Books I Brought On My Cruise!

E-books, that is!  Here is a sampling of some of the books I brought along on my iPad.  No guarantees which ones will be read;I like to have choices and pick whatever strikes me at the moment, 🙂

Listed in no particular order:

A chose a variety of genres because who knows what I will be in the mood for when the time comes!


    Sailing Away…

    I am leaving in a few hours for my honeymoon!  I will be sailing on the Norwegian Epic (our first cruise!) and spending some time in Florida.  I can’t wait to snorkel in Roatan, visit Mayan ruins in Costa Maya, and swim with dolphins in Cozumel.  It should be amazing!  The blog has a few posts scheduled to go up, but I won’t be tweeting or responding to comments/emails until I get back!

    I Now Pronounce You Married!

    I’m slowly getting back into “real” life over here. That means time to read, and not time spent wedding planning.  We are leaving for our cruise next week, but that means even more time to read!  (And on my iPad!  Expect an iPad review in the coming days).  Before I jump back into the swing of things, here are a few pictures from the day. 🙂

    My shoes!  I am well-known for my cool shoes, so the wedding couldn’t change that!

    first kiss as husband and wife 🙂

    My water bottle escort cards.  The bane of my existence last week- so much hot glue!

    Program fans! (thanks to my amazing florist for the last two photos! She has even more here)

    we entered the reception to “Cheeseburgers in Paradise”  🙂

    Before heading home!

    Thank you for all your well wishes!

    I’m Getting Married!

    Today I am here……

    Getting married!

    Then we will be celebrating here-

    And here!

    And even in here!

    Hopefully it is not too hot, not too humid, and definitely not raining!

    Thank you for all of your good wishes!

    Movin’ on Up….

    Big news on the personal and professional front here.  As of September, I will no longer be a middle school teacher.  Due to budget cuts and the economic state of affairs here in NJ, I lost my teaching job of the past five years.  Never one to sit around and do nothing, I started sending out resumes as soon as I received my RIF notice.  I also posted my fate on my personal Facebook account.  My high school biology teacher saw my status, got in touch with me about some opportunities, and one thing led to another….

    I will be teaching freshman and senior English at my high school alma mater as of September 1st!

    (And that, my dear readers, is proof positive of the power of social networking in this day and age.  Had I not posted my news on Facebook, I may not have ended up with my amazing new position!)

    This is a big change for me, but one I am very much looking forward to.  No worries, the blog won’t change much.  I will be reviewing a bit more YA but I plan to keep blogging as always.  I will still be writing about language arts/English for intermediate/secondary students.  I will still be reading aloud, still be instilling a love of reading and writing in my students, and I will still be blogging here.

    Never Forget

    (A version of this was originally written on 9/11/03, in my personal journal. It has been edited for this posting. I have reposted it every year since 2003.)

    the view I see each year from the beach at home.

    I can’t forget. This morning, between classes I was sitting in my car listening to the radio. I listened to the children read off the names of those who perished in the WTC disaster. As I listened to the small voices read the thousands of names, tears ran down my cheeks. I managed to miss hearing the names of anyone I knew, but still…….

    I can remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember eating breakfast with Erin (we barely even knew each other at the time). The dining hall had talk radio playing over the speakers and they were talking about the WTC bombing. I remember Erin and I wondering why they were talking about something that had happened in 1993. We tuned out the radio as it became nothing more than white noise in the background. We finished breakfast and I went to my Women and Public Policy class.

    As my classmates settled into our seats in the small lecture hall our TA, Jen, apologized for having to keep her cell phone on during class. She explained that she had flight reservations later that day, and she needed to keep up on any airport delays due to the incident in the city. That was the first that I heard about a plane crash. But everyone in class seemed fairly calm. We talked about what had happened for a few minutes, but most of us assumed it was just an errant pilot, a tragedy, but still. So from 9:50-10:30am we continued on with our normal class schedule. As class ended I remember walking back, over the Hickman bridge, and hearing people around me say classes were canceled for the rest of the day. Yet I still really had no idea what was going on.

    I walked back to my dorm on the other side of campus planning to turn on the news while I got organized for the day. Then I remembered that I didn’t even have a tv (stupid no cable). As i walked into the building, you could sense the panic. The stress and tension in the air was palpable I walked up the 3 flights of stairs to my room and immediately saw that my answering machine was blinking wildly. Each message was from my mother, trying desperately to get in touch with me. I grabbed my cell phone to call her back, but by that time the lines were down, and you couldn’t get through on cell phones.

    As I kept hitting the redial button I watched my floormates pace up and down the halls. One of my floormates walked past my door no less than 20 times in 2 minutes. She was trying to get ahold of her father, who worked in the Towers. Others were just trying to find their parents even if they didn’t work in the city. I walked back downstairs to the lounge and sat on the couch with my dormmates, staring at the images that were being flashed on every station on our TV. No one spoke.

    Still dialing, I headed back upstairs to my computer, sure that I would be able to find more information on the internet. The news anchors were so unsure and so frightened. I finally got through to my mother (while reloading over and over) and she was relieved to hear from me. She told me you could see the flames from the beach by our house, and that there was a huge cloud of smoke and a smell enveloping Middletown. She asked if I wanted to come home, and while I considered it I chose to stay.

    The panic in my dorm just increased all afternoon. My friends and I sat in stunned silence watching the television coverage. At one point, military planes flew over the campus, and people ran for the basement. No one knew what would happen next. That sense of terror was something unimaginable only hours before.

    We watched the news for hours on end. I IM’ed and recieved IMs from friends who were at school in the city. People I hadn’t talked to in months came to mind. I went to an tiny high school, 60 kids to a graduating class, and our network of students was reaching out to one another. We just needed to know that everyone was all right. I remember the anxiety we felt when we checked on all the Maryland people, friends who went to school near the Pentagon and Washington, DC. Eighteen years old and we were frantically searching for people just to make sure they were still there.
    I will never forget signing on to our high school BBS and reading the the public announcements, a forum usually reserved for messages about upcoming school dances and PTA fundraisers. The message on top was from a fellow Techer. Her dad was supposed to be on Flight 93. Reading that message, as she begged anyone reading it to look for his name on ANY list, my heart sank. This was a classmate, a high schooler. She should not have been going through this. And the tragedy began to hit home. As new lists were posted it became more and more apparent that he had probably been on the plane.

    Only a few minutes later my mother got through to me again, telling me that my brother’s best friend’s dad was missing. That’s when I made the decision. I went home.
    I stayed home for a few days. School was canceled for days. The next few days were filled with phone calls “Did anyone hear anything? Any word?” My mother told how on Sept. 11, ferries came from the city to the local harbor. Ferries that were based all over NY just packed with passengers from anywhere in NJ. People who just had to get somewhere besides Manhattan. They stumbled off the boats- people covered in ash, people in shock. They were hosed down immediately by men and women in hazmat suits, for fear that they were carrying biological agents.

    The papers talked about how Middletown was the town in NJ hit the hardest by the tragedy. We lost so many. So many people from my church, people I knew from middle school and high school.
    Then, my worst fears were realized. A friend was put on active duty. Along with all this tragedy, I had to deal with the idea that one of my best friends could be sent into the city. Thankfully, he never was.
    I learned that another friend had worked at the pier in Jersey City on September 11. Unloading and loading ferries and boats, for days at a time. But her story had a happy ending- she became engaged when she grew closer to a friend who took care of her at the time.
    My brother spent days with his girlfriend and their best friend. A sophomore in high school and he was trying to hold up his friends while they learned that the man they loved was never coming home. I admired my brother immensely for the strength he showed in those days. He grew up more than I ever knew he could.

    We all grew up.

    And we will never forget.
    God Bless all those lost on 9-11-01……

    News :)

    Despite my intense hatred of being the center of attention, I suppose I should share the news here (I already did the same on Twitter and Facebook)-

    While in Ireland, I got engaged!  😀

    I am sure the actual event will be the subject of various Slices of Life, Memoir Mondays, and writer’s notebook entries, so stay tuned!