What A Year (2008 Edition)

What RKDeem Has Learned This Year: 
1. Catching a 200lb Marlin off the shores of Cabo San Lucas was incredible, watching the captain beat it to death with a wooden club was a little depressing. 
2. I learned how to negotiate for everything in Mexico, I missed having the option to negotiate once I returned to the US 
3. Martin Luther King Jr. Day happens to be on the most depressing day of the year…coincidence? 
4. On February 4th, I begged the gods for a parade in Philly and in late October, I got one. 
5. Hands down, the best product endorsement amusement ride that I’ve ever been on is in Hershey, PA. The hotels give you tons of chocolate and they even have a zoo. The Hershey Grille serves a $45 bottle of water. 
6. Getting laid off really sucks and it can happen to someone who’s never had a bad review in their entire life. If you’re ever in a position to interview someone who was laid off, please give them fair consideration. If you’re ever laid off, be honest about it and tell the truth, many of the people I interviewed with were really understanding and wanted to help out. 
7. Getting laid off, which was a really crappy event, resulted in excellent change. Got a job closer to home, with a profitable product, and a client who’s very appreciative of my work. 
8. I learned that it is good to marry a woman who will love you even when you’re not proud, getting laid off was embarrassing and humbling, but she still made me feel like a king. 
9. The best view of Niagara Falls is on the Maid of the Mist boat (I think it was $7 a person and you got a free poncho) and the second best view came from the public sidewalk that goes within inches of the Horseshoe Falls. It’s definitely worth the trip. 
10. Rubbing alcohol removes permanent marker off a brand new flat screen TV with ease. 
11. Tom Petty’s puts together a fun concert, maybe it was the ecto-cooler margaritas (one of which, I spilled all over the the exterior of the car). 
12. Siren Records went out of business, but was saved by people who care. It’s cool that people still care about things. 
13. Gas prices have been at extreme highs and extreme lows. Let us not forget the high prices and make sure the next car we buy is okay for the environment. 
14. The Philadelphia Zoo is really big and there’s plenty to see, but Philadelphia should help out the destitute neighbors, you can’t walk by those homes from the parking lot to the zoo without feeling extreme sympathy or disgust that we’d let something like that stand. 
15. Police in Ithaca are quick to respond to notifications about nearly dead groundhogs. The blueberry wine from the farmer’s market made me appreciate Ithaca for a couple months after visiting. 
16. The Raggamuffins and Ray Charles are the greatest bands ever. 
17. My 30th Birthday in the Pocono’s was everything I wanted it to be, I hope to get back to Jim Thorpe in Spring to finish the hike. 
18. I didn’t vote this election, for the first time since I was eligible. Glad people voted for Obama, I hadn’t given up on democracy, I had given up on all the people who could vote for Bush twice. 
19. Camden Aquarium is just as good as the Baltimore Aquarium, the trick is to get there around 3PM and enjoy the final two hours, lots less people to contend with. 
20. My blogs ads won’t make me a millionaire, in fact, I will be lucky to break even. I’ve earned $12 and I need to raise $6 more to break even over the next year. 
21. Having two children complicates parent logistics exponentially. 
22. Love really evolves throughout a relationship. I remember first seeing Jaclyn jumping and giggling enthusiastically at the fish market with concert tickets in hand, she hugged her friend Krissy and then gleefully skipped back out the door. I needed to know her and had Krissy arrange an introduction, we stayed in touch for years. We finally started dating and it consumed my life, we wanted to be with each other every minute and be talking on the phone when we weren’t together. Jaclyn’s so beautiful, passionate, compassionate, intelligent, artsy, and she even showed interest in all the dorky things I do. It was a crush. She moved in and it was bliss. We had the incredible wedding at Font Hill and perfect honeymoon in Key West. Now that Winston and Dalia are with us, we can no longer spend an hour long romantic dinner staring longingly into each other’s eyes, we’re typically managing Winston’s acrobatic escape attempts from his booster seat and with the other hand continually bouncing Dalia or else she’ll start to groan and scream. The fancy dinners, deep conversations, and peaceful evenings alone are currently on hold. It’s tough, because I miss a lot of that intimacy, but know it’s still simmering. It’s just that so much of our love is being channeled into the little children who have started off as OUR blank slates. We’re really pumping in so much love, affection, patience, and knowledge into these kids. So, while we’re not hot and heavy basking in candlelight, there’s no love more profound than that of a parent who gives everything they have to offer to their family. Winston, Dalia, Jaclyn, and I are all part of the equation now. At first it was almost entirely one way, you just pump all of your energy, time, and love into the infant, like watering a seed, and it’s tough to really see anything, they just groan, sleep, throw up and poop. But now there’s so much wonderful coming my way, especially with Winston at nearly 2 years of age. He typically lights up the room with his smile when I come home from work, he runs to greet me, we share everything, we play cars together, we have hundreds of little games we play together…this love is growing, just like the seed and so is my definition of the word. It’s no longer that intimate, passionate crush, that’s now just a small part of what love is for us now.

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