Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Search for George Clooney Intensifies with a Trip to Como and a Dinner with Friends

Friday, 20 April, 2018

Every adventure should really start with a healthy breakfast I've been told, so . . .

 A cappuccino and a ricotta filled,
fried Sicilian pastry worked for us

I know, we are just a pair of madcap kids on a long road trip.

Sated, we were off, once again, in search of George Clooney in his hometown of Como.

It was my third attempt at seeing him but I knew that this time, with Laurie at my side, success was in the cards!  

 Laurie liked Como's
Liberty-style buildings

 I liked the colorful pasta

 Another Italian Los Angeles Rams
fan residing in Como?

 Laurie in front of Como's
Basilica di San Fedele

 A church next to Como's Duomo
from the 11th-century

 It had nice looking doors . . .

. . . VERY nice looking doors indeed!

It was colorful as well

Como's Duomo . . .

. . . with Laurie about to enter

I was scared to dip the fingers
into the Holy Water
 Angelic Laurie in the Duomo

The Duomo's Blue Ceiling

In the Catholic Church's traditions, blue is the color of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Speaking of the BVM . . .

 Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio

A rich tapestry of the BVM in "transition"

 The Duomo has a LOT of tapestries

 At only one Euro per candle,
any size, any style . . .

. . . Laurie just could not resist

I was informed by Laurie 
that this was a sconce

 A minimalist side altar . . .

. . . and another

Laurie liked the Duomo as much as I did the first time that I entered it months ago but we really needed to keep looking for George Clooney.

EXCELLENT Street Musician

I guess that you have to be excellent if you are going to drag along a piano with you everywhere you go.

Selfie on Lake Como

Beautiful lakeside scene

In the final analysis, we failed to spot Signore Clooney once again. We will need to intensify our efforts in the near future!

On the drive back to the Villa Skorpion we got a message about meeting for drinks and munchies at the Bellavista Caffè in Varese NOW!

The Skorpion Gang was in full force

We even had Skorpion NG Andrea, SS Nicolas and RB Ema working at the caffè tonight.

We enjoyed our friends, the warm weather, the libations and some really good appetizers for about an hour before opting to go to one of DJ and Cinzia's favorite pizzerias near Lake Varese, the amazing Ristorante-Pizzeria Il Canneto.

Decisions, decisions . . .

Before ordering your favorite toppings, at Il Cannot, you have to first decide which of their 13 different pasta mixtures you want for the crust of your dining experience!

This is the black carbone vegetariano that was tremendous!

Once again, this evening with friends and family made me think that . . .

"It's GREAT to be a Skorpion!"

All in all, a great, full first day for Laurie in Lombardia I would have to say.

A fun FaceBook notice today

Romania's Baia Mare Miners were publicizing their latest player recruitment drive with this poster and my eyes were instantly focused on the team picture.

About five years ago, I answered their call for help getting equipment by sending them what I thought would be great maroon and gold practice jerseys that Coach Dean Herrington at Alemany H.S. in Los Angeles had graciously donated to the greater EuroBall cause.

Even though they were fine game jerseys for Alemany, I sent them billed as practice jerseys since the Mariners colors are blue and gold definitely not maroon and gold.

Apparently the quality of the Alemany jerseys instantly overpowered the Mariners sense of color and they have been using the Alemany jerseys as their game tops with blue and gold still being the color scheme of their helmets and pants.

Five years later and they are still wearing the Alemany jerseys in the recruiting poster . . . I love EuroBall!

The just released complete 2018
Los Angeles Rams schedule

The Week 11 game against the Chiefs at Mexico City interests me greatly!

Road trip anyone?

Friday, April 20, 2018

What a GREAT Day!

Thursday, 19 April, 2018

As I woke up this morning, I realized that after 94 days of living the bachelor life in Italy, that today the daily countdown was down to . . .

. . . Zip . . .

. . . Nada . . .

. . . Zilch . . .

. . . Yes, ZERO days until Laurie
arrived in Italy!

Today was THE DAY!


Of course this event had its dark side . . . house cleaning!

Fortunately, I had a few tools at my disposal.

 This instrument actually sucks
dirt and crumbs right off the floor!

It was simply AMAZING!

 After using that first instrument,
I tried this cool gizmo that further purified
the tile floors in the Villa Skorpion

I was flabbergasted at how efficient these two tools used together cleaned the floors of the Villa. I just wish I'd known about them years before.

With the Villa in order and the car washed and filled with gasoline, I was off to Milan's Malpensa Airport to meet Laurie's British Air flight 566 from London's Heathrow Airport scheduled to land at 16:00 in Italy.

She had flown, smoothly she said, on New Zealand Air from Los Angeles to London.

By the way, a huge GRAZIE! to Koreen Fitzgerald for driving Laurie to the airport in Los Angeles.

 Art in the Malpensa Airport

It was a nice touch as you enter the airport from the typically overpriced airport parking lot.

Her plane arrived only four minutes late and after the usual 30 minutes or so wait for her luggage and customs clearance . . .

. . . She was finally here!

We still had enough time to drive to the Villa Skorpion to drop off her luggage and let her freshen up a bit until the start of tonight's Senior practice.

 As always, the effort was good
but we were missing most of our
Offensive Linemen as usual

We will have a light, walk through practice in Saturday as a final preparation for Sunday's crucial playoff implication game for both teams at home against the Cagliari Crusaders.

The other BIG NEWS today
was the announcement of the
Los Angeles Rams 2018 home schedule

Financially, I'm good for one, maybe two games a season. There are some really good ones here to pick from, I'm excited!

Reading Is FUNdamental

She never disappoints

Thanks again to Judy Warner for putting me on to Donna Leon's series of books about Commissario Guido Brunetti set in Venice.

This was the 12th book of the series that I have consumed so far. I'm now about half way through these interesting, thought provoking mystery novels.

I highly recommend them to you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Sunny Spring Day Just Made for HUDL and House Cleaning!

Wednesday, 18 April, 2018

It was a truly remarkable, warm Spring day, perfect to be outdoors enjoying all that nature has to offer in Lombardia but I had to remember that I only had . . .

. . . more day to get the Villa Skorpion
ready for Laurie's arrival in Italia!

That's right,

One more day until we hit all of the clubs,
bars and nightlife in Venegono Superiore!

And the great thing is that we can do all three at just one place if we can get there before they close at 10:oo p.m.!

After finishing my morning HUDL video study of both our game last Sunday and viewing the Crusaders video one more time I was off to the Esselunga Supermarket to get some needed supplies . . .

. . . CLEANING SUPPLIES that is!

I was inspired to spruce up the Villa after the Franzini kids mowed the lawn yesterday.

One more day . . .

A Tuesday With HUDL and a GREAT Practice!

Tuesday, 17 April, 2018

Hard to believe that in a mere . . .

. . . more days . . .

. . . we can be back together at work
directing European traffic!
"To Protect and Serve"

And as if that news wasn't excitement enough about this coming Thursday . . .

. . . YOUR Los Angeles Rams
2018 Schedule will be announced
in two days as well!

You can see who the Rams will play at home at the bottom of the announcement, now we find out the dates for these games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Looks like a great home schedule to me.

Meanwhile, back in Lombardia . . .

The bulk of my day was spent at the Villa Skorpion working on HUDL to break down our Red Jackets game video which was disturbing on many levels.

Still, a teaching tool is a teaching tool, no matter how poorly we played on defense.

The Franzini Family came by the
Villa Skorpion to mow down our jungle

They did a great job!

It was the first step in a week long clean-up of the Villa for Laurie's arrival.

In the evening it was back to Skorpion Field for two hours of U17 and U15 Flag team practices followed by two more hours of Senior team improvement.

The U17s had a lively scrimmage

 As did the U15s

 Senior team pre-practice
Specialty Period

We had nearly FORTY players
at practice!

It seems that our loss in Sarzana hit a primal chord in our squad's competitive psyche. 

We had an EXCELLENT practice!

I was excited and proud of our men tonight, our focus was exactly what we needed as we prepare for the Crusaders on Sunday at home.

More Photos from Sunday's
Sarzana Red Jackets Game

Nicolas Principi in Hot Pursuit

Giacomo "Jack" Micheli
directing traffic

Maybe Laurie and I should deputize him as a member of our community safety squad.

Ema Della Bosca

#66 Marco Andreoli and
#9 Stefano Granelli to the rescue
The Pit

#22 Andrea Mora racing to the aid
of #9 Stefano Granelli and
 #58 Ivan "Swito" Raso

#4 Alessandro Brovelli

Young, strong and coming to an as yet unidentified USA high school football program this Fall

He will come back to Italy after a year in the USA an incredibly good American football player!
 Defense gearing up for another
Red Jackets assault

Loading up the Box

Being an American football
can be lonely at times

 Ema Della Bosca in the open field

DE #11 Tomas Pedotti has played
well this campaign

At LB is #57, another member of our Skorpions Kiddy Korps, 16 year old Stefano Lusuriello.

At DT is #52, Raffaele Nardi one of the Skorpions more interesting players . . . "RAFA!"

#3 DE/TE Pietro Limido
showing off his vertical jump skills

 Pietro Limbido on the tackle

 NG Andrea Gorini
at 46, our oldest player

Young pups marveling at Andrea Gorini
getting into his stance

"How does he do it?"

Tuesday's focused, well attended practice certainly bolstered all of the coaching staffs spirits.

Now, can we do it again Thursday night?