It has been good to get a week more-or-less to myself. It's important to me to write up my travels, and I've been doing a lot of writing this week, trying to finish – at long last – the travel journal from Europe this summer, which I failed to do in August between fatigue, surgery, and needing to plan for school. I've had a number of long phone conversations this week: Erik and I talked for a few hours Wednesday night after he got back to Boston from a 24-hour trip down to Pensacola to take his leave of Hugh as he continues to move toward death. In fact, I really thought he'd be dead by this weekend from what Erik said, but he is still apparently holding on. Mark Lang took three hours on Tuesday, with lots of catching up to do, and I think I similarly talked for a good hour-and-a-half each to Mike McGlinn and then the other night to J.P. Hurt. All of these were good catch-up sessions, without the kind of painful component that my current talk with Erik obviously has as we contemplate saying good-bye to a good friend, a particularly close one for Erik. I did go over to Dan and Amy's Thursday to replace our usual Battlestar night with a Grey's night, which Dan has yet to admit that he enjoys as much as Amy and I do. Other than that, I've also enjoyed sitting for long stretches of hours in a very lightly-attended Starbuck's around the corner, continuing to enjoy all the many pages of Kristin Lavransdatter, and having occasional conversations with fellow theologian Bogdan Bucur of Romania, and his wife Christina, a philosopher studying the ancient Greek philosophical heritage. Today I had to dive back into the work of the semester, typing up the new version of the syllabus, arranging some clerical tasks with the College of Arts and Sciences, but the week down was just the thing.