July 27, 2004

Stealing time

I stole some time out of my day today. I just reached into my employer's back pocket and plucked it right out. It was about a half an hour, but it was mine, all mine, and it was glorious. It was freedom and it was irresponsible and it had no agenda or address or anything and it was mine, all mine.

I took papers down to court this morning to file with the motion support office at the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York, (known to us lawyers as Supreme New York or simply S/NY). This courthouse borders on the surreal. No, well, it may, but what I meant to say was that it borders on Chinatown. I handed in my papers which the clerk accepted without a problem (which is always nice and never a sure thing) and headed off with no agenda to wander the streets a bit. Chinatown is congested, smelly (lots of fish markets), filled with tacky gift shops and just downright fun. Probably because of all of those things.

I walked through the park behind the courthouse and observed a beautiful tai chi class conducted to music and using swords in an intricate and very controlled ballet of movement and internal tension. I also was treated to the odd spectacle of Chinese senior citizens, looking very fit, stretching and twisting on the jungle gym. No kids, mind you, but lots of senior citizens. Their teenage grandchildren, quite a bit less fit looking, were screwing around on the basketball court.

Most of my favorite stores were still closed, so I couldn't do any serious shopping. I had decided to see if I could break some international trademark laws and buy my wife a cool knockoff bag. She's been a bit down of late and a bag never fails to cheer her up. Unfortunately, none of the knock off stores were open yet. However, our favorite bakery was open. Ever have coconut cream bread? It is so yummy, being both sweet and salty at the same time. I bought four pieces for the kids, wife and nanny. I also got two lotus leaf sticky rice packages for the kids. The girl child ought to enjoy unwrapping the package and eating the sticky goodness contained therein.

I then ducked into a little galley of a shop, it was long and no more than 7 or 8 feet wide. It was crammed to the gills with food products from: Malaysia; Thailand; Indonesia; and other exotic locales. I bought some new chili sauces and some Thai fried garlic bits and Thai fried red onions. I passed on the Thai anchovy snacks. They were pieces of anchovy fried in palm oil and seasoned with chili, salt and sugar. The owner of the store insisted that I try one out of the open container he had on the counter. He claimed that they were a great seller and good for your bones to boot. It was chewy, spicy, sweet, and tangy. In fact, it was a bit too chewy and dry for my taste. I ate one but passed on the entire package.

I tasted the anchovy snack all the way back to the subway and wondered, is that fishy taste the taste of adventure or the taste you have in your mouth that signals the return to responsibility?

Posted by Random Penseur at July 27, 2004 11:03 AM

Adventure. Totally.

I know, I get it when I travel, which is odd, since I am neither a carnivore nor a l*sbian.

(Don't be angry).

Nice that you tried to cheer your Mrs. up with a gift, that gets bonus points from all of your female readers.

Posted by: Helen at July 27, 2004 11:17 AM

I love coconut bread! What a nice thing to bring home to your family, RP. The fact that it was bought with stolen time shouldn't faze anyone - we all steal a little time from our employers here and there...

Posted by: GrammarQueen at July 27, 2004 11:18 AM

Steal away, I say, for enough time is stolen from us!
Besides, it sounds like the time was well spent.

Posted by: Mick at July 27, 2004 12:09 PM

Uhm, Helen, why should I be angry?

The rest of you thieves, thanks!

Posted by: RP at July 27, 2004 12:40 PM

It must be in the weather; I blew almost all of yesterday off. I didn't go anywhere, I stayed at my desk but I didn't do jack.

Felt good. I really can't remember the last vacation I had. Seems like there's never any time. I think that's why lately I've found it hard to concentrate on my job.

Lovely day you had, Random

Posted by: Amber at July 27, 2004 02:06 PM

Amber, it wasn't a day. It was only a half an hour. The rest of the day has, quite predictably, gone on to suck.

Posted by: RP at July 27, 2004 02:27 PM

Oops! I thought that was your post from yesterday. I didn't scoll up to see. Sorry.

Obviously, I'm rushing about like a madwoman today since yesterday I played hooky.

Sorry the rest of your day has been sucketh; may things change for the better for you very soon. Hey, you're three hours ahead of me, so you're almost through!

I, on the other hand, still have several hours of torture to go. :-(


Posted by: Amber at July 27, 2004 04:20 PM

Please, Amber, no apologies! You know I love you! I wish you the best re your continued torture.

Posted by: RP at July 27, 2004 04:23 PM
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