In Search of the Elusive Adjective, and Sundry Other Observations

When you meet someone socially for the first time and your new interlocutor asks you to describe yourself, what do you say? Do you identify by tribal affiliation (religion, ideology, ethnicity)? By career? By rattling off a string of descriptors? With a flippant aside, hoping to change the subject?

If someone were to ask me who I am, I have to admit to a degree of conflict. Not in a emo-angst way, mind you, but in a more phenomenological sense. For, you see, I like to think of myself in terms of skills and accomplishments rather than OMB-approved check marks, but I realize that lately I’ve not been sharpening the saw with sufficient diligence to make my string of adjectives sound convincing.

I used to be a scuba diver, until I stopped. I used to study martial arts, until I stopped. I used to be a cyclist, until I sold my bike. I used to be a runner, until I got sick and got horribly out of shape. I used, I used, I used. But now? Now, those adjectives are more elusive.

I suppose it’s a good kick in the pants, a form of motivation to get back into gear. But still, to reflect on the last few years, I can’t help but feel a sense of lost opportunity.

On a more chippy note:

  • As of yesterday I’ve hit the “lost 20 pounds” mark since returning from Tony and Jen’s wedding in late April. Not bad, considering that most of June was flat. I have a goal for my birthday in September (below 200), and another goal (my target weight of 160) ¬†for the end of the calendar year. Both are eminently achievable.
  • Next week I’ll be in Miami Beach to attend (and present at) the 2011 Joint Statistical Meetings. Should be interesting.
  • Lots of changes at work — I have a new boss, same as the boss before the old boss. And the Wheel of Time turns ….
  • The Great Heat Wave of 2011 was much less enjoyable given that the house isn’t properly wired for the electric load of an air conditioner. I may pick up a freestanding portable unit, though.
  • I managed to sunburn the sole of my left foot by letting my foot soak up the rays while I was smoking a cigar on the back porch.


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