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

 
Tuesday, October 25, 2005  
How My iPod Ruined My Life
or, Enabling Social Awkwardness: The Paradigm of the iPod and its Effect on Society
or, iPod and the Single Girl
or, How I Learned to Stop Talking and Love the iPod

Since I moved to the new ‘hood I’m more comfortable using my iPod as I walk to and from work. Low volume, still very aware of the noises and people around me, but, a little background music for the walk.

I love music. We know this. I love all kinds of music. iPods were made for people like me. (Thanks, Steve.) Well. They were made for music loving people like me.

But there’s a down side.

iPods put those of us music lovers who are afflicted with social awkwardness or shyness at risk of digging ourselves deeper into our issue laden graves. Particularly those of us with “eclectic” taste in music.

The iPod is enabling us.

Huh? Enabling you? Trill, are you seriously blaming the iPod for your social ineptitude, shyness and general stupidity?

No. Of course not. Those are pre-existing conditions.

But. As much as I love (yes, love) my iPod a few recent incidents have made me realize I’m in an unhealthy relationship with my iPod.

I love the iPod.

It tolerates me.

It has no choice. If any inanimate manufactured object can take on a “personality,” the iPod is it. The minute a person’s music collection is loaded onto an iPod, that iPod becomes unique. Born, if you will. Well. More like cloned.

We humans start out the relationship with our iPods as the dominant one in the relationship. The one in control. Our music on the iPod. The iPod has no choice but to play the music we want to hear.

The term “doing our bidding” is a little too anthropomorphized for my comfort. (anthropodmorphized?) Give me a little credit, I believe iPods have “personalities” but I’m not totally weird about it.

Though lately I’ve become uncomfortable watching a few scenes in 2001: A Space Odyssey. When HAL admonishes Dave I cast my iPod, docked and charging across the room, furtive and then respectfully humbled glances. Just to be safe. You know. Just in case...I for one am not taking any chances. I’ll go peacefully. Happily.

I’m hoping the Steves will eventually put an iGuy on the market and my man troubles will be resolved. I figure a good word from my iPod couldn’t hurt my chances with one of the better iGuys.*

The thing is with iPods, though, after a short while we become emotionally attached to the iPod. (Yes, even void of emotion me.) And that’s the precise moment we hand over control in the relationship. And that’s when a good relationship can go very bad.

Control is a very powerful thing. And iPods are very, very, very good at control. It’s not anything they do, nothing they provoke. It’s just them. Their very existence invokes needs in their owners. If we’re not listening to our iPods we know where it is.

Always in the back of our minds, in our thoughts, we plan our iPod time like lovers. And sometimes, like lovers in a secret tryst, the danger of an inappropriate iPod listening is titillating. We’ll don the headphones in the office for just a few songs, really, just a few songs, that’s all, hoping we don’t get caught. The fear of getting caught makes the tryst even more intoxicating. One leads to another, and another. It’s a very torrid affair. We lose control, we are slaves to the desire for just one more, one more song, one more secret encounter.

But one more is never enough. Never. Enough. We crave more. We need more. We try to rationalize with ourselves, make excuses...everyone does it...it’s not hurting anyone...we’re in love...

And when we get caught, and we always get caught because it’s never just a few songs, we’re at first appropriately embarrassed. We vow to be more cautious, more discreet.

But we know it’s waiting for us. We know it can take us places. Deep, faraway, mystical places. Secret shared places between the earbuds. Just you and the iPod. It’s as if the rest of the world doesn’t exist. And even though you know sometimes it’s inappropriate, wrong, even, you long for the intimacy of that secret shared place. The place your iPod takes you.

Ahem.

And this is why iPods can be a real problem for music lovers. And an even bigger problem for music lovers who already have socialization problems.

One of the great things about iPods is the ability to create playlists or live on the edge with shuffle. Some people, people into control and manipulation, obsessive compulsive types, dominant personalities, like playlist mode. Playlists make them feel like they’re in control. They compile the lists, push the buttons, call the shots and always know what to expect from their iPod.

Not me. I’m a shuffle kind of girl. I’m very submissive. Passive, even. And yet a little on the edge. Thrill seeking. Willing to take risks. Adventurous. Trusting.

I am very open about the fact that I have given control to the iPod. I don’t care. I’m a willing participant. I want it this way. I never really was cut out for the whole dom thing. I’m too easy going. Too go with the flow. Too unconcerned about having control. I spend my days and a lot of my personal time making difficult or at least thoughtful decisions. I like not having to make decisions with my music, too.

Oh sure, ultimately I’m the one who loads the songs on the Pod, so ultimately I’m “in control” of the songs I hear. But, I have a very large music collection. Let’s just say there are thousands of songs on my iPod. Let’s just say my 40G is almost full and there’s nothing on there but music and some Podcasts. Let’s leave it at that.

Among those thousands of songs are a few surprise tracks. Okay, a lot of surprise tracks. Seriously. Don’t ask me how the trance mix of Relax got on my iPod. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Frankie Goes to Hollywood fan. There is not one other Frankie Goes to Hollywood song on my iPod (or at least not that I’m aware...) and I have no recollection of loading it. A) Where the swut did I find a swutting trance mix of Relax, and B) why the swut don’t I remember it? Just what’s being transmitted through those earbuds? Subliminal mind control messages? ”download the trance mix of Relax...relax...trance...download...relax..iPod says Relax” (yikes, that’s a little too real sounding for my comfort)

Right. The problem with iPods for those of us with socialization problems is that the iPod offers us an escape from “the real world.” Maybe you’re not shy or socially awkward. So you won’t understand why this is a problem. I’ll try to explain it to you.

Shy people constantly battle with themselves. Nearly every conversation, and frequently every movement, requires an internal pep talk of some sort. That's why I sometimes say stupid or seemingly inappropriate things. The pep talk and internal dialog required for me to engage my mouth is so involved that before I realize what's being said words are coming out of my mouth. In my mind I'm still arguing with myself about what, if anything, to say.

iPods have become so normal and accepted that no one on the street or in shops looks twice or, more importantly, approaches someone listening to an iPod.

Okay, yes, there are exceptions. And these exceptions can be good.

For people who are not hiding from society in their iPod.

I have been approached by people needing directions, and I’ve seen one live pick-up. Cute girl standing in line at the grocery listening to her Pod minding her own business. Cute guy tries to catch her eye. He succeeds. He smiles. She smiles and removes one ear bud. He says, “Is that the U2 Pod?” She says, “yes, see?” and holds up the Pod for him to see. A lengthy discussion of Pods, U2, concerts and Jason at the Apple Store ensues. My turn came in line so I missed the rest of the conversation. But I am quite certain it ended in an exchange of phone numbers. Great for them. The iPod brought them together. I hope they’ll be happy together. Better living through Apple.

Back to the downside of iPodding. Having a normal and socially acceptable barrier to communication with strangers is the answer to the most fervent prayer to the most supreme deity a shy person could ever hope to have granted. Blessed respite from social interaction!

Walkmen never completely caught on - at least not the way iPods have. Walkmen were just sort of there, popular with the younger set, a source of contention with parents and teachers. iPods are already ubiquitous. Everyone has one or wants one. (If you don’t you will.) Walking around with buds stuck in ears tethered to a small, unseen source, is normal. Barring oneself off from the noise of the outside world is now normal.

I cannot tell you the enormous relief this is to shy people. Really. I have no words to describe the relief. Which is, of course, a serious warning sign.

Hiding from the world is not exactly a smart thing for shy people to do. We need to be out there pushing ourselves, making ourselves talk to people, go places, do things our shyness prevents (or at least poses an obstacle for) us from doing. I know this. I have been very aware of this potential bad side effect of iPodding since I first donned the buds. It really is my own little world in there. Which is exactly why I would never, ever allow myself to don the buds in my old neighborhood. Not. Safe. But now, I mean, my walk to work and around my neighborhood is relatively safe. You know, for a large urban area. Put it this way: It’s as safe as it gets inside the city limits. Which isn’t actually saying much but, well, it’s a zillion times more safe than my old ‘hood.

Right. So the only real danger of listening to the Pod on low volume is that I’ll take steps backwards in my ongoing war with shyness. And this is a huge danger for me. I’ve spent my lifetime trying to win this war. I’ve made progress. But. There are daily skirmishes to be fought and probably several full blown battles to be won before I can claim victory. I know this. So I should not allow myself this comfy little isolated place in the midst of society. I shouldn’t allow myself this sanctuary.

Here are two good reasons why.

I have a lot of music on my iPod. Very diverse and eclectic music. (see above, trance Relax) Some good, some bad. (see above, trance Relax) Some interesting, some stupid. (see above, trance Relax). I also subscribe to Podcasts. Again, a very diverse and eclectic range of topics. Ahem. I strongly adhere to a “what’s on the iPod, stays on the iPod” code of file disclosure. No one needs to know what’s really on there. It’s between you and your iPod.

So when I’m leaving work late and the CEO of my company happens to be on the elevator and I have no choice but to board the elevator or risk looking like I didn’t want to ride the elevator with the CEO, and he says, “That’s a neat iPod case. What are you listening to?” and I look him straight in the eye and blurt, Shake the Dope Out before thinking about what I’m saying or to whom I’m saying it because in my “oh swut it’s the CEO and we’re alone on the elevator and it’s late at night and he’s engaging me in conversation and is taking an interest in my interests like a good CEO and I can’t possibly tell him I’m listening to the Warlocks Shake the Dope Out but suddenly I can’t think of one other song ever recorded or the fact that now might be a good time to discuss that new marketing Podcast I’ve been listening to lately” panic I get nervous and words are coming out of my mouth which I didn’t intend to say and would never say if I weren’t tired, shy and nervous. But all I hear in my head is Shake the Dope Out

I’m thinking about the scintillating report on changing demographs in consumer electronics and what it will mean to advertising, but do I utter one word about it? NOooooooooo, I don't. Instead I hear myself say, Shake the Dope Out to our CEO.

Because I am not only tired, shy and nervous, I am doomed to fail by my own stupidity. I tried to redeem myself by then bringing up the topic of Podcasts, “har har, no, actually I just listened to an interesting Podcast on the changing demograph of consumer electronics. It’s a pretty good Podcast, weekly updates. I can send you the link...” but I lost him at Shake the Dope Out. I'm guessing our CEO is not a fan of the Warlocks. He had written me off and was hoping to get off that elevator as quickly as possible. So much for my bid at Senior VP.

Okay. So I didn’t really want that job anyway. However. I would like to have a relationship with a man. That would be really nice. Really, really nice.

But this affair with my iPod could be a problem. I’m not used to men noticing me. At least in that special way. I walk around hoping no one notices me. Because that’s better than having someone notice how ugly I am. It’s less humiliating for me. That scarlet D (umped) on my chest is bad enough, calls enough unwanted attention and jokes. I strive to just blend in and go completely unnoticed.

That’s not to say I don’t notice men. I do. I notice a lot of men. I try to not notice them because it just leads to more frustration and loneliness. (loud omnipotent voice over, “Yes, Trillian, he is very good looking. Sardonic smile, sexy swagger, intelligent but inviting look in the eyes tinged with a slight roguishness, yes, Trillian, yes, he is absolutely the sort of guy you like. The sort of guy you need. But the Universe deems it not to be. When will you ever learn? We’re teasing you. Sheesh. You fall for this every time. Even we’re bored with your reaction to these guys. I mean, do you honestly think you have a chance? No! You don’t! Bwa ha ha ha...”) But still. I notice them. I avoid eye contact at all costs, though. It’s more of a wistful notice from afar sort of thing. So don’t worry if you’re a good looking guy with a sardonic smile, sexy swagger, intelligent but inviting look in the eyes tinged with a slight roguishness. I won’t put you in an awkward situation.

So there I was walking home from work. Rainy evening. I’m standing on a corner waiting for the light to change. I notice a guy crossing the street from my right.

Sardonic smile: Check.

Sexy swagger: Check, check, CHECK!

As he approaches the corner where I’m standing, he flashes a brief smile. Nothing serious, not a “hey, baby” smile. Just a “you worked late tonight, too, gosh, it’s really coming down isn’t it” smile.

Intelligent but inviting look in the eyes tinged with a slight roguishness: Check.

I give him a, “Yeah, late night in the office, quite a storm here, but I don’t mind it’s kind of nice” smile. I see his lips moving. Oh swut, he’s talking to me but between the guy on the Apple News Podcast and the rain hitting my umbrella I can’t hear him. I fumble to take out an ear bud as I say, “I’m sorry, pardon me?” but the light changed and he’s hitting the crosswalk. Curses! Foiled again!

Well.

I mean.

Not so much foiled again as, huh, there he goes. He was probably only asking directions or if I knew what time it was. Just as well. Because the words that would come out of my mouth in response to whatever he said would undoubtedly be stupid, bad or in every way wrong. So really, just as well.

But. From my few paces behind him I can’t help but notice that sexy swagger. Even in the pouring rain. And how the rain is making a few tousled curls spring to life around his collar adding to his roguishness. I go out of my way to not catch up to him even though he’s walking kind of slow. So slow that his sexy swagger is suffering because of the diminished speed. And I’m all but standing still in an effort to stay several paces behind him. I fiddle with my ear buds as I walk. The light on the next corner is turning yellow. I’m hoping he’ll make a dash for it. He doesn’t. There’s no way to avoid catching up to him at the corner. I do, but leave lots of space between us. I continue to fiddle with my ear bud. I hear a voice say, “I switched to the headphone model, stays in place better when walking.” I realize he’s talking to me. Oh swut. But. It doesn’t mean anything. Rainy night. The only two people out. Obviously both coming from work. I mean, he’s just making polite conversation. So I smile.

And then I hear someone say, “Lately it won’t stay in when I move around. It’s always been a bit too big for me but lately I can’t find a good position for it no matter how much I fiddle with it.” I have no idea who said that but she sounded a lot like me.

His smile faded from congenial sardonicism to an implied: “really, lady, I was just being polite, I don’t need your life story tinged with Benny Hillish innuendo.” Awkward silence. Me holding the ear bud. The Podcast apparently ends. Because out from the ear bud blares the unmistakable opening to Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love. Okay. Really. Universe, could you give me a break and strike me with lightening? Now. Please. I realize you’re having great fun at my expense but seriously, enough’s enough.

I rush to fumble and lower the volume.

As he walks off across the street.

I wait for the light to turn red, then green and deem it safe to continue on my way.

This is why iPods are dangerous for people like me. In the wrong hands these things are lethal. Yes, they provide a nice sanctuary from the world, and that’s good. Because a few more of these incidents and that iPod world will be the only one I’ve got.

* (“Better” iGuy meaning an iGuy who wakes me with kisses and a sardonic smile and says, It’s a great day for shoe shopping, Trill. (playfully poking, nudging, prodding, goading to seduction) I’ve got mimosas and carrot cake for you. And don’t you dare even think about calories and fat grams. I hate skinny women. Blech. You know how much I love your curves. Those hips are going to carry our babies someday. So just make yourself even more comfortable while I feed you carrot cake with lots of gooey frosting. I made a large pitcher of mimosas so drink up, sweetheart. Then, when you’re ready, I’m going to take you shoe shopping. As many pairs as you want, Trill. Try on as many pairs of black shoes as you want. Buy all of them. You can never have enough black shoes. Oh, and let’s visit your make-up artist friend. I know how you two love to try out hundreds of shades of lip color. Oh, and isn’t your sister’s birthday next week? We should spend some time finding her a nice gift. Then we’ll take a ride to the orchard and pick apples and have hot cider and play with kittens and buy a lovely handcrafted item. After that we’ll take a long drive on back roads and stop at a woodsy secluded picturesque stream where we’ll explore some of those dreams you’ve been having. Time to try them out in real life, (grrrrrooowl, har har) Then, exhilarated and even more in love we’ll head to the Bryan Ferry show. Surprise! I’ve got front row center seats for the sold out small venue acoustic show! Yay! You can ogle him all you want because I am secure in my manufactured masculinity. Fragile ego is not in my circuitry. I am secure in the knowledge that your zest and lust for Bryan will play out well for me later, at home, you and me, alone together....But first, before that, when we get home you can try on all your new shoes and email your friends and tell them about your shoes and the kittens and Bryan Ferry. Oh and you might want to give your mum a ring, too. Meanwhile I’ll prepare a bath.You’ve been working so hard lately. You give and do so much for everyone else. I respect and appreciate that about you. Today you need and deserve a break, a day all about you, you, you. Yeah. iGuy’s not going to hit the market any time soon, but when he does, watch out human guys. If an iPod can take on it’s owner’s personality, iGuys are going to be swutting incredible. And yes, I know, iGirls will be great, too. I can't wait for The Future.)

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