WTF Wednesday: More Pictures, Please

I’ve decided to become a person who posts more pictures of herself on the internet.1 Just what the world needs!

This is a dumb idea and I’ll probably give up on it after realizing that I look like some sort of fundamentalist who lives in the boonies and homeschools her 12 children (not that there’s anything wrong with that).2 But the thing is, I’ve realized that I like when bloggers post pictures of themselves. Wait, let me qualify. I don’t want to see your post-workout sweat. All due respect,3 I don’t want to see you in your bathtub. I don’t want to see 827 painstakingly overdone closeups of each element of your outfit. But in general, if you have a blog, I want to see you sometimes. Why? I don’t know. Maybe for the same reason I like looking in everybody’s windows when I’m outside and it’s getting dark. That sounds totally creepy, but doesn’t everybody do that? I mean, I don’t want to see you in your underwear or anything. I guess I like getting a little glimpse of people’s lives, whether it’s through pictures or a little glance at their living rooms. And if I’m reading your blog, obviously I want a little glimpse of your life in particular, and I guess I like when people do that with pictures in addition to words.

I look like a hipster hairball that was puked up by a hipster cat.

Aside from needing a haircut, the problem is that I generally have designs on looking decent that fail to materialize when I wait until the last minute to get ready to go anywhere and end up looking like a hipster hairball that was vomited up by a hipster cat. (In my defense, we were going to a baseball game, where it is reasonable to represent for your super-awesome team that happens to be in first place (Go Sox!!) and you could tell it was going to rain, like, the whole time, so the least you can do is wear a hat in a futile effort to prevent your glasses from getting wet.) Soren and I ducked into the restroom to grab some paper towels to dry our seats (sorry, trees) to avoid unsightly butt wetness. Nobody else was in there. I put my beer on the counter and said, “Soren. Let me take a picture of how ridiculous I look.”4

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of taking pictures of myself in the bathroom, because I guess I find that less weird than letting anybody see me take pictures of myself or asking anyone (i.e., Ben5) to take pictures of me. In an effort to perform a full Monty of hipsterdom, I had to use Instagram. And the result was, as you see, nothing special and not really worth posting, but whatever. I’m on a mission.

Okay, so I need a better mission. Maybe I should finally learn to crochet.
1. I will never, ever, ever refer to these as “selfies.” Just typing that word out to tell you I’ll never use it has resulted in existential angst.
2. I need a haircut.
3. This is generally code for “Hey asshole.”
4. I’m not one of those “OMG the children of bloggers are going to end up damaged and in need of continuous therapy beginning in the early teen years and continuing even after they Salinger themselves into isolation in a desperate attempt to reclaim the privacy and personal boundaries so cruelly taken from them at a young age” curmudgeons, but objectively speaking, this is probably kind of weird.
5. Ben is many things, almost all of them awesome, but he is not a photographer or particularly patient with people hell-bent on doing stupid, self-indulgent stuff.

WTF Wednesday: I hate changing my work password.

Every once in a while, the password I use to log into my work email and the network connection at the office expires. I always know when this is going to happen because the computer will tell me: “Your password will expire in 10 days. Would you like to change it now?” No, I would not like to change it now. Thanks for asking.

I don’t want to change it now because changing it now would require me to come up with another password, which is nearly impossible thanks to the ridiculous password-changing rules. It’s not just that you have to change your password all the time. You have to change it to something exceptionally, well, passwordy, which  means hard to guess and hard for you to remember, and it can’t be anything you’ve used in the last 27 years of having a password. That means even if you have a child and 900 animals, at some point, you’ll have cycled through versions of all of their names, even weird combinations no hacker would ever be able to guess because you’re not dumb enough to make your password, like, Soren or Peep or some shit.

When it comes to making a new password, I never have any good ideas. So each day, I decline to change my password and each day, I have one fewer day during which to come up with a new password. By the time I get to 3 days, I know I should change my password but I still don’t have any ideas. Then I get sick, miss work for a few days, get locked out of my accounts, and have to ask one of the overworked IT peeps to reset the password for my dumb ass yet again.

Today, I triumphantly returned to the office after my recent infirmity and figured I should change the IT-bestowed password forthwith. Every attempt failed. Here’s the actual error message:

The password supplied does not meet the minimum complexity requirements. Please select another password that meets all of the following criteria: is at least 8 characters; has not been used in the previous 12 passwords; must not have been changed within the last 2 days; does not contain your account or full name; contains at least 3 of the following 4 character groups: English uppercase characters (A through Z); English lowercase characters (a through z); Numerals [sic] (0-9); Non-alphabetic [sic] characters (such as !, $, #, %). Type a new password which [sic] meets these requirements in both text boxes.

My next attempt:


The response:

The password supplied does not meet the minimum complexity requirements. Please select another password that meets all of the following criteria: is at least 8 characters; has not been used in the previous 12 passwords; must not have been changed within the last 2 days; does not contain your account or full name; contains at least 3 of the following 4 character groups: English uppercase characters (A through Z); English lowercase characters (a through z); Numerals [sic] (0-9); Non-alphabetic [sic] characters (such as !, $, #, %). Type a new password which [sic] meets these requirements in both text boxes.

Then I’m disappointed with myself for having gotten to the point where I attempted to use some form of “bite me” twice within the previous 12 passwords. But then I remembered that the IT peeps changed my password within the last 2 days. So I waited until later in the day and tried again. This time my password took. And I have no idea what it was. Some crazy shit with letters and numbers and probably %%&?

WTF Wednesday: My Tattoo

I have a tattoo that says “impermanence” in Chinese. I know.

(It appears backward here because this is a bad Photobooth picture, and it’s a bad Photobooth picture because I couldn’t get a good angle with my regular camera and I have a complex about asking anybody to take a picture of me so I can post it on my blog; woe, I’ll never make it as a fashion blogger.)

WTF Wednesday: Ask a Stupid Question

You know how they always say there are no dumb questions? It’s not true. There totally are dumb questions.

Back when I was clerking, I applied to the U.S. Department of Justice Honors Program. This is how the DOJ hires people who just graduated from law school or have been clerking. I really wanted to work for the Antitrust Division. (I am a total dork for anything related to antitrust and mergers & acquisitions. Oh man M&A is so sexy I can’t even stand it. I would’ve loved to practice M&A law if it didn’t require long hours at a big firm.)

My understanding is that you have to be pretty awesome to be hired through the program, so I didn’t think anything would ever come of it. I was surprised when the DOJ flew me to DC (I used to be less opposed to flying than I am now) for an interview. I went out there, had what I thought was a good interview with a nice woman, and went home. I didn’t get the job.

Later, I got an interview with the Antitrust Division’s Chicago office. Holy crap! It was the best of all possible worlds — pretty much my dream job in my own city. Woohoo!

Apparently I did okay at that interview, because I was called back for a second interview. Apparently I did okay at that interview, too, because I was called back for a third interview.

The third interview took place in a conference room with approximately 100 people. I exaggerate, but there were enough people to fill up a big table. (Wouldn’t it be great if I blogged back then so I could check my facts? Not really.) It was mostly people I’d already met during my first and second interviews — the big boss and whoever else was interested in potential new hires.

One thing that was drummed into my head repeatedly throughout law school was that, when asked what your biggest weakness is, you’re supposed to respond with something that isn’t really a weakness and then explain how you use this non-weakness weakness to your advantage or have improved yourself as a result of having a non-weakness weakness. This kind of fake bullshit is why I hate interviews. The non-weakness weakness paved the way to today’s non-problem problem (I’m so gorgeous men are afraid to ask me out! I’m so smart people are intimidated by me!), also known as the humblebrag. I hate that shit.

If there was another thing that was drummed into my head repeatedly throughout law school, it was that you’re always supposed to ask questions. Never, ever, ever say “no” when asked whether you have any questions. To be a viable job candidate, you absolutely must have questions. Questions during an interview are the “staying on the rails” of Tootle. Do it no matter what.

When it came to the part of the third interview where I was asked by the big boss whether I had any questions, the truth is I didn’t have any questions. I’d already completed 2 2/3 interviews with these people and all questions had been asked and answered. No questions? You have to have questions! Questions!! So I looked at the big boss of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division Chicago office and I said, “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?”

I’ll never know if everybody in the room laughed with me or at me (maybe both?). To his credit, the big boss gave a very thoughtful response, something along the lines of he would be a sea turtle — not a little turtle — a big turtle who swims around the ocean.

You know how this story ends. I was one of two finalists and they hired the other one.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that this wasn’t the first time I asked someone the if-you-were-an-animal-what-animal-would-you-be question. One of my responsibilities as a member of the editorial board of law review was interviewing candidates for next year’s editorial board. The entire editorial board interviewed each candidate, and each editor was responsible for asking one question. My question was, as you might have guessed, “If you were an animal, what animal would you be?”

This indicates two things. First, I’m an asshole. Second, I’m clearly making use of that undergraduate psychology degree. I thought that how a person responded to the question — Does he give a serious answer? Does he give a dumb answer? Does he blow it off as a stupid question, which it totally is, but in so doing indicate that he’s an uptight prick who can’t be even a little creative or flexible under any circumstances (this guy is the bane of law reviews everywhere)? — was more important than what he actually said. The important thing, too, is that I never asked why. If you wanted to share the why, that’s cool, but I’m not going to ask you to because that’s just crazy — or crazier than asking the question in the first place.

By the way, I’d be a giraffe. They might be the hippies of the animal world.

WTF Wednesday: I’m sick of the internet.

I’m so sick of the internet I’m even sick of myself on the internet, which is why I’m light on content. I almost updated yesterday, but it would’ve been something like this:

Blossoms of Lights________

Do you need to see a post that consists of nothing but one iPhone picture from Blossoms of Lights? You do not. Now that I think about it, you don’t really need to see this post, either, but here it is.

I think part of the problem is, well, honestly, PMS, because that always drastically lowers my general internet annoyance threshold. But other than that, December is a pretty boring month for the internet. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve unsubscribed from so many blogs lately. But then, after getting rid of all sponsored posts/giveaways/product reviews blogs, I also quit reading blogs that contained gift guides. If you can think of something in life that’s more boring and useless than a holiday gift guide on a blog, let me know, because I cannot. Pregnancy/newborn baby blogs that chronicle in excruciating detail every single pound/burp/twinge/issue/bodily function/thought/mucus presentation as if the author is the first person to ever experience a basic biological function that has been happening as long as there have been humans are close, as are food blogs written by people who try to use all the words to describe a meal and as a result make you think their salad dressing contains jizz (“spunky” = not a food word).

Sometimes when I get frustrated and/or bored with blogs in general, I turn to websites where people make fun of blogs. The problem is that these get boring, too. What ends up happening is that 90% of the people making fun of stupid and/or boring shit on the internet eventually become comfortable enough to take every possible opportunity to turn the conversation to themselves and how they have handled or would handle similar situations. Talking about yourself cannot possibly ever constitute quality, substantive snark. If you want to talk about yourself, get your own blog, which people can then make fun of on another website. That’s how it’s supposed to be done, if you ask me.

I’m pretty sure I’ve posted this before, but it just about sums up my feelings.

Dream Song 14

Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,
and moreover my mother told me as a boy
(repeatingly) “Ever to confess you’re bored
means you have no

Inner Resources.” I conclude now I have no
inner resources, because I am heavy bored.
Peoples bore me,
literature bores me, especially great literature,
Henry bores me, with his plights & gripes
as bad as Achilles,

who loves people and valiant art, which bores me.
And the tranquil hills, & gin, look like a drag
and somehow a dog
has taken itself & its tail considerably away
into the mountains or sea or sky, leaving
behind: me, wag.

–John Berryman

WTF Wednesday: I jacked my child’s toy.

I stole this from my child.One of the gifts Soren received for his birthday is this giraffe. The giraffe (who doesn’t have a name yet) is very soft and makes four soothing sounds that help you fall asleep. I kind of absconded with it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a monster. Soren gets to play with the giraffe during the daytime. When we go anywhere soothing sounds might be beneficial, he can bring the giraffe.

But for now, at night, the giraffe is all mine. Ben still gives me shit about it. He’s all, “I can’t believe you stole dude’s toy!” I know. I feel bad about it. But the thing is, this giraffe has magical sleep-inducing properties. I’ve been having trouble sleeping for years now, especially since Soren was born. I take forever to fall asleep and then wake up and can’t fall back asleep. It sucks. Since I’ve had the giraffe, though, I’ve been sleeping much better, almost, you could say, like a baby. I set the timer for 45 minutes, push the “relax” button, and am off to dreamland. I still wake up, but I start the relaxing giraffe sounds again and am back to sleep before I even get annoyed about being awake. It’s amazing.

I might end up buying another one for Soren. I guess I’m kind of attached to this guy.