June 11th, 2020

Ellen Ripley 2

"What a world."

So...the past thirty or so hours have been sorta surreal, but at least it was sunny today. It was sunnier yesterday. Well, no. It was just a lot hotter yesterday, which feels sunnier if you're me. Today's high was only 83˚F, with the heat index. It's now 68˚F.

Because, turns out – and for several reasons – no one will be allowed to work in the McWane Center laboratory for the foreseeable future (we're talking months more, possibly not until 2021), I've converted part of the apartment into a makeshift vertebrate fossil preparation lab. Today, Jun Ebersole showed up with one on the Winifred jackets, the small one that Kathryn and I removed from the main field jacket back on February 5th, the one that contains most of the posterior portion of the lower jaws and some of the upper temporal arch (not that lizards have a lower temporal arch). He also brought me my fluorescent magnifying light, my tool box and various other of my prep tools, a supply of Butvar B-76 crystals (Butvar is a thermoplastic, polyvinyl butyral resin and my favorite goop for making fossil bones stronger), and even the old RMM Gravermeister air scribe. I gotta make a quick trip to the hardware store tomorrow for a few other supplies, and I might need to order a few items from Fisher, but then I'll be back in business with Winifred until we are at last delivered from this plague and these tribulations end and I am allowed to return to the empirical, objective sanctity of the lab. I am immensely grateful. I can do science again! Yes, I love working on the turtle papers with Drew, but that can't compare to the kind of paleontology that gets your hands dirty and fills your lungs with dust and unspeakable chemicals. Thank you, Jun. Oh, there's a photo below to prove that we actually had a real, human visitor.

Yeah, we wore our masks. Plague chic.

And when I'm done with this jacket, Drew's gonna bring me another. So, basically, I got my writing, and I got my science, and I got Spooky and Selwyn and Lydia, and Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, and I can live on canned food and Gatorade pretty much forever, so what the fuck do I care if the world's coming apart at the seams? I got work to do. A lot of it. I got all I need.

Tonight Kathryn and I began watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for the fifth or sixth time, because it helps to remember when the world was sane. And the comedy don't hurt none, either.

Onward, Winifred!
Aunt Beast

2:34 p.m.