I’ll have one existential tailspin to go, please.

About fifteen years ago, I spent about nine days in London. I got a Tube Pass, which requires you to get a little ID card to go with the Pass, just in case you are stopped by the Tube Police. I think Tube Passes are one of the reasons why London is (or at least was) simply littered with photo-booths. Certainly, it seemed you could find a photo-booth in just about any Tube Station. Anyway, the photo-booths had gone all digital since I had last entered one (in 1990 – oy. I am old). It used to be, you got in, you paid your money, you looked like a dork for approximately 30 seconds, you got a four photo assortment of said dorkishness for your Pound Sterling.

With the new digiboxes, you went in, you sat, it took a digiphoto, you checked it out, assessed whether or not it was good enough to make four of, and go on with the process. (They used to take four different shots. Now they only give you four copies of the one shot – it must be hell for those kids who made collages of themselves and their friends all making dorky idiots of themselves in four different ways per trip to the photo booth). Then, a teddibly, teddibly uppah-claaahhs English woman’s voice says, “When you are happy, press the green button.”

I found myself wondering, “Happy? What does happy have to do with it? If I’m feeling slightly blue or mildly irritated, do I have to sit here until I eventually get happy? What do the clinically depressed do? Never get a photo? Are they forced to get daily return fares whenever they take the Tube? What is the matter with this country? If I am never happy again do I now live in this photo booth? What is its address, anyway?”

I suppose it is appropriate that my Tube pass ID bears a photo of me smirking.

One ringy-dingy…

Office phone rings. I answer it.

“Hello, is this Jill P. Smith?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“I’m looking for the Jill P. Smith who worked at [other institution] and [other details].”

Wonder to self – does this person think all Jill Smiths are in a club? Do we have a secret handshake? Did I miss a memo? Do we have special powers of knowing one another’s contact details and whereabouts? Must inquire.  “I’m sorry – while I know there are a lot of other Jill Smiths, I have actually never personally met another person with my name.”

“Well, I’m looking for [more unhelpful detail about this other Jill Smith].”

Refrain from going into helpful librarian mode because I really don’t need to be Directory Assistance.  “I’m sorry – I really don’t know what to tell you. I am not her, and I don’t know her, so I don’t know how to contact her.”

“Okay, well I’m looking…” She suddenly seems to realize that she can tell me stuff about Jill P. Smith forever and I’m still not going to know this person. “Okay, thanks so much for your time.”

“Sure. Good luck!”

Overheard at our house, ventriloquist edition

Me (to the microwave, which is emitting a loud hum/buzz): “Stop that, it’s annoying.”

John (in a high, floaty voice): “Okay!”

Overheard at our house, cheesy soul music edition

John: “This may be a reverse-skate song.”

Overheard at our house, 80’s version the eleventyith

Tears for Fears “Shout” is playing.

John: “Whatever happened to the other guy in this band?”

Me: “?”

J: “This is Wham!, right?”

Me: “?  No.”

J: “Oh, yeah. This is Tears for Fears. Still two guys, right? So whatever happened to the other guy?”

Me: “Andrew Ridgeley? Are we still talking about Wham!?  I am fighting hard not to blog this, by the way.”

J: “How long has it been since you blogged?  Do it after dinner.”

Overheard at our house, meatball style

The scene: Cardboard boxes full of flat-pack cabinetry are stacked neatly all around our dining room, ready for assembly and installation.  John sits on a stool amidst the proto-wreckage.

Me: “What are you doing?”

John: “Sitting in the kitchen.”

Me: “Fair enough.”

Overheard at our house, pop music edition

Me: “A band that can do a bombastic cover of a Depeche Mode tune, and then go on to do something with acoustic guitar and whiny male vocalist? SIGN ME UP.”

I was going to write this here, but…

I thought it would suit my professional blog pretty well too.  So “People Want to Help” is over there if you care to read it.

Overheard at Yoga

Me: “I got back together with my treadmill recently.”

D: “Does that mean you broke up with your treadmill at one point?”

Me: “It knows what it did.”

Overheard at our house, pop culture vs. internet edition

John overhears the video below from  the other room. “It sounds like that crazy woman on 30 Rock.”





“You do realize ‘Crazy woman on 30 Rock‘ is redundant, right?”

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(he meant Hazel)