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.
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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.
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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

 
Saturday, July 30, 2005  
Slanglish
There’s so much to be said for having no expectations of anything or anyone. Low expectations are not enough to get you through some of the stranger and more difficult situations in life. There’s even more to be said for not allowing a single emotion fill your head. It makes what could be difficult situations so much easier to tolerate.

So there’s this woman in my office who’s started talking “street” circa 1990. (or earlier)

You heard me.

Street. Urban slang. Ghetto.

Not that unusual in itself. I guess. But.

Why it's good I have no expectations: She’s in her mid 50s. She’s white. She’s from the suburbs. She shops at Talbots. She likes Culvers. She’s a living, breathing white suburban cliché. Nothing wrong with that, be who you are, embrace yourself and your circumstances. But now she's suddenly not embracing who she is or her circumstances. She's trying to speak like a young, urban kid from 15 years ago.

Trying. Because all she's doing is peppering her proper white suburban vernacular with a few cliché catch phrases. Fortunately, or not, so far, she is not affecting an accent as well. So far it's just her normal Midwestern white suburban woman accent saying an occasional street slang word or phrase. The result is comical to say the least. Kind of like Vanilla Ice. Ice Baby. The result is something I am calling slanglish.

Maybe she’s got some new friends she's hanging around who are influencing her sudden change in speech. Maybe she’s suddenly ashamed of being so white. Maybe she’s picking up BET transmissions from 15 years ago. Maybe she's been possessed by the spirit of Tupac. Anything’s possible given the odd change in her vocabulary.

In my past I would have found it difficult to not laugh at her or at least quietly mutter about her and the subsequent patheticness of my existence, job and life in the solitude of my office.

But now, with the no expectation stance and subsequent void of emotion, I can observe and report without laughing or feeling like an idiot for working with this sort of person and lamenting about the misery of being stuck in a job requiring working with the likes of her.

“Hi (B-Girl), here’s the disk with the art for your project,” I said to her one day.

“Straight up?! That was really fast, I owe you a solid!” she responded to me, straight faced, obviously not joking, obviously using this vernacular as if she’d been talking this way since, well, 1989.

See? Right there? That’s where I normally would have laughed. A lot.

But not now. Now I just said, nonplussed, “No biggie. You’re welcome.”

A few days later I was in the ladies room washing my hands. She entered and said, “Hooooeeee, Trill child, those shoes are the bomb!”  (yes, Trill child, no not Trill chile, and yes, the bomb, not da bomb. Apparently she either cannot or will not bastardize articles or mumble. She’s either set herself a baseline of grammar standards or hasn’t got to that chapter in the big book of street slang for white suburbanites.)

Because my shoes were, in fact, da bomb, I merely began drying my hands and said, “Thanks.” Nonplussed. Nevermind that both of us are really white, and only one of us has any remote potential for street cred. And it’s not her.

I no longer expect anything of her or from her. I don’t expect her to behave and talk like a very white middle aged Talbots wearing Wonder bread eating cliché of a woman from the suburbs. So I am not surprised, confused or disappointed when she doesn’t.

Nobody's saying anything to her about this. And, well, I mean, what do you say? "Stop trying to talk ghetto?" What would be the point in that? She's obviously reaching for a reaction or obviously trying really hard to be something she's not. In either case silence is probably the best way to make this whole thing go away. It's sort of like when someone goes out and gets a drastic new hair cut which doesn't suit them in the least. Their daring and desire to try something new is commendable. But the result is less than attractive. "Hey, wow, new haircut. Certainly a change! Change is good!" is probably the best and fairest way to handle that situation and hope they'll eventually realize all on their own that this is not the style for them. And I think that's how most people in the office are feeling about this influx of slanglish. Just ignore it and maybe it will go away.

But then the slang hit the fan in a meeting. We were going over schedules. A guy from another department said, “There’s a lot of work here. If we can pull off this schedule it will be a miracle.”

“Word.” Wonder White B-Girl said in a reverent and heavy tone, eyes big with the levity of what was ahead of us.

Again, this is where I would normally crack up in fits of teary laughter. Especially because the guy she was wording was not only young and cool, but he also happens to be black and  from the South side of Chicago. And how he didn’t either crack up in laughter or lose his temper is a mystery to me. Or maybe not. Maybe he, too, has discovered the zen of no expectation and void of emotion.

"Word?" I mean, what the...? Why the...?

Unfortunately, my (needs a new nickname) boss has not learned the no expectation trick. Unfortunately, she’s not down with 15 year old street slang. And after a slight silence, she, apparently expecting Wonder White B-Girl to continue with more words, said, “What word? Are there text changes? I thought this was completely edited.”

To be fair, given the context of the project and the bizarre choice of slang response, that was an almost logical assumption on my (needs a new nickname) boss’ part.

I have to give Wonder Bread Woman credit, she didn't get flustered or even embarrassed. She merely replied, “No, it’s edited. Ready to go. But making this deadline will be slippy tricky.” She said without a hint of humor or irony in her voice.

I’m not sure that "slippy tricky" is official street slang. But I don’t care. Maybe somewhere, somehow she’s heard Underworld's Born Slippy and somehow got it all confused with Tricky and come up with this phrase all on her own or someone else has it confused and she doesn’t know better (why would she) or maybe it really is official street slang for accomplishing a difficult task. Whatever the case, we’re now working on the slippy tricky project.

We all hightailed it out of that conference room as quickly as possible. Shake it off, shake it off. Pretend it didn't happen.

But for me, the ultimate test of my lack of expectation came when we were both working late on the slippy tricky project. I was getting ready to leave the office. B-Girl Fly walked by my office and saw that I was preparing to leave. “Going to chill in the crib, Trill?”

“Yeah. I’m beat for the day. I’ll be in early for a fresh start.” I responded, completely nonplussed, as if “going to chill in the crib” is a normal, natural thing for me to do and to be asked about doing.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“Nearly 7.” I answered.

“Holy shit, is it really? I have to bust a move to catch my train!” she exclaimed. Yes, I have to bust a move, not I gotta busta move. “Wait up, I’ll walk out with you.”

“Okay.”

Just. Okay. No laughter. No mockery. No hostility. Nothing.

Just. “Okay.”

I felt nothing over her ridiculous slanglish. I just said, “okay” and waited for her. Success! Yes, sweet, sweet, success! I felt nothing. Nothing! No need to make a sarcastic remark. No urge to laugh. No anger at her ridiculous presumption that speaking her slanglish will make her less white.

We walked in silence to the elevator. We waited. She broke the silence. “That bag is so dope. Where’d you find it?”

“Detroit.” I answered without thinking, regretting it the second the word left my mouth. I forced myself to not expect her to make some sort of Detroit slang comment.

“Oh, of course, Deeee troit. So fly. How’s your mother?” of course is what she said. I owed it to myself to expect that from her. Maybe this is a case where expecting a particular response would have been good. Because one area I am still in full emotional regalia is my mother.

And because she hit that weakness, I lost it for a minute. I felt an emotion or two. Maybe three.

“My mother in Duhtroit is doing okay, and yes, in fact, I am going to fly over to see her next week.”

Oh swut. There were a lot of emotions packed in that sentence. Anger. Irony. Cynicism. And sarcasm. Lots and lots and lots of sarcasm. Swutting Wonder White Wilmette Woman. Made me crack my nice placid void of emotions state.

But. It might have been ultimately a good thing. B-Girl Wonder Fly White responded with two entire sentences in normal white suburban English.

"Good for you. You need a break. You should visit her as much as possible while you still have the chance." she said, without a hint of slang or even meek patheticness. I know she was just giving sage, honest advice from one who doesn't have parents to visit anymore. I felt sorry for her, even though, and probably because, she wasn't fishing for pity or attention. She said it very matter of fact and very much without the stupid mockery the swutting slang gives to all her spoken thoughts.

And now, because of those few unslanglish sentences which were neither expected or unexpected, I was feeling, yes, feeling, sorry for her and whatever's causing this recent attempt at reinventing herself.

So at Lollapalooza I bought a book of Saul Williams poetry, had him sign it to her, and gave it to B-Girl. She wasn't familiar with his work, but seemed grateful and excited to read it.

Other people in my office are now even more afraid. Very afraid.

But I have no expectations.

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6:22 PM

Friday, July 29, 2005  
Gigantic
Maybe you heard about the little music party held in Chicago last weekend.

I have to give Perry Farrell credit for bringing back Lollapalooza. (I’m not sure where to begin counting how many ways that statement is weird.) I really do have to give sincere credit and thanks to the organizers of the fest. Event planning is an enormous pain in the behind. Add to it band schedules, egos, logistics and worst of all, the City of Chicago convention and event office red tape and, well, how to put this politely, erm, Mayor’s Office bull shit, and I cannot even comprehend all the work, headaches and frustration which went into making Lollapalooza 2005 happen. And not only did it happen, it happened by all counts successfully and without major incident (apart from a certain Anton Newcombe who really, really, really needs to grow up or not be allowed to play anything other than a one stage venue where he and his fans can make fun of whomever they want in the privacy of their own stupidity and rudeness. Anton, I used to ‘dig’ you, or, well, at least respected what you were attempting to do musically, but man, you were an immature, stupid, school yard bullying jerk. There, I said it. I stooped to his level. I’m not fond of Dashboard Confessional, either, but dude, it’s not their fault they were scheduled to play opposite you. Be mad at the situation, not the other band. Lolla and let lolla. 60 bands, four stages, two days, you do the math. The organizers did a really swell job of offering something for everyone at any given point on both days. But that means at least two bands performing at the same time. There will be noise seepage. Maybe you felt threatened by the much larger crowd at Dashboard Confessional. Maybe you were feeling insecure. Maybe you were a jealous guy. But bullying and mocking other musicians is a behavioral low, even for a rock God such as yourself. And you know what? If Dashboard Confessional rises to the success of Bon Jovi, good for them. Bon Jovi is still touring, selling records and are generally working musicians 20 some years after their first release. Erm, Anton, last I heard you weren’t exactly getting a lot of gigs or selling a lot of records. Yes, that speaks to the general mediocrity and malaise of the music listening public and the boring and apparently deaf recording company execs, and no, I’m not a fan of Bon Jovi, either. But, it’s not Bon Jovi’s fault more people don’t have a taste for more gutsier, different, at times unsettling indie rock. Sheesh, Anton, sheesh. You really embarrassed yourself and those of us who were looking forward to seeing you on stage. Whoa. Yeah. Just a few issues there...I was met with gape mouthed wide eyed looks of concern and confusion from my friends when I tried to explain Anton Newcombe and why I wanted to see him. Especially after his pathetic fit of onstage jealousy of Dashboard Confessional.)

Right. So. Lollapalooza. Apart from a certain Mr. Newcombe, it was a really well planned, well organized weekend. I was impressed with every aspect. Which from me, with my zero expectation attitude firmly in place, is saying a lot. A lot. Even the insane heat and humidity, which could have caused some serious problems, was dealt with as best as possible. Cooling buses, fans, water stations, and lots and lots of warnings about what alcohol can do to a person in that kind of heat, and plenty of medic areas and professionals on hand for those who were stupid enough to not heed those warnings or who simply overestimated their ability to handle the ridiculous heat. As for my co-Lolla-ites, I give high marks to almost everyone who attended. There was a huge, huge range of ages and musical tastes, yet everyone seemed to get along or at least respect their co-Lolla-ites. People were friendly. People were helpful. People were, you know, cool, but not cool in that “Look at me, I’m so cool kind of way” but in the “hey, that’s cool, peace, man” kind of way. (I’ll not bore you by doling out my opinions of the bands themselves, but if you want to know about a specific band’s performance let me know. I tried to split my time between most of the performances so I saw or heard at least a song or two by most of the acts. Even Dashboard Confessional. Whom I am now a fan of simply because Anton Newcombe embarrassed himself and his fans to the point of shame, which made me realize, like their music or not, these guys are professionals and good sports and a bazillion times more mature than Anton Newcombe and I respect them for that.)

So. Good times were had by all except Anton Newcombe. And I think the Kaiser Chiefs would like a do-over. But. Good times, good music, good crowd.

Except.

Well. Not so much except.

More like “why is human nature this way?” And, “I think we, as a society, are in trouble.”

Let’s talk Pixies. It’s no secret I am a huge Pixies fan. Heck, let’s dip into the emotion credit jar and spend one on the Pixies. They’re worthy of an emotion: I la la la love the Pixies. I fell hard and fast, it was love at first sound for me, and I haven’t wavered since. Yeah. I’m so loyal and true. Such a nice girl. Such a good little Girl Scout. Because of my obviously biased opinion I may be a bit too close to the situation to see it with a sense of humor.

But then again, the issues are not necessarily Pixies related.

Let me try to explain. Maybe someone can shed some enlightenment my way.

The Pixies. Even people who don’t care for their music usually give them credit for being amazingly talented. If you are not familiar with them or have never had the opportunity to see them live, let’s just leave it at this: Talent not of this world. They do things with guitars that shouldn’t be possible, doesn’t always make sense, and yet creates an end result which will blow your mind and your socks off. They are, collectively and individually, undisputed legends. You don’t have to “get” their lyrics to understand they create something beyond rock, something beyond music. And they make it look so darned easy and fun and effortless. They are: Rock Olympians.

Right. They’ve got a lot of talent. Fair to say? Everyone agree with that statement? Okay. So. Having an opportunity to see them perform live is like having an opportunity to see Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison or Prince live. Even if you’re really not into their music, you owe it to yourself to see this talent and genius in action if for no other reason than to be able to tell your grandkids you saw them live. How cool would it be to have seen Jimi Hendrix live? Yeah. Pretty cool. Pixies live? Three times the guitars, three times the talent, three times the awe. (Oh. And David Lovering, too.) Yeah. Pretty cool.

One of the cool things about the Pixies is that they did it their way and were incredibly successful (okay, that’s a discussion for another time, but now, here, we’ll call them successful) and critically acclaimed. And they did it without pandering to record company machines. They never looked slick, or deliberately scruffy, or in any way whatsoever like biz styled rock Gods. (U2, are you listening?) They look like people you hung out with in college, or the people you see in the grocery yet don’t really notice. They’re, you know, normal looking. And that in itself is nothing shy of a recording business miracle. Oh sure, Kim is hot in her own no fuss, no glam way. And Joey Santiago has a certain look which, is, you know, kind of sexy. But. Their looks have never been styled or highlighted or, well, you know. SimonCowellized. (I’m trying to imagine Frank with boy band hair and Kim with a Jewelesque pathetic pandering to the male public glitzy makeover and absolutely cracking up at the image I’m imagining) I know a lot of guys, a lot of guys who found Kim to be incredibly hot just as she was. They found her hot because she is, well, you know, nice looking, but I think it has more to do with her ability to play guitar and sing and do both in a very unique and mesmerizing way. She always looks like she is absolutely in love with what she is doing. She looks at times serene. She’s, you know, doing the job she loves and doing it well. Naturally there are men who find that quality sexy.

Saturday night. A huge crowd began gathering an hour before the Pixies were due to go on stage. Fifteen minutes before the show the park was filled shoulder to shoulder with people trying to find one little viewing area of the stage. There were die hard fans (ahem, is it hot in here?) and casual fans, and curiosity seekers who just knew this was going to be something worth seeing, there was tangible excitement and giddy anticipation in the air. (Poor Walkmen on the stage opposite the Pixies, man, bummer of a time slot. Better luck next time guys.) Even in the twilight of the evening it was still hot. Really hot.

And right on time, the Pixies came on stage. The crowd went swutting wild. People say that, I know it’s a cliché, but honestly, the crowd went wild and the Pixies hadn’t even strummed a note. In true Pixies fashion, there was a brief acknowledgment of appreciation and the music began. People who see the Pixies live sometimes criticize them for their lack of audience participation. If you like to be talked to by a guy on stage, I recommend someone like the Kaiser Chiefs or Billy Idol or Wayne Newton where you’ll get a lot of audience participation and interaction. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. A good show with audience interaction can be engaging and fun. However. Just as the Pixies are not about fashion or looks, they are also not about Vegas-esque stage dialog. They are there to perform their music. Period. The attendees pay money to hear them perform their songs, to see them do what they do with those guitars. Period. They do their job and they do it really, really well. The Pixies interact with the audience by playing their music. Think about it. Do you really want to see Joey or Frank or even Kim strutting about the stage or holding the mic out to the crowd, or, ye gads, telling jokes? (If you saw David Lovering perform his, erm, um, “act” when he toured with Frank and Catholics, you know exactly what I mean and why it’s good the Pixies don’t do a lot of audience participation. Sorry David. You just weren’t funny or interesting. Heckuva a drummer, though, dude, heckuva drummer.) Okay. The Pixies came out, crowd went wild, and they began playing. Fans were still going wild.

However.

I started hearing comments from the men standing in my immediate area. “Wow, did she get ugly.” “Not aging well...” “Where are the What Not to Wear girls?” “Is that really Kim?” “She’s fat!”

I think it was that last remark which tipped me over the edge. There was Kim Deal. Kim Swutting Deal, no more than twenty feet from us, doing her bass thing, smiling, happy, clearly enjoying what she was doing and doing it really well, and what she does is the stuff of legends, and yet guys were criticizing her appearance. Which is bad enough for a lot of reasons.

However. Making this situation more repugnant, the remarks more callous, uncalled for and stupid, was that also on stage, right next to a normal sized Kim (yes, thicker than in the past, but certainly not fat. Okay, bigger than Jessica Simpson, sure, but the day Jessica Simpson is the gauge for normal anything is the day I happily listen to well, Jessica Simpson. Kim Deal: Normal. Not fat.) Next to normal sized Kim was the largest Frank Black the world has ever seen. I was honestly really, really, really worried that the headlines would read: Tragedy Strikes Lollapalooza When Legendary Pixies Frontman Frank Black Dies of Heart Attack While Performing This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven. The heat, Frank’s obviously seriously increased girth, and the work he puts into his performance were enough to massive coronary anyone. No disrespect to any large people, or Frank, and I’m not judging you or your performance on your weight. I couldn’t care less what you look like or what the scales read, but, seriously, Frank, we would be crushed if anything happened to you. Please, please, take care of yourself. Don’t pull a John Candy on us.

So. Enormous Frank Black dwarfing a normal sized Kim Deal. And yet, no one, at least no one I heard, certainly not the guys who were criticizing Kim’s looks, were making one single remark about Frank’s weight or outfit. Or Joey Santiago’s unsuccessful attempt at trying to hide his male pattern balding. Or David Lovering’s need for a better haircut, or any haircut. Nope. I heard not one word about any of the guys in the band other than compliments for their musical abilities. But I heard a non stop hour of comments about how Kim looks. Even, even when she sang a flawless, beautiful, highlight of their performance rendition of Gigantic, one guy had the audicity to proclaim, mercenarily, "I'm surprised she can still sing that way. You'd think her voice would be deeper. It's weird hearing that voice coming out of her now."

What the...???

She's put on maybe 20 pounds. Maybe. Why would her voice change? Was he not seeing the same Frank Black I was seeing? Why would he not marvel that Frank's voice hadn't changed because of the at least 100 pounds he's gained?

Maybe it’s because Frank has always been a husky guy and so seeing him large wasn’t a “surprise.” (And for the last time, no it doesn’t matter. He’s not auditioning for American Idol (Oh man would I love (oops, emotion demerit) to see that audition, someone, please, Mad TV? Please do a skit of the Pixies auditioning for American Idol. Please? Pretty please? I’ll write it for you...)) People know he’s a larger guy and expect him to be big.

But still. Even so. Why does this double standard prevail? In of all places the Pixies stage? The swutting Pixies. It’s always been about the music. Why, now, almost 20 years after their debut, 20 years after establishing themselves as being all about the music and not about their personal appearance, are people so quick to judge the one female member of the band on her looks? Nevermind that she is doing incredible things with the guitar individually and collectively with the band? Nevermind her male bandmates are escaping criticism for their looks?

Am I being a high horsed feminazi, or is this wrong and weird?

Is this a result of too much hotornot, this scary new dating site, People magazine, American Idol and MTV? Oh wait, MTV would have to actually play, you know, music videos to stand accused of media glamming. (I know, cavalier concept that. Music Television playing Music? Preposterous.) But has it really come to this? One of the last bastions of talent prevailing over style, the Pixies, or rather, Kim Deal, have now been beaten by the media glam machine?

If so, we’re in serious, serious trouble. Even more than I thought. I knew it was bad. I knew we were heading into some dangerously shallow (but pretty!) water in the gene pool. But now I’m afraid. Very afraid. Not just for my less than pretty self, but for the future of society. That pretty but shallow gene pool is going to be difficult and boring place to swim.

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1:35 PM

Thursday, July 28, 2005  
Void, of Course
You know the Seinfeld where George learns the key to success in his life? The one where he realizes he merely needs to do the exact opposite of what he would normally do?

Yeah. Well. That's kind of like what I've been doing.

With a special Trilian twist, of course.

I've always trusted my instincts/intuition. (They've rarely been wrong. If you really, really honestly listen to your own inner voice you'll probably find it's true for you, too, unless you're serial killer or FOX executive.) I have a (I think) a fairly good set of manners. Intuition and good manners will take you far in life. Or at least they won't take you to someplace bad. Or, well, someplace you shouldn't be and can't leave.

Events of my life in the past few years have been at times emotionally crippling. Okay. There. I said it. I'm not as strong as people seem to think I am. I have no idea how that rumor or perception ever came to be. I never pretended or claimed to be strong and able to get through anything. I never said I am weak, because I am not. But. I'm not exactly a solid fortress stoically standing unscathed when it comes to people who are important to me hurting me or being hurt themselves. Cynicism, sarcasm and general loathing and contempt for all things Trillian are coping mechanisms, a way to keep myself alive so that I don't hurt the people who care about me. There's a lot of pain in this world and the last thing I want to do is contribute to the difficult things my family and friends have to endure.

Right. So. Yeah. Things have been really, really, really, really, really awful. Really.

I've been trying really hard to figure out a way to either find some sort of fulfillment and satisfaction with my existing life (har har) or do what I need to do to change myself and my life so that I can find a way to find some fulfillment and satisfaction with a new life. I always take the "it's not them, it's me" attitude. If something's wrong, if something's weird, if something's difficult, I never assume someone else is at fault and always presume it's my expectations which are the root of the issue.

Mugged? It's not the mugger thug who's wrong, it's my fault for not expecting everyone to be a violent thief.

Job woes? It's not the idiot boss, demanding client or lazy coworker who are to blame, it's my fault for expecting them to do their jobs.

Dumped by fiancé? He's not to blame for the pain and tears which won't go away, it's my fault for expecting him to not hurt me.

See what I'm getting at here? It's about being responsible for yourself, your actions and your words, and that includes lowering expectations of other people.

I needed to reach a point where I lowered my expectations to a level where I had no expectations whatsoever. Which I think is a good way for me to be. No one can disappoint you when you expect nothing of them. You can't feel hurt or cheated or used or angry if you have no expectations. If you don't expect War of the Worlds to be a good movie, well, you certainly won't be disappointed and you can't complain or feel ripped off for paying $10 to see it.

I am hoping this will lead to a nice comfy void of emotions. Not an emotional void, that's another thing entirely. That's an empty space where there should be an emotion.

I was in pursuit of a state of being emotionally void. Altogether void of emotions. No ups, no downs. No laughter, no sorrow. No joy, no anger. No love, no hate. None of it.

This is seemingly easy for some people. I want to be one of them.

Because I am too emotional for my own good. I care too swutting much about other people. I'm not running for saint or martyr, so all this concern, compassion, passion and caring I have for other people is basically pointless. Oh sure, a few people were gaining from my excessive care, and a few people would (and will) remain in the small place which isn't void of feeling.

Come on, I'm realistic and I'm not trying to be cold and callous. I'm just trying to be void of emotion. If you have no emotion, you can't really be cold and callous, now can you? Cold and callous requires deliberate apathy. That's really quite emotional if you think about it. It takes a lot of emotional effort to ignore someone in need. You have to feel anger, hatred, resentment or apathy to ignore someone. That's not feeling nothing. That's feeling quite a lot.

The key to beginning my quest to a place of emotional void was to have zero expectations from anyone. It's not expecting the worst, it's expecting nothing at all. (Which, yes, in many cases is expecting the worst.)

That was quite easy for me. When you've been hurt and disappointed as often and as unexpectedly as I have in my life, having low expectations is all part of the cynical, sarcastic, pragmatic package which becomes your coping box. But because I hadn't yet set my goal for being void of emotion, there were a few people, family, close friends, HWNMNBS, who I trusted and let into my life and gave them my emotions and, well, naturally, that's when those nasty expectations rear their ugly heads.

Then, one day, after lots and lots of disappointments and hurts, poof! I realized, "Hey, Trill! You've done it! You honestly have absolutely zero expectations from anyone or anything. Congratulations!" Actually, it was more like, "Huh. I should really be bothered I got zero recognition for saving the company from a really nasty embarrassing situation and consequently keeping several people employed. But I didn't expect any recognition, verbal, written or monetary, so I'm not bothered in the least. In fact, I expected to get nothing and that's exactly what I've got so I'm genuinely not disappointed or hurt. I really do not care. I have no emotion about this. So. Hmmm. If you expect nothing, and you in fact get nothing, is that not actually having your expectations met? Technically, Trill, you're right. But. We're striving for a state of zero expectation so it's really more of a met aspiration than realized expectation." Yeah. You just think I haven't been writing.

There you go again with those expectations of yours.

So I've been in this really quite nice place of zero expectation. Unlike some people who have also found this key to emotional coping, I still maintain responsibility for myself and my actions. (see above, re: cold and callous) Some people have zero expectations of everything and everyone, and that includes themselves. They do not hold themselves to any level of expectation or standard. This gives them the personal freedom to be irresponsible. You've seen them. The crazy homeless people who want to live on the streets. The flake who works at the Walgreen's checkout and never says thank you or counts your change or even remotely acknowledges your existence. FOX network executives. Serial killers. They're not on drugs or stupid. Well. In a few cases they are. But at the core they simply have no expectations from you or themselves.

That ain't me, babe. All I want to be is void of emotions. Not irresponsible. That's where intuition and manners kick in. My intuition tells me I have to have a job to keep a roof over my head and food in Furry Creature's bowl. Manners tell me I have to play nice at work so that I keep that job which will almost pay me enough money to keep a roof over my head and food in Furry Creature's bowl.

Okay. So, what's this got to do with that episode of Seinfeld? Part of the long row of hurdles I had to jump was getting over my innate instincts. To extinguish all expectations I had to let go of some long held attachments. Friends who have not been exactly friendly. Family members who use or ignore me. Coworkers who don't grasp the concept of coworking.

Letting go of those attachments is really difficult for me. I'm a good and loyal friend, family member and colleague. That's not something I try to do. It's just the way I am. So I struggled with this. A lot. Because I am responsible.

But. George saved the day. I tried doing exactly the opposite of what I would normally do regarding some of these long held attachments and hence expectations. It felt unnatural and weird and awkward the first few times. I began with the coworkers in question because, well, let's face it, they're only coworkers. I'm not exactly winning popularity contests in the office anyway. Instead of expecting smelly coffee woman to appear in my office with yet another tirade or tale from the train, I expected nothing from her. So when she did appear with the smelly coffee and tyrannical tirade, I felt nothing. No anger, no resentment for being intruded upon. Nothing. That wasn't easy. Her coffee really stinks. And her tirades have been pretty bad lately. But eventually I got there. "Yeah, hi smelly coffee woman. Of course the guy on the train was a jerk. The alternative is to pay the $250 a month for a parking spot and drive to work. Bye, I have work to do." There must have been something noticeably different in my tone because after a few of these matter of fact but not quite rude comments, she began curtailing her morning rounds in my office. I expected nothing from her, and now, I get nothing from her.

The friends and family attachments have not been as easy. There is an innate level of expectation in close relationships, especially where there are other people involved whose attachment I am not endeavoring to sever. Manners. Responsibility. I'm making progress in the expectation area with them, though. And I'm feeling less used. So there's less resentment. Less emotion.

Yes! Further into the void of emotion. See?! It works. Simply because I took out as much expectation as possible and did the exact opposite of what I would normally do or what I thought I should do.

I stopped 50 First Dates. I was way too busy at work and with family and friend stuff to even meet for a drink after work. For several months my after work was around 10:00 PM after working 14 hours and I was in no mood for a first date.

Or was I? I think maybe I should have made more attempts at it when I was not only on the verge of my no expectation breakthrough but also making great progress in my void of emotion journey. Isn't it irritating when people use the term journey metaphorically? "Journey to enlightenment." "Long emotional journey." Ick. Normally I'd say I hate it when people do that, but hate is a strong and passionate emotion, and as we know, I am trying to be dispassionate and void of emotion. So let's try the opposite trick. I have no expectations in my abilities to write words which are not trite and annoying new age crap, and therefore, when I do write words which are trite, annoying new age crap, I cannot be upset, angered or annoyed with myself, the words, the bad metaphor or people who talk in new age clichés who are really to blame for the journey metaphor becoming cliché and bad in the first place. See? Isn't this fun? Sorting through doing the opposite and becoming void of emotion takes a lot of effort and thought, and by the time you sort it all out you kind of forget what emotion you were trying to void in the first place. Job done. Oh sure, there's still that personal responsibility thing, and the manners, so, sorry about the trite, stupid, cliché journey metaphor. I should have been more responsible with my words. Don't expect so much from me or my words and you won't be so annoyed when I write badly.

Right. Men. Maybe this was in fact the perfect time to meet men. "Look, this is the plain ugly truth. Take it or leave it. I expect nothing from you. Heck, I don't even expect you to show up for the date. You cannot possibly hurt me because, brother, I've endured the worst kind of pain there is and it was from someone I care a lot more about than I ever will you, so stay, leave, do or say whatever you want. Nothing you do or say will make me like you or hate you. Because I have no expectations from you."

I see you, I hear you thinking, geeze, Trill, why bother dating at all if that's your attitude?

Because we live in a two income society. If you are single and earn a middle income salary, you know exactly where I'm headed with this. Taxes, mortgages, heck, grocery prices, are based on two incomes. You can manage on one income. Barely. I've done it for years. I don't own a home and never will on my own. (No expectations there) I have to live on a very strict budget which leaves very little money for anything "fun." One unexpected doctor bill or repair bill or trip to the vet will completely blow the month's budget and cause you to stay in while your married, two income or at least lower taxed friends go out for dinner and drinks or go skiing for the weekend or buy a new car or pay $250 a month for a parking spot and luxury of driving to work. I'm of course talking about single people who do not have another source of income like parental bank rolling or an alimony check.

And that's why I am bothering to date. I need a financial partner, and we have to be married. He doesn't have to be "rich" he only needs to earn an average middle income. I have no expectations of him, from him or for him beyond that. If we like and trust each other enough to share financial burdens and the tax advantages marriage and a home can provide, I figure we like each other as much as most married couples. I do not want or need an emotional connection at this point or at any point in the future. I had an emotional relationship. I gave love and romance everything I had to give. And yet here I am single.

So yes, I am fully aware this is not exactly a romantic and ideal attitude. Bingo. That's exactly what I want and need.

Unfortunately HWNMNBS did something to me which cannot be undone. I thought it could. I thought time would heal things. Or at least numb them. Change them. Something. But it's not working out that way for me. I've tried. Oh supreme deity of your choice I have tried. I am convinced no one, ever, has made more sincere efforts and hard, honest work in this endeavor than I have. But he won't leave - or rather, my feelings for him won't leave.

I come and go with the idea of soul mates. I didn't believe in it until I met HWNMNBS. First of all, you have to believe you have a soul to have a soul mate. I'm not convinced we have souls. We have personalities, DNA, emotions and experiences which form the part of our being which isn't physical. But. Is that really a soul or just our emotional being? That's a philosophy for another day.

So the soul mate thing was always out of the question for me. At least until I met him and the facts stared me in the face through eyes the likes of which I had never seen before or since. (Ick. Bad writing. Sorry again. I'm telling you, lower those expectations of yours and we'll all be a lot more satisfied. You should see his eye, though, really, I mean, well, there's a reason why I can't let go of him and it begins with those eye.) So let's call it soul mate because that's the conventional term, not because I really believe in souls or souls predestined to be mated.

More or less.

Something about us, something about him, something about me, caused this thing to happen to my emotional self and it was apparently permanent. And leads me to believe that there are certain people who, well, should be together, whether it was predetermined or not. I thought, and still do think, we are perfect for each other. Oh. And. I love him. Which would have been okay and even necessary if the same thing had happened to him and we had gotten married as planned. But it didn't happen to him. Or it did but then it didn't or something. Who knows what happened to him. I can't really say. I can only be accountable and responsible for myself.

Since he dumped me I've trying to ignore, change, repress, suppress, digress, banish, edit or delete the thing that happened to me when we met.

It didn't work.

It's still there.

Apparently when I said that I loved him I meant that I loved him forever. (Okay, sorry again. Just stop expecting good writing from me, okay? Besides, I will allow myself to flagrantly hate REO Speedwagon. Sometimes, if I've been very good at oppositing and voiding of emotions I allow myself a petty hatred or love. This week I get to hate REO Speedwagon. A few weeks ago I got to love a pair of sandals on sale. It's a loose credit and demerit system I've worked out. I get demerits for emotions which leak out of the void, like a few weeks ago when I spent an hour crying over a certain someone whose name must not be spoken, I mean, it was weird, I'd been having an especially good run of voiding emotions through opposting, and just all of a sudden I couldn't stop thinking about him and missing him. So I got a lot of demerits for that. It took me a while to get out of the red in my account after that emotional episode.)

Right. Soul mates. Whatever. I love him, always will, my problem, not his, he's moved on, I can't, that's a problem, what do I do now?

I've finally I've hit upon something which seems to be working.

I am at a good level of understanding of my situation. For the first time in ages I feel like I have found a viable, non narcotic way to cope with my life. It's all very pragmatic and emotionally cold.

It's a game.

It's exactly the opposite of how I've lived my life thus far.

And that wasn't exactly working out well for me. So why not try the opposite way?

What I need to do now is find a man in the same situation, or just a man who is naturally pragmatic and cold. Which shouldn't be too hard to do, right? Don't women always complain that men are cold and emotionally distant? Yes, we do. So there should be a smorgasbord of men perfect for me. And as long as they're not hypocritical and are looking for nothing more than what they're giving emotionally, I should be perfect for them.

This should also eliminate all physical problems, too. I'm not expecting or even wanting them to find me attractive, and I don't expect to find them attractive. Sex would be nice, but not necessary. I've given up the hope for an emotional/romantic marriage, and consequently the desire and hope for children. I need to be married solely because I need a financial partner whom I can trust with my money, our money. Marriage gives us tax and financial benefits and real estate investment and retirement opportunities. (Yes, so would children, but they cost far more than that yearly deduction so really, not much financial advantage in having children. And I'm already making a mockery of marriage, I'm not going to drag children into the emotionally distant plan which is my life.) Plus sex for me is all about the emotional attachment and connection to the other person. Maybe, at some point, I'll reach supreme void of emotion and be able to separate emotions from sex and experience it as nothing more than a physical thing. You know, like most guys. But until I reach that assured void of emotion state, I'm thinking it's wise I stay on my course of unsexuality. This might be a problem, or maybe not. I hear a lot of women complaining their husbands aren't interested in sex, with them or any other woman. But there again, the right guy, a guy in my situation, wouldn't care and besides, I'm ugly, so that should turn him off and keep us in a void of emotion relationship.

Basically I'm trying to find a financially trustworthy unemotional guy who has a middle income job, plans to continue working, realizes the financial benefits of marriage, and doesn't care what I look like because he doesn't care if we have sex or not.

Which is pretty much what my new online profile says I'm looking for in a man.

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8:46 PM

 
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