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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pastimes


In the subway I noticed a guy with a huge white shopping bag. It turned out he was carrying a 5,000 piece puzzle, depicting an enormous castle in the midst of a valley. It looked like Switzerland.

It baffles me sometimes when I notice so many people trying to pass the time. You’d think that since we’re so pressed for time, we wouldn’t want to squander precious moments on Sudoku or crosswords or, my pet peeve, the dreaded Search-a-Word.

I see a lot of Sudoku and search-a-words on the train, devices that take you away from where you are. Yet another benefit of mass transit – you don’t have to be focused or awake or sober. All you have to do is survive it.

Sometimes on the weekends, Mark and I will cozy up the couch, each with a laptop. He will play World of Warcraft, the hugely popular online game replete with dwarves and quests and monsters.

I will battle it out on an online scrabble game, formulating 7-letter bingos and using the three-letter words I’ve been studying. He will turn to me and ask, ‘baby, can you find me the map for Dazalar in Ironforge? I gotta use my taming rod against the nightsaber stalker.’

Mark spells out the names and I open a new window for a search. Meanwhile, the seconds are ticking down in my game. Often the tv is going on at the same time or we’d be listening to a podcast. We are passing time doing useless things, but at least we are multitasking, doing several useless things at once.

I suppose that is the luxury of leisure – having enough extra time in our lives to fritter away with useless things. Without them, we’d feel like we had no time at all.

Photo by Lisa Danilko. For more great images, click here.

3 comments:

Hillary said...

I really enjoyed this post! In today's age, there are SO many outlets (like you said, podcasts, TV, internet games) to escape from doing something real with our time. It's sad and it's scary, but maybe it IS necessary. Maybe life is really just about escaping from the beauty of it so that when we do see it, we can really appreciate it.

On another note, to implement this realization to the fullest extent, did you watch Top Chef season 3? :)

kitty said...

Hi there!
That's a optimistic way of seeing things. I cannot help but be affected when told that all the news in LA is focused on Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. But reality is probably a mix of things - people who pursue beauty and people who aren't so interested.

I saw the first show of Season 3 yes. What did you think of the show?

Like the baby duck, it will probably take a couple weeks to become bonded, but soon I will be inseparable from the new crew. I felt so bad for the guy who was told to leave. Poor fella.

Hillary said...

I liked it, Bravo makes the adjustments to new people easier than you'd think! I felt bad for Clay too. He was trying to give the South some representation but he just didn't know what he was in for! I could talk about Top Chef all day long :)