Tuesday, January 25, 2011


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.


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.