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

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<

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

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?

"50 First Dates"

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

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

Find State Officials
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or Search by State

Contact The Media
Enter ZIP Code:

or Search by State

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



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

Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

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

200i: iPodyssey

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

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

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

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

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

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

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

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

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


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

Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

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

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

Lap Dance of the Cripple

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

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

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

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

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

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

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

Mail Trillian here

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


Alliance for the Great Lakes

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

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

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

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras

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

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


Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto


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

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

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

< chicago blogs >

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life(?) of Trillian

Friday, April 16, 2004  
What is it about celebrities that makes people stupid? In the presence of celebrities, normally semi-sane, intelligent people take on a frenzied, high-pitched hysteria. And the dumb get dumber.

I'm not impressed with celebrities. Oh sure, there are several authors I'd like to discuss books with, and if certain musicians or one or two actors were to come into my office and have a seat I'm sure I'd find myself at a loss for words. (or worse, gushing praise like a teenaged groupie) I'm not saying I'm immune. I've had a few incidents in my past which surprised even me. Ahem. It was a long time ago. I was young.

But for the most part I am nonplussed by celebrities.

They are people. Entertainers. Some are truly talented. Some even appear to have more than half a functioning brain. Most are ego driven jerks. If they don't start out that way, fame and money does it to them. Obvioulsy this is a generality. There are some very nice, sincere celebrities. Tell me when you meet one.

I realize I'm in the minority. I realize people get star struck. I realize celebrities bring excitement into the lives of everyday people. For some people catching a glimpse of a celebrity will be something they will remember and talk about the rest of their life.

I try to smile and nod when these people are explaining the detailed minutia of their celebrity sighting or experience. It's important to them. It makes them feel special. I try to give them their moment.


They're filming some scenes for Ocean's 12 in Chicago.

Could I care less?

No, not possible unless there's a way to measure care in negative points.

Ocean's 11 circa 1960: Fun, cheesy, movie, a good rental. Ocean's 11 All Star Bonanza Big Budget Remake 2001: Spare me the angst.

Consequently Ocean's 12 is not a movie about which I have the slightest bit of interest.

Yet there they are. Right outside my office window. From a bird's eye view I can watch them eating. I can watch the comings and goings from their trailers.

Let's stop right there for a minute: Will it help my anti-celebrity worship cause any to point out most actors spend a lot of time in mobile homes? You hate your cramped, stuffy office, or cube or open plan office - it could be worse. Your office, 8 -12 hours a day during filming, could be a mobile home. A single wide. Rented.

Brad Pitt doesn't seem as sparkly in the light of a rented, single wide mobile home, now does he?

I keep my office window blinds closed - angled to let in light but blocking most of any view. The glare wreaks havoc on my monitors. (I frequently have my lights off, too.)

So I'm in my office, toiling away, talking on the phone with a client, when in through my door, out of breath, screaming in her just back from Dogpatch voice, was Sadie. "OMYGAWD!!!! THEY'RE FILMING OCEAN'S 12 ACROSS THE STREET!!! WE CAN SEE THEM EATING!"

I smiled and pointed at the phone in my hand and mouthed, "I'm on the phone." to her.

She then crossed my office, went to my windows and opened my blinds.

Apparently my office offers the prime viewing area of the roach coaches and chow line, as well as the comings and goings in a few of the trailers.

I finished my conversation with my client while Sadie sat, for all the world as if she's watching a movie in her living room.

"Um, Sadie, I'm sorry, I've got a lot of work to do. The window causes a lot of glare..."

"Oh. Sorry. Don't you want to see George Clooney and Brad Pitt?"

"Not really. And even if I did, we're kind of a long way up from them, the tops of people's heads don't really interest me."


"Are you sure? I wouldn't think they'd need the whole cast for just a few scenes here in Chicago." I said, evilly trying to burst her star stuck bubble.

"Well, maybe Matt Damon! Or, or, (gasp) JULIA ROBERTS!!!" she nearly screamed.

"Oh dare we dream." I deadpanned.

"How can you not care?"

"I'm tragic."

Sadie took a look around my office. She was taking inventory, trying to make a summary. She clearly could not. She shrugged and left.

My entire company is all in a tizzy over this. People are glued to windows, peering down, trying to figure out if there's a famous person attached to a particular top of head.

Why? Who cares? What difference does it make? I realize I am not a celebrity watcher, but this reaction seems more than a bit extreme to me.

9:30 AM

Thursday, April 15, 2004  
I love eBay. I just love it.

EBay is what it is today because of people like me.



People with a taste for the obscure or bizarre.

People who want to get a good deal.

People with a lunch hour to spare.

People with credit cards.

What I love about eBay is how you begin with a focused intent. Like finding an angry tiki mug.

The next you know you're trying to figure out how to get a Vespa from Islamabad. Because it's a really good deal.

EBay was love at first sight for me. Up to that point I had spent countless hours, days, weekends...roaming flea markets, antique shops (and shoppes), boot sales, garage sales and estate sales.

I'm not one of those up at dawn haggling a granny out of her priceless heirlooms people. I'm a browser. A casual observer.

It's the lure of the unknown, the thrill of finding something up to that moment you didn't know existed but would make your life complete. At least until the next flea market.

Oh sure, I have my pet interests, things I always look for and hope to find, but when I do there's another hurdle.

I'm a horrible haggler. I'm not a sucker, I just don't haggle well. I wasn't raised to barter and it's not in my intrinsic nature.

I stand back in wide eyed wonder and awe when I hear people dickering back and forth on the price of an object.

Which is why I love eBay.

The seller sets their bare minimum price, the bidders take it from there.

You're given the polite option of setting your highest limit. If the item's bids go over that amount you are given the option to re-bid or politely bow out of the auction. Quietly. Silently. Through a cloak of anonymity. No pressure (except that which you put on yourself) and no embarrassment.

I've heard of some lively bidding wars on eBay. The stuff I'm interested in apparently doesn't generate that sort of interest. Go figure. It's also very telling that I am typically the only bidder on items of interest to me.

One of the best things about eBay is a gauge for what certain items are going for out on the market, and what kind of interest there is for particular items.

Now is not apparently a good time to get into the Adorable White and Green Scottie Dog Pin market, the auction closes today and there are no bids - $1.99 seems like a good deal to me, even with the shipping. Who knows how and when it will take off, and here's a chance to get in on the ground floor! However, if you're looking to get into the Scottie Dog and Rhinestone Christmas Tree Pin racket, you might want to wait for the market to settle down a bit, this beaut has a relatively lively auction going on and is currently at $26.99.

I know. I like the Adorable White and Green one better, too.

And there's another thing I love about eBay. You can see the fickleness of collecting v. The Economy. Here's a French Bakelite Scottie Dog Pin. It looks to be in great shape. Bakelite was The Hot Collectible in the 80's and 90's. It's still very, very popular. And the "value" of bakelite pieces continues to slowly increase. This isn't finance your kids' college sort investment, but it's a good, safe, fun hobby. The auction ends today and no one has bid on it. This surprises me. It looks to be authentic, and $86 is more than a fair price for a piece in this condition. "Why hasn't someone snatched this up yet?" I pondered. If the bidding war continues on the Scottie Dog and Rhinestone Christmas Tree Pin, that pile of shine could near the price of the French Bakelite Scottie Dog Pin.

What gives?

My theory is the people who were collecting, all the power folks of the 80's and 90's have either bought everything they wanted to buy, become bored, or, more realistically, are selling off their collections on eBay. And while they may have some nice stuff, they, and their contemporaries, aren't buying.

The people who are buying now are more the Scottie Dog and Rhinestone Christmas Tree Pin types.

Or the Adorable White and Green Scottie Dog Pin types.

Connect dots and reflect upon The Economy and what you've bought lately.

I did and vowed to revamp my consumer spending habits.

Anyone know what it would cost to airfreight a Vespa from Islamabad? What about Customs? You know, because it's Islamabad and everything, I'm thinking there might be more than the usual red tape involved.

8:51 AM

Wednesday, April 14, 2004  
Feeling better. Thanks for all the advice. Overwhelmingly Coke syrup, whatever that is and wherever it can be found, is the number one cure for stomach trouble.

Now that I can think and talk about food again, I've posted a recipe for one of my cheese things at the bottom of this post. It's kind of fussy, but always popular at office lunches and friendly get togethers.

In keeping with the home ec theme, let's begin...

Reality Wednesday
Window Treatment!

An apartment dweller will endeavor to re-install her screens and storm windows removed while her building was being painted. Celebrity judges will observe (but not help in any way) The Tenant's skill, tactics and overall performance.

We see the outside of a charming vintage apartment building in a large city.

It is a sunny day, a gentle breeze blows. A perfect day to open windows and let fresh air in after a long Winter.

Cut to the interior of a vintage apartment. Sun streams into the front rooms.

"This apartment has a lot of less than perfect qualities, needs a complete rehab, it's drafty and cold in Winter, even with the storm windows." the tenant explains as she points to sets of windows and screens leaning under the windows.

Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "You're not kidding it needs a rehab! Have you thought about painting bright and wacky colors?"
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "Have you thought about a little creative carpentry? Some built ins and a few fix ups and this could be a nice place."
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "Have you thought about moving? I can't think of one man let alone three who would be interested in making over your place."

The Tenant continues, ignoring the judges' comments, "They painted the outside trim last month, that's something, and they came through and took out all our storm windows. Of course no one has returned to replace them. It's not difficult, it's just a matter of getting the correct window or screen fit into the correct track on the casement. Oh, and, of course, they're big and heavy and more than a little unwieldy." she continues. "I've called the landlord a few times, of course my requests have gone unanswered. The second time I called he explained how to re-install them. As if I couldn't figure that out..."

"The other problem is that the windows are painted shut. From the outside. Another issue I raised with the landlord. He didn't have a brilliant solution for that. But I've got one." The Tenant holds up an enormous screw driver. "A little jimmying should crack the paint seal!"

Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Wacky! Look at the size of that screwdriver!"
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "It's not the size that counts, Paige, har har har"
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Ooooh, Ty, yuck yuck yuck, do you think she needs a smaller tool?"
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "I think she shouldn't be doing this in the first place, she needs a different tool and should be doing it from the outside, where the fresh paint is causing the problem."
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "This would be a good angle for Date with Design, we could get a man in here to fix her problem for her."
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Wacky! But great idea! He could bring his own tools!"

The Tenant is now prying the old, worn windows. She occasionally grimaces. Pry. Try the window. Pry. Try the window. The work is slow and laborious, but one by one she cracks the paint seals and frees the windows.

The next task is to re-install the screens and storm windows.

Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "This is the really tricky part. This separates the boys from the girls."
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, in mock disgust, "Are you saying women can't fix things?!"
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "I think he's saying this would be a good angle for Date with Design."

The Tenant struggles with the first storm window. Her tongue is visible between her teeth and lips. This apparently helps her concentration.

Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "This is one of the most difficult aspects of this job, trying to discern which window or screen goes in which track. Each is designed to fit in a specific track, but the sizes are only slightly different, and most fit quite snugly. It can be very difficult to figure out which one goes in which track. I would bet on older units like this they are also not going to just glide in, there will be some stickage."
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, flirtatiously, "Oh Ty!"
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "This would be a very good angle for Date with Design."

The Tenant finally gets the first set of storm windows and screens installed. She continues to the next window. This set goes much easier and faster. Buoyed with confidence from this triumph, she swaggers to the next set. "Two sets down, five more to go! Can we fix it? YES WE CAN!" She cries out to her cat, punctuating the air with her oversized screwdriver. The cat looks on with Pilchard-like concern.

"No job too big, no job too small, home repairs, we 'em all!" The Tenant continues to sing-yell.

Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "I'm not sure this would be a good angle for Date with Design."

The Tenant has trouble with the third window. The first storm window won't fit in any of the tracks. So she tries the second storm window. This one fits, tightly. She returns to trying the first window. She jimmies it into on of the tracks. She nearly bites her tongue in half when the track gives in and the window slides into position. She then installs the screen and progresses to the next window, in the bathroom. This set goes in smoothly, though because of decay and age, the window won't stay up on its own. The Tenant cleverly uses the handiest tool at the ready, an oversized bath back brush/loofah combo unit to prop open the window while she installs the storm windows and screen. The brush is nearly knocked out of the open, screenless window on a few occasions.

Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Wacky! That could be dangerous, she's four stories up! That oversized bath back brush could be lethal with velocity if it hit someone on the sidewalk!"
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "It's a problem when people improvise with improper tools for a job. har har har."
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Ooooh, Ty, yuck yuck yuck, do you think she needs a proper tool?"
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "Now this is definitely a good angle for Date with Design. Bathroom? Loofah? Oh yeah."

After struggling in the bathroom, and nearly losing her bath back brush/loofah combination unit, The Tenant heads into the bedroom.

Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "Oh yeah. The bedroom. Now we're talkin'. This is definitely a good angle for Date with Design."

The Tenant struggles yet again with the first storm window. She stops, sits on the edge of the bed and appraises the situation, the windows and the track.

Her cat looks on in interest and sniffs the windows, then eyes the open window.

"Oh no, not until the screens are in place, young cat." The Tenant says in warning to the cat.

The Tenant returns to install the storm windows. She again struggles.

She gets the window in the track, but it won't budge into place.

Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "She needs some lubrication."
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Ty!"
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "Get a room."

As the judges trade double entendres, The Tenants adds force to the storm window.

And then it gives way. The Tenant looses her grip on the window. The weight of the storm window pulls it back down and out of it's track.

And through the open window.

Cut to an outside view of the façade of the building.

A slow motion shot of the storm window flying out of its track and into the afternoon air. It is momentarily aloft, caught on a breeze, floating in a Spring blue sky with fluffy clouds framed through it's newly cleaned glass. It is a play on a Magritte. It is surreal and oddly beautiful. The glass gleaming, shining brightly in the afternoon sun, the blue of the sky, the white clouds...

We hear The Tenant, voice in slow motion as well, scream, "Noooooooooo!" as she nearly falls through the open window herself.

Then the motion speeds to real time.

The storm window gains velocity as it falls four stories.

It hits misses the patch of grass between the sidewalk and the street and hits the one connector sidewalk. It hits with force on one of its corners.

Glass shatters and sprays the sidewalk.

The frame of the window, with shards of glass still clinging to it, bounces into a parked car and comes to rest askew, under the car it has just hit.

Back upstairs, the judges gather around the window.

Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, covering her face and eyes with her hand, "I can't look."
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, leaning out of the open window, whistles, "Whoa. That glass was not up to code. Must have been really old. Shattered and sprayed in every direction."
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "I don't think this is really right for Date with Design."

The Tenant, intermittently looking out the open window and cursing ("Oh swut oh swut oh swut oh swut") deftly inserts the remaining storm window and screen and closes the window.

She disappears into the back of the apartment and returns with a broom, dustpan, plastic bags, a pen and what appears to be very nice stationery.

From the outside view we see her sweeping up the shattered pieces of glass and collecting them in the bags. She then gingerly pulls the twisted frame of what was once her storm window out from under the car.

She inspects the damage to the frame and the car. She cannot find any dents, but a few surface scratches look fairly fresh and were probably caused by the falling window or its shattered glass.

She sits down on the grass and composes a note.

Cut to a close up of a handwritten note on very nice stationery, gently bristling in the breeze:

"Dear car owner. My name is The Tenant. I am really sorry. I may have caused a few scratches on the driver's side of your car. It was a freak accident. I am really, really, really sorry. This my phone number is XXX-555-XXXX. I will gladly pay for any repairs. Kind regards and sincere apologies, The Tenant."

She places a business card in the envelope with the note and places it under the wiper blade.

She then scurries off to discard the bags of glass and useless frame.

On her return she stops to re-appraise the damage on the car. She is hit with an idea.

She disappears into her building and re-appears moments later with a camera. She photographs the car.

Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Smart move."
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, " Very smart. She's being nice and honest, but we don't know who owns that car, they might abuse her honesty and try to milk her for a lot more than the actual damages to the car."
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "People's Court!"

The Tenant then proceeds to effortlessly re-install the remaining storm windows and screen.

Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "Overall I'd say she did a good job. She went in there and did her best."
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, "Oh come on, her best simply isn't good enough for this competition."
Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood, "Naw man, this isn't Bloopers and Blunders, this is Date with Design."
Celebrity Judge 2, Ty Pennington, looks at Celebrity Judge 3, Richard Yearwood and says, "No it's not. But even if it were she's not good enough. She proved she can't handle the job, she used the wrong tools - a bath brush for crying out loud - and had no lubrication!"
Celebrity Judge 1, Paige Davis, "But she went in there and did her best."

Show closes with The Tenant closing her windows and blinds, with the judges still arguing.

Postlogue: The post show interview with The Tenant.
"I watched all evening to see if anyone returned to the car. No one did. But the next morning the car was gone. I thought for sure they'd call right away, but so far I haven't heard from them. The damage, if it was even caused by the glass, was minor. But still, I would expect them to call and demand some money from me - something."

For more information on one of The Tenant's favorite artists, visit

Number of Servings: 36

1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 package (3 ounces) Cream Cheese, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Wisconsin Medium-Aged Brick cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Cooking Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix flour, butter and cream cheese until well-blended. Shape soft dough into a flat ball. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate about 2 hours.

To make filling, combine eggs, cheese, onion, coriander and salt until thoroughly blended. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out 36 rounds using a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. Re-roll dough if necessary.

Place 1 teaspoon of filling in center of each round. Fold in half and seal edges with a fork. Brush tops with egg white and dip in sesame seeds. Arrange on lightly buttered baking sheet. Bake at 375° F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool.


7:50 AM

Tuesday, April 13, 2004  
So many men. So many germs.
I am taking a break from the dating action this week. I've got a lot going on, busy at work, friends visiting this weekend, general lack of interest, germ warfare...

I was at Wrigley yesterday, with clients, for the Cubs home opener.

"What fun!" you enthuse.

Well. Yes. And no. It was cold. Really cold. Which I knew and warned my clients to layer in warm clothing. But of course one didn't and complained the entire game.

And the Cubs sucked.

And around the 7th inning I was hit with The Sickness. That feeling that something's not right internally. That you must lie down right now or die. That burning hot one second, freezing to the bones cold the next feeling.

Fortunately the Cubs sucked so badly, and it was so cold, my clients had lost all interest beyond Bill Murray and we all left.

I barely made it home without being sick.

And no, it was from too much Wrigley libation. I was with clients. I didn't drink. Or eat.

I hate it when I get sick at a suspicious time - like just before or after a holiday or the day after an afternoon out of the office. When everyone in the office knows you were at the Cubs game.

I know they're all saying, "Sick? Yeah right. Brown bottle flu, no doubt."

This has been a really bad year for me healthwise. But since the pneumonia subsided apart from some ankle pain I've been feeling really well.

I thought (foolishly) I'd turned a corner.

Last night was torturous and can be summed up thusly: I spent the night in the bathroom. The pattern of the tiles embossed on my face.

Apart from feeling like my insides were hit with a truck I'm feeling better this morning. I suspect it's one of those 24 hour things.

No big deal.

Except in my sick and delirious state around 2:30 this morning I wondered: Who did this to me?

No one's been sick at work, my friends have not been sick...

Those dates! All those men!

I'd forgotten about the communicable disease factor in dating.

Forget safe sex. (well. don't forget it, just put it aside for the moment)

If you're sick, or have been sick, do your date a favor and cancel. I don't know anyone who wouldn't understand and in fact insist you stay away if you politely explained, "I'm sorry, I don't think we should get together tomorrow, I've been really ill. How's next week?"

I have strong suspicions about which of my dates did this to me.

And no, I don't hold it against him, flu happens.

But it's the last thing I need right now.

I'm swamped at work and have three friends arriving in a few days. I need to be sharp and I need to have a lot of energy to, well, "have fun" with my friends.

So I'm taking a break from 50 First Dates.

I wish I could say the same about work.

"Hi Trill, sorry to bother you at home when you're sick. (needs a new nickname) boss told me you were working at home today. I'm putting together the list for the department lunch next week, will you bring those yummy cheese things?"

Wanted to say: "Obviously you're not sorry to bother me at home when I'm sick because here you are, calling me. Asking about the luncheon next week. Can we please not discuss food right now?"

Said instead: "Erm, okay. Can you email me the budget report from XY, I was talking to him yesterday and I think we need to cut some expenses."

"Because no one will commit to what they'll bring and if people know you're going to all that effort..."

"Look, really, I can't talk about food right now."

"Oh. Okay." she said, all terse.


Lines are being crossed. Lines of personal privacy.

I am not a doctor, a lawyer, a military special ops agent, or detective.

I am not on call 24/7.

My home is my oasis from work. I don't want it invaded by stupid people from the office.

Yes, I am working at home today and will take any calls necessary.

And if there's an emergency of course I don't mind.

But catching up on gossip or figuring out the lunch menu for next week's department lunch are not emergencies.

Must find another job. Now.

Labels: , ,

10:04 AM

Monday, April 12, 2004  
"Uh oh, looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays"
Further proof I work with some of the strangest people on the planet.

I was out all day yesterday, Easter. Sunday.

I got in around 8:30. PM.

My voice mail message light was flashing.

Heart skipped a few beats.

As it does when you're single and hoping He'll call.

Answer phones: The single person's single best invention of the past 100 years. That little flashing light pulses a beacon of hope seen 'round the world.

A flashing message light on a Saturday or Sunday is always hopeful.

At the very least it's typically not work or another annoyance call.

I had already spoken with my family. Twice.

So it had to be a friend or maybe, that few minute dream and anticipation before I hear the voice, HWNMNBS.

Imagine my disappointment and surprise to heard Colleague Who Stinks Up My Office with Flavored Coffee's voice.

On my home phone.

On Sunday.

Easter Sunday.


"Hi Trill, it's me, Colleague Who Stinks Up My Office with Flavored Coffee..."

I panicked, thinking something was horribly wrong at work.

Something requiring a message.

At home.

On Sunday.

Easter Sunday.

Stinky Coffee Woman has been on holiday for a few days.

In Cancun.



Not work.

She returns later this week.

So I really panicked, thinking something was beyond horribly wrong, that her boss had hunted her down during her holiday, in Cancun, and she in turn was needing my help back in the office.

Because after all, she's in Cancun.


On holiday.

For a moment there, I almost felt guilty for having been out cavorting all day while she was suffering who knows what torture from her boss.

I imagined her in her tropical theme decorated posh hut, attached to the telephone, frantically trying to make the international operator understand, "Tricia McMillian...I don't know her exact address...or area code...NO! McMILLian. M-c-M-i-l-l-i-a-n, McMILLIAN!!! In Chicago! No, for the last time, I DON'T KNOW THE NUMBER! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!!! Can't you just connect me to 4-1-1 in America?" Meanwhile, her family is seen, off in the distance, frolicking in the Gulf, jet skiing and sipping exotic drinks poolside. A small child bounds up, zinc on his turned up little nose, freckles scattered across his cherubic little cheeks, an orange character pool toy askew around his waist, pokes his sun bronzed face in the open door, "Aunt Colleague Who Stinks Up My Office with Flavored Coffee, can you come and play with us now? Huh? Please? We wanna play Marco Polo!" "NO! There's an emergency at work and I have to find someone to handle it!" she barks back at the urchin.

"But,'s Easter. Sunday. And we're on holiday..."

"It doesn't matter! This must be handled now!" she yells at him.

Cut to me, back in Chicago, keys still in hand, coat still on, ready to dash to the office if necessary.

On Sunday night.


Easter Sunday.

"...Happy Easter! I'm just calling to catch up. I've been dying to know what's going on in the office. What's the gossip? How late has Spanglish been getting into the office? What about Boob Job? Did they get the copier on 15 working yet?"

Scratch of record.




Boob Job?


On 15?


Easter Sunday?



What the....?

"'s sunny and warm here, family's having a great time, I might go parasailing tomorrow. Give me a call if you get this before 10 PM or so, the number here is: 011 52 98 XXX XXXX."

Return her call?

For gossip?

In Cancun?


On her holiday?

On Sunday night?

Easter Sunday night?

Stranger still, yes, there's more, is that Colleague Who Stinks Up My Office with Flavored Coffee and I don't gossip when she's in the office. She traipses down to my office, smells up the place with her vile flavored coffee, stares at me, says stuff about the weather, her cat, the CTA, her church choir and what she brought for lunch.

I politely smile and nod.

She eventually leaves my office.

Even stranger still, yes, there's even more, is that Colleague Who Stinks Up My Office with Flavored Coffee and I don't ring each other at home. She has never rung my home, not even when I was out with a broken ankle, and I have never rung her at home. Swut, I barely ring her in the office. I can't even remember the last time I rang her office or she rang mine.

Even stranger still than that, yes, there's even more, is that I have an unlisted phone number.

And I don't recall ever giving her my home number for any reason.

Meaning she had to have hunted it down before she left on holiday (or has had it tucked away for who knows how long) and taken it with her on holiday.

In Cancun.


In case she wanted to catch up on office gossip.

While she was on holiday.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm the only one who goes on holiday to escape work.

Heck, sometimes I take a little fantasy holiday when I'm at work. In fact just a few minutes ago I returned from traversing Ben Nevis. It was lovely. You should go sometime.

Never have I gone on holiday and called a co-worker.

At home.

From another country.

To catch up on gossip.

On Sunday.

Easter Sunday.

And asked them to return to call.

In another country.

On Sunday.

Easter Sunday.

To catch up on gossip.

Gossip we don't share when we're both at work.

No. I'm quite certain I've never done this.

A few times I have called the office while on holiday. Sadly, begrudgingly, when there's been something that I absolutely had to check on, like a project on press or delivering, or the outcome of a job threatening budget meeting.

But I've never called a colleague at home.

On a Sunday.

To catch up on gossip.

In fact, I've never done this when I WASN'T on holiday.

Because generally speaking, apart from venting on this blog, I rarely gossip. I certainly never know any gossip. I never hear any, because I don't want to hear it. I don't like gossip.

So why would Colleague Who Stinks Up My Office with Flavored Coffee ring me, me of all people, on a Sunday, Easter Sunday, from her holiday in Cancun, Mexico, to catch up on gossip back in the office?

I was flummoxed and stymied to say the least. I walked around my apartment with the phone in one hand, keys still in the other, still wearing my coat, wondering: "Is this message in secret code? Has she actually been kidnapped and was allowed only to 'call the office'so no one would suspect foul play? Did she hear something before she left on holiday, something about my job, and this is her way of telling to pack my box and get another job ASAP?"

Or maybe she'd been drinking tequila and rum drinks and combined with the heat...

Even so, in any of those scenarios, she still would have had to have my phone number with her, on her bathing suit clad person.

My unlisted phone number.

The one I've never given her.

Must. Find. Another. Job. Now.

8:21 AM

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