Friday, March 31, 2006


So, I went to San Francisco last week and have some thoughts but first, there is a Chicago Tribune article you have to read. It made my day when I opened my door, looked down, and saw this front page article. Erica was walking out with me and I read it to her all the way down the elevator. Then I made sure everyone I talked to today knew about it. Go to:,1,2707613.story. If that link doesn't work, got to and search for the article entitled "It's Pink!" You won't regret taking time to read this. It's fun!

Okay, so San Francisco. I opted to go visit my sister and her fiance for Spring Break instead of going to New Orleans again, as I mentioned in the last post I think. I had a wonderful time and it was extremely relaxing. We spent a little time in the city and I have come to a major conclusion about my life. I am very easily inspired and I love way too many cities! The inspiration thing was proved even more this week as I returned to classes. I had signed up for 5 classes and planned on dropping either "Women and Religion" or "Playwriting: Finding the Writer's Voice." Well, I went to the religion class Monday and fell in love with it. I was going to drop until I went to class. So that left playwriting. I was going to tough it out. But by Thursday, the day the class meets, I was stressed and distressed. I decided to drop playwriting before even going to class. My sister wisely said "I would usually tell you to go to the class before dropping it but knowing you, you would go and find something in it to be passionate about and would convince yourself you could handle it." She knows me well. In any case, that is just one example of how easily I am inspired.

The inspiration thing and the city thing directly relate. I love San Francisco. I am extremely happy that I will be able to live and work there all summer (more summer job news coming soon...). It is a magical place full of history. It also has A LOT of problems. But when I was there, I could not imagine living anywhere else! But that is what happened when I moved to Chicago... And again what I thought visiting New Orleans, even in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. All these cities are important to me and inspire me in some way. So now I'm just stuck with figuring out what to do with that inspiration since there is not really a possibility that those three cities will somehow merge somewhere in the middle, retaining all the big bodies of water, so that I can live in three places at once.

I think I'll leave the discussion there. Yay! Go read the Pink article!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

back after a long time away

My last post was right before I went to New Orleans for a week over Winter Break. While we were there, we wrote about our experiences in a blog and that alone was an amazing experience. I"m a blogger and a writer but a lot of the people on the trip had never even heard of blogs. But as I read their posts, I kept thinking "I could have written any of these posts because I am having the same experiences." For some reason, when I got home I lost my drive for writing every day like I had been since last summer. It was almost as if it had all been said before. But now that I've finished yet another tough quarter at Northwestern and have taken a little break from this online journal and rant outlet of sorts, I realize that I need to share my thoughts again through writing. Even if only two people read this, I can imagine that I am being heard in some way. In addition, just writing makes me feel better and I'm a really fast typer.

There are two reasons that I picked tonight, after midnight, before getting up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus to the airport, to continue my blogger existance. I had dinner with a friend last night who inadvertantly put me to shame for not knowing who the second NC senator is other than Elizabeth Dole (at least I knew that!). It may seem like a little thing to some but I am an NC voter still and I should know things like this. I can only name one of the Illinois senators off the top of my head (although I know they are both democrats) and I've been living here for three years!

In any case, I went downtown to do some shopping and grabbed my Chicago Trib on the way out. I read parts of the Trib nearly every day but sometimes I only get a few pages in or I skip to read play reviews or to read about exciting events like the Olympics. But on the El today, I read the entire front page section for the first time in a couple weeks. Okay, I skimmed a couple articles but I can tell you the main points at least. It reminded me that this blog has been a place where I can bounce around my ideals and how they exist within the messed up world we live in. I read an article about gay parents adopting children and how that is allowed or not allowed in certain states and religions. I read a great article about what's happening in Iraq at the moment, kind of a "catch-up" article about their struggling government, the aniversary of the war starting, violence in mixed Sunni/Shiite neighborhoods, and prospects for the future. There was an intriguing editorial about polygamy rights and how that issue does or does not relate to the issue of gay marriage. Oh yeah, and there was a great map of the Loop area with pictures of where all the countdown crosswalk signals will eventually be installed.

So all that reading and wanting to talk about it was the first reason I started thinking about writing again. The second reason was my friends who are currently in New Orleans working with Catholic Charities over Spring Break, like I did over Winter Break. They have a blog again and I have only started to read it a little. There were so many entries that I could only read the first few before commenting on them (remembering how wonderful it was to read comments when we were far away in NO). Just writing one semi-short comment and reading several of the post was enough to almost bring me to tears. Between reading the saddening stories of my colleagues and then realizing how much I've missed writing like this, I had a mini-revelation that I don't know if I can really explain.

It's almost 1am and I have a 6:38am bus to catch. But I had to write something before going to bed. I'm reading a really good book and have a lot of new thoughts on life to impart but I couldn't even begin with that until I restarted my obsessive, but healthy, blogging habit. I don't know if some of you will understand why it is so important for me to write these things or why I perfer to write in a public way. However, I"m strange like this and I feel like I"m ready for Spring Quarter to start next week. This is just prep work and tomorrow I will be with my sister getting rested up before the exciting things to come. I've never been really big on New Year's resolutions but I'm all about resolutions at the beginning of each Quarter (thus about every three months). So for this upcoming quarter, I'm going to take care of myself by letting the words flow again and see what comes of it.!


P.S. Go read the Sheil New Orleans blog at Don't be shy about leaving them comments, even if you've never met any of them in your life! They will appreciate hearing from anyone.