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

 
Wednesday, November 26, 2003  
Thanksgoing
If you're British, or of British lineage post 1776, living in America, is it hypocritical and wrong to celebrate Thanksgiving? Sorry if you've heard this one before...it's time for my yearly soul searching on this topic. Be patient and give thanks it only happens once (or maybe a few times) a year.

I replay this over and over, hoping to find a clue or inspiration.

A bunch of religious outcasts (read: Bible Thumping Weirdoes) were not free to practice their fringe religion (read: Cult) in England, so they chartered a rickety merchant boat (read: Secondhand Church Bus) to a developing nation known for it's harsh seasons, difficult crop cultivation and hostile (even violent!) natives (read: America) to start new lives. To form a religious community where they were free to practice their beliefs without persecution, the prying eyes of the government and neighborhood gossip. (read: Jonestown or Branch Dividian Compound)

Is it any wonder my ancestors happily helped them load their gear on the ship? That they stood on the shore that morning, smiling and waving good-bye, enthusiastically wishing them well, "Cheers gang, best of luck, send a postcard" then under their breath "poor misguided fools, don't stand a chance in that 'New World' (air quotes) of theirs," then giving the Mayflower a hardy shove?

Walking home, talking amongst themselves...rubbing their hands dismissively. "Got rid of that lot."

"I give 'em six months. They'll be back."

"I heard the Adams girl, what's her name? Prudy? Pish? Posh? Is leaving in shame. Got Tangled up with that Beckham boy."

"I heard that too - he's gone off to Spain. And that Goody Johnson, I mean, who does she think she is? All her holier than thou 'I pray 10 hours a day' (air quotes) malarkey."

"Hear, hear. And Jacob Smartpants...a farmer?! Daft as a mad cow!"

"Ship's already nearly full of Hollanders - you know how 'they' are..." (knowing glances)

"Heh heh, though if that's part of their religion, maybe they're not so foolish!" (wink wink nudge nudge)

"I hear this Myles Standish chap has had some 'problems' (air quotes) in the military - rather questionable army tenure. 'Has' (air quotes) to leave if you know what I mean." (eyebrows raised, nods in knowing concern and dismissal)

"And just where is this Robinson bloke? I notice he's not on the ship. All well and good for him to organize this disaster, then send them on their way to the 'New World' (air quotes) with naught but a prayer and a crocodile tear...he's not the one crammed shoulder to shoulder for months on end in that broken down heap of a ship."

"Organize?! Organize! Why, he couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery!"

(Hardy guffaws.)

"On that note, stop in for a pint?"

"I say amen to that!"

(More hardy guffaws.)

Okay, so I may have just explained a lot about my ancestors and why I am the way I am. (It's in my blood. At least we've evolved past the air quote gene - it's recessed into oblivion.)

And so, I feel hypocritical and a little blasphemous celebrating Thanksgiving. It seems more appropriate for me to celebrate the departure of the Puritans from England in September, a "Thanksgoing" celebration more in keeping with my nationality and heritage. Or maybe, at a stretch, a month prior, the Canadian "Thanksgiving" (air quotes) festivities, at least closer to the date of departure and more in line with my "Thanksgoing" idea.

Let me state loudly and clearly from the highest peaks of the Purple Mountains Majesty, I firmly believe in adapting to the customs of one's environment. If you choose to live in a country other than that in which you, your parents, your grandparents, etc. were born, you adopt, adapt, embrace, engage and blend. Period.

Let me yell across the fruited plains: America has been berry berry good to me and my family. I love America. I am thankful for America.

But. The British are thrust in a unique situation in America. There's a lot of history. A lot of issues. A lot of baggage. A lot of stuff. Being rid of the British is the very reason for a few cherished American celebrations (Thanksgiving, Fourth of July). There are no American holidays celebrating being rid of any other nationality. (Is someone working on that? I nominate France. I'm sure Canada would be in on that, too.)

Consequently, the British in America are in a bit of a uniquely awkward spot. In this case, if you are British, or of British descent, to follow my above "rules" of adaptation means you must be hypocritical. You must sacrifice some personal integrity. And come to terms with the fact that it was your people, your country, your kind who caused so much animosity that an entire nation, your now chosen nation, celebrates leaving you and independence from you. For hundreds of years these celebrations have been going on all across America. If you're British, and I mean of any British descent since July 4, 1776, how could you not take that just a bit personally or shamefully?

In another life, another job, I worked for a company that had many departments. There were several departments on my floor. My office was situated on the border of another department, so I got wind of a lot of their dirty laundry. The head of their department was a very smart, very hard working man. But he was so hated, so vile, so repugnant to his staff, that when he took a job 12,000 miles away, the department not only threw him a nice going away party, but then had an enormous blow out of a bash the week after he left. People were literally dancing and singing in the halls for weeks after his departure. I know he had a clue his staff detested him. He was not stupid. But I often wonder if he knew how happy, how overjoyed they were when he left. And was that a factor in his decision to leave? If so, no matter how much of a hardass he was, it had to hurt. At least a little. In the wee small hours of the morning when sleep won't come.

I always think of this, about him, when Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July roll around. To Americans, the British are that evil boss. I'm not saying the celebrations aren't justified. I'm in no way defending religious persecution or taxation without representation. But because I'm British, living in America, I'm like Scrooge looking at Christmas Future, watching people celebrate that I'm gone. But I'm there. Watching. They just can't see me. And it's a bit difficult for me to join in the festivities.

I know some other Britons do not have this issue. They gloss over it. Dismiss it with, "let them have their little celebrations, no harm could come of it, their frolicking and merriment will only make us look that much more civilized." Or, "yeah, that's why we left, better parties over here."

Or like my mother, embrace the whole thing whole heartedly. "Don't take it all so seriously and so personally dear. We can all stand to take time out to be thankful for what we've got." (Yeah. That irritates me sometimes, too. But she's right, and she means well.)

My parents do celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Not because they're really, really, truly so thankful they feel a need to celebrate twice, but because they're the only ones living in America and are always up for a family gathering. Off they trudge to Canada to the family members who never quite made it 'all the way.' Yeah. Ontario's "nice" yah sure, why go to America when Ontario's right here? Uncle Duncan, give it up, we all know about your little legal problem. Erm, challenge.

(And yes, we also celebrate St. Andrew's Day. In a big way. If you don't hear from me Dec. 1, suffice to say I paid appropriate tribute to St. Andrew. And I'm not talking kilt and woolly jumper, here. Besides, it's not all kilts, blue face painting and Brigadoon dance numbers, you know. No one provokes me with impunity. Ha! Take that yanks!

Giving thanks for the New World AND paying tribute to the patron saint of the old world in the same weekend...even though neither I nor anyone in my family is, or ever has been, Catholic (well, not for hundreds of years, anyway) Is it any wonder I'm horribly confused about my identity and holidays? See what I mean? See what I'm up against here? If you really think about any of this, really give it some serious thought, it's all weird.)

You many generations in America people don't know how lucky you have it. Or maybe you do. Comfy in your smug little New World and Founding Fathers celebration. Your zeal for independence in any form. It's been bred into you. You swell with pride at the site of the feast spread before you, the giant character balloons floating in the Macy's parade, hours of American football...yes, you have much history and pride for which to be thankful. It's yours and you deserve it. While you firmly planted Britons don't know how lucky you have it. No country full of people who hate you because of national history (yet insist on plastering your royality all over their media) - living in a place full of people who never, ever fail to pull out the whole, "The war's been over since 1776. We won. We kicked your blue-blooded ass all the way back to that puny little island" or "If it weren't for us you'd be speaking German right now" trump cards. Oh, sure, growing up with one foot in each nation sounds fun and exotic. But just you try to work out holiday celebrations. Dig deep to the roots and true meaning of the celebrations. Then dig deep into your soul and conscience. See how torn you are then, and get back to me on your conflicted feelings. And believe me, holidays are just the tip of a huge iceberg of conflicted feelings. Sorry. That's another blog. Or several. Issues. I've got issues.

Thanksgiving's different from the Fourth of July, that answer's obvious. No way. It's wrong for me to celebrate. Not because I am bitter or remorseful that America gained its independence, but because my family was on the other team. No, they didn't personally cause the trouble, but they didn't help, either. Things worked out okay in the end, but let's face it, at the time of conception of this holiday, my relatives had no cause for celebration, nor did they have any justification in sympathizing. It's not even as if my ancestors were on the first boat out when the whole war thing blew over. (they heard the beer was really thin and weak, impossible to get a decent cup of tea, the whiskey and gin were sub par, and there was no Harvey Nichols or Fortnum and Mason, so they stayed right there, thank you very much) So Fourth of July is a no brainer for me. Should be for anyone of British descent with ancestors immigrated to America post 7-4-76. (or 4-7-76) Quiet reflection on independence and what it means on a personal and global level, a sparkler or two, a quiet nod to both teams, and be done with it.

But this Thanksgiving thing. I mean, even in the broadest sense: Give thanks. Apart from the most innocuous bows to personal gratitude it all seems a bit contrived and shallow. If we're so darned thankful, shouldn't we be giving thanks every day? Wouldn't that be the true Puritan Way?

And in the bigger, global sense, isn't it a bit presumptuous, arrogant, even, to give thanks for things that aren't really ours in the first place?

Just an excuse to get together, eat a bunch of food, surreptitiously drink a lot of alcohol and argue about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. Or maybe that's just my family. Celebrating the harvest, one split hair at a time.

My parents have adopted the "tradition" of each person having to list at least one thing for which they are thankful. With a few rules. Giving thanks for material possessions is not allowed. Nor is the easy option of "Family and friends." A nod to my "shouldn't we be thankful every day" stance. No, we're required to dig deep into our hearts, souls and brains and fish out something beyond the obvious or material for which we are truly grateful. Leave it to my parents to make us work for food. (They also make us make wishes - profound wishes - for the new year on New Year's Eve. Yeah. My family's a hoot. And yet still I wonder why HWNMNBS couldn't go through with marrying me.)

Gratitude and giving thanks requires a lot of thought on my part this year.

What, apart from the innocuous, fills me with thanks and gratitude this year? Health? Nope, not this year: Broken ankle, whiplash, concussion, strained wrist, allergic reaction and subsequent newfound restrictions including my most favorite food on the planet. Prosperity? Guess again: Cutbacks at work, no new job, 401K in the toilet. Romance? Yeah, it's been a great year - more anguish and missing HWNMNBS, and dates with: a guy who dresses up as a Storm Trooper and a stalker. Should I really just be thankful I have a job in this economy? Well, let's see. I work on average 58 hours a week which, if prorated to an hourly rate, equates to a very dismal sum of money, but that's a moot point because I'm salaried and therefore do not get paid any more or less for the amount of hours I work, my boss is a complete, useless nincompoop, we have three vacant jobs on my team and I'm doing their work until the hiring freeze is lifted, and the one person who can help me got a boob job and hasn't been feeling well enough to function properly. That is when she isn't interrupted by a constant stream of visitors checking out the new tourist attraction on our floor. Yeah. Lot's to be thankful for about my job. Shelter? Please. Same old drafty, three and a half flights of stairs up apartment in desperate need of re-habbing (can you say avocado refrigerator?). Thankful just to be alive? My jury's out on that one. Until I know the confirmed alternative, I cannot make an informed decision.

If I could just see the glass half full instead of empty, you say. Yes. I suppose you're right. Let's re-address: Health? Hey, at least it was just a broken ankle, whiplash and concussion. He could have pulled a knife or worse, a gun. I'm lucky to be alive! I'm thankful my mugger only shoved me down a crowded flight of subway stairs! And I'm thankful they figured out what the allergies are, now I can avoid them and not suffer another attack! I am thankful for allergy scratch tests! Prosperity? At least I have a steady paycheck coming in. And my 401K has almost crept back to where it was pre 9/11. I'm managing on one income in a two income society! I am thankful for my paycheck! Romance? Hey! At least I had true love, once. I have fond and happy memories to last a lifetime. A lot of people never even get that. And I had few dates this year. Actual, bona fide dates. A lot of people had no dates this year. So what if one spends his spare time traveling to Star Wars conventions...so what if another turned into a stalker, he's giving me attention, right? I am thankful there are a few men who find me attractive and interesting enough to date. A job in this economy? Yes. I am thankful for that. I have been unemployed and I don't ever want to go through that again. Shelter? I have a roof over my head. So what if that roof occasionally leaks? So what if the building's been broken into and ransacked four times in the past year? So what if it costs me three times it's actual worth...I have a place to call home. Thankful just to be alive? Yeah. I guess. Whatever. I suppose I can continue to tow this party line until I have confirmation of the alternative.

See? This whole concept is too foreign for me to wholeheartedly grasp and hold dear.

I am thankful for Furry Creature. But he, my mother admonished me, counts as family and friends and therefore is disallowed from my debt of gratitude.

I am thankful for family and friends and few kind strangers who have helped me during my struggles with a broken ankle. I am thankful for "Kimmie" and her special (though annoying) encouragement and all the progress she's led me to achieve in physical therapy. (yes really. I am thankful for her. However I will be more thankful when I'm finished with her.) I am thankful for a fantastic orthopedic surgeon who helped me heal without surgery. I am thankful for my PayLess shoes which have seen more miles than any other pair of shoes I have ever worn. I am thankful for iPods and iTunes and musicians past and present who soothe my weary ears and brain. I am thankful for authors and books and Barnesandnoble.com. I am thankful for artists past and present who soothe my weary eyes and brain with visual feasts. I am thankful for Orange Pineapple Soy SlimFast (I'd rather be thankful for Strawberries and Cream SlimFast and how it tastes just like Frankenberry cereal, but I can't have it anymore, now that I have the little lactose issue.) I am thankful for fresh snowfall (even if I can't skate and ski this year). I am thankful for travel. I am thankful for email so I can keep in touch with far-flung friends and family. I am thankful for blogging and most of the blogworld.

I am thankful there are people who care about people and things other than themselves, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the opposite. I am thankful there are intelligent people with good ideas, good words and good resources to keep this planet moving forward, even if it's in small, seemingly insignificant ways. I think I used that one a few years back, but maybe no one will notice. Can't be any worse than the time my brother, unable to come up with the right things of thanks on his own, tried to pass off the lyrics to My Favorite Things as his things to be thankful for. Really. Lucky for him his inspired attempt at a sincere oral recitation was so funny even my parents cracked up and let him get away with it. He got all the way to wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings before my mother could no longer stifle herself and burst out laughing. He might have pulled it off had he left out the fly with the moon on their wings part. But, like so many other amateurs before him, he didn't know when to quit while he was ahead. Couldn't discern how much was too much. Got too carried away. Too full of himself. Forgot his roots. Overconfidence struck him down in his prime. Fell by the wayside faster than last season's American Idol.

Hmmmm. Raindrops. Roses. Whiskers on kittens. Woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied in strings. Yeah. I'm thankful for all that. It just might work...

Happy Thanksgoing everyone. Have a good holiday to the Americans, drink smartly and avoid the haggis to the Brits. To everyone else, have a good weekend.

6:21 AM

Tuesday, November 25, 2003  
Chore Boy (You Can Be My Slave)
I have really great friends. Really. Truly. I know what a crashing bore it can be to make these exclamations. I can see your eyes rolling, feel you reaching for the Favorites menu to see what's going on over at sixapart.com But honestly. For everyone having a bad day, for everyone fed up with the human race, for everyone who thinks there are no decent people in the world, I know how you feel. I feel that way a lot, too. But please hear these words: There are a few wonderful people in this world, on this very planet. And I am lucky enough to know some of them and call a few of them friends.

My choice in men is, well, not to be trusted. I'm infamous for my dating history. It reads like a Greek tragedy with a little Shakespearean comedy thrown in now and then. But don't let this alter your perception of my ability to know really good, kind, caring, decent, funny, intelligent people. Somehow, in spite of my horrendous luck and taste in men, I have phenomenal luck and taste in friends. (This dichotomy puzzles me, too.)

Last night Bone picked me up from physical therapy, gave me a ride home, helped me drop off two garbage bags full of donation clothing in the charity drop box AND helped me with my laundry. So that my place won't look quite so horrible when my parents arrive next week. He has parents, too. (Small world.) Sometimes they visit him. He knows what I'm going through. Arthur is conveniently out of town. Not that he owes me for helping him when he was in a similar situation a few weeks ago. Just very interesting timing on his part...

The laundry room in my building consists of two washers and two dryers. For 50 apartments. You do the math. On top of rarely being able to squeak a load in, one of the washers has no hot water. One of the dryers is so hot it shrinks even the most industrial strength synthetic fiber. I learned early on it's actually a safety hazard: My nifty and very expensive but got on a great sale ski pants suffered at the tumble of that machine. The pocket zips melted together rendering the pockets unreachable. Not that it mattered. The actual material (a poly/spandex/lycra mix) was also melted. Yes. Melted. The fabric melted. And once they cooled, they were shrunk to a size suitable for a three year old. None of this was discovered until I suffered burns on my hands from retrieving them from the dryer. Yes. They were so hot coming out of the dryer I burned my hands. Though it was fortunate they hadn't cooled, because in their hand burning hot state, I was able to retrieve them before the molten button cooled, which would have permanently affixed them to the drum of the dyer. This Really Hot Dryer is convenient, though, for a massive load of towels.

Knowing getting time on the usable machines, let alone time for several loads, is a near impossibility, and knowing my current slow rate of mobility, Bone offered to help. He took me to the LaunderBar. The place he does his laundry. While enjoying a cocktail. Spin and sip. Bleach and belch. Sort and swig. Clothes and cosmopolitans. Wash and Whiskey. Rinse and rye. Yep. That winning combination of laundry and alcohol.

I do not frequent this establishment because it's way too far for me to drag my laundry. I usually try to manage with my building's sub-par machines and scary subterranean laundry room. But these are desperate times. Many heaps of laundry have accumulated. Bone's building actually has a nice laundry facility, but he traipses to the LaunderBar every few weeks. He likes the premise. Everyone has to do laundry, everyone hates launderettes, why not make it more pleasant for everyone and provide a full service bar? It's not a pick up joint, it's a launderette. No one expects you to be dressed in your spiffiest, after all, you're doing your laundry. At least that's what he kids himself into believing. Plus, I have to agree, the facilities are nice. It's not the usual horrendously awful place most launderettes are. A couple of computer stations to cruise the net, read your blogs or check your email. Two televisions, last night they were on Comedy Central. Cool magazines. Comfy chairs. And the bar. With friendly bar staff. And not too expensive drinks.

Yes. There is fluorescent lighting. But it's tasteful and not the K-Mart type of fluorescent lighting. (I agree with this bow to practicality in terms of actually doing one's laundry.) But there are no yellow or lime green walls. No 38 year old chipped Formica folding tables. No tiled floor so dirty if a garment drops onto it on its way out of a machine it has to be thrown away. No orange cracked vinyl seating with the padding long gone. No molded plastic chairs. No families of seemingly endless numbers of children running, screeching, sneezing their way around the machines. No vending machines filled with products you've never heard of or would ever buy. No permanently broken change machine. No staticky, not quite properly tuned in crappiest radio station in town blaring over the horrible speakers. No Enquirer or Weekly World News tabs five years out of date. Laundry nirvana? Well. Not quite. It's still a launderette. But, it's about as good as it can get. And Bone's taken home more than clean laundry from there. He once met a long term girlfriend there.

No. I didn't meet anyone. Neither did he. We were on a mission. Laundry and a few drinks. There was one girl who might have been interested in Bone, but I think she was put off by his antic of sticking my pink Velcro curler in his hair. No, he doesn't have long hair. In fact, he has quite short hair. Hair so short I wouldn't have thought there would be enough to hold the curler. Which, to my eyes, made it even funnier. What was my pink Velcro curler doing at the LaunderBar? No, I didn't go with my hair in curlers. Please. I'm getting old and a bit eccentric and more apathetic every day, and I may be losing my mind. But I'm not at the going out with my hair in curlers stage yet.

Furry Creature loves to play with Velcro curlers. (they are great cat toys - and it's hilarious if one happens to stick to the cat - Furry Creature tries to play it off nonchalant, walking around as if everything's absolutely normal, "What pink/purple/green curler stuck to my back?") He frequently steals one from the bathroom, plays with it, rolls it around, carries it off somewhere, usually the laundry bin (where he likes to hide his treasures. Or thinks I'll wash them. All these years I'm not sure which) and then, as I do my laundry, I find my curlers.

So there, in my laundry, was a big, pink, Velcro curler. Bone was unfamiliar with the concept of Velcro curlers, so I demonstrated. Fascinated by the simplicity of the concept of the curler, and Furry Creature's desire to play with them, he tried it out. (Yeah, he's quite the metrosexual at times.) And it was about this time the cute little redhead came from the bar to transfer her laundry from washer to dryer.

Bone had noticed her at the bar earlier. I could tell he was taken with her. She was with a friend (female) and the two of them checked Bone out, too. And me. I'm sure they were summing up the situation, deciphering all the codes to figure out if we were a couple, siblings, cousins or friends. As the cute little redhead came into the laundry area, I saw her checking out Bone's behind (he's got a nice one) and watched her scoping-the-rest-of-the-package technique. She was impressed until she spied: The pink Velcro curler stuck on the front of his head. She was clearly singularly unimpressed. I think she's the type of girl who would think, "Nice bum. Let's check out the rest of the package...good shoes (but not so good as to be gay), great hands (no ring), shaved sometime this week, pretty eyes, pink Velcro curler stuck on his forehead...(scratch of record) No. Definitely not. I cannot see myself with a guy who would be seen in public with a pink, or any other color, Velcro curler stuck to his forehead. Next!" I'm sure she went back to her friend and relayed the whole sordid event. "He had a pink Velcro curler stuck on his head?! Ohmygod! How stupid! How embarrassing! Ewwww! What a dork!"

When we finished the laundry, Bone took me to pick up a few groceries. Something other than SlimFast and Lean Cuisine and melba toast. Something other than what can be acquired at 7-11. Something my parents will eat. And coffee. Thanks to Bone, I got the "right" kind - or at least the ground kind. I happily tossed the French Roast Beans in the trolley. Bone said, "Do you have a grinder?"

"A what?"

"A grinder. You've got whole beans. You need to grind them." I'm not a complete coffee moron, I realize coffee comes beaned or ground, but I didn't pay enough attention to the packaging to realize I'd selected beaned. The coffee people really should make the packaging between the two types more dissimilar. I'll bet plenty of seasoned coffee drinkers have been caught out the same way. But I suppose seasoned coffee drinkers would have a grinder at home. Still. Had it not been for Bone, I would have got home and realized my blunder, causing another trip to the grocery.

When we got home, he helped me drag the laundry and groceries up all my stairs, and then, and THEN, he changed my vacuum bag AND vacuumed the living room rug for me.

And now for the coup de gras: He cleaned the floor behind my bathroom sink and toilet. The place that's been nearly impossible for me to reach since I broke my ankle. They're tiny spaces, I've done my best with the duster and mop, but a proper cleaning of the areas requires getting down on hand and knees. Hands and knees is a very difficult position to assume with a broken ankle. Try it. Notice what your foot and ankle are doing. I can't do that. Yet. (I may have just hit on something here...something to do with all the crippled chick fetishists - painful or impossible for me to be on my knees...huh. I can't believe I just now thought of that. Man it's been a long time. So long I don't even think the obvious things about being on my knees. All I've thought about is how difficult it is to clean the awkward spaces in my bathroom. Man. I'm pathetic. How did this happen to me? Wonder if that means I'm a good girl now...no automatic impure thoughts when the subject of being on my knees comes up. Huh. See? Blogging is good for the soul.)

Sorry. Revelations hit when they hit, you know? So there Bone was, completely without my asking, he grabbed cleaning agents and in less than ten minutes cleaned up the places that have given me such trouble all these months. No, he wasn't still sporting the pink Velcro curler. Though it would have been funny if he were.

I know. Marry this man. I should. Were it not for the fact that we've been friends for ages I probably would. That is if he wanted to marry me. I won't get into why it would be a problem. Why it would never work. And all the complications that would evolve from a marital union between us. Let's just leave it at: Some friendships are perfect just the way they are and should never be tampered with romantically. We are both old enough, experienced enough and wise enough to know this.

So now, one more evening of last minute touches, my place will be almost parent ready. It's not perfect, it's not up to my usual standards, but, it is leaps and bounds better than it was a few days ago. I'm looking at this as part of the bigger picture of my healing process. I've put away, thrown away or otherwise cleaned away the remnants and vestiges of several months of handicapped living, self pity and apathy. It doesn't look as much like a woman with a broken leg who lives alone with her cat lives there.

If it looks like a duck, well, it's either a duck or a good decoy. Either way other ducks think it's a duck.

Sorry geek girls, believe me, I'm missing it too. I've taped the Roadshow for the past few weeks but haven't had a chance to get caught up with them. Don't ruin it for me! I hope it's been good. I'll get back into the routine soon.

Enough people have inquired/responded to the vegetarian/vegan issue that I am posting a link to a quick and easy protein calculator. I think many of you will be surprised at how little protein you should actually be consuming. Take that, Atkins devotees.

8:42 AM

Monday, November 24, 2003  
It's review day! Woo hoo! Way to go!

It's like Christmas, Chanukah and an STD all rolled into one! You give, you receive. The full benefits and horrors won't be actualized for a few weeks, even months. You dread it and yet somehow, sadistically, you also look forward to it, hoping maybe this year it will be different. Maybe this year will be the year of the good review process.

You've been very good this year. You've worked really hard. You've been extra creative AND extra financially innovative (fiscal responsibility is your middle name around the office). You've worked many weekends, early mornings, lunch hours and late evenings. Your enthusiasm is unbridled. You've initiated improvement and action plans. You've actualized all your stated goals. You've pulled your elastic as far as it will go and met your stretch goals. You graciously (and usually without grumpy comment) help out other co-workers with their projects. You take time to patiently educate the slower members of the team. You've even helped other teams, teams not your own, when they were struggling and requested your special brand of creativity, innovation and tireless efficiency. You've tried to improve your office citizenship. You've kept your biting sarcastic remarks to yourself. You've become so good at pasting on your best phony smile before you walk in the door every morning most people don't even realize it's fake. Sometimes, you even kid yourself it's sincere. You've attended all the bonding events (you even brought "real" food, none of that "weirdo organic health crap you usually eat" to the office potlucks). You always clean the microwave after you use it and never leave your dishes, dirty or clean, in the sink.

You realize these are difficult times for the company and the nation. You understand the hiring freeze is a temporary fiscal requirement. You're in there doing your bit for company and country. You understand you are just damn lucky to have a job at all. You take this knowledge and apply it to your attitude. So much so that you happily take on the work of co-workers who have left and not been replaced. Without so much as thinking, "What's in it for me?" Because after all, you're just damn lucky to have a job at all. And you're a team player.

You strive to lead by example with your subordinates. You don't think of them as subordinates. They are your teammates. You don't assign projects you know they cannot handle. You don't get frustrated with their incompetence with some of their required skill sets. You have removed the word problem from your vocabulary. You see only opportunities and challenges. (This annoys the crap out of you but you strive to maintain company policy...lead by example...revise your attitude...blah blah blah...) You offer every possibility for education and training. You talk, really talk, with your teammates. You care deeply for them and understand their personal challenges outside the office. And how those challenges color their office performance. You are not quick to judge and stand behind them and their work. You are a team. A well oiled machine. A machine missing several key components. A piston, a crank shaft, a timing belt...but yet somehow, in spite of the missing pieces, you are still a shining model of efficiency and innovation. Yet you are too modest to accept any accolades for your superior leadership. You instead defer all credit to your team. Because you are a team player. This isn't about you. This is about designing and maintaining a smooth, steady workflow unit which results in a quality product.

And that is why, when the reviews are made, the results processed and tallied in HR, the final pay increase sums doled out, you will happily accept your lousy 2.1% increase and not weigh it against the published national rate of inflation. You won't even think about this. You won't even acknowledge this. Because you are a team player and just damn lucky to have a job at all.

8:56 AM

Sunday, November 23, 2003  
What Do you Know? Even Cool People Break Up
Last night I took a break from my mad dash cleaning (which is going well, thank you very much) to have dinner with friends. We chose a local Thai place. This is one of my favorite restaurants. Fantastic food, intimate but not weird if you're there with friends or by yourself, great service, hip but not pretentious or trendy, and they understand what vegetarian means. Plus they have great plum wine.

My friends and I and the other diners were enjoying a pleasant evening.

Until the über cool couple three tables from us started arguing. It started as uncomfortable harsh words. Then crescendoed to an out and out battle.

The sort of argument where everyone tries to politely pretend not to notice, but, because of the intimate atmosphere it's impossible to not notice.

The sort of argument that's so bad, so awful, so...well. Most of us have been there at least once. A relationship careening off track. A second date where the veil of mystery is lifted and you discover the true jerkness of the person. Even a first date gone horribly wrong. Whatever the case, as much as you're annoyed at being disturbed by the quarrel, you're embarrassed for both of them. Sure it's bad manners to argue in public. But if you've ever been on one date in your entire life, you realize, these things can happen. Most of us shudder in recognition of the feelings the couple are experiencing.

The seeming immediacy of the "problem." The urgency to be understood. The compulsion to hash this out right now, no matter where you are, who hears, or what the issue.

In the case of last night's couple, I was a bit surprised because they didn't seem "the type." They seemed perfectly matched. Expensive hair cuts, perfect posture, facial expressions that say, "I know a lot of things you do not. I am über cool. My life is not like yours and never will be." They brought along their best friends, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Ermengildo Zenga . They drove up in a BMW Z4. We know this because they got the perfect parking place right in front of the restaurant (natch). These are people who live like people in über cool magazines. They're different from the rest of us.

Until they disagree. Which until last night, I thought was something people like this didn't do. At least not publicly. Disagreeing might be okay in the confines of their hip and trendy loft. The passion of disagreement might even offer some good moody photo ops for the monthly fashion spreads of their life. But argue? In public? Tacky. Never.

But guess what? They argue. They fight. They wrangle through the night. In fact, I would say this relationship cannot be saved.

Maybe it's one of those volatile relationships that feeds on negativity to give it life.

But by her hurt looks and his displeased looks, I would say not. I would say this is a relationship in jeopardy.

He was vehement in making his points. She was steadfast in her opinion.

Neither was willing to listen to the merits of the other's point of view.

The cause for the serious, loud and embarrassing argument?

Noodles. He felt wide noodles are the only choice for Thai food. She felt thin is the proper choice.

Dr. Phil would say the argument wasn't about noodles at all. Noodles were a catalyst, a tool to bring out underlying issues. And for the rest of us, us non über cool people, much as I hate to, I have to agree with Dr. Phil.

But in Über Cool Couple's case, I think the size of the noodle was in fact the true cause of the argument.

They had reached an impasse in their relationship. An issue so important, so vital to their lives and look that the only clear solution is to break up.

Which, right there in front of all of us, they did.

Noodles. The size of noodles.

He squealed away in the Z4, she was left standing on the sidewalk, sleek cell phone to ear, gesturing toward the squealing car.

Huh. Even cool people break up.

I wonder if he went to his buddy's place and drank and belched through a case of Bud, deciding there are a lot of gorgeous bangable women just waiting for him, he's better off without her, and stayed up all night watching ESPN?

I wonder if she went to her girlfriend's place and ate two gallons of ice cream and brownies, cried through a box of Kleenex deciding how to put the relationship back together, and stayed up all night watching Lifetime?

8:38 AM

 
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