Bottom of the 9th

Okay, I'm back from a busy but enjoyable wedding weekend in Seattle (mostly Whidbey Island) and entering my final week in NYC. I do need a post at some point on just the weddings I've attended this year. By the end of October, I will have attended 8 out of 11 weddings, a record for me (I'm not the only one who climbed a wedding peak this summer). I had hoped to see many people in Seattle, but too much of travel is consumed by long security lines at airports these days (I'd been told to get to the airport three hours early for domestic flights, but the security lines turned out to be about the same as they were prior to the whole elemental profiling campaign against liquids). I will have to return to Seattle again soon, though. The summer weather there is perfectly neutral, such that you don't feel hot or cold, just an equilibrium between skin and air.

I made one concession to my culinary memory and stopped at Salumi for a sandwich. Salumi, an Italian Salumeria exported to the Pacific Northwest, is the creation of Armandino Batali, Mario Batali's father. It's my favorite Seattle restaurant, and they've begun shipping meats online through their website.

Things may go dark here for a bit as I'm canceling cable and Internet service in the next day or two, though I will try to siphon an hour or so of Internet oxygen through my neighbor's Linksys wireless router from time to time. But most of my time will be spent packing and walking the streets of New York, trying to swallow the anguish of leaving this, the city of my heart.

One of the things that will serve as a weekly rebuke of my departure for the West coast will be the weekly arrival of The New Yorker and the NY Times. So many sections of The New Yorker come to life when you actually live in the city, from Tables for Two and every other section of Goings on About Town to Hilton Als's and Anthony Lane's reviews of local theater and cinema. Before I lived in NYC, I just ignored Goings on About Town. Now that I've lived here, I will peruse it each week from afar and weep at the cultural riches just out of reach. Why would I torture myself thus? I don't know, but I believe Odysseus would empathize. Odysseus had his men stuff their ears with beeswax and tie him to the mast of his ship when sailing past the Sirens so he could hear their irresistible song but not chase after it.

Speaking of The New Yorker, this week's issue is a good one, including Malcolm Gladwell again on the silliness of having companies supply health insurance and pensions, a system that cripples companies when their dependency ratios soar; George Saunders helping Iran to find some alternatives to popular English phrases that have infected its language; and James Surowiecki on the dubious ethics of management buyouts.

Okay, back to boxing and taping.