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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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, July 16, 2011  
My parents have friends who spend summers Upnorth. Upnorth is a general area of Michigan loosely defined as anywhere North of (insert your own landmark Michigan town). My family defines Upnorth as anything above The Thumb (a clearly defined and obvious region of Michigan), but we're from Southeast Michigan so it's all relative. 

But by any measure, these friends of my parents' "place Upnorth" is really and truly up North, and they have been inviting my mother and me up to stay with them at their cottage for a few days of getting away. Boating, cookouts, Canasta and Euchre, what have you. My mother hasn't really felt up to that sort of sojourn but after the whole neighbor from Hell situation (which is getting worse by the day) she decided she'd "risk it" and take up their offer for a getaway. So, off we went. 

And all went well. My mother did exceptionally well on the five hour trip northward, albeit at a slow and shaky pace. She decided she's not up to boating, but that's okay, she had plenty of company onshore. Turns out some of our hosts' grandkids were visiting, too. Yadda yadda yadda I ended up "helping" with the kids while their grandpa gave boat rides. Which means, I kept the kids from falling out of the boat and drowning. Which is okay. I like kids. I like boating. I'm Red Cross certified in life saving. S'all good.

It was intended to be a short jaunt out, but, we stayed out on the Lake a lot longer than anticipated. (A three hour tour, a three hour tour...) And I hadn't applied much sunscreen and the only sunscreen on the boat was spf 10. I kept re-applying it to the kids and myself. 

But. I'm white. Really white. My DNA hails from Scotland, where it rains. A lot. And Norway, where the sun doesn't even fully rise several months of the year. You get the picture. I am genetically incapable of tanning and genetically predisposed to severe sunburns. More than an hour of sun exposure with anything less than spf 30 can result in first degree burns. 
Several hours later than I expected, we returned to shore. I knew my nose, cheeks, neck and arms were burned because they felt like they were coated in molten lava. Not that I know what being coated in molten lava actually feels like, but, for descriptive purposes I'll use that analogy. 

My mother and her friend looked at me in horror. My mother's friend gasped. My mother, having seen this happen to me once when I was a kid, said, "Do we need to get you to a burn unit?" She was only half joking. 

I asked my parents' friend if she had any burn ointment or aloe...or ice. She and my mother had just made pitchers of: Lemonade, sloe gin fizz, and mint julep and all the ice had gone to that effort. The ice trays were brewing fresh cubes but they were still just water in ice cube trays.

Which is how it came to pass that I was laid out in a bathtub in a cottage Upnorth covered in Otter Pops, the colored ice pops cased in plastic lined up on my face, neck and arms. 

When the burning abated enough that I could move without feeling like I was tearing flesh, I took my last $20 and drove to the nearest outpost of commerce, a party store.

Upnorth (and most of Michigan for that matter) is populated with "Party Stores." Contrary to popular belief or conventional wisdom, these are not stores where you procure Spongebob or Dora or luau themed invitations, paper cups and plates and balloons. Party stores do sell items for parties: Booze (Beer, cheap hard liquor (sometimes Everclear), and there's usually a couple semi-dustl gallon size bottles of Gallo and a very dusty bottle of "Sparkling Wine.") Bottle openers. Condoms. Rolling papers. Cassette tapes of "Romantic Themes" and lower ranking '80s hair bands (I swear I saw a Sweet 8-track in a party store...last year.) Cheap cigars. Lottery tickets. Car air fresheners. Sun glasses that by their style look to have been made in 1978. Jerky (often locally produced, often sold "by the foot" as in, 12" spans of dried animal). Cheesy, old girlie mags like Jugs. Milk. Diapers. Baby food. 

If the store is located Upnorth and there's not much in the way of commerce in a 30 mile radius (save for competing party stores) the store will carry a few more items to cater to the tourists, like newspapers, motor oil, live bait, firewood, kids' swim toys, weird candy you haven't seen distributed for 20 years, mosquito repellant, off-brand tampons, really old pre-used maps, cheap nail polish, Depends (as evidence of Michigan's aging population and/or die hard snowmobile enthusiasm) and: sunscreen. 

Typically entering party stores triggers the "theme song from Deliverance" response. This is natures' way of reminding you that it's blazingly obvious "you ain't from around here" and you should get in, procure what you need and get the heck out of there, avoiding eye contact with anyone during your entire visit inside the party store, and then peel out of the (usually) gravel parking lot as fast as possible. 

I usually avoid party stores. Unless, of course, I need one of the above-mentioned items and can't procure them via normal means. Which isn't very often. But when in Upnorth, do as the sun-burned tourists do: Go to a party store. 

Oh, I forgot to mention that the Unorth party stores that also cater to tourists also price gouge. A seven-year-old tube of Chapstick can go for as much as $6.50 at a party store, $9.50 in January when the snowmobilers are up and out there freezing their lips off. 

So I knew my last $20 might not be enough for 1) aloe and 2) spf 30 sunscreen. That is, assuming they even had those items in stock. It's mid-July, after all, and this party store is on one of the main roads between popular tourist destinations, and a couple months' worth of tourists had already pillaged the party store. Oh, yeah, I also forgot to mention, a lot of party stores operate on the "cash only" system of enterprise. 

Much to my surprise and relief, this Upnorth party store was "better" than a lot of them. Some of their inventory appeared to be less than a year old. They had sunscreen and a tube of aloe vera gel. The highest level spf they had was 30 and the aloe looked suspiciously old and I feared it was more coagulated blobs of synthetic congealing agent than soothing aloe gel, but it was "only" $6.29 and I was in skin-searing agony. I could get sunscreen and aloe gel for under $20. Success.

The girlwoman was wearing a thin, tight tank-top and cut-offs. She was incredibly thin, bordering on emaciation save for what appeared to be about 5 months of pregnant belly (on her tiny frame it could have been 8 months) poking out from under the tight tank top. I supposed she's one of those women who brag, "I didn't bother buying maternity clothes, I just made due with what I had." It concerned me that through her tight tank top I could see her rib cage, which made me wonder if she wasn't pregnant, just carrying/storing every ounce of fat in a very small, unfortunately placed round belly pooch. 

I'm sure there are women whose rib cages are visible throughout their pregnancies, but I'm pretty sure most of those women live in the Third World or Appalachia or crack houses. 
 
I didn't want to stare so I didn't get the full tally, but, she had at least the following tattoos:
  • Barbed wire encircling upper left arm
  • Large swallow (bird) diving downward around upper right arm
  • Rose on inner right wrist
  • Celtic knot on inner left wrist
  • Ring of fire/flames around her (swollen) belly button
  • Stars like a seam up the side of her thigh
  • (I kid you not) Wolf baying at full moon over and around left shoulder blade
  • ...and a large heart with the initials "JE" in upper case Olde English on her chest over her actual heart. 
I wondered about the possibilities of the JE. Is/was "JE" a boyfriend, the father of the child inside her, a parent, another child or best friend? Or, is she attempting to bring a bit of Continental flair to her body art and it's French, "Je" and she's going to have the rest of a phrase inked in, like, "Je parle français." Or, thirdly, if she was mid-way through getting "JESUS" tattooed on her heart when she either ran out of money for the rest of the letters. Or had a crisis of faith and stopped at "JE" and is still undecided how/if to proceed, perhaps waiting for God to speak to her, or not. I thought about suggesting that she could go the French route and turn her "JE" into a complete sentence en français but my skin was on fire and I didn't want to admit that I looked at her chest long enough to read her heart tattoo. 

She was a walking visual encyclopedia of cliché tattoos. And, not that I know a lot about tattoos, but I know enough to know there are varying degrees of quality and hers appeared to be of the lower quality type. As she rang up my aloe and spf 30, I mused that her next tattoo could read read: "It's not cliché, it's ironic."  

She looked at my red nose, cheeks, arms and neck, held the spf 30 sunscreen up to my eye level and said, "It's a little late for this."  

Wanted to say, "Yeah. Me buying spf 30 sunscreen is almost as ironic as you working at a cash register under a rack of condoms."  

Instead said, "Har har, yeah, I spent a little more time out on the boat than intended. Already paying for it, but the kids want to go back out tomorrow." 

And then she said the thing that cemented my thoughts about what her next tattoo should be, giving me a stern look with an air of superiority she said, "There's no such thing as a healthy tan. Sun is really bad for your skin."

As you consider the source of that comment I'll give you a few moments to let her words sink in.






Right.

As I gathered my aloe and sunscreen she rounded the counter and yelled out to someone in the back, "Ryan, I'm going on break!" 

When I pulled out of the parking lot she was squatting/sitting down on a plastic milk crate, her belly looking even more pregnant in that position, a perfectly formed round ball poking out from under her tight tank top and over her cut-offs. I noticed more tattoos on her ankles but couldn't make out what they were. She was inhaling a heavy drag on a cigarette. In the shade. Because sun is really bad for your skin. 

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6:25 PM

Monday, July 11, 2011  
Woman Strains to Find Serendipity in Personal Unemployment Stats
Until her layoff almost two years ago, Tricia McMillian worked as a creative services manager in the marketing and advertising industries. Since then she spends many hours a day, every day, trying to find a new job. So much so that she recently discovered she is nearing her two thousandth job application.

"As I started closing in on the two-year anniversary of my layoff I decided to look at my job search spreadsheet tally and realized I'm also closing in on my two thousandth job application," Ms. McMillian sighs, straining to find a positive angle on her unrelenting job hunt and prolonged unemployment, "I guess there's a serendipitous aspect to the coincidence...two years...two thousand job applications...you know, if you want to find some sort of Universal wheel sort of thing to it...I guess the numbers are nice and round. Easy math. Coincidence of twos. That means something to some people. I guess."

The unemployed creative marketing manager says she tends to avoid looking at the line number column on her job search spreadsheet. "I used to keep the running tally in my head," she explains about her number of job applications, "but when *'my number'* hit 500 I got kind of embarrassed. I mean, I think I'm about average, you know, for people like me, that's about average, right? Right?" McMillian, eyes darting wildly, insists.

Taking a deep breath, in through the mouth, out through the nose, McMillian continues, "Still, it's not something I talk about in specific numbers. I mean, an aggressive pursuit is one thing, but an overzealous hunt well into the triple digits that doesn't net a meaningful relationship? That's just lame. Even more lame than my dating-but-never-married track record."

Because of the gap in her employment due to her lay-off, the out-of-work creative professional wonders about her professional status, "I'm not sure at what point it's appropriate to start putting 'former' ahead of my professional description. A year? 18 months?"

The (former?) manager explains her mindset, "I feel like I'm relevant and knowledgeable in my industry. I keep current, I volunteer my services, do a little consulting when I get the opportunity and keep my skills and industry knowledge up-to-date. In fact I have an even broader industry scope now than I did when I was employed because I have time to read everything in the trade journals at the library and online. I know more about what's going on in my industry and the companies therein than when I was neck deep in work. When I was working I always tried to keep up with trends and technology in my field, but I was so busy with clients and projects that I couldn't read everything or attend every seminar or professional association meeting the local chapters hold," voice trailing somewhat wistfully, she continued, "Now I can..."

Musing about how to describe herself professionally, Ms. McMillian thoughtfully reposes and finally answers, "At this point my most recent professional experience is in 'employment market research and analysis,' but that field is kind of flooded right now. There's a glut of qualified professionals in that industry," she said, noting the current unemployment statistics, "There are a lot of us who have honed our job searching skills. We're professionals, top in our field, but being top in the field of job hunting isn't exactly a marketable, resume worthy accolade," McMillian concedes, noting the stigmas attached to unemployment.

"After a year or so there was a definite shift in the paradigm of questions people asked me," the never-married, childless (former?) manager explains, "at first people were generally supportive and asked about the job market and how the stats were in my profession, but then they stopped asking and started 'suggesting' other fields and pointing out what other laid-off people were doing. One of my former co-workers used her first year of unemployment to get pregnant, gestate and deliver a baby who was coincidentally born on the one year anniversary of our lay-off. I mean, anniversary-celebration-wise that's kind of hard to top. I heard the kid is already eating some solid food and is almost walking, so my former coworker is putting her unemployment time to good use, you know, raising a child. My 2,000 job applications are kind of insignificant next to that. She's created, birthed and raised a human being while I've, um, looked for a job."

But as for her two year/two thousandth job application? When asked if she would time her job hunt so that application number 2,000 coincides with the two year anniversary of her layoff, the unemployed McMillian explains, "Nah, I'm not really much of a numbers person. I just want a job. I apply to anything I can find, call every phone number I can find, take absolutely any interview, network with anyone who will listen, canvassing this country and a few others with resumes and queries, so other than noticing the coincidence of the coinciding benchmarks I'm ambivalent about the whole two years-two thousand thing."

****UPDATE****
Before reaching her two year unemployment anniversary Ms. McMillian hit another milestone number.

"I helped at a charity event and there were some agency people volunteering, too, and they referred me to some HR people, and the retailers are already taking applications for the holiday season, so I had a spike in my applications. I closed in on application number two thousand sooner than projected, a few weeks before the two year anniversary of my lay-off."

Ms. McMillian said she didn't do anything special to celebrate the two thousandth job application and similarly, there probably won't be any fanfare for the 2nd anniversary of her unemployment.

"I'd rather not make a big deal about it. It's not special, it's depressing. Why do anything special? But I dunno, maybe. Whatever. Some friends let me have the leftover wine from a Fourth of July barbecue. There's a half bottle of a zesty little Riesling I've been saving. It has a screw top lid. That's a big plus in the leftover wine world. Maybe I'll splurge and drink it on the two year anniversary. Or not. Whatever."

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9:37 PM

 
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