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.


Settling in at Duke

I went back to the workout place and signed up for two sessions per week with a personal trainer. I’m going to be able to … take my cats by the time I get back. And anyone under 8 years old. So, watch out cats and toddlers.

Meanwhile, inside Duke Chapel, I tried to get a picture of the organ, which is astounding, but it came out too dark. Do you think there are people in these: