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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or Search by State

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, May 20, 2009  
I’m going to say this to the world because apparently some people don’t get it.

If
  • you’re married and
  • your spouse works and
  • your company is going to lay off employees


do NOT go around saying things like: “Thank goodness (my spouse)’s job looks secure.” Or “If they let me go I’m going back to school. It won’t be easy but we can manage on (my spouse)’s salary for a year or two.” Or, to an unmarried coworker, “Well. You can always move home with your parents.” Or, “You don’t have children to feed. You aren’t responsible for anyone but yourself. Losing your job only affects you and you can find another job easier than those of us who have kids and have to pay for a babysitter when we go on interviews.” Or, “Gee, Trillian, how will you manage if you get laid off? Do you think you’ll be able to sell your condo?” Or, “Guess you’re going to wait to have that surgery, eh, Trillian? Better be sure you’re going to have a job and health insurance to pay for it! Boy am I glad I don’t have to worry about health insurance because (my spouse) has great health insurance.”

No matter what your marital/parental status, losing a job is awful. It sucks. Especially right now when new jobs are difficult to find and most people who are laid-off can expect 12 – 15 months of unemployment.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a spouse or partner who’s working and you can manage on that lone salary, great. I don’t begrudge you for it. But if you start bragging and flaunting it I will begrudge you for it. In fact I might even start saying out loud the things I keep to myself. Like how that wonderful health insurance card carrying husband of yours groped my boobs at the company party two years ago. And no, he wasn’t drunk. Or I might say something like, “Wow, you are lucky Jeff has a good job and can pay your mortgage. I guess you better stop cheating on him on business trips, eh David? Boy, that’ll be a shame, remember that guy you met in DC a few years ago?! No more catting around for you!”

Yes, I am fully aware that saying those sorts of things only makes me look bitter and immature. Are you aware that by stating the obvious about your spouse/partner and two income family you look smug and arrogant?

Don’t rub your single/zero coworkers’ noses in your stink of smugness about your spouse/partner and their income/health insurance/secure job. We’re all under a lot of stress. Pointing out the obvious only breeds contempt and ill-will.

And speaking of pointing out the obvious, yes, I know it seems like I’m stating the obvious. Apparently not. Because the second my company announced the possibility of lay-offs I have heard so much insulting talk regarding who “should” and “should not” be laid off that it’s become open, unhushed conversation.

At least once a week someone says to me “People without kids should be laid off before those of us with children. It’s only fair.”

Fair.

Right.

Okay.

Let’s play fair, then.

Remember all those times, parents, that you left at 4:30 on the dot, like always, even though we were in the middle of a huge project on a tight deadline? You had to pick your kid up from day care so you couldn’t stay to help on the project. Was it fair to the other people who had to stay late and even later because they were down a person who left to pick up their kid from day care?

Remember when it was time to schedule vacation days and you got to choose dates first because you have to work around the kids’ school schedule? Was it fair that the childless people had to schedule their vacations around your vacations because of your kids?

Remember when that nasty flu bug was going around and your kid was projectile vomiting and couldn’t go to school and you didn’t want to “waste” a sick day or vacation day to stay home with your sick child so you brought him to the office? Was it fair that you exposed everyone in the office to your child’s illness and infected 15 people who then had to take sick days because of your kid’s illness and your refusal to take a sick/vacation day?

Remember when your client in Miami needed someone ASAP, in August, and you couldn’t go because you have kids and couldn’t arrange for anyone to take care of them on short notice? Was it fair that someone else had to cover for you, deal with your client, change their plans and work schedule, to schlepp to Miami, in August, because you couldn’t find anyone to watch your kids for a couple days?

I know, I know. Bitter and immature.

A lot of people are having a good time planning my future for me. I kid you not, these are exact quotes spoken to me by coworkers.

“Trillian, your mother is having a hard time, you spend so many weekends with her anyway, if you get laid off you can move in with her and you two can keep each other company.”

“You love school so much, you can get financial aid and get another degree! That’s what I’d do if I were you. Just ride out this recession in college.”

“Your condo is so small you can rent it or maybe even sell it to a student with rich parents.”

“Sell your condo and take your severance and travel. Buy a car and just travel to visit all your friends and family. It’s a great opportunity, you’re single, no responsibilities, I’m jealous of you. You can travel and do whatever you want.” (For the record, my severance would barely pay my mortgage (and nothing else) for three months, and I don’t have enough equity in my condo to make a profit from selling it.)

“You can free lance, or open your own business!”

I’ve heard more plans for my future but you get the idea. People in my office want me to be laid off and have loads of ideas for me. These ideas are not attempts to help cheer me or help me, they’re attempts at assuaging their guilt for thinking and hoping I get laid off instead of them. If, in their mind, I have a future mapped out, there’s no reason to feel bad about me being laid off instead of them. They can even justify feeling jealous of me and my future post lay off. A few of them are also hoping that I’ll volunteer to be laid off so they’re dropping suggestions about a glorious future for me thinking it’ll persuade me to volunteer to go, thus reducing the chance of them losing their job.

I realize there’s a component of wistful thinking, too. With a spouse and/or kids, you have to consider other people in your plans for the future. You might even feel a little held down, prevented, from pursuing an idea for your future.

But that’s your issue, your dream, your future. Not mine. Don’t project your hopes or issues onto me. For all you know I love my job and never, ever want to leave it. For all you know I want my future to be at this company doing this job. Maybe I am living my dream future.

And it’s certainly not justification for hoping I get laid off or suggesting that I volunteer to be laid off.

And yes, married people, yes, I know. There are single people going around making you feel guilty about your two income household. I know. I know. I personally don’t say anything to anyone, but, if I were to say anything about it all I can do is point out the obvious: If I lose my job and can’t find another one in a matter of two months, I lose everything. I will have to move in with my mother.

The point is, no one “should” be saying anything about anyone else’s life or future or job prospects. It’s nasty, gossipy and completely pointless to speculate and pontificate about who “should” or “should not” lose their job.

No one should lose their job, but it’s a reality right now. A lot of people are unemployed and a lot more people are going to be unemployed. Desperation and fear are driving most of the comments and discussions. I think (hope) we all realize that.

So please, married/partnered people, please, don’t add smug comments about your spouse’s/partner’s income, health insurance or any nest egg you’ve built together thanks to your two incomes.

6:23 PM

Monday, May 18, 2009  
Somewhere in the metro Chicago area is a man I want to thank.

He is nameless and nearly faceless to me. I have no idea who he is, how old he is, or whether or not he’s a creepy perv or sarcastic jerk.

But I owe him gratitude.

He made my day.

Heck, he made my month.

Perhaps a sign of my progressing years, another trip completed around the Sun, another year spent in solitude and loneliness taking a toll on me.

But hey, for me, now, I’ll take what I can get and like it. Even if I “shouldn’t.” Even if it came from a creepy perv hanging around train platforms ogling women. I’ll take it. The fact that a man, any man noticed me and ogled me, for real or in jest, is huge for me.

When I think, “Nobody wants me,” I now can console myself that, in fact, someone does want me, or at least wants to make fun of me by giving me an uncompliment.

That’s making some assumptions, of course, but again, I’ll take what I can get and cling to it like plastic wrap.

The thing is, the guy had no idea the depths his comment reached or what it meant to me.

And that’s the point. It meant little to him, and perhaps he’s a creepy perv whose intention was to provoke disgust, anguish or fear. But he had no clue who he was talking to when he “complimented” me. He could not have known two words said in passing to a stranger would do so much for her psyche. A small, perhaps routine, perhaps creepy gesture netted psychological results saving someone from a pit of despair, at least for a day. Which is why it’s nice to say or do something nice for someone, anyone. It’s one of those oft-learned and retold lessons, but when it hits home the poignancy is polarizing.

Things are rough in Trillville. There’s a high likelihood I’ll be unemployed in a few months. If that happens, if I can’t land another job ASAP, I will lose everything in a matter of a few months. No job = no mortgage payment = no mortgage payment = homelessness. I’ve known this is a real possibility for several months. Like almost everyone else, I am all too aware that my job and income are precariously balanced on the precipice of disaster. I accept this. I haven’t made total peace with it, but I accept it. It reaches far, far beyond anything in my control. I’m doing everything in my control to help my company. I’m doing everything in my control to prepare for unemployment. And beyond that…there’s nothing I can do except accept it. But there’s more than a little stress, there. And then the 6 week sickness. And my mother trying to manage without my dad. And my lack of companionship. And my foot and ankle. Stress. Stress. Stress. Stress. (Oh, and my waning vices, anyone? Anyone? Anyone have any good ideas for new vices? Stress relieving vices?)

So, I pulled on a skirt and donned my sneakers for the commute this morning in my Monday morning funk. Another weekend alone, another weekend in the office, another weekend feeling guilty about not spending it with my mother, another weekend just existing, just getting by, just running around going nowhere I really want to be. Fast. Blah blah blah. My personal act of defiance, one of my last gasp gestures of appearance, was to don a knee grazing skirt and sneakers without socks.

Since my surgery I don’t wear skirts very often – or anything that reveals the scar on my ankle that looks like a shark sunk his teeth into me. I certainly do no go bare legged. At the gym I’ve taken to wearing those socks that come up high around the ankles, a la 1987. The socks might look dorky but I figure better to give people a snicker than to gross them out by baring my purple/red scar.

But this morning I felt a mix of defiance and apathy. “So what?! I have nasty scar on my ankle and foot. So what! Deal with it, world. Life is ugly. My ankle and foot are proof of that.” I don’t feel that emboldened very often so I rolled with it.

As I walked to the train station defiance waned and self consciousness waxed. I laughed at myself. “Oh pluuuuheeze, like anyone even pays attention to you. As if some man is going to be beguiled and captivated by you until he sees the scar. The big purple scar only adds to the whole big ugly package…it’s icing on the cake. Get over yourself. No one wants you, anyway, what do you care if you put a big ugly scar on display for all to see?”

Just another day in Trillian’s head.

Got on the train, lost in anonymity. Deep in thought going over my to-do list for the day, prioritizing my tasks and projects, completely forgetting about the legs and scarred ankle on display. I had to switch trains so I got up to exit the train. As I exited the train and rushed to catch the train on the other side of the platform a man’s voice said, “Nice gams.” A) I assumed he was talking to someone else, B) I was in a hurry. So I didn’t hesitate or turn to see who gave the “compliment.”

Settled onto the next train and stood through the three stops to my destination. When I got to my station I exited the train. As I headed up the crowded stairs the same voice from behind me said, “Really nice gams.”

This time I was kind of afraid to look behind and below me to see and/or acknowledge the man who was “complimenting” my gams. I assumed he was some creepy train perv but I didn’t want to confirm that. I wanted, just for a minute, to revel in a fantasy where a normal guy is so beguiled by me that he compliments me.

When I got to the top of the stairs I decided to end the fantasy and see if he a) was in fact “complimenting” me and b) just how awful he was. I sneaked a look at the crowd behind me. Two men several paces behind/below me and a lot of women. It had to be one of those guys and, I think he had to have been talking to me because the other women were behind him. And if he was gay and complimenting the other guy, well, I’m not sure how he would have known about said gams because both men were wearing trousers.

And they both seemed, you know, normal. Ish. Not old. Not creepy. Not pervy.

So.

There you go. Apparently some man, one guy in this entire city, thinks I have nice gams.

Rock on.

Here’s the thing. That guy could not possibly know how rare a compliment is for me. He could not possibly know how low my self esteem is about my looks. He could not possibly know about how I’ve been hiding my legs and scar for over a year. He could not possibly know that of all the gams on all the women in the city that I was the one who really, really needed a compliment. Even if he was a creepy perv. Even if he says it to women on the train every day. Even if he’s got some kink for scars. Even if it was sarcastic. It doesn’t matter. It gave me a much needed morale boost.

Will I go around proudly displaying my shark-bite-esque scar, now? Probably not. I mean, it is gross. But. For now, today, I’m feeling less self conscious and more “legit.” Yes, I have a nasty scar. But someone thinks the gams are nice. All that painful physical therapy and conditioning is not going unnoticed. I do it for my health and strength, but, you know, having someone notice the physical results is kind of nice. I never thought about it – during all those sessions with the therapist and on the treadmill I never once thought, “Oooooo, check out my gams!” I think, “Stronger. Stronger. Get stronger. Work through the pain. Get stronger.” Especially now that I’m relegated to flat, sensible shoes I especially do not think about the state of the appearance of my legs. But there, in sneakers, flat and well supported, a man noticed and complimented my legs. Wow.

I know. I’m pathetic.

Well. Actually. No. Pathetic would be fantasizing about which man paid the compliment and hoping for another chance encounter and daydreaming about a life with that guy. I am not doing any of those things.

So I’m only mildly pathetic. Garden variety sad.

But here’s why I’m sharing this. It’s the power of words. You never know what’s going in peoples’ lives. Taking two seconds to pay a compliment could make a huge difference in their day. I don’t know if the guy saw my scar or not. Since I don’t know his vantage points I have no idea if he saw it. So it’s impossible to know if he could have guessed at how self conscious a woman might be about a scar like that or if it even mattered to him. Assuming he did see it, well, then he was either being sarcastic or very nice. Since he wasn't recoiling in horror and disgust I have to assume he didn’t see it, or notice it. And that is what buoyed my spirits.

On the few occasions I’ve revealed my ankle (and scar) at work or in public – in a skirt or dress – someone has felt obligated to make a comment about it. They range from, “Are you going to get plastic surgery for that?” to “It’s rude to make us all look at that, you shouldn’t wear skirts or dresses.” to “Wow, that’s really not healing very fast, is it?” to “Does that hurt as much as it looks like it does?” to “Have you tried that scar treatment stuff?” to “Gawd, what happened to your foot?”

(No. Whatever. No. Yes. Yes. Long story.)

Of all the random comments a random stranger could make, the “nice gams” comment was exactly the one I needed to hear most this morning. There’s no way he could have known that. And that’s what makes the serendipity sweet.

I believe in the whole pay it forward thing. Call it karma. Call it good-will. Call it whatever you want, it's just nice to be nice to someone for no reason. You don't have to go overboard, just a couple of complimentary words. Or, even, gasp, please and thank you.

Seriously. When I'm standing in check out lines I'm shocked at how offhand and rude cashiers are. Yes, okay, yes, some cashiers are great. But let's say it's not a great cashier. I fully realize ringing up Kleenex, watch batteries and Mentos is not a dream job. But would it take so much time and effort to say thank you to a paying customer? I'm not even asking them to look up or, gasp, make eye contact. I'm just asking for a two second acknowledgment of the fact that I chose to shop in their store. And it shouldn't be forced, a speech the manager tells them they have to say. It should be sincere gratitude. Nothing huge or showy, just "Thank you." And in return, how about "You're welcome?" Huh? I know, I know. That's the next thing on my list. "You're welcome."

When someone says thank you, the response is, "You're welcome."

When was the last time you heard those two words? I've been keeping track and lemme tell ya, it's been a while since I've heard "you're welcome." When was the last time you said it?

It's just civility. And I am well aware that I sound like some uptight old shrew.

But the whole gam thing and the affect it had on me underlines how rare civility among strangers is. So I'm going to make more of an effort to randomly compliment strangers. I decided if I have to garner a reputation, why not have it be a reputation of civility? I'm not sure I can pull off a "nice gams" kind of compliment. That's for professionals, way out of my league, but I can aspire to it. Start out small, maybe a "great jacket" or "cute bag" and work my way up to "nice..." I dunno. I can't hear myself saying, "Nice lips" or "nice hands" or "nice roguish smirk" to a guy on the train, but maybe, maybe with practice it becomes easier. We'll see.

1:53 PM

 
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