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

 
Wednesday, August 03, 2005  
Past Present
I do some volunteer stuff. I like volunteering. Before my void of emotion state I used to feel guilty about the fact that I know it’s me who’s getting more out of the volunteering than the subjects whom I am volunteering to help. I don’t do it for personal reward or gain. I genuinely want to help other people (or animals or the environment or whatever) because I am, erm, was, a passionate person. I also have the ability and desire to help. So my volunteering, even though not intentionally self serving, seemed self serving because I enjoyed it so much and that made me feel guilty. So I was thinking maybe in my new void of emotion state I'd be in a better, guiltless place about helping other people.
 
Over the years my volunteering has brought a lot of children into my life. Some for very brief moments at art tents at events or story hour at libraries, others for longer and more in depth and personal exchanges.  
 
The common trait among all of these children, no matter what their background or circumstance or environment, is that they crave self expression. The interesting thing about children, well,  an interesting thing about humans until they learn about criticism, self doubt, pride and shame, is that they instinctively find their personal way of expressing themselves. They may not do whatever that is well, but, it works for them. They are comfortable with their way of expressing themselves and take great, enthusiastic delight in it. Even if their way of expressing themselves is sulking in a corner, they’ll do it with enthusiasm, zeal and unbridled conviction.
 
And then they start to develop a sense of themselves. Egos, ids all that. And the criticisms and neglects and all the negative influences a lot of kids have in their homes and at school begin to have an impact on them. They become self aware. They might realize they are really bad at whatever it was they liked to do to express themselves. They feel self conscious. They feel embarrassed. They feel a lot of negative things. Which is all part of the wonderful journey to adulthood. (Yes. I’m really getting a lot of mileage out of the bad journey metaphors. I told you, expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed.)
 
Growing up and growing aware. It’s really sad to see this process in action.
 
Oh, little kid, please stay young and unaware forever.
 
There was this girl I met shortly after I moved to Chicago. She was in a foster home, a good one, fortunately, and was able to join a Girl Scout troop. Enter Trillian. Oh be quiet. You knew I was a Girl Scout. And once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout. On my honor and all that. So I was helping out a few troops from a less advantaged area of town who needed, well, lots of help.

Funny Girl and I hit it off right away. She came right up to me and started chattering a mile a minute. There’s no way you couldn’t love this girl. She wouldn’t let you not love her. By her nature, by just being her, she was daring you to not love her. In spite of her less than favorable homelife preceding that foster home, she had an amazingly positive attitude. Ah, the resilience of youth. Ah, the naivety of youth. Ah, bliss of youth.
 
She loved to draw and paint. Except that she hadn’t really had many chances to paint because the places she had lived and gone to school didn’t have money or time for frivolous things like paint. This impoverished fledgling little Girl Scout troop had already given her more opportunities to do “regular” kid stuff than she’d had in her entire life. I took some paint, pastels and odds and ends of paper to the meeting, some of my unused stuff, a few things I bought (seriously, I spent less than $15, I was a volunteer, not Malcolm Forbes)  and yet they were overwhelmed with so many and such “nice” supplies. Some of the girls were afraid to use them because the supplies were “too nice,” they didn’t want to ruin the paper or the paints. (I know, I know, and no, I’m not trying to break your heart or solicit money for Girl Scouts or make you feel guilty or preach at you, I’m just spelling out Funny Girl’s point of view.)
 
Funny Girl also liked to read. She had been fortunate in her abilities to learn quickly and had been the one kid in “the system” who picked up any book she could find. She had discovered libraries and frequently spent her free time hiding in the school library or in her foster homes reading whatever books she could find. Within two minutes of her introducing herself to me she began giving me her reviews of all the many books she’d read. Which was quite an impressive list for a kid from her background and lack of parental and educational guidance. I’d read most of the books so we were able to discuss many of them at length.
 
After my first session as Tricia McMillian: Girl Scout Helper ended, one of the co-leaders asked me if I would be interested in giving a few of the girls a little more of my time, help a few of them do the extra work required for the merit badges they wanted to earn. How could I possibly say no? One of those girls was Funny Girl.
 
Yadda yadda yadda I took what was supposed to be a few girls but ended up being the entire troop plus a few hangers on friends on a few outings to art museums. And on a sculpture walk of the city. Funny Girl always had to wait longer for her ride home because her foster parents had other foster children who were special needs kids who had  many appointments with many specialists. Funny Girl and I became very good friends while we waited for her ride home. I didn’t want to play favorites, but, because we spent more time together I naturally got to know her better than the other girls. I also got to know her foster parents who were very careful about me at first because they were concerned for Funny Girl’s safety. (Hey. Be quiet. I’m not in the business of squelching young girls’ dreams and sapping every ounce of optimism they have by slapping them in the face with cynical reality. I save that for the blog. Sheesh.) Her foster parents were nice, concerned caring people who did all they could for her and their other foster children. They were managing okay, their home was nice and safe and all that. Funny Girl had finally found a good caring place to call home. I was glad for her. Over the course of the art tours, I gave her some books I thought she might enjoy. She brought me paintings and drawings based on the books I’d given her, made with the supplies I’d given her, based on the wacky idea I’d given her that there is such a thing as an illustrator, a person who creates a visual inspired by a story. Until I told her, she had no idea there was such a job. The concept of earning a living drawing or painting pictures based on a story was something which had never been presented to her. (okay, not a great living, but a living. Hey, this is about inspiring and educating, offering a pleasant diversion, not about crushing dreams with grown up realities.) The girls all earned merit badges, two girls joined the troop and my work there was done.
 
A few months later I was invited to attend the big gala Juliette Lowe Day event where the girls would be showing off some of their art work and receiving their merit badges. Among other festivities.
 
Of course I went.
 
It was indeed a gala event.
 
Funny Girl had gone on to earn a few more merit badges so she was one of the top earners of the year thus far. (Atta girl! No, it doesn't mean you're a dork! Yet. Ahem. Is it hot in here?) She also presented me with an invitation to her first ever birthday party.
 
Oh yes. Of course I went. Of course it was quite a shindig. Funny Girl had never been to a birthday party let alone had one held in her honor. She didn’t know what was expected of her. The whole thing ended up being a bit too much for her. She was overcome with emotion and ended up crying for much of the event. She held it together for a while, but the revealing of the Lion King ice cream cake proved to be too much for her to handle. She’d never seen airbrushed icing form such a resplendent convectional creation.
 
I gave her foster parents my contact information and told them I’d be happy to help out with anything they might need. I called them and offered help, and I visited Funny Girl a few times and took her on a few outings.
 
But I could tell she was growing up and growing cynical. All on her own. No, I didn’t persuade her in this direction. I was nothing but optimistic and supportive and really, probably very annoying to her. You see, she was entering junior high school. That magical time of the awakening. The awakening of self awareness, self doubt, self hatred, and all things horrible. I wish there was a way kids could somehow skip those years. Just eliminate them. Go to bed 11 one night, wake up 15 the next. Not that 15 is any easier, but, it’s not as horrid as ages 11 – 15. Her foster parents got a grant so they could move to a bigger, better equipped house. We fell out of touch. I always figured Funny Girl would be okay. She finally had a good life and opportunities. I was really glad for her. Because she was a very funny girl, very intelligent and genuinely kind.
 
Well. A few weeks ago I got a call.
 
I guess one good thing about not finding another job is that people can find me.
 
Funny Girl’s foster mother rang to ask if I could possibly find it in my heart to help Funny Girl again.  (oh swut, why now? Why swutting now when I’m trying so hard to be void of emotions?) “We feel just horrible about what’s happened and we’re doing everything we can to help her…Lack of funding..Slipped through the cracks…Rough crowd..Boyfriend….Gang.. She always liked you so much.”
 
Turns out Funny Girl ended up being sent to yet another foster home shortly after her family moved into their bigger home. Apparently social services felt her foster parents should be taking care of ability challenged children, and Funny Girl was fully abled and therefore taking up space and resources a differently abled child could be using.  Funny Girl’s foster parents put up a long fight for her. They tried to stay in touch with her as she moved from foster home to foster home. (I know, I know, when will the tragedy end? When will I shut up about this poor kid? When will I tell you about some idiotic thing I’ve done?)  But she moved so many times and there were so many schools and yadda yadda yadda they lost touch with her. And then she got herself in some minor trouble. Her boyfriend is in a gang. She was hanging out with him and some of the other kids when they stole, get this, a couch off a porch. The police knew she wasn’t directly involved. Yet when they contacted her then foster family to explain that she was running with a rough group of kids, the foster parents wanted nothing to do with her and returned her to state care. Her old foster parents were contacted. She’s got one more year of school. Amazingly, she’s managed to get good grades in the many schools and classes she has attended. But she says she doesn’t care if she graduates or not. She feels there is no point. Her former foster parents made a deal with her, they’ll take care of her long enough for her to graduate high school if she goes to school, keeps her grades up and stays out of trouble and away from gangs.
 
Enter: Tricia McMillian: Inspiration and Motivator. Yeah, right. Uh, in case you hadn’t noticed, Foster Parents, I’m still  at the same job I was wanting to quit when Funny Girl was a Girl Scout. I’m still single. Though to my credit I met a really great guy, got engaged and well, yeah, right, my life didn’t turn out so good, either. Still. I almost made it. I was almost socially acceptable. I was almost a viable member of the herd. But not quite.
 
So how the swut am I supposed to just barge in there and tell a by now very cynical and hardened Funny Girl that life is great and full of wondrous and joyous experiences? How the swut am I supposed to tell her, with a straight face, that all she has to do is follow her dreams, be herself, believe in herself and everything will be okay? Why should she value my words when anything I try to tell her as inspiration will be farcical in light of the state of my life? How am I, me, the idiot who can’t get a better job, a man, or a grip on life without going into a void of emotion state be of any use to her?
 
Which was pretty much my response to her foster mother. “Sorry to be so unhelpful, but honestly, the best thing I can do for Funny Girl is stay far, far away from her.”
 
“Tricia, she has no real friends. This boyfriend of hers is no good and he doesn’t care about her. And I don’t think she really cares about him. He was merely protection for her in her old neighborhood. Won’t you just talk to her, once? I’m sure she’d be so happy to talk to you again. If she realizes there are people who care about her she might feel very differently about school and her future.” her foster mother implored.
 
Okay, so not all hippies are bad and we can all use a little dose of idealism now and then. “Okay, okay, fine. I’ll do it. I’ll talk to her. But don’t expect anything. She’s a lot more worldly wise and street smart now and it’s going to take a lot more than some books and paint to inspire her.”
 
“Of course, of course. You can call her tonight. I'll be sure she's home by 7."

So I called. Foster Dad answered, and I know swutting well he knew it was me calling and yet he affected the worst fake surprise "Tricia McMillian?! What a coincidence! Funny Girl is here! Just a minute and I'll get her for you!" I've ever heard. I know it wasn't for my benefit, but come on. Funny Girl's been running with a gang. Does he honestly think she can't hear right through that incredibly bad fake surprise? Nice try, pops, but no soup for you.

Gotta tell ya, those no expectation and void of emotions things were really helpful in getting through that portion of this episode. Once again, this is proving to be a really good coping technique. As yet I cannot fault it.

I could hear Foster Mom sing songy trying to persuade Funny Girl to talk to me. I could her Foster Dad marveling at what a surprise and coincidence it was to hear from Tricia McMillian, of all people, again. There was a shuffling. Then a scuffling of a bunch of feet.

"Hello." I heard a "you try to tell me how good life is and I'll tell you 20 good reasons why it's not" attitude in those two spoken syllables.

"Hey Funny Girl. What's up? I heard you've been stealing upholstered goods. Sounds like an interesting story. What was the plan for the couch, anyway?" I asked her.

She sniggered. "They're stupid. I didn't steal it and I told them they were stupid for trying to do it. They were going to drag it to the alley because it was garbage night and all the junkers are out, they were going to just sit on it until the junkers came along and then try to sell it."

"You know, apart from the thievery, that's actually not a horrible plan. There have been very successful marketing campaigns based on much less forethought of eventuality than that."

Silence.

"Yeah. Okay. Stupid idea. Everyone knows the best place to sell couches is in the 7-11 parking lot. Look, Funny Girl, I know you know Foster Mom and Dad asked me to call you to try to motivate you. I'm not Foster Mom and Dad. They mean well. And they're a lot better at this sort of thing than I am. They take weekend courses and go to symposiums and stuff. Listen to them. They care about you. They honestly know what's good for you. I care about you, too. I wouldn't have made this call if I didn't. I just really suck at saying the right thing to teens who are basically adults who have every reason to think I'm an idiot. Finish school. Try to go to college. Stay away from drugs and bad boys. Travel as much as you can. Get married. Buy real estate. Have a couple of kids. You've made it this far in spite of amazing odds, so I know you have the ability to go all the way to however you define success. There. That's my big inspirational speech to you. If you ever want or need to talk, I'll listen. Get a pen, here's my number and here's my email."

Silence.

Silence.

"Funny Girl? Are you there? Funny Girl? Foster Dad? Anyone?"

Sniff sniff sniff.

"Funny Girl? Are you snorting coke?"

"Nooooooo." sniff sniff, slight hint of a laugh.

"Funny Girl, are you okay? Did someone bring you a Lion King ice cream cake?"

"Noooooooooooo. ba ha ha hah haaaaaah."

"Look, Funny Girl, Foster Mom and Dad are going to think I'm upsetting you. I think I'm upsetting you. We're going to get in trouble. The last thing I need is social services crawling around my office. Stop crying. It's going to be okay. Someone's looking out for you. Foster Mom and Dad are going to help you. This is a good thing. This is not something to cry over. And if you keep crying I'm going to cry, too, and that's really not a good thing for me to be doing. You better start talking or this is going to get really weird and seem really odd and funny to Foster Mom and Dad."

"Awright."

"So. How's tricks?"

"baaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaa sniff sniff sniff."

"mmmmkay, I see. Well. School starts in a few weeks, maybe things will be better then. Start of a new school year. New classes. New teachers. Fresh start. New lease. All that."

And so it went. Once she stopped crying she started chattering away about everything. Swutting girl kept me on the phone for three hours.

Great, right? Reaching out to a young person in need, they accept the help, helping them overcome some pretty serious obstacles, greater good, all that.

Wellllllllll. Maybe not so much.

Seems Funny Girl has never really let go of the whole illustrator idea.

I mean, how could I know a chatty underprivileged kid in the foster care system would glom onto the idea of being an illustrator as a viable source of income? I mean, I'm glad she's not turning tricks (I'm bringing this back into the vernacular, I like the phrase. Outmoded or stupid, I don't care. I like it.) or selling smack, but cripes, really, she'd earn a lot more money doing either of those than illustrating.

Oh. And. There's more. She not only wants to illustrate, she wants to write, too. Get out your tissues for this: She wants to write and illustrate stories for pre-teens who have reading disabilities or kids who don't have access to many books. Like kids in foster care. Because she always thought it would be horrible to not know how to read. (I told you to have your tissues ready.) But if a kid can't read, words can be intimidating (yes, she said that) so something with a lot of pictures, but cool pictures, not little kid pictures, would be good for older kids. Something between a comic book and "real" writing with hip graphics.

Swutting kids from slender means and their need to give back to kids in as bad or worse situations than theirs. Oliver Twist for $500 please, Alex.

I mean, it's a great idea, and yes, it's been done, but how can I fault her? It's a really good idea. How can I discourage her? How can I possibly be at all negative when she's confided her idea and career goal to me?

I can't and I won't.

Except.

She's keen on the idea of college. And she's keen on the idea of being and English major with an art minor. Or vice versa.

She emailed me some of her writing and ideas for her pictures.

Erm, well, let's just say Funny Girl hasn't really advanced much since her Girl Scout days. Her artwork won't even get her an interview for any art school I know. And her writing, well, she's going to need a lot of tutoring for the SAT.

I'm not one to dash dreams. I'm not. But. I'm also very realistic. Funny Girl needs a viable career path. She can really make something of herself, I know she can. And this idea of hers is really swell. And it would be great if she's successful with it.

But. I mean. Oh geeze. Do I encourage her to pursue this idea when realistically I don't think she's got the skill? It's the age old dilemma: Desire isn't enough. You've got to have the skill and innate talent to back it up. Or the money to get it done for you.
 
I just don't think this is her niche. Maybe if I didn't feel responsible for starting this whole thing years ago I wouldn't be so concerned about whether or not this is actually something she should pursue. Maybe if she had a lot of time to hone her skills. Or. Well develop them. Maybe if she hadn't cried when I rang her. Maybe if that birthday party hadn't been the crowning pinnacle of her life thus far. Maybe if she hadn't been rejected all her life I wouldn't be concerned about her facing college admissions boards and publishers and editors and art directors and do you see where I'm going with this? Yes. I'm trying to protect her from the big bad evil world of real reality. Not the kind you see on television. The kind you live, or at least I live, day in, day out until you make yourself stop feeling any emotion as a way to cope with life and your reality.

I'm the last person to think sensibly, and the last person to tell anyone to be sensible. Yet here I am finding nothing but ideas which sound way too sensible to be doling out to a senior in high school who has been given a miraculous chance to finish school and get her life out of jeopardy.
 
And let's just say she works on her writing and art skills and improves and the future for college and a career in these areas looks brighter. College, art school...they require a lot of money, time and dedication. Okay, all of that can be arranged. But. The end result will be a career that is unstable, fickle and at best low paying.
 
She is not in the fortunate position of having a lot of disposable income. Unfortunately this means she really needs to get herself employed. In a decent paying field. Sooner the better. She simply cannot afford the luxury of a  low paying but self fulfilling job. 
 
I am having difficulty honestly suggesting anything other than classes which will lead to stable, viable jobs. Banking. Nursing. IT. Engineering. I know that sounds very Republican. I know they’re boring fields. I know they're not cool and fun like art and writing. And what if she just doesn’t have what it takes to be a banker, nurse, IT geek or engineer? Or the desire? The sad fact is that anything other than these professions are “luxury” careers. Fine for people who have a spouse or other source of income to bring in the “real” and steady money, but not for someone who really needs to earn a decent wage or have a long term career. Hey, I followed that dream and have struggled financially and career wise ever since. The sad fact is that by following my dream I have earned very little money. The financial bottom line of "creative" careers is pathetic. There are a few people who do make a lot of money, but most of us do not. There are a few people who get very well known and become the darling of the moment, but most of us do not. And even those who do make a lot of money or become the darling of the moment, are quickly replaced by the next big thing. I know this sounds really, really negative and I feel bad about it. Yes. Feel bad. But I am honestly very concerned over all the financial aspects of Funny Girl's career path.

The point here is: There are “real” jobs and there are luxury jobs. And if you cannot afford to earn the meager amount most luxury jobs pay, you have to be realistic and get a “real” job. The good thing about those luxury jobs is that they are often things one can pursue as a hobby or side income. She can still work on her book project. She'll probably do better than I have in the husband arena. Maybe he'll be supportive and will have a good paying job so she can afford to not earn a lot (or any) money for a while. Maybe she'll be a raging over night success and this all just a stupid, negative, cynical outlook of an idiot.

It's just, well, I mean, college.
 
Spending money on career endeavors which are not going to offer repayment and viable financial support seem like a really bad idea for someone like Funny Girl. Yes. This is experience talking. It's been rough for me, and I have supportive parents and a stable home and education opportunities. She's had to struggle enough in her life, she shouldn't have to struggle anymore. And I know, I know, just because I struggle doesn't mean she will. I know. And that's why I was all at sixes and sevens about this. Say nothing and be supportive of her goals which are not exactly, well, viable, or, try to steer her in another direction? Shut up and mind my own business or tell her what I wish someone had told me? Gently tell her the truth about her work thus far, or let callous admissions deans give her the Simon Cowell?

It's not that I think she's fragile and unable to handle the truth. She can. She does. She will. It's that this is a person who has no real dreams or goals. Except one, apparently, something she's been thinking about for a lot of years. Helping kids learn to read. I mean, come on. How do you squash that out of someone? But especially someone like Funny Girl?

Enter: No expectations. Void the emotions. Do the opposite of what you'd normally do.

I do not expect Funny girl to fail or succeed at anything. She's made it to this point in her life relatively okay, at least alive, child free and drug free. She has no responsibilities except to herself. If she works very hard this year she can graduate high school next Summer. She has a safe and nurturing place to live at least until then. She'll need to take the SAT in a few months and, with a decent score either hope for a spot on a late admissions list at some college, somewhere, or, wait a year and really work on her applications and play her orphan/foster care/low income someone please give me a chance trump cards.

Which is exactly what I told her. I also told her she's going to have to work on her writing and artistic skills to be considered for writing and art programs because unfortunately there are a lot of kids who want to go into these areas of study and she will be up against competition for classroom seats from kids who come from backgrounds with much more intensive courses than she's had. I told her it's unfair, but, if she really wants this she'll have to focus and work at it. Which will be a good way for her to decide if this is what she really wants to do.

See? Take the emotion and expectation out of all this and it doesn't sound so bad or even undoable.

I'm telling you, this void of emotions, doing the opposite thing is really, really working for me. But. Also. Read and learn: Be very careful about what you say to and give a child. You never know when some seemingly small kindness might be taken as a sign of huge encouragement and end up shaping them in ways you might not necessarily have meant. This could be great for everyone, or an unmitigated disaster. Yes. Being kind is a gamble in a lot of ways. All the more reason to: Expect nothing, good or bad, let go of all emotions and do exactly the opposite of what you'd normally do.

Getting bored with this mantra yet? I'm not. I'm going to spend an emotion and exclaim that I am really excited to have finally found a coping formula which appears to be successful.

8:51 PM

 
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