Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

expat countdown meme

Italian flag looking its best! by Eugenio Palisi on FlickrMy fellow American in Calabria, Cherrye of My Bella Vita, did this meme a looooong time ago, but I’m just getting around to it.

She got it from Expat Travels: From Switzerland to Canada (where I saw it as well) who got it from The CanadianSwiss Blog…and as I’ve been promising Diane of Martinis for Two that I’d talk a bit more about my expat feelings, I figured now was as good a time as any to do this one.

* Name 5 things you love in your new country:

  • Knowing that a neighbor always has something I need–parsley, lemons, tomatoes, gossip (yes, even things I don’t need!).
  • The sea, the sea, the beautiful Ionian Sea and the mountains, the mountains, the gorgeous mountains–all from my balcony!
  • Fresh, organic food that is readily available and relatively inexpensive.
  • Clean, fresh air.
  • Not having to worry about health insurance.

* Name 4 things that you miss from your native country:

* Name 3 things that annoy you a bit (or much) in your new country:

* Name 2 things that surprise you (or have surprised you in the beginning) in your new country:

  • How difficult it has been to get to know Italian women as friends.
  • The entire Italian education system, including how long it takes many to get through university.

* Name 1 thing that you would terribly miss in your new country, if you had to leave it.

  • Well, P of course, but also the Italian language. I’m not sure I could do without it anymore. I came here knowing nothing, but now I’m addicted.

Fellow expats, do play along!

But hey, even if you’ve moved from one place to another within the same country, I’d be interested to read your answers to this meme–sometimes moving within a country can feel just as foreign as hopping the pond.


[tags]expats, italy, expats in italy, memes[/tags]

inspiration on the golf course

Hole in One by Grace PullenI’m not a golfer or golf fan, but some stories transcend sports:

Legally blind, 92-year-old nails hole-in-1

On January 10, Leo Fiyalko used his five iron to drive the ball 110 yards and straight into the fifth hole of the Cove Cay Country Club in Clearwater, Florida. Although he’s been golfing for 60 years, this was Fiyalko’s first hole-in-one–and he didn’t know he had accomplished it until he walked up to the hole in search of the ball.

Fiyalko has macular degeneration, a disease that destroys the macula, the part of the eye that allows us to see fine detail. According to Yale University research, as many as 10 million Americans are affected by the disease and 1 million of those are legally blind like Fiyalko–indeed, macular degeneration has left Fiyalko with only peripheral vision in his right eye.

Of his amazing shot, Fiyalko said, “I was just trying to put the ball on the green.”

This inspiring story reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Les Brown:

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

i’ll get you the moon and the stars by ? franzi on flickr

P.S. Happy Groundhog Day!

*UPDATE: One of our most beloved central Pennsylvanians


Sorry to say that means 6 more weeks of winter.


[tags] golf, golfing, hole-in-one, leo fiyalko, stars, groundhog day, punxsutawney, punxsutawney phil [/tags]

Pigskins Aren’t Just for Frittole* Anymore!

Indulge me, non-sports fans, but I’m having a moment.

Right now I am watching the Eagles-Giants game LIVE and IN ENGLISH on Sky Sport. No, we don’t even have any “extra” sport channels; this is just what’s already included in our package. I had no idea! They’ll have on all the playoff games, in fact, according to my handy dandy Sky Guide.

And, as a special treat, at halftime there was a recap of the NFL season narrated by (I’m tearing up here) Harry Kalas. God I missed that voice. If only he had managed to work in “Outta here…homerun…Michael Jack Schmidt!”

Yeah, I know that would’ve been a lot weird (wrong sport, wrong decade and all), but a girl can dream. After all, just a few hours ago, I never would’ve imagined that I’d be cheering on Jeff Garcia (huh?) and the Birds in the NFC Wild Card Game.

Have I mentioned that I love my Sky TV?

*It’s in Italian, but I found a link where you can see a picture of frittole–boiled pig parts that didn’t otherwise make the cut. Yeah, um, don’t expect this to appear on What’s Cooking Wednesday. Ever.


[tags] sky tv, frittole[/tags]

A Duke Alum’s Take on the Duke Lacrosse Scandal

Anyone who knows me or who has read my 100 things knows that I went to Duke University. And anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock in America for the past year has heard of the “Duke Lacrosse Rape Scandal” (cue ominous music).

I’ve been following this fiasco out of sheer curiosity, mostly because of the racial overtones of the situation. Racial relations have always intrigued me, and from my years at Duke, it’s clear that the university and surrounding Durham, North Carolina have never quite bridged the divide that must’ve started the day old Trinity College moved to Durham in the late 1800s. To say that even the student body is racially divided, or at least that it was when I was there between 1994 and 1998, is a gross understatement.

Back to the scandal, I’ve always thought the accuser’s story was a little off. But, then again, I was never what you’d call close with the Duke lacrosse team, so my heart didn’t exactly bleed for them either. I waited it out as the case developed.

As more facts and information have emerged, it seems highly unlikely that anything beyond racial slurs occurred that night–disgusting but not surprising to this former Dukie. Despite this, District Attorney Mike Nifong charged three players with rape, kidnapping, and sexual offense; now he has dropped the rape part, but is sticking with the other two charges. Right. Well those, too, should be gone soon enough, as should this guy’s law license. But that’s another issue.

To be clear, I’m not defending Duke’s actions either. The school promptly barred from the Gothic Wonderland two of the three accused players (the other graduated), but now President Richard Brodhead has invited them back. How sweet!

To paraphrase a fellow former Dukie friend of mine, I’d tell Duke to take a long walk off of a short Outer Banks’ pier. Then I’d go play lax at Chapel Hill. But that’s just me.

So what’s bugging me now? Today I read that a former lacrosse player, now graduated and never one of the accused, is suing the university, alleging that he unfairly received a failing grade because of his association with the team.

Well, to you, Kyle Dowd, I say, get over it. In a situation where it seems that no one was making well-informed, good, and rational decisions, it’s time for someone to start. Drop the suit.

And then count your lucky stars that you weren’t randomly picked out of the player pictures the accuser was given to choose her alleged attackers. Be thankful that you’re not biding your time as you await trial. And most of all, be grateful for the freaking Duke degree you’re holding in your hands. After all, you still graduated, right?

Appreciate all of the positive, unique experiences Duke has given you, not to mention the social, emotional, and employment connections that you’ve made that will help you throughout your life. Move on. And let the school move on. Take one for the team, if you will.

And, incidentally, if you’re really concerned about revamping the system so that athletes get the grades they deserve, maybe you should start looking at this from another angle.

Besides, we’ve got basketball season to worry about.

P.S. Happy happy birthday Ms. I’ve Never Seen It Spelled That Way. This post is dedicated to you!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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