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

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






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

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

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

200i: iPodyssey

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

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

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

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

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

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

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

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

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

Slanglish

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


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

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

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

Lap Dance of the Cripple

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

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

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

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

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

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

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


















 
Mail Trillian here





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

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


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

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

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

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


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



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

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




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





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







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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Monday, August 15, 2005  
Desperate Housewives: Not Just for Primetime Anymore
A woman I used to know, a woman who was sort of a friend, well, I mean, yes, we were friends, for a while, came into town from the suburbs.

We worked together, briefly, several years ago. She had a young child and husband but she managed to find time do "single" stuff with me. She worked, she didn't want to move to the suburbs, we shared affinities for Will Self and Danish Modern, and, well, we had enough in common to be friendly.

But then she had another baby. And they needed a bona fide home instead of a cramped condo in a high rise.

They grudgingly began looking to the suburbs because that's where they could afford a home large enough to make a move "worth it." I understood their situation. I encouraged them. "Hey, you both work in the city, it wouldn’t be so awful. It's all about attitude. You don't want to be a suburbanite so you won't become one. You'll just happen to live outside the city limits. Really. It's for the best for everyone. And it really is a lovely home. Think of all the space you'll have. And a yard. And really, it'll be fine."

Their second baby was born with a lot of serious health problems which required many doctor and special care facility visits.

Eventually the choice was made that she would quit her job because their children needed a full time mother more she needed a full time job. I understood. I applauded and encouraged her decision. It was going to put a huge financial strain on them, but, it was all about priorities and the children, and, I mean, most of us would do the same if there was a way we could.

Naturally her trips into the city became very infrequent. She was becoming a suburbanite. I understood. I was a little surprised because she was so, well, unsuburban, but, well, I mean it's not as if it's a bad thing, what with the children and everything. Every time I talked to her she seemed happy. And that's all that matters. Period.

I haven't heard from her in a while. We drifted. That's what happens when you don't follow a normal life path, or, well, the path most people take: Spouse, house, children. We're living very different lives with very different realities and concerns to manage. She barely remembers what it's like to live in the city, seems to have no recollection of what a pain in the behind an office job can be, and she certainly is completely out of touch with what it's like to be single.
I have no clue what it's like to be a married housewife with two children in the suburbs. She hasn't read a book except for what's on Oprah's reading list or childrens' books in years. Danish Modern? Not child friendly. Not warm and inviting. Bring on the overstuffed floral prints.

We have nothing in common.

Neither one of us sent holiday greetings, not even emails this year. Every now and then she'll forward me something she thinks I mind find interesting, and every now and then I ask how she and the kids are doing.

Then I got an email: Hi Trill, a group of us are coming into the city Saturday night. It would be great if you could join us for a drink or dinner. Also, could clue me in on some of the better night spots? I haven't been downtown in so long I don't even know where the good places are. I'm the only one in the group who ever lived in the city and they are leaving the choices up to me. Help! I'm so out of touch! I'm so suburban!

Well. At least she's self aware.

And so I donned my cute pleated skirt and bright blazer (well, metaphorically) and became: Tricia McMillian: Social Planner.

And it's not that I mind doling out some ideas for places to go. Chicago has a lot to offer. And in a weird way, it's almost flattering she thinks I am in touch with the good places and wants my advice. A bit difficult for me, you know, still single, still "out there" in clubland.

Well. I've never really been in clubland. I'm more of a small bar/lounge/concert venue type of gal, but, I am at least aware of The Places To Go and which are worth the effort and which are not.

I dashed her a list of some of my favorite places as well as the places I know suburbanites flock to when they're in town for a big night in the city wanting to do it up right and go home and feel like they're cool and relevant and not suburban. I told her maybe I could meet them for a drink or two.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "NOOOOOOOOO, Trillian, don't go! This is not a good idea for you! Don't do it Trillian, don't do it!!!!"

Believe me, I thought that, too. I thought about it a long time. Normally I would have been filled with expectations about how a night with a bunch of suburban housewives I don't even know in town looking for fun would be nothing shy of torture and agony.

But not now.

No expectations. No good, no bad.

And I did the exact opposite of what I would normally do. I agreed to meet them for a drink.

Of course the second I met them in one of the "cool" bars I suggested I was scrutinized by six pairs of judging eyes. I was: Exhibit A: Never Married, No Children, Career Woman. And they were studying me with all the curiosity and jokes and photo opportunities people use when looking at a dinosaur or primitive living display at a museum.

All the polite introductions and remarks were made with a lot of comments. "Hi, I'm Jill. Mary told us all about you. It's so cool you live in the city. I always wanted to, but I married right out of college, got a job in the suburbs and the commute and high cost of living just never made sense."

"It is expensive down here. Do you own or rent?" another quickly chimed in, with what I am sure was an "a ha! gotcha!" look.

"I rent." I said. No emotion. I'd like to think they wouldn't be able to tell if I was happy or upset about being a renter because I said it so flatly. But rent is a four letter word to people like this. Most of them are probably half way through a 20 or 30 year mortgage and are feeling very smug and secure in the escrow they're accumulating.

My friend said, "Trllian just moved to a place on the Lake." (Thanks friend, I owe you one for that attempt at redemption.)

"Ooooooh, I love the Lake!" A woman, the one woman apart from my friend in the group I thought I might actually like, said, or rather slurred. She'd undoubtedly doesn't drink often and that cosmopolitan was going straight to her tongue.

"Yeah, me, too. It's the main reason I chose Chicago as a place to live. The Lake really is a changing canvas every hour of every day..." I started to enthuse about the picturesque qualities of Lake Michigan. But I was interrupted by another one of the women.

"Are you by Bloomies or are you in one of those old places up North?" a woman I affectionately named Bitsy barked at me.

I'd like to think she didn't mean that to sound quite as aggressive as it did. But that would require me to lie to myself and you. She was absolutely fishing to see just what part of town I lived in and subsequently my net worth. I wanted to lie and say, humbly, apologetic like, "one of those old places up North" in an attempt to make her look like the snob she is in front of her friends. But my friend, my friend who thought she was coming to my rescue butted in and said, "Right in the epicenter of the Gold Coast," and began rattling off all the Gold Coast features of my neighborhood. You know, the ones I never talk about because they're the ones I don't care about or even know exist. I never, ever refer to my address as the Gold Coast and I don't like it when other people badger me about "admitting" where I live. Yes. I'm in a bit of denial over this. But, on the other hand, I'm not exactly livin' la vida lavish so it's honestly a misnomer for me to say I live in the Gold Coast for any implication other than the physical address of my compartment on a real estate boundary map.

Bitsy, however, was visibly impressed, but was sizing me up even more aggressively. She was sussing out the obvious: I'm not typical Gold Coast material. So I must be the white trash of the neighborhood. Her unnaturally sharp angled nose was visibly higher in the air after her thorough assessment of me.

Booze. I need booze over here! Stat!

The evening progressed in much the same manner. The conversation was dominated by talk of husbands and children and home decorating and vacations and lots and lots of remarks about other people in the bars we visited. Apart from my friend and the nice woman, the women were getting proportionally cattier and louder with each passing drink. My friend, nice woman and myself were getting proportionally more embarrassed and quieter with each passing drink. The catty remarks were coming from insecure women. They were out of their suburban element and comfort zone. They wanted this big night in the city, they bought new outfits and had their hair done and wore the good make-up. But they all have obvious suburban looks to them. Even my friend who used to have a pretty hard edge to her look and manner has taken on that suburban look.

The women were like young girls, awe struck by the other women out on the town, city girls who do this whenever they way, maybe even as a way of life. But they were obviously feeling insecure in their suburban, unhip, I don't get out much except to a chain restaurant now and then looks.

Ha! Yes! She scores! I know I'm being as catty as they are, but I'm thinking of this is a check and balance sort of thing. They called most of the younger, prettier, better dressed women they saw out on the town sluts, bitches and skanks. They may have been true in a few cases, but, not worth stating or even noticing in the first place. I made a few attempts to defend some of the girls who fell under their attacks, "I like that top." "That's a great haircut, I wish my hair would do that." "She doesn't seem that skanky to me." It was a loosing battle. These were drunk, insecure women. There's nothing cattier known to humankind. So I just shut up and nursed my drink and tried to talk to my friend and the nice girl.

Once we settled into a comfy place, a place I'd made a few table arrangements at for the evening because, well, I could, I know the place, I've booked events there and well, I did something I rarely do, I pulled out a favor and had a very cool best table in the crowded lounge. Right. I did them all a huge favor and not only got them into a very hot lounge on a Saturday night, I got them a VIP table. Yeah yeah. Whatever. Hold your applause or abuse until the end of the program. I'm not trying to impress you or them. I was trying to do something nice for this group of complete strangers simply because I could. They are friends of my friend. I thought they'd get a kick out of it. I thought they'd have a good time. I thought since they don't get into the city much it would be something they'd really enjoy. I didn't expect them to be gracious or humble or even polite guests.

But. I also didn't expect them to be catty, foul mouthed embarrassments, either. I didn't expect anything, good or bad.

But as we know, I'm an idiot.

Yadda yadda yadda, lesson learned. Note to self: Never again.

The doing a nice thing for complete strangers where alcohol is involved thing, not the no expectations thing.

Fortunately I'm not feeling a lot of emotions these days. If I were the old me I'd be feeling embarrassment, shame, humility, sorrow, regret, and well, probably a lot of anger. Now I'm just glad the whole thing is over. The women are home, safe and secure in the suburbs, nursing super sized hangovers. In a few days, when they're able to face the day light without vomiting, they'll start remembering some of the evening. I suspect most of them will remember that wild night they went into town, got really drunk and had a great time.

Memories can be selective that way, especially with that oh so special cocktail of 40 proof vodka and no self awareness or shame with an insecurity chaser. That cocktail is what keeps suburban housewives smug and superior and singles bar guys self assured and back in the clubs and full of hope and bravado every weekend. Oh sure, they all behave badly, make fools of themselves and drag innocent victims into their boozey display of bad manners and bad taste. But all they'll remember is what a great time they had.

They won't remember how they set up an ad hoc judging table, criticizing everyone they could see, loudly enough for almost everyone in the lounge to hear, even over the increasingly loud music. They won't remember how they embarrassed a girl celebrating her 21st birthday by loudly proclaiming she looks a lot older than 21 and criticizing her entire outfit. They won't remember how they ganged up on a gay couple when their "oooh, let's flirt with those cute guys" game of sending several rounds of drinks and salacious winks and cleavage at them backfired in a bad way. They won't remember the way too loud mean and callous remarks they made about every woman there. They won't remember how they made vulgar and rude comments about and to every man in the club. They'll especially forget that part. Just like they forgot about their husbands and children after two drinks. They certainly won't remember how they became proportionally cruel to the woman they had never met but who arranged their VIP table for them. They won't remember how they told her it was obvious why she's single and always will be, even though she didn't ask for their opinion or even slightly hint that she was unhappy being single. (Hey, there are people who want to be single. They didn't know I'm not one of them.)

They won't remember any of that and it's just as well for everyone involved.

I had no expectations and have no emotions invested in them or any of what happened that night. However, it occurred to me even though I'm not feeling anything, there are still lessons to be learned. So I allowed myself to review a bit of the evening and some of the comments which were made. This was an honest effort to try to learn something from this. You know, out of the mouths of babes (or drunk housewives) and all that.

I didn't come up with anything. Which is a bit frustrating because I thought maybe a lesson or insight learned from all of it might make it all worth while. The challenge for me is that every time I take one of their criticisms or digs at me and try to spin it into a positive lesson and advice I am confronted with the problem of considering the source. There's a bigger umbrella issue here.

What I'm not understanding is the duality of their mindset. On the one hand they seem either smug in their suburbaness, their husbands, children, home and lack of job or financial contribution to their family income or, uncomfortable with it and subsequently overly defensive about it. They are united in their need to show off their lives as being superior to mine, or, if not superior, at least normal.

And yet, it never seems to occur to them that either a) I might actually want what they've got, or, that, maybe, I'm upset because I don't have a husband and family and a home to call ours, and maybe, just maybe, their not always so passive aggressive observations and remarks about my carefree party all the time single life which must get boring or shallow sometimes (another quote from Bitsy) hurt me and make me feel even worse about my lonely, pathetic isolated life, or b) I might not want any of what they've got and am in fact very happy with my life and they shouldn't judge or care about how I (or anyone else) lives their life.

They can be smug because yes, they've made a success of their role in evolution. They found a mate willing to, well, mate with them, and they've reproduced. They earned that and deserve the superior attitude over me, she who was unsuccessful.

However, it's not their job to criticize anyone in the herd who's not successful. The sick, elderly and unsuitable of the species are always abandoned by the rest of the herd. It's for the greater good of the species. Any member of the herd who is unsuccessful and will in any way jeopardize the herd by either calling attention to it from stalkers higher up the food chain or being a drain on the resources and not provide much in the way of anything useful for the herd's way of life and evolution. So the herd simply abandons them. They don't ridicule or gang up on them. This would call attention to the outcast and act as a beacon to stalkers higher up on the food chain. They just leave them alone and let them fend for themselves, letting nature take it's course. There's no insult with the injury. They just move on and get on with their evolution.

I realize insecurity is a human emotion and concept and therefore these woman cannot be dealt with in a rational herd like manner.

But.

Even so.

It's interesting to note that they do not realize if there's anything they should feel about me and my "situation" it's silent pity without a look of pity or in any way calling attention to my situation. They are not completely unaware, because they observed and reacted and comment. Yet they are completely intolerant or at least uncompassionate to any woman who doesn’t have what they have.

But what do they have? I’d like think if I’d had a marriage and house and children I wouldn’t have ended up like them. Maybe that’s what they thought, too. Certainly my friend didn’t think she’d end up like this, but then again, she’s not really like them. Well. Not too much. She did make it clear that I “need” a husband if for no other reason so that I can buy a home. (See a trend here? Lately everything and everyone in my life is consumed with homeownership. It’s really weird. Every day I am confronted with some conversation about this topic and the horrible state of my lowly renter’s existence.) I’ve been thinking about this random sampling of women. All married, all mothers, all homeowners, all suburbanites. I’m not saying all suburbanites are like this, okay? I’m not. I’m just saying this is a type of suburban woman: Smug and superior, yet insecure and threatened.

I took me a day of thinking about it, but I realized there’s really nothing to be learned from them. I don’t value their opinion or their lifestyles. Would I like what they’ve got? No. The surface stuff, the husband, the children, the home, yes, that would be great. But. Underneath the basic commodities, they’re emotionally bankrupt. You’re sitting there thinking, “Well, Trill, so are you. Remember? The whole void of emotion thing?”

Yes. I remember it very well. It got me through yet another potentially upsetting episode. And I thought about that, too. I thought maybe they’ve found the secret of void of emotions to deal with less than loving or idea marriages, motherhood which isn’t the nonstop joy they thought it would be, and the fiscal realities of providing a comfortable and secure home for themselves and their children.

But I don’t think that’s the case. They are not void of emotion, they are emotional voids. I can and want to function in society. My void of emotions state requires me to be responsible and maintain manners. They are irresponsible and lack manners. They are functioning in society but not really.

And they are delusional. The really weird thing about all of this (at least to me) is that they “jokingly” referred to themselves as desperate housewives. I don’t watch the show, but, I know the premise. It’s not exactly a lifestyle worth identifying with or mimicking. Call me stupid, pathetic or crazy, but I don’t want to identify with a group of women who struggle to maintain a façade of bliss and calm success in the suburbs when inside those successful exteriors they’re having sex with underaged boys, covering up murder and raising ill mannered, troubled children. These are not successful people. These are deeply troubled and, well, really swutted up characters on a television show. Suburban women everywhere: Desperate Housewives is making fun of you, it’s parodying the dark side of your Betty Crocker lives. It’s not something to which you should be aspiring. And if that sort of thing IS happening in your neighborhood, it’s not exactly brag worthy. The name of the show is Desperate Housewives. Desperate. Do you understand what desperate means? It’s not a good thing. It means involving extreme danger or possible disaster. Like the characters on the show, you should be trying to keep it all very quiet. You should be worried and embarrassed and well, really concerned, if not for yourselves, for your children.

And if you are desperate housewives, why are you so quick and eager to criticize anyone who is not like you? You’re the ones who should be taking a good look around at people who are not like you and trying to learn how to change your lives.

I’m not going to say this was an eye opening evening and that I have a newfound happiness in my singleness. Nothing’s changed for me. In fact, it’s given me hope that I might actually find that unemotional financial marriage partner. These women did it, or that’s what most of their marriages seem to have become. If I’m successful in my plan to find a financial marriage partnership I’ll be in exactly the same situation as these women. All I will have done is skip the early delusional we’re so in love and raising children years. The end result will be the same. An emotionally void marriage with a home and some financial security.

Am I judging them too harshly when I only them on one drunken evening? Probably. But. That's how they judged me. A level playing field with one exception: They brought their predetermined expectations of me with them. I didn't have any expectations for or of them. This isn't a lesson in right and wrong, but an observation on a tale of two mindsets. They left with exactly the same expectations of me that they brought with them. Nothing I could have said or done would change their opinion of me or their expectations. I went into the evening with no expectations or opinions, and came away with plenty of observations and data to form concrete theories and behavior models.

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