Getting into Durham

Detective Steve Kaplan leaves a message on my machine telling me I should go to a Duke basketball game while I’m here. STEVE. Tickets, if you can get them, which you can’t, go up to $2600!! But you can get tickets to the women’s basketball team and they are #1 in the nation, I’m told. I watched maybe five minutes of one of their games on TV and I was hooked. I couldn’t believe how exciting it was. The very next day I bought a ticket to a game.


The basketball fans are insane here, it’s true. First, they jump up and down the entire game making this weird noise. They stand on all the highway on and off ramps holding up signs for tickets. The students, even though their parents are paying God knows how much to house them here, live in tents by the stadium for months, and I mean months, in the winter mind you, waiting for the chance to buy tickets.

I love them. They make watching the game a thousands times more fun.

Interviewing BettyMac

I’ve been scanning thousands of letters for the past month, mostly letters about experiments, and while interesting, they’re often dense and dry. Then I started seeing letters from BettyMac. They were about experiments too, but they were also about the people in the lab, what they were up to, who had a date that night, etc. They were gossipy and fun. I decided I liked BettyMac. Thanks to her I’ll be able to humanize these scientists when I write about them. Then I learned that BettyMac is still around. She’s in her 80’s and lives a half an hour away.

Today I interview BettyMac. This is her when she worked at the lab. (She looks about 14, right?)



Cats: Getting more and more acclimated and are reverting to their Satan ways. For instance, Finney likes to push over my water glass at night making the carpet my feet first touch in the morning permanently wet.

Gym: I’m enjoying working out! Who would have thought. Now I can’t wait to get strong. My trainer killed me last night though.

Music: Anyone who walks by can hear me working on Elijah. I have to force myself to not think about that. But I’m sure everyone here thinks there’s an insane religious person staying in my room. Over and over, “Yet doth the Lord see it not, He mocketh at us,” and so on. You can just imagine.

Research: It’s slower than I would like. I’ve only gone through 80 boxes, and getting out of here at the end of February is not looking likely. But I’m finding good stuff. I gave a presentation at the Rhine Research Center yesterday, and it went well. An astrologer there told me I was going to meet someone in the next two months. Then she and a guy who works there (or volunteers there, I’m not sure) took me out to lunch and it was invigorating. They lead very different lives than I do, and it’s very enlivening, I think, to spend time with people who are different.

TV: Two shows that I had dismissed got really good: Bones and The Supernatural. I love the main actress in Bones, Emily Deschanel, and the rapport between her and Boreanaz. And The Supernatural got scary!

Outside Special Collections

This is where I sit if I get to the library early. It’s a lovely, serene, little spot and they’ve got wireless everywhere, so I can go online. This is the world we live in. Pretty good. This part, anyway. Other good parts: my wack-job friends, movies, music, animals, singing (especially hitting the high notes), playing instruments, swimming (in my distant memory), research, working fireplaces, page turners, good photography shows, the smell of oil paint, TV, fresh flowers on my desk, verbena cologne, volunteering, cold weather and bundling up, spring and holiday cleaning, tide pools, New York and pretty much everything in it, mineola oranges, I could go on and on for a long time, really, etc. But that was fun to just stream-of-consciousness it for a minute.

Tomorrow, part two: the bad parts.


For My Friends Back Home …

… who have never seen anything like a Super Target. The thing is, this photograph doesn’t convey it. The distance in the distance has been compressed. I swear. It’s at least a city block long, but I think it’s longer. I’ve seen city-block long stores before and this is longer.

Today at this Super Target I bought water, frozen pizza, frozen spinach sandwich pockets, and two oranges. I considered looking for a necklace like the necklace I saw on my Bittorrented “The Bachelor” last night, but my Burger King veggie burger and fries were getting cold.