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

 
Thursday, February 12, 2004  
What a Concept
Since this is rock anthem week, let's talk music, shall we?

Okay, let's!

Only today's discussion is for over 30's only.

Because you have to be able to remember albums. Vinyl albums.

And I don't mean the new young alt bands who only record on vinyl because it's cool and the fans who love them. (Hey, I like the White Stripes, too, but you know what I mean)

You must own more than 30 albums that you purchased originally before, hmmmmm, let's say 1988.

Better still: If you are old enough to have purchased U2 on vinyl, you may continue reading.

Sorry to the rest of you, but I don't want to waste your time. You just won't get this. You're too young to understand.

Because today I'm talking about: Concept albums.

"But there are concept CD's!" I hear some young pups exclaiming.

Not the same thing. At all.

Because an essential part of the concept album concept was the act of flipping the record.

Okay, you kids run along to bed now. The adults are going to talk and drink and smoke things. And someone is going to argue that Bob Segar is the best singer ever, and someone is going to talk about the summer she was a groupie and you kids are too young to understand any of it.

Even I am too young to really appreciate concept albums. I missed out on their heyday. Sort of. The great thing about being a late in life baby is that your siblings are way older than you and so you are vicariously exposed to a lot of teenaged stuff when you are really young.

I had a Beatles loving sister who grew into a and a progressive rock
brother.

There isn't one Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, Tangerine Dream song I do not know. That's not to say I particularly LIKE any of those bands, but they and many others were played over and over in my young and formative years that they are part of my psyche.

That's how I knew the Thin Lizzy song. Before my time? Technically, yes. But riding in the car with my brother during the summer of 1976, listening over and over to Jailbreak, the entire album does something to a person. I could sing it for you, just in case you aren't familiar...it also contained the classic Boys are Back in Town. My brother's favorite song that summer. We used to whisper scream the "the boys are back, the boys are back" part over and over. I had absolutely no clue what any of the songs were about (still don't) but I got to ride in a cool car with someone other than my parents and that made me WAY more cool than any of the kids in the neighborhood. And now, all these years later, I know all the words to every song on Jailbreak. I am probably the only female, if not the only person, my age who can make that boast. Quick! Trivia! What former Thin Lizzy-ite went on to form and front two very successful alternative rock/dance bands in the 80's? I said quick. No cheating on Google.

I digress.

Concept albums.

Oh, where to begin. So many from which to choose.

Wha...what's a concept album?! Hey! I thought I told you kids to go to bed!

Okay, you can stay up 30 more minutes. Run along upstairs and check out this. It'll tell you everything you need to know.

Heh heh. Young kids today.

The good thing about that address I gave them is that the list doesn't include Sgt. Pepper. I am firmly in the camp that feels no way, no how is Sgt. Pepper a concept album. Perhaps a response to the craze, particularly to one of my favorites (also not on this list) Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, but not a concept album of merit.

Concept albums. Oh my. The days of 33 1/3 rpm and turn tables. The days of repeat or single side play.

By the mid 70's, when concept albums were at their peak, the artists arranged the music to accommodate the fact that the album had to be turned over and created natural breaks in the theme and mood. A lot of them have an "up" side and a "down" side. Feel like putting on some uptempo music to work to or get the party moving? Side 1. Feeling mellow and trippy and want to zone out staring at your black light poster? Put side 2 on repeat.

Vinyl requires you to participate in the music. Halfway through, at the end of side one, you have to either stop whatever you're doing and flip the record or wait for side one to repeat, which could be awkward in some cases. I've heard this was a good form of birth control...just when things on the album were heating up, the home audience were heating things up, too. And then the end of side 1. "DAMMIT!!! I was just about to make it to second base!" Hastily flip the record or pause while the arm/needle re-cued. Boys, let me tell you, that's all the time it takes for a girl to come to her senses. Pink Floyd and The Moody Blues will only get you so far. While you are flipping the record or it's re-cuing to repeat, our brains are kicking back into gear. We are able to see clearly through the conceptual haze that seduced us.

Many of you are now saying, "Thank God for cd's."

But there were plusses, too. The flip/repeat break also provided bathroom time. My brother used to be able to dash to the bathroom, take care of his business and return to his listening lair in the precise time it took for the arm/needle to repeat. (He is a professional. You can try this at home if you want, but he's really good.)

Other things happened at the flip/repeat pause. Things I shall not write about here. (hee hee hee)

I came of age in the dawn of the cd era. And I know my seduction via "so, I've got the new (coolest latest record) wanna come over and listen to it with me?" experiences were vastly different from those my siblings and others who came of age in the early to mid seventies experienced. Oh sure, the bands had something to do with it, too. But I have to admit Dark Side of the Moon on cd just isn't the same as the two sided vinyl experience. It's just not right to not flip it, something I instinctively want to do at the end of The Great Gig in the Sky. (there's some odd musical interlude on the cd. I think it's Alan Parsons whom overall I respect, but this, this, I don't even know what to call it...I don't like it any more than I like colorized classic films) When Money starts in I'm not ready for it.

Any of you who first experienced this work wearing oversized headphones (think: ear muffs) on a basement floor covered in weird carpet trying to hide the fact it's a basement with the lights out, maybe a candle (or lava lamp) glowing, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

It's just not the same with cd's. I don't know why, I have tried to figure it out. Cds should be manna from concept album Heaven. No flip! 80 minutes of solid concept, start to finish. And yes, Radiohead does a bang up job. But somehow it just isn't the same. Is it the tiny ear buds? The fact that I'm not in a suburban basement angry at my parents, teachers and the establishment? I think there's more to it than that.

Something about vinyl. Concept and vinyl. Somehow they sound right together. The grooves etched visibly into the vinyl, the needle tracking along those grooves, traveling, making its way through the concept album right along with you. Like an egg timer of sorts. A visual benchmark for where you are in the concept. Mum calling you to dinner? Eyes quickly dart to the turntable to see how many more inches until the break. A gauge to tell if you can push her patience to the flip break or give up now and re-start the conceptualization process after dinner. You can't do that on a cd. It's all digitally timed, all precisely incremented. But then it's a lot easier to hit pause on a cd or mp3 player than it is to get up, gingerly lift the arm, turn off the stereo, gently pull the lp off the spindle and place it in it's cover. When it comes to concept albums, I'll take the latter any night of the week. Especially pot roast night.

The covers. Oh the covers. The cover art. The inside sleeves. Oh how I yearn for 12 square inches of cardboard canvas. I won't go on about this. I won't. You all know what I mean. Alice Cooper's School's Out could never, ever be produced on a cd, four measly square inches. The underwear would be near Barbie sized and nowhere near as funny or provocative. Elton John's Good Bye Yellow Brick Road cries in shame and sorrow on the small, squished area on the cd. (If you're into album art, WRITE ME! If you're not but want to be, get this book then WRITE ME!)

The interesting thing about concept albums is that they are a great unifier. They were very popular among the stoner crowd, the kids who flunked every class except art and auto shop. These kids who couldn't grasp any piece of literature this side of Poe could embrace, understand and expound upon some very enlightened themes. They were also very popular among the, ahem, nerds, dorks and science geeks. Kids who could grasp very abstract concepts. At any given party you could put on the concept album du jour and the stoners, geeks, sloanes and even a few cheerleaders would quiet down, eyes glazed over in a "wow man, I love this album" look. The only group I ever discovered who didn't like at least one concept album were the footballers. Speaks volumes...

MTV killed more than the radio star, they killed the concept album, too. Back in the early days of MTV, you know, when they actually played music videos, they had a few out there concept videos. Bowie, The Talking Heads and others were doing things, wild, out there things, and MTV initially supported and stood behind those efforts. And then it happened. MTV got famous. It went to it's own head. Long about the time they began airing commercials. (Remember no commercials? Yes, they were wonderful, happier times...you kids do know the M in MTV stands for Music, don't you?) Duran Duran happened (shudder) and paved the way for all the short, quick, slick pop bites that have come since. And killed the idea of savoring long, conceptual, dare I admit, progressive music that lasts longer than 3 minutes.

FM radio was a huge deal, and originally the bastion of all things concept. Remember WKRP? (great show...) Fever and Venus used to put on an entire album side so they could make jokes, smoke cigarettes, go to the bathroom...it wasn't just made for television sitcom humor, it was real man, it was real. FM stations used to regularly play songs longer than 3 minutes. Short pop songs were for AM. But now AM is for talk and sports and FM is for pop or maybe, down on the low end of the range, college stations. What we need is a new band (frequency). A new FM. A new MTV.

I'm off to listen to From the Inside. See you at the flip.

Some of you might be interested in A Music Fan's recent review of Dark Side of the Moon on Amazon: [1 out of 5 stars] pure garbage, February 4, 2004
Reviewer: A music fan from auburn, ny USA
this Cd is pure garbage, the worst CD ever made, dont waste your money on it. the songs are terrible, the music is awful, the singing is horrible. nobody remembers Pink floyd anymore except old people. Thank God the 1970's are over.


You know, A Music Fan, on your parting note I am in full agreement.

Thank God the 1970's are over. But don't blame Pink Floyd.

Blame your short attention span. Which I blame on fast slick editing, tiny little chunks of music on cds and mp3s and Mountain Dew. You've never had to learn to patiently, steadily lift the needle mid-track without scratching the lp. You've never had to time your bathroom activities to the break in the repeat of an album side. You never had to learn to listen to an entire body of work to understand, grasp and embrace a concept. That songs can be components to a full story or idea. Taken singly they are interesting, good - but only a small part of a much bigger picture. Up your ridilin dosage for an afternoon, borrow your uncle's lp of Dark Side of the Moon, slip down to the basement where your dad has his old turntable hooked up, put on the headphones, lie down on your back, close your eyes and let the music take your mind to places a cd never could. I'm not saying Dark Side of the Moon is THE BEST ALBUM EVER RECORDED. Far from it. But it is not pure garbage. Have you had the pleasure of listening to an entire N*SYNC cd?

9:14 AM

Wednesday, February 11, 2004  
A Very Special Reality Wednesday.

So real, In Fact, that it's a straightforward post.

Now it's time for a message from our sponsor of the day: Creative Commons.

The few of you that pay attention to my sidebar have seen the Creative Commonsbutton. "What's that? Some say." And click the button and wander over to Creative Commons to see what it's all about. Many of you already use Creative Commons. But others of you, and you know who you are, are not using it. Will you just do it? Please? You might not think you have anything worth stealing. Stop being so darned humble for a minute and recognize the fact that you are talented and have a strong, unique voice. A voice someone will steal.

If you author a blog, post original artwork or photos on the internet, get thee to Creative Commons.

No, it's not going to stop plagiarism.

No, it's probably not going to hold up for much in a court of law.

But. It will give you a leg to stand on should someone else profit by stealing, erm borrowing, erm, being "inspired" by something you wrote or drew or photographed or designed or whatever.

We all know once something is posted on the internet it's as good as public domain property. Oh sure, there are intellectual property laws, there are copyright laws, blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.

The fact is: If you put something out there, someone, somewhere, someday is going to lift it.

This is especially true in the blog community.

Now, now, everyone just simmer down.

I know you are all fine upstanding blog community citizens, but there are some bad people out there. People incapable of original thought. People who are jealous of your talent. People with writer's or artist's block. Or heck, I don't know why, people who just think it's okay to use other people's work and ideas for fun and profit.

And really, in the big picture, it's not a big deal. Chances that they will get a publishing deal or sell art are minimal. These are blogs were talking about here, mostly diaries or journals, observations, sketches, snapshots...not exactly Booker or Pulitzer material. Not even sellable magazine fodder.

But.

Of the blogs I read, coupled with the slices of life and anecdotes, there is a lot of insight, humor, intelligence and wisdom. I would very much like to see many of the bloggers I read (This means many of you) get published. Strong, funny, intelligent voices that the big publishing guys should be courting and grabbing with mega $$ deals. It does happen and is happening with a higher frequency in the past few years. This is one reason why blogging is catching on in the mainstream.

I liken it to when working out first became popular back in the 70's. Everyone jumped on the running/aerobics craze. The dedicated stuck with it. The wannabe's and poseurs fell to the wayside faster than baby blue satin designer gym shorts. Which is exactly what will happen with many bloggers. Nothing wrong with trying it out, nothing at all. I strongly encourage everyone to blog. But with all these people jumping on the craze, there are bound to be a few bad apples. And why I am now taking a post to say: Cover yourselves. Take a few steps to slow down the plagiarism machine.

Some of these wannabe bloggers are talentless, dull poseurs. And they know it. So they steal from other blogs. And because fate is cruel, there exists the possibility they will gain notoriety and maybe even profit from their site.

Don't let this get your blood boiling. If they do, it will be difficult for them to maintain unless they continue to steal. Which they will. But sooner or later the jig will be up. Plagiarism is not a crime that is easy to hide. What many bloggers have is a unique, true, sincere, believable voice. A voice that rings sincerity through words. And that is something that cannot be stolen and maintained. It is a fingerprint of sorts. No one is ever going to be able to sustain a fake voice. Eventually it won't ring true.

We should feel sorry for these people on some levels. They want and need what someone else has, and I'm not talking about a new stereo or bike. They are deep and human enough to long for things intrinsic. Things they cannot break into someone's garage and take.

Talent and original thought.

These are desperate cries for help. "I need a personality! I like yours! Give it to me!" or, "You're so popular! Everyone likes you! I am going to be just like you. In fact, I am going to steal you!" To wit: How many Belle du Jours have popped up in the past few months? (As to why anyone would want to be a prostitute diarist, especially a Jane Come Lately prostitute, well, that's another blog. Hats off to Belle, but that's the point. She does what she does well. She wasn't the first, but she was the first to do it well enough to gain a wide audience.)

See how sad they are?

They will say they were inspired by your blog or art. They will say it was a huge coincidence.

There is a thin line between inspiration and plagiarism. A very thin line.

And yes, there are a lot of common themes among bloggers, very common themes. We're all of similar minds. The mere fact that we're all blogging speaks volumes about the similarities in our personalities. We are a demograph to ourselves. Dip into any blog on any given day and you will find commentary on very similar subjects. I've canned more than a few posts because a day prior to me posting them someone else covered the same topic.

But the way in which these subjects are presented, the words chosen, the way the words are put together, the way the drawings are drawn or photos are shot are what makes blogging so much fun. Which why I love the grid::blog idea so much. Common theme, but so many and so varied takes on it.

I recently blogged about the laundry room. I am not the first, I won't be the last. Many people will do it better. Some might do it worse. They will make the same points. They will make other points. They will be creeped out by a stranger touching their underwear. But few, if any, will conjure up Thin Lizzy in the course of their post about the laundry room. They will conjure up other things. Things unique and original to their minds.

And a lot of people will read it and think, "I enjoyed reading that. I wish I could write like that. But my brain doesn't work that way. I am not capable of engaging readers with my words or art. But I want to, I want to be part of this cool blogging thing. But I can't hear my voice. In fact I'm not sure I have an original voice. So I'll just borrow one. No one will ever know. What are the odds that anyone will see my blog and theirs?"

Well, blog thieves, I'm here to tell you: The odds are in fact very low. Yes, there are millions of blogs. But it's a very, very, very small world and a very closeknit community. And if you think for one minute people who read your blog won't stumble across the blog you stole from, guess again. And if you think the author you stole from will never see your post, really, seriously, guess again and find another hobby.

At the very least, the very minimal least, and I know this goes against the grain of thievery and flies in the face of thieving logic, but I'm going to say it anyway. Give credit in the form of a link. You could say something like, "Inspired by (name of blog)" or "I read this on (name of blog) and thought..."

As for those of us blogging, imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery. Graciously take small thefts as compliments and go on your blogging way. Content in the knowledge that tomorrow, next week and next month you will be writing, drawing or photographing in your own special, unique, creative, talented way, while these people, the thieves, will be as empty and void of original thought as they ever were.

But should they profit or gain noteriety from your work, that's another story.

Enter: Creative Commons. Sign up for a license and post it on your blog or website.

Most of all, be a blog community watchdog. If you see blatant plagiarism, notify the original author or artist. Send them a link to the site where their stolen work is posted.

If you have any intention of ever actually publishing your work, please read everything you can about copyright law and take steps to protect yourself. I want to buy your book when it's published. If someone steals your work and beats you to it, you can't get that book deal and I (or anyone else) won't be able to buy it and read it.

And in keeping with this week's rock anthem theme, I proudly present: Twisted Sister.

Oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

we've Got The Right To Choose And
there Ain't No Way We'll Lose It
this Is Our Life, This Is Our Song
we'll Fight The Powers That Be Just
don't Pick Our Destiny 'cause
you Don't Know Us, You Don't Belong

oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

oh You're So Condescending
your Gall Is Never Ending
we Don't Want Nothin', Not A Thing From You
your Life Is Trite And Jaded
boring And Confiscated
if That's Your Best, Your Best Won't Do

oh.....................
oh.....................
we're Right/yeah
we're Free/yeah
we'll Fight/yeah
you'll See/yeah

oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

oh We're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh We're Not Gonna Take It Anymore
no Way!

oh.....................
oh.....................
we're Right/yeah
we're Free/yeah
we'll Fight/yeah
you'll See/yeah

we're Not Gonna Take It
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

we're Not Gonna Take It, No!
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

just You Try And Make Us
we're Not Gonna Take It
come On
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
you're All Worthless And Weak
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore
now Drop And Give Me Twenty
we're Not Gonna Take It
oh Crinch Pin
no, We Ain't Gonna Take It
oh You And Your Uniform
we're Not Gonna Take It Anymore

9:50 AM

Tuesday, February 10, 2004  
And speaking of pyramids...oh, wait, we weren't speaking of pyramids? Oh. Okay. Still. Try to catch this on your local PBS affliate.


And the end of an era

10:01 AM

 
Since I've got really horrid rock anthems from way too long ago running through my head, might as well make it a theme week.

Today: Thin Lizzy. Yeah. Really.

Tonight There's Gonna Be a Jailbreak (Bwa ha ha...bet you haven't thought of THAT song in ages. And now you're stuck with it. My work here is done.)

Or:

Smackdown in the Laundry Room

I endeavored to do my laundry several times over the past few days. With no success.

My building has one laundry room. Two washers, two dryers. One set of "expensive" and one set of "cheap." Of course everyone, counting out their quarters, wants to use the "cheap" set.

Lots of apartments.

Lots of laundry.

There are frequently back-ups. Sunday evenings are notoriously bad for getting even one load cleaned and dried.

Early entry is key. So last night I left work early. For the express purpose of dashing home, grabbing my already sorted laundry, racing down to the laundry room and getting two loads in before anyone else was even home from work.

(Tonight there's gonna be a jailbreak
Somewhere in this town
See me and the boys we don't like it
So were getting up and going down
)

All went according to plan.

Except for the getting there before anyone else was even home from work.

When I entered the laundry room another tenant was already there. She was taking one load out of the "expensive" washer and putting another in the "cheap" washer.

"Curses!" I thought.

I asked her if she was using the "expensive" washer as well.

She was not.

Fine. I can get one load going. Which I did.

I know the exact timing of the wash and dry cycles. I am a good tenant and citizen. I do not let my clothes sit in the washer or dryer. I arrive in the laundry room precisely as the cycles are completed.

But other tenants are not as thoughtful and considerate.

I arrived in the laundry room at the precise allocated time my wash was finished.

The tenant ahead of me was waiting for her clothes to finish drying. (Good tenant! Good tenant!) She made disgruntled rumblings about someone who had left their laundry in the laundry room all day, and that she finally unloaded the "cheap" dryer and piled the squatter laundry in the basket left on top of the machine. We discussed this inconsiderate behavior at length. Her laundry finished. She quickly and deftly unloaded the dryers, put her final wash load in the dryer, I put my first load in the (expensive) dryer and began another load of wash (in the now available "cheap" washer).

The vagrant laundry sat in its basket on top of the dryer.

At the appointed time, I went down to pull out my first load of drying and transfer the wash.

Other tenant was finishing up her dry and fold, the vagrant laundry still sat in its basket.

In went my laundry to the "cheap" dryer.

Five minutes before the appointed time to gather my drying, my mum rang. I kept one eye on the clock. Five minutes past completion. Eight minutes past completion. At 10 minutes past completion I said, "Mum, can I ring you right back? I've got to get my laundry out of the dryer." Yes. I cut off my own mother in order to get down to the laundry room so as to not inconvenience anyone else.

But get this: My laundry was heaped on top of the "expensive" dryer. The basket that held the vagrant laundry was on top of the "cheap" dryer.

Yes. The owner of the vagrant, squatting laundry returned, took my laundry out of the "cheap" dryer and put their squatter laundry in the cheap dryer. When the "expensive" dryer was sitting there empty, willing and ready to dry clothes for just one quarter more than the "cheap" dryer.

My laundry was still piping hot from the dryer hot. It's not as if this person had to wait hours or days. They could have used the "expensive" dryer. If they were low on quarters, they could have waited 10 or 15 minutes (to me an acceptable courtesy time) for the owner of the laundry to retrieve their clothes.

But no. This person, clearly waiting for the precise moment my drying was finished (if not before, I suspect) pounced on my laundry and heaped it willy nilly on the dryer so they could put their laundry, which other tenant said had been down there all day, in the "cheap" dryer.

Why is this a big deal? Because it's rude and also because it was my underwear. Okay, not my silky delicate hand wash type underwear, but my underwear nonetheless. And you just don't touch other people's underwear in the laundry room. It's in the code book. You just don't swutting handle anyone else's underwear. Jeans: Maybe. Towels or sheets: Only in extreme circumstances. Underwear: Never.

And THERE WAS AN AVAILABLE DRYER THEY COULD HAVE USED. OR THEY COULD HAVE PATIENTLY WAITED A FEW MINUTES FOR ME TO RETRIEVE MY COMPLETED DRYING.

I was furious. I sorted through my laundry, pulling out socks (I guess I don't mind if a stranger touched these...) and putting the underwear on top of the "cheap" dryer, counting quarters to see if I had enough to wash and dry them again. As I was doing this, a young guy, kind of skanky looking (though to be fair it's the laundry room, everyone looks skanky in there) busted into the laundry room with two bags of laundry.

(Tonight there's gonna be trouble
Some of us won't survive
See the boys and me we mean business
Bustin' out dead or alive
)

"I took your laundry out. I needed the dryer." was his introduction to me.

"You couldn't wait five minutes for me to retrieve it?"

"How did I know when you were going to be back? I need to get my laundry done." he bullied me.

"You can't be in too much of a hurry, your first batch has been down here squatting all day."

"Yeah, I forgot about it and I got busy. That's why I'm in a hurry." unloading his laundry heading to the washers.

"There was an empty dryer you could have used." I bullied him right back.

"The expensive one. I don't have enough quarters to use it. What's the big deal?"

Wanted to say: The big deal?! You swutting violated the laundry code. You touched my underwear. Because you wouldn't wait five minutes or drop another quarter! THAT's the big deal.

(I can hear the hound dogs on my trail
All hell breaks loose, alarm and sirens wail
Like the game if you lose
Go to jail
)

Instead said: "I need to use the cheap washer, I've got a load right here I was preparing."

"I just took that out of the dryer, it's clean." he countered, rather salaciously eyeing my underwear.

(Tonight there's gonna be a breakout
Into the city zones
Don't you dare to try and stop us
No one could for long
I can see the Searchlight on my trail
Tonight's the night all systems fail
Hey you good lookin' female
Come here!
)

Wanted to say: Clean? After YOU pawed through it? I think not.

Instead said: "I am using the "cheap" washer." and began piling my underwear in the washer.

He was really mad. He called me names. I gave him indignant looks. And strolled on my way. On my way upstairs to get a magazine and more quarters and come right back down to stand guard over my laundry.

My underwear. My dainty underpinnings. My swutting underwear! Call me uptight. Call me old fashioned. Knowing a complete stranger (a skanky male stranger, no less) touched my underwear creeps me out.

I sat in the uncomfortable laundry room chair. I gave up the Antiques Roadshow and possible Keno-vision so that I could guard my laundry from this evil skanky boy tenant. I waited through the cycles.

Sure enough, Skanky Boy appeared before the final spin cycle completed. He was surprised to see me there, waiting. I foiled some deviant plan of his. He turned around and left.

I transferred my laundry to the dryer. And waited.

Skanky Boy returned again.

He piled his laundry into the "cheap" washer. And called me nasty names under his breath.

(Hiding low looking right to left
If you see us coming I think it's best
To move away do you hear what I say
From under my breath
)

"I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the machines, what was that?" I sing songily asked.

"Nothing. Bitch. Nothing."

"Right. Okay. Have a nice evening."

(Tonight there's gonna be trouble
I'm gonna find myself in
Tonight there's gonna be trouble
So woman you stay with a friend
)

Even after a re-wash and dry it still creeps me out to know this, this MAN, this stranger man, touched my underwear.

9:43 AM

Monday, February 09, 2004  
I'm not saying this is the best written piece about recent boob events, but it includes a photo of Jordan, she of the enormous boob job, she of "bedding hundreds of celebrities," she of currently frolicking with Johnny Rotten, of all people, on a reality show, she of much comparison to a certain individual in my office.


7:55 PM

 
Your Rude, Obnoxious, Classless, Loud Girlfriend
Message to Tall Mid-Thirties Sandy Blonde Guy at Classic Thai on Sunday Afternoon: The girl you were with? The one with the perma-cell and Kate Spade bag and Coach PDA covered PDA that for some unknown reason she felt needed to be on display on your table?

She's a bitch.

Run.

Run now.

Fast as you are able.

Before you do something stupid like marry the girl and ruin the rest of your life.

You seem like a nice guy.

You wore your good, slightly trendily cut gray trousers and nice navy blue sweater your mom gave you five years ago. You wore good snow boots, it's February in Chicago, after all, so appropriate choice and they weren't gross.

You showered.

You even shaved.

You have an easy and sincere smile.

You seem generally laid back yet well mannered.

What the do you see in the uptight, rude, cell phone wielding, PDA showing off woman you are obviously trying to date?

I want to know because: This is it. I've had it. I've spent a lifetime observing this phenomenon, and I want some answers.

Now.

And so help me Universe if you say it's because she's good in bed I (and a lot of other people) will simultaneously combust.

Because really, is any sex, and I don't care how good/unique/expensive it is, worth sacrificing even an hour of your life with a woman who is a complete, utter, annoying, pretentious, bossy, rude, arrogant, loud, classless and really not that attractive woman?

A woman with friends and family who all have soap opera names? (We know this because all of her several cell phone conversations were carried out at a volume appropriate for a Metallica concert.)

A woman who speaks in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS? All the time?

I saw you flinch when she exclaimed to the proprietor (and everyone else in the small restaurant and whomever was on the other end of her cell phone) that she WOULD NOT REMOVE HER SHOES TO SIT THERE. AND WE'RE GOING TO SIT THERE ANYWAY. (no, Alex and Sam are at Taylor's next week) I DON'T WANT TO SIT AT A REGULAR TABLE, I'M GOING TO SIT THERE. ("There" being the built up floor with cushions for seats and a cutout for legs to dangle under the table. "There" where everyone is required to remove their shoes before ascending the steps to the cushion leg dangle tables. "There" where no one else takes issue with the no shoe requirement. "There" where everyone who does have an issue with the no shoe requirement avoids for "real" tables and chairs.)

I saw you furtively glance around the restaurant when she admonished you for taking off your boots, conforming to the restaurant's rules. YOU'RE NOT REALLY TAKING OFF YOUR SHOES ARE YOU? MY GAWD, THAT'S JUST GROSS. GAWD ONLY KNOWS WHAT'S UNDER THERE. (yeah, so anyway, Haley said she and Ben are trying to get Pretentious String Quartet, but they're booked that day...I know, I know, I'd change the date too, but something about Ben's grandmother or something) GAWD THAT'S (looking under the leg dangle area at your feet under the table) GROSS, YOU'RE FEET ARE TOUCHING THE FLOOR.

I saw you politely try to cover with an apologetic smile for her barking command at the waitress, CAN WE GET MORE TEA HERE, (and so yeah, we have to be at Blake's at 7 sharp) WHY DON'T YOU JUST LEAVE THE TEAPOT ON THE TABLE SINCE YOU CAN'T GET THE TEA HERE. (no, 7, otherwise Jilly will have to ride with Mac.)

I could tell you were embarrassed when, while loudly talking on her fourth call (completely ignoring you, I might add) she began flossing her teeth WITH HER FINGERNAIL. (mmph, yeah, I know, I know. Yeah. I so agree. I would. mmmph. slurp, pick pick pick)

I know you tried to put a brave face on things when, while you were lacing up your boots she stood there, throwing disgusting looks at you, she talked even louder on her cell phone. (yeah, we're leaving) HURRY UP. WE'RE LATE. (I know. Yeah. I know. We're on our way.) I saw you help her with her coat as she clearly expected. I heard you stifle your tongue and not say, "If we're in such a hurry why didn't you put on your own coat while I put on my boots?"

But what gets me, Tall, Nice Mid Thirties Guy, is that after all that, that, that demonstration on how to be the world's rudest, most inconsiderate, bossy bitch from Hell, I saw you put your arm around her and lovingly kiss her on the cheek, on the sidewalk, while she still had her cell phone pressed to the other cheek. I saw her give you a very bothered, "NOT NOW" look in return.

Why? Why do you put up with it? Please tell me and all the other people out there who observe this sort of thing day in and day out and are just left wondering, Why? Why do you tolerate this behavior and further, what do you see in her?

Labels: ,


9:57 AM

Sunday, February 08, 2004  
Muzak: No One is Safe
That's it. It's official. I am old. Thrice in two weeks I have caught myself singing along to muzak in stores. Out loud. Loud enough that people, other people, people I do not know, can hear me.

The first time I suppose it could be excused, it was an 80's original artist loop and who can't sing along to Whitesnake, Here I Go Again. I know, I know, spare me the email. I know it's the epitome of crappy 80's rock anthems. But I dare you to not sing along to it. I dare you. Few can resist it's call. Fewer still can refrain from clenching teeth and straining their necks on the chorus. You're doing that right now, aren't you? See? I'm always right about these things.

There I was in the organic section singing, Here I go again on my own, walking down the only road I've ever known...etc. etc. without one trace of irony or shame.

I caught myself and stopped.

Only to start again in the juice aisle.

The second time was during a shoe shopping expedition. This will scare a lot of people. Any Morrissey fans PLEASE SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH. It was not a very busy day in the shoe department. And the muzak, yes, real muzak, plucky uptempo instrumental versions of songs that might actually be good when performed in their original state. I just assumed there was some sort of contractual understanding that no Smiths or Morrissey song could ever be muzaked. It's just wrong on so many levels. But, there it was: Every Day is Like Sunday, all plucky staccato and strings. I didn't even realize what song it was at first. When I realized what I was hearing I reacted with horror. I wanted to dial up the Friends of Morrissey hotline and support group and alert them to the infraction of the Code of Morrissey Behavior. And then caught myself singing come Armageddon, come...I mean, if those grannies shopping in the St. John section had any clue what the muzak was they were so thoughtfully tilting their heads to they would be walking out in an incensed huff. Which is exactly what I did. Singing Every Day is Like Sunday all the while, trying to kid myself I was doing a good rendition of Chrissie Hynde's rendition.

For the uninitiated and those new to Life(?) of Trillian, I could not carry a tune in a basket with a lid fastened with a lock. I have "many charming and wonderful qualities," a childhood church choir leader once said, "but singing is not one of them." (No, Simon Cowell was not the first to criticize young and enthusiastic kids.) From there on out my musical needs were vented in orchestra (to successful ends, I might add. What I lack in vocal range I make up for with skill and tone on various woodwind instruments. Unchallenged first chair clarinet four years running thank you very much.) The sad irony is, of course, I love music and I love to sing. But I keep it to the car or at home. Alone. Or when really, really drunk and the party needs a pick me up in the form of a laugh. And I know everyone there. And they want me to sing so they can laugh at me.

Those are the conditions under which I will sing out loud with anyone other than Furry Creature present.

And yet, in the past two weeks, I have sung out loud to complete strangers. While 100% sober.

You just know there is a Trillian story here, so leave now or get comfortable.

Today I finally did something about those roots. I have to say, it was worth chasing my hair designer all over town. She might not want me, but I want her. And she did another fine job on my hair. It looks stunning, if I do say so myself. Actually, I do say so myself because it's not as if I did it, she did, so I'm giving her the compliment, not myself. The other people in the salon agreed, too. Hair Designer Extraordinaire, you rock. My locks are amazing. I never would have thought my hair could do this. Never thought I could pull it off. But Hair Designer Extraordinaire managed to somehow rectify the honey blonde highlight root issue with a single wave of her magic brush. (and this stuff called Straight Line by L'Anza. This stuff is swutting awesome. Forget that $700 thermo relaxing business the salons are touting. Get yourself a $13 bottle of Straight Line and take yourself on vacation with the $683 you just saved.)

So there I was, all dolled up in my newly honey blonde root rectified hair. And an experimental shade of lipstick. I stopped into the grocery to pick up a few things for a party later that evening. I was feeling a bit cheeky, thinking "Hey, I don't look so awful for a change. I'm not hanging my head and hiding behind in store displays, anyway."

And then it happened. I realized I was singing Taken In, another 80's mega hit by Mike + Mechanics. Mike and the swutting Mechanics! A SPINOFF band for crying out loud.

(But I really love that song...)

And I had no idea how long I'd been singing along. NO IDEA. I presume the whole song. I was about halfway through.

Other people, normal people, would have shut themselves up right then and there, clearing their throats and ducking down another aisle suddenly very interested in merits of various bathroom tissues on sale this week.

But this is me we're talking about.

For some unexplainable reason I just kept singing along out loud. Out loud and proud. Ish. I mean, I know I'm a horrible singer, so I wasn't at top drunken volume, but I wasn't exactly modestly humming, either. And you know what? I discovered something about myself. I'm a terrible singer who suddenly knows no shame. I know I couldn't even make the "bad" audition sessions on American Idol, and yet I sang on. Out loud. At about regular speaking volume.

And if you say you want me near I don't believe it
And when you're holding back the tears I don't believe it
And when you swear that you are mine I don't believe it
And it's your heart that's on the line I don't believe it, don't believe it


If you are familiar with this song (and it's a good one, you should get familiar with it, especially if you have a penchant for dating the wrong people, have ever loved and trusted someone who ended up ripping your heart to shreds, or just like break up songs in general (what sort of sick skank are you?)) you know the "don't believe it, don't believe its" in that last verse are hit louder, harder and heavier than the rest (wracked with emotion). And yes, of course, now shamelessly singing in the grocery Trillian, in her newly resuscitated highlights, sang out the "don't believe it, don't believe its" as if she were Mike Rutherford himself. While looking at the cous cous and pondering sun dried tomato flavor v. spinach.

And then launched into the chorus,

Taken in, taken in again
Wrapped around the finger of some fair-weather friend
Caught up in the promises, left out in the end
No pride, taken for a ride
You say I'm the only one when I look in your eyes
I'd love to believe you but you know how to lie


I was feeling it man, feeling it!

(I told you it's a good song. Really. It is.)

That chorus is key.

Because as I was knowingly and very emotionally singing along, out loud, badly, in the grocery, the crowded Saturday afternoon grocery, I felt eyes on me. Slightly daunted, and turned down the volume, more meekly hum-singing,

You say you want me near I don't believe it
And when you're holding back the tears I don't believe it
Oh, there's one born every minute, you're looking at him


And then it happened.

"Trillian?"

I heard a male voice calling my name. "Ignore it, just ignore it. Whoever it is, he's not sure if it's you so just ignore it and get the swut out of here STAT!" I told myself. Berating myself for allowing myself to sing along to muzak in public. To Mike and the swutting Mechanics, no less. (Okay, so it's not as if the Pixies are muzaked, but still...Mike and the swutting Mechanics? Could I be more lame? Yes, you are saying, you could. Uh, Whitesnake?)

"Tricia. Tricia Mcmillian. Trillian. Trillian!"

I knew the voice. Unmistakable accent. Run! Run fast! Abandon your trolley and run! Make a break for it in your new poseur Polo posse sneakers! Just. Get. The. Swut. Out. Of. Here. NOW!!!!!

But no. I was frozen. Frozen in place and time. Things started to spin and got blurry.

Taken in, taken in again
Someone saw me coming, a fool without a friend


From behind, a hand on my shoulder. "Trillian! Trillian! What the devil are you doing here?!"

"Um, here as in this store, or here as in Chicago, or here as in this country?" was going through my mind.

I turned to face the muzak and the face I knew I would find there. (Brave Trillian! Very brave Trillian!)

Shock. Awe. Disbelief. OMG. Memories of long ago and far away.

We just stood there, arms outstretched ready to hug but something holding us back.

I want to believe you, oh
When you say you understand
When you reach out for my hand
Oh, I wish I could believe you
Taken in, taken in again


I swear. I swutting SWEAR Mike was belting out those exact words.

Yes. A former person of interest. From a long time ago and far away. I mean, so long ago and so far away. A person of much interest. A person I conceivably might have married. Had he asked. Had we worked out some issues. Had he not moved to Budapest. Under the cover of darkness. Without telling me. Until two months later via postcard.

He was the first to speak. Again. (As ever, never at loss for words, this one.)

"You look fantastic! I never would have recognized you with that hair! Look at you all highlighted and grown-up! If you hadn't been singing I don't think I would have known it was you!"

At this I cracked up. I mean just absolutely burst out laughing at the irony of it all. So did he.

He's right. I have grown up. A lot. So much that I could engage in small talk, nodding head small talk, and walk away. Walk away without giving him my number or email. Walk away without ever wanting to see him again. Walk away knowing, absolutely knowing his vanishing to Budapest was indeed the best that that ever happened to me. Knowing that for once I looked good and the guy looked bad. (Apart from the singing.) Knowing, for the first time with any degree of certainty, that he's the one wondering what if. He's the one wishing he'd got my number or email or something, anything. Knowing, absolutely knowing, he's thinking it was all fate and destiny that brought us to the cous cous aisle. And I for once am the one who couldn't care less other than to gloat the fact to the Universe that I AM OVER HIM! I don't wonder, worry or want him! That I, Trillian, purposely cut the conversation very short so that I wouldn't have to awkwardly figure out a way to not give him my numbers or email if he asked. That I smugly strode away, humming Taken In, NOT AGAIN! No way, no how.

Because after this former person of interest left me for Budapest, I REALLY fell in love. I REALLY had my heart broken in pieces that WON'T mend. And nothing, no one, can hurt me like that. So I am in many ways, safe. Safe from getting back together with the wrong person. Safe from wondering "what if" over men who do merit more than a "don't think so." Former person of interest is just an insignificant blip in my dating past.

In short, nothing moved. Nothing. I felt nothing.

But I am a little bothered that the reason I caught his attention by my horrible out loud public singing with the muzak. Except instead of being embarrassed, I'm thinking, "Ha! He's sitting in a pub somewhere, maybe even right here in my neighborhood, telling his friends, 'and she was singing, she's a horrible singer, but it's so cute, she loves to sing but she's just awful, it's funny, really, laughable, she used to do this Kim Deal thing, I mean, it was just painful but it's so cute because she loves to sing...and you should see what she's done to her hair!'" His friends' eyes will dart glances back and forth, glances that say, "singing to the muzak? Only old people do that."


Taken in, taken in again
Wrapped around the finger of some fair-weather friend
Caught up in the promises, left out in the end
No pride, taken for a ride
You say I'm the only one when I look in your eyes
I want to believe you but you know how to lie

And if you say you understand I don't believe it
And when you reach out for my hand I don't believe it
And if you say you take the blame I don't believe it
And if say that nothing's changed I don't believe it, don't believe it

Taken in, taken in again
Someone saw me coming, a fool without a friend
There's one born every minute and you're looking at him

And if you say you want me near I don't believe it
And when you're holding back the tears I don't believe it
And when you swear that you are mine I don't believe it
And it's your heart that's on the line I don't believe it, don't believe it

Taken in, taken in again
Wrapped around the finger of some fair-weather friend
Caught up in the promises, left out in the end
No pride, taken for a ride
You say I'm the only one when I look in your eyes
I'd love to believe you but you know how to lie

You say you want me near I don't believe it
And when you're holding back the tears I don't believe it
Oh, there's one born every minute, you're looking at him

Taken in, taken in again
Someone saw me coming, a fool without a friend
I want to believe you, oh
When you say you understand
When you reach out for my hand
Oh, I wish I could believe you
Taken in, taken in again

1:12 AM

 
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