Don’t apologize to me

So, Paula Deen’s recent release of two (apparently there are now three; make it stop) aggressively awkward apology videos (seriously, I was slowly curling into a ball while watching them, they were so uncomfortable) reminded me how much I truly hate celebrity apologies.

I get that celebrities’ careers rely on fans and so they feel compelled to try to save face when they do something unseemly. But for me, nine times out of ten, the apology is more nauseating than whatever it is they’re apologizing for.

Like remember when Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson – and issued a public apology? Um…apologize to your boyfriend, yes. Perhaps apologize to the other man’s wife. But apologize to…us? If anything, she should apologize to us for her terrible acting and the horrid facial expression she makes in But for hooking up with some dude? No.

And what is with every celebrity who does something offensive checking into rehab?? Remember when Isaiah Washington used a gay slur to refer to T.R. Knight, publicly apologized, and then went to rehab? Seriously? I abhor homophobia as much as the next person, but since when do you go to rehab for being an asshole? But, it seems that’s the answer now. Cheat on your wife? You’re obviously a sex addict who must go to rehab – after you apologize to all of America, of course.

Not only are celebrity apologies awkward and unnecessary – they’re usually so disingenuous. Whenever a celeb gets caught doing/saying/smoking something inappropriate, they launch into all sorts of backpedaling and self-flagellation. They go to rehab, donate to a charity, shoot a PSA, whatever – but half the time, you know they really have no moral issue with what they did.

I recently read that Joel Madden was kicked out of his Australian hotel because the housekeeper found a small amount of marijuana in his room and called the police. In all likelihood, smoking pot is a part of his life and not something he considers wrong. Still, I kind of expected him to make like a celebrity, hang his head, and issue a statement about the evils of drug use.

But…he didn’t. He just said he was sorry if he caused anyone “too much drama.” That was it. And I loved it. Because he didn’t apologize for something that a) he was not sorry for, and b) in no way affects the rest of us.

I wish more celebrities would follow his lead, eliminating the constant stream of weirdly personal, dramatic, and fake public apologies we are subjected to (and for the love of God, any more Paula Deen videos).


Apartment living

So the other day, I was home alone washing dishes when someone stood just outside the door to my apartment and roared. Like a lion. They were alone. They were leaving my upstairs neighbors’ apartment after a brief visit, one of many brief visits said neighbors receive throughout the day and night…

I mean, what does one do when one is home alone and someone roars outside one’s door? Obviously go completely silent, peer through the peephole while still wearing dripping wet dish gloves, then run to the front window to get another view of the man/lion as he leaves your house, then text both your boyfriend and dad re: the man/lion. Then move your really cute coat and rain boots inside your apartment from their place in the hall in case such creatures return and are prone to theft.

Anyway, suffice to say, I think they might be…selling sandwiches up there (HIMYM, anyone?). And due to this, and their consistently waking me up between 3 and 4 a.m., and setting off all the smoke detectors in the house in the middle of the night, I have developed a hate-hate relationship with them.

This new development (they just moved in) has made me realize the tenuousness of peaceful apartment living. I am very live-and-let-live. I really don’t care what people do in their own personal time as long as it doesn’t infringe on others. I know one of my other neighbors likes to fire up some sandwiches, but they have obviously mastered the art of proper ventilation, so we’re all good. Before these new gems moved in upstairs, a single woman and her newborn lived there. She had craaazy baby daddy drama, which I have to admit I watched like a soap opera, but they never bothered us. Even her baby was quiet.

Prior to this apartment, I had an even more ideal situation, in that I lived in an attic apartment and the two floors below me were businesses. So they were occupied all day while I was at work, but empty when I was home on nights and weekends. The only other tenant was a single guy three floors below in the basement. Well, it was ideal in that I could play my music loud, clean at odd hours, and dance around my living room with impunity – less ideal in that I was always very aware that no one could hear me scream. (Except maybe basement guy and I was pretty sure he wouldn’t have cared.)

So, I realize I’ve been pretty lucky. And in more than a year of living in this apartment, we’ve maintained a delicate equilibrium, everyone coexisting in harmony (except when the girl next door had a stalker…). But, it only takes one expired lease to change everything. Now, I silently fume each time I hear my new neighbors pass by my door and imagine their eviction. I know that’s unlikely to happen, though, at least anytime soon. So I’ll just have to settle for my rage fantasies. Or roar at them?

Time to vent (part 1)

Life is full of minor aggravations. Sure, it’s usually best to just let them roll off you. But sometimes it’s also fun to collect them all and blog about it. So today, I’d like to air my grievances with…

  • People running red lights. I don’t know what it is, but I swear I have seen more people do this in the last month than in all of my driving years combined. I’m not talking when the light turns from yellow to red as you’re passing under it. That’s understandable. I’m talking when the light is already red when someone gets to the intersection, and still they just proceed right through it. Very few things make my blood boil more than this, because to me these people are essentially saying, “My time is more important than your life.” And why is there never a cop around when this happens!? Arrgggh.
  • Grown men wearing crocs. Please just stop. To quote the movie Fired Up!, you’re not an old lady gardening or a baby on the beach! Every time I see one of these men (which I do, frequently, outside the elementary school), I just want to approach them and say, “Dude, come on. You are officially telling the world you have given up.” To be clear: being married is not an excuse for giving up. Have some self-respect.
  • The way job postings are titled. I wish employers would stop trying to make every job sound super high level and distinguished. As someone going through the job search process, it is endlessly frustrating to open a job posting titled “Communications Associate,” and have it turn out to be, like, greeting customers at a pet store. Can’t we all just keep it real?
  • This one rogue piece of my bangs that, no matter what I do, has decided to stick straight out from my head.

Ahh, that felt good.

What’s annoying you lately?

I saw a sign

For me, one of the small pleasures of traveling is all the funny and odd signs that are out there. Like the one for a quick lube place with “great espresso.” Or the one advertising a car wash salad bar. (Traveling through the middle of the country, especially, some entertaining and downright frightening signs pop up on the side of the road.) Here are a few that have delighted me along the way…

This describes me better than anything I’ve ever seen (at a restaurant in Costa Rica):IMG_3010

At a bowling alley bar in Pennsylvania (Poor Richard’s, in fact). Mmmm, enticing!IMG_0432

I personally like when signs feature helpful illustrations, showing you what not to do. Like, don’t fight a deer:IMG_2419

Or stand atop an active geyser in short shorts and tube socks:IMG_2149

And my favorite sign of all time…yes, I slept here:IMG_2356

Weekly photo challenge: the sign says

Chasing a feeling

I hate to run. Like hate.

There are plenty of other active things I like to do. Hiking, walking, Pilates, the Butt Bible (oh, it’s real). But running? Not my bag. Never has been.

So why do I perpetually feel like it’s something I should do?

Sometime in my early twenties, I decided that running a 5k should be a personal goal, which was born of a childhood indignity. See, I was always that kid who couldn’t even run the mile in gym class. I specifically remember once, in eighth grade, my gym teacher made me stay after school and run the mile by myself while he yelled at me, which culminated in me throwing up in a trash can. (The yelling may have been slightly exaggerated by my memory; the vomiting was not).

So a few years ago, in the aftermath of a breakup (which is when I’ve done literally all the great things in my life), I decided it was time. I roped two girlfriends into doing it with me, and it was on. We trained for eight weeks for a huge, women-only race that’s held every year in my city. My only goal was to run the entire thing without stopping.

I’m sure it sounds silly to people who actually run, but for me – this was a huge accomplishment. I went from getting winded in two seconds to running 3.1 miles in a matter of weeks, and it was not easy. It took hard work, determination, and sheer will, and I was proud of myself when I crossed that finish line.

Since then, my relationship with running has ranged from very sporadic to nonexistent. Whatever ability I had built up has faded away. Still, I always have this nagging feeling that I need to conquer it again.

But like I said before – hate. Even when training for that race…I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishing something, I enjoyed the camaraderie with my friends…but I never enjoyed running.

Last Saturday, I sat in the front window of my apartment drinking my coffee and watching thousands of women in cute neon outfits run by. It was the very same race I ran four years ago. And I felt the same way I’ve felt on race day every year since – disappointed with myself.

What I’m trying to figure out is why. Running is something I both dislike and am bad at. I already proved to myself once that I could overcome it if I really wanted to. And there are plenty of other things I can’t do that don’t inspire this inner dilemma. I mean, I don’t beat myself up over the fact that I’m not a singer and agonize over whether to take voice lessons.

All I can figure is that what I’m chasing isn’t really being a runner; it’s the feeling of pushing myself, overcoming something, stepping outside my comfort zone. Really going for something and proving I’m capable of more than I think. In my mind, running another race is the way to get that feeling back. In reality, though, it probably needs to come from somewhere else. I just have to figure out where.