INTJ Holiday House Rules

HolidaysA few house rules for the holiday season. This house, at least. It’s an annual tradition around these parts.

If you’re an introvert, especially of the INTJ variety, you might want to give it some thought.

No drama under any circumstances. If you must have drama, save it for some other holiday or, better still, your birthday.

Animals are welcome.

Gifts are for kids. No, you’re not a kid. If you want to give him or her a gift, do it on a day when they’re not expecting to receive one. At first, you’ll be considered a curmudgeon, but it will pass.

Be with the people you love, not the people who are obligatory holiday visitors.

Family is how you define it.

If you don’t eat too much, you’re probably not having a good time. If you drink too much, you’ll soon have a rough time.

If you bring an attitude you get the back door. Scrooge is always watching.

Try to listen rather than talk. There are already enough talkers and they really roll it all out on holidays.

If you have a boss, avoid him or her on the holiday. The results of these holiday encounters are rarely beneficial to either party.

If you don’t have a boss, don’t be one on this holiday.

Remember the cook. Visit the kitchen, briefly. It’s the heart of the home.

No platitudes, please.

If you play a game, make sure that no one loses. There must always be a reward for last place.

Did I mention animals? They enjoy the holidays and bring us all cheer.

To all of you who have visited, have a wonderful, happy and safe holiday season.


From a Mule to His Rider

Grey Mule.To claim willfulness and intelligence is to waste words. To offer reasons or excuses is useless, barren.

Neither will do.

To assume I am slow and steady is to misread me. That is what leads to the surprises you seem to find so discomforting. Slow is the walk when you lead me somewhere of your liking with nothing more than assumptions and commands,  no matter how pleasingly uttered. Steady is nothing more than my practice in patience because we do not always communicate perfectly.

I am always waiting.

That is my nature.

What is yours?

Stubbornness is your word for an unrealized single purpose and toothy goal. My want is nothing more than to be. You may view my resistance as a weapon. I see it as a plea.

I will be your partner but never your property. Watch my movements, my glances, my quiet moments in the pasture. Be still, listen, watchful. This is how you will come to know my soul. Do this and we can be friends.

Let me breathe, seek out my own purpose, grow in wisdom and experience, be old and gracious.

Do this and we can be friends for all my years.

Respect my journey and I will take you anywhere on yours.

Myers Briggs, My INTJ Wants a Refund!

Español: Tipo Myers-Briggs INTJ

A curse upon these houses: Carl Jung, Myers & Briggs, and my INTJ persona. Why do you torture me so?

You would think that being an INTJ, belonging to only 2% of the population, would feel pretty good, comfortably special. Think again. Think in terms of the Occupy Movement. Do you want to be in the 99%? I do. But, no. I’m stuck in the 2% and I owe it all to Jung and the Myers & Briggs conspiracy. Well, right back at ya, INTJ style!

Forget the specific qualities of an INTJ, or any other “psychological type.” Just take a look at the company they keep. Geez. It’s the “birds of a feather” argument gone sideways. Mostly.

I suppose there are a few groovy INTJs running loose on the world. But, there are some real losers in this group. I’ll try to give you a short, semi-balanced list.

Bobby Fischer. Yep, world chess champion, for a time. Also, a complete wacko who went so far off the deep end that he was lost forever. If it wasn’t for the good-hearted people of Iceland, Fischer would have lived out his last years on the Moon. Not for me, Bobby.

Mark Zuckerberg. Need I say more? Never push the LIKE button for this guy. If you do, he’ll probably sue you.

Dr. Isaac Asimov, head-and-shoulders portrait,...

Issac Asimov. Someone very cool, right? Someone we can all love, eh? Got to groove with one of his best INTJ quotes: Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. Woops. Well, maybe that was just a little lapse. Let’s try again: The only people I ever met whose intellects surpassed my own were Carl Sagan and Marvin Minsky. Urg. Let’s move on.

John Nash. Ever see the movie, A Beautiful Mind? It made him look like a pretty nice guy. Just a little uncorked, but brilliant. There’s much more to the story. Do a little checking.

Stephen Hawking. OK, this sounds good. Hard to argue with this guy. However, he may have shot a bit high with his goals, like many INTJs. Here’s what he said: My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe. Try this one: Philosophy is dead. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge. No problems with confidence, INTJ style. Humility still works in the real world.

Jane Austen. Obligatory. For me, boring.

Ted Kaczynski. Best known to us as the Unabomber. Man, this is nuts! How did he ever get into the 2% club? Someone must have given him a hall pass. No dinner invites for this creep.

Vladimir Lenin. He lived by his own words: Trust is good. Control is better. Just not my kind of guy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was pretty good as the Terminator. When he got into politics he terminated himself because he couldn’t keep his waffle in the holster. Is this the best an INTJ can do?

Jodie Foster. Finally! Two thumbs up. If you don’t like Jodie Foster you need to go back home and re-take the Myers & Briggs test.

Chevy Chase. Yep, another winner, along with his INTJ friend, Dan Akroyd.

Lance Armstrong. Yikes! Back to the bottom of the barrel. Sorry about that.

A portrait of the Bohemian writer Franz Kafka ...

Franz Kafka. A little strange but captivating. Much more to my taste than that other INTJ, Ayn Rand. Well, on second thought, I guess they had a lot in common.

Stanley Kubrick. Right up there with Jodie Foster. If you don’t like Kubrick, you don’t deserve your Myers & Briggs test results.

Hannibal Lecter. I have no flippin’ idea how this guy made it onto everyone’s INTJ list, but he did. What can I say? At least his mask was pretty fun.

This is a good place to put the whole thing back into the trusty hands of the 99%.

The Leaky Writer

The Plumber

I’m not thinking about straight-ahead journalism here. Not news reporting, scientific papers, pure history or anything of that ilk. I’m thinking about the creative writer, the fiction author, the storyteller or the humorist. I’m absolutely talking about the poet and that special kind of writer whose genre cannot be defined.

I’m thinking about the story behind the story. It’s all about the leaky writer.

It’s cliche to even mention that all writers are ultimately writing about themselves. Sure, the thought is worn down, overused, just accepted as part of the writing game. But it’s also true and it’s an enormous slice of the reading experience, if you pay attention.

We read the story, the novel, the screenplay, whatever. We like it. The characters are compelling, the story line moves us in some way that we appreciate. But underneath it all, hidden behind every scene and each character who slides through the pages, lurks the life of the writer. It’s the leaky writer syndrome and it’s universal.

Sometimes we aren’t even aware of the leaky writer. His or her personal story goes unnoticed, camouflaged by the plot and the players. That other layer sleeps deeply and may never rise to the surface. Even in these cases, it’s there. It’s always lying in wait for the reader, for just that right and careful reader.

Creative writers are leaky writers. It’s not an intentional action, not some subtle plan designed to layer two or more stories into a single piece of work. In fact, the leaky writer doesn’t usually know he or she is leaky, at first. That subtle story comes out later, maybe in the editing process, maybe in a later draft. Sometimes the back story lies dormant for years or decades and only surfaces later in life.

Many excellent writers never recognize their own leaky writing. It’s an unconscious process, a free-form exercise in art and storytelling that just happens in the background. They write a single story but they are telling two, or even more. It’s their own back story that serves as the foundation for all they have created. It’s the very soul of their art.

Drip emitter

Do you recognize these leaks when you read? Sometimes they are so subtle, so diffuse, that they almost disappear. Still, they are lurking back there, just waiting to surprise you when you least expect it. These are the hidden treasures, the path that leads you back into the writer’s heart and mind.

When you write, do you see your own leaks? Are you even aware of them?

I’m not. Mine all happen in the dark and I usually don’t recognize them until much later, if at all. Sometimes, a close friend or lover can ferret them out, point directly at them, and slap you across the head with an outcome. Sometimes they just stay dormant, maybe forever. Even when they seem to disappear, they are critical to the writing process. It’s the heart of the art.

Does this happen to you? I’ll bet it does, all the time. If you’re a creative writer, you’re a leaky writer. In fact, if you’re an artist of any kind, you’re just filled with leaks, always working at least two story lines at the same time, usually unaware of what’s going on behind the scenes. Your art is at least half an unconscious process, a wonderful synergy that makes creation meaningful and fun.

Go back and look at something you wrote a while ago, maybe years ago. Read it for the hidden story line, looking for the leaks. Sniff out those little tells, that subtle tapestry behind the story you created inside your piece of art. Over the years, you’ll find your personal story in those leaks. You’ll discover a little more about who you are as a person and an artist.

So, the next time you read for pure pleasure, keep an eye out for those leaks. They are just waiting to be discovered. In them you’ll find the soul of the writer and his or her story.

Richard Nixon may have needed plumbers but you don’t. Keep loving those leaks.

Gregor Spanks His Shrink


Gregor likes his shrink, most of the time. However, sometimes his shrink just goes too far. When this happens, Gregor gives him a good spanking.

This is a spank day for Gregor’s shrink.

Gregor thinks that shrinks create too many “syndromes” and “obias” for the general good of the population. He’s very sorry that his own shrink partakes in this kind of ritual, which is probably its own syndrome. So, Gregor would like you to know about some of these excesses of the shrink-mind. He would like you to talk to any shrink you can find and make a plea for simplification.

Gregor thinks these syndromes, disorders and phobias are more complicated than a toaster. He wonders if they are reality-based. He wonders why they have been sliced so precisely from the mental pie. Gregor has doubts about the DSM.

Mythomania. This is the term used by shrinks and only shrinks. It really means nothing more than a pathological liar. In other words, a person who lies about everything for no reason at all. Now, we all know someone like that, right? So, why the “mania?” Keep it simple. Call it what it is. Besides, since when is “myth” and “lie” the same thing? Big spank for this one.

Somatoparaphrenia. It’s a delusion in which the sufferer denies ownership of some part of his or her body. Maybe it’s an arm, leg, or a larger part of the body. Could be a combination. The bottom line is that the sufferer believes something like, “This (insert body part) doesn’t belong to me! It isn’t mine!” Gregor has had these same feelings, usually about his head. He just calls it Alien Head Syndrome.

Alice in Wonderland (1933 film)

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Micropsia). This is one of Gregor’s favorites, so he chooses to spank lightly. It’s a legacy from the baby-boomer, drug-dropping generation. Hint: Think of Jefferson Airplane and White Rabbit. Yep, that’s it. Time, space, and everything else goes tiny, shrunken and distorted, even without the drugs. Scary? Maybe not. Gregor thinks of this syndrome as a flash-back.

Foreign Accent Syndrome. OK, try to follow this one, eh? You suddenly develop a foreign accent. You have no idea how to speak the foreign language, but you have the perfect accent. Sounds like something out of Hollywood to Gregor. Rare, but it happens. Gregor would like to try this out the next time he travels to Mississippi.

Genital Retraction Syndrome. Gregor doesn’t even like to think about this one. The sufferer believes that his or her genitals are retracting and will soon disappear. Every culture seems to fall prey to this one. There have even been cases of mass hysteria in Asia, Europe and Africa. This one is so prevalent that it appears in the DSM, the holy book for all shrinks. Gregor doesn’t want to say more about this one.

Paris Syndrome. Visit Paris and this might happen to you. It involves delusional states, paranoia, and hallucinations while visiting the City of Lights. Some sufferers come down with a profound sense of losing themselves when confronted by rude waiters. Others sweat profusely, get dizzy, and develop a rapid heart beat. Relief is usually at hand as soon as Paris is behind. Gregor thinks this one is swamp gas since he liked Paris very much.

Stendhal Syndrome. This one is also called “hyperkulturemia,” which is a word only a shrink could invent. Check this out. It only happens when you are viewing beautiful artwork or something equally beautiful. Your heart begins to race, you sweat, you get dizzy, you get confused, you may hallucinate and you might faint. Geez. Stay away from those art galleries, says Gregor.

English: jerusalem syndrome

Jerusalem Syndrome. So, you’re doing just fine. You travel to Jerusalem. Suddenly, you develop obsessive ideas, fall into some psychotic state, develop delusions, perhaps hallucinations. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian, Muslim or Jew. You get it anyway. Visit Jerusalem and freak out. Shrinks like this one so much they have given it three different “types” to sort it all out for the rest of us. Gregor wonders.

Capgras Delusion. Imagine this. You think your spouse, best friend, your sibling or someone else close to you is an imposter. Some shrinks call it a delusion, others a syndrome. When it happens, shrinks agree that the problem runs much deeper than the delusion. Gregor agrees.

Fregoli Delusion. Gregor likes this one. Imagine that you believe a bunch of different people are actually the same person in disguise. Even shrinks will tell you this one is rare. Gregor disagrees. Gregor sees disguised people all around him, along with his alien head and an intense fear of art.

Reduplicative Paramnesia. This one is troublesome. Imagine that your favorite coffee hangout actually exists in two places at the same time. What if it’s your own house? Your own bathroom? Urg. Gregor has heard of quantum entanglement. Is this the same thing on a larger scale? This goodie sometimes happens after a brain injury. Gregor’s self-lobotomy failed. Is there a connection?

Gregor lives here.

Excerpt: Thick Ankles

First Precept of the Thick Ankle Society

The first occult teaching is simple enough to comprehend: the boomer generation has royally fucked up America and,in the process,the rest of the world.
They are a catastrophic disappointment to the Merovingians and the rest of the universe.

The first precept is occult because no one wants to admit to it, especially the boomers who made it happen, who invented the strategy. It’s number one because everything that has happened derives from it, sort of like the popular aphorism,“shit runs downhill.” In boomer-speak that’s what being first is all about. It’s also the most important of all teachings, even though you might not like it. You’ll figure out why by reading on. But in true boomer style, who cares if you don’t like it? I’m a boomer and I don’t.

You can make this all go away by just putting the book back in its occult corner of the Thick Ankle Society, from whence it came. However, be mindful of the downhill effects of bad karma, which is boomer-speak (BS) for getting your butt kicked.

If you’re a boomer, get ready for some payback. You’ve got it coming, man. If you’re not, well, you’ll know who to blame when you’ve finished reading.

Excerpt: Heartland


If I say too much you might decide that you like it here. You might even want to come up and visit. Maybe that would be OK, but I’m not so sure. It all depends upon your attitude. You’ll need an attitude check and some connections. It’s not for everybody.

Anyway, it’s not my job to make it easy on you. That’s up to you. I’ll just tell you what I know, what I see, and you can work out the rest of it.

Expect a few white lies, just to make sure you don’t come running up here without knowing what in the hell you’re doing. The lies won’t matter much, they won’t change anything. They’re like the old wooden fence posts down on the south pasture. They look good but don’t do much.