Stubborn Young Man

The garage door raised from the ground and revealed 10 inches of fresh snow.. I grabbed the shovel and spent an hour making about 10 feet of progress on the driveway. My neighbor cranked up his snowblower and I watched in awe as his gas powered monster cleared the driveway in half an hour. I pressed on and slowly made progress in the freezing temperatures. I began to think that it would be good idea to own a pair of gloves, my hands aren’t cold, but my hands feel like they’re beginning to blister.

About halfway through my driveway, my neighbor generously suggested that I use his snowblower to finish the task at hand.

Me, need a snowblower…absolutely not! So what if my back is starting to hurt, hands are blistering, and the snow is dreadfully heavy. I’m a man! Check out these biceps heaving snow, look at this mountain of snow I made with my shovel, who is the man!?

One hour later, about 3/4s of the way through the job, the neighbor’s wife asks again, “You sure you don’t want to use our snowblower?”

The wife, jesus, I might as well knock myself out with my own shovel. Come on people, don’t you know who I am, I am the stubborn young man.

Finally, done the driveway.

Me: (yelling upstairs to my wife) JACLYN!
Jac: Yes honey.
Me: Did you see all that snow I shoveled?
Jac: Yes honey, good job.

Score one for the stubborn young man.

Movie Recommendation – Exit Through The Gift Shop

I couldn’t sleep last night so I decided to watch a movie on Netflix. Browsing through the documentary section, I found “Exit Through The Gift Shop”. The movie initially focuses on street artists (graffiti vandals), but halfway through, turns the lens on the documentary maker himself. I don’t want to give too much away, but let me say that I had minimal interest in this movie when I turned it on, almost hoping that it would make me fall asleep, but I ended up thinking it was brilliant. I’m still thinking about the movie today and I’m thinking the movie itself might be an elaborate hoax, but I’m not really sure what it is, I really liked it though and think you should check it out. Also makes you think about art and what makes it good, what makes it expensive, and what art is real? These questions aren’t posed in a serious manner through the movie, they just bubble up from an easy to digest cocktail of blind ambition, luck, and follies.

Thanks mom for an excellent dinner last night!

Thanks Edman the nice text message last night!

Thanks Dalia for sneaking into my bed in the middle of the night and kicking me repeatedly in the ribs.

Updates, Updates, Updates

Ate at Butcher & Singer on Saturday, it was pretty good. Is “pretty good” not quite as good as “good”, if so, Butcher & Singer was pretty good. Stephen Starr restaurants usually have some bold statement that keeps you thinking about it for the next couple of days, there’s nothing in the personality of that restaurant that keeps me thinking about it.

After Jaclyn and I ate dinner, we returned to our hotel and watched the movie, Tombstone. This is the second time in two weeks that I’ve watched the western movie made in 1993 and I was thrilled that Jaclyn enjoyed it as well. Wasn’t the most romantic movie, but it kept us on the edge of our seats and Jaclyn got to hear my Doc Holliday impression. By the way, I just looked up Doc Holliday on Wikipedia and it says that he was a gambler, gunfighter, and dentist. He actually received his dental schooling in Philadelphia, how about that? Doc died when he was 36. I just read the whole article about him and the movie Tombstone is based almost entirely on true event, we should do a road trip to Tombstone sometime. Next time I’m in Phoenix, I’m renting a car and heading to Tombstone, they reenact the fight at the OK Coral every day there…good times!

It was 7 degrees this morning. I hope that many years from now my great grandchildren can read this blog and know that global warming is a good thing.. Manhattan might be under water, half of Florida will be submerged, and New Orleans will be on stilts, but that’s a fair trade to not have to endure temperatures in the single digits. I am a firm believer that any negative consequences of global warming can be counteracted through technology.

Heard the Counting Crows song, “Hanging Around” this morning. Song reminded me of my time at Bloomsburg University. That was an awfully boring town, absolutely nothing to do in that town except lose your sobriety. The song’s all about how you’re in a really boring town and it is time to move on, it was a perfect song for me during my junior year at Bloomsburg, sort of inspired me to move on. There’s lots of good songs for kids as they go through volatile adolescent moments, like, “With or Without You”, “Free Falling”, “Like A Rolling Stone”, etc. but it is funny how there’s not too many songs for when you are in your thirties, married, have a busy job, and 2 kids that really consume all your energy, I guess smooth jazz is a good fit. My kids will think I enjoy lame music, but the issue will be more systemic, I’m just living a happy and stable life.

Played a really intense game of hide and seek last night, we turned off all the lights and used flashlights to seek the hiders. Our kids cannot take the suspense of hiding, as we approach them in their hiding spots, they always poke out their heads and say, “Here I am!”


I am going something right now that I never in a million years thought I’d do; I’m drinking Clausthaler…a non-alcoholic beer. It’s a long story, but I happened to have a cold bucket of beer given to me as a gift and I wanted to consume one, but didn’t want to have any buzz for my dinner this evening. I noticed one of the beers was non-alcoholic so I decided to live it up and drink it. I can’t believe that I sort of feel like a bad ass for drinking a beer without alcohol.

I made my presentations and answered a bunch of questions on my trip to NC. I am having to present more and more and I’m getting comfortable with it. I never minded presenting, but I’m much more confident when I feel like I’m the smartest guy in the room. I’m probably not the smartest guy, but I think it would be awfully tough to stump me on anything, that’s a good feeling. The best is when you’re very senior level and you can start to incorporate random humor slides into your presentation, if I did that now, people would be like, “Why’s Deem wasting our time with this slide with a monkey on it?” When I’m CEO, watch out, lot’s of oddball PPT slides & YouTube videos, in fact, there will be no relevant content whatsoever.

Winston is starting to say some really absurd stuff, I mean, just crazy, can’t even write it here in the blog. All I can say is, he really means well and we’re trying to explain the complicated rules regarding how to appropriately communicate issues regarding your privates. Dalai is hysterical, Jaclyn yells at her and Dalia just growls back at her.

On The Move

Sorry for the lack of correspondence, have been on the move.

I have never woken up colder than I woke up this morning, please let this cold weather relent.

Didn’t have that great of an experience in Houston, city is too spread out to walk out your door and walk to cool places, you definitely need a car to get anywhere in Houston. I did enjoy one night at a bar called Big Woodrow’s, we ate mud bugs and gator bites accompanied with pitchers of a Texas beer called Ziegangast (or something like that).

Uh-oh, I gotta get moving again. Time to board my flight to Raleigh.


Imagine it is 1969 and you’re the guitar player for the Kinks. The Kinks have already released unbelievably famous songs like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day And All of the Night” so you are a certifiable rock star. As you sit in the studio, the lead singer Ray Davies comes in and gives you a new song he wrote, it is called Lola. Ray hands you a piece of paper with the lyrics on it and asks you to read and give your opinion on his new song:

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne
It tastes just like Coca Cola, C-O-L-A cola

She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice
She said Lola, L-O-L-A, Lola, L-L-Lola

Well, I’m not the world’s most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola, L-L-Lola

Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man
Oh my Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

Well, we drank champagne and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
And said, “Dear boy, won’t you come home with me?”

Well, I’m not the world’s most passionate guy
But when I looked in her eyes well I almost fell for my Lola
L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

I pushed her away, I walked to the door
I fell to the floor, I got down on my knees
Then I looked at her and she at me

That’s the way that I want it to stay
I always want it to be that way for my Lola, L-L-Lola

Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It’s a mixed up muddled up, shook up world
Except for Lola, L-L-Lola

Well, I left home just a week before
And I’d never ever kissed a woman before
But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
And said, “Dear boy, I’m gonna make you a man”

Well, I’m not the world’s most masculine man
But I know what I am and I’m glad I’m a man
And so is Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola
Lola, L-L-Lola, L-L-Lola

Ray: So, what do you think?
Me: After laughing for 3 or 4 minutes…you’re not really going to record this song are you?

Of course this song ends up being a huge hit and I’m not sure if anyone really listens to the lyrics anyways. I looked it up on Wikipedia and here’s the story of how Ray Davies was inspired to write the song:

In the book The Kinks: The Official Biography, Ray Davies says that he was inspired to write this song after the band manager Robert Wace had spent the night dancing with a transvestite. Davies said,

I remembered an incident in a club… in his apartment Robert Wace had been dancing with this black woman, and he said, ‘I’m really on to a thing here.’ And it was okay until we left at six in the morning and then I said, ‘Have you seen the stubble?’ He said ‘Yeah,’ but he was too pissed [drunk] to care, I think.

But the best part is that the guitarist really jams out on this song, he totally feels it! I think there’s some sort of life lesson here, if you really are passionate and excited about something, even if it is retarded, you’ll probably end up being famous.

RKDeem’s Year In Review

It is my annual tradition to look back at New Years and report on what I’ve learned over the past year, here’s what I took away from 2010:

Filling taxes out as a consultant is a complete nightmare, I’ll never start my own business again unless I’m going to make over $500,000 a year, otherwise, it is not worth the hassle, that’s how much I hated it.
LOST turned out to be a huge waste of time, the show’s finale goes down as my all-time worst TV shows and ruined all the shows leading up to it for me..
Getting hired as a full-time employee was the highlight of my year, better health insurance at half the cost, it allowed me to get approved for a mortgage, and it allowed me to move out of my in-law’s house
Living in the in-law’s house was a much better experience than I could have imagined (at least for me!). Really enjoyed the experience and especially enjoyed my father-in-law’s company. In a house with women and kids, Jim and I would often team up and create a united front where we could watch football or Band of Brothers marathons. He could always be counted on for a vote towards pizza on the nights we wanted take out too. Without the generosity of our parents, we would not be living in our own home in 2011.
New Orleans is still wonderful, even after Katrina. It is dirty, there’s some blight, and you’re not going to find a nice sandy beach, but the music, food, architecture, art, and lighting of the city make it a perfect place to waste time. My favorite part of New Orleans is that it is very different from everywhere else.
Seeing a Spring Training game in Scottsdale and watching the Phils Spring Training in Clearwater was an unbelievable experience for a baseball geek like me. Watching Spring Training while others are working makes you feel like Ferris Bueller.
Enjoyed my trip with Jaclyn to Miami, it was brief, but at least I could have her verify that South Beach is goofy.
Make sure your Garmin GPS is set for shortest time, not shortest distance. Garmin set for shortest distance had us cut through unpaved roads in Northern Pennsylvania, probably one of the top five moments in 2010 of Jaclyn being very mad at me!
It takes a lot of documentation to get a mortgage, probably a good thing, but I must have sent over 100 documents to get the loan for the house.
I almost wasn’t going to root for the Eagles this year, but they traded McNabb. No real lesson learned for me, but I still love to say that he’s off the team!
I fell in love with the New Jersey shore this summer. The beach, boardwalk, and ocean created a lot of fun for the Deem family.
I am most proud of our patience in looking for a new home. We looked at hundreds of places on the internet and newspaper, dozens in person, and eventually said “no” to all of them. We did make one offer and it was refused. So happy we waited for the place we now have.
Home ownership is tough, things go wrong and they cost money. People think, I can afford a mortgage payment, but you have to be able to afford the mortgage payment and the unexpected emergency. Everyone tries to talk men out of marriage, I will try to talk men out of home ownership.