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

 
Thursday, September 08, 2005  
The word for today is: Thievery.

I’ve had a lot stolen from me. Especially in the last year. The theft of the tangible items came with a monetary or financial asset loss. But you know, hey, it’s just money. They’re just things.

The intangible thefts came with a higher price tag. Mostly emotional losses.

And since I’m now striving to be void of emotion, those losses aren’t quite as difficult as they were. Another positive result of the no expectations, void of emotion stance. Feel the void. Be the void. Feel nothing. Be one with the nothingness. Ahhh. Yes. There it is.

The past few weeks have been emotion packed for me. And a lot of other people, too. I had to allow emotions because, well, there were emotion worthy people involved.

I’m dealing with my emotions, you know, as okay as can be expected. I’m now able to void them most of the day and take them out when I have me time. It was during one of those sessions with my emotions that I realized how much I’ve had taken from me. I thought about whether it was flat out thievery or if I was responsible for allowing the thievery to happen. Nah. I’m not about blame. I was just trying to learn any lesson that I should be learning. I haven’t chosen to be a victim, but then, I don’t think anyone does. And oddly, through the muggings, the break ups, the dumb stuff at work and in life I haven’t really felt victimized. Crap happens and a lot of crap happens to me. I accept that. Which could be the open back door which lets the thievery into my life.

Irony, thy name is Trillian.

I spent some time thinking about this. All the things I’ve had stolen from me and how I may or may not have been responsible for allowing the theft to happen. I was in the process of processing the lists, “my fault” and “not my fault” and trying to sort out the lessons I should learn from the thefts in the “my fault” column when blam! I had another theft.

It’s possible the Universe was proving a point. Because the timing was far too coincidental to be a coincidence. And we’ve establishing nothing is random.

The day after a night of heavy thinking about the thefts I had something huge stolen from me.

Something that was an outright theft. A calculated, premeditated, cut throat thievery.

My (needs a new nickname) boss has been stealing from me since the day she started her job as my boss. She exploits my ideas and projects as hers as a matter of course. She takes complete credit for nearly everything I do at work. There are a few areas which she seems to have known better than to try to pass off as hers. She’s a common thief, but she’s not always stupid. She’s smart enough to know how to not get caught. Which in this case means making sure she sucks up to and befriends the right people. The people who have a small amount of authority and zero awareness.

I don’t really mind that she steals credit for my ideas and work. The point of my job is to make the clients happy, to give them what they pay for and to do the best job I can for them. The petty grabs for personal credit inside the office are insignificant in the big picture. I know what I do, she knows what she doesn’t do. As the my supervisor she’s ultimately responsible for my work. Her taking credit for the idea or project could be construed as justifiable and even normal. She’s the boss, she accepts credit on behalf of the department. I get it. I understand. It doesn’t matter. I’m not in this for anything other than a paycheck.

It bothers me slightly that she trips over herself doling out enthusiastic credit to a few other staff people who happen to also be her personal friends. Especially when the enthusiastic credit is given for tasks which are rudimentary fundamental tasks. “Janey answered her telephone twice today! Everyone, gather round and thank Janey for doing such a fantastic job!” “Morgan ran into a client at the bar last night! Morgan has incredible networking skills! Let’s all give Morgan a big round of applause for his outstanding work above and beyond the call of duty!”

If you think I’m exaggerating to make a point, guess again.

We have an annual appraisal system which requires certain goals. As a supervisor one of her benchmarks is to recognize her underlings. She sends out these company wide emails to further her own cause. At review time she can prove she doles out a lot of praise on her underlings who are working really hard! See?! Answering phones and networking with clients! See? Her staff is motivated and hard working, all because of her guidance. And she recognizes and praises them for their hard work. She’s a good boss! There’s proof!

Interestingly, she has never, not one, sent an email or made a public comment about me or my work.

There is a person in my department who didn’t realize I worked for my (needs a new nickname) boss. This coworker came to me for help with something under someone else’s jurisdiction. When I told them I would help but that they might want to ask someone in that unit for more in depth help, they said, “You mean you don’t work for the Good Boss? I only asked you because I thought you were filling in while Good Boss was out of the office. You seriously work for (needs a new nickname) boss? Really? I guess I should pay more attention to the org chart. Wow. I mean, I just didn’t realize you worked for her. Huh.”

Out of the mouths of the innocent and into the ears of the defeated.

I knew about the lies and bogus claims on (needs a new nickname) boss’ resumé and knew exactly what I would be dealing with when she began the job. She has nothing of her own to offer so she makes up lies and steals credit from other people to seal or further her success. I saw through her like glass and I’ve accepted and dealt with it. This isn’t a movie, this is real life. And in real life I need to keep my job. In real life there’s not a sexy leading man to help me foil her in a big finale confrontational scene. In real life I am not afraid to confront her about her lies but I see no point in it.

Let’s just say I were to talk to her about it.

“Hi (needs a new nickname) boss. Twinkie? Say, you know, here’s something. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about all the lies you tell, in particular the stealing of credit for work I do. It’s not that I mind you taking credit on behalf the department or that I’m even really bothered when you blatantly lie and say you worked all weekend to finish a project when in fact it was me who sacrificed their weekend. No, that’s okay. I understand you have your own personal agenda. But I was rather hoping that in the future when an award with a monetary prize is given to a project which I actually completed you might share some of that wealth with me. What’s that? A trip to Paris? Oh. Yes. Of course. Your vacation plans. Quite a little trip your taking! Sounds like fun. Two whole weeks, eh? Wow. That’ll be great. You don’t say? I hear the Loire Valley is lovely this time of year. Yes, I can see where that prize money would come in handy.”

She knows she’s lying. I know she’s lying. She knows she accepted an award and prize money for something she didn’t even know existed until her boss told her it was nominated for an award.

Is it really fraud? The name on the award is hers, but right below it is our company and the name of the project. She accepted the award on behalf of our company. She accepted the money for herself. But she’s not misrepresenting the company, she’s misrepresenting herself. It’s life. It happens all the time.

What happens to the award and money after it’s presented is only relevant to the people who benefit from it. The rest of us just move along with our lives.

Oh sure, there’s a much bigger business ethics issue here. The money isn’t any more mine than it is hers. If it weren’t for my company and the client the project wouldn’t have crossed my path or hers. In a truly altruistic and fair world, that money would go to a charity or company fund. Or a party for the department. Or one of many other ideas which have nothing to do with her exotic vacation.

But to slate her out about it would be to impose my ethics on someone who clearly adheres to a different code of conduct. She can reason and justify anything because she doesn’t care about anyone other than herself. She’s a liar and a thief. And a scoundrel, too.

Let’s say I had that little talk with her. Then what?

Did I mention I need my job? Did I mention none of this really matters to me? Did I mention she’s an habitual liar? And a thief?

It’s just interesting all of this happened a few days after I started thinking about everything that’s been stolen from me.

“Oh, here! Add this to the list!” the Universe said. "There's no lesson to be learned. There are liars and scoundrels and selfish people. They will take whatever they want for their personal gain. You cannot apply your morality on other people. You are responsible only for yourself and your actions. There are always choices. The choices here are quit or accept her as is. Or accept her as is until you find another job so you can quit. She will continue to steal from you because she can. You could slate her out but be sure you have your motivations clear. Define your objective and seek to obtain it or just go about your normal business and do everything you can to leave."

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1:28 PM

Tuesday, September 06, 2005  
Last Night Dreamt Somebody Loved Me
I go through spurts of dreaming. They’re usually just bits and pieces, flashes of images none of which relate to each other. Sometimes the dreams aren’t even visual, they’re just ideas, thoughts. Words. Stuff I don’t usually remember except for a loose idea or concept or color.

I put no prophetic stock in dreams. They are merely ideas and memories allowed to romp and play at will with imagination while the body is sleeping. Or at least in my case that’s the case.

And then there are the nightmares. Which are, well, nightmarish. Well. They used to be nightmarish. Scary. Weird. Wake up gasping and shaking scary. But over the past few years the line between nightmare and real life has become very blurred. The unpleasant visages I have while I’m sleeping are much less terrifying since my waking hours have become so unpleasant. Some of the nightmares are almost comedic compared to what I go through during an average week of waking hours.

So it’s very funny/surprising/interesting that I had a bona fide dream. A dream complete with story line, video, and narration. Or. Well. Not so much narration as real time thoughts as the visuals played out their scenes.

As dreams go I suspect it was actually quite short. I suspect other people have longer (and more interesting) dreams. But for me it was a very long dream. A full length live action drama feature instead of an animated short feature. Which in itself is kind of interesting. Because it means that I was actually sleeping long enough to have a full length feature dream. (Note to self: Staying awake 72 hours with only a few catnaps + one glass of wine = full length feature dreams.)

I was near death tired. Things have been hectic and stressful in Trillville. (even more than usual) Places to go, people to see, things to do. All of it emotionally (yes, emotionally) stressful and difficult. All of it a balancing act between staying calm in a crisis and dealing with some heavy emotional issues. All the while carrying my own physical and metaphorical baggage, taking care of myself because I am: Solitary Woman.

I have a great family and friends, but at the end of the day I am alone in bed with no shoulder to cry on, no arms to hold me and no back to help carry the bags. I’ve been aware and okay with this all my life. Independent. Capable. Strong willed. I can take care of myself emotionally and physically. I have to because with a few exceptions with HWNMNBS there’s never been anyone consistently there, you know, really there on that deep caring level, to share my burdens.

Well. That’s not entirely fair. My parents have always been there for me. Not in bed, but you know, in every other way. But. Well. One of the emotional bags I’m having to carry around a lot lately is the fact that my parents are getting older. As in getting older and less able. As in physically and emotionally vulnerable. As in the roles are reversing. I find myself sharing less and less with them in order to protect them. I don’t want them to worry about me so, well, I lie to them. “Everything’s great! Work is really swell! Having loads of fun! You know me, carefree and fun loving Trill! Every day a new adventure! Yep! Things couldn’t be better!”

I don't usually talk to them with so many exclamation points because my parents aren’t stupid. They know me. They know I don’t go around speaking in exclamation pointed statements. Out of respect for them I would just say nothing and give an “everything’s fine, same old, same old” remark to their queries about my well being and let them fill in the blanks any way they chose.

But now I hear myself giving over exuberant answers and even outright lies to them. I find myself trying to reassure them that I’m one thing they don’t have to worry about, one thing that is stable and reliable in their increasingly changing lives. Because I know they worry about me a lot. I know for all their pushing me to be independent, responsible and capable they worry about me being single. They worry about me being alone. They worry that my solitary life is somehow their fault. They worry that they did something wrong, maybe taught me to be too capable, too independent, and now I am unable to form and maintain a marriage. For all their modern ideas, they’re still very old school in the whole marriage, home and children are what means the most in life philosophy. They pity anyone who doesn’t have those things. So I’ve been working harder at reassuring them that I’m okay and everything’s great (!) and really, I’m okay. The no expectation, no emotion thing is helping with that, too.

Yeah. Lots of baggage there. Lots of baggage. And that’s just one bag. I’m lugging around an entire set of crammed full Hartmann these days.

Which is why I’m sleeping even less than usual, and why, I think, I had a full feature length dream when I finally did sleep for longer than an hour.

And why I had the type of dream I had.

This was a rare peek into a deep, dark corner of my brain.

It was vivid and seemed so real and, well, it might actually have been a nightmare in pleasant dream’s clothing.

Intrigued?

Here’s the dream.

It was a pleasant afternoon in Chicago. Bright blue sky, big puffy white clouds, gentle breeze, perfect temperature for a light sweater, the Lake a spectacular shade of blue green with glints of reflected sunlight dancing on the surface. I was on my way home from work. I was smiling and feeling really good about my accomplishments in the office.

This was my first clue that something was horribly wrong in this dream and that it was in fact, a dream. I’m usually conscious enough in my dreams to know I’m dreaming. I know, I know, I can’t relax and let go even when I do sleep. Control issues for $500 please, Alex. Hey. You live a life like mine and see what coping skills you develop. I learned a long time ago to be prepared for anything because everything can and will probably happen.

Right. The dream. I was feeling really good. You know that chest swelling with pride and joy feeling? Yeah. I know. I don’t get that feeling very often so in my dream it was actually kind of uncomfortable. The conscious part of me I thought maybe it was heartburn from the wine I had before falling asleep. But I could tell from the smile on my face I didn’t have heartburn and, well, I was feeling good. I was feeling a lot of emotions. I was just feeling, well, good. It soon became obvious I the breeze I was feeling was the wind in my hair because I was driving a convertible. You heard me. A convertible. Car. I was driving a convertible up Lake Shore Drive. I was going home from work in my new car.

This is the part where I think I laughed out loud at myself and the dream. It wasn’t just any old convertible. It was a brand new Z4. Silver/gray metallic, 3.0i. Naturally. Yes. In my dream I knew it was a 3.0i. Hey. I’m very detail oriented. One of many things you don’t know about me is that even though I covet very few luxury items, a BMW Z4 never fails to make my heart skip a beat, then race, (thump thump, thump thump, thumpity thump thump), a slight tingling sensation fills my body, my pupils dilate, sometimes I drool, and then I am filled with a feeling akin to sexual desire. (Is it hot in here?)

Right. So in my dream I was driving up Lake Shore Drive on a perfect puffy cloud afternoon in my new Z4 after a satisfying and fulfilling day at work.

Yep. That’s a dream, all right.

And I knew it was a dream.

In my dream I knew I was dreaming. I felt so good. I was afraid I’d wake up or something would go horribly wrong in the dream, but I felt good and I didn’t want it to end.

So I clung to the steering wheel, I mean really, really clung to the steering wheel because I wanted to remember what it felt like to feel that way. The car was obviously a tangible metaphorical manifestation for the feelings I represented in the dream. The feeling of a job I enjoy. The feeling of success. The feeling of feeling good and at peace. Yes. I was aware of this even as I dreamed. And I didn’t want to wake up so I clung to the steering wheel. I remember smiling a lot.

And then it happened. I came around the curve on Lake Shore Drive and headed to my compartment building. Hey. At least success hasn’t spoiled me completely. It’s not going to my head. I’m still renting. Though I did have some conscious concerns as I dreamt that bit. Why and how would I buy a $40K car instead using that money for a down payment on a home? Doesn’t seem very practical or, well, you know, financially sound to splash out for a $40K car instead of putting that money toward a home. Much as I covet a Z4, I am really worried about a roof over my head and owning a home, four walls and roof, when I am old and unable to work.

But hey. It’s a dream and it feels so good so just go with it. Which I did. I let go. I went with it and enjoyed the ride. And it got better.

I turned the corner and started thinking about my day at work. Except it wasn’t normal work. It was a different office with different people. A new job! Of course! That explains it! I got a new job! A job I like! A job which makes me think in exclamation marks! Wow! That feels really good! I had a ton of stuff to talk about my day at work, at my new job! I couldn’t wait to tell him about my day work.

Scratch of record.

Him?

Him who?

Who’s him?

What him?

You mean I got a great new job, an object I covet and a man??!!!! Holy too much to dream last night, Batman! This is verging on obscene. I know I’ve been repressing a lot lately, but sheesh, this is getting grotesque.

I was still clinging to the wheel, looking out over the shiny hood of the Z4, feeling happy, feeling satisfied, feeling, well, something. I wasn’t sure what. Something different. Something good but very different.

And then, in my dream, I was in my compartment except it was a two bedroom and it was nicely decorated, the sun was streaming in off the Lake through the panorama windows, Furry Creature was there, (Toto, too) and as I fed him in the kitchen I talked to someone, him, in the living room. I don’t know what I said. I just know we were having a conversation and I was feeling even better and, oddly, still clinging to that steering wheel, I remember thinking, “I can’t believe I have a Z4! And a new job! This has to be a dream!” and the conscious part of me thought, duh, you idiot, yes it is a dream but enjoy it because it’s the closest you’ll ever get to any of this.

And then this is the sort of weird part. Well. I mean, okay, it was all weird. But this part was really weird. In my dream the guy came up behind me and put his arms around me and I stood there with that dumb over euphoric “I love you” look on my face (I know, blech) and I started telling him about the dream I had which was the dream I’d just had. Right down to clutching the steering wheel, I stood there telling him about the dream and the feelings with my arms outstretched and my fists clenching the imaginary steering wheel. I told him, like I told you, about feeling good and my new job and the weird unknown feeling which I suddenly knew to be: Normal.

Yep. I felt normal. And it was thrilling and fulfilling and good.

And the last time I felt even close to normal was with HWNMNBS. And yes. Of course, the dream guy was him. I didn’t actually see him, I just knew it was him. It felt like him. The ear bite kiss, the wanting to hear every detail, the hands on my elbows while I clutched the imaginary steering wheel – all his trademarks. It was him all right. Or the essence of him. The idea of him. The comfort of him.

Repressed issues with a side of delusion, please.

As much as I was enjoying it, as much as it seemed real and felt so good I knew I had to wake up sometime and I knew sooner was better than later. I knew there was serious danger in staying in this dream too long. I knew this little trip to Fantasy Island was a much needed escape from the stress and emotion of the past few weeks. I knew exactly what was going on there. And I knew I had to leave.

I was aware it was a dream and I knew it was going to turn sinister. I was conscious enough to brace myself for the sure to be evil and scary plot twist.

Or the reality of waking up and dealing with real life. Which is actually the nightmare.

I chose to wake up happy, fists clenched so tight there were deep marks where my nails dug into my palms, still clinging to that steering wheel not wanting to let go out of fear of waking up and losing that feeling. Normal. Happy. Normal.

As good as that dream was, as good as I felt, as much as I am clinging to those feelings as tightly as I clung to that steering wheel, the nightmare of my daily reality keeps slapping me awake. Which makes me think that this little slice of mortal normalcy was in fact a nightmare for me.

Everything in that dream is completely unattainable for me. Or, well, at least very elusive and improbable. It's cruel and mean to taunt anyone with the improbable, especialy where emotions are involved.

Voila! Welcome to my nightmare.

And with that I now realize the cycle is near complete. The pleasant and normal is now a cruel nightmare and joke for me. Normal has become the stuff of fantasy inspired dreams teasing me when I'm trying to sleep. Ha ha, you felt good for a few minutes but it's not real! You have to wake up and face your abnormal unfeeling life now! Bwa ha ha! Let the nightmare continue!

Dr. Freud will see you now, Ms. McMillian.

10:49 AM

Sunday, September 04, 2005  
People are weird. We know this. Human behavior is curious, funny, bizarre....

My family is going through a difficult ordeal. An ordeal which involved a funeral. Naturally there were a lot of emotions involved, most of them unpleasant or at least very difficult.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I've got it all wrong. Or confused.

But.

Can someone please explain why people bring cameras and take photos at funerals?

Not one. Not two. THREE people brought cameras to the funeral home and/or funeral. And wanted to take photos of the family. All three of these people know about the events leading up to the funeral and what my family is enduring. All three know we have been under a tremendous amount of emotional stress and upset. All three know these were not exactly our finest hours. And yet they had their cameras at the ready and wanted us to gather round for group photos.

"It's rare that you're all together, let's get a few of all of you together!" they enthusiastically encouraged.

Oh yes, let's do that! Let's mark this occasion with photographs! The red and swollen eyes, the mouths which are unable to produce a smile, the pale and tired skin, the head to toe black and dour clothes, the bodies so tired they're weak and barely standing, yes! Yes! Let's capture this special time! Let's mark this momentous occasion with a photograph or two! Line up by those gorgeous flowers. The ones sent out of sympathy. The ones around the casket.

Fortunately none of the three photographers were the type who photograph the deceased person. I have witnessed this special breed of weirdness. Fortunately not at a funeral of a family member or close friend. I'd heard about people doing this but I suspected it was a myth, a suburban legend. But I saw it. Someone walked right up to the casket, gave the deceased the beatific "finally at peace" look and then produced a camera and snapped a photo of the dearly departed. I didn't know this particular dearly departed. I was merely a colleague of the deceased's daughter. But I felt a lot of emotions over the photographer's desire to snap a photo of the deceased.

I'm a very snappy person. I like photos and the process of photography. But. Even I have my limits. I do not want a photo of a dead person, no matter how much I liked, loved or hated them when they were alive. I do not want photos of my family and friends when they are going through difficult times. And I cannot understand why anyone else would.

What do people do with photos of dead people in caskets? Do they put them in special scrapbooks? Frame them? Put them on the fridge? Turn them into holiday greeting cards?

I know the crapbooking thing is reaching a fever pitch. I am sure there are crapbookers out there who think a poem and special thoughts adorning a casket shot of the deceased would make a touching and fitting tribute and final page to a crapbook. If you're nodding in agreement, wishing you'd thought to take a camera to gran's funeral, you're at the wrong blog. If you're sitting there thinking, "This crapbook thing really is getting out of hand..." follow me.

It goes back to the whole respect and taboo topic issues. People take liberties with dignity and respect in the name of their hobby. They're enthused with their interest/hobby and stop at nothing in their pursuits of fancy. Zeal and passion are fine. Good for those who have passion over anything. I used to be that way. I understand. It's fun. It makes life interesting. But. When courtesy and respect is sacrificed in the name of enthusiasm there's a problem.

There should be 12 step programs for hobbiests/enthusiasts who take their interests too far. The ones who throw respect and dignity out the window in their dogged pursuits. Like alcoholics, the ones who are in most need of help are the ones who don't realize they have a problem. The solution to this is intervention. I proposed one for one of the funeral photographers. Many in my family thought it would be a good idea, but wouldn't back me up in deed. Intervention might not work very well with this person. The best solution in that case is to steal the camera. But for other rude hobbiests, a 12 step program might be a good idea.

"Hello. My name is Sue and I'm a scrapaholic. (Hi Sue) I have a problem. (What's your problem, Sue?) I take photos of everything for the sole purpose of creating crapbook pages. (That doesn't sound so bad...) I don't enjoy the moments or events as they happen, I record them to enjoy later. But I never look at the crapbook once it's finished. (Oh dear.) But I make other people look at it. Even and especially complete strangers. (God help you, Sue.) I want to stop, but I can't. My home is filled with crapbook supplies and my vacations are spent at crapbooking conventions. I hit rock bottom when I made a crapbook of my crapbooks."

Meanwhile, back at Trillian's life, I received an email from one of the photographers. No "sorry for your loss" or "in this time of sorrow" but instead, "great to see you and your family! Your father gave me your email address!" Attached were several photos of my family. At a funeral home. During visitation for deceased family member. Here I am trying to move on, trying to get through the grieving and mourning phases, and there, bringing all the pain and sadness of the funeral are photos of my family and I in the midst of the funeral process. The (I guess) well meaning photographer/friend thinks only of the fact that they've snapped a rare photo of most of my family altogether. They're proud to have accomplished this feat. They think we'll be delighted to have these photos. They don't consider the occasion or what we're going through and the reason we were together.

Is it rudeness if a person is ignorant? Except where the camera is concerned, this person is otherwise a thoughtful and kind person. So I am making myself believe they have nothing but kind intentions in this.

I deleted the email and the photos. I have enough painful memories, thanks, I'll do just fine on my own without the aid of photographs marking the occasion.

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9:00 AM

 
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