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2009 1 of 7

2009 Journal

THURSDAY, 1/1/09: 7:59AM: Woke at 7:50AM to pee and type dream. A new year has begun! Paul M. phones at 8:58AM, even before I get out of bed at 9:25, wanting to tell me about Paul C.'s visit. Carolyn calls to say she'll be over about noon to pick up her calendar and year-end letter. Ken calls about 9:30 and says he wants to come right over, but I tell him to wait for an hour since I want to have breakfast, which I have while watching a little of "Romeo and Juliette" recording this morning. Ken's over at 10:30 and edits his photos and takes his CD and leaves about 11:40AM. Mildred calls and says she'll call back: she's made another Restaurant Week reservation, but she doesn't return her call. Edgardo calls again! Carolyn arrives about noon, loves a slug of Grand Marnier, takes her stuff, and leaves about 12:30. I finish "Romeo and Juliette" while having lunch, then get to the business of typing nine more 2008 LIFELIST pages. I'd even forgotten to fill in the datebook pages for the Egypt/Petra trip, so I can't finish typing pages before watching "Cinema's Exiles," about the German film greats who emigrated to America when Hitler took over and started killing Jews, which goes from 9:30-11:30, when I'm about to fall asleep. Bed 11:45PM.

FRIDAY, 1/2/09: Pee at 5AM while noting a dream, and get up at 8:12AM to check my year-end Schwab listings, and even get e-mail from Manhunt though I didn't even finish my application. They say it'll die in a few days if I don't pay them. Finish this at 8:40AM. Breakfast while watching "Vienna New Year," and then get to the rest of the 2008 LIFELIST pages. Start printing, but decide I'd better watch "End Game" and mzil it off before 3:30PM. VERY strange movie: did the president's wife REALLY organize her husband's assassination? Len calls from Prime Timers, making him number three. One down and two to go. Finish printing the combined 2006-2008 pages and look for something to print out after the last one, but neither DREAMS nor this qualifies. Try MEDICAL? Finally find that COMPCHRO can be filled out, though the notes are nearly meaningless as I transcribe them; yet they DO reflect PROBLEMS that I had with the COMPUTER! Tear apart the pages and recycle the 2006 and 2007 pages into xerox-ready paper and update the blue (movies) and red (all else) notebooks in the living room "reference shelf." Also add trips 96-99 to Newest Travel folder at top-right to 5:15PM, waiting for a call that my meals have arrived so I can go down for the mail. Call downstairs and it hasn't arrived yet. Maybe they didn't put it in?
Guess there's nothing to do now (since I don't feel like tackling the new projector) but Spider! OOPS, forgot I should check the WEBSITE! Do that: nothing new. Play Spider 5:40-6:10, and then the meals arrive and I put them away. Insist on more Spider from 7-11:30, getting to a new high of 50.51851 at 168 up at last. Have a filling dinner, with the last snack from last week, while watching the Met's "Macbeth," rather good with Guleghina, deciding to watch it through to its climax at 2:15AM!! Get to bed at 2:28AM, ridiculous!

SATURDAY, 1/3/09: Wake at 8:34AM to pee and bring in the paper, and determine to do Actualism, after peeing again at 9:02AM, to start the year "right." But things preying on my mind force me to write a list, (which I then do through the day), before I finish Actualism at 10:02AM. Have oatmeal while reading the Book Review, then call Mildred at 10:40-11:03 to talk about Charles and get her last Restaurant Week reservation, call Spartacus to find he wants August, which I reserve for, and then talk to Ken about going to two restaurants with HIM in the rest of the month. Talk to OAT about Nepal cost 11:31-11:45, and they have to renegotiate my bill AGAIN, obsoleting the invoice they sent me 12/31. Find I can't check my passport until Monday, leave word with Charles, play Spider to a new high of 50.52743 at 169 up from 11:45-1, and get to the gym between 1:20 and 3PM, when I have lunch reading the magazine. Read the Times, debate what to do next, too "tired" to do the projector, and send out two e-mails to Doug and Len at 4:50PM, putting the ball in THEIR court. Then INDULGE in Spider 4:50-8:35PM, finally squeezing out a new high, after 8 wins, of 50.53294 at 173 up. Decide to finish my "work day" by updating this to 8:50PM and printing the page. Now for dinner, finishing Spartacus's CDs. Then, not ready for bed, I watch "Inland Empire," total TRASH from David Lynch, on my computer. Even have cherries at my desk while watching the junk. Bed at 1:32AM

SUNDAY, 1/4/09: Pee and transcribe dream at 4:45AM, up at 9:21, getting the Times, having breakfast, and trying to install the projector from 11:45-1:34 (detailed in COMPCHRO). Then get out to a wonderfully tasty double cheeseburger from Shake Shack at Steve's, everyone arriving well after 3PM for Steve's great hot fudge sundae, then his photos from Iceland and Greenland, then his apple pie, and then we're too full to have dinner at Tamarind, as I'd hoped, so I get home after 7PM to get back to the projector from 8:05-11:15PM, and at the end trying WINWORD on the laptop, but it needs WWINTL32.DLL. DAMN! Bed at 12:35AM.

MONDAY, 1/5/09: Pee at 7:32, up at 8:34, having finished list of THIRTEEN items to do: 1) Beard: LW 9:05AM, confirmed 9:36AM; 2) Met opera: 8:45AM: no RUSH tickets available this week, 11:20AM registered for weekend drawing; 3) CDW, who's unimpressed that their ad lied when it said the S6 was PC-free, and tells me my drive was FedExed Friday; 4) PVC: by 9:10AM said they'd mark on my file that I must have my passport back by the last week of January; 5) Spartacus: films?, to be described later; 6) discard "cruise" stuff: one of two things I did NOT do today; 7) COMPCHRO projector process: finished 6:30PM; 8) DLL added to Word, which I tried at 6PM and it needed something ELSE; 9) Jay about Court Street opera, which I phoned at noon; 10) website---LOK, which I looked at at 9AM and found it wasn't changed yet; 11) Choice---check yet? 6:15PM go to the website and find it got IN today; 12) Schwab---minimum IRA distribution: second of two things not done; 13) Terry: Sherryl's VHS, at 11:40AM he said he'd schedule an "inner group" at Sherryl's apartment for such things, maybe this weekend; 14) Marj: LW at noon. Do Spider 9:10-11:10AM to new high of 50.54816 after six wins at 178 up. Spartacus said to come over at 12:30, and we went through his files, my getting three CDs, he's watching disk with "300" on it tonight, but as I leave he mentions he's going to the LAST DAY of the Van Gogh exhibit at MoMA! I want to go too, dash home to have lunch, and meet him in front of Park Plaza (he's EARLY for once!) at 2:15. Enjoy that exhibit and some porn my Duras, or whatever the South African artist's name is, and get home at 5:50PM, getting TANZANIA back from Marj! Have dinner while watching CDs, then with a jolt at 8:58PM realize that I wanted to watch "The Story of India," at 9PM. Interesting stuff, particularly that Sanskrit was written after a NON-written language was seemingly the FIRST USED in civilization. Marked down to see Gunnar Tepe in Turkmenistan. Bed, tired, at 11:15PM

TUESDAY, 1/6/09: 5:09AM: Type dream and pee. Do Actualism, maybe napping, and have an erotic dream-fragment before waking at 7:47 and think to jerk off, but can't, and finish at 8:20. Have breakfast while watching "Flowers of Evil" on a CD, then try AGAIN to start WINWORD on my laptop, but it, ridiculously, ends by saying there's not enough STORAGE to do it! Talk to Marj from 11-11:55AM, and then catch up with this to 12:30, talking to Spartacus and leaving word with John S. to make it 6:45PM tomorrow for Splash, not 6PM. Think to sort through "cruise" shelf before lunch and the gym. Do all that, and get back to find my hard disk has arrived, connect it, and start duplicating files: JV, WP51, and OLDDRIVE, which starts at 6:07 and is finished when I get back at 10:10PM, after DRINKING AND EATING to the point of SICKNESS, forcing me to leave at 9:40, before dessert, fearing that I'd be sick EACH SECOND of the way to the subway, ON the subway, and on the way up to my apartment, hyperventilating to keep from vomiting, undressing slowly, and sitting on the edge of the bed before taking night pills with two aspirin and getting to bed surely by 10:30.

WEDNESDAY, 1/7/09: Wake at 4:44AM to take water and FOUR aspirin, since I REALLY feel awful, and back to sleep to wake about 7AM and get up at 9:24AM, still feeling woozy. Watch a good "Memory of a Killer" to put it into the mail at 12:15PM, discovering to my horror that I MISSED the Sage walk today at 11AM! How AWFUL. Tara Smith calls about a PDF index, and I DON'T remember the details of my doing it before until I call Marj about 8/1/08, and SHE thinks of my looking at the flashdrive to find the files THERE, so clearly I had the pages on my laptop which I indexed with CINDEX on my desktop! Steve had also called about my registering with Canadian Adventures, which I do by fax, the second time around, Tara never calls back after I say I can DO it. Watch the two hours I recorded from National Geographic last night, and catch up with this by 4:55PM so I can print and take a page of two great dreams to Sharon, after which I go to John's for Splash. It turns out that Splash is CLOSED for a private party THAT night, so we go, at his suggestion, to the Monster, which is pretty awful, with a lousy sing-along piano player, and he buys expensive drinks (like $14 for two), which makes the $6 (plus $2 tip) for two Bloody Marys at Julius's afterward seem like such a bargain that I bought them TWICE, with a very good cheeseburger with which he ordered fries and onion rings, for really great greasy food. No one attractive there either! Drank quite a bit, but it felt OK, maybe I NEEDED the "hair of the dog." Then home, and bed 11PM.

SHARON B. 85 1/7/09

Only get around to this on 1/13/09, so it won't be the most accurate. Read her the two dreams, marking my prescience in dreaming about "Artie Shaw with a fur coat" BEFORE meeting Bob H. with HIS fur coat at Steve's that afternoon! Again complain about things I've forgotten, like earplugs for Splash, and she again remarks that I have SO MANY THINGS going on that I'm really not to blame for forgetting a few details, and if this had happened in the past, before my concern about Alzheimer's, I would have just LET IT GO. Again she asks about making mistakes in front of Mom, and I have to admit I hardly EVER made mistakes in front of her. When asked for more about the relationship, I had to admit that I had more RESPECT for her, since I never had to worry about her not being there, not providing shelter and food for me (though I shopped for much of it and cooked much of the food), just as I RESPECTED the nuns in school and had to obey THEM, and not make mistakes in front of THEM, but I did't LOVE the nuns as a reason to obey them, as I didn't really LOVE my mother, but it was more of a matter of RESPECT. I trotted out all the upcoming dinners, slide shows, and e-mails to the two Prime Timers, one of whom responded, the other not yet (which he explained in an e-mail later was due to his being sick), and trials at meeting people, which she praised. Feeling good when I left.

THURSDAY, 1/8/09: Pee at 4:16AM and take two aspirin, in case the booze catches up with me. Up at 8:50AM. Spider 9:15-10:30, 11:50-2:15, and 3:40-4:05, ending with a new high of 50.5567 at 181 up. Watch my recording of the People's Choice awards, so awful that I try to resolve never to watch it again: obviously it's so fixed it's not worth looking at. Phone Schwab about my IRA and Keogh minimum required distributions and find that Bush signed a law recently that EXEMPTS that requirement for this year! A LOT gone off my do-list! See "South Pacific," disappointed not to get Szot (or whatever his name is) with a two- or three-week vacation replacement who's not BAD, but not that sexy. TV and bed 2:08AM.

FRIDAY, 1/9/09: Pee at 7:22 and 8:15AM and up at 9:30. Watch "Murnau, Borzage and Fox," Critics Choice 2008, and "Cyrano de Bergerac" with Kevin Kline to kill a day and clear up TV-watching, go to gym, and get to bed at 11:20PM.

SATURDAY, 1/10/09: Pee at 5:14. Up at 8:30. It's snowing, so Ken calls to cancel tonight's attempt at Momofuku-ssam, making it easier for me to decide to go to the Prime Timers meeting at 2PM: a HUGE mistake, since the people (only 11 others) are awful and I feel TERRIBLE being there without John S. NEVER go again, I tell myself. Back to read the Times and watch the last of Spartacus's DVDs, watching "Western Union," that has no ending recorded, and "Open Your Eyes," much better than "Vanilla Sky," ripped off it. Watch my Netflix "The Mist" twice, getting lots from the director's commentary. Bed at 12:20AM.

SUNDAY, 1/11/09: Pee at 6:33AM. Up at 8:30. Read Times and checking Netflix find that "Southland Tales" is now available on my computer, so I start watching it, putting it on pause while I subway in to see Tourneur's 1918 "Blue Bird" at the Walter Reade, only 63 minutes instead of the announced 81 minutes. Watch more of the movie when Mildred says I probably won't be able to delay our reservation at Dovetail, so I don't even try, putting the movie on pause AGAIN to subway to Dovetail ten minutes early, getting to read all the reviews, and Mildred reminds me that she DID make this reservation FOR the $38 three-course fixed-price Sunday special! VERY good, though she ends up AGAIN misinterpreting something I say, implying I'd LIKE to see all the Jews killed, but she comes out of it toward the end of the meal. Finish the movie and speed-look through a dizzying "Ken Jacobs: Celestial Subway Lines," glad I don't have to pay for it. Bed at 11:30, putting out the card for the gym tomorrow and BORED by it all!

MONDAY, 1/12/09: Note dream at 4:11 and pee at 5:20. Note two more tiny dreams and get up at 8:25AM. Breakfast and decide I MUST get back to Tara's index, having gotten her FTP address and figured again how to use it on Friday from 10:50-11:50AM. Get to the end of chapter 10 from 12:05-1:45 and realize I have to go BACK to the site to download the appendices. Go reluctantly to the gym, happy that the yeast infection around my cockhead seems to have been cured by the antibiotic powder I put on it during the last week. Watch my recording of "My Life Without Me," which impresses me and not the critics, who called it the "weeper-of-the-week." Checked the website to find it looks good through SIX, though Tris is having problems with it. Send an e-mail and LIFE9499, which he has no trouble getting. Finish watching the Golden Globe 2008 awards just in time to leave 6:45 to meet Leon at exactly 7:30 for Mahler's Third at Carnegie Hall, only the last two-minute finale really worth listening to. Back to have snacks while watching the third hour of Michael White's "India," since I really couldn't bring myself to get to bed at 11:45PM, and get to bed at 12:52AM.

TUESDAY, 1/13/09: Pee at 5:20AM. Up at 8:40AM. Breakfast while watching the fourth hour of "India." Then finish Tara's index 10-12:05, taking 20 minutes from that to talk to Shelley, who comes over to have me sign as Treasurer for some claim for fees she's making, and recommends some enormous blackout curtain for my bedroom. Then take Imodium over to Spartacus, who's had the shits since midnight. Call Schwab and put $10,000 into a Reynolds Tobacco 9.65% CD and $20,000 into a Kraft 5.6% CD of somewhat more security, then type up a page to get $20,000 transferred into my Schwab One account to pay for upcoming trips and Visa charges. Then sift through the awards to tell Spartacus I want to see "John Adams," which got four Golden Globes and both "best TV film" awards, and "Recount," which just sounds good. Added seven movies to my want-list from watching excerpts of them, though not adding some that just don't sound that engrossing, unless I get them free: "Frost/Nixon," "The Wrestler," "The Reader," and "Doubt." Undecided about "Benjamin Button." Impressed with Colin Farrell's winning best actor for "In Bruges." Also impressed that "WALL-E" seems to be winning everything, as is "Slumdog Millionaire." WEIRD! Still concerned that I can't get the supposedly free Logo channel 155, which means I don't have digital, which means I should worry about the 2/12 changeover? HAD wanted to "organize" my "spring clean-up," but only did the TV-side movie-see shelf on 1/4, the cruising shelf which I did on 1/6 and marked it as 1/5, typed the new movie list on 1/8 which I assigned to 1/6, and then the Beard shelf on 1/8 which I assigned to 1/7, but then didn't do anything more on it, released in part with not having to figure my required distributions. But then the GM lawsuit papers came in, so I have something NEW to look through stock papers for. Catch up with this at 3:55PM, figuring to send my e-mail to Sci Am about socks riding down in shoes, and then maybe I can indulge in Spider!

SHARON B. 86 1/14/09

Get there in very cold weather to find people working in two areas of the outer offices. Sharon comes out to get me at exactly 5:30, and we remark about the workers. First, I reschedule next week's meeting to 5:30 on Tuesday, so I can go to Iron Chef next Wednesday with John and Susie after my Atlantic Ocean Islands slides at 55 Pierrepont. Then I start by trying to indicate my dream at 7:26AM this morning, but only say that it "was a typical dream of being lost and unable to find my way out," which I say characterizes how I felt the last few days. It's the only time she takes any notes. I start with a detailed description of the anxiety I felt when I woke from the dream: heart beating fast, breathing faster and more shallow, debating whether to take a valium or not to prevent feeling this awful through the day. Don't mention my then getting up at 7:49 and jerking off. Characterize the week as having been very productive, but then concentrate, in a slightly artificial way, on the details of my thoughts and actions last night at Sherryl's. Repeat much of the feeling of being one of the "raping crows, as in "Zorba" when the old women tear apart the dwelling of an old woman who's just died." We both agree that it's only practical to act like that, since everything not taken will be thrown away eventually, yet I found it difficult to totally excuse such "practical" activity. "How does that make you feel?" is her standard therapeutic question, of course. I try to put some clarity into the answer, since I feel that I have little else to talk about except for my increasing irritability with people I consider VERY inferior to me, like many of the questioners ("Were you scared?" "Where were you?" "What was that again?") at the slide show by the Cohls on Denali earlier yesterday evening, or jabberers talking loudly about sports in the gym, or stupid people pushing in or out of the subway doors at times when the priority should be going to the people going the OTHER way. I try to make a very involved point that, when I'm feeling good, as I was during the first part of this week because I'd caught up on many major tasks like indexing, or finding that minimum withdrawals from IRAs and Keoghs weren't necessary this year, I tend to LOOK DOWN WITH DISGUST at people (most all of them) who irritate me. But when I'm feeling BAD about myself for NOT being caught up, I consider myself NOT WORTHY to look down at ANYONE, so I just hate them AS I HATE MYSELF for being stupid or incompetent or intrusive. She seems to follow my reasoning and agree with me, as she usually does. Sort of laugh at my long talks with Marj as with "another type of therapist" to whom I can confide my thoughts and reactions. Also repeat the thought that's floated through my mind a few times recently: I'm so busy with DOING things that I don't have TIME to worry about the impending trip, which is minor anyway: it's conducted, it's paid for, it's short, it's not physically demanding. Remind myself that I haven't yet talked to Chin about stopping Avodart to see if my testosterone, and thus my sexuality, increases. Think of myself taking care of most MAJOR things-to-do, but allowing MINOR things-to-do to pile up in various stacks around my apartment. Toward the end, I'm very conscious of the time, thinking I can't possibly fill the remaining time from 6-6:15PM, for example, lapsing into silence and staring at the floor to think of something else to say, but finally 6:15 DOES come and I look to see that I have no forms to sign this time, and I leave on time to feel vaguely content with the session, though I don't record it until Sunday morning.

WEDNESDAY, 1/14/09: Typing ALL out of whack: printed this page before starting with SUNDAY, 1/18, but on TUESDAY, 1/20, realized I hadn't caught up with PRIOR information jotted on note cards, so now have to REPRINT this page (which has nothing whatsoever to do with the website, of course). Got to bed this morning at 12:58AM, got up at 7:26 to pee and type dream, and at 7:49 start j/o to 8:25AM. Later went to Sharon and then to a very disappointing $75 Top of the Ritz special at the Beard: uninteresting food and people. Bed at 1:40AM.

THURSDAY, 1/15/09: Up 8:59AM, NOT having had to get up to pee! Mail three checks for IRS and Tris, watch "The Fall" (interesting: his previous movie was "The Cell." Is there a pattern here?) three times, wonderful. Then to the NYC Ballet for $5 thanks to Leon, seeing "Interplay," fun but nothing wonderful; "The Cage," with an angular Wendy Whelan with close-cropped black hair and an uncomfortably nearly naked Marcovici; "Four Bagatelles," really nothing: I thought "I could see as good a piece in Cleveland;" and "I'm Old Fashioned," which I would have been content to see only once in my lifetime. But the Times on Saturday loved the program. Bed at 12:25AM.

FRIDAY, 1/16/09: Pee at 6:30, 8:25 pee and start j/o to 9:20. Then watch TV. Spider to new high of 50.5695 2:40-6:05PM. Do various catch-up things and watch "Make 'em Laugh" and the first two parts, for three hours, of "John Adams. Bed at 12:34AM.

SATURDAY, 1/17/09: Pee at 6:24. Up at 8:30. Read the Times and get to Ken's to help with his carpet cleaning at 10:28AM. Not much to do, and he pays about $35 for my lunch at Cafeteria: I say it's probably the most pay for the shortest work I've ever gotten. Back to not feel like doing anything, so I watch "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep" on my computer screen. Spider 7:15-8:40 to high of 50.57844. Have dinner and watch two more hours of "John Adams," engrossing finally, and the last hour of "The Luzhin Defense." Bed at 2:53AM!!

SUNDAY, 1/18/09: Up at 8:03AM, just to look at the Times, Spider 9:05-9:45 to a high of 50.58139, type Sharon's session, phone OAT, and do Spider to 9:48AM. Watch "Salome" from the Met with Mattila, and get to the Games group for new Holger and Chris, who add spice to a very long Charades session. Back to watch another hour of "John Adams" and do other things and get to bed, exhausted, at 11:30PM.

MONDAY, 1/19/09: Up 8:43AM, catching up a bit on sleep, but still feeling logy, and finally get to the gym after another four-day hiatus. Watch the last two parts of "John Adams," register for Met tickets, check that my Tunis-JFK seat HAS been changed to the right, realize that today, as Martin Luther King day, is not the day to call Schwab to check about my $20,000 transfer, and catch up with lots of details like tweezing hairs out of my ears and filling prescriptions. Get early to Ruth's Chris Steaks for Charles and Mildred and a great filet mignon and spinach and chocolate-mousse cheesecake and a decent bottle of white Zinfandel for "only" $40. Spider 7:50-8:55, not a new high, but want to watch the last two hours of "The Story of India." Bed at 12:52AM but get up 1:04-1:14 to add up my trips to $314,000, figuring the unlisted 37 trips add at LEAST another $19,000, bringing my lifetime total for travel to just over a third of a million dollars!

TUESDAY, 1/20/09: Up at 7:48AM to type three dreams which I print out to give Sharon this evening. Finally sort through all the things on my desk to end up with just SIXTEEN piles, lots of trivia, putting Netflix into a new place in the bookcase, putting my 500G storage transfers near the unit, leaving word with Ken about a possible England trip and with IAT about my old bill and my new index. Put on TV at 9AM to watch the preparations for the much-awaited Inauguration at noon, and put things away and away and finally finish catching up with this at 11:20AM, sorry to have to leave at 12:25AM for Spartacus to get to August by 1PM. When it's clear that Obama's speech won't be over by 12:25, I call August and change our reservation to 1:30, and Spartacus agrees. Didn't like the music or the poem, but Obama's 18-minute-18-second speech is wonderful and the closing Benediction is a hoot. Cried a number of times during it. Then August has a good cauliflower soup and an almost-great short-rib entree and two decent desserts that we share. Back to find that I AGAIN have to use the old PC to print out the Keogh Distribution Request Form from Schwab! Got to KEEP it! Find an old form to use as a pattern, then get the Atlantic Ocean Islands slides and find they're not even NUMBERED. Put away the old slides and start inserting the new, watching as the two electeds and their wives get out of their armor-plated limousines and get inundated by the screams of the appreciative crowds. Wonderful scenes. Pick up prescriptions and get to Sharon at 5:25AM, reading the New Yorker with Obama as Washington on the cover. Finish Sharon's note by 7:25PM. Can't resist Spider 7:25-11:35, FINALLY getting to a high of 50.58327 with 191 up. Bed at 1:30AM.

SHARON B. 87 1/20/09

Get in and pull out my dream, reading the first two and coming up with all kinds of associations with my current trips as adventures "proving I can do it" as with roller coasters. The cobwebs and mazes are associated with my troubles with my laptop mouse, my trying to transfer money between two Schwab accounts, my vagues sense of being dissociated from my own body a few times: bringing up my replaying of "John Adams" to find that I DID see the scenes I thought I'd totally missed because I was missing one of the parts. Described Spartacus's insistence that I should use the sentence "I'm wrong AGAIN," rather than simply "I'm wrong," when it turns out that the exit to Christopher Street isn't as much toward the front of the train as I thought it was, and much closer to where HE thought it was. Described my having to call It's About Time to check on my bill payment and a supposed forthcoming index: Sharon put it all down to my quest for perfection, for which I've worked hard, as she says, and I agree that I probably do twice as much as anyone else, which somehow brings to mind my last years at Service Bureau, where I felt I was getting away with murder with my long lunch hours and loads of phone-talking when others were working. I felt that I'd be "found out," and contrariwise was promoted to my REAL level of incompetence, at which point I quit, KNOWING that that wasn't what I wanted. Whenever I entertained similar thoughts about indexing jobs, I'd be assured I'd done a wonderful job, so finally I could accept that I COULD perform "perfectly" as an indexer. She kept taking notes as we got close to 6:15, saying that we might look closer at perfectionism next time, which will be the last time before my trip, though she says that I'll be back for February 18, which is close enough. Again she specified that I had SO many things going it wouldn't be strange if I forgot something about them, and I repeated my "purpose of life: absorption of entertainment," even though much current entertainment was vapid (not a word I used). Again voiced my displeasure with people I thought weren't up to my standard of entertainment. She said she'd put up signs for my slide show, agreeing that I did a good thing when I told Spartacus that he MIGHT have seen the show in the past, but I wasn't about to check back to 1993 datebooks to see what shows I might have put on back then. Left just after 6:15, leaving the door open, since I'd sort of questioned myself when I shut her door behind me when I left last time. Finish typing up these notes by 7:25PM and will print out this page when I finish doing Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY, 1/21/09: Pee at 5:55 and up at 8:50. Breakfast early, wash dishes, finish inserting and checking the slides, vacuum (of COURSE breaking the vacuum belt in the bedroom and CAN'T force the new one onto the spindle!), change clothes, and JUST get everything ready when Susie rings at 12:05. Pack up stuff (forgetting extension cord) and get over to St. Charles at 12:45 and set it all up by the time Charles arrives. Show the map to early arrivers and start at 1:15, making sure everyone's signing the activity sheet. It goes well to 2:30, when I find that Spartacus and John and Steve and Bill have arrived late, but only John will be joining Susie and Charles and me at my place. Charles gives Susie sugared fruit disks in four delicious flavors, which she serves to us as I serve her new bottle of blackberry brandy, which gets John so looped he actually FALLS DOWN on my living-room carpet. At least they shared one Healthy Heart snack of a pear, Swiss cheese, and walnut pieces. To Iron Chef for an enormous dinner, finding the California roll poor, but the chicken negamaki a total HIT. Back to watch "The Dark Knight," VERY dark and poorly plotted and UGLY. Think to go to bed early but play Spider 11-12:30 to 50.5952, 195 up.

THURSDAY, 1/22/09: Bed 12:58AM. Pee at 7:30 and up at 9:29, maybe with a slight hangover from all the brandy yesterday. Get to the gym to rush to get home in time to get to Blue Smoke just at 1:55, Mildred smiling up giddily as I arrive, and we remain on good terms through the good meal of my beef cheeks as a filling appetizer, mediocre Sloppy Joe as compared with her great St. Louis ribs, and I like my key lime pie as she likes her apple crisp. What put me under the table was the beer tasting for $12 of two small (an appetizer Brooklyn #1 and a dessert wheat beer) and one large glass of porter, VERY substantial. Home stuffed and can only think to lie down 4:10-6:30PM. Still don't feel like doing anything, so I turn to Netflix and watch "Neverwas," with an always appealing Aaron Eckhart (I can imagine Ian McKellan staring at him with more than his character's want); "Persepolis," strikingly truthful (one must assume), though I still don't like such sketchy animation; and skim through "Someone Like You" to see a shirtless Hugh Jackman.

FRIDAY, 1/23/09: Bed 12:45AM. 6:35 pee and type dream. Up at 8:47 after Actualism. Watch the last of the first volume of Renaissance Art with breakfast and get to the Schwab distribution again, doctoring the old form with a date until I notice the 2008 form is DIFFERENT from the 2006 form. Phone to find that I'd better submit the WHOLE 2008 form, or they might question it! Get the last page out of the printer by printing this previous page, and catch up with this by 12:08PM. It just GOES....ON!!! Watch "Grande Ecole," while having lunch, with some wonderful full-frontal gay French college students. Finally send off the Schwab form by 2:45, when I go to Spider from 2:45-6:25, getting AWFUL games, and stopping in time to wash and dress for a pretty awful Beard from New Orleans at table #1 with a terribly pushy "member for 30 years," and his wife on the OTHER side, though I take it out on his guest next to ME. Ken is next to a Chinese couple that doesn't say much, and we don't much care for the food or the wine, and leave early at 10:10, having had just about enough. Then BACK to Spider to try to recoup my high score, but playing from 10:40PM to 11:25 to 50.58199 at 191 up, and to 1:40AM to 50.58751 at 193 up, and onward to 2:55AM for a total of 7:55 hours today, just DOESN'T work! Bed at 3:07AM, DAMN!

SATURDAY, 1/24/09: 7:50AM pee and type dream. Up at 10:18AM, just over seven hours' sleep. Absolutely nothing on schedule today leads me to waste time reading the Times, watching the middle two hours of "Make 'Em Laugh," playing Spider from 12:08-2:15 to a 50.59889 high at 197 up, and being so close to a breakthrough makes me continue to 3:20 to 50.61083 at 201 up, and then sitting through all the ads in "The DaVinci Code," which I've clearly seen before, though through some of the ads I watch pieces of "Auntie Mame." Bed 11:50PM.

SUNDAY, 1/25/09: Pee 4:58 and up 8:24 to restart the computer which DOES get rid of the odd "small type" in WP the last few times. Watch "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" late enough, telling Marj I can't work now, to realize that I can't get to the gym today! Finish just at 12:30PM in time to dress and get to Sherryl's for a rather depressing memorial service, not least because I can't find anything MORE to take home other than a few more postcards with good stamps on them and a great picture of me feeding her something in 1983. Talk to Ann, Terry's wife, and both Terry and Ann (of Ann and Nat) say that we should get together even if we DON'T meet at Sherryl's. Back to Spider from 4:37-5, watching the first half hour of "DaVinci Code" that I missed last night, then finish the Sunday Times and get back to Spider from 6:20-6:43 to a new high of 50.61369 with 202 up. Don't feel very well stomachwise, but try to bull through it. Marj calls and we go through the Tanzania pages to 8:15, and when I get back to the computer I find that I have the virus which I describe in COMPCHRO, which takes till 1:15AM. Bed at 1:30AM.

MONDAY, 1/26/09: Pee at 7:04 and up at 9:32 to have breakfast from a kitchen whose light has partly burnt out! ALWAYS SOMETHING! Take valium at 12:10 to get away from feeling awful. 1:10PM: I hate myself and somehow don't even want to be AROUND myself! I'd like to sleep all the time and not have to think. I'd like to lie in bed and do nothing WITHOUT thinking, but I can't. I want to be perfect, and I want the world around me to be perfect, and it ISN'T, and I SUFFER with that ALL THE TIME. I want to do all the things I want to do, but I DON'T do them and HATE myself for NOT doing them. I want the world to be perfect and HATE it when it isn't! When I get a virus from going to an Internet site for uncircumcized cocks. When my kitchen light comes on only halfway. When I check my Visa bill and find that Netflix billed me for LAST month on 12/24, so now at 1/26 is CLEARLY too late to call them to say I don't want to be billed for THIS month. Though, it now occurs to me, I can STOP this month?? Try to find a phone number, but I did everything through the website before, so I go back to it to find that I can put my membership on hold while I go on vacation! GREAT! Check Schwab but the cash hasn't gotten into my IRA yet. No sign of a virus. Sharon calls to ask me to switch from Wednesday to Tuesday, and I said I wouldn't even mind TODAY, but couldn't make it at 4:30, so took her offer of 6:30, when I'd surely be free. Get to Lupa JUST at 2PM to find that Mildred had made a reservation for ONE, and she's surprised when she sees me there, but I said I had it on my calendar so here I was. Meal was quite mediocre except for the $12 Bellini and a VERY cute waiter named John K. Then out at 3:30 to walk up Bleecker to Marj's to give her the bizarre envelope returned to me via the return address furnished by my check to her inside with the flashdrive and other stamps, and she gives me a new felt-tip pen for the sudoku tablet she gave me before. Home to pick up the mail, do the puzzle, and find that the cash IS in my IRA and transfer it to my Schwab One before leaving for Sharon at 6:25PM.

SHARON B. 88 1/26/09

Get into the office at 6:31PM to hear her inside with her previous client. Go in about 6:35, saying I'd been happy to have her late, and told her about my coming to the conclusion that I HATED myself because I wasn't perfect, and hated the world because IT wasn't perfect. When through the viruses, the dreary memorial for Sherryl and the Beard dinner where I talked to almost nobody because they weren't "worthy" of my talking with them, which only isolates me more. Mentioned the Silas character in "The DaVinci Code" who whips himself with obvious sexual pleasure, which is like what I'm doing with my impossible drive to be perfect in an imperfect world. She acknowledges that I've had some bad times, even though I WAS happy to get the Netflix membership stopped and to get the envelope to Marj AND to get this surprise meeting to talk about how awful I felt this morning, and she saw nothing wrong about my taking valiums when I felt I needed them "since you don't take anything else for your emotional condition." Said that I was probably concerned about the trip, though I hoped to return to my sociability this this small group of twelve others, who have obviously traveled or they wouldn't be on THIS trip. She even said I could call her for ANOTHER meeting tomorrow at 5:30 if I felt I needed it. She agreed that I was probably emotionally drained from the virus experience, and that I should treat myself kindly and get to bed early tonight. Got back to find that I wanted to watch Oppenheimer fro 9-11, so I tried to catch up with typing until 8:25PM, when Ann Heaney called to ask if I'd taken some guy's CAMERA which he lost at the group, and also that Carolyn left her Palm Pilot there!

Continuation of 1/26/09: Still feel awful. Printed out many pages. Can't think of anything more to say at 8:27PM. Spider from 8:30-9, break to watch two hours of "The Trial of J. Robert Oppenheimer" on TV, and then obsessively do Spider from 11:05-2AM to 50.615.86 high at 203 up. Bed feeling worn out.

SHARON B. 89 1/27/09

Decided to take her up on her offer. Spartacus said I should NOT have said, "Don't call unless it's not OK," because that leaves the chance that she doesn't get the message and she isn't there. SO, I go to the door and it's LOCKED! Knock, no answer. Knock, and she comes out to apologize that her co-worker locked the door. She takes me right in, saying she LIKES that kind of message: it saves her the trouble of phoning back. I ask for some kind of summary, and she says things are going well, we managed to be looking at the area of perfectionism, which I brought up, which is better than HER bringing it up, and the somehow we get onto SHAME, which I say I haven't felt in a long time, usually saying "I just don't feel GUILTY" about something that ordinary people might feel SHAME over. For some reason I tell her the two incidents that I wish I'd said YES for: the dinner with Dror where he asked me to stay the night and I said no, to my eternal regret, and the time Bob G. asked me to make a muscle and I refused out of shyness. HOW I wish I'd obligated him: it might have been FUN! NOW I think of those incidents as times when someone OTHER than me was in control and I didn't want to relinquish control TO them. I talked about feeling shame about masturbating, but then told her Sherryl's story in the IRP "Voice" about the public masturbator, and her talking about penises in classes, and saying this is all WONDERFUL. Also say that I keep going to MAN because I have to take my clothes off and don't give myself a chance to feel shame about showing my body. She obviously loves all these examples. I ask if I should bring in more dreams, but she says I'm doing fine as I'm currently doing, but she'll keep a lookout for perfectionism and self-flagellation in what I'm saying, so I don't have to keep an eye out for them. I mention that I'm full from lunch and will be going to the Beard tonight, obviously bragging, and now at 6:30PM I've caught up with this and now want to shit before Beard.

TUESDAY, 1/27/09: Take valium at 2:25AM, just feeling JITTERY. Bed at 2:27AM. Pee at 9:05AM, not having waked before that. Decide to j/o from 9:30-10:30, getting to a nice edge, come with good feelings, but have absolutely NO ejaculate! Express just a bit of what feels like pre-cum before peeing again. NOT the best! Get to Dovetail with Spartacus for a loud but good lunch, followed by a marathon of shopping with him: Zabar's, Westside Market, Filene's Basement, and Circuit City, and he buys something EVERYWHERE. Then get to Sharon's, and go to the Beard wearing only a shirt and trousers for a $75 Charleston dinner with a good champagne and some slight conversation at a table for four with the interesting photographer, a stuffy fellow who's "traveled everywhere, but just wouldn't be interested in Tristan da Cunha," and a less obnoxious diner. Bed at 11:35PM.

WEDNESDAY, 1/28/09: Charles calls at 8:18AM, getting me out of bed: I hadn't waked AT ALL in over eight and a half hours! He won't be joining me and Mildred at Telepan. Spider 12:30-1:35 before good lunch of their wonderful burger, and finish when I get home (having gotten out at 79th Street for Dovetail when I should have gotten out at 72nd for Telepan! And then on leaving I went to the RIGHT, as I would have HAD I been leaving Telepan! Crazy!) from either 4:30-4:40 or 9:40, I can't tell which, to an all-time high of 50.6217 at 205 up. Sort of zonked out on valium, so I can't really remember what I did today. Maybe watched TV, though Spartacus's "Recount" didn't record properly. Got to Wings to watch six mediocre Village Playwrights plays. Take valium at 11:58PM and get to bed at 12:03AM.

THURSDAY, 1/29/09: Sit down at Spider at 8:35AM and play AWFUL games through 4:30PM, ending with a miserable 50.59789 at 198 up, despairing. Have something to eat, took a valium at 6:05PM, do things, and get to Ken's for a good Restaurant Week dinner for me at Scarpetta, including a good flight of three wines for $12, while he has his usual expensive meal. Watch another "Make 'Em Laugh" and get sucked into Spider again 9:55-1:45AM to a worse 50.59405 at 197 up. Then repeat games in a crazy attempt to improve my score until I finish at 3AM with 50.56965 at 189 up, and bed at 3:15AM! Total madness!

FRIDAY, 1/30/09: Charles AGAIN calls me out of bed at 9:50, me getting only 6:35 sleep! Back to bed and up at 10:30. Get to the gym, in a hurry to meet Charles and Milded at Butter, which they both remember being to when they see the interior, and the food is good, as I remember, again. Walk down to a fun Papabubble with Charles to pay $25 for a small jar of sour candies! Then play another awful set of Spider from 6-6:45PM to a new low of 50.55441 at 184 up, totally messing up my score! Get a call that my Healthy Heart meals have been lost in the south, which is a relief, but then the package ARRIVES on Saturday, and I have MUCH too much food in my fridge! Try to do a puzzle but my eyes just keep closing, so I decide to go to bed at 6:55PM, fooling myself into thinking that I can start time-adjusting for Tunisia, now that Saturday's dinner is cancelled because Norm fainted on Tuesday and I haven't heard anything more from Shelley, who hasn't heard anything more from Dale! No real trouble falling asleep, but I wake at 10:56PM, type dream and pee, and do an Actualism session to get back to sleep.

SATURDAY, 1/31/09: Pee 2:37AM and get up at 4:32, feeling pretty awful: I'm just NOT supposed to be up at this time! Take a Valium on waking. Play Spider 3:10-9:55, awful, to 50.56503 at 188 up, some small improvement, but still hopeless. Read the Times and did BOTH puzzles simply because I felt like it. Paul C. called, Tris called, and Rita called Sunday. Bed 11:35PM, awful.

SUNDAY, 2/1/09: Got up at midnight to change the calendar page to February. Wake at 5PM to turn off the electric blanket! I'm REALLY losing it! Pee and take a full melitonin in hopes of getting more sleep. Up at 7:55 to type dream. Get the Times, go through mail, try calling some Visa-card number changes since I got my new card yesterday, but most aren't working. Fuck 'em. Sit down at Spider at 10:25-5:30, just NOT able to stop, getting to a NEW ABYSSMAL low of 50.54872 at 183 up. Have a sort of lunch while watching Sherryl's wonderful tape of "The Hermitage," and then kick myself for not taking melitonin earlier, which I'd PUT OUT to take today, taking it finally at 6:30PM with a valium and making a schedule for melitonin during the trip, finding the time difference is a consistent six hours for Italy and Tunisia. Finally check through the Visa bill and send off a whopping check for $7419.08, not even including the $1000 deposit on the Labrador trip with Steve. Got a mysterious check for $700 from ASME from Piping 2, from August, clearly a mistake, but I'll cash it anyway. Finish this at 7:30PM, deciding that it's time to start packing: I'll pack tonight, getting everything off my mind (had called Bill P. to pick up the Times, which he will four times, and leave word with John to RETURN my call about watering my plants, but have to call him NOW to verify that he GOT the message!) so I can go to the gym tomorrow if it seems OK. Print out all these pages, too. Oh, forgot to note that I exhausted Spartacus's DVD by watching "300," "Disturbia," and an awful "Twin Dragons." Also watched much of Sherryl's 2:40 tape of "The Hermitage." Pack well, throwing lots of stuff into bags that I won't take, and start phoning ineffectually to change Visa card numbers. As I get into bed I wonder where my cheap raincape is, and get up and find it at 11:35PM and get to bed at 11:40PM, tossing a bit and taking an ambien at 11:52 and falling asleep quickly afterward.

MONDAY, 2/2/09: Type dream at 7:22 and get up at 7:54. Have breakfast of a lettuce-complemented lunch, watching the end of "The Hermitage." Get to the gym, deposit my ASME check, and back to put more things into luggage for trip for possible abrasions, infections, and other problems. Then phone Cleartel, MTA, Verizon, and Virgin Mobile while playing Spider in the meantime, from 11:25-12:05PM improving slightly to 50.55162 at 184 up. Count my cash and finish taking these notes by 12:13PM, calling for car next. 2PM: Find the plane leaves at 6:40PM rather than 5:05! Call OAT just to make SURE that's the latest, and it IS! Airport is changed from Fiumicino to Malpensa, which they say is near Milan, so I phone Edgardo, getting only his message machine, and tell him I'll be near him tomorrow morning! So I call for a $40 car to JFK at 3:45PM. Pack everything I can think of, and even find that the shoulder bag fits into the black bag, if REALLY needed. The shoulder bag weighs ten pounds and the black bag fifteen, for a grand total of twenty-five pounds, surely one of the least. Write a new "wallet contents" card, since almost everything has changed, thinking to include needed phone numbers, too. Then think to add my passport number, which I STILL don't remember. Took the bedclothes off the bed, shut off the radiator, recorded my phone message, and put MANY dishes from Healthy Heart into the freezer, leaving two sets of apples, cashews, and cheese for lunch while watching another of Sherryl's tapes on the Hermitage's art. Finish this at 2:10, not quite sure how to finish my time to 3:45, though I WILL unplug my computer! Copied MyPictures for almost an hour, and MyMusic and Pinnacle Studio (though that's clearly not it) to my backup drive. Also did another copy of WP51. I'm so caught up it's frightening! 3:25PM: Mailman is STILL on the K-line! Decide to change and get downstairs, having gotten out the garbage and taken down a large bag of papers. That's all for now!

TUNISIA TRIP - Feb. 2-16, 2009

TUESDAY, 2/17/09: 9:30AM: Already tired from having been up so long. Wake at 12:20, doze. Pee at 1:23AM. 2AM jot dream of trying to teach a class in responsibility. Start j/o 2:09 and finish at 2:50, somewhat better, not quite awake after less than eight hours' sleep, and at 3AM I check that I DID see Spartacus's DVD which I DON'T remember. Tune in to Channel 51 and turn to Channel 75 to watch a 1937 Paul Robeson "Jericho," and stay tuned for "The Dynamite Kid" with the East Side Kids to 5AM, having breakfast at 4:30AM while watching, taking morning pills and 1/2 melitonin. Go through the mail to 7:30, putting things away until 8:05, when I call Cleartel, then Visa, and then Cleartel to finally get them to bill my "late" $43.08. What a PAIN! Then start inputting the Neo files into WP51, and call Carolyn, waking her, but having a good talk from 8:35-8:55AM. Change watch, put more stuff away, make a MAN reservation for Saturday, and phone the Beard again to see if I can get a frequent-diner reservation for 2/19. Finish this at 9:36AM, seemingly ready for a VERY early lunch, since it's been about five hours since breakfast. Then keep getting e-mails from 2/6-2/10 repeatedly received, while NOT getting the index e-mail from Piri. Finally call Verizon and talk about an hour to get things straightened out. WHAT A HASSLE. Have a late lunch after talking to Marj from 11-11:25 about my hassles. Then try lying down from 1:30-1:40 since I feel so bad, but it just doesn't work, so I get up and play Spider from 3:30-6:40, doing just awful, ending at 50.55971 and 187 up. Have dinner and watch TV until going to bed at 8:53PM, gaining two hours on my jet-lag changes.

SHARON B. 90 2/18/09

Get there early, she takes me a bit early, and I start by saying, "Well, the trip was a DISASTER." Tell about the awful food, the sickness on the bus, probably started by the guide before we arrived: how I chose a nothing day to stay in the hotel and get a doctor for $35 who gave me an antibiotic for a bronchial infection, as well as a suppository with turpentine to help with it. Told of the motor-mouths of the group, the ugliness of some of them, but also of the charm of Frances with her two-colored sneakers and her age and her insistence on having breakfast with me when I didn't feel like I wanted anyone around, and then I thought to say something about seductive Gaetano, saying he really needed a massage, being quite flamboyant, yet clearly straight. Told of the interest of the places seen, even of the goodness of the fish of the last few days, but happy to be home eating my own meals. Enumerated the disasters of credit-card mishandling, my laptop mouse needing battery changes, my e-mail repeating but finally giving me what I needed. My confusion with the new HD remote for my TV. The horror of maybe having to change each of Piri's 1100 names' formats in Cindex, but then trying another ASCII coding and it came out all right! How I said I could do the index even if I had to go a global search for each individual name, copying down the page numbers as I got to them. This was such a CHANGE from the way I would ordinarily handle disasters: these just happened, I handled them, it was all OK, even to not remembering at ALL what the three films on Spartacus's DVD were that I watched the day before I left on the trip. Sharon was very supportive of the whole thing: it can all be a disaster, yet I can handle it without getting all bent out of shape. I said that even my dreams repeated the frustrating messings-up of the days, and how wonderful it was to have an interesting eating experience on my last day even though I REALLY didn't want to go out for it AT ALL. I felt slightly worried that I wasn't HASSLING all these problems enough: I was clearly changing, and wasn't certain of how the changes "fit." "Where did these changes come from?" she asked. "From here, this, you and me, going through this: I could see the changes happening, and now they're really all here: and I'm just handling them as they come along, using Spider as a thoughtless passtime to get through rough times when I don't want to think about what I SHOULD be doing: a habit of the dim past." I didn't even really CONSIDER going to the gym today, and she thought that was a good idea too. So I could be forgetful and still handle things; things could go wrong, and I'd deal with them; I'd survive. Was looking forward to feeling better, though I was now happy about the way friends and callers supported my being sick and hoped I'd feel better; even the dates for Edgardo's visit in August turned out well. Everything being handled eventually, even with wasting lots of time. Even getting THIS done by 6:40PM, only a few minutes after I left her at 6:18PM.

WEDNESDAY, 2/18/09: Pee at 1:45 and get up at 4:50AM. Finish the first Times by 7AM and the second by 9AM, having had breakfast between. Time-Warner comes about 9:30 with a new HD cable-box and a new remote that's very complicated, made worse before I learn where to point it to change channels and increase volume with it. Note that I have to use "prog 1" for my VHS and "prog 2" for HD programs. Put some travel stuff away, play Spider 2-5:10 to at least get to 50.5712 at 191 up, and then leave for Sharon, which I recorded after I got back from her. Watch Michaels Wood's program on Shangri-La and then a two-hour great program on Jerome Robbins to 11PM, and decide, perversely, to j/o from 11:10 to 12, getting to bed at 12:15AM to get ready for tomorrow's Beard dinner.

THURSDAY, 2/19/09: Pee at 7:17AM, just over seven hours' solid sleep, and get up at 8:25 while going desultorily through Actualism. Have breakfast while watching more of Michael Wood's program on King Arthur, then talk to Piri 9:15-9:45 after spending some time looking at her pages, having decided that I'll just search for every single name one at a time, and it works FAIRLY quickly on the laptop. Call Healthy Heart meals, which will be delivering tomorrow, but say I don't want anything the next week at all. That goes 9:45-9:47, after which I leave word with Charles at 9:48, talk to Mildred, who missed me, from 9:48-10:10, then Shelley 10:10-10:38, then check my Schwab balance, not TOO low, and try to check my OAT plane plans to find that I've "cut out cookies." Try to put them back, and somehow I can get to my plane trip at 11:20. Leave word with It's About Time at 11:25, talk to Rita from 11:25-12 noon, then play Spider 12-1:15 to 50.57295 at 192 up, then have lunch. Leon calls at 3PM from the island to make plans for 3/5. Put the Tunisia photos into Olympus to 3:20, just in time to leave for the gym until just before 5PM, getting the mail and watching a National Geographic about "When Whales Had Legs" while watching a spectacular sun-shine set at 5:30, and set up 5 hours of National Geographic for tonight. Then leave word with Antony Gray, who wanted to know if I'd ever been to the Seychelles, and he'll call me back when he gets back from Florida. Also call the CVS number to cancel prescription reminders, so my messages can go back to zero. Then catch up with this to 6:25PM, time to get ready to leave for the Beard, who called to confirm my reservation for the $75 French degustation frequent-diner evening. Still lots of stuff to catch up with. Appetizers weren't that great, talked to the fellow I shared a table with last time; Suzanne seems to be avoiding coming near me; lots of familiar Chinese faces. Fabulous chestnut soup, gave Dr. Jack my scallop which was too briny, and enjoyed lots of rolls and butter with good food with mediocre wine and two photographers at our table for 4. Learned cute little Ernesto's name: very earnest. Sort of drunk home and watched some TV to digest before going to bed at 11:30, falling asleep almost instantly.

FRIDAY, 2/20/09: 9:30AM: Typed dream into Neo at 6:54AM, and peed. Decide to make a day-list: 1) Chin appointment (which I did at 9:25AM for 1:45PM today), 2) Call Fred, 3) Call Anita, 4) Call Marj/New Yorker's? 5) Call IAT, 6) Call Steve, 7) Pick up RX, 8) Take out Chinese laundry, 9) Call OTHER Prime-Timer. Then make a Chin-list: A) Trip-sick: 1) RX list, 2) what WAS it?, 3) left-overs: cough, lungs? B) Testosterone: 1) Stop Avodart for a while, 2) Viagra 20 on RX? Up at 8:06AM and shit, finding the New Yorker's question for Marj. Type a few COMPCHRO entries to clear desk, then decide to catch up with these notes by 9:35AM. Clear other notes from desk and get breakfast started. Did ALL those items, and even got groceries! Wrote up my visit to Chin in MEDICAL. [Typing NEXT here at 12:20PM WEDNESDAY, 2/25, having FINALLY come to terms with my ABSOLUTE SPIDER MANIA for the past week!] Feel SO accomplished (was going to say "accomplishmentful," but that would have run over the line) that I indulge in Spider 4:40-8, sinking to a new low of 50.58816 at 187 up, and again at 8:40-11:35, improving to 50.50564 at 203 up, but ANNOYED that I spent 6:15 on Spider today (though still less than HALF the 13 hours I spent on 1/29!). Bed at 1:22AM.

SATURDAY, 2/21/09: Pee at 6:03AM. Up at 7:57. Play Spider 4:30 from 8:40-1:10, ALMOST attaining a new high at 10:45 with 50.62015 at 208 up, but falling back to 50.61066 at 205 up at 1:10PM. Have a quick lunch, get to MAN on Weehawken Street just after it opens at 4PM, pay my year's dues, only reluctantly after Steve's great urging, and talk to unpleasant John S., who's trying to cut down on his alcohol consumption, and was glad I did NOT bring my camera, as I'd fantasized this morning. Leave at 3:20 to get to the Met box office at 6:40 for absolutely NO line to claim my "Eugene Onegin" ticket, then over to Avery Fisher dining area to read my New Yorker before the somewhat mediocre opera, which may have been partly caused by sitting under the ceiling about three rows from the back in the middle of the orchestra, JUST worth the $25 I spent for it. I just wanted to keep turning UP the VOLUME. Bed at 1:05AM.

SUNDAY, 2/22/09: Shit at 7:46AM. Spider 9-11:40, lunch, and Spider again 2:20-3:50, hitting a tantalizing near-high of 50.6189 at 208 up, then continue, hoping to exceed, but fail, by 5:20 with 50.59775 at 201 up, at which time I have to change pants to meet Shelley at the Kahns at 6:10, unfortunately late, where I have a tiny glass of wine and some of Dale's spreads on thin breads, and then we go to Morandi's, which I don't care for at all, cheating Shelley out of $60 when she had little wine and no appetizer, but she seemed to accept everything being cut in half per couple, and then in half WITHIN the couple. Back to watch the Academy Awards, which I thought started at 8PM, but it did only at 8:30, so I saw the first award and sat through to the end just after midnight, getting to bed at 12:25AM.

MONDAY, 2/23/09: Pee at 5:51, and lie and fantasize about taking my first Viagra while doing Actualism (FANTASIZE while doing Actualism, not taking VIAGRA while doing Actualism), and then do at 7:27, not really affected by it, seemingly, and having a problematic (did I have one or not?) orgasm at 9:30 without any emission whatsoever except for a seepage of pre-cum while I sat through the parts of the Academy Award DVD that I didn't see last night. Finally have breakfast, and determine to have a LIMITED Spider experience at 11:40, but had to stop at 3:05 at 50.58809 and 198 up to get to the gym before lunch. Frustratingly BACK to Spider 5:20-11:30, a total of 9:35 today, not being able to do better than 50.58684 at 198 up at 11:30. DAMN!! Put in my Met lottery chance just before midnight and get to bed at 12:40AM.

TUESDAY, 2/24/09: Pee at 7AM and up at 9:05, still feeling SICK: my lungs STILL feel full of mucus, I cough unproductively at times, but my nose linings are almost always bloody and when I DO hawk up phlegm it's thick and sick-like. And I have ABSOLUTELY NO ENERGY! Gym yesterday was an AGONY, and I felt almost crippled when I got out of bed, finally, after more than eight hours. Call Danielle at IAT about index: she says Jillian comes in just after 10AM, so she'll leave a message on her desk to get back to me. She doesn't. Spider 10:07-2:35 to a disappointing 50.58008 at 186 up, when I'm starving for lunch, the Healthy Heart meals all mixed up in the fridge, not quite sure WHICH week I'm taking from, and there are probably still some from BEFORE the trip which I froze and then defrosted, which may even be going bad. Maniacal Spider 3:25-6:25 to 50.55269 at 187 up, when I have to meet Spartacus for "Humor Abuse" at the basement at City Center with a talentless Lorenzo Pisoni who was so sexy as the main horse in Equus and so PAINFUL in his life story as a failed clown; I told Spartacus I couldn't IMAGINE wanting to sit through such an agony a SECOND time. Difference of opinion! Then do another hour and a half of Spider from 11:30PM (when I should have gone to BED!) to 1AM, for a LOW of 50.55522 at 188 up, and read New Yorker and get to bed at 2:22AM! Just feel AWFUL!!

WEDNESDAY, 2/25/09: Up at 9:17AM for my first pee in almost seven hours, but STILL don't feel 100%. Barely feel FIFTY percent! Decide I MUST take control of Spider: make note 14: 1/28 HIGH of 50.6217 at 205 up. In the six days before the Tunisia trip (with nothing better to occupy my time) I spent 29:30 on Spider, about FIVE HOURS PER DAY, with a high of THIRTEEN hours on 1/29. For eight days AFTER the trip, I spent 43:55, or almost 5.5 hours per day, with 9:35 on Monday and 9:00 on Tuesday BREAKING MY MANIA! So at 9:30 I record a LOW of 50.54652 at 185 up, worse than any time since 1/5/09, and from 9:35-10:40 I do a "perfect" session to 50.55522 at 188 up after 4 wins, HAVING PROVED that just "continuing to play" only LOWERS my score, NEVER raises it, and is a total WASTE. Sort out my Healthy Heart meals and find I have THREE left over from before the trip! Sort all three weeks out and put them in order, have breakfast, actually wash dishes, and then re-phone to leave messages with Charles and Fred and Mildred about NO one committing to Friday's "La Sonnambula" free tickets. Phone Marj just about noon to tell her about my break-through with my Spider mania, and about NO responses from IAT. She's busy and will call me back. At 12:25PM I call Chin to find if my x-ray results are back and am told that it takes TWO-THREE WEEKS! Decide I MUST catch up with this to do SOMETHING productive before Sharon at 4:45PM today. Finish at 1:10PM and decide to go out for a haircut, having been the usual four months, and the tips are beginning to get into my eyes constantly. 4:26PM: Get there while the Jamaican barber takes ages to finish her current customer. Then she takes me and rather insists on talking, so I go into my congested chest with all the details. "Have you heard of Buckley's syrup?" "No." "You'll find it in a Korean shop; it tastes awful, but it works," and she proceeds to describe the miracles wrought on her and her godson. I pay $17.50, including a $3 tip, a new high for Supercuts, and try CVS. They know of it: "It tastes awful, but it works," but they don't stock it. Go into Gristede's and, feeling sorry for myself, locate the new positions of Smucker's hot-fudge topping and the Haagen-Dasz dulce de leche ice cream pints. But the pharmacist, though she's heard of how good Buckley's is, knows they don't have it in stock. So I try Peas and Pickles, and there, above the cash register, is the old cough syrup and the "new" chest congestion mixture, containing guaifesenin (or whatever) and lots of other things, including pine tree oil. Back to take it and get a call from Charles: he'll JOIN me at 10:40AM at the Met on Friday morning! Great! AND get a call from Ken for the $361.46 final car-insurance settlement, so that I can recalculate that the Spain-France trip is now the FIFTH most expensive trip, but only the EIGHTH most-expensive cost-per-day trip. ANOTHER card out of the way. Marj calls back and we finish lots of conversations, when it occurs to me at 4PM that I haven't had lunch yet! Fix the last of the pre-trip frozen meals, very watery and relatively tasteless: only one snack left from THAT week's list. Continue to read the current New Yorker, and finish this off at 4:33PM, ready to get my shoes on for Sharon's 4:45PM appointment.

SHARON B. 91 2/25/09

Get there at 4:46PM precisely, and she calls me in as soon as I enter the vestibule. I start by saying that it was a disaster of a week but ended today with many nice things. Went through the whole Spider history, how depressing it was to have played for so long and only gotten a lower score: I compared it, very compellingly I think, with a kid masturbating four or five times, enjoying each time, but thinking at the end that it really WAS a bit too much. Then she "Oh, no"ed with me as I told her it would take two to three weeks to get my chest x-ray results back, saying, "If this would be the way I'd feel for the rest of my life, I wouldn't like it very much." I described feeling 20-30% when I got back, which excused me for playing more Spider to occupy the time I didn't feel like devoting to anything else. My percentage has very slowly increased, particularly today: I got a haircut, I got the final auto-insurance accounting amount from Ken for the Spain-France trip, and Charles said he'd go to the Met with me Friday morning, and treat me to brunch afterward. Still no response from the index company, however. Got into the sensation of loneliness: Sherryl would have been the only one to get ANY card from Tunisia since I was feeling so bad through much of the trip, and she would have been one of the first for me to call when I got back. I missed her for those reasons. Also mentioned getting the returned Christmas card with "DCD" marked on the front; though I SUSPECTED Jean-Jacques might have died, it felt different getting proof. Thought of offering the opera ticket to Leon, but then remembered he'd have to go without his wife, and that both of them won't be around for THAT many more years; and I haven't heard anything from Fred, since the postcard, for months. Described my concentration of Spider BEFORE the trip as a mind-filler against anxieties: like getting sick on the trip, an awful group, the food being bad---the realities are bad enough, I don't have to ANTICIPATE them! And Spider AFTER the trip was something to occupy my mind from the other "shoulds" that I didn't have the energy to perform: final unpacking, taxes, other tasks. She'd heard of Buckley's but never taken it, and was entertained by my history of looking for it and finally (after getting Smucker's hot-fudge topping and Haagen-Dasz dulce de leche ice cream, and a bag of potato chips at Gristede's) finding it at Peas and Pickles, really operated by Koreans. I hawked up a glob of mucus sitting in the chair, saying this was better than before, and she was happy for me. Described how disappointed I was with John S.: "I was looking for 5% more knowledge that would be POSITIVE, not negative: that he was looking to cut down on alcohol consumption, which made me happy I wasn't going to Leon's the next day." Described my greater interest in the two adorable audience members in "Humor Abuse" than in the performer, who merely made me uncomfortable; how I didn't hold it against Spartacus, didn't really MIND going, because it filled an evening that I might have felt lonely during. Was happy that my Netflix subscription was about to be renewed, and told her I was thinking of reserving some books from the library again. She mentioned audio recordings, but I said, by coincidence, that I'd gotten an audio CD and tried it, but prefered the images on a DVD for my lectures, glad that I got a whole set from Sherryl to watch in the future while having meals. She kept assuring me that my energy would lead me to making more friends, and that I certainly wouldn't be alone at the end. She made sure I was comfortable with the 4:45 sessions, and I said that it was great to be able to walk home in the LIGHT through more of the year. Mentioned not getting an e-mail back from Prime Timer A, though Prime Timer B and I had a date for March 5. Also mentioned getting Viagra, but the first experience wasn't very good. Described my involvement with Spider as a TOTAL EXPERIENCE, so that when my sister called to interrupt, she was interrupting MY playtime, and I wished she'd called some other time. It was a delightful flow that fully occupied me: it was challenging, I felt good when I won, I felt bested when I lost, I kept wanting to increase my score and, now that I knew (again) how to do it, I was confident I'd keep it under control. No more thirteen-hour days for me! [Don't mention that I feel like playing at this very minute---let's just say this is the end of this session.] She said she was sure I'd feel better next week, that I shouldn't be sorry not to have brought in any dreams, but only those that seem to reflect some pivot in my emotional life. Left at the dot of 5:15, enjoying again the "bock" of the cock in the pavement square just east of the doorway to 55 Pierrepont. Finish this at 6PM.

More on 2/25: Finish mail by 7:20, in addition to the lovely eight-ounce bag of cheese-onion potato chips. Yum! Now for a hot-fudge sundae? Compromised by having some ice cream, and then some topping, while watching TV 8-9, the last of the (silly) Michael Wood four "Myths and Heroes" searches, and then had dinner while watching the end of "Men in Black" until 10, and trying to get interested in the VERY amateurish Lucas cartoons of "The Clone Wars," but found myself nodding off and went to bed at 11:10PM.

THURSDAY, 2/26/08: Pee at 4:33 and 7:27AM. Up at 9:05, sadly not being "miraculously" cured by the Buckley's syrup, which I take before my first oatmeal breakfast in a long time. Decide I MUST do a lot today, so I start a list of "Thursday 2/26 accomplishments," and at 9:50 finish breakfast and "starting day," and at 11:15 finish "great" Spider for day at 191 up after a second-consecutive stretch of four wins with my "new discipline." Then decide to get the gym out of the way as I catch this up by 11:30AM. But then think to check my chest x-ray results, and Chin's secretary says that Doshi will fax the results to Chin, who'll then call me. So I decide to stick around rather than go to the gym. Continue with my list of 2/26 accomplishments: 12:20PM: FINISH unpacking, finally, getting everything off the dining room table "only" ten days after I got back! 12:23: Chin: nothing seriously wrong with my chest, just give it time. He's even heard of Buckley's; 12:35: off the phone with Marj, catching her up on my accomplishments; 1:30: finish 1/31 puzzle, rescued from the prior trip and about to be put into the next-trip file before I decide I should solve these NOW, using the encyclopedia and Internet to help me, and I DO finish this one, leaving only TWO; 1:58: finish 1/17 puzzle, leaving only ONE; 2:10: finish 1/10 puzzle, the LAST ONE FROM PRIOR TRIP! Feel GREAT!!; 3:40: return from gym; 4:10: finish lunch; 8PM: finish TRISMEM17; 9:05: send THREE lifelists, essentially ALL of them!; 9:25: update Netflix queue in preparation for my "rejoining" on 2/28; 9:45: request three books from Brooklyn Public Library, feeling GREAT about doing so many things! GREAT LIST! Call Tris about 5:30 and Tori picks up to tell me that Tris's pacemaker lead went out this morning and he's back in the hospital, probably for another operation on his pacemaker. Bed 12:05AM.

FRIDAY, 2/27/09: Type dream 3:40-3:50AM. Pee, and drink water after taking Buckley's syrup. Up at 8:50AM. Make a list of things I need: 1) NYS tax forms, 2) 5500 forms, 3) Galapagos slides. Do lots: at 9:05 call Beard for 3/6, and get a call back at 9:35 confirming my reservation. Get out to the subway at 10AM to get to the Met Opera, with lots of people standing around outside waiting for people, to meet Charles at 10:40, and almost leave before he shows up at 10:51, saying he couldn't find his belt. On the way up the stairs, he panting behind me, I say that, with the wonderful weather (it got up to 61 at noon) I've thought of a perfect place for him to treat me to lunch. After a tiny pause, I say, "And I'll hit you if you guess it right off." He thinks for a moment and says, "The Boathouse?" And I laugh a lot and resist punching him: how REMARKABLE we think so much alike. We get up to the seats for him to start reading the New Yorker article about Natalie Dessay and me to start reading the program. "La Sonnambula" starts at 11:05 with most of the auditorium filled, though much of the fifth ring is empty. I'm thrilled that they're SINGING the parts, not "marking" them, as described in the New Yorker, and as I'd described to Charles and Marj as fearing happening, and they're absolutely fabulous, PARTICULARLY the delicacy of the delicately sung, truly bel canto, phrasing and intonations. First act is over at 12:23PM and we sit in our seats catching up with reading, at least after Charles goes to the john. Second act is from 12:53-1:53, with me betting that the set at the far deeps of the stage will be filled in with an "authentic" Swiss village, and Charles saying it'll stay with the "Our Town" sense of "this is the way the backstage looks." Out to the street at 2PM to find it sadly chillier and cloudier than at 10:45AM, but walk through the park, with some willows showing their early-Spring enameling of green on every tiny branch, to a half-full Boathouse to get one of the last lakeside tables and find to our delight that they have a Restaurant Week menu (at the point of typing this, at 8:25AM on Monday, 3/2, I phone Mildred and have a WONDERFUL conversation in which I 1) tell her about the wonderful "La Sonnambula," 2) admit to her my conclusion that she ENJOYS yanking my chain [to which she responds that she admits that, because she wants me to have a different chain, and I freely admit to her that I'd like HER to change, TOO!], 3) say that I'm over my cold and we can enjoy more Restaurant Week lunches [which she at first says she's too angry with me to have, but I think she'll relent], and finally 4) say that not ONLY do I enjoy lunches with her but I enjoy TALKING ON THE PHONE with her [which she also admits is a great part of our relationship] because a) she's up early [and we have a parenthesis {do we have A parenthesis or A parentheses?} about how I USED to enjoy getting to bed at 2AM and getting up at 10AM, but with recent trips, through a couple of years, I've enjoyed the pattern of getting into bed BEFORE midnight to wake up BEFORE 8AM to enjoy the MORNING before I can start making phone calls] and available to i) BITCH at [which she admits she can also do to ME, and actually confesses that, like Charles, I'll LISTEN to her bitching, but then goes overboard and says that SHE will listen to MY bitching but that Charles will NOT, and I tell her she's TOTALLY wrong about that, and has NOTHING to base that judgement on!!] or to ii) BRAG to [as I did with the visit to Sherryl which so angered Mildred, and as I did about "La Sonnambula," in which she AGREED that Charles and Fred would OF COURSE come ahead of her in preferring to take the seat {NOT that I didn't want to go ALONE, but that I didn't want SOMEONE to miss this wonderful opportunity to use the SECOND seat I'd gotten}, but then she said I liked to DUMP on her, and I insisted that in that she was ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT wrong, that I NEVER dump on her, that's only HER wrong judgement on my actions]. She has to leave for some appointment, so we hang up with SOME degree of pleasure.) so I don't have to worry about having a "too pricey" lunch at Charles's expense and then order a glass of celebratory prosecco that I pay for---and then when Charles doesn't have the right change for the bill, I get to pay with my credit card and get $80 in cash from him so I don't have to go to the bank to get more cash for myself! Enjoyable lunch, though neither entree (his chicken or my sea bass) is particularly noteworthy, but the setting is wonderful, even when it starts sprinkling rain just before we leave. Dash back to the West side subway and home about 5PM, when I do my daily Spider routine from 5:35-6:10PM, OK to 50.5667 and 192 up, and then decide to tackle my federal taxes, finishing them up wonderfully by about 9:30PM when I have dinner. Bed at 11:40PM.

SATURDAY, 2/28/09: Type dream 4:44AM. Maybe doze, maybe stay awake the entire time thinking. 6:20AM: Had a moment of panic when I finished typing the dream: went to save the file, and as sometimes happens for no known reason, the file name disappears and I have to enter the entire name. When I save DREAMS, I suddenly, irrationally, fear that I've clobbered the entire prior file, so when I come back to WP51 just before 6:20, I check to see that the DREAMS file runs into the low 60s, which I check with the printed pages to find that that's reasonable. Turn on the new storage unit, which is called EDGE for some reason, and duplicate the MC file onto it just to make sure I don't clobber anything, and to get into the habit of frequent backups. After typing the dream, I make a note to myself to retrieve the Dessay article from my now-discarded New Yorker, so that I can access the two websites described, that I circled to make sure I remembered, and then thoughtlessly put the New Yorker into the to-be-thrown-away magazine stack without removing that article, though I had removed the classic article about the "back door" possible solution to the interminable (and interminably stupid) India-Pakistan loggerheads over Kashmir and filed it in my Scrapbook desk-file. Then the echo of Leon Brazel's "But you just showed the Galapagos slides" keeps running through my head, and I get up to find that I DID show the Galapagos slides on 12/3/08 at 55 Pierrepont, with John and Susie and obviously NOT Fred McKecknie, since he'd told Charles that he was looking forward to the Galapagos slides on 3/4 and wanted to have lunch with Charles beforehand. So I noted on my 2/27 NEED list that I have to TELL Charles to tell Fred that it's going to be TIBET/CHINA slides, and note that I have to relay the same message to Sharon, Leon Brazel, Christine, John, and Susie, to whom I sent an e-mail just yesterday to "remind" her of the 3/4 showing of the Galapagos slides, which I'm sure even SHE would remember seeing. Lie thinking about all the INCREDIBLE trips I've taken: the trips I've shown over the years at Cadman Plaza, at my place, at 55 Pierrepont, which I've thankfully kept a list of so that I can SEE when my Alzheimer's acts up---which reminds me that I'd ALSO thought that I should CONTINUE adding to that file, which I started a long time ago and has since fallen into abeyance, though evidence of "something like" Alzheimer's is increasingly present, and of great concern. Then think back of the extraordinary trips during which I only took (very complicated) NOTES rather than pictures: the round-the-world for 130 days with John, the US trip for 100 days on Greyhound, the IBM round-the-world trip. Then think of the extraordinary collection of slides I NOW have of the 100 trips I've taken WITH the camera (well, that's not accurate, but it'll do for now). Then think that I really SHOULD schedule a PROJECTOR show with my DIGITAL pictures of some recent trip to reunite the old group of Ken, Stephanie, Anita, Fred, Piri, Judy Gex, Steve Hayes, for some time in March before my NEXT trip. Reflect again that I also have to do Piri's index in March. Then think with joy that Netflix will come back again, actually today, and that maybe the library will soon inform me that I can borrow some of their books to read in the evenings when I need something to take the place of infinite Spider-playing. Think of my future life AFTER the travel concentration wanes---the last few years really HAVE been centered around travel, and the next few years will NOT have that much, and I'll have to set the pattern for a rich life WITHOUT active travel every two or three months: reading, sending more to the website, showing projections of my recent trips, enjoying New York more spontaneously. Add to my note to tell the two Prime-Timers about my slide show on Wednesday. About the website: 1) how awful it would be if Tris died of complications with his new pacemaker, 2) how many things I should just PUT on the site WITHOUT having Marj proofread them first: the USA trip, the 130-day round-the-world, the plays, "John," the novel. 3) vague thoughts about somehow "publicizing" or "getting the word out" about the website so that it'll begin to be SEEN and commented on---even WITH incriminating names being currently added via LIFELISTS. Intermittently think that I should just do Actualism and get back to sleep; intermingled with the thought that, with nothing on my calendar today or tomorrow, I could just GET UP and start into my day: desk cluttered with federal tax forms completed, waiting for the NYS forms to be gotten from the library for REAL completion, still staggering with the thought that I need $23,477 to pay the taxes and fund the Keogh, for which I only currently have $19,582 in Schwab One, but have $25,000 in cash coming up in my Keogh on 3/8. AND still have to handle the 3/6 stock-handling lawsuit forms, and the current Visa bill, and other things still stacked up from the trip from Tunisia, from which I feel I haven't YET recovered, though I have more energy the last few days than I had in the first week back from the trip, when I overdosed on Spider because I didn't feel like doing anything else. Well, at least this proves that I NOW feel like doing something else!! Which gives me the feeling of "release" that I need now at 6:47AM to FINISH this, knowing that I have a GREAT deal of printing to do to catch up with that, but happy that I DO have a backup of---at least everything BEFORE this! Well, why not do ANOTHER backup now? Do one ONLY of NH. Stay at the computer until 7:43AM, then back to bed to do Actualism and get up about an hour later. Have breakfast, then phone lots of people about my changing showing the Galapagos slides to showing the Tibet/China slides: leave word with Charles and John and Sharon, and Leon and Alice are delighted about the change, and note that I'll have to call Christine on Monday. Eventually e-mail the two Prime Timers about it, too. Actually phone Susie about noon, but she's not coming since she doesn't have enough vacation days to take all my Wednesdays off. Then figure to go to the library for my NYS tax forms, finding one book from my request list waiting for me, and pick up two videos which I watch that afternoon (along with my daily Spider 2:40-4:54 to 50.57213 at 194 up): "Bhutan," an hour's National Geographic PBS special that covers all the wildlife and little of the culture or "sight-seeing" aspects, and "Paradjanov" about this crazy Ukrainian film-maker. Then just sit lazily in front of the television, seeing what's available, and while watching "Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith" on channel 3, I find that, during commercials, "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" is playing on channel 36, and I switch back and forth between them, two GREAT movies, seeing many details which I'd not quite gotten the first (or second) times through, and get to bed at 12:20AM, after changing my calendar page from February to March, appreciating the fact that I can tell the day-of-the-week for my Tunisia-trip finishing-tasks (doing the picture and summary pages and printing out the pages) equally well from the two similar-dayed months.

SUNDAY, 3/1/09: Up to pee at 8:30AM, amazed that I actually SLEPT through the eight hours without waking! Decide to start the morning by finishing off my NYS taxes before breakfast, which I have while watching the DVD I did last night of "Jurassic Park III," and find, by checking my lists, that the reason it seems new is that I saw only the final hour before. Find that the not-remembered end of "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" is playing on TNT, so I watch that and go back to the Jurassic Park DVD during the intermissions, then when I get to the part of "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" that I saw yesterday, I finish Jurassic Park, probably confusing my brain forever. Do my daily Spider 11:37-12:57, OK to 195 up. Finish the next-to-last Healthy Heart lunch, and want to get out for egg foo yung before the 7PM start of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," but I don't quite have enough time to do that at 6:50PM, so I whip up a bowl of too-soupy tuna with mayonnaise and curry for my three-toast tuna-melt dinner with wine to sit through the entire 4.25 hours of the TV showing of that wonderful trilogy-end, with just INCREDIBLE vistas, details, battle scenes, orc special effects, balrog brilliance, beauty in spots, and even lots of true emotional scenes, though the ending DID drag on a bit. Get to bed, television sated, at 11:40PM and fall asleep almost immediately.

MONDAY, 3/2/09: Up to pee at 7:50, AGAIN amazed that I slept through the eight hours without waking. Maybe I'm finally over my Tunisia infection? Start typing to catch up, then phone Mildred (as noted in my Saturday notes while I was catching up on them), and catch this up to date by 9:30AM, figuring, what-the-hell, to do Spider NOW so that I have only my tax-forms to fill out on final pages to put THAT off my desk, Christine to call about China-Tibet slides, and the gym this afternoon. For the past two hours have been watching a WONDERFUL snowfall outside: it was maybe an inch or two when I started looking out to a calm day, and then it started just at 8AM, adding at least another inch, and it shows no sign of stopping now at 9:31AM. Then Spider is a TOTAL disaster: keeping on during MANY consecutive failures, and decide that FIVE is enough to call it quits, WITHOUT stopping on a win, at 1:36PM, down to 186 up. Then have lunch and get to the gym and get back too late to call Christine, and look at mail and get out early to get the good seat at Casa Mono with Ken at 6:30, where the meal is only mediocre, though he likes it: the best is the $30 Cava Mono (monkey champagne) which I decide NOT to change our visa-charges to include in the bill, so we stiff them. Tsk. Home and can't resist going back to Spider from 10:25PM-1AM, another disaster, ending at 50:52523 at 182 up, teaching me AGAIN that it's not worth it to play TOO much or it's just a DISASTER. Bed at 1:18AM.

TUESDAY, 3/3/09: Shit at 7:20AM, then j/o 9:20-10:15. Start putting the slides together for tomorrow's program. Call Christine to find she's not in, but the person who answers at the St. Charles Center says that Leon told them about the change of my program, so the signs will be correct about my Tibet and China slides. Get to a painful Spider from 11:20-12:45, ending at 50.54792 at 184 up finally after 3 wins. Watch "Recount," thinking to tell Spartacus that I have it, but I don't have time to watch the commentary, so I'll do that tomorrow morning and put it back in the mail by 10AM so I can get my next one quickly. Something's wrong with my cable box: I'm not getting the regular channels, though the VHS works OK. Then go to Sharon, even though it seems there won't be an early dinner at the Iron Chef tomorrow since Charles will be meeting Fred for lunch, and John and Susie appear not to be coming. Another shitty Spider session 7:55-10:30 to 50.53453 at 182 up. Then try doing research in encyclopedias for my slide show, and get to bed at 1:55AM.

SHARON B. 92 3/3/09

Got there early, about 5:23PM, and she didn't have anyone in her office, but she waited before calling me in. I started with how IRRITABLE I felt all day: even at the LAST, walking toward her, I thought I'd lost the pull on my jacket zipper, but when I took it off it was somehow INSIDE! (I didn't tell her how I had to look THREE TIMES through the very small stack of CDs before I found Porno 2 this morning.) I told her how irritated I got when Spartacus assumed I HAD to know that a color copy would NOT copy black; the copier needed to get the black ink from the black supply to get the black in a color copy! But then he "blackmailed" me into accepting whatever he said to me, including that my beard looked terrible (to which I responded, "Is there anything ELSE bad you'd like to say about me?"), but I shouldn't worry, because it would grow out (and I thanked him SO much, irony dripping, because I really hadn't REALIZED that!). Sharon congratulated me on "getting back at him." That reminded me of TELLING Mildred that she enjoyed "yanking my chain," and AGAIN Sharon approved. "But why were you so irritated?" I admitted to being irritated BEFORE the copier messed me up trying to get the "pandora" bill off my visa card, which was why I CHANGED my visa card, to AVOID that charge, but she insisted I had to file the Declaration of Unauthorized Use, which needed a copy of the items on the bill that I questioned, having dialed the 202-area number and getting the rapid busy signal that seems to mean the number isn't operating properly. THEN I remembered that I felt guilty about stiffing Cafe Mono for a $30 bottle of cava which Ken and I both enjoyed: I wouldn't ordinarily do that---well, maybe for a GLASS that they forgot to charge for when the service or the food was poor, but here the service was good and the food was as good as could be expected, and I was probably irritated at myself about that cheat. I talked about the hassle of setting up a slide show here on 3/29, the people I had to call about my changing the slide show tomorrow (which she thought she'd be able to attend) from the Galapagos to Tibet and China, stupidly having forgotten I'd showed the Galapagos only in DECEMBER. To get away from the complaints, I brought out the three pages of dreams I'd printed out for her, summarizing the Saturday one as the typical "lost without any hope of finding where I was," and then reading most of this morning's dream aloud, saying that recently I'd been very lucky to sleep for OVER EIGHT hours solid without having to pee (not mentioning my slowly returning testosterone which allows me slight erections on waking), and how my meditation was good for putting me to sleep, but how my medications for my chest congestion probably helped in my "drug-abuse" dream of this morning. She asked (I'm messing up all these topics) if there was anything I felt I couldn't TELL Spartacus, but I said we'd known each other so long that we'd already said ALL there was to say about each other TO each other, and we hadn't had to hang up on either of us in a long time, after I'd hung up on HIM a few times to show what it felt like. And then he DID do me many favors, so I didn't even bother to call him on his exaggeration that I'd barely called him since I was back from the trip, which wasn't true at all. Even mentioned that when he brought me a spare black cartridge for my copier he ALSO brought a magazine, a movie that I wanted to see, though he still ragged me about not getting the DAILY Times, so I wouldn't be able to see the reviews for "La Sonnambula," though he'd gotten them before from the Internet, but when I went to the Internet there weren't any posted as yet. Complained more, which she said I was perfectly justified in doing, said that I still felt that I was suffering from SOME remnants of my Tunisia illness, and didn't bother to say that my Nepalese trip at altitude is drawing closer, just a month away at this point, after a horrendous index from Piri, which I mostly kept from Sharon, though I did mention my fear that Tris might die from his lead-disconnected pacemaker which put him back in the hospital, from which he hadn't phoned me, but I called him this morning and Tori said that he was well and resting, and I just said for him to call me at his convenience, which of course wasn't today---as it wasn't the day for the GM people to call in reference to my question on Saturday, their telling me it would take "five business days" to answer, which would put it on 3/6, the day my claim should be postmarked. Spider took up a large part of the session: when she asked when I FIRST started feeling irritated, I came up with the disastrous Monday sessions that I just COULDN'T get an increase of score with, feeling that "it was against me," and we even thought that "it was punishing me for spending FAR too long at it when I KNEW this wasn't the way to progress." She expressed great sympathy that the ONE way I had to RELAX completely, by winning, had been taken away from me, and I even said at one point that I might consider going back to FreeCell, or even Minesweeper, to relieve myself of the disappointment at not being able to CONSTANTLY inscrease my scores with Spider. She said that would be extreme, and I said that I KNEW that the best way to do it was "slowly and steadily," not going too long when it became NOT enjoyable, and that it DID afford me that blessed RELIEF from thinking about ANYTHING ELSE, and was to be treasured for THAT. Told her that I'd fantasized getting out a stamp catalog when I stopped in the library for a book and my NYS tax forms, but decided that I had too much to do.

WEDNESDAY, 3/4/09: Type dream at 7:05 and pee at 7:15. Do a good Actualism session, and probably doze, and get up at 10:07AM. Give myself three tasks: 1) could spare printer cartridges be on shelf under printer? No. 2) Put NEW batteries in flashlight? They don't work! 3) Add the Spider discussion to Sharon's session. Decide I MUST record my Sharon session last night, which was VERY productive, and then at 10:57AM, slide-show looming, breakfast not yet had, I DETERMINE to go back to a CONTROLLED session of Spider to see what comes from it. At least I sent out the Visa check, and the check to Tris, though I didn't tell Sharon these things either. Play Spider COMPULSIVELY from 10:55-12:30, OK to 50.54306 at 815 up at 4 wins, but then I have to RUSH through breakfast, packing up stuff into three bags (again forgetting the extension cord), and leaving a half-eaten bowl of oatmeal on the counter to leave at 12:50, lugging stuff to Pierrepont at 1:05, where hardly anyone has gathered, so I have time to schedule the next showing for 5/20 for the Trans-Siberian Railroad, get an extension cord, and set up the Dunhuang and Tibet books on the table so people can look at them, which relatively few do, though Elsie loves them. Start at 1:15 and end at 2:35, everyone loving it! Charles goes off with a late-arriving Fred, and Steve volunteers to help me lug stuff home, where he gets to see my half-eaten bowl of oatmeal! I don't even bother to unpack the bags from the show until Saturday or Sunday! At least finish the oatmeal, look at the mail, and then get BACK to Spider at 3:30, recording temporary stops at 4:57, 5:37, and finally at 7:11PM, when I'm DYING for lunch, ending at 50.54236 at 185 up. Watch "Recount" with the commentary, then do some catching up on NH, which I've got to finish at 10:50PM and have some dinner while watching at least part of "The Cell," which Spartacus brought me. End up watching the whole thing and get to bed at 12:15AM.