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

 
Wednesday, January 26, 2011  

Take a penny and some magic,

Even though your life is tragic, 

and throw all your dreams down the well.

Though each day the pain grows, 

You'll ride unicorns on rainbows

If you throw all your dreams down the well. 

When your life comes apart at the seams 

And you've given up on all your dreams 

Here's just the means to make your dreams come true.

No more suffering no more sighing 

No more pain and no more crying 

Just throw all your dreams down the well. 

All the magic has gone missing,

And everyones still wishing,

But their dreams have fallen flat upon the ground.

You'll find magic under rubble.

So let's all grab a shovel,

And this is where the magic can be found.

We're at the bottem of a well 

But man won't it be swell when we make everyones wishes come true!

Labels: ,


4:26 PM

 
You know how when a person files bankruptcy there's a public notice? It used to be a shameful thing to do. People filing bankruptcy would try to leave town under the cover of darkness before the public announcement hit the local newspaper. If the shamed bankrupty-ee didn't get out of town in time the local villagers didn't show up with pitchforks and torches, but...the gossip, contempt and judgment was impossible to live down.

In small towns it's still kind of that way, I think. Though not in the past few years attitudes about financial struggles have changed.

At least that's what people told me. That's what I hoped.

And then one of my neighbors, a woman who lives down the hall from me, confronted me in our hallway with a pitchfork and a torch. A verbal pitchfork and torch.

She's angry that our condos have fallen in value. She needs to assign blame and I'm conveniently unemployed and three doors down from where she lives.

Miraculously I have not gone into foreclosure. Yet. I keep hanging on, every month it's a nailbiter to the mortgage payment deadline finish line. I've robbed Peter and paid Paul, I've drained every penny of my 401K, I sold everything I had of any value. I've pawned things that have deep sentimental value. I do every odd job, every teeny tiny freelance job I can find, anything to make money.

The "real" job hunt? Sigh. On it goes.

I've begged for jobs that pay less than minimum wage. I've applied to night-shift 7-11, gas station and janitorial jobs. I've offered to work for free, literally FREElance my services in hopes of impressing employers enough to eventually hire me. I volunteer. I network. I call and email HR people, CEOs, managers of every description. I go on interviews...and get the, "it's down to you and one other candidate, we like you but s/he has more this/that/other experience" rejection. And if one more potential employer tells me I'm overqualified...I dunno. I mean, half the time I'm already lying about my education and work experience. Lies by omission, that is. I dumb down my credentials so I'm not as "impressive." When did education, experience and singular career dedication to a profession become such a liability?

No, I haven't worked retail or waited tables. Ever. Why? Not because I'm spoiled and didn't "have" to do those jobs. It's because I worked really hard to land jobs, any job, in a field related to what I wanted to do for a living. In high school I bugged the ad manager of the local newspaper to hire me to let me do anything - anything in the ad department (that consisted of three people). In college I worked the overnight shift at printing companies and learned a lot about the production aspects of advertising, and a lot about cost factors which, to this day, helps me accurately estimate budgets. I worked in galleries, often for free, so I could meet artists and photographers and learn that side of advertising. I mean, I was on a mission to learn everything possible about all the aspects, I wanted to be a professionally viable, well versed job candidate when I came out of college. And now that professional motivation and career drive is working against me.

"So, you've never actually stocked a shelf/folded sweaters/worked for tips?" is the first question I'm asked when I apply for retail jobs.

"Well, no, but, I have designed and produced retail store signage and advertising."

"We get all that from corporate. I need someone with floor experience. Retail sales."

"I understand. And my experiences from the merchandising and advertising side will give me a unique perspective on the floor. I see the bigger picture. It's not just about selling a sweater, that sweater is the end result of a highly sophisticated merchandising and advertising campaign that was well over a year in the making. It would be an honor for me to be a physical part of the end result of that effort. It all comes down to exchanging goods for money, and to be there, be part of the exchange, what all that merchandising is about, the culmination of a long cycle of marketing, I mean, it's like being there at the birth of a child." (Too much? Such is my desperation to persuade assistant store managers to give me a chance at a minimum wage job.)

"Sorry, I need someone with actual retail sales experience."

"I can stock shelves or do in-store displays...I'm a hard worker, I like to be busy, I'm friendly and I have a fantastic customer service attitude!" 

A few days ago that can-do attitude garnered this response from the afternoon assistant manager at a local DIY store:
"Sorry, I feel for you, I really do. My brother has a bio-chemistry PhD and 12 years experience at a pharmaceutical company. He's been unemployed for two years. I can't hire him, either, he doesn't have retail experience. Corporate pushes us to hire either young high school or college kids with little or no experience, or, retail professionals with lots of retail experience. We don't have good longevity stats with other types of employees. I have applications from people who have worked retail and they're more right-qualified for the job than you are. You seem friendly and eager and I'm sure you can do this job in your sleep, but on paper you're not qualified. The side-by-side comparison to other candidates might seem odd, but I have to choose someone with actual retail experience over someone like you."

I appreciate his insight and candor. It's more feedback and insight than most retail employers have bothered to give me. But the end result is that I'm still unemployed.

Here's how bad it is: I've sold plasma. Okay? I used to donate blood at every blood drive at work. Now I sell it. I'm not proud of this. And I am surprised at how little cash plasma gets on the open market. I've done it twice and live in fear of what I might have contracted in the process but that's a blog best left unwritten. (The take-away: Don't do it. Selling blood is nothing like donating it and you don't "earn" enough money to make it worth the effort and potential disease.) I've tried to sell eggs (mine; human), I offered my services as a surrogate mother; it's illegal, but I'll sell a kidney if someone will pay the medical expenses and give me cash up front.

Every month I think, "well, old girl, this is it, this is the month I can't pay the mortgage." So far I've scraped by, if I'm lucky with a couple bucks to spare. A few friends and my mother are extremely generous in helping me - giving me extras of their staples, sending me care packages of toothpaste and toilet paper, taking me to lunch, letting me borrow their cars, paying me for odd jobs like babysitting or housesitting or converting their cds and dvds to digital files. Pride goeth before a fall, and I fell far, fast and hard so humiliation isn't an issue. Shame goes straight out the window when you're desperate.

So.

When my neighbor from down the hall saw me returning from the mailbox and said, full of snark, looking accusingly over her glasses, "Still unemployed, I see." Then, (making a theatrical look at the mail in my hand) "Is it Welfare check day?"

"Yes, clearly since it's 1:00 on a Wednesday afternoon and I'm home I have not found a job. But no, I don't collect Welfare and my unemployment benefits ended in October. None of your tax dollars are supporting me."

"Then how do you pay your mortgage?"

Okay. I've been friendly with this woman. But we're not close. She has a daughter around my age and I like the daughter. So I tolerate my neighbor's sometimes abrasive and judgmental attitude. She's of the "I'm right and I'm going to tell you I'm right" school.

I knew what was fueling her verbal pitchfork and torch. There have been several foreclosures and property auctions in our building. Consequently the condo values have plummeted. The average auction price is less than half the price I paid for mine three years ago - and I bought at a good time, my condo was a bargain when I bought. People were impressed with the amount of space and neighborhood I snagged at such a reasonable price.

What a difference three years makes. Even if I had a job and needed to sell for a job transfer I'd be in serious trouble. It's bad everywhere, of course, but buildings like mine have taken serious hits: The condos are mainly smaller - great for singles, young couples or seniors - so our building's main owner demographic is younger and mid-career professionals on the low to middle range of the income scale. Singles living on one modest income. And when a younger single person with a modest income loses their job...there's no backup. There's no spouse to help earn money. There's not a lot in the savings account.  If that person remains unemployed for more than a few months there aren't many options other than a short sale or foreclosure. Either way, the rest of the owners in the building take a home value hit as a result of a foreclosure.

I know this. I know all of this. I am well aware. But do I blame my former neighbors who, like me, were doing okay until they lost their job and couldn't pay the mortgage? Of course not.

And word of yet another auction on one of the larger units in the building spread like the black plague. The auction price was...disturbingly low. I've seen used cars priced higher than the final auction price on that condo. Nice used cars, but still, used cars listed at prices higher than the auction price for a nice condo in a good neighborhood with views of Lake Michigan? Wow.

Naturally owner residents are upset. Down, down, down go all the investments in real estate. That whooshing sound you hear are the broken dreams of owners hoping to sell in the next year or two flying out the windows and doors.

Do I feel bad, guilty, ashamed and otherwise embarrassed that it's likely I'll be contributing to my neighbors' plummeting decline of listing value?  Of course.

So what do I do? Do I slide a letter of apology under my neighbors' doors? Do I post a notice in the laundry room? Do I hold an open house and serve cookies and punch and let my neighbors take shots at me while I apologize?

I understand they're angry. I understand people "like me" are ruining "it" for people "like them." But this wasn't an intentional move on my part. I didn't buy a home I couldn't afford. I didn't have a stupid balloon mortgage. I didn't even have a zero down mortgage. If I hadn't been laid off everything would be fine. In fact, because I was so conservative in my purchase I've been able to hang onto it (barely) through 16 months of unemployment. And I'm fairly certain the other foreclosures in our building were the result of circumstances exactly like mine. But the end result is the same: Foreclosure, bank auction or short sales bringing the value of the other units in the building down. Way down.

So. How do I respond to the angry villagers who come at me with pitchforks and torches? "I'm sorry" is obviously inadequate. Do I take out a classified ad or billboard, a la bankruptcy notices, issuing a public blanket apology?

I just stood there listening to my neighbor vent her anger and frustration at me. Unfortunately I was wearing a frayed t-shirt, sweats and worn out slippers I threw on for the two minute round-trip trek to the mailbox. I looked very stereotypical unemployed. Of course she didn't nab me when I was going to or returning from one of my many job hunt treks or interviews. That would require the Universe to throw me a karma bone and that doesn't happen to me.

Ultimately I think it was "good" for her to take out her frustrations on me. And better me than the really mean guy who has been trying to sell his place since I moved in and is about to go into foreclosure. He would not stand there taking the verbal pitchforks and torches from my neighbor. I'm pretty sure it would get pretty ugly. So, better me than him. But what I'm wondering is: What, beyond, "I'm sorry," do I say to my neighbors about my inability to find a job that will pay my mortgage? Do I tell them I've sold everything I possibly can, including blood, to try to stay out of foreclosure? Do I tell them I'm even lying about my education and experience in order to not seem overqualified for jobs? Or do I just leave quietly under the cover of darkness, letting my silence say everything because there's really nothing to say?

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