Making Apologies

Pencil sketch of two people standing a few feet apart

The Grammar Girl podcast did a great show this week on how to write an apology.  For a while now, I’ve been meaning to write a post about making tough apologies, so I thought I’d piggyback on Grammar Girl’s discussion.  The show advised listeners to avoid four kinds of non-apologies (the “if” apology, the passive voice apology, the reverse apology, and the florid fauxpology) and to follow a formula for apologizing effectively:

  • Acknowledge the offense clearly
  • Explain it effectively
  • Restore the offended parties’ dignity
  • Assure them they’re safe from a repeat offense
  • Express shame and humility
  • Make appropriate reparation

(Credit to Dr. Aaron Lazare and his book On Apology.)

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How Can We Effectively Respond to this Neo-Nazi, White Supremacist Garbage?

In light of this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, I find it necessary to revisit the topic I addressed last weekend.  Like many Americans, I am horrified by the recent rise in white supremacist, neo-Nazi activity in the US.  Many people smarter than me have written eloquent pieces about what happened this weekend, and I do not pretend to have anything new or particularly insightful to say.  In case there is any doubt, let me be clear where I stand:  Hating, discriminating against, or threatening anyone on account of their race, ethnic heritage, sexual orientation, or gender is despicable and unacceptable.  Human is human, period.

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The Weekend Listen

A pair of wireless headphones for podcast listening

I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving, working out, and doing chores around the house. In this weekly feature, I’ll tell you about one episode I particularly enjoyed that week.

My pick for this week is Dear Sugar Radio’s episode Location, Location, Location.  Dear Sugar is hosted by Cheryl Strayed (of Wild fame) and Steve Almond, who answer letters from listeners asking questions about love and life.  It’s kind of a modern-day advice column, in audio format.  This week, they tackle the topics of home (as in, what makes a place feel like home?), relocation, and travel, in the context of relationships.

Want more podcasts?  Here are my runners-up for the week:

Need a tutorial on how to listen to podcasts?  Here you go.

Are you listening to a podcast that I haven’t mentioned yet?  Let us know about it in the comments!

The Weekend Listen


I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving, working out, and doing chores around the house. In this weekly feature, I’ll tell you about one episode I particularly enjoyed that week.

Continuing this week’s love theme, Modern Love: the Podcast shares three of the most popular essays from the New York Times’s Modern Love column, read by well-known actors.  Colin Farrell reads Gary Presley’s “Would My Heart Outrun Its Pursuer?”, Gillian Jacobs reads Mandy Len Catron’s “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This,” and Tony Hale reads Steve Friedman’s “Just Friends? Let Me Read Between the Lines.”  You may already have read these essays, but they’re worth revisiting.

Happy listening!

Are you listening to a great podcast that I haven’t mentioned yet?  Please let us know in the comments!

A field of yellow flowers under a gray sky, the sun low and obscured by clouds

Friend Love: In Appreciation of My Tribe

Close-up painting of daffodils
Daffodils, 2015.

On Tuesday, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I wrote about my husband. While he’s amazing and I’m so grateful for the relationship we have, he isn’t the only source of love in my life. I firmly believe that we shouldn’t expect one person to satisfy all of our needs. Today, I want to show my gratitude for my friends.

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Our Love Story

A driftwood heart that my husband and I found on the beach right after we got married

I’m not that into Valentine’s Day–it’s so commercialized, and do we really need someone to tell us when to show our affection? Nevertheless, I thought today would be an appropriate day to tell my love story. (I hope my husband isn’t too embarrassed.) If you don’t like sappy, this may not be the post for you. Read more