 15) reorder Simvastatin, after doing the four wonders yesterday at CVS: a) getting two fish oils, one free, b) getting five extra "trip" Avodart from my next prescription, c) getting a spare camera battery (resigning myself to NOT YET replacing my video camera or learning any new digital camera), and d) picking up the last four mefloquine. Now try at 7:40AM to phone Mildred!

FRIDAY, 3/14/08: 8:43AM: Actually DO all the items in the above list but 6, 12, and 14, which is great, but have many MORE little things to do today in addition to 1) calling Bill P. to pick up the papers, 2) stopping the Sun, 3) calling the Beard: 4) get $200 cash, 5) vote, 6) pick up Simvastatin, 7) mail Tris and Marj's checks, 8) use Find for slanted " and ' on laptop to replace them with straight " and ', 9) check on SCRIE progress, 10) future note for C. for blood test and chest x-ray, 11) order printer ribbons, and 12) check e-mail from 3 Guyana tour companies, maybe, following Spartacus's advice, phoning them. 10:45AM: TRUE NIGHTMARE: phoned 311 for SCRIE, but when I told them it was Mitchell-Lama, they told me to call 212-863-8494. Called them, and talked to a woman (after she cut me off once and I had to redial) (who later said, "I'm the only one here today") who said she had NO record of my Social Security number, my name, or my address. TERRIBLE! I tried to CONVINCE her that she MUST have it, but she only said, "We have 5000 applications a month; sometimes things get lost." DAMN! So I started searching for my files on SCRIE: no index card in front of box, no pile on shelf, no section in black filing cabinet---finally I check my desk-drawer file and find I have a SECTION for SCRIE. Pull it out and find that I got a notarized letter on April 26, 2007, and included a passport page, my 2006 1040, my Schwab and Ridgewood and Ing Bank interest statements, and mailed the whole thing off on May 2, 2007. In desperation I called her back, INSISTING she must have this somewhere. She put me on hold, while an obnoxious voice announced various unneeded notices, and came back to say that my application had been REFUSED because of something like "the fuel surcharge ended in February, so it no longer applied," which negated the ORIGINAL statement that an application could be submitted REGARDLESS of any surcharge or increase, and that this information was sent to an address like 140 Cadman Plaza IN ERROR on June 11, 2007, so I never got it and never responded to it, so my file was put SOMEWHERE where she had the wit to retrieve it. "Will my name now be on the file when I call?" I ask hopefully. "No, we have to get a statement from your building about this Special Assessment you're talking about for the past year on your maintenance form, and you have to respond to the June 11 letter, which we'll send you a copy of." At LEAST my stuff is SOMEWHERE there! And of course I'll be on vacation when that letter finally gets here. Typed the first few lines at 10:45AM and Marj called back to listen to my tale of woe about SCRIE, and then we start going through the NOTEBOKB notes and finish at 12:35PM, almost TWO HOURS for something that she said had to be short because she had other things to do, but she managed to spend at LEAST fifteen minutes changing my "oval veil-like pendant" to "an oval pendant with a translucent veil-like setting." Then Piri called, saying if I came we'd be four with Mark and Barbara, so I said I'd call Rose, who was as adamant about not coming as she had been with Piri. Tried calling Piri back and her line was busy; serves me right, as she'd tried calling me for the past many minutes when I was on the phone with SCRIE and Marj. Then called Spartacus, who'll be over by 2:30PM TODAY to water the plants. ANOTHER thing out of the way! Have lunch, he comes over to help me rotate plant after I show him how to water and HE has to remind me to give him keys! Then I order 12 more printer ribbons, even though they're so lousy they essentially dim out after I reprint all the practically unreadable pages I'd printed out before, so that now I can go through and underline what's important. Still on the list is 1) get $200 cash, 2) vote, 3) pick up prescription, and I guess I'll do it NOW at 3:30 while I have the energy, before going back to NOTEBOKB.

SATURDAY, 3/15/08: 10:10AM: From note: At 10:54PM last night I took a Valium and an Ambien, have a snack, and get to bed at 11:22PM. Sleep instantly. Record dream [DREAMS:3/15/08], and up at 7:58AM, and take Simvastatin and Avodart that I FORGOT to take last night (at least I think so, otherwise I've just taken a double dose separated by a little more than eight hours. Finish proofing NOTEBOKB after HOURS of work and phoning with Marj, exhausting. Late dinner and take Valium and Ambien at 11:50PM with some wine, watch a bit of TV, and bed at 12:08AM

SUNDAY, 3/16/08: Wake at 7:13AM, up at 7:51. Take Valium 8AM, ready for a busy day. Read the Times, have breakfast (counting only three meals left here), take the garbage out, have NINE piles: 1-4 for computer, 5-7 for cameras, 8-9 misc.

MONDAY, 3/17/08: 10:45PM Sunday take night pills, mefloquine, Avodart, Ambien, Simvastatin, and Valium! Bed at 11:02PM, sleep instantly. Up at 7:04, pee on the floor and wipe it up with disgust, and take Valium at 7:13AM, ready for day. Put on short-sleeved shirt for tropics under flannel for leaving cold NYC in BRIGHT CLEAR morning, with small list of things involving packing now that I finish this at 7:30AM. Eat breakfast, wash dishes, put them away, take out garbage, put away spare bags, remember to take tweezers and cold remedies and Fishermen's Friend. Pack most of stuff away except papers for the trip by 9:35PM, having called for car at 8AM for 10:30AM, more than enough time for LGA and Miami check-in. Still no e-mails from other two companies, sadly. 10:03AM: All packed away, even proving that shoulder bag will fit into carry-on, if they demand it---with lots of stuff in my jacket pockets! Figure only PRIOR charges were American Airlines Visa charges of 12/6/07 for $42 for frequent-flyer miles application. Quentin's Visa charges for flights and hotel haven't reached me yet, and add note "on return" to pay Visa at Citi after 4/2. Taking $420.65 in cash, and my black bag weighs 18 pounds and my shoulder bag weighs 9 pounds, for a total of 27 pounds, light since I'm going to the tropics. Bug spray was six ounces, too much for terrorism-unfriendly airlines to carry, so I'll have to get some there. Hurried but under control, Valium working well. Lovely day outside helping a lot. Tonight I'll be in Trinidad! Finish now at 10:08AM. 10:17AM: Shoes on, jacket on, glasses cleaned, bags ready to go down: call service and say I'll be waiting downstairs? TRAVEL:TRINIDAD/TOBAGO/GIUANAS