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, January 30, 2007  
I’ve never been one to assign weirdnesses, specific or general, to a gender. I just don’t buy into gender specific characteristics other than the obvious physical traits. Or at least I don't want to buy into that thinking. People are capable of a lot of characteristics, some good, some not so good. But I don't like to think that one gender holds the rights to a characteristic or way of being.

I have never seriously made any sweeping allegation starting with, “Men are…”

But, here I am nearing the end of 50 first dates. And that puts me somewhat in a position of authority to judge a group of people who happen to all be men. There have been some nice ones, a few “normal” ones and a few I wish I would have been more to their liking.

However, overall, my grand sweeping judgment as I am staring down the completion of 50 first dates is: Men are weird. Even the good ones are prone to weirdness.

And no. I’m not saying therefore women are not weird. Believe me, no one knows how weird women are better than I do. I hear you, fellas, I know, we’re really weird.

But.

Men have a few particular weirdnesses which I find contradictory and unexplainable and, sadly, frankly, makes me question the actual cranial capacity of the male gender. I’m not flat out calling men stupid, erm, “intellectually challenged,” if you will, but, if the behavior fits…

When I was 14 I knew this boy. An older boy. An intelligent boy by every measure of standardized scholastic achievement tests. A boy with a sense of humor developed far beyond that of his peers and their devotion to the Three Stooges. This boy and I were in orchestra together. We were also both in German Club and Lit Wits. Yes. We were dorks. But. Along with our intellectual pursuits we shared a physical bond.

No, we were not dorks in love sharing erotic pleasures only hinted at in AP biology class, or working our way through the human elements on the periodic table chart. This boy and I played on a sporting team together. I was by far the better athlete, and that’s not bragging, that’s just an obvious statement of fact based on his performance and stats v. mine.

I have never been a competitive person. It’s just not in my nature. I am not motivated by winning, especially merely for the sake of winning. I don’t have to be, and often do not want to be, first or best. In fact, I often see more merit in losing. Losing is good for the soul and makes you work harder next time. Losing is a fact of life and the more you lose, the more capable you are to deal with inequalities in life. Try your hardest, make your best effort, sure, of course. But if you’ve done that and you still lose, well, you don’t really lose, do you? You’re not the proclaimed victor, but, you’ve earned the rewards which come from working toward the end goal, whether it’s winning a game or getting a new job. There’s a lot to be learned while learning to lose with dignity. I’m all about the process. How the components interact to make a big picture. The process in infinitely more interesting and compelling to me than the event of winning. Sure, I can see the glory in winning, but it’s short lived. And really, what does it prove? Does anyone really measure success based solely on who “won?” The winner gets the trophy/money/new job/date, but have we learned nothing from reality TV? It’s always the people who didn’t “win” who end up with their own shows or endorsements. The winners end up on the talk shows the next day and then live their life in tabloids and guest appearances and often county jails. The second or also rans end up with less money but more longevity and usually more respect from their peers and the home viewing audience.

And when you win there’s always someone who wants to “get you.” There’s a lot of pressure on winners to maintain their status. I’d just rather use that energy to work on the process rather than hold my place in the winner’s circle. Which is why my parents made me endure years of team sports and group activities. They were hopeful the socialization factors and trying to get me to be a little more motivated to not feel sorry for the other players and let them win would be overtaken by a little more personal ambition and self esteem. Because at the time it was popular among school guidance counselors to blame every behavior a pre-teen exhibited on a lack of self esteem. Caught smoking? Low self-esteem fueled by peer pressure. Straight A report card? Low self-esteem fueled by fear of failure. School physchology: Slap a pop psychology Dr. Philian label on it and call it done.

The irony here is that back then I had no self esteem issues whatsoever. That didn’t manifest itself until much later in life, after many, many emotional insults and criticisms from: Men. Back then I lived in this idealistic world of empowerment where all things were possible for all people if we just refuse to judge others and instead cooperate and work together. I know, I know, I know, but hey, I was 14, okay? I mean, if you can’t be misguided and idealistic when you’re 14, when can you? Obviously I learned, adapted and got over those ridiculous notions and became the success I am today.

Right. That boy. Well. We played on a team together and to put it politely, he sucked. Which is why a girl two (and a half) years younger than him was called upon to “coach” him. That girl was me. And I was enthused. It never occurred to me to be embarrassed for him or myself. We were friends, I had a little crush on him and he seemed to like me, too. There had never been any weirdness or competition between us. We had the same interests and everything was as hunky dory as it could be in the high stakes volatile world of teenage relationships.

And then, well, then everything changed.

After a, well, just plain bad play which cost us a victory, our coach had had enough. He pulled the boy aside after the final time buzzer signaled the victory for the other team. The coach was red in the face with a vein protruding on his forehead. He was motioning and pointing and clearly humiliating the boy by going over the minute details of all his errors and inabilities. As the rest of us made our handshakes with the other team and talked about what we might do next time and pretended we didn’t notice the scolding and berating our teammate was getting, I heard my name being yelled. I didn’t quite realize who was yelling my name until two of my teammates said, “Oh crap, Trill, coach wants you.”

“Oh crap” was an understatement. More like holy swutting mother of a swutting supreme deity.

I made my way to the coach and my friend who was looking, well, pretty bad. I was embarrassed for him because his eyes were wet and we all knew it wasn’t from exertion during the game. I was embarrassed for him because he’d been called out and ridiculed in front of his teammates and peers. I was embarrassed for him because it was obvious what was going to happen next. The coach was going to use me, a younger girl who by the quirk of DNA and an older brother happened to be a better athlete, to humiliate and emasculate him.

That is the first time I remember being acutely aware of my gender. That is also the first time I remember being acutely aware of the power of emasculation and the role I, as a woman, played in that. It didn’t feel good, it didn’t feel powerful, it didn’t feel exciting.

It felt wrong.

Or, rather, it didn't feel right but I wasn't sure why. At the time I wasn't actually sure what the real issue was. I didn't think, or want to think it had anything to do with me being a girl. But, looking back on it, I am sure that in that moment, at that time, I knew there was something different between us and that something was not just anatomy.

Our coach was a lot like the reindeer game coach on Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys. A no excuses, win, win, win! ex-marine kid of guy. The kind of guy who would thinly veil threats in the form of commands like, "I can be your best friend or your worst nightmare." He made us call him Coach. Just "Coach." Not Coach Smith or Coach Bob, but, all omnimpotent: Coach. He had a flat top brush hair cut at a time when no one, even active duty Marines, was sporting that haircut. If he wasn’t at work he was wearing shorts and sneakers. Every day. Even in the middle of Winter. He’s the kind of guy who was the leader of his platoon in Korea. He’s the kind of guy who took bullets for the squadron and while injured and bleeding, carried his fallen comrades stacked on his back while yelling at those still alive, barely, to get up and walk out like a man, like a soldier. He didn’t talk, he yelled. Even in regular conversation he yelled. There was omnipresent spittle between his teeth and tongue. He was a coach’s coach. He wasn’t keen on the idea of girls and boys playing on a team together. He also very vocally did not support Title 9. But, these were the days after the women’s movement, NOW, equal rights and bra burning, and by golly, the school districts and local sports centers felt it necessary, crucial, even, that boys and girls play on sports teams together. No matter what. Us girls were not just encouraged to participate, we were at times made to try out for sports in which we had no ability or interest. And our coach was told to deal with it or lose his extracurricular income as a coach. This position was made even more difficult because the coach happened to know my dad from work. Okay, well, that’s putting it politely. My dad was the coach’s boss.

Ooooooooo. That’s awkward.

Yeah, yeah, whatever. I was idealistic at the time, remember?

I was also one of the star players on the team and had been for several years. The coach knew this and I like to think I helped build a bridge of understanding for him regarding women’s athletic abilities.

Maybe it was because my dad was his boss that he dealt with me better than you might expect a coach like him to deal with having a 14 year old girl on his team of mostly 16 and 17 year old boys. But I don’t think so. There were other girls, too, and he treated us all fairly. And no, no it wasn’t because we were teenaged girls and he was a middle aged guy. Unless something was going on that I completely didn’t understand or recognize (possible), he put up a fight, lost and then took orders and dealt with his co-ed team. And in fairness to us girls, we were as good or better than the boys. The coach recognized this and clearly saw championship banner potential.

And so it came to pass that I was put on special coaching duty of my heretofore older and male friend and activities partner. At the time I thought, “hey, okay, maybe I can help him and we’ve always gotten along well so it’ll be fun.”

I think we’ve just found the beginning of the end of innocence and idealism.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that the biggest challenge we had before us was not skill or athletic technique, but how to re-masculate my friend who’d just been humiliated in front of his peers and friends and family. The mere fact of my gender was causing him embarrassment. There he was, a 16 year old boy, a dorky 16 year old boy, at that, and the coach had called in a braces wearing dorky 14 year old girl from orchestra and lit wits to help him improve his athletic skills. I’m not a guy so I can’t understand the extent of his humiliation, but years later I told this to a male friend who said the coach might as well have just cut off the boy’s testicles and dressed him up in a tutu.

The boy and I had always gotten along well together. There was a little spark of teenaged “interest” in each other. And yet, within a few minutes, all that changed. He resented me and my abilities. We set up a practice schedule. I was looking forward to it. He bothered to show up because the coach was going to be there helping some other kids, too. But every time I’d offer an idea or show him a new technique, he’d purposely do the opposite of what I showed him. The coach saw this and told him if he didn’t start shaping up he’d be off the team. And let’s face it, that would have really been the best case scenario for everyone. There was not scholarship money riding on this boy’s athletic abilities, and as far as I could tell, he didn’t really enjoy the game. I suspect it was pride or his parents that kept him on the team. He eventually started making small improvements. But. He also started making fun of me. Not during practice, no, this was a smart boy. He knew better than to lip off during practice, especially in front of the coach. But in orchestra he’d blow his saxophone right in my ear so I couldn’t hear the rest of the band and would miss my cues. In Lit Wits he started hanging out with the kids from modern novels class. You had to be at least 16 to take modern novels class because they read some racy stuff. Those kids loved to tease us younger kids about our inability to drive or read Helter Skelter. In German club he publicly ridiculed my inability to reach my quota of Gummi Bear sales. (My mother’s friend finally came through and bailed me out of that nightmare by purchasing my entire range of the candy. Whew. That was close.) I was old enough and intuitive enough to understand the boy’s sudden change in temperament toward me. It still hurt my feelings, but I understood. I understood all on my own that it was embarrassing for my older friend to have to be coached by a younger person. What I didn’t understand was that my gender had anything to do with it. I thought we were all enlightened and equal, right? (Idealism, remember?)

Finally, one day after a bad session of Lit Wits my mother asked me what was going on and why I was so upset. Yes, this was like an After School Special unfolding in my own life and the awareness of that cracked me up, even during the moment. Fortunately my mother has a good sense of humor about that sort of thing. She told me she’d been concerned about the boy and I since the special coaching sessions were invoked. “Trillian, he’s a 16-year-old boy. 16-year-old boys are difficult under the best of circumstances. And these are not the best of circumstances. 16-year-old boys do not like younger girls telling them how to do anything, especially athletics.”

“Oh, mum, this has nothing to do with me being a girl, he’s not like that.”

To this day I remember my mother’s reaction with a smirk and raised eyebrow.

Later that night my dad had a little talk with me. But I don’t think it was the little talk my mother had in mind when she told him to have a little talk with me. My dad scoffed at the boy’s inability to play and told me no one could teach that kid how to play. He told me to think of it as extra refinement of my own skills, practice never hurts, and I enjoyed it, so look out for myself and if the boy didn’t want to learn or improve it wasn’t my fault.

He didn’t say anything about 16-year-old boys having issues with girls telling them what to do. And since my dad had once been a 16-year-old boy and my mother had not, I laid to rest any concerns about gender being an issue.

What I didn’t realize was that my dad was not especially “good” at sorting out anything remotely having to do with his daughters and “boys.” My dad takes the “what dad doesn’t know about his daughters’ romantic life which could in any way have anything to do with her sexuality won’t hurt him” approach. He’s old school that way. Plus, the bigger reason for his “go gettem’ girl” attitude is that my dad is just one of those men who has never seen women as weaker, dumber or in any way less capable of anything and has always whole heartedly supported everything all of his kids have endeavored.

So I kept on dealing with the special coaching sessions and the increasing aggravations from the boy. And I kept assuming he had issues other than my gender plaguing him.

Finally the season ended, we made a pretty good run for the championship banner but fell a few games short of district victory. Life went on but the friendship between the boy and I never resumed.

What does any of this have to do with anything, especially 50 first dates? Well, what I should have concluded, and dismissed the boy with was: Men are weird.

Instead I gave him credit and respect for intelligence and enlightenment which, at 16, he probably could not have possessed. And in doing so I got hurt. I thought better of him, I thought he was above being “emasculated” simply because someone was better than him at something, and worse, that that someone was a girl. I refused to accept that this otherwise intelligent, funny, nice friend of mine would be so, so, banal, as to be affected by something so inconsequential as gender. Would it have been “better” if the coach had called in a 17-year-old scholarship offers galore boy teammate to bully, I mean, coach him? I can’t see that it would have been, but, in the eyes of the boy, yes, it probably would have been a lot “better” than having to have special sessions with a girl, even though that girl was heretofore a friend and possible romantic interest.

And now, here, all these years later, almost 50 first dates later, I am finally throwing in the towel, admitting defeat and admitting that yes: Men are weird.

Proof of this to follow in the coming days. I don't even care about insight or rationale anymore. I merely observe and report and draw appropriate conclusions.

3:02 PM

 
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