You’re an ice princess, I said to her. She was like Spock, but with breasts.

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It was my fault that I had mistook her sexual interest in me. It was casual for her, but not for me. Her lack of emotion about it surprised me, then it hurt me, so I looked at her blond hair, pale skin, and tall elegant frame, and said, “You’re like an ice princess.”

It was infuriating to me. I’m great, she should like me, everyone should like me. I waited for some lament, some regret, but she was calm and unbothered. Her heart and mind were separate on this issue. Like Spock’s mind versus Captain Kirk’s heart driven passions…passions that drove Kirk to leave his ship in the command of others because he thought he was the only one who could lead the away team. What a narcissist, right?

Leonard Nimoy passing away today has led me to think about all the unemotional people that have been in my life. They were usually unexcitable, usually unflustered, and different, at least from me. But the other side will always teach you a lesson, if you’re listening, of what you’re missing. If you’re politically right, the left is a lesson to temper your stance, because, after all, half the population can’t be crazy. And if you’re a strict vegan, then the other side, the animal eaters, are a lesson in how life is change, and people follow habits, because even vegans at some point in their lives didn’t care about animals, and ate them, right?

Point being, whether you’re heart driven or mind driven, it’s important to use both levers in cultivating your values, because our heart is what drives us, but our mind keeps us on the road. With my heart, I thought I had a relationship and I was making plans in my head, because I was hoping, without thinking of what was happening: Some chance encounters with someone who was sexually unrestricted. If I had been thinking, I would’ve seen, mindfully, and more clearly, that she was no more an ice princess than I was an immature fool. We simply make choices, and those choices don’t make us who we are, but they show us what we value, at a certain time.

Spock and Kirk worked together to accomplish all sorts of missions, despite their differences, and in fact, they were able to learn from each other’s differences. And that is what life is about. Getting the experience which makes you better rounded, so that your next adventure is that much more fulfilling, less reckless, and more open-hearted.

Good luck on your next adventure, Leonard. Good luck to us all.

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I had shaved it all off, all because of her.

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The cold came and went. The frigid single digits and then a week later it was 50. I was shaved, my face bare and smooth and comfortable. And then I saw another temperature drop on the horizon. The next week would be polar, wind chills making the temperature feel like negative degrees. So cold that the thermometer couldn’t keep a positive scale. Ridiculous!

So I started in, with the growing. I followed my mistress, my girl, because she was always right, in this realm. And it wasn’t an effort anyway, as if I need to reroute supplies to send to my face follicles, or recruit legions to begin growing my hair. Quite the opposite. I was going to simply stop shaving, but what many of the non-bearded don’t know, because they don’t have the experience, is that the end of the first week of an infant beard was like the terrible two’s of human infancy.

The young beard is exploring its home, and it is antsy. It provokes, and pokes you. It’s an itchy period of time. And after we’ve committed several days to this, tolerating all our little ones settling in and learning how to play nice together on the world of our jaw, there’s an annoyance when you soon find that the days are warm, without a cold wind to sting your face.

And so after growing it in over a week for the cold, I shaved it because of the warmth, to feel the wonderful warm on my face. And now the temperatures have plummeted… again.

I am annoyed with my woman. But I tolerate her whims. Because that’s what a man does. Our power comes from resilience. And our power comes from respecting her power: The earth shattering forces of the storms and the sea and the earth quaking, and the roller coaster of warmth and then cold and then warmth of her changing moods.

That’s the price of admission to ride. And I want to ride.

The top 3 ways to prevent illness

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I was wondering how long it would take for me to get sick.

The office was a zoo of sniffing and snuffling. There were so many “Bless You’s” being called out after all the sneezing that I think the whole lot of us here were destined to go to heaven, despite those who didn’t believe. We’d all be swept up, the concentration of divine wishes too much for God to ignore and because He/She/It would take a pity on us, in one of His/Her/Its moments of irrational emotion, and He/She/It would say, “The sick bastards, just let them enter, they don’t know what they’re doing. Look at them clumped together, they know they’re sick, and they come to that place, sit in that one room all day, pumping out their toxins for everyone to face.”

I wasn’t so empathetic. I listened as the viruses and bacteria ran unchecked through their hosts. My colleagues’ immune systems were geared up, waging war, and these mindless fools had brought the battle front into the office! I sat in their midst, hunkered down in my faded peach colored cubicle bunker.

I ached to get out, to run out into the cold air. I craved the pure stuff of an open landscape. So what if it was pavement and cars and trucks and sculpted lawns and young trees in a commercial park?  It was an open system of circulating air!

I was happy to flee the petri dish that evening, but when I awoke the next morning I felt IT. I stood up in a daze. A malaise after eight hours of sleep? No way. I walked uncertainly around my bedroom. There should be no hangover, there should be no late bedtime grogginess. I had the flu. I knew it. So what did I do? Why, I went into work!

What are the top 3 ways to prevent illness? Get ill. That’s it. The other two ways? Forget about them. The nugget here is: Don’t stay too clean. The obstacle is the way, says Ryan Holiday. In fact, I say you should get infected, not too often, but on a regular basis. Why? Because your immune system works by being challenged. It develops antibodies by taking on viruses and bacteria, and these antibodies target the invaders next time. They’re prepped. The immune system has been through the practice drills already. Bring it, is what a challenged immune system says. That’s how vaccinations work. That’s how flu shots work. In fact, there is a term for being infected by another person and developing an immunity: Active immunization. And a bonus lesson extending from this: Challenge yourself in all the areas of your life. Staying the same makes you fragile, so says Nassim Taleb.

In conclusion: Get sick early. Get sick often. Before you get old and frail and too weak to fend off the bugs.

Thank you, colleagues, for making me stronger. I will be well soon enough, and healthier than ever.

Stay dirty, my friends.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. This is a blog.