Thursday, March 31, 2005

This year's vacation

My new dilemma is trying to decide what to do with this year's vacation. Hmmm. I like to try to do something new every year - and I have no plans as of yet. So - readers of my blog - what do you think? Where shall I explore this year?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Little sister

Kim & Jenn in Spain
Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.
As we move into spring - I'm watching my little sister Kim move through one of the most interesting parts of her life - the last few months of graduate school. After graduating from Manhattan College Kim spent a year teaching physical education at a grammar school in Manhattan. During that time - she decided that her true calling was social work - and entered Fordham University's graduate program, working towards an MSW - a Masters in social work. Now she's nearly done and she's looking for jobs and I'm just sort of blown away by her. In our family Kim gets teased sometimes for being the "blonde" and for asking the occassional silly question - but the truth is - she's got us all over a barrell now. Once Kim has a master's degree - she will have the most education that any Stevens/Kearns person has ever had - probably ever. It's a hell of a feat - and Kim, I'd like to be the first one to say - congratulations. I am so proud of you.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Writing group

This year, I have been fortunate enough to become a part of a writing group - made up of aspiring writers who get together to read and critique each other's stuff for the good of the craft. I must say - since I've been meeting with Kim, William and Aiguo - I've seen not only an improvement in my writing but a much more consistent work ethic. I've been writing more in the past three months than I have in the longest time - and for that guys, I thank you. It's great to have a few fellow writers and as friends and to have a place to bring your work in progress - a place that will really help you polish it for the big time. Looking forward to the next meeting!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Vanishing Acts

Vanishing Acts
Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.
I am currently reading "Vanishing Acts" by Jodi Picoult who is undoubtedly my favorite author. I am enjoying this book that I have to remark on how much I love this woman's work. I've read every one of her books (she has ten now, I think) and each time I'm reading one of them, I cannot put it down. It began with "The Pact" and then "Plain Truth".

Jodi Picoult releases a new novel every spring, and I actually wait impatiently for these releases. She is the only author that I consistenly buy in hardcover, and that I try to catch for a signing when she's on tour in New York. As a writer - I aspire to be just like this woman. If you have any desire to find out more about Jodi or her books, check out this website:

Bravo Jodi. Bravo.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Why St. Patrick's Day is better than all the other holidays...

Happy St. Patrick's Day all! As I don my green and prepare for an evening of drinking and raucousness, it occurs to me that this holiday is superior to the others in many many ways. Here's why:

St. Patrick's Day is better than New Year's because you don't have to worry about who you're going to kiss at midnight and you don't have to pay $175 to get into a bar that's free every other night of the year.

St. Patrick's Day is better than Valentine's Day because even though its technically an Irish holiday, it excludes no one, unlike Valentine's Day which happily excludes all single people and makes them feel like they are doomed to wander the earth alone.

St. Patrick's Day is better than Easter because while you are encouraged to wear green, there is no dress code, no pastels and excessive church going and cemetery visiting.

St. Patrick's Day is better than Memorial Day because you don't feel obligated to go to the beach even though its still too cold to be there.

St. Patrick's Day is better than the 4th of July because the cops and the fire department aren't forced to crack down on the raucousness of St. Patty's Day the way they are fireworks for the 4th of July. On the 4th of July, its the Macy's show, or nothing. On St. Patty's Day, there's a party everywhere.

St. Patrick's Day is better than Labor Day because its right at the beginning of spring and you have the whole summer to look forward to. On Labor Day, its time to leave the warm weather and get ready for the cold.

St. Patrick's Day is better than Halloween because Halloween was only fun until you had to stop trick or treating. St. Patrick's Day allows people of all ages to dress silly and gorge on liquor.

St. Patrick's Day is better than Thanksgiving because on Thanksgiving, everyone marches in a parade and then goes home to eat turkey. On St. Patrick's Day many attractive firemen march in a parade and then go to the bar to drink with you.

And finally, St. Patrick's Day is better than Christmas because you don't have to buy anybody any presents, or listen to Christmas music. Bagpipes only play once a year, instead of a month and a half at Christmas time.

So that's it folks, St. Patrick's Day is the best holiday of the year. Don't waste it! Put on something green, get out to the bar, and have a beer. (For the diet concious, I hear that Guiness only has a 125 calories). Slainte!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Class of 1995

Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.
The group shot! Christ the King - class of 1995!

High School Reunion

Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.

On Saturday, March 12, I went to my ten year high school reunion at Christ the King. I wasn't sure why I was going - I wasn't crazy about school. But something possessed me to go. So Noelle and I got dolled up and headed over there - descending down the infamous CK hill for the first time in ten years.

And I have to say - it was fun. We saw people we hadn't seen in forever - and it was good to see them. Lots of people are married now - some engaged, some married and some with toddlers already. On the wall was posters of photos of us - fom the senior trip, from sitting out in the schoolyard.

One of the greatest parts of the reunion was the open bar, and we had lots of drinks and took a few moments to wander around the hallways of our old school. How strange it felt to be back.

Here I feel the need to add some of the specifics. Funniest line of the evening - Demo wanting to know "Does anyone here actually know my first name?" - The music. This is probably the only high school reunion in the world that played more than one TKA song. (Maria!) (Out of staters, don't ask).
With the reunion's end we felt the need to keep the party going - and several cars caravaned over to O'Neill's - where I only go if there's two feet of snow on the ground and its just impossible to get anywhere else. But we had a good time. Reconnected over drinks and shots and I ended up laughing the night away.

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Pool at the El San Juan

Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.
The pool at the El San Juan! Wish I was lounging by it now!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Puerto Rico!

So I went south for a few days - down to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico. I'd never been before but was happy to escape the ice and snow for a few days. My parents were down there already as were my friend Matt's, so Kim, Matt and I joined them down there for a long weekend. Then my friend Mike found out we were going and decided to stow away with a few of his friends as well.

We stayed at the El San Juan - a really swanky resort on the Carolina coast. Gorgeous. Two huge aquamarine pools. Waterfalls. A hottub. A swim-up bar. Waiters bringing you pina coladas and pool valets misting you with spray bottles. Basically everything you could ever need for a few days in Puerto Rico.

Every day we laid on the beach in the white soft sand, swam in the cool salty ocean. Drank pina coladas by the pool. At night we'd dress up and go to dinner - to the Ranch - a great barbecue place on the outdoor roofdeck of the hotel - with an all barbecue menu and an actual mechanical bull. The Dads (Valentine and Walter) said they'd get up on it - but when Matt pulled out his wallet and asked how much it would take it make that happen - as predicted they declined.

The lobby! Every night it was alive with bar patrons (four bars in the lobby alone) and Spanish music (bands playing in the lobby and lounge) and warm cigar smoke. They were rolling and selling cigars in the lobby which amused and for some reason, sort of pleased me.

The casino! Five dollar blackjack all the time! I was in heaven. And I went on a winning streak that was not to be believed. On the first night an old Spanish gentleman (who kept making me cut the cards and would say 'you are responsible' with a rolled accented r) gave me and every other lady at the table $100 chips each. Awesome! Every night from then on in - I won$70-$100 every time I sat down at the table. And it wasn't just me - my friends won and the other table patrons. In fact, for a few guys that I played with twice - I was Lady Luck - and they made me hang around for luck when they were playing. And the blackjacks rolled out.

Coconut martinis. Eighty-five and sunny every day. Take me back to Puerto Rico.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.


Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.


Originally uploaded by jlyn1267.