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2009 7 of 7

TUESDAY, 11/3/09: Pee at 5:03AM, do the first complete Actualism in a very long time (nothing recorded for the entire month of October), taking about half an hour, and then sat in front of porn to jerk off until 7:10, taking an aloe to embarrassing bleeding edges. For a terrible moment I thought Netflix had destroyed the list of instant-watch films that I'd made, but when I looked at the screen again, there they were. Had troubles these days with the CONTENTS of the Internet Explorer box displayed at 150%. I'd somehow SUSPECTED it might be connected with my magnification of Don O'Shea's Provence slides to 150% (just too much of a coincidence otherwise), but I had to actually GET OUT OF BED one evening around this time to go BACK to the photos and SEE that the enlargement was set to 150%, and PUT it down to 100%, and find with relief that the contents were now wholly displayed on the screen, rather than needing to be cursored into viewing position. Will such problems ALWAYS occur? Like my ever-louder refrigerator whirring. The office and maintenance insist that it's my problem, not the building's problem. But maybe I can check with Paul. Ask Carlos when I find him in the hallway one afternoon, and he says that if it's a problem with the fan, it'll be inexpensive, but if it's the COMPRESSOR, I'll probably have to get a new refrigerator, despite the fact that it's only about eight years old, which Spartacus, sadly, says may very well be the case. Still haven't encountered Paul in the halls. As for the other Paul, Paul C., he INSISTS he wants to come for about five days around Christmas. When he said he wanted to come for a week, I boldly remarked that I'd rather hoped it wouldn't be for longer than three or four days. He finally offered "Five?" and I said we'd talk about it later. He's searching for a cheap flight. May he never find it. But THEN, solving problems when I wake in the morning, as I have so often recently, I figured if I make him sleep in the LIVING ROOM, as Rita did, I won't have the problems I have with him: my not being able to sleep the first night he's in bed with me, my concern about his always wrestling the blankets away from me, my computer being denied me when he's sleeping in the room, and my wonder if he's in bed when I wake or whether he's in the living room watching porn. If he's SLEEPING in the living room, I'll not be bothered with his snoring, which Paul McLean used as an excuse for not wanting him in the APARTMENT, let alone in the BED; and he can watch porn whenever he wants. And I won't have to worry about him clobbering the table when he goes to the john in the middle of the night. GREAT SOLUTION. Which also reminds me: Ken called a few days ago to suggest SMALL trips next year: maybe a week with the Isensteins on Martha's Vineyard? Maybe a few nights and dinners at the gay-owned Inn at Little Washington, where we could stop in nearby D.C. where he could visit relatives and friends, and maybe I could stay at Paul McLean's, if he still had his large apartment there. I then phoned Paul and found he only had a TINY apartment, which he wouldn't DREAM of letting me use unless HE was there too, so that cuts out THAT possibility. I'd mentioned the three-star-restaurant trip to France, and he reminded me that when I found "The Journey in Diversity" and he sort of agreed to go with me, that the France trip could be postponed until the following year. Ken called Bestway, who suggested either March-May or September-November, and Ken wanted March, but I had to remind him that I'd TOLD him about my opera trio on March 22-24. Well, then, the fall, since he was busy planning for Mexico in December and Spain in early spring. Anyway, I went down to vote for Bloomberg, not finding out until talking with Marj on Thursday that he won by a surprisingly small margin. Then back to Netflix with "Tibet: Cry of the Snow Leopard," mostly anti-Chinese propaganda, sadly; "Operation Valkyrie: The Stauffenberg Plot to Kill Hitler," as background to getting the Netflix Tom Cruise rendition; and "Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet," not that interesting as it focussed more on the females than on the males. Also was delighted to get the Brauen "Mandala," which I skimmed with breathless wonder, so happy that I waited for the Rubin reprint of this wonderful book, then getting a hardcover mint copy with a discount price! Absolutely GREAT book! Probably even did some Taipei in amidst all this verbiage. Bed at 11:02PM.

WEDNESDAY, 11/4/09: Pee and note dream at 6:24AM. Up at 8:30. Watch "Ghost Busters," the penultimate free movie I'd listed with Netflix, and Sharon calls to cancel this afternoon, which puts me off: I'd intended to go to the gym, but with the movies and Taipei, I suddenly "found" it was after 3:30 and too late for me to go to the gym. How sad! And today was already the FOURTH day since my last visit. TSK! Get "Chronos" in the mail and watch it THREE times: once with only the images, the second time with the commentary AND the subtitles with the correct locations (as opposed to their AWFUL memory, making this commentary TWENTY YEARS after making the film), and then the third time with only the subtitles, so I could appreciate what WAS being shown. Good thing it was only a forty-minute film! Then, hungry for dinner and most of the HH meals gone, I go out to order egg foo yung from the Great Wall and enjoy it with the last of "Chronos." Bed 11:13PM.

THURSDAY, 11/5/09: Pee at 4:13AM and jot a dream note. Up at 8:32AM, after IBM-dream and IBM REVERIE typing. Also have the marvelous solution to needing to come up with more Netflix titles: GO ON VACATION from them for two more months! That'll give me time to find some movies that I DO want to see, rather than struggling for titles to fill the time. Watch "The Matrix Revolutions," the final one of my instant list, and AT LAST get to the gym after FIVE days away. Get Marj's envelope and stupidly say I won't pay her from AUGUST to "make me feel guilty and get to proofing the pages." She says, with justified amazement, "So you'll punish ME to make YOU feel guilty?" Well, she finally says I can do what I want, but I feel SO guilty that I actually send her the check Monday morning. In desperation to do SOMETHING rather than movies, I look at Audience Extras and get reservations for "Penang" to Sunday matinee, and two reservations (for Charles and me) to the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Band at Symphony Space next Saturday. Probably, again, lots of Taipei, unrecorded, though sometime in here I got disgusted with the piles of papers in the living room and finished the weekend Times, sorted through the papers on the floor and the table and put things into the bedroom, intending to get to them SOON. The Visa bill from 10/12 is STILL on my desk to do "next." Bed at 10:50PM but then the 150% problem so nags at me that I get up and FIX it to 11:23PM. RELIEF!


THURSDAY, 11/5/09: 9:08AM: Finished transcribing the dream that led to the reverie, and now to try to capture the mood of the reverie: when I woke from the dream, I almost continued it, in a way, trying to make myself feel comfortable with the thoughts the dream brought up: I never QUITE felt that I was up to my supervisory work on MANY of the enormous projects I'd worked on: the classic was the combinatorial-response program that had someone working on the input (not to be confused with the FORTRAN-maintenance project which had the plump woman working on basic input, the thin hippy-type woman working on input-translation errors, some guy working on some middle section, me on the optimization problems, and someone else working on the end section); Madge working on the most difficult central section; Judd Boykin and Jan Wickberg working so closely on an output section that they ended up, as oddly matched as they were (he a southern hick of refreshing bluntness, nevertheless of great intelligence; she a truly beautiful frail-appearing woman who also ended up being greatly competent), getting married; and George Carson, Brooklyn-stupid yet seemingly capable, either on some post-operation phase or (more probably) remembered by me as taking over the Tsumani project and expanding it as requested and shepherding it through years of subsequent processing, complaining all the while. Of couse that led me to thinking of JCAS and TOBIAS, where the first worked well enough to lead to the second, but I so messed up the second in testing that only Roger Evans, a rather unlikely clerk-type rising to excellence as the TOBIAS rewriter and final expert, could pull it out of the fire. I thought way back to Barbara Cope with her meticulously pencil-written flowcharts which we rather automatically copied into FORTRAN instructions on the SAGE program, early supervisors like the fattie who never seemed to like me, the earliest Murray Kleinman, the later Andy Gyenes, and Murray Someone, to be followed by Gladys Garabedian who reluctantly went into management and tried to convince me to follow her into the area I had no interest at all in pursuing. Then various office mates returned to mind: the impossibly incompetent-seeming Suzy(?) Simon, the unpronounceable Ralph Crnkovic, the nattily dressed French-accented ????, and the earlier lunch group of Mozelle Duckett, Cathy O'Sullivan, and Gio Wiederholt; and the "unspeakable" Ed Godbolt of the IBM Round-the-World trip with Mozelle and another woman. Thought back over my SOLE bug that I guess I evenually FOUND in the FORTRAN optimization program-section, and the enduring relationship with Madge. Then, at a whim, decide to CALL Madge. Her cell phone has a Spanish message, so I guess that's not hers anymore. Her HOME phone rings and SHE answers, being home on VACATION this week to "clean out the cellar with Michelle, her daughter." We talk wonderfully: she's still working, Executive Vice President starting in 2001 and she'll work to 2011 to get her executive retirement wealth; Margo is living in Pennsylvania with her doctor husband, Marjorie just retired from IBM in China, Marsha died of breast cancer in 2002-2003, and Michael is still active in dance with his "Firecracker." Werner would never have answered the phone if she hadn't been there. She'll call me the next time she has time in NYC, when she's not having dinner with Robert Redford! She's been making keynote messages around the world, getting many awards for her group, and has just made "the best speech anyone ever heard" according to one hearer. Wonderful talking with her: I tell about my travels, my sister's visit, my therapist, and the James Beard Foundation. Then at 10:10AM deliver my Netflix to the mailbox, and phone HIP to find they STILL don't have the flu vaccine. Finish this at 10:25AM, hungry for breakfast.

FRIDAY, 11/6/09: 3:52AM: Note dream and pee. Up at 7:35. Have breakfast and leave word on the HH site for them to telephone me to start my Internet account for ordering my meals, since the choices have gotten more complex and can be ordered in different ways. Get sucked into Spider for the first time since my incredible advance on 11/1, and play from 9:45-11:50AM and can only manage to get to 50.85452 at 328 up after 7 wins, really losing interest in playing! Spartacus calls and says he's leaving here at 3:15 to meet Kit in the Met Museum at 4PM for his free entrance. I say I have to wait for my HH meals to arrive so I can put them in the fridge. They finally call about 2PM, saying that I'd had to put in my computer order by Friday lunch to get it processed, so I do my last phone order, and they tell me how to use the site for the first time. The food finally arrives at 2:45, and I push it into the fridge and get dressed in a jacket and tie to meet Spartacus, who's also wearing a jacket. Late to Kit at 4:10, and she has to make a special trip to get me an entry button, and I really should have PHONED her to say I'd changed my plans to get there earlier and would now be arriving with Spartacus. I dash back to see the Vermeer, with tons of other people, from 4:20-4:30, then go way around to the Saint-Gaudens, which is closing 11/15, from 4:40-5:05, when I get back to meet Kit at 5:15 and dash to the opening of the bar to get a glass of red wine, and then a glass of white wine, and then a sour-mix-free Cosmo (cranberry and vodka), to which, after tasting Spartacus's drink, I add a shot of tasty rum. Take that glass, with lots of macadamia nuts, pecans, and cashews into the hour speech on Art Restoration by a VERY personable guy, who ends with the self-portrait of Velazquez in a dynamite presentation. Then back to the bar for more cheese and crackers and tapenade and nuts, with a Cin and Cin, and then with a gin and tonic, feeling absolutely no pain, delighted at all the people Kit's introducing us to, and already looking forward to our next date at the Metropolitan, but not tomorrow, for the sold-out presentation on the Vermeer. Very drunk back home about 10:30, look through the mail, and bed at 11:15PM.

SATURDAY, 11/7/09: 7:13AM: Wake with a VERY painful toe twinge, hoping it's not an embolism! Note dream. Pee. Up at 8:37, still a bit hung over though I took two aspirin before going to bed and two more at 7:13. Start by messing up the doublecrostic, have an early breakfast, then do the crossword easily, back to salvage the doublecrostic, then start the Saturday puzzle. Out to meet Shelley on the street at 12:30PM to find that Iron Chef doesn't open until 1PM, so we go to Clark's Corner, a-yowl with kids, and I have a great cheeseburger and she has pancakes. I tell her all about my Labrador trip, and she's looking forward to entertaining her newborn cousins. Yuch. Phone Charles at 2PM and we agree to meet at 3PM at the Breast-Cancer-benefit apartment showing for $25 at 86th and West End Avenue. Paul's there when I arrive at 2:55, and we chat nicely until Charles, frazzled as usual, arrived at 3:15. Up to the glorious $10-million apartment, only on the fifth floor, decked out commemorating superior women, and then to the lesser, but more liveable, $8-million place, talking in great detail about the decorating ideas that work and don't work---mostly it all just looks BUSY. Down about 5PM and they want coffee, so I demand we walk uptown, rather annoying Paul, who lives on 76th, looking for the Greek hamburger joint that I remember up here somewhere, but we finally come upon City Diner and go in there for Paul to order a Black Cow, lovely vanilla ice cream in root beer; Charles has a baklava that he says tastes strange, and coffee; and I decide to be virtuous and have the fruit cocktail, which isn't that special. Subway home, Charles having to be reminded at 14th Street that we're NOT on the local, and he gets out, I get home to pig out on Sugar Frosted Flakes again, which probably, with the milk, caused the "accident" that had me washing out my shorts yesterday so they wouldn't smell up the hamper. Succumb to Spider 6:45-11:55PM for a MAD session, ending at 50.84781 at 326 up after 2 wins, FINALLY! Get to bed at 12:35AM.

SUNDAY, 11/8/09: Pee at 5:30, and wake and debate getting up when the phone rings. I'd phoned Edgardo yesterday and got Eugenio, in the apartment to print out something from his apartment with his girlfriend nearby, who said that Edgardo and Marina were in the country for the day. Edgardo calls me back at 8:08AM, apologizing for not realizing it was so early, DEMANDING that I find a cheap flight and come to see them for a week SOON. But, later today, when I go through the mail, I come across a Mir trip to the Five Stans which completely captivates me. Early breakfast and lunch (with a Spider try 11:30-12:30) to leave for "Penang" at 12:45PM, rather surprised that it's a decent play with OK performances, though the "total frontal nudity" is less than "total frontal." The two hours and twenty minutes pass quickly, and the audience is at least twice the size of the cast of nine. Home to watch a very disappointing "The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)," with a Keanu Reeves who hardly has to move a muscle of his face in the entire film. Rather tacky special effects too, with a cloud-globe of a spaceship that's never really convincing. Thank goodness there's no commentary track. Do two more awful Spider sessions 5-7:15 and 10:10-12, ending at a WOEFUL 50.83056 at 320 up after 3 wins. Bed 12:38AM.

MONDAY, 11/9/09: Pee at 6:51 and up at 8:50AM. Decide to "rationally" do a bit of Spider for the day from 9:15-10:30AM, ending at 50.83227 at 321 up after 3 wins. Breakfast, finishing another magazine at last, then put the last stuff away on my desk so I can AT LAST start catching up on the journal starting with OCTOBER 26, over two weeks ago! Sort the notecards into order, label them A-E, and start typing until 2:35, when I leave for the gym after FOUR days. Back with the mail for lunch, phone Steve to thank him for the wonderful stamps and his photo of Luca in the hat Steve bought him in Labrador, and get started on the typing at 5:10PM. Wonderfully, Netflix furnishes a COMPLETE record of when I saw what instantly. With that, my Spider log, my gym log, and my notes, I AT LAST get caught up to date at 7:15PM, ASTROUNDED that it took so long. Ken just called, and I told him about my upcoming trip to the Five Stans, and that Paul does NOT have a place for us to stay in D.C. See that I've printed DREAMSH pages 21 and 22, and NOTEBOOKI pages 81-92, including this one, FOURTEEN whole pages! Lots of notes to throw away, a wastebasket to empty, and a free evening to look forward to! Get to TV and see the last half of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" before watching Poliakoff's "Joe's Palace," interesting, but not up to Ayckburn or Stoppard. Then watch the START of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which INDEED has a better cock on the hero than the final moments, but STILL not worth it. Bed at 12:23AM.

TUESDAY, 11/10/09: 7:35AM pee and type dreams. Do Actualism for a long time, probably napping between times. Up at 9:42 and have breakfast while watching a couple of programs on 2012, tornadoes, and lightning recorded from the Discovery Channel until 11:45AM. Then check e-mail, where Zagat tells me that there's a long wait for current books, which ARE being sent out now; and Gum Proxabrushes shows up, so I order 8 REGULAR (not small) cylindrical brushes for $8.11, which includes a $5 shipping charge, but HAVING them will be WORTH it. Catch this up to date by 12:23PM and prepare to indulge in my daily Spider. That goes from 12:25-3:20, POOR at 50.84033 at 324 up after 4 wins. Then I just MUST go to the gym after another four-day stretch. Put lunch into the microwave and go downstairs to see that my mail is STILL not delivered, so I sit around and wait for it, then up to eat, ending the evening watching "The Tale of Despereaux," not that good, but adequate for the passing time, and Poliakoff's "Capturing Mary," with too much Maggie Smith sad-eyed emotionalism. Bed at 11:59PM, determined it be TODAY, rather than TOMORROW.

WEDNESDAY, 11/11/09: Pee at 1:50 and 6:15AM, when I write a dream-note for Sharon, to add to my note from last week. Up at 7:52 to pee and exhaustively jerk off to 9:45 while recording new images from the end of YY and the start of P videotapes. Ken calls with data about the Inn at Little Washington, that seem, to me, to make it easier to say NO. See "Crumb" on Netflix before "going on vacation" to February 9. Do my "daily" Spider 12:15-3:40, maddeningly not working, to a mediocre 50.84394 at 326 up after 4 wins. Pick up my laundry on the way back from Sharon's and puzzled to find no mail in my box, until tomorrow it dawns on me that today is Veteran's Day, a holiday. Call Sharon just to make SURE we have a session today. Finish reading MacLeod: "As Birds Bring Forth the Sun and Other Stories." Also read the first chapter of "Mandala." Bed at 12:34AM.

SHARON B. 115 11/11/09

Get there early and she even takes me a bit early. I read both dreams to her, and she keeps asking me what I might associate with them, and I really have nothing to add. It's true that I'd just started ordering my HH meals from the website, rather than on the phone, and their meals are characterized by having lots of vegetables and potatoes, but the only thing I can associate to potatoes in their jackets are at the ribs places, and I didn't even have potatoes at the last two Dinosaur BBQ dinners. I just accepted things as they happened, calmly, without any anxiety. That was even true of my thinking that my heart "murmurs" are becoming more pronounced: they might even be a sign of impending doom, but even THAT I can take with a certain equanimity: I've had a good life, I'd like to have much more of it, but if it ends tomorrow, there's not much I can do about it, so worrying about it doesn't seem to be worth the effort. It's true (I didn't say this to her, but think it now) I don't have any trips in the immediate offing to be anxious about, and sometimes when I have an EVENT in the middle of the week I feel slightly apprehensive about getting there on time, or not liking it, or being disappointed by it. But I've been thinking recently of GOING to some of the bars for older men, just to see what they're like (and in fact signed up for the next "Leo party" the next day). Talked about playing a lot of computer games, but that was OK, I could do that. Had mentioned the START of my "Lost" mania two weeks ago, when I saw her last, but said that I watched less of the succeeding seasons, until I just watched maybe two episodes of the final-available season, and then came to the pleasant realization (like so many things, either just before going to bed [like solving the 150% enlargement problem after getting out of bed at night] or in the morning [like having Paul sleep in the living room to make his presence easier---and then he calls Thursday to say he's coming TWICE: two days at one time and two days {albeit Christmas Eve and Christmas Day} at another]) that I could GO ON VACATION from Netflix, thinking it might be as long as two months, but it turned out to be THREE months, coming back only in FEBRUARY (and I ended up adding four movies to my to-see list on FRIDAY!). Didn't mention extending the period between gym days, nor my excessive masturbatory activity this morning. She actually apologized for not scheduling a make-up session for my cancelled appointment last week, but she was really sick on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week. We both regretted that it was getting so dark so early in the day.

THURSDAY, 11/12/09: Pee at 6:33AM. 11:35AM: Did NOT write down what time I got up this morning: this is beginning to BORE me, and I want to do MORE INTERESTING things with my LONG time between trips. Decide to start keeping lists of what I DO that's GOOD during the days, rather than just going to bed, peeing (NOT in bed, thank you very much), and getting up. Like today: Decided to sew up my slippers, but when the black thread was short on the already-used needle, I decided to start with sewing up the gap in the left-rear shoulder seam of my jacket, rather than just throwing it out, as I'd been tempted if the repair didn't seem so easy. Then find the new WQXR on my bedroom radio to provide background music. Then, when going to get the pliers to pull the needle through the tough slipper sole, I decided to clean the kitchen floor from its worst black blotches. Then called Ken to respond with questions to his message yesterday about the Inn at Little Washington, and left word with both Mildred and Charles that I wanted to DO something more these days, between trips. THEN get back to sewing my slipper sole. But then decided on my daily Spider, and had a GREAT session 12:30-2:25 to a NEW BEST of 50.85894 at 332 up after NINE wins! Called to make sure the Games Group was still on Sunday, so I couldn't go to the M.A.N. meeting. Followed Spider with Taipei until I got bored with it. Checked e-mail, and set up the taping for "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," but watched it in real time, going back to the DVD to take wonderful photographs of Chris Evans and the guy who formed the "framework" of the Silver Surfer. Then checked ahead on Channel 13 to find they were NOT rebroadcasting the three hours from yesterday; called Spartacus to complain, and at LAST noticed that the three hours "yesterday" are actually three hours NEXT Wednesday. As Spartacus said, you always have to make sure you know what you're talking about. Got to bed when I got to bed, ending the day with a bowl of Sugar Frosted Flakes.

FRIDAY, 11/13/09: Got up when I got up, did whatever I did (which included watching a mediocre "Valkyrie" with Tom Cruise as Stauffenberg plotting to kill Hitler), and went to the gym after another four-day stretch. Back to find the mail not available yet, and figure to play Taipei before dressing for Ken at the Modern, but then MUST do Sharon's session from Wednesday AND catch up with this, which I do to 5:10PM, not even having enough to print out this page. And now I DO have to get dressed for Ken tonight. Have a very good dinner, except for Ken's oversalted lobster, about which he complains TWICE, and there are TWO $48 discounts on the bill for his complaint, so he remarks "All's well that end's well" when I say that his bill was $26 more than my bill ($12 drink, $10 lobster supplement, $4 coffee), but he insisted we DIVIDE the check, but I end up paying essentially for the fixed-price three-course dinner! Then to the upper theater downstairs for "From the Land to Your Table," which suffers because they don't identify the COUNTRY in South American being featured in each of the seven episodes (except for the obvious Rio and the seventh in Spain). Got home latish and got to bed.

SATURDAY, 11/14/09: Note dream this morning. The Saturday puzzle was so outrageously difficult for me that I went directly to the Internet site, where I was disappointed to find that HE found it ridiculously EASY! Got to the Park Avenue Armory about five minutes past 3PM to find Charles arriving only about 3:15. Disappointing show in that it was really only for SALES in contrived rooms, most of which were too crowded with junk to be enjoyable. One sexy slim salesperson at Booth A4, Donzelle, or something like that, but not too many attractive buyers or sellers. Charles liked it more than I did, though the only thing he wanted to buy wasn't for sale, a fabric only used to display other wares that were for sale. I'm tired at about the time he wants to sit and rest, and we leave about 5:05 in a small drizzle where he accepts my idea to take a cab across to Ouest for $11, which he pays for and I later balance with the meal and the wine. My dinner somewhat better than his ordinary chicken and from-the-box mashed potatoes, but we finish at 7:10PM and walk up to Symphony Space to get second-row seats for the Lesbian and Gay Marching and Symphonic Band with a good, though older and unattractive crowd, which included Barbara Kahn. Rousing "Pines of Rome" climax: I kept concentrating on the cymbals, reminding myself of the misplaced crash that I insisted on putting into that particular Sousa march. Back to pick up more mail on the CIT group, which I guess I still have to do something about.

SUNDAY, 11/15/09: Look at the Times, probably play Taipei before leaving for the Games Group at 1:05PM, getting there first at 2:05, Barbara joining quickly and we play Boggle to surfeit by 2:50, then start Quiddler when Alexandra finally arrives about 3:15 and we play until we get to the bottom of the page at about 13 cards dealt to each. Then fill in with Scattergories until I leave at 5:45 to get early to 45 Bleecker to look through the AFI program until "The Love of Three Kings," by Montemezzi (as opposed to the "Love of Three Oranges" by Prokofiev), with a poor cast and production, particularly the non-voiced tenor of the son-in-law. Spartacus and Lana suffer through front-row seats. Then we wander the Village for Lana to decide that the Figaro Cafe smells OK for dinner, and we have a huge $22 fixed-price dinner, with my beef Bourguignone being the best entree and the berry-shortcake dessert the worst. Home after midnight, exhausted from the day.

MONDAY, 11/16/09: Dream note in AM. Still try to get to last of Labrador expense determinations, but fail. Phone Len and Doug about my going to Leo's on Friday, hoping they'll respond, which they don't by the time I type this on Wednesday morning. Lots of Taipei until it gets boring. Kit calls and invites me to another Met Museum lecture on Friday; I can see more of the exhibits! Watch the taped first two hours of "The Prisoner," not very satisfying as compared to the original, Caviezel not that sympathetic, and then have dinner during the second two hours, annoyed with the teasers of "What do you think that means; tune in in thirty seconds to find out," and endless ads with a truly disturbing pallid blonde advertising something useless. How can this abbreviated series end satisfyingly?

TUESDAY, 11/17/09: Dream note in AM. Clear off the piles of papers on the coffee table, but still have a dozen piles left. Throw away a CIT booklet that I have to fish out of the trash the next day. Happen to watch Lehrer when I channel surf from 6PM, finding that I DO have BBC-America AND Sundance, and someone says that maybe General Motors can pay off some of its previous debt! And then a CIT mailing from Schwab implies that some of their debts may be 96% recoverable! Can some of my failings be rescued? Pile up the dream notes to be typed later, and STILL don't get to the Labrador expenses. Get out to the Tuesday Slides for Oman, Abu Dhabi, and Yemen, with a truly stupid few audience members who make watching painful. Noted that I played Spider 2-4PM to a new high of 50.87138 at 337 up after 7 wins. Also called Eliot Linzer to find that his best customer is an INDIAN packager who gets things from the US that they send BACK to the US to HIM. The "CUP" method of indexing page-changing material is so hated by everyone that it may just expire. University Presses, condemned to NOT taking index fees out of royalties, insist the authors do their own indexes, which the graduate students do with disastrous results. Companies in Massachusetts and New Jersey, who fire employees and try to get them back as freelancers, have been estopped from doing that by freelancers who say it's unfair to THEM, ignoring that it's unfair to the fired employees who can't find work ANYWHERE. IT just sounds so awful that I decide not to do anything more, though the idea of joining EFA and putting out my resume that I'm an expert in multiple-grade State-book-buying math and literature jobs is tempting: something more to brood about. Then have a long boring talk about that with Marj. Also phoned Carolyn, who's back home and "feeling good," as she says, and when I talk to Tris (who e-mails back that WORKS, and when I try it then, it DOES, contrary to yesterday's failure) he asks if she mentioned Woody, who vanished for part of a week into his alcoholism and drug abuse. Carolyn didn't mention it to me and I didn't mention it to Marj. Back to skim New York Magazine (which I searched for yesterday, not realizing until later than it just hadn't COME this week yet) and then have dinner watching the taped last two hours of "The Prisoner," which SEEMS to end that EVERYONE has died (2 with a grenade in his mouth, 2's wife by their son, who hangs himself; 6 by whatever method, and 6's girl friend in the church after she goes mad), but there they are, 2 and his wife enjoying the "real" world, and 6 deciding to take over the rule of the Village, which his girl friend catatonic at his side, as a clear echo of 2 and his wife. Not at all interesting, with AMC imploring viewers to go to their site and "explore more deeply." Not bloody likely. Bed at midnight.

WEDNESDAY, 11/18/09: Wake at 6 to pee, can't get back to sleep by 7AM, try Actualism, which doesn't work, so I'm up at 7:40 to get BACK to sorting out bills for the OCTOBER Schwab Visa statement, then decide I have to catch up with THIS journal, taking to 9AM even BEFORE typing in the dream notes. It only takes to 9:10AM to transcribe those, and I print out the last of three pages printed this morning: production! Then come back at 9:13AM to compulsively note that, at the gym on Monday, it dawns on me that I FORGOT to water the plants on Sunday! GOT to note that in my Alzheimer's list! Through the day I FINALLY finish the Labrador finances, after FORTY days. Don't transcribe Sharon's session until 9:40AM Friday.

SHARON B. 116 11/18/09

Get there early, and can't figure what to talk about, so I start by saying I was thinking of putting THESE SESSIONS "on vacation," as I just did with Netflix. She asks why, and I say that things have been going WELL, and I feel silly just crowing about how well things are going. I feel that it's self-aggrandizing without being of any help. I say that I can't remember any of the dreams of the past week, but then DO recall the fragment about the plants reproducing on tendrils that "cancel out" other plants, and about the bugs running from the floor to reveal a "hieroglyph" which I grandiosely interpret as "uparsin" and the beginning of a message that, when revealed to me, will be very important and make ME very important. She actually comes close to almost criticizing me for try to interpret my OWN dreams: "That's my job," she says pointedly. She responds with an example of "a red flower," which someone might report without ANY interpretation, and then she'll ask what that brings up, and the ensuing conversation will better substitute for any analysis the dreamer may attempt to do on his own. She suggests I keep pen and paper by my bed, which I've done for years, and that the CENTRAL IMAGE---the "red flower"---is the important thing, followed by what comes up in the therapy session. Actually, it's the "red flower" that reminds me of the two dream fragments that I relate, and she says that it's all related to my problem of control, which has been easier because I've been more willing to "let things go" rather than controlling every aspect of their manifestation. I then think to describe how I "control" my Spider game by keeping track of the scores, hoping to get better each time, even though "the fun" sometimes goes out of "playing" before I actually get to a point where I'm content to stop. But I describe my Taipei game as being PURE fun: I quit the game when I don't solve it---and when she asks WHEN I quit the game, I specify that EARLY in a session I'll follow through until I get it, but later on, when I'm becoming bored, I'll just let it slide---out of my control---and go to another game until I just feel like quitting because it's getting boring. She emphasizes that the dreams when I'm feeling GOOD are better, because I'm not dreaming about problems or problem solutions, but about something deeper. She also implies that someone wanting to quit may feel unconsciously that they're getting to some crux, which they've been wanting to avoid for all these years, and thus want to stop looking for answers or solutions. So I should just note the TOPICS of the dreams, not the analyses I might make, and bring them in to talk about in the future, when I don't have any problems or complaints to air. Moaned that it took me FORTY DAYS to finish with the Labrador expenses, and now I have the financial matters to take care of. Had no trouble talking to fill up the time, saying I'll see her next week. She looks rather worn out during the session, as if she'd had a hard day.

THURSDAY, 11/19/09: Wake at 6AM and wonder HOW I interacted with my group on my solo trips to Tunisia and Bhutan, and had to READ the Bhutan trip to remind me of my interactions with Bill, my Brooklyn-born roommate for the Nepal section, and the clingy guy I met in Bhutan who "sent his love." Then stayed up, and turned on TV, and got hooked into "WWII in HD" on the History Channel, starting at 8AM and sitting right through to noon, when I switched to "Horton Hears a Who" after determining that I could watch all NINE episodes by tuning back in at 6PM and watching to 11PM. Spartacus calls about 12:45PM while I'm watching "Horton," so I just let the machine take it, and he wants to go see "The 39 Steps" AGAIN since it's available on Audience Extras, and I sort of figure it'll be gone by the time I answer him at 1:20PM, and it is. I really didn't want to see it anyway. Those nine episodes, with going to the gym, sure take care of THAT day.

FRIDAY, 11/20/09: Have breakfast while watching the start of the Shangri-La caves program that I'd missed on Wednesday, and then get to e-mail, where Elliot sends me an EFA job listing for indexing 8000 pages on a K-12 project! I respond, thinking I should join EFA for things JUST LIKE THIS. Catch up on dreams from yesterday and today, and Sharon's session on Wednesday, and the journal to date. Got a VERY expensive price quote for the flights to the Five Stans, but I want to do it ANYWAY! Finish this at 10:03AM and ready to go to the EFA website to sign up for membership. End up spending $300 on Visa via PayPal, which sends me a couple of cryptic messages afterwards. Get to Met Museum for 1) Du Paquier porcelain 3:20-3:35, 2) Watteau 3:40-3:50, 3) Velazquez 3:50-4:02, 4) Frank's "The Americans" 4:10-4:30, though, getting tired, I have to admit it's not really very INTERESTING to me, 5) Samurai 4:30-5, and the same opinion applies to this, though some of the pieces are visually interesting, but who's REALLY interested in all those naked SWORDS? 6) So tired I just decide to get to Kit in the 4th floor library at 5PM, where she goes on AGAIN about her positive-thinking schtick, and I get a screwdriver, and then another, before the lecture, which is interesting enough: he answers my question about "trembleuses" and likes my observation of the melted-wax faces on the Meissen porcelain compared with the wonderful depth, color, and detail on the Du Paquier kissing shepherds. More orange juice and macadamia nuts and pecans and cashews and crackers and cheese and tapenade until fatigue sets in before 8PM and I escort Kit downstairs, where she says how much she enjoys my company and promises me an invitation to the Bronzino opening in January. I get home to watch "Titan A.E.," which, though I've seen before in 2000, I don't remember AT ALL, even with the sexy cartoon body for Matt Damon's voice. Oh, and had ordered two sets of meals from HH in the AM. Bed tired.

SATURDAY, 11/21/09: Again brush off the Saturday puzzle, which is terribly forbidding, by going to the website and seeing the ludicrous solution. The doublecrostic is difficult, but the crossword is easy. Spend an inordinate amount of time watching the cascading cards after winning at Solitaire, when not doing Taipei. Just CAN'T get into doing anything I SHOULD do. Watch the last hour of WWII in HD, and read random articles in the Saturday Times, just to PASS the times. Then about 6:30 decide I really DON'T want to go to Leo's, and get a nasty e-mail the next morning about not doing so! Finish the doublecrostic, then to Spider 6:55-9, ending with a fourth consecutive best at 50.88353 at 342 up after 5 wins. Len calls, saying he's going to Australia and the South Seas on the Volendam, and then seeing friends, 12/31/09-2/9/10! More Solitaire, a late dinner, and bed to sleep without feeling TOO guilty about having accomplished NOTHING today.

SUNDAY, 11/22/09: Up at 8 for the Times, finishing it quickly, clipping a Liberty Travel ad for a round-trip to Dubai starting at $801. Check Schwab, up; the Met, missing 3000 chances for a dress rehearsal of "Tales of Hoffman," and Audience Extras, which gives me a Kazakh concert at Carnegie Hall on Monday (they're back to $3.50 per ticket) and I leave word with Charles and Spartacus about my going. Huge HH breakfast while watching first part of "By the People: The Election of Barack Obama." Catch up with this by 11AM, breaking my will by going to Spider and playing CONSTANTLY until 3:05PM, getting to a new high of 50.88751 at 344 up after 4 wins, after a THOUSAND alternations between win-lose that kept my score EXACTLY the same for HOURS! And now I'm STARVED for lunch! FINALLY sort through all the Schwab files, listing gains in many old transactions, and separating out General Motors and CIT Group to handle tomorrow. It takes AGES, and I get to bed well after midnight.

MONDAY, 11/23/09: Watch the end of "The Brave One," Jodie Foster evidently getting away with MANY vigilante murders! Go to the gym, pick up two library books, and get back in time to put mail away and watch "Derek" (Jarman) and "Ten More Good Years," about older gays, on Sundance, brushing Spartacus off when he calls to say I should watch something on Iran (Persepolis and Isfahan) with Rick Steves. Then think to do just a LITTLE on Spider, and it's a DISASTER from 4:25-6:45PM, when I stop with a game on the screen because I have to leave to meet Charles at 7:30 at Carnegie Hall to the Kazakh Conservatory concert, and we're SO sorry we didn't bring binoculars, because we can't tell when the group Turan is using their VOCAL CORDS or their instruments, or maybe even pre-recorded tape, to make their strange sounds. Otherwise, the performances are rather uninspired, though the audience loves the premiere of an odd, Bernstein-flavored, piece by a female composer who bows to the crowd. Back to have ANOTHER half-HH meal (it just seems like there's just TOO MUCH FOOD in many of these packages, and I don't mind having them twice) while watching my recording of "Waiting for Hockney," a bizarre piece by a guy who works 101 months on a drawing of Marilyn Monroe that he gets Weschler to show to Hockney, who suggests he do a quicker sketch next, and he DOES, coming up with an appealing sketch of his naked body which I wouldn't mind having. Movie goes to 1:15AM, and I get to bed at 1:23AM, the latest in ages.

TUESDAY, 11/24/09: Wake at 7:45 and try to do Actualism, but it doesn't really go. Up at 9:10AM to sort out my two-weeks' pill supply and have breakfast, then do the New York magazine puzzle that I didn't do last night when looking through the THREE-magazine delivery. Finish the leftover Spider TOTAL disaster 10:20-12:30, ending at 50.85767 at 333 up after 3 wins and MANY that went to 4 or 5 losses, and taking a call from HIP that the flu shots are FINALLY in, and my HH meals arrive early. Put them away, finish a half-meal from yesterday, and get to see Donna at 2PM in Area C for my flu shot by 2:11PM by the Nigerian who'd phoned me, who ALSO shortened her name. Pick up the third book from the library that I'd reserved, and back for an early mail delivery, and finish transcribing dreams and catching up with this by 2:55PM, ready to look at the General Motors and CIT Group papers. Feeling GOOD to be ACCOMPLISHING things! Schwab says THEY are controlling my General Motors distributions, if any, and that I have to phone the law firm for CIT information. And my Keogh rollovers are simple income, no "cost price" considerations. THEN I Visa my reservation deposit for $500 and $552 insurance for FIVE STANS, May 10-31, 2010! FEEL GREAT! Out to get to the fountain at Lincoln Center at 6:50PM, Spartacus not there, so I get an entry slip for seats J6&8 in the 4th Ring, and get to my seat at PRECISELY 7PM, Spartacus still not there. The mysterious "no dancers announced" for the Tchaikovsky Sleeping Beauty Waltz is just a FILM showing the Koch ("Coke") restoration of the New York State Theater for $104 million, and then the Concerto DSCH, seen a second time with the same cast, still isn't very good, except for the pyrotechnics of tiny firecracker Joaquin De Luz, elevated to principal in 2005. The Rubies pas de deux by Aurelie Dupont and Mathias Heymann isn't very good, either. Then intermission gives time to look down on the elegant chandeliers and crowded tables set for about 500 after the Opening Night performance, with peons eating their Saran-wrapped sandwiches on the upper balconies. Naive and Sentimental Music isn't good EITHER, Nilas Martins looking VERY pudgy, and Joaquin De Luz showing off again: Martins seems to have been taking Ratmansky lessons. Back early enough to buy Edy's caramel quart and Smucker's Hot Fudge Sauce at Gristedes, for a 10% senior discount with my Chase card second purchase of the month, and treat Spartacus to a sundae before watching his loaned "Stop-Loss" Netflix to 2:30AM with extras. Bed exhausted.

WEDNESDAY, 11/25/09: Up with a pushed-through Actualism session lasting until about 9:45AM, phone Sharon to say I may be late, and start proofreading! Heavy breakfast and meet Spartacus at 1PM to BMT to "Nightingale" with Lynn Redgrave with Kit's unused ticket, for a surprising amount of sexual content, a lot about her OWN life, and a suspiciously "close" fellow in the seat next to me that I simply can't bring myself to cruise, though he seems, possibly, to be cruising me. Out in time for lunch before Sharon's fast session, buy POPCORN at CVS to put ANY third Chase transaction on my card, and back to finish the disastrous Spider start from last night, from 7-10:10, SAME OF SHIT to 50.85931 at 334 up after 5 wins and MANY MANY losses, and watch "America Before Columbus" that Spartacus recommended, interesting enough, but another 1AM bed.

SHARON B. 117 11/25/09

Get there early and she calls me in. I read off the dream notes while she writes like mad, and I can only say I can't figure WHY I'd "identify" Ann Miller and Larry Kramer, why I'd COMBINE the high-class Botox and the low-class McDonald's, though I told her about the ballet yesterday that combined them. Mentioned reserving the Five Stans trip, clearing up my financial questions, my obsession with the Solitaire card-cascade finale, and at the end talked about the call from Edgardo BEGGING me to come to Milan, which led me to think that I should call HIM and bed HIM to come to New York! She said it was a good session, and I talked about other things, like my upcoming tooth-implant worry, my proofing for the website, my EFA membership, but don't feel like repeating.

THURSDAY, 11/26/09: Another pushed-through Actualism to 9:30AM, read New Yorker to get the coincidence of reading about the Park Slope Ethical Culture building only a day after Carolyn tells me it EXISTS, then call Marj to proof her proofing of Florence and Flortrip to 12:05PM, catching up with this by 12:45 and finally transcribing yesterday's Sharon session to 12:50, ready for (groan) Spider again.

FRIDAY, 11/27/09: Note dream this morning. Order food in the morning (charting Monday-Wednesday off, which doesn't prevent HH from calling me next Monday to say they've made a mistake and will deliver tomorrow unless I tell them not to. I protest that I don't have room in my refrigerator, and I don't get the delivery). Spider goes from 12:45-1:30, after proofing with Marj, and then have lunch and go 1:55-2:25 to 50.87656 to 341 up after 2 wins. Then to the gym, again after four days, and spend the rest of the day in unknown ways.

SATURDAY, 11/28/09: Read the Times and do the Sunday puzzles, managing to ignore the Saturday difficult one completely. Get the apartment ready for Steve's visit at 3:30, and call Carolyn at 3:50 to find she's forgotten about coming. He only takes two slides to 5PM, and when we get out to dinner Clark's Corner is closed ALREADY, so we settle for Park Plaza where I have the hugely filling "Mess" of eggs and meats and potatoes, strangely ordering a frozen daiquiri just because I feel like having one. Back to watch "The Wrestler," a truly ugly film, and "Hunger," unpleasant in its irrational unreality.

SUNDAY, 11/29/09: Note two dreams. This weekend was an orgy of films on HBO and IFC and other networks: two last night in real time, and "Towelhead," "Jumper," and "Lonely Hearts Club" on recordings, "Towelhead" really the only worthwhile one. Also these days are taken with my obsession about finish the five travel pieces that have been sitting on my desk (one since early November, the others from MONTHS ago) to finish up with Marj, sometimes putting off Rita and Spartacus because I want to finish before my 11AM call to Marj. She's delighted we're finishing, and I am most definitely pleased. Back to Spider with determination to make up for the total disaster of 11/23-24, and from 2:50-3:25 and 6:53-9:40 AT LAST manage to break through with a best of 50.89395 at 348 up after SEVEN wins.

MONDAY, 11/30/09: Note three dreams. Rita calls about Dad's hundredth birthday, and I look through my datebooks to find the ONLY indication of 11/29 in 1959 datebook. Rita suggests I try Google, and putting in "Zolnerzak" comes up with Social Security death listings for Michael, Dad (at 11/29 birth), and Mom. Tell Rita. Go through the penultimate session with Marj, having worked right up to 11AM to get to her. Decide to avoid the gym today. Spartacus calls, and we meet for the Titanic (impressive with the staircase and "iceberg" and ocean-bottom items) and the da Vinci exhibits (rather too much, too crowded, and a lot of deja vu about it) before leaving for the GOD-AWFUL "Love Child," truly abysmal---I just wanted to LEAVE the two inepts playing 7-8 people by speaking too fast. Finish reading Bret: Clark Gable, having spent lots of the last two or three days getting through it. Bed very late these last few days, too.

TUESDAY, 12/1/09: Purposely DON'T change the calendar sheet to get me to catch up with this. DID the last session with Marj, but didn't mail the check until Thursday. Note two dreams. Gym after four days. Watch a poor "Tristram Shandy" with an unknown British comic, and a not-THAT-bad "Mamma Mia!" with a surprise gay partner for one of the possible "fathers." Just can't seem to DO what I want to DO! Keep kicking myself with what I SHOULD be doing, but spend hours watching the Solitaire cascade, finding on Thursday that a right-click of the mouse STARTS the cascade. Also lots of Taipei until boredom sets in. WHY am I delaying so much to even START getting to putting more onto the website?

WEDNESDAY, 12/2/09: Note three dreams. Spider 7:45-NOON, ugh, to 50.89583 best at 349 up after 4 wins, then RAVENOUS to breakfast. Finish "Population Zero," maybe a new one and maybe not, and "Meet the Spartans," really finding it funnier than I should. Watching TV at 2PM when Spartacus calls with an Audience Extras for "The 39 Steps." I waffle about cancelling Sharon, but finally decide to do so. Hang up the phone from Spartacus and it rings immediately. Thinking he's forgotten to say something, I answer, "Yeah?" And it's SHARON, CANCELLING! Great and wonderful coincidence. "The 39 Steps" is, thankfully, MUCH better than "Love Child," though the multi-character pattern is much the same.

THURSDAY, 12/3/09: Dream noted. Up feeling horny and jerk off in bed, without bidis, but with the vibrator. Just as well. Early breakfast so I'm hungry for Carolyn's when I get there at 12:15, and Woody (still sexy!) has fixed a wonderful chili. Charles arrives with caramels. Juliana, less than 2, is really charming with her sure-footed steady stare. Little Tris is bigger than I remember, without the charm of Woody. Carolyn, sadly, is a bit out of it, showing signs of stroke in her speech, movements, and demeanor. I have three cups of chili, lots of cheese and nuts and caramels, and four or five glasses of wine before my good Pommery champagne and someone else's awful Spanish "champagne." Shop at Key Food and get back to feel full and SLEEPY, but I can't really go to bed at 6PM! Decide to get to Spider 6:30-8:40 (waking me up), and FINALLY break the 50.9 mark with 50.90041 at 351 up after 4 wins. Read some, watch Solitaire cascades, finding a right-click saves individually putting up each card, and end with Taipei until fatigued enough for bed about 11:30PM.

FRIDAY, 12/4/09: Three dreams noted, including a close-to-nightmare episode not being able to remember lines for a play. Had ordered meals last night, did an early breakfast, wrote checks for insurance and Thirteen, phoning Marj to check that she hadn't cashed my 11/8 check yet, and tried getting a better version of Outlook Express without any success. Lunch early, after HH meals come, and get to the gym by 3:30, back by 5PM, read the mail, and get out to Sharon to have to BANG on the door for someone to let me in despite the new doorman's inactivity. Everyone's enthused about the Art Show downstairs at 7PM. I type Sharon's good session at 6:35PM.

SHARON B. 118 12/4/09

Have to shout through the door to get someone to open it at 5:20PM with a new doorman, "For whom you should give a little leeway," the cute Chinese fellow who did open the door for my suggested. She seems to have had no one before me, and smiles when I present her with the typed dreams from last week. I explain the frustration of not being able to remember my lines, from this morning, but nothing more comes to mind. I connect the tiger's stare with Juliana's stare at the party yesterday. Apologize for my "Yeah?" when she called to cancel Wednesday's session, but she hadn't really taken it in, but thanked me for my consideration. At the end she said she knew I had the sessions in the right priority, so she wasn't worried about my occasional cancellation. Brought up again the "delayed gratification" possibility for not DOING something when I had the time to do it, but ended up frittering my time away on computer games. She kept me looking for a REASON for not starting a large project, like reordering my souvenir shelves into boxes and onto the shelves, and on pressing I said maybe it was because I was still, unreasonably, hoping for some WORK to come through the EFA job-phone line, and she seemed VERY pleased that I could come up with a LOGICAL reason for not wanting to start something. She suggested that I could ALWAYS ask myself, calmly, "Why wouldn't I want to start on that," when I knew that IF I started I'd enjoy it, and I could quit kicking myself for NOT starting it. We summarized recent losses: Sherryl's death, Carolyn's problems, Charles's preoccupation with the aging Bill, Mildred's depression and not phoning back, the two Prime Timers' guys not responding, and my wanting more to SHARE things with people but getting few takers aside from Spartacus, who DID manage to APOLOGIZE for hanging up on me this morning. So maybe now I WILL be able to start something.

Continuation of FRIDAY, 12/4/09: Finish at 6:45PM, setting up the format for this new NOTEBOOK J.

WEDNESDAY, 12/9/09: 8:40AM: Another weekend of doing nothing much. Did manage to finish McCourt's "Now Voyagers," which was quite disappointing, both as regards content---nothing about her SINGING, mostly old faggots talking in Latin and Greek and Spanish and German in Everard Baths in '56---and as regards PROOFREADING: LONG list of errors, starting with page 43, putting Pier 44 at 42nd Street. Everard for days between pages 122-180, and lots toward the end of the 520-page book. Some typos: p.240: li;a for lila; p.266: Wittgetstein; p.268: lowewrmizzen; p.290: he we all are for HERE we all are; p.311: Gounoud twice for Gounod; p.319: of with Fitz for OR with Fitz; p.320: "take almost any number over ten, reverse the digits, subtract the smaller number from the larger and the answer would be a multiple of nine;" p.347: but no, more of this; p.385: named body of Christ for naKed; 388: begam for began; MANY between; p.489: relpying; p.495: nor enuf for now enuf; p.507: "the voice grew; it's side fell off." Books due on Monday, and I've not yet started on the Houellebacq. Managed to get Rita's birthday-Christmas envelope out on Tuesday, and Spartacus found that "Love's Labor's Lost" was again on Audience Extras for tonight, so we're going. Printed out two overseas Christmas letters which I haven't sent yet, having to denude the printer to get out Rita's page, and typing this now, at 9:10AM, waiting for the refrigerator guy to come, who called at 9AM saying he was on his way, to print a page so I don't have to watch the printer mess up the page starting with no pages already printed. Watched the movies THIS weekend, like last weekend, that piled up for constant watching. Went to the Tuesday Evening Club for seven African countries (Ghana, Niger, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Sao Tome, Ivory Coast, another) and took down the names of the two companies that provided the two three-week trips for a single at about $10,000 not counting airfare, which she said was expensive, but is right up there with the two trips I'm considering already for 2010. Managed to put more tape around the air conditioner so my feet don't get QUITE so cold as before. Refilled my simvastatin and got a call already yesterday from CVS to pick it up, which I'll do on the way to Sharon this evening. Leaving Prime Timers on the e-mail list while I decide about signing up for the 12/21 party, leaving Olympus for questions, leaving Carol Tanenbaum for her Thursday show, leaving Amazon for the delivery of the 2010 datebook, and leaving Eliot on STILL hoping for a possible indexing job from the EFA ad over a month ago. While Mildred was checking the size of her "spare" refrigerator in the basement I checked that the next New York Restaurant Week is January 25-February 7, 2010, with River Cafe, Fonda Del Sol, and Ruth's Chris as possibilities, and Mildred said she might even feel up for some of them, though she's still VERY down with her eighty years. She actually phoned Carolyn, also, and intended to see her at St. Vincent's the day she was released. Tried "fixya" for my refrigerator, but couldn't even answer the first question: is the noise from the freezer or from the compressor, though everyone figures it's the compressor and that means it's dead. I opened both door at 8:42AM and it actually took until 8:57 to turn on, "burring" for 15-20 seconds and lowering in volume in about 50 seconds to its usual loud operating speed. Mildred's is much shorter than mine, and maybe NOT frost-free, but if the company will pick it up for a decent price it'll certainly be cheaper than buying a new one. Found oven and refrigerator specs in the tray on the top of the fridge which I haven't moved since I moved in. Spider is just in a terrible state, but I keep doing it every day, knowing that eventually it'll get back to a "highest" state, no matter how long it takes. AND DiMatteo has already sent my dental appointment "reminder."

SHARON B. 119 12/9/09

I repeated that I'd come in without rehearsing anything, and she said that this was the best way to proceed now: "You've dealt with all the surface items, so now we can look for deeper sources, which will mainly come from dreams and your associations with them here with me." I'd rather listlessly gone through my report, saying that even though I was spending lots of time with Spider and Taipei, I was feeling OK about it: I'd done everything I'd HAD to do, and was now enjoying reading library books, looking at television when I was eating, still regretting that I didn't have more external contacts, but I'd talked to everyone, and even Spartacus had apologized for getting angry with me when I didn't want to re-discuss why I didn't like going to a play-source he'd praised, and even Mildred had seemed better, thinking maybe to make some arrangements for Restaurant Week at the end of January. Sharon said she'd looked through my printed list of dreams from before, and particularly remarked on the "missing scripts," which she took to be my concern about not "playing by the rules" now, and making them up as I went along. Toward the end she asked me how I'd KNOWN what I had to do around the house, and not rock the boat with Mom, and I said that it must have happened, but I didn't remember how it had. Shelley later added that many of these influences were PREVERBAL, and I wouldn't HAVE any words to attach to them, but then I responded that Sharon kept asking how I FELT at various things, so it would be a FEELING, rather than a rational or verbal response. Sharon again emphasized the good of coming in with NO planned idea of what was going to happen: just be open to what came up in the session. Don't rehearse, just FEEL. Unfortunately I forgot to mention that the meeting next week would have to be postponed, since I'll be showing slides and people will be staying around for a late lunch or early dinner.

MONDAY, 12/14/09: 1:25PM: Again spent ENDLESS time over the weekend on Taipei and Spider, PARTICULARLY Sunday, when I practically spent the whole DAY trying to get that last win which bring me to the highest score---but as I result I kept losing FIVE, and then SEVEN, and then, at the worst, TEN consecutive games, and my score plummeted. I tried to be philosophical about it, but my ass started getting sore from sitting for the constant games, and I had to FORCE an intermission to have lunch about 5PM, after dark, and then dinner about 10PM, when the game was at its worst. Managed to get---1:55PM: and then the phone rang and it was P.C.Richard saying that the refrigerator would be delivered TOMORROW! And just a few minutes later Marj called to check in and I had to fill her in on the whole thing. Then took all but three bottles of water out of the fridge so that they'd warm up so I could put them in bags and put them into the disposal room here on 20. Figured I could pack all the things that SHOULD be kept cold and cart them out to the balcony when they actually arrive---it's supposed to be as warm at fifty tomorrow, but it'll only be a few minutes out of a refrigerator itself. Lots of bottles and jars I can just put on the stove until it's installed. HOW GREAT! Made a list of things that I HAD to do today, before Scrabble at EFA at 6PM: 1) Sharon: Can't be Wednesday because of slides, 2) DiMatteo: Appointment, 3) Chin: blood work before physical that's been set for 1PM December 28, 4) Xmas cards!, and 5) HH beef carbonade now good again, and I FOUND my "missing" snack from last week. Then checked the 6) e-mail, getting 35 pieces, including a smallish bill from Tris, and two jokes from Susie. Then remember to take the word-formation puzzle from the Sunday Times Magazine to save for next Saturday, and finish this page about 2PM, needing to print it out so that I can take THIS year's Christmas-card list out of the printer without having to start a new page from scratch. Of course, I had to try printing a few times before I remembered that I had to plug it IN first. And Tris has mainly caught up with the things I'd sent him recently, so I'm good to get BACK to the website. Ended Spider by just STOPPING at 10:05PM at a ghastly 335 up.

TUESDAY, 12/15/09: Refrigerator installed at 9:45AM. Dale was hit by a bicycle and had to cancel tonight's dinner. Saw Sharon at 5:30, making up for tomorrow's cancellation because of the slide show. Spider 11:30-12, 2:15-3:50, and 9:35-10:30, still losing hideously.

SHARON B. 120 12/15/09

She sends her previous client to the john and asks me in. I say that I'm physically exhausted from moving the stuff out of the old refrigerator, cleaning up the floor, scrubbing the room, putting stuff back, and rather assuming that I'll remember how to show the digital Egypt show tomorrow. [Not to mention that I've got to go to the gym, too.] I say how nice it was that the refrigerator was replaced now, rather than after the end of the year. Then I read my dream-notes from this morning: the first was just like watching a movie, but the second obviously reflected my feeling of having to juggle a lot of balls in my life at the present time. Had to assure her that the "Swan Lake" music that I was hearing was very DRAMATIC, not just blithely romantic. Then told about watching "Baxter," which she didn't know, and how early memories would be pre-verbal, per Shelley, but Sharon laughed and agreed when I said that she was always after the FEELINGS, not the words. I then repeated the "story" of falling down the stairs and "losing an eye," and then, maybe for the first time, told how much I enjoyed making up "topics" to entertain the little kids in my class, ending once being stopped by the teacher when, as in Poe's "The Black Cat," "I took my penknife and cut out its EYE!" And was ASTOUNDED that I'd never made THAT connection of the two early memories, and again Sharon insisted it didn't matter if it HAPPENED or not, it was the feelings associated with the (true or false) memory that were important. Back to "wondering what the papers talked about when there wasn't a war on," and my mother's rushing to my room with a butcher knife telling my father to PUSH IT. I AGAIN was just an audience: I couldn't POSSIBLY say anything or do anything to change anything, I was just a helpless observer. Recalled again my "breakdown" in an early grade: tearing up my papers, crying, being taken out into the hall and comforted by the nun from the grade. Sharon asked if my mother DID comfort me, and I said that she did, I never felt endangered by her, nor did my father ever touch me in anger or correction. Mentioned the "probably false" memory of "the underside of the staircase at the Library of Congress" when I was three years old, and telling my friends that I could tell them how glass was made, why the sky was blue, and anything else they wanted to know. With them I could be superior in knowledge, which I had to hide later in school because I would be ostrasized by the group for being too smart or too different. Though I never thought I was "a lost prince" or "from different parents." I was clearly in the situation in which I was in, though I knew I wouldn't stay with my family, or stay in Akron, or ever get married. But I had to make sure Mom wouldn't hold onto Rita, preventing her from marrying in order to take care of her "helpless" mother. And I mentioned that I'd NEVER known Rita to be angry at ALL. AND I'd eventually come to terms with MY anger (at loud audiences, or lines at the bank), realizing that there were more effective ways of handling unpleasantries. Sharon, at the end, greatly praised the session, saying many of the items were new to her, and she was getting a much better picture of who I had been. And she made sure I felt OK about talking about these things from the past; and not to worry about repeating them, because each time I might be viewing them from a different point of view. She had a lunch engagement tomorrow, but I said that Petra, the best part of it, would be toward the end. And that I had to make sure I remembered how to operate the digital system. Finish typing this before looking at the mail and having dinner at 6:40PM.

WEDNESDAY, 12/16/09: Played Spider 9-10AM to 331 up just to delay checking the slide system. I go to the gym at 10:15, leaving keys at the desk in case Susie arrives before I return. I get back at 11:45, before Susie shows up at noon with cookies for all of us (including Carolyn, whose cooking I eat: so THERE!) and a liter and a half of blackberry brandy! Get to the second floor thankfully early, since there was a Christmas tree set up against the slide-showing wall! Thank goodness Christina was there and reluctantly accepted my "suggestion" that it be moved. Susie set up all the chairs, and though the fly videos went on too long, everyone seemed to enjoy the Egypt/Petra show. Back to my place (which I'd actually cleaned up for and vacuumed) for snacks. John and Susie didn't want Iron Chef, so I phoned and found that Amin opened at 5PM. We chatted and got nicely drunk. Ended up at Amin with John, Susie, and Charles.

THURSDAY, 12/17/09: Spider 9:35-11AM, so depressing I don't even record scores. Arrange to meet Spartacus tomorrow to see the first IMAX showing of "Avatar."

FRIDAY, 12/18/09: Ordered HH food on the computer in the morning and met Spartacus at 10:30 at the subway to go in for "Avatar" at 11:30 for "only" $12. Though the scenery was impressive, I really resented the LACK of sexual attraction of the animated bodies. We ended up having lunch at Dallas BBQ. Played Spider 4-5:05 to 330 up, disgusted. Really not looking forward to Paul's visit, getting out the bedding for his sofa, hoping he won't mind.

SATURDAY, 12/19/09: Went to the gym so I'd be clean for MAN. Left the keys for Paul when I left for MAN. It started snowing, but still a lot of guys were there, not many attractive at all. I had my share of the mediocre food and left just before 6PM. Paul let himself in, produced two bottles of Laurent-Perrier and two rather awful ties. He wasn't hungry, but he described the reception, which made me curious, so we went to O'Flaherty's Bar and Grill about 8:30PM in the snow, found that "open bar" meant that the drinks were free, so we had beers and started chatting with a lovely couple from the south of England. Then Paul ordered another beer, so I ordered a gin and tonic and we had some buffet food: pretty good chicken wings and mediocre Shepherd's Pie. Then out in the snow to find that "A Simple Man," which Charles had practically ORDERED we see in a theater, wasn't playing in either of the 42nd Street multiplexes, so we just came home, when Paul went right to bed and I played Spider from 9:40-11:46AM, having gotten earlier to 341 up after TWELVE wins.

SUNDAY, 12/20/09: I slept in and got up and retrieved the Times to find Paul up already. He left to go wherever he wanted, and I went to the Games Group, where four of us exhausted even MY patience with Boggle, Quiddler, and [had to call Piri because I COULDN'T think of the name] Scattergories. Spartacus lent me his "Inglourious Basterds" Netflix yesterday and Paul and I watched it tonight after dining very well at Le Petit Marché. Paul went to bed and I Spidered from 11:55-12:25 to 342 up.

MONDAY, 12/21/09: Paul leaves in the morning. I settle for TV, watching the Met's "Tosca," rather dreary, and a lovely "Tim" of---forget his name [Mel Gibson, of course]. Play Spider 11:55-3:25 to 345 up after 6 wins. Then have lunch, which is a mistake since it's too close to the dinner at Leo's. Just CAN'T find his address, so I phone about 7:15 and get there just after 8PM, thankfully not the last to arrive. Old fat farts and sucking and stroking and cuming all over the place, and I just can't get interested in anything. A new, youngish, undefined, quiet, maybe-Oriental sits next to me, but I'd not interested in him, either, and he makes no move toward me, though others move in for him and he leaves fairly quickly. Sit next to George at the table for the good chicken and mashed potatoes and Pepsi, and then leave fairly quickly, deciding that I really don't want to renew my membership in Prime-Timers: it's just not giving me the kind of people I'd even WANT to consider.

TUESDAY, 12/22/09: Indulge in Spider 10:55-2:05, getting to 350 up after TEN wins. Check e-mail, depressed by the number of repeats by those I'm not interested in, and decide to start UNSUBSCRIBING to many of them, starting a list today: 1), 2) TKTS, 3) (could take ten days!), 4) Blockbuster (10 days!), 5) Valpak, 6) E-rewards: CANCEL if addresses aren't clickable. On 12/23 I add 7) Jet Blue. On 12/29 8) Lincoln Center (which said it takes 24 hours). On 12/30 9) Bradford Exchange and 10) Chase. On 12/31 11) St. Ann's and 12) Scientific American. On 1/11/10 13) Icelandair, which might not have succeeded, and 14) Showtime. On 1/13 15) Continental Airlines. On 1/14 16) iUniverse. Watch the end of "A.I." Back to Spider 4-5:10, and then buy green beans, Brussel sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, and asparagus, and a bottle of my wine, for Carolyn's dumplings with her and Charles and me. Get there just after 6PM, though I'd planned to get there earlier, walking toward her place at 5:25 when I remembered that I'd forgotten her 2009 letter! Walked back home to get it, and thus started for her place again at 5:35. She said Woody might show up later, but he didn't. Charles was supposed to have brought cheese, but he didn't, so she put her crackers away and put out bowls for his nuts and saved his chocolates to give to someone else. The dumplings were OK, the conversation was pleasant, and Charles and I walked back to Clark Street together. I'm back to Spider 10:20-1:05 (playing 7:05 today!) to end at 353 up after 6 wins.

WEDNESDAY, 12/23/09: Start day with Spider 9:30-10:55 to 50.89537 to 356 up, a new best, after 5 wins, but still not the highest score. Watch "I'm Not There," the Bob-Dylan-less Bob Dylan film, play Spider 1:10-2:20 to 358 up, another best without highest score, go to the gym, get to Sharon at 4:45, return to Spider from 6:05-7:05, when I have to leave to see "Tales of Hoffman" at the Met with Charles. The settings are kind of tacky; I really like Niklaus starting as a barefoot woman who proclaims herself to be his muse; the Hoffman is sturdy throughout, and the substitute Olympia brings down the house with what the web later says are high Gs and a high A-flat, which may be the highest note ever sung at the Met. But I agreed with George that the scissoring legs of the ladies in pasties were NOT in keeping with the dignity of the Met. It's over about 11:40PM and the subway back is all local, and then I put in another hour of Spider, ending up at 361 up after 7 wins, and get to bed at 3AM!

SHARON B. 121 12/23/09

[Typed 12/31/09: I REALLY thought I'd done it before!] Apologized again about not having brought in any dreams, complained about Paul's having been here for two days but complimented his acceptance of staying at my place only four nights and sleeping in the living room. We did have a good dinner at Le Petit Marché, and he did bring two good bottles of champagne as well as two lousy ties. I got deeper into early life, which she loves, and I honestly don't remember some of the insights I might have gained, being now eight days ago.

THURSDAY, 12/24/09: Paul arrives and goes out for the day. I play my Spider for the day from 12:40-1:40 and get to a highest score at last with 50.91438 at 364 up after 4 wins. I watch "La Boheme" from the Met with Nebtrenko in a film. Ken and Paul and I have Christmas Eve dinner at A Voce, really quite good. Even though it's early, I guess we both get to bed about the same time, around 11PM.

FRIDAY, 12/25/09: Having phoned the Metropolitan and Natural History Museums to find them closed today, I offer Paul a choice of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Coney Island, and Woodlawn Cemetery. We choose the latter and I may have caught a cold. The ride up to 12:15 is above ground, with lots of new housing in the south Bronx. Stop in a local pizzeria for me to order a ham and egg on a roll, with a Snapple, and Paul gets a slice of vegetal pizza which he really likes. No maps are available in the closed front house, so we follow the central road to the opposite end, taking about an hour in the cold, and get a map and walk back along the central lake and the five notable trees. Feel unaccountably tired in the subway, even MORE tired than after the walk, which makes me think I may have had a cold even then. Watch "He's Just Not That Into You." I actually don't remember [typing this on 1/11/10, but then being reminded when I read what I'd actually typed the next morning] what we did for dinner.

SATURDAY, 12/26/09: 8:35AM: Horrible night with sneezes, nose dripping, and coughing, alleviated with Fisherman's Friends, but still weary after over eight and a half hours in bed. Wanted to record that, when we looked for a place to eat dinner last night when I reluctantly suggested Teresa's, but wishing we'd go somewhere else, we found that Teresa's, Heights Cafe, Grand Canyon, Taze, Five Guys, La Traviata, and other places were closed, and Amin had only a solo couple in the other two-seat window table. We had large Kingfishers, the shared hot appetizers, and I managed to eat lots of my Chicken Tikka Marsala, while he polished off his Tandoori Special and came home to have some of Susan's Blackberry Brandy with ice cream and hot fudge, while I played Taipei until 10:35PM and then had raspberry tea with lots of Cointreau and two aspirin, three grams of vitamin C after I managed to shit out much of the five grams I'd taken earlier, and a melitonin when I didn't find a night-cold pill to take. Then agitated about how to stop the $79 bills from the rip-off tooth-brightening scam; to check HH meals to make sure they didn't schedule me a default menu for delivery on Monday, 12/28, when I could only order for Thursday, 12/31 delivery; and had to tell Tris that the other four italic-less travel files had to be re-entered for italicization. Streets outside are wet at 39 with no visible rain, and the snow lasts only in margins where the street and sidewalks meet, and in Cadman Plaza Park. Then Paul asks if I need the bathroom at 8:43AM, and I can go scan the Times that I brought in before I started typing this---but I guess I should get to the two dreams first. He goes out and leaves me copies of gay magazines he picked up somewhere. He returns about 2PM and we have lunch at Clark's Corner, and then his car calls at 3:30 and he leaves, thank God. I read the book Ken pushed on me: Lansky: "There's No Toilet Paper on the Road Less Traveled." Also finish Hoeg: "The Quiet Girl." Maybe fill in the rest of the time with Taipei, which I haven't started keeping track of---yet. Still suffer from the cold.

SUNDAY, 12/27/09: Still have the goddam cold. Watch "Burn After Reading," wonderfully wacky with George Clooney blowing a nerdy Brad Pitt away, and "Funny Games," which is anything but funny: totally ugly! Went to the gym ONLY to take a shower, since I was pretty sweaty with my cold. Took the Chinese laundry in a bag, suspecting, as was the case, that they were closed on Sunday, when I picked up milk and apple juice and bread from Key Food. Worked the two Times puzzles sometime this weekend also. Probably also indulged in Taipei and even Solitaire, not feeling like doing ANYTHING.

MONDAY, 12/28/09: Watch "Broadway Bill," go to the physical with Chin (see Medical page), and suffer with my cold. Kept thinking I should start transcribing the 2009 Calendar into the 2009 Lifelist, but just simply never started doing it. Settled for Taipei, sometimes doing a whole series of seven, winning every one, but getting tired of sitting after a bit. [Stop filling in here 1:10PM 1/11/10. Only resumed "filling in" at 3:15PM 1/14/10.]

TUESDAY, 12/29/09: My right eye exudes gum from the cold. Don't manifest the cold during lunch at Ruth's Chris with Mildred, which is quite good. Maitresse d' wanted to sit me in the little front room we both hated so much the last time, so I asked to be seated elsewhere. We were thus first in a snug back room until the very end, when a group of three mothers and four or five squalling kids were placed right beside us. UGH. Leave in the windy snow. Decide not to go to the EFA party. Watch Kennedy Center Honors 2009, boring as I thought it would be.

WEDNESDAY, 12/30/09: Skim "The Left Hand of God" with Humphrey Bogart as an ersatz priest in China, and then see Sharon at 4:45. Bed 8:12PM!

SHARON B. 122 12/30/09

Moaned about having a cold, which released me from HAVING to do anything, and it brought up the whole IDEA of being obsessive-compulsive: if I felt OK doing nothing when I had a cold, why couldn't I feel OK when I didn't do anything when I DIDN'T have a cold? She didn't quite follow that, and maybe I didn't either, since I seemed most of the session to be scrambling around to say something illuminating, but most of the time just repeated what I'd said before. When back to visiting my father after my LSD session, but not telling him that I was gay, and then being surprised by finding female AND male nudes in his hidden cache in his bedroom after his death, saying that there may be something to the idea that gayness is partly genetic. Criticized my saying, last week, that I hardly ever had colds unless I was on a trip, because I since found that it was only in JULY that I'd gone to the gym during the three weeks' duration of a long-lasting cold that I thought may have even been the flu, and then I caught a cold NOW. Punished because I was always being WATCHED. "When did that start?" she asked, and I said certainly in Catholic school: God was ALWAYS watching, knew everything I did and thought, and was ready to punish me for the slightest infraction, even if I didn't know it was an infraction. She said that was certainly a horrible way to start. I mentioned all my forgetting: the waiter calling Robert! outside Ruth's Chris to return my credit card; not taking the restaurant list to Mildred, or Ken's Christmas letter to the Christmas Eve dinner. But was gratified to hear that BRONCHITIS is a legitimate target for an antibiotic: she said her doctor prescribed it and it worked, so now I don't think Chin was silly to prescribe something that EXPLICITLY said "Not to be used for common colds or flu." Session went on and on, and I talked on and on, and now I'm typing on and on, and I just want now to stop.

THURSDAY, 12/31/09: Up at 5:15AM! Watch "Beat the Devil," still incomprehensible, and get to the gym at 1:50PM to be sure to get my shower before they close at 3PM this afternoon. Try Spider from 1:05-1:40 and 3:30-3:50, finally getting to the highest score of 50.91913 at 366 up after 4 wins. Get to A Voce for an early New Year's Eve dinner with Ken, and a strange couple to my right: a sleazy woman in a silver sheath-miniskirt and a muscular guy with a frozen face in almost a priest's collar. Open the balcony door at midnight, but there are no local fireworks.