aley had to go and keep up with Grace, and so yesterday she bought (also apparently out of her own savings, which blows my mind) an iPod Touch. So tonight, I found a note on my iPhone that Haley had tried to contact me via FaceTime while I was out riding my bike on the Mississippi levee during the sunset hour. I assumed at first that Haley had just made some account of her own through Grace's device, but I was corrected once I called her back after a few abortive attempts. Mostly the screen was flashing around, being passed back and forth between Haley and Sophie, showing me lots of ceiling and many scenes of a light-up ghost that Sophie kept trying to scare me with. She cackled with delight whenever I pulled a truly frightened face. I lost Haley fairly early on, perhaps because I made the sin of mistaking her at first for Grace in the quick glimpse I got of her between ghost attacks, but more likely just as part of Haley's general disinterest in extended conversation. I think the novelty power of getting me on the screen was probably the compelling factor in her calling me.
Still, it's grand to see them as well as hear them: it certainly seems to have put the oomph back in Sophie's social energy, as her passion for the telephone has lessened over the last year. I did get to hear one piece of substantial news when Sophie told me that she had scored her very first soccer goal in a game yesterday. Lots of girls on the other team tried to block her and take the ball away, she confirmed, but she kicked it into the goal anyway, she told me with enormous satisfaction. O
therwise, the weekend has been low-key. I worked on some applications and got those out, started sketching my Yamauchi Lecture, and happily put off grading exams until tomorrow. I lazed a few hours here and there watching some more episodes of The Avengers
from 1966 (sheer awesomeness), and a movie or two. It felt good to laze, and to do so comfortably. I read some Robert Jordan, oddly out of order, and enjoyed our perfect light-70s weather especially in late afternoon bike rides around Audubon Park and, as I mentioned, on the Mississippi River Levee.
I had a few telephone conversations, but otherwise haven't gone out to do anything social as I was getting myself back up to speed. I might see if people want to hit the Columns tomorrow evening, to celebrate/mourn the end of our too-quick Fall Break. I was talking with Anil tonight as Haley tried to call me back, hearing about the sci-fi film shooting in Mobile that he got a callback for, and which has him on-set now doing final ensemble readings: it looks like he's got a decent shot at the part of a scientist in what's probably a SyFy-bound drama involving the near-future technology of a space elevator
. He also mentioned how he was paid to do a table read-through the other weekend down here with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg for something shooting down here in December. So that was a cool bit of A-list acting work after his epic hour-long improv audition with Morgan Freeman, who wouldn't stop acting because (he said later) he hadn't had that much fun in an improv setting in years.
I also had a long conversation with Erik on Sunday, catching up with the details of his life in Washington, D.C., and talking letters of recommendation and undergraduate education. I'm in a position where he might be a very valuable reference for a particular application as someone with his Notre Dame education, his Boston College doctorate and research specialty in Catholic education, and having seen me as an educator from being in my very first Teaching Assistant section at Notre Dame, to observing me teach high school, and to traveling with me in monasteries, the Vatican, and historical sites through the States, Europe, and North Africa. His ability to judge me within the spectrum of Catholic education is somewhat unique, and his credentials now are more than potent.