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2009 2 of 7

THURSDAY, 3/5/09: Up to pee at 8:18AM, having slept through more than eight hours! My chest seems to be gradually clearing, though I still cough once or twice a day. I phone Schwab to find that General Motors Accept IS GMAC, and thus not covered in the lawshit (GOT to leave that typo!), so I finish that application and take it downstairs to make the 10AM mailbox pickup. Then do my morning Spider 9:25-10:50 to 50.53796 at 187 up after 4 wins, looking GOOD! Taking Spartacus at his word that, IF Time-Warner has to come to my place to give me my picture back, it'll probably take a few days, I leave word at Time-Warner that I have no picture: please call me back. Big breakfast and leave at noon to get to the Met Museum early to be sure to meet Len on time. [And as I type this at 11:50AM on 3/9, I look for all the papers I brought from the Museum with the times I saw what shows, and I CAN'T FIND THEM! 11:58AM: FIND them (after looking through 2007 tax-file stuff, and ALL over the apartment: CLEAN now so LITTLE to look at!) in the TRASH BAG! Call Marj to tell of two typos: "the the" for "but the" and "lawshit" and THIS hassle! THAT call goes to 12:35PM, IMMEDIATELY followed by a call from Josie from HH meals, saying through a mistake they ended up in TENNESSEE! So BACK to journal at 12:45PM, almost an HOUR after the start-bracket.] Check coat downstairs at the Met Museum at 12:55 and find that the "bleachers" are GONE, replaced by only a few small wooden backless benches. Pay for entrance and get a list of today's talks, and the movie at 2PM looks interesting. Len shows up at 1:13, having had to go upstairs to prove his membership so he can get his free entrance. He's pleasant enough, but certainly no sex object. We go through Babylon 1:15-2:35, when we get to the Uluburun shipwreck and I'm reminded of the 2PM movie! Len says he's hungry, so we agree to meet in the lower cafeteria at 3PM. I ask a guard for the nearest elevator, and she shows me where to go, and I get in for the last 20 minutes of "Voyage from Antiquity," looking at some neat divers' bodies, and then to the elevator where the guard says that there IS a tunnel linking the lowest galleries in the south to the low cafeteria in the west, but "we" (the public) can't use it. Look for Len before picking up a sandwich and fruit drink and brownie, and then he's waving at me from a table from which he waved before, when I came in, and didn't see him. Lunch to 3:35, when we go to the Bonnard exhibit, which he wants to look at in detail, but I skim through it as almost worthless to 4PM, and also through the American Landscapes, nine great paintings, to 4:10, and then back to Babylon 4:15-5:15, when we get to the end and are chased out at closing time. We meet after getting our coats, and we agree to meet NEXT Thursday at Leslie/Lohman at 1PM. Quick bus across park with a CUTE black-jeaned square-jawed foreign-looking guy to look at, and subway home feeling EXHAUSTED after 6:15PM. Then sit down for a DISASTER of a Spider from 6:30-11:45: WAY down to 50.49713 at 170 up! Bed at 12:55AM.

FRIDAY, 3/6/09: 7AM: Type dream, drink water, and pee. Make a note of three things to do today: 1) check Time-Warner, and leave ANOTHER message, but sometime today they call back to try to fix it by phone by plugging and unplugging the box, but it doesn't work, so they have to send someone out on TUESDAY. Call Spartacus to say he was right to say I had to call early. 2) Last night I got my Brooklyn library card, so I can take that in to be verified today with the two videotapes when I go to the gym AND pick up the laundry, which has been ready since Thursday 2/26. 3) Beard 7PM. Get back to the incredible paper blizzard of tax forms, wondering when the stacks on the floor will EVER be picked up, or the slide stuff unpacked from the hallway, or the mail from the dining-room table. Do an OK Spider 1:20-2:15 to 50.49695, only staying at 170 up. Then to the gym, getting first to the library, then to the Chinese laundry, and coming back for a tiny snack for lunch before the Beard. In the middle of this PIRI calls to say she got the PAGES for the index, so I can start NOW! Start on it from 4:45-5:15, when phone calls interrupt, and from 5:30-6:15, getting to name 50, and calling Piri to say that it's going VERY well: "took about 2 hours for 50 names, and you have about 22 groups of 50 names, so that means it'll take about 44 hours, not counting the VERY large entries, so it looks more like TWO weeks than THREE weeks." She's happy to hear it. I then quickly dress for the Beard and get there at 7:05 to find four beers and a nice white wine with the appetizers, and sit at table 1 next to black Michelle on my right and the Chinese couple on my left, for a VERY FILLING meal from which I take home the veal T-bone in aluminum foil. Back to find NO MEALS YET! Meal goes till after 11PM, and I get to bed at 12:10AM.

SATURDAY, 3/7/09: 3:15: Take two aspirin and pee. Pee at 7:51, up at 8:16, just a bit "off" because of all the food and wine last night. Do the diagramless in about an hour just to be able to use my own form paper. Determined to FINISH the tax forms, finding things I have to do on Monday: call for Forms 5500 and NYS Estimated Tax vouchers. Relax with Spider 12:45-1:30, to 50.49973 at 171 up after 3 wins. Keep doing and doing, "rewarding" myself with another bout of Spider 4:37-5:15, only getting to 50.49962 at 171 up after 2 wins, "teaching" me again that IT JUST DOESN'T PAY to do two sessions in a day. Work on the index 5:35-8, getting to name 150, adequate progress, but find that SOME names (Blomfield and Buffet) aren't FOUND, and I have to go after FIRST names! Watch "In Bruges," eating one of the last of the Healthy Heart dinners, new ones STILL not arrived, and Piri calls to apologize for being so groggy with me on the phone this morning. No problem. Start changing the clocks after 11PM, except for those whose DAY would have to change which I'll leave for tomorrow, for daylight savings time. Bed at 12:28AM DST.

SUNDAY, 3/8/09: 3:49: Up, sure I heard a knock on my door and a man's voice saying "Zolz" loudly. Look outside, find nothing, and pee. Up at 8:45. Start the day with a good Spider 9:04-9:54 to 50.50534 at 173 up at 3 wins. Take the Netflix envelope to the post office, hoping to get an extra day in, and enjoying the warm weather these days. Breakfast and Sunday Times, and get back to incredible task of separating all the stacks on the floor into 1) do tomorrow, 2) 2007 taxes, 3) 2008 taxes (with a lot left to be done in moving money around), 4) Keogh, 5) IRA, 6) Roth IRA, and 7) Schwab One. Work and finish the Roth IRA and IRA stacks, put the 2007 taxes on the back of the sofa, and putting a stack of styrofoam in the hall to take down later. Lunch on the T-bone from the Beard Friday, gnawing on it with fingernails while observing the book-title "Sacred Hunger" staring at me on the dining-room table. More work on stacks, seeming to find that I haven't made a master list for my Schwab One account yet! Put many of the stacks back onto the coffee table. Finally can't stand being so productive, so I go to the Netflix instant-play list and find "My Best Fiend: Klaus Kinsky," which is quite good---but when I recommend Spartacus watch it on his computer screen, he couldn't be less interested. Take down the name "Enchanted" for my next screen-watch. Decide I have to enter the names Piri e-mailed me before, and find that if I change the print-request to the printer WITHOUT the (Copy 1) in back, it WORKS. So I can throw away the card-to-do of reloading the printer program to CONNECT it to my desktop computer again. Back to the index for names to 250 from 7:30-9:35, still not QUITE getting down to an hour per 50 names. Lots of glitches to ask Piri about. Eat last Healthy Heart dinner while watching one of Sherryl's art videotapes. Very tired to bed at 12:15AM.

MONDAY, 3/9/09: Pee at 4:35 and up at 8:17, determined to be in bed over eight hours. Make a list of things to check: 1) Does Verizon have anti-virus? And it DOES, so I see no reason to get Norton, since Verizon should have Norton and MORE on its system, so I can throw THAT card away, happy at getting things DONE. Phoned for the Schwab Visa card that gives 2% back on EVERYTHING, with NO foreign-exchange fees, and no annual fee. They check my credit and even find my pending Citi-Visa problem, and give me a $7500 credit line. Phoned for my Form 5500s and my NYS Estimated Tax vouchers. Call Mildred to recommend the card, and she's impressed. Do my daily Spider 9:25-10:20 to 50.50811 at 174 up at 2 wins: slow and steady wins the race. Call the office and they schedule the exterminator for me on 3/19, another long wait. Then decide I MUST catch up on the NH journal, getting to Thursday to find I've LOST the Met Museum papers! Note that hassle in the Thursday journal. Call Healthy Heart meals at 11:45 and leave word, then call Marj 11:58AM-12:33PM, and then HH calls back to say they're lost in Tennessee and credited to my account, and she apologizes because now my refrigerator is EMPTY, rather than full. Register for this week's Met Opera tickets at 12:45 to take care of the rest of today's tasks. Go through the Met Museum calendar and note that my next trip has to be BEFORE I go to Nepal! FINALLY catch up with all this at 1:52PM, LOTS of pages to type! Call Piri and leave word. Call Heather and find she only takes messages Wednesday-Saturday. Time for LUNCH of Spam at 1:58PM. Work on index from 2:30-3:20, to #250, go to the gym, work 5-5:25 to #313 and read to page 54 to 6:35. Then make my tuna casserole since the fridge is empty, read to page 110 by 7:55. Work to Galton 9:25-10:20, #355, and get to bed at 11:30, EXHAUSTED.

TUESDAY, 3/10/09: Pee at 6AM and type dream. Can't sleep and get up at 7:23. Have breakfast and work to Leger at #575 8:20-1:30, halfway done at 17:15, so the bill WILL be about $3500! Time-Warner guy comes about 10:30 and finds the box is OFF: I explain, with some embarrassment, that the OLD box's TIME went blank when the box went off, so since the NEW box's TIME was still on (and the stupid repair-person on the PHONE didn't THINK to ask me to check that the box WAS on!), I figured the BOX was on, but the little green light on the "on" button wasn't on, so I have to check for THAT in the future! Relax with a good Spider 1:40-3:20 to 50.51955 at 178 up with 6 wins, then have a Spam lunch, during which HH calls to say that through some foul-up the "missing" package from Friday will be delivered HERE, and I should just tell the doorman to throw it out. But I take it, it seems OK, and I resolve to EAT it. Read Piri's book from 3:30-6:50 to page 243, finding lots of corrections, and then, uninterested in the end, finish skimming at 10PM, in time for dinner from the "old" meals and watch a two-hour special on Blue Whales on National Geographic until 12:50AM.

WEDNESDAY, 3/11/09: Pee at 5:47 and type dream. Up at 9:05, having debated jerking off and deciding not, and DO decide to use the WEB to purchase my long-sought conical tapered GUM brushes from Butler AND the long-delayed Hoover Upright belts from HOOVER, AND order two tickets for "La Didone" for me and Paul in the front row for $60, AND make an appointment with DiMatteo for Wednesday, AND tell Mildred that Paul and I would like to go to a Restaurant Week lunch with her next Thursday or Friday! BUSY, BUSY to 10AM, when I have breakfast, and then type these catch-up notes to 10:35, ready for my Spider for the day. Good session to 11:35, up to 50.52865 at 181 up after 4 wins. Then call Marj, and, per her meticulous records, talk from 11:48.5 to 1:18.5, over an hour and a half, during which we say what we thought of Piri's book AND I report a strange tingle on my tongue that might result from eating too-old HH food! Catch up with this before returning to indexing "A Memoir of Creativity." Work from 1:25-3:30, stop for lunch, and work 4-4:30, before going to Sharon's. Come back, write up the session, and get right out to the Beard, where Colleen introduces me to the FABULOUS couple of Ajay and Donn. I find that Ajay is from Hyderabad and we talk about travel to India, through which it becomes clear that Donn is his lover. Stephen is obviously gay, and when the fifth joins his partner at the table, I'm REALLY sorry Ken isn't there! Describe more of this the next morning. Don't eat or drink too much, but get right to bed when I get home at 10:40PM.

SHARON B. 93 3/10/09

She's talking in the office of a Black woman who turns out to be a NUN, when I start talking about these women who are "married to Christ" in the church. She comes out at 4:50 and apologizes for being late. I start by saying how GREAT it was to have indexing work, which I got Friday, and it even make the prospect of Paul's visit next week more bearable, particularly since we have an opera, a lunch with Mildred, and a dinner at Henry's End to look forward to, not counting my dentist's appointment. Tell her how much I get DONE when I have the framework of a job: ordering things from the Internet, getting IRS forms, putting things away. Then we talk a lot about my brief dream of Shelley Winters as my mother as a buddha in the bottom of a yellow closet in the kitchen at 1221 Dietz. No, I say, I never had to "go to confession" to my mother, but I mentioned again the wad of porn she once found in the toilet which was probably destroyed or she would have rubbed my nose in it more; the "splotches" in the cold-air register at the side of my bed; how "rehearsedly" she took the news that I was gay. Ended with the inadvertent throwing out of the Metropolitan Museum brochures, finding them in my discarded wastebasket contents, and she confesses to have thrown away VALUABLE things, which makes her feel AWFUL, but everyone does it. I tell about the Healthy Heart food that I'm eating that maybe I should have thrown away, and the irony of Ken calling for the first time EVER to say he wasn't coming to the Beard tonight because he wasn't feeling well. I don't even know if it was anything intestinal. Talked again about the pity of the church making my young days awful with the thoughts that I'd go to hell if I were not confessing to masturbating, and how I STILL get a kick when I read that someone like David Foster Wallace liked to "eat something sweet and then masturbate." But, I ruefully admitted, "Since we probably aren't going to be here at the end of the world, we're probably going to miss the demise of the Catholic Church." "But it is dwindling," she says encouragingly. And then I proceed to condemn the Jewish religion and the Islamic religion and say only the Hindus and Buddhists have any sense of human dignity at ALL. Leaving things to the individual, primarily. Say that I thought of us when I read that "once-a-week therapy is just telling about the events of the week," but Sharon insists that I ALWAYS have more to tell about, and more deep thoughts than that, and she reminds me of the opportunity this gives to let out steam in an acceptable way, and I admitted to feeling better after many sessions---though my stomach didn't feel ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT correct at the moment. Even described the look-alike Blacks at the Beard: Colleen, at our table tonight, and Danielle (or whatever her name was) at the last dinner. So I say that next week I'll probably be CURSING Paul, even though he gets in very late Tuesday evening. Leave at 5:35, thinking there's STILL not much time before the Beard tonight, finishing this at 5:58, with the TV Guide sudoku to do.

THURSDAY, 3/11/09: Pee and type dream at 5:50AM. Wake on my back with the "crowded" sensation in my chest that my heart is either in tachycardia or in some kind of "overbeat" that is so pronounced it should be palpable to my fingertips, although it isn't: I can barely locate my heartbeat, though it feels like it's so strong it might actually be audible (paradoxically) if I DIDN'T have my earplugs in, though of course, in actuality, my heartbeat would sound LOUDER if my ears were more inner-directed while I had the earplugs in. Don't feel particularly drunk, but I'm not aware I had over-much wine last night; however, I surely remember my impression of the vitality and liveliness of the conversation around the dinner table last night, pleased as being proclaimed "the champion of travel" in this group of very widely traveled, openly gay, very "out" businessmen who certainly didn't look their late-30s ages, though I thought Donn said he was three years younger than Ajay, who was one year old when I toured Hyderabad in 1971. And we all looked so exotic with the puja-dot on our foreheads, which Ajay obligingly rubbed off my forehead after Donn did it so carefully for Ajay, so I wouldn't attract attention on the subway going home early at 10:15, very pleased with having met them, hoping they'll join, or even be present when Colleen again dines with me and Ken, hopefully, since it DOES seem that she said she arranged the seatings, and seemed very pleased that we all got along so well and toasted her more than once for her "hostess-ship" of the evening, starting with her introduction of me to them at the start of the cocktail hour, first to the oriental Stephan and 6' 3" long-thumbed Donn and a third whose name I don't remember, but it must have been Ben, whose partner Chris joined us somewhat later, both of which cards were from American Express, with which company Ajay assumed I worked until I told him I knew the group only tonight through Colleen. I hope I don't regret the impetuous e-mail I sent Donn in my eagerness to see the "view from the 45th floor of One Court Square in Long Island City." [He never DID respond.] DRAG out of bed at 8:59AM! Check up on the time, record an hour of National Geographic on artificial planets, and finish the TV Guide sudoku, catching up on programming with something to film tonight. Get back to the TV at 10:10AM and record a SECOND hour of National Geographic on ANOTHER planet. Phone Ken, who had a slight fever and intestinal difficulty, was sorry he missed last night when I told him that Colleen had scheduled herself between SEVEN gay guys, and also reported the possibility that she'll be with us next week, too. Type this to 10:20AM, going back to dreams to record a third fragment from this morning. Work from 10:50AM to 12:30PM, getting to Porter at #806, and get to Len at the Leslie/Lohman JUST at the dot of 1PM. We look through an interesting exhibit to 2PM, when we try lunch at Balthazar, but they say it's a half-hour wait, so we go around the corner for a sidewalk-view window at Savoy for a nice lunch of his pork rillette and my chicken livers, shrimp (too chewy with the SHELL fried on!), and "glazed" Brussel sprouts (meaning just slightly burnt) with bacon bits, and bread and a limeade for $20, and Len INSISTED on splitting the check even though his total was only $17.35. Long talk about our backgrounds, and out at 3:50 to find that the OLD Leslie/Lohman on Prince has closed, and then to two galleries that HE wanted to see: Arcadia and Eleanor Ettinger, and this takes to 5:30PM! Subway home, tired, and do Spider OK from 5:50 to 6:35 to 50.53092 at 182 up with 2 wins, and then index from 6:40-9:40 to Sukarno at #1001, FOUR blocks of 50 in THREE hours thanks to the faster "Binoculars" search rather than the "Find" button. Stop for a still-good HH dinner while watching "Mongol" from Netflix to 12:15AM, getting to bed at 12:37AM.

FRIDAY, 3/13/09: Pee at 7:05, do Actualism, get up at 8:58, have a quick last HH breakfast, and get out to the gym at 9:55AM, taking down more Styrofoam, and delivering my Netflix item for the 10AM mail pick-up. Back to a nagging call from Mildred, complaining she's losing it, and call Steve to call Sheryl at Adventure Canada to get an invoice and information about insurance. Also phone in a prescription, and put away the 2007 IRS data, and play Spider 12:15-12:53, happy to end at 50.53374 at 183 up in 2 wins, thinking I have to rush to meet Doug at the Oyster Bar at 1:30, not having left enough time, but then find we're to meet at 2PM, so I change flannel shirts AT LAST and type this up to 1:15, NOW ready to leave for lunch. Doug is waiting outside the Oyster Bar, which is much more "college-cafeteria-like" than I remember it being, and I suggest going across to Pershing Square. We both like the food and drink and stay until 3:45, talking. He's pleasant, wants to see my apartment, which I say will have to be AFTER I get back from my trip, and he sends me an e-mail saying how much he enjoyed the day. I get back home to play Spider because I WANT to, from 6-6:45, and it's OK to 50.53656 to 184 up with 2 wins. Watch "Extraterrestrial," which I think I've seen, and "Celtic Women," which is very much the same KIND of music throughout, and they don't do any Enya. Bed at 12:48AM.

SATURDAY, 3/14/09: Pee at 7:44 and type dreams. Type dream at 8:07AM and shit and stay up. Spider 11:15-11:50, and can't resist going back 1-1:30, 4:10-5, and 10:25-11:35, ending up at 50.54464 at 187 up after 2 wins. Spend MUCH time on Marj's "TOO" file problem, which I "solve" for her by noting that she might have hit the wrong code when she stopped underlining the word "too." THEN think I must be wrong, that the FILE would stop there, but then re-think and figure the REPLACEMENT file will cover up the ORIGINAL file, and would look as it looks now. She agrees the next day. Decide to read the rest of Wiggins: "Evidence of Things Unseen," which takes much of the day. Then watch "Cars" on Netflix, not really very good. Bed at 12:02AM.

SUNDAY, 3/15/09: Type dream and pee at 6:51 and up at 9:06. Clip toenails to get SOMETHING out of the way. Read lots of the Times, play Spider 10:55-12:10 to 50.55721 at 189 up at 2 wins, the highest for this card. Have lunch of the last of the Spam to stop noshing so much at Piri's. Go to Piri's and nosh a lot, with a lively addition of young, energetic Tom Collins (I kid you not). Back at 7:30. Lots of mail, including too-small interdental brushes and maybe-too-big Hoover drive bands. Read lots of "Sacred Hunger" and decide I want to jerk off, not very successfully from 10:45-11:30. Watch National Geographic "Big Fish." Get to bed at 12:08AM.

BROODING 3/16/09

THAT'S my problem! I thought to write a page like this for the last few days, but I just THOUGHT about it----BROODED about it----until now. I went to bed just minutes after midnight, then got up at 7:25AM to shit and read New York magazine, then couldn't decide what to do next. If I went back to bed, I might fall asleep past 9AM and miss calling the Beard for two seats for Paul and me for Thursday's dinner. So I went into the living room, took the loofah from its drying place at the balcony window and put it on top of the gym bag, read the old Times clipping for Holleran's "Grief," and re-read Agee's "I'm a Lasagna Hog, Go Hang a Salami," which I guess I read before (though I don't remember it), and probably didn't record the book in my LIFELIST, so now it's HERE and on my calendar for today's mementoization. Then just sit in the chair, looking out at the foggy morning with a sliver of sunlight on the side wall of my balcony, reminding me that we're going to hit an equinox in five or---well, actually, FOUR days. Sit there, indeed, feeling TIRED! I FEEL like I want to go back to bed, but I don't want to chance having other frequent diners fill up the quota for Thursday's dinner. Debate phoning and leaving a message, since they never answer at 9:05AM anyway, just to put me into the queue at the front. But that would be imposing on them. I usually get the space anyway. Then, sitting in the chair, I realize that I'm BROODING. I'm not acting, doing anything constructive, not even resting, I'm BROODING: thinking about the disadvantages of getting older, worrying about the upcoming trip at altitude, reminding myself to order a prescription for acetaminophen (or whatever) from Chin, reminding myself of ALL the things I SHOULD be doing today: finishing Piri's index, finishing sorting out the Schwab papers, finishing my IRS forms, finishing putting things away from piles on my coffee table. Then think of Paul's arrival tomorrow night: I tried to "ease" his being here by scheduing the Beard dinner, lunch with Mildred, tickets to "La Didone," getting a dinner free for my birthday at Henry's End. But should I vacuum, at least clean the bathroom? GOT to change the sheets, that's for sure. Then take out another stack of Chinese laundry to unpack the clothes hamper before doing the laundry before leaving for Bhutan and Nepal. Look at my desk and still have to transcribe the note from Wiggins: "Evidence of Things Unseen" before taking it back to the library today and picking up the final of the three books that I reserved there to give me something to do in the evenings when I don't have a Netflix movie to watch, to keep me away from the temptation to play disastrous Spider for hours and hours. And still I BROOD. Reading, at least, takes me up in another world where I don't have the brain-space to brood about THIS world. BROODING is the space in which I can feel UNHAPPY with my life, while thinking that I SHOULDN'T feel unhappy about my life since everything's going well: I'm meeting new friends (Len and Doug), I'm doing the things on my desk (going to the Met with Len, going to Leslie/Lohman with Len, having lunch with Doug), I WILL do things on my desk (sort through the Schwab pages, finish IRS papers, put my digital camera and batteries and charger and instruction book on some PERMANENT shelf where it isn't taking up space on my coffee table), I WILL, eventually, NOW, get to this page. And now it's 8:40AM and I scratch my itchy scalp endlessly and I feel slightly less tired and I'm so busy typing I haven't had time to brood except to get the ideas about which I brood down on this page. Also remind myself of the CYCLES of things I have to do: recording the LIFELIST at the end of the year, sorting out the papers to free up space in my desk-file drawer at the beginning of the year, filling out IRS papers, getting money into the right accounts in time for paying what I have to pay for, including the enormous $18,000-plus from my Keogh into my Keogh, wondering if I'm not defeating myself by taking out "free" money and making it INCOME for the next year that I have pay taxes on, and then putting lots of it BACK into the account to take out in FOLLOWING years, when I'll have to pay tax on it AGAIN. Actually phone MILDRED about it, and after much too-ing and fro-ing she says it sounds like a wash. ALSO says that she wanted to see what my GM bond said, and I find it's NOT FDIC insured, but anyway if it goes into Chapter 11 I can take a $25,000 LOSS next year, which will offset LOTS of taxes from money I've withdrawn! AND we talk until 9:15, when I can phone the Beard for a LEGITIMATE reservation, beginning to ask on the message about "getting priority by leaving a message at 7AM, though the Beard message says 'no reservation made until you talk to a PERSON,'" yet if they call the messages in ORDER, the 7AM message may get a space while the 9:15 message WON'T! So I should have called on FRIDAY evening! Or maybe she ALWAYS finds space for ME! (And I'd made the typo ME$---which sums up what I am to them: $$$!) So it's to their BENEFIT to always find space for me. Now I'm vaguely more awake, so I should dress and have breakfast---DOING, not BROODING!

MONDAY, 3/16/09: Up at 7:25AM to type dream, reluctantly, not feeling quite rested, but not willing to go back to bed. Re-read Jon Agee's "I'm a Lasagna Hog, Go Hang a Salami," after reading and filing the blurb on Holleran's "Grief." Sit and brood---and it strikes me that BROODING is NOT what I should do, so I type a whole PAGE on it! Then find another "no topping up" e-mail from Virgin Mobile and use that opportunity to call ALL the numbers on my card for my new Visa 2% premium card. Spider 9:30-10:20 to local high of 50.55591 at 191 up after 3 wins. Talk to Marj for TWO AND A HALF HOURS about her crazy problems with my Atlantic Islands file, in WELSH! Then get a call from Maxine Kaplan from Abrams books for a 128-page-book's INDEX! Call Marj BACK! Go through the final editing of Piri's index 2:15-2:50, fussing with WP11 to get her requested Times New Roman, and get ready to take the library book back. Just noted in the Wiggins: "Evidence of Things Unseen" a typo: on page 337, line 6, "no zone" should read "no one." GREAT style, and I have trouble with "Sacred Hunger" because the style is NOT so great. Remember to register for the Met's drawings, this time including an entire Ring cycle. Finish this at 3:40PM, stomach grumbling for lunch. Then just feel like reading, so I pick up Steinke's "Milk" at only 120 pages that I just got from the library and read it through: reasonably well done, but nothing of an eye-opener for style or content. Phone Spartacus to tell Kit that I liked "Evidence of Things Unseen," and he tells me to call Kit myself, because that's what I always tell HIM to do, and then says it may have been recommended by Gladys, not Kit, when Kit says she doesn't remember it at all, but makes my day by saying that she's stopped inviting Spartacus to her upper-crust receptions at the Met Museum because he refuses to put on a jacket and tie, "Not that I'd want to change a hair on that beautiful white head of hair, but I don't like to be seen in such elegant surroundings with his collar up around his neck." I says that I'd LOVE to go! Then have dinner while watching the last hour of "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" after watching an hour of a National Geographic about diving into the Celebes Sea that I recorded by mistake on the back of Sherryl's "Hermitage" tape, wrecking the last hour of a boring Shakespeare-coaching hour with Kevin Kline and the first hour of the movie. Bed at 12:32AM.

TUESDAY, 3/17/09: Pee at 7:17 and up at 8:48, feeling somewhat more relaxed. Put the camera on top of my slide trays to get rid of that stack, and then spend a lot of time relocating bottled water to the top and second shelves in the kitchen cabinets at the top right, and then do dishes, cleaning off the counters and microwave. Then do Spider 9:30-11:20, ug, to 50.55552 at 191 up with 2 wins, going too long fruitlessly. Have a late breakfast (of an old HH lunch) at 11:45, FINALLY get through the stack of Schwab Keogh papers, finding that I've profited on everything I have EXCEPT the General Motors, which is NOT FDIC insured, and get to the gym after taking out Chinese laundry of just the sheets and one shirt, getting a new pack of food. Back to pick up the Abrams index hand-delivered yesterday afternoon! Do mail, puzzles, at leisure, and put dishes away and get back to Spider 6:30-9:20, doing great to 50.56662 at 195 up with 6 wins! Paul calls at 9PM to say his plane's landed EARLY. Finish Spider and start making the bed, and putting things away, almost ready for his arrival at 9:45 with two bottles of Champagne. We watch "Tropic Thunder," really an ugly gas for the people making it, and Paul stays up while I have dinner and I do my teeth in preparation for DiMatteo tomorrow. Bed at 12:17, taking an ambien because I suspect I'll have trouble falling asleep with someone in the bed next to me, and I DO, taking what seems like over an hour to drop off.

WEDNESDAY, 3/18/09: Pee at 7:21 and up at 8:14, Paul already up watching porn. I have breakfast while watching the first commentary on "Tropic Thunder," and Maxine calls at 9:05 to ask if I got the index, and I ask questions to 9:15. She mentions sending e-mails which I haven't gotten, so I give her my new address, finish breakfast and my teeth, and call her back at 9:45 with a number of questions to 10:15. Check the Met site to find that I'm on neither of the two sets of performances or waiting lists. Then put the DVD on hold while I type this to 11:10AM, having made a list of activities for Paul for the next few days, and getting ready for DiMatteo at 11:30. Write up her positive visit in MEDICAL, having talked for at least 15 minutes about her losing maybe 10% of her clients; having lost John before, but he sometimes come back; and about her 29.5-month-old son, to whom she found herself saying, one day, "You better get your shit together," to her chagrin. But we both agreed he probably needed it. Had finally gotten an e-mail from Jillian of It's About Time, apologizing for not having gotten back to me a couple of times before, saying they're still looking foward to giving me their schedule for their "books," to use her word, and relaying this message to Marj. Start Spider at 12:50, stopping when Tris calls, and I find that he's made Levels of Knowledge just WONDERFULLY in line, and for "only" five hours of work. I have a late lunch, a tiny bit from HH of chili, made enormous by my devouring maybe half the remaining bowl of tuna casserole! Then finish the Spider at a wonderful local high of 50.57805 at 199 up with 5 wins! Just in time to leave for Sharon at 4:30, and then try the elevator to the roof, only the 17th floor, for a Pot Luck dinner which "Sister Someone" gives every month, and I pass muster with the local watchwoman and go out to a wonderful terrace, fooling myself for a long time into thinking that Willow Street is Hicks, and I'm looking at MY building, but wondering where the two extra windows on the south end of each floor were, and then I realize my mistake and go to the north end of the roof to look down over my place and the enormous changes going on in College Place with the construction of four or five buildings' worth of new apartments from what had been garages. Home to start typing, first MEDICAL, and then this, at 6PM; now at 6:08PM to record Sharon's session. Finish that at 6:17PM, fairly tired, tempted to try to send Spider over 200 up. That's a mistake, as I have to stop at 6:35PM with a score of 50.5721 at 197 up after one win. Get to the Beard at 7:02, only about six people waiting for appetizers. Colleen again introduces the chef, presiding over a table of her choice: me and Ken, Erick (attractive and probably gay, though he's there with "his friend"), Joy, who reacts "You do indexes?" with incredulity when I present her my card, telling her that her name is the first word on my calling card, and she says she works for Time Inc., not Time-Life, and will have a number of books to be indexed after I get back from my April vacation, and she'll be in touch with me! Fabulous! Mike, on the other side of Ken, HAD been a member of the Beard for about a year maybe fifteen years ago, talks about his ex-wife, but still has a very seductive manner and profile and I'm taken with the people at our table. Home about 10:45 to find Paul going to bed, but I want to finish the second commentary on "Tropic Thunder," which I do, getting to bed 12:45AM after taking two aspirin. Can't sleep. Maybe doze, maybe not, but get up at 2:35AM to take an ambien with two more aspirin. Finally get to sleep.

SHARON B. 94 3/18/09

Warm on the walk there, and say, "There's good news, and there's good news" when I get called in. Tell her first about my "brood" breakthrough, and when she presses me to remember what CAUSED it, I THINK (as I tell her) that it was when I'd thought to read LOTS in a book (saying that when I was young I could sit for eight or more hours at a time, just reading, not even having to eat or go to the john), I found myself tired, put down the book, and started staring out the window, thinking negative thoughts, probably stemming from the unthinkable thought that I didn't have the ENDURANCE I once had for reading. Segued into the GOOD things about the week: getting an e-mail from Jillian; solving two of Marj's problems, even though one took 2.5 hours on the phone; tolerating Paul's presence so far, happy with the two bottles of Champagne, and happy that he seems happy with the itinerary I've given us this week; finishing the large index and getting a small one that very day; having the dental examination WITHOUT finding anything that had to be fixed; keeping Spider in its discipline; having a good lunch with Doug, who thought I was attractive; not brooding since I "realized" it did no good. Told her I was reminded of times in the past (Dror, Bob G.) when I said "No" when I really should have said "Yes," but that now I felt more responsive, willing to take risks. Told her about the sadness of realizing that I was sick on my last two trips, fearing that I might be starting a pattern, and this one IS a rigorous one at altitude. Thought of my luck as perpetuating itself: as long as I had good luck, I would continue to have good luck, going again through that last lunch in Tunis, when I really DIDN'T want to go out for fear of not finding something, which would lead me NOT to be rested the next day for the long plane flight back to NYC. When I left, she suggested that I try to remember what it WAS that would lead me into brooding in the future. Then asked the clerk on the ground floor if he thought the 4PM Pot Luck was still going on on the roof, and he gave me permission to go up, to good views.

THURSDAY, 3/19/09: At 9:35AM I hear the phone ring and let it take a message, and immediately after Paul taps me on the shoulder to say that someone's knocking on the door. The exterminator comes in by himself (contrary to Spartacus, who complained when they didn't get to his place once, and the second time he was accompanied by someone from the building) and sprays the kitchen floor, telling me not to wash it today---nor for the month, I add to myself. I get back to bed, slightly hung over, until 10:20AM, which means I don't mail Netflix that morning, only at 2:30PM. The bedroom clock is blinking for some reason, and I fix it at 10:39AM. Paul's gone, I have a late breakfast, and get to Spider at 11:40AM to do poorly till 12:10PM, more poorly till 1:25PM, and perversely poorly to 3:40PM, ending at 50.57431 at 198 up after 3 wins. Then have lunch, restraining myself this time for Beard this evening, and get to the Mangold index 4:05-6:10, marking it haphazardly and coming up with a list of nine questions for Maxine. AGAIN stupidly start Spider to fill in the time before leaving for the Beard, going from 6:10-6:35 to a damnable 50.56837 at 196 up after one win. Dress quickly in my "jungle" tie, which Paul loves. Get to the Beard uncharacteristically late at 7:10, Paul already there, but the lounge is not very full, so I can get a sample of appetizers early, and two nice glasses of Champagne from New Zealand, so that we can spend some time out of the noise and the heat in the cool back garden. Then upstairs at 7:30, where the waiters come with trays of more appetizers, and Vinnie sits next to me to self-confess being gay before the evening's over, and though the photographer Jeff keeps talking about Fedora's and her "usual crowd," he still manages to slip his wife into the conversation. The slim Japanese fellow is there without his wife, and another odd couple make up our seven; the Japanese refuses to move to the back seat by the door to give Jeff easier access to his seat while getting up and down to take pictures. The place is noisier and hotter than usual: jackets off and throats strained with shouting. Vinnie gives me at least four or five names of interesting restaurants, steak houses, and barbecue rib places. We're out early at 10:15 and immediately catch a subway and get to bed at 10:35PM after phoning Ken, who wants a check for $280 for trip insurance. I take an ambien to be sure to get to sleep quickly, which I seem to do.

FRIDAY, 3/20/09: An early equinox, today, this year. Pee at 5:25, doze, and wake at 7:27 to find Paul in the living room. I try to shit, but don't, and phone Mildred to confirm that we need jackets, but no ties, at Le Perigord this afternoon, and I catch up with my dream and this by 8:15, telling Paul I don't have time to "give him a little massage," as he requests with a leer, because I have indexing questions to catch up with today, since it's Friday and the index is due Monday. He understands. Catch up with all the intermediate typing by 8:35AM, snowing rather heavily outside, wonderful to watch. Now to Ken's check and other mail and indexing questions and breakfast. Work on Mangold 9:15-10:20, essentially finishing it. Spider 10:40-11:40 and, irresistably to get over 200 up, from 12:05-1PM to end at 50.5825 at 201 up after 4 wins. Then get to Le Perigord just after 1:45, Paul and Mildred already there, to a GREAT lunch of soup, rare but tasty duck (while Paul RAVES about his Duck Bigarade, which his wife makes every other year because it takes five hours of labor), and a farandole of desserts (mine including delicious raspberry tart, saboyan sauce, and chocolate mousse, then some of Paul's remaining chocolate cake) which Mildred finishes astoundingly, after packaging much of her beef Bourguignone, by finishing off MY unfinished mousse and the better part of Paul's cake! Mildred fusses in the bathroom while Paul and I get our coats and leave separately. I'm stuffed when I get home, so I think I spend most of the rest of the day reading "Sacred Hunger." Paul gets in and we leave at 7PM for "La Didone" at St. Ann's, getting our front-row tickets at 7:15 and then walking along the waterfront in early-spring cold. It's just a piece of shit: supertitles make us crane our necks, though Paul stops quickly, for the opera titles (from the Italian, but with many modernisms) on the left and the movie titles (from the many-times inaudible English, with many nonsensisms) on the right. At least when the vampire-infested dead bodies start tearing off their clothes there's some nice man-flesh on which to feast our eyes, and SOME of the singing is good, but with many false notes, strained voices, and a bizarre soprano who plays the accordian when she's not portraying some infant love-deity. Couldn't figure if it was scripted or not when one of the countertenors grabbed a hand-held mike when his head-mike didn't seem to be working. True, there are SOME parallels possible between the 1671 opera and 1963 film, but that doesn't excuse, I don't think, characters from one side arbitrarily uttering lines belonging to the OTHER side, nor the times when there were supertitles with no audible words going on ANYWHERE. I was glad I warned Paul before that it would probably be awful, that he should read the plots from the program, because he sure wasn't going to get them from the staging, and Elizabeth LeCompte did her usual "Public Theater" type of modernistic directing to no good effect. Sorry that it lasted to 100 minutes, ten minutes longer than its promised 90 minutes without intermission, though Paul looked ready to bolt from his seat a number of times. Back for a snack and bed after reading more till maybe 1AM.

SATURDAY, 3/21/09: 4:42AM: Pee and jot down short dream. Up at 8:30 to find the Sunday Times outside, Paul leaves for most of the day after saying he'd treat me to dinner tonight: I persuade him to let me try Ducasse's Adour, which doesn't open for reservations until 2PM, so at noon I'm transferred to OpenTable which gets us a 9PM reservation with a $50 guarantee on my credit card. I read and do nothing recordable except Spider 12:05-12:58 to 202 up, and watch three hours of the series finale of "Battlestar Galactica," not terribly clear since I didn't watch much of the program itself. But it got articles in the Times and elsewhere, so it was "important." We dress and leave for Adour at 8:15, going to Montague for the N or R, but the Q comes, unfortunately stopping at 57th and SEVENTH Avenue, far from 55th and Fifth. It took a long time to come and was slow in travel, so I suggested we get off at Canal and hope for an N or R through-train to 60th and Fifth. About 9PM ANOTHER Q, stopping at 57th, draws into the station and I insist we have to go onto the street and catch a cab. Ironically, cabs were crawling all over the streets in the Heights, but were totally ABSENT from Canal Street! Incredibly, as I go east and west from Broadway, FOUR STREETS ARE CONSECUTIVELY SOUTH-BOUND: Mercer, Broadway, Crosby, and Lafayette! In desperation go east to Centre Street, where we get a cab almost immediately. Paul HAS his cell phone, so I try 611, get "What is your cell-phone number?" [It's a repair number, someone told me.] and then try 411, which has NO listing for Adour, so I get the St. Regis and THEY connect me. I tell them we're late and they say they'll hold our table: with relief I hear that they stop serving at 10PM. We get there at 9:25PM, Paul paying what he calls a "generous" tip to the $10.50 taxi-meter charge, and I'm astounded at all the new hotels and restaurants along Madison Avenue. Into the restaurant for a small wait, and the new decor is awful: rather more upscale pizza joint than the previous white-marble and crystal-chandelier elegance of Lespinasse. Quickly order the tasting menu with wine pairing, and it turns out we can CHOOSE our pairings from various "price points," between $40 and $65 and up. We take the choice of $40 for a glass of wine with each of the four courses, rather a bargain. The olive butter is great, though the rolls are mediocre. An amuse bouche has a huge slice of truffle under a piece of fish and a tasty sauce, and the first white wine, a Pinot Gris from Alsace, is just fabulous! When the new, male, sommelier comes with the second white, I say, "If it's not as good as the first, I'll just have another glass of the first," which he then seems to take SERIOUSLY, but the Gruner Vietliner is good enough, if not as fantastic as the first. The first two courses are small: three tiny curled marinated raw fish slices with a lattice of parallel pureed-green-vegetable lines made into a ladder with crossties of cucumber that tastes more like apple than cucumber, and some white vegetable; and an array of tiny pieces of vegetable in a vegetable gelee at the bottom. He serves a Nebbiolo for the third course that we both find awful, and I (when Paul points to me) meekly say that we really don't care for it, could we have a substitute; the waiter snaps, "Definitely not," and then smiles and gives us a Gamay, put on the bill as Moulin a Vent, contradicting Paul's opinion that he's "stiff." Though it's not my favorite, it's definitely better, though it really DOESN'T go with the lobster and delicious sauce of the third course, telling us we have to have a MEAT course and THEN a dessert, so it's really a FIVE-course meal. We have a glass of Montgomery from Napa Valley with the breast of duck, so rich Paul says it tastes more like liver, which it resembles also in color, than breast. I'm so taken by it I don't even FINISH the not-bad polenta in the side-cup that's served with it, but am too slow to stop the waiter from removing it. Service is VERY good, neither too fast nor too slow, and the restaurant gradually quiets down as people leave from the 9:30PM peak of crowd and noise, and the TRIUMPH of the evening is the "Neige" Canadian APPLE ice wine with an elaborate apple tart covered with a white foam, truly wonderful. Paul's eyes widen at the bill, which is $320.79, but though I repeat my offer to share it, he finally pays for it all, though I note that the bill, with a probably lower than $50 tip, and the taxi fare, will come REMARKABLY close to the $390 "bill" for four nights at $95/night that I typed out for him the next day from the Brooklyn Bed and Breakfast, Robert Bernstein Proprietor, Atlantic Avenue and Court Street, Brooklyn. We leave just before midnight, get a train to transfer at Times Square for the Seventh Avenue, and get home close to 1AM, marvelously full, but concluding, like Masa, that this is a one-time-only experience: worth it, but not worth repeating.

SUNDAY, 3/22/09: Pee at 7:38AM and jot down dream. The Times doesn't arrive, and I phone at 9:30 to THINK they said it would be delivered today, but it isn't. Paul wants to see the Caillebotte at the Brooklyn Museum, so we leave at noon and get there to find it opens on the 27th! Look through a homoerotic Bas exhibit, including "The Death of the Mermaid," a roomful of movies, shells, and junk, and pieces of his series "Fairies, Faggots, and Something Elses." Then after looking through the completely reorganized Egyptian exhibits we get out to the Botanic Gardens about 1:30. I'm hungry, so we eat downstairs, sharing an ENORMOUS half-sandwich of tuna, a good spicy black-bean-and-bacon soup, and his copious salad with warm chicken strips on top. I leave when I'm finished to get away from the fussing twins we had to share a table with, go through the greenhouses, see two advance daffodils and plump white magnolia-blossom buds, and get home about 3:30. Paul looks at the last of his porn while I start Spider at 3:45PM, just WAITING for him to leave, after typing his "Brooklyn Bed and Breakfast" bill. He asks that I call for a car, and I pick the one that was $37 to JFK in November, and it's now $32! He reserves it for 6:30. Then, at the end, he writes all kinds of EPRIS (or whatever) notes for my hemoglobin of 15 and up for my altitude, and THEN asks what my vacation times are for August. "AUGUST!?" I shout, "SO SOON???" He NOTES that I'm annoyed, but chooses only to say that "It'll just be one or two nights on my way back from California." Well, MAYBE. I say that Ken hasn't set the dates for our trip yet, and he says he'll phone back to see when he can come. The NERVE!!! I continue through to 8:45PM with Spider, ending up with 50.59871 at 207 up after 6 wins! Watch a good Channel 13 special on penguins, then "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," which JUST isn't very good, and it's made worse by being shot in the same kind of spectacular New Zealand territory filmed much better in "The Lord of the Rings." Bed at 1:38AM!

MONDAY, 3/23/09: Pee at 4:55AM, and up at 8:18AM, only 6:40 sleep. Find the Sunday Times outside my door! Ron said they came about 6:30AM. Read quite a bit of the Times, just feeling like doing NOTHING. Phone for an appointment with Chin: even though he's fully booked she says I can come in "before 1PM." I go in at 12:21, into office at 12:48, out 12:56, to blood 12:59, and out at 1:13, and write up the visit in MEDICAL. Return via the laundry, who can't tell me about the stain on my pillow, but I LATER assume that it's slight traces of blood in my DROOL on my pillow! Home at 1:40PM. Send the index to Maxine 1:45-2:15, with a too-big bill of $420 for only 452 lines from a 128-page book. Spider is great 2:20-3:30 to 50.61707 at 211 up after 4 wins. Leave at 5:40 for Carolyn's, with Champagne, getting up the stairs at 6:10 to be told I'm late, but "You have a surprise inside." Go in and it's CHARLES! GREAT! We start with his Prosecco, and about 6:30 "cleaning people" come into the back, while Carolyn broadcasts, "Just fold it and put it on the bed," and then Tori and Tris enter! What a great surprise! Carolyn has made a spread of about a dozen appetizers: dips and cheeses and crackers and tomatoes, and we open Charles' second bottle, a great-named French wine, and then Tris opens one of his, and by the end we've killed off the better part of six bottles, with Tori and Charles drinking minimally. Carolyn's salmon with mango-chutney sauce is just great, the mixed vegetables and squash mash not as good, and then a candle atop a chocolate-faux-whipped-cream dessert celebrates my birthday definitively. GREAT talking and laughing (and Tris spills peppercorns all over the floor and Tori breaks a wineglass) and travel-telling, and they even get Charles to talk about selling his building. We eat and drink, and at the end Tris has to show some DVD to Carolyn, and Charles and I leave about 11:30, tired, for a long cold walk to the St. George for his subway and my bed at 12:24AM.

SHARON B. 95 3/24/09

Start second Spider session (SsSs!) of day at 4:40 and get a psychic jolt at 5:50PM that I'm to see Sharon at 6PM! Office is dark but I hear voices from her room, and guy goes to the john and she calls me in about 6:07. I start with the relief that Paul's gone, detailing his treat of dinner at Adour, his goof on the Caillebotte exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum, and my "WHAT!?" when he asks when I'll be on vacation in August. "So SOON?!" I demand, showing CLEARLY my disgust with his request, which somewhat takes him aback, but he does NOT change his mind; I say Ken may NEVER solidify our schedule for August! Talked of just "taking a vacation" from his visit for the next few days, feeling vaguely guilty about wasting time. Describe Carolyn's wonderful birthday dinner for me and four others; she shares my joy in being so loved. Describe the "instant zingers" of, maybe, Friday, when anxiety just ZAPPED me for a second in moments of non-thought. She asked me when I'd feel "thought-less" before, and I said my childhood was free from anxiety, except that I was going to hell because the Catholic Church said masturbation was a mortal sin. My first LONELINESS came in NYC when I'd just READ to occupy the time I wasn't spending at IBM or at movies, plays, opera, or sex. Told her of my hemoglobin of 15, which pleased her, but I added that this trip may have the extra "angst" of being, probably, my last ACTIVE trip, and I remembered when I had only one "last" trip scheduled last year which took on extra "anxietal" significance. Described the climb in Bhutan that I might choose NOT to do, but, as in Petra, when I say, "I'll just go as far as I feel comfortable with;" I go to the END, even though I'm exhausted at the end, but suffer no ill effects from the exertions. Also concerned about the sicknesses that hit at the start and end of the Spain/France trip and during the Tunisia trip. She says she's sure I'll do fine. I find pauses in things to say; she hands me forms to sign, and I leave on the dot of 6:45, for a 38-minute session.

TUESDAY, 3/24/09: Type dream at 3:55AM and pee. Up at 8:12. Rather spaced-out from the food and wine last night, so I find that "Madame Sata" is available for instant watching from Netflix, and have my breakfast oatmeal during the movie. Then to the Hematologist at 11:30, written up in MEDICAL. Finish Unsworth "Sacred Hunger," though I'm anxiety-ridden that I don't have anything to READ before the trip goes late next week. Take the books back to the library before going to the gym. Flank that with Spider from 1-2:25 ALMOST to a record high with 50.60979 at 211 up after 4 wins, and then start again at 4:40, jolting to look at the clock at 5:50 to get to Sharon at 6PM. Back to finish Spider 7-7:35 to a FABULOUS new high of 50.62676 at 217 up after EIGHT wins! Go through paperwork until 11PM, when I stop for dinner and turn on TV to surf to find I'm almost at the beginning of Obama's SECOND news conference! Get to bed at 12:35AM.

WEDNESDAY, 3/25/09: Pee at 4:28 and note a dream. Up at 8:40, take Susan and Sherryl out of my will, leaving only Marj and John as "special" aside from Rita and the Meiselbachs. Check Zolnerzone to find that Tris still has a lot of work to do before he needs more. Then succumb to the temptation to get my Spider session out of the way before tackling the stack of papers on my coffee table, and end at 50.62954, a new high, playing 9:55-10:25 to 218 up after 2 wins. Check e-mail one last time before breakfast and find that Maxine wants another hundred lines in the Mangold index! Finish breakfast and this at 11AM, at last ready to get into the day which MUST include the gym. Finally phone Delta Skymiles to find that my 10/10/08 letter was ADDED to give me 40,000+ miles, so I sent off a NEW request from the Tunisia trip, putting the last slips away and updating the trip list with expenses. Now all I have to do is print out ALL the backlogged PAGES from NH and DREAMS. OH, want to transcribe my note from Unsworth's "Sacred Hunger." P.161: "Evans and Johnson found each other." P.266 typo: "Erasums Kemp." P.291: "Paris knew there were sexual relations among some of the men." P.328: "But that sacred hunger we spoke of justifies all." P.332-3: "...the hanging head and meek hands of the sodomist [in stocks]..." P.618: "...profit---that sacred hunger, as Delblanc once called it, which justifies everything, sanctifies all purposes." Finished book on 3/24/09 and I'll return it to the library before going to the gym today. Get 130 more lines from the Mangold book, over 50% increase, from 11:15-12:15, deciding I can add another $150 to the bill, making it $570, still not that great for a 5:30 job. Go through most of the Schwab One papers before stopping just before finishing to microwave dinner at 7:50 in preparation for Ian McKellan's "King Lear" from 8-11 on Channel 13, VERY tortured, NOT a happy play to watch! Bed at 11:10PM.

THURSDAY, 3/26/09: Pee at 6:10 and jot down dream. Up at 7:45 to finish the Schwab One papers even before I dress. Len phones at 8:30 to verify our meeting at 1PM today. Find the Keogh distribution form and white-out the January information and fax it at 9AM, phoning at 9:30 to find that it'll take more time to be scanned and observed, but Luanda says she'll phone if there's any problem. Then get to the NYS tax form that I take down to the office at 9:20AM to find I don't have to certify the information myself. Sort out more papers and e-mail the enlarged Mangold index and bill to Maxine. Then phone her to make sure she got it, and she's willing to make changes and even corrections: I'd FORGOTTEN to combine the listings for the NAME of the chapel and the OBERLIN chapel. Glad she found that mistake. Check e-mail and call Steve to "complain" that the flight to northern Canada is NOW 75% off for NEW bookings, and he said he might call and try whining. Also call Beard at 9:45 to reserve for 4/1, which looks good, and Colleen calls me at 11:25AM to say SHE might be going too, since Ken isn't going and Fred didn't answer his message. Transcribed all the remaining notes, catching up with everything, delaying breakfast so Len and I can have a late lunch at the Met. Copy WP51 to Edge. Finish this at 11:30AM, hungry, but will transcribe this morning's dream first. Have breakfast and am JUST ready to start leaving at noon when Maxine calls: I re-sent the OLD index. Check back, and of course I DID. Send the new and CALL her at 12:05PM to MAKE SURE she got it, which she did. GAD! Get out to the Met Museum by a new way: the reverse of my recent coming-home way: subway to 79th and Broadway and crosstown bus to the Met, held up by lines of school busses in front of the Museum of Natural History. Get there by 1:05, Len waiting for me, and we see 1) Choirs of Angels in choir books and antiphonals 1:10-2:15, losing my pen and then "materializing it" in my pocket, 2) Bonna-collection drawings 2:30-3:15, Van Gogh the best at the end, 3) lunch 3:25-4:10, 4) French Bronzes 4:20-5:10, and home. Spider 6:15-6:55 and 8:20-9, OK to 50.63503, HI! at 220 up after 4 wins. Out to Henry's End with Spartacus with my birthday card, and he gets his there, at 7PM, good, but still $74 for two, which JUST pays for his "loan" of the triple-ink printer cartridge that I now pay for. Watch a disappointing "Into the Wild," the REAL guy in the photo at the end is MUCH more appealing that Emile Hirsch, the moody, self-centered actor. Bed at 12:28AM.

FRIDAY, 3/27/09: Pee at 5:09, Actualism, and up at 7:41. Shit and j/o 8-8:35, not the greatest. Have breakfast, sort through some papers, and start Spider at 10:15, getting poor games, going to five consecutive losses two or even THREE times, but then winning, and I KEEP going though my stomach gets hungry for lunch, until 6:35, then have lunch watching "Enchanted" on my computer screen, REALLY for kids; even Susan Sarandon doesn't redeem it. Then look for another instant play and try "Ghost in the Shell," an awful Japanese animé where the dubbers don't even BOTHER with emotion. Take a valium at 10:30PM because I feel angst coming on, having TOTALLY wasted this day which was to set up for Sunday's slides, managing ONLY to put in the final order for HH meals, telling the computer to furnish my menu after I get back from Bhutan and Nepal. Finish a disaster of Spider at 11:30 at 50.59534, 207 up, after 4 wins. TOTALLY CRAZED. Bed at 12:15AM, I guess valium kicked in to enable me to go to sleep.

SATURDAY, 3/28/09: 6:36AM: Pee and type dream. Try Actualism but it doesn't go, and I doze and get up at 8:47 for the Times. Then do Spider in three lumps: 11:25-12, 1-1:10, and 6:30-9, finishing at 50.60614 at 211 up at 5 wins. I finish the day by eating meals, scrubbing the apartment for tomorrow, going to the gym, and deleting slides from the DESKTOP before I realize I have no way of transferring THAT file to the LAPTOP, so I resign myself to deleting slides from the LAPTOP tomorrow! UGH!!! Bed at 12:55AM.

SUNDAY, 3/29/09: Up at 7:45 and delete slides to 9:50, reducing them to 584, almost 1/3 the original 1700. Then I have breakfast. Continue working to set up the apartment, and play Spider 11:15-12:05 to 50.60593 to 211 up after 2 wins, just holding on. Finish setting up by 2PM, then catch up on all these notes by 2:20, ready to dress and leave for MAN at 3PM, to return with Steve for the slide show at 7PM, leaving a phone message saying "The slides are at 7, or call me at 6:30." Phoned Carolyn yesterday, asking why she isn't on my list, and she says because I forgot to ask her, but she can't come because she's going to a birthday party, and I promise her she'll see the second showing. She says she forgives me. What a friend! Leave at 3:20PM, taking the A to 14th Street and getting on a prompt L for Sugarland. Lots of attractive new members, and I talk with more people than usual: Dennis from Beard, Steve, George his friend, Keith whose Kevin is mourning his mother's death, and the guy who looks over the meals. Have a lot of cheese and grapes and asparagus to start, with two gin and tonics for which I tip $1 each to the cute skinny bartender with a nice smile, and then a modicum of food down in the "basement" seating area, watching the ugly guy who got $50 to twirl hula hoops around his unattractive body. Steve socializes until 5:50, when I was hoping to leave at 5:40, but we get an L train fairly quickly, switch to the A, unmarked and for a moment I feared it would stop ONLY at Jay Street, bypassing High Street, but it stops there and I pass Park Plaza at 6:30PM, saying "Now I'm late." Up to a call from Anita at 6:15 saying she can't come but Ken has her two bottles of Prosecco. [I call her Tuesday noon to thank her for the bottles.] Ken reminds me I'd forgotten to put out napkins, having insisted on ordering pizza at 7:30 WITH a side order of green peppers (ugh!) which he doesn't even finish, not having his requested third slice, which leaves about six or seven for Fred to take home for James to eat [He tells me Wednesday night at the Beard that they were FABULOUS after being put into the microwave to reheat.] The show goes well except for the intermittent blackout for a screen-saver when I don't touch a button for 15 or so minutes, a pain; AND I think it was the spectacular lightning storm that caused the projector to RACE ahead at about four slides a second, hard to stop, and then I had to RETRACE to get back to where the runaway started. Ken yawns uncontrollably, but still liked the show. Piri had to leave RIGHT at the end, about 9:45PM, and Stephanie's raspberries were delicious, Piri's grapes good, and Charles's Italian crisps mostly uneaten, not to mention messy. Steve hadn't eaten at Sugarland because they'd run out of plates, so he had half a banana from HH, with apple juice, and then some of someone's nuts, which I finished with the grapes for breakfast the next morning. I was exhausted when it was over, so I moved the coffee table back to clear the bed from its to-do freight, and got to bed at 11:03PM, after a long chat with Fred about my diminishing sexual interests, and we could come to no agreement (save for the boot of Italy, which he can't find a tour for) over somewhere to go together next year, since I'm not interested in his many cheap boat trips.

MONDAY, 3/30/09: Wake with a jolt at 4:09AM as "the phone rings," which of course is phantom. At 4:15 I'm up for a valium and two aspirin and a pee and a shit. Wake at 9:15AM with a DREAM I'm about to transcribe, but Spartacus calls until 10AM, driving the dream from my memory. Just DON'T feel like cleaning up, so I play Spider from 10:35 to 1:25, managing to keep to 50.60247 at 210 up with 4 wins, THEN have lunch without having breakfast! Back to compulsive Spider starting at 2:50PM and I JOLT to consciousness at 7:25PM, realizing I should have been at Benoit at 7PM for Ken's celebration of MY BIRTHDAY! How incredibly stupid! Phone and tell the receptionist to tell Ken I'll be there in half an hour and to PLEASE accept my apologies! Dress and get a cab at Tillary and Court: he goes over the Brooklyn Bridge and up the FDR Drive to 42nd and gets me to the restaurant (for $23!) at 7:50PM! Ken's surprisingly cheerful, accepting my excuse that I got caught up proofreading my website for Antarctica, and I persuade him to order the charcuterie platter for two for $42, less for me than what I would have paid for the duck paté at $24, and it was large, delicious, and filling. He had a Berringer wine for $42, good enough, with a large chat with the (proper term) sommelieuse. I had a disappointing Duck a l'Orange, not nearly as good as Paul's at Le Perigord, and he had what he said were deliciously light, but rich and filling, quenelles. I persuaded him to get the Profiterolles for dessert for $24, LOTS of little ones that he dipped into the chocolate, with good ice cream, and a large bill that we split (which means I paid for half his $15 Apple Crumble drink, also) (but then I'd actually offered to pay for BOTH meals to make up for my idiocy of making him wait an hour for me), me ending up paying $107, he, chintzier with the tip, a few cents less. Home at 10:40, stuffed, and don't feel like bed so I'm back to Spider from 10:40 to 12, reduced to 50.60406 at 211 up after 2 wins, getting to bed at 12:05AM.

TUESDAY, 3/31/09: 4:31AM: Pee and type dream. Up at 8:23AM, dab bacitracin on my itchy scrotum, phone Chin to find he's not IN today, and get rid of Spider 9:05-9:35 to 50.60682 at 212 up after 2 wins. Shelley calls to invite me to the Iron Chef for lunch at 2PM for my birthday, so I put a note in the hallway I'll be TRIPPING over so I don't FORGET it. FORGOT to register for the Met drawing this weekend, though I probably wouldn't be here anyway, and it was closed by 9:45 this morning. Have the last of the HH breakfasts and wash dishes and put everything away, phoning Anita to thank her for the prosecco, phone Fred to get information about the photos he left of his Christmas and Thanksgiving parties last year and his trip to Ushuaia, Marguerite Island, Easter Island, and Buenos Aires in January this year, and finish this at 12:25PM, still trying to CATCH UP! Check the Met and they only had "Rigoletto" for 8PM Saturday, so I couldn't have gone anyway. Now, perversely, at 12:30PM, I'm back to SPIDER!!! No, phone Marj first! That goes for 25 minutes, we both using each other as therapists to see why we do some of the compulsive things we do. More Spider 12:55-1:50, when I bring up the HH meals and get to the Iron Chef a few minutes late. Have an enjoyable beer with my $8.75 beef teriyaki box while Shelley pigs out over an enormous stack of shrimp tempura. Then to her place to pick up three T-shirts she's getting rid of, one a bright-yellow Lesotho shirt that Sharon says looks great on me on Wednesday, and which I report to Rita when she calls on Thursday to say she put my birthday present in the mail on my birthday. More Spider 4:45-6, then watch ALL THREE versions of "Following," an intricate time-muddled movie by the director of "Memento," quite interesting in its convolutions. That's over at 1AM and I just simply can't resist sitting down to more Spider from 1:05AM to 3:30AM, getting only to 50.59717 at 209 up after 5 wins. That gets me to bed at 3:45AM!!!

WEDNESDAY, 4/1/09: Pee at 7:55 and up at 10:10AM. Make a note to ensure I get my Schwab credit-card bill before my trip. Make a list of things to do: 0) Confirm Beard, 1) Mail film and stop Netflix, 2) Gym, 3) Call Chin, 4) Sharon 4:45, 5) Beard 7PM, 6) Schwab---TRANSFER! Find from Tina at Schwab that I'd made a mistake and cashed only ONE of the Schwab Premium or Premiere or whatever accounts, when I thought there WAS only one, but I had to cash BOTH. Later went and DID cash it in to be ready to call Tina back tomorrow to finish the transfers. Proofread and print out all the Tunisia-trip pages at last, annoyed with myself that I didn't incorporate the Neo file 4 additions to the dates on pages I'd already printed out, but can't find the note---AH, I'd jotted it at the top of the first page of the Tunisia-trip pages---that tells me I have to a) left-justify it, b) integrate pages 19-21, c) remove headers, and d) add one heading on page one. Rationalize and decide not to call Chin: I TOLD him I was concerned about extra beats, WAS going to altitude, GOT a prescription for Diamox, and he didn't seem concerned, so why should I be concerned. Have a small HH lunch, watching the Channel 13 special on Kilauea, and get to the gym, back early enough to fill out the Cadman Income Affidavit and take it down to Del to notorize, taking the forms into the office and getting my copy date-stamped, noting that I did it at the SAME TIME LAST APRIL 1. Another thing off the desk. Type the session with Sharon, and started proofreading the backlogged DREAMS pages, getting to page 60, and then dress for the Beard.

SHARON B. 96 4/1/09

Stop off at Shelley's for more T-shirts; Sharon has no clients when I arrive at 4:40PM. She calls me in and I start by mentioning the 7:25PM look at the clock when I should have met Ken at Benoit at 7PM. Say how good he was about it, and how I rather let it go myself. Talked about taking a valium on Monday, and how the effect seemed to linger over the next few days. Described the glitches in the first projector-photo show, due to lightning and my panic when the screen went black, yet said how it was a success. Said I was delighted to have a new friend, like Len, to share places to go where Sherryl would have joined me in the past, which reminded me of changing my will: taking TWO of FOUR in a secondary group off my will: Susan and Sherryl, very sad. Passed over my annoyance with transferring the "wrong" account and having to do another cashing in of funds for my Schwab One needs. Talked about the pleasant anticipation I have of seeing Bhutan, figuring it can't be dangerous or Dr. Chin would have said something, even having slight fantasies about my roommate being good to look at. I mentioned my sadness at reading all my concentration on my illness when proofreading the Tunisia trip (unhappy with the number of typos I STILL found on proofing it a SECOND time), hoping that my "negative luck" with illnesses on trips didn't continue. But Sharon turned it around and said that I SURVIVED all the illnesses and managed to like the trips even WITH the inconveniences, and I mentioned that when someone asked me at the gym "How are you?" and I responded, "Good," what I REALLY felt like saying was "Surviving!" And Sharon said that's what we can ALL say. Said that the valium mellowed me out so much that I noticed, but didn't "beat my head against the wall" when I pushed on a "pull" door at the gym---or did I pull on a "push" door? Talked about looking forward to OVER TWO MONTHS, almost THREE months, before the NEXT trip. I can relax, which means read books, go to museums, catch up on the website, proofread more pages---and NOT brood, and I mentioned my USE of the word in Tunisia in February before I fixated on it last week. She said I'd been getting ready for it. I gave our sessions proper credit for enabling me to feel easier on myself even when I MADE a mistake, and ADMITTED that this is an ambitious trip I'm about to depart for, and I DO have a lot of activities, and I'm happy when I CAN become absorbed completely in something like Spider so that I can forget time so totally, but would it be possible to have some kind of alarm which would "wake" to any necessary obligation? I even figured I could set my wrist-watch alarm. Rather praised myself for "wasting time" earlier in the week with Spider so I'd feel PRESSURED to do many things during these last few days: giving me less time to BROOD about the things that might go wrong with the upcoming trip. Remarked about my annoyance of printing out the Tunisia pages and THEN coming to the inserts that I should have added BEFORE printing them, but I can adjust them for Marj's proofing and entry into the website. Mentioned Mildred's annoyance when I told her she was "buying problems" by preparing for an audit which might never come, and STILL wondered why my sister was calling so frequently, though Sharon suggested, which I really hadn't considered, that she might simply be lonely and want someone to talk to. Like Marj likes to talk to me because we're so similar in things that concern us, and I HAVE found ways to make our conversations shorter if I want them to be. Mentioned again the ordeal of an eight-hour flight followed by an eight-hour flight, followed by a very short stay in Delhi followed by another flight---and remind myself that I still haven't phoned OAT about frequent-flyer miles and seats!

Continuation of WEDNESDAY, 4/1/09: Printed out the Tunisia trip pages and was partway through proofing the dream pages in preparation for printing those. Then saw Del at the table and came up after Sharon to fill out my Cadman Income Affidavit and took the forms down to her to notorize and handed them in to the office before coming up here to finish off these notes at 6:20, pleased with the day, looking forward to dining with Fred at the Beard's Japanese dinner. Crowded greenhouse at 7:05, Ahjay smiling across at me, Colleen telling me I WAS at her table with the five sexy guys until Fred pulled me away for HIS table. Three good appetizer drinks: sake champagne, a saketini, and a nice white wine. Good group at the table in the entryway: Fred, me, Dr. Jack, Michelle or Danielle or whoever the helle, Glenda due to give birth in three weeks, Laurie, friendlier than usual, and Helen. GREAT service at this table: we could see the handsome, sexy chef at work in the kitchen, we got served first, got MANY extra cheese puffs, MANY extra wine-pours, and lots of great conversation. Left about 10:30, back to cash in my Keogh SWPNX shares, stop Netflix until 5/5, then watch some TV to digest, and went to bed at 11:50PM after taking two aspirin and evening pills.

THURSDAY, 4/2/09: Type dream 6:37-6:50AM, pee, and up at 9:09 to type two more dreams. Printed all but this page of NH, having made a note to myself that I have to 1) remove the headers, transfer it to Word to remove the nonbreaking hyphens and section breaks for Marj, add a heading on page one, and transfer it to Marj's flashdrive. Also noted that I need CASH! Left word with Tina at 9:35, and have breakfast, and she calls back and transfers $19,881.18, minus the 10% IRS tax, from my Keogh to my Schwab One, a total of $17,893,06. Then she transfers $18,690 from my Schwab One as my Keogh 2008 contribution, leaving me with $16,571.40 for more checks from my Schwab One account. THINGS LOOK GOOD! I have breakfast while watching the start of "House of Games," and begin to feel slightly antsy so I take a valium about 1:15PM. My desk is still a mess: got out the Tunisia folders for making an accurate summary sheet to finish with THAT trip before starting my NEXT trip the day after tomorrow! Still have the Schwab One files to put away, some mail to sort through, bills to send out for DiMattia (deciding to pay by credit card: can get a $5.60 rebate on my $280 bill to her) and videocassette insurance for three more years, notes for Marj that the names in Tunisia are Rachael, Mamdouh, and El Djem. Then all the forms and checks for the current and estimated taxes for both the IRS and NYS, except I have to keep reminding myself that the NYS tax will be taken from my HSBC account! Haven't really STARTED thinking about PACKING for the trip, and maybe they'll be finished with the repairs to 75 Henry by the time I get back, and the trees in Cadman Plaza will have bloomed into their summer green. Lots of crocus and some few daffodils along Monroe Place and Henry Street are pleasant in the early spring. But many days are still in the 40s, cool for a late spring. Haven't finished the Vento Croccante, the kruschiki-type pastry that Charles brought to the show on Sunday. And the dulce de leche will probably remain in the freezer until I get back; though I DO have to shop for groceries, particularly butter, before I leave, when I get cash from HSBC. Now to print this page and start THIS page as page 1 of MC\NI, now at 2PM. Start on the Tunisia Summary page but get too hungry for lunch by 3:45PM, so I have that while watching end of "House of Games." Then down for the mail, still not getting the Schwab Visa bill, and back to finish the Tunisia Summary page, and the photos page, and print everything out. When I feel like I'm vaguely caught up, I play Spider 6:40-9:15, UG to 50.59663 at 209 up after 6 wins, NOT good! Then fill in the datebook with the Tunisia-trip data, put the pages on top of the bookcase, and put TUNISIA and NOTEBOOK H onto Marj's flashdrive and write her a check and put it all into her envelope to mail tomorrow, with a note to give her style notes tomorrow by phone. Put Schwab One papers away, stack up all the printed pages, and at 10:10PM catch up with this, VERY tired and hungry for dinner. Watch an interesting "Thumbsucker" until midnight and get to bed at 12:09AM. Can't fall asleep, so I take a sleeping pill at 12:30.

FRIDAY, 4/3/09: Pee at 7:41 and up at 8:12 to immediately load up on laundry and take it to TWO washers in an empty laundry room. Back down at 9:05AM to put both loads into one dryer for 40 minutes, and then get stuck on the phone with Schwab Visa to find, to my delight, that my first billing isn't due until May 3! So I can take care of it when I get BACK. Also think of the possibility of putting my MAINTENANCE on that Schwab Bank! Wait for a statement. Call OAT and get the rest of the flight information in and out of Bhutan on Drukair, and he again says I can't make a seat assignment, but he gives me the number of Jet Airways, which IS associated with American Airlines, and she tells me that all the window seats have already been reserved! Let's hope I can pry one loose! Call Marj to tell her my progress, saying goodbye after telling her the contents of my envelope (yet to be put in the mail), and then go to e-mail to find a greeting from Ram in Kathmandu, telling about Tiva sandals for the river trip. Go to the OAT site and get the idea to rummage in my closet and get out my raincoat and rainpants and Wellingtons from ANTARCTICE to take along on the trip to be SURE to be dry! Up goes my luggage weight! Get a bill from Tris, and finally print it out when I figure I have to plug it into the computer! Pay DiMatteo by credit card to benefit from my $5.60 refund, and phone Spartacus to "brag" about having equipment still good from Antarctica! Catch up with this by 3PM: in 24 hours I'll be leaving for the airport! Suddenly realize I hadn't yet paid my Choice Visa bill, due by 4/7, so I make out most checks and take them to the post office, then get $500 cash and groceries and get back for lunch at 5PM, watching Robin Williams with James Lipton, and at 6PM suddenly get a CRASH of anxiety, so I take a valium and prepare to catch up on this, but phone John, who answers this time (as Bill had answered for picking up the Times), and says he went to an exhibit on Marguerite Duras, whom we'd MET in a palace-hotel in India, and I, he said, was bored by her and left, while he continued to talk with her and she "seemed to bed everyone; if I hadn't been gay I'm sure we would have had sex," (and added, "But you were never interested in people"). Now at 6:15PM I can't resist Spider. SHIT!! Play to 9:50 and reduce to 50.58161 at 204 up (worst on this card!) after 2 wins and I'm TIRED! I call John and he WILL do the plant-watering. STILL lots of stuff to do TOMORROW! Put laundry away 11-11:40! Take night pills and ambien at 11:40 and get to bed at 11:50PM.

SATURDAY, 4/4/09: Pee at 5:19 and up at 8:10 after dozing and worrying. Take valium at 8:30AM. Take Diamox at 11AM, seeing as instructions say "one or two days before climbing." 11:45 call for car at 3PM after talking to airlines and finding NO windows available for ANY of my flights: get at airport! Give in American Airline number. Computer virus scan gives C:\documents and settings\BobZolnerzak\docst.exe with trojan.win32.agent.bybd, and the same for c:\system volume information (which I can't find)\_restore SB371.....and a VERY long number. Do a SHORT Malware scan for about 10 minutes of 20,000+ objects, and then start a long scan at 11AM that stops after 1 hour, 12 minutes, and 1 second for 149,646 objects with no viruses. Type this at 12:20: clearly I'm NOT getting to the gym, since I've only STARTED packing, and found that my RAINGEAR ALONE weighs 8.5 pounds!


MONDAY, 4/27/09: Pee at 3:48AM, take ambien to make sure I get more than a few hours more sleep, and type dream. The bottoms of my legs now feel more sunburnt than swollen. Have a slight headache. No trouble falling back to sleep. Wake at 7:10AM, having now slept twelve hours for essentially TWO days of waking, but still feel slightly dizzy and lacking in rest. Up at 7:15, pee, wash face, clip toenails, take two aspirin, and do magazines and puzzles to 10:20, after which I have breakfast to 10:50 of cheese and nuts defrosted from HH savings from three weeks ago. Talk to Mildred 10:52-11:23; Spartacus 11:24-11:32, he having to get ready for work, and his sister's visit tonight, with maybe me joining them tomorrow at the Bronx Zoo. I said to phone me; it'll depend on how I feel. Leave word with Carolyn again, starting to worry, and just as I hang up from her Ken calls to talk more about our trip from 11:33-11:38. Leave word with Tris and Shelley at 11:40, getting "memory full" when I try Charles. Just to pass the time I call Marj again 11:43-12, saying I should get off phone if anyone else tries to call. Then look at SEVENTY-FOUR e-mails until 12:53, some spam-porn getting through. Then leave word with Fred at 12:10, Shelley calls 12:20-12:31, and I start transferring my Neo to WP51 at 1PM. Charles calls and we talk 1:15-2, get Brooklyn Heights House Tour tickets for us at 2:05 by giving my visa number to someone at the Brooklyn Heights Association who lives in my building. Leave word again with Tris, in case he tried to get me but found my phone busy. Talk with John 2:20-2:25; he's not about to go anywhere. Read some of the New York Times until 4PM after getting them from Bill, and start transferring the dreams file at 4:15. Have lunch to 4:45, looking through the next week's Book Review and Magazine sections, and then decide to catch up with the notes from the end of the trip and today, catching this up to date at 5:20PM. Now do I have enough energy to start proofreading the trip? Manage to get through to top of page 12 before my eyes are closing and I'm surely missing errors at 6:20. Go down for the mail, not much. Read the 4/5. 4/11, and 4/12 Times to 7:40. Dinner 7:50-8:20 of a defrosted HH meal saved from before trip, look through more magazines, and get to bed exhausted at 9PM.

TUESDAY, 4/28/09: Pee at 12:09AM and shit. 3:15: pee, take two aspirin, type dream in file 7. Still tired and somewhat muscle/foot-sore. Start j/o at 5AM and finish at 6:15, really ejaculating for the first time in a long time. Watch TV to 7AM. Go through mail to 7:45, have breakfast to 8:20 of oatmeal cooled by apple juice since the milk hasn't even begun defrosting, having to throw out the quart I forgot to put in the freezer before I left on the trip. Fill up the pillbox to 8:40, realizing that I need much more vitamin C! Start looking at the 4/18 Times at 9AM, deciding to finish the diagramless puzzle by 10:45. Then just lie down, because my eyes are CLOSING! Up at 12:05 and finish the 4/18 and 4/19 Times by 1PM. Start 4/25 and 4/26 Times to 2PM, talk to Marj to 2:30 just to stop "doing," and then get to the gym, not terribly difficult, needing the cleaning. Stop at CVS, but their 1000mg vitamin C is about ten cents a capsule, ridiculous, and they don't have any peroxide! Go to Gristedes to find they have hardly any vitamins at all in the pharmacy, and buy an expensive peroxide just to have it because my teeth really need it. Then have a previously frozen HH dinner for lunch before even unpacking the current delivery of three days' meals. Feel so tired that I lie down at 6PM, get up at 8:55 and type dream, still feeling woozily sleepy. At 10:20PM finish the LAST Times, have dinner with the LAST frozen-before-trip HH dinner to 11:30PM, play Spider 11:30-12:35 to give my stomach time to digest, getting to 207 up after 4 wins. Shit, finish 4/6 New Yorker just to throw it out, and get to bed at 12:50AM, collapsing.

WEDNESDAY, 4/29/09: At 3:33AM I'm thinking, thinking, thinking. Pee and take ambien to get to sleep after shitting and putting LOTION on my burnt-feeling arms and legs. Look at the clock at 6:33, 7:02, and pee. No more sleep. Get the crazy idea to take TWO viagra at 7:48, pee, and almost immediately get that odd electric-blue color in the sunlight, not precisely the "confusion of blue and green" that the brochure talks about, but definitely a visual side-effect. Play and wait for the hour for it to take effect, getting my porn 3 DVD to work for the first time in a long time, actually playing it ALL THE WAY THROUGH, so see I'm not missing much except for the Sergeant Swann at the end, which I may have on another DVD anyway. Essentially, the viagra don't work, but I manage to cum by 9:50, watch snippets of TV to 10, have breakfast of the first fresh HH lot, and then think to pass a bit of time with Spider at 10:45AM, picking up the fragmented CDs that broke from the box when my black blind fell off the shelf and leaving sorting them out to later. Disaster strikes with Spider, getting up to SIX losses and STILL not having the determination to just STOP! Talk to Marj a bit between, but FINALLY drag myself off at 2:50 with a new local low of 50.56365 at 198 up. Watch nothing on TV just to brush my teeth, with very pink expectorant, then rinsing with peroxide for the first time since the trip. At least that gets the FIRST item off the seven-item do-list I made this morning: 1) Brush teeth, 2) Channel 13 guide, 3) Sharon at 4:45, 4) American Airlines miles? 5) Unpack, 6) Tris, 7) Vitamin C. Have lunch, do a very tiny bit of unpacking from the trip, get a call from Tris while he's waiting for a doctor's checkup, feeling fine, asking if I've looked at the website because he's put on a lot of LIFELIST, saying that he got my responses to his e-mails but didn't quite understand them until I explained them. Look at the Puritain Pride brochure to find they sell vitamin C at about four cents a capsule, so I order five bottles for just over $50 for 1250 capsules, good for 625 days, almost two years. Then get to Sharon and back to FINISH proofreading BUTANEPA by 8:10PM, eye-weary. Not at all hungry, so just open a can of soup for dinner and get to bed at 9:40PM, still suffering from jet-lag.

SHARON B. 97 4/29/09

Get there on the dot of 4:45 and she calls me right in. I exclaim that I survived, with suffering caused by my going right to my limits, and I surely learned that I'll NEVER take such a physically demanding trip again. Told her about the high-altitude climb followed by sore thighs for six days, and about my first experience of heat prostration with the details of the Cipro and the recovery. Said I was exhausted when I got back Sunday afternoon, but managed to get through the mail and get to bed after dark. Monday and Tuesday were quite productive, getting out necessary bills, but Wednesday I crashed and spent a disastrous four hours or more on Spider just because I felt physically exhausted and mentally limited. She agreed with my observation that even EMOTIONAL tension produces as much PHYSICAL exhaustion as PHYSICAL activity. I just had to rest. She marveled at all the things I did: climbing at altitude, trekking, flying around Everest, white-water rafting, "stalking" rhinos from elephant-back. I praised myself for being the oldest in the group, excusing my not remembering names and not going on a few of the hikes. Told her about sweet, sweet David and possibly homophobic Bill, improbably from Brooklyn and retaining all the accents and obnoxicity even though he moved away forty years ago. Mentioned talks with Marj a couple of times, and then said I might have stayed an evening in bed and had sore thighs, but poor Ken had to cancel his Spain trip due to a bad back, and poorer Carolyn had to have a pacemaker installed just weeks after her baby brother had the same operation. I repeated how Marj and I congratulated ourselves for being healthy, active, and appreciative of both qualities. I said how I looked forward to a NUMBER of months at home to catch up with the enormous task of dealing with the photos from the trip, and then dealing with the website in a constructive way. Did not bother to mention my masturbation obsession: there it is, I know it, and now it's mostly in the past for THIS trip. Mention my hope that I'll be rested enough to enjoy the Beard dinner Thursday night, and she said I'd be sure to be up for it. She's taking next Wednesday off, so I'm to see her on Tuesday at 4:45PM, which I changed on my calendar. Left at 5:30 exactly, pleased with us.

THURSDAY, 4/30/09: Look at clock at 1:20, 2:15, and 3:09, when I pee and take an ambien to sleep. My HIPS are sore! Pee at 6:11AM (ambien now lasting only THREE hours!) and fail at Actualism and just get up at 6:44AM. Decide that this is the day to transfer my photos from my camera to the computer, and balance my HSBC account while doing it. Go through the first set, editing though I STILL haven't figured out how to KEEP the editing, having first copied the whole file to the EDGE. Then start the second 2-gig disk, phone Marj, and my computer starts notifying me that I have very low STORAGE left! What could happen if my storage gives out while my photos are being transferred? Wait through it with Marj, misinterpreting something she said so that she has to "clear things up" before we hang up: I think it's the first time she's actually been annoyed at me. The file is finally transferred, but my C-drive has only something like 800 MEGABYTES left: thank goodness I didn't take more than 800 more photos! Turns out that BOTH disks occupy ONE 2009 file, with one sub-file for each day of the trip. Though the Odyssey Master has a Bhutan album and a Nepal album. GOT to figure this out! To make things worse, a SCAFFOLD comes up to water-test my windows, and I lower the black shade a few times because I don't like the thought of them looking in at me at my desk. Manage to call Channel 13 to be told that my May guide was RETURNED as being UNDELIVERABLE, though it had the proper address. They'll send me another, "Which we're sure you'll get." Let's hope so! Have lunch about 2PM, anxious about staying awake for the Beard this evening, redo the TV Guide sudoku that I messed up yesterday, do Spider 3-4, good to 202 up after 5 wins, and at 4PM decide the best thing for me would be to NAP between 4-6PM, setting the alarm to make sure I wake up in time to dress for the Beard. But I toss and turn until 4:30 and decide to get up, looking at the website and coming up with two changes to the LIFELIST introduction, six changes to the 1956-1999 list, three changes to the 2000-2005 list, and five other miscellaneous changes before having to get off at 6:20PM to put on a clean North Face shirt without a tie and get out to the screaming kids from down the hall, annoyed with myself because I not only forgot to take the Beard-dinner page for reference, I also didn't take a magazine to read on the subway! There at 7:05 to a relatively empty atrium, appetizers that are passed VERY slowly, until Rose makes it up by presenting me with my individual plate of all four appetizers, which I have in the lobby with the Chinese couple and Dr. Jack, and chat with Suzanne and Bonita, who are also at table 7. Fred W. is there, and HE ends up, with Shanta, as the only man at a table for 7, while I'm the only man at a table for 5, with Laurie and Karen, neither of whom is very interesting, but Bonita and I have a FABULOUS talk about mostly gay topics. The food is just incredibly good (wine not special), each course sensational, we all agree, except that I give my soft-shelled crab, divided into two pieces, to Karen and Laurie. Not at all sleepy, home to pick up my mail, and get to bed at 11:05PM, taking two aspirin with night pills.