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So finally I’m home again, making the adjustment from the insane crowds, noise and traffic of NY, to the relative calm of the Midwest. Both places are great, but, as with everything, there’s an advantage to living in either one, and a price too. I do dig living in KC. I also dig getting away from it.

Very nice to see my family again: a kiss from my wife, embraces from my teenage sons. The first thing my boys and I did was go to the park to play a little baseball. That’s always a good way to end a summer day–though we’re in autumn now. They hit beautifully: powerful swings, good follow-through. I love watching them grow stronger.

Later my wife and I went out to see The Constant Gardener. I’m a fan of Ralph Fiennes, have been since Quiz Show and The English Patient (which someday will surely go down as a great epic). As always Fiennes was fantastic to watch. Rachel Weisz was good too, though she lacks his presence at this time. But somehow the pacing of the movie was a bit tedious, as was the dialogue in several of the later scenes, where the flick seemed to lose a little impetus. It didn’t have the power of Meirelles’ earlier film, City of God. Still a good movie, especially the scenes in Africa: the crushing poverty of the millions. Yes, the Third World’s surely coming to meet the West. Someday the two will have to compromise on what is a fair standard of living for all. If we don’t reach that compromise willingly, I fear it will be forced on us, and of course when things are forced, they wind up disastrously.

Afterward my wife and I went to one of our favorite bars in Brookside, to talk about the movie, New York, publishers, and various people who are very much a part of our lives–both together and separately. I love the candor of that. I couldn’t survive in a marriage without it.

Later we went home to become reacquainted, which we did until 2:00. Good to be back. West Coast is next, but not for three weeks.

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