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, April 15, 2008  
Single/Zero.

Well, here it is, my first April 15 as a mortgage paying homeowner. Woo hoo.

Everyone told me it would all be worth it when April 15 arrived.

The increase in my mortgage payment because I didn’t have enough money in escrow to pay for the property tax increase assigned to my condo six months after I bought it? WORTH IT!!! My friends and family screamed in unison.

The ever mounting repair and maintenance expenses? WORTH IT!!!! My friends and family screamed in unison.

The condo association assessment fees (and increase to match our new appraisals and increased property tax)? WORTH IT!!!! My friends and family screamed in unison.

So, the first two weeks of February were devoted to sorting through all my 2007 financial documents and finding out just what my April 15 pot of gold would be now that I’m a homeowner. I had receipts for everything. Everything. Business related expenses, medical expenses, tax expenses, home repair expenses, you name it, I had receipts for it. I had my sleeves pushed up high and a baseball cap on (to take the place of one of those olde tyme visors accountants wear in olde tyme movies). I used the free tax online tax application the government offers. Which I found shockingly good, helpful and easy to use. I thought it was great.

Until I got to the end, the part where you learn how much the IRS owes you.

Okay, I mean, I admit, my expectations were unrealistically high. But everyone told me I’d get a HUGE tax return now that I’m a homeowner. People threw out example numbers in the thousands. “Enough to pay off a few medical bills and get some work done in the bathroom and kitchen?” I’d ask, and with vigorous assuredness, resounding affirmations were given. “Trill, you’ll be able to do all that and finally take a vacation.”

Wow.

This home ownership thing really is great at tax time.

Whoa, not so fast there girlie.

When I reached the end of the IRS’ tax program, I was on the edge of my seat in jubilant anticipation. I was fantasizing about paying off two MRI bills…thinking about how nice it would be to have a new faucet in the kitchen…even musing about taking a week off from work and going somewhere on a, um, what’s that thing people do when they’re not working? That place they go? What’s that called? Oh yeah, a vacation. I haven’t had one in so long I can’t remember what it is.

Which is good. Because I can’t remember what I’m missing. And that’s good because there’s not a vacation in my future. At least not this year.

That glorious, fabulous, it will all be worth it on April 15 advice I was given?


Heh heh heh. Silly Trillian, tax refunds are for people with kids!


A friend has Turbo Tax and insisted I try using that instead of the IRS’ free program. So I did. Turbo Tax “found” me less refund money than the IRS’ program. What concerned me about that was that I thought my refund should be +/- a few dollars, no matter where or who did my taxes. There difference between the TurboTax end number and the IRS’ program end number wasn’t huge, but, it was enough to concern me. Enough to make me shell out the money and go to a professional. One of my friends has a guy she swore would find me huge amounts of tax refund money.

I called to make an appointment with him. He asked me a few questions over the phone. He politely declined to do my taxes for me, even though I was referred by a long standing client of his and I was wiling to pay his fee. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be insensitive, but you don’t earn enough money, your condo isn’t valued high enough and you don’t have children or other deductions to make it worth it for me, or you, to have me prepare and file your taxes. The IRS has a great program online, now, you should just use that. In your case it shouldn’t take more than an hour, probably less.” I didn’t tell him I slaved over their program for two weeks. I just thanked him and wished him luck during the tax season. He told me he gets through it by focusing on taking his wife and getting away from the kids for a week on April 17 when he jets off to St. Barts.

How nice for him. How nice for Mrs. Tax Accountant.

I was beginning to sense what I suspected all along: Paying a mortgage and property taxes is not the rose petal strewn, chirping birds overhead path to the land of milk and honey that it's made out to be. Unless you’re making a ton of money, paying a mortgage and property taxes doesn’t do a whole heckuva lot to ease the financial tax burden of being a single/zero.

And that’s what it ultimately comes down to: If you’re single/zero, you’re a cash cow for the US government. With or without a mortgage and property tax, single/zeros with an average income pay ~37% of their gross income to taxes (depending on which state in which they reside, local taxes, property value, etc.). And I learned that “average” is staggeringly higher than I realized. Turns out I am, just like my mortgage broker said, low income in the eyes of home lenders, and low income in the eyes of a lot of other people with a higher income. And higher tax refunds.

Still concerned about the discrepancy between the IRS’ program number and Turbo Tax’s refund amount, I bit the bullet and went to nationally recognized tax preparation business.

I met a very nice woman who scoured all my receipts, plugged in every deduction she could find (and commended me for being such a nice and charitable person and promised to make a donation to the ASPCA after talking about all that they’re doing and why I donate so much of my time and as much money as I can to them) and the end result was dead center between the TurboTax refund amount and the IRS’ program refund amount.

Fortunately, fortunately I did one thing right. I didn’t make the rookie mistake of changing my deductions at work. I remained a single/zero. That saved me from having to pay, yes, PAY, income taxes this year.

Yes.

I bought a home. I pay a mortgage. I’ve entered the sacred land of the “long form.”



But I’m still a single/zero.

And my tax refund was the same paltry pittance it’s been in the past.

Next year, if I still have a job and a home, I’ll get a slightly higher refund because I’ll be able to declare property tax payments and get a little refund from the state. But those increased property taxes I paid, the ones that increased my mortgage payment because I didn’t have enough money in escrow? Yeah. Well, I don’t get credit for that because those taxes, those property tax payments, were for 2006 taxes. Sure, I paid them in 2007, but, they “don’t count” because I wasn’t a homeowner in 2006, the year the taxes were assessed.

Urrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

That made me kind of mad. But I actually kind of knew it, I just thought, well, you know, I thought I’d get so many other credits that I’d be thrilled just to have more than usual. The disturbing part is that the nice lady at the tax place “ran the numbers” for me as if I’d been able to claim the property tax payments. Probably won’t come as a surprise to any other single/zero homeowners on a low middle income that the refund would not have been significantly higher. It would not have paid my MRI bills or taken me on a vacation. It might have paid a plumber for an hour of work on my kitchen faucet.

The nice lady at the tax preparation place told me I need to earn a lot more money, or get married and try to have a baby or two if I really want to see any real tax refund.

“You’re still a single zero. Buying a home doesn’t change that for most people,” she said, apologetically. She said it, not me. Single. Zero. Might as well get it tattooed on my forehead. “But hey, at least you’re not making a landlord rich. And in thirty years you’ll be rent and mortgage free,” she added congenially, offering an apologetic smile.

Yeah. True. Thanks for reminding me.

Still, it does cushion the blow of losing my home if I lose my job. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. I tried it. I jumped into the home ownership game, I took all the advice I was given, I read and studied and hoped for the best, and ultimately without a husband, children and/or a nice hefty income, it didn’t make much difference.

Oh sure, when my hard drive crashed I could have bought a new computer instead of putting in a new hard drive. That $1,500+ business expense would have garnered me a few extra tax refund dollars. And I was just $500 shy in medical expenses to claim them on my taxes. Fingers crossed for next year! (Just in case you’re wondering, your out of pocket medical expenses have to be at least 7.5% of your gross income before you can claim them as “medical expenses.” I have no idea what they are if they total less than 7.5% of your AGI, but the government doesn’t consider them to be deduction worthy. 7.5% is a large portion of anyone’s salary. My out of pocket expenses are staggering. But I was still $500 shy of the golden deduction number. If you’ve been so sick or injured that you’re hoping to use this deduction, a) I’m sorry you’ve been so unwell and b) I’m sorry that you better be earning minimum wage and working part time if you really want to cash in on that deduction.)

But those deductions wouldn’t have added up to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of my tax refund. They would have given me a few more dollars, but they would not have taken me on vacation.

Because I am: Single/Zero.

I can’t do anything about that. No one wants to marry me and I can’t afford to be a single mother.

However, I can remind married with children people to thank their single/zero friends, relative and colleagues. Maybe even use some of your tax refund to offer to buy the single/zero in your life a drink or foot the bill for a weekend getaway. Why should you be so thankful to single/zeros? Because we’re helping foot the bill for your children’s education (presuming they go to public schools) and indirectly funding your tax return. The government gives us single/zeros less so you can have more.

You’re welcome.

Regardless of your feelings about homosexuality, you need to also thank every gay person for their generous contribution to your children’s education and your tax refund. That guy at work who’s been in a monogamous, committed relationship with another man for the past 25 years is, in the eyes of the tax forms: A single zero. Just a reminder. There’s more to the same-sex marriage issue than gay pride parades and health insurance. There are a lot of tax dollars at stake.

But hey! There is some good news! I’m on the list to get my economic stimulus check the first week of May! Woo hoo!!!! I received a notice in the mail saying I might get as much as $300! A whopping $300!!!! Okay, sure, I know a lot of other people who’ve been notified that they might get as much as $1,200, but you know, us single/zeros aren’t worthy and we don’t have as many expenses as people with children. So. You know. I understand. So rather than stimulate the economy I’ll give whatever the IRS deems me worthy of to some charities.

I know. I know. I come off sounding bitter when I start ranting about tax and the single girl.

If I could afford a bottle of booze I’d just go drink. But I can barely scrape up money for peanut butter so instead of quietly passing out drunk I’ll vent my frustration. Yep, give single/zeros tax credits for not putting a child in school (and hence draining tax dollars) and I’ll go away and shut up about this. It really is that simple. Give us a tax credit in the amount 2.5 children in a school for 12 years costs and I’ll be quiet. And my medical bills will be paid off, and I’ll hire a plumber and I’ll go on vacation.

Yes. I will stimulate the economy.

But as it stands my taxes are stimulating public school funds, schools where I have no children taking advantage of the tax funded resources. So. your kid swutting well better grow up to make this world a better place for the single/zeros who funded their education. It’s the very least they can do.

12:27 PM

 
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