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, November 17, 2008  
My dad loved Christmas. Absolutely loved it. His enthusiasm and excitement for the holiday rivaled that of any 6-year-old hopped up high on Mountain Dew. When I was a kid in my small hometown most people didn’t decorate for the holidays until at least the end of November. There was small town decorum about decorating for the holidays. The decorations were to appear no sooner than the end of November and were to be taken down no later than the second week of January.

My dad started chomping at the holiday decorations bit by mid-October. Because we lived in a cold, unpredictable climate he used the excuse of a “good weather” day to festoon the house with lights and decorations. So what if it was only mid-November? If my mother chastised him for going against the small town decorum and rushing the season he’d come back at her with the rationalization that a storm could blow through any day making the installation of outdoor Christmas decorations difficult and unsafe, if not impossible. The thing is, he was right. You wanted those holiday lights in place before the real snow hit. And, giving my mother The Look, he’d add, “we wouldn’t want to be without lights and decorations this holiday, would we? The kids would be so disappointed.”

The kids. Yeah. Sure. Blame the kids. Sometimes I wonder if the reason my dad wanted to have children was so that he’d have an excuse for toys, fireworks and holiday decorations. Sure, thanks to my dad we enjoyed all that and more, but he was right there in on the fun, too. He shared the experiences with us and that was great. But. I’m pretty sure his motivations weren’t entirely selfless.

He planned a different display every year. Adding, editing and re-inventing the holiday decorations was an annual reason d'etré for him. By the time my mother “allowed” him to put up decorations he’d gone over the year’s master plan so many times he had the placement of every bulb, circuit junction, timer, every wreath, bough, angel and Santa committed to memory. My mother managed the holiday concerts, parties, school plays, the schedules and Christmas Eve wardrobes. She did the baking, the cooking and much of the indoor decorating. But the outdoor displays were my dad’s jurisdiction. It was his point of pride. His holiday greeting to the neighborhood. The showcase for his adoration of the Christ child. And the showcase for his prowess with colored lights and questionable electrical wiring modifications.

My dad had holiday lights dating back to my parents' first Christmas. And, get this, they were hand-me-down lights from an aunt and uncle who were fed up with the old one-burns-out-the-whole-string goes-dark type of holiday lights. They were already old when my parents started using them. Back in the olden days holiday lights were rudimentarily designed. If one bulb burned out the entire string went dark. Which means you had to find the burned out bulb after it, well, burned out. Finding the burned out bulb after the string went dark meant taking out the bulbs and putting in a new bulb. One bulb at a time. When the entire string lit up you knew you found The Bad Bulb.

Some kids have the holiday tradition of Easter egg hunts. Other kids enjoy the holiday tradition of finding treats hidden each day on an Advent calendar. We had the fun tradition of Finding The Bad Bulb. Finding the Bad Bulb Day was an annual two-day event (or longer) which officially marked the start of the holiday season.

My dad usually tested a string of lights for illumination prior to adhering them to the house or trees.

But not always.

Sometimes he’d forget which strings he tested and figured they were all okay anyway, only to discover a bad string - a burned out bulb - after the entire display was in place. Back then you didn’t just go out and buy a new string of lights. You bought strings of holiday lights and replacement bulbs. Some people stockpile emergency items like spare fuses, screws, bolts, bandages, tape…my dad was never without a healthy stash of spare holiday light bulbs.

Discovering a bad string meant one thing: My dad, brother and I had to methodically try each bulb on the string to find the bad one. Even though my dad loved the holidays and was brimming over with enthusiasm and holiday cheer, the stress of a bad bulb dimming his display dampened his spirits. He used words and expressions not considered merry. Jesus (H) Christ was mentioned a lot. And not because we were preparing to celebrate His birthday. My dad's frustration level would rise like a cartoon character – you could see his blood pressure rising to the level where steam should have been coming out of his ears accompanied by the noise of a boiling tea kettle. Compounding the issue were my dad's large hands and fingers. Perfect for throwing and catching a football, his hands were, like the rest of him, sturdy. To say the least. Not so perfect for fiddling with and handling small bulbs and sockets. So. The task fell to us smaller fingered kids.

We worked feverishly to find the bad bulb. As if a glorious string of glowing bulbs wasn't evidence enough, jubilant cries of glee would ring out when a bad bulb was found and replaced. My dad would drop everything and run over to witness the glorious illumination of the previously offending string of lights. There were a few years it took so long to Find the Bad Bulb that when it was finally found and replaced my dad wept tears of joy.

The same process was used to find the bulb which made the string of lights blink.

The Blinker.

The #@!*ing Blinker.

At some point the holiday lighting industry took a huge leap forward in technology and tried to accommodate all holiday lighting tastes by making one-string-fits-all lights. These were bleak days for my dad. For him it foretold The End of Days. The dual purpose strings of holiday light were the work of Satan himself. Much as my dad loved his outdoor lighting, much as he loved useless technology, much as he loved a bit of dash, blinking holiday lights were abhorrent. Intolerable.

He was a purist. He was fine with dozens of strings of light on the house and in the trees, but blinking lights? Pfft. We didn't live in Las Vegas. C'mon, have a little class.

There was one bulb, The Blinker, and if you didn’t want your lights to blink you replaced it with The Steady bulb. The conventional demarcation for the bulbs is that The Blinker has a red tip, the rest are clear. You remove the red tipped bulb and replace it with a non-red-tipped bulb if you don't want your holiday lights to blink. I know this because I spent many, many zero degree wind whipped nights on the front porch trying to Find the Bad Bulb, feverishly working to find the bulb which would make the string of lights stop blinking. The lights, which now didn't go dim when a bulb burned out, would be pulsing away like Saturday night at Studio 54. My dad’s temper and frustration would increase with each blink. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Every time the lights flashed on I could see his face. In the still, dark Winter evening of our suburban front yard the blinking illumination cast a sinister pulsing glow on my dad. Like some scary cartoon trip to Dante’s Inferno. With each flash of lights the look on his face became progressively scarier.

When I was young my older brother and I both were called to holiday light duty. I vaguely remember my brother having to man up and handle some of the bigger responsibilities of holiday lighting. You know, guy stuff. Stuff involving hammers, nails and ladders. My dad and brother would spend a lot of time in the garage. And then I, and my smaller, nimble fingers and steadfast obedience, would be summoned. For some reason my older sister escaped holiday lighting duty. The thing is, when my brother was around we'd inevitably be hit with overpowering urges to laugh at the ill-functioning lights. Which only served to anger my dad. He had serious plans. Holiday lighting was no laughing matter. Kids in the Third World didn't have holiday lights. We should have been more grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Jesus by adorning our house and trees with strings of lights.

I missed my brother a lot when he went away to college. But. I didn't miss the ill-timed fits of laughter. Sometimes the situation would strike us so funny we'd be in that silent, shoulder spasming, tears streaming, weak in the knees kind of laughing. Who can Find the Bad Bulb in that condition? After he went away to college I had to take on more holiday lighting responsibility. It was just my dad and me and dozens of strings of lights. And boxes of replacement bulbs. It was no laughing matter. And much as I missed my brother, my dad's patience would be spared two hysterically laughing, insolently ungrateful kids.

Cheeks stinging and teeth chattering in the Winter night air, I could hear my heart beating faster and louder, eventually beating in time with the offensive blinking lights. I worked diligently, often working by touch instead of sight because the porch lights were dimmed for the purposes of effect for the holiday lights. I'd steal a glance in through a front window. There silhouetted in warm glow of the kitchen light my mother would be a vision of domestic holiness baking cookies. Maybe chatting on the telephone. She was unaware of the eminent disaster lurking on the front porch. Christmas could be on the brink of decimation and she was baking cookies. But then, isn't that why we were doing this? To preserve and protect the holiday rituals? Oh, and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ God's son sent to save us. Yes. Yes I would do my part to make sure our house would be illuminated. And then I'd have a cookie.

I’d work more feverishly, even taking off my mittens to speed the process. Frost bite? Who cares? Must. Find. The. Blinker. The fate of humanity rested in my hands. To speed the process, to make it more compelling, I imagined I was working out some complex military code. I had to stop the blinking before the bad guys blew up the entire country. My dad's progressively worse agitation at the blinking lights should have been compelling enough to motivate me. But my added imaginary saving humanity angle ensured I would find The Blinker in record time. I was always scared of what might happen to my dad if I didn’t find The Blinker in time to save him.

The relief of finding and replacing The Blinker was palpable. With The Steady firmly in place all was right with the world. My dad would see his vision of Holy exultation illumination to fruition. There would be cookies. We would live to see another Christmas.

This will be our first Christmas since my dad died. My mother and I are going through a lifetime of stuff, sorting, donating, discarding things in preparation for her downsizing to a smaller home. We both make wide passes around the boxes of holiday decorations. They're the elephant in the room we don't mention. But. In the past two months of sorting I've found stashes of holiday light replacement bulbs all over the house. It upset me, reduced me to gut wrenching sobs at first. But I find them so frequently, now, that I've become more used to the sadness and longing they invoke. I found two, clipped together, nestled in the middle of a roll of packing tape. I can imagine my dad, in the midst of his lighting prep, setting them down in there thinking they wouldn't roll away and would be ready if he needed them. Instead of crying that made me smile.

For the first time, well, ever, my parents' house and yard will not be illuminated for the holidays this year. I toyed, briefly, with the idea of lighting it up for my dad, in his honor. But the prospect is too painful. It's all still too new. Then I remembered the Broadway tradition of dimming the lights, "going dark," when an actor dies. That tradition seems apt for my dad's holiday lighting displays.

Cherry Cove Road will be dark this holiday in tribute to my dad.

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8:58 PM

 
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