My Gift

I fell behind on my blog posting here recently for two reasons: first, I came down quite sick with a cold that became bronchitis. I’ve been much better this week, though a bit of a cough still lingers. Second, I’ve been immersed in two other challenging pieces of “creative writing”: a freelance writing résumé and an online dating profile.

These are both ultimately about marketing yourself in a light that’s simultaneously positive and accurate. Both require introspection, reflection on your past, and consideration of your future goals. And I finally got down on paper something I had realized about myself in the last year:

My greatest gift is a talent for Integration, in almost every sense of the word. I can do mathematical integration (an operation on functions in calculus), analytically or numerically. I can integrate mechanical devices, electronics, and computer hardware and software into unique experimental systems. I can integrate disparate writing fragments into a coherent text. I can integrate an array of ideas into a unified synthesis. And perhaps most importantly, I can integrate into groups of people, going from the newcomer to “a regular” or even to a leadership role exceptionally smoothly and quickly.

This probably won’t make it verbatim onto either a résumé (no obvious place for it) or an online dating profile (a bit too heavy really, and also might lead to too long a profile), but it’s certainly a useful and profound underlying principle. 

Name Confusion

I believe it takes a special talent to complicate one’s life enough to make “What is your name?” a non-trivial question. Aided by my parents’ choices forty years ago, I have risen successfully to meet this challenge. 

A quick summary of this article: My legal first name is Mitchell, but my “given nickname”, the name my parents called me from birth, is Mickey. Several years ago I picked the name Ethan to serve strictly as a nom de public, a pseudonym. However, when I began using that pseudonym last fall, I found I liked Ethan better than I liked the Mickey. Now I am using the name Ethan in all my new ventures. I intend to legally add Ethan as a second middle name at some point. What should you call me? If I met you this year through my new ventures, call me Ethan. If you were a friend or acquaintance prior to this year, call me either for now. (Family will probably always use Mickey.) 

Continue reading Name Confusion

Guest Blog Post for Libra Fitness (Second of Two)

Chris Heidel of Libra Fitness

Chris Heidel of Libra Fitness

I wrote a pair of guest blog posts for Chris Heidel at Libra Fitness. The second was published today.

My first post for them was a review of the movie “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days”. While I am not diabetic, I am unquestionably headed there if I don’t change how I eat. Today’s post for Libra Fitness explains how I developed a sugar addiction, and details my current struggle to tame the sugar monkey on my back.

I told an acquaintance recently that I was trying to modify my diet. He misinterpreted that in the conventional way, assuming I was “on a diet”, and asked if I was using any particular one. I told him it was the “Don’t Eat an Entire Package of Cookies Every Day or So” Diet.

Does that work? Well, I was astonished to discover today that I’ve lost fifteen pounds in the last four weeks. I hadn’t been intentionally trying to lose any weight yet, only control my sugar consumption. (While that’s still an acceptable weight loss rate for someone with my weight and body type, I would never try to lose weight that fast intentionally.) I haven’t exercised, I haven’t restricted anything but a modest range of junk foods (primarily sweets), and I’ve never felt hungry. (Sugar cravings are of course very different from hunger.) Pretty amazing.