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.
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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

 
Wednesday, January 12, 2011  
What's in a name? A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.

True. But language is a powerful thing. Would you send your valentine a dozen thorny rancidspore, no matter how pretty they look or sweet they smell?

I've been thinking about names - more accurately labels - a lot lately. I suppose because a lot of them are being assigned to me. They're only words. Judgmental words. Judgmental words spoken, affixed, by people who are, and are not, in a position to accurately judge and summarize me and my "situation." And that's really what labels are: Quick, dismissive one or two word judgmental summaries. Sometimes succinctly accurate, other times completely wrong.

My mother makes spectacular raspberry jam. I mean really, this stuff is nectar of the gods. But. She labels the jars it's with a simple "Raspberry" written in wax pencil on a piece of masking tape. That's it. "Raspberry." Sure, it's fairly obvious by looking at the jar than it a contains dark red jammy substance and the only thing left to explain is the species of origin. "Raspberry." It's really all one needs to know about the contents of the jar. And yet...the beguiling complexity of tastes, the subtle nuances of texture amidst a cacophony of flavors waltzing across the tongue in just one small bite go unannounced, unrecognized. Anyone who's tasted her raspberry jam and recognizes her handwriting knows that "Raspberry" written in wax pencil on a piece of masking tape affixed to a glass jar means a lot more than just "Raspberry." But to anyone else? The at-a-glance summary is all they think they need to know. Fortunately my mother's not trying to sell her raspberry jam. She's not even concerned about anyone stealing her secret. (Hint: It's the berries.) She's not trying to lure or convince anyone to buy or taste her jam. Her only concern is that there won't be confusion between the jars of raspberry and strawberry jam.

I have a friend who's going through something. Her something is nothing like my something. Her something pertains to her marriage. Which is, um, well, I dunno how to summarize it, label it. It may or may not be "in trouble." Too soon to tell.

But.

My friend is in the "personal rebirth" phase of her rethinking the marriage situation. She's taking art and yoga classes and is thinking about starting a closet organizing business. (I know, I know, there are a few labels going through your mind right now. Believe me, I know. And most of those one word judgmental summaries are accurate.)

Okay. So. She's training with a closet organizing guru (see above, accurate judgmental summary) and will soon hone her closet organizing craft on all her friends. Oh boy. I can hardly wait. Ya know, when I moved into my condo, back when I had a job and more than a couple outfits, I probably could have used an unbiased second opinion and ideas about how best to utilize the teeeny tiny closet in my new home. But now that I'm on the verge of homelessness and only have enough "good" clothes to get me to job interviews and enough "off hours" clothes to get me through a week-ish, it's comical to think of a closet organizer helping me sort and arrange my closet.

But, that's exactly what happened.

My friend and her closet Svengali spent much of the afternoon going through my few remaining clothes and organizing my closet.

I was kind of ambushed. I mean, I knew they were going to show up and use my closet as a training ground for my friend's burgeoning closet organizing career, but I didn't realize it was going to turn into an episode of What Not to Wear. I didn't think I'd actually be, you know, involved. I thought my closet was the hypothetical scenario, a case study, not me.

And so it came to pass that labels were affixed to me via my clothes. The closet Svengali said my wardrobe is "okay" but not an accurate portrayal of my personality. He ascertained this within 15 minutes of meeting me. Well, he is the closet Svengali...still, some harsh labels were affixed. Not to what I own. To what I don't own.

Apparently my clothes are not sending a "single" vibe. But they're not sending a "married" vibe, either. Which, I contend, is an absolutely accurate portrayal of me. I am the Mayor of Singleton. I am up on the shelf and intend to stay there. I have given up on love, relationships and men in general. Wait. "Given up" isn't accurate. I have surrendered, white flag waving, to dating/relationship defeat. There are more women than men, statistically some women will have to remain single, and I realize and surrender to the fact that clearly I am one of the women who will be man-less. Accept. Acceptance. It's the only way to remain sane and forge ahead. So the closet Svengali's determination that my clothes are relationship ambiguous sounded like success to me. Clearly I have accepted my relationship status fate. Single zero. Ta dah! And I'm dressing appropriately.

But of course my friend and the closet Svengali were aghast at the suggestion that there isn't someone for everyone. (My friend, should she decide to separate from her husband, will soon find out dating at our age isn't the open hunting season it was in our 20s.) Even when I pulled up census data, pointing to cold, hard numbers, the black and white fact that there is not someone for everyone because it's statistically impossible, they dismissed the facts with an "oh pish posh" and continued to badger me about how a "differently" organized closet is all that's standing between me and a secure relationship with a great guy, or at least a lot of sex.

"Where are your date night clothes?" the closet Svengali asked.

"I don't date. Hence, no date night clothes."

"Uh huh, uh huh, I see. Why don't you date?" he asked, cozying up to my friend, giving her a "watch me, I'm the pro, this is why you pay me to train you" look.

"We just went over this. There is not someone for everyone. More women than men. Statistically impossible. I drew the short straw. I am single. And oh yeah, unemployed. And soon to be without a home. And a closet. Even if I wanted to date, wouldn't be exactly a priority right now. Nor should it be."

"Uh huh, uh huh, I see. Well. Yes, of course your focus is on finding a job and your wardrobe reflects that. But do you want employers to think you don't have your personal life together? That you are in emotional disarray?"

"Ummmm, not dating doesn't equate to emotional disarray. And if employers wonder why I'm the Mayor of Singleton I could cash in on some good discrimination money, so if you know how to get in on that I'm all ears. Otherwise, no, my relationship-ambiguous wardrobe is a non-factor in my interview and work wardrobe."

"Wow. You weren't kidding. She is a tough nut to crack," the closet Svengali said to my friend.

"Okay, look, let's play pretend. Since we have all your clothes out of the closet, let's play dress up. 'Ring ring, ring ring.'" The closet Svengali was pantomiming a phone call.

(Friend to me, whispering, nudging me.) "*You're supposed to answer the pretend phone.*"

(Roll of eyes) "Hello?"

(Affecting a deep and kind of creepy voice) "Hi Trillian, it's that Mr. Handsome you met at the grocery store last night and I'm asking you to go to a gallery opening and dinner with me because I can tell you're a creative woman with substance and intelligence and exactly the woman I've been looking for all my adult life." 

"You have the wrong number."

(Friend to me, kind of whining-imploring) "C'mon, Trillian, don't be such a Rhoda, play along! People pay a lot of money to spend time with the closet Svengali, and I need to learn, and you promised you'd help, so go along with this."

(Conceding to my friends plea) "Oh, wait, right, I remember you. Brussels sprouts."

"That's right, Brussels sprouts and now I want you to have dinner with me. How about Thursday night? Around 7?" 

"Okay, sure, that'll be great."

(Back to his regular closet Svengali voice) "Fantastic! Now call your friend and tell her the great news about your date."

(Me, not pantomiming) "Ring ring, ring ring."

(My friend, pantomiming) "Hello?"

"Hi friend, guess what?"

"What?!"

"I met a guy buying Brussels sprouts and he asked me out to dinner."

"Wheeeeeee!!!! I have a good feeling about this! You love Brussels sprouts! It must be fate! Kismet! What are you going to wear?"

"I dunno, I'll figure out something."

"No, Trillian, you cannot just 'figure out' something. You need to have a plan in place. And with my help you can have several plans in place, just waiting in your closet for any event or occasion!"

"Seriously? You're really going to say that to prospective clients? That's really your opening gambit? What, Amway wasn't hiring?"

"That bad?"

"Awful."

"Okay, let's try another approach," the closet Svengali intervened. It was a conference call.

"Your closet is small. There's not much space to work with, but that's okay because you don't have many clothes. Which would be okay if the clothes you had were the right clothes. There's no variety here, not what we usually like to see in an adult woman's closet. It's impossible to organize a closet that will in turn make someone's life easier if they don't have the right variety of clothing to organize in the first place. You, girlfriend, need some man bait, some slutty clothes. You have a rack on you, women pay top dollar for that kind of milkshake, but not one top or dress in this closet is cut low enough to show off the goods."

"Uhhh, because I want a man to be interested in me for something other than my boobs? Because I prefer to not be ogled and sexually objectified by men I barely know or don't know at all? Because I don't actually sell milkshakes?"

"I'm just going to say it. You need to slut it up."

Yep. My friend, who may or may not be getting a divorce, brought a man, a closet Svengali, into my home and after knowing me and my closet all of 40 minutes he told me I need to slut it up.

Okay. You know, yes, I could use the boobs to lure men. Boob men. Men who are interested in nothing more than boobs. I could do that. I might even be able to get sex by using my boobs as bait. But. Is that really the kind of sex I want? Do I really want to succumb to that? Up to this point I have firmly believed the answer to all those questions is: No. No way. Firmly, staunchly, no.

And my friend, and other friends, have backed me up on this. Not that we're all prudish good girls. Not that we're ashamed or conflicted about our bodies - we're not. But. The girls are a bonus for the men who bother to care about and get to know us for reasons other than our bodies. And if you are a woman who is "blessed" with an abundance of bosom you soon learn that very few men who approach you are truly interested in your in-depth knowledge of pre-war abstract expressionism or your interest in music and travel. And you learn that if you want a man to give you eye contact you have to keep the girls securely tucked away. Bring 'em out slowly, progressively, congruent with the man's interest and attention to your personality. They're a bonus for the guy who bothers to care to get to know you.

As I write this I realize that maybe that attitude is prudish.

Maybe my incomplete wardrobe and consequently incomplete closet is seeping into the way I carry myself, manifesting in an emotionally ambiguous label. Maybe I give the appearance of being incomplete. Maybe prospective employers look at me, presume my closet contains no date-night clothes, size up my relationship ambiguity and assign the label: Incomplete. And incomplete is not a positive label, especially when affixed to a job candidate.

So.

Maybe I should try to slut it up.

Ick.

I don't like that world. That label. It's so banal.

Slut. Whore. Hooker.

Nasty labels. Used more as judgmental assumptions than actual job descriptions.

"What do you do for a living?"

"I'm a slut." "I'm a whore." "I'm a hooker." Much as I would love to think there are prostitutes who own their profession enough to say that I kinda doubt it happens often. Maybe in Amsterdam. But there I think they go by the more descriptive title of sex worker. Notice the lack of judgmental slang in that title. It's purely the job description.

Funny how linguistically dressing up the slang makes them seem more lewd and, ironically more deserving of scorn: Tart. Harlot. Strumpet. More provincial "prettier" terms for prostitutes, less commonly used, which is probably what makes them sound all the more banal.

I don't want to be, or look, slutty. I just don't.

In my past, when I've been "going for" a sexy look I aspired to trollop. I like that word. It seemed appropriate when I was out trolling for me. Trolling, trollop...trolls. (Cause and effect?) Trollop is sexual but funny. It implies promiscuity but is so quaint you can hear Queen Victoria herself making the accusation. Mission accomplished. But strumpet-like? Well, yeah, I guess I could experiment with that. It sounds like a saucier type of prostitute. A specialized, senior level prostitute. Like you'd have to pay a lot more and be capable of handling a lot more than you would with just a slut. A strumpet sounds like she'd separate the boys from the men.

But in the end it's just a judgmental label. Unless you are, in fact, a sex worker (in Amsterdam or elsewhere) strumpet, tart, harlot, slut, whore, hooker...they're just judgmental labels affixed to women who dress and behave sexually provocatively. Very few women who dress slutty are actually sluts/hookers/whores/harlots/et al. They may be promiscuous, they may be trollops open about looking to find a man, but, very few of them are actually taking money in exchange for sex.

Labels. Words. A rose by any other name.

Funny how sexually derogatory labels are rarely affixed to men. I know, the topic of sexual double-standards has been beaten to death. I'm just saying, in terms of labels, snap judgments, slutty is rarely applied to men. Men are rarely said to be of ill-repute. They're rarely admonished and dismissed as slutty, implying they're inferior or disgusting or dirty because they dress and behave sexually provocatively. Men rarely have sexual labels applied to them, and when they do the labels have positive connotations. Hot. Beefcake. Hunk. Hung. Duuuude! Even manwhore has a sort of alluring caché. Unless we're talking gay men, in which case the labels slut, whore, tart, harlot, strumpet...trollop... are thrown around willy-nilly, but interestingly, they're used with affection, mock admonishment fueled by desire. Not necessarily dismissive, insulting labels.

I'm dwelling on this way more than an unemployed soon-to-be-homeless person should. I have other, pressing, urgent priorities. A job. A home. Food.

Still, the closet Svengali's theory about what message I'm sending about my emotional well-being is nagging at me. Does the fact that I'm "obviously" single, at my age, inherently imply that I'm unbalanced, emotionally unstable, or at the very least incapable of achieving balance, structure and commitment in my life? If I at least looked like I date would I seem more emotionally balanced, more stable, more normal, more like someone you'd want to hire and have around the office?  Are women who dress more sexually at job interviews perceived as more savvy and consequently more accomplished and innovative? In short, does dressing relationship-ambiguous read as boring, lacking initiative and out of touch? Could it equate to not getting hired?

I really do not want the closet Svengali to be right. But. The fact that a few days later I'm still taking his "advice" to heart shows that he hit on something, maybe a nerve, maybe a fear, maybe something latent that I've been refusing to see or acknowledge. Labels. Judgments. First impressions.

I'm in a creative, competitive field. Like dating, there is a lot of competition for just a few opportunities. I failed to beat the odds in dating and now I'm failing to beat the odds in employment. My relatives and friends don't "understand" why I'm single, listing all my positive personality traits as reason enough for any and every man to be begging for me. "Looks don't really matter, Trillian, there are a lot of really ugly women who have more men than they can handle." They say, "She's intelligent, creative, funny, genuine, compassionate, emotionally mature, positive, supportive, kind, perceptive, moral..." All very nice labels. Still, I'm single. Very, very single. The Mayor of Singleton, in fact.

And interestingly, as I journey through unemployment, my family and friends call up similar personality traits and apply them to my prospective employers. They think I'm a great professional catch, they'd all love to work with me, have me on their team. Of course they are not hiring.

So now I'm thinking I should "do" something about my wardrobe. Sex it up a bit. Ye gads. I've spent my entire career downplaying my boobs, thinking of them as a liability in the boardroom. And now I'm trying to shift that paradigm to see them as not an asset at work, but that I use them as an asset in my personal life. I want to give the appearance of having a healthy sex and emotional life outside of work so that I appear savvy and viable at work. 

Even if it's all just an illusion - and that's what image is, an illusion - so that I get the "right" labels assigned to me when I go on job interviews.

Of course none of this should matter. I, we, should be judged on our personalities, our skills, our character. But we're not. Hence a lot of single people, lonely single people, roaming this planet. Nice, viable, funny, intelligent, kind, caring people remain alone and unwanted because they're not assigned the "right" appearance labels. I never wanted to think that appearance labels matter in the professional world, at least not in any professional world I wanted to join. But the closet Svengali might be onto something. If you look like you're all work and no play, like you don't have a life or interests outside of your career, the labels affixed to you could be hurting your career advancement (or employment). It pains me to even consider this because the implications are disturbing, but, I've examined and revamped and polished every other aspect of my career, skills and job hunt. I thought I was giving a great image: Professional, polished, current but not trendy, certainly not slutty or even stumpetlike. But maybe I need to tweak it a bit, give a few hints that maybe, just maybe, at some point in my life, I was sexually viable and consequently emotionally "normal." A label that is universally accepted. "Normal."

A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but if it's labeled "thorny rancidspore" it will not be offered any jobs.

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11:22 PM

 
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