Friday, February 26, 2010

Shots and Shows

Happy Friday everyone!!!!!

Let's see, what a week!!! After the big win on Monday, we decided to celebrate a little by going out in Florence that night. We are about an hour and some change from there, and on Monday nights they have a great lil club that plays Hip Hop music, and when you get Tuesdays off AND have a win.....well, you have to go! About 6 of my teammates headed out and we thoroughly enjoyed the night dancing and toasting! What a great way to end the night!

The next day I spent the day in bed. Throughout the week, with all the practicing, nothing feels better then to have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do!! I usually spend this day cleaning up around the apartment, going to the grocery store or doing laundry. That's how my days off usually go. But what usually gets me through the week is downloading my shows, the day after they air in the states. Let me start by saying that I do get alot of american channels on my TV here, but most of these shows are old, or Ive seen every episode more then once. They used to really keep me entertained, but this year they have really let me down. They show Dawson's Creek, which i didn't even watch back in the day, The Nanny, and when that comes on I have to immediately change the channel, and let's not forget that they show The Simpsons I believe everyday, ALL DAY. I will say that they have been showing a lot more college basketball games, which now that its almost March, I will certainly be tuning in, but all in all.... I watch my tv online. In the beginning I only had a few must see shows, but since the stations here have been slacking, I started finding more to watch. It's kind of sad because I tried to find a show for each day of the week, so when I get up, one of the first things I do is start downloading! And since the shows air at night in the states, I have to wait til the next day...which is not a big problem. Here is what gets me through the week (aside from talking to clint <3):

Mondays, Desperate Housewives. I got hooked on this show my first year in Italy when I didn't have internet and no american channels. My Italian teammate gave me the first season on DVD and this show became so addicting!! I wasn't very interested at first but since there was nothing else to watch I gave it a try. The plots are crazy, and the writer is a GENIOUS to think of the things he does. I would compare it to a modern day soap opera. I remember watching her whole box set (twss) in about 3 nights....coming into the morning practices looking like a zombie because I had stayed up all night watching. Each show ends with a cliff hanger, so its really bad when you watch them on DVD because it turns into a never ending movie. And now I have to wait one week between shows. I LOVE my mondays because of this show!!

Tuesdays, HOUSE. For those of you who know me, I usually only watch comedies or light hearted shows. I started watching this show last season when it came on back to back while I would come home from practice and started cooking dinner. It took a few shows for me to get interested. But I LOVE HOUSE! He is such a sarcastic ass, you can't help but love him. The one thing I dont like about this show is that after you watch a few episodes, you start to feel like maybe you have some kind of illness. I see House diagnose patients that are tired and sick, and Im sitting there telling myself I have the same illnes. But so far, I have not been positively diagnosed with any of the illness' from the show. I will continue to watch this until I do!! ;)

I also have to admit that I have recently been watching American Idol.... I know I know.... I wasnt even going to say anything, but its true. Crystal got me watching the auditions on roadtrips and I kinda got hooked. Then the auditions were over so I was ready to cut the show loose, but then Ellen became a judge. SOOOO I wanted to see how she was the first show. Then the second.... and now I have found myself watching to see who gets eliminated. I really dont find too many of the singers this season that stand out (the last time I watched this show was when Kelly Clarkston won.) I have to agree with Simon, there is just something missing. Hopefully that will turn around or else they will lose a fan. And seeing as I can't vote anyway after the live show, Im not helping or hurting any of the singers chances.

If youre still reading my blog about TV shows, on Wednesdays my show is Cougartown. This is a new show that I only started watching because I like Courteney Cox (how can you not like a Courtney???). And so far it is pretty funny, and no cliffhangers so I dont have to wait a week to see what happens. My lil heart can only take so many of those shows! (and American Idol comes on again this day.)

Thursdays, Modern Family. THIS SHOW IS FUNNY. I am a new fan, only a few shows in, but thanks to Crystal, and my sister, I will now become a regular. If you haven't seen it, give it a chance!! (Clint im talking to you!!!!!) ;)

Fridays, The Office, and 30 Rock. Fridays make me happy for SOOOO many reasons, but knowing that Ill get to watch the Office really makes my day! I have seen every episode a gazillion times and probably overquote this show way too much throughout the day. But this is one of those shows that will make you laugh EVERY time you watch it. I have been very disappointed lately because the Olympics has been on and have taken over my shows time slot. I am really feenin for some Michael Scott!!!!!!

For those of you who are overseas and cant watch these shows when they come on, here are some websites for you: (here you can download almost any tv show) (here you can stream any show you might not want to download) (this website will give you almost any movie, new and old and its GREAT quality!!)

We're leaving tomorrow for our game near Napoli on Sunday. This is another important game, so hopefully I return Monday with good news! If not, I will always have Desperate Housewives ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You win some, you lose some...

Luckily this time we WON! Great game Monday night to get us out of a little slump. Still have so much to work on but its always great to get that win!

We started out on fire, then lost it.... Down by 9 to start the 4th and then ended up winning by 2 freethrows with 11 seconds left! It was almost a heartbreaker because they got a wide open 3 at the end, but thankfully for us, it didn't go in!!!!

And congratulations to Clint's team for getting a win tonight as well!!! It always feels good to win, but its great when we can both come home with one!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Mornings

Life overseas can get pretty monotonous, day in and day out you stick to the same schedules. In the mornings you go to practice, come home around 1, eat lunch and take a nap before the night practice. The center and all the stores usually shut down from 1-4, so even if you did want to do something, there isn't too much to do. Then its time for the next practice where you leave at 5:30 and get home around 8:30. We only play one game a week and usually get the day after the game off. This week we play on Monday because the game is televised, which means no shoot around, just the game at 6. So this morning I woke up (and by morning I mean 12pm) and decided I'd go for a walk on the beach. It's kind of sad that I live at a beach resort so my backyard is the ocean and I haven't been to it since Septemeber! The beach is about twice the distance it takes me to get to my car, but during the week I get so caught up in my schedule that it never crosses my mind to go there. Well after a long week, I decided it would be good to go for a walk on the beach, clear my mind and take in all that I get to experience while I am over here.

Today was actually kind of nice outside. For a while it's been rainy and cold, but I could see the sun trying to poke through what was left of some storm clouds. I took that as a good sign on many levels. I took my flip flops off and headed towards the ocean. I had decided earlier that after all this practicing it would feel good to soak my legs in some cold water, like we used to do in college. I forgot how much I love the feel of sand under my toes and the cold water rushing over my feet and making me sink into the shore. I stood there for a while, then started making my way further into the water. IT WAS FREEZING!!! But it felt good, and I knew that after my legs would feel rejuvenated. I got in up to my knees although the crashing waves tried to go further, and stood there for about 10 minutes. What a life..... after all that is going on in the world and in our individual lives, there I was, standing in the Ligurian Sea, on the shore of Italy about to prepare for basketball game. This is my life. I'm so thankful that I have gotten to experience everything that I have and meet all the amazing people that I have met.

After I stood there until my legs went numb, I walked along the shore and picked up some sea shells. I honestly can't remember the last time I did that. The shore was covered with millions of shells that had been washed up from the numerous storms and tides and I really didn't have to walk far to find many that were perfectly shaped.

I think alot of times we take things for granted. I live right beside the beach and never really take in all its beauty. It gets lost in the daily shuffle and sometimes we dont see what were missing, it just takes a moment to go out and remember what its all about. Why we are here and where we've come from. Life is too short not to stop and smell the roses....or for today, stop and pick up the seashells!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I gotta big box yes I do, I gotta big box how 'bout YOU?!?!?!??!

The night before Valentine's Day I got a call from our receptionist
(we live at a beach resort), and she told me that I had a package at the front desk. When I went to get it, i saw that Clint had sent me some flowers! We have never really gotten to spend a Valentine's Day together, but to make myself sound really cheesy, everyday with Clint is like Valentine's Day!
Random days of the week or times im sick or having a bad day, he always sends me flowers, and when youre thousands of miles apart, walking into a room everyday and seeing flowers that your boyfriend sent will always put a smile on your face.

On Valentine's day morning, I was heading to the bus for our road trip, and again, the receptionist stopped me and told me that she had something for me.
It was another bouquet of roses.....

(I took the pictures a few days after I got them, and because it's so hot in here, they don't last too long.)

Anyway, I just wanted to share how sweet my boyfriend is, because not only did he send me flowers twice, but I found out later that he also sent my grandmother and mother roses.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine's day, whether they shared it with loved ones or just hung out with friends!

Thanks for a great Valentine's Day Clint!!!

On the road again....

Sunday we played Schio, one of the top teams in Italy. We left at 10:30 am, and travelled 5 hours by minivans to play our game at 6. Welcome to the glamorous life of professional basketball overseas!! The other years that ive played here, teams normally get a charter bus for the LONG trips, but because this team had bought these vans and because of the economy, they figured theyd get the most use out of them.

We ended up getting to the gym 3 hours before the game, so while most of the team walked around, me and my american teammate, Crystal, took naps in the vans for an hour and a half, along with our president and manager.

We ended up losing the game by 8 points, but played really well. The whole game was within reach, but I think that my team was so excited to be even competing with this team that we never tried to actually win. Everyone was so happy! It's kinda sad, but at the same time funny. I think it did give us confidence for our next game, so we will take that from this 8 point loss.

After the game we got back in the vans for our trek back to Livorno. My other teammate, Vujo, sits in front of me and always brings these 2 pillows to make the ride more comfortable. One of the pillows is this really squishy, pink pig that she pushes up against the window to rest her head on. Anyway, its funny to me because the whole trip this is what i see:

Now its back to another week of practice. Our next game is going to be televised, so we play on Monday night, and its against a team that we lost at the beginning of the season to by two points at the buzzer! So hopefully we will get them this time!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tomato, TomAto

For this blog I need to go back a few years and explain something. I have been playing basketball in Italy for 6 seasons now. My first year here, i realized that my name is almost IMPOSSIBLE to say if you are not American. Most of the time it comes out Carney or Cootney. The "ourt" part really presents a problem. So does the "th" sound, but thats a whole 'nother blog ;) Anyway, during my first year when my team was asking for my nickname, I told them they could just call me C. Unfortunately, that didn't last long seeing as "si" means yes in Italian, and it was one of my coaches most overused words. I never knew if he was calling my name or telling me good job. Eventually, one of my teammates jokingly called me Bruce since my last name is Willis. To make a long story short, this nickname has followed me for the last 6 years.

I am in no way related to the actor Bruce Willis (at least I don't think that I am), but I am related to the late Matt Willis. This was my fathers father and he was an actor for many years, although most famously known for his role as a werewolf in Return of the Vampire. Do you see the family resemblance?

I say all of that, to say this....... they call me Bruce.

The other day there was an article in the local paper, and i wanted to share it with you, but I figured I would need to explain the headline first.

Obviously you can't read the article, because its both blurry and in Italian, but it is just talking about where our team is this season. I feel like we have a good team, with good players, but we just haven't been able to get it together on the court. Like every other team in this league, we practice every day, twice a day. And it gets frustrating to put in all the work and not reap any benefits from it. Right now its towards the end of our season and there is a handful of games that we are more then able to win. Now it comes down to our confidence level. When we go against the top teams it seems like we just go out there to play, and that we don't feel like we can actually win. So being down by 5 points, slowly turns to 10, then to 20 and sometimes up to 30 :( It's easy to get down and get frustrated, but for the foreigners that play over here, this is our only job. And we have to remember how lucky we are to still be able to play and compete and to top of it all off get PAID to do what we love. I think about all the times at home I'd get excited when Clint and I would go to the YMCA or a rec center to play pickup for a few hours. We would play so hard because you knew if you lost you had to sit out and wait until the next game or 2 was finished. Now I am over here and sometimes I take it for granted that my only job is to work hard during the week and for 40 minutes on Sunday night try to get a win a game. Although sometimes my vision might get cloudy because of frustration, illness', or injuries, this is what I love to do. (Thanks for reminding me of that, Clint!)

I hope everyone has a great Valentine's weekend! I will be travelling to play one of the powerhouses of our league all day Sunday. For most of my life, basketball has been my valentine on February 14, but for the second year now I will have 2 Valentine's!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

I recently found myself taking pictures of all the places that I have been lately, and realized that emailing them everytime I get back not only takes a lot of time to upload, but takes a minute to explain. I also realized that since I am one of the few left out there that is not a member, follower or tweeter of myspace, facebook or twitter, that the least I can do is share my thoughts and photos on cyberspace for people to follow.

In the past when I've done something like this, it lasts a good month or so until I move on to my next project and let this collect dust in the cabinets underneath my television. But I will try to keep you all updated on what im doing or where Ive been. I know Clint will keep me motivated to write more on here and hopefully this will stop him from asking me to get on facebook ;)

For the moment there is alot that i should catch you up on, but we're going to do this like a carpenter; one step at a time ;)

On Saturday, we went to Sicily to play Priolo. I would say that this team is ok and beatable. Which they are, but when you're at the bottom of the league ALL the teams present a challenge. Anyway, the great part of my job is all the travelling I get to do. So as we arrived early on Saturday, my teammate (Crystal) and I ventured down to the sea near our hotel and the water there was AMAZING! My parents live in Myrtle Beach, and im not saying that the water there isnt clear..... but, umm, uh.. lets just say its not as clear as the water in Priolo ;)


After the game on Sunday night (as you can see im not going into much detail about the game. We did come in second..... so let's just leave it at that) we went back to the hotel to eat and then we walked around the center for dessert. In Italy, each city is known for something that is typical of that region. In this part of Italy, it is the Cannoli. And just to let you in on a little secret of mine, I LOVE SWEETS!!! Well, actually, I love snacks, sweets, potato chips, really anything with lots of butter, chocolate cake is the best, OHHH or cheese, and SALT, or anything fried, bojangles wings, and sweet tea!! What was I talking about?? Ohhhh, back to the Cannoli..... I can describe it in 2 words: D-Licious! I only had 2 that night, although Im sure if we sat there long enough I could have made room for another one.

After dessert we decided to walk around to see if we could find a place to watch the Superbowl. We came across 2 problems. 1) to watch an American football game in Italy is like trying to buy ice cream at a shoe store. We know that there's a random store in Myrtle Beach that does that, but other then that, its almost impossible to find. And 2) there is a 6 hour time difference. Needless to say, we didnt get to see the game. But we did get to see the city at night.

It's incredible to walk along the streets and see that this is everyday life in Italy. It seems like nothing is torn down or redone to look more modern. These pictures dont really do it justice, but it can kind of give you an idea of how beautiful it all is.

On our way back to the hotel we passed a fountain in the middle of the Piazza, so of course we had to take pictures with it. We all decided to reenact what each statue was doing....unfortunately, it looks like a hot mess. Why couldn't we just find the Superbowl?!?!??!?!

That's all for my first blog. I know I have a lot to catch up with, but we have to start somewhere right?

Ciao for now!!