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.
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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, July 17, 2007  
Okay, so, I’m a mortgage holder now. Woo hoo. Yay me. I’m an adult now. I guess. I’m not sure what I was during all the years between 18 and now. Apparently without a mortgage I was in some sort of limbo (purgatory?) between adolescence and adulthood. That’s what people keep telling me. Now that I have a mortgage. I dunno. I miss renting. I miss the luxury of apathy and irresponsibility about home repairs and property taxes. Wiring problem? Call the landlord. Plumbing issue? Call the landlord. Neighbor blasting their stereo at 3 AM? Call the landlord. Tax assessment and bill? Huh? What’s that?

But, I’m a mortgage holding adult now, so these issues are now my problem. Oh joyous happy day, I'm a swutting adult with a mortgage. I can't believe I ever wanted one in the first place. I can't believe I longed for that thing like a prize just out of my reach. Be careful what you wish for and all that.

Oh c’mon, I’m not stupid or naïve, I knew what I was getting into with a mortgage. I thought the pros would outweigh the cons. Everyone told me they would. On paper it seemed logical that they would. Everyone told me it would be so worth it. Everyone told me I was making the best decision of my life. Everyone said I would never look back or regret it.

Well.

No surprise on my part: They were wrong. This place is costing me a lot of money in terms of repairs, maintenance and taxes. Sure, my mortgage payment is substantially lower than my rent was, and it’s a fixed expense, so no big surprises in the form of a huge rent increase with the new lease. And the building already went condo, so no surprises in the form of no new lease arriving because the building’s going condo. I guess that’s a good feeling. I guess it’s worth it in that sense. As long as I make my mortgage payment every month and pay my taxes I won't be homeless.

But I don’t agree with the other aspects. There was an outlet issue in the bathroom which came to light (nyuck nyuck) during the pre-closing inspection. It was to be fixed prior to the closing. It wasn’t. So the smarmy seller’s lawyer “gave” me $100 in concession in the closing fees to cover the repair. The lawyers and agents present reckoned the repair wouldn’t take long, an electrician charges about $100 and hour, hence the $100 concession.

Well, I think we all know that’s a ridiculously low amount of money. I think we all know that if the seller hadn’t fixed the problem while they were living in the condo, there was probably a reason why. That reason was probably expense and aggravation in the form of dealing with electricians and a problem more complicated than it appeared on the surface. Or maybe I’m psychic. Maybe my experience with home repairs in the many, many apartments and homes I’ve lived in are irrelevant and I am, in fact, psychic. Because as the debate about electrician’s hourly rates was being held at the closing, I was sitting there thinking, “There’s more to it than meets the eye. The inspector told me to get this fixed before closing on the condo. He wrote it specifically on his report. Therefore it could be a deal breaker. So it’s in the seller’s best interest to have it fixed. Yet they didn’t. There’s probably a very, very good reason why. An expensive reason why.”

Maybe I wasn’t using common sense but was actually channeling the seller’s psyche. When I spoke up during the debate I said the inspector specifically told me to have the seller make the repair because I didn’t want to get stuck paying a lot of money for an electrician and related expenses. The seller’s smarmy lawyer said, “You’re going to back out of the deal because of a $100 repair?!” My lawyer went into pit-bull mode (have I mentioned how much I ♥ my lawyer? I really do. No one ever says that. Which is a shame. Because my lawyer is great. I ♥ him.) and said, “It doesn’t matter what we think this is going to cost, the inspector noted that it needed to be repaired prior to closing. There is a signed document from the seller and their attorney, you, stating that repair would be made by the closing date. The seller did not live up to their agreement and we can walk out of here because of that. My client does not have the time to find a competent electrician and shouldn’t have to find the time to find one. She’s a very busy professional. She is purchasing this condo specifically because she does not want to be involved in home repairs.”

The seller’s lawyer, who was an immature prick, sorry, there’s just not a better word for him, started mimicking my lawyer and mocking me. We adjourned from the closing room for a brief recess. My real estate agent made a couple of phone calls to electricians and my lawyer called the inspector who originally noted the problem. The best guess at the time was an hour or two of work, barring any unforeseen issues. Again, this might be some new psychic ability kicking in, but I had a pretty strong “feeling” there were going to be unforeseen issues. But my lawyer and real estate agent both said, “Look, you are completely within your rights to walk away from this. There is no pressure to sign if you are not comfortable with this. But we’ve made the calls and it sounds like you’re looking at a $100 repair. We can write in an amendment covering you if it ends up costing more than that.”

Okay. Now. Let’s take a brief moment to recap my emotional and mental state at the time. I went to the closing after a very long weekend watching my cat die. I had to leave him literally alone on his deathbed to go to the closing. If he was miraculously still clinging to life when I returned from the closing I was going to have to take him to be "put to sleep."

Suffice it to say that I was not exactly clear headed, astute, savvy and on top of my mental game during the closing. Even if I could freeze my emotional issues for those hours during the closing, I was exhausted. I was as close to being a zombie as you can be without actually dying, or, well, undying dying or whatever zombies do to be zombies. My mental acuity, apart from possible psychic or telekinesis with the seller, was not exactly sharp. I trusted my lawyer and real estate agent, they knew I was in a bad emotional state, they were supportive and wouldn’t take advantage of me. I developed that sense about them in the weeks prior to the closing, and I still stand by that opinion. I trusted them and so when I asked them what I should do and they said take the $100 with an amendment and proceed with the closing, I said, “okay, let’s go, then.”

So, I moved in and yes, of course, the problem is huge. And, I haven’t even fixed the problem yet and it’s already expensive. I went to the local home gouge you in the checkbook repair store hoping to get a referral for a electrician. I've seen ads on television where smiling, friendly competent guys in orange or blue smocks help a homeowner complete a home repair. I know, I know, me, of all people, suckered in by television advertising. Oh whatever, you would have done the same thing if you were me. I went to one of those places and talked to the “expert” on home wiring who told me I should at least try to follow his instructions and fix it myself. So, even though I wasn’t convinced and was more than a little apprehensive about my electrician abilities, I took his diagrams and instructions, paid a lot of money for a bunch of stuff he said I’d need for the job, picked up a book on home wiring, just in case, went home all nervous and excited about tackling this project on my own, (there may have even been a “take that! HWNMNBS” ) shut off the fuse switches, took off the switch plate for the light and . . . nothing looked at all like the guy at the store told me it would.

Surprise, surprise. So I referred to the book I’d bought, just in case, and what do you know? What I was beholding before me looked nothing like anything they showed in the book. So I replaced the switch plate, thought, “Nice try, at least you tried, Trill, at least you made a real attempt,” and trotted down the hall to turn on the fuse switches.

And that was when I took a bunch of volts from two popping fuses, volts so strong I was thrown to the ground and had char marks on my fingers. Mind you, I hadn’t done anything except turn off the fuse switches, unscrew the light plate, peer inside, look at the instructions and the book, peer inside the cave behind the light switch, screw the switchplate back into the wall and turn the fuse switches on again. No wires were crossed, touched, or in any way altered. But now, instead of a dim and flickering light in the bathroom, I had two blown fuses and no light in the bathroom, hallways or living room

It was about that time I began to question the existence of a supreme being. “Maybe, ‘God’ really does exist and he just struck me down for being smug and self righteous regarding the ‘take that! HWNMNBS’ thing when I really need to just let it go, even in moments of perceived personal triumph or failure. Or maybe, as suspected, this all really is just one huge test of character and apparently I keep failing so I keep being re-tested. Either way, if that’s the way the God thing works, I don’t really want to be part of it because it all seems very mean spirited and not exactly helpful in terms of growing as a mortal and preparing for a splendid afterlife. Well, okay, no one should go around smug and self righteous, but am I not entitled to something after all HWNMNBS put me and my parents through? Yeah, I thought so, too. I’ve more than earned a few moments of ‘take that’. So the God theory kind of falls apart in practical application, doesn’t it?”

I had to pack up and be at the airport the following morning, so I was pretty much, well, there’s no appropriate other way to say this, fucked. I called a few electricians, you know, just for a laugh. Sunday afternoon emergency in home wiring repair. I think you can do the math and realize I don’t have that kind of money. But I wasn’t going to be home during the week, 9 – 5, to get the “standard” non-triple time in home rate.

So I called my lawyer from the airport and asked him about that amendment. And he told me to get two written estimates.

Okay. I’ve been traveling. A lot. And when I’m not on the road for work, I’m either in my office working late trying to catch up with what hasn’t been done while I’m gone, or it’s the weekend and I’m trying to get caught up on things like laundry, bills and life in general.

Getting an electrician to come to your home on a weekend is expensive, even if it’s not Sunday evening. The standard rate on a weekend before Sunday evening is double the normal week-day rate. Which is already very high. Okay, sure, anyone who can deal with volts and amps and make electricity and wiring work properly and safely without shorting out all the fuses or burning down the building is worth a large amount of money. I agree with and understand the necessity for a competent professional with years of solid training and experience. I agree that experience and training has a monetary value and I’m willing to pay it. But. Holy swutting robbery. Have you had to have an estimate done on wiring lately? Not even the real work, the repair, just an estimate? Cripes. I should have been an electrician.

Just one problem with that career path: I don’t possess the smug assholeness required for the job. Even my "take that! HWNMNBS" moment doesn't give me cred in the electrician smugness arena. Electricians, I've learned, have a certain smugness unto their own.

And worse than their smug, “heh heh heh, I’ve got you right where I want you, alone and in need of an electrician” attitude, is the overriding impression that every, yes, every electrician I called gave me. The impression that before the phone rang they were sitting around listening to the Allman Brothers smoking a huge joint and drinking beer with the other electricians. You know that voice guys get when they’ve been drinking beer and just took a huge drag off a joint or smoked an entire pack of cigarettes? That half choking, half baked, half hiccoughing, half sleepy voice? (read: Cheech and Chong) Every single electrician I called had that voice. And worse than that, they have that voice combined with a smug cockiness over the fact that I am obviously in need of an electrician and therefore close to desperate for help only they, or one of their kind, can give me. I keep getting this image of all the electricians in the city sitting around smoking weed and drinking beer and listening to the Allman Brothers, with a main guy, the head electrician, coming in once in a while to send them out to unsuspecting people in need of emergency wiring repairs. Sort of like on Taxi when all the drivers sit around waiting for Louis to bark out their assigned fares. Okay, I don’t remember any episodes of Taxi where the drivers sat around smoking dope and drinking beer or even listening to the Allman Brothers, but it’s the best simile I can come up with to paint the picture of what I envision when I call an electrician. That may be telekinesis kicking in again. Or just plain old life experience and a decent ability to gauge character.

So, I’m trying to get estimates for an electrical repair so my lawyer can present the estimates to the seller’s lawyer and we can proceed with the reimbursement and I can then get an electrician to come to my place, fix the wiring and then, oh happy day, then, I will have a functioning light and outlet in my bathroom and hallways.

Because until I get reimbursement from the seller I cannot afford to have this repair made and that is why I take a shower in the dark, dry my hair in the kitchen and put on my makeup in the dim light of the bedroom – dim because, what do you know, surprise, surprise, that wiring is the same wiring as the bathroom and also has some “issues.”

Which is why I didn’t realize that persistent annoying itch on my neck was actually a huge full blown nasty welt, increasing in size with each passing day, until I returned to work and a guy who works in another department and with whom I have miraculously been able to remain friendly for a lot of years at work, said, “Heh heh, getting’ a little action out on the road, eh Trill?!” Okay, now we’re friendly and even though this innuendo was crossing a line, he and I have joked around before this so it was not completely weird for him to make a joke, albeit an odd and uncalled for joke because he knows how hard I work in and out of the office. So I said, “Oh yeah, you know me, party, party, party. Just one big libidinous good time on the company’s dime,” and then, later that day when one of the bitchy (speaking of self righteous and smug) Nordies girls said, “Gawd, Trill, at least wear a scarf or a turtle neck or something. Do you really think we’re impressed by that? Tacky, Trill, just tacky.” I had absolutely no idea what they were talking about so I went into the bathroom and saw, there, on my neck, proudly displayed, with my hair pulled back in a chignon and a v-neck top for extra emphasis, what appeared to be an enormous, and I do mean enormous, skanky low budget porn star quality hickey.

Which is how it came to pass that I was sitting my doctor’s office and saw a guy also waiting for an appointment, a guy obviously recovering from major burns on his hands, arms and face. My heart went out to him. I’ve burned myself in the past, not anywhere as badly as that, but boy, oh boy, even the small burns I’ve had really hurt, like, really, really hurt. I have two scars on my inner arms from burns I used to get from my old oven, several apartments ago. They’re nothing compared to what this guy is enduring. So, you know, I was feeling really sorry for him and making up all sorts of theories on what happened. Fireman, went into a burning building to save an old lady and then went back in for her cats. A Marine just back from Iraq after dismantling a car bomb, saving an entire village but burned and scarred for life. A AAA road repair guy who tried to help a stranded motorist with an engine problem and he was in the wrong place when the thing just blew, man. A fireworks technician instructor who valiantly cleared the area and went in to sap a dud rocket.

Then this old guy, another patient, came in and sat down by us. Not exactly tactful, or quiet, the old guy said, “What happened to you, son?!” (I love that about old people, one of the great things about being a senior citizen is being able to just blurt out what you’re thinking without any (or few) ramifications.)

Wait for it, wait for it . . .

The burned guy said, “I was working on a rehab over in Pilson and someone hit the fuse box before I was ready and the whole thing just blew on me.”

“You’re an electrician?” I said, trying to not sound too enthused and sarcastically bemused.

“Yep.”

The old guy said, “Dangerous line of work.”

“Not usually, but we’ve got a lot of new guys on the crew, these rehabs are killing us, we get these guys who don’t know what they’re doing and then something like this happens.”

Okay. I still felt really sorry for the guy. Of course. Good grief, do you really think I’m that miserable and spiteful?

But the irony of the two of us crossing paths in the doctor’s office cannot pass without a mention or slight chuckle.

So, feeling buoyed by the old guy’s assertiveness, I said, “So, erm, do you do private work, you know, not through a contractor or whatever, just, you know, jobs on the side?”

He looked me funny. Like I’d crossed a line of decency. Maybe I had. But, hey, I’m new to this whole home ownership thing. I’ve been walking around with a swutting welt the size of Rhode Island on my neck and didn’t realize it because I don’t have functioning lighting in my bathroom for crying out loud.

And I swear, I swear it’s true, he responded in a markedly different voice, that stoner Allman Brothers voice, “Not right now, but maybe in a few weeks. Why? You need an electrician?” If he had a full, unsinged eyebrow this is when he would have raised it, coyly. Like a snake about to bite. Through his stoner voice he also used a tone which implied if he could have rubbed his hands together in sadistic glee, he would have. (“Ehhhxzellllent.”)

“No, just curious,” I said and politely yet curtly as possible, and with that decided that he will now forever be known to me as Mr. Burns. Then I wondered if any of his electrician buddies gave him a hard time about his accident and call him something ironic or sarcastic, or if they are humbled knowing how easily it could have been one of them. Then I wondered if electricians have a sense of humor. In my heretofore encounters with electricians in the public sector, the Cheech and Chong sounding electricians, I have not been privy to any indication that they do. Not that I would call this guy Mr. Burns to his face. Well. Maybe if he actually followed through with implied rubbing of hands in glee I would, but he didn’t and my perception might be totally wrong. And c’mon, I feel bad enough for even being able to manufacture that sort of chiding to a guy obviously suffering and in a lot of pain, I would never actually say it.

So, about that time I was called into the exam room, the doctor took a good look at the welt, said I’d had a reaction to a bug bite, gave me a shot of Benedryl and then asked me why I waited so long to have it looked at because I’ve had bug bite reactions in the past and she knows I know I’m not supposed to mess around and think it’ll go away because it probably won’t and in fact will probably get much worse. And I told her it was because I wasn’t home, and then when I got home I didn’t realize how bad it was because the light in my bathroom doesn’t work and I didn’t realize how large it was until I went to work and saw it in the bathroom mirror, then I took Benedryl but it didn’t have any effect.

“Why don’t you have a light in your bathroom?” she innocently asked.

“I bought a condo and there’s a wiring problem and I’m waiting for a reimbursement from the seller so I can get it fixed.”

“Oh. Huh. Don’t try to fix it yourself, okay? I don’t want to see you in here with third degree burns.”

Thanks for the warning, doc. Tell that to the guy out in the waiting room. I triple dog dare you. Got any other home repair advice while you’re at it? Perhaps, “Don’t try to fix that faucet in the kitchen, I don’t want to see you in here with lungs full of water!”

What I want to know is, when does home ownership “pay off?” When will I feel like it’s the best decision I’ve ever made? When will I reap financial rewards? Because so far it feels like a huge, expensive mistake.

1:00 PM

 
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