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<

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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
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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

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.

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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

Wednesday, August 10, 2005  
I Rent. Okay? I Rent.
Since I’m all hopped up high on my new do the opposite because I am void of emotion because I have no expectation thing, I decided the time was right for me to revisit what used to be an emotional hotbed of issues for me.

Yep, I looked at real estate. Or. Well. Condos. I’m still not on board with categorizing an apartment as real estate, I mean, there’s no estate and it’s not really property. It’s an apartment you purchase. But it’s still an apartment. You do not own the building. The building, yes, that’s real estate, but you’re not buying the building. You’re buying a small bit of floor space in the building. But I choose to live in a large city and that means, even for many of the wealthy residents, owning a home, as in a building and the land on which it sits, is out of the question. Even if you have the money, finding a home, a house, with land, single family, is not easy. There's only a certain amount of space and only so many homes in that space. That’s why architects long ago began looking to the sky. Stack ‘em up as high as possible! Cram a ton of people in the air! Oh sure it’s a social catastrophe waiting to happen, but think of the money to be made!

Actually, I like skyscrapers and, well, yeah. I can’t complain too much. It’s obvious I don’t need a home, as in a building and land. It’s just me and the Furry Creature. We’re even getting used to our tiny compartment. That’s what prompted my recent trip down inferiority lane.

Somehow I got this crazy idea that I might be able to afford a small condo somewhere in the city. When I’ve thought about jumping into the real estate game in the past my aim was for a two bedroom (bona fide bedrooms, the kind which will actually accommodate, you know, a bed) in a “nice” or at least quiet neighborhood with an easy commute either by public transit or my own steam. That’s it. Those were the parameters of my dream home. It was only a dream. Those parameters were way out of my price range. Real estate agents laughed at me and my wacky dream. Mortgage companies were angry at me for wasting their time.

I gave up on my dream and never allowed myself to think about owning a home or condo.

Another American dream bites the dust, another brick in the wall of disillusionment.

The broker at the fourth mortgage company told me if I had a husband or parents who weren’t retired to cosign the mortgage he might be able to swing me a high interest balloon mortgage. He told me to keep his number in case those circumstances changed. I assume he meant if I found a husband. Or maybe I could find an older working couple to adopt me. My parents would understand. “Mum, Dad, we need to talk. I love you, but you had me too late in life to be of use to me now. This is really best for us. I have to move on with my life. My needs have changed. It’s just not working out for us. We’ve grown in opposite directions. You need to be free so you can find someone better than me. You’ve been great, really, and I’ll never forget you. You’ll always hold a special place in my heart. But now we need to move on, apart. It’s not me, it’s you. Thanks for the DNA and college and everything, I never could have done it without you. I hope we can still be friends.  I’ll be by sometime next week to pick up my stuff.”

Finding an older working couple willing to adopt me proved to be almost as difficult as finding a man willing to marry me. I’m still holding out hope for the former, but it’s looking dim for the latter.

So I gave up the real estate dream and channeled my efforts into trying to find a better paying job, a husband or new parents.

So far those efforts have been fruitless. (Fingers crossed, though, I heard about a nice older couple from Wilmette. Four sons, two gay, always wanted a daughter, no grandchildren, North Shore, I know, they sound perfect for me. If play my cards right and I might get more than a mortgage cosigned!)

I’m basically happy in my compartment. A lot happier, than I expected (yes, back when I still had those pesky expectations) Or well, wait, happy’s not the word. Ummmm, content? no…satisfied? no… not wanting to slit my wrists out of despair and frustration with my tiny living quarters? Yes. That’s it.

It’s small. Oh yes, it’s very small. But. It’s me and a cat. Sure, I’d like a nice place. Sure, I’d like to go home to a spacious, well appointed dwelling where I can relax and be comfortable. Sure it would be nice if Furry Creature didn’t have to tolerate cramped litter box conditions. Sure it would be nice for him to have a space or two to call his own so he can have some privacy now and then. Sure, it would be nice to have more than two people over at a time and not have to stand shoulder to shoulder inhaling and holding breath to see “the view.”  Sure, it would be nice to have a little space for all my computer and work stuff, really, even just a closet, so that I don’t have work where I sleep. Sure, it would be nice to live in a home which isn’t a glorified dorm room. But all of that aside, my compartment doesn’t make me suicidal so, you know, it’s okay.

I have let my mind wander to…”Well, maybe I could tolerate a small condo after all. Just for a year or two, make a little money and sell up to a larger place. That’s what everyone else does, and now that I’m coping in this tiny place I suppose I could deal with a smaller place. After all, it’s just me and a cat…”

Yes. That is how the metropolitan real estate sucker punch begins. Anyone who succumbs to this mindset a) has given up and lost touch with reality and b) is a victim.

Let’s take a time out for a life outside the metropolis reality check. Paying more for a 613 sq. ft. room than the price of a 2,500 sq. ft. four bedroom house with attached garage and a ½ acre of land 25 miles away from that condo makes no sense. Spelled out like that it might even sound stupid to some people. Even insane to other people. And yet every day hundreds of people sign four bedroom sized mortgages for one room. Happily. They feel lucky. They feel smug. Most will tell what a great deal they got. And then they’ll tell you about their big plan to move up the real estate ladder. In a couple of years, max, they’ll be in a much bigger place with a lower mortgage, to boot! And then they’ll force you to take their real estate agent’s business card.

And don’t get me started on the property tax on that insanely priced room. Seriously. Let’s not delve into it. I don’t want to be ill.

But lately I’ve been thinking I might as well do the opposite of what I’d normally do in the real estate regard, too. Someone at work just bought a place and rolled her debt into the mortgage so she's proud to tell everyone how smart she was to buy a place because she's debt free except for her mortgage and her monthly cash flow has increased dramatically because of this smart manouevre. I'm not sure I really understand how a person can purchase a home and end up with more money every month, even with a 30 year mortgage, but somehow she's done it. So I thought, well, I could use more cashflow every month, it worked for her so maybe I should give this another try. And that means playing the game. I haven’t had time to seriously consider it, but it’s been on my mind. It's one of the few reasons I'm still bothering to try to find a man to marry.

I was talking with a client last week. Yadda yadda yadda I looked at a few condos in a new development area in the city. Several habitat solutions and price points, something for everyone!

“Oh go on, just take a look at the models. Looking is free. I’ll tell them you’re coming and that you’re not interested in buying, just getting some ideas for the Fall promotion. If you end up liking one of them, I’m sure we can figure out some way to get you in there," the client who is not a real estate agent said.

Sounds innocent enough, right? Just having a look. Looking is fun. Interesting, even. I like architecture, when money’s no object I have a flair for interior design. This should be fun, right? No one’s saying I’m interested in buying, no expectations, perfect.

The person who greeted me, my new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, was gracious and kind. She said she was so glad my client had this great idea for me to stop by and view the many unique housing solutions she has to offer. Hear that? That's the exact moment I should have turned and ran. Far. Fast. But I didn't run. I stayed planted in the reception area showing off my four years of orthodontia smile. I heard someone say, "I'm so glad to have a chance to take a look at the many unique housing solutions! The photos don't do the area justice, quite a development you're building here." Oddly, the person who said that sounded a lot like me. But it couldn't have been me because that smile was firmly planted on my face. But there was no one else there so it's just kind of weird. Atrium. Echoes. Tricks of sound.

My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, began showing me around the building. Lots of amenities are standard in every building on the site. Spacious yet tastefully and comfortably appointed common areas, perfect for greeting guests or business associates. Speaking of business associates, each building offers a business center ready to handle all business needs. Just like at a hotel. When I was little I thought it would be really cool to live in a hotel. Then I grew up and started traveling for work. There are times I never want to sleep in another hotel again in my life, I don't care if it's a Ritz or Four Seasons or one of those cool boutique places. But now, for some reason, living in a building which looks and feels like a hotel/office complex seemed like a dream come true. I heard someone say, "When I was little I wanted to live in a hotel. Tee hee. This would be like living in a hotel." Atrium. Echoes. Tricks of sound.

My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, said, "That's the concept. Four star service in your home. Most of our buildings even offer daily maid and laundry service."

Someone said, "Wow. Do you have nightly turn down service with a mint on the pillow, weather forecast on a little card and a bottle of Perrier? I like the Perrier. Sometimes I get thirsty in the night."

My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, laughed. I just thought the whole conversation was stupid and weird and I wished that person who sounded like me would go away or stop talking.

My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, led me to the first of five units in three buildings we were going to view. We started small and "cheap." A one room studio condo on the third floor of the West Building. It was smaller than my compartment. The view from its one small window was of the back side of the fire station across the street. They had cleverly furnished this model. I have to give them credit. It was nicely decorated and gave the illusion of a much larger space. Or maybe that's the wine on an empty stomach talking.

Oh. Didn't I mention the booze? Oh yes. Somewhere between the reception area and the business center my new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, gave me a glass of wine in a darling and unique wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup. There’s a reason beyond nice hospitality they offer you booze. They are hoping to numb your synapses so that you get taken in by the mood lighting and expensive furniture. If you think the room is spinning because you’ve had too much to drink you won’t notice how small that room actually is. And you won't think twice about divulging that you have a little money in your 401K you are thinking about trying to finagle and as a down payment. Good hospitality indeed.

We went from the basic studio starter unit to the one bedroom young executive model. Which was also smaller than my compartment. I only know this because I happened to see the floor plans when I started working on the project with the client. My one coup in all of this was when I casually said, "Remind me again what the square footage is on these models. I seem to recall from the floor plans the client showed me it's around 800 sq. ft." My new best friend, Manager, Housing Specialists, seemed uncertain of the square footage. Which I found odd since she is, in fact, Manager, Housing Specialists. I kept mentioning the floor plans back in the office until she finally relented and "found" the square footage of the units we were viewing. The second unit was also tastefully but deceptively decorated.

It was at that point I became suspicious about the job history of their interior designers. I heard there are openings at Winnebago and Airstream in the interior design departments. I have a hunch I know where their interior designers are working now. "Your living room couch becomes a bed..." "Your dining table becomes a desk..." "Your seat cushion becomes a floatation device..." And other lies, oops, I mean clever use of function and design decorators use to deceive and sell. (See? It's not just ad biz people who are deceptive liars shilling for dollars.)

We then left the West Building and strolled across the botanic garden to Lake Terrace Estates. Lake Terrace Estates are what I would call attached townhomes. My new best friend, Manager, Housing Specialists, called them multistory housing units for today's changing definition of family. I know, not all of you speak real estatese. I'll translate. They're two story, two bedroom townhouses with a basement which can be converted into an apartment for your in-laws, college graduate kid who can't find a job or your brother who will undoubtedly be divorced and broke within the next three years. Or, if you're a gay couple, that basement will make a great lounge and entertainment area but please note the party and noise policies of the community. Some units also have a roof deck option. I won't try to lie. These places were nice. But I can't imagine raising a family in one. Even with a clever basement conversion if you have more than one kid the sleeping arrangements are going to be interesting. But, for Furry Creature and I they are perfect. Lots of space, but not so much space that we "feel" our singleness every time we walk in the door. I hated the decor in the model I saw, the "we're family friendly, see?" feeling was way too forced. Still. A very nice place for Furry Creature and I to call home. I could almost see us lounging by the fire, reading a book, sipping a glass of wine from an actual wine glass, every now and then I throw Furry Creature a toy and he fetches and retrieves it, a big smile on his face as he prances back to me, fur glistening and flowing in the warm glow of the fire. "Thanks for finding us such a great home, I'm so happy here," he appears to be saying.

It was at this point I had a flashback to a much different and happier, expectation and emotion filled time of my life. I've taken away the expectations and the emotions, but those memories are a real bitch. I'd like a spotless mind and eternal sunshine, please. But until someone delivers, dealing with memories is one of the last and most difficult challenges to my new approach to life. Memories are a tough audience. They're tricky, too. They'll sneak up on you out of nowhere. And, they'll mock you in your dreams.

I was walking through the multistory housing unit for today's changing definition of family when a memory attacked me. Way back when HWNMNBS and I were, you know, a happy couple, back when I still had emotions like happy and fun and excitement and enthusiasm and optimism (I'm not sure exciting and optimism are emotions, but you know what I mean), we went house hunting. It's probably the closest I'll ever feel to being pregnant. Huh? You're thinking. She must have really hit the wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup.

Hear me out on this one. HWNMNBS and I were house hunting. It was going to be something we created together, something which would have been ours. It never materialized, but, those house hunting days were, I think, like the creating and nesting phases women go through when they're pregnant. It felt weird and a little scary, but with HWNMNBS I felt empowered and able to do anything and, well, there's the whole doing something together with the end result being a tangible asset. Okay. I know. It's a stretch, but I'm a pathetic single woman who is realizing she's never going to have a loving marriage and children and is trying to make peace with her really crappy choices in life, okay? The point is I was hit with some vivid and ultimately painful memories of HWNMNBS and the places we considered calling our home and the future we were going to have in that home.

I tried to do some quick oppositing technique, but it was useless. My efforts were futile. These were strong memories being hurled at me in rapid fire succession and no oppositing or voiding of emotions could combat them quickly enough. Let's just say I spent a lot of time having a look at the bathroom in the master suite trying to chase away those memories and regain some semblance of composure, at least enough to get through the two more condos and away from my new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists.

We walked through the water garden, with synchronized fountain display every hour on the hour, with accompanying light show at night, and entered one of the luxury high rises. Another atrium, this one with less glass and more plush, and that sort of hushed tone prevalent in executive offices and funeral homes. First stop: 12th floor, one bedroom unit. Ah. Well. Now. This was also very nice. Gorgeous panorama of the Lake outside the wide expanse of windows in the living room. Fabulously gorgeous appliances in the kitchen (sexy, yes, the stove was sexy. And the fridge wasn't too, bad, either.) Two, count 'em, two enormous walk-in closets as well as hall coat and linen closets. An actual dining room. And a purposely designed niche off the living room, a mini-den, a denette, if you well, for a home office. Oh. And. If I ever have a man in my life again this is the bedroom I want to, erm, well, have him. And yes, I was on my third wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup of wine so the images may have appeared larger than in real life. But even so, even deducting 35% of it's spectacularity, this is a nice condo. The multistory housing unit for today's changing definition of family was great, but, now, seeing this smaller, hipper, condo I realized this is probably more where I need to start my home owning adventure. Maybe after a few years I could move up to a multistory housing unit for today's changing definition of family.

My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, let me linger in this unit for a while. I know she knew I was feeling some serious emotions about it. I know she could smell the desire burning in me. I know she knew she had her prey, now it was just a matter of standing back and waiting to pounce.

She's clever. She played the, "Oh, I know you're not looking to buy, I know you're just scouting for the campaign. Take your time, get a feel for the place, maybe you'll get some ideas for the layout. Of the brochure, that is," card with ease and finesse. She made a couple calls on her mobile, you know, all casual like. Then she said, "Okay, saved the best for last, let's go have a look at an Ambassador."

Yikes. An ambassador? I'm not really dressed...I didn't know...should I leave my wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup here? How does my hair look? Let me just put on some lipstick, I'll be right there. What country does he ambassador? Is it okay that I don't have a gift? I could give him my Wisconsin floaty cow pen, the cow floats across the cornfield, see? Maybe he'd like that. Very American kitsch.

I tried to shake off the two and a half sippy cups of wine, pulled my shoulders back, put my chin up and followed my new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, to the elevator. We had to go back to the lobby and go to the private entry and elevator area. Accessible only to ambassadors by special key code. They also have their own private door person. Oh. And. A butler. Natch. We got in the elevator and were whisked, express, of course, to a high level. All the homes in the Ambassador section are two levels. There are 10 floors devoted to Ambassadors. My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, who really cares about the residents, used discretion and did not reveal any names and would only divulge that the entire top two floors are owned by someone very famous and influential. We were looking at one of the units below that. Okay. I'm not going to get into what this place looks like. It's almost comical in its lavishness. Hollywood. Design magazines. Aging rock stars. You get the picture.

Nice as it was, my mind was still back in the one bedroom with expansive panorama Lake view. My mind was being stupid. My mind was thinking, "oh sure, this is nice, but realistically the one bedroom we just looked at is more in keeping with my budget." As if I have a budget. My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, clearly figured out I was still back in the one bedroom. She knew I was thinking I could honestly afford to live there. She didn't know I have a mental health problem and suffer from delusions.

We left the Ambassador and made our descent back to reality. My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, asked me if I had any questions or wanted to see anything else. She told me I could keep the wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup. Which was nice of her. A little odd, though, considering I was the one who procured those wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cups all the while thinking they were the dumbest and tackiest item I'd ever procured for a client. I got a lot of mileage out of those at the last, "My job sucks the most and here's why" meeting.

We were back in the atrium. I heard that voice. "So what's the starting price on the one bedrooms in the luxury high rise tower?" Who is that person who sounds so much like me yet can't possibly be me?

"I have a friend who's thinking about buying something before the end of the year. If it's in his ball park I'll send him over to have a look." Ha! Yes! Victory is mine, all mine, I rebound and make the shot!

And to the uninitiated, this is where it gets ugly, dicey and in all ways horrible.

"Well please, give him my card!" My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, enthuses producing a business card from thin air. "What about you? Do you own or rent?"

It happens just like that. So quick you don't know what's hit you. You're alone with a Manager, Housing Specialists, without a negotiator. And you really like that condo. You want it. You had visions and everything. You know exactly where you'll put the litter box. There is no hope or salvation. You are: A Lost Soul.

And this is what separates the owners from the renters.

"Yeah, well, I'm renting, don't want to get tied down to any commitments, you know. Foot loose. Fancy free. All that. Har har."

Do not attempt that maneuver. It never works. It was a lame and feeble effort. The long list of reasons why it's better to own than rent will commence in 5, 4. 3, 2, 1.

All very convincing reasons. But. I still have no idea what the base price of the condo is and I'm starting to sober up and I am beginning to realize there's no chance I can even afford the denette.

My new best friend, the Manager, Housing Specialists, senses my sobriety and says, "Let's go to my office. I'll run a few numbers."

Nooooooooooooooo! Noooooooo! Don't let her run numbers! Save me someone, save me! She's going to run a few numbers!!!!! If you can't save me, save yourselves! Always take a negotiator! You're delusional and having visions of the future! This is no time for anyone to be alone with someone running numbers for you! Especially when she breaks out the good wine and fills your wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup without even asking.

Drinking more and regaining your buzz might seem like a good idea. But it's not. Numbing the pain and distorting reality is not advisable at a time like this.

And there will be pain and harsh reality. Oh will there be pain. Suffering. Human drama. Life.

That lovely one bedroom condo with the sweeping panorama Lake view and purposely built home office niche costs more than a very lovely five bedroom home on a well groomed two acres of land in a very posh suburb. You might think you misunderstood the price, but you did not.

Just thank the nice lady and get up and walk away.

Which is exactly what I did.

"I can also give you pricing on the studio in the West building if you'd like. We have a few of those units available," she ever so helpfully offered.

Of course they have a few of those units available. They're small, ugly, cheap and in every way a stupid patch of flooring to purchase. They're behind a fire station. Only a pathetic idiot would consider buying one of those.

But they're a starter option for those just getting into the market.

A very expensive starter option for those just getting into the market.

Even that cheap, ugly room without a view was way, way, way, way out of any league I might ever hope to occupy. Maybe, and I mean a serious maybe with this, maybe if I somehow managed to cash in my entire 401K and begged and borrowed money from everyone I know for a down payment I might be able to end up with a mortgage payment twice what I'm currently paying in rent.

Remember, this is one room, a studio, smaller than my compartment.

It's a complete non starter. And yet, I sat there. I have no idea why. Probably the booze. My new best friend Manager, Housing Specialists, launched into her passive aggressive tactic. She began initiating the process before I even knew there was a process. I said nothing, yet she was pulling out forms and rattling numbers and saying this will be a great opportunity for me.

This happens to everyone who dares travel the road of real estate on their own.

Those several refills in your wine glass shaped logo imprinted sippy cup will have really kicked in by now and you will be irresponsible and stupid. You will believe your new best friend Manager, Housing Specialists, (I love you, man) when they take you into their confidence tell you there are two other people who really want the unit. But you will feel special and hopeful because your new best friend, Manager, Housing Specialists, says in a conspiratorial whisper that she thinks you are more suited to the building than the other hopefuls and she really wants to see you in this unit. She'll even bump you up on the list if you sign the letter of intent right now. That small deposit is just a formality. Developer’s office politics, nothing to do with your new best friend Manager, Housing Specialists, whatsoever. In fact if it were up to her you wouldn't have to sign anything or pay anyone any money until closing. You can just put it on a credit card.

And this is where my new best friend Manager, Housing Specialists, and I parted ways.

How? you ask. How did I escape this?

The no expectation, no emotion and doing the opposite trick finally took hold. Well, that, and I'm flat broke. "Look, Manager, Housing Specialists, here's the thing. I'm totally broke right now. Lots of expenses, lots of issues, and I cannot possibly give you any sort of money for a condo I don't even like. Thanks and everything, the tour was great and I can't wait to get started on the project. Have a nice day. I'll tell the client you said hi."

I felt empowered because I was no holds barred honest. I callously and crassly admitted I'm broke and poor and destined to always be a renter. I can't even contemplate the cheap, ugly room without a view starter unit designed for young people just out of college and entering the work force with little income or savings. I have a job, a social security number and, you know, I'm not a deportation risk, I am legally allowed to live here for the duration of a 20 or 30 year mortgage, so even the mortgage alternative solutions are out for me. Silly me for abiding by the laws of the country and not keeping my money in a mattress. Live and learn.

I admitted I am an unsuccessful loser and always will be and did so with a four years of orthodontia smile beaming on my face. No expectations. No emotions. I feel nothing.

Which, in contrast to my previous futile adventure in home buying which left me depressed, confused, sad and full of despair, is an incredible improvement.

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11:17 PM

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