Tag Archives: Friends

Ten Years After

Ten years ago, I remember commuting with my then-boyfriend/now-husband to our jobs at Tyson’s Corner. It was a beautiful September day. We’d moved to Fairfax, VA from NYC just 3 months earlier. I was adjusting to life in the suburbs again. I didn’t miss the crowded NYC subway, but I was missing my friends, my favorite haunts, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to celebrate my birthday later that week without them.

I remember IMing with my friend Jenn Carlile Foley that morning at work. We had gone to college together, and she had been a stage manager like me. When she graduated a year after I did, she followed in my footsteps: moved to NYC and did a year as a stage management intern at The Juilliard School, which I had also done. Jenn and I had our ups and downs, but she was an amazing person, so full of love and laughter. She was a loyal friend, and many people received more from her then I think she ever got back. Sometime after finishing at Juilliard, Jenn had married Tony, her college sweetheart. A few months later, I moved from NYC to Fairfax, and she was soon diagnosed with cancer. I made sure to keep in touch with her often, and IM was handy for easy chats where the haunting specter of the cancer was less pronounced.

I don’t remember how I first learned about the attacks; I just remember sitting in the office kitchen, watching the events unfold on the television. I went back and forth between the TV and my computer to talk to Jenn. She could see the towers from her office window, and she is forever connected to 9/11 in my head because of this.

When we learned that the Pentagon had been hit, the fear in our office escalated. The husband of one of my co-workers worked at the Pentagon, and she could not get a hold of him or any of his co-workers. She went home to wait for news, and the whole office went home soon after. I remember my boyfriend and I deciding to go donate blood, but the lives at every center were so long, they were turning people away. So we just went home.

I’m sure the way I felt that day is similar to what we all felt: sorrow, fear, patriotism, uselessness. I felt so far away from NYC, like I had abandoned it right before I needed it most. I worried for my friends there, I worried for the city.

I remember reading Sars’ story about how 9/11 happened to her. Every year, I return to her site to see if her mystery has been solved. Right now, it doesn’t look like it has.

At the end of that day, everyone I knew was safe, including the Pentagon husband. But of course, none of us were fine. In the summer after 9/11, the cancer took Jenn. While 9/11 and her cancer are not connected, I can’t think of one event without thinking of the other.

Several years later, I was introduced to PostSecret through this secret:

Sometimes, I want to believe that this secret isn’t real; that someone’s family and friends aren’t missing and mourning a person who is actually still alive. Yet, I also hope it is real; that one person didn’t actually die that day. 9/11 was such a tragedy, but the postcard gives me hope. I know we lost Jenn, but maybe someone escaped fate that sunny day.

It’s strange to think back to September in 2001 and how much has happened since then, how much has been lost, but also how much happiness has been found.

Memories of loved ones in happy times always help us heal after loss. I am grateful to have memories of happy moments with Jenn, such as this:

I’ll close with one of my favorite portions of poetry:

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

– William Wordsworth, Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood


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Thursday Tidbits 9/9/2010

The beginning of school is always a whirlwind.  September and October are also always a busy time personally: my birthday, our anniversary, birthdays of my mom, dad, and sister, my favorite season, the Maryland Renaissance Festival, two other family wedding anniversaries…and someone else always seems to be getting married in the fall.  This year, it is my dear, imaginary friend Lisa, and I can’t wait for her wedding!

My blogging and reading have both been slow due to all my life happenings.  I look at what I have read over the past few months and the pile is way too low.  I’d love another snow-filled winter so I can hunker down and stick my nose in some books.

For now, a few things that MUST be shared:

  • I’ve linked to the trailer in the past, but now you can view the whole short film, “Mary Anne Goes to the Market” online.  Jason did an awesome job writing and acting in this, and you really must take 10 minutes to watch it.  Especially if you are having a bad day – it is a mood lifter!  I am so proud of our Whis-kid.
  • This past Friday morning, my husband and I had the local news on to see what Hurricane Earl was up to.  We were fortunate enough to be watching when the on-the-scene-weather-guy was joined on the beach by two guys that I can only assume are drunk as skunks.  A brief bit of comedy ensued and we laughed and laughed, rewinding it to watch it over again.  My husband wisely grabbed my phone and videoed the segment to save it for posterity on You Tube.  You must turn up your volume (because the two gentlemen announce their arrival before appearing on camera) and watch the first 30 seconds of “Hewwl Yeah!”

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Today – David Gray and a Film Premiere

I’m attending another David Gray concert tonight.  This one is at Merriweather Post, and I have front row seats so I am pretty excited!

Also, a friend of mine, Jason, premiered his short, “Mary Anne Goes to the Market” today in LA.  Well, he was one of the writers and one of the actors.  I’m hoping it went well.  The trailer is so cute!  If you watch it, he’s the one who collides carts with the girl.

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Thursday Tidbits 7/15/2010


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ALA Midwinter – Boston

I attended ALA Midwinter in Boston last weekend and had a great time.  It was a short trip due to everything going on at home, but I was able to squeeze in a fair amount.

Friday, I attended an hour long session – YALSA 201 – about becoming involved.  It was interesting to hear the variety of things available.  I dropped in at the YALSA Happy Hour but didn’t stay long as I knew no one and couldn’t bring myself to let go of my shyness and approach groups of strangers.  So I visited the exhibit hall and was able to score a few ARCS, including the two I was really hoping for: This World We Live In and The Dead-Tossed Waves.  After the exhibit hall, I attended at one of YALSA’s ticketed events: Games, Gadgets, and Gurus.  I was able to check out some card and board games that would be great for my school library and meet some awesome people.

Saturday, I attended a YALSA leadership development for committee chairs.  It was a very positive experience and I came away with ideas for my committee, motivation for myself, and the feeling that YALSA cares about the members and their involvement and wants to make leadership within the organization a positive experience.

After that was YALSA’s all-committee meeting where I met with my fantastic local arrangements committee for Annual and we brainstormed.

I returned to the exhibit hall where I was able to pick up many more books and peruse possible library purchases.

I dropped in at the Kidlit Tweet-Up in the lobby bar of my hotel.  It was great to meet fellow bloggers and others in the Kidlit/library world.  It was particularly exciting to meet a couple people who read my name tag and said, “I read your blog!”  Sometimes I forget that there are readers out there!

That evening I went to dinner at the Union Oyster House with Susan from Wizards Wireless and PBS Booklights.  Susan and I met in grad school and it’s always great to catch up with her.  Dinner was soooo good!

Sunday I attended a Web 2.0 session, which was informative, and gave me an opportunity to meet other YALSA people.  I checked out of my hotel, grabbed some lunch, and attended the teen feedback session on this year’s BBYA list.  It was great to get teen opinions and I was able to post my thoughts on Twitter throughout the session thanks to the free wi-fi in the convention center.

I flew home that evening.  This was my first trip using Jet Blue and I was very happy with my experience.  On the way to Boston, I paid an extra $10 for a seat with additional leg room, which was worth it.  On the way home, I was able to use the TV to watch the red carpet arrivals at the Golden Globes.  (My favorite moment was George Clooney pointedly referring to himself and Billy Bush as idiots before making his escape from Billy.)  The plane landed (early!) just as Ricky Gervais was starting the actual show, so I had to rely on my DVR to catch up.  I will definitely use Jet Blue again!

It was a great weekend and so inspiring to me as a librarian.  I have attended non-ALA-related conferences (which shall remain nameless) where I come away with nothing after spending my day listening to people use the day as a bitch-session or receiving basic training on working the AASL standards into library-oriented lessons (said conferences are NOT related to AASL).  I imagine those types of things are helpful to some, but two of my grad school professors were on the team that wrote Information Power so every school library class I took was centered on that book, making it easy to adapt to the new standards.  Do other school library programs not teach the AASL standards?

I also enjoy the ALA conferences because I seem to come across more people who became librarians because they wanted to be a librarian, whereas at these other conferences I tend to meet people who became school librarians because they wanted to get out of teaching but still have summers off.

I love being a part of YALSA and hope I can continue working on committees in the future.  The members are creative, energetic, and passionate about their careers.  School librarians seem to be in the minority, so I encourage other middle and high school librarians who love working with teens to get involved!

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Thursday Tidbits

I hope everyone is having/had a great Thanksgiving!  It’ll be short, but here are my Thursday tidbits!


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7 Kreativ Bloggers

I’m passing on the Kreativ Blogger award to the following:

1. Jen at Corrodentia Weekly – Jen is a friend of mine who blogs on a weekly basis (or so).  I love reading her insights and the different books she reads.

2. Pam at Haute Mamma Wannabe – Pam is an internet friend who blogs about her life – everything from her daughter to fashion and workouts. I love keeping up with everything her daughter is up to!

3. Dena blogs at The Powell Family where she also writes about her life and her 2 adorable children. She is also super creative and has a site where she sells a variety of embroidered items at Written in Thread.

4. My friend Kristen at The Reluctant Hausfrau – another mom who blogs!

5. Jess at Say What?

6. Jen at The Next Kid Thing – an awesome mom who’s creating her dream job

7. You! If you have never won this award before – take it! Pass it on!

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