Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Country Clubbin' Wednesday

Due to a change in Brad's work schedule and my incredibly flexible life, our weekly tennis match-up has been moved to Wednesday mornings. Our first go round was today, and it was rather hysterical.

We showed up to our usual hot spot and were quickly surprised by the 80 to 90 year old folks blasting on all ten courts. I almost snagged a court until a disgruntled four-some kicked me off. So we packed our racquets and headed to the neighborhood park of PB where we were again detoured to another set of courts.

And behold the Avalon apartment complex, aka the dorms of PB. This place is ridic. I actually recall a late night of being there once courtesy of TC & Kukich (it is VERY fitting that those two clowns live in the college-like clump of PB residents).

The courts were on top of a parking garage allowing any and every type of funky bounce. The balls echoed with each shot. We both giggled throughout the two set match because it felt like we were in the twighlight zone.

But my favorite part was the story that Brad told of his old home. The mini salon that sits caddy-corner to the courts holds a semi-porn star hairstylist who enjoys the occasional cig as well as treating her clients to a shot of Don Julio.

Cheers to our country club Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Kimmie Keebler!

September 29th is always a happy yet dampening day for me, year after year. You see the baby of our group turns our respective age on this particular date. I cling onto the younger year until she joins the clan of oldness. Then poof, all of a sudden the rest of us are aging another year.

It is hard to believe that we have been friends for nearly 10 years. Who would have thought our freshman year in college that we would still be sharing our laughs and tears with one another after all this time?

We have all grown into such beautiful, strong, successful women. We each have jumped from our comfort zone to move and travel throughout the world. We have endured heartbreak, losses of loved ones, and personal strife. And although we do not travel in 'packs' anymore, we still remain incredibly close.

As the month of October approaches, I am ecstatic about our annual girls trip. We are taking it back to good ole LexVegas...where it all began.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Love College...

I am sitting in the USD computer lab where I had to be snuck in by an actual current college student. I find this to be incredibly hilarious, mainly because I seem to blend in like a sophomore (or poss junior). I haven't been on a college campus for nearly 4 years, but I love the rush that it gives me.

This campus is absolutely stunning. It sits on top of a slight mountaineous range and overlooks the diverse city of San Diego. The buildings are designed with grand architecture and castle-like taste. The highest technology encompasses the facilities.

I have been contemplating going back to school (mainly out of boredom and frustration), but I might put that into action after visiting this lovely campus.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Take Me Home Tonight

As I sit in the Detroit airport, I am flooded by so many emotions and feelings. I have realized that while I love traveling, it somehow always leaves me with a sadness when my mini-adventure comes to an end. So many conversations and situations were had this weekend causing my mind to race with questions and thoughts.

The dynamics of people amazes me daily especially when they are people who touch my life and make an impact on my present and future. I often find myself overwhelmed with the opinions and advice given as well as the feelings that others might have (specifically towards/about me).

I think that everyone looks for approval of people who seem to matter in their lives. It is a natural want to be accepted and liked for being you. Often the pressure can consume one altering their behavior or attitude. With age, I have made a conscious effort to maintain my true identity matter how nervous or uneasy I might become when meeting people.

This weekend I met a plethora of people who are important in a special person's life. I was incredibly nervous before traveling home, but I think I gracefully was able to be myself while engaging and learning who they are. And I truly enjoyed being part of such a wonderful group of people.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just A Dream

As the sea foam colored waters
Crash into the sand
The giant white waves
Rise high above the land

Giraffe like palm trees
Dance in the sky
A light cool breeze
Swiftly flows on by

The blazing bright sun
Beats down on my face
Never have I seen
Such a beautiful place

Day after day
I awake to this scene
Is this my reality
Or is it just a dream

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life is Good Today...

This morning, I awoke to a gorgeous sunset followed by an amazing run on the beach and an intense tennis workout. I successfully got the boys off to school, and even managed to squeeze in a hot cup of tea. My errands have almost all been completed and its only 9am.

To make things even more exciting, Grandma Yikes gave me a fabulous idea for a side business. I actually cannot believe that I haven't thought of this idea before. Who knew a sweet little old lady from Hartford, CT could come up with such a brilliant idea that might just change my life?!

And to top off the day, I am headed home to see the family (baby Bishop!!!), witness the bonding of two love birds, watch UK rock the gaytors, and spend time with my very, very special friend.

What more could a girl ask for?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Think I Need a Nap...

Clearly, I have been incredibly tired lately. If my schedule wasn't telling me this, my body gladly decided to reinforce. I took a 3 hour nap yesterday then slept for 10 hours. And I was struggling to even get out of bed. Signs of being less tired don't look good either.

I have generally not needed a lot of sleep in my life. My metabolism and dynamic energy have always kept me going and going and going. But in the past year, I have noticed a pressing need for sleep. I hope this is an indication of the PB mentality and not another con of pushing 30. If so, I will freak out (even more than I already am).

On a lighter note, I am super stoked to take the red eye home tomorrow night. Family time has become so important and precious over the past few months. Despite the difficult summer that the Collins Clan endured, it no doubt has made us closer and stronger.

Today my writing and research for the book is about family. And the more I think about it, the more I realize how much I love my family with each day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Any Colour...So Long As It's Black

So I rolled into the car dealership prepared to sit for a few hours and get some work done. My car, which I have been cursing for some time now, is having some type of malfunction problem. I rarely pay attention to the technical words that the service people use. To be honest, I don't quite get them nor do I care to understand. Please just fix my car, tell me it will be free, and send me on my merry way.

Well, things didn't exactly go as planned. I was able to get a little work done (whit 1, dealership 0). However, I am now sporting a sweet little Ford Focus (whit 1, dealership 1). As Witt, I know adorable, Lincoln Mercury whisked my car away, they also evened the score. I am not a fan of rental cars for numerous reasons. See below for a few of them.

1. It requires me to take all of the neatly and strategically placed things out of my car and reposition them in this new, foreign vehicle.
2. Since rentals are NEVER the same make/model as your current car, I have to adjust to the new surroundings. Most important for me, I have to figure out how to turn the air on/off as well as maneuver the steering wheel. This can be very tricky.
3. While I have been anxiously awaiting my new Nissan Rogue, I have been despising my baby Mariner; but with the Ford Focus in the mix, I would gladly love and cherish the Mariner for years. Mariner > Focus. Plain and simple.

I am praying to the car gods that my car is ready by tomorrow.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

It has been a whirlwind of a week/weekend. With Rin getting back in town, the gang being brought back together, and a few road trips to Riverside, I am glad to be relaxing at home.

I feel like ever since May 1st my life has been non-stop on the go. If I have been in the great state of Cali, I have most likely not actually been in SD. If I have been in SD, every minute of my weekend has been planned. And it is not looking like things will be slowing down until (maybe) November. Note, I said maybe...

I have always been a real busy body with a dyer need to constantly be doing something. Cleaning, writing, cooking, talking (well that is always a given), moving, etc. I have a terribly hard time keeping still. It is a damn miracle that I find time to actually sleep.

I awoke today refreshed and rejuventated. Last week was a bit of a wash, but I am ready to be ubber productive in the next 4 days...before I go on a mini-vaca of course. I was instantly put in a good mood due to a thoughtful text (well a text from a specific someone who was thinking about my friend...which I am counting as thinking of me on a technicality). The text was followed up by one of the wittiest emails sent from my little sis. I cried laughing through it and Rin's mom almost fell off the couch when she heard it aloud.

And that's how I know this is going to be a great week...

P.S. Rest in Peace Berry the wonderful, playful beta fish. I know you were just trying to escape those horrible owners you had.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Heart Belongs To You

I would lay my heart on the line
And risk all the pain
Just to love you
Even if for only a moment in time

To look deep into your eyes
It makes me smile
Come sit by me
Hold me for a little while

Who knows where this will go
Or when it might end
We don’t have to rush
Let’s just take it nice and slow

There’s no need to be afraid
These words are true
And remember this one thing
My heart belongs to you

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Poker Face

So my research this week has been on laughter and friendship. It, honestly, could not have come at a better time. With my sulky Monday behind me, I was determined to get past my pitty party. It's a good thing Rinzzers came home.

For nearly the entire year of 2009, we had been inseparable. I didn't have time to date boys because she was, as we say, my hetero-life partner. We traveled together. We cooked together. We walked together. We laughed together. We cried together. We talked for endless hours together.

This all carried on until about two months ago when she took a little trip to Costa Rica. Due to family circumstances, I didn't get to say a proper goodbye. Looking back, I believe that it was better that way. I am not so good at goodbyes, and it felt more like a break-up.

I have missed her terribly since she left. There is a certain joy to my life that has been void without her here. It has felt like losing your best friend, your significant other, your counselor, and your conscious all in one fell swoop.

I had waited for her return for what felt like ages (she chuckles at this because its only been 2 1/2 months, not 5 years). As I pulled into the airport terminal, I nearly hit her as she ran to hug me. Throwing the car in park, we hugged, jumped up and down, cried, and hugged some more. No doubt everyone thought we were lesbian lovers.

And as we drove into PB, I realized that we hadn't skipped a beat. Both talking a mile a minute, laughing hysterically, being overdramatic in our story telling. Then calmly listening to each other's intense life moments and current fears and advising one another on how to handle them and offering our support.

Although she will be leaving me again on Monday and I will no doubt we sad about it, I do not fear our friendship ending. I have made a friend for a life time. And for that, I am so grateful.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just Because of You

Some people dream of being famous
Others hope for simple bliss
Not all complete such progress
On their road to success

I dream of seeing you
In each and every thing I do
We may not always agree
But without you I could not be

Some people wake up alone
Others rise to a crowded home
Many fall asleep staring at the stars
Hoping He will answer all their prayers

I awake to thoughts of us
Even in a world of constant mess
Each night I lay my head to rest
Knowing that because of you, I am blessed

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If Only for Tonight...

Oh I don't know what to say
And I have told you lately
You've got magic inside your finger tips
It's leaking out all over my skin

I am trying not to tell you
But I want to
I'm scared of what you'll say
So I'm hiding what I'm feeling

But all I see is your face
All I need is your touch
Wake me up with your lips
Come at me from up above

The little things you do to me
Are taking over
I wanna show you everything inside me
Don't just leave me hanging on

'Cause every time I see your face
I get the tinglies in a silly place
Wherever it goes
I always know that you make me smile

Oh I, I don't play games
And I, I have been learning
If you just realize, what I just realized
If you meet me halfway, it could be the same for you

What If...

Yesterday I had one of those 'why me?' days. I thoroughly hate when they come around; mainly because they are in no way productive or helpful to my self-esteem or mental health. I verbally blogged (aka had a conversation) about my apprehensions, disappointments, and fears last night. My temporary freak-out was somewhat helpful, but when I awoke this morning, I realized that I had a bit of anxiety left inside me.

So here I am blogging it out. As the night fell into morning, I started to question so many things about my own self. Examples include: am I really working hard enough to accomplish my life goals? what if I am NOT working hard enough? what if I have slacked off in recent years? what if I lost my zest and drive to succeed? what if I am not destined to do great things like I have always thought? what if the life that I want is not the one that is my destiny? what if no one ever loves me for me?

Here I am writing a book with the main theme of being true to yourself and discovering yourself each day, but what if I am miserably failing at it myself?

I am still in the pondering state of all of these 'what ifs'. Maybe I will try turning my brain off for a day and see what my heart can come up with. They are not so good at working as a team every now and then. Maybe I will write, write, write until I can figure this all out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Filling the Infinite Between Two Souls

Music: the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity

Ever since I was a young girl, I have adored music. The rhythm, the melody, the lyrics. The way it makes me feel, the way it makes me move. I have always loved poetry and I generally see lyrics as a poem set to sound.

Music has a way of evoking emotion on me and allowing me to release my inner feelings. A song can say everything I want to say and more without me having to do the work.

Music has a way of putting a smile on my face and a little boogie in my step. It is an intense therapy for life, no matter what age. I have been reading a lot about laughter and its correlation to better physical health. I would assume the same could ring true for music.

Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from Heaven to the soul.

Love Me Some Family Time

I am exhausted. The thought of writing right now is definitely feeling more like a chore than theraputic. Vegas truly does suck the life out of you...

I am thoroughly impressed with myself as I did not gamble one penny while on vaca in sin city. The act of throwing my money away is about the most unappealing idea in my opinion. I watched my brother and mother drop hundo after hundo on everything from the penny slots to the craps table. I watched $400 disappear in three minutes, literally. How is that humanly possible?

Aside from going gambling free, I absolutely enjoyed spending time with my family. I have come to cherish the time we spend together, even if it is just for a few days. The conversations, the laughs, the jokes, and the stories are very precious to me. My family is one of a kind, and they truly do embrace those important in our lives.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Sunsets are Served Daily

Braving the Thursday night college crowd, I ventured out into PB last night. I repeated to myself that it was for the sake of the NFL's fall return; secretly, I had the itch for a few casual cocktails at the old spot. So to Homeplate I went.

As I crept up the backstairs (which has not been done in 2 months and usually the front entrance has a line around the block), it felt awkward to be there. Normally our obnoxious crew is visible but Garz & Joe virtually blended into the bar. I walked from north side to south side (for the south side, head to Mexico FYI) looking for them. They thoroughly enjoyed this game as they toyed with me via text.

Though I hadn't been there in awhile, the staff looked extremely familiar...a comforting sign that things hadn't changed too much. The awful DJ that we have petitioned to have 'let-go' was still ruining songs left and right. I ran into some random people who I hadn't seen since my lag in the PB night scene. Homeplate was surprisingly not filled to its maximum capacity even with their $3-you-call-it special.

All signs pointed to me that summer thus has come to an end. People will now begin to retreat to their respective adult lives (haha that is so funny to say about PB). But it was good to get out and see a glimpse of the good times.

Hurry home fellas...Shoreclub's sales are down!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

S.D. 4 Life

This morning I realized how amazing my life actually is right now. By 10:30, I had completed an early jog around the beach, an hour of intense tennis training, and a 9-holes of pretty damn good I may have had a tall Bud Light.

As Trev and I waited for the three 80yr old men to chip their respective balls, we discussed the beauty of SD. A mere 75 degrees & partly cloudy as we walked with our clubs. We could see the faint mountains in the distance and feel the Pacific breeze.

And I thought, honestly, life doesn't get much better than this. Before we started playing, my dad joked asking if I was retired. I chuckled back at him saying it seems that way as I am the youngest (by at least 30 years) on the course this am. But in reality, as I drove on, I realized that I am just living life to the fullest each moment.

I live in a place that others dream of and some actually take the plunge by migrating here. The weather. The people. The activities. San Diego is arguably Heaven on Earth.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tay-T-Bees (aka the little devil)

For the most part, I have realized how difficult it is to actually plan what I am going to write about each day. Mainly because my writing comes from the heart and soul; thus whatever is on my mind causes gushing words and thoughts to pour into my fingers and out via keyboard.

About a week ago, my baby sister asked 'when are you going to blog about me?' In her defense, she is probably the only sibling I have that actually reads this thing. (I know what you are thinking...I know for a fact that she reads it because she sent me a lovely email expressing how much she loved it.) I tried explaining to her that when she moves me, I will write about her.

I neglected to say that she moves me daily. 7 years separates us from birth, but in many ways we are identical twins. Personality-wise, our similarities are uncanny. Emotionally, we are both wrecks at times ('got the crying genes). Physically, we teeter year-by-year as we both mature and develop.

But my favorite things about her are the things that make her Tay-Tay. She has the most beautiful artistic ability that encourages me to be more creative. Her sense of humor is corky but appropriate. My personal favorites are her voice impressions of famous people (mainly the man from VH1's Lives of the Rich & Famous used to taunt our brother).

When I left home, she was only 11yrs old. Time after time, I would come home to see how much she had matured. She was no longer the 'little devil' who played the baby card. She was a teenager...then a woman. She discusses things with a wordly-insight that I enjoy hearing. She inspires me to be a better sister, a better person.

And I know that she will do extraordinary things with her life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Maybe, Just Maybe, Baby

I've returned from my 2-day hiatus of writing. Admittedly, I feel as if I have been sinning by not writing, and I realize how theraputic and helpful it truly is to the big picture. In my defense, I attempted to write yesterday, but our internet connection was down. So after a day and a half of contemplating what to write and express, I think I am ready to commit it to print.

I have always known that my life is rather blessed: a supportive family (despite their obscure way of showing it along with the radical discussions that occur) and wonderful friends (if you overlook their sarcastic jabs at my natural personality).

I consider myself to be fortunate in being able to experience both love and stability in my relationships with others. However, I continuously prayed for an amazing someone...someone who would inspire me to be better but appreciate who I already was. Someone who welcomed my current strengths yet challenged me to overcome my weaknesses.

In the past four days, I have come to learn that God wasn't ignoring my prayers. He was just waiting for the right time to answer them. And it is the most extraordinary feeling to experience. To know that there might be someone who finds me to be intriguing enough to stick around...even if its just for a little while.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Waitin', Hopin', & Wishin'

If you would have told me that on Saturday night of Labor Day weekend I would be sitting in a hotel with an 11 year old about to fall asleep at 8pm, I would have laughed in your face. My bets would have been on a casual bbq at Joe Landi's house followed by a booze filled night at Shoreclub. Half the crew would have been kicked out by now due to offensive one-liners to chicks while the rest of us would be victoriously holding red-bull vodka slushies and belting out in song. Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July weekend had similar scenarios so automatically Labor Day weekend should follow suit. Clearly, it is not.

Thus this means one of two things:
1. we are rapidly getting older and more lame
2.(my biggest fear) our group is divorcing

Recently, half of the boys dispersed to their respective ships which we knew would happen eventually. Other members have paired off with significant others...something that was bound to happen as well. You can only slut around PB for so long until it becomes tremendously exhausting forcing you to grab ahold of one fine lady.

For the past 8 months, I have considered the Navy boys to be my brothers; a family that exists away from home. In some respects, I am like a mother anxiously awaiting each of their returns.

So until they all return, I will wait. I will wait for my boys to come home safe and sound. I will wait for the next four day weekend. I will wait to make more memories with our PB family.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Just Call Me Coach

As I sit in the DoubleTree hotel in Carson, I am reminded of so many thoughts from my past. Many years have been spent in and out of hotels across the country; actually make that the world. The majority of those hotel stays relate to tennis.

Each year around this time I get a flood of emotions surrounding the everlasting sport of tennis. The nearest and dearest grandslam (U.S. Open) is going on right now. I once had a dream to compete in the tournament or at the very least be in the stands to cheer on a special someone.

Fast forward to the present and my reality is only a tad bit off. Although I am removed from the field of competition, I still take pride in cheering on those I care about. Thus, tomorrow will serve as a huge day in the life of tennis (for me).

Jesse Witten, former collegiate classmate and friend, will take on the #4 ranked player in the world, Novak Djokovik. To win three matches in qualies was a small victory in itself. To be competing in the 3rd round of a grandslam...that is priceless.

Mark, my tennis pupil, will compete in his first tournament being coached by me. It is his first time traveling without his parent(s) and his first big Cali tournie. The pressure is clearly on both of us.

When asked tonight which sport I like better, tennis or golf, I stated tennis because I am a better at it. But the truth of the matter is that the sport of tennis has been a constant in my life. Perhaps it has been the biggest constant throughout my 26 years. I have experienced much growth within the sport. I have depended on it during my lowest points. In many respects, it has become my good friend.

So as I lay my head to rest this evening, I will say one last prayer to the tennis gods and hope that my coaching abilities rise to the occasion...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Game. Set. Match.

I am tired. 5:45am wake up calls are few and far between for me. Generally, I do not welcome them into my life unless it involves travel. However, I do make an exception for the love of the game.

Tennis: A game played with rackets and a light ball by two players or two pairs of players on a rectangular court, as of grass, clay, or asphalt, divided by a net. Also called lawn tennis.

For me, it is a bittersweet passion that has influenced my life for nearly 14 years. It has been a bridge closing the gap of relationships between myself and two males (one boy, one man). Fitting to have it now impact my interaction with a child.

It has allowed me to travel the world, seeing things that I only dreamed of us a kid. It has brought sweat and tears to my heart and soul. It has created mental toughness. It has served me in my education as well as my career. It has been breathtaking and heart-wrenching at the same time.

My dad shed his first tear in my presence due to the game. I remember looking over and seeing a teardrop roll down his cheek. At first, I figured it was because we were rolling into the sweaty, pit of Macon, GA. Later I realized it had been a combo of the emotions of a proud father and the sincere lyrics of Butterfly Kisses. I still get chills thinking about it.

You see love is nothing in tennis, but in life it's everything.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

California: We Keep It Rockin'

8th grade. The anchorwoman spoke, "Too Pack Shocker died today." Um excuse me Miss but it is Tupac Shakur, and he is a rap legend. The least you could do is pronounce his name correctly.

I mostly accredit the rapper for my slight obsession with the state of Cali, particularly the city of Los Angeles.

California Love and To Live & Die in L.A. have been two of my favorite songs since I was a little gangsta' back in the day. Without fail, each time I hear those songs, I roll down my windows, blare the radio and throw out the peace sign. Sometimes I even throw a little 'west coast' (much to Marquette's dismay as she favors the 'east' ).

Something in his jumbled words paints a picture of giant palm trees swaying next to the Pacific, the hills of Beverely, and that ever indisguisable Hollywood sign. And it never gets old.

As I drove along the PCH from Diego to L.A. yesterday, I was taken back to my gangsta' days and ways. Forced to roll down the windows and pour some out for my man 2PAC.

To live and die in LA, it's the place to be

You've got to be there to know it, what everybody wanna see

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'll Never Let Go

As I brainstormed last night on what to blog about today, my initial thought was to give a little shout out to my bff Kimmie Keebler and explain to the world how it is nearly impossible to stump her. She knows the answers and logic to a wide range of questions. Her most recently noted answer to my poundering question (how do girls manage to pee on the seat?) was profound.

But when I woke up, my thoughts leaned towards the euphoric dream which I had dreamt in the night. My intentions were set to speak of this very real yet subconscious scenario to which I awoke. However, as my morning has progressed, I can't help but express the immense emotions that I felt watching the interaction between parent and child today.

I have always known there to be an enlighting relationship between parent and child. Noteably there is a distinct relation between father and son. I have watched it for years between my own father and brother, and in the most recent of times, I have come to be ingauged in the relationship between my boss and his two sons.

And as I watched him with the two boys in their final hours together before he moves to the Middle East, I could not help but be taken aback and relish in the moment. The oldest playing the piano with such ease and grace as his father requests Minuet by Bach. He happily obliges and pours his soul into the piece.

The younger, nearly broke my heart with his last display of affection. When Rose whispers to Jack (Titanic) "I'll never let go," it seems rather cliche. Yet when the sweet young child held onto his father tightly in a bear-like hug and announced "I'll never let go," I couldn't help but see the beauty.

The art of parenting. The love in a child's words.