It’s been almost two weeks since I’ve blogged, and I had promised my Twitter followers that I would have an update up last night. Unfortunately, my brain shut off around 11:30, and I forgot to put it up. I’m now blogging under duress, since I made a joke that I should be caned if my entry wasn’t up before midnight last night, and I see people waving bats at me.
I’m typing this from my house, after getting here this afternoon for my cousin Nick’s wedding tomorrow. My cousin Nick is the son of Dad’s brother, Ferruccio, and his fiance (soon to be wife) have a little baby named Nicky, who I am sad to say I haven’t met yet and will do so tomorrow! He’s absolutely adorable from what I’ve gleaned from pictures and videos. It’ll be the first time in two weeks that I’ll see my sister and her husband, Todd, and I can’t wait to see all of my cousins as well as my beloved Nonna.
This week, my father got invited by Brioni (the company that helped him auction off ties) to a private screening of Angels and Demons in NYC near Tribeca, and since I’m living there now, I joined them. I was so excited because I thought it was the actual premiere of the movie, but I was disheartened when I found out that it was only a small screening for the Brioni company. The reason they got to see it first was because they made Tom Hanks’ suits for the film. It was great to see my parents and have a glass of wine with them before the movie (a Barolo, VERY good). We also ordered a plate of artisanal cheese before the film at a bar down on Canal Street, and while the parmigiano reggiano was great, the recommended cheese (a romano made from goat’s milk) was extremely garlicky. I thought it was delicious, but my dad complained about it until we left the bar. “My god, I can’t meet the Brioni people smelling like toilet!” It took all of our strength (and the rest of my Orbit gum) to shut him up before we got to the theater. Another thing at the bar that was delicious? They had a very dark nutty bread filled with fruit and nuts. Absolutely delicious.
I actually just realized that I haven’t posted since Jamelle’s announcing as the head coach of Cincinnati. I must admit, the announcement made me sad. I’ve known JJ since she was 18 and I was 7, and for her to not be around anymore is truly a sign that I am a grownup. I’ve always loved JJ, from her ferocity on the court to her teddy-bear demeanor off it. During the tournament, I went to get sushi with a friend in South Windsor, and she was there coincidentally. It was really cool chatting with her as a friend rather than her as an employee of my dad’s.
Not to say JJ was always an angel. When I was 9 (during the 35-0 season), Jen and JJ played a rather EPIC prank on me. I always sat with one of them on the bus, and one time after dinner, after seeing how red and swollen my lips were from the bitter cold weather (and my lack Vaseline), Jen and JJ held a mock trial, accusing me of stealing Jen’s lipstick. As an impressionable (and totally gullible) child, I completely missed the fact they were kidding, and I kept screaming “NO! I didn’t do it, I just have really chapped lips!” over and over again. Obviously they knew this (my lips had bigger cracks than the San Andreas Fault), but that didn’t stop them from having a grand old time at my expense. JJ testified on my behalf, but they all voted and came to the conclusion I was guilty as sin. JJ even slipped the lipstick into my pocket when I wasn’t looking, then told me to search my jacket. I was aghast when my fingers closed around the lipstick tube. As JJ and Jen (and the rest of the team, who had gathered around to watch) roared, I burst into tears. That’s the last time they pranked me (I think they felt bad at how upset I got), but I still hear about it from both of them. When I was trying to come up with a story I could tell on this blog, Jenna constantly says “Tell the trial story!”
I have so many memories of JJ it’s hard to consolidate them. I remember when she fouled out of the 1996 Regional Final game against Vanderbilt after being called for a block that should’ve been a charge. JJ was knocked flat on her back, and when she realized she was called for the foul, she grabbed her knees and screamed at the sky in horror. She never missed a freethrow, ever. Whenever I see her, no matter how long we’ve been apart, she always greets me the same way (with a shout of “Hey Ally!” and a huge hug). Aside from Meghan Culmo, I don’t think any other player in UCONN history knows me better than JJ, and I’m going to miss her terribly.
I can’t wait to see her when we play her in conference…