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

 
Monday, October 27, 2008  
After my dad died my mother was advised to cut up any credit cards with his name on them. My mother quickly removed them from his wallet and put the wallet back where he always kept it at night. “Hidden.”

She cut up the credit cards.

It was the first of many tasks required to remove someone from the stuff of life. The calls, the letters, the forms, the inquiries arrive daily. They’re all painful reminders that someone died. But. Life goes on and apparently so does criminal fraud. I can vouch for this. The amount of information given and required is staggering so the opportunities for deception and scamming are huge. But we’re aware and armed with what we hope is enough knowledge to protect my mother from fraud.

My mother is having some issues with the Social Security Administration. Go figure. Letter after contradictory letter arrives. Calls are made. Things are cleared up and then a week later another letter arrives detailing different information than was “cleared up” the week previous. The US Government at work.

Okay. So. In a hopeful effort to get things settled once and for all my mother made an appointment at the Social Security office. I know. I know. I can hear the heavy sighs and see the eyes rolling. And yes. It’s every bit as bad as you’re imagining. And then some. I took a day off work to go to the appointment with her.

The caseworker told my mother to bring proof of ID for my father to the appointment as well as proof of his death. We needed to prove he was alive and prove that he died.

Okay. Fine. We have death certificates. And my mother has his passport, driver’s license and social security card.

But, she was having emotional difficulty retrieving the passport, license and social security card. Don’t judge. Grief is individual and random. Certain things are hotbeds of overwhelming emotion. Those things are as varied as fingerprints. I’m learning you never, ever know what’s going to set off a firestorm of emotions. I found a perfect skipping stone last week and was wracked with sobs for hours because I was overcome with memories of my dad teaching me how to skip stones across water. The memories of skipping contests we had, how my mother would sometimes throw a stone which inevitably led to a dark horse victory in those contests putting my father and I, the assumed champs, to shame played like ultra vivid movies in my head. I could feel how much joy we shared in finding “perfect” skipping stones. We were always on the lookout for “perfect” skipping stones. We’d grab them and save them for outings to the “perfect” calm lake or river. Every car my parents ever owned had a cache of skipping stones in the glove box. “Just in case” a lake or river beckoned while on the road. Yes. It’s just a rock. But right now, for me, coming across a “perfect” skipping stone is too bittersweet to manage without tears.

So. My mother asked me if I could retrieve the passport and social security card from their safe place and the license from my dad’s wallet. A day at the social security office was going to require all the emotional fortitude we could both muster. The task of “getting into” my dad’s wallet would knock her down and blur her focus. My mother wanted clarity for the trip to the Social Security office. So I obliged to retrieve the items.

Okay. A little back story. I was raised to respect other people’s property, especially very personal property like wallets and purses. Any wallet or purse not belonging to me is off limits. Period. End of story. This was drilled into me from day one. When my mother was debilitated and in the emergency room a few years ago we had to get her wallet out of her purse. My dad couldn’t do it. The act was too disrespectful to him. He couldn’t “violate” my mother’s personal purse space. I was there so he didn’t have to lower his integrity in this respect. I saw him struggling with the task of getting into her purse and asked, “Dad, do you want me to handle this?” The relief showed on his face instantly. He didn’t like the idea of anyone other than my mother digging around in her purse. But it had to be done. And because I was there better me, the daughter, another woman, than him. My dad was old school that way. It wasn’t easy for me. I was horribly uncomfortable with it. But it had to be done and there was no point in making my dad feel worse than he already did. So I reached into her purse for the first time in my life. It did feel weird. And uncomfortable. I did feel like I was trespassing and violating personal space. I did feel like I was disrespecting my mother.

When I pulled out the wallet it felt much heavier than its actual weight. Turns out guilt is a tangible burden. It weighs a lot. I quickly pulled out the health insurance card, the driver’s license and gave my dad her credit cards for safe keeping. My hands shook as I handed the ID cards to the hospital administrator. That was the exact moment of impact. That was when the gravity of my mother’s health situation hit home. This is it, this is real, her life is in their hands and I’ve just turned the details over to them.

I confessed and apologized to my mother the first second she regained consciousness. Given the circumstance she was fine with me getting into her purse and wallet. She completely understood and expected that someone would have to retrieve info from her purse and wallet. When we told her about how difficult it was for my dad and I she laughed at us for being so sacred about our respect for her purse.

It had to be done and it was silly that we were so ill at ease with it. But. In the moment it was rough.

So. Here I was again. This time going through my dad’s wallet.

This time I couldn’t apologize. There would be no atonement. This time life was handed over permanently. This time they took a life and gave back only the details.

His wallet is far heavier than my mother’s was. Grief is an even heavier burden than guilt.

I’ve seen my dad’s wallet thousands of times. Every time he pulled it out to pay for something or look up a business card or whatever the other thousands of reasons are for pulling out a wallet. Every time he opened it there, staring out for all to see, was a photo of my mother taken on the day he proposed to her. Awwwwww. I know. That’s my dad all over the place.

As I mentally prepared myself for getting into his wallet I expected to see that photo. I did. And it brought some expected tears.

And then I had to get out the driver’s license. It was stuck. I had to jimmy it out of the compartment sized exactly for it. In doing this I jostled the other side of the wallet and the photo of my mother. Behind the photo of my mother were photos of us kids. A recent shot of my brother with his daughter. A photo of my sister and her three daughters taken a few years ago.

And a photo of me in my Girl Scout uniform.

No. I do not have an adult sized Girl Scout uniform. No, I have not dressed up as a Girl Scout for Halloween. This was a photo of me as a 10-year-old child beaming proudly from under my Girl Scout insignia beret which was perched atop a fresh, neatly combed haircut. My right hand proudly proffering the Girl Scout Sign. The uniform so crisp from a starched ironing you can feel the itchy collar just by looking at it. The heavily adorned badge sash telling the story of a geeky overachiever. A gilt braid edged flag hangs behind my left shoulder.

Cripes. What happened to that kid? Oh yeah. You read the blog. You know what happened to her. Merit badges, like GPAs and SAT scores, do not predict success in life.

I know exactly when that photo was taken. It was at a Fly Up ceremony. I served as Color Guard in the opening procession. But I don’t recall ever seeing that photo. Apparently my dad kept the only copy in his wallet. It's worn, faded, frayed around the edges and at some point an edge was trimmed, apparently to fit into a wallet somewhere along the way of my dad's life since then. Obviously he carried it for a lot of years, probably since the time it was taken.

I’m certain my dad had several wallets in that time span. And for some reason, with each passing wallet, he transferred the photo of my mother the day he proposed to her and a photo of me as a 10-year-old.

I understand the vintage photo of my mother. That was a very special day. A pivotal day. A sentimental day. A big day in his life. And it’s a darling photo of my mother, too. I understand why that photo was so special to him that he carried it with him everywhere, every day.

Obviously he updated the photos of my brother and sister. But he carried me around, frozen in time as a 10-year-old Girl Scout.

One might assume my dad was proud of my pride in Scouting. Okay. Makes sense. But. My brother was an Eagle Scout. That’s a huge deal. Why no photo of him at his Eagle ceremony? That dims the possibility of the pride in Scouting as a reason for the photo.

I’m guessing he probably just liked the photo. It is one of the last “good” photos of me. I was still a kid. I looked like a kid. A goofy, dorky kid, but a kid nonetheless. I was neither cute or ugly. I was just: A kid. Innocent but eager.

Maybe that’s how he liked to think of me.

Throughout his life my dad never lost a sense of innocence. Don’t get me wrong, he was far from innocent in the literal sense. He was a Marine. He did enjoy a drink or two and he liked a bawdy joke as much as the next guy at the poker game. But. There was a sense of innocence about him. The type of innocence associated with wonder and curiosity. “I wonder what this does…” “I wonder what would happen if…” “I wonder where that road goes…” And he was eager to explore and find the answers. And if in searching for the answers he found something interesting or exciting he couldn’t wait to share it. He was eager to experience. Eager for life. Innocent enough to wonder and ask the questions, eager enough to try to find the answers.

I inherited or learned some of that innocence and eagerness from him. Maybe he saw some of himself in that photo of me.

Or it’s just a photo.

Or he kept meaning to update it but never got around to it.

Dunno.

And for all the comedy and weirdness of him carrying that photo all these years, transferring it from wallet to wallet, it does make me sad that I will never have the opportunity to ask him why that photo.

I never knew he carried around that photo. I’m guessing he knew I didn’t know. I’m guessing he thought I’d never “find out.”

If I chose to “go there” I could assign a lot of significance on a lot of levels. The implied secrecy. The fact that he carried me around, forever a child, while next to me in his wallets my siblings grew and matured through the course of their lives. Maybe that photo captured something he liked about me which I began to lose shortly after that photo was taken. My pre-teen years were the dawn of my cynicism and disgust with the injustices of the world. I haven’t been the same since. Maybe he was sad about that and wanted to remember me when I was less aware and more hopeful. Maybe he liked me better as a kid than as an adult. (To this I smirk, cynically, "So if I was the perennial little kid in his eyes why am I the one dealing with the adult responsibilities of his death while my grown-up siblings are nowhere to be found?") Maybe it's because I'm the youngest and he wanted to hang onto us kids, as kids. Maybe he chose me to represent the collective years he spent as a father to young kids. At the time that photo was taken he'd been a father for 20 years. My siblings were legal, voting adults. Maybe it's not the photo of me but what that photo embodies: Kids. All of us kids. Maybe it was then he first felt the pangs of sending kids out into the world as adults and he wanted to hang onto our youth via that photo.

Or maybe there’s some deep Freudian meaning which could unlock the complexities of our relationship and in turn, perhaps solve the mystery as to why I can’t meet the right man for me and what to do to change that. (Because in Freudville it always goes back to the parents.) If I could ask him why he carried that photo all these years maybe I could gain some insight about him I didn’t already know.

...to mention but a few deeper meanings which could be attached to this innocuous seeming photo. I could crumble to my knees and cry, “Why, Dad, why? Why this photo? What does it mean? What did it mean to you?”

That’s assigning a lot of psychology to a small photograph.

Discovering that photo could cause a complete emotional meltdown. It could be the basis of an entire Lifetime mini-series.* It could forever change me or scar me. It could alter my perception of what my dad thought of me. It could alter my perception of my dad. It could call the dynamic of our relationship into question. Discovering that photo could set off all sorts of things, trigger all sorts of emotions and responses. It could cause doubt which could set off a chain reaction of confusion, uncertainty, fear, anger and a host of other issues requiring years of therapy and arguments among my siblings.

But it didn’t. Knowing this “secret” about my dad doesn’t change the relationship we had. It doesn’t alter my memories. It provides a small bit of insight and shines light on one small aspect of my father. But it doesn’t change everything I knew about him. It doesn’t re-phrase everything he ever said to me with a new context. It doesn’t cloud the experiences we shared. (Which include him helping me work on many of those merit badges.) It doesn't add intrigue to my dad's life - or mine.

It doesn’t diminish the bittersweet sting of finding a perfect skipping stone.

I tucked the photos back into their places in the wallet and returned it to its hiding place. Everything back the way my dad always kept it. Everything the way it's supposed to be with me none the wiser apart from learning my dad carried a photo of me in his wallet. Which is a great thing to learn. I never knew he carried any photos other than the one of my mother. It doesn't matter what photo or when it was taken. He kept me and my family with his important every day stuff of life. That's the significance. He wanted photos of us, of me, with him. That's what matters, that's what I take away from this.

Why that old photo of me? There's no point in dwelling on the possibilities.

He just liked it.







*I can see the opening credits, soft but dramatic instrumental music, rain streaming down windows, a woman pulls out a wallet from a dresser drawer, out falls a photo of a little girl in a Girl Scout uniform, the camera zooms in for a soft lens close up of the decades old photo, then cuts to the woman who has one poignant tear on her cheek. "My Father's Secrets" splashes across the screen. She notices a car pulling into the driveway and quickly returns the photo to the wallet and shoves the wallet back into the drawer.

2:45 PM

 
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