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:

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

Trillian McMillian
Trillian McMillian
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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
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
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or Search by State

Contact The Media
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

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.)



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11/17/13 12/1/13 - 12/8/13 12/15/13 - 12/22/13 12/29/13 - 1/5/14 6/29/14 - 7/6/14 9/14/14 - 9/21/14 9/21/14 - 9/28/14 10/12/14 - 10/19/14 11/23/14 - 11/30/14 12/7/14 - 12/14/14 12/28/14 - 1/4/15 1/25/15 - 2/1/15 2/8/15 - 2/15/15 2/22/15 - 3/1/15 3/8/15 - 3/15/15 3/15/15 - 3/22/15 3/22/15 - 3/29/15 4/12/15 - 4/19/15 4/19/15 - 4/26/15 5/3/15 - 5/10/15 5/17/15 - 5/24/15 5/24/15 - 5/31/15 6/14/15 - 6/21/15 6/28/15 - 7/5/15 7/5/15 - 7/12/15 7/19/15 - 7/26/15 8/16/15 - 8/23/15 11/6/16 - 11/13/16 6/24/18 - 7/1/18

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


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?!)


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.


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


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.

< chicago blogs >

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

Saturday, January 03, 2004  
Grapes of Wrath
Okay, now that you've safely recovered from your New Year's Eve festivities, and are able to stomach reading about alcohol without being ill, it's time to present an issue plaguing the nation.

Kilgore Trout, of Chaotic Not Random recently blogged about a phenomenon in the wine world: White merlot.

Sadly, I, too, have tasted the vile brew. I thought I was the only one to notice this bizarre wine atrocity. I kept it to myself. I hoped if I kept quiet, maybe it would just go away.

I thought, "If the ancient Monks of Merlot get wind of this new situation, there will be Hell to pay in Sonoma."

I also held out childlike trust in the human race that no one would actually buy this stuff. Maybe once, like me, to "try" it, see what it's all about, prove that indeed it is vile before condemning it without trying it. But I thought surely this wine weirdness would die of disinterest. Its shelf life would be minimal, and soon the space it was taking up in wine retail establishments (grocery stores) would once again be filled with real merlot, or maybe even some of those cheeky Cabernet-Merlot blends. (that's another blog, but a few are actually really good. If you can get your hands on them).

I refuse to speak to the white Shiraz issue. (Other than to say it exists and should not.)

But now that Mr. Trout has brought the issue out in the open, I am publicly coming out against it, as well.

I knew it was Blasphemy in a Bottle, but thought I should taste it before dismissing it. I strive to be fair and open minded in these matters. And while I am proud of myself for giving it a fair chance, I regret that I can now add yet another item to my long list of "Things I Wish I'd Never Put in My Mouth."

I am a wine purist. Not a wine snob, a wine purist. I like my wine dark, full bodied, robust, multi-layered, old and red. Very red.

Not pink. Not blush. Not rosé. Red.

If I want a zesty beverage, I'll drink those bottled TGIF drinks on sale at the grocery. (See? I'm no snob, I am not above an evening of white trash imbibing.) If my goal is to get drunk, I head straight to the vodka.

Zesty and straight to your head are not qualities I want in a glass of wine.

The main bottlers of this atrocity in grapes are Sutter Home and Forest Glen. Here I will be a snob: Any "winery" producing liquid to be sold by the gallon or economy sized bottle, with a screw top lid, under the auspices of "wine" is not the sort of place with whom I will happily affiliate. Even if they do distribute a "connoisseur" premium label.

No offense if you drink the above described liquid, out of presumed economic necessity, or because you are under the legal alcohol drinking age (and don't know any better) or even because you "just like it." Just don't call it wine. Oh sure, somewhere in the process a grape or two may be involved, but remember, somewhere in the process a strawberry or two may be involved in strawberry Jell-O®.

I rest my case.

I am now suggesting a grass roots campaign to bring down this evil before it gets out of hand.

If you were unaware of or haven't tried white merlot: Don't. Just trust Kilgore and I on this one.

If you have tried it and hated it: Blog about it.

If you drink it regularly, and enjoy it, could you please explain why? I yearn to understand.

Here, for any "real publishing people" who stumble across this, is the official press release:

Grapes of Wrath: White Merlot Industry Brought to Its Knees by Grass Roots Blog Campaign

Sonoma, CA- It began as a rant on Kilgore Trout's Chaotic Not Random blog site. Mr. Trout, of Denver, CO, wrote about his distaste over the recent white merlot wine phenomenon sweeping the nation.

Ms. Tricia McMillian, currently of Chicago, IL, a regular Chaotic Not Random reader and herself a blogger, took up Mr. Trout's cause and posted her own negative feelings regarding white merlot on her blog, Life(?) of Trillian.

It wasn't long before the two found themselves spearheading a campaign to end the production, bottling and distribution of white merlot.

"We're just two humble little wine drinking bloggers," Ms. McMillian, also known as Trillian, who, citing reasons of anonymity, refuses to be photographed, explains, "but we know the power of the written word. We knew between us we could at least plant the seeds of uprising. If not us, who?

"I kept quiet about the whole thing, hoping it would just go away...thinking maybe it was just me and my peculiar taste. But when Kilgore blogged about it, I knew it was time to do something. I knew the moment was ours, that it was up to us to save the world from this horrible atrocity in grape."

No stranger to public outcry, Ms. McMillian has recently been very vocal about personal privacy and safeguards in the blogspace. She is currently spearheading a Safe Blog campaign. Her Safe Blog public service announcements are available for use on blogs.

The two are hoping their readers will post negative cries against white merlot on their blogs, to further spread the word about [the presumed] horrible wine. They feel this will eventually bring an end to what Ms. McMillian calls "Blasphemy in a Bottle."

At the time of this writing, Mr. Trout (shown here on a recent camping trip with a companion he met through his blog and a McDonald's game) was leading a protest rally and not available for comment.

The pair can be read daily on their blogsites Chaotic Not Random and Life(?) of Trillian.

7:23 AM

Friday, January 02, 2004  
Bamboo Torture Viet Balls

So, let's say it's New Year's Eve. Like a lot of people (myself included) you don't have much planned. Maybe you're single and all your friends are coupled up, so you stay in alone. Maybe you're part of a couple and opted for a quiet night in instead of paying a ton of money for mediocre food and entertainment. Maybe you live in a city where the local custom is to fire guns on New Year's Eve and the whole thing gives you the heebie jeebies.

Whatever the reason, it's New Year's Eve and you're surfing the internet. Okay, fine, no big deal. Why not? It's New Year's Eve, live it up, have a little fun. And Google for: Susan Frackleton Pottery. Or Leigh Keno Gay. Or Physical Therapy Ankle. Or Internet Date. Or Park Sleep. Or Simon Cowell Queer Cuffs Cake. Or Broken Ankle Tights. Or Story for the Grandkids. Or Cell Phone Camera. Or Electricity Detroit. Or Lap Dance Pub. Or Three Hour Competition. Or France Nominate President. Or Secret Agent Man. Or Mugged Train. Or Tango Lessons London. Or Cops Dog Siren. Or Paula Abdul Restroom. And here, bloggers, is a keeper: Bamboo Torture Viet Balls. On New Year's Eve.

Yes. Real actual Google and Yahoo hits I received Dec. 31 - Jan. 1. What this means is: A lot of people are leading more pathetic lives than I. No matter how boring, bad or sad my life gets, I know for certain I will never be Googling for Susan Frackleton Pottery, tango lessons or an internet date on New Year's Eve. Or trying to find bamboo torture viet balls. Geeze, people, calling it a wash and going to bed early is better than googling for potters or last minute internet dates or tango lessons or bamboo torture viet balls on New Year's Eve.

It also gives new meaning to the term amateur night. To anyone who reached my blog and was disappointed by the results: Use quotations when you "search by phrase." Bamboo torture viet balls person, this means you.

I rarely chase down the hits or search terms on this blog. Too weird, too many, too scary. (Historically, I get a lot of teenaged boys expecting porn - go figure). But I was curious about why I had so many hits on New Year's Eve, of all nights, and what they were trying to find on my blog New Year's Eve. I was thinking it was people looking for songs or parties or restaurants or even movies. All things I myself searched for on New Year's Eve.

But no.

The above results were startling and revealing. I normally dismiss the Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul hits, the seven nation army of American Idol fans is staggering. When in season, I am inundated - seriously, try it yourself. Add Simon Cowell or Paula Abdul to your own blog and watch what happens to your hits. (look, I just did it again, three days worth of hits) But Paula Abdul Restroom? Ewww. On New Year's Eve? Double ewwww. Or Simon Cowell Queer Cuffs Cake? (Simon, mate, people do some very bizarre search combinations on you. You're either leading a very interesting private life, or there are some very strange rumors going around about you. Frankly, I'd be more than a little scared if I were you. Unless of course you are in fact leading that very interesting private life, in which case: whoa, dude. Simon, you might also be interested to know I get a staggering number of Simon Cowell Trillian hits. I haven't heard any rumors about us, if you're spreading them, you know, fine, I guess, but clue me in so I can play along, okay? )

And bamboo torture viet balls? What? You're sitting around sipping cheap champagne and watching Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve and it occurs to you, "I'd rather be chained by my balls in one of those bamboo torture viet cages than sitting here watching this." I know that pain, man, but is it really so bad that you fire up the computer and Google bamboo torture viet balls? Is that really what you want to be doing when the new year rings in?

Then I thought, wait a minute. What if it were all the same person...all these search terms, pulled from random archives in my blog, taken out of context and fit into someone else's life? What's their story? What's their blog?

Enter my new concept: Blog Google Hits Mad Libs®©T. Here's the best I've come up with so far (and there have been others, I assure you). But the day and year is early.

So I was getting ready to go out with this guy I met online. Maybe New Year's Eve isn't the best night to have a first date, but what the heck. I had a great outfit, I even found tights I could wear over my broken ankle, why not go out and live a little? Ever since I found out Leigh Keno is gay, I just haven't been able to get serious about a new guy. I should have known he was gay the first time he came over to my place and spent an hour appraising my Susan Frackleton pottery vase and didn't even notice the new negligeé I was wearing. Or not, if you know what I mean. I hate that ugly vase anyway, my aunt gave it to me, said she thought it might be worth something. It's got a nice patina, I use it for a door stop.

Anyway, I'm trying to get over Leigh, and met this guy online. We chatted a lot, and seemed like a good match. We were going to go to Detroit to see the Von Bondies and Detroit Cobras.

Half the electricity in Detroit was out, so the next thing I knew, we were on a plane to London for tango lessons. Since I've been in physical therapy for my broken ankle I've been trying all sorts of exercises. My therapist recommended dance as a form of rehabilitation and exercise. So it seemed like a good idea to go to London and have a few tango lessons. I thought if nothing else it would make a good story for the grandkids. And this guy was paying for everything, first class tickets, the lessons, the whole thing. Why not?

We got to London and headed directly to the dance studio for our tango lessons. The instructor was waiting for us. She looked a bit stern, but we soon realized she was a great tango instructor. We were nearly competition ready by the end of our three hour session. Before we left, I went into the restroom to freshen up. You won't believe what I found in there. Or rather,
who I found in there.

Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell. In the dance studio restroom. He was in cuffs chained by the balls to one of those bamboo torture viet cages and she was feeding him cake. I hightailed it out of there as quickly as possible, but not before snapping a few photos on my cell phone camera and emailing them back to my office at
The Weekly World News. Funny, I thought he was queer. Never would have pegged him as a cuffs and cake and bamboo torture viet balls kind of guy. Just goes to show, you never can tell about people. After all, I was there on a blind internet date having tango lessons in London on New Year's Eve .

My date and I headed back to Heathrow to catch our flight home. Or so I thought. My date surprised me with a stop in France. We did a little shopping, had lunch in a small café in Montmarte. On the train back into town, we were mugged. They got his wallet, and my watch and credit cards. I was in no shape to earn any money the way I usually do, (with a lap dance in a pub or two) so we had to sleep in a park. Of course we had only the clothes on our backs, and my ankle is still causing some discomfort, so I was in a really bad mood when we were awoken by the sound of sirens, shouting cops and barking dogs. The cops were in hot pursuit of a secret agent man who was running through the park. The cops released the dogs to chase him. We were caught in the middle of all the action and ended up having to give a witness report. We were on all the news programs, and when people heard our story, there was an uncustomary public outpouring of generosity, and we got enough money to get tickets home.

Once there, we were greeted by the press. My photos of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul were on the front pages of all the papers. Our story of being mugged and the secret agent man hinjinx also made it home before we did. We were heroes. There are even some people who want to nominate my date for president. Madonna says she'll change her endorsement if he runs. I really like this George Bush guy and he does make things happen...My name is Laura Welch, and this is my blog.

Okay, so it reads more like a bad Mad Lib than a blog. Maybe you can do better?

I'm proposing a little blog theme day, wherein bloggers take search word hits from their blogs and reconstruct a new blog comprised of the search words. The search words must appear in the same sentence, though not in the same search order unless they were originally searched by phrase. The search words are to be bolded. For extra credit, the bolded search hit words can be linked to the actual blog post(s) that brought the searcher to the blog in the first place. If this sounds "fun" or interesting to you, or if you have some additional ideas/rules for it, drop me an email. I'll post official dates and rules if there's any interest.

Another concept some of us have been bandying about the idea of a group blog along the lines of the old "telephone" or "gossip" game, wherein one person begins a blog, then passes it to someone else who adds a paragraph, then passes it to someone else. There are some of these currently making the rounds, but frankly those I've seen are sort of lame. So still working out the details on this one, a little difficult to coordinate. Again, if you're interested email me.

9:05 AM

Thursday, January 01, 2004  
Thursday's Things I Know for Sure (This Ain't Oprah's List)
Special New Year's Day Edition

Water is good. Water and lots of it.

Concealer is good. Concealer deftly applied will cover all sins committed in the last 24 hours.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, or, at the very least, the first day of a new year, or at the bare minimum, the first day of a new month.

The Scots consider it good luck to have the first visitor of the new year in their homes to be someone with "a brow that meets in the middle." In other words, for one day a year, those cursed with a unibrow are very popular. I think it doesn't matter if the brow has been "altered" for appearance sake. Fairly safe bet most Scots are quite lucky.

The Power Ball lottery jackpot was $210 million. Those who play could use a little luck. For travel expenses and a small fee (say, oh, $20 million) I'll consider compromising my image and be the first visitor in your home in the new year.

$210 million is a lot of money. Even at worst, after taxes you're looking at $105 million. Whomever wins this should be required by law to give at least $10 million to bona fide charities (not some sneaky little fake charity tax shelter).

Stevie and Angel only need $550 more for their surgery. Their human has had some health problems of her own. Come on. It's a new year. Give 'em a $1. How many of you bought Lottery tickets at a $1 a piece? And lost?

Fine. You think it's a hoax. Okay. Fair enough. I'm cynical, too. So, instead, go to your local animal shelter, homeless shelter, nursing home, no kill animal shelter meeting, neighborhood watch meeting, children's organization, whatever, and volunteer your time.

Call your mother and wish her happy new year. Don't tell her what you did last night or how or where you woke up today. Don't get frustrated when she says those things that really bug you. Maybe she really does like your sister better than you. So what? Accept it and rise above it.

Girls, it's a new year. Once and for all: Resolve to not try to pretend your summer capri's are year round versatile by pairing them with winter fashion boots. Unless of course you really are a hooker, then by all means, work that look girl, work it! I don't care what magazine lauded the look. What model/designer/photographer do you know who isn't one spread/collection/shoot away from hookin' themselves?

Guys, it's a new year. Once and for all: Resolve to wear a decent pair of shoes once in a while. I don't mean expensive. I mean not scruffy and not sneakers. You'll be amazed at what this will do for your luck with the ladies. I promise. Shave more than once a week and watch your luck triple in size.

If you're resolving to shed some unwanted weight and get into those size too small jeans, here's a tried and tested motivator: Hang those jeans (dress, shirt, sequined tube top, whatever) in your bathroom or over the closet door, somewhere you have to see them first thing every morning and last thing every night. Try them on once a week. If this doesn't work, nothing will. Accept it and rise above it.

Did I mention water is good?

Why does Tim Burton insist on casting his girlfriends in roles for which they are completely wrong? Tim, you're great. You're a visionary. You've made it. You're very wealthy. You no longer have to rely on the "I'll put you in my movie if you'll go out with me" line. Lots of chicks will dig you whether you put them in a movie or not. Besides, you were better when you were with Lisa Marie. Helena's bringing you down, man.

I miss Jeane Dixon's predictions on tabloid covers in the grocery line. I know she's been dead a few years now, but they're just really lame without her this year. Though The Weekly World News has a fantastic year end cover photo - Big Foot was apparently hit by a car. I can't choose which is funnier: The concept, the photo of Big Foot sprawled on the pavement, or the inset photo of the couple who hit him.

Forget all those fancy schmancy jobs for which I've been interviewing. I want to pursue my dream of being the Art Director of The Weekly World News. Personal and professional integrity? Where's that gotten me lately? I want to go to work and have meetings about the Belgium is Gone story. I want to tell my friends, "Sorry, can't go out tonight. Working late on the Big Foot Baby piece."

If you are ever in Colorado, and decide to drive up Pike's Peak (very fun little adventure) note the signs, "Big Foot Xing Due to sightings in the area of a creature resembling "Big Foot" this sign has been posted for your safety." You can't miss them. They look like US Park District signs and feature the silhouette of a hairy guy with big feet who appears to be either: thumbing a ride, carrying a Bud, or striking the "Keep on Truckin'" pose.

Happy new year everyone. Here's to a good 2004.

Keep on Truckin', Flyin', Ridin', Boardin' whateverin' it is you do, but most of all, Keep on Bloggin'.

8:33 AM

Wednesday, December 31, 2003  
Reality Wednesday
One Hour Photo

The contestant will endeavor to drop off film and receive prints during the holiday season.

Contestant enters the urban pharmacy/mart/grocery with one roll of APS film.

At the camera counter, the contestant hands over the roll of film to the Camera Counter Trainee.

"This is APS, do you offer one hour developing for APS film?" the contestant inquires.

"I don't know." Camera Counter Trainee answers. Without further comment.



"Well, um, can we maybe find out?" the contestant further inquires.

"You want to know if we develop this film in an hour?" the clearly very astute Camera Counter Trainee asks.

"Yes. I would like to know if you develop APS film via One Hour Service and what it will cost." The Contestant confirms.

Camera Counter Trainee, clearly in over her head in the matter, picks up the intercom telephone, and over the store speakers, interrupting Holly Jolly Christmas, can be heard, "Assistance needed at the Cam-er-ah coun-er, assistance needed at the Cam-er-ah Coun-er." Oh ho, the mistletoe, hung where you can see.

She stands there.


Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me.



"BEEP BEEP from the intercom phone.

We only hear her side of the conversation. Us and the entire store because she didn't turn off the speaker com.

Have a holly jolly Christmas.

"Do we do...what is this again," she asks the contestant, who whispers A-P-S.

"Huh?" she responds, over the speaker com to the entire store. I don't know if there'll be snow...

"A. P. S." the contestant slowly annunciates, and hears herself over the store speakers.

"APS." Silence. ...a cup of cheer. "Huh? I don't know. How many films is on here?" still over the speaker com and to The Contestant.

"Just the one roll." the contestant, slightly confused over the question, and resigned to her fate of carrying out the conversation so the entire store could hear.

"One." the camera Counter Trainee answers over the speaker com. "Huh? There's only one film on here?" inquiring of the Contestant.

"Oh, no," now understanding the use of the term "films," the contestant says, "It's a roll of 25 exposures."

"Twenny fi." Silence. "She say twenny fi." still over the store speakers.

Oh by golly have a holly jolly Christmas, this...

"Uh huh. Yeah. Uh huh. No. Uh huh. Uh huh. Yeah. Yeah." from the Camera Counter Trainee, still over the store loud speaker. She then hangs up the phone, making a loud squealing noise over the store speakers.

"She say she be right here." the Camera Counter Trainee says to no one in particular, but the Contestant assumes she is talking to her.




A bothered looking Ms. Jones appears. We know she is Ms. Jones because it says so on her smock.

"Let's see." Ms. Jones says to the Camera Counter Trainee, who offers the roll of film.

"Oh, this is APS." As if that explains everything. Everything that had already been explained to the entire store over the loud speakers.

"Do you develop APS in the One Hour Service?" The Contestant inquires of Ms. Jones.

"I don't know. I'll have to ask the manager."



"Do you want me to get the manager?" Ms. Jones finally asks the Contestant.

"Well, um, really, all I want to know is if I can have this developed via One Hour Service and how much it will cost." the contestant blurts out.

"Manager needed at Camera Counter. Manager needed at Camera Counter." Ms. Jones calls over the store speakers.


"Camera, pick up line three!"

"Yeah. Uh huh. APS. Uh huh. One hour service. Yeah. Alright then." Ms. Jones carries on this conversation while never taking her eyes off the Contestant, sizing her up, as if speaking in cryptic CIA code. The Contestant imagines on the other end Ms. Jones is being told, "Just stall her, keep her there as long as possible. We're sending in back up. Don't let her know we're onto her, if she gets nervous she might run."

"We can do this in One Hour Service." Ms. Jones tells the contestant.

"What will it cost?" the contestant repeats her initial inquiry.

Ms. Jones and the Camera Counter Trainee pull out a chart, which is fastened by an industrial strength chain to the Camera Counter. Apparently this is classified information. Can't let those pricing charts get into the wrong hands. The guys down at Super Sav would pay good money for that chart.

Ms. Jones and the Camera Counter Trainee study the chart as if it were a newly discovered religious text. Ms. Jones triumphantly says, "$11.99!" (Eureka! implied)

"Okay, great. Not to complicate matters, but is that one set of 4" x 6" prints?" the contestant queried, feeling more confident with the advent of The Chart.

"You just want one set?" Ms. Jones inquires.

"Yes, but if it's $11.99 for two sets, that's okay."

Ms. Jones translates for the Camera Counter Trainee, "She only wants one set. But if it's $11.99 for two sets she'll have two sets."

Ignoring the implied two set/one set question, Ms. Jones inquires of the Contestant, "Okay then, when do you want to pick them up?"

Leaving the two set/one set issue and now pondering this pop trick question, the contestant looks at her watch, then the clock above the store exit. "It's 12:30 now, hour...1:30?"

"You want them at 1:30?!" Ms. Jones incredulously asks the Contestant.

"One Hour Service. Right? An hour from now is 1:30." The contestant responds as politely as she is able, thinking perhaps she didn't answer correctly, or that perhaps she slipped through an alternate time dimension where time as she knows it doesn't exist and is calibrated in completely different increments.

"Yeah, but we're really backed up. We say One Hour Service, but that's only if there's no other films waiting." Ms. Jones, suddenly very confident in the ways of the Camera Counter, moves aside a display of FotoFunny Magnets and points with a purple and pink airbrushed and diamond studded nail to the fine print disclaimer printed on the actual Camera Counter.

"Okay, so, how about if you tell me when it will be ready?" the contestant offers.

"When do you need it?" Ms. Jones counters.

"In an hour." The contestant deadpans.

"I towd you, we're backed up. It won't be ready in an hour." Ms. Jones getting uppity, one hand on hip, the other making that all in your face motion so popular on the Jerry Springer Show.

"Fine. You know what, since you are too busy to have the film developed in an hour, at the One Hour Photo, let's just go with regular overnight service. Which I realize due to the holiday is probably two night service." The contestant lets loose. She wants to add, "Me: Paying Customer. You: Name emblazoned smock wearing employee." But fearing for her physical well being and sanity, clips her sentence before the summary of relationship status comes out of her mouth.

"You want it overnight now?" Ms. Jones, getting angry at The Contestant raises her eyebrows in a threatening manner.

"Yes. Because you are unable to develop it in an hour. Why would I pay premium price for a service didn't get, plus waste however long it's going to take to get them developed, when I could pay less and pick them up in a few days?" The contestant tries to explain the illogicity of Ms. Jones flawed One Hour Photo scheme.

"They won't be back until next Tuesday." Ms. Jones, suddenly now the supreme authority of all things Camera Counter.

"Tuesday?! That's a week from now!" The contestant shockingly exclaims.

"Holiday schedule. The lab's behind from Christmas, and they don't work New Year's Day." Ms. Jones revealed.

"Okay. Fine. I will pick them up Tuesday. How much does the overnight-but-in-actuality-seven-nights service cost?" the contestant knows better than to ask this question, but is thinking perhaps it would be better to take the film to Super Sav, even if it will cost more and the developing will be inferior.

Camera Counter Trainee refers to the chained down chart. "A-P-S. Overnight....$11.99!" (Eureka! implied)

"$11.99? The same price for One Hour Service?!" the Contestant asks.

"Mmmm hmmm." Ms. Jones confirms.

"Okay, then, go ahead and develop them in the One Hour Service." the Contestant says, knowing this will cause much confusion and regretting the words as she speaks them.

"Now you want One Hour Service?" Ms. Jones looks as if she is going to rip off her smock and initiate a smack down with the Contestant.

"Might as well, it costs the same, and I'll get them faster than a week from now." the Contestant replied.

"So when do you want them?" Ms. Jones again asks.

"Sometime between an hour from now and next Tuesday, how's that for fair?" the Contestant, beyond caring at this point, just wants to leave.

"Fine. What's your phone number?" Ms. Jones punches in the phone number, and walks away, leaving the Camera Counter Trainee to finish the details.

The Camera Counter Trainee hands over the pick up slip and says, "Those will be ready in an hour."

The Camera Counter Trainee is learning from the best. Soon both she and Ms. Jones will be ready for long and prosperous careers with the US government.

Will the film be developed prior to next Tuesday? Will the Contestant receive threatening and harassing phone calls? Will the Contestant receive her prints? Should the Contestant have trusted her precious family holiday memories to the Camera Counter Crew?

Come back in an hour to find out. Or next Tuesday.

Same price either way.

Some day my prints will come,
Some day I'll find my love

Some day some day
I say some day my prints will come
Some day some day

Some day my prints will come,
Some day I'll find my love,
And how thrilling that moment will be,
When the prints of my dreams comes to me....

8:59 AM

Tuesday, December 30, 2003  
Get into bed. Get into your comfortable spot. Doze off to sleep. Insert behemoth furry purring creature here. Knead with all four paws. "Kiss" human on the chin (a wet nose works best). Whisper purrs in the sleeping human's ear. While kneading. Human wakes, rolls over, tries to pretend you're not there and dozes off again. Repeat above steps. This time, when human awakes, insist on ear scratches. Lull the human into a false sense of serenity. When the human again falls asleep, repeat above steps. Do this twice an hour until the alarm rings waking the human for work. When the alarm rings, be sure to look extra cute and beguiling, comfortable in the warm bed the human must now leave.

Welcome home from Furry Creature.

Back from the land of Mullets and hunters and The Nuge, Oh My!

Without further adieu, I present:

The 2003 Holiday Sho-Lo Awards

This year's Holiday Sho-Lo (mullet) count: 218. And I didn't get out that much. I hit 35 before I even left Detroit Metro Airport. They were out in force this year.

Best Performance by a Child Too Young to Have Any Say Over Their Hair: The three boys under the age of 8 in Meijer Thrifty Acres with Lo parts only a few strands thick, showing the evolution of their hair color from infant to current age. By the time these boys reach maturity, they will be walking timelines of hair color history and passage into manhood.
Best Performance by an Entire Family: The family of four, father, mother, two boys, with the exact same, I mean EXACT same lengths and cut. And I get on my mother's case for dressing us in the same fabric-ed outfits when we were kids. After seeing this family I went home and hugged and thanked my mother profusely for never inflicting matching haircuts, much less matching BAD haircuts on us.
Best Sho-Lo Innovation/Improvisation, Male: (My favorite this year, a new twist I haven't seen) A combination Sho-Lo/Comb over. I always kind of wondered what a Mullethead does when he goes bald*. Now I know.
Best Sho-Lo Innovation/Improvisation, Female: A shag haircut gone obviously very wrong, wherein the only solution was to cut parts of it off completely and start over. The poor woman didn't want to part with all her hair, so the result was a very bizarre Sho-Lo. Think: The Friends haircut (circa 1995) modified into a Sho-Lo. Actually, just envision Jennifer Aniston with a Sho-Lo.
Best Performance by Someone Who Otherwise Looks Like They Should Know Better, Male: The approximately 26-year-old guy at the local pharmacy, dressed very hip and actually very good looking once you get past the Ted Nugent Worthy Sho-Lo.
Best Performance by Someone Who Otherwise Looks Like They Should Know Better, Female: The 30-something woman with what appeared to be a natural blonde Sho-Lo, the Sho part shaved so close to her head she could make Schindler's List, the Lo part so long she could be Rapunzel in this year's community production. None of the usual accompaniments to the female Sho-Lo. (For those unfamiliar with the usual female accompaniments: Either the Sho or Lo part dyed so badly and cheaply blonde it's sort of orangey, the alternating part dark mouse brown, blue eye shadow, mascara and eyeliner, completely tweezed eyebrows re-drawn in, one of those acrylic patterned sweaters from the 80's with lots of pils, acid wash jean leggings, "scrunch" boots or those weird suede boots with the fringe and metal studs - not quite cool cowboy or biker boots, cigarette hanging out of mouth, feather earrings.)
Best Performance by Someone Completely Surrounded by a non-Sho-Lo Crowd, Male: The guy in my parents' church taking communion on Christmas Eve. He even had a moustache, almost a 1974 Greg Alman moustache. This guy was really working his look in front of the conservative and more modern crowd in the church. Most everyone opts to take communion by intinction, but the alter is set up for anyone desiring a more traditional kneeling communion. He is obviously a guy not swayed by easy or popular ways. Even when the last pew had been re-seated, he was up there communioning away. So that he had to make a show of his leaving the alter. So that anyone who didn't catch his hair and moustache on his way up, noticed it on his way back. Down the center aisle. Good show (lo) Dude! WWJD? Man, he'd move to mid-Michigan and go for the Sho-Lo! You and Jesus, man, working the look!
Best Performance by Someone Completely Surrounded by a non-Sho-Lo Crowd, Female: The woman in the newly opened Starbuck's in my parents' very small, yet wants to prove it's cool so badly it hurts, town. My guess is this was her first visit to a Starbuck's. No, not based on her "look" (see above, she was in full regalia). "Can I just get a regular cuppa coffee?" Pierced, tattooed, gothed out slacker barista had no patience for her and her unsavvy ways. My mother and I tried to help out Sho-Lo woman. She didn't "get it." We later heard her exclaim, GODDAM! THAT'S FREAKIN' HOT!! Thus further calling even more attention to herself and causing much stir and disapproval from the trying way too hard yuppie crowd.
Best Performance by Someone Embracing the Sho-Lo Lifestyle, Male: Again, as always, Ted Nugent. He's let the Sho part grow a bit on the sides, but he embodies the Sho-Lo/Mullet culture so well not even a little longer Sho can knock him off the Throne of Sho-Lo, his cross-bow scepter firmly in hand.
Best Performance by Someone Embracing the Sho-Lo Lifestyle, Female: The woman working the counter at the Donut Hole, in her full regalia (see above) smoking while dispensing donuts (Oops. Don't mind a little ash on that, do yuz? Ha ha ha. (Cigarette dangle off the side of her lip) Extra protein! We won't charge yuz any extra! Ha ha ha. Wanted to say: "No, I guess not. Does that throat cancer of yours hurt as much as it sounds like it does?" But instead said, "um, on second thought I think I'd like a maple cream.) Later she was cackling out to anyone who would listen about her plans to go snowmobiling with her old man Upnorth (Tawas, apparently) after work. You go, girl.

This visit's Madonna Perm circa 1984 (See Borderline/Like A Virgin/Get Into the Groove videos) count: 52. Madonna may have left Bay Cit/Detroit, but her hair didn't. Yeah. The numbers are up this year. I am musing on the social significance of this. Will flesh out a full report.

Guide says: Enter if you dare. All things Mullet: Faint of head and queasy of stomach are strongly cautioned. Only the bravest should enter, go to "Classifications" for encyclopedic descriptions and photos. Also check out "Picturebooks" then "Mulletfest 2001." See also and for an interactive adventure,

* I really want to see a Hair Club for Men testimonial from a Mullethead. "My male pattern balding left me feeling unworthy. Hair Club for Men gave me back my Sho-Lo AND my confidence."

9:36 AM

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