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Why I'm Not Writing A Post Bashing The Anonymous Troll

Act I: The Discovery of Conflict Invigoration

I recently discovered a phenomenon common among many highly successful people. I'm calling it "conflict invigoration" - this is a personality trait, a mixed blessing and curse. It's the kind of person who can move heaven and earth when inspired, but doesn't do as well when they aren't... and who is always invigorated by a fight.

I first noticed conflict invigoration among a number of the most successful people I knew personally. See, I don't think this is an entirely new observation, but a lot of the people that reach stratospheric levels of success are kind of deranged. You almost have to be, to keep going after you've "won" by every conceivable measure, to work yourself to the bone at the expense of your sanity and longevity and vitality, to neglect so many of the basic human needs and pleasures and comforts.

I saw this trait in lots of successful people, and then I started paying attention to biographies and histories. Indeed, many of the most expansive people in our generation and previous ones are conflict invigorated - they've perhaps always got a baseline of creativity and striving, but it really comes out when a fight breaks out.

"Competition is always a fantastic thing, and the computer industry is intensely competitive." - Bill Gates

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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