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

 
Sunday, May 02, 2010  
Sooooo, I have question.

I live in the city. I prefer to work within the city limits, but, heh heh, funny, that. There are scant few jobs posted in the city limits these days. Of the job postings I find, 90% of them are at suburb-based companies. So, you know, while not my ideal employment scenario, I'm in no position to be picky. I'll happily, yes, really, happily, deal with the commute if there's a job and a company who wants to hire me. That's not desperation talking. Well, I mean, it is, kind of, but not really. Even before I was laid off I heard about job opportunities and more often than not they were in the suburbs. If they were in the far-flung suburbs I knew they were complete non-starters, but I long ago made my list of do-able suburbs commute-wise. Trying to meet men also helped form my commute limits. I spelled it all out in orange and black in the "Location, Location" section of my online dating tips. There's do-able and there's "are you crazy?" We all have our tipping point. I'm fairly patient and if there's a train or bus that goes there and I can spend the commute reading or watching a movie or working, I'm "okay" with it. It's not ideal, but I don't dwell on it.

My tipping point is any commute over two hours (one way), for a job or a date. After that I'm spending more than four hours commuting for said job (or date, not that that's an issue anymore). There are 24 hours in a day. Typically jobs require at least 8 hours of work-time. So that's 12 hours, half a day, spent dedicated to work and commuting to and from that job. Ideally we sleep 6 - 8 hours/night, so on a 6 hour sleep night that leaves 6 hours left "for me." Not ideal, leaves zero time for any real activities during the work-week, forget volunteering or going to dinner or movies with friends or doing laundry. Not gonna happen. Hence my 2-hour rule. Anything more than that and life honestly becomes nothing more than work and sleep. From where I'm sitting right now I say, "Okay, fine, I need a job and I'd be sleeping with a roof over my head, not in a homeless shelter, so, fine, work and sleep, fine by me." But that is desperation talking. So I have been pretty strict with myself about the 2-hour commute rule.

Thing is, where I live, a two hour commute can be as little as 20 miles. Especially on public transportation. My former job was a little under six miles, door to door. I always gave myself 45 minutes for the commute. There were days, Cubs game days, for instance, when that six mile commute took two hours. Because I live and worked in the city, I had the luxury of a bike-commute on weather-appropriate days. That was a sanity saver. So it's not just about looking at a map and calculating distance v. the posted speed limit or train schedule.

I will go anywhere for a job - anywhere realistic.

There are logistic issues to consider, especially since I don't own a car. A few days after I was laid off I started a tactical pursuit for employment. Part of that strategy was looking at maps, train routes, bus routes and figuring commute times for the more prevalent locations for jobs, factoring in what I know about snags and delays on the routes to those locations. Since I'm okay with up to a two-hour each way commute I have quite a few options, a pretty decent job search area. Which is good since the jobs in the city limits are waning more every day.

I notice the lower paying jobs are in the city. I have theories, conspiracy and otherwise, about this. Daley, the root of all my conspiracy theories regarding the city, is of course to blame. There's no tax incentive for businesses to stay in the city and it's getting more and more difficult to attract workers into the city for jobs. I have applied to three jobs currently located in the city but with the caveat that "this job will relocate in Summer/Fall of 2010." Why? Because the companies are moving - to suburban locations. One job that I really wanted is going to be relocated to Wisconsin in a few months. I crunched every number I could trying to make the commute do-able, but even if I bought a car and the traffic gods smile on me, the commute is 3 hours each way. I can't realistically take on that responsibility, even for what sounds like a perfect job for me. And no, moving, at this juncture, isn't an option. Once I go into foreclosure, yes, at that point, location isn't an issue because I'll be homeless. But right now, while I'm still trying to keep a roof over my head, that roof is unsellable.

Here's a sidebar to unemployment that people don't seem to consider. Especially smug employed people. "There are plenty of jobs, unemployed people have to be more flexible and relocate." Sure, I get that, and for many of is it will come to that. But, it's not as easy as "just moving." For those of us with mortgages, heh heh, lots of luck selling. We have a new foreclosure in my building, that brings the total foreclosures to 6, and even the units that have been at bank auction for over a year are still vacant, no one's buying and the values on our condos are dropping like lead - selling and moving isn't a viable option for me or most other people right now. If, if I can sell my place it would be at such a loss that I'd still owe a lot of money on a mortgage - I, like most people who only have a couple years of equity into their mortgage, are under water. The value of real estate has dropped so drastically that I can't sell anywhere near what I paid for my place, and I got a bargain basement price at the time I bought. Add the foreclosures issue into the mix and yeah, "moving" isn't as easy as putting out the for sale sign, packing up and moving to a new job. I didn't bite off more than I could chew with my condo. If I hadn't been laid off I'd be fine, I could ride out this real estate downmarket, pay my mortgage and property tax for less than I'd pay for rent and maybe even have money to do that kitchen renovation I'd like. But. I did get laid off and that's where things get ugly. Because I'm frugal to an alarming degree I'm paying my mortgage and I paid my October and April property tax. Yay me. But if I don't get a full-time job, soon, even my extremely frugal ways won't help - the money I raided from my 401K will be gone and I'll be in foreclosure and homeless.

And in a perverse way, that may help my job search. Once I'm homeless, I'll be a true vagabond and the world is my oyster for job location. And because I will have lost everything, and I mean everything, moving expenses will be minimal - you don't need to rent a U-Haul when all you have is a couple suitcases of work clothes. But other people, normal people, who have things like beds, dishes, chairs and tables, they have to pay to move their stuff. And they have to pay deposits on apartments and utilities etc. etc. Moving is expensive. Relocating for a job sounds "easy" but it's not - even if the spirit is willing, the reality is that it's expensive and if you've been unemployed for a while, well, the relocation money for the start-up expenses just isn't there. Would I go anywhere for a job? Once I'm homeless, and lose everything I own? Yes. Until then, no. It's financially unrealistic.

But even focusing on a narrow area is fraught with issues. I notice the jobs in the city are waning, and the jobs that are readily available are low paying. Retail sales associates, fast-food workers, wait and bar staff, hotel housekeeping...service oriented jobs that don't provide very good salaries - at least not to start. 

Take my telemarketing job, for instance, a nice building with a "prestigious" city address, an easy commute on bus and train, but us workers make $8/hour. There was a woman in my training class who commuted in from a far suburb - took her 2.5 hours and cost her $7.00 round trip to commute on the train, if she drives she has to pay $8 - $20/day to park (if she's lucky and gets an early morning shift allowing her the early bird parking rates). At the $8/hour rate of pay, she's not really "making" money. Like me, unless she gets more than a two-hour shift, after taxes she's in a deficit situation, she's paying to work. And she's spending five hours to commute to that job. Is she crazy? No. She's been unemployed for a year and she's desperate for work.

This is where I live, now, until I go into foreclosure and I'm homeless. So I'm focusing on here and now, a realistic do-able commute. 

Until then I'm trying to find employment where I am, which, in a large urban area, should be easier than if I happened to live in a small rural area. But oddly enough, I'm finding that may not be the case.

There are the sheer numbers. Bigger city = more jobs, right? Yep. But. Bigger city also = more people who are unemployed. The competition for jobs, all jobs, is fierce. One of my former clients (who wants to hire me but can't thanks to that non-compete agreement...we're working on that...) told me that they hired someone for a particular job four years ago. They had a handful of people apply for the job and they weren't thrilled with the choices. But they finally found a suitable candidate, had to pay them a lot more than they budgeted because they had so few bites on the job posting. (It's not something a lot of people are qualified to do, and among those qualified, this isn't a particularly attractive company for that line of work.) Okay, well, a couple months ago the person they hired decided to not return from maternity leave (blog for another day) and they recently began looking for candidates. They used the exact job description and posting they used four years ago - the one that garnered them only a handful of lackluster candidates - and they have been overwhelmed with responses. They have thousands of resumes. They figure about half of them are not qualified, but, so far, there's merit and credibility to many of the people applying for that job - a job nobody wanted four years ago. My client's company is also "excited" because they can pay far less for someone in that position now. The job that was so boring and unattractive four years ago that they had to greatly increase the salary to attract a candidate is now so popular that they can cut the salary below their opening bid four years ago. Yes. They're going to pay someone less than their minimum salary range for the same job four years ago. Feel free to draw parallels to the real estate market.

What does this have to do with commuting? Well, a lot. My former client's company is based in a suburb - close into the city, though. A relatively "easy" commute. A lot of their job candidates are from far-flung places. One candidate who is very qualified and seems like a great match for the job, lives about three hours away from the office. My former client is shrugging it off, "What our employees do with their spare time is their business. If they choose to spend their spare time commuting to work, who are we to judge? If they want to deal with that commute, and they show up for work on time and don't leave early, it's none of our business. They know we're not paying relocation fees, they know they're expected to be here 8 hours a day, if they can't hack the commute we've got thousands of other applicants who can." That's a "good" attitude. They're not discriminating, they're seeing beyond the address. And besides, people lie. People use friends' and relatives' addresses, buy pay-per-use cell phones for that area-code...all in an attempt to appear to live close enough to qualify. These tactics are posted and touted all over the job-hunt advice sites. There's a good chance the candidate who appears to live walking distance from the office actually resides three hours away in their parents' basement.

And I can't blame people for lying. It's dog-eat-dog in the job market. Guerrilla tactics are the excepted and expected norm. All's fair in the job hunt. I don't condemn or condone any approach. If it works for someone, gets them employed, rock on. Ethics? Pfft. Whatever. Pride and ethics are fine when you have a job and can pay your mortgage or rent. When you've been unemployed a long time and are staring down the barrel of homelessness, pride and ethics seem a lot less important. Do whatever you have to do to get the job and then worry about ethics. Job hunt tactics that would have appalled me a few years ago are now met with blase indifference. "She slept with the HR director? Meh. Whatever. She's qualified for the job, her department was downsizing, they're both single and consenting adults and if putting out put her in that job it's more a reflection of the HR director than her. She got laid instead of being laid off. From where I'm sitting - in front of a computer looking for a job for the 271st day in a row - that sounds like a win-win."

Lying about where you live doesn't seem like a big deal in comparison to some of the things I've heard and witnessed in the job hunt over the past few months.

The thing is, though...I kind of suck at lying. I'm not judging others' morality, but for me, I can't see any merit in lying about where I live. Or at least I didn't. Now I'm reconsidering.

I found what appears to be a perfect job for me. Something I'd really enjoy and would be super good at, the company should salivate over my application.

Except there's one little catch. Always a catch, isn't there?

Must live in the western suburbs i.e. Schaumburg on north, Naperville on the south and St. Charles on the west.

Oh no they din't. Oh yes, they did. There's a map with a red zone, like the delivery zone on a Chinese take-out menu left in the door, of acceptable residency.

Suffice it to say I don't live within 30 miles of even the farthest parameters of their delivery, I mean residency zone.

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9:46 AM

 
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