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

 
Tuesday, September 24, 2013  
The recent iPhocalypse amongst my friends and family has opened the yearly holiday issues for me. My friends and family have money. They buy things. Lots of things. Lots of expensive things. They go on vacations wherein they buy exotic expensive things. Even if I had a job and money to spend on gifts, I have no clue what I could buy them that they don't already own, or, that would be a welcomed present. They have very distinct and very expensive taste.

I already gave away my unique possessions as gifts - things over which friends and family had previously shown interest. Rare albums, a couple lithographs, jewelry, a few first edition books, my vintage Hermes scarf that a friend coveted for years...I could have sold those items but instead I gave them away as holiday and birthday gifts. So. I exhausted that holiday gift route. If you're thinking about doing this, be warned, it was met with less than enthusiastic response. The comments were typically, "Oh. I didn't know we were doing a white elephant thing this year." People expect, and want, new items as holiday and birthday gifts. Never mind that those albums, lithographs, books and that scarf were some of my most cherished possessions, things I thought I'd never part with until death, and they were given from the depth of my heart. People, my family and friends, thought that if I want to give away my stuff I should just give it to them, not as a gift, especially not as a holiday gift. Apparently the decorum on giving away one's possessions is that you give them for no specific reason other than, "here, I want you to have this." Not wrapped up as a holiday or birthday present. I lived and learned that lesson. Two people told me it was tacky. Others didn't say it out loud but their less than enthusiastic responses said it loud and clear.

And now here we are again, holiday items in stock at Costco, holiday decorations going up at Target...it's the most wonderful time of the year. The leave haven't even turned, yet, but it's time to start thinking about holiday gift giving.

I do not have money. I'm down to three apples and a half box of cereal and still nothing work-wise except a couple of inquiries about freelance projects and four, count 'em four, full-time job rejection letters yesterday. One was personal and kind of snarky. You don't want to hire me? Okay, that's your choice, but you don't have to be mean about it. This is a trend I've noticed in the past year - the rejection letters are now tinged with strong wording like, "we have removed your candidate profile as you are not a fit for our company and we will not consider you for future opportunities with us." Alrighty then.

So. I'm thinking about making good on a vow I've made every year for the past 10 years. The vow wherein I promise myself that when the holiday decorations go up in Target I will summon the courage and resolve to send an email to friends and relatives telling them that I don't want to exchange holiday gifts.

Yep, even before I was laid off I wanted to do this. But I always chicken out. Initially I thought I would say something like, "Let's focus on the children" and set an age limit for gifts, like, no one over the age of 18 gets a gift. But then I imagined the college freshman, home from a rough first semester, reveling in the joy of tearing open gifts with her younger siblings only to discover  that she missed the gift cut-off by four months. Ick. I couldn't do that.

And no matter how carefully and tactfully I composed the emails, after re-reading them, that is to say, reading through the lines like my friends and family would, they sounded contrite or spiteful or selfish. Which is what I presume people think about other people who dare to broach the topic of discontinuing holiday gift exchanges.

A lot of families (and friend groups) draw names so each person only has to buy one gift. They also often set price limits. This seems like a rational, fair solution to the holiday gift issue. My mother dared to suggest this once. It didn't go over very well. If anyone other than my mother suggested it there would have been a much more heated aftermath. But everyone loves and adores and respects my mother so her idea was met with loving, "Awwww, that's a nice idea but we enjoy the holidays so much, we enjoy buying gifts for the family." And that was that. The one person who was on my mother's side and chimed in with support was met with, "We understand if you can't afford holiday gifts, just get something for the kids." That one person was me and the message was loud and clear: You don't have a husband or children, we only have to pick up a pre-packaged gift of body wash and a candle and throw in a gift bag for you and we're done with our shopping for you, you are not a time or financial burden to the rest of us, therefore your vote doesn't count in family decisions.

Where my family is concerned, the husband and children thing is a secret issue for me. I am expected to procure gifts for my siblings, their spouses/dates, and their children. That's eight gifts I have to find, buy and wrap (and usually mail). Whereas I have not burdened my siblings with a spouse and children for whom they have to procure gifts. They give me whatever bath product gift set they find on Black Friday and give it to me "from the family," whereas I'm finding gifts for my brother, his wife, their child, my sister, her boyfriend du jour, and her three children. I tried "gifts for the whole family" a few years - one gift for my brother and his wife and child, and one gift for my sister, her husband and children - yeah...that didn't really go over very well. And honestly, it was more difficult to come up with one family gift that everyone would like than finding individual gifts. It's not really about me being petty and pouting and whining that it's not fair, which is why I never say anything about this - I don't want to seem like a pouty whiner. And I don't want to be petty. But. It's not fair. And I'm kinda sick of it. And I'm poor.

So.

I need your help. Have you ever broached the topic of ceasing a holiday gift exchange? Did you say it in person or in an email? How did you word it? What was the response? Did family fights and/or awkwardness break out as a result? Are you viewed as the family Scrooge? The family petty, selfish whiner?

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10:19 PM

Sunday, September 22, 2013  
"I got the golden ticket!"

Three of my friends (who do not know each other and live thousands of miles apart) posted that jubilant announcement on Facebook yesterday. 

They are referring to their new iPhones. One waited in line for 10 hours. The other two paid someone to wait in line for a couple days to ensure golden phones. 

As of this morning all but four of my friends/family on Facebook have posted photos of themselves (and their spouses, children, and in a few cases cats and dogs) showing off their new 5S 64G iPhones. One of my friends who scored a gold iPhone bought new iPhones for the entire family: Her, her husband, their three children (aged 6, 8 and 11*) and her parents and in-laws. That's nine iPhones at one go. At $399 each that's $3,591. Plus tax.

One of my friends, who never figured out how to fully use her last iPhone made the cloy comment, "What can I say? We're early adapters!"

Meanwhile, at chez Trill, I had a sloooooow month freelance-wise. I had to borrow money from my mother to pay my phone bill. I've been rationing a bag of apples, Tupperware tub of cherry tomatoes from a friend's garden, two boxes of cereal, a box of crackers, a bag of rice, a half box of Bisquick (that expired four months ago), a half bottle of mustard and a jar of peanut butter for the past week...and it has to last me until a client pays me the $150 they owe me for a small project I did for them last week. I borrowed two eggs from a neighbor so I could make pancakes from the Bisquick. She also gave me a bag of laundry detergent pods because she didn't like the way the smell. I don't either, but I'm nearing my clean underwear threshold and I have an interview next week, so, any overly fragrant port in the laundry room. She has no idea was a huge deal that laundry detergent is to me. I've been washing my underwear in the kitchen sink with dish soap.

Noticing a huge stockpile of toilet paper in her pantry, I asked a friend if I could take a couple. I lied. I tried to sound all casual and impromptu, "Oh! I was going to have to stop at the store on the way home - but can I snag a couple rolls? I'm not sure I'll make it there before they close and I'm almost out..." Poverty is a series of compromises. I don't like lying. But I also didn't want this particular friend to know I don't have money for toilet paper. She's not the most empathetic person and has been critical of me and my lack of ability to land a full-time job since day I was laid off. I don't see her very often but she asked me to meet with the party planner for her son's birthday party. Yes. She uses party planners for her children's birthday parties. She wanted me there because the last meeting with the party planner resulted in ideas the birthday boy hated. She thought I could offer insight into the mind of boy on the cusp of his eighth year. She offered to buy me lunch. I had money left on a train pass. So. It was a free meal. 

Yep. It's come to that. Helping my friend decide how to spend thousands of dollars on a birthday party for her soon-to-be eight-year-old so I can get a decent meal.

I'm not trying to garner pity. I'm dealing with poverty. Most days I can find something humorous about it, or at the very least, not cry about it. Most days I'm consumed with finding a job: full-time, freelance or any other way to make money.

And I'm not jealous of my friends' and family's things. I do not want a gold iPhone. A gold iPhone is not my equivalent of Charlie's golden ticket. My big dream, my golden ticket, is a steady job. With a steady paycheck. After that...fresh produce every week would be nice. Money to buy toilet paper and laundry detergent would be super cool. Paying my phone bill with my own money would would make me pretty darned happy. Working, giving my experience, knowledge and dedication to an employer would bring me Charlie Bucket and the golden ticket joy.

The contrast between my life and my friends' and family's lives continues to be a source of fascination for me. It's not so much my personal experiences, but that my "situation" mirrors that of millions of other people. Educated, experienced, dedicated professionals who were living the kinds of normal lives that a steady paycheck brings, maybe not keeping up with the Jones', but not worrying about food, shelter and toilet paper. And now they, we, are deeply grateful for a surprise bounty of laundry detergent. The fact that there are millions of us living in such high contrast to our friends' and family's lives (full of new iPhones and new cars and lavish birthday parties) is what fascinates me. I don't dwell on it, but the obvious parallels to pre-revolutionary France are interesting. Except instead of out-of-touch nobility apathetic to a nameless mass of peasants, it's out-of-touch friends, friends, and family who are apathetic to their own friends and relatives. Did I mention one of my cousins just bought his second Porsche? He'll take delivery on it when he returns from his vacation in Switzerland. He showed off his new 5S iPhone on Facebook, too. I'm happy for his success, truly I am. I don't want his money or cars (or iPhone). But I find it socially interesting that no one would ever expect a guy "like that" to have a cousin who can't afford food or toilet paper...and yet...here I am.

And no, it's not that I expect anyone to help me. I do not want friends and family to help me. I certainly do not expect them to help me. I probably wouldn't accept money from friends or family. Not because of pride, but because money brings an uncomfortable dynamic into friendships and family relationships. But so far it's a moot point because no one other than my mother has offered to help financially. Well, okay, there was that box of handbags and sweaters my friends sent me. They tried, they made an attempt to help a down-on-her-luck friend.

My friends and family are charitable. Ish. They're charitable as long as there's a tax deduction in it for them. I presume other people in my situation have noticed the same thing. 

The bigger picture, the real nagging issue, is that I don't want to be in a position of needing help. I want a job. I want an income that will cover food, shelter, toilet paper and the occasional fresh green vegetables.

Here's my haiku summing up the whole thing:
I can't afford food.
My friend got a gold iPhone.
Two Americas.


*Apparently 8 and 11 year old children not only need phones, they need the most current smart phones. My friends often stress how necessary it is, imperative, even, that their children have smartphones. Most of the reasons they cite are things like "to let me know when to pick them up from la crosse practice" or "it keeps them busy and quiet in the car." Which seems more of a conduit to make the parents' lives easier than the children. The more honest of my friends admit that they buy iPhones for their (very) young children because of peer pressure: Other kids at school have them and they don't want to their kids to be left out or teased because they don't have an iPhone. Which is part of the reason why my friend bought one for the 6 year old - they didn't want the child to "feel left out of the family dynamic." By that reasoning the younger children will have a drivers' licenses at the ages of 11 and 13.

"Family dynamic" is a thing, now, in case your friends with children haven't been tossing the phrase around. Just wait, they will. Phraseology like that spreads like wildfire in parental circles.  "Family dynamic" is nothing new, of course, but it used to refer to things like how many children are in the family, married v. divorced parents, step parent situation, grandparents living with the family, the work routines, how money is spent, urban or rural, you know, the basic demographics of the family. Which is why I was kind of confused when my friends started tossing it around in terms of things. Things they all have because if one person in the family has something, they all have that thing because it's part of the family dynamic. Certain types of sneakers, brands of clothes, soccer balls...you name it, if one person in the family has it, the rest of them do, too. Not a lot of sharing going on in these households, by the way. Not a lot of autonomy, either. I suppose since technology is an extension of ourselves it's not a big leap to extrapolate it to the family dynamic, but the misuse and overuse of the term, especially by people who know better, bugs me. A 6 year old getting a 64G 5s iPhone solely to keep him in the family dynamic pushed me over the edge on this issue.

Just once, just one time in my life, I would love to hear a parent say, "I give my child (age-inappropriate gizmo) because he's a spoiled brat, a monster of my own making, and he will cry, whine and make my life miserable if I don't give him what he wants. I can't stand the sound of his voice when he whines and I just want him to shut up, and the only way I can do that is by giving him whatever it is he wants, no matter how expensive or inappropriate. I fully realize I'm instilling disturbing values, but I really don't care. I just want to make my life as cushy as possible, and that includes not listening to a whiny brat of a child."

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12:07 PM

 
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