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, April 23, 2008  
Are nervous breakdowns like insanity? If you're cognitive enough to wonder if you're having one, you're not? Do they even still call them nervous breakdowns or is that an un-PC and outdated term? I hope not. I like the term nervous breakdown. Of course, this is coming from someone who is speculating about whether or not she's having one, so my opinion on phraseology might not be relevant.



I went swinging today.

Yep. Swinging. On a swing.


When I was a kid my grandparents lived for a few years in a little neighborhood with a cute little neighborhood park. My grandad used to walk me down the street to the park and I'd climb on the monkey bars and run screaming like a banshee down a hill I thought was equivalent to Mt. Everest and then I'd settle in for the real business of the park: Swinging. The swings in that park were phenomenal. They were placed, strategically, by a thrill seeking/psychotic park designer, on a plateau of a small valley in the park. So as you pushed the swing forward you would swing out over the slope of the valley. Ground would fall away below you and the feeling of flying was amplified exponentially because of that potentially sadistic but ever-so-thrilling placement. The swings were also extra tall, so it was rough to get momentum going. You really had to work your legs to get the swings off the ground, but boy when you did you really flew.

There were tales of brave/stupid kids who dared to jump off the swing and into the great blue yonder. My brother told me he heard about a kid who went into orbit and was being tracked by NASA. I was really little and didn't fully grasp the concept of orbit, or NASA for that matter, but it didn't seem out of the realm of possibility. If you saw the swings and their placement on the slope, you'd accept the plausibility, too.

I was generally fearless when it came to pumping swings to the maximum height and speed, and I'd made a few jumps myself on the swingset at home and on the school playground. So I was no stranger to feats of daring peril on a swing.

But.

Even I maintained a healthy respect for the swings in that park and clung tightly to the chains and didn't risk pushing the limits of physics. On lesser swings I loved to push the physics limits to the point the chain would go slack. I loved the feeling of dead air with the slack chain. Sometimes just before the chains went slack I'd twist my body so the swing chains would twist, a 180. This usually resulted in hair loss. But I kept the chains taught at all times on the swings in the park by my grandparents' house. The chains holding the seat were the good old fashioned sturdy kind, the kind with huge forged links with connecting centers big enough to trap and pinch little kid fingers and stray pigtail hairs. It wasn't a real day at the park if I didn't return home with two blistered and pinched hands, pigtails askew and missing strands of hair. And the chains had really good squeaks. Really, really good squeaks. They were, you know, real swings.

They don't make 'em like that any more. Health and safety standards. Liability insurance. Litigation. Kids are safer but, I dunno, I have difficulty warming up to anyone who's never blistered their hands raw from having a blast on a swing.

Right.

Nervous breakdown.

Here it comes.


My dad's in intensive care. Again. A ton of stuff is wrong with him. No definitive answers. Just a lot of tests and tubes and medications and specialists.

Intensive care is intense. They're strict about visitors and visiting hours.


So.


I took my parents' car for a drive. I didn't have a destination in mind. I just: Drove.

And eventually I realized I wasn't far from the park where a kid was launched into orbit via a swing.



Okay. I knew that area has fallen into decay. The once charming streets with nice houses and good neighbors are, well, you know. "Bad." I knew that. No surprise. It happened a long time ago. The area just turned bad. Quickly. So I haven't been in that area for a long time.


But there I was.


"Eh, whatever, I've been mugged, beaten, robbed, and ridiculed. So what if I add a stabbing or rape or abduction to the list?"


And with that I pulled into the overgrown parking lot and walked around the park.


The Mt. Everest hill was there, though I laughed out loud at how the small the hill is through adult eyes.

And there, oh glory of miracles, there were the swings.

Okay, not the swings, but, the original frame with a lone newer swing attached, was still perched on the precipice of the valley.

And you know what? The swing still looks huger than normal swings and the peril factor of swinging out over the slope is still very real. Someone, maybe a park employee who himself played on those swings as a kid, knows what they've got there, knows the importance of a really good swing, and has maintained at least one functioning swing.


So I spent 45 minutes getting blisters on my hands, getting hairs caught and pulled out by the chains of the swing and trying to figure out the required trajectory and jump point to launch myself into orbit.


I only stopped because a cop pulled up, got out of the squad car and came over to see what I was doing.


Swinging, duh, I was swinging.


Apparently he thought I was doped up on crack like the other adults who swing in the park in the middle of the afternoon.

He just walked around the park and cast that squinty eyed cop look at me now and then. No law against swinging in a park in the middle of the day. Ha ha, officer, you can't nail me for anything, go bust the crack dealer two blocks that way.


I didn't feel re-energized or enlightened or inspiried. For a few minutes there I was kind of happy about bringing back that feeling I had as a kid, higher, higher, higher, falling, falling, falling. Just me, the swing and physics. But that was pretty much the extent of it.

And that made me wonder about the nervous breakdown.


Aren't you supposed to "feel" something, something special or inspired, when, as an adult, you re-visit a childhood pleasure? Aren't you supposed to be reminded of the simple pleasures in life and emerge with a new, more positive outlook on life?

I mean, maybe I did and just didn't realize it. It seems like it was just fun for 45 minutes and then it was over and I had to go back to reality. A reality which sucks. Which, actually, pretty much sums up life. Childhood is fun for about 45 minutes and then you have to go to a sucky reality.


I know. That sounds more depressed than nervous breakdowny.



It's just, well, I dunno.


My dad died, twice, and is now looking at a very distorted reality from life as he's known it. Sure, he survived, twice, and that's all that matters. But watching him fight for life only to learn the life he fought so hard to save is not going to be the life he's going to have once his doctors say he can go home is rough. I think he'll adapt. People do adapt. But. This isn't what he fought so hard to save, his will to survive was not fueled by a passion for hospital beds in the living room, oxygen tanks on wheelie carts and dyslexia. Yes. My dad is now dyslexic. Sure, not the end of the world, loads of people are dyslexic. But. Would you want to fight to save your life only to find out you have to learn how to read again?


He's coping better than I am. I guess he truly is just happy to be alive. I guess that's all that matters.


Tell that to my mortgage company, the people collecting medical bills and my boss who keeps reminding me that my employment clock runs out on May 1 unless I "make up" a new job.


And that's where the nervous breakdown comes into play.


I just don't care anymore. (Isn't that an '80s Genesisollins song?) I haven't cared for a long time, but that fight for survival gene was keeping me going, making me deal with the ridiculousness of it all. Now, well, I don't care. I could very well lose everything in the next month. And I feel nothing. So what? I don't have much to lose. Whatever. I always hated parts of that job anyway. I was never in love with my condo. I'm so far in debt thanks to medical bills it'll be years before I get them paid off. So, you know, really, unemployment and homelessness are not such a big deal when weighed against the option of keeping a job working for a woman who harbors a lot of animosity and no respect for me or my abilities merely to collect a paycheck which barely keeps a roof over my head and pays medical bills. That ain't livin'. It's not even surviving.


I think in the moment I was hoping for some sort of epiphany on that swing. It didn't arrive. And that doesn't surprise me.


But what constitutes a nervous breakdown? Apathy? Disregard for providing employment and shelter for yourself? Not "feeling" anything other than the laws of physics when you play on a swing?

9:47 PM

Sunday, April 20, 2008  
American Airlines has been my domestic airline of choice for, well, pretty much forever. Oh sure, I fly other airlines sometimes. And I love Virgin. If I could fly Virgin everywhere I have to go, I would. But. Unfortunately that’s not possible. Especially domestically.

But let me qualify the “of choice” rating in this case. Virgin is my favorite airline because: They suck less than other airlines. I’m not saying they’re great or that it’s a wonderful high flying feeling of constant Nirvana (yeah, I’m on a Nirvana kick these days, sorry. It’ll pass.) I’m just saying that in the realm of airlines, Virgin sucks less than other airlines. And American has sucked less than other domestic airlines. Again, to reiterate, that’s not saying much. Flying was one long abusive chamber of horrors before 9/11. Post-9/11 it’s become an abusive chamber of horrors with self-important rent-a-cops running herd on the cattle. (And yes, yes, some TSA agents are highly trained and experienced and I’m grateful, okay? I’m grateful.) But travel through O’Hare, not just security, on any random day and it will be blazingly obvious in terms of customer service, crowd control it’with a heavy dose of fear factor.


“Hi, um, oh geeze, I’m sorry, (sniffle sniffle), excuse me, I’m sorry. I need to get on a flight from Chicago O’Hare to Detroit as quickly as possible. I have a family emergency. My dad had a hea hea heart attttaaaaaaack. (Sob sob) I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just got the news and I’m very upset, I just need to get to Detroit as fast as humanly possible.”

“Okay. Okay, I’m so sorry. Let’s see what we can do. Oh shoot. There’s a flight in 20 minutes. I don’t suppose you can make that…”

“Um, no. It will take me that long to get through security.”

“Right. Right. Yes. Sorry. Lessseee. Hmmm. Darnit. That’s the last flight we have today and taking a loot at other airlines I’m only seeing stand-by available on the last flight. You can’t book and buy a stand-by ticket on the day of travel. Sorry. So, the best we can do is tomorrow morning, 6:50 AM.”

“Okay, book me. How much is the ticket? I also have frequent flyer miles. Whichever is easiest and fastest. I just need to get to Detroit. I have to get to my dad. “

“Of course, of course. Now, we do have the compassionate fare program. We’ll just need a phone number of the hospital.”

“Erm, okay, yes, I can get that for you.” (racing online to find phone number of hospital)

“Oh, wait, unfortunately we don’t have any compassionate fares on that flight.”

“Okay, whatever, I just need to get to Detroit.”

“Okay, when will you be returning?”

“Uh, returning? I don’t know. I mean, how could I know?”

“Right, right, of course. This could be problematic.”

“I can’t just buy a one way ticket?”

“Oh sure, yes, but, well, it will cost you $780. Or 50,000 frequent flyer miles.”

“Whoa, whoa, $780 for a one way ticket from Chicago to Detroit?”

“I’m sorry. These last minute one way bookings are always high. I think you’d be better off booking round trip with an arbitrary return date and then change the return date when you know your plans. (typy tippy typy tippy keyboard noise) Oh yes, that’s much better. Round trip, returning Wednesday, $690. AND, by doing that you can request a refund for compassionate expense after the fact. In the end you’ll pay around $400 plus a $75 rescheduling fee if you change the Wednesday flight.”

“Okay, I guess, I mean, I don’t have any other options. Wait. Would the round trip ticket be 50,000 air miles, too?”

“Yes. Is that how you’d like to pay for the ticket?”

“Yes, might as well use the air miles.”

“I’ll have to transfer you to the Award Booking agent.”

“Okay, whatever, I need to get this done and call my mother.”

Tinny muzak.

Pompous and self righteous advertising for the airline. (Seriously, I’m waiting on hold to buy a ticket, you have the sale. I’m captive. Shut up.)

“Hewo, dis iz Lili.”

“Hi Lili, I’m on hold waiting to book a ticket from Chicago to Detroit with my air miles. It’s a family emergency.”

“Oh so sowwee. Awr you going to Hong Kong?”

I kid you not. Hong Kong, Hong. Swutting. Kong.

“Erm, no, like I said, just Chicago O’Hare to Detroit Metro.”

“Oh, see, I’m international agent. Do you speak Mandarin?”

I swear, on a stack of Hitchhiker’s Guides, she asked me if I speak Mandarin.

I was certain I must have misunderstood her. I was very upset, very stressed, I was sure I had to have misunderstood her.

“I’m sorry, pardon me?”

“You speak Mandarin?”

Very nearly said, “No, darn the luck, just Tagalog.” But instead just sat there, blurry eyed from crying, dazed and confused about speaking Mandarin to book a flight from Chicago to Detroit.

“No. I’m afraid I don’t.”

“See, you need agent with better Engwish.” (Yes, I know I’m going to Hell, okay? I know she was only trying to help in her own way and hey, she speaks Engwish and Mandarin and I only speak Engwish and a little bit of German and art history French and Italian. Okay? I’m not making fun of her. It was just a really absurd conversation in the midst of the worst day of my life(?) thus far.

So click, I went on hold with the tinny muzak and self righteous, self serving, pointless ads for the airline. (Note to self: GREAT marketing idea: place voice ads for competing airlines on airline hold muzak. Sure, it’ll never happen, but, it IS a great idea.)

And then I encountered: June.

June must have had a really, really bad week last week when American canceled all their flights. Because June was a high flying b-i-t-c-h. Oh yes I did call her a bitch. Right there, I did it again.

I explained to her my journey in trying to get to Detroit thus far.

When I got to the part about my dad having a heart attack I lost my emotional grip. I heard myself say, “My dad had a heart attack.” I hear the words come out of my mouth. I was so focused on the flight when I said them before that I didn’t really hear them. This time, though, this time I heard them and reality hit, hard, and crashed around me. I was choking back sobs, trying to get some composure, trying to get this swutting ticket taken care of so I could get off the phone with the airline and call my mother. But when I tried to talk all that came out were squeaks or sobs or that gulping gasping noise you make when you’re crying so hard you get dizzy and your shoulders lurch back and forth.

You might think a customer service agent emphasis on SERVICE would a) be compassionate and sympathetic, b) be kind and gentle affecting a soothing tone for the distraught customer whose father could be dying, or at least c) cut the poor sobbing woman trying to get to Detroit a little slack.

But no.

June said, again, I kid you not, “I can’t help you if I can’t understand you.”

For a brief moment I thought she was bringing up the Mandarin language issue.

Then I realized she was being a bitch to me because I was crying and apparently wasting her precious time.


But me, ever the polite girl who is always the first to apologize, said, “I’m sorry. I’m just very upset. This is a very distressing time for me.”

“Maybe you should take a moment and call us back when you’re more composed.”

I kid you swutting not.

Mouth agape on floor.

“Um, no, I’m okay, let’s just get this ticket booked.” Deep breath. In, out. Breathe. Do it for your dad. Buck up lieutenant. Write a scathing letter to her boss next week. Right now, just get this ticket to Detroit.

“Fine. We’ll deduct 50,000 miles from your account. I’ll need a credit card for the $150.”

“Okay, it’s a VISA, the number is…hang on, wait a minute. What $150?”

“The booking fee, Homeland Security fee, fuel tax fee, service fee.”

“But you’re already ripping me off 25,000 frequent flyer miles. And now $150?”

“You want two one way tickets. That’s 25,000 25,000 each ticket. And the fees are standard. If you read your program information you would know that.”

Seriously. Bitch of the Year, 2008, June who works customer service for American Airlines. She went the extra mile to not only treat a distraught customer horribly, she threw in the little miss smarty pants phrase and tone! Let’s hear it for June!

“Um, okay, wait. Well, wait. I’m trying to think, trying to be smart about this. How much does the ticket cost, in dollars, again? I’m sorry (again, apologizing for no reason other than I felt completely inept and belittled by June) I wrote down some numbers with the first person I spoke with and now I’m confused.”

“50,000 frequent flyer miles and $150, or $780 for a one way ticket.”

“Right, but what about the round trip ticket returning Wednesday. I think she said I could apply for a compassionate refund if I showed proof my dad had a heart atta atta atttttaaaaaak!”

“If you’re going to yell at me I can’t help you. I don’t have to listen to you yell at me.”

Okay. Whoa. Wait a minute. I wasn’t yelling, I was crying because my dad had a massive heart attack and I have to get to Detroit ASAP.

“Yak know what, how about if I speak to your manager?”

“She’s busy.”

“I’ll wait.”

C’est la guerre.

Finally, finally Miss Cathy, I kid you not, Miss Cathy, gets on the phone. I have no idea who Miss Cathy is and she sounds a bit like June, enough that I actually say, “Is this June? I’m on hold for your supervisor, remember?” \

“No, this is Miss Cathy.”

“Okay, whatever, mydadhadaheartattack and I need to get from Chicago to Detroit as soon as possible. I believe the first agent I spoke with reserved a seat for me tomorrow morning and returning next Wednesday. But I haven’t paid for it yet. I want to confirm the details of the flight. June confused me and wanted to charge me 50,000 frequent flyer miles and $150 for a 30 minute flight.”

“Yes, that’s right. You’re booking at the last minute. We’re out of compassionate fares. It’s going to cost you 50,000 miles and $150 or $690 for a one way ticket tomorrow.”

“What happened to the round trip ticket with a Wednesday return?”

“ You HAVE that, I SAID it’s 50,000 miles and $150.”

“But what if I want to pay for it with a credit card instead of air miles?”

“I said $690 for a one way ticket tomorrow.”

“Uh huh, and I said a round trip ticket returning next Wednesday.”

This went on a painfully, horrendously, non-comedically long time.



In the end I paid $780 for a round trip ticket from Chicago to Detroit, a 30 minute flight, to be with my family because my dad had a massive heart attack.

Allegedly if I can prove my dad was in an emergency situation I can request a compassionate refund.

Based on these conversations I highly doubt American Airlines gives a rat’s whisker about compassion so I’m not expecting much.

I will have to decide if I will give them my business again. From a practicality standpoint, it’s not really possible.

So what’s the next best thing? Publicly slandering the already slandered reputation of American Airlines.


Urrrrgh.

1:14 PM

 
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