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.

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.