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2008 April thru june

SHARON B. 59                                                  4/2/08

Got there are 5:31PM, door closed, and she's waiting for me at the entrance, seeing if I was here. Launched right into the bad-good list: 1) Not got to Tobago, but found that Century Club counted Trinidad and Tobago as ONE country (as they counted Bonaire and Curacao as one, not two); 2) It was a very expensive trip---but I'm WORTH it; and she enthusiastically agrees with me; 3) The Miami-Port of Spain flight was delayed from 11PM to 5AM, which meant little sleep, and a lousy dinner, but in a free Hilton Hotel for that night, for which I also paid in Paramaribo; 4) Hotels fucked me by charging whenever they could, but they were surely better than the ones poor John reported dirty and hateful in his $30-$100 range in Madras, now Chennai; 5) EXHAUSTING days, but they were also certainly filled with adventure, climaxing in the 4AM wakeup on Saturday in Georgetown to get to 7PM Paramaribo in the middle of the business Walk-March in which the bus actually participated when it wasn't being shuttled down side roads away from the parade route; 6) Camera broke, but I came to the conclusion that I am NOT my camera, that I went for ME to see the sights, not for my camera to take the pictures of the sites, even though Amar chided me about not being able to take pictures of the Pitch Lake or the Atlantic Ocean from Mayaro, saying I could buy postcards at the airport, and I reported that waiting in the LONG line for check-in got me on the plane almost last, until they reported 35 more customers still going through check-in that the plane was waiting for. AND even excused myself for not knowing that pressing the little button on the bottom could have rewound my probably lost (though the pictures themselves probably wouldn't have come out) roll of 37 slides, which DID save whatever I may have gotten of the 10 on the last roll, hoping that Adorama will give a refund on unused film and mailers. She admired my patience, a word I hadn't thought of, using sudoku to pass the hours waiting for ferries, not exploding at the crazy Bobby, appreciating the generous Alicia and her driver for the fish and chips (and even the replacement portion), that night in Georgetown. AND the wonder of getting on the flight to Kaieteur Falls, even having to REMEMBER the brilliant green of the plants right at the brink before falling the 771 feet to the rainbow-hued rain forest below in pristine solitude, with the river valley moving off into the misty distant mountains. Then praised the work done on the website, was better off than Spartacus's cough, and look forward to good sleep. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 60)  (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 59)

WEDNESDAY, 4/2/08: Decide to revert to these pages EARLY from Trinidad pages, since I've already transferred the AlphaSmart contents to my Dell. Read Saturday, 3/22/08 Times and am working on the puzzle when John calls and it's time to leave for Sharon's. Type up her page and other notes, and have dinner 8:20-9PM, feeling very tired. Skim through magazines, doing some puzzles, and send e-mails to Tris about the website until 11:45PM. Bed at 11:55PM, weary.

THURSDAY, 4/3/08: 8:07AM: Pee at 5:30AM, 6:17 take Valium because I think today may be stressful with the number of things I've already listed to do: 0) Call Ken at 8AM for picking up tapes, which I've already done. 1) Pick up Avodart at CVS, since I didn't have any last night. 2) Buy loofah. 3) Mail slides. 4) Renew Valium prescription, which will be ready at 10AM today. 5) Call Sun, am I still a free subscriber? Beverley still gets hers free. 6) Charles: interested in a) Sunday at 1:30 or b) Kirov on 4/15? 7) Call for SCRIE application, which they didn't send with their "error" letter; also, can't we apply even if there is NOT a current increase we want to offset, which is why they seemed to have refused my FIRST application? 8) Report problems to Tina. 9) Mail three postcards. 10) Call Shelley. 11) Call Sherryl. 12) Call Fred. 13) Call Paul: glad you didn't take this trip; interested in any Caribbean islands? 14) Add up HSBC account's trip expenses, which seem to be complete online already. 15) Can I get Visa expenses the same way? Finish this at 8:16AM and decide to do breakfast early. Breakfast and magazines to 9AM, then sort and mail slide films, surprised that I have TEN rolls! Mail them at 9:55AM, pick up two loofahs and two prescriptions at CVS, take the Avodart I missed last night, then make MANY phone calls: 1) At 10:05 SCRIE will send another application, though she insists it has to be for an INCREASE before they'll accept it. 2) At 10:15 the Sun apologizes and says they'll resume delivery tomorrow, or else I call them back. 3) Call Paul 10:20-10:32, saying he should be glad he didn't go on the trip with me, and if he has anywhere he wants to go, let me know to go with him, and he invites me to DC anytime. 4) Call Suzie, who did NOT call me (I'd confused her with Susan M.'s call), but we talk from 10:35-10:43 and she may attend Wednesday's 1:15 slide-show: she'll let me know. 5) Call Shelley 10:43-11:04, we entertain each other with our travelers' tales. 6) Leave word with Sherryl 11:05. 7) Talk to Fred 11:06-11:35, who's overwhelmed with his community volunteering, asking me and Charles and maybe even Ken to house-sit for the Fort Greene House Tour on May 4, but don't even ask him about the possibility of a future trip, he's so busy, having 18 people over tonight while I'm enjoying the $75 Beard dinner. 8) Try Charles's home phone, which is full, then his cell phone, which at first I guess I get the wrong number, then get his message, which I send as urgent for the Sunday, Kirov, and May 4 dates. Catch up with this to 11:50AM, feeling virtuous. Do various unpacking jobs, have lunch 1:10-1:40, unpack to 3PM, go to gym, doing it lightly and barely feeling that I've actually DONE it, yet it has been three days since I've showered and I use my new large loofah rather awkwardly the first time. Back to read some Sunday Times and do puzzles until 6:25, when I dress to leave to pick up Ken's videotapes, ludicrously wrapped in a Dean & Deluca bag, and get to the Beard about 7:04PM, talking a bit to handsome Andrew and beautiful Alla, who's interested in my trip to Trinidad, but then Fred Weiss arrives and takes over the conversation. I move over to Phyllis C., and we're all at table 4 "So we don't brag that we're all here for $75 while you've paid $150," which I insist no one would be stupid enough to say in the first place. Phyllis and Geoffrey C. don't like Fred S. or the way he treats his wife, so Phyllis is delighted when I ask her to reserve a seat next to her AWAY from them, and SHE would like to take my unused slide-films out of the box if Adorama won't accept them back. Drink three glasses of delicious Schramsberg blanc de blancs, then lots of wine with the courses---and when I look at the list I don't even REMEMBER eating them because I was so completely sozzled by the end of the evening, STAGGERING out of the Beard lobby, reeling down to the subway, DROPPING into bed 10:55PM.

FRIDAY, 4/4/08: Took two aspirin before going to bed, and up at 6:48 (very close to eight hours!) to pee and take two MORE aspirin for a headache and hangover: just ate and DRANK much too much! Note dream [DREAMS:4/4/08]. Up at 9:30, work with finances to 12:10: 1) emptying out desk drawer of months of Visa and HSBC statements to bookcase, 2) balancing the HSBC checkbook, 3) selling over $11,000 of JP Morgan to get cash for my Keogh, which will clear on 4/9, 4) writing a) $1495.10 check for long-term health care, b) $1173.50 check to Tris for invoice 16 from 4/1, and c) getting more Schwab checks, then mailing all three before 5) taking $7863.84 check to Citibank for Choice Visa payment due on 4/7, almost painlessly paying out $10,532.44 in less than half an hour! Back to lunch and Times and magazines and TV Guide sudokus, quite hard, and other Times puzzles, talk a long time to Rita, then get to 49.84415 on Spider 3:45-4:15, order another week of meals, unpack more, get to 49.85098 after 4 wins on Spider 6-7:25, feeling self-indulgent, Do more puzzles, start dinner at 11PM, watching the second act of Madam Butterfly, and bed exhausted at 12:20AM.

SATURDAY, 4/5/08: Wake at 6:04 to pee, note dreams [DREAMS:4/5/08], up at 8:20AM to record them and catch up with this by 9:08AM, ready for breakfast. Then, shuffling notes around, decide at 9:15 to type my 4/5/08 do-list that I HAD to do this morning to get these things OUT of my HEAD: 1) buy 41¢ stamps at CVS, 2) clear current Visa bill, 3) update Sharon's $60 bill-sheaf, 4) update prescription list, 5) update Schwab files, 6) return Adorama stuff, 7) give Adorama-refused film to Phyllis C., 8) check Pierrepont slide-site, 9) update slide-show list, 10) finish Trinidad: a) slides, b) Summary page, c) print, 11) file last travel files, 12) set up new printer/copier, 13) learn two digital cameras, 14) exchange camcorder, 15) write website descriptions, 16) watch Ken's movies. Had trouble reading #14 EVEN NOW at 9:22AM. Then do some puzzles, read one of the two old Times, and have lunch about noon, play Spider to 49.86798 from 1-1:20 after talking to Marj about the ridiculous Sun puzzle that "makes no sense" to her, then more puzzles to Spider to 49.86803 from 5:55-7:35, read more Times, have dinner about 11:15PM while watching the last act of Madam Butterfly from the New York City Opera from 2008, then look at the Channel 13 guide to find that Romeo and Juliette is on, maybe at 12 tonight, maybe at 12:10, and I stay awake until a movie finishes to find that it's NOT on tonight, so I hope it's on at noon tomorrow, and I HATE the notation "12PM," never knowing if it's midnight or noon. Actually finish TODAY's Times waiting for opera to not start.

SUNDAY, 4/6/08: 8:19AM: Get to bed at 12:55AM, having finished everything but the Metro section puzzle, taking pills and drinking water, and getting immediately to sleep. Wake about 6:05AM, as usual, but remember dream [DREAMS:4/6/08] when I finally get up at 8:06AM to pee, get paper, type dream, and catch up with this, feeling at least I have THIS as accomplishment in addition to MANY puzzles, three of which I actually filed in "Personal" because they were so complex: the Sun puzzle of "DUMBJET" words, and the two Times Magazine puzzles dated TODAY with the eight misworded "May doubt a Will" for "Made out a Will" entries and the diagramless that was so hard I had to finish it working up from the bottom and then only at the LAST moment recognized that all five "clue" words actually CONTAINED the letters ECHO to fulfill the last answer: they're all ECHO chambers! Marj is wonderfully patient and encouraging of my feelings of elation and genius from actually SOLVING every last square of these ridiculous puzzles. Finish this at 8:25AM and think to go back to bed for Actualism. Read Times, go to Carnegie Hall with Shelley in a car, Spider 6:55-9:10, 10-11:30. Bed 12:55AM!!

MONDAY, 4/7/08: 6:04AM: Pee and type dream [DREAMS:4/7/08]. Up at 8AM, and decide to make out an ACCOMPLISHMENT list: 1) Good Actualism. Up 9:10AM. 2) Watch Ken's tape of Flags of Our Fathers, dreary. 3) Check out 55 Pierrepont room. 4) Call Sherryl, who calls me back at 6PM. 5) Go to gym, tiring, with loofah. 6) Dinner with Ken at Cafe at Country, not very good. 7) Reach 49.90219 on Spider 9:50-1AM, after also playing 1-1:55 and 4:55-5:42 and continuing to 6:25. 8) Moved Schwab One cash into Keogh online. 9) Dan V. calls! 10) Make two Beard reservations with Ken in April. 11) Fix HSBC files jammed into box haphazardly yesterday. 12) Sun phones, and I get delivery Tuesday. Bed at 1:20AM, tired!

TUESDAY, 4/8/08: Pee and type dream 7:10AM [DREAMS:4/8/08]. Up at 8 to call SCRIE and get SHE (something like Senior Housing Exemption) information. Down to talk with Mr. C., new Property Manager. Played Spider to a low 11-12. Called for appointment with Dr. C. at 1:45, get prescription for "bronchitis" for cough, and leave notices for my stool to be tested for parasites and ova, and my blood for LDL and HDL, and C. says fish oil is primarily to lower triglycerides. Get chest x-ray, which will be read by radiologist and C. will have results next week. Talk to Pat and she knows nothing about six-months' sonogram of liver; call her tomorrow afternoon. Buy stamps on the way back, leave off prescription and wait for it and take first of five with hot chocolate at 3PM. Type slide list from Trinidad and finish this at 4:47PM, feeling REALLY TIRED! Opera tonight, Charles having called because he couldn't find his ticket, then called back when he did. Dinner early, and Prokofiev's The Gambler isn't very popular because there isn't much in the line of memorable music or arias in it, and it has a very "plotty" plot that was helped by the subtitles. Home to find fire engines AGAIN in front of building, "someone smelled smoke on the tenth floor," and the elevators weren't working, so I WALKED up, verifying by the time I panted to my floor that they STILL weren't in operation. Went to bed at 11:58PM.

SHARON B. 60                                                  4/9/08

Again get there at 5:31PM and she comes right out for me. I say how much I enjoyed the slide-show that she was able to see, and she said she liked it, and then I told her about the day in New York for Dan and Cat and Stephanie V., then dinner at Waterfalls, but I felt so TIRED that I even staggered a few times, probably from fatigue, since I'd gone to bed about 2AM and gotten up at 8AM and did Actualism, but didn't actually sleep. Complained about feeling tired in general, and she says that sometimes taking antibiotics, as I am for bronchitis, sometimes makes a person feel weak in ADDITION to the weakness that may be caused by the infection itself. I said that at least my mother did something good for Dan and Cat, since it was actually SHE who goaded them into getting married, which they've enjoyed for the past 26 years, while admitting that she wasn't the most pleasant person to get along with. Then changed the subject somewhat to say that recently when I was working on the website I got the feeling that it didn't have any real VALUE, and if there was no value to my website, there was no value to my life or anything I was DOING with my life at the present time. That hung in the air for a while, but she kept saying that I was keeping VERY busy, doing MANY things, had LOTS of reasons to feel tired, and that gave me the excuse to start complaining about the runaround SCRIE has been giving me, and the doctors have been giving me about rescheduling an abdominal scan for my liver cyst, and how much time I've been wasting on Spider. Got back to my mother again at some level, leading her to volunteer that she REALLY thinks that there's some connection between my feeling that nothing I did was worth it, or ENOUGH, and feelings that my mother inculcated me with when I was maybe even too young to remember the specifics. Felt somewhat amazed that she though she could actually see some ROOTS to my problems. I had long periods of sitting, listless, feeling exhausted, realizing I sounded hoarse, and at one point I said I was sorry that I was being so GLUM, but she quickly said that was one of her purposes: SHE was the one person I could confess my glumness to without her taking it on personally, but only as an indication of what might be the cause and cure of the repetition of it. Toward the end I felt so tired I just wanted to END the session, though I thought it was probably only about 6PM, but when I got to the door after ending and glanced at my watch, it was actually 6:20, and I'd actually run OVER the time I'd usually taken. Added one more point, in the middle, that I'd managed to NOT masturbate ANY more times since the two that rubbed me to bleeding edema the first two days being back, just enjoying the CONTROL that I could exercise, while I had so LITTLE control of so many of the OTHER things that were the bane of my existence right now. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 61) (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B.59).

WEDNESDAY, 4/9/08: At 7:40 took Valium and cough drops to help me through the busy day. Up at 7:48AM. Since Spartacus was busy, decided to call the V.s at their hotel (which they'd moved from Sheepshead Bay to the Times Square area, they told me about later) and suggested breakfast, so when their taxi didn't know how to get to the Heights, they took a subway, and phoned me at the corner of Clark and Henry, so we went right across the street to a crowded Clark's Corner, where Stephanie had a muffin and tea, Dan a Big Breakfast, Cat a Little Breakfast, and me the Challah French Toast with bacon, for which the total bill, which I grabbed and paid with Visa, was just about $18.50, to which I added a $3 tip. Back to my place to talk about Helen's V. book (where they talked more about Dan's first wife than about some of his children), laughed at the "$25,000 check handed to everyone, including the janitor, at Helen's funeral," which had Dan cursing God for 36 hours, while Rita and Renie fooled me for less than 36 seconds in the car when they told me. Also prayed, hand in hand, at breakfast, as I was part of the family, but they didn't do it at Waterfalls afterward, maybe because Susie and John weren't family and they'd feel too forward. Then showed them the photo book of Lorene here with Dennis, then earlier pictures of their father and mother at Grandma's, then the four-generation shot with me, then other old ones, and they began to thumb into the future, where I had all my male friends, but I don't think they got anything out of it because they passed it to Susie, and then I said it was time to leave to set up the slide-show, with about 12 from 55 Pierrepont and Shelley, Sherryl, John, Bill P., Sharon, and Dan and Cat in the appreciative audience. Even with a five-minute intermission the slides took only 75 minutes. Constance didn't attend, but said I should phone to set up my next showing. It went fast, because no one asked anything at all, and no one said it went too fast, though Sherryl said I could have taken out many MORE of the slides, and Shelley suggested I moved the laser pointer about a bit too frantically, making her eyes confused. Brought everything back to my place and left, to walk to Atlantic, Cat changing into walking shoes, to Waterfalls, after buying two bottles of Lancers rosé at the liquor store, which we had with ice, a large platter of babaganouj which was served with endless pita-halves, and everyone ordered what they wanted, my Kibbeh Labanya good as the most expensive, and I threw a $20 onto the table, Susie put in $15 but was given back $5, and John's contribution was his bottle of wine, so Dan put the rest on his credit card. Back to my place to talk until I left for Sharon at 5:20PM, but when I got back at 6:35PM they were STILL there, and they left about 7:30, before most of the night-lights came on, but I think EVERYONE was tired. I watched a bit of TV, having dinner, brushing teeth in preparation for D. on Saturday, then played Spider from 10-12, getting to new high of 49.90232.

THURSDAY, 4/10/08: 7:40 take Valium and cough drops. Up at 7:48, leaving myself a note to do Sharon's page. Breakfast at 8 to leave at 8:45 to get early to City Hall for the SAGE Walk with a good guide through City Hall 9:30-10:30, when a walk two blocks north to the Negro Burial Ground Memorial, and then a half-hour TV inside and a tearful talk by a Park Ranger, and we left about 1PM, tired. Decide to watch TV for Union Depot and Freaky Friday, from Ken's tape, then played Spider from 5:55-6:30, having to stop for the Beard, which wasn't quite worth the $150, but the two couples on either side of us were entertaining enough with travel and food stories. Stayed up till 1:48AM watching various TV programs, digesting food, took night pills and two aspirin.

FRIDAY, 4/11/08: 3:45AM: Drink, pee, take two aspirin. Good Actualism and up at 8:30, shit, take two more aspirin, find NO Sun in front of the door and they said that "there was a problem, we're sorry." Up at 9:49AM, after 8:01 hours in bed, not all sleep. Thought to go to the Metropolitan Opera, but watched some TV and called Sherryl just before 11AM to talk and find she wasn't about to go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with me, so I wired up my new Olympus camera, took two test shots of my room, and left at noon to take 8 more pictures to FILL internal memory: I hadn't known to insert MEMORY CARD. So I decided to erase the two test shots and fall back from 3000x3000 pixels to something like 380x460, getting 36 more shots in the space from TWO. Not much in bloom beyond the magnolias and daffodils, the azaleas seemed to have FINISHED already, and I got back at 3 when it started lightly misting, stopping at HIP to pick up my instruction sheet for next Saturday's abdominal scan, and then got a call from SCRIE when I was having lunch that they FOUND my records and will send me a letter saying that everything's OK!! Leon B. calls to say that I will be the contact for Sunday's Avery Fisher Hall tickets at 2:30, with a letter for the HAI person who will find me. Plan for the Metropolitan Museum tomorrow, watch Curse of the Cat People, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, and Nothing Sacred to 10PM, thinking of doing Spider, but get caught up in these pages until 10:50PM, and decide to see what the slides look like on my computer!

SATURDAY, 4/12/08: Look through the Travel section of the Times, and wait until 10:45AM to call Sherryl to see if she wants to join me at the Met Museum, but she's not up to it. Leave about noon and get to Poussin and Nature: Arcadian Visions from 12:58-2:04, exhausting, though not really sexual. Then to the Costume Institute to see blog.mode: addressing fashion, which has Incubus by Costin that has five vials of T: viTal fluids: semen. Read everything exhaustively from 2:10-3:10. Then note that I hadn't seen the PART of the Poussin exhibit that was closing tomorrow: In the Light of Poussin: The Classical Landscape Tradition, and go through THAT exhaustively 3:20-3:45, tiring. Decide I have to see Tara Donovan, ending 4/27, which is a mezzanine room FILLED with dime-size loops of Mylar tape, pinned to the white wall as if they represented maps of continents. Mesmerizing up close, with the darkness of the sides of the Mylar out of the light making some of the holes look like they'd been painted black. That took all of 3:55-4PM. Hungry, so I thought I'd try the Petrie Court Cafe, but it was full and I had to wait from 4:04-4:06, when I decided to see The Art of Time: European Clocks and Watches from the Collection, but I was so tired I glanced at highlights from 4:07-4:13 and then took off for the bus, which I boarded at 4:21, then, with the subways out of service, transferred to the R train at 42nd Street and got home past 5:45PM, VERY tired. Had a late lunch and watched Scarlet Street and still got to bed late.

SUNDAY, 4/13/08: Started with breakfast with mefloquine #6, watched Prairie Home Companion until I had to leave at 1:30 to get to the Avery Fisher tickets for the six of us, though only five showed up, and the Minnesota Orchestra did the four-minute Sibelius Dryad, Schumann's Piano Concerto, and a glorious Mahler First Symphony. Back for another late lunch, finish all the Suns and get through the puzzles, watch La Moustache, a truly weird French film in which you didn't know WHO was mad, or hallucinating, or just imagining things.

MONDAY, 4/14/08: Read the Sunday Times all morning, which made me think it was SUNDAY all day, but it wasn't, so I checked that the two index jobs are still on their way, Christina never called back to schedule because I was talking on the phone for about two hours with Marj, then on Juno, trying to get Zagat onto Verizon, trying to get rid of the Metropolitan Opera notices, and then sent an e-mail back to Ari for his photos, not knowing exactly how to do it. Sort through lots of mail, watch Inside Deep Throat and Marnie, extremely puzzled by how I could have WRITTEN 4/11 as a gym day, and found I hadn't been since 4/7, but I couldn't POSSIBLY have done without a shower for a whole WEEK, and have to look into back dates to see if I can figure it out. Phoned Charles, who was willing to meet me tomorrow at the City Center at 7PM for the Kirov, and agreed to try the Morgan Library on Thursday before the Uffize drawings leave. Print lots of pages, too, finishing this at 8:50PM, Charles convincing me to watch the two-hour Walt Whitman on Channel 13, which promises new sexual secrets. Checked, and I DID NOT go to the gym, nor wash my hair, between 4/7 and 4/14!

THURSDAY, 4/17/08: 9:20AM: Finished typing DREAMS:4/17/08 and had to continue with this page. When the phone rang I dashed for the black phone with terrible static, and heard a voice that could have been in my dream: a barely audible voice saying words I didn't understand. I said, "I have to change phones," and then, "I have to hang up the other phone," and then got back to check that indeed my Sun for today had arrived, but feel strange: part hangover from all the food and wine at the Beard last night, part disorientation from the "lost" feeling in the dream I'd just finished, part dread of some physical or mental loss of function from which I would never recover. Sit and think, numbly, for a moment, and decide that this is really what I wanted to say now: I should have breakfast and get into my day, hoping to get a return call from the Beard, with whom I left a message at 11PM last night and at 9:05AM this morning for two reservations for the frequent-diner dinner on Monday the 21st. Stop now at 9:24AM.

SHARON B. 61                                                  4/17/08

Don't even feel like DOING this. Leave the Morgan early to be sure to be there on time, and get there PRECISELY at 4:30PM, and Sharon calls from inside, "C'mon in, Bob." I START with the blood in urine from urinating through rubber bands around cock for masturbation. She seems unperturbed, and after making sure I hadn't done it BEFORE, and hadn't PREDICTED what would happen, she says it was simply a stupid mistake. I wasn't stupid, I just made a stupid mistake. Then I went on about the paradox of writing that I'd gone to the gym, but hadn't for a WEEK! She concluded that I really didn't like going to the gym. OK. Then said I'd recovered from feeling tired. Ah, she kept trying to attribute my missing dates to my fatigue from the tiring trip, which I reported people CALLED me on the fact that I'd started by saying it was painful, then ended by praising it almost whole-heartedly. But that's the way memory works: forget the shit, remember the horse. Then told of my dream; she attributed my confusion to my constant confusing of China and Japan in my dream-partners, location, and names and foods. She wrote madly during my recounting of the trip. Then I boasted of my energy in going to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Friday, the Metropolitan Museum on Saturday, watching lots of Ken's tapes, going to the Beard last night, playing Spider and watching tapes all day Wednesday when I'd messed up my cock. AND hadn't had any particular dream on Wednesday morning, and then she called to postpone my session to Thursday, and then THURSDAY I had the good dream that she thought was meaningful. She's keeping on insisting that I'm NOT losing my energy as fast as I think I am, marveled at the heft of the 30,000 Years of Art that I toted back from the Morgan, "neglecting" (am I trying to be too good for her?) to tell her that I chose the PERFECT wrong day: the Irving Penn exhibit had closed (but I looked through his Random Notebook and the clerk managed to find me a copy of the announcement even though she agreed with the guard that everything had been sold, it was a very successful program, and I looked through that while waiting for Charles, and we had a very good---and this should all be in NOTEBOOK, but I'm too lazy to switch, and want to finish off this page, and we spent over $70 for the meal, I spent over $54 for the book, and so why SHOULDN'T I feel good?). And getting increasingly hungry now at 10PM, having played Spider from 5:55-9:45, and only marginally increasing my score, never yet reaching the magic 49.9%, yet keeping on playing even though I'm beginning to lose my "feel" for the strategies and win mostly by sheer luck. Picked up the mail, still haven't gotten anything confirming SCRIE, and think there was some television I wanted to record this evening, but unless it started at 10PM, I've missed it, but at least I've got this page finished now. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 61) (RETURN TO SHARON B. 60).

SATURDAY, 4/19/08: 2:37PM: Woke at 6:45AM, or so, peed, drank water, dozed, probably dreamed, then at 9AM decide to start "pain free" cum. Work around bruises from yesterday, rearrange the porn drawer that Paul completely reorganized when he was here, and finally cum at 9:50AM, not the best, not the worst, but no scars or bleeding! DECIDE to call Travel Dynamics on Monday and register for their trip ONLY if I get a SHARE! Bring in the Times, look through the magazine and book review without much to read, watch The Regeneration from 1915 to finish the penultimate tape from Ken, having only two movies to watch, ideally one tonight and one tomorrow night, before returning both to him before going with Midge to the Beard special on Monday. Have breakfast during the movie, then go directly to the gym at 12:15PM, "improving" from SEVEN days to only FIVE days between sessions! Back to buy my "usual" 1.5 liters of Takara plum wine and 5 liters of Almaden merlot for $39.99, get back to phone Sherryl, who'll wait for her CAT scan results on Monday before discussing possible dates for her birthday dinner, for which I broke with tradition by starting to ask about it BEFORE her birthday on Tuesday, rather than a year, or three months, or two months AFTER her birthday. She was pleased but sounded slightly out of it. Then trusted myself to play Spider until I advanced my score, which happened after only one game, which I won, so I didn't even TRY to improve on it by playing another game, which I might lose and start a long string of losses, so I recorded my new record, precisely .00002% higher, and got out of that at 2:35 to start on this, determined to FINALLY start clearing up things that have been hanging over since I finished the DEMANDING things from the trip, caught up on the seven of Ken's tapes I was behind at one point, and will get to the Visa bill that has been on my desk to "handle" for the PAST TWO WEEKS! Tore out the solution to last week's Times puzzle and hid it behind THIS week's puzzle, and put both into my next-travel file. Just GOT to do some USEFUL things, and now at 2:50PM determine to do the Trinidad Summary page so that I can catch up on my datebook pages and take the March calendar page off the wall at LAST! That takes till 9:30PM!! Well, I DID stop for 20 minutes for lunch. Lots of stuff to look up, lots to think about, names to check, and finally one line to remove from the Summary page, changing ribbons (to the last BAD one, I hope!) before page 22 of 27 pages.

SUNDAY, 4/20/08: 4:20:08 (just kidding!): Watched a depressing Good Shepherd (what was the POINT?---that everyone was a SHIT?) to 12:30AM. Then woke and thought to cum GENTLY, and did pretty well for a while, but then it just wasn't working out, and the phrase "Don't ABANDON it" came to mind, and it seemed VERY poignant, and I note to myself to mention it to Sharon. Look through the Times during breakfast, then do the Saturday puzzle (after finishing the VERY difficult TV Guide sudoku, only solved when I looked up the Lynch Twin Peaks as the solution before I could break the diabolical puzzle. Then HAD to water the plants, and decided on my "daily game" of Spider at 2:25, ending at 4:20 with an ASTOUNDING jump to 49.91974 after EIGHT wins! Now for lunch, still not doing anything "really productive." But was glad Piri called to cancel the Games Group when Rose decided (for a dozen ineffectual reasons) that she wasn't coming, and Barbara never calls back, and Mark wouldn't change his "important appointment," so we'll try again next month.

MONDAY, 4/21/08: 2:10PM: Did lots: 1) the Sun; 2) put down $500 refundable on Visa for Travel Dynamics to search for a share for me; 3) changed Sharon to Thursday so I don't have to change Carolyn's coming here Wednesday at 6PM, since I'd FORGOTTEN my therapy session; 4) finished numbering Trinidad slides and kept them out for Carolyn on Wednesday; 5) finally called Tina to a) give feedback, b) get flight-price had I not used frequent-flyer miles, c) ask her about St. Petersburg in June or July (or August, as I see by my calendar); 6) got Spider to new high of 49.9231; and now 7) phone John for lots of GENERALIZED information to 2:32PM; 8) now for lunch! 9) Print this page 6:20PM.

Then decided to transcribe 4/16/08 note here: 6:10AM I start j/o. 6:50 pee through rubber bands; it HURTS, then turns bloody. Bands off, pee clear, but still after-drops are bloody. 7AM find blood-stained shorts, wrap cock in toilet paper. Find oldest condoms CRUMBLE into dust, but newer ones are OK. Bloody tip. Leave on, under shorts. Bed at 7:20AM. Drink glass of water for blood-clearing pee? Bed at 7:22, facemask on. The whole thing cleared up by 5PM that afternoon, but IT FREAKED ME OUT! As, sadly, it will freak out READERS of this, of whom I am recently very conscious.  *** Hi there! ***

TUESDAY, 4/22/08: 10:40PM: Slept late, did the Sun puzzles, checked e-mail to find that Susan's had a serious heart attack, and did Spider to win ONE game only and increase my percentage by precisely .00001%. Now for breakfast, and to get something DONE!

WEDNESDAY, 4/23/08: Ironically, since I'd switched my appointment with Sharon to Thursday because Carolyn was to arrive at 6PM, which I'd set up forgetting that I see Sharon 5:30-6:15 on Wednesday, Carolyn calls about 4PM to say that she'll be a half hour late. She oohs about 30,000 Years of Art, but says she has to get up at 5AM tomorrow, so she has no time to look at my Trinidad slides. She looks at the menu at Oven and decides the Parma pizza looks healthy enough, and we sit outside in our jackets and enjoy the cherry blossoms across Henry Street when our $27 bottle of prosecco arrives (why had I remembered it as $18, but told her when I saw from the menu it was $27 and she reluctantly agreed), and the wine and pizza are both good and sufficient, and she asks for "a bit of help with the wine," and thanks me for the $20 bill I hand her. So the whole thing costs her $30, which is still probably more than what she intended.

THURSDAY, 4/24/08: 6:28AM: Transcribe dream [DREAMS:4/24/08], have many things to do, and just want to type something on this page. Decide to install my printer and print SEVENTEEN wonderful pages: registration sheet after I essentially IGNORED the statement that the ink cartridges weren't properly fitted, four pages from my St. Petersburg AA schedule, two Brooklyn Botanic Garden shots: one in high density which looks great, one in low density in which the pixel-edges are all too visible; and a regular-size and enlarged "My Lonesome Cowboy," which is very gratifying, though the moiré-blurred, image is disappointing, and the rest VERY satisfactory (even, in the case of Beckham, improved) porn shots.

SHARON B. 62                                                  4/24/08

The door's open and a security guard, leaning against the desk, asks where I'm going, but Sharon's come out of her office to meet me in the hallway and he doesn't say anything else. Start with the force with which the word "Abandon!" hit me on Sunday, even BEFORE getting the e-mail from Rick about Susan's having her heart attack, though I said that "being abandoned by friends' dying as I get older IS something I'm concerned about." Also brought up the stray thought that the nuns, even in the first grade, were sin-oriented enough to have the meanness to say, "God will abandon you if you sin," and I always knew that masturbation was a sin, against which I fought with greater or lesser success all through grade and high school under the stern gazes of a variety of nuns. Repeated that my father had essentially ALWAYS abandoned the family, and I never had any fears that my mother would die, or leave, or abandon me, but who knows what I may have forgotten from a very early time. I just insisted that the word struck me SO forcefully that I knew it had to have SOME significance. Enumerated minor things like "looking for my lost MetroCard," when I actually WALKED to the dentist's office, though I was partially truthful when I made the lame excuse that I thought I was ALREADY in Dr. G.'s office, to which I would have to take a subway; and forgetting Ken's tapes, though that was right after Sherryl called with the good news of her lesions lessening on her CAT scan on Monday. [And now at 8:10AM print my first page on my Panasonic on the lower rung of my three-tier: laptop on middle tier, new printer-copier on top so I can raise the lid to copy. The printer doesn't vibrate the top back and forth as much as I feared it might.] Search my desk-top for my note for Sharon, but of course I'd put it on the nightstand. Also mentioned the dream of the Chinese bathrobe, with Joe S. present, near a bathtub filled with junk, with a fetus (or an alien) floating below the surface of the toilet. AND concluded with the falsity to Mildred of spending $99,000 on trips in a year in which my total worth declined by only $30,000, and though I have the DISTINCT memory of adding up four figures to get the total of $99,000, I don't, now, have the FOGGIEST idea of where I got them or where I put them. She got up once when she thought she heard a knock on the door, which was locked, and when I left at 4:46PM there was a woman sitting in the lobby waiting for her. I also mentioned what I thought the impossibility was of having 63,000 frequent-flyer miles available for my 60,000-mile free (for $140 in taxes) flight to St. Petersburg---though the tax for the Trinidad trip was only $40, so maybe the flight was only 20,000 or so miles, and I DID have something like 83,000 miles in the AA account---but of course NOW I AGAIN can't find the FIRST frequent-flyer mileage card I made out, so I had to make another, to see what the figures for AA were on THAT card. And I desperately fanned my fingers and said there were at least a DOZEN things that I SHOULD be doing (and installing the printer was one of them that I did yesterday: should do at least ONE a day!) rather than playing Spider so much (though I got to 49.94661 after 6 wins on 4/24 after 3:50 playing time, though 2:55 on 4/23 was STILL too much, what with insisting on doing all the Sun sudoku and puzzles and the TV Guide sudoku AND doing some Spider EVERY day since 4/15), though I was proud of getting to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the THIRD consecutive Friday, today, and I want to install the CARD in the digital camera before I go, so I'd better stop this NOW at 8:25AM and FIND the card and have breakfast before meeting Carolyn at 10AM, not really caring that this will be a short page. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 63) (RETURN TO END OF SHARON B. 61).

SUNDAY, 4/27/08: 10:03PM: Both Charles (too much to do) and Carolyn (severe pain in her liver) canceled out of the Botanic Garden on Friday, but I called Spartacus and he agreed to meet me at 3PM in the subway, but my right glass-lens dropped out at the gym and I had to go to Grand Opticians (where I checked that my last exam was 5/11/06) to get the screw replaced and "I really riveted the screw in; nothing's going to get it out now!" Phoned Spartacus to delay meeting until 3:15, so I could have lunch, and then we went to the Garden, where I took a few more pictures, though much of the cherry bloom was gone from the sides, and most all the magnolias were over. Azaleas were just at the point of popping out. Then subway to Dekalb and Rector to get down Greenwich to Fire Island, an environmental experience by Charles Mee, made bearable ONLY because he was willing to give us chairs on which we could SIT, rather than slouch on the floor on blankets or in too-low sling chairs, and after polishing off our free cheeseburger and hot dog, I gorged on red wine, white wine, beer, and diet Coke when nothing else was new, and ended up so stoned that I didn't care that the performance wasn't very good, and the two really sexy guys didn't appear at all; get drunk enough and EVERYTHING'S OK. Should have gotten drunk before Satyagraha! Home to put away the slides from the Trinidad trip, then jerked off because I really wanted to, wondering what happened to my "Bodies" DVD, only the next day remembering that I hid it from Paul in my top dresser drawer. Watched TV and recorded others, then on Saturday spent 1:35-2:35 getting Spider to a new high of 49.96667 on a new card #9, and then got to be only #58 in the comfortable Bergen Street place, talking to many people, having much wine again, though cutting the Yellowtail Shiraz with orange-pineapple juice for a very acceptable sangria. Again got drunk enough to enjoy myself, got home to do the puzzle, read the Times, watch more TV, and got to bed to dream what I couldn't remember later. Sunday was a Spider disaster: played 10:30AM-2:40PM, trying vainly to improve my score, and ended with a miserable 49.9534. Interspersed that with trying to use PayPal to get $1500 to NordHostel, which I seem to think I do (have to call HSBC tomorrow), but Martha still has no evidence of money. Then have a 3PM lunch while watching a very effective Karita Mattila as Manon Lescaut from the Met, talk for about an hour to Marj, Rita calls, Robert G. calls for directions to the Brooklyn Museum, and I play more Spider while talking to Marj, getting terrible scores again, ending at 10PM with 49.95679, feeling at once GLORIOUS with all I've done, and MISERABLE for all I've NOT done. Even got a cleaning-up-website message from Tris. Just didn't have the energy to do ANYTHING, and probably when I get the indexes I'll be inspired to do some work, but now that I've inadequately described my roller-coaster feelings (way up with pleasure, way down with depression) today, I'll stop at 10:20PM, having had a large lunch about 7:30, and will read the Sunday Times and have dinner while watching SOMETHING on TV.

MONDAY, 4/28/08: 1:40PM: FINALLY clearing off my desk, after starting with Sun puzzles and breakfast with Nazi photo albums at 10:45AM and talk to Steve about his considering taking Acela to Boston (I didn't even know we FLEW to Boston before flying to Iceland!), and keep putting things away, tabulating expenses from Trinidad trip, and FINALLY getting the last item off the 15-(actually 16, since I added 16) Call Susie) item list listed on 4/3: 9) mail three postcards (I settled for two since I couldn't immediately locate the third, sending "better late than never" identical messages to Sherryl and Rita). My desk is STILL stacked with things to do, but I've GOT to have lunch so I'll digest it in time to go to the gym at 3:30PM to try to get some hot water in the shower.

SHARON B. 63                                                  4/30/08

Brought up that I took the wrong subway to get to Queens Plaza rather than Times Square, but we both excused that as the habit of going in to the 57th Street entrance and catching "the car on the right" when the 55th Street entrance was closed, but this time I went IN the 55th Street entrance and took the car on the right and ended up in Queens. Then I said I really had nothing to talk about (telling about my root canal only after 6:15PM by her clock), but the idea of "abandonment" had not really left me, so she suggested I free-associate about what that would bring to mind, and the breakthrough seemed to be when I suddenly thought that I'd always been thinking of PHYSICAL abandonment, but maybe it could equally depend on EMOTIONAL abandonment, since in a certain sense I "abandoned" my mother emotionally when she wasn't what I thought she should be like as a mother. I never associated "abandonment" with my father because he really wasn't there at all in the first place. I repeated my mother’s "knife in the stomach" episode on my bed (which didn't seem to have stuck with Sharon before), so that it was more of a PERFORMANCE, to make me feel sorry for her, and I also knew that there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I could do or say that could change the situation (lack of control right there, though I didn't say those words in the session). Talked again about Mom's male friends, from Bryn (whom Mom chased, rather than his chasing her) to Mike (about whom she later confessed, "Did you think I liked him for his conversation?"), though I never had any EXPLICIT knowledge that they were going to bed. Talked of the awkwardness of her trying to teach me to dance, and I actually had to HOLD her in my arms ("We just weren't a kissing family," and maybe my sister's having joined her husband's family, which DOES seem to operate like a "normal" family, is part of the reason why she calls me so often, as "normal" siblings might do) which I contrasted with the DELIGHT I felt when I was taught how to jitterbug, including giving and getting dips, and, even as my skinny and weak 20-year-old could accomplish, learning how to swing my partner onto and off each hip in one balanced swoop. Talked again about all my duties around the house, even when very young, because my mother worked all the time, and Sharon again connected that sense of responsibility with my current compulsivity and determination to control. I kept saying that I had no family except for my sister, whereas my sister has her husband's large family to "learn" from. I repeated my ironing my sister's little dresses, crawling under the dining-room table to dust the elaborate legs and ledges, making sure to dust from the top so no dust would fall from the top onto the already-dusted lower levels. I repeated many of the things that I remembered, though she later in the session complimented me on my free-association powers. The session went VERY fast, and I looked at the clock to see that it was 6:15PM before I barely realized it had gotten started. Mentioned getting the reply from Marco that they enjoyed my company every bit as much as I enjoyed THEIR company, and she smiled again and said that I was a very pleasant person to be with. In fact, at the end, she asked if I felt tired, as if I'd worked extra-hard this time to bring up things from the past, and I made a feeble joke about working even harder next time to try to bring up things that I'd REPRESSED from the past, but she seemed to think we'd done very good work this week, since "there wasn't much new this week to catch up on." Felt pressed because I went right from the BMT subway stop to her office, and then right up to my kitchen to toast two pieces of bread with butter to have something to eat before going down to the Visiting Nurse Service meeting at 6:30, and then didn't even call Spartacus to tell him about the play until getting done with this page, which I'll quit padding with NOTEBOOK entries and just print it out as short as it is. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 64) (RETURN TO SHARON B. 62)

THURSDAY, 5/1/08: 1:30PM: Change the calendar page to May, first on the first for a long time. Wrapped up all the meal boxes and took them downstairs so they'd stop cluttering up my hallway, deciding it was no good to count them because I had no idea how many RETURNABLE packages had gone before them, but I do intend to catch up on my meals-list, along with many other lists, now that I've cleared out the kitchen, taken out the plastic meal-trays (as opposed to the plastic-meal trays), and checked the e-mail to see I still haven't gotten a response from NordHostel about my wire transfer of 900 euros (done yesterday at HSBC with a very attractive Julien from Marseilles), also telling her to ignore any PayPal money which may come through that I "inadvertently" succeeded in sending. Got the ASME index from last year that I could work on, but will catch up with other things first. Think to mail my Visa bill, but find to my chagrin that NEITHER my HSBC nor my Schwab account has the $4270.07 needed for the payment, so I'll have to take TWO checks to Citibank to pay for it! Did the Sun puzzles, and redid the mistaken (been doing more of these lately) sudoku from TV Guide from yesterday. Also watched one of John's Leningrad DVDs, but feel it's a bit premature. Did my "daily Spider" routine, getting to a new high of 49.97011 after winning only two games in only 25 minutes. Just feel that I MUST call Marj! She doesn't answer! WHAT is this "extra cash" program from Visa?

SHARON B. 64                                                  5/7/08

Got there early at 5:20PM, air conditioning roaring, but she heard me come in and comes out to get me at 5:30. I tell her first about the mistaking of Thursday, May 8, for Thursday, May 1, and trying to record a replay of Camelot on the following Sunday and wondering why I didn't get it. At the end I just remembered to tell her that I AGAIN transcribed a j/o date up in the gym-date slot, making me wonder why I'd gone to the gym on 5/1 AND 5/3, but I'd actually recorded on the porno-tape card that I CAME on 5/3, and did NOT go to the gym, so that explains the "inexplicable" find that I'd been to the gym only on the week before, when I'd "noted" that I'd been to the gym SINCE, but couldn't have without marking my card! THAT problem solved, and she kept asking me how it felt, and at one point I said that I felt I was growing into MY MOTHER telling me what I had to do, approving of nothing I did, demanding that I do more, and she said it might be helpful if I THOUGHT of it as my mother talking to me when I started "telling myself off" and being angry with myself for not doing what I "should" be doing, even though in the back of my mind I STILL think I'm being too lenient with myself, except that I DID tell her I spent about two and a half hours today transmitting 35 travel documents to Tris in Word, which will keep him busy for a while, but I haven't TOUCHED Marj's files yet, though she assures me she's still totally tied up with indexing and typing for John Ford Noonan, while still doing work on MY job for a bit every day, and I keep telling myself I'll do something on Friday, then postpone it to Saturday when I decide to go to the Met Museum on Friday, then have time taken on Saturday going to the ballet (to the very single program of the Robbins festival that I really wanted to see, getting 3rd Ring tickets for $5 through Leon), and told about showing slides at 55 Pierrepont, saying to the group at 140 Cadman that I was showing my Antarctica slides there, which many who hadn't seen them the first time I showed them were eager to see in June. Made comments about the attractiveness of "equality" of Andrew and Alla at the Beard, even though I feared I might be saying the wrong thing, and being made to look stupid, or worse yet, making THEM embarrassed in some way for my being too straightforward, and again regretted telling Edward and Don about being gay when they really didn't want to know, because I should have KNOWN how they would respond, which I had to laugh with Sharon and agree that was asking a bit TOO much from my sensitivity. Also talked at length about the attractive Julian at the bank, to whom I wouldn't trust myself to say ANYTHING complimentary. (CONTINUE ON TO SHARON B. 65) (RETURN TO SHARON B. 63).

THURSDAY, 5/8/08: 12:50AM: Finally typed Sharon's page, after playing Spider to a loss after 100 minutes, and then doing this tiny bit before peeing and getting to bed, happy that I have NOTHING scheduled on my calendar for today and tomorrow, and only the Brooklyn Heights house tour for Saturday for the remainder of the week. GOT to get stuff CLEARED OFF MY DESK!!! Up at 7:40AM and try Actualism, but it doesn't work, so I'm up at 8:15AM to check e-mail (none), do the Sun puzzles, and after breakfast tackle the junk on the dining-room table, taking a half-hour, at least, fussing with the printer before plugging in the unplugged USB connection, getting lots of stuff thrown away and most of it now on my desk, and of course the coffee table, which desperately needs sorting out. But NOW decide I have to catch up on LONG-OVERDUE notes, not even knowing how to put them in: Friday, 5/2/08, I decided I HAD to go to the Met Museum to catch two exhibits which closed on May 4. Went to an unusually high number of exhibits: 1) Lee Friedlander: A Ramble in Olmsted Parks, closing 5/11, 11:18-11:25, all in black and white, and I note that I could do BETTER! 2) Jasper Johns: Gray, closing 5/4, 11:20-11:41, and I note that it was boring and VERY overintellectualized. 3) Gustave Courbet, through 5/18, the main exhibit as far as I was concerned at that point, 11:42-12:46, but toward the end it was all very academic even in its anti-academic realism: all his people and landscapes looked more or less the same, aside from the giggly The Origin of the World, the original spread-shot of modern porn, put behind a wall where the guide could cause his group to titter while talking about it. 4) Jeff Koons on the Roof, just because it was there and new, 1:04-1:08, only three pieces: Dog, Heart, and Coloring Book, all marginally better being talked about (his Dog "would also fascinate any student of Freud," and Coloring Book was taken from a page of Pooh, not at all obvious from the object itself), thinking of eating lunch up there, but it was too chilly without my jacket, and the food choices weren't very good. 5) SIT in sculpture hall and read the Koons booklet 1:12-1:15 to rest. 6) Silversmiths to the Nation: Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, I hadn't even heard about, but since it was closing 5/4 I decided I HAD to see it, so I followed the signs on the FIRST floor pointing to the American Wing until I found that the "usual route" past the Temple of Dendur was closed "for some special function" for who knows how long. Told a guard to take away the signs, and he stiffly suggested I tell them at the Information Desk. So I turned the two signs that I saw BACKWARDS, so THERE! Then up to the second floor, through the Chinese section to the Japanese section, down a flight of stairs, and into the Vanderlynne panorama for the start of a DYNAMITE silver collection: bright, shiny, intricately carved, monumental, and this even led me to rooms from Shaker houses and New York City houses that I hadn't seen before, and that was great from 1:32-2PM, when I dashed to the balcony to have 7) lunch with a couple from Ireland visiting relatives in New Jersey, rushing through half my sandwich and my beer and good lemon cake, and rushing upstairs to 8) Asian Lacquer: Masterpieces from the Florence and Herbert Irving Collection at 2:32PM to find that Sherryl was NOT joining me, and that only lasted until 2:56, when I stopped by the Korean Painted Screens from 3-3:06, ending 6/1, which wasn't very interesting, but I DID it; then decided I'd just plain had enough and went out to catch the bus and subway home, very tired, but content that, in the May-June calendar, I don't have to go until JULY, with only four exhibits closing as late as September 1, when I can buy a July-August calendar. Think to go to the gym now at 1:40PM, but look out the window to see that it's RAINING, so maybe I'll have lunch and wait for the rain to stop. Then looked out and it WASN'T raining, so I left the soup in the microwave and went to the gym, THEN came back for a late lunch, did Spider from 3:30-3:53, reduced to 49.99008, more putting-away tasks, then back to irresistible Spider 6:05 (interrupted by a long call from Avi from Venice, Florida! [who sounds awful, like he had a stroke that paralyzed part of his mouth, which slurs or lisps]) to 11:25, FINALLY getting back to 50.0033, which seems to be THE score for one more win than loss. Watch To Build a Fire and bed after 1AM, content with day.

FRIDAY, 5/9/08: 10:50AM: Up at 8:30AM, after vague panic attack pulled me out of a thinking bed, do the Sun puzzle pleasingly quickly, have breakfast, order my meals for next week, and get to my desk for work, printing one notebook page, and deciding to call Marj, talking BRIEFLY to her to 11:11AM. Then call SCRIE, AGAIN get two people who never heard of me, and FINALLY Marla C. gets on the phone and says she's still waiting for the rent roll from Cadman Towers. "How can I expedite that?" "Talk to your building manager." So I phone Arnold C., who knows NOTHING about it ("The management office should have contacted me, but they didn't"), takes down Marla's phone number and says he'll get it to her! Will it be processed at LAST? THEN check Schwab to see that I HAVE over $10,000 in my checking account, and then check HSBC to see that I have $50 MORE than I think I've got, so it's OK until I write a check to allow TRAVEL withdrawals from that account, and write checks (to an APRIL 10 invoice from Marj!) to Marj and Tris, feeling GOOD by 11:49AM! Then decide to record notes from Sunday's Fort Greene House Tour: sat at 219 Carlton Avenue from 11:50-2:20, when the next captain came early and business was REALLY booming, lines down to the sidewalk. I was glad the house was simple: two floors, start upstairs. Started up to 9) 275 Adelphi Street, unmemorable; and 10) 208 Vanderbilt Avenue, the Adjaye fantasia of modernism. Then I dashed down to the 1) Forte building, roof closed, but enjoying the opulence of the million-dollar apartments on the 26th floor, from which I couldn't see MY building, and I have a much better view of the Brooklyn Bridge! Then to the VERY overdone 2) 113 South Elliott Place; 3) 139A South Oxford Street not that great; 4) 98 South Oxford Street, spacious addition in the back, and dynamite balsa models of architectural delights by their Pratt student son; 5) 56 South Oxford Street, nice but unexciting, glad I'm not spending much time on these; 6) 306 Cumberland Street, noted for its wisteria, nicely in bloom; 7) 237 Cumberland Street, ready for sale at $1.7 million, with a fabulous garden in back, sitting at 4:30, but then decide to go out and look at the Masonic Temple, rather shabby, but with a nice old-fashioned central auditorium; and the Brooklyn Flea, busy even though "their" day is Sunday, and it didn't take long for me to adjudge it uninteresting. Back to find that the party starts at 6PM, but the black doorman at Cumberland says "someone in the neighborhood" was inviting people to his place for the hour between, and of course it was Fred. Go there to meet Hetty and her husband, another couple from the Beard, and Madeleine with a patch on her nose and a cane, and Nancy(?) whose name I can never remember, and Anita talks a mile a minute with her usual intensity. Over to the party en masse at 6:10 for mediocre wine, skimpy pasta salad, some dips with pita triangles; Fred's layout of garlic dip, three wines, salami, and cheeses was much better. Leave about 8PM, tired. Call Charles, who thought the Brooklyn Heights House Tour was SUNDAY, and arrange to meet tomorrow at 12:30 for tickets and an early start. Now 12:42PM and day is going WELL! Call M.'s office and my sonogram results from three weeks ago aren't back YET: call Wednesday and check. By 2:15PM I've reduced the stacks, countable for the first time since I returned from Trinidad, to 18: 1) slide scanner, 2) video scanner, 3) website, 4) video camera return, 5) small digital learn, 6) Olympus learn, 7) radio learn, 8) ASME index-check, 9) HP printer stack, 10) Russian visa application, 11) films for C., 12) Charlie Rose DVD, 13) stack of cards to handle [all above ON coffee table]; 14) Schwab cash to invest, 15) Flight-seats to change [these are on floor]; 16) Science index [on dining table], 17) Marj's stuff [on printer stack], 18) Choice Visa [on desk]. TRIUMPH!!! Talk to Spartacus to brag about being organized, and he's his usual asshole-y self to 2:45PM, when I'm getting hungry for lunch. Check out Visa bill by 3PM and my desk is CLEAN, and only 17 piles to go! Lunch, then invest Schwab into $45,000 of Lehman Brothers CDs and get Spider to a new high of 50.00659 (2 more won than lost) by 4:35PM. Phone Delta and change to a window seat to Boston, then Icelandair, who registers me for their frequent-flyer plan and gets me a window seat from Boston to Iceland! Looks like a great itinerary; message with Steve. And it's still light out and I still feel like DOING at 5:15PM! Make room for HP Printer stuff by discarding most of "New Computer" shelf, putting some into scrapbook file, and disks on disk pile. Then open the radio and crank it for 15 seconds and it plays for about 3 minutes before dying out. Now where do I put THAT? That takes to 5:45PM and I decide to play the Charlie Rose Science CD. Do that for almost an hour, later put the radio on the videotape shelf, bring in the index from the living room, making only ELEVEN stacks filling the coffee table, and the twelfth, Marj's stuff, is on my desk to do first thing tomorrow! Finish this, after watching hula in greatest satisfaction, at 12:05AM, and bed, BUT, I now count, there are TWELVE cards in the stack, IN ADDITION to my 4/5 do-list with ten items on it, though four are duplicated by table-stacks. Then for the SECOND TIME I forgot to note the TWO frantic searches for "misplaced" objects: 1) registering for the radio charger-cords for my cell phone, I thought I needed my cell phone---and it wasn't THERE! Searched and searched, looked at all the shelves, looked in living room, bedroom, hallway---SURE it must be there SOMEWHERE (unless Paul took it?), and finally I think of the top dresser drawer, and THERE IT IS! WHY I put it there I DON'T know! 2) Wanted to see what the Century Club would count as Arabic countries, and I look on travel shelf and it's not there. Look on near-desk shelf-pile, not there; even glance through the website pile to see if I'd misplaced it THERE, and finally it comes to me in a flash: I'd put it with the travel lists (and flag lists) in the pages of my EB atlas! And there it was (incidentally counting the seven of the United Arab Emirates as seven destinations, of course NOT including "United Arab Emirates" in its list), so now it's BACK "where it belongs" at the top of the travel stack in the black shelves. But I had to remind myself TWICE to add those two agonized searches, each of which took at LEAST a half-hour apiece! And I finish this at last, face washed, shade down, at 12:44AM, exhausted.

TUESDAY, 5/13/08: 12:25PM: Proofread the ASME Conference index and printed out the Book index, but want to print this page to get THAT page out of the printer without leaving a blank page. GOT to get stuff done, my impulse says, so last night I went through the Sharon B. charges and found that I'd messed up by not including TWO sessions in the title list, so THAT was a good thing to check before finishing this notebook file. Then checked out the prescription pile, tearing out each individual medication's instruction sheet, but getting rid of all the duplicates. Decided NOT to do the same thing with the pre-done 2007 stack, too thick, but I'll leave it for now: everything still jams into the same space. Then this morning I got down all the travel which I hadn't put into folders, put on too-dry stickers that I'm sure will fall off the first time I use them, but they're on for now, anyway. Also file the reconstructed notebook pages into the enormous notebook folder. Look for the slide-show list that I KNOW I started on one of the slide-show pages, to update it with current shows now that I'm showing at 55 Pierrepont in addition to 140 Cadman AND my own apartment, but I can't FIND the damn list. Saturday was taken up with the Brooklyn Heights house tour, the first one, on Joralemon, just incredibly spacious and light, much the best from many years. The others sort of ran together, and we found long lines and not very special places, and to add to the mediocrity they had no brownies at the church, only cookies, some of which were VERY hard, and then Charles came back to watch Soylent Green and then by the GREATEST coincidence, after "Soylent Green is PEOPLE," put on the Pink Floyd: The Wall excerpts which START with the children being dropped off a treadmill and coming out as hamburger meat! Charles leaves, and that might be when I actually started proofing Marj's NOTEBOOKD, happy to be getting to that at last. Sunday contrasted the Heights Players' Carousel with the totally professional (and Nathan Gunn beautiful) televised Camelot, between which was a LEAGUE of difference. Found using DVDs handy for recording television programs, and watched the "Attack at Kreuger" from National Geographic. Getting only just over seven hours' sleep these days, and managing to feel OK, nearing Iceland!

WEDNESDAY, 5/14/08: 8:35AM: Just spent half an hour typing DREAMS:5/14/08. But before that I had what I variously think of to myself as a "Dark Night of the Soul" or a "Near-Death Experience." I'd drunk MUCH too much wine at WD-50 last night, BARELY getting home by two subways, GASPING for breath to continue functioning with so much food and alcohol in my system, COLLAPSING into bed about 9:45PM, thankfully falling asleep almost instantly, having to my knowledge no reflux problem. Woke at 4:30AM to pee, then lay back down with what started as a feeling of detachment, even disconnection, which gradually blossomed through various remembered stages into a state of BLACKNESS that I found so frightening that at one point I even considered I might be at the point of death. I lay under light covers, thinking to fall back to sleep quickly, but when I didn't, I started thinking that I didn't exactly feel like I had a hangover, didn't exactly feel worried about a possible hangover: I felt more like I'd been tranquilized, or even numbed as for a dental procedure, so that I wasn't, somehow, CONNECTED to my body or its actual sensations. The more I "studied" this unusual feeling, I considered many things: I felt a vague fullness, so I thought I'd better get another pillow under my head so that I wouldn't have any reflux (in addition, I got a bottle of water from the refrigerator to drink as I lay in bed, hoping both to keep down any remnants of dinner and to hydrate to help process what I felt must still be lots of alcohol in my system); since I felt so "detached" from my physical sensations, I thought I might be, or become, cold, so I put an extra blanket on the bed, feeling in a vague way relieved that I didn't feel any dizziness or nausea as I walked and bent and moved to accomplish these tasks. As I lay down on my back, head and chest propped up by the pillows, pulling up the covers, my thoughts grew darker and darker: maybe something was PHYSICALLY wrong. I took care to empty my bottle of water quickly, so that if I fell asleep, or died, it wouldn't spill out and wet the bed. When I folded my arms across my chest, I thought I might be putting myself into a casket position. As thoughts of going crazy, like in the Pink Floyd: The Wall movie that I watched with Charles on Saturday, went through my mind, I still marveled at the DETACHMENT with which I observed these becoming-more-extreme thoughts. "Maybe THIS is a nightmare," I thought at a time, knowing that I wasn't dreaming at all. "Maybe this IS what it feels like to be on the point of death," I thought later, still feeling oddly disconnected, as if maybe I was ALREADY dead and observing from THAT point of view. "Dark Night of the Soul" came to mind, and indeed my sense of the room (I'd put on my eye-mask in preparation to going back to sleep, though now, about 5:30AM, it was beginning to get light outside) was of PSYCHOLOGICAL darkness, even of SPIRITUAL darkness. "I'd better start Actualism," I thought, and went through the preliminaries with a dreadful feeling that there was no "reality" to any higher being, no aid available from any higher source, no real expectation of RELIEF from what was becoming an almost frightening (except for my continual numbness of affect) dark miasma filling my room and my psyche. "Maybe there's a dark ego which must be killed off with Actualism," I thought, and realized that if I continued "downward," things would only get worse, so I "should" envision GETTING lighter, GETTING more energy, GETTING more life in any way possible. Never, at any time, suicidal thoughts, though at one point I swallowed water wrong, coughed, and wondered if my lungs might be already full of alcohol-induced fluids and they would stop processing oxygen; or wondered if I might "inadvertently" stop breathing and die. I reinforced the Actualism energies again and again, and felt as if I were coming to the surface of a black ocean, and later even "imagined" being enveloped by a light-sphere that could lift me above the darkness below, and finally felt "safe" enough to turn onto my side, nestle into the extra blankets, and almost, then, fell asleep, to wake with some surprise about 7:30AM: the surprise coming because at one point, in the darkness, I thought that if I DID fall asleep, it would be a sleep from which I would never wake, and never even KNOW that I'd not wakened. Up at 7:50AM feeling "fragile," peeing again, typing my dream, finish this at 9:07AM. Print that page, and will take both pages to Sharon tonight. Called Ken to say that I knew his drink wasn't the difference of $40 in our bills that his giving me $20 would signify, so I owed him $10. Debate filling out this page and printing it to clear the printer of the last page for Sharon, but figure to have breakfast, read the mail from last night, and get into the day before doing that. 11:10AM: Fix one of the Hearty Meal breakfasts, filling, but feel slightly dizzy skimming the magazines that came in the mail yesterday, and then do the Sun puzzles and don't feel better. Debate going for a nap, but don't feel that would help. Catch up with this and will try and see if Spider goes OK without making things worse. Equal my "8 more" with a slightly lower average of 50.02628, versus the previous "8 more" at 50.0263, by 12:05. Then check e-mail, to find that the index-test is fine. Then want to catch up on this, forgetting that I'd put a copy of WP51 on the toolbar, and it asks if two copies are running. I say "Yes" and it asks me to rename, and I call it WP52. Then I do something ELSE, and the screen comes up again, and I try calling it WP53, but I keep getting the message something like "Backup program lost due to disk error---Press any key to continue." I press a key, and it keeps repeating after 20 seconds, after I "think" it's going slower. So I restart the computer, and OF COURSE NOTEREPL has been ERASED from wp51\mc!!! I feel totally, entirely, horribly depressed. I try the search for NOTEREPL that I tried before, and of course it doesn't work. I look at the C:\ directory, hoping to find WP52 next to WP51, but it isn't there. HORRIBLE depression, made worse by my CONTINUAL feeling of a hangover, even getting worse as the day drags on and gets worse ITSELF. Then, almost on a whim, I look at the C:\WP51 directory, and there, at the bottom, is WP52!! So I access it---------and there are the 87 (or however many---------added later: of COURSE it's 87 pages, because that's the page I'm TYPING ON! IDIOT!) pages!!! Unutterable relief! The first thing I then do is to search for a diskette to make a copy of the file onto drive A, in case of any "residual" disk error destroying it AGAIN. Search through a stack of diskettes-------(these long pauses are to add suspense, of course) (as are these parentheses) and find my American Express and United Mileage Plus credit cards! A flood of instant memories: 1) I remember going through my wallet before a trip and NOT finding my American Express credit card. Had I lost it? Misplaced it? Someone took it? Should I phone to see if there are any charges against it? Should I cancel it? Maybe I DID phone to see if there were charges, but I THINK I would have written some kind of note to try to find it, but in the due course of time (Alzheimer's time) I FORGOT about losing it, which is even worse than losing it. 2) I remember going through my wallet before a trip and thinking I didn't want to carry so many credit cards, so I took OUT these two and put them on the top of my diskettes, confident I'd see them when I got back and put them back into my wallet. But I DIDN'T put them back, and since the stack of diskettes is ABOVE MY EYE LEVEL when I'm sitting at my desk, I probably one day just added a diskette to the stack, on top of the credit cards, without even noticing that the credit cards were THERE. Phone Spartacus to tell him, but can only leave a message. Phone Marj and she still has her cold, but I indicate that there was "good news and bad news," and she asked for the bad news first and I told her I lost an 87-page NOTEREPL. She got so involved with the horror of that that I had to TELL her the good news before she went TOTALLY off the deep end. Then DID indicate something of my "Dark Night of the Soul," probably connected with my proofreading about Mom's death (and the fact that she was in my dream, also), but that I'd KEEP most of it for Sharon, whose BUSINESS it is to listen to all this. AND mentioned that I LOOKED into NOTEBOKD and all those crazy capital I's in the middle of words were there, and even two random tabs between two ordinary words, which she deleted, which she insisted she NEVER saw, so how she deleted them I don't really know. So we both talked on through our miserableness, ending just before 2PM, and I come back to finish this page, feeling still pretty bad: bed early this evening. AH, and Pat hasn't gotten my sonogram back YET, but I finally got her to say she'd check and call ME back!

SHARON B. 65                                                  5/14/08

Get there early, she comes out, I start with, "It's been a HORRIBLE day!" Begin with the "Dark Night of the Soul," which she suggests might be myself PUNISHING myself for LOSING CONTROL last night by drinking too much, though I had to say that I wasn't running away from anything, or trying to forget anything, but it might have been a matter of GREED, paying so much for a meal with wine, I was for darn sure going to eat and drink EVERYTHING they gave me, even if it makes me sick! Segued rapidly into the dream, and she was pleased to notice that I looked at the arrival of my mother as a figure of CONTROL, as someone in AUTHORITY that "Anita" might listen to more obediently than she would to me. I made a big point about the clothes, and wide-brimmed black straw hat, that my mother was wearing, which reminded me very much of a photograph taken with HER mother and me when I was about three years old, in Washington, D.C. And I said I'd be sure to check that picture to see if she wasn't wearing a dark coat cinched at the waist which flared open at the bottom and top. Well, she IS wearing a hat that MAY be straw that is VERY like the one in the dream, but her coat is a light color, open straight up-and-down in the front, so the cinched waist is an invention from somewhere else. I kept mentioning that we would have apparently been close to the same age if we appeared as in the dream. Threw in lots of other things, too: the loss and search and final finding of the mobile phone and the Century Club list; the FORGETTING of the "loss" of the American Express credit card until I found it today; the loss and recovery of the 87 NOTEREPL pages, though I was SO numb from the entire morning that I hardly FELT the disappointment OR the relief as strongly as I might have, had I been "straight." Throw in the "OK" about my index trial, the coming of the Knox-Albright index, the request from SCRIE for my 2005 1040, which I excused by dashing off a letter saying that I earned more than $30,000 both on my 2005 AND 2007 1040. Mentioned talking to Marj but NOT wanting to talk about the "Dark Night of the Soul" because I was seeing Sharon this afternoon and I wanted to be "fresh" for the telling. She took notes wildly, asking about whether the fish could have been ME, and I said no, but was reminded of the colored (though very bright orange) fish in my repeated childhood dream, and she KNEW the koi in the Japanese Gardens in Brooklyn, but I suddenly remember the goldfish that we had when I was a kid that INSISTED on dying very soon after we got them, which I hadn't thought of in a long time. Also mentioned that there were lots of rabbits around, and I'd had kittens and puppies for pets, too. She concentrated on my stated need to control my drunkenness on my way home, taking the right subway the right number of stops and transferring in the right way, though I had NO concept of which streets Ken was leading us through to the initial station from which I had NOT come. I noticed that it was even a little after 6:15 when I stopped, saying that I'd been feeling up and down during the day with the hangover, but because of the energy ("I felt more animated NOW than I did all day") expended in this session I was REALLY tired now, and hoped to go to bed early (not saying what I thought when I THOUGHT about that: that I might get UP early, too). She even mentioned God, which I did not, when I said that there was no higher power to help me, but I FORCED it to help me, being suddenly reminded of the old Atlantic Monthly short story about the man in the ocean, "letting go, and finding he could stand on a seamount, until the coils of the octopus took him in the last sentence." Mentioned that I felt like there was a pyramid rising out of the center of this dark ocean in which I was submerged, and even the globe of light I imagined myself in: after telling myself to IMAGINE that the energies were helping me, and that only TODAY did I check back to Bernice's 4/29 e-mail and record in my calendar that the next meeting of the Fourths is on June 22 from 3-6PM. Felt exhausted going out of the room and down the stairs and picking up my laundry, but forced myself to sit down and finish this page just before 7PM, wondering what I'm going to do with the rest of the evening. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 66) (RETURN TO SHARON B. 64).

SATURDAY, 5/17/08: 9:14AM: Amused to find that I type page 97 of DREAMS just as I now start on page 89 of NOTEREPL, having almost lost NOTEREPL a few days ago and made a copy on diskette A, and just made a copy of DREAMS onto the same diskette. Both coming to the end, and I don't want a repeat of my loss of 98, or whatever, pages of a document I'm almost to the hundred-page end of! So essentially I've backed up the two most important files, finally getting rid of the last item on my 2/15/08 do-list, just three months to complete! As for the 4/5/08 do-list, after I got back from the Guianas, I tried to update the slide-show list on 5/13, but I couldn't find the start on one of the slide-list pages I'd typed long ago: thought it was among the slide-show pages themselves, but I looked once, twice, then in desperation THREE times through it, and it just wasn't there. Looked at the shelf by the desk, in the front pages of the atlas, TWICE through the slide-trays themselves, and yesterday I searched through the Personal file, where I'd put all the 140 Cadman Plaza announcements, thinking maybe I inadvertently put the sheet in with one of the old ones, but the only thing that happened, sifting through all the old sheets, was the thought that I could just generate the list from scratch, which might be easier than just banging my head against the wall for not being able to find the starter list. Watched The Iron Giant last night through 1:15AM this morning, and got into bed, and at 1:25AM I had a brilliant thought: maybe I filed it as the last page in the LIST book beside the desk. So I get out of bed, but it's not there. Look at all the shelves under the slide-page section, and REACH INTO the frequent-flyer stack (I REALLY am not conscious of why I did it) and it's RIGHT ON TOP of the stack, even OVER the two frequent-flyer CARDS that I'm sure I looked at during the previous month, when I would have been scanning the 4/5/08 do-list for what I could handle next, so I must have THOUGHT I was putting it on top of the slide-lists, but put it ON THE SHELF BELOW! Go to bed and TRY to think how blessed I've been with finding these lost objects, and start Actualism and get to sleep quickly. Finished, for the most part, the Forman index yesterday, though there are loose ends to tie up on Monday. Plan to do most of the rest of the Physics index today, unless I go to an exhibit with Sherryl. Now to the Saturday Times. Phone Sherryl at 10:45AM and she says we should see the Vani exhibit on Tuesday, since it's closed on Monday, as I found when I phoned, and so we aim for the Cretan exhibit at the Onassis Center at 1:30PM today. Decide at the last minute to add cash to my wallet, which has only $7, and find I have NO cash in reserve at home, so I was glad I planned to leave early, since I now have to go to the bank and withdraw $100 in cash for the next week: got to remember to write a Schwab One check to HSBC so I'll have an ATM cash-source in Iceland if I need it, since I won't have that much cash with me, and my Social Security check doesn't usually hit until the 24th, when I'll be leaving. Get to the Olympic Tower ten minutes late, Sherryl tells me about my bad breath, and we take about an hour to see the show, not as good as I'd hoped, but they have a nice brochure that unfortunately doesn't do justice to the elegant long sword which was the most beautiful item on exhibit, except for the quality of the vases and objects made out of striated limestone, very beautiful. She pisses me off on the subway coming home because she said I was SO set on eating a burger at Prime Burger that she "had no other choice" but to agree with me, even though I insisted she DID have an out when she said she'd check the menu to make sure there was something she could have. She dismissed the whole thing as just "diner food"; my burger was good (though small), the lemonade was good and fresh and the cherry pie was even better for its wonderful crust. Then she wanted just to go home, so I came back to finish the Times Saturday puzzle in reasonably good time, watched most of Hideous Kinky, rather stupid, and then started typing on this page about 8:50PM, wondering how much I could finish of the remaining eleven pages before sending NOTEBOOKF off to Marj so she'll be sure to have work while I'm gone for the two weeks, and she'll finish the notebooks before starting on anything else, which will be quite different in style and conventions. Finish now at 9:15PM, not quite knowing what to do now. 11:25PM: Decided to do more proofreading, getting from pages 45-67 in 2:10, I guess sufficiently fast. Had popcorn before: amazing how it fills stomach, so that I'm not hungry even after a tiny lunch at Prime Burger at 3:30PM. Watch the end of Meteors, which it turns out I'd seen before, and then at midnight go back to the beginning of The End of the Earth, which considers the same catastrophes of many other programs, but with different graphics and computerized images to prove that it's a new program. Watch until about 1:10AM and get to bed, again having drunk too many cordials: Sambuca, then Kahlua, then apricot liqueur.

SUNDAY, 5/18/08: 7:03AM: Type a dream-page ending with DREAMS:5/18/08, then figure to try to fill out these pages. The right side of my neck aches as I lie awake before getting up to type the dream which gradually returns clearer to my memory as the minutes pass. Would it be arthritis, or just part of a hangover from too much alcohol while watching television until 1:10AM, just under six hours ago. The sweaty pillowcase smells, too, reminding me of Sherryl's comment about my breath yesterday. My feet tingle---I'm really falling apart, which isn't the most encouraging feeling. No chance of getting from page 90, now, to page 100 by the time I leave on my trip Saturday, but I'll send whatever I do to Marj just before I go. Starting to vaguely dread the upcoming trip without giving a single thought to how beautiful some of the Iceland and Greenland scenery will be, and again thinking I'll have to train myself in my new digital camera more thoroughly before I leave---along with lots of television to watch and the Physics index to finish. Starting to feel the need for more Valium, which I should also get renewed with C. And then there's the gym today before MAN, and maybe discussing more NOTEBOOKD corrections with Marj---and my possible hangover to contend with.

TUESDAY, 5/20/08: 8:25AM: Rather hope to open the door and find no Sun waiting for me outside. Had gotten a call yesterday saying that my free period was over, and I could sign up for the next four weeks at half-price, only $2.50 per week, and she seemed surprised when I said I wasn't interested. She repeated that this was a special offer, but I said no, and she wished me a good day. I phoned Mildred, who'd gotten me to take it in the first place, and started with "Thank goodness" when she answered as I was leaving a message on her machine: she was screening calls because she didn't want to talk to her oil supplier whom she suspected might be coming on to her: "He's a hugger, but when he hugged me he ran his hands up and down my back," and I agreed that he might be coming on to her. Went back to indexing and had a horrible experience when I opened the Cindex file of the index to add entries for the 500s pages to find that the index only went up to page 400: a whole series of entries for about a hundred pages seemed to have been lost! I tried looking for the file on My Computer, but it wasn't even listed, though when I went to CX the abbreviated entries came up readily. I tried to read in the backup disk, which I was glad I made, but it said the index had to be open, so I opened the 395 or so records, read from disk A, and ended up with something like 990 records, but they looked strangely "sparse" on the screen: double-spaced entries with very few items in each letter of the alphabet. When I tried to "page-down" through the entries, they seemed to repeat endlessly, as WP51 had done when I read in a file that was too large to be handled correctly. Tried hitting "sq/com" to join the additions to the current file, but to my horror the count went whizzing past with huge numbers in the hundreds of thousands, and the percent-number was merely a one-digit blur until the count passed 999999 and went back to something like 10000, and then the percent-number became a two-digit blur that cycled quickly up to 99% and then went back to 10% and started rapidly cycling upward in a never-ending blur. At last I had to reset the computer, and when it came back on I opened CX and read in the file, and this time a white banner came on, saying, "This file is damaged or corrupt; do you want to alphabetize and read it anyway?" I hit "Yes" and it blurred quickly and I got a file that started at A, which was encouraging. Tried sq/com again, and it quickly reduced to 499 entries, which looked good, and I continued entering new items with great relief. But why do so MANY things go wrong? Are my files being gradually corrupted in some way, maybe by being connected to the Internet constantly? But now I'm left with marking and entering the last hundred pages, which I hope to do today and finish one MORE thing before leaving for Iceland on Saturday.

SHARON B. 66                                  5/21/08

So tired after the busy day that I get there at 5:20PM, reading until she comes for me at 5:30, and I say that I'm exhausted from the day, and am PARTICULARLY disturbed because I seem to be getting a COLD before a trip, which I do with UNREASONABLE frequency---am I doing this to, somehow, punish myself? That I'm traveling too much? That I'm pushing too hard? That I deserve to suffer? (Which last feeling is NOT one that I had in the session.) She asks me to compare my feelings about this trip with feelings about the last ones, and I said that earlier this week I'd been amazed at how LITTLE I was thinking about this trip, because I would be totally in the group's hands, unlike my previous two trips, which I planned (or, in some cases, didn't plan) entirely myself. Praised myself for letting THREE others control phases of today: Spartacus on the subway to the meeting place for the SAGE walking tour of Kew Gardens; the guide on the tour itself, and then Charles leading me to the exhibit of art depicting Saint Sebastian in erotic ways in a gallery on Spring Street, from which I had enough time to get home before coming in to see Sharon. I repeated that many of my EARLY trips I planned ENTIRELY on my own, much different from what I usually do now: rely on Ken or let a group do it for me. I said I realized I was hoarse at the beginning of the session, and related how I read off the first paragraph about Jacob Riis Square but knew that my voice wouldn't permit me to go BEYOND the first paragraph or I'd lose it completely. Later in the session Sharon actually said that my hoarseness had GONE, maybe because I was feeling more relaxed because I was letting all these feelings out. The beginning of the session was a chaos of free association between wanting to control and letting go of control, of feeling this way, then feeling that way, of really just spewing out whatever came to mind, and she kept PRAISING that, saying that I WAS making sense, in my way, even though I was saying whatever came into my head at the moment. Talked of the LESSER frustration when something (like the mess the Cindex which I said in some detail) went wrong with the computer: "I no longer feel like bashing it into pieces and throwing it out the window." She said she thought I WAS becoming more balanced in my way of looking at things, even at talking about things, and that I was entirely right when I said I just thought of getting EVERYTHING out and letting it all come together on its own, "And then I live happily ever after," I added as a comic twist, and she agreed, but added, "Except for that last part." We both laughed. I signed the papers again, praised C. for dismissing my nosebleed (though I thought for the first time in ages of the FLOW of blood from my nose, needing packing, one time way back in my IBM days), agreeing to x-ray my knee, which I did and I said I was happy I wouldn't know I had some incurable knee problem BEFORE the trip to Iceland, which she said of course wouldn't happen. I talked about the ambivalence of trying to convince myself it wouldn't be TERRIBLE if we didn't get to Greenland, but fearing that my NOT putting the POSITIVE vibration that the weather is ALWAYS good on my trips and that we WILL get to Greenland would actually CAUSE our not going to Greenland, and we ended saying that I was more easy with CIRCUMSTANCES, not willing to take responsibility for EVERYTHING bad or frustrating that happened, and that I was making good progress. Decided that my next meeting with her would be on June 11 and my slides would be presented there on June 18, and that my trip to Iceland was a real ADVENTURE, which I might be used to, but that everyone ELSE would find exciting, like Beverley. (CONTINUE TO SHARON B. 67) (RETURN TO SHARON B. 65).

WEDNESDAY, 5/21/08: 6:50PM: The index finished at 9:40PM yesterday, and I e-mailed it off by 10:25PM, working almost 14 hours on what might be a bill of just over $2000, though I was disappointed when I got back today at 5:05PM that there was no phone call or e-mail from Danielle on my index. Ron woke me at 7:10AM this morning to say that my food box had come in last night, and I at first thought it was delivered in error, until I realized it was what I'd ordered on Friday for Monday through Wednesday of this week---regardless of the fact that I didn't get it until Wednesday---AND that it was good to be wakened at 7AM, since it would be an ideal time to start time-shifting for Iceland: waking at 6AM on Thursday, 5AM on Friday, 4AM on Saturday, so that 3AM on Sunday in Iceland would be 8AM already, very near the time when I'd be waking up anyway. Still got the Sun, though when I met Beverley in the hall this evening I told her I'd been told my free subscription was over, so that I wouldn't be calling them to cancel delivery when I was away through June 6, but if they HAPPENED to be put in front of my door, she seemed willing enough to pick them up for me. Charles said I shouldn't TELL them about it, because that might make them realize they shouldn't be sending them to me ANYWAY. Did the puzzles, had breakfast of an uneaten previous lunch, with a snack of melon and almonds and cheese, and phoned Jessica to find that she did NOT get my supposedly faxed W-9 form, but I should just drop it in the mail, so I quickly addressed the envelope and took it down with me to get to the Park Plaza late at 9:32AM, and of course Spartacus was just on the way there. Greatly disappointed when we were told that Jahn's had CLOSED some months ago, after the trip was planned, but he had a good eating place lined up. We walked through the park after taking pictures of the "Fat Boy" statue which Doug was quite sure was NOT of marble, and we wondered where the original might actually BE. Took a picture of "The Buddy" with a nice face commemorating the many soldiers from Richman Hill killed in "The World War," surprisingly many GERMANS, as one of our tour-mates pointed out. Then walked past many varied Queen Anne houses, one of which I took a photo of (GOT to find how to record the numbers or provenances of these photos BEFORE the trip Saturday), and we got at last to the Olympic Diner, where there was a wonderful selection of $7.95, $8.95, and $9.95 lunches, where we all shared garlic bread and lots of water, and I ordered the beef barley soup, a Western omelet that was enormous with quite good home fries, though both needed lots of salt, and even got lemonade for a beverage, ending with vanilla ice cream that didn't seem to be good enough to be Breyers. Then to the J subway in the rain, standing in the doorway to watch the wooded top of the terminal moraine roll past to the north of the line as we made our way into Manhattan, where Charles transferred us to the C train to Spring Street for the gallery with the exhibits of sexy Saint Sebastians, and then I took the R train to CVS to pick up my Avodart, diazepam (which has now gone not only from THREE a day to two a day for the last few prescriptions to now ONE a day, so I only get THIRTY for a thirty-day supply), and Clotrimazole, since I seem to be suffering sporadically again from jock itch and had some left that I used to good effect. Then home at 5:05PM to get the message from Dr. M., who didn't answer when I tried calling him, then took my umbrella to Sharon's, when of course it didn't rain. Finish this at 7:07PM, getting dramatically dark, as if ready to POUR rain (which, if it happens tomorrow, will make a mess of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and fireworks in celebration of the 125th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge, though last night there was a BRIGHT WHITE light on part of it, which was said in the article to be lit starting on May 22, and tonight there's a RED light shining on the INSIDE of the near arch, which must be coming from a spotlight on the Brooklyn side of the East River, and I figure I'll do some Spider, though I might call Marj, might watch a TV movie, and surely go to bed early to get into the time-change for Iceland, since I want to wake up at 6AM tomorrow feeling much more rested than I feel now, and then really get to learning more about my Olympus camera (recall the IDENTITY between the Vani nude and the one today!). Do Spider to 8:15PM to 4-more ahead, one better than before. Now for dinner and a movie. Watched Jamon, Jamon and got to bed at 10:28PM with 11000mg Vitamin C and two aspirin, to which I added two Advil just to overkill.

THURSDAY, 5/22/08: 3:15AM: Pee and drink water, sweating in bed under covers, hard to breathe. Think about writing an "Epitome of My Life" to fill in the remaining pages to 100 of NOTEBOOKG. Pee again and determine to start Actualism at 4:52 to get more sleep. Up at 7:28AM, tired after what looks like seven-and-a-quarter-hours' sleep (ever conscious of the fractions being only boxes that have to be edited). Have breakfast though I don't feel like it, taking a whole trunk-load of pills: morning vitamins, eight fish oils, and 8000mg Vitamin C, while watching Disraeli. Then transfer my photos to my desktop, having searched for the Olympus connecting wire until I found it---on the shelf with the laptop! Called Danielle, who said she'd call back in the afternoon if anything were wrong with the index, but I never got a call, though I was on the phone with Marj and more editing from 12:30-3:10PM, and then went to the gym only for the steam room and a shower, still feeling worn out, and back to have a very late lunch while watching The Science of Sleep for the second time within a year, having watched it 5/29/07. Phone Steve to make sure he's bringing earplugs, since I might be coughing with the aftermath of my cold. Then clip my toenails to finish THAT, and decide to tackle this at 6:40PM, debating whether I'll go to the concert and fireworks tonight, since I feel so dragged out with my cold. Let's start with MEMO12 TO TRIS: Text for TRAVEL opening page:

     I'd lived in Ohio, with brief trips to Pennsylvania to see relatives, until my junior year in high school, in 1950, when my aunt and uncle drove their respective nephews (though my uncle's "nephew" turned out in the end to be his SON from a prior marriage!) to California. I remember my astonishment at the city streets of Chicago: whole blocks of storefronts with no empty lots at all! Then farther west were the never-ending plains of Nebraska, the spectacular Wasatch Mountains outside Salt Lake City, and the even more spectacular Sierras. Lived in Salinas during the school year 1950-1951. The Army ROTC sent me to Summer Camp in North Carolina and the Reserves sent me to Fort Meade, Maryland, which I left for a two-day weekend in New York City in 1956, where I fell in love with the city. I moved there the day after I graduated from Akron University.

     In 1962 IBM supported a trip offered by the Escoffier Society to Europe for 19 days; my idea of touring Europe before was seeing London, Paris, Rome, and maybe one or two other capitals, but the trip went through enchanting small towns like Niederbron-les-Bains, Grasse, Siena, and other places in France, Italy, and Switzerland that said there was more to travel than just going to big European cities. In 1964 IBM offered a 30-day trip Around the World, and I found more countries I wanted to see in detail. In 1971 my lover and I found a Dutch travel agent who scheduled us around the world in 130 days. On my first trip to India we visited three cities; on my second trip to India we visited over two dozen cities and towns, and I still want to see more. About that time I glanced through my Encyclopedia Britannica World Atlas and found that I seem to have visited some destination on most of the 117 pages. Assigning dates to each page for when I first visited a location on it, I found that I was lacking a date on only 14 pages. Being a completist, I made sure I visited my 50th state, Alaska, and my last Canadian province or territory, Northwest Territories, on one trip. Afterward, they formed Nunuvit, which I'm still missing.

     I took in my last two continents on one trip to Australia and Antarctica in 1991, avoiding the dreaded Drake Passage and assuring myself of getting south of the Antarctic Circle by leaving for McMurdo Sound from Hobart, Tasmania. The last page was conquered in 2002 when I finally visited Angel Falls in Venezuela. By that time I'd long ago qualified for entry into the Century Club, but I was turned off that group by a rowdy crowd that had chartered a ship to circumnavigate the near-Antarctic islands and treated Shackleton's grave on South Georgia Island with less reverence than I thought appropriate. Their count (having been to 170 of their 315) is rather artificial, however, and I prefer the statistic that I've visited 112 of the 193 United Nations countries.

     By coincidence, at age 70, I took seven trips. That "forced" me to take six trips with age 71, and five trips at age 72, figuring to work down with one fewer trip each year until I reached a time when I felt I wasn't "forcing" myself to travel. In response to the question "Where HAVEN'T you been than you want to go?" the answer for many years was Vienna. With Vienna visited in 2001, I settled on St. Petersburg as the next "trophy" destination, now scheduled for July, 2008. After that, I figured the next most-wanted stop might be Dubai, but I'd rather like them to finish most of it before I visit, though a friend and I have had a discussion about February, 2009, which may be premature, but it's hard to find a friend willing to split a current $2600/night stay in a two-bedroom duplex in the world's only 7-star hotel. We'll see.

     To start filling descriptions of some of the specific trips on the website:

Tanzania/France: I'd planned a package trip with a friend, but when he canceled I made plans in Paris for a truck-tenting trip to the three major areas of Tanzania: the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara. The Dutch group spoke English, but I had the advantages and disadvantages of being the only person in a two-person tent that I had to put up and take down daily. Slamming my wrist on a chair in the back of a truck gave me my first hint of arthritis. The trip ended in Arusha with a British group climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, tough!

Tunisia/France: Two brothers and I met in Paris and flew to Tunis, where we shared rooms and bed-partners; I did some independent travel to the interior of Tunisia, and we had incredible meals in Puymirol, Eugenie-les-Bains, and Bordeaux in France.

South Africa: A couple I'd met on the ship to Antarctica put together a 30-day Abercrombie and Kent 14-chartered-flight private-plane tour of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. On my own I traveled around Johannesburg and got to Bophuthatswana. A very expensive trip.

Atlantic Ocean Islands: Marine Expeditions in Canada, now defunct, offered a very inexpensive (like $3000 for 50 days) ship repositioning from the Antarctic to the Arctic: starting in Ushuaia, landing on three islands in the Falklands, South Georgia, Tristan da Cunha (passing Gough and Inaccessible), St. Helena, Ascension, Cape Verde, three islands in the Canaries, two islands of Madeira, and landing in London, from which I took the Channel Tunnel to Paris.

Mauritius/Reunion: A friend found a cheap round-trip that started in London with the London Eye, the Millennium Exposition, and a great Art Deco exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Then we flew to the middle of the Indian Ocean for a very British Mauritius and a very French Reunion, with glorious surf.

Madagascar: The same friend as above wanted to see lemurs, and lemurs and aye-ayes we saw as we flew, mostly, to the extreme north, south, east, and west of this enormous, heavily populated, and hugely untouristed island.

Morocco: The same friend, enchanted with a tour that took us into the original Lascaux and Altamira caves, engaged an expert on prehistoric Moroccan drawings and sculpture all around the country, almost hitting the border of Algeria. Though I'd been to many of the same cities 37 years ago, I'd forgotten lots.

Kenya/Tanzania: The border between these two were closed when I'd gone to Tanzania 23 years earlier, but I was a fan of Isak Dinesen, enjoyed a balloon over the Masai Mara, and even returned to the Ngorongoro Crater, where we were held in place for about an hour by a pack of a dozen lions lying against our Land Rover. It was proven to me that repeat visits could be equally exciting.

ANTARCTICA: Flew New York-San Francisco-Hawaii-Fiji-Auckland-Melbourne for a mind-bending three days (including International Dateline), toured Australia to Canberra, Sydney, Alice Springs, Ayres Rock, and King's Canyon; then to Tasmania for Hobart and the Frontier Spirit, now the Bremen, for a 24-day trip to Macquarie, the Balleny Islands; Italian, New Zealand, Australian, and US bases around McMurdo Sound (ashore maybe 24 hours in the 24 days); then up to Campbell and Auckland Islands (extraordinary penguins, seals, birds, marine life in each of these places) on the way to Invercargill on the southern tip of New Zealand, sharing the suites of a married photographer-couple who let me sleep on their sofas in their living rooms (and later let me share their Resting Cloud sailing ship on a 28-day trip to the Galapagos and Ecuador that same year, and a 30-day trip around southern Africa the next year) at Milford Sound and Mt. Cook, and I went myself to Christchurch, Wellington, and Rotarua northward to Auckland for the tedious return to the United States, spending two Tuesdays in Hawaii, again thanks to the International Dateline.

IBM Round the World: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka in Japan; Hong Kong; Bangkok; Calcutta, Agra, and Delhi in India; Karachi in Pakistan; Cairo, Beirut, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Athens on the way back. A monsoon in Hong Kong robbed us of two days in Bangkok, and a Lufthansa engine-problem forced us back to Karachi, after which 22 of the 23 of us were sure we were going to die during one dreadful day in bed in Cairo, thanks to a Karachi Yakini Chicken dinner.

130 days Round the World: Los Angeles, Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii for 11 days), Kyoto for a week, Taipei 5 days, Hong Kong 2 days, Macau, Borneo (as it was then) 5 days, Singapore 1 day, Java 5 days, Bali 6 days, Djakarta 1 day, Thailand from Bangkok to Chiang Mai 9 days, Burma (then Rangoon and Pagan) 5 days, Nepal 14 days including a trip to the Tibet border and a glimpse of Everest, then India: (Bubaneswar, Konarak, Puri, Calcutta, Benares, Khajuraho, Agra, Delhi, Srinigar, Pathankot, Kulu, Manali, Naggar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bombay, Hyderabad, Madras, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Kerala, Thekkady, Madurai, Tiruchirapali) 42 days, Ceylon (Hikkeduwa, Kandy, Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwa, Sigiriya) 7 days, Athens 1 day, Lisbon 6 days. Exhausting, stimulating, and I really want to see even more of India.

Trans-Siberian Round the World: Fly NYC to London; train to Edinburgh 2 days, Glasgow 2 days, Oban, Iona, Glasgow 2 days, London 2 days, ferry to Calais, train to Paris 2 days, Berlin 3 days, Warsaw 2 days, change bogies for Trans-Siberian Express in Brest, Russia: to Moscow 4 days, Europe-Asia obelisk, stops in Novosibersk and Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk 2 days, stop in Ulan-Ude; into Mongolia to Ulan Bator 4 days; change bogies for China: Datong for Yungang Caves, Peking 4 days, Xian 2 days, Loyang for Longmen Caves, Nanking for 3 days in hospital, Shanghai 3 days, Canton 3 days, to Hong Kong to fly alone to Manila 2 days, Guam 2 days, Saipan 1 day, Koror 2 days, Yap 2 days, Ponape 3 days, Oahu 2 days, San Diego 3 days. Group went WEST back to the states from Hong Kong; I decided it was closer (and more adventurous) to fly EAST from Hong Kong.

Tibet/China: Fly NYC-LA-Beijing, then to Chengdu for 2 days, Lhasa (including Norbulinka, Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, Samye Monastery, and Tse Dang) 6 days, Beijing 3 days, Xian 1 day, fly to Dunhuang, train to Turfan (has anyone even HEARD of the Gaochang ruins or Astana tombs or the Thousand-Buddha Caves of Bezikalak or the Jiao-He ruins?). Bus to Urumqi 2 days, fly to Kashgar 2 days, fly to Xian 3 days, fly to Hong Kong 4 days.

Southeast Asia (2000): Leave JFK on Friday, Narita on Saturday, and land in Bangkok on Sunday. Fly to Siem Reap for Angkor 3 days, Bangkok 3 days, bus to Kanchanaburi and barge on the River Kwai, Bridge on River Kwai, Suphanburi Bird Sanctuary, Kamphaeng Phet, Sukothai, Chiang Mai, Tachilek in Burma, Mae Ping Elephant Camp, Chiang Rai, Bangkok 3 days, Hanoi 3 days, Halong Bay, long return from Bangkok.

Turkey (2001): Istanbul 3 days, fly to Ankara, bus to Kapadokya, Gorem, Uchisar, Kymakli, Konya, Antalya, Phasalis, Myra, Gocek, Bodrum, Halicarnassus Mausoleum, Kusadasi, Ephesus, Pergamon, Troy, Gallipoli, Istanbul 2 days.

Yangtze River (2001): 5.5 hour flight to San Francisco, 12 hour flight to Shanghai. Bus to Suzhou. Train to Hangzhou 2 days. Beijing 4 days. Xian 1 day. Chungching 1 day. Board Princess Elaine on Yangtze River to Fengdu, Wushan, Three Gorges, Gezhouba Dam. Off ship at Wuhan, fly (in lightning storm!) to Guangzhou, train to Hong Kong 2 days. Shenzhen tour on my own. Fly to Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam 4 days. Fly to Hong Kong, San Francisco, NYC.


South Pacific (2001): Fly NYC-LA-Papeete. Board Aranui: 2 days to Takapoto in the Tuamotus, 2 days to Ua Pu in the Marquesas, then to Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, back to Hiva Oa, Ua Huka, Nuku Hiva for 9 days in the Marquesas. 2 days to Rangiroa in the Tuamotus, then fly to Moorea 7 days. Fly to Easter Island 3 days. Fly to Papeete 1 day, Bora Bora 2 days, Fiji (Suva and Nadi) 6 days, Rarotonga 4 days, visit Aitutaki, fly Rarotonga-LA-Denver-NYC.


Caves/France/Spain: Madrid 4 days, via Bilbao (no museum yet) to Santillana del Mar 2 days, Altamira Cave, Biarritz 2 days, St. Bertrand de Commingues, Pujols, Gargas, Niaux, and Pech Merle Caves, Sarlat, Domme, Les Eyzies, Lascaux Cave, Bordeaux 4 days, Paris 6 days. Lascaux Cave now officially closed to EVERYONE.

Vienna/Krakow (2001): 9 days in Vienna, since I'd never been there before, and 6 days in Krakow, since we'd heard it was so beautiful, and took a side trip to Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.


Amazon (2000): Miami 5 days, fly to Lima, then Iquitos to Jungle Lodge 1 day, then board Lyubov Orlova and start toward Belem. Visit Boros and Huitotos villages, Peruate and Lago Cahocuma. Stop in Leticia, Colombia, and fall on (sabotaged?) planks and get 8 stitches in lower lip for $40 in Hospital San Rafael de Leticia. Zodiac on Rio Urutubinha, Parana do Jacora, Lago Uara, Boca do Cuxui Muni, Boca do Justica, Rio Badajos, Lago Anori, and Manaus for a day. Furo do Moara, Lago Carauac, Boca do Boto, Bio Balajo, Alter do Chao, Breves Narrows, off ship in Belem. Fly via Recife to Miami, Charlotte, and Newark.

2And then the 125th Anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge fireworks went off from 8:48-8:59PM, which were perfectly positioned on the two barges to be seen from my balcony, and I finish this up, ready to get the datebooks from 1981, 1997, 2000, and 2001 for the detailed itineraries of the next four trips, but I've decided to have dinner and watch The Adirondacks on Channel 13 before trying to get to bed about 10PM to continue my too-slow time-change for Iceland THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW! Finish dinner at 10PM and at 10:20PM take two Advil, a diazepam, and an Ambien, plus 4 grams vitamin C and two aspirin. Sneeze thrice, not usual even when I HAVE a cold. Bed at 10:30PM but stay awake long enough to see the clock just past 11PM; I'm not doing very well in changing my time.

FRIDAY, 5/23/08: Wake at 4:08AM, doze to 5:52, pee, and take 2 Suphendrin and a swig of DayQuil. 6:10, very mucus-y, I am sort of comforted that it's just white, though I always feel just a bit feverish. Up at 6:37AM and have breakfast early, do the TV Guide and Sun sudoku and puzzles, then do a total of TWENTY trip descriptions, which I add to pad this out a bit, and then put it into a separate Memo 12 that I e-mail Tris at 2PM, after printing out (the new printer is SUCH a great thing to have---almost as life-changing as changing from the direct-dial modem to the whatever-it-is new modem on my Dell desktop) the It's About Time contract and e-mailing that I'll MAIL it back, when I mail Marj's flash drive tomorrow when I leave for the plane. Had gotten out the Melitonin, and Googled Iceland's time-zone to find that it's FOUR hours difference between us (something for my Olympus camera's Alternate Time slot!). So I took my first small-quarter-of-3-gram tablet at 2PM, yet to figure when I take it tomorrow and the subsequent days. My cold just makes me feel so DRAGGY! If, before, I didn't feel like doing anything productive, I now REALLY don't feel like doing anything productive. My "desired" Epitome of My Life would have included things like my delight in finally being able to print out myself dressed as a Sheik in Morocco, and a copy of the turtle eggs from Surinam, as well as a letter-perfect, down to the colors, contract from It's About Time. My printer messed up so much that I had to change ribbons and put in a fragment of six or seven sheets where the binding strip got caught in the roller wheels. Now at 2:47PM I think I'll start sorting through things so I can at LEAST see what MORE I have to do today, adding to my Friday list: 1) Call John to water plants, 2) Call M. for sonogram results, 3) Buy cold medicines, 4) Fill pillbox, 5) Take Melitonin, 6) Finish NOTEBOKF, 7) E-mail to Tris and phone, 8) Check Iceland weather, and 9) Check Juno, which oddly turned out to have NO new mail, so I suspect something's WRONG there---and messed up my e-mails on my Dell when I forgot to turn the modem back ON after trying Juno with the new modem off, as it must be off. 3:45PM: RIDICULOUS how much these makers of things take for granted: I turn on my camera to cancel all the photos I've already taken and transferred to the computer, and it says "Battery is empty." Perfect timing! So I take the batteries out of the camera, and they are NOT rechargeable! I open the recharger and take out the batteries that come with the recharger, and put them into the camera, and the "Battery is empty" sign still comes on! THEN I read the small print on the back of the package (not on the container that HOLDS the batteries---oh, no!) that says "Charge these batteries before using them for the first time." How GLAD that I read that at 3:30PM rather than, like, 11AM tomorrow morning! But I ONLY took about 75 photos, so the batteries don't last very long! So I'll have to TAKE the recharger AND both sets of rechargeable batteries---having decided NOT to take the SMALLER digital as a BACKUP, since I STILL don't know how THAT one works. Go through the mail and find that the "explanatory letter" from John Hancock came about a WEEK after I got the mysterious bill that said I owed $154 by April 15 (impossible), AND that my account was paid up until April 2009. So I wrote "It would have been nice to get this BEFORE I got the bill" on the letter and enclosed it with the payment (and the 5/20 postmark that the letter dated 5/12 came in). AND just got the Visa bill, which I SHOULD have reminded myself I'd better check before I left, but I didn't, but here it IS NOW so I can write a check and pay it before I go---after I clear my desk of the OTHER junk that's covering it. And of course when I turn around in my desk chair to check the printer, it pulls the battery charger off the desk and spills the four batteries all over the floor. NICE! And I'm feeling increasingly feverish: think I'll take my TEMPERATURE! Of course, as usual, it's 98.2°. [Another E to change, Marj.] 6:15PM: Wash dishes, decide to update my index-done list, which is difficult because pages and records are very scattered. Finish that at 6:50PM, getting hungry, since I had lunch at 2PM, a not very filling tuna salad. Desk still loaded with stuff, and my energy level is WAY down. 7:30PM, finished with dinner, thinking, "At this time tomorrow, I'll be in Boston waiting for the plane to Iceland." Green trees brilliant below in the waning sun. The ten-minute fireworks last night almost made me wish I had some sort of video recorder, because the bridge changed colors and blue spotlights cut through the air. Just found out that the list of titles almost exactly fills a page, so if I can get to the bottom of this (page 98), that can be page 99 and might just as well pass for 100 to give to Marj. 8:40PM: My desk is FINALLY cleared: the only two items left on my list, above, are buying cold medicines and finishing NOTEBOKF, both of which I'll do tomorrow, adding 10) PACK. Maybe I'll just try going to bed NOW: it's dark out enough, I'm tired enough, and it's already 12:43AM in Iceland: HIGH TIME that I should be in bed by now! But at 9PM it occurs to me to find WHAT ORDER the notebooks should be in, and find that NOTEBOOKD, which I'm correcting, ends 12/14/02; and NOTEBOOKE, which Marj is currently working on, maybe even ending, goes to 3/21/06. But my NOTEREPL starts 5/30/07, so what comes between? Turns out to be JV\NT1-98.DOC, which goes from 3/21/06 to 5/23/07, which I add to her flash drive and make a note to phone her tomorrow after 11AM and TELL her about it: that will become NOTEBOOKF. When she finally gets my finished NOTEREPL, after she sends me NOTEBOOKE to correct, I can send her NOTEREPL as NOTEBOOKG! Finally get to bed at 9:30PM, after taking 6 grams Vitamin C, 2 Advil (the last), a swig of DayQuil, a diazepam and an Ambien, which worked so well last night, with lots of water. COUGH a lot, sadly. Up at 10:10PM for two Fisherman's Friends.

SATURDAY, 5/24/08: Pee at 3:02AM. Take two more cough drops and try to prop my head up in bed to lessen coughing. Cough to 3:25 and take two DayQuil capsules. Think to compare Visa/MasterCard/AmEx for foreign-exchange charges on their 24-hour telephone services. Try Actualism a few times, but it doesn't take hold, so I'm up at 4:39AM, figuring it's already 8:39AM in Iceland, "late" tomorrow morning. Type this to 4:58AM. 5:30AM: Both Visa and MasterCard charge 3% foreign transaction fees. AmEx charges 2%, but I realize I don't know a PIN number for my AmEx card, so they give me a temporary number of 2620, good for ONE transaction in a 7-day period for a maximum of $500, which should get me through Iceland and Greenland, although I seem to remember that they charge me 3% on a CASH withdrawal, though I don't need a PIN number if I'm charging something at a restaurant or hotel. Good work! Have breakfast by 6AM, start packing, discarding papers from before trip, consolidating what I've already paid, taking spare cards out of wallet, and checking that I've transferred all my AlphaSmart Trinidad work so I can clear it. Well into packing by 7:15AM, but slightly sweaty and throat-sore, coughing enough to hurt my stomach. DAMN! TRIS phones from his car at 7:45AM on the way to play tennis, and I tell him I'm awake for getting used to Iceland time, but he should NEVER call before 9AM. He likes my memo, but I confuse him by saying that NOTEBOOKA is DIARY, and when I look at the DIARY page (for which I told him to put a comma after "else,") I find that DIARY should be only pages with TITLES, and that the NOTEBOOKS are really the JOURNALS, which should be organized into decades and years JUST LIKE DREAMS ARE NOW. I phone to make sure I clarify this, and must check after I get back. Call for car service at 1:30PM. Sweaty; coughing HARD. 11:30AM: Just talked to Marj, who discouragingly talked about her TWO-WEEK cold, as my stomach is hurting ALREADY from coughing since Wednesday. Was happy I postponed getting cold medicines until this morning, because I found out I had NO toothpaste for the trip, so I could get that, too, along with lots of mail, most of the Sunday Times, and my HSBC bill to balance. Just two hours until the car, and still have lunch and packing to finish. 1:08PM: Finally closed the black bag, with some difficulty, at 24 pounds, and the shoulder bag at 13 pounds, for a total of 37 pounds. Took cash of $241.45, and so far have paid $6,144 for the trip. Forgot some prior notes: 1) made a list of "still to pack" that included sweater, jacket, water bottle, and sunglasses, 2) took a swig of DayQuil at 6:11AM, 3) at 8:30AM checked Juno AGAIN (while taking about 20 minutes to forward the Moroccan photos to my Dell, and then I PRINTED them at last) and did get TEN messages, so something WAS wrong before, and 4) took a Valium at 12:50PM, ready for a rough evening, not least with my coughing. Now to change clothes at 11:11PM, waiting for car. TRAVEL:ICELAND

SATURDAY, 6/7/08: Type dream [DREAMS:6/7/08] 2:41-2:48 and pee. Think about it, then get up to j/o 3:07-4AM, having a rougher time, but actually oozing cum. Up at 7:12AM, put stuff away, check Juno to 7:55AM, play Spider 7:55-8:50 to a slightly better score, have breakfast while going through the two Suns left me, and read the Saturday Times completely, cutting out puzzles for later, phone Charles to find he doesn't have his ballet ticket and hadn't remembered that it was at 2PM! We agree to meet at the House Manager's post at 1:40PM. I phone Spartacus, who puts me off at 11:40AM, when I have to leave for the gym, which I rush through, get home for a partial bowl of soup for lunch, and at 1:10PM get to the Clark Street Station to find there's NO service to Manhattan: take the train to Borough Hall and transfer to the 4 to go uptown. Spit "Shit" out and dash for the A-line, which ALSO has no service to Manhattan, no C running; take the A to Jay Street and go to West 4th Street! Curse, time passing, lots of people waiting, the A goes on the F line through interminable Lower East Side stops while my watch gets closer and closer to 2PM. Get to 59th Street AT LAST, left off on the east side of CPW, dash up Broadway to get to Met at 2:11PM: no Charles, I have to go to auditorium for Etudes, which, without Beloserkovsky, isn't very good, and the audience isn't even bringing them out for a curtain call. Upstairs to find NO Charles, others sitting in our seats, so I sit in A1 despite woman behind me who says I'm too tall for her to see over. Twyla Tharp's Rogue and Rabbit has a sexy Gomes and a limber Sasha Radetzky, with Carreno beautiful in "Gamelon," whatever that means. The Elfman music is all over the place and there's no THERE there, as I say to many. Home on a subway that at least goes via 72nd Street, though local all the way, and get the special egg foo yung at Great Wall and gobble down one portion while watching the start of City of Ghosts, written, directed, and starring Matt Dillon. Do the TV Guide sudokus, play Spider 6:25-8:35, with the air conditioner on, since it hit 93° today, to a new high of 50.03595 after 8 wins with 11 more won than lost, then decide to transfer the AlphaSmart files while taking care of the blessedly small stack of stuff to handle from my 14-days' absence. Then at 10PM take it into my head to transfer my photos, which goes smoothly (after a tenuous start when things don't begin immediately) until 10:45PM, then decide to watch the slide-show: some GREAT pictures, some to discard, lots to turn right-side-up, and that goes to 11:57, when I'm exhausted, have the rest of the soup that I didn't finish for lunch, take my night pills, and get to bed at 12:15AM SUNDAY, almost on schedule!

SUNDAY, 6/8/08: Pee at 6:01AM, doze a bit, think, then start playing with my cock at 7:14AM, get back to porno and cum sorely by 8:20AM, checking to find the Sunday Times isn't outside. Check again at 8:30, still absent, so I phone them and go through agonies of number punching until they say it'll be delivered this afternoon. Then, of course, the Times is plunked in front of my door at 8:45AM, so I go through MORE numbers, leaving a message they obviously get, since there's no Times outside at 5PM when I check. Phone Steve to say I won't be going to the MAN nudist Summer Camp, and he said he wasn't expecting me to. Read the Sunday Times with breakfast about 8:45, finish it about 11AM; pick up Bill's Times 11:15-11:30; leave word with Shelley at 11:30; talk to Sherryl, who loved my postcard, to 12; leave word with Carolyn; talk to Mildred 12-12:15, who'll look at the Attorney General's corrections to our black book when we dine on Tuesday; and talk to Marj 12:15-1:10, and again 1:15-1:50, playing Spider to another new high, 50.0392, between roughly 1:15-1:45, when Paul C. calls to ask to stay with me the first week of August. Never an empty moment! Lunch of more egg foo yung, finishing City of Ghosts to 3:45, then hunt through and find my "missing" Saturday puzzle, ordered a new Neo for $228.39 to replace my ailing AlphaSmart, look at PowerPoint projectors but don't quite decide to buy a used one from Amazon for $805.49. Then decide to catch up with these notes to 5:18, sitting with air conditioner at my feet in the 90°+ temperature. Then re-proofread the entire trip, finding more errors, italicizing magazines, and switching dreams to the dreams file. Finish this part at 7:10PM, willing to continue with proofing DREAMS. Finish proofing DREAMS at 7:30PM, my eyes starting to glaze over. There was some thunder previously, but the skies remained bright and the predicted rain hasn't fallen yet. Eat a frozen meal from before trip for dinner, and watch the start of The Angel Levine before I just switch off and go to bed at 11:45PM.

MONDAY, 6/9/08: Wake twice, but don't have to pee, and finally out of bed at 7:27AM. Catch up on all the papers Bill gave me, finishing the last of the Times, then have breakfast and brush teeth thoroughly to 11:35PM finishing The Angel Levine. Mildred called to try to change dinner from tomorrow, but I talked her out of it. Ken called to make sure I'd rather pay a $6 ticket fee rather than going to Carnegie Hall and picking up my ticket in person. Hot outside as it's been the last two days, and I decide I MUST get to unpacking! Put stuff away and souvenirs in a box, since I have so many, and watch what I hadn't already seen of The Adirondacks. Then to Fedora's with Steve at 8PM, having a perfectly mediocre eggs a la Russe, lasagna, and decent cherry pie, with a glass of white wine.

TUESDAY, 6/10/08: Only note for the day: pee at 7:12AM, having slept through the night. Then watch Reefer Madness with Alan Cumming, and decide to devote the rest of the afternoon to watching Tristan und Isolde from the Met, telling Carolyn I'll call her back later, which I do after I get back from the gym before meeting a sour Mildred at Prune at 6PM, for a good Parmesan cheese omelet and sweetbreads, stopping in at Whole Foods for an enormous (and enormously sweet) piece of carrot cake. The Sun is still being delivered, so I do those puzzles, too. Do Spider 9:45-11:10 to a new high of 50.05549, with an excess of 17 wins over losses. Brush my teeth thoroughly because I'm aware I get my gold crown tomorrow, and get to bed at 12:10AM, tired, somewhat cooled because it finally rained to cut the spell of temperatures in the 90s.

WEDNESDAY, 6/11/08: Wake at 3:50AM and take a Valium to ease my visit to the dentist today, up at 8:24AM to shave, call Bill at 9:30AM, just at the boundary of when he's OK to be called, to find that Village Playwrights IS performing tonight at the Wings Theater, and then try to make an appointment with Dr. C. but have to wait until 3PM Friday, later trying to call Dr. M., who's on vacation until the 25th, but Pat says Dr. C. can access my sonogram results on his computer. Get to D. at 10:27, and in until 11:35, leaving the next cavity, next to the new gold crown, until after I get back from St. Petersburg. Have Sharon on my schedule at 5:30PM, having decided before to call her to CHECK on her being there, but decide that's going too far; I'll just go, and if she's not there it won't be any worse than I might have expected. Now at 3:30PM I'm getting to the bottom of page 100 of NOTEREPL, which will become NOTEBOKG, and I'll put it on a diskette so it won't be lost, and start a new NOTEREPL, as I also have to start a new DREAMS, which is currently OVER a hundred pages!