Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Friday, November 21, 2003  
By popular request, my questions to the Universe in re Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other I'm really glad to know I'm not the only one surprised by the surprise and fear this topic is suddenly generating. My steadfast response to those scared blogless after learning their boss or I.S. crew knows their blog habits? Duh. I hope you don't lose your jobs. But: Duh.

And for your convenience I've added the Fire Escape button
Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

M'kay? Duh.

9:30 AM

 
Tomb of the Unknown Stuff
When you live alone, no matter how fastidious a person you are, you have a tendency to slack now and then. And when you live alone, break your ankle, spend four months on crutches and most of your home time in bed or on the couch, well, that tendency is amplified.

You let the laundry go a few heaps more than usual. You let the spent newspapers and magazines stack up. You keep the things you want or need on a regular basis out all the time rather than put them away every time you use them. You leave CDs, well, everywhere but in their usual alpha/chrono rack. You let that annoying soap scum film grow into something...well, something more than annoying soap scum film. You dust the places that show enough to bother you, but let the rest collect. Snow isn't the only thing stirred up when you shake your snow globes. You still use the Hawaiian print table cloth even though it's November and you've got a very lovely fall table cloth. Somewhere. You leave the suitcase from your weekend trip weeks ago still packed and parked in the living room. Sweep, Swifter and vacuum? Are you kidding? Broken ankle here! Besides, you're not walking all over the place, so how dirty can it be?

You know that place where you drop your stuff when you come in the door? You let the stuff sort of stay there. So that it's not so much stuff dropped when you came in the door as a monument to stuff. A Tomb of the Unknown Stuff. Weeks, perhaps months in the making.

You leave the travel brochures you ordered online to console yourself when you had to cancel your vacation scattered throughout your place because you are considering what fabulous place you'll go once you are up to a real vacation. You simply cannot put them away (because they don't have a place) or throw them away. So you don't actually remember requesting tourist information from the Malaysian Tourism Council. So you know you will not be going to Malaysia, at least in the next year. So what? (Sew buttons, I hear my grandmother chastising me. Sorry Grandmother. I know it's bad, but I'm a bad girl these days.)

You let the dry cleaning go a LOT longer than the usual weekly corner of the hall closet. You let it go so long it is now actually several of the laundry heaps, but it's merged with the other heaps, so much sorting is required. No, you don't usually allow your dry cleaning clothes mingle with your laundrette clothes. But you live alone, you've had a broken ankle, these things happen. The problem is with all that mingling going on, relationships have developed, socks doing blouses, skirts doing jeans...it's a veritable orgy in there. And by the looks of some of the heaps, they're starting to reproduce. The offspring? Bi-cleaning method clothes children. Blouses, socks and undergarments of fabrics you've never heard. Things you know you don't own and would never buy, much less know how to launder. Yet there they are.

So the cat makes wide berth around his usual favorite nap place under the bed. You know how cats are. It's got absolutely nothing to do with what might be living under there behind the stacks of books piling up for "easy reach." (This also speaks to another, more serious problem...buying books. Like an alcoholic hiding bottles around the house, I'm now hiding books. My enabler? barnesandnoble.com, the invalid's best friend - two items or more, free shipping!)

You know you should tidy up. You want to tidy up. You're a tidy person. Have been accused of being a bit of a neat freak in the past. (once or twice, really, it's happened) You occasionally make feeble attempts to put a few things away. You do a heap of laundry. You clean the bathroom sink. These are major accomplishments and you feel quite proud of yourself for doing them, telling yourself that you're on a roll, just a slow roll. What with your condition and all. And you live alone. Who sees it, and who cares? If friends drop in they know you, they know you're slightly incapacitated. They're your friends, they don't care. Sometimes their places look just as bad if not worse.

Then your parents decide to visit.

Panic. Pandemonium. Chaos.

Where can I find a smart clean bomb?

My parents won't care, really, but if I leave things as is, they'll immediately set to cleaning themselves. They'll call it "helping me out."

I'll call it systematically driving me insane.

So I have to do all this in four days. Before I leave town for the holiday. There go any weekend plans I had.

Quarters! I need quarters for laundry! Lots of quarters!

Anyone have any suggestions on how to unclog an apparently permanently clogged (or for some other reason very slow) sink drain?

Swut.

Swut. Swut. Swut.

8:15 AM

Thursday, November 20, 2003  
Permian-Triassic event (in other words, Metorite Hits Earth 251 Million Years Ago, 90% Feared Extinct. Or a new galactic freeway.)

6:29 PM

 
Allergies 11, Trillian 0.
Of Cheese I Blog


Itch. Itch. Scratch. My back is absolutely driving me crazy. "They" say it will only be a few days before the itching subsides. I've got some lotion to put on it to help speed the process, but try to put lotion on your own back. All over your own back. And then get dressed. For work. At least my eyes are almost back to normal. And I can breathe. And my heart's not racing as if I just ran a marathon.

The new allergy revelations are far from startling. I've suspected a shellfish or even full blown seafood issue since the iodine incident. (So why then did they introduce iodine into my bloodstream? You may ask. Me too. But they did, it happened, it's over, I've lived to tell the tale.) My doctors agree, because of the immediacy and severity of my iodine reaction on the scratch test, the culprit of my recent allergy trauma was probably shellfish. And since I don't eat fish, shelled or otherwise, not a huge deal for me to give it up for good.

No hardship for me there. I can go on living without shellfish with little or no impact on my daily life.

Even though I follow a strict vegetarian diet, sometimes people don't know or don't care what they serve to "special" diet people. I was most likely served something on the airplane or in the Heathrow restaurant that was "contaminated" with some form of shellfish product. (My doctor actually said "shell fish by-product" which set my mind soaring over shrimp and lobster by-products, which then led me down some unsavory roads, which grossed me out, so I'm sticking with shellfish as an all encompassing term.)

However, I'm in denial over the nut and dairy developments.

I've been a vegetarian since I was 15. It's not a hardship or even remotely difficult for me. I don't like "meat," and therefore do not miss it.

I have given veganism a few attempts, one very whole hearted for 18 months. Eggs are a bit of a problem, not because I like them scrambled, poached, sunny-sided or hard boiled, but because they are in a lot of foods. A lot. Places you'd never suspect. So basically, when you're a vegan, by choice or by health issue, dining anywhere other than your own home, with foods not prepared in your own kitchen, can be problematic.

I managed for the most part, but given my profession, which requires many food functions with clients and colleagues, it was at times difficult. The last thing I want to do is call attention to my "alternative foodstyle." When people discover you're a vegetarian, or "worse," vegan, they tend to either get up on their high meat eating, dairy loving horse and try to make you feel stupid and wrong for your personal choice, or, they feel guilty for consuming a huge hunk of steak in front of you. So I always try to keep my choices quiet. I don't want to argue and I don't want to make anyone feel guilty. It's my personal choice and I keep it quietly that way.

The problem, er, challenge with veganism I encountered, apart from the eggs in everything issue:

Cheese.

Soy "cheese?" Please. I'd sooner die.

I like cheese. Really like cheese. To Wallace (and Gromit) proportions.

I can learn to live without eggs, I could live without milk (very easily), I could live without butter (easily), I could live without ice cream (fairly easily), I could live without yogurt (with some effort),

But live without Cheddar, Roquefort and Swiss?
Wensleydale, Emmental, Havarti, Gruyere and Brie?

Are you mad? Are you daft? It's cheese I would miss!
So many, so varied, so wonderful to me...

Provolone, Mozzarella, Asiago, Romano,
Edam, Parmesan (when in Rome "parmigiano");

Feta, Fontina, Jack and Ricotta,
If you haven't tried them, you gotta;

The Superpower Cheddars of Wisconsin, Canada, and Great Briton,
The Supersmelly veins of Camembert, Limburger, Munster and Stilton.

And the bleus, oh the bleus, oh my please,
Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!

Bleu d'Auvergne, Bleu de Laqueuille,
Bleu de Gex, Bleu Des Causses,
and even Bleu de Septmoncel

And the traveling blues: Shropshire, Yorkshire, Buxton and Devon,
Dorset, Exmore and Oxford, oh! what Heaven!

And even the far-flung Maytag and Danish,
Cheese! Crumbled on every salad dish!

Cheshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire...North we go on the run,
Double Gloucester, Double Worcester, cheeses twice the fun!

Mascarpone and Neufchatel...no one really knows what they are,
But spread them on crackers, they'll stretch your buffet budget far!

Creamed and cottaged, stringed and on fire,
I want cheese, I'm no vegan, my needs are dire!

Cheese, give me cheese! From cows, goats or camels,
Give me this glorious by-product of mammals!

Okay. Now that I've got that bizarre little Dr. Seussian tribute to cheese out of my system...this lactose issue might be a problem. It was my downfall before, it will catch me again.

The nut issue even more so. As a vegetarian, soy and nuts are my top two protein resources. I'm going to lay off the peanut butter (and grape jelly on melba toast) but still use nuts other than peanuts and see if there are any ill or dire consequences.

The food allergy thing comes as no real surprise. I'll adapt. Somehow.

I'm becoming more like Milhouse every day.

What's occurred to me in the bigger picture is 2003 has been my year for medical anomalies. I've got a file inches thick at my medical center, and most of it is less than a year old. Much of it less than 6 months old. If all of this had happened after January 1, 2004, I'd be taking out personal loans or hitting up my parents for thousands of dollars my health insurance didn't cover. (No, this is not a plea for socialized healthcare...) So I've made up my mind: Once this ankle is healed, that's it. No more accidents, illnesses or allergies. I don't want to and cannot afford to have any more health related issues.

Itching and scratching my way to a revised way of life.

9:40 AM

Wednesday, November 19, 2003  
Whale Watching

3:48 PM

 
Reality Wednesday
Scratch Factor!

Contestants are subjected to an allergy test.

Contestants are selected based on the severity of their previous allergic reactions. The more the severe the reaction, the more likely it will be that the contestant will be chosen to participate.

The host, a doctor specializing in allergies, is aided by assistants (Nurse Betty, "James" and Colleague Doctor)

The chosen contestants are summoned to the testing location. Upon arrival they are led to a changing area, given a hospital gown and told to disrobe from the waist up. After locking up their personal items, they are led to a waiting area where they join other contestants already donned in gowns.

Contestants are called one by one to private consultation rooms.

This week's leading contestant has recently suffered a virus like reaction to an unknown substance.

An injection of Benedryl cleared up a recent "attack" and thereby established the illness as a severe allergic reaction.

The lab assistant hands the contestant an eight page form listing 123 possible allergens (and several lines for "other"). The contestant is to check yes or no as appropriate to each substance known as an allergen to the contestant and provide "known reaction" in the space provided for the substances the contestant marked "yes" as known allergens.

The contestant reads each substance with interest and intrigue. She's no stranger to allergies, so many of the substances are not surprising to her. Others, however, leave her pondering and more than a bit concerned. Anethole? Cobalt(II) chloride hexahydrate (not I, not III)? Styrax? Toluene-2,4-diisocyanate? Is this a chemistry test or an allergy test?

The doctor appears and reviews the contestant's form.

We discover the contestant has established allergies of: Dust, mold, pollen, grass, ragweed, iodine, mushrooms and avocado. Her reactions are asthma, sinus and bronchial. The doctor is concerned about the iodine allergy.

We learn the contestant discovered this allergy while undergoing a routine cat scan a few years ago. The contestant had an instant anaphylactic reaction to the intravenous iodine dye. The doctor/host voices concerns about the extent of the reaction and leaves the consultation room to bring in a colleague for a second opinion.

The contestant, already slightly uneasy about the process, is viewed on hidden camera. We see her fidgeting, eyes wildly scanning the room for a way out. The contestant has two choices: Stay and endure the challenge, or leave, dressed only in a hospital gown and trousers. This contestant decides to stay. Other contestants are weeded out at this juncture.

The doctor/host returns with another doctor/hostess. They have also brought the contestant's full medical history, containing the details of the iodine anaphylactic seizure. They ask questions of the contestant, rapid fire, about the incident.
The contestant claims she doesn't remember many details other than having an instant and severe asthma attack and then waking up in the emergency room.
The doctors/host/ess are rubbing their hands in wicked desire for details. Once the event is hashed over in great detail, the doctors/host/ess are eager to begin the scratch test. Agreeing this is the contestant they've been waiting for - regretting the contestant wasn't on a few seasons ago, because, really, this test should have been administered right after the iodine incident.

The contestant is showing signs of nervousness. The doctors/host/ess summon Nurse Betty and instruct her to prep the contestant for scratching.

Round One!
The object of this round is to catch the contestant off guard with a surprise attack.
Nurse Betty takes the usual tests: Temperature, blood pressure

Nurse Betty instructs the contestant to lie down on her stomach. The contestant obliges. The assistant opens the back of the hospital gown and rubs an ice cold liquid on the contestant's back.

Nurse Betty does not warn the contestant about the ice cold liquid. The contestant nearly levitates off the table in shock from the ice cold liquid on her back.

Round Two!
The object of this round is to introduce the weekly hunk/babe and to allow the contestant ample opportunities for either suggestive innuendoes or double entendres or to make a complete fool of themselves in front of the weekly hunk/babe.

Nurse Betty leaves and returns moments later with another lab assistant.

James.

James is very good looking. When James enters the room the background music swells to a jubilous crescendo. James puts the viewers in a young Gary Cooper meets young Paul Newman frame of mind. (Trust us. It works. He's got "it." We're the producers. We know about this sort of thing. Just sit back and enjoy the show.) The contestant is stunned and embarrassed to come face to face with one such as James under circumstances such as this. James is very pleasant without being condescending. James is wheeling in a mobile cart full of vials of liquid and gleaming medical instruments. He introduces himself to the contestant and offers his hand in a handshake, then remembers the contestant's current state of dress and apologizes, "oops, sorry, I keep doing that lately. Sorry. Bad manners."

"No, actually, good manners. Maybe bad timing, but good manners," the contestant stupidly and uncharacteristically giggles back to James.

Nurse Betty senses the contestant is attracted to James and asserts her position of power. "She's prepped and ready, doctor/host is waiting to administer the test."

James wheels the cart (Mobile Allergen Unit, or, MAU) to the contestant's side. He engages the contestant in conversation. "So, what's been giving you trouble?"

"Not sure, peanuts are suspect, but possibly traces of shellfish on something I ate."
James grimaces knowingly. "Bad stuff. We're seeing a lot of that lately. Have you had trouble in the past?"

Contestant ponders. Trouble. Hmmm. The contestant has seen her share of trouble, but not of the peanut or shellfish type, so she says stupidly and uncharacteristically, "I've really always been more of a dust/grass/mold/pollen kind of girl."

"Asthma?" James inquires.

"Don't you know it. And how."

James explains that the MAU is equipped with both oxygen and three types of the most common asthma medications. The contestant need not be concerned (Ha!) regarding possible reactions. The contestant is lulled into a stupefied sense of security by James.

Nurse Betty and the doctor enter the room.

Round Three!
The object of this round is to gross out the home viewing audience by poking the contestant with sharp devices.

James, Doctor/Host and Nurse Betty discuss the contestant's allergy history and debate the various scratch size options for optimal results but minimal reaction. They settle on two sizes. The smallest for the known allergen family, the larger for the unknown and more remote allergens. James removes two instruments closely resembling an afro pick. Yes. A 'fro pick. Several pointy prongs attached to a bar. James then systematically pokes the contestant with the 'fro pick. He reassures the contestant that in spite of how it may feel, these are microscopic pricks, no scarring will occur. He lays out a grid of dot scratches on the contestant's back.

While not exactly painful, this is not the most pleasant experience the contestant has endured. Particularly on her stomach. With one such as James.

Once James has a grid of dot scratches laid out on the contestant's back, Doctor Host announces it's time for the real fun to begin.

Round Four!
The object of this round is to produce a "controlled" allergic reaction to a substance, thus pinpointing the exact source(s) of allergy in the contestant. This is the "danger" and endurance portion of the show.

James and Doctor/Host discuss various allergen families, referring to and selecting from the various vials on the MAU. James begins the allergen introduction procedure. A trace amount of substance is placed onto the open scratch wound thus introducing the substance (and possible allergen) to the contestant's bloodstream. This is where the real danger sets in. This is where the contestant's earn their prize.
As James swabs the allergens into/onto the scratch wounds, Nurse Betty writes the substance number (with a Sharpie®) directly onto the back of the contestant, above the scratch wound where the substance has been introduced.

The contestant is already beginning to squirm. She's itchy. And scratchy. And is starting to sniffle and cough.

The very instant Control Substance 371 is applied to the scratch Doctor/Host and James recoil in shock. "My God, will you look at that!" James a bit too excitedly for the contestant's liking exclaims. Doctor/Host says, "I bet that's our culprit. How are you feeling, contestant?"

"Itchy. Scratchy. Sniffly. Coughy..."

"Look! Her eyes!" Nurse Betty interrupts.

The contestant's eyes had been burning, watering and itchy, but she didn't think it was that noticeable. Apparently she was wrong. James asks Doctor/Host if he should administer eye drops. Doctor/Host agrees. The contestant would rather have Nurse Betty do this. She doesn't want James' first up close look into what she fancies as her normally rather beguiling eyes to be under these circumstances. So she pipes up and says, "No, they're okay, I really don't like eye drops."
To some this will seem like an heroic act of gutsiness and toughness. Others will roll their eyes at the contestant's vanity under such uncomfortable circumstances.
Doctor/Host feels it's prudent to now administer oxygen to the contestant, "just in case." Nurse Betty and James hook up an oxygen tube to the contestant's nose.
Let's recap: The contestant is laid out on an exam table, on her stomach, with a systematic grid of scratches on her naked back. Allergens have been swabbed onto the open wounds. Her eyes are bulging, red and watering, she's sniffling and coughing, and the weekly hunk has just strapped an oxygen tube into her nostrils.

James continues to administer substances, Nurse Betty marking off their control numbers. Doctor/Host making detailed notes on each scratch and reaction.

And then it happens.

Round Five!
The object of this round is to put the home viewing audience on the edge of their La Z Boys, give them something to talk about at work tomorrow and to potentially kill the contestant.

The contestant has been growing ever more uncomfortable. The itches and scratches on her back have become the least of her discomforts.

The contestant is feeling queasy. The contestant is simultaneously getting dizzy. The contestant's hands are shaking. She's sweating but is freezing. The contestant is also noticing her heart rate. (right. how often apart from during strenuous exercise do you notice your heart rate?) The contestant puts up a good fight, but then when she thinks she's well past the usual breaking point and has secured first place in the endurance round, she says, "I don't feel well."

Doctor/Host says, "Nurse Betty, Benedryl!"

James produces a vile and needle from the MAU. James stabs the contestant with the needle. (It's later decided James has a "thing" for poking people with sharp pointy objects and introducing substances into the wounds.)

This is the last thing the contestant remembers before the room spun out of control and went black. Except that she may or may not have thrown up on Nurse Betty.

Round Six!
Doctor/Host is talking quickly and harshly to James. The contestant blinks her swollen eyes open as best she can (not much). Doctor/Host says, "Contestant, contestant!"

"Ummhumph?"

"You've had a reaction to a few substances. We've got it under control, but you gave us a scare. You weren't kidding you're allergic to iodine."

"I'll say," James interjects, "I don't think you should ever be within 50' of a lobster or shrimp."

"And you better avoid peanuts, in fact nuts in general. And did you know you're allergic to eggs? Potassium and lactose aren't doing you any favors, either."

The contestant has barely regained anything resembling consciousness and is trying to make herself remember this information. While trying to pretend absolutely everything is normal, that nothing untoward has happened. She's trying to remember what time it was when she started feeling ill. She can't remember. She's hoping it was only a few minutes. She then realizes she has a full mask strapped over her face (she notices this only because she hears herself breathing like Darth Vader). And two IV's attached to the backs of her hands. And she's on her back. Which really itches. And her entire body feels prickly from the inside out. And the consultant doctor/hostess is also in the room.

The doctor/host/ess are at the contestant's side asking a barrage of questions. James is slightly behind, looking concerned and hunky.

The contestant does her valiant best to be upbeat and smiley (through her oxygen mask) for the cameras, the doctor/host/ess and oh yes, James.

The contestant must pass an oxygen capacity exam and reduce her heart rate before she will be allowed to collect her prize (allergy report and prescription) and go home.

Once the contestant passes these final tests, she is led to the changing area. Reports of her scratch test reactions have filtered into the changing area. Nervous contestants timidly ask her questions and seek advice for their own scratch tests. The contestant offers her knowledge and gives a few pointers to the contestants.

Her most useful piece of advice: Be sure to ask for James.

Trillian's Scary Prophecy of Doom Alert: Meat Loaf **Not Dead Yet and Let's Hope He Stays That Way** BUT, we're a little concerned...Much as Trillian hates "power ballads," she loves Meat Loaf. Trillian has burned through two cd's of Bat Out of Hell. Trillian had a lengthy discussion wherein she not only vehemently defended Mr. Loaf to several cooler than thou music snobs who barely knew of Meat's body of work, she also did a pretty darned good rendition of Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (explaining one need only summon their inner Meat to properly sing the song) THE NIGHT BEFORE HE COLLAPSED ONSTAGE. Meat, please, please get well soon.

3:43 PM

Tuesday, November 18, 2003  
This could be a very cool experiment/adventure/exercise in creativity. Bloggers, start your engines. Grid Blog

8:29 PM

 
Scared Blogless
We're mostly all bloggers here - or at least we're all familiar with blogging.

Okay. Lowest common denominator: If you're reading this, you know what a blog is.

Okay. That's now established for some of the newer or slower members of the Universe.

What I would now like to establish is: Am I the only one confused and not the least bit sympathetic to the blog topic phenom of late regarding parents, bosses, wives, children or significant others finding and reading a personal blog?

This topic has popped up on nearly every blog I read in the past few weeks. Places I wouldn't even suspect. Blogs where this sort of thing generally doesn't appear.

While The Blog That Started the Whole World Talking makes for funny and interesting and cautionary reading in The Onion, the only response I had was, "Poor guy, but what an idiot, why did he use his real name in his url or blog title?" My feeling was justice was served to this guy for being stupid enough to use his real name and for underestimating the intelligence of his mother in terms of web use. I thought he was lucky it was just his mom and not the IRS looking for back tax payments or a spammer/frauder grabbing his name from his blog, his email address, his home address, his employer and perhaps in the worst case scenario, his social security number. I wrote it off as a tale of Darwinism in the blogspace.

But apparently I'm once again nearly alone in this opinion. Because on blogs far and wide The Blog That Started the Whole World Talking is being mentioned with sympathetic tones, and more than a few "I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT!!!!"s. Bloggers around the world are scampering to change their URLS and blog titles and cleaning out their archives. Blogger even has a new page devoted to (what I thought were obvious) blog cloaking techniques. The widespread panic and wide-eyed Yikes! I'm reading have been very surprising to me.

Um, did you all miss the memo about a little search engine called Google? Or the follow-up memo on protecting your internet privacy?

Perhaps I should be the first to warn you not to give out your social security number or credit card information. Perhaps you missed those memos, too.

But maybe I'm being harsh?

I ask this because sometimes what is blazingly obvious to me is not so to the rest of the world. Which inevitably leads to me being slammed for being overly critical of the human race or for missing a crucial point or aspect. And maybe this is one of those issues. So I present a few points and ask the Universe:

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would not tell or share with people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you, why do you include your name in your blog title or blog URL? You know, where the chances that someone will Google your name for fun or innocent curiosity are, well, pretty darned high?

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would not tell or share with people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you, why do you do it on a public blog? You know, where the chances that someone you know will stumble across it and figure out it's you writing it are, well, pretty darned high?

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would not tell or share with people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you, why do you use the email address everyone knows is yours? You know, where the chances that someone you know will stumble across your blog, not realize it's you until they see your email address and figure out it's you writing it are, well, pretty darned high? (Yahoo and Hotmail, to name a few, have free email accounts. Just in case you missed that memo, too. This provides an easy and free option for setting up an email account under a pseudonym or untraceable nick to you.)

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would not tell or share with people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you, why do you tell your parents, friends, co-workers that you blog? You know, where the chances that one of them who knows enough about you will be curious and intuitive enough to enter a few key personal search terms and find your blog are, well, pretty darned high?

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would not tell or share with people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you, why do you keep and maintain archives? You know, where the chances that someone will dredge up something embarrassing or unsavory, even a small comment, are, well, pretty darned high?

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would not tell or share with people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you, why would you set up your blog site on your office server or your parents' DSL account? You know, where the chances that your I.S. crew, your boss or your parents will obviously eventually find it are, well, pretty darned high? (and on this note, if you blog at work, do you really, honestly believe no one, especially the I.S. geeks and your boss, don't know it? Another memo you must have missed: Most employers track every website their employees visit. Daily. Hourly. On this note, for many blogging is the least of problems. If you think your employer or I.S. department isn't smart enough or is too busy to track your surf habits, guess again. And no, this is not paranoid rambling. It's a fact.)

If you are writing deeply personal thoughts and concerns on your blog, things you would share with a select few people whom you actually know, or minimally, things potentially embarrassing to you if anyone other than the select few read them, why do you do any of the above and why do you not consider the concepts of, "And they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on and so on, and so on..." as well as the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon theory? Where the chances that someone will innocently link your blog to another friend because you mentioned a great shoe sale, and that person not only reads about the great shoe sale, but also your archives and Holy Belgium! by the band name you mention she figures out you're sleeping with her cousin's husband's brother, so she then sends the archive link to her cousin, who then sends it to all the guys in the band, who then send it to the wife of your boyfriend are, well, pretty darned high?

Lots of questions. One obvious answer. To me. The human race is doomed by our own stupidity.

Keep in mind, I'm the one who had a Virgin Pulse earphone condom stuck in my ear for hours and didn't realize it. I'm not sitting here thinking I'm brilliant and above the rest of you. I'm just very confused by the pandamonium, widespread panic and general "OHMYGOD I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT"s this is creating. You really never thought of it? Really? I always thought all of the above just went without saying.

Or maybe I'm not losing my mind at all. Maybe those synapses are firing at record speeds. Maybe I am actually way more savvy (or untrusting) than most people. That all these points which were so blatantly obvious to me when I began blogging were actually Einsteinian concepts.

I hope not. If so, we really are doomed. I hope it's just a slow blog week.

8:09 AM

Monday, November 17, 2003  
And So Begins the Slide Into Oblivion
It's possible I'm losing my mind. Or that I am in the throws of a nervous breakdown. Not that I'm terribly concerned about either of these possibilities. There are worse things than losing one's mind and being blissfully unaware. But consider this fair warning: this blog may turn into the diary and documentation of a woman losing her mind. Many will argue it already is...

But the possibility of losing one's brain function is cause for pause for thought. (that is while I can still give pause for thought...)

My ever on, never resting, multi-tasking, speeding like a bullet mind has been noticeably, well, less so lately. Ditto my usually super heightened and attuned bionic senses.

To wit: This morning's little "situation."

Co-worker with really obnoxious smelling coffee popped into my office. She does this a few times a week, and always on Monday morning. Her job is not exactly demanding. Apart from working for the She Devil of the office. (no, surprisingly, that's not me) But She Devil rarely shows her face in the office before 1:00 PM, so co-worker has a pretty easy time of it. Never arrives in the office before 9:30, even though her stated hours of operation are 8:30 - 4:30, spends her mornings on the phone with friends and family, procuring bagels, donuts and other food items, shopping the net...I'm not jealous, I wouldn't want her job or her life for any amount of money. However, from time to time she loses site of the fact that some of us, in fact most of us, come in early, stay late, work through lunch...because we're on deadlines or just have a lot of work to do. She is apparently oblivious to the fact that even though she's just arriving in the office and is "settling" in and "catching up" some of us have been here for hours and are smack in the middle of work - actually concentrating on projects and might not want to be interrupted.

She has developed a habit of coming into my office with an enormous mug of her smelly coffee (at least my sense of smell is still bionic) plopping herself in a chair apparently expecting me to drop everything and have a conversation. And yes sometimes, this is a nice break, and even though we have absolutely nothing in common except we both live with a cat, I do like her. And I know it's important to do a bit of socializing with colleagues...But, 10:00 on a Monday morning, when I've come in early especially to work on a project on a tight deadline during a very busy week of meetings is not the time I want to have a discussion about the squirrels knocking off the bricks on her rose bush cones.

I've tried diversionary tactics - to little avail. When she bursts in with: "Hiya! How was your weekend?" I've taken to offering an offhand, sarcastic and seemingly implausible response while not looking up from my work. "Oh you know, saving the Galaxy from Vogons" or "Nothing much, just a little work on my cold fusion project" or "The 187th Fleet was in for the weekend, you know how demanding those boys can be..." She rarely gets it. She has actually taken me seriously a few times. (The 187th Fleet was of particular interest to her...Cold Fusion and Vogons soared over her head.) But for some reason (perhaps further proof I'm losing my mind?) I continue this routine, holding out hope one day she'll "get it" and quietly leave when I don't encourage further conversation. I've been trying to dumb down the remarks lately, hoping against hope one of these times she'll actually realize I'm being sarcastic, that I am busy and am not in the mood or frame of mind to discuss her roses, new cookie recipe, church choir practice or the sale at Talbots.com. Talbots? .com?

I digress. I'm trying to vent this out of my system rather than at her or someone else in the office. She set off a domino effect of events that completely broke my chain of concentration and led me to the discovery that I may in fact be losing my mind.

Smelly Coffee Co-worker: Hey! How was your weekend?

Trillian: Jell-O shots, gettin' freaky in the hot tub, whips, chains, waking up with several men the names of whom I do not know...you know, the usual..

Smelly Coffee Co-worker: (ignoring or not understanding the remark) Oooooh, I LOVE those earrings! (Co-worker says this about three times a week. And yes, the compliments are nice, but because they are so frequent and over things like a basic pearl earrings they come across as lame attempts at conversation. Or co-worker doesn't get out much. Both are probably true.)

Trillian: Thanks! (pulling her tresses back to show off this time admittedly really great earrings)

Smelly Coffee Co-worker: Is there something wrong with your ear?

Trillian: Ever since that allergy problem my sinuses have been funny and my ears are popping.

Smelly Coffee Co-worker: So, is that thing in your ear supposed to help?

Trillian: Huh? (Reaching for both ears) What the....? (Discovers a small, clear, flexible plastic "muffler" in her left ear and pulls it out. Yes, pulls it out of her ear.)

Smelly Coffee Co-worker: (Stares aghast and concerned.)

Trillian: (Pondering the item) Oh. I know. This is from my earphones. Instead of those spongy cover things, the Virgin Pulse buds have this little flexible perforated condom glovey covering. (proffers earphone condom to co-worker) See?

Co-worker: Oh. I see. You know, I've got a lot to do today, have a good one! (beats a hasty retreat. Smelly Coffee Co-worker never has a lot to do.)

I suppose first and foremost I should be concerned the plastic condomy thing came off my earphone and lodged itself in my ear. Mere millimeters away from being stuck in my ear canal, potentially endangering my ear health or, minimally, my auditory response time. (Might there be a tidy sum of class action money in this for me? Mr. Branson? Yoooo hooo, paging Richard Branson...I need a job...your earphone left its condom in my ear...perhaps we can come to an "arrangement?")

But instead I am more concerned that hours passed since I removed the ear phones. Hours. And I didn't notice a piece of plastic lodged in my ear.

Scarier still is that I had been in the bathroom twice, brushed my hair, had several phone conversations (mobile and land) and DIDN'T NOTICE A PIECE OF PLASTIC LODGED IN MY EAR. Hours passed. HOURS. We're not talking small fragment of parsley on a tooth here, were talking plastic earphone condom lodged in my ear. I'm not surprised or angry that no one before Smelly Coffee Co-worker said anything, I mean, it's not a topic that's easy to bring up. "Pardon me, none of my business, but if it were me I'd want to know...you've got, well, there's, an, um, well, earphone condom in your ear." Yes, I can see it's not as easy as "tooth - parsley" or "Slip!" No, I can understand it's not the easiest thing to tell someone.

What's bothering me, and why I think I might be in the early stages of sensory dimming or dementia is the fact that I was completely oblivious to the earphone condom lodged in my ear for several hours. It's thrown me off what I thought was a fairly sharp game this morning. I'm trying to console myself with "better that Smelly Coffee Co-worker noticed than a client over lunch." But I know the best and most appropriate scenario would have been that I noticed it as soon as I removed my earphone. Or maybe, maybe, failing that, when I brushed my hair in the bathroom mirror. Seems like if I hadn't felt it by then I would have seen it.

Is this how it begins? Are nylon knee-highs fallen down around one ankle and a wig on backwards soon to appear on me without me realizing?

10:12 AM

Sunday, November 16, 2003  
Lines! My lines!

One of my favorite bands swung through town last night. I've been looking forward to this concert for several weeks. It was actually a three band venue, two of the bands are favorites, one more long time so than the other.

Girls: If you want to be one of a few women in a crowded, smoky room of men over 28, CATCH THE MAVERICKS.

I'm not saying these smoking men over 28 years old are the types you would necessarily want to pursue...but sisters, let me tell you, they will pursue you. Don't let the little fact that these are the types of men who will pursue anything female stand in your way of a good night of ego boosting.

Three hours of non-stop pick-up lines.

If you have a wounded appendage, so much the better. Never, ever underestimate the number of men with a crippled chick fetish. I have found the number of men with this fetish to be staggering, alarming, and disconcerting.

What was irritating is that I was not there to troll for men, to change my numeric gestalt. No, I braved the wilds of a very small club on a Saturday night with only 10° of ankle mobility because I like the band and WANTED TO HEAR THEM.

These are actual lines and conversations that occurred over a three hour period. Nothing has been altered or enhanced.

Line one: "So do you come here a lot?"
(Only when there's a band I want to hear.)
"So you come here a lot?"
(On the occasion there's a band here I like, yes, I have been known to patronize this club. Speaking of patronizing...)
"So you like the bands tonight?"
(Yes. A = B, B = C so C = A.)
"Huh?"
(Yes, I like the bands tonight.)
"I'm here because I got free tickets. I've never heard of the bands."
(Well, you're in for a treat.)
"Are they good?"
(I like them.)
"But are they any good?"

Line two: "I like tall women."
(Hmmm. There are several here tonight. There's one over there, she looks to be about 5'10)
"I meant you. You're taller."
(I meant go try that line on someone else.)

Line three: "I'm the kind of guy your mother warned you about."
(I'm the kind of woman your therapist warned you about.)
"I don't have a therapist."
(or a sense of humor or irony)

Line four: "What's wrong with your leg?"
(Broken ankle - in re-hab, though.)
"So, you're getting better?"
(Yes!)
"Shame."

Line five: "So what's a girl like you doing in a place like this?"
(Trying to hear one of my favorite bands.)
"Oh. Sorry. (Pause) So you like country music?"
(No, not categorically, but I really like THIS band. The one who just took the stage.)
"Oh. Sorry. (Pause) I like country music."
(Good for you. This is one of the few bands where good country music is not an oxymoron.)
"A what?"
(Oxymoron? You know, diametric opposite juxtaposition of adjectives and definitions?)
"Are they the third band?"

Line six: "Oooh, is that a broken leg?"
(Ankle, getting better, though.)
"Do you have crutches?"
(Not here, I got off them a month ago.)
"But you still have them?"
(Yes, but...)
"I've had this fantasy about a woman on crutches...."

Line seven: "Guess you couldn't wear your cowgirl boots with that bum leg."
(No, nor my Via Spiga trendy boots, nor my white vinyl go-go boots, nor my thigh high hooker boots...)
"Do you have cowgirl boots?"
(I have a pair of western inspired boots, but I don't think any real self respecting cowgirl would wear them.)
"I think more women should wear cowgirl boots."
(I'll tell all my friends.)
"Cool. Then when I see a woman in cowgirl boots she might be a friend of yours."
(How much have you had to drink? It might be time to stop.)

Line eight: "Does it hurt?"
(no response)
Yelling, "Does it hurt?"
(what?)
"Your leg, does it hurt?" yelling louder.
(Not too bad. It's a lot better.)
"What's wrong with it?"
(broken ankle)
"Oh. So it's only broken."
(Sorry to disappoint you, yes, only broken. Nothing serious, permanent or life threatening.)
"How long do you have to wear that?"
(Not sure, hopefully just another month.)
Coming in close, conspiratorially, "I have this little fantasy..."
(Coyly looking into his eyes, ...About doing it with a crippled chick?)
Blushing, "Yes. Yes. I'm bad. I know it's wrong. But I've always had this...this...desire, I can't explain it. I just want to do it with a crippled girl."
(Take a number.)
Stunned. "What?"
(You're not alone. In fact, you guys should form a club. You could meet at hospitals and re-hab centers.)
"You get a lot of guys hitting on you?"
(Yes, had I known this was such man bait I would have broken my ankle years ago. Or at least faked it.)
"Really?"
(Well, no, I was being sarcastic, I wouldn't have actually intentionally broken my ankle or faked it in hopes of attracting a man with a crippled chick fetish, but there are a lot of you. Perhaps you might want to do a little online research.)
"So, will you help me out with my fantasy?"
(No. I'm temporarily crippled, not temporarily brain dead.)
"That's not nice."
(Excuse me? You try to pick up a woman with a line about a crippled chick fantasy and you have the audacity to call me not nice?)
"Bitch."
(Yes. Have a nice day.)

Line nine: "Whew, you're a tall drink of water."
(So I've been told. At least once a week since I was 13)
"yeah, I suppose you do hear that a lot."
(feeling slightly bad about rebuffing what might be a nice guy. Sorry. Just seems like every jerk in the city is out to get me with their worst lines tonight.)
"Sorry. On behalf of the entire male population, I apologize."
(Thanks.)
"So how tall are you, anyway?"
(Trying to hide exasperation. Does it really matter?)
"No. I just wondered."
(I really want to hear this band.)
"Yeah, me too."
(to herself, So why the swut did you try to engage me in conversation during one of their best songs?)

Fortunately the band was very good. Even if you don't like country music check out The Mavericks, they're touring with The Thorns.

9:46 AM

 
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