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

 
Monday, January 28, 2013  
I'm just going to say this about that. If anyone can explain any part of this to me I would love to be enlightened. Otherwise I shall never speak of it again because it's obviously a moot point.

When I was mugged, in the city of Chicago in the state of Illinois, my (state of Illinois) driver's license was taken. The police who arrived at the scene put me in the back of the squad car. I was bloody and injured, but they gave me a list of phone numbers to call immediately. The list contained numbers to credit card companies, banks and the Secretary of State. The officers were very kind and told me my injuries were important and they would get me medical attention, but first and foremost I needed to call my bank, credit card companies and the Secretary of State and tell them what happened. They told me every second counted because it wasn't just my credit cards and bank accounts that could be in jeopardy. They told me my physical injuries would heal but the damage identity theft can cause could last for years.

And so from the back of a CPD squad car, maybe 10 minutes after the attack, bleeding and still shaking and in shock and barely able to speak coherently, I called my bank, credit card companies and Secretary of State and told them what happened. They froze my accounts and put my information on a national list of victims. This was supposed to protect me from identity fraud. My bank was already closed for the day, so their loss and fraud department instructed me to go to the bank in the morning to close my frozen account and open a new one. They told me that since my driver's license was stolen I had to bring my birth certificate, passport and whatever third form of ID I had, Social Security card, military ID, preferably something with a photo or official notary stamp, like mortgage/deed docs. They told me utility bills, rental leases and work security badges were not valid forms of ID.

I got to the hospital, got patched up, got a couple hours of pain medication-induced sleep and the next morning I limped to the main branch of my bank with my official birth certificate, passport and Social Security card. My bank opened at 9 AM, I was there at 9:15.

Unfortunately I was 10 minutes too late. At 9:05 at a branch across town "I" had already withdrawn all my money closed my account.

How was I able to be at one branch at 9 AM and at the main office, 10 miles away, at 9:15? Identity theft aided and abetted by the dumbest bank teller in the world.

A woman showed up at that branch with my stolen driver's license, claiming to be me, and, of course her story matched. The teller said the woman was upset and crying about being mugged and "seemed scared" about identity theft. She told the teller she wanted to withdraw all her money and close the accounts. She didn't want to open a new account for a few weeks out of fear of identity theft. The woman told the teller she had no credit cards because they all had to be frozen because of the mugging and she would need her cash until she could get new credit cards and open a new bank account. The teller, who pulled up my accounts and saw all the notes about the mugging and freezing the account. The crying woman's story matched, she had a valid driver's license, so, the teller was very sympathetic and handed over all my money to the woman who had my driver's license and promptly closed the account. She even offered the woman a glass of water and gave her the forms for fraud "just in case."

The woman claiming to be me only had to have a matching story and show one form of ID, a driver's license, to gain access to my frozen bank accounts, while I, the actual victim who froze the accounts, the victim whose driver's license was stolen, needed three forms of ID to gain access to my accounts...which had already been drained and closed.

I did everything right. The teller who gave away all my money did everything wrong.

In Illinois, driver's licenses have a signature imprinted on them, large enough to read and compare to other written signatures. The signature on the account closing documents, the signature the theft used, bore zero resemblance to mine. My signature is angular and efficient, devoid of superfluous twirls and flourishes. The signature the imposter used was big and loopy and had all sorts of extraneous details - the sort of penmanship 12 year old girls use to write their names on extra credit science class posters. And even if the bank teller was "bad" at graphology, the woman thief who drained my account spelled my name incorrectly when she signed the account documents. I realize bank tellers are not FBI agents, but given the circumstances one (or at least I) would think some extra attention would be given to details like penmanship and spelling.

Numerous phone calls, meetings with fraud agents, forms filled out and filed, and several months later I got some of my money back from the bank. I had to pay for fees incurred during the fraud claim. And that's not including interest lost while my money was "missing." I suppose I could have sued the bank or the bank teller, but, ahem, all my money was stolen so I didn't have money to pay a lawyer.

I bank's fraud and security teams reviewed video tapes from the branch where the woman drained my account. She was a very short Latino girl who appeared to be about 19 years old. The security team was able to deem (from the height ruler she passed by when she entered the branch) that she was 5'2". My driver's license clearly states that I am 5'11". I was not 19 at the time, and even in dim light with good makeup I probably could not have passed for 19.  And thanks to wonderful DMV lighting accentuating my extra-white skin, my driver's license photo clearly showed that no chromosome in my DNA hails from anywhere south of the 60th Parallel (North).  

Nonetheless, it happened. It all happened. Incredulous and unfair as it all sounds, it happens several times a day, every day.

The police officer in charge of my "event" told me that this is why the officers were so adamant about me calling the banks within minutes of the attack and mugging. Driver's licenses have a huge street value. The guy who mugged me undoubtedly sold my license for anywhere between $200 and $2,000. The officer told me there are "chop houses" all over the city where "no questions are asked" when someone shows up wanting to sell a driver's license.

The officer added identity fraud to my bodily harm/larceny case. My driver's license had already been entered into a fraud database, but in the case of my bank and the nincompoop teller, it didn't make a difference.

The "good" news is that this all happened a couple months before my license was due to expire. So. At the time I thought, "Even if someone was out there passing themselves off as me, they can only try it for a couple months before the license expires." It was small comfort because my info was on there, and out there, being passed around and used by who knows who. I was scared because they had my address, they knew where I lived. I sublet my apartment and moved as soon as I could. But all these years later it's still discomforting.

Getting a new driver's license was a huge ordeal. Because of the identity fraud, I was fingerprinted at the police station so that my "official" fingerprint is on file. Then, when I went to replace my stolen driver's license, I had to be fingerprinted. (I'm told this is no longer done at "most" DMVs in Illinois.) And since then, every time I renew my license I have to go to the DMV and take my birth certificate, passport and Social Security card to prove I'm actually me. Other people can renew by mail or online and need only show their current driver's license. But not me. Because my license info is on the fraud database I have to go to extra lengths to prove I'm me. The officer told me this will be the case the rest of my life.

And sure enough, it has reared its ugly head. I got a call from a hospital at 2 AM. The admitting nurse looked up my phone number and called to tell me "I'd" been admitted and was unconscious, did "I" have health insurance information for "me." I told the nurse about the mugging and stolen license and that whomever was using my expired ID was not me. The nurse said, "Yeah, I didn't think she looked 5'11" but she's unconscious so we couldn't check the eye color and she can't sign anything to check the signatures." So, the woman brought in unconscious from a mix of crack and booze wasn't me. You might think the hospital staff would confiscate the stolen license, but, nope.

Shortly after that there was a fender bender accident and the guilty party attempted to use my expired driver's license as a form of ID. Police were not called, but insurance details were exchanged. Turns out the guilty party used a stolen ID (mine) and a fake insurance policy. That was a painful set of phone calls I had to endure - first from the guy who was hit, and then from his insurance company.

A year later someone attempted to get my Social Security number using my expired driver's license. Fortunately several forms of ID are required to get info from Social Security and the attempt failed, and because of the info in the identity theft/fraud database I was notified of the attempt. You might think someone at the Social Security office would confiscate a stolen, expired driver's license, but nope.

There have been numerous attempts to open credit card accounts in my name, using my driver's license number. The attempts fail because (fortunately) I didn't have my Social Security number on anything in my wallet (lesson I knew and am teaching you if you don't know it: Never, ever, ever carry anything with your Social Security number on it unless you absolutely have to, like on your way to a mortgage closing.) When I bought my condo I had to fill out a form regarding the identity theft, essentially swearing under notarized oath that I am me and not someone impersonating me. Sitting around the table at the closing, wary looks were exchanged during that portion of the paperwork.

Every time a question about the identity theft arises, the people in charge tell me, "This is for your safety. We're doing this for you because your driver's license was stolen and you're in the identity theft/fraud database." Eyes are usually rolled and/or exasperated sighs are issued along with that statement.

And now, the state of Illinois is granting permission to "undocumented" "visitors" to obtain driver's licenses. 

One might think, "Well...at the very least it should eliminate that fake ID and insurance issue, if an undocumented visitor gets into a car accident at least they'll be accountable because they'll have valid driver's license." And yeah, sure, maybe that's one issue that will be eased, and that would be great because I would hate for anyone to have to endure the phone calls I had to handle when someone used my stolen license as a form of identification at the scene of an accident. So. You know. Yay for that.  (A girl can dream and I'm trying real hard to choose the optimistic viewpoint.)

And maybe if they can obtain their own driver's licenses they won't have to use stolen driver's licenses, so the black market industry of stealing and selling driver's licenses will diminish or even go away, which might, in turn, decrease some of the muggings in the city. So. You know. Yay for that. (A girl can dream and I'm trying real hard to choose the optimistic viewpoint.)

But.

Um.

Having endured what I've had to deal with since being mugged, and what I will continue to have to deal with because my name is in the identity theft/fraud database, I can't help but feel the cruel sting of irony over the fact that in the state of Illinois, people who are illegally in the US can now get a driver's license easier than I can.

I'm sure there's something (or many things) I don't understand about the new Illinois undocumented visitor driver's license law. I'm sure my perspective is jaded because of my unfortunate experiences regarding my stolen driver's license.

Based on my aftermath of a stolen driver's license, one part of the new law puzzles me. The law states that the licenses are not to be used for identification.

Called temporary visitor driver's licenses, the permits will vary from traditional licenses several ways. Most noticeably, they will be visually different, with a blue background as opposed to red one.
The cards will be marked "not valid for identification" and cannot be used for things like boarding airplanes, voting or purchasing a gun. The licenses will only be valid for three years instead of four years, like traditional licenses. After three years, the individual would have to go through the process again.

To qualify for a license, an applicant must prove they have lived in Illinois for at least a year and show that they are ineligible for a Social Security card. Documents that will be accepted include a copy of a lease, utility bills and a valid passport or consular identification card.

Drivers must also pass vision, written and road tests and pay a $30 fee. In order for the license to remain valid, a driver also will be required to get insurance. If a person with a temporary visitor's license is caught driving without insurance, they will be ticketed for both driving without insurance as well as driving without a license.

The licenses won't be valid for identification. Um. So. What's the point? The only plus I can see is that undocumented "visitors" can now buy insurance, which is good because they now have to buy insurance to go with their new driver's licenses. But. What about someone over 21 who wants to get into a club or buy booze? Bouncers and dudes at liquor stores are going to say, "Sorry man, I can't accept that ID, it's not valid." I dunno...I can't see that happening. And what about other states? Are people in other states going to say, "Oh, wait, this is one of those Illinois temporary visitor licenses, I can't use this as a form ID." If a bank teller can't even distinguish between me and a 5'2" 19 year old Latino, I'm guessing bouncers, liquor store dudes and people in other states aren't going to determine the temporary visitor licenses are not "valid identification."

Further, if someone gets mugged and has their temporary visitor's driver's license stolen, and that license, like mine, is used by someone else, is the rightful owner of the license a victim of identity fraud? If the license isn't a valid form of identification, then, technically, it's not identity fraud. But, then, technically, if the licenses aren't a valid form of identification, then, the rightful owner is guilty of identity fraud by merely carrying a driver's license that isn't a valid form of identification. Lots of semantics in all of this, and I hate splitting hairs, but I'm trying to figure it all out. 

And speaking of semantics, it's called a temporary visitor driver's license. I realize "temporary" is not a finite measure of time. And "visitor" can be interpreted at least a few different ways. So there's a lot of gray area when you put those two words together.

But. Here's a story problem. It's a tricky one. In order to qualify, an applicant must prove they have lived in Illinois for at least a year. US temporary visas are typically not allowed for periods longer than 6 months per calendar year. There are some loopholes for students, teachers, diplomats and spouses of diplomats, but generally a temporary visa is 6 months. So 6 months is the base unit of measure in terms of foreign nationals temporarily visiting/residing in the US. And yet to obtain a driver's license in Illinois, undocumented "visitors" have to prove they've lived here at least a year - proof including utility bills and a lease. And they have to renew the license every three years.

I told you I suck at math and I hate story problems, so that's probably why I can't make those numbers add up. Gotta be my computational skills failing me again.

The signing of the law was a big stinking deal, the governor signed it on a Sunday morning and there was a mariachi band on hand to celebrate the signing.

Oh. And. That's something else I would like someone explain to me. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of Polish and Irish undocumented "visitors" in Illinois, why weren't there celebratory Irish dancers and a polka band on the capital steps, too? Did they decline the invitation?

Ultimately I would like someone to explain to me the point of the "temporary" "visitor" licenses. And I would like someone to also explain to me why, for the rest of my life, I will have to jump through more hoops and offer more proof of ID to renew my driver's license, valid for identification, than undocumented visitors will have to provide in order to obtain a driver's license. (An answer other than, "because you were mugged and your driver's license was entered into the identity theft/fraud database.")

2:36 AM

 
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