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

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






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

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

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

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




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

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

200i: iPodyssey

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

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

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

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

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

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

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

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

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

Slanglish

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


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

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

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

Lap Dance of the Cripple

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

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

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

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

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

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

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


















 
Mail Trillian here





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

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


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

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

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

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


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



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

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




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





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







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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Monday, October 24, 2005  
If Only I Could Wimp Out and Suckle Something
I don’t earn a lot of money. I’m not at poverty level and I’m better off than a lot of people. People in the second and third worlds, for instance. But I’m poor enough that I cannot afford a car and affiliated expenses. I am poor enough that any unpredicted expense completely whacks my monthly budget and leaves me counting pennies. Okay. Yes. My compartment is in a high rent neighborhood. Yes. When I moved I knew I was biting off a huge hunk of expense in the housing portion of my budget. On the other hand: I can walk or ride my bike to work netting a monthly savings of $75 (or $100 if the CTA successfully implements its plan to raise fares to $2.) My heat and air conditioning are included in my rent netting $100 - $400 monthly savings. And, I live in the smallest, cheapest place there is in the building and in the ‘hood. So it’s not as if I’m shelling out loads of money for a luxury apartment.

Right. Okay. Expenses. Income. Problems.

My salary is not competitive. I knew that when I took the job. Not only does my company lower wages than most other companies, it’s also “old school” in that women earn less than men in same or similar jobs. This is an open and undebated fact. We all know it happens in most companies. Most of the women here regularly fight and argue the cause. But we also somewhat respect the fact that it’s out in the open and not denied or hidden. We’re not saying that excuses the deplorable behavior, but, better to fight the devil you know than the one you can’t see.

I didn’t expect to stay here as long as I have. I didn’t want to stay here as long as I have for a lot of reasons. Salary was actually lower on the list of reasons until lately. Why is my uncompetitive rate of pay not first on my list of reasons for leaving this job? Because other factors are far more disgruntling than my low income. Really. If that doesn’t tell you a lot about my (needs a new nickname) boss...

Right. Low income. I am: The working poor. I can keep a roof over my head and feed myself and my cat. I budget in a little (meagre) amount each month in my retirement fund. If I have a “good” month unexpected expense-wise I can treat myself to a dinner out or pair of shoes on sale. I haven’t had a “good” month for long time.

However. There are “perks” to my job. I can get on just about any guest list to any event in the city. I am heavily courted by a lot of vendors. I could eliminate my food expense almost completely if I accepted every lunch and cocktail event I am invited to attend. Unfortunately it’s not really my style to accept lunch and cocktail invites from vendors I have no intention of using. My personal code of ethics prevents me from even considering throwing my title and “status” around for my own personal gain, even if it’s “just lunch.” There really is no such thing as a free lunch. A lot of people would see this aspect of my job as glamorous and exciting and very cool. Free stuff! Woo hoo! Many companies actually "factor" this into salaries. Did you hear me say there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Fortunately, but all too slowly, this sort of thing is increasingly scrutinized. I'm pleased about this, "kick-backs" have never sat well with me. Call them whatever you want, but it's still a form of bribary and I take a dim view of it.

But. My company has always provided exceptional benefits. Great health insurance. Full dental and optical coverage. Full short and long disability income coverage. Full family leave income coverage. A terrific 401K plan. Accrued vacation and sick days above the national two week average.

So, you know, low pay but some nice benefits. I know what those benefits are worth. I know what they’d cost me if I had to pay for them on my own.

I know this because every year for the past three years our benefits have been “revised.” Meaning: Less coverage, more out of pocket expenses.

This year we’ve been informed as of January 1 our dental coverage is being eliminated. Our vision coverage is being cut in half. Short term disability leave time is being reduced and both short and long term disability will be paid at 60% instead of 100%. And instead of several health insurance options, we now have two. Two plans which we have to pay a lump sum deductible out of our pockets before we have coverage. Our company is generously going to “pay” half of the lump sum deductible up front for us so we have insurance coverage. That is, providing we agree to a payroll deduction (pre tax!) to re-pay our generous company. They’re not “paying” half the lump sum, they’re loaning us half the money and we have to come up with the other half.

Okay. I know I shouldn’t complain about health care costs because at least I have some form of health insurance. I know. Really. I know. It could be worse.

But. Today, a week after we were informed about the cut in our benefits, we were told our annual pay increases would be low this year. They’re already swutting below the rate of inflation - why insult us with a 1% or 2% pay increase? Why not tell us along with our benefits being cut we’re not getting a raise this year, either?

What I really loved about this whole thing was the benefit administrator's spin on our “revised” health benefit options.

She told us we “need to rethink our definition of health insurance. It’s no longer about treating a health issue, but about preventing one from happening.”

Oh yeah? Okay then, it’s time to rethink your definition of salary. It’s no longer about giving your employees a fair rate of pay and group benefits to keep those hard working loyal employees healthy and alive, but about paying them competitive wages on which they can actually house, feed, clothe and medicate themselves.

Woe to the poor employee who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Not only will they have to pay their medical expenses (because unless it’s a “routine” visit to the doctor, it’s not covered. And there’s nothing “routine” about any terminal illness, and prescriptions are only covered if they’re “in formula” meaning: very basic, and there’s nothing formulaic about prescriptions for terminal illnesses), if they become unable to work they’ll have to make ends meet on 60% of their salary. Which probably won’t even cover their medical expenses. They get the bonus insult of: It’s too late for you. We’re all about prevention. Too bad you didn’t prevent that cancer from killing you because now you have to pay for your medical care and live on a reduced income. You’ll need to rethink your definition of life. It’s no longer about trying to enjoy what time you have left and being comfortable in these last days, but about feeling guilty and helpless and worried about your health and finances.

I know. I know. This is the reality a lot of people have had for years. I realize this. I realize I’ve been very, very fortunate to have good health insurance and benefits.

But.

Now that my benefits are being drastically cut and my pay is not going to increase I’m spending many hours per week at a job which is sucking the life out of me and is giving me very little in return.

Perhaps I need to redefine my idea of work. It’s not about 10 -12 hour days doing the jobs which used to be handled by three people, but about saying swut you to anything not in my job description and anything more than 7.75 hours per day. Since the perception is that women are “crap” anyway, why not give them what they expect?

Shame I don’t have the option of wimping out and suckling something. Because I’m a woman and therefore crap, apparently. What year is this? Good riddance, French. Bastard.

Did I say that out loud?

Yes. Yes I did. Not as well as Nancy Vonk. But I said it out loud and proud.

The unfortunate thing is that he was only publicly, less crudely saying what many men in many professions say behind closed doors.

(I love his statement about Ms. Vonk's remarks, "Trial by blog is a sad innovation..." Probably best he "resigned" because that lack of embracing The Future and particularly blogs is exactly part of the huge problem in The Biz. New Media is no longer new. Blogs are not exactly innovative anymore. This is 2005, right? And if you're sitting there wondering why I'm going on about this you might want to take a look around your own place of employment. If French's attitude isn't evident somewhere in the ranks, you're probably not looking hard enough or are being held down by The Man or at least a "wellness coordinator.")

I’m not going off on a feminazi rant. I won’t, I won’t, I won’t...

My company’s redefinition of health insurance is going to affect everyone, male and female.

But there issome good news.

Female oral contraceptives will now be covered under our prescription plan. Birth control pills are now considered routine preventive maintenance. French and his ilk should be happy or threatened by that: The company is going to pay for us to childproof our ovaries. And yes, this is a welcome acknowledgement that birth control responsibility and expense typically falls on the shoulders of women. And when it fails the responsibility of suckling something falls on our shoulders, too. I welcome this long overdue recognition of these facts.

However. I can’t help but see the big picture on this issue. Which is much more cynical. The insurance companies are masters of spin. But unfortunately in our case they’re trying to spin the spinners who create their spin. And it’s not fooling me.

The cost of oral contraceptives is minimal compared to the cost of a healthy “normal” pregnancy and child birth (and subsequent 18 years of health care for that child). It’s in the insurance company’s (and subsequently my company’s) best financial interest to keep us women child free.

Paranoid you say? Well. Cynical and jaded, yes. Paranoid, no. Because the insurance company rep and our company’s newly appointed “Wellness Coordinator” went into a lengthy conversation about how this is such a coup for women and all the “positive health effects” of birth control pills. (Did you know it clears acne? Helps depression? Really! It’s not just for preventing pregnancy anymore! I think a lot of the guys were jealous. By the end of the oral contraceptive pep rally they wanted to get in on this, too! After all, it’s covered on our insurance!) I’m not kidding. 15 minutes of our benefits session, a room filled with women and men, from extremely diverse personal backgrounds, who work together every day, was spent discussing all the great positive health benefits of oral contraceptives.

Yes. We were given a hard sell on birth control. At work. The men were encouraged to talk to their wives about utilizing this great new oral contraceptive plan covered by our newly redefined health insurance plan. There were a few people who left the room. Good Pope fearing Catholics. Furious women. Gay men. The rest of just sat there in disbelief. Particularly on the heels of French’s comments the women in the room were flinching and disturbed over the hard sell on oral contraceptives. (he’d not yet “resigned” at the time of our benefits session and for several days his “women are crap” and “wimp out and suckle something” comments were the topic of most office conversations)

I can laugh about it on some levels. Birth control is not an issue for me right now. Though according to the insurance company and “wellness coordinator” I should be taking oral contraceptives for all the other "positive" health benefits. And they’re covered on our health plan now! Keep in mind this advice is coming from the same person who revamped our vending area to contain healthy vending options. New healthier vending options like a ham on white sandwich, tins of Hormel chili, muffins, tamales and sausage, pepperoni pizza and coughupalattebucks bottles of caffechocomuchofattachino. I’m not in the “wellness coordinator” business so I’m really in no position to judge. But. Let’s just say I’m a bit confused by the wellness advice being given to us because it flies in the face of years of medical research and, um, well, conventional wisdom. I will not be at all surprised if they begin dispensing medications, oral contraceptives anyway, in our vending machines. Right next to the cigarette machine. Apparently I need to redefine my idea of wellness.

Wavy blurry dream screen cut to my annual review. "Well, Trillian, you've done a great job again this year. We couldn't have done it without your creative genius, professional can-do attitude, terrific relationships with the clients, your eagerness to do a good job and willingness to work long hours in the pursuit of those efforts. There's just one thing. The Wellness Coordinator has made a few notes on your review. In looking at your date of birth we've calculated that you are a woman of child bearing age. Apparently you have not taken advantage of the oral contraceptive program we're offering. This is a great benefit, Trillian. We strongly encourage our employees to utilize this benefit. We think once you use the program you'll agree it's really a terrific benefit to both your career and you personally. I mean, really, Trillian, you weren't seriously thinking you'd have children anyway, were you? I've never seen you as the type to wimp out and suckle something so what's the big deal? I mean, really, when was the last time you had sex? You haven't even had a serious date in years. But that's no reason to not take oral contraceptives. They clear up acne and prevent depression. I know you have very nice clear skin, but when you see how little pay increase you're getting this year you're going to be depressed. Just go on the pill like a good girl. We're giving them to you free for a reason, you know."

Back in the benefits session...

I stayed in the session thinking there would be some punch line at the end of the session. A “ha ha, just kidding! We have no business telling you how to run your ovaries!” But that never happened. This is for real.

Yes. I went to a "Learn About The Company Benefit Changes" session and got a side of social engineering with my sexual and motherhood issues.

So I Must. Find. Another. Job. Now. Right now. Today. This second. I just want to do my job and earn a paycheck commensurate with my work and skills. I don't want to think about my reproduction issues, I don't want my work "wellness coordinator" or senior executives thinking about my reproduction issues.

French and men who think like him: Be afraid. Be very afraid. Our company is doing all it can to prevent us gals from breeding and wimping out and suckling something. And our new redefined ideas of health insurance will mean that we’ll need a lot more money to cover our health expenses. So we’ll be even more motivated to fight for equal pay and higher level jobs.

There’s an opening at WPP. The smartest move they can make is hire a woman. French's departure leaves a big, vocal, unprofessional gap in their upper ranks. And you know how us women are crap.

Here’s my opening gambit for the job: I have years of experience, nothing to suckle and free oral contraceptives to ensure I stay suckling free thus providing all the advantages a man has to offer except a penis. However that doesn’t mean I can’t be a dick. I’ve learned a lot in my years of work experience. I've observed "the best" in the biz, watched them become more wealthy while actually doing less, honed my skills in their likeness and now I'm ready to put those skills to use. No wimping out and suckling something for me.

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10:25 AM

 
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