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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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, September 05, 2012  
I'm here today to extol the virtues of self-improvement projects.

I'm not talking about the obvious undertakings  - like taking a more strenuous fitness class, learning a new skill for your job, keeping current with technology - net obvious results. Those types of endeavors, while not vital on a rigorous daily basis, are higher up on the necessary scale. Ideally, we should all make time for those types of projects on a regular basis.

And I'm not talking about the big psychological issues that require outside help. Those self-improvement projects certainly land high on the necessary scale, too, but they require, well, a lot of effort and planning and outside help. All of us could benefit from some professional counseling because we all have emotional hurdles that are too high for us to jump on our own. We know what they are and we know we need, um, guidance, to deal with them, but that takes a lot of effort, time and money. And day in, day out, does is really matter that we're carrying baggage about one of our parents or that we hoard collect white porcelain unicorns? Sure, the bigger issues that could hurt ourselves or other people are a different case. My friend with the horrible road rage knows it would be good for her (and those around her) to "do" something about her anger associated with driving. In her case counseling is the only real solution. Which is why (I think) she doesn't confront herself with it and make herself work on it. Counseling, therapy...those are big concepts. She's not stupid. She knows it's a problem. She knows she's already infected and affected her children with her road rage. And she does feel bad about it. And she wants to do something about it. But. Finding a therapist and going to those sessions means admitting to other people, people outside her circle of trust, that she has a serious problem. That's some heady terrain. I'm not going to tackle that.

I am referring to the very personal, specific self-improvement projects. We all have at least one aspect that we know could stand some polishing, an aspect that doesn't require counseling. An area of our brain that we haven't exercised enough, or perhaps a skill that we once spent time perfecting and then let lapse, presuming we mastered the skill and could let recess to the basement of the brain to make space for bigger skill sets. How's your high school French? Can you still conjugate any French verbs? Can you even still correctly spell conjugate in English? What about those years in band you played saxophone...could you still squeak out Mary Had a Little Lamb? You probably devoted some time to studying, learning, something and attained some skill level at it. The knowledge is somewhere in your brain. It may or may not be like riding a bike, but, given some time and tutelage dusting off that skill set the synapses will start firing again.

Several weeks ago I decided it was time to do something about the deplorable state to which I've let my penmanship lapse. In the grand scheme of life penmanship rarely matters anymore. Many people argue that I'm wasting time redeveloping my penmanship skills.

A friend "caught" me doing a little practice on a cocktail napkin. (Penmanship practice has become my new doodling.) I hadn't told her about The Penmanship Project, but when she saw my doodling she immediately said, "My handwriting is so bad, I've really let it slide..." I smiled knowingly and told her about The Penmanship Project. She's now working on hers, too. She bought us both a dry erase board that is printed with penmanship practice grids.

A few days ago she told me that she told a friend about "our" handwriting awareness program. That inspired her friend, who, thanks to hand-held devices, has let their "real" typing skills slide, to improve her classic keyboarding skills. She's setting aside a little time every week to do classic typing drills and playing Typer Shark to re-establish her keyboarding skills. Does her "real" typing skill set really matter? Not so much. She's a stay-at-home mother who thumb-texts everything.

But. There are greater rewards than the skill itself. Most of them are the lofty ideals our parents and third grade teachers tried to instill in us: Discipline is its own reward. Exercising your brain is never a bad thing. Nothing and no one is perfect, everything and everyone can always use improvement. Small accomplishments lead to big rewards.

And: You never know when you'll need to use a particular skill, so best to learn to do it well.

There I was, a few weeks into The Penmanship Project. My skills were already showing signs of improvement, I made a hasty to-do list that I could actually read several days after I wrote it. It wasn't the neatly scribed penmanship of my yore, but it was definitely better than what I was trying to pass off as penmanship prior to The Penmanship Project. It was a tiny triumph that served as encouragement to continue my practice sessions.

And then came the moment of truth.

Unfortunately I had to send sympathy cards. The death was a truly tragic and untimely one, and the family of the deceased are suffering horribly. There are parents who had to bury their child, sisters left without their little brother, as well as very young children who no longer have a father. My generic note cards wouldn't suffice, and Dollar Store cards were not good enough.

Yep. I had to find the money to splash out for Hallmark cards. There simply wasn't another choice. The situation demands good cards. And not the good cards they sell at Walgreen's or the card aisle at the grocery. The situation demanded good cards chosen from a huge selection and variety of good cards, the ones that smell like they came from a quality specialty stationery store.

Because this was sympathy situation, I knew where I had to go. The cute and eclectic little indie shops are great for different birthday cards and funny boxes of note cards, but when it comes to sympathy cards there's only one real emporium. It's what I call the Cheese Shop, where they have a variety of assorted cheese trays from which to sample and choose. Most Hallmark stores devote at least 15% of their retail space to sympathy cards. That's a lot of sympathy. There's a card for every ilk, and if they don't have your specific sympathy need on display there's a good chance they have one stored in the drawers below the racks or in the back room. This is why I've come to rely on the Cheese Store for life's difficult card sending situations. When a situation demands a good card, which is usually also when I'm at a loss for words, Hallmark always comes through.

Years ago, when I was in a funk about my chosen profession, I considered opening a card shop. Not to compete with Hallmark, but to augment it. But my market research showed me that there were already too many indie card/gift shops and the failure rate was high. While most of us like the smaller, boutique or artsy cards we find at places other than the Cheese Shop, Hallmark reigns supreme in the card shop game. Why? Because there are times in life that require really good cards. Funny, savvy, artsy cards are great for birthdays and get well as you recover from your gall bladder surgery, but certain situations require the distinct type of sensitivity that is Hallmark's forté. Period. And that's how they stay in business, even in the modern age of egreetings. There's no way I'm going to send an ecard to the bereaved family members who just lost a son, brother, husband and father. There is simply not an option other than something from the Cheese Shop with a hand written message.

When my dad died I received a lot of sympathy cards. So many it was overwhelming. The outpouring of kind thoughts, many from very unexpected sources, was kind beyond articulation. I had to read them in small batches because I'd get a little overemotional if I read too many at one go. All of them were the super good ones from the Cheese Shop. And every one of them had a personal handwritten note. It's just what you do. It's one of the things that separates us from animals.

The handwritten sentiments included with the cards were hugely appreciated. Those cheesy Hallmark verses and handwritten sentiments meant a lot to me. Most of us struggle when we have to compose those types of sentiments. But having been on the receiving end I can attest that something as simple as a "thinking of you" packs a powerful punch of comfort when you're in the throes of grief. It's the handwritten aspect that makes it so personal and by association, so touching. Seeing a person's handwriting brings them to mind. Email and texts don't do that.

So now, there I was selecting sympathy cards from an assorted cheese tray at the Cheese Shop. The super long verses were a little too personal, so I opted for short and sweet sentiments on cards that weren't adorned with flowers. I got home and, as I began signing them they seemed a little sparse, a little impersonal considering I've known this family most of my life. So, I spent a lot of time toiling over the right thing to write on the cards to the deceased's parents, sisters and wife.

And then it came time to write the right sentiments in the cards. I got out the good pen. Assumed the proper position at a desk and began writing the personal notes on the sympathy cards.

It was at that point I realized The Penmanship Project is worth more than personal satisfaction over my efforts to regain whatever it was I lost when I let my handwriting decline to state of barely legible scratches. It's times like these that penmanship matters. You're writing heartfelt words to people who are grieving. It matters.

While not completely satisfied with my progress, I was hugely relieved that I've been diligent in my practice and had several weeks of penmanship study under my belt. I shuddered at the thought of how my penmanship would have looked on these sympathy cards had I not decided to do something about my penmanship. I have a long (long) way to go to get back to my former penmanship glory, but I already feel better about my handwriting. Yes, it's still awful, but, I am working on it and it is improving.

I'm finding there are rewards beyond the obvious. The discipline is good for me. Using a dusty part of my brain is good for me. Gaining control over something, even just one aspect of myself, is a confidence and morale booster.

And, I'm part of an apparently small but devoted group of people who believe that penmanship does matter. Maybe we're all dinosaurs, clinging to an old fashioned, outdated skill. Or, as I am coming to see us, maybe we're an elite corp of scribes who see the value of cursive writing beyond an outmoded form of written communication. Developing a skill that allows us to express ourselves in a personal, unique manner is a rare treat. Hand printing and digital messaging remove us from the words, strip the personality from the message. And, yes, in some cases, especially professional communication, that's not a bad thing.

But if you were grieving, what would touch you more: A handwritten or a digitally typed note?


With sincere sympathy and fond remembrances



12:26 PM

 
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