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 13, 2008  
The v word day is tomorrow.

I toyed with the idea of taking the day off work and hermitting myself away at home, not even opening the door to retrieve the mail, until February 15. That’s the best, or only way I can come up with to avoid the onslaught of flowers, balloons, fluffy pookie bears and whatever else is popular to disrupt offices on Valentine’s Day.

I know. I know, okay? I know. I know how that sounds.

Bitter old shrew of a spinster.

I know.

A female love Scrooge.

Maybe it’s time to throw up my arms in defeat and admit that’s what I’m becoming. A good, solid, caring, loving long term relationship remains evasive and eludes me, so I don’t want anything to do with the International Day of Marketing Love.

Not making love, marketing love. Note the difference. If other people want to pimp out their emotions, sell them for the price of a bouquet of roses and fluffy red pookie bear with devil horns, well, that’s their business.

Yes, I am cynical about Valentine’s Day. Bitter about it? No. Envious, resentful or otherwise jealous of people who are sent tokens of love and affection on this day? No. But unfortunately I am single and I do not buy into Valentine’s Day.

It’s A = B, B = C so A= C. And in this case, A = Single, B = Distaste for the International Day of Marketing Love, and C = looking like a bitter, resentful, jealous shrew of a lonely old spinster.

For the record if I had a boyfriend my choice would be that he wouldn’t buy into it, either. I like him to be enlightened and mature and agree with my point of marketing view on the whole thing. I’d like him to have enough respect for his feelings, my feelings and our relationship that he wouldn’t feel a need or pressure or obligation to pimp it out to a bouquet of roses. But, on the other hand, if he felt truly moved to do something for me on February 14, well, I mean, I’m not going to go all ungracious recipient on him.

I’ve tried it all, every coping technique. Embracing and accepting it. Making fun of it. Celebrating my singleness on it. Pretending not to notice it. One year I even weighed the pros and cons of suicide. I decided it would be cliché, and I certainly didn’t want Valentine’s Day to win and claim another lonely victim. And none of the others “work” either. There’s no ignoring it, but I can’t really accept it, either. No matter how much I hate it, no matter how much I see through the marketing hype of it, no matter how stupid and insignificant I think it is, it still calls attention to the fact that I am the only one in the office who doesn’t receive something from a partner, or the only one who doesn’t have special plans for that evening. It makes me conspicuous in the absence of flowers, pookie bears or plans for the evening. I’m singled out of a crowd of happy couples. Couples wherein the men have been threatened, hinted to, marketed to, guilted into and otherwise cajoled into “celebrating” Valentine’s Day.

I can guarantee that we’ll have a high absentee rate on Friday. Valentine’s Day is Thursday. The following Monday is a holiday. You do the math. So much for that project on a tight deadline.

Ooops, there’s Scrooge again. Send in the ghosts of Valentine’s past, present and future and then…on second thought, let’s skip the trip down memory lane.

Suffice it to say Valentine’s Day has never been good to me. I was the kid with the most creative and best looking Valentine’s Day card box. I won a prize every year for my artistically designed and crafted card box. But for all it's glorious artistic merit, it would remain almost empty by the time the Valentine's Day party got into full swing and everyone tore open their boxes to dig into their Valentine's cards from classmates. A few of my girl friends would give me a card with a kitten or Barbie on it, but that was it. My parents were very strict about this sort of thing. They made me give a Valentine to every kid in my class. And my mother would usually get the really good Valentine’s card kits, the ones with the candy you attach to the card. I had to give one to everyone. Even stupid bratty Renee. Renee teased me about this. She’d tell her posse that I was so desperate to get a Valentine I gave fancy cards to everyone. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of my measly card acquisition that I’d lie and tell my parents I left “all” of them at school. I made it sound like I had a lot. I mean, it’s a white lie, and not even really a lie, I did leave all of them at school. It’s just that “all” of them were usually only two. They were so strict about me giving everyone in my class a Valentine that I didn’t want them to know other kids didn’t do that and that their well intended lesson in altruism left me looking stupid and pathetic. I’d instead quickly swing the conversation to my triumph in the box design contest. Oh yes. Valentine’s Day is just a big decorated shoe box full of fun, isn’t it?

The present is much the same and the future’s not looking any different.

I that ghost of Valentine's Days past just haunted me, I’ll be like Scrooge and learn valuable life lessons! Take the lesson my parents instilled in me and give everyone, friend and foe, a Valentine.

Go ahead! Take the whole week off! Enjoy yourselves! Here, have a heart shaped box of chocolate, overpriced wilty roses and edible undies! God bless us, every one!





Actually, now that I think about it, the love Scrooge wouldn't be a bad idea for a Lifetime original movie. Or maybe even a cineplex hit starring Drew Barrymore. Now that the writers' strike is over maybe I should consider that possibility. What was their final deal? Quite a tidy little sum of money to churn out the pabulum they produce in the form of television and movies.





I was very tempted to take February 14 off from work and just hide in bed with a book. No internet, no mail, no television, nothing that could in any way let Valentine’s Day into my home. You know, like the Grinch tried to do with Christmas.

Yes. Not only am I love Scrooge, I’m the love Grinch.

And yes, I know the lessons from those stories. So I know it’s better to acknowledge it, accept it, and be happy for those who enjoy it. That’s enlightenment, right?

So I’m not taking the day off work. And I might even make treats for the gang at physical therapy. Yes. I intentionally scheduled a physical therapy appointment on Valentine’s Day. Hey, emotional pain, physical pain, might as well make a day of it.

What I need are some snappy come-backs for the catty remarks and sad puppy eyes I get because I don’t have anything delivered to me and no special plans for the evening.

Come-backs that don’t sound bitter and shrew-like. I don’t want to answer the question asked about me behind my back. (“What’s wrong with her? Why isn’t she married or with someone?”) A bitter or shrew-like retort would only solidify the theory that I’m a horrible, awful person no man can tolerate for more than one date. Which does actually appear to be the case, but I don’t think it’s because I’m bitter or shrew-like. At least not on the first date. All ideas for a response to the "Where's your Valentine, Trillian?" asked by one of the catty bitches in the office who know darned well I don't have anyone romantic in my life would be very welcomed. It can't sound mean or bitter or defensive, but it can't sound overly humble or pathetic, either.

So to all the singles out there, rock on, solidarity, it’ll all be over in a day or two.

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3:57 PM

Tuesday, February 12, 2008  
There comes a time in woman's life when she wants her daddy.

That time came for me when I was defeated by a pipe wrench and hot water shut off valve.

I didn't think I was in over my head. Really. I've lived in a lot of vintage apartments. I've helped my dad with lots of household repair and improvement projects. When I was little I was the extra hand that was just small enough to hold a hard to reach part in place while my dad's bigger and confident hands would tighten, loosen, or otherwise adjust the part I was holding. I learned a lot holding various household, automotive and garden parts while my dad repaired, replaced or just tinkered with them. I learned the difference between home improvement and home repair. I learned that accurately and efficiently hammering a nail is 1/10 muscle, 1/10 skill, 1/10 good eyesight and 7/10 physics. I learned what molly screws are and how and when to install them and when to use screw anchors. I learned how to wire a ceiling lighting fixture. I learned to always shut off the main water valves before messing with anything under the sink. I learned that sticking your tongue between your teeth so it peeks out of your mouth increases concentration in tricky situations where skill and patience are required. And I learned some really good swear words and the appropriate time to use them.

I also learned that 8:00 PM on a Sunday night is the best to start a home improvement project.

I thought I learned that Sunday "afternoon" projects are fraught with problems and are in general a very, very bad idea. I thought this because on more than one occasion we started our Monday mornings with no water or no electricity or no heat or no car. My dad would intend to work on these projects after church on Sunday. But then there was Sunday dinner, and then the football game which was supposed to be a snooze would turn out to be a riveting game which would go into overtime, but, a man of his word and a man who never learned his lesson about starting projects on Sunday "afternoon," he'd say, "It'll only take a few minutes." What I know now, as an adult, is that this was like a kid writing a book report on A Tale of Two Cities on Sunday night when he hasn't even cracked the spine of the book. It seems do-able, two cities, a tale, how hard can it be?

The problem was not my father's skill level, or lack thereof. The problem was that inevitably he would need something from a hardware or automotive store. This was in the olden days before home improvement super stores. There was a hardware store, an auto parts store and a lumberyard. Very specific places for very specific items. And none of them were open after 4 PM on Sunday. (And in the case of the lumberyard in my home town, not open at all on Sundays) I know! That's like, weird! Inconvenient or what?!

And my dad worked on Monday mornings. And usually had a big Monday morning meeting he couldn't miss. So. Staying home to finish the home repair/improvement was usually not an option. Which meant my dad would stop at the store on the way home from work, get whatever he needed to finish the project, and Monday night would be spent on the Sunday "afternoon" project. Meanwhile, those of us at home on Monday were left to deal with whatever inconvenience was created by the Sunday "afternoon" project.

I blame the NFL.

My mother blames the entire male gender.

There were a few times she called in a specialist to finish or re-do my dad's handiwork before he got home after work on Monday. This really, really angered my dad. My dad cannot stand paying someone to do anything around the house. It's not that he's cheap. It's a point of pride with him. His house, his family, he provides for and takes care of both. And, well, yeah, those specialists are vultures who take advantage of people who don't know any better.

But a few times a specialist would actually do something clever or skillful and my dad would be impressed. He'd say something like, "Oh, well, see, that's a new (whatever, some complicated sounding device) that's only available to the professional trade. Us regular Joes don't have access to that sort of (complicated sounding device)."

I always felt sorry for the poor sap who came to our house to do a repair. If my dad was there he'd hover behind, next to or over the repairman. And watch. Like a micromanaging foreman. And when the bill was presented my dad would scrutinize it as if it were a sworn affidavit. He'd cross examine the repairman over every detail. Even though he'd been present during the entire operation and saw firsthand everything that had gone into the repair.

Meanwhile my mother would trot off to get her purse, return, swiftly pull out her wallet or checkbook, pay the guy while my dad was still cross-examining him, and then purposefully, poignantly, snap her purse closed in my dad's direction. This was the signal that the home repair was complete and there would be no more discussion of the subject. The words not needed to be spoken thanks that that purse snapping closed were, "Ohfergodsake shut up and leave the poor man alone and don't ever try to install a new bathtub at 9PM on a Sunday night and if you want dinner on the table and clean laundry you'll call a professional next time we need something done around here." I think my mother chose a particular style of purse specifically for it's poignant closing latch capabilities.

That's what I thought I learned from my dad about Sunday afternoon projects.

But apparently I am my father's daughter.

Because around 10:00 PM on a Sunday night I decided it would be a good time to see if I could remove the ugly vanity in my bathroom.

It seemed easy enough. I read the how-to guides and conferred with my dad on three phone conferences. I consulted the This Old House website. This Old House is sacred in my family. I grew up watching it. Some families gather around and bond over touching shows like The Waltons or Family Ties. My family bonds over This Old House. Over the years my dad has ordered episodes on VHS so that he could use them as a reference guide for replicating the project. Most of the time, though, he just takes notes during the show. You know how some people like to show off how smart they are by shouting out the answers on Jeopardy? My dad likes to show off his DIY skill by talking about the project before they actually do it on the show. "Ahh, yes, they're going to have to install a new water heater. They'll probably go with one of the new tankless systems..." or "Uh oh, that old furnace is going to be a pain to remove, they're going to have to bust through the cellar wall to get that out of there, might as well wait on the landscaping until after that project and that looks like a weight bearing beam in front of it..."

I bought the tools the guy at the home improvement super store said I'd need. I thought I was ready and well versed and that this project would be a snap.

I was so, so, so very wrong. And worse, it was 11 PM in my parents' time zone when I discovered I'd underestimated the skill required for the job. It was too late to make an SOS call to my dad. If I call after 10 PM they get all jumpy scared because no one calls after 10 PM unless it's very bad news. Since they're both in ill health I didn't want to stress them out with a late phone call. My dad needs all the rest he can get right now and I didn't want him fixating on my home improvement project all night. I frantically emailed my brother photos of my situation thinking he could talk me through it. He was stumped, too. And the home improvement center closed at 9 PM. So I was on my own with this one.

That's a scary feeling. I've never been on my own with these kinds of projects. My dad or brother or guy at the home improvment center have always been there for me. If I couldn't figure it out, or got in over my head, I had some good resources for advice.

I dejectedly dropped the pipe wrench in an admission of defeat.

All those years, all that time spent helping my dad...what good did it do me? I didn't learn the most important lesson: Do not begin home improvement/repair projects on a Sunday evening.

There's an entire industry build around after hours in-home service. Anything can be done, or re-done correctly, at any time on any day or night.

If you're willing to pay.

I wasn't.

The really ridiculous part of all this is that I was merely "looking" at the vanity. I wanted to uninstall it to see what the floor is like underneath it. I wanted to see how difficult it would be to replace it and if my hopeful replacement would be attachable to the existing water lines. I don't actually have the new replacement vanity, nor was there anything wrong with the water or sink. This was simply a fact finding mission.

And I really botched it. Badly.

I had to brush my teeth and wash my hands and face in the kitchen. Not a big deal. But eerily reminiscent of the time my dad decided to replace a sink on a Sunday night. The upshot of it was that we didn't have water in the entire house until Monday night.

Okay, it wasn't that bad. I had water in the kitchen and I could take a shower. I'll hand it to my dad. He didn't paint himself into too many home repair/improvement corners, but boy when he did the resulting discomforts in the house were huge and required a team of trained experts to fix. And in fairness to my dad, there was usually an underlying issue or problem which wasn't evident when he began the job. You know, go to replace a sticking light switch, discover it was sticking because a wire was too tight, go to loosen the wire and discover it's not grounded properly...and so on until the entire room needs to be re-wired.

There's another lesson I learned from my dad. Well, kind of an addendum to the Sunday "afternoon" project lesson. When it comes to home repair/improvement, things are rarely what they seem. A sticking light switch is rarely just a sticking light switch.

Very good and valuable lessons. And yet did I learn anything from them? Apparently not. I couldn't sleep. All I could see was the vision of my mother snapping her handbag shut after paying a repairman. Over and over and over she snapped it at me.

I sheepishly (and sleepily) called my dad the next day. Told him my dilemma. Emailed him photos.

I should back up here a minute. When I bought my condo my dad was happier and more excited than I was. I just desperately needed a place to live ASAP and happened to hit the home loan market at the right time and happened to qualify for low income mortgages. I wasn't really thinking about all the home improvement possibilities apart from some paint and new lighting fixtures. Keeping a roof over my head and a place to sleep was pretty much the only thing I was thinking about at the time. My dad, on the other hand, was gleefully anticipating all the fixing up "we" could do now that I owned a home of my own. My dad told me to make a list of all the projects I wanted to tackle in my place, then prioritize them. Eventually I did, but it's taken a while. I'm still not used to the idea that I am paying a mortgage and therefore I can do whatever I want to my home. Maybe if I hadn't spent most of the year in agony with my foot and recovering from surgery I might have been more focused on my new place. But with the medical expenses mounting higher every week, the last thing on my mind (or in my budget)is home improvement projects. But my dad remains eager. One of the reasons he's down about the long haul of cancer treatment is that he can't travel and therefore cannot come over to help me with projects around the condo.

I'm still compiling the list of projects and priorities. It changes and grows every week. Before cancer his, every time he came over he arrived with his tool boxes. Together we removed a scary, ugly, ill operating ceiling fan, fixed the water pressure in the kitchen, repaired an window that wouldn't open and re-installed the air conditioner so it sits level and doesn't sound like a jet engine revving. Not bad for only a couple of short weekend visits. I know he's itching to dig into the big stuff, the good stuff. New flooring and a radiant heat element in the bathroom, new cabinets and a dishwasher in the kitchen. I know it's bothersome to him that cancer has knocked him down and left him recuperating and weak in a recliner. I finally have my own place, a place loaded with projects for him to get his hands on, and now there he is stuck on the sidelines only able to offer phone advice.

I hate cancer. It makes me mad. My dad and I were finally going to have some projects to work on together. My mother told me he's been talking up my condo to all his friends. "Right on the Lake! You should see her view! Yessirree, with a little elbow grease and some help from dad she'll have a real gem of a home on her hands..." He finally has something to brag about me other than school and grades and university degrees. He gets to feel vital and useful, I get to have some great help and free advice, we both get to spend time together. S'all good. And then stupid, mean cancer came along.

But, at least I have him to give me phone advice. He told me what I needed to pick up on my way home from work. I made the trip to the home improvement center. I called him from there to verify my choice. I knew what I needed but I wanted him to feel part of the process, needed, useful. I called MAF. He came over and with my dad talking us through the re-installation we got it back (almost) to its original position. I can brush my teeth and wash my hands and face. I'm not touching it again.

My mother was cool. She didn't laugh at me. Too hard.

I narrowly escaped having to call in a professional. It was too close for comfort. There won't be a next time. If it involves a pipe wrench I'm not touching it.

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8:58 PM

 
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