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
Enter ZIP Code:

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 10, 2004  
Josh Groban Fans: Thanks for stopping by.
Now go away.
There's nothing here you want to see or read.
Trust us.
Don't make us call your parents.

10:29 AM

Friday, January 09, 2004  
In re St. Andrew:
There have been new developments and final conclusions drawn.

Here are the possibilities:
a) It/he/whatever grants the prayer on/for Christmas, but Christmas only. Nothing beyond the holidays. No money back guarantees. No warranties. No returns. No exchanges. You got your wish on Christmas Eve, so don't blame the management for anything that happens after that.
b) The management reserves the right to giveth and taketh away.
c) It was all an enormous coincidence.
d) St. Andrew/God/whatever went over the records and realized my prayers never should have been granted (or got around to reading my blog) and immediately revoked the grant as soon as the error was found.

So here it is, the final analysis:
a) Christmas is over, prayer granted, now back to pre-St. Andrew Prayer-A-Thon reality.
b) The giveth part is great, but the taketh away part really sucks.
c) All just an enormous coincidence.
d) I'm not worthy.

I had a couple of weeks of sheer bliss and happiness. All things seemed possible and like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes. I, Trillian, was happy. For two solid weeks. And in this final analysis, I recognize that's no small miracle in itself.

Maybe it was St. Andrew and/or (a) God(like) being.

Maybe not.

The answer, as ever, is unknowable.

42 is as close as I'll ever come to an answer or explanation for anything.

Ring up St. Andrew next year yourself if you like, best of luck to you, let me know how it works out for you. I'm not condemning or condoning.

I merely observe and report.

The Bloggies are taking nominations through Monday, January 12.
2004 Bloggies

7:36 PM

Hey! I am normal after all. It's not me, it's this city! I gotta get outta this town.

I told you Chicago is a Dating Void. Many didn't believe me.

Scoff no more:

"Chicagoans are destined to spend half their lives as single people, and half their single years will be spent alone," said sociologist Edward O. Laumann, leader of the research team. "Yet, we already know that sexual well-being is very much associated with happiness and the quality of life. The implications for the future are troubling."

Single people thinking of moving to Chicago: Heed this warning.

11:51 AM

The Bloggies are taking nominations through Monday, January 12.
2004 Bloggies

Bathe-O-Rama 2003
Dear Aunt K.,
Thank you for the fabulous bath beads and soap! You know how much I love bathing products. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!

Dear Sister-In-Law,
Thank you for the fabulous Kneipp herbal set! You know how much I love to try new health and hygiene products. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
p.s. I am lozenging on a Vitalizing Herbal Breath Lozenge as I write! Yum!

Dear Ford and Wife of Ford,
Thank you for the fabulous Lush box 'o fun! You know how much I love and miss Lush. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
rubba dub dub,
p.s. Sex Bomb is da bomb!

Dear Best Friend,
Thank you for the fabulous Davies Gate goodies! You know how much I love Davies Gate. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
p.s. have you tried the Lemon Thyme Bath Foam? It's fantastic!

Dear Bone,
Thank you for the Bliss spa set! You know how much I love Bliss. You proved your metrosexuality with this gift! It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
Play Misty for Me,
p.s. You can try some of this if you'd like, Mr. Ain't to Proud to Go in Sephora!

Dear Friend,
Thank you for the fabulous Urban Decay bag 'o fun! You know how much I love Urban Decay. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
rock on,
p.s. Will wear Moonshine to concert next week!

Dear Associate and Friend,
Thank you for the fabulous Laura Mercier bath set! You know how much I love Laura Mercier. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
"let's do lunch soon!"
p.s. You're absolutely correct, the Crème Brulée Body Wash is heaven.

Dear Co-worker,
Thank you for the fabulous Philosophy set! You know how much I love Philosophy! It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
"Amazing Grace" Under Pressure,

Dear Associate,
Thank you for the gift voucher to the Aveda store! You know how much I love Aveda. It was so very thoughtful of you. You know how much I love girly stuff. You know how much I love to keep clean. You really shouldn't have, but thank you. I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! Nothing says Happy Christmas like bath products!
prosperous new year,
Tricia McMillian

Dear Universe,
Thank you for giving me the not so subtle hint that I either a) smell really badly, or b) am so difficult to shop for that everyone threw up their hands in frustration and took the easy way out with the gift of bath products. Clearly you know how much I love bathing and personal care products. Apparently this is a widely known fact. Or I smell. Badly. But thanks to Holiday Bathe-O-Rama 2003, I am well stocked in bathing and personal hygiene products. I will not stink in 2004. No offensive B.O. here! You know how much I love girly stuff. (obviously, based on the pink and pastel hues on each and every product given to me) You know how much I love to keep clean. (or need to) You really shouldn't have, but thank you. (no really, thank you, I mean it) I am so excited to have new bathing and personal hygiene options! (because apparently I've really let myself go) Nothing says "Happy Christmas, you have officially joined the ranks of great aunt Ginny in the nursing home who no one knows what to give her for presents so they give her lavender water and soap" like bath products!
your no longer stinky,

p.s. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Because I'm not ungrateful. I really do love bath and girly products. I really do. I have acquired a bit of reputation in this arena. (obviously) My stash has been diminished since The Incident, so I am really and truly pleased for fresh stock (When, oh when will Lush open in the US other than California?). And I am happy and excited and anxious to use each and every item received. They are lovely, thoughtful gifts and I am really, truly, deeply appreciative of each and every one. And above all, I am very, very lucky to have such wonderful, thoughtful, caring family and friends.


What the...?


Do I stink?

8:21 AM

Thursday, January 08, 2004  
The Bloggies are taking nominations through Monday, January 12.
2004 Bloggies

You do not have to personally author a blog to vote. This is not a shameless campaign plea. This is an urge to give small blogs the larger exposure they deserve. We here at Life(?) of Trillian think it's a really good idea to submit nominations for blogs that are not "The Big Guys," sort of like in Horton Hears a Who - all the Whos on the dust speck need to get together and make a lot of noise: We are here, we are here, we are here!

What a year it was!
2004 will go down in history as, oh, yeah, it's not over yet. It's only been a week. We've got 51 more to go. It just feels like it's been a year.

So far this year I have:
• ruined two pair of tights.
• walked through my office with unrealized and unfortunately placed static cling once.
• received one insanely (read: insulting) low paying job offer and one rejection email.
• bought two magazines I don't usually buy because of the promises held in scintillating and insightful cover stories.
• ended a long and fantasy laden crush on a celebrity.
• seen three movies in a theatre.
• laughed out loud while alone (and not on the phone or in a theatre) in public twice.
• nearly fallen on unshoveled/unsalted sidwalks three times.
• brushed my teeth 19 times. Flossed 7 times.
• sat, transfixed, in front of my computer watching photos of Mars for way too long.
• made two snow angels...
• ...and thrown seven snow balls.

So far this year I have not:
• quit my job.
• been fired from my job.
• worn heels.
• broken a nail.
• taken a vacation.
• graduated from physical therapy.
• been mugged.
• been cross with either of my parents.
• complained about the stupidity of placing a chair in the street to "reserve" a parking spot.
• bought or been given a 2004 calendar.
• purchased one item of clothing. Not even new tights.
• put anything in my mouth I immediately (or later) regretted.

Thursday's Things I Know for Certain (This Ain't Oprah's List)
• Hershey's weird new product, Swoops, are indeed weird and not very good. (But don't take my word for it, they are chocolate, after all.) However, since they are shaped exactly like Pringles, and are made of chocolate, finally we have a food product offering realistic duck poseuring possibilities.

Best line in a movie 2003: "I found Nemo!" enthusiastically cried by Daffy Duck on a fishing trip. (It's funny AND it slams Disney in three words. Top it, I dare you.)

Most Unfortunate but Funny CD Title/Artist 2003: Closer, Josh Groban. Why? Because the wise and funny window dressers at Virgin and other music retail establishments are able to position the enormous Godzilla sized poster of Mr. Groban in such a way that the "C" in Closer is behind a pillar with young Mr. Groban's 10 foot face thoughtfully yet soulfully looking downward at his titled fate spelled out for him. (Get it? loser. I couldn't have said it better myself.) Marketing geniuses at Warner Brothers, we're a bit surprised this slipped by you (or did it?) but we salute you on that bit of titling stupidity.

• The recording industry suffered more revenue losses last year. Awwwww. Poor widdew babies. All the biz folks are quick and vehement to point fingers at illegal downloading. Guess again, boys. Produce entire CDs of music worth shelling out our hard earned cash and we'll buy them. Oh, and if you could bring down the cost of a new CD to minimally under $10, that would help a lot, too. I know, I know, that only leaves $9.93 of profit per CD for you, but come on, now, play nice. How many Ferrari's do you really need?

• The conspiracy theory making the rounds that Paul McCartney (Sir, if you will) has been quietly, coyly, covertly screwing up Michael Jackson's (Freak, if you will) life since 1985 is the best I've heard in a long time. That's right, the crappy songs, the weird and disturbing videos, the plastic surgery, the, um, sleepovers, and even the dangling baby, were all masterminded by Paul McCartney.

• The Beatles are the most covered artist. (1057 covers by 567 performers, first by a very wide margin) Who's number 2? Bob Dylan. Blow that in the wind. The rest of the list is even more surprising. Two words: Eric Carmen.

• All by myself. Again. Don't wanna be all by myself anymore.

9:04 AM

Wednesday, January 07, 2004  
Reality Wednesday Update:
For those of you who just can't get enough Reality, head on over to Chaotic Not Random for another episode of Reality Wednesday. This is Mr. Trout's first forray into the Reality format, and he's done it proud.

Also note Chaotic Not Random's militant zeal over the White Merlot issue. Many kudos and nods of appreciation to Mr. Trout for his battle cry, "Pink Stinks!"

6:45 PM

In the beginning...there was a big bang. Then a whimper.
Then some darned nifty galactic art.

And then we evolved. And got jobs. And someone in my office apparently started doling out advice. I swear I didn't write this. Sound like your office?

12:07 PM

Reality Wednesday
The Intern: A New Series Coming to Your Office Soon

Now Searching for Contestants in Your Area!

Show Premise:
An entire office will be subjected to the incompetence, bad attitude and general endless annoying behavior of a college junior intern.

The series premier opens with a behind the scenes look at the contestant search. We open in a nondescript conference room full of college age looking actors, erm, Real Actual College Students and the producers of the series.

The following are the rules for anyone wishing to participate in a Reality Show/Time Honored Workplace Ritual. The rules are read by a Producer to a group of college aged applicants for the Reality Show The Intern.

"Day 1:
"Don't show up. Don't call. Don't write. Don't bother. If you are interning at one of your parents' companies (which we highly recommend, it's good for ratings), have them send an email to someone who might forward it to the people for whom you are interning.

"Day 2.

"Arrive 45 minutes late. Escorted by the parent who works in the company (if applicable).

"Then read a newspaper for 45 minutes. Do not try to hide or cover this in any way.

(You will be supplied a newspaper owned by one of our parent holding companies, and the masthead will be prominently visible in all camera shots)

"Blow attitude at anyone who deigns to interrupt your reading of the newspaper. Ability to repeatedly say without one ounce of irony, 'Yeah, you want something?' and to completely change any subject that has anything to do with work are useful skills. Contestants with these skills are strongly urged to compete.

"Every contestant must have many friends to call during the day. Successful mornings will be spent talking (loudly) on phone to frat friends ("Dude, man, you shoulda been there, it was wild. Those girls from State who showed up were outta control."), girlfriends, ("So yeah, Friday we're all going to Digger's, Josh is bringing Heather and Marcus is bringing Kayla so you should come with me."), and oddly, your parents ("Yeah but mom I want Cheezy Bake for dinner. I really want Cheezy Bake mom. Please can we have Cheezy Bake for dinner?"). what the...? (sic.)

"Act like you own the place.

"Oh wait. If your father is the head of one of the big revenue generating departments, maybe you do own the place.

"Insist on addressing everyone, male and female as 'dude.' Everyone. No exceptions. If you are not able to eliminate any and all traces of respect from your tone, you will not be allowed to compete.

"Take a two hour lunch. Every day. (Where applicable, with the parent who works in the company.)

"When given an assignment, sigh. A lot. Out of apparent boredom. (This is all soooo beneath you.)When an actual employee leaves your office (after giving you an assignment that apparently bores you) have the nerve to dismiss them with, 'Take 'er easy, dude. Bye.'"

Insert scratch of record here.

Office worker contestant interrupts the reading of the rules for Intern contestants.

"You're telling me," makes a sweeping gesture around the room of hopeful contestants, "you, a what are you, 20?-year-olds, with absolutely no professional experience, are telling me, a, well, a senior level professional with a lot of professional experience and actual earned college degrees, you're dismissing me with a 'take 'er easy'?!

"No. No. No.

"Let's recap and adjust.

"You: Sniveling intern with zero job experience, not even a fast food stint; no apparent redeeming intellectual, social or creative skills; no college degree, who is lucky to have an internship at all.

"Me: Hard working professional with so much experience my resume has to be condensed to mere highlights; savvy; well liked (comparatively. I have friends, okay?); well educated; driving creative force of the company who is lucky to have ME.

"Get it?

"You: Inconsequential waste of flesh and air in the office.

"Me: Integral.

"You: Do not dismiss me or anyone else in this office. Especially with a 'take 'er easy.'

"I: Tell you what to do.

"You: Do it.


"Ahem. Who let the Office Worker contestant in here?" The producer asks. "Office Worker contestant, the Rules for the Office Worker will be addressed in Conference Room 4, down the hall to the left. Right then. Where were we? Ah yes. 'Take 'er easy, dude, bye.'" The show's producer says as he poignantly stares down the Office Worker.

As she leaves the room, Office Worker mutters, "This is going to be the Winter of my discontent. Or at least the January of my discontent."

And so the series premier of The Intern is off to a high ratings bonanza, another hit from the producers of Extremely Local Pub, Backstage Staging Zone and Office Idol.

9:29 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2004  
Details: January 15, 2004
Topic: Ritual [grid::ritual]
See: Notes from Somewhere Bizarre

1:26 PM

How cold is it? So cold the liquid in my cell phone's lcd is operating at the speed of molasses. But not cold enough to keep the smokers from congregating in front of buildings for their early morning cigarettes.

Shame more people aren't up or out early enough on these cold January mornings to see the really fabulous sunrises. They are SPECTACULAR. By far my favorite thing about Chicago are the Winter sunrises over Lake Michigan.

Jane, Stop this Crazy Thing!
Another day, another fall off a piece of equipment during physical therapy.

I've mastered the elliptical, and so now "Kimmie" deems me ready for the next challenge.

Enter: The Orbiter. (echo echo reverb, reverb)


Yeah. Scary. Look how they had to photograph it. All moody and drama lit. The Phantom Menace. I'm sure The Orbiter has a very extensive contract which includes precise and specific photographic angle and lighting requirements. (All the top models do, you know. They have an image to protect and maintain.)

I have submitted a photo for your perusal because I found I could not adequately describe The Orbiter. Words fail to capture the true menacing nature of the beast.

The best I could come up with is:

Take a mini trampoline. Make it long and rectangular. Now take a treadmill. Jack it up. I mean really give it some road clearance. Replace the regular diamtered rollers with like, 10 times bigger diamtered rollers, so as to create about 2 and a half feet (76.2 centimeters to everyone outside of the US, Burma and Libya) of airspace between the top and bottom of the tread thing. Replace the tread thing part of a treadmill with the long rectangular trampoline. Springs and all.

I've seen The Orbiter, it's been lurking next to the elliptical I've been using. I knew it was different from all the other treadmills. That it was set apart for a reason. I'd never actually seen anyone using it. I thought maybe it was broken, cast down to the end of the equipment line waiting repair or retirement.

But no.

Now I understand.

The Orbiter needs space.

Because it flings and hurls its users hither and yon. Chews them up and spits them out. Strews them about like marbles from a slingshot.

Which is exactly what happened and how I felt.

Just when you thought it was safe: The Orbiter brings shame, mockery, public ridicule and risk of further injury back to physical therapy.

See the black strips on either side of the tread part? (See Fig. 2) Those are the launching strips. You place one foot on each strip, straddling the tread. "Kimmie" had me "mount the strips." I was gripping the rails, one foot on either side of the tread. Then she fired "her up."


The tread was spinning slowly - seemingly a snail's pace.

"Okay, now step on down." "Kimmie" enthusiastically requested.

I've used treadmills, I know the first few steps can be tricky. I thought I was prepared.

I wasn't.

I hadn't calculated the bounce/spring factor.

And my as yet not healed ankle.

I was clinging to the rails for life. I actually "felt" my biceps. I FELT them. I was gripping so tightly to the rails I FELT my arm muscles.

I tried to acclimate myself to the bounce tread.

I understood why it's called the Orbiter. Or so I thought.

It's like walking in zero gravity. (well, what I presume walking in zero gravity feels like)

With a broken ankle.

(See Fig. 3)


Bounce. (Beoinggggg)


Bounce. (Beoingggg)


I was just getting the hang of it. Sort of. When "Kimmie" "upped" the speed.

Oh, I kept up for a few minutes. Valiantly bounce (beoinggggg) treading along. Gripping the rails for dear life.

And then it happened.

I discovered why it's really called The Orbiter.

The speed increases and sends the treader into orbit.


I was spewed heavenward.



For a few glorious moments I thought I was achieving some Orbiter feat par excellence. That I had bounce stepped to dizzying new heights.

Oh, I reached dizzying new heights. New heights indeed.

I may have even looked over my shoulder to the other re-habbers with a look of triumphant glee. (See: Wile E. Coyote just before the moment he realizes the anvil is going to fall on him) (See also, Fig. 4)


But I soon discovered it wasn't me who had propelled me to these dizzying new heights.

It was The Orbiter.

Spitting me out like a mouth full of stale white merlot.

I had this moment of realization a moment too late.

The moment I was falling.

And not on the tread.

Or the launching strips.

To the side of The Orbiter.

Abort! Abort! Abort! Abort!

Too late! Too late! Too late!! Too late!

Because of the way I had been spewed, I was unable to regain straddle placement on the launching strips.

My right hand/arm was pulled from it's death grip around the rail.

And I was falling to the left of The Orbiter.

Not optimal placement for a smooth landing.

I tried to land on the left launching strip.

But missed. Well. Not so much missed as hit but discovered my ankle has not regained the strength required for a landing of this velocity.

I landed and fell. Left arm still gripping the rail. But body and soul falling around to the left.

When all was done, I was positioned thusly:

Bum on floor. Left (broken) ankle foot resting on the left edge of the launch strip. Right calf and foot draped over the left launch strip, bouncing on the spinning tread. Right arm and hand dangling uselessly (and painfully) at my side. Left hand still clinging to the rail. (See Fig. 5)


"Kimmie" raced around to turn off the tread.

I tried to get myself up off the floor.

As "Kimmie" turned off the tread, it slowed down. At the precise vulnerable moment, I tried to stand up. And caught my right foot in the grinding to a halt side of the tread. It pulled me along with it until my foot snagged the roller.

The exact physical, cosmic and Hannah Barbara alignments that had to co-align in the precise moment to create the dramatic Jetson's finale are staggering.

Jane. Stop this crazy thing.

"Kimmie" took a lot of this in stride (no pun intended, really), as if it happens all the time. Or as if she's become used to my ineptitude on physical therapy equipment. She fished out and unhooked my right foot. I was able to then position myself such that I could adjust and stand up and assess the damage.

Huge, throbbing welt on the back of my right hand where I hit the rail flailing to try to hang onto it.

"Broken blood vessel," is "Kimmie's" analysis.

I couldn't move my fingers without making it pulse and ache. For about six hours.

It's better today, bruising nicely. Taking on a lovely yellowish-greenish-blueish hue. (A combination of PMS 611 and 549.)

However, in the process I jarred my neck, which has re-activated a lot of the pain and stiffness associated with the whiplash.

Physical therapy is supposed to make me feel better, not worse, right? Or at least not cause new injuries. Right? Maybe I'm confused. Maybe I don't grasp the concept. Maybe all of this is part of re-habbing a broken ankle. Injure other body parts so you don't notice your ankle quite as much.

Again I say, Stop this Crazy Thing.

7:38 AM

Monday, January 05, 2004  
Funny how things can change in an instant...

Bad commute. Bad day in the office. Bad link on my blog. Bad One Hour Photo taking almost a week experience. Generally mad at the world...

And the phone rings.

(dramatic pause)

And it's HWNMNBS.

And he makes me laugh.

And he sounds absolutely scrumptious.

And we don't have one of those conversations.

And I am now, at this moment, the polar opposite of what I was before The Phone Rang.

I am: The Happiest Girl in the World.

1:15 PM

We can put a rover on Mars, beaming back photos at the speed of light, yet I can't get my measly APS film developed in less than seven days.

Via One Hour Service.

Looks like another ironic year here at Life (?) of Trillian.

I have corrected the Beagle link.

We can put a rover on Mars but we can't link to the Beagle.

Very telling.

Thanks to all who wrote to notify me of the problem. Erm. Challenge.

12:31 PM

Well, 2004 is Shaping Up Nicely...
If they wanted us to work today, actually get something done, they never should have given us four consecutive days vacation.

The good thing about this is that everyone in the office is in a similar mindset.

It's quiet.

(For once. Bliss.)

But too quiet.

The overall pall in the office today is: Blah.

Hi crew! Welcome to my world! This is what it's like to come to a job you hate. That malaise, disdain and contempt you're feeling? THAT'S how I feel everyday!

Weird how everyone else's loathing and disdain for work is making me...what's the word? Chipper?

I could be really annoying and be all perky happy, but that would annoy me, too, so that's not going to happen.

For a lot of reasons, but primary among them is I am nursing a job rejection wound. New Year's Eve day. I got a rejection email on New Year's Eve day. End the old year appropriately. I didn't really want the job anyway, but still. An email? On New Year's Eve day?

So now, on my first day back in the office since receiving that bit of news, I am far from able to pull a chipper shtick to annoy my co-workers. I'll just wallow in my office like everyone else. Occasionally curl a churlish lip at the world.

I don't think it's just my office.

Everyone on the train seemed even surlier than usual.

Maybe because it was full of people who don't normally ride the train. Because of the snow. We were all "urged to use public transportation." Okay. Fine. I use it every day. What say you add a few trains to compensate for the extra passengers you are urging to use public transportation? The darling yuppie couple waiting on the platform, clearly non-regulars, were not happy about waiting. If he looked at his so expensive I couldn't tell what brand watch and sigh and complain one more time I was going to throttle him, choke him with his mocha frappe double kaffe chino. And his wife/girlfriend in her little snow bunny outfit (to the office? girl please) would have to be taken down with him.

And then there's the girl who has been riding for a few months. I can't figure out why, she doesn't seem like a train rider. She always seems really annoyed. She stands apart from all us regulars.

There's sort of an unspoken, unwritten decorum. We all know each other by sight, but rarely speak, respecting each other's grogginess or need for quiet contemplation while waiting for the train. We will speak, but it takes something like a very late train, or, extreme weather (snow, heat, 40 days and nights rain, or the Cubs in a post season game) to get us to actually talk to each other. We give each other space, yet cluster in our usual groups based on the boarding position of the car we ride. (me: rear most car. always)

Anyway, Annoyed Woman. Maybe she's annoyed because she doesn't want to ride the train. I feel your pain sister, but here you are, so deal with it. In actuality, I think that might just be her general attitude.

Pretend you're a 15-old-girl. And you've just seen something you deem really gross. In the lunch room. Go, "ewwwwww" scrunching up your lips, nose and eyes. Hold that look. (remember, you're a 15-year-old girl). That's how this woman looks all the time. That is her normal look. I swear it's true. Imagine that look today, amplified by the extra passengers, the snow and the general attitude palling over the Universe. Yeah. It was not pretty. I was kind of scared. I kept an even further than normal distance. She was really angry when she didn't have two seats to herself to read her Wall Street Journal (one of these days I'm going to muster up courage and introduce her to The Commuter Fold. To her and anyone else reading a newspaper on the train or bus as if you're on your couch on Sunday afternoon, it's not origami people, do it and see how much more comfortable your ride is. See how much more respect you get from your fellow riders.)

And the guy, in a blizzard, in what was clearly his best suit and shoes. We know this because he was not wearing a coat or outerwear of any kind. None. Not a coat, jacket, scarf, glove, mitten, hat or galosh. Not one. It's blizzarding. It's going to dip well below zero this afternoon. There are already 6 inches of snow on the ground. And this guy is in a suit and good shoes and not one hint of outerwear. Naturally, he was not happy. His look said, "This is all a conspiracy against me. And I'm gonna fight the conspiracy man, FIGHT IT!! I'm young and I'm angry!!"

The guy in the newsstand was yelling with far less gusto than usual. (TRIBUNE. SUN-TIMES. SNOW STORM. FLIGHTS GROUNDED. whatever. TRIBUNE. PACKERS WIN. big deal. SUN TIMES. SPEARS TO DIVORCE. who cares...)

The morning security guard didn't give me his usual smile, whistle, "mornin' Trill." Instead, he said, "Hi. Training a new guy. This is Tuan."

"Too Wan" the new guy in training corrected, for what, by his disgruntled tone, must have been the umpteenth time.

Yeah. These two are going to get along real well. Too Wan doesn't know who he's dealing with here. Too Wan is a bit too cocky for his Security Guardian badge. His regulation sport coat just a bit too crisp for what it is the first day back to work for most of us.

This is going to be a rough one for all of us. Sad to admit, I'd almost rather not take any time off, just float along in the general malaise, than to have time off, enough time off to realize you really hate going to work, and then have to return to the office you hate.

Welcome to 2004.

10:34 AM

Sunday, January 04, 2004  
You gotta see this:

Mars Spirit Rover Project 01.04

The above link might help you circumvent the main entry page which has been impossible to get through today.

Beagle, wherefore art thou, Beagle?

(Wouldn't it be a riot if the first photos sent back were of a) a crash landed Beagle2, or b) Richard Branson waving and posing on the Martian surface, toasting Nasa with a Virgin® Cola, standing next to Beagle with a Virgin® logo sort of sketchily hand drawn on it? (You can have that one, Dick, yet another gift to you. One of these days you'll have to hire me...))

9:26 PM

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