I am back….

to reality. getting ready for school to start – both as a student and an instructor. I am doing some freelance writing too. It was nice to have a break this summer to clear my head, have a lot of fun and prepare for what is to come.

Here is the latest freelance article I’ve written, more to come: http://sailing.teamusa.org/news/article/14946

I am working on healing a surgically-repaired knee, as I blew it out playing in the tennis playoffs 10 days ago. I hopefully will be able to walk halfway decently by the time school comes in two weeks. Right now, I am limping. But already off crutches. And I think that’s good.

A few observations:

– Been reading a lot of different newspaper websites recently, and it’s obvious how thin staffs are. There is no consistent original feature reporting. All the same news of the day, 8 inches or less. Bores me, and I hope to see more than that. NYT seems to do the best job right now – probably because they still have the staff and resources – in having interesting pieces.

– Very annoyed at the media for continually calling freed reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee “girls”. They are not girls. They are women in their 30s, old enough to get into trouble if they cross the border into North Korea. But it seems men are still men at 18, and women may never grow up.

– Can’t wait for the U.S. Open to start, to see wall-to-wall tennis! Will miss USA no having it this year. Their goofiness was good stuff in the rain delays and long night matches. Nothing better than the “Ask Mac” line.

I will blog more often now. Back to life…back to reality. Back to the here and now…

be good…


What I have been up to…

So, what exactly do you do with the longest summer break you’ve had since, oh, 10th grade? There is a lot to do, and I think letting everybody have a summer vacation again would lighten the world up a bit. I’ve gone snorkeling among yellow tangs in Molokini, jumped the waves a bit on DT Fleming beach (go look it up!), played a lot of tennis (our 3.5 team rocks the house!), gardened, painted, laughed, and enjoyed life.

I haven’t missed the stress or the manufactured craziness of my previous life. When the Pistons fired their coach, I just smiled. Meant I didn’t have to do a thing now. Not a phone call, nary an email.

I know my life will become a gigantic ball of stress again starting Aug. 25. But until then, I am beyond blessed with happiness. I wish the same for all of you too!

Summer fun!

Yes, summer is fun…I think everybody should get summer off, every once in a while…It’s been a blast so far. Seen friends, family, gone to a softball game, a dance recital, seen the beauty of Up North. And yes, I’ve also been getting my resume together and other things, like this website, for the job front. But it’s such a blessing to be able to take time to pause and just catch your breath. We don’t do enough of that. I am savoring every moment of this.

The new life has begun…

Hey now kids!

Things are fine and dandy in laid-off world so far. Been spending the time at various unemployment offices, figuring out the best way to sign up for this and that. Really want the No Worker Left behind grant for school. That would be very cool. Been playing tennis, working in the garden, cleaning things up, running tons of errands, and yes, even snuck in some time at the spa.

I was weird to walk away from Joe Louis Arena after Game 7, knowing more than likely would never be in that world again. You never say never, but the odds are there were people that I’ve worked with for the past 10 years that I won’t see again. And I wish them all the best.

Taking it one day at a time, trying to do the best I can, and be the best I can be. And ride my pink bike a lot 🙂


Would I do it again?

That was the interesting question a friend posed to me. Knowing what I know now, would I still have gone into journalism? Aside from having a high tolerance for pain and stupidity, I’d have to say yes for one simple reason – I love to write. I love to be curious about things and figure them out. I love to talk to people and hear their stories. And I love to write stories. (unlike some other vertically-challenged sportswriters, I even like my stories to be true.)

I am still always going to be a writer, working on projects, doing freelancing, you name it. I see the law as a parallel path to my skills. I am leaning more things, which will let me write about more things.

There is no safe profession. There is no magical solution to avoid companies having issues right now. If anybody had told us that GM was bankrupt, say 10 years ago, we would have laughed ourselves sick. Being an engineer at GM was the safest job on the planet. No more.

We all must change, and adapt, to what’s going on around us. It doesn’t make things good, or bad. Just different.

Big changes….

And it’s all good. I had not planned on writing about this yet, but I have gotten so many emails, texts and phone calls in the past 24 hours that I thought this may be the most efficient way to handle things.

Yes, my last day at the Detroit News is June 14. I have been blessed to have a long and amazing career at the newspaper I grew up reading. It was a thrill to see my byline in there, and even more of a cool thing to report and see the things that have transpired. Sydney, Beijing, the Women’s World Cup, Wings and Pistons championships, etc. All pretty tremendous stuff. I’ve met a lot of amazing people along the way.

But all things come to an end, and I’ve made the decision to stop being a full-time sports writer and attend law school in the fall. I’m approaching this as a great opportunity to expand my skills, and hopefully come back to sports media/administration to use all of my talents, experience and smarts.

I am still going to be writing. I plan to freelance as much as possible (if you need a freelancer in the Metro Detroit area…email or call me! I’m game!) and also continue to be very active in the Association for Women in Sports Media. And I am still doing custom painting, so let me know if you need a piece! (Go to the Cats Meow Design tab)

These are very tough times, and the newspaper industry has been particularly hard hit. A lot of very sad stuff has happened to a lot of good people in the last year or so.

I do not walk away from the Detroit News, with my “voluntary layoff”, lightly. This is going to be a big change. In the end, I hope and pray, it’s going to be good for my life and my career.

More skills and knowledge never hurt. And you never know where life takes you.

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us…” Joseph Campbell.

So thanks for the support, love, concern. Means a lot. Peace.

Sitting at Metro again…

I actually like getting to the airport early, as there is nothing better than the people watching. What a collection of humanity.

This is what I have seen so far:
– 5 members of the Detroit Shock basketball team, one of which was wearing 4-inch heels – and kind of tottering through the concourse.
– a bombshell-figured woman wearing a bikini top, a very sheer “shirt” and shorts so short that you could see her bikini bottom sticking out. And yes, she was getting quite the good amount of attention.
– and older couple arguing with TSA that they were allowed to bring bottles of the wine on the plane in their carry on the last time they flew – which was, by their hazy recollection, sometime in the mid-90s. I, of course, was stuck right behind them in line.
– some guy wearing a 1989 UM basketball NCAA championship shirt.
– a cool dad letting a 3-year-old girl “surf” on the rollaboard he was schlepping. She laid on the suitcase, held on to the top handle, and surfed. looked like fun.

The world is upside down…

In a normal world, you would want the most talented, smart, ethical journalists working for your hometown newspaper. Sometimes, those people can be young. But many times, like in a lot of lines of work, having some experience serves the journalist – and the paper – well.

Apparently, that business model has gone out the window. I am reeling with anger and disgust over having amazing writers like Missy Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune, Mechelle Voepel of the Kansas City Star and Rick Maese of the Baltimore Sun laid off (aka fired) to save money by their corporate parents. And those are just three off the top of my head….there are thousands more.

Every paper in this country has been diminished by the loss of amazing writers, copy editors, etc. And the bleeding of talent shows no signs of stopping.

What’s making me so angry is the lip service from the editors, etc. about how these losses won’t affect the quality of the paper, that better journalism is coming, we’re you’re local watchdog! Are we?

In a raw sense, how do you serve as a watchdog of anything when you have no dogs left and no money to do anything?

The public knows. They see what is happening. All I can do is pray for everybody who has been caught in this crossfire of a bad economy and greedy/incompetent corporate parents. I pray all of those who have been laid off will go on to bigger and brighter things, and I hope they know their loss is noted.

Chilling a bit…

Howdy – been off since last week, and have been trying to mentally recoup. And one of the ways is my staying away from computers 🙂 However, look for additions to the website in the coming days: I will be adding a Cats Meow page to show off my painting venture, some more additions to the land of lists, and some photos and links. All in due time. As they say, stay tuned. Or Hang Loose. Or whatever.