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, January 06, 2009  
So I got pressured into joining the online social networking phenomenon Facebook. Ugh. I can see your eyes rolling. Mine, too.

There are some cool aspects to it. I mean, you know, generally it's okay. I guess. I'm not looking to amass hundreds or thousands of friends or re-connect with a girl who was my canoe partner at camp when we were 9. In fact I'm striving to keep my friend list small and personal, limited to real-life friends, colleagues and family. And an occasional band. Bands have seized upon the marketing potential of Facebook and post their release and tour info on Myspace. So. You know. There's that.

But there's a lot of stupidity, weirdness and immaturity, too.

My first encounter on Facebook was with a Friend Collector. You know the type. The person, a colleague, a coworker, the guy who works at the 7-11 on Sunday mornings when you buy the newspaper, who says, "Hey! Are you on Facebook? I'll look you up, dude!" And they do. And they send a friend request. And you look at their profile. And they have 4,341 friends. Remember the Pokémon craze? Kids were nuts about collecting thousands of character cards. When those Pokémon collecting kids grow up they become Friend Collectors on Facebook. You might know him, kind of, but you're not really his friend. You're just a number, helping him on his quest to amass "friends," increase his number. It's harmless, he's harmless. And every now and then he might actually send you an email or post an interesting photo or share something useful.

One of my real life and on Facebook friends recently became engaged to be married. I am not especially fond of his fiancé. Since they started dating I’ve seen him exactly four times. See what’s happened here? The new chick arrives, I lose my friend. I’ve been through this. I know it happens. It sucks, but, such is life. Especially when a friend chooses to date someone who is a domineering, controlling, insecure topper. But, for reasons beyond my comprehension, my friend has decided to marry this woman. He seems very, very, very happy and so when she issued the ultimatum that if she didn’t have a proposal by the end of the year she’d leave him (and then started leaving photos of engagement rings around his apartment) he jumped at the “opportunity” to ask her to marry him, she spent some time “thinking about it.” (Yes, after issuing an ultimatum and leaving photos of rings around his apartment she had to “think about it.” Huh? Does anyone understand this behavior? Could you explain it to me?)

Okay. Now they’re engaged la la la happy happy. I know she’s seen me on Facebook via our mutual friend (her now fiancé) but hasn’t sent a friend request. Nor have I sent her one.

I liked that mutual moratorium. It felt like we had an unspoken agreement.

Well. The day she decided to accept my friend's proposal she sent me a Facebook friend request. Awww crap. I don’t want to be her friend. Isn't it enough that I have to be friendly with her in real life? Do I have to carry the charade over to Facebook, too?

I don’t want to make my friend a monkey in the middle. He’s very in love and very happy and I’m happy for him. I will make nice with her in real life. I will go to the wedding, I will even buy them a nice present. In time I hope I will learn to see what he sees in her, learn to like her. I want to like her.

But. Do I have to be her friend on Facebook simply because she's engaged to my friend? And if not, how do I decline her invite without coming across as a bitch? How do I avoid creating an issue with my friend who’s stuck marrying this crazy bitch?! (Really, I want to like her. But right now she’s still in crazy bitch territory.) Is there a way to decline a friend invitation without hurting the person’s feelings? I resent the Friend Hijacking. She assumes that because we have a mutual friend that we are automatically friends. Or, in her specific case, now that she’s marrying my friend she and I are friends by default. She’s hijacking her fiancés friends on Facebook. Friendjacking. Ewwww. That’s not a good term for it. Let’s stick with Friend Hijacking. Sending an unsolicited friend request to someone solely because you have a mutual friend in common.

Funny how for the months they’ve been dating, and our little icons of each pop up on our mutual friend’s Facebook page, she’s never made a move to request my friendship, but now that they’re engaged she’s all over his friend list like ill fitting underwear. “What’s your’s is now mine,” apparently.

In softer moments I think, “Hey, she’s just being nice, she’s just trying to bridge the social gap between my friendship with her fiancé.” And in many other cases, cases of normal people, people who are less domineering and opportunistic, that would be the case. I would gladly accept a friend request from most of my friends’ spouses. Friends who are married to people I actually like in real life, that is.

The thing is, this woman is the type of woman who takes these things very seriously. She is not going to just let it drop. She will nag me, nag him, nag nag nag about it until it becomes A Thing. “Why won’t Trillian accept my friend request? She’s a mean bitch,” she’ll snark at my friend. She'll assume I'm jealous because I've been harboring some secret crush on her fiancé. (I haven't, ever, thought of him "that" way.) He’ll be put in the middle of something really juvenile and pointless.

I’m resisting her friend request because I made firm choices to stop being so darned nice to everyone. I’ve been trying very hard to be more assertive and say “No” when I want to say no. Always being polite and agreeable has done nothing for me and in some cases has worked against me. That “too nice” thing kept coming up when friends (yes, even my friend, her fiancé) would try to gently give me advice about work and dating. “Trillian, I know you’re sincere, I know you’re not a doormat, I know you don’t take crap you don’t deserve, I know you will not let anyone take advantage of you, I know you can chew up and spit out people with one sentence if you want, but you can come across as too nice sometimes. Until people get to know you, really know you, you seem very polite and super nice. Nice people don’t always succeed at work. And guys hate it. Look at all the crazy bitches who are married to great guys. Guys don’t like women who are too nice. They like crazy bitches.” So dammit, I’m not going to be so nice. I will not be too nice anymore. And Facebook, and this whole stupid friend request thing is a great way to assert my “I am not too nice” attitude. So my friend's fiancé is going to have to wait until I decide how I want to proceed. I know, I know. It's stupid Facebook. Accept her friend request and move on with my life. I will. I will.

But, just when I get all hopped up high on assertiveness and self righteousness, someone I barely know sent a friend request. It’s someone via work – not a client but a colleague of a client. There are professional consequences. Okay, whatever, whoppee, we’re friends on Facebook, now. Look at us, we’re networking. I know this person and met them (once) in real life at a work-related event. Then this person started sending me all kinds of stupid “requests” for virtual drinks, monkeys, iq tests, etc. Ye gads. Sure, some of them are kind of cute, little day brighteners. But this person is incessant. Nine, ten of these things a day. And no, it’s not just me. Based on his profile page he does this to everyone he befriends on Facebook. Remember the character Ned Ryerson, the insurance salesman in the movie Groundhog Day? This guy is a Ned Ryerson. And again I stress, I met him once in real life. I barely know him. But you know, okay, whatever, goes with the territory. (I knew I’d hate Facebook.)

Then he crossed a line. I didn’t know the line existed, I didn’t grasp the Facebook boundaries…he “suggested” a friend for me. Yes. A person I met once in person has suggested a friend for me. The suggested friend is someone I may have met at a work function a couple years ago. But I’m not sure. She doesn’t seem familiar. So now there’s this “suggested friend” reminder hanging there. I really don’t want to befriend the person he suggested.

Why? For many reasons.
1) I don’t actually know her.
2) My guess is that the suggested friend feels the same way I do: This guy stepped over a line, crossed a boundary. And now he’s thrown me in a socially awkward situation.
3) There are people “out there” who take Facebook waaaaaay too seriously. She may or may not be one of them but I don’t want to open a can of worms with someone who is possibly a work-related acquaintance.

But.

If I decline the friend suggestion I look like a bitch.

If I accept the friend request I force myself on the other innocent victim, the suggested friend.

It’s bad enough to be put in the situation of declining a direct friend request.

But declining a friend suggested by someone else? That’s a whole new level of bizarreness. That’s why I call this a Bizarre Friend Triangle. The other person, the suggested friend, will most likely be relieved that I declined the “invite.” But, there might be an element of, “Hey, what’s wrong with me? You don’t wanna be my friend? You’re that Ned Ryerson jerk’s friend but you won’t be my friend?”

And yes, I might actually like the suggested friend. But now she thinks I’m friends with the Ned Ryerson jerk who suggested her to me and so I’m tainted with his jerkiness. Truth be told I’m kind of thinking that about her. She’s friends with him so, well, is she like him? Will she incessantly send me a ton of stupid stuff and make friend suggestions for me like he does? I mean, they are friends.

More likely, like me, she’s an innocent victim. Too polite to decline his friend request and now caught up in some virtual weirdness.

But one of the weirdest types of Facebook friends is The Justify Your Like friendship. You work with someone, or have a friend who brings her sister along whenever you go shopping or out for drinks. You don't dislike the coworker or friend's sister, but without the occurrence of work or a mutual friend you wouldn't know each other. Probably don't have enough in common to be friends, but you work together or you're friends with her sister (or whomever) so you're friendly when you are together. And she is either a Friend Collector on Facebook or she's a lot more into making it a "real" friendship than you are. Or she's trying justify your mutual interest or friend. I'm guessing her thought process is sincere enough, "Hey! Trillian's friends with my sister on Facebook! I know Trillian! We're friends! Right? We're friends, aren't we Trillian? We could be better friends! We'll get to know each other better if we're friends on Facebook!" Maybe. Maybe that happens. But it's a little too forced for my taste. It's different from a Friend Hijacking. You actually know this person and are on friendly terms with them in real life, you even like them, you know, well enough to share a laugh in the breakroom or offer an opinion on a scarf when shopping with a mutual friend. The thing is, if a deeper friendship is going to develop, it will develop in real life. If that hasn't yet happened, becoming Facebook friends isn't going to push it over that edge. Facebook just becomes a way to prove you know each other and are friendly. "We're friends, see? We're on each other's Facebooks!"

And thus I unlocked the key as to why so many people have a bazillion friends on Facebook. The social awkwardness that makes it easier to just accept a friend invitation. Friend Collectors. Friend Hijacking. Bizarre Friend Triangles. Justify Your Like. There’s a level of social weirdness that goes beyond anything we encounter in real life. Some people, I’ve learned, take the whole thing really, really seriously. Others, like me, try to make the best of it, try to have some fun with it, and are not there to amass hundreds or thousands of friends. I prefer to live my life in real life, not virtually. It is a convenient way to keep up with friends and family. But I’m really surprised by the people who take it seriously. Too seriously.

And there’s weirdness on Facebook when your dating. Do you add the person you’re dating to your friends? If so, when? And who initiates it, who makes the friend request? And what about break-ups? Is break-up by defriending an accepted form of cowardice break-upping? Even easier than an email or text or simply ignoring the person you want to break up with, you just de-friend them on Facebook. Voila. Deed done.

Is the ultimate break-up insult to defriend someone on Facebook? I don’t think so. I think it can get worse.

Public besmirching of the person is a bad thing, very, very bad thing, but I’m sure it happens a lot in break-ups. I have a friend who is in a midst of a nasty divorce. The ex is all over the place online posting venomous details and lies about my friend. All of us have de-friended the ex, but the crap the ex is spewing is really awful. It’s become tedious and no one pays attention to it, but still…it’s there. Meanwhile, my friend has remained dignified, quiet and above the ex’s juvenile style of nonsense, hoping a non-response will quiet the ex. Instead, so far it has only provoked the ex to more frequent and more hostile attacks online. Their divorce is playing out online and it’s embarrassing and hurtful. We all keep quietly looking away, pretending not to notice in an attempt to spare our friend some pride. But. It’s there...everyone knows it’s there. And along with the house, the cars, the air miles and the pets, they’re arguing about who gets the Facebook account in the divorce.

And, here’s a question: Let’s say you dated someone three years ago. It didn’t work out, but you were both above the stupid “let’s be friends” idiocracy. Now, three years later, you’re not harboring any longing for them, but you do wonder what they’re up to, you might even sincerely hope things are going well for them. Do you open Pandora’s Box? Do you search them on Facebook? If you do, what if you find them? Then what? How long of a look at their Facebook page is too long? Does anything more than five minutes constitute stalking and put you in psycho ex territory?

Is it ever okay contact an ex via Facebook? In doing so you automatically admit that you were thinking about them and bothered to search for them online, which puts you squarely in stalker territory. Maybe your intentions are purely surface level curiosity. But put yourself in the place of the other person involved. They’re just going along with their life, all snuggly in their Facebook world of friends and relatives and then, one day, out of nowhere a friend request appears from someone they dated three years ago. Cue the Psycho shower scene soundbite. I know that soundbite because I’ve heard it in my head, twice in the past few weeks. Men I went out with once, years ago, have requested to be friends with me. Trust me, there was no hesitation, I did not falter in my assertiveness in saying no.

Here’s what I think: If you were the one who got dumped, my feeling is that you never, ever initiate contact on Facebook. If you were the one who did the dumping, maybe, maybe in very certain circumstances, it would be “okay” to contact the ex – though don’t expect a warm friend acceptance. And be prepared for what may come next: Either a scathing message they’ve been waiting to deliver to you for three years, or, an overly eager smiley emoticon heart laden response assuming you want to go out with them again.

People at work, my boss, kept insisting that social networking sites are valid and important. I didn’t, and still do not, agree. But I’m doing it, grudgingly. And yes, there are some good aspects – easy to keep in touch with friends, make plans with a group, share photos, get tour dates for bands. But so far I don’t see the big advantage of online social networking.

6:21 PM

 
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