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

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






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

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

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

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




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

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

200i: iPodyssey

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

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

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

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

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

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

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

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

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

Slanglish

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


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

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

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

Lap Dance of the Cripple

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

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

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

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

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

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

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


















 
Mail Trillian here





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

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


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

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

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

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


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



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

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




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





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







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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Tuesday, September 13, 2005  
Crash
It’s official. I’ve had the worst date of my life. I thought it would take a lot to top some of the really bad dates I've had. I knew there was potential for worse dates, I mean, I wasn't naive, I knew in the history of dating there have been some really awful dates.

But I've reached a new pinnacle of personal unsuccess.

Oh sure, there’ve been some bad dates, some awful dates, some rude dates, some laughable dates, some heartbreaking dates…but none, out of the vast range of dates I’ve had can possibly compare to this one.

The only way it could have been worse is if I’d ended up dead.

Which, actually, might not have been such a bad thing. I’m not actually certain living to tell is a good thing in this case.

Wavy dream flashback screen.

A few months ago I went to a work event. A big shindig. A swanky do. A grand fete. While there I saw a colleague. A woman I worked on a project with a few years ago. We got along quite well during the project but didn’t keep in touch after it’s completion. Which is cool, you know, we’re both busy, blah blah whatever whatever. Anyway, it was nice to see her again and she seemed pleased to see me, too. We had a drink and talked and caught up with our lives. Her: New husband, new house, new job, new dog. Me: New apartment. Same old, same old. Man I hate how everyone else’s lives keep evolving while mine stays stuck in yesterday. Anyway. While we were talking a guy came up to her and said, “Sorry to interrupt, but I thought you might want to know (a client) is getting ready to leave and you might want to say good-bye.”

I vaguely remembered the interrupter as a colleague of my colleague’s. We met once at an event a few years ago. I had no idea what his name was.

My colleague said, “Oh! Dirk! Thank you! Excuse me for a minute, Trill, I really need to get in a parting face shot with the client. Difficult project. You know.”

“Oh boy, do I.” I empathetically replied.

“Trill, this is Dirk. Dirk, Trillian. She’s cool. You’ll like her. Save my place.”

While flattering, I guess, I am not fond of these sorts of introductions. It puts a lot of pressure on me to be cool and likeable. Which is difficult for me because I am not cool and likeable. At least not at first blush. Or often at any blush. I have to work really hard at making good first impressions anywhere outside of work. Work I can handle. If she’d said, “Dirk, this is Trillian. She’s responsible and professional.” I could handle it with ease and confidence. But cool and likeable? I mean, that’s a tall order. Shyness that is criminally vulgar and all that. You know. Performance pressure. I don’t want to let her down and make her look like a liar or a fool by not being cool or likeable, yet, this is the first I’ve learned of her feelings toward me, so, you know, we’re sort of all starting from scratch, here. Yeah. Socially awkward. That’s me. Ugly and socially awkward. What a great way to go through life.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I’m still single.

Dirk smiled and offered to refresh my drink. Yes! Yes! Kill some time until the colleague returns! I’d rather stand here alone than try to make cool and likeable conversation with a guy I’ve just been presented to as cool and likeable. (High marks for Dirk! Dirk is cool and likeable by offering to gracefully bow out, do me a favor of refreshing my drink and hopefully taking long enough for colleague to have returned.)

Unfortunately Dirk discovered the bar on the other side of the room didn’t have a line and he returned really fast.

Dirk seemed nice. Turns out he’s one of those people who talks a lot. To anyone. So all I had to do was be a good listener, smile, nod and laugh at an occasional anecdote.

My colleague returned. There was a more conversation, we finished our drinks, said good-bye and we dispersed to attend to our individual professional responsibilities.

A few weeks later I was at a fundraiser.

Yep. Dirk was there. He came right up to me and said we had to stop meeting like that because people would talk.

“Talk about what?” I said, which is my pat answer to that stupid line.

“About how we’re abusing these work events for our personal gain. There are laws, you know.”

Okay. Fair enough. Unflinching and quick on the uptake. More points for Dirk for handling the humorless bitter shrew who he was trying to talk to out of professional politeness.

“You’re right. If the IRS finds out we’re not actually networking for business they’ll audit us for all these glasses of cheap wine we’re drinking for pleasure.” I responded, trying to lighten my attitude.

“That guy over there looks suspiciously like an inside operative.” Dirk said while giving a mock evil eye to a guy who did, in fact, look suspicious.

“IRS agent?” I queried.

“Worse. Tax accountant.” Dirk deadpanned.

Ha ha ha. Laugh laugh laugh. Good to see you again. Blah blah. Blah.

“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a crappy business like this?” he asked.

“Deep creative fulfillment.” I sardonically replied. Looking back on it, I might have slurred that statement because the food had not yet appeared and the second glass of cheap wine was going straight to my mouth. I opted for as few words as possible just in case, “You?”

“The glamour. Cheap booze and women. What else?”

I raised my glass to him, “To cheap booze and cheaper women! God love ‘em and keep ‘em coming.” I am quite certain I slurred that toast.

“Cheers and amen!” he clinked my glass and gulped down his drink.

The buffet opened and a coworker grabbed me to help with a crisis which was, in fact, a rather serious and sobering problem.

I didn’t see Dirk again that night. But then I wasn’t actually looking for him.

A few days later, back in the office, I got an email.

“Hi Trill. I hope you don’t mind. Colleague gave me your email address. Instead of arousing suspicion of colleagues and the IRS, would you like to have drinks at a real bar after work? – Dirk”

“Hi Dirk,
Hmmmm. Well. I mean. I really am quite fond of cheap wine, stale buffet food and mingling with clients and colleagues with a smile pasted on my face, but for you I might make an exception. When and where?
Trillian”


I know what you might be thinking. You might be thinking I came off sounding over eager or perhaps even desperate.

Uh, have you actually read the blog? I am swutting desperate and consequently way over eager.

No, Dirk didn’t move me in any special Z4 kind of way. No I hadn’t thought about him after either meeting at either function. No, he’s not Mr. Right or even Mr. Eh, Whatever, Who Cares, He’s Got a Job and Seems to be Healthy. But I’m in no position to be picky or even care about any particulars of any man. Especially a man who shows interest in me. I’m not in it for love or fun anymore. I’m in it for financial and social stability. Dirk already knows the sort of events I have to attend. He understands the stupidity that goes on at these things and how much easier it is when you have a spouse to deflect the would be gossip and catty remarks which have nothing to do with the reason you’re all there in the first place which is work. I wouldn’t have to break him into anything work-wise. He gets it. He knows. He may even have reached the same conclusions I have.

Yes. Yes. Now that I think about it perhaps this Dirk fellow isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Or is he?

What do I really know about him? Nothing. He used to work with a former colleague. He travels in some of the same professional circles I do. He’s my age or older. Yeah. That’s pretty much all I know about him.

Which is a lot less than I know about the men I have met online, by the way. For those of you still keeping score, I’m stuck on #39. Because unfortunately, or fortunately, online dating sites are very useful for screening out the “this will never work” dating possibilities. And lately I’m not meeting anyone except men who, well, it will just never work. Mostly my fault, by the way. A reflection on my bad attitude. It’s not them, it’s me. And boy a lot of men smoke. And hate cats.

If I’d had the opportunity to screen Dirk the way I screen men online I can now firmly say I never would have agreed to that drink after work.

But I did.

And it went, you know, okay. It was kind of weird. Awkward. Because once the intent and interest is put out there, it’s a whole different vibe. And for some reason my colleague’s voice was echoing in my ears, “She’s cool. You’ll like her.” I should have asked her for background on Dirk. But, you know, I mean, that would be weird, too. And juvenile. And just completely not my style. So there I was once again feeling very, very, very stupid and shy and uncool and unlikeable. Booze! Yes! Booze! Booze will help! Booze helps everything!

Apparently Dirk feels the same way. Perhaps even more than I do.

One drink turned into two, and then another and another for Dirk. I stopped at two. Hey. I needed to loosen up not let loose.

We mainly talked about work. A little about school. Where we live, where we have lived. But mainly work. Which is a huge danger in going out with someone you meet via a work related function. Your conversations will naturally always swing back to work. I don’t exactly enjoy my job. So it’s not exactly something I want to think about when I’m not actually at work.

Dirk had to leave because he was going out of town the next morning. He offered to cab me home. I opted to walk myself home. There was a polite Doris Day approved kiss on the corner and a casual wave good-bye as we went our separate ways.

Hmmm, thought I. Two hours with the guy and I still know less about him than anyone I’ve met online. Is that weird? Or is it actually normal? Maybe it just seems weird because I've become so used to knowing things like a man's age, if he smokes, whether or not he wants children, maybe a bit about his religious beliefs or lack thereof, possibly something about his political views, maybe some of the books he likes...yeah, you can learn a lot of basic information about people on online dating sites. Providing they don't lie, of course. But there's as much risk of someone lying face to face as there is online.

And so what, right? Oh sure, he seems nice enough. I guess. Maybe. I mean, well, how would I know if he’s nice? He wasn’t rude or mean, but he wasn’t working a shelter kitchen, either. Whatever.

I walked home and collapsed into the pit of despair otherwise known as my living/dining room combination. Another date, another drink, another night wondering how the swut my life ended up like this. This is definitely not how I ever thought it would be. If I'd ever thought I'd be like this, now, I would have killed myself a long time ago. Hey, it's never too late.

The next day I got an email from Dirk.

“Hi Trill, thanks for meeting after work! It was fun! Would you like to have dinner this weekend?”

Yeah. Lots of !s. Shudder.

“Hi Dirk,
I had fun, too. (did I? Did I
really? I mean, I didn’t not have fun, but I wasn’t exactly swooning home all giddy about the possibilities of Dirk. But does that mean I didn’t have fun? No, of course not. I just didn’t have that special sparks are flying on this date kind of fun. Besides, what am I supposed to say, ‘I didn’t have fun?’ I mean, I could, but I wouldn’t. Right. Okay. Move on.) Dinner would be great! (Apparently !s are contagious.) I’m free Saturday. Trillian”

“Great! I’ve got this great place in mind, but it’s way up on the North side. How about if I pick you up around 6?”

Uh oh. The pick up. I never, ever allow a pick up before at least three dates. It's just my rule. I'm not comfortable in a car with anyone I don't know. I'm not comfortable having a man I've just met know where I live. I feel slightly more at ease about this now that I have a door man and a very secure building. But. Still. A pick up? Which will probably also mean a drop off. Which will also mean all the do you want to come up (or not) weirdness, especially since unless Dirk reveals himself to be, well, unless he reveals a lot more than he has, there is no way he’s “coming up” for “coffee” or anything else.

“Hi Dirk, Thanks, Saturday’s kind of hectic for me. Can I meet you there? Trillian”

“Is 7 better for you? It’s way North and I can just swing by your place on the way. Dirk”

Oh swut. The other night over drinks I told him, roughly, where I live. Cripes. That’s it. No more booze for me unless it’s in the safety and solitude of my own pit of isolation and despair.

Let me again state, even after after-work drinks, apart from work stuff, I still know less about Dirk than I do any man I’ve met online.

Nothing was really intriguing me about him or attracting me to him. On the other hand, he wasn't boring or unattractive to me, either. I simply had no feelings about him whatsoever.

EUREKA!!!! Woohoo! I have no feelings about him or for him! He's perfect for me! !s are contagious!

So in the spirit of doing the opposite of what I'd normally do and having no expectations, good or bad, I accepted his offer.

"7 sounds great. I'll be in the lobby, there's a drive up, here's the address. Trillian"

I did the opposite of what I'd normally do, had no expectations or emotions, and didn't think about it again until Saturday.

So what if I don't know much about him? We know a lot of the same people via work. If he tries something really stupid I'll have some good blackmail on the guy. Chances are good we'll spend another evening talking about work and that will be that.

Oh were that to be the case. Oh for those innocent days of ignorance.

Let me introduce you to:

Dirk the Jerk.

As you will note in the email I sent him, I stated 7 would be good and I would be waiting in the lobby for him to drive up.

As you will note in the other email I sent him, I stated that I had a hectic day Saturday.

Which I did.

At 6:30 I was thinking, "Okay, Trill, you've got 15 - 20 minutes to make a final decision on your hair and makeup."

Because I’d been rushing around all day and because, well, okay, I admit, I wasn't very enthused or motivated for the date. Remember, I felt nothing for this guy. So mustering any sort of enthusiasm or concern for anything date related was difficult.

Fortunately I was dressed and semi-ready to go at 6:35 when the doorman rang me and said I had a visitor named Dirk who wanted to come up.

Come up? Come up??? I said I'd be in the lobby at 7. If he got here early he could wait in the drive up for me. But no. He barged in and wants to come up!

yeah. I know. I should lighten up a little.

Normally I'm not at all uptight about this stuff. Normally, if I were excited for the date, I would have been ready at 4:00.

It just, well, it just bothered me. I didn't have a good feeling about it. Yes. A feeling. I didn't have a good feeling.

But I'm doing the opposite of what I'd normally do! No expectations, Trill, no expectations.

I had to mad dash do something with my hair so I told the door man to send him up thinking I’d buy a few minutes of preparation time.

Knock knock.

Dirk's there.

Dirk who?

Dirk the Jerk.

"Hiya Trill baby, hope you don't mind I'm a few minutes early. I got us a little something for later, or now, if you want," he said as he proffered a bottle of wine at me.

"Something for later???" Excuse me???

Okay. I know. I should be really happy and feel very lucky there's a man on the planet who wants to do something with me later. Anything later with a man is better than the nothing I usually do. Even if it does involve alcohol. I'm in no position to be particular or prudish. I'm in no position to be anything other than ready, willing and happy for any second of attention I get from a man. I should be eager to take anything I can get.

It's just. Well. That bad feeling. Yes. Feeling.

I tried to ignore the feeling, tried to do the opposite of what I'd normally do. Tried to be normal and at least not rude to a gentleman caller gracing my compartment.

But. Well. It bugged me. He bugged me.

Pull yourself together, Trill. This is why you are single. This is one of the things that's seriously wrong with you. You've got a man in your home bearing alcohol for later. When was the last time that happened? Seriously, Trill, you desperately need this so get over this feeling and stop being bugged, think and do the opposite of what you'd normally do and do not allow any expectations or emotions to mess up this date.

"Oh, gee, thanks, that's swell. Do you want to open it now?" I asked.

"It's up to you, my dear."

I'm not your anything, certainly not dear. He didn't say it in that cute kind of nervous way some guys do. He said it almost cockily. Like Cary Grant minus the charm, looks, humor and, well, anything remotely Cary Grant. Guys, again, learn. Learn. You are not Cary Grant or Maurice Chevellier. You are not even Omar Sharif or Harrison Ford. And you cannot pull this off with a girl you barely know without sounding like a jerk or an idiot or both. There are exactly three men I know in real life who can pull this off on the first few dates. And only one of them is under the age of 50. Just. Don't. Do. It.

I noticed he had very, very, very minty breath. Half a tin of Altoids, no doubt. Yes. High marks for that.

"We could take it with us and have the waiter cork it for us..." I offered.

"Whatever you wish, my dear."

Okay. Really. Dude. Stop it. Just because I agreed to have dinner with you doesn't give you ownership rights.

Chill, Trill, chill. I have no idea why this guy was bugging me so much other than, well, he just was. I tried to adjust my attitude and firmly affixed myself in a vow to do all things opposite.

Furry Creature entered the entry. He sauntered up and sat down and did that cat looking up and blink thing cats do as a way of introduction.

“You have a cat,” Dirk stated flatly. Wow. He’s a clever, perceptive and observant one, this Dirk.

By the tone of his voice I knew he is not fond of cats. I knew if I wanted to impress him I would say, “He’s not mine! I’m keeping him for a friend!” But I’m not into impressing anyone these days and Furry Creature has been with me through thick and thin and if I had to make a choice…

“Yes. I have a large, furry, fluffy cat. I’d have more if I had the space and money to care for them.” I said, thinking the date might end before we even left the compartment.

“Huh.” Dirk said. That’s it. Just huh. Again, had we met online he would have known I have a cat. I would have known he’s not a cat person.

I let it go. He doesn’t have to like cats. Nobody has to like cats. But they have to respect that I like cats. I got the feeling by the awkward silence with Furry Creature sitting looking up at us that none of this matters. I doubt that I’ll marry the guy. I doubt I’ll have another date with him.

I finished doing something with my hair, pasted on a smily smile and off we went.

Turns out he parked his car around the corner. The new 'hood is all zoned parking. Strictly enforced. He did not have a zone permit. It was a good thing we didn't opt for that wine pre-dinner because he would have been towed if we'd been a few minutes later.

He deposited me in the car, strode around the front of the car and did a little skip and grin thing as he rounded the front passenger side.

Wow Trill. You got a hot one here.

Yeah. Whatever.

Remember, this is Dirk the Jerk.

Well. He was just Dirk then. But he was soon to become Dirk the Jerk.

The second he got in his car he took on a different persona. Sort of, well, jerklike. He had South side Camaro attitude in his North side non Camaro car. I do not like South side Camaro attitude, by the way. Especially the Iroc Z attitude. Dirk has borderline Iroc Z attitude. He put his non Camaro car in gear and instead of easing out of the parking spot, you know, how you do onto a busy residential street, he threw it in gear and squealed out of the spot and barely stopped at the stop sign. He sped up the streets at an increasing and, well, lest I sound like my grandmother, a very unsafe speed for the streets we were traveling. I thought since we were going far North he would get on the highway. But that didn't seem to be his plan. He stuck to the city residential streets. Crowded with people and cars out on Saturday night city residential streets.

Dirk has a road rage problem.

Dirk makes a gun with his fingers and makes semiautomatic firing noises as he "shoots" people who "get in his way" as he drives. He tallies points for the people he mock shoots. He's one of those people who has pre-assigned point values for different types of people and car maneuvers. Apparently guys walking dogs are worth quite a few points. He fired at a lot of guys walking dogs.

Yeah. What was I saying about being lucky to have a date at all and not being so picky and eagerness?

What baffles me is that Dirk apparently thinks this is fun and impressive behavior. He was laughing and enjoying it very much. It’s possible he was trying to earn points with me by shooting at dogs. A lot of people mistakenly think cats and dogs are an either/or proposition. Note to people who think this: Most cat people are animal people who like or at least respect dogs as much as cats. Every time I said something to try to start a conversation he'd interrupt with his "gun" and firing noises. Did I mention this is a man over the age of 17?

So I just sat there being quiet.

And then it happened. I saw it coming. There was a busy intersection ahead and a stop sign. He wasn't slowing his quite over the speed limit rate. In fact when he saw the line of cars ahead of us had thinned clearing the road for several car lengths, he increased the speed.

"Now we're talkin'" he said as he accelerated.

Toward the stop sign.

"Uh, Dirk, there's a stop sign at this intersection." I said, trying to be helpful and unconfrontational.

He squealed to a short stop well into the intersection. I thought about jumping out of the car but he didn't stop long enough for me to get my seat belt unbuckled.

"You know, Dirk," I said, trying to, be, you know fun and unconfrontational, "maybe a little easier on the gas might be helpful for me. I have a bit of a headache and the jerking as you shift is kind of aggravating it."

Big mistake. Huge mistake. In retrospect I should have kept my mouth shut. Though I'm not sure that would have made any difference.

Instead of shifting gears he took the car up to a high speed and just kept driving really fast.

Right through a traffic light.

Yadda yadda yadda.

I thought the last thing I would see in this life was a Nisson emblem on the front of a Pathfinder and the look on the driver's face just before he hit us. It was sort of a cross between "you asshole" and "we're all going to die!" and "where'd he come from?"

The SUV impacted in the rear passenger side of the car. Yes. My side. A couple of feet to the right and I feel confident in saying I'd be dead or very critically injured.

I was completely nonplussed over any of this. No expectations, no emotion, no panic. What also helped is that I did feel one very strong emotion: Relief. I thought maybe finally death would give me a break. A bona fide accident which will allow my family a nice little pot of insurance money. A bona fide accident which would end the misery that has become my life. No more stupid job earning barely enough money to survive. No more idiotic, lying, cheating, thieving boss. No more avoiding reflective surfaces so I'm not needlessly reminded of my ugliness. No more long, long, lonely nights. No more missing the people I care about most. No more trying to fit in with everyone else. No more trying to be the best me I can be and falling very short of everyone else’s marks and expectations. No more pitying looks or remarks from friends, family and strangers. There is an extreme amount of relief in staring death in the face. Apparently I’m one of those people who welcome it. Which is, you know, good. It makes things so much easier for everyone.

Life before my eyes? Well. Sort of. I thought of my parents. HWNMNBS. My cat. A few friends. Some bills I had to pay. A project on deadline at work.

All of this in a brief instant.

No regrets. No expectations. No emotions. Just: Relief.


Crash.



Dirk's car does not have airbags. Or they didn’t deploy. I’m guessing the latter because it was a new-ish car.

“Ouch,” I said, “you okay?”

“Yeah, I think I’m fine.”

Silence except for Dirk trying to get out his seatbelt. You might think he might inquire as to my health. You might think he might offer to help me get out of the car. You might think he might be at least casually concerned for the safety of the person who hit us because, well, Dirk was the one who ran the stop light.

But this is Dirk the Jerk.

He got out of the car and started running. Away. I saw a bunch of people grabbing him and yelling at him. I was not feeling completely “there” so I didn’t really understand why they were yelling at him. Or wait a minute, why he was running away from the accident?

Why would Dirk do that? Was he running for help? Did he think the car was going to catch fire? Why would Dirk run from the accident?

Meanwhile, back at the crash, I didn’t get out of the car because I couldn’t. The door wouldn’t open. I was trying to get my purse and mobile phone to call the police. I was simultaneously trying to see what happened to the person who hit us. It was at this point two men appeared at the door and asked me if I was okay.

“Erm, um, well, I’m alive, I think…I can’t get the door open. I can’t reach my mobile phone. We need to call the police and how’s the person in the Pathfinder? Do they need an ambulance? Did we hit anyone else?”

“No, it was really lucky the intersection was almost clear. We called an ambulance and the cops,” one of the guys said.

And as if on cue, the siren wailed toward us.

The guys tried to help me out of the car. The driver of the Pathfinder was out of the car and sitting on the curb with a bunch of people around him.

My arm hurt. And my neck. Oh geeze my neck hurt. How could I not notice that until then? The guys were still trying to help me with a police officer approached the car.

“You okay, ma’am?” he yelled at me through the cracked front window of the car.

“Well, yeah, I think so, relatively, thanks, but I seem to be stuck in here.” And I smiled at him politely. All good manners and everything.

“Let’s try to get you out of the driver’s side of the car.”

Good idea except it required me to maneuver over the gear box which left me in more than a few compromising positions and also made me realize that my stomach hurt really bad. And so did my neck and arm. A lot. And before I could do anything remotely civilized about it, I got really sick in Dirk’s car.

It hurt really bad.

Brief interlude while I erase that memory of pain.












Okay. Next thing I knew two paramedic guys were on Dirk’s side of the car trying to help me get out of the car. I also notice a couple of tow trucks pulling up to the scene.

But where was Dirk?

The paramedic guys were obviously skilled at this. They helped me out quickly and without me getting sick. They sort of held me and asked me if I could walk. I could. Sort of. My legs felt rubbery and weak but, yeah, everything seemed to be working down there. It was my neck and arm and stomach that were hurting.

They helped me walk to the curb where they began prodding and poking and asking a lot of questions.

The driver of the Pathfinder was getting a similar exam by another team of paramedics.

But where was Dirk?

“There was a guy driving, I think he went to call the police. He seemed okay but I think I saw blood…”

“Dirk?” one of the paramedics asked.

“Yes. Is he okay?” I asked hopefully.

“Apart from the trouble he’s in with the law, he’s fine.” One of the paramedics said sternly.

They paramedics kept asking a bunch of questions and making me do contortions. I could do some but not all. Some of the attempts made me feel sick. They asked me about my doctor. They asked me if I had a hospital preference. I told them. They said they’d take me.

“Take me where?” I asked.

“To the hospital. You gotta get looked at,” the guy who seemed to be the senior paramedic barked at me.

Wait a minute. Why is he barking at me?

They led me to the ambulance. As they did, the police officer whom I’d “met” earlier asked the paramedic if I was okay for questioning.

Apparently I was.

The police officer asked me what happened. I told him. He asked me if I’d been drinking. I hadn’t. Did I seem drunk?

“We found a bottle of wine in the car. You two been out drinking tonight?”

“No, we were going to dinner. I mean, I don’t know about Dirk, but I haven’t had anything to drink today.”

“You know him very well?”

“Erm, not really. We’re on a date.”

“Some date. The guy really knows how to treat a lady.”

“Where is he? Is he okay?” I asked, genuinely concerned.

“We caught him fleeing the scene.”

But why would Dirk run from the accident?

Duh.

Because Dirk was drunk.

Dirk did not want to get a DUI.

I found out later Dirk has already bought his way out of one DUI.

And, because we live in Chicago, he'll undoubtedly buy his way out of this one, too.

Meanwhile, I was treated and released after a long, long, long, long, long wait in the emergency room.

Whiplash (again), sprained wrist, two cracked ribs and a ton of bruises and scratches. The most interesting of which is a seatbelt shaped bruise across my stomach, chest and shoulder.

The up side of all of this is that I have really good drugs. Really, really good stuff.

And what of Dirk the Jerk?

I haven’t heard a word from him. I assume he’s either still in jail or scrambling to find another attorney to get him out of this mess.

I feel, yes, feel, stupid for not realizing how drunk he was. However, in my defense, I now realize, I have probably never been with Dirk when he’s sober. So I wouldn’t know the difference.

I knew there were people out there, “functional” drunks. But wow. No slurred speech, no stumbling stagger, no obvious tell tale signs of drunkenness. And yet a blood alcohol level of .19%. The legal driving limit in Illinois is .08%. Here’s an interesting little chart I found regarding blood:alcohol percentages. According to this he should have been vomiting and having black outs. (Speaking of vomit, he’s going to have a nice smelly surprise when/if he goes to visit his car at the impound yard.) But he was driving a car. On a date. Wanting to have wine. More booze. He knew he was swutting drunk and yet he offered more booze. That bottle of wine in the car isn’t going to do anything to help his case. Combined with the fleeing the scene of the accident and the previous DUI, his lawyer is really going to have to work for his money on this case.

Yes. Doing the opposite of what I'd normally do got me into this. I had a bad feeling about Dirk from the minute he arrived for that date. I didn't want to ride with him.

But. I did push myself. I tried. I didn't learn any lessons I already knew. I should have trusted my instincts on this one. But. Since the other driver is okay, and I'm relatively okay and I have no expectations or emotions over it. It's over. I survived. Again. And Now I know without a doubt what date is the worst date I've ever had.

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