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Keeping Death In Mind

March 10, 2010. Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Late morning.

I pulled on my swim trunks, trainers, and a tank top and walked out of my little guesthouse room, sliding through the cramped restaurant strewn with tables, and out into the hot, dusty air of Phnom Penh. It's a hot day. It'll be good to swim after lifting weights.

I said, "No no, thank you" to the tuk-tuk drivers offering to take me somewhere in the city, pushed through the little crowd, and out onto the street. The streets in Cambodia more resemble alleyways than streets, and I navigate around people and vehicles.

I went down to the end of the street, turned left, and skirted along close to the local restaurants, half-tent half-storefront type places to get food. I stepped into the crosswalk, the Hotel Cambodiana rising in front of me. I check right and then left, and I watch left as I cross, watching for oncoming traffic.

A loud scream rings out. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

The Best Memories from 2009

On Where Pianos Roam

For posterity, I wanted to document some of the most memorable moments I experienced in 2009.    There have been some amazingly wonderful times .  .  .

Last January, I was blessed to visit my good friends Leigh and Chris in Seattle.  I stayed for a few days and brought along Oreo and Buttercup.  I ate a HUGE burrito, hung out with a troll, visited Bainbridge Island, visited the grave of Bruce Lee and his son, had a lovely ferry ride, wandered aimlessly through a cubist library, and pretty much took photos of O and B all around the city.  More than anything, I enjoyed spending time with Leigh, Chris, and their beautiful daughter Sophia!  It was the best trip ever.

In February, my sister made a second attempt at teaching me how to knit.  The first time it happened I got really frustrated and tossed it all aside.  For whatever reason, something stuck this time around.  My first project was a beautiful maroon and beige scarf that I still wear to this day.  So far, I've knitted eight scarves, two hats, a bracelet, and half of a throw blanket ever since.  It is such relaxing and rewarding way to pass the time.  I'll be knitting more in the next year.  Here is a photo of the first scarf I ever knitted:

Last February, I visited Atlanta with my friend Chris.  We were mainly there to see an Antony and the Johnsons concert, but we decided to make a whole weekend out of it.  Of course, I took Oreo and Buttercup along.  We visited some fancy malls, and I ate this AMAZING butternut squash dish that I will never forget as long as I live.  It was a really wonderful trip.  My friend Chris was the best host ever!  Here he is being slightly embarrassed having his picture taken with a miniature piano and a rowdy bench:

Simply put, it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to.  This was one band that did not need a bunch of crazy pyrotechnics and theatrics to put on a beautiful show.  They were on tour to support the release of the new album "The Crying Light" and sang most of the songs from it.  There was even a cover of Beyonce's hit song "Crazy In Love".  I sat in the front row in direct sight of Antony playing the piano.  It was so mesmerizing.  After the show, my friend Chris and I got to meet Antony.  He signed a copy of his CD for me, and I gave him a copy of my album "Seahorses".  It was the best concert ever!  For sure, I will see them perform again whenever I possibly can.

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