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2008 August To October

FRIDAY, 8/1/08: 5:35AM: Having been awake since my dream [DREAMS:8/1/08] at 4:03AM this morning, I took a Valium and peed for the third time, and then, after noting that file 5 is current dreams and file 4 is Universo-Maniac, I start typing this just to get it out of my mind and onto print: this is MY universe; it obeys, even in retrospect, MY will. Take, for example, the fireworks on Tuesday after Carolyn's dessert on her rooftop. The woman who joined us asked what the purpose of the fireworks were: her presence proved that "my" universe contains everyone in it. The fireworks hadn't been planned by anyone, for any reason, until, at about 9:28PM that night, I idly said, "I was waiting for the fireworks; I'm sorry there weren't any." MY universe read my comment as a WISH for fireworks, and, in the multidimensionality of ALL universes, the sequence of TIME is as negotiable as the distance from right to left that I can move my fingers as I type: time, in my universe, turned BACK, however many days or weeks or even months that would be necessary for everyone concerned with the event to PLAN, PRODUCE, and ACCOMPLISH the fireworks at 9:28PM on Tuesday: they invented, of course in their OWN universe which had its effects in MY universe, a reason for the fireworks, a program of components, the production of the components, the chartering of the barges, the positioning of them, with attending surrounding police boats to keep away all the other observers (who, prior to 9:28PM Tuesday, might have been doing whatever THEY had determined to do in THEIR universes), and set off the fireworks when I wanted them to. If there is mania, then there is megalomania, which encompasses a broader scale, and then, for me, there is UNIVERSO-mania, which encompasses my entire UNIVERSE, bending it to my will both retrospectively and (what's the opposite?) antespectively? These thoughts accompanied (or caused, or were the result of, depending on the "angle" of time when they occurred) anxiety, which may have caused or been caused by shortness of breath, which may have caused or been caused by palpitations, so that I, in my narrow "present" before expanding Universo-maniacally, feared I might be dying, and worried (so that I added to my list of things to do today) that the management wouldn't have been informed that my emergency-entry keys have been transferred from Bob Lambiase's care to Spartacus's care, so SPARTACUS would have to be contacted if, in fact, I died in my apartment and Paul arrived about 10PM to find that he couldn't enter my apartment (except, now that I think of it, HE has a copy of my keys WITH him, doesn't he? [No, as it turns out, he doesn't.]) because---but I never lock my door ANYWAY, so he COULD enter my apartment without ANY keys! [and bizarrely, just after 9PM, as I sat shirtless eating dinner at my dining table, the door opened, the hall light was turned on, and I called out, "Gee, you're early," thinking it was Paul, and it turned out to be the crazy guy with the dog that I think I kept from having this apartment when he sued to do so, who said, "Oh, my mistake, I thought it was 21K"; so he DID get his K-line apartment, one floor OVER me???]---I was dead. But I started Actualism with a vengeance, hoping that the energies would keep me alive even though an embolism might be racing to occlude a vital artery, or fibrillations might cause my heart to stop pumping the requisite amount of blood to keep my systems functioning, and I hope to outrun the course of my death to transcribe these thoughts, and at least NOTE that they're here in file 4, so that some percipient person might download the files and preserve my "final" thoughts, though now that I "realize" my control in my universe, I won't die now, and WILL transcribe these notes into the MY\NH file, and it WILL be a part of my website---though I have to resist my disappointment that it hasn't been discovered ALREADY, proclaimed by my e-mails being filled with people already enthralled by my journals, dreams, travels, histories, stories: items already present, some for many months, and still no one has started the cascade of recognition of the value of the site and started it on its path to world-wide recognition, respect, and notoriety that would somehow result in MONEY that I so desperately need to continue working on it and to continue to pay my bills for Tris and Marj and my trips. And why couldn't have the "250-page book from ASME" have REALLY been a "multi-book, multi-index math or literature series," as in the past, that resulted in at LEAST $30,000 income to be spent on travel, so that I didn't have to worry about the diminishment of my Schwab One account, and the need to cash in more bonds to pay my bills before they become past due---or before I have to borrow a small number of thousands of dollars from Shelley to pay the bills until my checks from ING and Scudder arrive, if only to pay for the current Choice Visa bill, which should be mailed out today, and maybe I DO have enough in my HSBC account to pay for THAT "something like $1700" that is due the first week of this month---which adds to my anxiety: when it was still July I had the consolation that my next trip wasn't until NEXT month, but now it's THIS month, albeit not until the 28th, and I haven't REALLY caught up on the St. Petersburg trip yet, and feel that I have to start planning for the 9 days in Barcelona while Ken is catching up on his first trip there, while I'm trying to figure what would be an unacceptable repetition of visits to places I've already seen, and looking forward to the "serendipitous" day-trips to Sitges and the Balearics, which will take me away from the repetitions of the Parc Guell and the Sagrada Familia, to which I've already had three visits, though there's always a new facet to be photographed, since I'd been there before, and maybe a NEW tower to climb aside from the first tower the first time, and the second tower the second time. Not to mention getting the pages from my former trips to see what I DID do and see, where I ate, how I spent my time, how I got around, though I still haven't been INSIDE the Batlo and other core buildings of Gaudi, and then have the daily balance between fatigue and urge-to-see that will result in fruitful adventures and evenings when I'm just ready for a Ken-urged drink before dinner just to relax from a busy day without adding too many other activities: though I have no idea what ballets or operas or exhibits might be current, meaning I have to search the Internet for dates and possible reservations, meanwhile checking with Ken to see what nights are already reserved, and maybe even his suggested going to his place and copying out my OWN itinerary from his notes, while returning his tapes and maybe getting new ones, all things to occupy MY time while Paul is here trying to fill HIS time, and I'm trying to remain as independent of his activities as possible. I seem to have come to the end of my steam by 6:06AM, having been already awake for over two hours, bedding at 11PM, meaning I should be able to sleep for my eight hours until 9AM, and then get the apartment SOMEWHAT ready for Paul's advent, though I really don't give a CARE what he thinks about whatever mess may confront him---and I STILL have to get MANY files to Tris to process, not to mention getting started on proofing Marj's latest transmission, after getting all the paperwork off my desk! No scarcity of things to do, though I'm consoled that I have ONLY The Zoo to watch to be finished with Ken's tapes, though who KNOWS how many tapes Spartacus may have lined up for me: specials, The Tudors, Channel 13 items I may have missed, operas and ballets I'd never heard of. So much to do, so little time, especially if I'm about to die in the next few hours. Maybe now the Valium is kicking in and I'll be able to stop this at 6:10AM, satisfied that I've captured my current tumultuous state of mind, now hopefully tranquilizing with the Valium. Up about 8AM. Write a $1722.81 check for Choice Visa (which has to be changed AGAIN because a customer's database was "compromised," but she says the BILLER will be told to call me for the new information, and for three months THEY will transfer the bills to the new number), then realize I don't have enough left to pay Cadman! Phone Shelley, who says she'll loan me $1000 at 2:15PM, and then Tara calls with a PDF-file index that she WON'T print into pages, so I agree to TAKE it, but can't download it before visiting Shelley, taking out laundry, depositing $1000 cash, buying groceries, and returning at 2:45PM for a much-needed lunch. Tara calls, takes me to the computer, and we get THROUGH to files from 4-4:20PM, when she congratulates me, saying she's taken up to an hour with OTHERS trying to download PDF files. Competition! Talk with Marj about it for half an hour. I work on index to page 126 4:50-7PM, not bad: 200 records for 242 lines, but with NO index specifications yet! Then start worrying about Paul's arrival: eat dinner, clear stuff off dining-room table at last, do dishes, put out new soaps and towels, and he calls from the airport at 10PM to say the plane had been delayed on takeoff and on the landing. He gets here 10:30, gives his customary two bottles of champagne, and has to get to St. Luke's by 8AM! I show him how, and we get to bed just after 11PM. Hard to go to sleep with him tossing and turning beside me, but on the outside side.

SATURDAY, 8/2/08: 5:30 dream note [DREAMS:8/2/08]. Up at 6:30AM to talk about dinner tonight, which he said would be his treat, and I'm back to bed until 7:10, when I'm up for breakfast, then start sorting piles of things to do. Gordon Ramsay is totally booked tonight, but Telepan will take us at 5:30PM. At 10:30 I transfer files 4 and 5 from Neo, proofing them, and I've got LOTS of pages to type! I start transcribing notes; listen to a cassette with a Dennis short reading, then put it aside for Ken's copy of Song of the Forests. Spartacus calls to say there's no Manhattan-bound 2, 3, or A trains, so Paul had to backtrack this morning, and we have to backtrack at about 4:30 to get to Telepan by 5:30. Spartacus also tells me how to get MTA information. Paul gets back about 1PM, eating the lunch he got there, and OKs Telepan. So now at 1:25PM I finish with the accumulated notes and can get to other financial piles. Try to exit, and get "Put 'WordPerfect 2' disk back in drive and press any key"---WHAT THE HELL? Try many things, but it won't change, finally hit ESC and get back to desktop. Return to MC\NH and for a horrible moment think that everything's been erased, but then skip backwards and find it's all there, to my great relief! Try leaving AGAIN at 1:35PM!

SHARON B. 73                                                  8/6/08

In to start out complaining about Paul, quoting Spartacus: "As you get older, you value your privacy much more." Then went to the dream from August 6 that I'd printed out on two pages (13-14), and she absolutely flipped over it. She said it was a perfect example of how I let my fears and frustrations out in my dreams, and we could talk about it through this and even other sessions. Her primary point was that I felt I had no one to talk to when I wanted support, or didn't get the support I wanted from the people I talked to: they wanted more from me than they gave in return, though I had to mention Shelley who loaned me the $1000 without even asking for any kind of IOU. AND mentioned the support Marj gave me when we talked on the phone. Sharon kept referring back to my past, when I didn't get much appreciation for the person I was (or was becoming), and felt lonely much of the time. I talked of the extreme fatigue I felt at times in St. Petersburg, and how I thought it might be the last trip of that kind I'd ever take, and she again sympathized, saying it must be a very difficult feeling to own up to, but that I WAS, in fact, owning up to it, which was courageous of me. My main concern was about my irritability: even grumbling about the stranger, thirty paces from me on the way to this meeting, who carelessly threw trash in the general direction of an open garbage can. I just wish I had a button (as so many times in the past for so many things: flying abroad, dental appointments, visits from unwanted guests) that would simply ELIMINATE my consciousness of the entire experience. I mentioned that Paul importuned me a few times for sex, but I had no real difficulty in just brushing it off. But I still didn't like my absence of sexual feelings. Looked forward to his leaving. In fact, I didn't even transcribe this session until Friday morning at 8:15AM, just a few hours before Paul, at last, leaves. (Return to end of SHARON72). (Go to NOTEBOOK:SHARON74).

SATURDAY, 8/9/08: Should have written this in the morning, but didn't: called Marj just to tell SOMEONE that I had an enormous feeling of HAPPINESS this morning! Paul had gone, and I'd sent Tris both the Indexing Handbook and Gain, as well as adding 12 travel files to Marj's flashdrive. Paul had moved the CD rack that I got from 21K on Wednesday to block my view over the balcony to Manhattan from my reading chair, and I wanted to move it "eastward," sorry that I had to scrub the shelves from their encrusted dust. But then it hit me that I could TURN IT OVER, and then, so near my little souvenirs, I realized with a delightful shock that THIS was the "tchotchke" cabinet that I've wished for since I moved into this apartment. Put a few items from in front of the speaker onto the shelves, just to see they fit, and felt DELIGHTED with it. Also got the Saturday Times, found that it had a diagramless, which I have to do here because it's awkward anywhere else, and I actually SOLVED it by 9:30AM, having started at 9AM. Had breakfast, watching the end of the National Geographic program on the first Chinese emperor, and the beginning of the program Inside the Koran, which was just about what I expected, so I didn't feel that I HAD to see the end. And just felt very, very happy about my entire situation: waiting for my check to clear to pay off Shelley, Tris, and Marj; feeling good about the upcoming Spain-France trip, and just feeling GREAT!

SUNDAY, 8/10/08: 5:08AM: Woke, thought about the details of the dream [DREAMS:8/10/08] with the aim to transcribing them, got up to remember only the LAST fragment, and then lay back down, after peeing, to CONTINUE trying to remember the forgotten beginnings of the dream: was it traveling somewhere, something about sex, something about relationships with people? Tried Actualism as a way of clearing my mind so that the details might come back, wondering if the dream had some content that I---should?---didn't want to?---was repressing because I was AFRAID to?---remember. Thought about Alzheimer's, about the video with Paul, and tried playing with myself to see if I wanted to get up, watch the video of us jerking off to see if it would be exciting, but not getting sexually excited. Just go back to sleep? But SOMETHING was up (if not my penis) and I felt that some insights might be gained (or mere details added) if I got up and started typing a journal entry. Thought of phoning Tris and saying the "front matter" of the Indexing Handbook should be MOVED to the front, so it wouldn't be confusing by being left at the end. Vaguely hoped that going through the Actualism pattern would either put me back to sleep, or reveal more dream-content, or clarify an urge to jerk off, or---lead me to type all this on Neo in the hopes of clarifying in my own mind just what was going on, what I wanted to do---now that Paul was gone and I had the FREEDOM to do whatever it was I wanted to do: I could TRY to jerk off, and if it wouldn't work, eliminate that as "something to do" and try to get back to sleep. Or just get these confused and confusing thoughts "out" and turn the light off and get back to sleep. But I had, originally, really wanted to recollect the dream details so that Sharon would have something to work with in my ongoing---is the appropriate word ANALYSIS or "merely" THERAPY? I wanted to PLEASE her by giving her more details, and, as I said, maybe my not remembering them "means" that I WANT to suppress them, or I'm only "punishing" myself for NOT remembering them? Try to make this clear: I want, at this moment, to do what's "right" under these circumstances. First I tried thinking about what the dream could have been about, but that failed. Then I tried Actualism to clarify what my next step would be, and that resulted in my putting the light on, getting  my glasses and Neo, and typing this, after it seemed that I couldn't "tweak" myself into feeling that I really wanted to get up and try to jerk off. Now at 5:24AM I'm as uncertain as ever about what to do. Try to watch the video to see if it's arousing? Just finish this and get back to sleep? Take a sleeping pill for the 4-5 hours of sleep I feel would still be left this morning? I guess I've at least finished typing because there's nothing more to communicate except worthless words: no real FEELINGS (reminded that Sherryl seemed almost to want to ANALYZE what it was about Paul's continuing visits that so annoyed me, as if she [like Sharon] suspected some UNDERLYING truth that I might be unwilling to admit, either to her or to myself), but unfortunately I'm feeling a bit hungry, so I might want to get up just to EAT something? A crux seems to be: I now have the freedom, since Paul's gone for two days now, to do WHATEVER I want, and I can't decide! Don't have the impulse to do anything specific: might as well just take a sleeping pill and start the day off "properly," rather than getting up to do anything (sexually or otherwise) else. 5:32AM: Pee and take a sleeping pill, in the process realizing that my urge to type NOW is partly due to my "getting at" myself for not typing journal entries (particularly my "feeling happy" yesterday morning) that I feel I "should" be typing; partly due to my "guilt" about not having finished with the details of my St. Petersburg trip, partly a wish that I WOULD feel more erotic (which, at this moment, I certainly don't), partly hoping that continuing typing might lead me to some insight that I might otherwise "miss." Maybe partly fearing that, if I stop typing, I'll try to get back to sleep and won't be able to, just wasting (should I have enclosed "wasting" in quotes?) more time NOT sleeping, NOT thinking productively, NOT typing? Well, whatever. Just turn Neo (just flashed on the fact that this was the name of the Keanu Reeves character in the Matrix series of movies) and the light off---do I need to shit?---and go back to bed. 5:58: eat a yogurt. 6:06AM: Finish yogurt, feel tired, shut Neo and light off and get into bed. Sleep quickly and get up at 9:22AM. 8:15PM: Actually finished the seven postcards "from" St. Petersburg (and not Florida!) that had been sitting on my desk FOR OVER TWO WEEKS! Recording what seems to be mainly female competition in the 2008 Olympics (and wondering who's making all the noise upstairs if the guy's DEAD). Just felt that I had to do SOMETHING for each day, since I've not printed ANY pages since I got back from the trip (except the two dream pages for Sharon), and have a LOT of that to catch up with, including the summary and photo pages from the trip itself.

MONDAY, 8/11/08: 9:30AM: Got up, looked for list of people I wrote St. Petersburg postcards to and couldn't find it, dressed, looked through John's stack to see if anything (postcard list, Puritan Pride $30 gift) had gotten mixed in with it, phoned him to get a reluctant "OK" that I bring his stuff back to him, and decide to take the Lonely Planet Guide, which he shruggingly accepted, and his postcard, which he didn't even bother to read. And mailed the other six postcards, making up a NEW list for responses. Saw Julio in the hall downstairs and asked why he didn't inspect my terrace yesterday, and he insisted he checked every one on 21 and 20, even calling those who didn't respond, and couldn't figure why he hadn't checked mine: "Maybe I flushed the toilet the second you rang my bell," I suggested lamely. He said, "Wait a second," me standing at the elevator door, and came up with me to mark that I had water stains (not that I had STANDING water when it RAINED) and small cracks in the ceiling, and then I signed off on it. What would have happened (or not happened) had I not happened to see him in the hallway this morning? Determined to catch up with MUCH of the St. Petersburg trip TODAY, while going to the gym now that it's open after its three-day "maintenance" closure. 9:53AM: Looked through the current-mail stack, throwing everything away after emptying wastebasket and finding old postcard list, now replaced with new, and then searched through OLD throwaways for Puritan Pride $30 gift. 12:20AM: DETERMINED to find WHERE I put 1) Marj's sudoku hardcover trip-take book, and FIND it in trip-take bag on top of my dop kit, and 2) unused stamps from TWO of Marj's envelopes, going through ALL the trash, and find BOTH strips in her return envelope. This takes to 12:45AM!!

SHARON B. 74                                                  8/13/08

Take the dream from August 13 (on page 20) to talk about, saying right at the start, "I'm not going to do any editorializing; I'm just going to read it." I describe who Dennis was, and who Susan's Rick is, and emphasize that there was a distance between me and the dream, as if I were watching television, so there was no real emotion connected with the dream other that a kind of bemused astonishment at the bizarre combination of events. She immediately brought up the idea of castration, asking if I thought Mildred was trying to be castrating, but I said that she seemed to like battling STRONG people, so she wouldn't want to weaken me. I described yesterday's lunch in detail, after watching the two-hour program on Alzheimer's, which also might have affected the dream, particularly since I said I woke "with no particular thoughts in my head," until I remembered I had a dream and transcribed it. She said there was definitely a connection between the lunch and the dream, and then I sort of challenged her to compare the dream from last week, and she had the copy with her, with notes written on it, and said that there were similarities, particularly the "distance" from which I watched the events. I repeated my remark from a few weeks back about feeling as if I'd taken a Valium that morning, making me much less irritable than I would usually be. Was I being passive-aggressive? Not in holding my ground, which was what I had to do to maintain my self-respect, which was all that I seemed to be doing, though I kept saying that I listened to Mildred's remark about the much repeated "mathematics" alleged slur: why would she have given the RESPONSE, which I remembered, if I hadn't given the SLUR in the first place? But I said the better chance was that she MISINTERPRETED something I said, maybe in jest, and blew it out of proportion, which was not at all unusual for her. At the end Sharon asked if she reminded me of anyone else: my mother, for example. I said that for the FIRST time I felt like saying something like, "Yes, MOM, you reminded me about my slip of the tongue AT LEAST fifteen times in the past few weeks." She'd hate that even MORE than my comparing her with Spartacus, I was sure. But kept insisting that she was BADLY misled when she thought she could "know" people and their reactions when she hadn't even MET them! Glanced at the clock in full steam and was startled to see that it was already 6:15PM, and said a few last remarks and signed out at 6:20, not typing this note until 10:15 that evening. (Return to end of SHARON73). (Go to NOTEBOOK:SHARON75).

WEDNESDAY, 8/13/08: 10:28PM: Finally got the last of the St. Petersburg summary page, printed out all the pages, added the photo pages, sent the photo to the women in Russia, and started catching up on all the pages I hadn't printed since I got back from the trip. Print NOTEBOOK 13-17, but realize this is all the way up to page 23, none of which is going to make sense on the website. At least there's ONE good thing: the new printer ribbons are WONDERFUL, holding up darkly after DOZENS of pages being printed and still going strong.

FRIDAY, 8/15/08: 4:38PM: Had a late breakfast and reminded myself about 2:30 that I hadn't had lunch yet, but I ate the snack about noon, watching Willie and Phil, and just didn't feel hungry. I drank a lot of water and figured I'd be eating in about an hour and a half. Finally copied the pages for the SCRIE application, labeling it exactly as I got it, hoping she'll ignore the dividends again, and got a notice that the black ink was running out (the last copy dimmed at the top), so I did the last few pages in COLOR. That was the LAST item of my long-ago 7/31/08 do-list: 1) When gym closed? (It was the weekend AFTER Paul left); 2) PNR bank balance (and though Schwab insisted it wasn't a "regular" account, only a "brokerage" account, the last statement from ING said it was sent to the "account ending in 0292," and in fact on 8/4/08 my details on my Schwab One Account showed a deposit of the required amount, so I made a file for both my ING Direct papers and for my AARP/DWS Scudder IRA, both of which I liquidated 7/30/08); 3) Olympus photos to Dell (and I later edited about 200 photos out, happy that the file numbers remained the same, though the SEQUENCE numbers changed); 4) Pix to Eugenia (did that on Wednesday, and kept checking back for a response, but the only thing I got was a notice of a frequent-diner meal that I made a reservation for on 8/20); 5) Pages to SCRIE (today, at last!); 6) Print St. Petersburg and photos (which I did as I proofread the files AGAIN, finding about six mistakes); 7) St. Petersburg photo list (which I did in two parts about a week apart, but I'm still not sure how to USE them in connection with a probably DVD/TV show of the digital photos); 8) St. Petersburg summary page (which meant I had to get out the files for proper names); 9) Barcelona guidebook (but when I got the itinerary from Ken, and I tried to find maps, but they didn't show most places, I just gave up); 10) Call Danielle at IAT to find I'm still on their list (did that WAY early); 11) Tell Cadman I gave my keys to Spartacus (which I did when I looked at apartment 21K with him a week ago Wednesday). Another list thrown away! Also ordered Mark Morris tickets for May, 2009, and the Tudor Celebration on Halloween!---October 31, 2008, which they said should get here by mail before my trip. 8:10PM: Home outrageously early after a good dinner (though not really worth $61?) at db Bistro Moderne. Print out the last few pages which remained to be printed from the days of the trip, including, finally, this one. Then see if I can transfer Mildred's expiring Delta SkyMiles to my account, if Netflix will work on my computer now that I have a decent Internet service, and prepare to watch Michael Phelps win yet another gold medal at 10:10PM this evening on Channel 4.

SATURDAY, 8/16/08: Got to bed at 10:25PM, tried Actualism, but couldn't get to sleep by 10:50PM, remembered I hadn't taken my evening pills, so I go up and took an Ambien before the pills, and got quite quickly to sleep. Woke at 6:50AM to type a dream, [DREAMS:8/16/08] then at 7:50AM to type three MORE dreams, and hope the Times is outside now at 7:59AM.

TUESDAY, 8/19/08: 7:42AM: Get up at 7:30AM to type three dreams [DREAMS:8/l9/08], but my feelings in bed before that are remarkably complex: 1) I'm not quite rested, so I'm sore and stiff and tired. 2) I'm quite sure I'm experiencing palpitations: my heart feels squeezed and fluttery, and maybe I'm even short of breath. 3) However, it occurs to me that this is the SAME feeling, which I'd previously called anxiety, which I'd often experience when waking up on mornings just before a trip starting with a long jet flight: previously I'd simply attributed it to a fear of flying, but then, with "therapy," I thought I'd cured myself of that fear, and now it was a fear that my time would NOT be fruitfully occupied, that nothing would happen with my health or safety during the trip, and that all the plans would succeed. No flights would be canceled, no accident would happen to me personally, I'd enjoy what I'd planned to see, I'd be "traditionally" lucky and experience wonderful sights and foods and examples of good fortune that would make the trip as successful as any I'd taken in the past. That my increasing age wouldn't prevent my walking to see what was new, or rob me of sleep so that I'd be too tired to enjoy my experiences, or cripple me in some unexpected way, like permanent palpitations, or a stroke. What with Bill with his triple bypass before my last trip, Blanche's and Carolyn's strokes made known to me on the same day that I recall Susan is DEAD, and my palpitations, maybe I could be excused for waking and thinking maybe I should take a Valium before things get worse. Which I do now. 8:14AM: Took a Valium, with bottled water, then washed my face and hands, then sat to shit, having nothing to read (since both New York and New Yorker had double issues, which I've already finished, and Scientific American hasn't come in yet), so I resurrected the "read" New York Times Magazine and perused two articles that I'd originally skipped over: the economist who predicted a downturn two years ago, which seems to be coming true today, and which, he says, will get much worse during the next eighteen months before finally turning around; and the controversy over the declassification of St. Emilion wines, which was based more on the activity of competing lawyers ("according to the American system," as the article mentioned scathingly) than on the actual qualities of the wines themselves. Interesting, informative, and unread until circumstances demanded I read something while I sat on the throne. Add the fact that each morning my nose seems to run copiously for the first fifteen-twenty minutes upon arising. Add the fact that I reserved a place through Prime Timers at Leo's party on West 56th Street tonight at 7PM, for which I delayed my gym-date on Sunday, when it was inconvenient to combine my noon first-admittance time with my 2PM Games Group (which turned out fairly unpleasant with the addition of a Diane who burbled over EACH word she got in Boggle, was terribly self-conscious during the Charades, which Piri got going by suggesting that she and Cesar form one team and Barbara, Diane, and I form the second team, which obviously was inferior to the two-person team, who won). Yesterday and today are due for 90° temperatures and high humidity, which will make my body smelly and clammy by the time 7PM rolls around this evening, since I perversely kept the balcony door open after sweating to clean the mirrors behind the sofa and Oxy-Clean the wine spots on the carpet before walking over the moisture and soaking the bottom of my socks before going to the gym with an empty stomach at 2:15PM, at least getting THAT done after watering the plants on Monday, acclimating them to the transition to John's watering them on Tuesday, September 2, when he gets back from his trip to the nudist weekend, and then reverting to his habitual Sunday watering, which made me decide to postpone this week's watering to Monday and next week's watering to Tuesday to get the plants used to the NEXT Tuesday watering. Determined to dress and go down to pick up Monday's mail, which should contain at least ONE magazine to read, though last night I alternated between three hours on Everest, a Nova including sleep and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN without bothering to mention when it would start its operation, an interesting hour on milk, and a Savage Earth that didn't quite live up to Spartacus's praise of it. This was interspersed with views of the Summer Olympics, which brought up all kinds of scoring controversies: though I understood how they broke ties, it seemed arbitrary that they DEMANDED only one Gold Medal per contest, so that ties HAD to be broken; and then it DID seem to be true that they scored DOWN Americans compared with the Chinese, even though the judges were meticulously from OTHER countries, though one of the commentators remarked bitterly that four of the six judges were from countries who had NEVER won any gymnastic medals, so they had relatively little experience in what made a GOOD routine as opposed to a mediocre routine, giving the wrong scores to the wrong people, with references STILL made to the unlikelihood that some of the Chinese women were ACTUALLY sixteen years old. Got to bed just before midnight, tired, happily going to sleep after my usual evening tipple: 1) a glass of 3/8 boxed Almaden Burgundy, 3/8 sweet Takara plum wine, and three small ice cubes, followed by 2) an ice-filled glass of wonderful Amarula, the contents of the bottle going fast, and 3) a random selection of a second liquor: either Amaretto, Kahlua, Lingon- or Cloudberry or Apricot, and last night trying the avoided Ponche Caballero from Spain, not bad with ice cubes and prior inebriation. The temperature fell through the evening from 83° to 75°, even down to 71° in the morning, so I left the bedroom window open, disregarding the light coming around the edges of the black curtain, and left my bedroom door open, disregarding the light coming from that, since I was wearing my facemask. It wasn't that humid, either, which was a relief because I really don't want to consider another shower before going to Leo's at 7PM this evening. Watching The Tudors produced frustrations: the "first" episode of the second season seemed to be the LAST episode of the first season, repeated, though it was cut off in the last ten minutes before Cardinal Woolsey committed suicide, and then the next episode, presumably the first of the second season, was totally black, which meant I was thrown into the second episode without much of the detail of the missing first. Not the most satisfactory arrangement. Perversely kept the balcony door open during the mid-80s until it got dark, when I closed it fearing insect invasions toward the lights, and then the room got overwarm and I put the air conditioner on 74° as the temperature fell between 81° and 75° as the evening approached midnight. Now, typing, at 8:42AM, my palpitations have stopped, I removed the list of Sharon's dates from the end of this file (as I have to do with NOTEBOOKG before sending it off to Tris following three or four other checks), and still have on my do-list 2) Met Opera tickets, 3) check and send NOTEBOOKG, 4) call DiMatteo about the BB-pellet size hunk of silver that my pork dinner chewed out on Saturday evening from the outward middle of my lower-left-side wisdom tooth, 5) call Shelley in response to her message Sunday about taking the Costa ship to the five Persian Gulf countries in only a week, 6) Call Carolyn to check her status, and 7) Leo's party at 7PM. Yesterday managed to clean the last of the inside balcony windows and the behind-sofa mirrors, sweating before going to the gym; sprayed the wine spots on the carpet successfully, vacuumed part of the carpets, though there's still vacuuming to be finished, as well as kitchen and bathroom floors to scrub, and my overflowing souvenirs to file, all part of the details to be accomplished on this, my ninth day before departure with Ken to Barcelona. Keep saying to myself that it would be SO unusual if my body picked one of these days to die, since I've been in similar anxious periods in the past where I, in fact, did NOT die. My desk is loaded with CDs and DVDs, since yesterday was VERY fruitful in 1) backing up WP51, 2) making two CDs of my St. Petersburg photos, and 3) making two CDs of my Iceland/Greenland trip to send to Tris by mail to see if THAT will keep him busy until I get back from my NEXT trip. Finish this at 8:51AM, ready for the rest of the day: lots of Tudors to occupy my dining time, though I SHOULD go down for yesterday's mail! 4:20PM: VERY productive day: did EVERYTHING on the list, though some items aren't really finished yet: 1) Just left word with Dr. DiMatteo; she'll have to call me back, 2) Mark didn't answer when I called to ask about his mother; she'll have to call me back. 3) I DID finally get Fred on the phone. First he blamed James for throwing away my messages, then he said HE might have mislaid a list of thirteen messages he got after he got back from two weeks somewhere. Now that I think of it, NEITHER of us mentioned his Greenland photo with my magazines! 4) My Holter results aren't back yet, Chin is on vacation through September 2, but any doctor can read the results once they're returned: I should call Dr. Chin's secretary on Monday to see if they're back yet, since I WANT the results before my 8/28 trip departure. Decided to turn the two plants around, which took quite a time what with trimming and re-rooting many of the aloe plants, and then started to finish vacuuming. Thought it seemed rather weak on the pickup, and when I take the cover off the bottom I find the drive-band has snapped! Find two replacements (so I don't have to get new ones YET), and struggle and sweat and struggle to get the band on: first tried using a lever to get the band over the knob, but that just didn't work. Finally decided I HAD to put the roller into the slots AFTER putting the band over the knob, and struggled and struggled and FINALLY managed to do it. Finished vacuuming and later found MORE spots to which I applied the rug cleaner. But the living room at last looks good; vacuumed the bedroom, too. Went through the mail and had a long hassle with Lufthansa when their website for online reports didn't work, and finally had to go to their MAIN website and the woman on the phone talked me through it and I AT LAST registered, but will get the 500 miles maybe in December! Then had lunch and settled in to check NOTEBOOKG. Found 24 unbreaking hyphens and 21 section breaks, and later on checking dates (many of which had to be made into notes or there would have been repeated dates), I even found a page break that didn't belong. Switched it back to Word 6 to send to Tris, and I presume it'll mess up the 1/2, 1/4, cents, and degrees again. Took out the final headlines, even though I'll probably regret that later. Didn't even bother to inquire yet about sending the four CDs with the Iceland/Greenland and St. Pete photos. Eugenia requested I send Elena ANOTHER photo, since she didn't get the first one. Maybe the file is too big? Called Charles about the ordered Met Opera tickets, and we agreed to try to meet next week after I get the tickets, so I can see the Glass Factory and the gallery of Dali prints next door to it. See by my note that I forgot to check DayQuil in NOTEBOOKG. Tough! Finish this at 4:30 and get ready to clear my desk of CDs and start on the NEW files from Marj. ENDLESS! Do CAMBODIA and have to leave for Leo's. Get there just after 7PM and it's already jammed, but there's a fairly attractive younger (40s) guy who comes up the elevator with me, which tells me there'll be SOMETHING under 70 there. Leo's NOT the German: he's Russian, with one leg removed mid-thigh and the other foot just a fist-shaped stump that pushes him around in his wheelchair. The fat German IS there, as well as others that make him look like Twiggy in comparison, primarily a Hispanic who has to move everyone out of the way when he wants to come through a doorway. Old farts are paired off all over the place, with a young Asian having the only TRUE erection being serviced by a grizzly beard. I smell food cooking, but there are no drinks. Put my clothes into a plastic grocery bag, onto which I later put my glasses. Into the living room and sit on a cushion against the wall, and the young Thierry, as he introduces himself, sits next to me. He's from Brittany, which includes Rennes, but not Avranches, which is east of Mont St. Michel and thus in Lombardy (?) or some other province. I tell him about my trip to Barcelona, and he suggests I get to the silverdaddies site before my trip to get an assignation there. I then put my hand on his leg, so near mine, and he returns the gesture. When I reach for his left nipple, he acts (or feigns) as if this is heaven for him, and he starts caressing my body, and his idea of a first kiss is merely the touching of tongues, though later there's some semblance of romantic passion. We try, but don't really turn each other on, though his pre-cum is copious. Finally Leo lies on the floor and reaches out for Thierry, whom he knows from before, and I excuse myself to get some water. People cum around me, and someone who I was SURE was at least 80 turns out to be 73, and I thus have reluctance to tell anyone my age, since they probably wouldn't believe me, or subject me to such compliments that I wouldn't care for. Finally the turkey comes out, having baked for four hours, with potatoes and a good broth, with a finely chopped salad on the side, and I refill my ginger ale once. Look at my watch at 9:45PM and say I really must be going, and no one really protests, and I'm happy that someone found the Prime Timers newsletter and Thierry knows whom to call and where to go if he wishes, though he insists I e-mail him through silverdaddies, since he's the only "T" in his 40s, though there are many "T"s in the system. I get home, get caught up in the Olympics gymnastics, and get to bed about 12:15AM.

WEDNESDAY, 8/20/08: Wake at 2:24AM and decide to j/o, cumming at 3AM, then look up NOT to find tachycardia in EB, but somehow get redirected to an interesting article on histiography and go back to bed about 3:45AM. Up at 5AM with RACING heart, and I try to take my pulse between 5:01 and 5:02 and seem to get a count of 102, which alarms me. Go to pee and take my pulse with the bathroom watch and get a count of 82 at 5:05, then 80 at 5:10, skim through New Yorker until 6:30, taking a pulse of 78 at 5:55AM. Back to bed and wakened by the phone at 8:35AM, telling me to call DiMatteo's office back for a dental appointment at 11AM tomorrow for my lost filling-piece. Watch two more episodes of Tudors II, and had called Carolyn in the morning at LICH to get no answer, then at 12:40PM told that she's been discharged. Phone her at home and she apologizes for not letting me know she was home, feels "95%," and says she'll check for the address of the pizza place where she still plans to lunch with me at 1PM on Friday. I catch up with these notes and prepare to phone Marj at 1:10PM to go through the first of many travel journals.

SHARON B. 75                                                  8/20/08

Got in at 5:30PM to sign forms, establishing that next week will be our last until October 1. Check calendar and it's September 24! Tell her about my tachycardia this morning and all THAT involved; she assures me it's OK to take Valium with that. Then tell her about Leo's place last night, which she thought was interesting. She suggested that I might have had a DREAM, which I didn't remember, that woke me in an anxious state: she has patients to whom this often happens. She also suggested I call 1-800-HIP-HELP, but when I do, it's a nonworking number, and when I try the 1-800-HIP-TALK, it's strictly about business matters and NOTHING about help. Now at 6:38PM I've GOT to get ready for the BEARD! Phone her later to say I think I left my New Yorker on her office floor. (Return to end of SHARON74). (Go to NOTEBOOk:SHARON76).

THURSDAY, 8/21/08: 7:57AM: Wake at 7:35AM with a dreadful series of dreams [DREAMS:8/21/08], which I record, then think to catch up with this. Maybe I'll print out this page so I can take the dream page to Sharon when I retrieve my New Yorker today. Wake without the feeling of tachycardia I had yesterday, nor without a hangover from last night's wine. Debate about taking a Valium for the depressed feeling that came with the dreams. Guess I'll go to the gym before breakfast so I'll be clean for my dentist's appointment at 11AM. Maybe I can stop in to HIP for an emergency heart question after the gym and before the dentist. Feel slightly dissociated: I hope this isn't happening to ME, the ESSENTIAL me, or at least that the tachycardia and the dream don't portend some terrible event before I leave for and return from the 26-day trip to Spain and France with Ken that starts just a week from today, the thought of which might be causing the local anxiety I've been feeling the last few days; and which I hope STOPS soon. Take a Valium at 8:08AM. Went to the gym to 10:30; waited at HIP to 10:55, got an EKG AGAIN, being told that Tejani was NOT in; then went to the dentist for a painless filling and a cleaning until 12:15; back to HIP to be told there are three ahead of me for Dr. Lee, down to Tejani to find 6-7 people waiting and no receptionist to take my name, back to sit in an inner room at 1:10 and finally out at 1:52, starved for breakfast, being told that tachycardia starts only at 100, so my 102 is nothing to be concerned about, my EKG showed not only my inverted T-wave but sinus arrhythmia, again nothing dangerous, nothing I can do about it except to be aware of it, and my blood pressure is 134/80, which he assures me is quite all right, since I'm clearly nervous about my results. So I don't have to worry about dying on my 26-day vacation. Back to a slight brunch and meet Mildred at Ruth's Chris at 4PM for a great filet and a decent conversation, and home to play Spider to a new high from 6:20-7:40 of 50.20637, getting a call from Rita in the meantime, and two messages from Sharon about my forgotten magazine in her office. Watch lots of TV and get to bed at 1AM.

FRIDAY, 8/22/08: 11AM: Go back to e-mail and watch an hour of Bill Moyers with a Boston University professor who castigates our imperialism and consumerism at the cost of future generations; ate oatmeal while watching. Catch up on some notes. Talk to Tris, who hasn't had web service for a week, is looking forward to my four CDs of slides and many files, and will let me know when he gets his service back. My next step would be to send him the numbers and captions for about 20 slides from each set of CDs, provided he can read them satisfactorily. Decide to call Marj just to chat. We both have to get off by 11:33AM. Now to tackle the pile of mail from the past 3-4 days on the dining-room table. Spartacus wisely decides not to come with me to a terrible off-off-Broadway play, Bash'd, which is mercifully only an hour long. Bed just after 12:30AM with a schedule of hour-early sleep times until Thursday's trip departure.

SATURDAY, 8/23/08: Get lots of things cleared away: order fish oil from Puritan Pride; tell Marj that she didn't put the edited CARIBCR on the flashdrive, finish with my tracking as far as I've gone, hoping to finish tomorrow, and try to figure how I'm going to pay my Visa bill at the bank on Monday with checks from many different sources. Clear up Healthy Heart meals, realizing I'll have to freeze some of them for the trip; bed just after 11:30PM: early sleep-time.

SUNDAY, 8/24/08: 11:40AM: Put the Odyssey sheet away, since it plainly states that Egyptair doesn't allow early seat reservations. Decide to COUNT remaining fish-oil capsules to make sure I have enough for the trip. Find that EITHER Puritan Pride arrives before I leave, or I must BUY more fish oil for the trip!

MONDAY, 8/25/08: 10:20AM: Made a ten-item list to be done before trip: 1) Chin: Holter results? 2) Met opera tix? Charles? 3) Odinsky: orthotic? 4) Marj: last tracking? 5) Citi: Visa pay? 6) Files to Tris (done 10AM Monday). 7) Ken: what time for car? (2:15PM, told 9AM Monday). 8) Get groceries. 9) Puritan Pride or CVS fish-oil? 10) Toba: carpeting in 21K? (left note Monday 9AM). Also phoned Schwab to find that I need a FORM (which he'll send two of) to distribute cash from Keogh, but can do it by phone for IRA. Otherwise, reduced number of piles on my coffee table to the MINIMAL THREE: 1) website, 2) Pinnacle, 3) slide scanner! Feel GOOD, yet still just slightly inclined to take a Valium for prospective anxiety about trip. Take a sleeping pill at 9:30PM while watching the end of Avenue Montaigne. Get to bed at 9:50PM and sleep quickly afterwards.

TUESDAY, 8/26/08: Up at 5:20AM, having slept straight through. Feel tired, but insist on getting into the day, having breakfast at 6AM and watching CQ, taking a Valium at 6:35AM so that I won't have to worry about whether to take it or not. Call The New York Times, Cleartel, MTA, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile to tell them my new Visa card number, just to make sure nothing bad happens during my trip, since Visa (whom I called at 7PM last night, and they said, "Call back in four hours"!) isn't doing what they SAID they'd do: transfer the numbers for the next 90 days, which the current Visa person averred shouldn't have been said. Slip a note under Drezin's door and then go to the office to find the manager on vacation, and the accountant says that HPD has to clear any new person moving into 21K, so I won't have a chance to talk to anyone before they move in, but he'll be sure to tell Toba that I'm concerned about the carpeting when "he gets in after quitting work in the morning and coming here." I get back to a message from Ellie, and we talk for almost an hour about the goodness and badness of living at 101 Clark. Call Marj to tell her about the new long-range talker, and about SCRIE's refusal of my $54,000 income for supplements for 2007. Have to wait to see what the 2008 Form 1040 says. As for the others items on the list: Odinsky isn't going to be in until Tuesday and there's no news about my orthotic; at 2PM today Sara said she'd check with someone else about my Holter Monitor results and will call me back, and Charles said he'd call at 9:30AM tomorrow to do something during the day. I finish watching Bonjour Tristesse, water the plants, and have to restrain myself from going downstairs now at 2:05PM to see if either my fish oil or Met Opera tickets have arrived. Looked at the Fodor guide to Barcelona and it seems that I won't have any trouble seeing many things I've never seen there before, added to Ken's comment on Monday that we'll be doing things on Thursday and Friday depending on how we feel. So my list is caught up with and I can't think of anything more productive than---well, shut off the Dell modem and will see if there's anything at all on Juno e-mail before the trip. And NOW Juno tells me there's no more free e-mail, must be at least a minimum of 83 cents a month. But I can get Juno e-mail from! So that's the END of my PC!! 2:35PM: BUT I can't seem to ADD that site to my favorites, nor can I DELETE any favorites. Just something to act about in the future. Now to my sweetheart: Spider! Play to new high 2:37-4:32PM of 50.23495, with 73 up. NOW what do I do with the rest of the day? Go down for the mail, which sadly includes neither fish oil nor the Met Opera tickets, but gives me copies of New York and New Yorker to look through, taking the time for dinner at 6PM, when I watch the extremely odd and effective (and sexy) movie The Princess and the Warrior, which got wildly different reviews in the two books that described it. That finishes conveniently just before 8:30PM, so I take an Ambien and get to bed at 8:35, getting up to review trips so far this year from my note card, and then think, maybe in a dream, that I hear a knock on the door at 9:09 and get up to check, thinking it just might be Toba, and LOCK the door at 9:09PM, getting through a lot of Actualism before dropping off to sleep.

WEDNESDAY, 8/27/08: Pee at 2:40AM, note a dream [DREAMS:8/27/08] at 4:30AM, and also make a note to start melatonin. Up at 5AM exactly, figuring to have gotten somewhat less than eight hours of sleep, which will make me tired during the day but readier for earlier sleep this last evening at home before the trip. Take a half-gram of melatonin at 5:10AM and a Valium at 5:45AM after breakfast, type up my dream, printing it out to take to Sharon this evening, and finish this at 6:05AM, figuring to process pills while I'm still in a half-asleep mode, cloudy sky just getting pink in the east. Pills take a long time, sort out some packing things, and get to the gym 7:15-8:45AM, not FEELING like it, but DOING it. Then shave and trim toenails and process more packing; phone Charles at 9:45 (since he SAID he'd call at 9:30AM), and we arrange to meet at 11:15AM at Houston and West Broadway, where we'll be looking for my early lunch before going to the glass factory and the Dali exhibit. Then phone Tris, who now has the message on the machine rather than Tori, who said he'd call me when his Internet was working again, and I said I sure hoped it was by THIS time, having sent him even more files. My digital camera doesn't work AT ALL, so I assume the batteries are totally dead and put them on to recharge, doing this at 10AM.


SHARON B. 76                                                  8/27/08

Get there early and read two DREAMS pages, which she keeps. She says that it's typical that dreams, dealing with the UNCONSCIOUS, could elevate heart rate, even if the dreamer might not recall the specific details that caused the increased heart rate. She said that "exhausted" sleeping doesn't usually bring about deeply meaningful dreams, which I said explained why I didn't have great dreams during my St. Petersburg trip: I was exhausted most nights. That might ALSO explain why, when I'm traveling with Ken, who makes all the arrangements, I'm NOT exhausted, and am therefore free to bring up DEEP unconscious material that leads to such incredible, memorable, and detailed dreams when I'm traveling with him. She says that I'm very lucky to have found someone like him to travel with, and I repeat that I make every effort to inform him of that fact, which he knows and appreciates. (Return to end of SHARON75). (Go to NOTEBOOK:SHARON77).

Note at 7:40PM: Just tuned in the Democratic Convention at random about 6:45PM and JUST caught New Jersey yielding to Illinois (though I wondered why they were going out of alphabetical order), who yielded to New York, and Hilary Clinton moved that Obama be nominated for President by acclamation, which was done, and everyone proclaimed it as a great moment in history, which I happened to catch by the merest happenstance of wanting an early dinner and not having any other movie to watch. Called Ken about the 2:15PM car picking him up tomorrow, for which I'll pay the $65 fare, and we'll talk at the airport, and maybe I'll have to carry some of the books he's bringing along that make him overweight (in his luggage). I erased all the old photos from my camera and put in recharged batteries and put in more batteries to recharge. Now at 7:43PM Ken calls BACK to say he's checking in online, and would he like him to do it for me, so I say yes, but please don't call anymore, since I'm going to bed NOW, having (more or less) successfully followed my bedtime plans for the week, going to bed 12:50AM Thursday on Friday, at 11:50PM on Saturday, at 11:11PM on Sunday after the Olympics Closing Ceremonies, at 9:50PM on Monday, and 9PM on Tuesday, now ready to take a THIRD Ambien, and then TRIS calls to say that they actually changed a card in a system amplifier far from his computer (which he says they should have found almost instantly), so he was "only" out of business for just under two weeks. I said I was going to bed at 8PM, difficult now that in fact it's 8:03PM! Wake 10:19PM, hoping it would have been 4AM, to dream.

THURSDAY, 8/28/08: Wake at 2PM with dream [DREAMS:8/28/08], then at 3:23AM I decide to j/o just to take the edge off for the 26-day trip. That goes to 4:20AM. Take Valium at 4:35. Take 1/2-gram melatonin at 4:40AM. Up at 8AM! Have breakfast, finally find my extra digital-camera card and instruction book, and reset the "foreign" time to Spain. Phone Pat at 9:20AM and get an operator who says, "I called you yesterday to come in when someone was here." I say she did NOT talk to me, and she says she'll check and call me back in 15 minutes; I told her I was leaving on my trip at NOON! So the orthotics are THERE?! Finish this note at 9:40AM, already her call is late! When she DOES call back a few minutes later, she said she told me on MONDAY to check with the office on TUESDAY. She says she DID check into the office and my orthotics were NOT there. Immediately after, Ken calls and says he couldn't check me in on the flight because he didn't have my passport number. I said I didn't even know the FLIGHT number, and he said, "But you bought the tickets yourself." I almost shouted (having explained why I was NOT in the best of moods at the news of my absent orthotics), "YOU bought the tickets," not bothering to remind him of our conversation about his reserving me a window seat, as usual, and his saying he did, as usual. So he said he'd check back for more information! THEN he called at 9:56AM and asked for my passport number so HE could check me in, reminding me that my "half" of the car payment did NOT include drop-off fees in France NOR insurance, "which we'll also have to get." What a GREAT mood this leaves me in! THEN he calls and asks if my birth-date is 3/30/35, and as patiently as I can, I say 3/30/36. Then he calls back AGAIN to ask for my passport EXPIRATION date. Then he calls back again to ask for my Delta frequent-flyer number, which he says needs a pin number, which I say it doesn't need, which he says it needs, so I'd better take my card to get my credit at the sign-in desk. ENDLESS! I call HIM back and give him the dates and numbers and amounts of my Schwab checks to him for the car and the airlines, to which he says, "That was totally unnecessary." To which I respond, "It's nice to be appreciated." And we murmur mutual goodbyes. 11:50AM: Pack and pack, nailing another notch in two belts, putting things away, sorting things out: airplane earphones, toothpicks, Ambien and Valium, earplugs, papers, guidebooks, maps, batteries, hardware, clothes; hoping someone from HIP would call to say my orthotics have arrived, but it's so close to noon that I just have to water John and have lunch next. Made a list of things to do today: 1) Pack, 2) Pat: orthotics IN? 3) Bill P., dates for picking up Saturday Times, 4) Brush teeth, 5) Set camera time, 6) Find spare camera card, 7) Water John, 8) Set phone message on, 9) Lunch, 10) Wash dishes. Also make a list "On return from France/Spain: 1) CVS: reorder Avodart and simvastatin, 2) Do ASME catalog index, 3) Check Tris, 4) Check Marj, 5) Send postcards, 6) Enter/proof/print trip pages/photos/summary, 7) Catch up on mail, 8) Catch up on Times, 9) Check 21K carpeting, 10) Check orthotics, 11) Check Holter readings with Chin, 12) Check blood. 12:55PM: I'm so TIED UP IN KNOTS INSIDE! Is it anxiety about the flight, the trip, my life? NO call about the orthotics arriving, and I pass the guy with the fuckin' dogs in the street and make a point of not looking at him. John's grass is PLASTERED up against the window, so that when I turn them they flop over into the room and I sweat for MINUTES getting the window-blind sash-cord positioned so that they support the stems enough so that I hope the leaves will be attracted back to the windows. Spartacus said I should have left them against the windows; maybe I should have. Leave word with John that I hope things work out. But I'm just so ANNOYED with everything: Spartacus calling and saying to leave the DVDs with Bob, but then Bob doesn't answer the door and I leave them outside. Spartacus said he was working Monday and Tuesday, and that's why he didn't call. We talked a bit about politics and he tried to make me feel better about the trip: "It's a HOLIDAY, you should feel GOOD about it!" Well, I sure wish I could! Have NO appetite for lunch, but I HAVE to have it---after calling Delta to see if they can credit me for frequent-flyer miles over the PHONE, which Ken couldn't do "without a pin number." 2:39PM: Of course they haven't called yet. I brushed my teeth and put my tooth stuff into my shoulder bag. My bag is packed, waiting at the door. Should I call the number and go downstairs? That seems the most reasonable thing to do.


TUESDAY, 9/23/08: 9:15AM: 1) Call HIP and make an appointment with Chin at 12:45PM, then 2) call Pat and she tells me I can pick up the orthotics today. 3) Check Schwab to find that I have $439,248 (so Lehman didn't affect me---yet), but only $71.25 in "cash." 4) Check HSBC to find that I have a balance of $1,135.31, and no loans. WHEW! 5) Have 72 e-mails; go through them, find that the Beard is full on its 9/24 frequent-diner offering, but available on 9/27, so I tell Ken, who doesn't like the menu, but I reserve for myself. That goes to 10:37PM. Check my 16 phone messages: 1) Paul C., will call back; have a good trip. 2) Odinsky: orthotics ready Thursday (thanks a LOT!) 3) Midge Lefkowitz calls about a Beard special, but knows I'm not here. 4) - 9) Vote. 10) Robert Workoff, get back to him. 11) Amalia from Travel Dynamics: no partner yet, will call back later. 12) Blank. 13) - 14) CVS to renew prescriptions. 15) Piri: call about indexing. 16) Pat/Odinsky: she's cancelled my Monday 9/30 appointment. Call Workoff, Piri, and CVS by 11AM, then talk to Marj 11-12:25, going into juicy detail as I can ONLY with her! 12:40PM to Odinsky, and say I'm going to see Chin. Read New Yorker, in to see Chin at 1:45: 1) have a blood count to check health, 2) get tested for parasites, 3) he writes a new prescription for Avodart, 4) my blood pressure is 130/80, which is good. I'm out at 1:50 and go to lab. She gives me Occult Blood by mistake, but I manage to squeeze out second sample for parasites tubes. Down to Odinsky at 2:25, who "stepped out." See him at 2:36, he gives orthotics with the "Day 1, one hour; Day 2, two hours...Day 7, seven hours, then always" routine and I put in orthotics at 2:40. Leave off new Avodart prescription for future use, since CVS has already filled both simvastatin and Avodart prescriptions, which I pick up. Back to Great Wall to pick up egg foo yung, delicious to 3:40, and take out orthotics. Talk to Ken to 3:53PM; he insists I have to check for dates NOW, so I do: 1) Friday 9/12: we find our chrome strip  loose on road down from Tossa de Mar; 2) Wednesday 9/17: I dent right rear bumper on road guard on road going into Alos D'Isil from Tavascan; 3) Tuesday 9/18: I smash license plate parking in Taull. Phone him back, so he can correct his claims with American Express (which he hopes won't question him, since he's used them dozens of times and this is his FIRST claim: optimist!), at 4:08, having successfully searched Neo for "bumper," "chrome," and "license plate." Go to Bill Petersen's to pick up Times from 4:15-4:30, loading them all, with the Sundays piled up by John on the table, onto the sofa. 5:15PM: Start plowing through the mail, ending at 8:50 with a lot of junk, magazines for the magazine and newspaper piles, and a reasonably small pile of stuff to put onto my desk to take care of individually. Carolyn calls 9-9:25PM. Dinner of tuna on three pieces of toast from 9:25-9:45, and call Piri back to talk about her index from 9:45-10:40, which I'll have to remember to add to her bill.

WEDNESDAY, 9/24/08: 2:48-3:11AM: Lie awake, stomach getting worse. Take a half-gram of melatonin and shit a bit of OK consistency. Type dream [DREAMS:9/24/08] to 5:19AM. Up at 6:45AM after GOOD Actualism. Take another half-gram melatonin and weigh 188# on my scale! Breakfast to 8AM, magazines to 11:10. SETTLE magazines to 11:30. Read 8/31 Times to 12:20. Lunch to 12:55. Put on orthotics at 12:55. Leave a RECORD seven messages from 1:10-1:17: Mildred, Shelley, Sherryl, Carolyn, Charles, Tris, and Marj, just to tell them that at 12:53PM Amalia from Travel Dynamics offered me a room (Category B, Cabin 342, facing land, in middle of ship; she'll send invoice) to MYSELF for "only" $29,995 WITHOUT an additional single supplement, but ALSO without flights, which, if I took TWO airlines, was about $2900, but if I stayed overnight in Madrid (where hotels started at 270€ and went "down" to 130€, still terribly expensive) it went down to $1800. Unpack to 2:40, shit to 2:45, finish Tribune to 2:55, take orthotics out. Check that I have $1.573.83 "cash" in my IRA and $7,532.96 "cash" in my Keogh, and get out my Keogh withdrawal form but can't understand a thing. Call the number on the form and get transferred to Retirement Services and a VERY helpful Rosalia Hancock, who says I can FAX her the form at 888-857-7711, and if I transfer from the Keogh to the IRA I won't have to pay any 20% required tax on the Keogh withdrawal, and the "rollover" to the IRA is free! This all takes to 4:23; she says she'll call me to verify that my fax comes through. Shelley had called back 1:33-1:50 to say "You can take 6-7 trips for that amount of money," and Marj calls back 3-3:45 ("excusing" me from going to the gym, which she approves, predicting that Sharon will approve, too, which she does) to say she's just been proofreading how DESPERATE I am to get home after FOURTEEN days in some cases, so trying a trip for THIRTY-SIX days, in my condition now, would be TOTAL madness. Read 8/31 Times. Dinner at 7:30. Played Spider 4:23-5:13, and 8PM-11PM, remaining at 76 up. Bed at 11:25PM.

SHARON B. 77                                                  9/24/08

She pops out early and says she'll be a few minutes. I get in and collapse into the chair to say what a VERY up-and-down trip it was, going into the sicknesses in Barcelona (with emphasis on the WONDERFUL luck at Theatro Liceu followed by the catastrophic leaving of Restaurant Moo), and on the last day of the trip (after the best meal at Eugenie Les Bains), which she actually suggests I should go on television with, since I've managed to make a total disaster of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea into such a hilarious presentation, proving that I can SURELY survive ANYTHING, even though she congratulated me, as did everyone else, with my decision to NOT take the 36-day (too long), $35,000 (too expensive) trip up the western coast of Africa. I talked about the numbness that hit me when I finally DID get home, as if I'd distanced myself from my sick body so well that I barely came back to NYC with it. She was happy that I went to see my doctor the day after I got back, and ended by saying that my dream probably WAS about shit, the shit that I'd risen above on the last day to survive the ten hours on the plane, that I'd risen above to enjoy the trip DESPITE the intestinal virus and sore feet without the orthotics. She warned me that she was charging me for the days I wasn't there, since she "kept the schedule for the time anyway," and I said I was glad because I noticed that she had been charging $70 for the session but only getting paid $60, and she said she'd been charging $70 for a long time, but then did have to admit, to praise my observational powers, that she HAD started by charging $60 for the sessions. She also had a new clock right above her head, so it was impossible not to see when it was 6:15PM and I knew it was time to leave, and I promised to have a MUCH different report next week. She kept laughing at my stories, but out of the corner of my eye as I left I saw she got out of her chair and threw her head back with a grimace of pain on her face as she dug her hands into the small of her back: she'd obviously been in pain in the chair for a long period of time, which I had no inkling of. I felt my voice getting more and more hoarse through the session, and felt quite exhausted with the telling after it was done. (Return to end of SHARON76). (Go to NOTEBOOK:SHARON78).

THURSDAY, 9/25/08: Type dream [DREAMS:9/25/08] at 4:16AM. Pee and take a half-gram melatonin. Good Actualism 6:24-7AM. Take a half-gram melatonin and pee. Orthotics in at 9:16AM for three hours, out at 12:26PM, mostly sitting. Talk to Charles 10:30-12. Read 9/7 Times. Talk to Mildred, whom I call, to 1PM. Sherryl calls 2:40-3:10PM. Finally get to the gym, doing it VERY lightly, but showering to get "rid of the chlorine" that Carolyn averred could be making me SICK! Also talked to John, who said Squadron won over Conner. Bed at 10:47 after Fall for Dance program of five VERY short dances at City Center, $16 for Spartacus's ticket because his plane-meeting time has been delayed and he can't go. It turned out to be exactly the one program I would have wanted to see, with nothing I'd seen before or am about to see. He calls 11-11:08PM to promise me a brownie.

FRIDAY, 9/26/08: 4:17AM: Type a dream [DREAMS:9/26/08] in Neo file 7. Decide to write a card entitled "Tasks Completed Friday." 7AM (1) Get out of bed, pee, and dress. 7:03 (2) Powder crotch; deodorant. 7:15 (3) Peroxide in left ear, which feels swollen for rest of day. 7:30 (4) Orthotics in for 4 hours (actually took them out at 1:50, but I was mostly sitting). 7:31 (5) take half-gram melatonin. 7:33 (6) Finish 9/7 Times and whole-page puzzle! 9:05 (7) Eat breakfast. 9:45 (8) Talk to Tris to 11AM, clearing up the "metadata number" on my photos, enjoying the few test cases he put into the St. Petersburg file (and I prove that DOES work). 11AM (9) Spartacus on phone. 11:15 (10) Call Ken, then Beard to reserve both 10/1 special and 10/7 Liebrandt freebie at Corton! 11:30 (11) Request $8,196.16 check from Schwab by standard mail, having $910.68 withheld for IRS taxes. 11:45 (12) Mildred on Egyptian kidnappings. 12:02 (13) Check Chin; WCB. 12:05 (14) Tonight? Not listed in the Prime Timer's calendar; cross it off my list. 12:10 (15) Check African flights to the seven "missed" countries, even finding a TOUR to Gabon and Sao Tome for $6000 not including international flights; finding that I can "see" all the countries for approximately one-third what the impossibly long boat ride would have cost; file it in my top-file Africa folder. 1:01 (16) lunch of some frozen wrap from Healthy Heart, leaving only two snacks. 1:25 (17) Chin calls: Holter essentially OK, flu shots last week of October, bloodwork OK, bit of occult blood, so he says I should schedule a colonoscopy. 1:45 (18) Clear desk, some of it. 1:55 (19) Schedule colonoscopy, last in 2005, previous in 1999. 1:58 (20) Clear desk of about 75% of the stuff on it. 3:10 (21) Play spider because I'm DIZZY from DOING! 3:30 (22) Spartacus asks me to come over the pick up the Open House schedule, during which time he'll be in London and Scotland, for which I loan him my only 10 pounds. 3:55 (23) Back from Spartacus. Play Spider 4-4:15 to new high of 50.24754 (77 up). 4:15 (24) Start ASME new index. 6:45 (25) Charles calls and we talk about debate tonight. 7:40 (26) Call Corton; she'll call me when she starts taking reservations next week; call Charles and set up three tentative dates. 8:15 (27) Since debate isn't until 9PM, I'll delay dinner till then and catch up with typing, now at 8:40PM, having completed the "puny" five-item do-list I'd set up this morning for today: 1) Orthotics for 4 hours, 2) Chin for results and Holter and flu shot, 3) Tonight ON?, 4) Tris, 5) Google flight-price to seven African destinations. Bed at 11:05PM, very tired.

SATURDAY, 9/27/08: 3:41AM: Up EARLIER than before! Peroxide clicks much LESS in left ear to 4:16AM. 6:11 type dream [DREAMS:9/27/08]; ear clearer; pee again. 8:06 LOUD music outside: something public in VERY foggy Cadman Plaza Park. Up 8:40AM with a six-item do-list: 1) Beard 7PM, 2) Orthotics for five hours, 3) Call Meals, 4) Toba: Carpets to 21K? 5) Figure Ken's trip-check and phone him, 6) El Bulli menu to show off at Beard. Start another day-task list: 8:50 (1) Half-gram melatonin. 9AM (2) Orthotics in for five hours, but I don't take them out until 4PM, which is SEVEN hours, but I was sitting most of the time. 9AM (3) Start 9/14 Times. 10:05 (4) Breakfast. 10:45 (5) Start 9/21 Times diagramless puzzle. 11:35 (6) Start 9/21 Times. 1:10PM (7) Trim beard- and ear-hairs. 1:45 (8) Sort souvenirs to get menus and bills. 2:15 (9) Read menus to Marj. 2:45 (10) Lunch of last of tuna casserole. 3:15 (11) Get more menus and bills. 3:35 (12) Rita calls. 4PM (13) Figure Ken's bill of $67; he calls to say he'll leave check with tapes. 4:35 (14) Leave despairing note under Toba's door, having tried this morning in phone books and on Internet to find his phone number, to no avail. 4:30 (15) Order meals when Josie calls back. 6PM (16) Finish transcribing all the notes I can find so far, but still have enormous proofreading to do and lots of papers STILL to clear away. Bed at 10:35PM.

SUNDAY, 9/28/08: 6:49AM: My left ear has a lining of crud, but my right heel is blissfully FREE of pain for the first 4-5 steps, then hurts a bit. 6:57AM: Surprisingly feel sexy and get up to j/o from 7 to 8:05, watching end of Flubber, and dress, and put peroxide in ear. Breakfast at 8:25. Start 9/28 Times at 8:42 to 10:15. Sort through CURRENT mail to 12:10. Go to gym to 1:45. Lunch to 2:10. Read to 2:50, then put in orthotics and go to Center for a flop of a day: the two plays by Village Playwrights aren't very good at 4-4:20PM, there are no more hot dogs available, beer is $2 and the sodas are ordinary, and I try a vitamin drink with a funny aftertaste. Take a few bags of chips and devour them, watch some awful entertainment in the main room, and then go downstairs to watch the cyclists come in to great applause (after a campy quartet in wigs does inadequate dance numbers). Back at 6PM, look at magazines to 6:55, then do Spider 6:55-10:50 to a high of 50.25038. Have dinner while watching the start of a 3.5 hour TV movie of 1776.

MONDAY, 9/29/08: Bed at 12:35AM. Pee at 5:42, peroxide in ear, powder in crotch, and back to bed. Up at 8:55. Orthotics on at 9AM, supposedly to 4PM, but don't take them out until 5:40. Breakfast to 9:35. Talk to Workoff about the course index to 10, look at HSBC to 10:15 and call Tris to find if he ever cashed his August check! Update computer with Service Pack 3 to 11:30. Talk to Marj (about disgusting computer) 11:25-12:25. Check Juno for no "other" (except Juno) messages to 1PM. Look through Open House New York to 1:35, totally undecided. Lunch to 3, finishing 1776. FIND that HSBC debited Tris's check ONLY on 9/25, even though it went into HIS account on 8/19. Call Mildred to ask what to do, and she says I COULD phone HSBC for a copy of the check and see what dates are stamped on the back, but I decide it's not worth the trouble. She fills my ears with HER endless problems! Spider, just for relief, from 4:25-5:35 to new high of 50.25344. Finish balancing my HSBC account at last, then finish sorting out souvenirs from trip and pile them all into a box and put them away at 6:30. Now that the dining-room table's clear, I can package newspapers and magazines and take them into the disposal room, then go down for mail. I sign up for Netflix, ordering the first two (which they say will be delivered tomorrow) of seven on my free month's list. Dinner to 8, reading 40th Anniversary issue of New York magazine, then proofread to top of page 34 (of 55 pages!) to 11:47PM, finding a way to spend THAT evening productively!

TUESDAY, 9/30/08: Bed at 12:02AM. 4:46AM I type dreams [DREAMS:9/30/08] and pee. Do Actualism to 6:10AM but can't fall back to sleep, so just get up and start proofreading page 34 at 6:25 and finish to page 55 at 8:25AM. Clear a new diskette to 8:40AM after finding that an old, almost full, one has wonderful porn JPEGs. Breakfast to 9:10, watching start of The Bullfighter and the Lady from Ken, and sort out more stuff and write a Ridgewood check to fill my HSBC account and deposit three checks and get groceries to 10:25. Continue putting stuff away, finally putting things into 15 piles on desk, though some (like "order these") are multiple items. Catch up with rest of daily notes now at 11:25. And find my PHONES aren't working!!! What followed was a TERRIBLE day: took out the file drawers from the filing cabinet, finally figuring HOW they worked with their little latches and tangs, and got back to the wall connection to find TWO wires dangling loose. Tried to fix them for a bit, but it just didn't work. Went down (only two elevators working, and EACH trip was an AGONY of waiting!) to ask Ron what to do, and he said to see Paul, but Paul was at lunch: see him after 1PM. Back upstairs to try to fix it, finally deciding to take ALL the wires off, which lets me see that the plastic piece is LABELED R, G, Y, B for the red, green, yellow, and black wires, clearly. THINK I identify them from the wall, and try connecting them, but it never works. Down again at 1:20 to find that Paul's helping with the windows, but probably no one knows wiring anyway, and since no other phones in the building are reporting problems, this is MY problem. To the office to get Verizon's number, wait a LONG time to get DSL, then to the "downstate local business office," which refers me BACK to DSL, which goes through the SAME messages, so I SLAM the phone down, pissing off Tiffanie, and get back upstairs to try AGAIN to fix it, but it doesn't work, so I'm down to Bill's to phone Workoff, who's forgotten to look at the Courses-index draft, and says he HOPES I'm working on the other indexes, which I assure him I am; and Cleartel, who has a different number, and they say to "take the jacks out for half an hour, then put them back." That gets me the dial tone for the prelude to the "If you'd like to make a call..." message. Down to Bill's to call them again, and they schedule (after MUCH hassle) a repairman tomorrow from between 12 and 5. I get back upstairs to try Internet (mysteriously working) and find a message from KEN, so I'm back to Bill's to find he's inviting me to MoMA on October 11, which I find is the date I've committed to Carolyn's WEDDING invitation. This TOTALLY KILLS THE DAY until 7:30, when I sit down to the last of the Treet (having picked up the warming food from downstairs, since they couldn't phone me that it came in) and finish watching The Bullfighter and the Lady, then Number Seventeen, by Hitchcock, and the start of Knocked Up, and get to bed 10:45PM, emotionally drained by the day.

WEDNESDAY, 10/1/08: 9AM: Pee at 4:55AM and 5:29AM. Up at 7:30 to type dream [DREAMS:10/1/08] and "Bests" in file 1 of the Neo:

"BESTS" of 10/1/08

Think of my "personal bests" in a number of areas:
1. Food: innumerable great meals, including the recent dinner at El Bulli and my second transcendent dinner at Eugenie-Les-Bains, not to mention some Beard dinners, and, like Gael Greene, The Palace, Lutece, and, for me, Papillon and that wonderful Gilt lunch.
2. Performances, like:
a. Opera: Birgit Nilsson's Salome note to me in the balcony; Suliotis's breakdown on the Carnegie Hall stage, Sutherland's many Carnegie Hall specials, some of Beverly Sills.
b. Plays: the good and the bad Hamlet with Richard Burton, Hamlet's king glowering down directly at me in Minneapolis; the Angel from Angels in America appearing equally to Spartacus and me in the front row of that performance; Liz and Dick performing Noel Coward, some early off-off-Broadway epiphanies.
3. Sex: the "same old" list of glorious names: Al J., Louis L., Bob R., Arthur M., "not attainable" bodies at the baths obtained because I played by my rule and attained.
4. Trip moments: that Indian museum about the Silk Road, the towers of Pagan, the lions around our car in Ngorongoro, the mountains in the mist in Morocco---as well as that stoned evening with Marc in Meknes.
5. Psychedelic trips with LSD and, again, Bob R..
6. And the list could go on.
Then e-mail Ken about 10/11's wedding. Try taking out the "non-DSL" plug from the bedroom, and find it IS the DSL, and the one with the "cartridge" is the REGULAR phone line, but I STILL don't even get the dial tone. But it gives me an excuse for having taken out the filing cabinet: to pull the plug, where I found some wires off and tried reattaching them, and determine to ask the repairman to try to put the dial phone BACK into the circuit, too. Have the first Healthy Heart breakfast at 8:30, and determine to go to the gym NOW, at 9:05AM, to be SURE to be back when the repairman comes, maybe as early as 11AM, since I begged on the phone to get it earlier. Take the Schwab check to Citibank and get told the cashier doesn't know what I've just paid for: I have to use the phone near the ATM to call Customer Service. Customer Service can't tell me, either: I have to log on to Go to the gym to 10:50AM, then buy plum wine and get to Ron about 11:10AM, who says the repairman didn't show up yet. Work on ASME indexes 11:35-1PM, have lunch and finish watching Knocked Up, to be able to take TWO tapes back to Ken tonight, and back to indexes 2:40-5:15, disappointed (but expected!) that the repairman didn't show up. Out to Sharon's at 5:20, JUST as it starts to rain, and I didn't bring an umbrella. Session goes well until the bombshell: "But you have a cell phone, don't you?" OF COURSE I HAVE A CELL PHONE!! What an enormous RELIEF! Home at 6:20PM to find from Joshua (who gives me two Netflix movies!) that the repairman showed up, said, "But it's just after 5PM," whereat Joshua asked him to look at his watch, where he found it was actually 6:15PM! I muscle past file-cabinet obstacles to wrestle my shirt and suit out of the closet for the Beard, and get there about 7:10PM to pretty poor appetizers, chatting with Ken and Anita and her friend Andrea, and we're up to table 4 for a lot of wine and mediocre food. Leave with THREE tapes from Ken and back at 10:50PM to find that I'd plugged the cell phone recharger into the wrong hole. Plug it into the right hole and get instant service. Phone Spartacus to clarify his "water plants" note he slipped under my door; he's still awake, though he has to leave at 5:30AM for his plane, having gotten only four hours' sleep last night and probably about the same tonight: he'll sleep on the plane over, he says. Then call Carolyn, who's lost her invitation and thus can't tell me WHEN the wedding is on October 11, but she'll call me tomorrow, after she test-calls me to prove that I have to leave the phone ON to get a call---she ALWAYS leaves her phone on. Oh. Then e-mail Workoff to say I'll be calling him at 9AM tomorrow with questions. I make a list of people I have to call tomorrow: 1) Repairman, 2) Workoff, 3) Carolyn, 4) Ken, 5) Marj, 6) HIP: WHICH colonoscopy place?, 7) Corton (Ken reminded me she COULDN'T phone me for a reservation, since Corton opened last night), 8) Charles, 9) Tris. Take two aspirin with night pills. To bed 11:55, not having typed Sharon.

SHARON B. 78 10/1/08

Planned to say, "And to ADD to my misery, it started raining JUST after I left my apartment without an umbrella to come here!" But I started by saying, "I feel like just lying down on the floor and beating my head against the wall." Tell her about my obsession about my phone not working, and the hours I spent futilely trying to fix the wiring, and she talks about my obvious frustration about not controlling my own environment, and THEN says, "Don't you have a cell phone?" FLASH OF LIGHTNING! Of COURSE I have a cell phone! What a RELIEF! I don't have to bother Bill any more; I just have to learn how to use the cell phone! Go on about how my phones went out JUST as I'd gotten organized after the trip: put all the souvenirs away though I still had a lot of tasks left with the NEO files and billing files; managed to sort through the MESSY pile of stuff to be done and make FIFTEEN piles, one of which is large with "to order" as the general characteristic. Which leads me to Open House New York, where on the one hand I feel "obliged" to attend some of the once-a-year opportunities it offers, but on the other hand I don't feel that I really WANT to do any of these without someone to come WITH me to SHARE them with: as I put it, none of them are so INTRINSICALLY interesting---as was, say, Woodlawn Cemetery---that they're worth doing ALONE. But I COULD schedule them before, since my Internet was working (though HOW, I'm not really sure: it uses the PHONE lines, which must be OK, so it's something with my PHONES [BOTH of them???] that's not working), but I just didn't do it yet, so probably all the reservations are taken. Then spoke of my fantasy of getting Ken and Carolyn to DECIDE which of their conflicting (or maybe even not, since Carolyn doesn't KNOW when the wedding actually is) October 11 events I should attend, so I won't end up disappointing EITHER of them: Carolyn because she's depending on me to be her "date" for the wedding, Ken because he keeps offering things that I KNOW I won't like that I turn down, but this has a POSSIBILITY of being OK; and Sharon puts into words what I thought, but hadn't made explicit: so then they couldn't be angry with ME for making the decision; it would be up to THEM to hash it out. Silly, of course. I stopped to ask for water; she thought there might be some cold Ginger Ale in the fridge, but it turns out someone drank it, so I settled for a cup of water. Managed to dredge up a memory of one of my three dreams last night: Barbara from the Games Group folding my "movie screen" in half to make a smaller package, and I was content that she knew what she was doing, so I wasn't frustrated by being out of control concerning what she did. Which brought up my "conflict" about recording dreams: sometimes when I woke at 3AM with a somewhat trivial (usual, only sexual, not reflecting my "current concerns") dream, I didn't feel like RECORDING it. "Why would you WANT to record it?" "Because it would add to the INVALUABLE CORPUS of dreams that I've accumulated through many years," I responded, somewhat seriously, somewhat ironically, somewhat in exasperation. We agreed that I might be competent to make the decision NOT to record TRIVIAL dreams, because I would surely be motivated if the dream were "important." Remarked about the new clock above her head, clearly visible as the small one was not. "It's not for you; you're always conscious of the time; but many---including the person who comes after you---never want to stop." Also, she said, her other clocks broke and she HAD to get a new one. Saw that it was 6:15 and left, remarking that I hoped NEXT week's session would be more positive: last week complaining about the pain on the trip (oh, also mentioned my hassles with various pains from the orthotics, saying my podiatrist was on vacation this week so I couldn't get resolution on problems I may be having with them) and this week complaining about my telephones being out of order.

THURSDAY, 10/2/08: Woke about 3:40AM but didn't get out of bed. Took two aspirin at 7:15AM and peed, then tried to shit while reading New Yorker, but nothing happened by 7:44 and I went back to bed until 7:55, when I got up to start day. Phoned repair service at 8:05 and got them to say 1) they couldn't turn off the annoying "Please wait" music, 2) a repairman would be here "ASAP, sometime this morning." Called Workoff at 8:20, but could only leave a message on his phone. Started typing my "Sharon" entry at 8:35, and caught up to date with this at 9AM. Checked my cell phone balance of $156.85 at 8:20AM, before a LOT of calls on it before my REAL phones are fixed. Get questions and pages set up for Robert's call; still to early to call anyone else. Sit with my cell phone on, presumably, right on my knee, waiting for SOMEONE to call, knowing I have to press the GREEN phone key to answer a call, knowing that the RED phone key, perversely, puts the phone ON. Now I just have to have proved to me that this infernal thing WORKS. And now at 9:03AM I can't decide to just sit (maybe playing Spider) and wait for incoming calls, or to call Mildred. Let's go with Spider. Do it until 10AM, when Lee, the repairman, knocks on the door. He's here till 10:40AM, fixing everything, finding two wires bad (one from broiler), and hooking up the dial phone. I leave the junk out of the filing cabinet until Saturday, making things miserable. Then resume Spider until 3PM, failing miserably, ending up at 50.23068 at 72 up. Finish the ASME index by 7PM, e-mailing it just to get it OUT. Watch "The Saddest Music in the World," one of the saddest motion pictures ever made. Bed at 11:25PM.

FRIDAY, 10/3/08: Shit and read on toilet 5:30-6AM. Up at 8:05AM. Watch the two Netflix entries, hoping to finish by 3PM so I can get them into the mail, but after "Cassandra's Dream," VERY unlike Woody Allen, thank goodness, with an always appealing Colin Farrell, even when he's the villain, I watch "The Martian Child" and get suckered into watching an hour's extra programming and then the entire movie with commentary, then decide to use my digital camera and film the REAL David Gerrold's "Martian child," a REAL doll, and then put in "Eastern Promises" from Wednesday and film the Mortensen nude-fight scene. Then go to the Homoerotic Art at the Center, good snacks and carbonated cranberry juice, from 7:30-9:15PM. Back to watch "Colorado Territory," or some of it, and my eyes are just closing, so I decide I've wasted enough time and go to bed.

SATURDAY, 10/4/08: Bed at 12:05AM. Up at 7:30 to find the Times in, and read that until breakfast, Charles having called and we agree to meet at the Ukrainian Institute of America at 1PM, but I leave too late, the 4 train isn't running, so I'm fifteen minutes late for a mediocre building. Then to the Tooker exhibit at the National Academy and lunch at Demarchelier, funny-tasting steak frites, feeling VERY full after to get home at 5 and watch "Being Julia" and "Come Live With Me," and find I have a SORE on the left underside of my penis head, made worse because I should have gone to the gym today and didn't. Bed at 11:37PM.

SUNDAY, 10/5/08: Pee at 4:45AM and have a severe, but brief, cramp on the underside of my left thigh. Up at 8:06AM (TIRED) to find the Times here, watch "And the Ship Sails On," and "The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros" when I'm not playing Spider from 12:25-2:05 and 7:35-9:30, managing to get to a new high of 50.2592 with 81 up! Decide I just WANT to see the Montauk Club, which is almost empty, so it takes almost no time, which is good, and I've DONE it, as well as watered Spartacus's plants, mine, and put the file drawers back into the filing cabinet, at last clearing up the apartment from the awful trauma of the phones' not working. Bed at 11:30PM.

MONDAY, 10/6/08: Pee at 3:45AM. Type dream to 5:38 and pee again. Up at 8:58AM. Read articles in New Yorker, also during breakfast, then sort through all the unread mail and put MORE things away, relaxing afterward by playing Spider 1:50-4PM to a lesser 50.25257 at 79 up. Then lunch, watching the end of a ludicrous "Carmen Jones," with Harry Belafonte showing a wonderful chest while NOT singing his part. Then take out bottles, cans, and garbage, and get the mail and go through it till almost 7PM, when I catch up with this and then, stupid me, try to get Spider to a new high from 7:10-8:40PM, but only succeed in TYING the 81up with a lesser-than-highest 50.2588. Decide to proofread dreams. Finish proofing and typing pages at 10:20PM. Have dinner, watch TV, and get to bed at 11:55PM.

TUESDAY, 10/7/08: Type dream 5:59-6:13AM, and up at 8:50, still tired. Have breakfast and type this at 9:40AM. Start finishing trip journals. Do Photo page to 11AM. Sort BILLS to 12:50PM and have lunch, finishing "Who Was That Lady?" Do more bills to 2:15, when I dress and get to Corton early, at 2:50, and get at LEAST six glasses of champagne and GREAT hors d'oeuvres with Anita wanting a night slide-show here where she'll bring two bottles of rosé Prosecco! Greeted by Colleen Vincent, President Susan Ungaro, VP Mitchell Davis, who'd been to El Bulli on September 22, and chat nicely with Claudia Karach, who's pleased to see the name she's placed so often. Talk to (I think) Kristopher Moon, or some man in some high office (Director of House Operations?), and the three scholarship winners, the Bombay-born one promising to send me information about Long Island College Culinary offerings. Suzanne seems to avoid me. Ken introduces himself to Paul Liebrandt and gets himself onto tomorrow's reservation, which I'm embarrassed to have forgotten. To his place for music and tapes, and back to work to page 30 to 8:50. Call Sharon and change tomorrow's session to Thursday at 4:45PM. Heat dinner and watch the hideous Presidential debate. Play Spider 11-12:45AM to new high of 50.27137, 85 up!

WEDNESDAY, 10/8/08: Bed at 1AM, with awful headache, so I take two aspirin with night pills. Pee at 8:06AM and up at 8:56, STILL tired. Breakfast, and continue with SPANFRAN, interrupted for quick inspection of apartment with Polish manager and sexy Julio at 10:30, and finish typing all the pages of SPANFRAN by 12:15PM. Update MOST EXPENSIVE MEALS at 12:30-1:18 (found time by looking at when the file was STORED in MS\LISTS! Brilliant!). Watch "Speed Racer" while having lunch, go to the gym, and get back to a call from Paul C., and go to Corton with Charles and Ken, getting there second so I can sit with my back to the wall, forcing Ken to face the two of us and the wall. The service is rather spotty, Ken asks for and gets a second glass of one of the poured wines, and it takes two courses (although I could actually stomach the uni flesh on its tasty black-seaweed sauce-bed) before Liebrandt catches fire with some good courses, though it has a long way to go to get back to his Papillon genius. Bed 11:30PM.

THURSDAY, 10/9/08: AGAIN tired when I get up: something to discuss with Sharon this evening. Watch "No Country for Old Men," with over a half-hour of extras, and put them in the mail at 2PM after updating expensive trip-lists, rather surprised that SPANFRAN was only 10th in per-day expenses and 8th in overall expense. Update my NETFLIX movie-list and download stuff (sometimes three times) so that I can actually PLAY their movies on my video screen, though the subtitles are too blurred for "Lives of Others" to read, but they're clear enough on "La Vie En Rose" so that I can watch it while having lunch at my desk and finishing JUST as I leave for Sharon at 4:32PM, taking keys to water Spartacus's plants afterward. Get back from productive session and play Spider to a new high of 50.27447, with 86 up, 6:20-7:05, and then catch up with these notes by 7:20PM, ready to type the Sharon paragraph. Finish that at 7:50PM AFTER Carolyn phones and actually APOLOGIZES because her "paranoia" may have MISREAD my "downcast gaze" as she said she might have to stay at my place that night because she locked herself out of her building as NOT WANTING her to stay, which I insisted, by the way she put it, that it was a foregone conclusion that she'd stay if he had to. And we're meeting 10:30AM Saturday.

SHARON B. 79 10/9/08

JUST get to the end of "La Vie En Rose" and dash to Sharon's in HIGH ANGST: WHY do I feel so OUT of it? I throw it all at her when I get in about 4:47PM, saying that I'm STILL torn with the "shoulds" and "I'm tireds." INSISTED on going to Montauk Club on Sunday to DO it, though I messed up in reading the changes to the 4 subway line and was 20 minutes late meeting Charles at the Ukrainian Institute on Saturday. AND I forgot to invite Ken to Wednesday's dinner at Corton with Charles. AND I had to remind myself a NUMBER of times of my revised meeting-time with Sharon. AND I'd scheduled Corton for Wednesday without even THINKING it would conflict with Sharon! I was AGAIN coming to "being completely caught up," but feared something "just over the horizon" as coming to PUNISH me if I DID get caught up. Keep looking at the trip to Egypt and Petra as the LAST scheduled trip, even though I tried to palm Tunisia off on Dale for a $500 discount in February, which he doesn't have the time or money to do since he's going to China the month of March. I seem to keep FEARING that something will happen, and PUNISH MYSELF by thinking in circles: fearing Actualism meditation won't work, though usually it does (except on plane flights, "When my body isn't ready to sleep," as Sharon tried to excuse it); fearing I'll get a disaster again like the phones not working, which I feared they weren't when Paul C. called from Paris and hung up when he got a poor connection, while I got a rush of static that made me think my PHONES were off again! I bemoaned the fact that I was going over OLD stuff that I thought I'd RESOLVED in the past, but I'm STILL berating my body for getting old. I kept on complaining, Sharon keeping on encouraging, "Just let it all out," and I said I certainly couldn't complain with anyone ELSE like I'm doing with her! She said she wasn't hurt by it, and that's why she was there. I mentioned my envy of Marko chatting up Liebrandt at Corton, envying his social skills, his youth, and his attractiveness: knowing I was PAST that: I'd PERMANENTLY missed my chance. But then I added there were NICE touches: Anita asking for a slide show at my place so she could bring over two bottles of rosé Prosecco, Ken calling to make sure I know about his party on 10/24 (the day, sadly, of my colonoscopy!), Ken NOT mentioning to Charles my not inviting him, except when reminded, to the dinner last night. Maybe it was the CONTRAST of the good against the bad that made the bad seem so BAD. Then she went back to the trip, and I had to admit of GREAT suppression of anger against Ken getting angry with ME when the GOOGLE maps were wrong, or the right route signs didn't appear when he wanted them to, or I went once too often around a traffic circle when he didn't seem sure of which turn to take. I just COULDN'T get angry with him, because he'd put in SO much time and effort into planning EVERY STEP of the trip (HE'S a bigger control freak than I am!), and I just COULDN'T appear to be ungrateful, though I did permit myself ONE admonition that he not get angry with ME because his MAPS were wrong. She clung to that, as well as to my sicknesses in Barcelona and in the Paris airport, saying that I was possibly still exhausted from the TRIP: she was STILL amazed at the stuff I did WHILE being sick, and at the stuff I had to do when I got BACK from the trip: the index, the phones, the catching-up. And then she hit on the magic word "Temporary": my feelings were TEMPORARY; I'd get rested and feel BETTER about myself (like when I said that, before, I'd rush out and buy 5-6 Broadway theater tickets to fill in my coming free time, or would dash into 3-4 new restaurants; even telling Charles I wanted to do these things, but still haven't had the ENERGY to get the tickets or make the arrangements)(and reminded myself to tell Sharon about next Wednesday's 1:30 (saying that rather than the proper 1:15) slides of Africa). I grasped that word to my heart: yes, my BODY may have permanently aged two years in the last six months when I've been so obsessed by my prior obsession with trips that I lined up so many so quickly the past few years; I MAY be suffering from still-repressed anger and frustration at not being able to RELEASE my anger with Ken on the trip. So my dismal thoughts are only TEMPORARY, and I should REMIND myself of that when I GET them. I thought that was GREAT!

FRIDAY, 10/10/08: Watched "Craig's Wife" during dinner last night, and started "Roughly Speaking" before I went to bed at 11:34, though I turned over and looked at the clock at 11:49, after 15 minutes. 3:03AM pee and note dream and stay awake about 15 MORE minutes before starting Actualism, which puts me to sleep. Up at 7:49, having slept under eight hours, and decide to do a LIST of the minor tasks that I do today: 1) 7:49 Up and shit and finish a New Yorker. 2) 8:20 Clip toenails. 3) 8:30 Wash face, dress, and put bedroom in order. 4) 8:50 Type dream from last night and this list so far. 5) 8:55 Write two postcards, the REAL last task from the SPANFRAN trip (except, of course, to send the journal to Tris, unproofed, to put on the website, along with its description). 6) 9:10 Send for Delta Skymiles. 7) 9:25 Breakfast. 8) 10:25 Call Mildred and schedule Corton dinner; fix Patagonia slide dates; call Shelley. 9) 12:05 Go to gym, since I can't go tomorrow, and anyway this averages the first week of October to every three days: 1, 4, 7, 10. 10) 1:50 Call Healthy Heart meals: increase in price is due to FedEx increases ONLY. 11) 2PM Lunch. 12) 2:40 Call Sharon about 1:15PM Wednesday; e-mail Susie for Patagonia dates; e-mail and phone Tris about Gain and other. 13) 3:35 Set up South Africa slides, then listen to "Chariots of Fire" to 5:20. Spider to 6:50, lousy session. 14) 7:15 dinner, watch "Oz," and decide I don't want to finish watching it. 15) Read mail and bed at 12:20AM.

SATURDAY, 10/11/08: Pee at 6AM, up at 8AM. Check favorites: 1) Citi has NO Netflix charge, and NO finance charge YET, 2) HSBC has a balance of $840.43, Dr. DiMatteo's check not in yet, and 3) Schwab is down to $395,638! Have breakfast, read Times, and dress to get to Municipal Hall at 10:25AM, passing a "not-sure-it's-her" Carolyn in a blue outfit, ungracefully eating a breakfast and sipping coffee on the front steps of Borough Hall. We get early to Atlantic Avenue but can sit on the train until it leaves at 11:09AM. To Baldwin past trees that are surprisingly reddening into autumn, catch a cab for $6, for which she insists I pay $3 and she'll pay the rest plus tip, but says we can walk back to the station. She wants to walk, and thankfully finds the path to the lake in back, which swans, ducks, and Canadian geese soar over and dive into. I meet the bride and groom (indistinguishable from three other identical brothers), and try to sit in the shade as much as possible, even to pulling over a seat and sitting under a tree during the ceremony, which starts on the dot of 1PM, since there were weddings before and will be weddings after. Then to the roof for a good buffet of cheese, fruit, and veggies; I order screwdrivers for the two of us, followed by glasses of merlot and then gin and tonics, while passed appetizers include potato pancakes, roast beef on bread rounds, strawberries and whipped cream, shrimp cocktail, and crabcakes. Then downstairs to a glass of Southern Comfort, lots of bread and butter, and then a buffet of noodles with cheese, good Chinese dumplings with shrimp and pork inside, and delicious oven-blackened prime rib. Another glass of merlot, even though I know, now about 3PM, that I'm joining Ken at the Modern for dinner at 6. Check the train schedule, and 4:30 seems a good train to catch, thinking we might not make it when Carolyn insists on a final cup of coffee and a trip to the ladies' room, but the walk is VERY short and we get there two minutes before the departure time of the two-minute-late train to Penn Station. She dozes during the trip, which has fewer screaming babies than the trip out, and when we get out at Penn Station at 5:10PM she collapses against a column, insists I take her to the 8th Avenue subway line, and then I suggest she recover by having another coffee. Go to museum-entrance to the Modern, but when it doesn't open by 6PM they tell me it's "around the corner." Have a VERY good tasting menu, which I barely survive, what with all the food and MORE wine, and then Ken decides we WON'T go to the Van Gogh because he doesn't want to rush through the 24 paintings in 30 minutes. WELL! Home feeling frail and get right into bed at with night pills, a lot of water, and two aspirin at 10:20PM.

SUNDAY, 10/12/08: Wake to type an elaborate dream, then take two more aspirin with more water and finally get out of bed at 9:23AM, feeling rested for the first time in a long time. Read the Sunday Times, have breakfast, clear up the remaining tasks in the living room, take out the garbage and food trays, and transfer the Neo dream to the Dell, print out two pages, and finish this by 12:30PM, having gotten Carolyn's machine when I called to check that she got back OK last night. Debate whether to call Anita again about her choice of slide-night. Can't resist another bout of Spider. THAT goes from 12:30-4:45, finally getting to a new high of 50.28975 with 91 up, but it disgusts me by taking so much TIME. Then watch "Lives of Others," going through it twice, once with the director's commentary, and with about another hour of additional talk. MUCH too much time on one movie! Bed about 12:30AM.

MONDAY, 10/13/08: Wake about 7:30 and watch "Shortbus," which is so exciting that I jerk off TWICE during it, neglecting to go to the gym, and take down the two Netflix movies to catch the 3PM mail, water Spartacus's plants, and check for the mail, of which there seems to be none. Do Spider, almost willfully disgusting myself, from 2:45-5:45 and 8-9, but end with a new high of 50.29563 with 93 up. Then bite the bullet and send NINE recent, unproofed, travel files to Tris, with descriptions, and finally have dinner about 11:30PM, reading magazines to help pass the time, and then listen to some of Kitaro's "Silk Road" to digest before going to bed about 12:30AM.

TUESDAY, 10/14/08: Wake about 7:30 and get enthralled with the idea of a TRSMEM16, to be finished in time for the website's third anniversary on 10/26, which summarizes 1) What's already on, 2) What's already proofed, and 3) What WILL be the final page-count on the website. By 10AM calculate that I've spent, in hard cash, $40,407 by 6/05 for work by Carolyn, Daniel, and John, with an additional $17,716 for Tris and $8,895 for Marj to date, for a grand total of $67,018. Have breakfast, then get hung up for fifteen minutes with Citi trying to change my Pin Number, finally NOT being able to do it, then talk with Marj for twenty minutes to complain. Then set up the slide dates with everyone, talking a long time with Mildred, despite the fact we're meeting for dinner tonight, and having to call BACK the Brazels and Sherryl to find if they can change from the 28th to the 29th, which former date ended up with a possible TEN in the audience! Finish that by 12:30PM and figure I just MUST get to the GYM!

SHARON B. 80 10/15/08

Unfortunately writing these notes on 10/20! Remember doing nothing but whining: dinner with Mildred was a disaster, why do I keep going with her? Talks with Paul and Rita on the phone are exercises in frustration: I just want to get off the phone, why are they taking my time for trivia? My irritability keeps building up: when am I going to resolve my problem about carpeting in 21K? The ASME check hasn't come in to enable my paying Tris, but Sharon of course says that I can't be responsible for someone else's fiscal irresponsibility. Even Marj, at times, goes on too long (how can I RESIST thinking, of course, that she'll be READING this in the not-too-distant future?). I AGAIN condemn myself for beating my head against the wall and then wondering why I have a headache. Things ARE going well in my life; why can't I ENJOY it more and WHINE less, though I'm quick to say that I SAVE it for Sharon, rather than spreading it around to other friends, like Sherryl, who DEMAND that I say nothing negative to them since they have enough problems of their own. But I feel that I'm reverting to OLD problems that I thought I'd SOLVED in the past: acceptance of an aging body, relaxation from irritation about incidents I can't control, ease of doing things and balancing between work and play. Thought of my previous promises to Sharon that "next week will be better," but she somehow implies that it's NEITHER of our businesses to rehash what's GOOD in my life, but to dig into more reasons why I can't ENJOY MORE of what's good in my life.

MONDAY, 10/20/08: 10:30AM: Another set of apotheosic thoughts: having just proofread SPACIFIC 10/31/01, rife with messianic thoughts, I lay in bed around 6:30AM thinking (hoping, actually) again about feelings I would have when stoned: that I could rise up through masks of unreality, one by one, discarding accepted views of the world, rising up to a reality which had ME as the center of the universe, effectively countering the feeling of smallness which always inevitably occurs when contemplating the unimaginable vastness of the universe: where one photo from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals thousands of galaxies never seen before, each of which contains billions and billions of stars and their accompanying planets and, undoubtedly, civilizations. Then I flashed back to my first LSD experience, with Arno, where I huddled, wishing for his arms, and finally acknowledged that "In the middle of all the layers of onion around me, there's just a little person begging for you to love me?" And his calm, deep, accepting "Yes" rings in my memory. And this is how I STILL feel, whining to Sharon (haven't written up the 10/15 session yet!) about my lack of good friends with whom to eat in restaurants or to attend plays or to visit museums. More importantly, no one to HUG, to HOLD ONTO, to CRY with, reminding me of the blazingly memorable sessions with Bob R. when he said he loved me. Then, rethinking the same old thought that my point of view of the universe essentially IS the universe, I wonder if I could rationalize Obama's assassination as an experiment in governmental chaos or malign indifference. Or just accept my aging as aging WITH MEMORY and living more in the past. Then the fleeting hope that encountering new people at the Prime Timers' meetings might provide some actual grass to fuel more transcendent evenings. Images of my profile rushing through layers of reality to some me-centered cosmos started and ended my reveries.

WEDNESDAY, 10/22/08: Went to HIP at 9:30AM, signed in at the lab, having checked that they DO have Chin's request for my bloodwork, and then request a flu shot, for which they send me to the back and the guy takes me quickly. Glad to get THAT out of the way more than a week before leaving for Egypt. Then wait in the lab until about 10:15, get the blood taken, and then go to Supercuts to get my haircut out of the way. They don't have a $5 bill for my envelope this evening for Ron's 25th Anniversary, for which I want to give him a card saying "Happy 25," enclosing $25, so I stop into Key Food and get a quart of milk and three more jars of sour cherries, and even the FIRST cashier won't give me two fives in change, so I have to stop at the supervisor's station to get them. Home about 11AM for a late breakfast of oatmeal, my Healthy Heart breakfasts having been exhausted, and I try to play a DVD from Netflix but get the statement "This disc cannot be played in this region." WHAT?? Figure this MUST have come from my few-days-ago reconnecting my remote to my VHS, from which time the clock-time has vanished from the VHS when it's off, and I'm quite sure there wasn't a small "P" to the left of the Channel designation when the VHS is on. I had to get down on my hands and knees with my reading glasses to SEE that that little red "dot" was actually a "P." Look in the Panasonic manual and read that it means "Progressive," something about twice the scan-lines for NTSC, or whatever the standard is, so I figure that handling the "VHS-remote" mismatch a few days ago caused this, a "plot" by Time-Warner to bring in high-density programming earlier, so I call Time-Warner and they insist they did NOT change to high-density, and that I have to call my VHS maker, Panasonic, to solve my problem. This puts me into a SEVERE depression, under which I can ONLY resort to Spider from 5:30-8:40, getting to a new high of 50.34181 with 108 up, at which time I go down to Ron's 25th Anniversary gathering, which is MOBBED with EVERYONE. I hand him my envelope with $25 and a greeting of "Happy 25," have some good cake, lots of junky pastries, with two GREAT brownie-cakes, and get back upstairs quickly to avoid the socializing. Forgot to mention that Sharon called about 1:40PM to CANCEL tonight's session, saying that I still have one session next week before my trip. EVERYTHING'S going wrong, JUST when I was feeling wonderfully caught up! Have dinner at 9PM and maybe read magazines to catch up (though by Saturday I'm down to only ONE unread magazine!) until 10:50PM, when my eyes are closing and I take an ambien just to be SURE to get to sleep. Get to sleep quickly.

THURSDAY, 10/23/08: Wake at 6:27AM, amazed that I've slept over seven and a half hours. I'm feeling so anxious about everything going wrong that I take a valium and write the following list: 1) Panasonic "P" problem? or 2) Verizon FIOS-wiring problem? 3) Spartacus: PLAY two DVDs for me? 4) Netflix: cancel. 5) Sharon canceled. 6) Yesterday: I DID go to the Scandinavia House exhibit, PAID Tris, GOT a haircut, GOT my absentee ballot, and THEN went to watch, with joy, the DVDs, and they didn't work! Irresistable to think: I felt good, now I'm punished! 7) Went through the Colyte package to find NO four pills; did they forget them? 8) Anxious about Thursday's fast. 9) John leaves a letter at the downstairs desk naming me his executor. What MORE could I WANT? 10) Egyptair, when I open my packet last night, won't assign SEATS! 11) Schwab up $1000/day on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and then down. 12) WHY is my HSBC balance more than I think it should be? 13) THREE errors yet to mark in SPACIFIC. 14) Tab problems in "Levels of Knowledge" (LOK) scans. 15) 21K is finally inhabited and NOT with a dog. 16) GOT the blood test yesterday (taking care of the LAST item on my 8/28-noted "After SpanFran trip do-list"). 17) GOT the flu shot yesterday. 18) FELT good yesterday. 19) NO Costas-cruise Dubai trip because it's too expensive. 20) I should check Dubai trips on Internet. 21) Sherryl CAN'T come to slides because she has no energy. 22) Probably can't make Friday at Ken and Bob's. 23) Gilbert and George at BAM? 24) Eat after colonoscopy. 25) Took two aspirin on MONDAY, FOUR days before colonoscopy, NOT five days. Then, exhausted with thinking, got up at 9:15PM. Shit. 9:28AM phone CVS for information, WAIT on hold to 9:43, ask about four pills, told to "hold on." They don't know; I should call my doctor. Call Chin; they can't tell me, I should call the gastroenterology department: 718-858-6300. Do that at 9:51. Told to hold on at 9:54. 10AM: I'll transfer you now. I tell details. 10:04: I'll put you on hold and get back to you. Have to BUY the four pills, and if the bowel movement isn't clear, take an enema at 6AM and a second one at 7AM. Take prescriptions tonight. Off at 10:10AM, after 42 minutes! Call Egyptair and they WILL reserve my window seats for trans-Atlantic flights! Call Panasonic and they FIX my "P" problem and I CAN watch DVDs! 10:30AM: Cancel Friday's colonoscopy and make it Monday! But I MIXED Colyte already! Then come in 8:30AM on Friday! Spartacus says OK, but call him at 7:15AM to make sure he's awake. Watch "Blades of Glory," and "Nomad" and put them out to drop in mailbox Friday morning. Thankful that I don't feel hungry, taking one can of chicken broth and many glasses of apple juice. Go to CVS for two enemas, and just as I see the package of Dulcolax I realize I HAVE them from LAST time. Figure the directions to take them at 9PM MUST be wrong, since they'd be washed out with the Colyte, so I take them at 4:45PM. Start taking the Colyte at 6PM and the shits start and I finish without much discomfort. Watch "Sisters" and feel tired, but can't go to sleep so early, so I play Spider from 9:15-10:20PM, getting new high of 50.24482 with 109 up. Get to bed WITHOUT ambien because I might shit in the bed! Get rather easily to sleep.

FRIDAY, 10/24/08: Wake about 4:15 and take a valium with my last glass of apple juice allowed before the colonoscopy. Had intended to look at my notebooks for what happened BEFORE with the procedure (on 2/10/99 and 12/22/04), but didn't have the time. Phone rings at 7:22AM: Spartacus checking to see if I'm awake, which I WASN'T! Shit one last time, wash my ass with a washcloth, and get downstairs at 7:55AM to find him waiting for me. To Nevins Downtown Center from the Atlantic Avenue station at 8:15AM, and sign in AFTER another woman. Read New Yorker. Check at 9:30AM to be told that the woman ahead of me is having the procedure. FINALLY (Spartacus snoring lightly) told to go in and change at 10:49AM, having waited over two and a half hours! 11:06AM: Finish New Yorker and still waiting, and cold. Angry as hell. STILL sitting at 11:53, having read all the ads and movie/dance/theater reviews in desperation. At 11:54 a nurse pops her head in and asks "Do you have an IV in you arm, sir?" I say "NO" with all the frost I can muster. At 11:58 she puts in the IV, saying "I'm so sorry." To procedure room about 12:05PM, Dr. Seaman apologizing profusely, saying how sorry she is, talking about "setting up new equipment," and "couldn't cancel because you'd mixed the Colyte." She says the television is above my head, so I can't watch comfortably, but without saying anything the television is just to my right, so I can watch the whole thing, not falling asleep as she suggested I might. Because I'm more alert, it's more painful than it was before: two or three times I wince and gasp for them to stop, and she says it'll be over in a second. I watch endless folds of skin, blood vessels, yellow excrement swooshed out of diverticula with water jets, being told that "problems occur on the surface, not in the pockets," and finally that I have "mixed small and large diverticula" but no real problems. Out at 12:50PM, to recovery room, and Spartacus comes in to chat. I feel so good that I start dressing at 1:08, sign a release for the doctor, and leave the building at 1:20. Spartacus goes off to shop and eat, but I just want to go home: I feel pain in my stomach, which is gradually released in farting. Home at 1:49PM, almost exhausted. Have oatmeal and my morning pills, Spartacus calls to check that I'm OK, and I don't have the energy to do anything but Spider 3:10-6:05, then decide I feel well enough to shower and dress and get out at 7PM to Bob and Ken's, just five minutes away. I'm there about fifth, people still dressed, waiting for the president of Prime Timers who phoned that he'd be late. Pleasant conversation, and I eat lots of pale Cheeto-like crisps, assorted good nuts, a glass of Pepsi followed by two glasses of wine followed by another glass of Pepei, and fingersful of potato chips "for dinner." I look around apartment, glance into the bedroom where five of them are engaged in sex, think the last-arrived Jack is fairly attractive but we hardly speak after shaking hands. The 41-year-old Oriental is friendly, and all are understanding of my "shyness." When two of them start dressing to leave, I find to my relief that it's 9:15 so I get dressed and leave too. Home to again feel I can't get to sleep this early, so back to Spider 9:30-11:30 to a new high of 50.34722 at 110 up, and then to bed.

SATURDAY, 10/25/08: Wake earlier and doze, and up at 8:40AM for the Times and breakfast. Finish the Times at 10:50, finish with Marj at 11:30 (her saying that my going to an orgy the evening of my colonoscopy replaces, for sheer outrageousness, my seeing "Superman" in a theater before going off on some enormous trip that evening). Call the number Spartacus gave me for Netflix at 11:35 and Bess tells me she'll cancel me now and I can sign up anytime in the next 90 days to reconnect. Talk to Spartacus to tell him I'm OK and thanks for the Netflix number, then call Edgardo (who calls me back to save me money) to noon, then find by 12:20PM that I'd done the last of the "After Spanfran trip do-list," noted on 8/28, by giving blood to be checked on Monday morning. at 12:21 look for prior colonoscopies in MEDICAL, finding the first on 2/10/99, noting only that I took Milk of Magnesia at 1AM, two enemas, had a 10AM appointment, was seen at noon, and had no problems. NOTEBOOKD goes from 1/24/99 to 2/16/99 mentioning NOTHING about it. The second, on 12/22/04, was with Arnold, but again no mention in NOTEBOOKE which goes from 12/20/04 to 12/23/04 to 1/1/05 without mentioning anything. Find 12/23/04 "extimated," corrected on the website, and a huge computer error on 1/7/05: "deposited on his *&%^{] his brother," which reads "deposited on his bed by his brother" on the website; how, I don't know. That goes to 12:55, and then I try to catch up on NOTEBOOK until 1PM, when I'm hungry, so I have lunch, and then come back to sort through papers and finish this to 2:45PM. Type note from Discovery program "Apocalypse How?" with the "seven" apocalypses: 1) Yellowstone supervolcano, 2) Nuclear holocaust, 3) Lethal disease/bioterrorism/global pandemic, 4) Alien invasion, 5) April 14, 2029, Spophis comet, again in 2036. 6) Global warming. 7) Technology, which devolves into a) Robots take over, b) "Gray goo" from nuclear error, c) Large Hadron Collider black hole, d) Strangelet takeover, e) Wandering black hole, f) Earth ejected from orbit, g) Gamma-ray burst, h) Future ice age, i) Death of the Sun, j) Solar flare. Sweet sixteen!

SUNDAY, 10/26/08: 7:20AM Up and read Times. Breakfast 8:15AM. Scan LOK (Level of Knowledge) pages 23-33 8:45-10:45. Then input dreams. 11:05-11:30 Spartacus. Lunch and "Zodiac" to 3:10PM. Scan pages 34-46 to 5:45. Clear up living-room pile of mil to 5:45. Scan pages 47-51 to 7:40 and take off to a mediocre dinner at South Gate with Ken to 9:30. Watch skating, boring, and bed at 10:30PM.

MONDAY, 10/27/08: Up at 7:38, feeling good, scan last two pages 8:15-8:30, have breakfast at 8:35, then get to the gym at 9:30 and back in time to make a seven-item list for Dr. Chin, finishing at 11:20AM, then pick up laundry, leave off CVS valium prescription, and get home to fix television picture (I guess the box was off, so I couldn't get a picture before, only play a videotape) and catch up with medical records and this to 1:10PM, catching up on last stacks of stuff to put away from the desk and coffee table. Make list of things I've been waiting for in the mail: 1) Zagat's, 2) Radio Shack bill, 3) HSBC statement, and 4) Sci-Am. Wonderfully, everything but the Radio Shack bill came in Monday's mail, and the Radio Shack bill came in Tuesday's mail. Got to the Broadway-Dancers-Change-Careers benefit at City Center, with Angela Lansbury, Tommy Tune, and a few other notables, including Jane Krakowski and Cheyenne Jackson in an excerpt from "Damn Yankees," but I was glad it was over by 8:40PM since it wasn't quite worth the $61 paid for the front-row upper-balcony seat.

TUESDAY, 10/28/08: Nothing to do today but prepare for the slides tonight. Put away the South Africa slides, put in the Patagonia slides, pleased to find there were 240 of them, but added the 80 from the Aruba trip in case anyone tonight wanted more. Finished watching the rather miserable "Introducing the Dwights," then started on dishes, which segued into scrubbing the counters and stove and cabinets in the kitchen, followed by removing the toilet seat and washing that and the toilet and the bathroom sink thoroughly for Carolyn's approval at the slides this evening. Body ached with the strain of all the work, relaxing between by catching up on videotapes, and set up the room for an initial count of eight, but Shelley's friend didn't come, and Spartacus didn't come, so we were down to six: me, Charles, Carolyn, Piri (the three of whom came in together at 6:48PM, so I was glad I was ready ahead of time with the room setup), Mildred (who only later joined in drinking the champagne I opened in honor of Carolyn's birthday today), and Shelley, who brought her own non-alcoholic drink. Ordered only one pizza, since Mildred wanted none, Carolyn and Shelley and Charles had only one slice, and Piri and I had two, which left me with a slice for the next day. Everyone LOVED the slides, but didn't want to continue with Aruba, and all left by 9:30PM, quite early. I finished "The Bourne Identity," remembering almost nothing from having seen it in 2003, and will finish the two sequels which Spartacus loaned me. Bed just after 12:30AM.

WEDNESDAY, 10/29/08: Up at 8:10AM to record a small dream, print that out, and think to finish SOME small version of TRSMEM16 to celebrate the website's third birthday last Sunday. Also decide to try Zaha Hadid's "space pod" today, and can now print out ANOTHER page at 8:32AM. DO get to the exhibit at 10:30AM, wait for only a few minutes in the standby line and get a 10:30 no-show ticket which lets me into the exhibit immediately. Check my coat, asking them to watch out for my camera, with which I took a few photos of the Mobile Museum, and then get instructed on my individual head-set with the seductive soft voice of Jeanne Moreau directing me from exhibit to exhibit. I sit in a chair in the first room with the tiled floor matching the diamond-shaped crystal sculptures overhead, then walk up the steps to the "fall-well" which lasts a bit too long with cicada-noises and wings falling into a black void at the bottom of a white cylinder. Downstairs to a colored wall, through which I pass into a room with a long bench on which we perch to watch water dripping into the reflection of a line of buildings with a few windows showing people moving about, opening and closing blinds and drapes. Down more stairs in the spacious white-plastic building to a set of boxes showing (I late realize) Chanel handbags being used in games of catch by naked, some obese, women, and a video of a naked skinny Chinese girl overshadowed by pictures of real and drawn flowers and bushes. Mildred said they wouldn't let her punch the adjacent punching bag. Then an Indian video illustrates various uses of bags, valises, and suitcases (again only realized later as subtle advertising for the Chanel bags), and then a few other video displays before an inner room with a translucent ceiling, holding an enormous handbag with a video installation, then a set of three postcards which I took, a wall which should have been doing something other than just displaying the quilted surface of their latest production, and then Yoko Ono's wish tree, on one of the cards on which I printed the single word "Content." Then picked up the bulky advertising magazine and went to the 72nd Street bus stop for an M2 that transferred us to an M5 at 30th Street for my ride to 23rd Street to find that "Pulse Park" operated only from DUSK (not dawn) to 11PM, but I took advantage of a no-wait line to order a tasty cheeseburger (but small and not quite as good as a number of other burgers, notably Spotted Pig's) and a creamy caramel shake that I finished waiting for the subway when it started raining in the park. Home to watch "Bourne Supremacy," annoyed with the glitch on the DVD at 1:13-1:14, and the inability to pause or speed forward for the remainder of the viewing. Overindulge in ginger ale and peanut-butter cups and the remaining slice of mushroom pizza from last night, and stop watching the director's commentary on the film to ready the apartment for the 7PM slide showing, for which Stephanie calls to say she'll be late, and Ken is first only at 7:05PM. Again, they all like the slides. I travel home with Steve to find no one manning the "Pulse Park" exhibit: likely they couldn't find 200 people to volunteer their heartbeats to allow the exhibit to remain active. Don't know if I'll accept Steve's invitation to return at 7PM tomorrow to see the exhibit. Disappointed back to the subway uptown to Times Square to transfer to the west-side line, feeling very tired, to get home and wrap up the remains of the food left out from the slide show and get to bed about 11:15PM.

THURSDAY, 10/30/08: 8:42AM: Slept straight through to 7:40AM, still feeling tired and somewhat sore from Tuesday's cleaning and furniture-moving mania, having to undo the furniture set-up for the slides the last two nights. Started with a dream transcription, notebook updating, and gaze out the window at an almost cloudless sky to the beginnings of autumn color in the trees in Brooklyn Heights below. Just feeling so constantly TIRED these days, sad that Sharon has cancelled the last TWO meetings because of "personal problems and a death in the family," saying that we'll next meet on November 26th. Still to pay the Radio Shack bill and check the Visa statement and send that out, do the latest TV Guide puzzle, having renewed for 114 issues via the Internet a few days ago, thinking to look through the Cadman Plaza stack to find the guy who's selling the air-conditioner winter-wraps, and clearing up the last elements to be added to Marj's flash drive---seeing that it seems to be two separate words---without having the cash to pay her bill, and looking forward to the $3000+ of Piri's index to pay more bills. How many indexes will NEXT year provide? Hopefully more than the seven this year! Though it might be eight if Piri's index comes through THIS year rather than next. Now to get into the day at 8:55AM. Finish watching the Director's commentary on "Bourne Supremacy," and eat lots of pistachios and Reese's peanut-butter cups and dried cherries to make my eating totally out of whack. Get to the gym at just AFTER 3:30PM to keep to my schedule, even though I don't feel like it, and then phone Marj. Got OAT's offer for no-single-supplement travel and think I might schedule the trips I wanted to take to Tunisia and Nepal/Bhutan if I could find a partner. Then decide I MUST get to Steve's, so I put my heartbeat into the "Heart Park system" in Madison Square Park, walk through it taking pictures, and then up to Steve's to look at it from his 17M terrace and then the 30th floor Madison Room's terrace. Back to look at his slides until my neck cricks and leave about 9:30 to get back home the usual way, feeling exhausted, finishing the November Scientific American. Move much of the furniture so I'll have a coffee table on which to put the stuff on the floor by my bed. Bed just before midnight after watching "Manswers" on silly SpikeTV while having dinner.

FRIDAY, 10/31/08: Transcribe dream from 2:55AM, shit and take a valium at 3:08, anticipating angst today. Another dream at 6:30AM. Up at 8:56AM to shit and start to j/o at 9:16, but it just doesn't work, so I stop at 10:15. Look at weather in Tunisia and Nepal and then call OAT, and finally decide on trip one for 2009: Tunisia February 2-26 for $3181, and trip two: Nepal and Bhutan April 2-24 for something appallingly close to $6700, having pretty much spent $10,000 this morning. Phone Marj, Arnold, Mildred (LW), Shelley (LW), and Steve (LW) about my new trips. Continue cleaning up from the party, have breakfast at 11:45AM while watching "Fractal Geometry" that I recorded Wednesday night, then do the dishes. Phone HIP to check my bone-density scan, and Nicholas says he'll call me back. Catch up with this by 2:10PM, getting stacks off my desk. He calls back with appointment. Put more stuff away, get out to CVS for valium and spray which I find SERENDIPITOUSLY on my way BACK to the prescription booth because I FORGOT my wallet, and couldn't find ANYTHING for a spray while searching the cleaning, shoe, medicine, tooth departments. Reminds me of two OTHER serendipitous discoveries: 1) the 25-inch-wide box that my Healthy Heart boxes JUST fit into to take downstairs, which I discovered while taking down the Styrofoam packing materials: PERFECT container! And 2) getting the OAT no-single-supplement offer JUST when I was wondering what to tell people in Egypt about my next trip, and now I have TWO of them, which takes the psychological burden off Egypt being my "last" trip, which WAS taking its toll! But there's a negative, too: with four others in the elevator, one of the women hit the B (for basement) button my mistake when someone was getting on and she intended to hit the "door open" button. The elevator lurched down an inch or two, and then, descending to the basement as requested, descended PAST the window by what I estimated was about two feet! We rang the alarm at 4:57PM, people answered, we fretted, and finally Angelo came and pried the doors open, revealing that we were only about ONE foot below. Climbed the stairs to the main floor and got back to my apartment about 5:05, to watch "Atonement," which Spartacus had said was divided into two sections, but I watched it to the END on the FIRST section. That took to 7:10, at which time I dressed and got out to the Tudor Gala at City Center, passing many dressed for Halloween, and they played five of the six listed pieces without an intermission to 9:49PM, leaving out the "Leaves Are Fading" Pas de Deux, but adding many interesting film clips. Charles didn't want to go to dinner afterwards, and I got home and decided I didn't need dinner, having finished the pistachios, so I took an ambien at 11:08PM, changed the calendar sheet to November, and got to bed at 11:20, getting to sleep quickly.