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:


In the Rhine Center Attic

They let me go up into the attic at the Rhine Research Center today. There was a lot of old testing equipment that few people alive can identify. I think they should set it all up for display in one of the rooms at the center.


I scanned tons of great pictures today. It was a good day. Barbara, who works at the Center, took me to lunch and grocery shopping at Whole Foods — that was a tremendous kindness. I don’t have a car and I was able to stock up on decent food. Plus, I got a delivery of the special catfood.

Then, I worked out for a while, so soon, I will reward myself and curl up and watch the Golden Globes!

Finney in the Window!

My little Finney waits for me in the window.


Today I went to see Glory Road. The Times review got it right. It’s about as formulaic as they come, but was I completely entertained? Yes. I love this forumula. But it made me want to come home. I don’t know why. It’s set in Texas.

Thank You John Maclay and Mendelssohn

John Maclay, the director of the Grace Church Choral Society, agreed to let me sing in our Spring performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah, even though I’m here in Durham and will miss most of the rehearsals. Yay! I love this piece. I brought my score with me and I’m working on the same choruses and in the same order that my choir is working on them in New York.

John is making this easier by sending us all the pieces with the dynamics he wants and other markings, before each rehearsal. Isn’t sheet music beautiful?


Working Out

Durham is not a walking city, and I’m used to walking a couple of miles each day. It’s my only exercise. I didn’t want to sit for three months so I went to this fitness place right near my hotel. Turns out I can go every day for free, it’s a deal they made with my hotel. Fabulous!

I also got one free session with a personal trainer, who asked all these questions and took all these measurements and determined I’m in “poor” shape. WHAT?? I completely expected to be pronounced in “great” shape. I sat back, waiting for the praise. “My, you must take such good care of yourself!” I mean my weight is right where it should be, I’m a vegetarian, I rarely get sick, I walk miles every day and because I live in a fifth floor walkup I go up and down stairs all day. Hello?

My friend Chris called my while I was on the treadmill and I was so freaked out about my pronouncement I had to call her back to discuss it. She’s started working out, too.

I’m here for three months and I need something to do every day besides research, so what the hell? I’m going to do what this guy says for three months. If I like the results I’ll continue when I get home. If I don’t, no harm done. I go back to “poor” shape. Poor?? POOR?? Seriously?? (That makes me think of Grey’s Anatomy now. Great show.)