I am pleased to introduce @Paulie as the member to be spotlighted for June. He has been a member since June of 2011. He has been busy at PerC, posting an incredible 21,000+ times! @MsBossyPants , who suggested interviewing Paulie, described him like this:
“He's hilarious. Really funny in an off-beat, intellectual sort of way. His posts in the Game Forum "Wrong Answer Game" thread are the best thing here at PerC, in my opinion. I've learned not to drink a beverage when I read his answers. Have spit out my coffee on numerous occasions because he is laugh-out-loud funny. He once made me laugh so hard, I pulled a muscle in my chest. Yes. Literally. Couldn't stop laughing. The pain was worth it.
“He was one of the first friends I made here at PerC, and one that I never tire of talking to. We couldn't be more different, but share an easy rapport. I wish we didn't live on opposite sides of the country. I'd love to sit and have a few beers with him every few weeks and talk about whatever comes to mind. I'm sure he would make me laugh so hard, I'd spit out my beer. Or pull another muscle laughing. Happy to call him a friend.”
And now, Paulie’s story. Section one. Getting to know you.
What is your real name?
OK, so let's get some of the preliminary stuff out of the way quickly. Real name is Bruce, but Paul is my middle name so it’s not entirely a stage name, as it were, and isn't that what this is all about anyway, acting out a part in this passion play?
Are you saying that all life is a stage and that we are mere players in it?
Who would you like to be today? A character from literature, a completely made up alter ego, matters not really, just go for it. Keeps people on their toes and that's a good thing.
Are you married or single?
So married, divorced, presently engaged, (she's the most wondrous INFP you'd ever meet), hoping the second time's the charm.
Do you have children?
Two lovely children from the first marriage; well, they're hardly children since I'm a Jurassic 62 years of age.
Do you have grandchildren?
No grandchildren, and probably none to come, but that's perfectly fine with me.
What country do you live in?
I live in the United States, New Jersey actually, and make a living as an optician, but I prefer the title “lens grinder,” thank you Mr. Spinoza.
How do you feel about living in New Jersey?
One of these days I will move out of this wretched state, but I've been saying that for a very long time and I'm still here, alas.
Tell me about your house.
I shouldn't complain really. I'm writing this while sitting on the deck of my very humble log cabin, watching the sun go down, and wondering if I should take some of the plants back inside that I put out earlier in the day. Riveting stuff here, lol!
It is! What do you like best about your home?
I’m an amateur gardener, and few things give me more pleasure than digging in the dirt. Yes, I am an unapologetic tree hugger too.
What sort of plants and shrubs do you like to put in your garden?
I am very much a dilettante type of gardener, and in typical INFJ fashion, make it up as I go along, with some expert help from a local nursery. My fave are butterfly bushes because of what they attract, butterflies, of course, plus bees and hummingbird moths! I love my lilac bushes as well, except that any vase containing cut flowers will be knocked over by the orange tabby, Rory, so while I love the lilac fragrance in my cabin, it is just a mess waiting to happen. And sure, “One person’s weed is absolutely another person’s wildflower.”
Do you have pets?
I share a space with four felines, Sophie, Rory, Emma, and Little Charlie Mingus, and no, you cannot shorten his name, and an old Great Pyrenees, Buck. Buck and I seem to both be slowing down at a similar rate, which is interesting.
I should like to add that, between the time I started writing answers to these questions, I've had to put down my best friend, my Great Pyrenees, Buck. Seemingly out of the blue, he fell very ill, and when rushed to a 24-hour vet clinic, was diagnosed with internal bleeding in his stomach from a cancerous tumor. I stayed with him till the end, and felt something deep inside leave me when he passed. I had adopted him from a shelter, coincidentally, on my birthday six years earlier. It was a particularly dark time in my life, and he became my animal soul mate. A loner, phlegmatic, aloof, but devoted; he was a four-legged version of myself, and I will miss him dearly for the rest of my life.
I am very sorry for your loss.
I should be so lucky when it’s my time to go, to be allowed to die with someone who loves me by my side, while being able to retain a sense of personal dignity. I think that most things we do in life are to distract us from thinking about our own mortality, and I've felt this for many years, not only since I've gotten older.
Are there any future experiences that you are hoping to have?
Traveling is something I look forward to someday, with Ireland number one on my list of places to see, and Iceland close behind. (Must be a thing with countries beginning with the letter I.)
Exploring the world of music…
What sort of music are you listening to, right now?
I have some sort of music playing most of the time, not now, unless you consider wind chimes as such.
Yes, I do. If you could do anything in the world of music, what would you do?
My fantasy job is to score a film, but nobody's asked so far so that will just remain in the fantasy realm.
How would you describe yourself as a guitarist?
I am basically a white boy wanna' be blues guitarist; everyone knows the type. I had a mentor for many years who I really miss, so my playing has taken a rest from frequenting the local blues jams to playing just for myself, but that might change at some point. In the meantime, I work out with my electric Reverend hollow body, trying not to be too loud or obnoxious for the neighbors' sake.
What do you like best about playing the guitar?
It is a cliche, probably because there is some degree of truth to it, but playing an instrument can be therapeutic, perhaps much the same way as painting for an artist might be. That's not to say that it is the reason I play, but you might say that it just works teleologically, and that's OK.
Could you describe some of your favorite music?
Probably my true musical obsession is the Cello Suites by Bach, and one day, perhaps I'll understand why he ended the Prelude of the 5th Suite with a picardy third, but until then, I just listen in awe each and every time, savoring the nuances that different cellists bring to the Suites. I do not have a favorite, or I might for a week, but then it changes. So many interpretations, so little time!
Getting to know you and your personality type…
What is your Myers-Briggs type and your enneagram type?
So, INFJ here, and I actually forget my Enneagram type; it must not have resonated with me quite as much as Myers-Briggs.
How did you find out that you are an INFJ?
It was quite by accident that I took the test. A friend, (ok, a former lover, an ENTP as it turned out), was asked to take it for something job related. I looked at her results and became intrigued, took the test, and the rest is, as they say, history.
What does being an INFJ mean for you?
It really did explain quite a lot of things, reasons why I made certain momentous decisions, reasons why I think and act in the quirky way that I do. It actually was, truth be told, and still is, a source of comfort for me.
What do you think of personality typing?
That's not to say that people can be put in a personality box, as it were, but Mr. Jung was on to something, and it didn't hurt that I was already an admirer of his. Memories, Dreams, and Reflections is a staple on my night stand, along with Unamuno's Tragic Sense of Life. Philosophically, I am very much an existentialist, or my spin on it is exizentialist. In fact, my Twitter feed is Exizentialist1.
You are a contributor to the debate forum and other forums which feature political discussions. What guides your political viewpoints?
Politically, I'm left of center, as most people here who know me will attest, but I'm really not an ideologue, as I'm not drawn to isms of any kind, so joining a political party will not be happening any time soon.
Any comments about current events?
I do, however, loathe the current presidunce in ways that cannot even be imagined. One of the more telling things I read recently was from his Art of the Deal ghost writer, who mentioned that the presidunce possesses a robust 200 word vocabulary, lol, which is not surprising if you've ever heard him try to speak, try to string together just a couple of coherent thoughts. It is still astonishing to me to this day that he was elected, absolutely astonishing, and what little faith I had in humankind has been diminished as a result, sigh.
Hugs. When you get discouraged about current events, is there any other place where you find your hope?
It would be pretty boring if we all agreed on all matters all the time. So yeah, I play some guitar, dabble in assorted other projects, because this is what the living do while waiting to die. The question to ask is whether these "distractions" are worthwhile pursuits that might actually give something back, or are they enormous time wasters, which brings us full circle, back to one person’s weed being another person’s wildflower, right? When I figure that one out, I'll let you know, lol! Our role to play here, just might be to try and answer that question to the extent we're able, i.e., our role to play might be to find out what our role to play ought to be.
Getting to know you in the PerC community…
What do you think about the PerC Community?
I love this place. I love the game forum, especially Answer in Exactly Five Words, Wrong Answer Game, and Answer With a Question Only. There's sometimes more deep thinking going on there than in Critical Thinking and Philosophy, another frequent haunt of mine.
Do you visit the INFJ forum? What do you think about communicating with other INFJs?
Interestingly, I seldom write much in the INFJ threads, but it is reassuring for me to read posts from kindred spirits, and I'm usually like, yeah, yup, uh huh. It's just nice to know that, yes, I can be odd, an enigmatic hermit at times, and even obscurant, but there are others out there too as well! I have a tribe!! That was huge for me, and I have Personality Cafe to thank for that.
Would you like to give a shout out to anyone here?
I'd like to thank @MsBossyPants for nominating me for this honor, Thanks girl!! I'll leave you all with a great line from my favorite Marxist: "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others."