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

 
Friday, November 03, 2006  
So I’m not as old as some people. Old, yes, absolutely, and showing new and interesting signs of increasing age every day. But fortunately so far my vision hasn’t given me any problems. I have really good eyesight. All my senses work really well. Hyper senses, in fact. Which can be a bad thing sometimes. Some sights, smells, sounds, flavors and feelings are really awful when you’ve got hyper senses.

Right. Vision. I still have really good vision. However. My grandfather developed glaucoma when he was elderly. He died before he was completely blinded by the disease, but, since there’s a family history I “should” get a glaucoma test every few years. No big deal, right? Right. And never a bad idea to have an eye exam even if you’re not having “problems” with your vision or eyes.

Well. It’s been more than a few years. It’s been a lot of years. I got a bit of a perspective jolt when I received a memo saying our company vision insurance plan will be “changing” (read: all but eliminated) in 2007. So I thought, “Gee, I should get in and get an eye exam while I still have this great vision insurance.” I looked at my “computer glasses” and realized I haven’t had an eye exam since before HWNMNBS and I were even engaged. He helped me choose them. Yikes. I mean. Wow. Huh. Time flies.

I don’t “need” reading glasses, but when I became a serious computer jockey and was doing a lot of graduate research an eye doctor suggested glasses to ease the constant invasion of glare and reduce the strain I put on my eyes. Okay, sure, why not? So I’ve had a pair of computer glasses ever since and sometimes, when I feel the pull of strain after a lot of hours staring at a screen I actually wear them. And they do help ease the “headache in the eyes” I sometimes get when my allergies are acting up and I have to spend a long day on a Mac.

So,yeah, time for an eye exam and a new pair of computer glasses, after all, I still have insurance and might as well take advantage of it while I have it. My health and dental insurance doesn’t cover anything useful anymore, so I might as well have a last hurrah with my vision insurance.

So I had an eye exam. No glaucoma. That’s the good news. And I still have better than 20/20 vision. Rock on. I’m old but my eyes are young.

The bad news is that there’s increased “strain” on the nerve, something common with heavy computer users. I’ve been super busy and spending a lot of time staring at computers in the past few months and haven’t been “good” about remembering to wear my glasses, so no surprise that there’s obvious strain showing in my eyes. It doesn’t impair vision but causes really bad headaches and eventually can lead to other problems. The eye doctor said plasma screens help a lot, but they also cause a different type of strain - the glare from regular glass screens would cause people to blink more and lubricate their eyes. Plasma screens apparently lull our eyes into a false sense of security and put us in a wide-eyed unblinking trance. Which causes eye strain. Kind of ironic that a better for the eyes plasma screen is actually too good and causes another type of problem. I’ll still take plasma any day. The correction is simple enough, either stay off computers (ha) or wear a type of reading glasses made of a non-glare (like art gallery) glass. The glass they make these with now is allegedly improved and has proven to help a lot of people with my “problem.” Also offers some relief to my other eye problem – allergies. Watery, itchy red eyes. It doesn’t solve the allergy problem but it does “relax” the nerve and hence decreases the added strain allergies can put on the eyes and nerves.

Okay! Great, let’s get a pair of glasses made for me, here’s my insurance card.

Oh, those halcyon days of good health insurance plans which actually covered useful health related care and needs.This is where I start to show my age.

The last time I had an exam, yes, much too long ago, my insurance paid for everything apart from $35 I had to spend because the frames I chose were $35 more than the insurance would pay for frames. Still a bargain and not a big deal considering the exam, lenses and a nifty “Eye Can See Clearly” fridge magnet were covered by my vision insurance.

I don’t remember any memos or discussions about our vision insurance plan changing until this year. Though admittedly, three days after the break up I had to enroll for the next year’s insurance plans and I didn’t fully comprehend much of what was told to us at our benefits update meeting. I didn’t fully comprehend anything at that point of time in my life. So I suspect that’s when the changes were implemented to our vision insurance plan. I haven’t used the insurance since then to realize there have already been significant decreases in the coverage. I haven’t heard too many grumbles about the cost of eye care around the office, either, so I had no reason to suspect a large out of pocket cost at a visit to my friendly neighborhood eye doctor.

So. New glasses. Last time I went I paid $35 toward glasses and the insurance paid for the exam, including glaucoma test, the lenses and most of the frames. And an "Eye Can See Clearly" fridge magnet. Yesterday I had a bill of $350. And that didn't include a fridge magnet. The exam cost me $25. The glaucoma screening cost me another $50.

Yes. The glaucoma test, the actual reason for my visit to the eye doctor, an actual health concern, a real disease which afflicts over three million Americans with numbers increasing every year, is not considered part of the regular eye exam and therefore is not covered by my revised vision insurance. Keep in mind my vision insurance is going to be further reduced as of January 1. Ummm. Okay. So, what will it cover? What’s the point of health insurance again? I’m confused.

The lenses cost me $175 and the frames (I chose the cheapest ones I could find) cost me $100. Yep, my vision insurance no longer completely pays for lenses, and in fact pays for a very small portion of the lenses. There are several types of lenses, some more expensive than others, it’s up to the patient to decide how much money they can/want to spend on lenses. I went the cheapest route possible with the “art gallery” type of glass. We’re not talking Hubble Telescope lens quality here. We’re not even talking Acme Junior Scientist Lab Kit quality. We’re talking “there might be a few grains of sand still in the glass but you’ll get used to it, your eyes will adjust.”

But let’s talk frames. My eye doctor is focused (nyuck nyuck) on eye health. Obviously they have a lot of frames for people to choose, and obviously they do whatever eye doctor offices do with the frame manufacturer sales reps, I understand, it’s a way to make some money and I totally get it. I’ve heard some eye doctor offices are all about selling pricey trendy frames and less about eye health. That would bother me. So I’m content with my eye doctor - not a ton of choices regarding frames, but certainly enough choices to make all except the pickiest trend connoisseur happy. I’m there for the glaucoma screening. The frames are relatively insignificant.

And yet, another irony of my life, my vision insurance still covers a huge part of the cost of frames. The most I would have to pay for frames is $100 - that's my co-pay, my out of pocket frame cost, regardless of the cost of the frames I choose. The $950 titanium secret alloy developed at MIT with exclusive platinum accent designs culled from the secret estate vault of Georg Jenson himself and my cost would be $100. I could choose the standard issue jet propulsion engineer circa 1953 plastic frames and I would pay $100. The woman who helped me select my lenses and frames said, “You have some tough choices to make regarding the type of lens you want, that's where your costs really add up, but you can choose just about any frame we have. Your insurance will pay for all but $100 of the frames and almost all our frames are over $200, so no matter what you choose you’ll only have to pay $100 for the frames. Go nuts.”

That’s the part that totally annoyed me and completely pushed me over the edge of the Snellen eye chart: They’ll pay a hefty portion of trendy designer frames but they won’t pay for lenses and worse, a glaucoma screening???!

Someone help me. Please. Someone please explain this to me. Are there eyeglass frame manufacturer lobbyists having ménage à troises with insurance companies and Washington eye care subcommittee fat cats? (I have no idea how to pluralize ménage à trois and I don’t care so don’t bother to tell me) Where are the glaucoma lobbyists? Apparently they can’t see well enough to read the insurance policies which do not cover glaucoma screening as part of a regular eye exam.

I never really got the connection between high end fashion designers taking on eyeglass design, oops, I mean “eyewear” as it’s called in chicly hushed designer circles. I mean, yes, I understand the concept of an overall “look” of a particular design house, I understand people who have to wear glasses every day want something which matches their style and taste. I understand there is a segment of society which buys and craves anything the it designer of the moment slaps their name across. But the designer “eyewear” business is huge. HUGE. Heck, if vision insurance is paying for frames why not go for broke and get your favorite designer slapped on across your face? I’m guessing people who will never own a piece of clothing designed by Jhane Barnes, or even know who she is for that matter, have her glasses perched on their noses because their vision insurance pays for it.

My father, for instance, who is the least likely person in the world to have designer anything, has a pair of Ralph Lauren glasses. My father didn’t seek Ralph Lauren “eyewear” and in fact didn’t know he was wearing designer “eyewear” until I saw his new frames which were a huge departure from his usual standard issue retired man glasses. Apparently when he had a new prescription for glasses filled his eye doctor no longer carried his standard issue retired man frame style. So Joyce, the eye doctor’s assistant/receptionist/glasses helper/glasses sizer/glasses adjuster/insurance helper, helped him select a new style. Joyce is older than my father. Joyce is a member of my parents’ church. I’ve known Joyce all my life. Joyce started helping out at the “new” eye doctor’s office when her husband died. Her husband died shortly after he retired. Joyce decided rather than move to Florida she would become a career gal. That was a really, really long time ago. The “new” eye doctor has retired and his son now runs the practice. All my life Joyce has worn two pairs of glasses at the same time, one on her face for regular wear, and another pair on a fancy beaded chain around her neck for when she does her “computer work.” I’m guessing Joyce doesn’t know from designers. I’m guessing Joyce doesn’t use the term “eyewear.” But she got my dad into a pair of Ralph Lauren frames. His insurance paid for them. My dad would be perfectly content to wear his usual standard issue retired man frames, or whatever frames his insurance paid for in full. His insurance pays for designer “eyewear” in full so he’s got Ralph Lauren frames. He has no idea who Ralph Lauren is, or at least only a vague notion, and yet he wears the designer every day. I wonder what Ralph would think if he saw my dad wearing his eyewear design. I wonder if, since my dad bought Ralph Lauren “eyewear,” Ralph would help me pay for my glaucoma test.

I know I’m still better off having done this now because in January there will be hardly anything covered at all. But the main reason I bother to go is to get a glaucoma screening. If I already have to pay for that why bother with any type of insurance whatsoever?

I pay $2 out of every pay check for my portion of the insurance, my employer pays another $2/paycheck, so, all total my vision insurance premium is $98/year. A glaucoma screening costs $50. Ummmmmmmmm. Seems like pretty obvious math to me.

The insurance isn’t worth the cost for me.

So, I called our benefits person at work.

“Hi HR benefits person! This is Trillian.”

(loud intake of breath, in that “uh oh” tone) “Hello Trillian.”

“HR benefits person, I went to the eye doctor yesterday and had to pay $50 for a glaucoma screening. I did the math and realized between the company and I we’re paying $98 for my annual vision insurance premium. I have better than perfect vision. I only need a glaucoma screening every couple of years. I think it’s in my and the company’s best interest if I drop the coverage. So as of January 1 knock me off the vision plan and put an extra $2 in my paychecks.”

(heavy exasperated sigh) “It doesn’t work that way, Trillian. You can drop the coverage but you don’t get an extra $2.”

“Why?”

“We give you extra money in each pay check to offset the cost of health insurance. If you elect to not have coverage you don’t get that money. It’s specifically for insurance.”

“I know, but it’s never enough so you take out more and then match it to cover the difference. Which has never made sense to me, why not just give us all a higher insurance allowance in the first place so we don’t have to do the whole add, subtract, match game? But we do, and now I don’t want vision insurance which is $2/paycheck I don’t have to pay and you don’t have to match.”

This conversation continued waaaaaay too long and the end result is that I’ll still be paying $2 per paycheck and my company will be matching that so that I can have vision insurance which doesn’t cover the one eye exam I need to have done every couple of years. Please don’t ask me to explain why because I can’t fully comprehend any of the logic in it. It goes something like this: it’s “better” for my paycheck if I pony up the $2 for insurance which doesn’t cover what I need. It has to do with taxes - the $2/$2 match isn’t taxed, but if I don’t have vision insurance the $2 I was paying would be taxed, so the tax savings with the total $4 tagged for insurance makes my paycheck higher than if I didn’t pay $2 into the plan.

Is it insurance fraud or an insurance scam if the perp is the insurance company and the victim is the patient and their employer? I guess not, I guess it must be perfectly legal.

So guess what my parents are giving me for Christmas this year?! Whoopeeeee! A glaucoma test and new glasses! New spiffy designer glasses I don’t really need. Although my mother, I love my mother, love her, always a source of inventive logic, my mother’s rationale for why I should go ahead and get new glasses is that in the long run it’s cheaper than bottles of pain killers I take for headaches.

That’s of course assuming the cause of headaches is generally computer related eye strain. Computer related eye strain I get as a direct result of doing my job. The job which offers me vision insurance which only covers a small percentage of the cost of lenses for glasses needed due to a work related health issue and doesn't cover glaucoma screening. Um. Yeah. Ya know, I'm just going to leave that out there in the Universe. It will give me a non-computer related headache if I try to sort out any kind of logic or ethics in that equation. My parents are buying me glasses so I can do my job without causing eye strain and getting headaches and that's all that matters to me right now. It's kind of weird to me that my parents have to buy my glasses for me because I'm an educated and professionally employed adult, but hey, at least I have parents to buy glasses for me. There are bigger issues in all of this and maybe those lobbyists and insurance companies will have to sort out something else when more companies like mine offer less health insurance to their employees, even the employees who have job-related health issues. I'm also hoping those glaucoma lobbyists get Books on Tape to record insurance policies so they can hear that glaucoma screening is not covered on a lot of vision care insurance plans and get moving on reforming the definition of "regular" as it pertains to eye exams before I actually develop glaucoma. And maybe they can get 'em to reinstate the fridge magnet benefit, too.

Hey, at least I have better than perfect 20/20 vision. That’ll be helpful when I’m living on the streets and no longer strain my eyes by looking at a computer all day – no worries about glasses. Though it does rule out the possibility of generating income by being a blind begger woman. Unless I get glaucoma. But according to my $50 exam there’s no worry about that yet.

12:46 PM

 
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