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.
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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, July 01, 2004  
I'm posting lyrics to a song. I've had this song running through my head a lot lately. I like this song. It is written by one of the most clever wordsmiths and poets born after 1940. Matt Johnson. Yeah. A lot of people don't know about him or have bothered to take the time to contemplate his words. Maybe you're too young or too old to have heard it when it was released. Maybe you forgot about it. Maybe you were listening to Duran Duran. So maybe you'd like to read the lyrics now.

As always, I will bother to italicize the lyrics. Not to alert readers that I am posting lyrics, but because it is the proper Chicago Manual of Style and Strunk and White approved method of quoting another person's work. Lyrics, other poetry, fiction, non fiction, blogs...if someone else wrote it or said it, italicize it. Don't plagiarize or take on loan.

I like music. A lot. My music collection has taken me years to amass and I enthusiastically anticipate spending a lifetime growing and cultivating it. Many of you probably do not know I author a music blog. I don't like my blog worlds to collide so I don't mention it often. But it's contextual here. Maybe I should have explained this about myself. But I haven't because it's a blog and I thought this was the one place I didn't have to explain myself.

I really, really, really like music. And I know a fair bit about it. I have much to learn, and hopefully much, much more to hear. Which is good. Because I really like music. But more than this, I like good and/or clever poetry. Were Keats, Yates, yes, even Browning, alive now, my guess is they would be moody indie band guys. Churning out their fabulous works of poetry and prose for the alt/indie hipsters and goth kids. In that frame of reference, it's very important to pay attention to music, lyrics, that is, because it is important poetry, all that we leave behind for people 100 years from now trying to understand what it was like to live in the aughts. Songs for future generations. Which is why I hate pop music so much and why I rally against it. It's mass produced, mass written, mass appeal fodder. Is it bad? No, not in and of itself. But it's bad for the big picture. It's bad for the future. It's bad for the musicians and writers who write very insightful, clever, brilliant poetry the whole world should hear. But can't get a record deal or even local distribution because they're not pretty or safe or easy to understand. And that's bad for everyone.

I do not post lyrics because I don't know what else to post or because I am Google baiting. Most of you know I'm rarely at a loss for words to post, and the last thing I need are more Google hits. I post lyrics because they are good works of stand alone poetry, or are poignant to a topic or post, or I think it's high time the world take note of a particularly good bit of writing.

Or because I just feel like it. Until now that is. Now it's going to be a free for all campaign of lyric madness. An onslaught of 20th century born authors with their artillery of clever, insightful, evocative lyrics. No one is safe and none will be spared.

If you don't like music, or poetry, or can't be bothered to give it a try, or just don't want to read poetry and consider another person's creative take on a topic, then scroll until you don't see anymore italicized type. Where you can then be bothered to read and consider another person's creative (less poetic) take on a topic.

Or, better still, don't bother. If you're reading this blog and don't like poetry and/or music (or art, but that's another post) you are probably one of the many Trillian haters. Please go away. We don't want you here.

Yes. (rubbing her hands together in wicked glee as she scans her music collection) I'm going to post more lyrics in the coming weeks. Not just when they are relevant to a post or topic or when they aptly describe a mood or feeling or when I write my own inane rewrite (as are my usual rules of thumb for posting lyrics), but whenever the swut I feel like it. Maybe I'll alienate readers. Maybe you're one of them. Don't let the door hit you...ooops. Sorry.

Had a little drink about an hour ago...

I don't post this blog to be a famous or even good author. I don't write this to be cool. I don't write this because I want people to like me. I write this because I have a lot of words in my head and I have to get them out of there or I'll end up in a special care facility. Really. I will. And I publicly post it because somewhere along the way a few people stumbled upon it and liked it and for whatever reason like reading it. When I don't publicly post they write and ask for more words. I try to give them some private words and resume posting publicly as soon as I can.

Adoring public? Far from it. Just nice, caring, funny, clever friends. Most of whom, I have discovered, really like music, too.

If I go to an all lyrics, all the time format, that's my business. It's my blog.

Don't like it? Don't read it.

It really doesn't matter to me.

I am not seeking your approval.

If I have 1,000 hits a day or 1 hit a day, I don't care. I'm not trying to be popular. I'm not trying to do anything. I'm just getting words out of my head. (If you like my blog, you know, thanks and everything, and I hope you know I'm not talking to you specifically. I like you. And I hope you know who you are. It's those haters I'm trying to reach. By the way FreeBirdy you rocked my world - big public thanks to you.)

No one has a right to get on a high horse and tell anyone what they should or should not be posting on their blog or website, much less how it should be posted, or how it should be written. That sort of mindset needs to go away right now. Unless of course you live in China or North Korea or Cuba or Vatican City or Utah, where your government will do your thinking and posting for you.

Or perhaps you prefer the ubiquitous and ever popular movie review. Because of course the entire internet universe wants to know ImWriteUrWrong's opinion of White Chicks or worse, some six year old movie everyone's already seen and about which we've all long ago formed our own original opinions.

And who could live another day without reading yet another well worn quote from The Big Lebowski?

No, I'm not saying those things shouldn't be posted - I'm firmly in the It's Your Blog Post Whatever You Want camp. In fact I'm not only in that camp, I'm a counselor in training for director. I'm just saying there are worse things to do on a blog than post lyrics. Particularly well written, clever, poignant, inspiring poetry which just happens to take the form of a song lyric. Perhaps if a few narrow minded bullying haters took a moment to read and think about poetry they would find themselves enlightened.

Ah.

I just answered my own question.

But then there are the rest of the people who read or stumble across this blog. Maybe a few of them will read a lyric I post and it will strike a chord and they'll say, "Hey, Trillian! I love that song, too! I thought I was the only who ever heard of Meryn Cadell!" or "Hey! Trillian! What's that song? That poetry really touched me. I'd like to get a copy of the song." or "Hey! Trillian! I used to ride around with my sister and her stoner boyfriend listening to Tin Lizzy! OMG! I can't believe my mom let me go with them! Remember those feather roach clip things?" or "Hey! Trillian! You have to see this site! You're going to kick conceptual ass on this quiz!" All actual quotes, which struck up some very funny and interesting email conversations and friendships.

Which is what I like about blogging and the main reason I keep publicly posting. There are some really swell people out there. We don't have a lot in common on the surface, but music, in blogging as in real life, is a fantastic catalyst for conversations and friendships. As an aside, I met one of my dearest friends at a concert, and two of my friends met their spouses at concerts. The best place, bar none, to see cute boys is at a music emporium. Virgin, Tower, indie resell - the best boys like music and like to look through racks and racks of CDs and vinyl. (The best of the best boys like vinyl) Want a friend, date or even a mate? Listen to music. Go to some concerts. Free your mind and your ass will follow.

And maybe, more to one of my ongoing issues and points, people will realize what a stinking pot of unoriginal plagiarism the blogworld is. I gave up counting how many times I have read an alleged deep or profound thought posted by a blog author which is actually the lyric to song. Written by someone else. Someone talented. And original. And creative. And who would probably be pleased to know they are well thought of enough to be plagiarized or better still, quoted.

And yes, some lyrics are so widely quoted they have become popular vernacular. Which is cool. But what about giving the original author some credit?

Once and for all, Lou Reed wrote: You just keep me hanging on and I thought I wassomeone else, someone good. Among many other more profound, more prophetic, more poetic genius for the ages lyrics. If I read you just keep me hangin' on or I thought I was someone else, someone good in one more blog I'm going to personally develop the PerfectDay virus which will download the Velvet Underground version of that song on every PC and IPod in the world. To see his genius trivialized down to the effect of blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda is an insult not only to Mr. Reed but to anyone who has ever heard his music and appreciates it.

Without further ado, my vote for the song which epitomizes and succinctly summarizes the entire content of most blogs. You could read the agonizing details of depressed and a tortured soul on their blog, day after day, misery after misery, whine after whine, God I'm such a loser, day after day...thinking maybe this will be the day something happens to the loser or, you could just read this bit of poetry or spend four minutes listening to the actual song.

The choice is yours. If you're reading this you live in a free country. I'm merely offering an alternative to diaries of self involved, self loathing people who can't get laid, hate their jobs and live with their parents. This is the difference between original, creative writing and just another God I hate my life blog. In the following song, Matt Johnson succinctly and evocatively summarizes in 22 lines what most bloggers can't do in a year of posts.

I've Been Waiting for Tomorrow All of My Life
The The

I'm hiding in the corner of an overgrown garden -
Covering my body in leaves - and trying not to breath
All my childhood dreams are bursting at the seams
And dangling around my knees
I've been deformed by emotional scars
And the cancer of love has eaten out my heart
I've been stripped bare and nobody cares -
And all the people I looked up to are no longer there.
All desires have been denied to put me in this state of mind,
Another year older and what have I done -
My aspirations have shriveled in the sun
I'm crippled by guilt, blinded by science -
I've been waiting for tomorrow - all of my life.
I've been filled with useless information -
Spewed out by papers and radio stations -
I've been hounded by fair-weather 'friends'
Sowing the seeds for my discontent.
Life is like a sewer - and I'm trying to wade thru her
I threw in my money and made my wish -
But sleeping boys - catch no fish
My mind has been polluted and my energy diluted
My mind has been polluted.


If you liked that bit of poetry, I highly recommend The The's CD Soul Mining, which is chock full of insightful, poignant and sometimes funny lyrics. (also on my top ten list of favorite albums/CDs)

So, there's this woman at work. She doesn't work in my department. I have never spoken to her apart from the occasional greeting should we pass in the hall or ride the elevator together.

When I was on crutches she made a pouty face and said in a baby voice, "That looks like a nasty boo boo."

For a long time I knew her only as Keds. Because she wears Keds sneakers. A lot. Which she laces with ribbons instead of standard issue laces. Ribbons to match her outfits. Usually a pastel hue. Usually in a sheer material such as tulle or organza. Sometimes satin. Occasionally plaid. Every now and then grosgrain. Yeah. Grosgrain. Rainbow striped grosgrain. See? If you wait long enough everything comes back in style...Right. Anyway.

Keds.

I was warned to stay away from Rebecca Smith (not her real name) because she's nothing but a gossip and liar.

I didn't know Rebecca Smith (not her real name).

I had a vague notion she worked in administrative services. I'm not sure where I got that notion. I didn't work with Rebecca Smith (not her real name). To my knowledge never crossed paths with her.

Fast forward to a company function. A friend said, "Oh (expletive) there's Rebecca Smith (not her real name). Let's go to the ladies room before she sees us."

"Which one is she? I've heard about her but I don't know who she is." I replied.

My friend described Keds, who was approaching us from across the room.

She was wearing black leather Keds laced up with black velvet satin edged ribbon. To match her black velvet skirt with the satin trim on the hem. Yes. She's that coordinated. (She also wears those sofa floral print dresses with the doily collars. She also has a bob which until only recently was permed a la Madonna circa Desperately Seeking Talent, erm, Susan.)

"That's Rebecca Smith (not her real name)?!" I gasped to my friend. "I see her around all the time. I had no idea she was Rebecca Smith (not her real name)."

"Have no doubt, she knows who YOU are." my friend advised as we beat a hasty path to the ladies room.

I avoided Keds after that. Like a clown, harlequin and mime convention I avoided her.

It wasn't too difficult in our old building. She worked on another floor.

Then we moved.

And I was really busy.

And out of the office a lot.

And didn't realize Keds, aka Rebecca Smith (not her real name) now works on my floor.

I began noticing her around more than usual the past few weeks. I would duck down another hall or, if no other option was available, exchange a generic greeting. I always try to act as if I'm in a really big hurry to get somewhere. (I usually am so it doesn't require a lot of acting.)

I wondered if maybe she might work on my floor. Or maybe had to visit someone on my floor as part of her job.

And then it happened. Once. Twice. Now three times.

I went into the ladies room and noticed those be-ribboned sneakers under a stall door. (Hey, you can't miss huge fluffed up ribbon laced Keds.)

(Insert Psycho shower scene sound bite here)

I turn around and beat a hasty retreat to another ladies room. On another floor.

But I was worried. The rumor that Rebecca Smith (not her real name), aka Keds, is nothing but a gossip and liar has been proven beyond shadow of doubt to be factual. By the way. Turns out she played a key role in the Trillian's wearing jeans debacle. I was forwarded many emails which all originated from one Smith, Rebecca (not her real name).

I asked around. Everyone knows Rebecca Smith (not her real name) yet no one knows where she works or what she does other than spread false gossip.

Could she be a mole? A stoolie? A corporate spy? I wondered. I didn't really care. But I wondered.

One morning this week I was in the office early. I took a stroll around my floor. I haven't had an opportunity to get out and about and see the new digs. Half way through my early morning walk, it occurred to me this could be a good opportunity for a reconnaissance mission. I began searching the door name plates for Rebecca Smith (not her real name). I was driven. Intent on finding out once and for all where she works and maybe glean a hint as to what she actually does other than spread lies and gossip.

Just as I was about to turn down the hall to my department, having given up my pursuit of Rebecca Smith's (not her real name) office, there she was. In the be-ribboned Keds. Dunkin' Donut coffee in one hand, Munchkin box in the other, one of those cutesy quilted cloth carry on bags over her shoulder.

"Oh! You startled me! Sorry! Well good morning!" she cooed at me.

"Is it? Is it really a good morning Rebecca? Let me tell you sweetheart, it's only going to be a good morning if there are a half dozen jelly filled Munchkins with my name on them in that box."

Okay.

That's a wanted to say line.

Instead I just gave her my usual smile and slink away fast maneuver.
But here's the thing that's really, really, really, really got me wondering.

Rebecca Smith (not her real name), aka Keds, has a swutting corner office. And not just any swutting corner office, the Southwest corner office. The most coveted of all corner offices on every floor of my new building.

There are only two ways to snag one of those offices: Attain senior or division manager status, or sleep with someone who has attained senior or division manager status.

Rebecca Smith (not her real name) is not a senior or division manager.

This I know for sure.

Yep.

You heard it here first. Rebecca Smith (not her real name) is sleeping with a senior or division manager.
Take that you matchy matchy ribbon laced Keds wearing freak from the suburbs.


Oh yeah.

That was a lot better than The The's poetry.

Very enlightening. Very inspiring. Very thought provoking. Very evocative. Wisdom for the ages.

Sheesh.

8:38 AM

Wednesday, June 30, 2004  
Reality Wednesday
What's Wrong with Me?

A new reality dating show.

Contestants will be given the opportunity to go on a date. The unwitting contestants will be forced to deal with an obvious issue with their date. The date will beg, whine...cry to get the contestant to utter the obvious answer to the question, "What's wrong with me?"

Show opens with this week's contestant getting ready for a date. She is rushing around her apartment, trying on different outfits, styling her hair, applying make up, feeding the cat.

"I haven't had time for dating lately, I've been out of town and very, very busy with work and family stuff. I'd prefer to stay in tonight, but this guy and I have been exchanging email for a while and he was very patient while I was so busy with work, he seems nice...(rolls her eyes, chortles) don't they all..."

She turns on her Mac and opens a profile on an internet dating site.

"See? Read his profile! Never married, wants children, non smoker, social drinker, wrote a witty, insightful, correctly spelled blurb about himself, likes cats, well traveled, not into any sort of reenacting clubs, tall, and yes, yes, there's his photo, apart from the fact it looks like he had it taken at Glamorshots, he's good looking. Oh! Look at the time! I have to dash!"

Cut to a shot of this week's contestant walking into a trendy restaurant/bar.

She looks pretty darned hot. She's wearing a very sexy, bust revealing, pink top with flowers around the neckline.

She tosses her cascade of newly refreshed honey blonde highlighted locks over her shoulder as she casts the doorman a coy look.

He says, "Someone's looking to score! Who's the lucky man?!"

"Maybe you if the date doesn't go well." she teases.

She scopes the bar. It is not crowded yet. There is plenty of seating available at the bar, the agreed place of rendezvous. She checks her watch. 15 minutes early. She selects a seat at the bar, off to one end, with a straight line shot of the entrance. She orders a glass of wine.

She watches hopefully as people enter the bar and restaurant.

She checks her watch.

"Punctuality on a first date is very important to me. In real life I'm very easy going about it - I'm the type who's generally early, but it doesn't bother me when people are running late. Well. Except for movie theatres. Or the symphony or opera. Anywhere it inconveniences other people. But a first date? Unless there's a very serious, very real reason for him to be late, he'll have to be stellar in every other way for me to forget he was late on the first date. I'll even accept a phone call telling me he's running late. Stuff happens. I understand. A five second phone call is all it takes. 'Hi, sorry, traffic is murder, running late, be there soon. Bye.' Poof! Punctuality no longer an issue!"

She looks around the bar and restaurant. No one remotely resembling her date can be seen.

At the exact appointed time, someone enters the bar. The contestant looks at the person who entered. The contestant is uncertain and perhaps confused.

They make eye contact.

The person beams a wide toothy smile of recognition and relief at the contestant.

The contestant timidly returns the smile.

At the post show wrap-up she fills us in on what was going through her mind the first time she saw her date. "Okay, here's the thing. I mean. (obviously trying to find words to explain something difficult) Okay. See. He. I mean. Look. Have you ever seen a person and not been able to tell if they're a man or a woman? And I don't mean like Julia Sweeny's Pat, I mean a person who is either a very handsome woman or a very pretty man? You know, sort of like transgender only without the makeup and flashy clothes? Okay. There it is. And no, of course, it's not all about looks. I was attracted to his profile, and that certainly explains the Glamorshot look to the photo he posted...and, well, I mean, there it is. If he hadn't smiled and obviously recognized me, I never in a million years would have been certain it was him. I honestly thought, you know, in the mood lit bar, that he was a woman. Okay? There it is. There was even a brief instant I thought he might be an old client and I was concerned I was going to have to explain I was there to meet a guy I met online. It was just the initial adjustment. Once he sat down and we began talking everything was fine. Well. I mean. You know. As fine as any first date can get."

Back in the bar, stepping out of a frozen still shot, we see exactly what the contestant means. In this light he definitely looks like a woman. A flat chested, tall, handsome woman. Like most models. He crosses the bar we see him shaking the contestant's hand, still flashing the wide toothy smile. We get an up close look at him. Cleanly shaved. Nice skin.

Maybe too nice.

We see the contestant with a pasted on smile. "Great to finally meet face to face," she manages.

"Oh I know, I'm excited and nervous. Very well worth the wait. You look really great. That's a very pretty top." he gushes (yes, gushes) the compliment. And uses the term top. And pretty. (pop up question: Guys, what term do you use for an article of clothing worn above a woman's waistline? Blouse? Shirt? Top?! And when was the last time you used the term pretty to describe anything other than a woman?)

She blushes. "Thank you."

Ice broken, he orders a drink and the two settle into polite conversation.

We see them exchanging polite chat.

We see a clock ticking away the minutes. After the two have been talking for half an hour, we pick up the conversation on hidden microphone.

"I don't know, I seem to have a difficult time meeting people. People I'd like to date. Obviously. That's why I tried online dating. At the very least it's a good way to weed out the smokers and non breeders." the contestant laughs.

He breaks into an hysterical fit of giggles (yes giggles) and touches her arm. "Oh don't you know it. It gets down to that, doesn't it?"

"Yeah. I hate dating. I just hate it. I really wish my culture demanded arranged marriages." she laughs.

"It's so difficult. I meet lots of women, but it just never goes anywhere. I think I'm a good catch. I'm educated, I have a good job, I want children, I'm very into commitment. What's wrong with me?" he asks presumably rhetorically. Hopefully rhetorically.

The contestant lets the question hang out there.

At the show wrap-up she says, "If I were less polite, and didn't care about hurting his feelings, and could take the stance that it's all in the spirit of helping people, I would have told him right then and there it's because he sort of looks like a woman. And acts kind of gay. He called my top a top! How many straight guys call a woman's top a top? Shirt yes. Blouse yes. T shirt yes. Top? That's a girl term. And a gay guy term. I might let the 'pretty' slide, but 'pretty top?' No way would a regular guy say that unless he's been married a really long time or gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just saying. If we're looking for clues, here, that would be a very huge red waving flag. Oh. And. He giggles. And I found out later he used to be a model. And quotes Duran Duran. I assume most people assume he's transgender. But I am polite, and I didn't want to hurt his feelings, and since when am I the Florence Nightingale of dating? Besides, he didn't really want an answer, people don't ask that question expecting an honest answer unless they're paying a therapist a lot of money to do so."

Cut back the bar.

Breaking out of the frozen still shot, he reaches for the contestant's arm, again. "Seriously, what do you women want?"

Look of terror on the contestant's face.

"Erm. Well. I mean. You know. The same things you probably want. Someone to share laughs, that's really important to me and most women I know. Intelligence is important to a lot of women. I'm a big sucker for perception. It shows a person is really listening and observing and caring. Commitment - real commitment, not just lip service to commitment."

"Oh honey don't I know that tune." He interrupts her, elbowing her conspiratorially.

There is a look of hesitation on the contestant's face. Cut to the post show wrap-up.

"If I was going to say anything that was my opportunity. I should have said, 'That, right there, they way you just said that? Very gay. A lot of women might find that disconcerting. At least at first.' I wanted to, I really did, but I was afraid it might come across really bitchy. And after all, this was a first date."

Cut back to the bar, the contestant moves out of the frozen still, smiles, nods, and says, "So you've had commitmentphobe problems?" she asks.

"Yes. Most of my previous girlfriends began with friendships which turned into relationships. That might be part of it. During the friendship phase they'd talk about how they longed for commitment. Then after we moved to the relationship phase they suddenly didn't want to be tied down."

"Hmmmm. Women can be so fickle." the contestant laughs.

He laughs, too, and then turns serious. "We just broke The Rule. No talking about former relationships."

"Eh, rule schmool. Sometimes it's good to air the dirty laundry right up front. Here's mine: My fiancé dumped me and I haven't been able to meet, much less trust, another man since. Just a few issues I'm trying to conquer."

A look of panic appears on his face. "Oh my gosh that's horrible. I'm so sorry. Men suck. He's a fool. You're better off without him. Uhhhh, let's see, what's the other one?"

"He lost the best thing that could ever happen to him." the contestant deadpans.

"Right, that's it. And, 'If it's meant to be it will all work out in the end.'" he adds.

"You'll meet someone new and forget all about him." she volleys.

"Oooh. Good one. 'I can tell you this now, I never liked him, he wasn't good enough for you.'"

"Oh I know. What are people thinking when they say that?" she chortles.

"I think most people try to be supportive and it's the whole 'make him look bad' thing. They think it will help you move onto the next one." he offers.

"Yeah, but fine time to tell me! If he hadn't broken the engagement were they planning on spending the rest of our lives thinking, 'he's not good enough for her' and 'I don't like him'?" she asks again, with more passion.

"No kidding." he agrees.

"Okay, that's it. Got it out of our systems. No more talking about exes." she vows and orders a martini.

"Right. So. Tell me about yourself." he asks.

The contestant laughs. A lot. "Come here often? What's your sign?" she counters.

He feigns a small laugh.

"oh. you were serious. sorry." the contestant meekly apologizes.

She fumbles through a basic introductory bio of herself and then inquires as to his biographical data.

It starts out well enough, small Midwestern farm town, off to college (tennis team), then the resume of work history. Painstakingly minute details about jobs and bosses and coworkers. At one point he goes into detail about his stint as a model.

The contestant tries to interject a few thoughts, asks a few questions about the modeling biz.

She asks him if he liked it or if it was just a way to make some money.

He answers in a song, "Wider baby smiling you've just made a million." Yes. The Duran Duran song. Girls on Film. Girls. On Film. He then continues with his resume, onto his next job.

The contestant does her best to feign interest. And not make jokes. The clock slowly ticks the minutes away. She hits the bottom of her martini.

When there is a break between jobs in his work history, she interjects.

"I'm sorry, I really need to think about getting home. I've got a 9:00 meeting in the morning. It was very nice meeting you." she politely tells him.

"Oh my gosh, I didn't realize it was so late, I need to go, too." he enthuses. "It was really great to meet you."

"Yes. Very nice to finally meet." the contestant politely agrees.

They head for the door. The doorman looks at the contestant with a 'what about me?' look.

The contestant smiles and says to her date, "Thank you for a nice evening."

He shakes her hand and says, "No, thank you for listening."

The two part ways into the night.

At the show wrap-up the contestant says, "It wasn't about his looks, though initially that was an adjustment. It's that he is really boring. Mind numbingly boring. With another, stronger drink in me I might have been able to muster the courage to bring up the issue of his feminine looks, tell him exactly what's wrong with him. But how do you tell a date they're a crashing bore? Don't answer. I know a lot of people would. It really does always come down to chemistry and we just didn't have any."

Would she go out with him again?

"Mmmm. Wellllll. I might give him a second chance, and maybe if he got a more butch haircut. But I'm not sure he's that interested in me. If he were he might have been able to talk about something other than every job he's ever held. Toward the end I completely forgot this was supposed to be a date. I felt like I was interviewing him for a job. And even then, even if I were, it would have been a bad job interview. I know how this will sound to the home viewing audience. I know I'll come across as shallow and boring. (looks at the camera) But you heard him! You saw him! Come on! He wants to know what's wrong with him? He looks transgender and after he exhausts his short list of opening banter is quite possibly the most dull person on the planet. And no, I didn't expect him to entertain me, and I could have stopped the insanity, but he was really into the details of his work history. As a model, he probably had a few interesting stories or jokes he could have told, but no. Not one amusing anecdote. Not one bit of scintillating gossip. Not one hint as to what he actually modeled. The man quoted Duran Duran!"

Like first date horror stories? Get the dirt on this and many other first dates here.

Labels: , ,


11:08 AM

Tuesday, June 29, 2004  
I'm worried.

Really, really worried.

Scared, even.

(eyes roll, audible sighs)

"What now, then, Trillian?"

Hey. Don't mock my neuroses. If you're reading this you probably have a few to call your own.

I'm worried about The Future.

I know, I usually worry about My Future.

But now I've taken on a bigger, more far reaching worry.

I've reached the age where 18 year olds scare the swut out of me.

Not because of their antics and immaturity, but because one day, one day much too soon for my liking, they will be In Control.

I still haven't come to grips with the possibility that one day, perhaps one day soon, people my own age will be In Control.

Think about people you knew in school. Your friends, your enemies, the dorks, the stoners, the princesses, the jocks...out of all the people you knew in school and your current friends, are there more than three you honestly believe have the smarts, the integrity, the ambition and the generosity to hold public office? Or make decisions regarding oh, say, national healthcare? Or environmental policy? Or a nuclear waste facility?

Scared yet?

Oh sure, out of the murk usually a hero will arise.

But think about it.

Let's say that hero is the kid in school who was the class president, on the debate team and chess club. The guy never had a single date (okay, nothing too odd about that, a lot of kids don't date in school) and never seemed interested in having a date or girls or sex of any kind (there's plenty odd about that). He was probably a nice enough guy, maybe a little too driven and a little too self motivated, but basically an okay guy. For a dork in school.

Fast forward 30 years.

He's running for national public office.

Are you proud to say you knew him when, or are you really, really, really scared?

It was one thing when he was making decisions about cafeteria lunch servings. It's another entirely when he's making decisions, about, you know, war and stuff.

The other side of that...think about the Tracy Flicks of your school. The driven, overachieving, overselfmotivated, win at any and all cost types.

Fortunately for the distant future, I think they're a dying breed.

What's got me all riled up about The Future and the people who will be running it?

I went to a party for my niece who recently graduated high school.

She's of course brilliant and funny and cute.

But.

No way do I want this girl in any sort of far reaching decision making role.

Yes. Of course. She's a teenager and the responsibility of life is still a completely foreign concept to her. Reality will hit either gradually or full force in a few years. Hard lessons will be learned. Wisdom and maturity will hopefully follow. At least that's how it's supposed to happen.

But.

I'm worried.

I talked to her friends. A lot of kids. I assume a good cross section of kids. (My niece knows almost everyone in all grades in her (small) school. She was voted most outgoing. She has friends in all the cliques.)

And they are all nice (ish) kids. Erm. Young adults.

But in the conversations I had with them, and the conversations I overheard (no, I wasn't eavesdropping, I was just there while they were talking amongst themselves about themselves and their friends) a very, very frightening trend emerged.

These kids have no plans. No goals. Nothing with any sort of reality based possibility of ever happening.

Yes. This is the time in their lives when they should be dreaming big, aiming high and clinging to their idealism.

Of course.

But.

Four girls' biggest ambition is to be a model. All four of these girls seem very bright. One was the salutatorian of the class. These are not girls for whom there really isn't another career option. And to be perfectly (brutally) honest, none of them have the looks to make a career of their looks. Two of them might get some catalog work while they're young, as in, the next few years, but other than standing in front of cars and boats at local car and boat shows, they're not models who will get booked. I know that sounds brutal and probably bitter. But. I see hundreds of head shots a week. I know what I look for in a model. I know what agencies look for in a model. And it's not these girls. And yes, of course, lots of girls dream of being a model, wearing cool clothes, going to parties, being paid a ton of money to do it. Of course.

But.

At 18 years old it seems that a Plan B might also be in the works.

You know.

Like college.

Or a job.

Or thoughts of both of those, you know, just in case the modeling thing doesn't work out.

Two boys, again, seemingly quite bright, are very excited about the prospect of being professional snowboarders. They are moving to Colorado next Fall to pursue this dream.

Okay.

Good for them!

Very cool!

Maybe we'll see them on XTreme Sportz! How cool would that be?!

"How long have you been snowboarding?" I asked them.

One started last year.

The other "tried it a few times."

Again, I'm not knocking them for their dreams. But wait. There's more.

"Are you working here this Summer, or do you have a job lined up in Colorado?"

Exchange of looks.

"I'm working at McDonalds." one answered.

"I'm going to caddy a few tournaments at the club this Summer." the other answered.

"Are you going to take any college classes while you're in Colorado?" I asked, thinking obviously the snowboarding thing must be the high hope, but jobs or school would also be included.

Both gave me that look. That look which says, "Why would we take college classes? Are you on drugs? No one goes to college anymore. Sheesh. We thought you were cool. Now we know you're just an old lady."

And so it went.

The most alarming thing (to me) that happened during the party was the announcement by one young girl that she's just found out she's pregnant. She's very excited. So were all the kids. Screams of glee rang out at the announcement. Her boyfriend was not there because he had to work. At the GaSmart. She was going to go to (a very prestigious university) on scholarship next Fall, and he is off to (a major military academy). She's not going to university. The baby (about whom they are all so very excited) is all that matters to her now.

We can all write the story of this girl, her boyfriend and their baby.

But maybe not.

Maybe it will all work out really well for them.

And yes, of course, there are stories like this in every town, in every school, past, present and future.

The thing that worries me is how jealous the other girls (and seemingly a lot of the boys) were about the pregnancy. And how genuinely happy they were for their friend. (Okay, yes, that's great, of course, that they are so supportive, of course. I told you, these are good kids, they're not evil.)

My niece has three friends who have already had babies. Two actually made it to graduation. One "might go to night school next year." These girls live with their parents. Their parents are essentially raising the babies. While the teenaged parents go about their teenaged business. Keggers down at the lake. Hanging out at 7-11. And apparently everyone thinks this is just fine. Wait. Sorry. This isn't about teenage pregnancy.

This is about the fact that none of these kids have any realistic goals. The ones who do have big dreams and hopes are so blinded by the "easy money" they'll make when they're modeling or winning American Idol. (as one girl is aspiring to do next year. Yes. That is her one and only career goal. I'm not kidding. Apparently she can sing very well, and loves music. But.)

And then came the older friends. The ones who are home from college for the Summer and stopped by the party.

Nice kids. Erm. Young adults.

Speaking of musically inclined. Two young men are music majors. They will be seniors this year.

They have a band.

They have absolutely no idea what they're going to do when they graduate from college next Spring.

They emphatically state there is no way they'll teach. No way are they going to be band directors.

"So are you into music theory or production?" I asked hopefully.

One said he might consider being a studio musician at first, and maybe he'd learn something about production while he's doing that.

The other said no way.

They just want to be in a band and be rich and famous and have groupies. But their parents made them go to college.

Yes. That's cool. And yes. I have a very good friend who has a masters degree in music. And is in two bands. And is extremely talented. And has gone on international tours. And is featured on a lot of Very Famous Artists' CDs. But. He also works two temp jobs. And teaches part time. And has done a lot of production work.

Another young man is a philosophy major. Graduating in two years.

With absolutely no idea what he's going to do after graduating college.

"Grad school?" I suggested.

"Nah. I'm sick of school. I'm sick of writing and taking tests." was his answer. The answer from the philosophy major. Yes. A philosophy major who doesn't like to write or take tests.

And then the ultimate. The point at which I began to worry. Up until this point I was thinking it was just random chance I would encounter misguided, confused (lazy) kids.

Two girls, also already attending college. Going to be seniors this year. One is obtaining her teaching degree. The other is pre-med.

Neither has any plans to actually work.

Ever.

Both have "serious" boyfriends. Both are very open about the fact that they attended university for no other reason than to party and work on their Mrs. degrees (tee hee, no sense of irony). And I quote the quote that scared me out of my shoes, "I'm lucky I did well enough on my SATs to get into (very good university) for pre-med. It would have been a drag to have to go to (a lesser school) because I visited my friend there and the parties are not as good and the guys are losers. I never would have met 'Aaron.' That would have been awful. So thank gawd for my SATs and (very good university) I won't have to try to actually get into med school."

I have to wonder what 'Aaron' thinks about this. Or if he even knows this girl has no intention of going to med school or working. Ever.

The teaching degree girl is more realistic. Her boyfriend wants to be a writer. She knows she might have to "do something to earn some money" and so her plan is to open a day care in their home so she can be a stay at home mom (to the apparently many children she is hoping to have).

What the swut happened to these kids?

When did having babies before your 22nd birthday become normal and a career goal?

When did not working, ever, become the goal of otherwise very bright kids?

I know, I know, slacker nation.

I get it.

And yes. Given the choice I'd rather be independently wealthy and not have to work. The thing is, I know I'd have to do something with my time, even if I were the richest person in the world. Maybe I am unusual. Maybe I am a workaholic. But I don't think so. I like my downtime a lot. I can slack. Boy can I slack. But I also like to work. I also know I have to, you know, earn a paycheck. Pay rent. Feed the cat. So do people I know. Even the slackers. Even the most "out there" among my friends and acquaintances in school knew full well there would be some sort of job in their future and tried their darndest to tailor their college or career path toward something they could at least tolerate doing until their real (perhaps unrealistic) goal happened. There was some sort of plan - perhaps a goofy, skewed, plan, but a plan.

This group, this random cross section of kids, is united in one thing: They have no plans. They haven't taken the steps (or apparently thought) to what will realistically have to happen for them to achieve their goals. (for those who have goals, that is)

Big conclusion?

These kids expect things to just happen.

And their parents are supporting them. And will continue to support them. Probably most of their lives.

Why?

Because these are the children of hippies.

These are the children of women who marched and fought for equal rights and then realized what a lot of really hard work it is to have a job and raise children and probably missed out on a lot of their kids' childhoods because they were working. Now, as their teenaged daughters have babies, they are eager to be grandmothers, surrogate mothers, to the grandchildren, perhaps have a more active role in the raising of the grandchildren than they did with their own children.

These kids were raised with a "do whatever you want! explore all your interests! we don't keep score so everyone wins! he's got ADD and therefore is not responsible! live for the moment! keep your chakras aligned!" philosophy. Their parents are not going to suddenly stop coddling and supporting them just because they've turned 18 or graduated college. And that's just fine with the kids. Unlike those of us not raised by hippies, they're okay with living with their parents, having their parents take care of them (and their children). It's not embarrassing or weird for these kids to want to live at home with their parents. Their parents have always made life very easy and comfortable for them. So why would they leave?

Unfortunately for those of us in the generations ahead of them, one day their parents will be too old (or dead) and unable to take care of them or the world around them. We'll be too old (or dead) to manage the world without their help.

And one day, one day sooner than most of us are willing to admit, they will be forced into decision making roles. We will be turning over the world to them.

Worried now?

9:16 AM

 
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