I just wanted to share my good news. After a month, I finally got past the lamps. I thought maybe it was a mouse issue so I purchased a gamepad. Unfortunately, though I learned playing with a gamepad is better than a mouse, it didn't fix the problem. And neither did the new patch.
Finally, I just stripped the game down to its bare essentials this afternoon and turned off anti-aliasing, shadow, and flares. I don't know exactly which did the trick but I'm finally to the next dream!
Thank you for all suggestions and trying to help.