Friday, September 03, 2010


Remember her?
Believe it. That was five years ago.
The death, devastation and especially the images of it all remain some of the most unbelievable I had ever seen in newspapers, or online, which is likely why The Dallas Morning News won a Pulitzer Prize for their images.
I spent this week riveted to the TV between CNN and The Weather Channel, watching Hurricane Earl and Fiona, and Gaston (??) form in the Atlantic and head for the East Coast.
Watching, but not being part of the news process is difficult. It's like being all dressed up with no place to go.
That's OK. The search for a job continues, and I'll keep getting dressed up, regardless whether I have a place to go or not.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Entrepreneurial journali$m

It's expensive.
I bought a new printer today that scans, copies and faxes in full color because the straight-up fax machine was cheaper, but the ink cartridge is, by far, almost more than the fax machine once you buy three inkjets.
So, now, I have two printers, one that does all the above, and another one that scans, copies and prints photographs.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Didn't see it coming

"Mija, no llores enfrente de ellos."
That means, "My daughter, do not cry in front of them."
It was as if my mom came down from heaven and was standing over my shoulder when my former executive editor told me the news.
I have to remind myself of the last day I worked as a newspaper reporter, just so that I can gauge someday where I have been for when I arrive exactly where I want to be.
It wasn't expected, for sure, that I would be alerted that I was being laid off and my last day would be in a week.
In a way, that was really a godsend -- I was too busy writing stories to think anymore about whether or not my time was up.
I was a victim of the McClatchy policy -- last in, first out. My departure was their sixth layoff at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. There were no rumors this time, and only 15 of us walked out the doors.
I am thankful that I was busy -- too busy to really wonder whether or not we would have cuts again, so I am glad that I was so engaged in my job, which I loved.
Just coming off a two-story Sunday package on domestic violence, I immediately started researching another story that I had hoped to write and get in the paper within two to three weeks. (A luxury these days to have that much time, but that's a different blog post). So when I was called in Thursday afternoon, Aug. 5, I was shocked.
So, there were no tears, really, just a lot of anger. Whether it was my mom, or my dad, that's good, because six weeks of severance won't pay for a pity party. There's bills and a mortgage to be paid.
The outpouring so far from friends and former colleagues has been really amazing, astonishing, every possible adjective out there to describe greatness, really.
The best thing that has happened to me so far is to find out that there are lots, I mean LOTS of journalism jobs out there.
That's the best news out of all of this, that there's still journalism jobs out there for those of us who just can't and choose not to walk away.
That gives me hope for the free world.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Punch me in the face if you want, but I promise, things will work out."

Wise words from my pal, Monique Miller.
All this extra time between looking for jobs made me reflect and realize a few things.
The last day I was employed as a professional journalist, Aug. 13, 2010, came 25 years and one day after I walked across the stage at Texas Woman's University in Denton to receive my bachelor's degree.
How ironic was that?
Needless to say, the coincidence took my mind back to certain points throughout my career and life since 1985. I quickly thought about the words of advice I have heard from friends and colleagues since Aug. 13:
--"Your career does not define you."
--"This was not because of something you did."
--"It wasn't personal, but financial. A business decision."
--"Everything happens for a reason."
--"Punch me in the face if you want, but I promise, things will work out." (thanks, precious).
--"I'm here for you." (My God, I'm in awe of you all).
And all of you were right! Thank you for helping me keep my spirits up. You have no idea how much you have helped me.
In two weeks, I have found two contract/freelance opportunities that mean paychecks until November. Both in journalism.
My glass is, as always, half full.
To recap: Jobs applied for so far: Six. Three in print journalism; one in broadcast; two wire services.
So, happy Friday. I'm taking the rest of the day off to work on my tan.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This just in...

Ah, pings and clicks, how I love thee.
"Ping" is the sound when the e-mail goes off on the iPhone, alerting new mail.
"Click" is the sound the screen button should make when one checks mail or applies online for jobs. Both have led to two job opportunities, today!
I will begin a fill-in editing job on The Dallas Morning News Metro Desk on Sept. 13, lasting at the very least four weeks, at the most maybe three months. So grateful.
Plus, friends at have hooked me up for some freelancing possibilities.
These are very nice detours on the journey to the next job.
Networking all these years is paying off with job tips and well wishes filled with love and care from friends.
So far, five jobs applied for in print, radio broadcast and wire services.
There's really a lot more out there in journalism than I thought.
Friday will be two weeks since the layoff; I remain optimistic, especially with at least three months of guaranteed work secured.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

iPhone woes and other stuff

If you have an iPhone 3G, think very carefully before you do, and make sure you have ALL DAY to do it.
I updated my little 8GB and it did take a little more than an hour -- it took five hours, in fact, tying up both iPhone and laptop, taking precious time in the job search.
My jury is still out on whether or not I'll like iPhone 4.0, but I will say that the e-mail application grouping multiple emails from people is kinda cool. Online reviews say they'll work great for a few days, then the iPhone will crash. Oh goodie. Can't wait for that, I guess AT&T will get their way when they force me to buy a new phone because the update won't take on mine.
DFW Metro runners, swimmers and cyclists?
Went to have dinner with the running team recently, and the girls I hung out with are now training for triathlons. The pressure was on. I don't have a road bike, plus I freak out in open water, so there's two reasons I can't start training for a tri. I'll stick to the pavement.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Unemployment, Day Two

The pets are confused.
Niki the dog is happy, of course, because her person is home and she doesn't have to worry about when she'll be home, but Stevie the cat is suspicious.

On today's agenda: Apply for jobs, return emails to concerned colleagues and friends, and sift through tons of job leads from those same wonderful people.
Even my niece sent me a job lead at USAA in San Antonio. 
I applied for unemployment benefits for the first time ever yesterday, that was a trip.
As I ponder unemployment and how long I might be this way, things are starting to fall apart in the house. The living room ceiling fan is broken, there are cracked tiles in the entry way, and the tree out front needs to be chopped down because is slopes closer to the house each summer. Cha-ching, dammit. Man!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Unemployment, Day One

Circle 30s journey changes again.
In an interesting and abrupt move, the Star-Telegram laid me off last week. I say interesting and abrupt because I didn't see it coming, and neither did my colleagues. Something about being lulled into a false sense of security.
I was just too busy writing stories to really be afraid about it anymore.
Well, I think a few things: 1). I need to find a job fast, so I don't really have time to curl up in a fetal position and cry about it. I really don't, and thank God, I can't. And 2). There's no point in expending that energy on whys, so find a job.
There's an amount of anger that happens when you get called into the boss' office. While you are waiting for something completely different than what ends up being said, in that split second, your mind gives you two choices: get mad, or cry.
I got mad. Thank you Jesus.
So with these latest developments, while I look for a job, I'm going to train for a half marathon. It will keep me away from the computer, clicking on the "check mail" button.
Today is my first day unemployed. I continue applying for unemployment online (this takes some time, I see), and I have already applied for three jobs. By the end of the day, I'll have four miles logged.
Today, on Unemployment, Day One, I hurry up and wait, ponder finding jobs, while I walk, run and write about it.
So if you are an old reader of Circle30, the journey has changed again. If you are a new reader, welcome. Tell me about yours.

Monday, April 05, 2010

I'm calling it Walk-Run, Eat Right.

So the verdict is in -- I lost three pounds the first week of Walk-Run, Eat Right.
That's taking my breakfast, lunch and two snacks to work EVERYDAY. It's hard.
I decided to call it something else instead of a "diet" or a "diet and exercise program." It's just life for me, what I have to do to keep the numbers down on the scale and those health  numbers where they need to be.
I like how it sounds.
The soreness is starting to feel good, and anyone who has trained knows exactly what I'm talking about, that hurts-so-good feeling.
I had an adjustment on my neck and back today with the chiropractor, the first of twice-monthly appointments as long as insurance pays for it.
I feel like I'm getting into my zone.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday's workout

So Monday was a great day in Dallas-Fort Worth. It was just the right weather in the morning -- 50s, and when I hit my new path -- a four-mile stretch roundtrip that takes me an hour -- and began with left turns.
Going through neighboring subdivisions is good because there isn't a whole lot of traffic and no big stops to make to wait for the cars to fly through.
My intense walk of four miles in one hour left me appropriately tight in the legs and thighs, which is a great way to start back up.
I have to stay away from kicking myself about how I let that PF get me out of shape again. As the doctor said, there's always the gym, and he's right. I've been paying for months and not going.
But there's something about the road and the iPod that can't be duplicated on a treadmill or an excercise bike.
I move forward, inching my way toward the San Antonio Rock 'n Roll Marathon and the half, in November.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ever hit that "next blog" button?

I may be new to the party, but I have never clicked that "next blog" button.
Surprisingly, it took me to other running and training blogs, then it took me to one that has a picture of a huge cross with Jesus on it, blood oozing from his hands and head.
It made me think of another journey that I have taken on and off for my 47 years.
Funny how that just came up on Holy Week.
Maybe I'll go to church on Friday. And Sunday.

Good Monday morning

Just got back last night from a weekend in Los Angeles for an association board meeting that I serve on. The weather was beautiful. I did not. Take running gear, and after seeing the hills, I'm kinda glad I didn't.
I wasn't able to really watch my food intake very well -- stuck in meetings, no choice in foods they served, latenights and early mornings, etc. How did those excuses sound? Yeah, lame.
The truth is, it takes a lot of planning to get on a well-balanced diet, just like it takes for a training program. Both need the commitment to make them work in tandem.
I used to think if I signed up for a program and an event, I'd force myself into it. Well, that only worked once, and the last time I tried it, I got injured. But the first time I leapt into it as a new way of life, I changed my life -- lost 35 pounds and ran a half marathon and my first 26.2.
I've tried to go back there, to that place. Maybe I've thought about it all wrong.
I told MotownstepmomRunnerGirl that it's like trying to re-create the best time, like a party. You can't. But, you can hope to get as close as possible, with nearly the same results.
That is my quest, today.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Kirstie Alley's Big Life"

I'm a little behind on TV -- I just caught Kirstie Alley's new show, it's supposed to chronicle her weight loss journey -- again.
I feel kind of sleazy saying 'again' like I'm judging her. Not even!
She talked about the struggle -- going from 118 pounds when she first started acting to gaining 12 pounds in a pregnancy which she lost, and the media called her "fat" then, after gaining pregnancy weight, and losing the child.
She weighed in Sunday for the world to see -- 230 lbs and she wants to go down to 140. That's a 90-lb loss. Especially for a woman who talks so much about how she LOVES to eat. I will just shut up about the 15-pound loss I'd like to see happen for me...
When asked by her handyman why she wants to lose weight, Alley thought about it. Nothing to do with health so much, she said.
She talked about how she hates "feeling" how she feels when she is fat, and how she can't stand to look at her pictures from a show or magazine calling her out about her weight. Plus, she said, the Papparazzi always seems to photograph her in the most AWFUL angles as well.
And we think we have it bad, being embarassed by our weight, struggling to lose it.
At least we don't have to do it in front of the media.

Friday, March 19, 2010


To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

Tough week

It's Friday, but it's been a tough week.
And it isn't getting any better.
My weekend has become a working weekend, thank goodness that at least I'll have Sunday to do a run-workout with friends, and spend most of the day alone with Peggy.
Jeep cost $1,100 to repair.
Region Conference fell into my lap.
Stevie the cat is difficult and won't eat, so then I can't give him his insulin shot. He is about to cost me tons of money. Again.
The phone call I am waiting on won't come.
I can't wait to get back out on the road with my running shoes and my iPod.

Which is right? Or what works?

I spend a lot of time thinking about my workouts, how I'm going to do them, how I'll journal them, all these different things about them.
With that, I think about how I'll record them -- should I journal the old fashioned way? Should I do it here on the blog? Should I do another blog just for fitness?
No. I'm not a fitness expert. I'm just somebody who constantly has to work at fitness. Constantly, so I can fit into my clothes, and feel comfortable in my skin.
Regardless, I have to document this journey, this neverending quest to be and stay fit.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting ready to spring forward

I am so glad that spring is here. My Bradford Pear is blooming, and it's gorgeous!
Of course, spring means that soon, I will be blogging about how I wish it would stop raining, and how I am taking cover from tornadoes, etc., but I'll wait until that happens before I start to complain.

Although we will lose an hour tomorrow, I can really get into my favorite part of the day, working out between 7-8 a.m.
Today, I did a new walking route -- I chose to stay on the right side of the road (sidewalk) going with traffic so that I wouldn't have to stop too much along the way for the streetlights. I went through neighborhoods and watched all the kids playing in the street. They were on inline skates, quad skates, skateboards, playing street hockey, riding their bikes.
It reminded me of my neighborhood growing up, except my current neighborhood is very multicultural. I grew up in a Latino neighborhood, and I live in Ground Zero of the Rainbow Coalition. It makes me smile when I see all the kids playing together.
So the route was 45 minutes, except I found another way I can go to give myself the extra 15 minutes to do the complete 4 miles.
But 3.5 isn't bad. And I think I am in love with my shoes.
Support this morning provided by Gloria Estefan, U2, Robin S, Modest Mouse, Bruce Springsteen, Howie Day, Madonna. Gracias a todos.
Have a great weekend. 


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Focus... get to the beauty.
The journey isn't really that long.
That is my mantra as I get back into this routine.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Feet and shoes

I catch a lot of hell from people who think it's odd that I take pictures of my shoes, and my feet.
I take them from above, looking down at them.
Boots. Flip flops. Sandals. Skates. Barefoot. On the wood floor. Concrete. Sand.
It's not that I want to brag on my feet, which some have said kind of look like hands, but that's another story.
My shoes aren't that hip, either -- nephew Philip thinks I have really weird taste in shoes and laughs uncontrollably when he sees most things I wear, particularly the burgandy Keens.

Then, there's niece, Marisa, who thinks AL (Aunt Liz) is just weird about her feet. ... and has weird taste in shoes.
But when I take pictures of my feet, it's not necessarily about the shoes. It is a reminder about what they have done for me, physically, yes, but especially mentally.
With no experience, except a daily routine of walking one hour before work, everyday for a few months, a $20 pair of Adidas that I bought at Costco, and some encouragement from friends, my feet got me through to the finish line at the White Rock Half Marathon in December 2006.
I'll never forget those shoes -- I can't. A reminder is the split big toenail on the right foot, and the reason I got fitted for running shoes.
The next pair -- Asics -- got me through another half marathon, and my first and only full marathon. I'll never get rid of those shoes. They are the Circle 30 shoes you see on this blog.
My feet led the way to four other events, with three other pair of Asics, and a pair of Brooks.
And last week, I brought home my new pink Asics I wrote about Friday. They are sweet, and make my feet feel awesome. I don't think I'll ever run in any other pair again.
I have high hopes again for that new pair, and yes, my feet, too.

Friday, March 05, 2010

'...oh, we're halfway there...'

The week of starting over was not really complete-- I still haven't tried my new shoes.
Part of the routine is finding the balance between work and personal. This was a week of 10 or 11- hour days, and this morning, it was fog from a dose of cherry Tussin cough syrup with codeine.
So let's see: food intake wasn't bad -- lots of fruit, veggies, proteins, scheduled snacks, limited alcohol. No greasy fast foods.
Sleep-- not so good. I realize I do need 8 hours. I stay up too late. Gotta change that. I work out best between 7-8 a.m.
I can think about it, write it down and get ready for it, but until I live it, really totally, I'm just halfway there.
I am hearing Bon Jovi in my head.
Halfway is better than nothing, today that's how I feel.
I'm living on a prayer, lots of them.
So next week will and can only be better.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Exercise, whatever form you can

I can't say I had "good form" when I did about 75 percent of a roller derby tryout for a news story on the Dallas Derby Devils late last year.
But what I did find that I had was a lot of muscle memory.
Although I hadn't been running ever since the inaugural San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, where I ran the half, getting tossed around with the roller girls didn't result in a lot of leg pain. Although it did take at least three months for my right shoulder to stop hurting...
Rollerskating is a really good cardio sport. I personally prefer the quad skates because I can balance easier.
When the weather outside is miserable, go to the skating rink. As it was in high school, going skating is still pretty cheap, and for me, skating the track for two hours felt a lot like running a 10K.

No excuses

I just learned I have the capability to post to this blog from my iPhone. I guess there really is no excuse. Wondering about loading pix now.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Circle 30 gets a makeover

Thanks to MotownRunnerGirl, who gave Circle 30 a makeover.
We are conspiring to begin new eating and training plans to blogs near you.
Stay tuned.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Starting over?

I don't even know if I know how to do this anymore, but here it goes -- I had my yearly physical today and the first thing my doctor asked me was if I was training for anything. Answer was, 'no, but I want to be.' He asked what I was waiting for? He wants me to lose 10 pounds and get back on track. He's a runner, too. I gues that's what was left, an order from the doctor. I guess I'll just look at it that way.
But really, I was only ever centered when I was running and training for something. So, as I get ready to work a night shift tonight, I'll wear my Team in Training workout shirt, my running shoes, and maybe I'll work on a running plan. There's time for a half marathon somewhere this summer.