Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top 5 Dunks in The 2011 NBA Playoffs

Wow this playoff season has appeared to be a post season filled with players making new posters. My top 5 dunks are based on how loud I screamed when I initially saw the dunk. Rating the dunks for the spots are as followed:

# 5 Impressive but I think I could do that.
# 4 Ok he showed me something there.
# 3 Whoa
# 2 Arghhhhhhhh did he just do that?
# 1 Screaming like a school girl cause that was the best dunk this season!

Without further or do here are the dunks:

# 5: D-Rose over Joel Anthony


# 4: Kobe Dunks over Emeka Okafor



# 3: UD over D-Rose



# 2: Taj Gibson Tip Dunk on 3 guys



# 1: Kevin Durant over Brendan Haywood



Read em' and weep.


NBA Finals Prediction

Alright now we have arrived to the 2011 NBA finals and now we are left with two teams that bring a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals with the Dallas Mavericks vs. the Miami Heat. It's easy to see how these two teams made it to the NBA Finals this season. Although these teams both had up and down seasons they were both able to get through the season with decent record. More importantly these two teams were able to get better every month of the season. Both teams also have very deep teams that make stopping their offensive output difficult for any team. The funniest thing for me this playoff season was when all the analyst were picking Portland to beat Dallas. Not realizing that the Dallas Mavericks had Jason Kidd on their team.,who in my opinion is a bonafide winner (although he has never won an NBA title). 

With that said I think that this Final Matchup should be a good one because it is a battle of full court flare vs. half court execution; a deep bench vs. a dynamic starting crew. A lot has been said about the Mavericks motivation for being the reason why they will win the championship. A lot has been said about the Heat's dominance in the playoffs as the reason why they will win. In my humble opinion, I believe that the Miami Heat will ultimately win the title despite The Mavericks extra motivation to win the title. Why? Because I just believe that the Miami Heat's defense is going to shut down the Dallas Maverick's bench. I also think that the Heat will give Jason Terry a hard time on both ends of the court (especially if they match Chalmers on him). As far as Dirk is concerned I don't see the Heat stopping him. However, I believe that they will be able to stop him in pivotal situations that will ultimately lead to the Dallas Mavericks demise.

When it all comes down to it although Dallas may have a deeper team, they do not have multiple players that they can turn to when it is time to close the game. It's as simple as a street ball game the team with the best two or three players that can change the outcome of the game usually wins.

Miami Heat in 6.

Friday, April 15, 2011

NBA Playoffs Predictions: Round 1

In the next 3 months the NBA playoffs will be taking over the airwaves and our lives. The NBA Playoffs in my opinion is by far the best post season among the four major professional sports in America. As far as the playoffs are concerned I believe that this year is a pretty wide open year and I don't see it being as predictable as it was the past 2-3 years. Without further or do these are my predictions for the first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

Starting out with the east. In the 1 vs. 8 matchup the Chicago Bulls are taking on the Indiana Pacers. With this matchup I think Derrick Rose and company are just too much for the Pacers. I do think the Pacers will take 2 games and expose some of the weaknesses that are being overlooked with the Chicago Bulls because of the well deserved love for Derrick Rose. At the 4 vs. 5 matchup I think the Orlando Magic will beat the Atlanta Hawks in 7 games. I just think that Dwight Howard will be too much for the anemic post players on the Atlanta Hawks roster. The 3 vs. 6 matchup is probably going to be the best playoff series this postseason where the Knicks take on the Celtics. Despite the Celtics recent troubles I think they will have enough to  beat the Knicks in 6 or 7 games, but mark my words this will be the series that everyone is going to be talking about this postseason. Last but not least is the 2 vs. 7 matchup where the Miami Heat will take on the Philadelphia 76ers. I honestly like the 76ers as a team. However, I'm not sure about Andre Iguodala's ability to carry the 76ers past the big 3 of the Heat. I got the Heat in 5 games.

Now for the Western Conference. In the 1 vs. 8 matchup the Spurs in my opinion will defeat the Grizzlies in 5 games. I just think that the Spurs bench is too deep for the Grizzlies and there offensive output will overbear the Grizzlies in a 7 game series. At the 4 vs. 5 matchup I like OKC over the Nuggets. I think Kevin Durant is going to have a break out postseason (I'm going to leave it at that cause I got a couple surprise picks in the next round). At the 3 vs. 6 matchup a lot of people are picking Portland to win the series. However, I'm going to go the other way and choose the Mavericks. I just think that Jason Kidd and Dirk will be able to carry the Mavs over the young Portland team in a 7 game series. For the 2 vs. 7 matchup I think the Lakers roll over the Hornets in 5 games. The Hornets will miss David West and I think the Lakers bigs are just too much for the Hornets. 

All in all, I don't really see any opportunities for upsets in the first round, however I do believe the majority of the upsets will take place in the second round. Stay tuned and enjoy the nights at the bars and the playoff parties and if you're lucky enough enjoy the games at the arena.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Time to Say Hail Mary.

I officially started going back to MAS this week and as usual the experience has been rather eye opening. So much has changed since I left three months ago. The alter is still the same and the private sanctuaries remained the same. However, there were some differences in the hallways and it seems that there are some new members that I don't recognize. Whatever the case it felt good to be back and attending MAS. Thus far I have taken three classes. Sound bites which has been a cool class in that we are learning how to refine our audio skills for video purposes. Another class I'm taking is portfolio development, this is the make or break class because MAS students must have an exceptional portfolio before graduating MAS. The other class that I had taken thus far was a brand called you. This class seems as if it will be helpful in the long run and especially helpful in getting the first job in advertising. I am hoping that this quarter at Miami Ad School (MAS) will be equally as effective as my previous quarter.

I will add that I am getting a nice consistent dose of basketball on a weekly basis. Just having the opportunity to make someone else a better player always seems to make my day.

One cool thing I want to share is this audio track that we had to listen to during our Sound Bites class and it's kind of cool. When you listen to this track close your eyes and be sure to have headphones in your ears. I think it's awesome but you be the judge.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Man In The Mirror

As I take a look at the man in the mirror what do I see? Right now I see a pretty skinny dude as a result of many factors that can be attributed to being away for some time. When I think about not being able to eat mom's cooking or going to LA Fitness to get my workout on, I have no choice but to think that I am shell of my former self. With that said, this week has been my first week back in the gym lifting weights. As I start benching 135 lbs. I begin to think to myself "wow this is heavy" and it was at this point I had come to the realization that I have become a weak boy. I will add that although I have been banished from the strong man's club, it felt good to be back in the gym and see the stereotypical people at the gym. What stereotypical people am I talking about (don't front like you are unaware of who i'm talking about).

The first type of person I miss at the gym is the guy who spends his whole workout on  his chest and arms and is deficient in all other body parts. I'm aware that a man's chest is a key selling point for most men but it isn't the only body part that women like, women also for some reason or another like butts. The next stereotypical person is the lady who spends her whole workout on the treadmill, stair master, and elliptical. I don't know how these ladies do it, because they look like they just aren't enjoying themselves. Seeing these people brought a smile to my face because it let me know that I'll get my strength back some time in the near future.

For all the people who are looking to add spice to their workout take a look at these two workouts and give one of them a shot. A little variety never hurts.



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Back in the 305

Well it's good to be back in Miami, I have to say that I missed this city a lot. When I got back here I was kind of disorientated. It was the longest period of time I ever went without driving a car and admittedly so, I was rather scared. I totally forgot how to look out for cars in my mirrors and all I could remember is that I was definitely moving faster than any bike I used in Amsterdam. Coming back to the states has its benefits and its detractors. For instance, a benefit to being back in Miami is that everything is so cheap. However, an equal detractor is that the price to fill up a tank of gas is roughly the price of a prostitute in Amsterdam (which is 50 Euros or $70). Another benefit is that I can leisurely step outside with barely any clothes on (weather is great here by the way). However, the detractor to great weather in Miami is that mosquitos are out on the prowl ready and willing to suck the lifeline that runs through my veins. With that said, I'm happy to be here as I have access to a gym and a basketball at all times. As a result, my withdrawal symptoms are rather low because I am able to get high on the sound of the ball going through the net again.

One thing I wanted to add before I end this post is that I watched a very captivating and eye opening documentary on one of my flights to Miami. The name of the documentary is Inside Job and in this documentary it goes into great detail as to how we arrived to the 2007-2008 recession. If you got time I highly recommend you watch this documentary (whether you are American or not because the recession was global) because it will have you saying a myriad of expletives at the screen. Here's a trailer of the film.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last Blog Post in Amsterdam

This is my final post from Amsterdam and I am returning back to America. I will still be a displaced basketball fiend in the sense that I will always be in search for my daily fix with basketball. I hope that you all have enjoyed my stories in Amsterdam and the insights that I have provided. The next time I post I will be in Miami. Aside from that I will leave you guys and gals with three posters that signified my trip.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Last Day At The Agency

When I came into this experience (this European Experience) I have to say that I didn't know what to expect, but as the final day at the agency has come I am happy that I made the decision to come to Amsterdam and intern at One Big Agency. This experience has opened my eyes to all kinds of new things aside from advertising. Since being here I have gained a new appreciation for art and expression; my musical knowledge has increased (thanks to spotify); and more importantly I have gained new friendships and bonds that I can carry with me for the rest of my life. All in all, I believe that I needed this experience at a foreign country and a Dutch agency to grow and I thank everyone at the agency for the ride.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Taking The First Steps

Well (sigh) I have been away in Amsterdam for close to three months now, and I know I've missed out on a lot of stuff that has been going down in the States since I been here. Some notable things I missed thus far include: Charlie Sheen, the live reactions to the Miami Heat, and anything Obama. However, one of the most notable things that I missed since I have been here is my niece taking her first steps (tear). I had a conversation with her (more like a threat) and I told her if you walk before I get back then I will have to give you a spanking. Needless to say she paid me no attention. This kind of reminds me of the time when I took my first steps, except for the fact that I was bit more fluid in my strides and I didn't fall but she's doing good for now. If you haven't seen her walking yet here's the video. I think I'm going to cry tears of joy as I'm spanking her for betraying me.

video

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's Wrong with The Heat?

Apparently everyone has an opinion on what's wrong with the Miami Heat amid this 5 game losing steak, so I figure I give my thoughts. In my opinion the Heat's problem right now can be found under one word and that's rotation. The Heat rotation has appeared to be in flux over this entire season. From a distance it appears that Coach Spoelstra is still trying to find the right combination of players that can come off the bench and produce on a nightly basis and with injuries it has been a challenge. However, I do want to take a deeper look at three different positions in particular that have seen probably the most fluctuation. They are the center, the point guard, and the shooting guard positions.

Starting with the center position lets look at Erik Dampier (ED) and Zydrunas Ilgauskus (ZI). In my eyes ED has been getting more minutes of late over ZI and the stats back my opinion. In the last 4 games ZI has averaged 8 mins. a game, whereas ED has averaged 20 mins. a game and if you are looking for points don't turn to ED cause he will only give the Heat 2 points a game win or lose. Whereas, ZI will give the Heat 5 points in wins and 4 points in losses. Not to mention that when ZI plays more minutes the Heat win more. Now for the point guard position when the Heat acquired Mike Bibby he naturally took minutes from Mario Chalmers. Is Bibby producing? No. Bibby is playing 20 mins. a game in the last 4 ganes and is giving the Heat a ginormous 3 points a game. Whereas, Chalmers in those same games is at 27.5 mins. a game and is giving the Heat 8.5 points a game.

Last but not least the shooting guard position. Now I have nothing against Mike Miller but he just isn't hitting open jumpers and not nearly as consistent as James Jones. Although Mike Miller is an overall better player than James Jones, for whatever reason Mike Miller just has not been doing what the Heat signed him to do and that's make open 3-point baskets. In the last 4 games Mike Miller has averaged 28 mins. a game and is only providing 5 points a game. I think Mike Miller can do better than that. All the while James Jones minutes have declined to 6 mins. a game in the past 4 games (does he even get a chance to sweat). I just remember earlier in the season JJ was a little more consistent in hitting open 3 point baskets than Miller has been throughout this season.

In conclusion, I think the Heat ultimately have to get their rotation in check before they can seriously contend and I didn't think Arroyo was the problem (he actually made shots unlike Bibby). There is a lot of blame to go around for the losses but it is extremely difficult to win games in the NBA with a Bench that isn't producing. Check out this video its a funny take on the Heat recent lamentations and woes. Please don't kill me Heat Fans


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Thanking God

Wow it's been 10 weeks since I took on this journey to Amsterdam and I didn't know what to expect but I have grown a lot these past few weeks both in age and in faith. But, I really want to use this post to thank God for sustaining me through these weeks when I have been out of my comfort zone. I would love to take the credit and say that I am the cause for my success but I can't. Through every trial that I experienced while being here, God has been working through me and pushing me to go further and he gave me courage when I was afraid. I understand that I can't speak for everyone but for me I am grateful that I have God as my provider. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Art of Soccer

Europeans favorite sport is by far and away football (Americans call it soccer) and I have grown to appreciate the art of soccer as I have gotten older. Soccer has a strong combination of the two major American sports. On the football side of things (American football that is) soccer has all the strategy that American football has. In soccer when two teams are playing they don't just go out and try to score a goal they fight and battle over field position and the two teams are also making sure that their defense and offense are aligned in the appropriate manner. Does that sound familiar yet? Soccer also has the artistry and finesse that is associated with basketball in that great footwork and great offense can always beat great defense. Not to mention that all the top scores in soccer get all the women (sounds like basketball). Lastly the anticipation of a scored goal and the celebration of a scored goal is comparable to a touchdown in that they are both rare in both games and their is a sense of jubilation for the home crowd. When you think about it most soccer games end in a 3-2 score this is equivalent to a 21-14 score in the NFL which happens more times than not. Either way I really wanted to show you guys and gals this video of one of the greatest goals i've seen in my lifetime and I want you to notice is the artistry that is involved with this goal. First you'll see the great pass then the connection between the passer and receiver and then the score (this connection is equal to an alley hoop or a long touchdown pass). More importantly, the final level artistry can be found when the scorer celebrates the goal which in my mind is a priceless celebration. You be the judge.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Missing Lifting Weights and You Know What

Alright let me apologize in advance because i'm starting to get an itch again and I just gotta scratch it in some form or fashion and this helps. My current mindset is positive, in that I am enjoying Amsterdam very much and it did snow earlier this week (which was my first time seeing snow). However, I am missing the enjoyment I get from working out and pushing myself to new levels. I'm anxious to see how my body will respond after my first day back in the gym. I would do push ups but they tend to bore me. Another thing i'm missing is The Game (not the show) and I long to play for about two hours and getting the opportunity to just get in the zone and play hard, but my time is coming soon and L.A. Fitness will feel my wrath. If you're reading this and you're wondering what this is about then we are in the same boat cause i'm just venting. Check out the snow and if you haven't seen Blake Griffin then enjoy him dunking on the Knicks.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 3 In Paris

Not much got done on our last day in Paris but I will say this; It has been a while since I have brought up anything having to do with basketball in my last few posts. However, I am proud to say that I am bringing the basketball back because, like any true fiend I had to make visiting a basketball court a part of my itinerary for my time in Paris. This court was rated the number 1 court in Paris by Courts of the World and it's located in the George Carpentier sports complex. On a side note the court is located on a street named after the capital of Haiti (so that was a double bonus for me). I have to say that going to court and just taking in the atmosphere was a breath of fresh air for me for many reasons and I feel truly blessed to see that no matter how different we think we are, we are all tied or connected in the grand scheme of things.






Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 1 in Paris


I tried to post a video but maybe next time because it wouldn't upload. Either way the video was explaining that I would try to do less talking on the next few posts and more visuals so that y'all could see what i'm seeing and get a visual idea of my experience in Paris. 







My first meal in Paris was raw beef an fries. Tastes like salsa.










Thursday, February 17, 2011

Popped Cherry

As my days in Amsterdam are coming down to an end I will say that I am constantly gaining a new appreciation for Amsterdam and Europe as I experience more and more of the culture. With that said, it's always fun when you can share your experience with someone else, and it's even better when that person is a virgin to the country as well. So without further or do I am proud to announce that I have witnessed the popping of Carl's cherry (as it relates to traveling to Europe) and I have to say it was amazing. Now Carl for those of you who don't know is a long time friend of mine and we go back since the fourth grade (crazy how time flies). Needless to say I am happy that I get to share this experience with my friend and i'm excited to see what adventures await us when we get to Paris this weekend. I will say that it's amazing how you can always learn new things about people (even people you've known your whole life) and what I've learned about Carl yesterday, is that he has a ridiculous sense of smell. I have to say that I was astonished. As we walked through the crowds in Amsterdam Carl's keen sense of smell could pick up the different types of cologne and perfume that men and women were flaunting on their totally fit bodies (never mind his uncanny ability to smell the weed in the air) all the while i'm oblivious to the scent of weed, perfumes, farts and the like. Even more amazing was his ability to tell me the brands that people were wearing. I felt ashamed because i'm just a tall blind guy with no sense of smell (don't cry for me Argentina). Either way i'm excited about the next few days that are to come and I look forward to Paris but, check this guy out styling and profiling in Amsterdam.

Friday, February 11, 2011

11210

Last night I started thinking about Haiti for some reason (I really don't know why) but I started to think about what it was like this time last year for the entire world as Haiti was the focal point of the world's attention. I couldn't help but feel last night as if people in general have forgotten about the problems in Haiti. When the earthquake hit Haiti I think it opened a lot of eyes on the issues that has troubled my country for decades (they include poverty, pride, and a corrupted government). It hurts when I think about the countless people that are suffering as a result of not only the problems that the earthquake caused on the country, but the problems that are deeply routed in the fabric of the country. However, I remain hopeful that my God will deliver my people from the thorn that is in their flesh. My purpose for writing this is not to make anyone feel emotional about the situation, my purpose for writing this is just to give a reminder because I just don't want to ever forget the pain I felt that day when I got the bad news last year. And my hope is that we can find a way to turn things around and make a change in Haiti, but that cannot be done if we forget about the Haitian people. So whenever you are going through a rough patch or your different trials and tribulations in life just remember somebody else has it even worst and keep in perspective the many blessings you have. Most importantly try not to turn a blind eye to the Haiti that exists in your world (because Lord knows we all have them). I just wanted to leave you with a video that my friend Smokey did earlier this year to remind people of the tragedy that took place on 1-12-10.

video
 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Married in Amsterdam

Ya, ya so it's true it happened I got married in Amsterdam, well at least that's how it feels. Why do I feel that way? It might be because this is my first time having a female roommate and I have to say that I feel like I'm married. Maybe it's the newness of the experience but that's what I'm feeling. I feel like a powerless husband that will do whatever it takes to make his wife happy. For example, I come home from a long day at the agency and what do I find, I find the house cleaned spotless and reconfigured for a woman (some people would call it a woman's touch) and if you know me i'm a guys guy and I like stuff simple and don't like much change in systems. But here's where the husband feeling comes from; normally I would ask questions, I said nothing, I just accepted it. As far as the cleanliness of the place (here's husband feeling # 2) well I made sure that I didn't make one bit of a mess. Why? Because if my wife is unhappy then i'm unhappy, so I did the smart thing and that's shut up and go with whatever she approves and voila I have a happy home. But in all seriousness I have been blessed with great roommates since i've been here and she's no different. I will give all the husbands reading this some marital advice keep your focus on your wife and everything will be good. When you can put aside your ego and realize that it's all about her then and only then will your relationship and your marriage be successful. Ya I know what you're thinking..."Abraham you're not even married why should I listen to you?" Well that's true too so i'll just leave you with this video and do whatever you want but if you lose your wife don't blame me.


Monday, February 7, 2011

The Super Bowl



So in America we have this thing called the National Football League and there's this event called the Super Bowl which is kinda big in America. I have to admit watching the Super Bowl in a different country is a bit different. For one going out to watch the game at 12 in the morning is sort of a demotivating factor for watching the game with a group of people (especially when you consider how bad the games can be at times). It's also different in the sense that you gotta watch the game on your laptop, so forget about HD. One of the major attractions of the Super Bowl are the commercials (which gained popularity after you guessed it Apple aired there top commercial in the Super Bowl some time in the 80's). So what were my top Ads for the Superbowl, well before I get into that I have to say that because the Super Bowl ads cost so much to place the ads often times the companies put so much pressure on the agencies that I feel that most of the ads are either over produced or just lack creativity and in some cases both of these things apply. So without further or do my top 5 ads of 2011:

1. Chrysler: Eminem
2. Volks Wagen: Darth Vader
3. Doritos: House Sitting
4. Snickers: Rosanne Bar
5. CareerBuilder.com: Chimps

To see these ads and all the other ads that aired in the Super Bowl click on link below.

http://superbowlads.fanhouse.com/2011/

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Endless Music

It was almost a year ago when I was introduced to Spotify by my great Spanish friend Albert. When he showed it to me I thought to myself this is a cool application. What Spotify could do is unheard of in America. Basically what it does is you search for your favorite artist or any artist for that matter that you feel like listening to and battbingbattaboom you have most of their discography or songs that they are featured in. Shout out to Jakob for putting me on. I have to say that I am a kid in a candy store. I have listened to artists coming from a wide range of genres like Alanis Morisette, Chrisette Michele, Beethoven, Tupac, and Linkin Park to name a few. I have to say this is one thing for sure that Europe clearly has over America. Spotify makes Pandora look like child's play. I hope it comes to America some time in the near future. Let's pray that it does.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mommy Can I go to the Park With Uncle Abe?

So this past weekend the question was posed to me "what do you miss most about America?" And if you have been following this blog your first guess just might be of course he misses basketball the most. Well my answer quite frankly was, that I miss my family the most. Yes, it is possible that I have found something in my life that I love more than basketball. Whatever the case may be, I end up taking a trip to Vondelpark this past weekend to see what European parks are like and I have to say I was impressed. The park had a real nice feel to it and it was rather large (maybe a quarter of the size of Central Park). But while I was at this park I noticed something that from where I'm from (Miami, FL) is unheard of. I saw moms bringing their children to the park in 30 degree weather and with windchill it felt like 20 degrees (for my Celsius people that is -1 degrees and it feels like -6 degrees). Now in Miami we only have two seasons Summer and Winter and when it gets cold the people in Miami get dramatical about the situation. If a child under four years old leaves the house that child is suppose to be wrapped up in 3 blankets, with an additional three layers of cold underneath. Now I love the cold, but everyone else in my family, not so much. My two nieces who I love very very much have been for a lack of a better word a disappointment when it comes down to tolerance of cold weather. Anytime the weather gets below 70 degrees (21 degrees Celsius) they get sick. So when I was at the park and I was observing these children who were enduring such cold weather it got me to thinking would my sister ever let me take my nieces out to a park when the weather is cold in Miami? The answer to that question will come some time this Winter but to support my argument that my nieces should go to the park with me I'm going to leave you with some pics of children from Amsterdam playing in the park in the winter.


This could be my older niece


This could be my younger niece

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Adversity

When we truly go through adversity that's when we discover truly the character of a person. Sure it's easy to enjoy life when everything is going your way, but the question that each person must ask himself/herself is how do I respond when things are going against my favor? What happens when everything that can go wrong, does go wrong? Do you quit? What happens when you fall? Do you stay down on the ground or do you get back up? I speak of adversity because it is something that we will all have to face at some point in our lives, but when we truly learn how to respond to adversity in a positive way, that is when we become special individuals. Just food for thought. Check out this video that illustrates adversity at work in this young man's life.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Sensation in My Hands Part Deux

When I last left you I was in need of basketball so bad that my hands started to go through withdrawal. Now I am happy to announce that I have successfully fed my addiction by purchasing a basketball and actually going to the court and playing basketball. I feel like Homer Simpson after eating a pink doughnut urghhhhh. Anyways I had the unique opportunity to play with some of the people at the agency (Yasmina and Elliot). Needless to say we had a ball (no pun intended) and I really learned a lot about them by our experience on the hard court. Unfortunately this time I do not have any pictures commemorating either the purchase of the ball or the game but I will leave you with this highlight Kevin Durant winning the game vs. the Knicks at the last second. When you watch this highlight try to pay attention to Kevin Durant's feet. When you can understand what he is doing with his feet then you will be able to see the art that is associated with basketball.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Story

So one of our assignments at the agency was to capture in an image a story that represents us. Of course my story was you know what. I know what you're thinking this guy really has it bad. Well without further or do this is the image that I took that represents my story (try to guess how it represents basketball for me before going on to the next paragraph).


Although there are no rims, backboards or balls; this picture represents what basketball means to me. In short everything in this image is out of focus except for one portion of the poster which is the shape of a flower. The flower represents the escape that I enjoy when I play basketball and everything else is all the mess that I may encounter in my everyday life. Let me know what you think about this picture. Does it paint any special type of picture for you? Can you relate to it on any level? If so how?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

You gotta coach em' up

Well since finding tupperware in Amsterdam is as difficult as finding a follicle of hair on the body of a supermodel that has been freshly waxed (including a Brazilian wax job) I have been relegated to eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday at the agency (almost everyday). And every time I pull out the peanut butter and jelly Daniel (from Spain) says it's peanut butter jelly time and with his spanish accent you can't help but smile. What also never fails is the squirming by my cohorts because they don't understand how I can eat such a repulsive concoction. My reaction to them is how could you not? So being the basketball coach (fiend) that I am I had to take the opportunity to coach em' up on the greatness and satisfaction of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (which wasn't easy because they were totally closed to the thought of eating such a thing). Which reminds me of some players I coached. Players like Naomie and Wilson who actually refused to believe that they could shoot a three point shot, let alone make one. Or players like Veronica and Kristle who refused to believe that they could highlight other parts of their game aside from defense. Well needless to say, after we was done with those girls they could shoot and make three point shots with the best of them and they could actually make a layup, hook shot or fade away jump shot when needed. So I figured if I could get 16-18 year old H.S. girls to believe that they could do something that in their mind they never thought was possible, then I knew I would be up for this task. The task: get my cohorts to try a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Long story short after two weeks of whipping P&J sandwiches and expressing the tastiness of the sandwich and the GREATNESS of the sandwich these guys had no choice but to try. Check it out:


after eating their piece of sandwich they actually admitted that they thought the sandwich was quite tasty. Was I wrong for using coaching tactics on my friends? Maybe. Should I take full responsibility for my actions? Should a crack addict go to jail for stealing a woman's purse? So I guess I have no choice but to ask for forgiveness and take responsibility for using my coaching techniques on my friends. I hope they find it in their hearts to forgive me. Being a basketball fiend is tough.

The Sensation In My Hands

So I finally built the courage to go to "the # 1 outdoor basketball court in Amsterdam" (How do I know it's number 1? Well only a basketball fiend would use a site like courts of the world http://www.courtsoftheworld.com/Netherlands/Amsterdam/Museumplein to figure out where the best outdoor games are being played.) and I have to say that going to this court was not a good idea especially for a helpless fiend like me. The court was absolutely amazing. Why? Because everything about it screamed welcome to Amsterdam. The backdrop of one of the courts was filled with the image of the Rijkt Museum (I hope I spelled that right) where I went earlier in the day to take in the work of top Dutch artists like Rembrandt and Metsu. The second court had a backdrop of a small skate park as well as the Van Goh museum and some other very large building that I will investigate in the near future and some typical dutch buildings. I know that these backdrops may mean nothing to the casual basketball enthusiast so i'll level with you briefly. Let's take the show "The Game" for example. Could you imagine if it was shot in Seattle instead of L.A.? The show would be that much more different. The fabrics that make up each character would take a new shape and the color palettes that make up the scenes would be ten times different. Ok, I apologize not everyone watches "The Game" but substitute whatever your favorite show is and you will get what i'm saying. As for me I have to live with the fact that I have not smelled a basketball since December 29 (which at this point is 17 days) and now I am currently going through withdrawal. Withdrawal for me consists of taking practice shots with no ball, working on my jumpshot footwork while i'm at the office, and using triple threat foot work to get around pedestrians as I make my way around each pedestrian. The worst withdrawal symptom I received from that trip to the court is the sensation I feel in my hands. This symptom of my withdrawal is the worst of all because nothing will cure it but a basketball. The sensation that I feel in my hands, is the feeling that I feel when I have a ball in my hands. So it feels like I have a ball in my hand when I really don't (not good). Anyways here are some pics of the court as well as the Rijkt Museum which I recommend anyone who is blessed to be in Amsterdam check out.


This is the Rijkt Museum with all the Dutch artist this is a must see.


Ice skating rink looks great so I snapped away.


This is that big building that I have to investigate. Looks like D.C.


Court # 1


Court # 2




Monday, January 10, 2011

It Matters

This is a video by Mike & Mike on meaningless games. I found a lot of insight in this and it kinda got my juices flowing. I felt like running through a wall for a quick second. Anyways check it out cause it does matter.

Click on the link below to watch the  clip.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5973806&categoryid=2850689

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The First Day at the Agency

Ok i'm pretty sure most if not all of you guys and gals remember the night before the first day of school. Your anxiousness runs to an all time high. You think to yourself who's going to be there, what is the day going to be like, will I have a crush on anyone? With all those questions and anxiety running through your subconscious mind as you sleep you begin to toss and turn and then all of the sudden you are awake. At this point you are upset because no one wants to be groggy on the first day. And here you are lying on your bed thinking those same questions as you count sheep so that you can attempt to fall asleep. Well that's what happen to me the night before my first day at the agency. The commute to the train station was filled with anticipation and anxiety from the night before as I wonder to myself what type of meat will this agency make out of me when they are done in 10 weeks? As I approach the door and ring the door bell I begin to think (in the 32 degree weather) "here we go." As I enter the agency I am in awe of the place especially when I contrast it between my four wall University of Miami like dorm room. With each step my heart beats quicker but it isn't nerves, it's the fact that I have to climb four flights of stairs to get to the room where we are situated. As I enter the room among the first students to arrive I say to myself "well Abe there's no turning back and your time is now"(I know that line was corny but oh well). As the rest of my cohorts arrive we bask in that initial feeling of being somewhere new and having the opportunity to maybe do something special in our short 10 weeks. Needless to say we introduced ourselves and I think I remembered one name (but I know them now so that's all that matters). The day would be short but we went through many twists and turns including meeting the director of our internship, to getting a tour of the agency. As the day ended I took a sigh of relief because I made it four days at that point without touching, seeing, smelling, bouncing or shooting a basketball and I was still alive. Who would have ever thought that was possible? But I took three things from the first day at the agency: #1 Don't drink coke zero, # 2 listen to people and treat them with respect, # 3 BE GOOD (It's a mindset).




This is roughly all of us Picture by Andrei Khashan

Welcome to Amsterdam!


Well as I landed on the runway of Amsterdam Schipol Airport I thought to myself wow will I actually get the opportunity to see snow for the first time? The thought of being in another country has always intrigued me but never in my wildest imagination could I ever see myself in a country and city that is famous for it's weed, prostitutes and cheese. This journey into a new country is not without purpose because I am here for the purpose of learning more on my craft as an Art Director in the fickle world of advertising. And the agency that has decided to take me under their wing is called Peanut Butter, that's right Peanut Butter (aka Pindakaas in Dutch). Let's just say that the first week has been an adventure especially when you consider that this is my first time in Europe and I am a Haitian-American transitioning into a country that I know nothing about (except for what I read on the internet). The first week has incapsulated a whirlwind of Miami Vice like missions that include searching for an adapter that would allow me to use my American plug, receiving luggage that was left in America, and getting pimped by taxi cab driver, but no one ever said that this would be easy. The first highlight of my week was New Year's eve where I observed how the people of Amsterdam bring in the New Year. So as I waited for a ball to drop at midnight I was pleasantly and unpleasantly entertained by the fireworks that the people were firing off before midnight. It's now 23:59 and I'm asking myself when will the countdown begin and where is the ball? Midnight comes and goes and to my dismay there was no ball, no countdown, just more fireworks. However, I will say that when midnight did hit the Dutch took their fire-woking skills to another level and I have to say that despite the lack of a ball or a formal countdown that the Dutch do know how to bring in a New Year (we won't even get into the $110 party that was being held nearby which I couldn't even imagine attending). From that point on I knew I was not in Dade anymore and an adventure would await me (with no basketball that is). Welcome to Amsterdam young man where the weed is in the air and McDonald's cost 12 U.S. dollars for a number 1. I love it already.