Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Tuesday, July 15, 2008  
WARNING: Do not travel with me. Ever. Plane, bus, train...if you want to arrive on time and are not fond of situations which make you question the meaning of life, the Universe and everything, never, under any circumstance, travel with me.

I left work early today. I had a physical therapy evaluation (the fun with my foot and ankle just never end!) which ended up being more of a, "Yep, you're still limited in your mobility. Six more weeks" statement of obvious fact than evaluation. But rather than return to the office I took the opportunity to board the train before 5PM and maybe, just maybe, get a seat and make the 6 mile journey home in less than an hour.

I felt a little naughty. Okay, a lot naughty. I could have gone back to the office for an hour or two. But I had taken two hours of a sick day. Okay, my appointment only took 30 minutes and all those people in my office were working while I was catching a train home before 5 under the guise of an appointment. I know. I know. Get over it, already. I did. And basked in the glory of my stolen moments of going home early. On a Tuesday!!!

I didn't get a seat. Not at first, anyway. I had to stand several stops. But at the stop where most of the train empties leaving only us "other end of the line" riders I was able to sit down and take a load off the foot and ankle which were hurting after being probed, twisted and pulled by the physical therapist.

I checked my watch.

"Not bad, Trill old girl, not bad. You'll be home by 5:15. Those poor saps at work are just starting to leave the office."


And then the train slowed to pull into the next station. And then we came to a very abrupt stop. So abrupt that everyone in my car, third from the front, lurched forward at whiplash inducing velocity or fell out of their seat.

As I started to sit up, waiting for the train to jerk fully into the station, I heard a crackly tinny voice say, "OH MY GOD I HIT SOMEONE!"




All the jokes about the brakes and complaining about the bumpy ride in the train car ceased. You know when people say you could have heard a pin drop? Well. Yeah. You could have heard a pin drop.

Turns out there was a CTA engineer in our car. He was riding to the end of the line for his shift. He had his walkie talkie on because he was on duty. I know this because he was seated behind me and I heard him say, "Oh Jesus Mary no, no, I'm on it!!" into it as he jumped up and pulled the emergency door open latch thing. The "OH MY GOD I HIT SOMEONE" had been broadcast over his walkie talkie. He told us all to stay calm and stay in our car, that someone might be hit and we should stay in the car for our own safety until advised to do otherwise.


There were maybe 20 of us in the car. Which is a sparsely occupied car for 4:50 PM on a Tuesday.


Okay.


This is a public train in a densely occupied urban area. People get hit by trains. People also commit suicide by jumping in front of them. Sad. But. A fact of life, or death, in any city with commuter rail. I'm not being callous. I'm not jaded. It upsets me horribly, but, it happens. And I am sure I am not the only person who, on a bad day, while commuting to another day at a soul sapping job which doesn't provide an income to pay the bills or pay for a vacation, has watched the oncoming train and thought, "There are options. It's very easy. The train is on its way. I could just end it all right now..." Maybe I'm only one of a few who would openly admit it. But the few times I've mentioned this to people, there's a universal nod of agreement that, yep, there are days, there are times, that for a split second you contemplate how ridiculously easy it would be. Don't worry. I'm not going to do it. I'm a woman and we typically opt for less messy suicides. The split second I think about death by CTA train I think, "ouch," and, "that's not fair to the engineer of the train," and "that would be really awful for my family and friends" and then I click the iPod to a shiny happy people song, take a couple extra steps back from the edge of the platform, board the train and get on with my life. Yep. I'm just too much of a sissy and too polite to hurl myself in front of an oncoming train.

Several years ago I witnessed a person jump to his death as I waited for a rush hour train in a packed subway station. A couple people close enough to grab him tried to pull him back on the platform, but they were unsuccessful. The train tried to stop.

It was horrific.

I fled the station the second I realized what was happening. I didn't want to be anywhere near the situation. I had nothing to offer and nothing to gain by sticking around. I got out of the way. That incident caught me by surprise - I thought there would be a mass exodus from the station. I thought everyone would want to get out of the way and let the professionals, whoever they were, do whatever they do in these situations. What surprised me was how wrong I was.

Instead of getting out of the way with everyone else, I was one of only a few people leaving. Everyone else wanted to cram in closer. There was almost a gleeful electricity in the air, like when the lights dim just before the band comes on stage. That, "This is gonna be AWESOME!" kind of gleeful electricity.

I know as a species we're a macabre bunch, and really insensitive and stupid, too, but that experience made me realize how truly sick we are and how really messed up this planet is because of us humans.

But that was pre 9/11. Actually, it was only a few months before 9/11 now that I think about it. We were all so mean and callous before 9/11. We didn't care about anyone else's problems.



Then I was blissfully free of flesh to metal life and death situations on the CTA until last Summer when the guy sitting next to me went into a seizure/heart attack/who-knows-what. That rattled me. Big time. The look in his eyes pleading at me for help still haunts me.


And now this.

When the guy on the bus had his attack, all of the passengers behaved appropriately: With concern for him, fear for him or ohmygoshwhatshouldwedo? I was surprised at how quickly, compassionately and orderly all of the riders were. What a difference 9/11 makes, eh?

The bus driver was awesome. I mean that with the true meaning of the word. He sprang into action and took care of the man and the situation. He was in control. Maybe he was specially trained for emergencies by the CTA, or maybe it's just his personality. Regardless of why or how, he did it. He's the guy you want driving the bus the day you have a life threatening attack on your way to work.


The guy in my car on the train tonight also showed those "spring to action, handle the situation, take care of the passengers" mentality. Kudos, CTA, for putting thousands of commuters' lives in the hands of at least a few good-in-emergency-situation employees.


After last Summer's incident on the bus I thought, assumed, the other people in the car would be, you know, nice, or at least thoughtful, reverent, if not shaken or even scared. I thought we were living in modern, post 9/11 times where we all value human life and respect each other, at least in emergencies. I thought we were, you know, slightly more evolved. Slightly more cool. Slightly more decent.



Silly Trillian.


While the CTA engineer was still jimmying his way out of the door and giving us instructions, people were on their mobile phones whining about being late because they wouldn't let us off the train because someone "got hit or something." A few minutes passed, the din of annoyed conversation increased, and then: The power went off on the train. No lights, no air conditioning. Okay, no lights wasn't a big deal. It was daylight. But it was a typical hot and humid July afternoon in Chicago. No air conditioning and unopenable windows is instantly stifling. Which amplifies tempers and patience levels. There were a few of us sitting there quietly concerned. But everyone else was just: Annoyed. And a couple people went to the front of the car to "get a look" out the window and over the track.


Seriously? I mean, seriously?? I could not, cannot, believe that. I would never believe it had I not witnessed it. Why would anyone want to see anything in that situation?


I saw one of the fancy CTA guys, the ones with the pristine white shirts and caps and orange safety vest take a billy club type of instrument and shoo away a teenager who was waiting on the platform. The kid had to have seen something.

We were lucky. Our car was toward the front of the train and had already made it somewhat into the station, there was a platform we could reach without having to walk on the rails. So the fancy white shirt guy opened the door, told us the train "might have made contact with a pedestrian" and if we'd seen anything "unusual" as we pulled into the station to go over to an area on the platform. No one in my car had apparently seen anything. We went down to the station and out to find our ways home. But all the while, all during that transition, people were complaining. Complaining to each other, complaining to people on the other end of their cell phones, complaining about this horrible inconvenience, complaining about the CTA, complaining about "stupid people" on the tracks, whining, complaining, me, me, me, me.

By the time I got to street level there were police cars, ambulances and a ton of those CTA cop cars and vans. And I think a paddy wagon but I might be mistaken about that. I was trying to get as far away as I could as fast as possible.

But. I did notice a ton of people gawking, trying to get a glimpse into the station, and, more of them trying to see beyond the station and under the tracks. What kind of person hears about the possibility of someone "making contact" with a train and runs to the scene in hopes of getting a look at...what? body parts? upset witnesses? Seriously, why? These were not people who merely wanted to know what happened. They may have been concerned, maybe, but they have a funny way of showing compassion. Pushing and jumping and climbing on each other to get a look under the tracks is kind of an odd reaction to feelings of concern and compassion.


I was lucky. I got on a bus fairly quickly. The normally near empty bus was crammed with people from the train. The bus riders were mad at us. We were inconveniencing them. Then news of the train "making contact" with a pedestrian rippled down the aisle of the bus. The din of complaining stopped for a second, then resumed. Louder. A guy behind me tapped me on the shoulder, while still talking on his mobile phone, "Excuse me, were you on the train? What happened? Was it a jumper or an accident? Hang on a sec, I'm trying to find out from this woman who was on the train, just a sec, excuse me, did you see anything?"

I didn't turn around, I just shook my head "no."

So much for our kinder, gentler post 9/11 world.

About this time I was jolted into reality. I'd been in this sort of "ohmygosh no, this is horrible, that poor person, no, oh please no don't let it be, let it be something else, a problem with the brakes, a mechanical problem, anything but someone being hit. Please don't make this a horrible day for someone's family and friends" state of reverie. Then I thought about work. Oh geeze. Most of the people at work are just getting ready to leave for the commute home. Some of them take this train. So I called a woman I know who takes the train home. "Hi, it's me, Trillian, don't take the train home, there's been an accident and I'm sure the whole line will be shut down for a while."

"Oh wow, thanks, Trill, I was just on my way out. What happened?"

"I don't know for sure but they told us our train 'might have made contact' with a pedestrian."

"Aw crap, the train will be a mess all night."

"Yeah. Probably," I said, surprised she was as bothered by the inconvenience as my fellow passengers were.

"Trill? Are you crying?"

Oh swut. Am I? Yep. Yes indeed. I was sitting on the cram packed bus telling a co-worker to avoid the train as tears streamed down my face.

I have no idea how long I'd been crying. No idea whatsoever. Had my co-worker not said anything I probably wouldn't have noticed until I got home and saw my no clump mascara turned Alice Cooper-esque make-up.

"I gotta go, Trill. I gotta figure out how to get home. Don't be upset. This stuff happens all the time. They're in a far better place than we are, now. Things keep on the way they are we're gonna see a lot more of this kind of thing. People losing their homes, can't feed their kids..."

"Um, yeah, okay, well, see you tomorrow," I said, bleakly, trying to sound like I wasn't crying on a cram packed bus.

Life goes on for the rest of us. Get over it, girlie, toughen up, dis is Chicago, you gotta be thick skinned.


Yeah, okay. I guess.


But does that mean we need to be callous and selfish, too?

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7:25 PM

 
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