Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have decided to start a series of blogs based on things that make life easier in Europe. After 4+ years across the Atlantic I think I have adjusted very well but everything didn't come easy. It seems like every year I learn new things. Most of these things involve technology and without modern technology I don't think I would be able to deal with the European life.

So, my first thing that makes Euro life more comfortable for me is the Nook. For those unfamiliar, the Nook is an e reader that contains books. It is basically an i pod for books. This is a new addition to my luggage this year. I like to read a lot and every year it seemed I would struggle with the weight of my luggage because of the books I wanted to bring along or home. Also, I was really limited about the books I could buy in Europe. Most train stations have a small section of books and magazines in English but the options are limited. With the Nook you have more book options and can also purchase newspapers and magazines.

Now with my Nook, I can purchase books (cheaper than in the train station) and not have to worry about the weight of my luggage. The Nook is also great to take on road trips. It is light weight and very easy to carry as it is about the size of an actual book.

I recommend the Nook to anyone that likes to read. I didn't think I could make the transition from paper books to e ink but it was actually very easy. The writing looks just like writing on a book and is easy on the eyes. I just wish they would have came along with these earlier. It would have made packing a whole lot easier.

Monday, January 10, 2011

French Music

Music has always been an important part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of me sitting in my grandparents living room listening to music with my Grandfather. He had a great appreciation for music. We listened to all kinds of music together and he would sing along to the tunes in his deep bass voice. I think he is the reason I love music so much.

When I entered the 6th grade I decided to try playing an instrument. My older sister Krista played the flute in high school and was the drum major for the marching band. It was only natural that I would try something. I don't know why but after considering percussion, the saxophone and trumpet, I chose the trombone. I really enjoyed playing it and when I entered high school I participated in marching band as well as wind ensemble. The time commitment proved to be too much though and I made the decision to quit playing so I could focus more attention to the game of basketball.

With my musical background, I enjoy all different kinds of music. I would say that my favorite type is hip hop but as I am getting older I am learning to enjoy music from all over the spectrum.

When I am in different countries, I am often asked if I like that countries artists. I have heard everything from German rap artists (Bushido) to Italian opera singers. After hearing them though, I didn't really care for them but now I think I am finally being European-ized. I was in the weight room with my teammates the other day and a song came on the radio and I realized I was singing along with it. Suddenly I felt like I had been hit with a bolt of lightning. I never thought I would appreciate French music.

It's all part of the journey though. I am extremely fortunate and blessed to play the game I love for a living. I don't think I would be making the most out of my life's journey or this experience if I didn't come to appreciate another countries qualities such as their music.

If you have the time I recommend checking out Ben L'Oncle. He has a great soulful voice and my favorite song of his is Soulman but his cover of Seven Nation Army is fantastic as well. Christopher Mae is another good artist. His song Pourquoi C'est Beau is great. The songs are available on youtube. I would link them but some of them are French and won't play in America.