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

 
Thursday, August 13, 2009  
A week into unemployment and I’m already settled into two speeds: Wall-climbing antsy tenseness and immobilizing suicidal depression.

Occasionally I feel a wave of optimism. When I hear about a job and send my absolutely perfect credentials I am buoyed, momentarily, with hope that I’ll land on my feet and this will, as everyone keeps telling me, be the best thing that ever happened to me.

I’ve sent ~100 solicited job applications and another 50 unsolicited letters of inquiry. (yes - I've been busy, that's what happens when you don't sleep and don't go to work) I’ve stood in line waiting for my turn at hiring kiosks at major retailers and filled out paper applications at not-so-major retailers.* People tell me there’s a lot of part-time work “out there.” My name is on the freelancer lists in cities from coast-to-coast.

And still the phone doesn’t ring.

I know. I know. It’s only been a week. I can’t expect anything to happen in just a week.

Still. Something, anything, some indication of interest in my ability to perform skills and tasks in exchange for money would be, uh, nice.

I realize it’s way too soon to be immobilized with suicidal depression. And yet…running my worst case scenarios so I can figure out a contingency ends up in the same place: Try to sell my condo, now, make 0 profit on it, most likely at a loss. Or, wait it out and “just” go into foreclosure if I don’t have job in time to cover the mortgage. Either way I end up homeless.

The antsiness is understandable. I’m not used to free time. I’m not used to not spending 12 hours a day at the office. People say I should take advantage of the free time. But this isn’t a vacation. The clock is ticking, time is running out - fast. I’d rather be working.

Here’s my fear: We’re overqualified for these part-time jobs. We’re in a pool of hundreds or thousands of people applying for the few professional or management jobs “out there.” The competition for jobs appropriate to our skills, education and experience is fierce. And I mean fierce. But we’re overqualified, or, ironically, unqualified for the lower level jobs available.

Ever had to justify your employability to a 20 year old woman who has no college education and whose sole work experience is working her way up from stock person to soft-lines manager at Target? Not to discredit these people. Not at all.

But.

It’s a dismal experience to sit across from the woman, with your resume boasting advanced degrees, plural, and years of progressively higher responsibilities at big name companies justifying your ability to take packages of towels out of a box and put them on a shelf in hopes of maybe one day moving to the electronics department because I “know about cameras and stuff.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about pride. I'm not humiliated, humbled or demoralized. I don’t think I’m too good to stock shelves and I don’t think I’m better than her. And I do/ “know about cameras and stuff” and if stocking towels and sheets is a step toward working in electronics, hey, s’all good.

It’s just a bizarre situation. Any other time, any other situation, I would be encouraging her to go back to school, finish her degree, get some experience outside of retail and watch her career grow. That advice is no longer valid. She would look at me and say, “That’s what you did. And now you’re sitting across from me applying for a job where I’ll be your boss. Why would I want to end up where you are? I have a full-time job managing a shift of people. I have two weeks vacation a year, a steady paycheck with overtime and health insurance. What do you have?”

And that’s what depresses me. I did everything “right.” So did most of the other people I know or have met who are unemployed. We’re well educated, motivated, hard working, professional people with impressive experience and references. We set goals and worked hard to meet them, challenged ourselves, worked hard, dedicated ourselves to our companies, clients and careers…and here we are hoping for a call for a part-time or temporary minimum wage job to keep us from becoming homeless. I’m lucky. I have some retail experience. Sure, it was years, and I mean years ago. But I have been on the non-consumer side of retail. Many of my unemployed peers have never “had” to work retail. Or bartend. Or wait tables. Or wear a smock and a name badge. Or don a hair net. And yes, I’m “spoiled.” I’ve worked retail but I never had to wear a smock or a name badge. Or a hair net. And let me tell you, the thought of donning a red shirt and name badge at this stage of my life doesn’t exactly fill me with hope and joy for my future.

Again, not that I think I’m too good or that I’m better than people who wear smocks and name badges and hair nets. The point is that I worked very hard in colleges and in my career so that I wouldn’t wear a smock and name badge. Or hair net.

And yet: Here I am hoping for a call back about a job requiring a smock and name badge, the carrot dangled in front of me: An eventual move to electronics. The point is that it now seems that all that time, energy and money spent on college, and all the late nights, weekends and dedication to companies and clients were pointless. The end result is the same as if I barely graduated from highschool. The point is that my grade point averages, Girl Scout merit badges, professional jobs, professional awards and accolades, glowing references from high level executives at major international companies are meaningless. That 20 year old soft lines manager at Target isn’t even familiar with the names of those companies much less care about the impressive personal letters of recommendation from their top executives. The most impressive point of interest she found out about me is, to again quote her, “So, you know about cameras and stuff? That’ll be handy if we need help in electronics.” And right now she’s the one I want, need to impress enough to give me a chance. A chance at a minimum wage part-time job, where, if I work hard and prove myself worthy, in time I might be considered for a move into the electronics department because I “know about cameras and stuff.”

Why did my parents and I spend all that time, effort and money on college? Why did I dedicate myself to companies and clients – often sacrificing personal relationships and activities for the sake of the companies or clients? I still ended up unemployed struggling to keep a roof over my head.

Oh. And. I got a look at one of my competitors for this part-time minimum wage job. Waiting in the one-on-one interview holding area with me was a charming young lad. Tattoos of a flock of bats encircled his neck. “D- E-A-D” spelled across the knuckles of his left hand and “Fucktard” scrawled across his right hand. I couldn't tell if the fucktard was an actual tattoo courtesy of a Sharpie. The aroma of patchouli and pot emanated from his dirty jeans. He had a greasier, messier version of the stupid Pete Wentz haircut. Fucktard. I’m guessing the Fucktard tattoo (real or temporary) is supposed to be ironically funny. I’m guessing he’s a bright guy. Maybe even with intelligence, education, experience and a can-do attitude. Or he might actually be a fucktard. Hey, he said it, not me. In fact he tattooed or wrote it on his hand for the whole world to see. Ironically funny as it may be, intelligent, humorous and deep as you may be, why permanently and forever run the risk of removing all doubt? Or, write it on there the day you're appplying for a job? Label yourself a fucktard and my guess is that’s exactly what people will assume. Because only a fucktard would tattoo fucktard on the back of their right hand.

And yet, he’s one of my competitors for a job. A self proclaimed dead fucktard with dirty hair and smelly clothes.

Hence the immobilizing suicidal depression.

People, perhaps even you, scoff at this. “Aw, c’mon, Trill, you are overqualified for a job like that, you need to keep focusing on more appropriate, professional level jobs, something will turn up, you’re employable, just give it some time.”

Well, yeah, maybe. But I don’t have the luxury of time. Two months severance. I have until October 3 to get a job that will bring in enough money to pay the mortgage. I do get unemployment but in Illinois it’s very, very low. If I had a spouse I could get an extra $60/week. But I’m single with no kids so I’m in the lowest category.

I can’t live on unemployment. Even if I let go of my condo and find a small apartment in a not-so-great part of town. My single/zero status gives me the approximate “salary” of a minimum wage 35 hour work week. Do you know anyone who can live on 35 hours/week at minimum wage?

Yeah, me neither.

Hence the need to get a job, any job, ASAP.

I suppose I should be more “grateful” for “all” that I’ve been given.

I have forms and links for information on government programs for displaced and unemployed workers. I know. Government subsidized programs. Me. Of all people. Me. What the…??? It’s not about pride. It’s that I’m a giver, not a taker. And I’d rather work, thanks.

Extended unemployment benefits – a whole year of minimum wage instead of just six months. And yes, I know people who’ve been unemployed over a year and are not even getting that minimum wage unemployment check. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Yes. Things could be worse. But not much. And I’d rather not need unemployment. I’d rather work.

On the plus side my doctor told me how to apply for government subsidization of my COBRA. The mighty nice Feds are kicking in 2/3 of the cost of COBRA. And hey – I have COBRA. See? I’m lucky. I have no idea what it’s going to cost me, I still don’t have the final details of my dismissal – my HR department is a little behind what with 100+ of us laid off in the past week. Until I know the exact cost of COBRA I can’t make an informed decision about utilizing it. Even with 2/3 federal subsidization if my out of pocket expense is more than $30/month I can’t afford it. Yes. I’m lucky. I have the option. Things could be worse. A lot of people don’t even have COBRA. But I’d rather work.

I also found out if you’re unemployed you are eligible for free tuition for certain programs at certain colleges. We’re not talking top tier schools here, but hey, it’s something. I always maintain there’s no such thing as being overeducated unless you’re a professional student hiding in academia as a way to avoid living in the real world, holding down a job and paying rent. But. Other people have used that word to me lately. The conversations go like this:
“You’re thinking about taking more classes? Um, Trill, do you think maybe you’re already a little overeducated? Maybe you have too much education. People might think you’re, you know, an overachieving poindexter.”

“I am an overachieving poindexter.”

“Yeah, but, you might not want to advertise that on your resume and job applications. It looks a little, you know, it’s a bit, um, much.”

“So I should like about my education?”

“Not lie. Just omit.”

“Isn’t it usually people who don’t have college degrees who lie about it on their resume?”

“It’s just that you risk looking like a professional student.”

“But I have loads of work experience. It’s clear I have not been hiding in school, cloistered away in an academic ivory tower. I’ve always worked professionally while going to school. That’s obvious in the work experience portion of my resume and applications.”

“Okay, but if you’re going to take more classes you probably don’t want to advertise that fact. Keep it on the down low.”

Again with the immobilizing suicidal depression. When did higher education, thirst for knowledge, lust for learning, using your brain, become a liability?

I’m guessing it happened about the time a GED became a carrot dangled in front of part time retail employees. “If you complete your GED we’ll bring you on full-time, give you a $1/hour raise, health insurance, maybe even promote you to soft-lines manager. Eventually we might even get you off the overnight shift and on days.” Woo hoo!! Man, I am going to get that GED no matter what it takes!!!! That $1/hour raise will put me closer to that fucktard tattoo I want to get on the back of my hand!

Ooops. That sounds snobby. Cynical. Sarcastic. Bitter.

And really, I’m none of those things. Mainly I’m just confused. I don’t get it.



*”They” say things are looking up, we’ve bottomed out and there’s nowhere to go but up and improved. Wellllllll, tell that to me and the hundreds of people I’ve seen and met waiting in line to apply for part time minimum wage jobs. We’re not losers, uneducated or unskilled. We’re not slackers or unprofessional. The people I’ve seen applying for these part-time minimum wage jobs are professional, articulate, motivated, professional people with experience and leadership skills.

6:01 PM

 
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