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

 
Saturday, January 16, 2010  
Can we talk ring tones? We know where I stand on ringtones. I'm generally anti-ringtone. I know, I know, the tone quality is improving all the time, iPhone audio is good, blah blah blah...but...it's still a tinny, transistor radio sounding noise. Which is fine for some ringtones, but not most. Rossini, for instance, should never, ever be dumbed down to a ringtone. But I hear it a lot. I'm guessing it must be a free standard tone on some phones. Dumbing down Rossini for the purpose of Bugs Bunny is funny and educational. Dumbing down Rossini for the purpose of a free ringtone is offensive and stupid.

I just don't see the real purpose. I mean, I get it. You know who's calling without looking at your phone. You don't have to go to all the trouble of fetching it out of your pocket or purse or go to the other room where it's charging to find out who's calling. You hear, "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and you know it's your ex and you are not in the mood for that right now so you ignore the call. But if you hear "Closer" you drop everything and lunge for the phone because you know it's that new guy you hoped would call. (Speaking of NIN, Trent Reznor and Gary Numan duet. Inspired musical maleficence or End of Days?)

Call me old school. Call me too polite. Call me too absolute. Go ahead. Call me all of that and more. But if you call me, I'll either answer my phone or I won't. Because I'm either not busy or I am preoccupied/charging my phone/tired/in a non-communicative mood. At the very least, the bare minimum, if I'm not busy, if the phone is charged and on, I'm not so lazy/apathetic/rude that I can't be bothered to take "the time" to look at the caller id and see who it is. I mean, that's the bare minimum I can do for my friends and family - give them the courtesy of at least holding the phone and looking at the caller ID. I'm generally not a call screener, though, so I just answer the phone. It's a simple concept. Someone wants to talk to me so they pick up their phone and call me. My phone rings (in my case vibrates) and I answer it. A conversation begins. It's called communication. I don't need to know who's calling by playing name that tune with my friends and family every time they call me.

Especially tinny, crappy, irritating versions of songs as ringtones.

Case in point. A friend took me to Costco. We got separated. I wanted to know if she wanted to split a case of rice milk. (They've got an incredible deal on it if you're interested...but it's a lotta rice milk.) So I called my friend. As I stood there in the warehouse waiting for my friend to answer her phone I heard "Velouria" echoing through the industrial steel shelves. A weird, tinny, strange sounding version of "Velouria," but "Velouria" nonetheless. Then my friend answered her phone. "Velouria" stopped.

Oh cripes. No. Say it isn't so. Please, please, don't let my friend have the Pixies as a ringtone. And please, please don't let it be assigned as my special ringtone, and please, especially please, don't let it be a bastardized version of "Velouria."

When she answered her phone I could hear her. She was just one aisle over and when I followed the sound of her voice I could see her through the shrink wrapped cases of cereal. We played a little game of peek-a-boo and she said, "I'll be right there," and hung up. I couldn't stand it, I had to verify the Pixies ringtone. I called her again. Sure enough, "Velouria" echoed through the steel shelving. She said, "Yesssss???"

"Do you have 'Velouria' as a ringtone?"

"Yeah, that's your ringtone." Duh, strongly implied. Like, "Duh, yes, of course I assigned you a ringtone and of course it's 'Velouria,' sheesh."

"Oh."

She peek-a-boo waved at me, put her hand over the phone and mouthed, "I'll be right there." As if she was talking to someone on the phone, someone who wasn't me, and was muting her voice to tell me she'd be right over without letting the person on the other end of the phone know that she was carrying on a conversation with someone else. Except the person on the other end of the phone was me. She forgot she was talking to me and was rudely carrying on a silent conversation at the same time...with me.

But. The point is, "Velouria." "Velouria?" When she decided to assign me a special song, a ringtone that is uniquely mine, "Velouria" was what she came up with? I get the Pixies connection, I understand that, but "Velouria?" maybe "Where's My Mind" or "Into the White." But "Velouria?"

She rolled around the corner and found me standing there, arms crossed, look of disgusted discovery on my face. "Velouria? Velouria. You have assigned ringtones and worse, you chose 'Velouria' for me? What? Are we going steady now? You couldn't find a 'Let's Get it On' ringtone for me? Does your husband know about this?"

The shocking response?

"(Giggle) Yes, (guffaw) he has the same ringtone assigned to you on his phone."

Niiiiice.

Then she dropped a bombshell.

"What song do you have as my ringtone on your phone?"

A) She should know me well enough to know I don't do ringtones. And B) she presumed that I would assign her a special ringtone. I mean, we're friends and everything, but isn't that kind of pompous? Just assuming someone has you on speed dial and assigned you a personal ringtone?

"I don't do ringtones," I reminded her.

"Oh right."

I think this hurts her a little. I think she wants me to assign her a special ringtone. She's somehow reached a point in her life where being assigned a special ringtone on a friend's phone is a measure of value and significance...and possibly status. Ye gads. Is this junior high school? Aren't we waaaaaay past this? Apparently not. Apparently this stuff matters to some of us.

The thing is, though, I do have a couple ringtones. I know. I know. My brother has me set to "The Immigrant Song" on his phone. Which I thought was pretty darned funny. So I set it as his tone on my phone. So for a really long time the only ringtone I had was "The Immigrant Song" for my brother. One time my brother called me while I was with my sister. She obviously heard his ringtone and was surprised. She thought I was anti-ringtone. Which I am. Except for that one instance. Because it's funny. But my sister got jealous. So I assigned her a special ringtone. She wanted "Day Tripper." There was no swutting way I was going to download a Beatles song much less subject myself to a tinny version of it every time my sister calls me. So she's "Barracuda."

And that's the thing about ringtones: You're forced to sum up your friends/family with a few bars of a song tinnily blared through a mobile phone speaker.

My sister knows it's me calling her when her phone gives her a really, really horrible sounding version of "Helter Skelter." Of course all my sister's ringtones are Beatles songs. And I guess it stands to reason that I would be summed up telephonically as "Helter Skelter." I don't dig too deeply for insightful meaning when it comes to my sister. But anyone else might think it a little odd that someone would choose "Helter Skelter" as a ringtone for their sister. When she's out with friends, for instance, and I happen to call her, her phone blares out "Helter Skelter." There she is yukking it up with friends, someone says, "Do you need to get that?" And she says, "Nah, it's just my sister." And they say, "You have 'Helter Skelter' as your sister's ringtone?"

Still, I fare better than my sister's oldest daughter who was bequeathed "She's Leaving Home" as her ringtone on her mother's phone. A tinny, muffled rendition of "She's Leaving Home." Like I said, I try to not dig too deeply into my sister's psyche. It's a scary place. It is kind of funny that every time my mother calls my sister "Your Mother Should Know" blares from my sister's phone. I'll give her props for that one. But it's still annoying.

In my sister's case, choosing a ringtone comes down to choosing a Beatle's song that best sums up her feelings or impression of that person. I suppose better to have her think "Helter Skelter" than, say, "Dear Prudence" as a way to sum me up. For my sister, her musical taste is the priority. All her contacts are forced to fit into her taste.

Other people, more thoughtful people, more creative people, spend time thinking about the person and assign a ringtone that reflects that person. They tailor the ringtone to fit the person rather than forcing the person to fit their taste.

The ringtone assignation forces the whole "sum up a person in one song" conundrum. I don't like that conundrum. I think most people need an entire soundtrack. Or at least, I like to think most people are complex enough to require an entire soundtrack. Sure, certain songs remind us of certain people or events shared with certain people, of course, but to choose one uniquely identifying song for a person? That's not easy.

And even more to the disconcerting point, by definition your song summation of the person will be broadcast to everyone who can hear your phone. Someone who summarizes their husband with tinny Barry White moaning out "Deeper and Deeper" is letting everyone within earshot know some very intimate personal information.

But people do it all the time these days. Ringtones.

I've heard some interesting ones that have given me pause for thought about the person on the other end of the phone. I was at a swank restaurant and the guy's phone at the table next to me blared out "Burning Down the House." He obviously knew who was calling, it was obviously an assigned ringtone because he seemed happy about the call, grabbed the phone and gave a big happy "Hey! How's it goin'?!" "Burning Down the House." Um. I mean, huh. Okay. That incident was a couple years ago and I still remember it - I still ponder about the person who inspires "Burning Down the House" as an assigned ringtone.

I honestly have heard "Closer" as a ringtone. A guy on the train had it as his ringtone. I wondered if the girl on the other end of that call had any clue that this guy either uses that as his normal, everyday ringtone or that she's so special that she inspired him to download and assign "Closer" to her. Either way: Ewwww. Kinda funny. But. Ewwwww. And no, it wasn't the edited version. It was the PMRC warning version.

Way. Too. Much. Information. About a complete faceless, voiceless stranger on the other end of another stranger's phone.


My friend in Costco was chirpily nattering on about all her ringtones. A mutual friend is assigned "Come As You Are." Before they were married, the three of us used to be quite the little rocker chick group. I was surprised to discover my friend even remembered those days, let alone admits to them, and apparently, lauds them. She's a very dignified, respectable PTA mother, now. She usually seems kind of embarrassed if I mention something we did "way back then" in front of her suburban friends. Not that I go around divulging details about her drunken backstage antics, but even a casual mention of a concert or bar we used to go to can draw the frantic "ixnay on the ockray adays" look. So I have difficulty imagining her phone blaring "Velouria" or "Come As You Are" during a PTA bake sale.

And it makes me realize I don't know what song I would use to sum up her or our friend. She harkens back to our days of yore to sum up me and our friend. Pathetically enough, that's still relevant to me now. I haven't really moved on from those days. But our mutual friend isn't exactly a grungy disaffected barfly anymore. "Come As You Are" doesn't exactly come to mind when I think of her now. It would definitely be on her soundtrack, but her theme song? Not so much.

Because I'm unemployed and have a lot of free time on my hands I dwelt on this a lot longer than I should. I started asking other friends about ringtones. Yay or nay and if yay, what criteria do they use to establish the one quintessential song to represent a person.

Coincidentally I was meeting said formerly grungy disaffected barfly for, I guess not surprisingly, a drink during her kids' karate practice. I walked into the restaurant and deliberately called her. I wanted to find out if she was already there, but I also was hoping to hear a cell phone blare out as I hit dial. Nothing. Not a peep, straight to voice mail. But I saw her waving and motioning me to a table.

I didn't waste time beating around the bush, I just came right out and asked her if she had ringtones. I told her about the revelation in Costco. She agreed that "Velouria" is an unexpected choice.

"'Where's My Mind,''Manta Ray,' no, definitely 'Where's My Mind.' But not 'Velouria.' That'd be way down on my list to summarize you," she said, assuredly.

Turns out I'm Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" on her phone. She saw it on a list of free ringtone downloads, thought of me (naturally) and thought it would be funny to hear that every time I call her.

Niiiice. My mother would be so proud to know that's what my friends think of me.

Again, struggling to imagine what the other mothers at karate and violin classes think when I call my friend and her phone blares out "Bad Reputation." I mean, I get her point, it is funny, but c'mon, ultimately the joke's on me.

I already know that Frankie and Benjy use ringtones. Benjy tends to go a bit overboard when it comes to superfluous functionality. And, last I knew, I was identified as Alice Cooper's "Under My Wheels" on their phones. Which also has great comedic affect. "The telephone is ringing..."

If I were to go ringtone "Under My Wheels" would be my all-purpose generic ringtone.

I called to check in on Frankie and Benjy and my ringtone status. Much to my surprise I learned I've been updated. I am no longer, "Under My Wheels." I am now "Sex on Wheels." Oooo, ba-baby, baby baby. Good grief. Benjy has some new ringtone app and he's been editing and fiddling with songs and my calls are now identified with "Sex on Wheels." Hard body, motor city, love life...Frankie wants to switch me back to "Under My Wheels," though, because she's so used to identifying me with that song. Apparently I'm having a ringtone identity crisis. Great.

MAF surprised me. He uses ringtones. He doesn't seem like the type. To prove himself ringtone ready he said, "Call me, right now." So I did. A tinny rendition of the Hollies "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" echoed from his mobile phone. Awwwwww.

And. Ewwwwww.

"Dude, you're gay, everyone's going to think it's a drag queen calling you. When I call you, based on my ringtone and your sexual orientation, people are going to think I'm a drag queen."

"Better that than 'Bang a Gong.'"

"To be sure, but what does that have to do with me?"

"That's the song I always think of when I think of you."

"As in 'Get it on, bang a gong' bang a gong?!"

"Yep. But more in the 'windy and wild, hubcap dynastar halo, Cadillac, clad in black, don't look back' bang a gong kind of way."

"Oh, well, that explains it. Whew, I was concerned there for a minute."

What the...?

The very next day the old BF Rock Star called to check in on me. He heard I am unemployed. Things are good with him. That's always the way it was/is with us. We're never in sync. He's up, I'm down, I'm up, he's down. Doomed to fail. I asked him if I were a ringtone what would I be on his phone. No hesitation, no moment of reflective thought. "Blood and Roses." Roll of eyes. Ours was a tumultuous relationship, to say the least. "Blood and Roses" sums up us. Not me. But whatever. I told him about the "Bang a Gong" conversation with MAF.

"Oh, good one. Totally. Yeah. 'Bang a Gong.' Yeah. That works. I change my mind. 'Bang a Gong.' That's totally you."

A trend was emerging and it concerns me. My friends are choosing down and dirty rock songs with rebel sexual overtones to sum up their impression of me.

"Velouria," "Bad Reputation," "Under My Wheels," "Sex on Wheels," two "Bang a Gongs," "Helter Skelter." This is what my friends and family think of me? This is how they sum me up in song?

I guess there are worse things, and these are the people who know me best, so they know, you know, about me. I don't think any of my former coworkers would assign any of those songs to me. But I dunno, something's bugging me about it. These are the people I care about, the people whose opinions matter to me. And their musical opinions of me show a slightly disconcerting trend.

I hate ringtones.

On the other hand, there's my niece. She's young and funny and aware and has hundreds of friends who call her a lot. She makes a good case for ringtones. She has to be careful with her phone minutes. Assigned ringtones help her keep her non-essential conversations to a minimum.

She knows when her boyfriend is calling her because a tinny version of Ween's Don't Laugh, I Love You blares from her phone. This is a case where I'm pro-ringtone. That song has a tinny, funny sound to it even through a good amp and decent speakers. Somehow it works really well as a ringtone. Especially given the Don't Laugh, I Love You lyrics. Blasting out of a mobile phone it has a serendipitous "this is so cheesy it's funny" aspect. Purposeful cheese. So cheesy it's hip. Perfect for my hipster niece and her so-cool-he-doesn't-realize-it boyfriend.

The same niece assigned "It's a Long Way to the Top (if you Wanna Rock and Roll)" as my ringtone. Oh crimony, here we go again. But in this case, it makes my heart swell with pride. I'm guessing there aren't a lot of kids who have their aunts on their speed dials, much less assign them ringtones, much less AC/DC ringtones. So. You know. If she has to do the ringtone thing I'm glad she chose that one for me. If that sums up her impression of me, well, that's not all bad. I think about my aunts and what ringtones I would assign them. I either can't come up with anything or they're really lame songs.

And since my niece almost always answers her phone when I call I know she considers me an essential caller. Thinking of her springing into action to answer her phone when it blares out, "it's a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll..." makes me laugh.

I still hate ringtones. And I kind of wish I didn't know the songs my friends assigned to me. I regret asking them because it's like overhearing them talk about you to other people. The ringtone tells a lot about how they think of you, feel about you and associate with you. I don't wanna know that a gay friend and an ex boyfriend both feel that "Bang a Gong" sums up their impressions of me. It's weird and disturbing information to know about yourself. Especially when it's trivialized into a 30 second tinny snippet of the song via a cell phone speaker.

11:45 PM

 
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