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

 
Wednesday, February 06, 2008  
Thank You for Not Smoking

You can choose your friends but not your neighbors.

Good fences make good neighbors.

Love thy neighbor.

Even if thy neighboreth is negligent and nearly burneth down the entire building?

I'm "lucky." Most of the people in my building are either single, young working stiffs like me, or senior citizens. There are a few students who live in studio condos rented out by the owners. Generally a quiet, affable group of people.

Except for the inconsiderate jerk who lives next door to me. I don't think he has a job because he's always home. I know he's always home because he plays his stereo, with amps at 11, from 8PM - 2:30 AM every night. Yes. Really. Every night. And during the day, too. I think he only turns it down (hardly ever off) for a few hours here and there to sleep. I've only seen him a few times. He's a middle aged, balding but long haired heavy metal dude. He wears ripped jeans (with ubiquitous trucker wallet), worn out concert t-shirts and slippers. Yes. Slippers. To the grocery. Whatever, dude. Rock on. I've asked him nicely to turn down his stereo after midnight. (more than a fair request, I think) He refuses to comply. I can turn him into the condo management. I haven't done that yet. I don't want to be that woman. But. Still. It may have to come to that.

But other than headbanger dude, I like my neighbors. We have a nice, friendly atmosphere.

Which is why I was more than a little freaked out to get a phone call at work during the middle of a really bad winter storm that there was a fire in my building and if at all possible it might be a good idea for me to get home to inspect my unit before the fire crew left.

If you've never received a phone call like that, well, you're lucky. It's a very, very strange experience. An out of body experience. You hear the words, you know what they mean, yet you hear them as an echo in a canyon, like someone is yelling to someone else. Because surely this cannot be happening to you.

Through heart racing panic I asked if everyone was okay. Yes. Everyone who was home got out. Mrs. Tang? What about Mrs. Tang? She's in a wheelchair. Yes. She's fine. The pets, the animals, what about the animals? All okay.



Okay. Well. Then. That's all that really matters.

The echo asked me if I have condo insurance.

At that point my life didn't flash before my eyes, but the contents of my life did. Oh sure, they're just things, blah blah blah, but, they're my things and I don't have many things so I quite value the few things I have. I need them.

Yes...I have insurance...

Good, good, that's good. Because some of the residents don't and...

At that point I said, "I'll get there as fast as I can, I'll find out the details when I get home."

The rest is kind of a blur. The bus took forever to get anywhere near home, and once it was four blocks from my building it was re-routed down a side street because the police and fire department had several blocks closed off because of...the fire. I limped up to my building like in a dream state. Several fire trucks, four ambulances, police cars everywhere. I finally made it through the crowd, showed my license, and made it into the building. The first thing I saw were two enormous firemen in full gear coming toward me with axes, like a slow motion movie trailer for Backdraft except without the wall of flames behind them. One of the more surreal moments of my life.

Mind you, the fire was struck a few hour before I got there, but, there was a thorough building search, an investigation, and forms to fill out by the residents. Those of us who were displaced would need to sign forms to get any kind of assistance.

You heard me. Displaced. Assistance.



I'm lucky. I only have smoke smell damage. I'm hopeful with a few days of open windows and a lot of laundry, maybe a new coat of paint, I'll be in good shape.

The fire completely demolished a unit on the floor below me. There are eight units per floor. Everyone on the floor below me as well as two units on my floor (directly above the fire) and most of the units on the floor below the fire have serious water and smoke damage. They can't live in their homes for the foreseeable future because everything is ruined. I saw some of the meagre boxes and bags of salvaged items from the surrounding units. Bleak. The unit where the fire originated is completely burned out. Don't knock on wood for luck, knock on 12" thick concrete. The only reason I had a laptop to pack in my "staying with a friend" kit is because my building was built with super industrial thick concrete everything. I've been cursing and vexing this concrete everything as I attempt to do some home renovations. But now my tune has changed.

What's cool about my building is that in the midst of a horrible winter storm we all rushed home, checked our homes and began compiling items for our less fortunate neighbors. Someone's pastor showed up with pizza, pop and a couple boxes of donated shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, cleaning supplies and gloves, hats and scarves. One of my neighbors heard that Bounce dryer sheets soak up smoke smell, so we all began dropping trails of Bounce all over the building.

I had a walk-through with one of the fire department guys. He said the damage was minimal and I would probably only need to spend one night displaced. Another crew will make daily reviews to assess safety issues and who can or cannot dwell in their dwelling.

The fire guys were super nice. When they saw me limping along with my cane they gave me special permission to ride in the freight elevator with "the guys." Yeah. I got to ride with the fire crew guys. I liked my fire crew guys. They're the kind of firemen you'd expect to see in public service announcements for fire departments. Or beefcake fundrasier calendars called "The Men of FD 480." Big. Strong. Rugged. Focused. But would risk their life to save a kitten. You know the type.

When I gathered up my "staying with a friend" necessities and loaded up everything I could find for my neighbors who now have very little (and in at least one case, nothing) and a box of dryer sheets, I looked out the window. Night was falling and the snow and ice were really coming down. I'm lucky. For once, I'm lucky. My place smells like a paper plate caught on fire. A day with the windows open, maybe a sheet or two of Bounce, a couple loads of laundry, and everything will be okay. But below me and down the hall from me lives have been turned upside down and thrown out into a winter storm.

I like my neighbors.

Yes, even inconsiderate jerk headbanger slippers to the grocery dude. On my long bus ride home my mind raced through all the possibilities. And I kept landing on headbanger. He smokes pot. Not often, at least not often that I notice. But. I do notice. And I have suspected he's not quite, um, well, "right." As in there was a freak accident at a Metallica show when he was 20 and he hasn't been quite "right" since.

When I found out the fire started a floor below me I was actually relieved for my neighbor. I knew he'd be the first suspect on everyone's mind. When I moved in and people would ask me what unit I bought, they'd say, "Oh. Next door to (headbanger dude)." And give me a sympathetic apologetic look of understanding. He has a reputation. Well, I mean, he has earned it. Still, I was relieved he wasn't at fault.

Little by little I started hearing comments like, "It's Paul's place." I don't know Paul. At least not by name. I probably know him by sight. But I haven't quite connected all the names and faces yet. People were kind of saying "Paul's place" with a knowing attitude. Like they all figured it was headbanger dude or Paul. Paul was at work when the fire broke out in his place. He left a space heater running.

Ah yes, the dreaded space heater. Why do they even make those things? Whenever you hear about a tragic fire in winter, sure as tornados will hit trailer parks, it's always a space heater. And user negligence.


There's an irony here.

A few weeks ago I got a notice that there was going to be a fire inspection in every unit in the building. I've been having some ongoing issues with wiring in my bathroom. I've been having issues with finding and electrician who will actually show up to fix the problems. So. I was under tremendous pressure to get this wiring problem resolved before the inspection (and really, I've been trying to get a qualified electrician to show up to fix it, but this is a small job and these guys are not exactly eager, much less reliable. I am learning so much about home ownership.) I spent a lot of money to get an electrician to actually show up on a weekend. He did, and in the nick of time I got my wiring problem resolved before the fire inspection. That was a couple weeks ago. And yet just a few weeks later fire ravaged several peoples' lives. I cannot even articulate how happy I am that I paid the insane fee and got that wiring fixed before this happened.

MAF came to my rescue and I'm cozy in his spare bedroom. He and his partner made me a great dinner, we had a few drinks, and I'm fine.

Except I'm worried and upset about my displaced neighbors. For once I'm not the one suffering the brunt of a tragedy, and yet it still hurts. These are nice people. These are not wealthy people. They're young and old and on tight budgets. We all know we live in this building because it was the most we could afford. The younger among us are hoping the value holds or increases so we can maybe sell and get a bigger place in a few years. The older among us just hope they can afford to live out their years relatively comfortable in their little abode. And then this happens.

Fire tragedies strike anywhere, I know that. But. When you share your walls with many other people, you put your life and your possessions in their hands. A space heater? Seriously, a space heater? Headbanger amps at 11 slipper dude seems like Mr. Rogers now. Rude and inconsiderate is one thing. Negligent and risky is another thing entirely.

I'll happily listen to Gwar and Danzig all night long if the alternative is living next door to a guy who a) uses space heaters, and b) is irresponsible enough to leave them on when he's not home. I'm mad at this Paul person, this neighbor in my building of otherwise basically nice, responsible people. Who let him in here? Yes, I feel sorry for him. His condo is completely burned out. There's nothing to salvage and the restoration, well, I'm not sure even Ty Pennington and crew would want to tackle this project. After all, tearing it down and starting over isn't an option. So yes, irresponsible and negligent as he was, I do feel sorry for him. I'll help him, along with all the other neighbors who have damage and are displaced from their homes. But. My deeper sympathy and compassion is with the people who are not at fault. They didn't leave a space heater on when they weren't home. And yet they have water, smoke and lots of other damage to their homes. Two doors on my floor were demolished, shards and splinters of wood all over the floor. The fire crew obviously used those axes to gain access to the units directly above the fire. A small dog lives in one of those units. She was saved by the firemen and their axes. The dog's person, my neighbor, said he didn't care that he doesn't have a front door. The firemen could have axed through his walls and he wouldn't have cared as long as his dog was okay. I get that. I understand completely. But reality hits, and bites, because even if he could stay in his home (he can't due to smoke and water damage) he doesn't have a front door. He was just so relieved his dog was okay that the reality of what's next hadn't really sunk in yet. I have a lot more sympathy and concern for him (and his dog) than I do for negilgent, irresponsible Paul.

I'm trying to figure out why. I never really thought about degrees of compassion. I mean, compassion's compassion, right? You care or you don't, right?

Well...apparently there's some gray area. For some bizarre reason I was relieved my rude jerk headbanger neighbor wasn't at fault for the fire. Apparently there's part of me that feels sorry for him. Okay, yes, there, I said it. I feel sorry for him. He's in his 40s or early 50s and is life consists, from what I can tell, of living in a two room studio apartment listening to '80s and '90s metal at deafening volumes, smoking pot and going to the grocery in his slippers. Yes, I know, for some people that is living a dream, but it's got to get old once in a while. So, yes, I do have compassion for him.

But then there's Paul the negligent space heater neighbor. Was it just one moment of irresponsibility? One error in judgment, an innocent mistake? Probably. And let's face it, regardless of blame, his home is, well, gone. He's paying the heaviest price in all of this. But, others are paying heavy damage prices, too.

It comes down to forgiveness. WWJD? and all that. True compassion is blind to blame. I'm guessing when I return to my building and see the damage to his home I'll be so filled with sympathy that I'll be as sympathetic to him as I am to the blameless neighbors. (and for the record, yes, again, yes, I do feel sorry for him and I did contribute to the box of donations for him) But calls attention to the fact that living in a mult-unit building puts all the residents at the mercy of each other. Like it or not, we're a connected community. We share walls, and yes, like it or not, when those walls are damaged we have to share our lives with each other. We're only as safe as the most negligent resident, there's no I in T-E-A-M and all that. Yes, I'm trying to find enlightenment in cliche business motivational pith.

9:41 PM

 
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