Friday, May 23, 2008

The Animal in You...

Enough people ask me about my online persona name "tall penguin" that I think it's high time I wrote a post explaining where it comes from.

Many years ago I bought a book entitled Animal Attraction. It was a fun personality test that linked your personality traits to a specific animal. I carted it around to parties, to work, wherever I went and quizzed everyone I knew to find out what animal they were. You can take the test for yourself here.

Obviously I'm a "penguin" type. And well, I'm pretty tall. So, "tall penguin" became a nickname. I bought the domain name knowing I'd do something with it one day. At one point, it was a creative gathering point for a bunch of jw artists to share their work. As I was making the break from the group, that came down and the land lay fallow for awhile. In December of 2006, I launched this blog and it's become tall penguin's world of self-discovery ever since.

What is a "penguin" type like you ask? According to the personality test creator, Roy Feinson, this is the penguin personality:

"Now you see it, now you don't. Aggressive yet gentle, outgoing but shy, stable yet flighty -- everyone sees the penguin in a different way. It's that black and white thing -- the penguin only reveals the side that it wants to you to see. So, whether you like this darling-devil or not, you have to concede that it's a fascinating and enigmatic individual.

For penguins are birds condemned to live out their days on the ground. Unable to fly, their excess energy has no outlet save their creative talents and emotional outbursts. Penguins are poetic, artistic, and intellectually gifted, and as writers, penguins have no equal. But, if unable to channel their impulses in a positive way, the resulting turmoil proves damaging to their relationships and careers.

With a natural aptitude for languages, penguin personalities dominate the world of publishing as writers, editors and journalists. A strong sense of drama draws them to the theater and cinema, although unlike typical bird personalities, they avoid the spotlight unless they're able to hide behind the characters they play. Once on stage however, they prove to be excellent performers with their multifaceted personalities conveying the full gamut of emotions.

However, a lack of confidence affects their work and penguins tend to give up too easily. So work never dominates their lives and they always put their families first. Those intimate with their penguin personality are impressed by their unswerving loyalty. They are sentimental at heart and always remember anniversaries and the birthdays of nieces and nephews. With a strong compassion for others, they place their family's needs ahead of their own but often end up being taken advantage of.

In matters of the heart, penguins connect poorly with other bird personalities who look down on them because of their terrestrial connections. Mammalian personalities also treat them with suspicion too, finding them to be flighty and unpredictable.

Since penguins have the coldest feet in the animal kingdom, it's no surprise that within its conflicted bosom there beats the warmest heart of all. Unfortunately, most of us will never experience this gentle compassion, for penguins ration their love only to family and close friends."

Yes, the ever-conflicted penguin. A flightless bird. Story of my life. But a dear jw friend lightened my heart one day when she said, "Penguins fly. They just fly in liquid sky."

So, there you have it. Everything you did and didn't want to know about my screen name. My favourite part of being a penguin? "Within it's conflicted bosom there beats the warmest heart of all." And so it is.

tall penguin

edited to add: The link for the test appears to be broken. I hope that's a temporary thing. The book is worth getting even if just for party laughs. Creates endless conversation. There's always one snake in the room who gets ribbed the rest of the night. :)


Flonkbob said...

Awww. Bummer. The online test is broken. I'll just have to stick with what I know...I'm a Raven.

Ged said...


ADODB.Field error '800a0bcd'

Either BOF or EOF is True, or the current record has been deleted. Requested operation requires a current record.

/results.asp, line 65

Maybe I'll have to buy the book...

tall penguin said...

I just put up a new link for the test. Try that one out. I'm curious to know what animals you are.

Ged said...

Still getting the error. Looks like somebody emptied the database.

tall penguin said...

hey ged, so sorry about that. Not sure what's up there? If I can find my copy of the book you can email me your responses to the quiz and I'll let you know what animal you are. :)

tall penguin said...

The link appears to be working again. Must have been a temporary issue.

Flonkbob said...

Yay! It worked. I could have been a penguin or a beaver, but neither fit as well as the I guess that's me. ;)

Genera and species: Tyto alba
Collective Term: A parliament of owls
The owl is the tranquil face of the bird personalities. A creature of great integrity, its quiet serene demeanor accords it an air of mystery and diffidence and it is known as the serene, wise observer of human society. Always well groomed, it is a noble individual with elegantly chiseled features that borders on the fine edge of beauty and homeliness. It's large eyes are often framed by handsome eyeglasses.
But like all birds, the owl has a penchant for remaining above the fray and can be quite eccentric in maintaining their individuality. With a tendency to lose themselves in the pursuit of knowledge, owls are prone to disconnect with the relationships that are so important to them. But, they are the first to admit their shortcomings and manage to disarm their critics with a genuinely humble self-appraisal. Abraham Lincoln used this technique rather effectively in his reign as president.
Owls have developed quite a reputation for intelligence but it's really their calm and insightful nature that gives this impression. Instead of an intellectual approach to life they use their deeper spiritual senses to guide them, and like their nocturnal cohort the bats, have a deeply philosophical bent.
Unlike the terrestrial creatures, the owl is not a prisoner of its sex-drive, but with its air of refined sensuality is hardly shy about throwing itself into the physical aspects of a relationship. When it focuses its sharp ardor on its lover it ignites a steamy and animated encounter. The owl views sex as a complement to its relationships and certainly not as a key component. It would do well to recognize the significance of physical affection outside the bedroom, for its partner is often starved for non-sexual reassurance.
A discussion with an owl is both enlightening and challenging. It somehow manages to spin the most mundane subjects into philosophical musings on the nature of humanity and the state of the world. While these discussions are provocative and engaging, they often obscure the real purpose of communication -- the revealing of one's heart and mind. Take heed, wise owl. Remember that sometimes things are just what they seem!

tall penguin said...

Hey flonkbob! Or shall I say flonkowl or owlbob? So, you're my fine-feathered friend after all. :)

Flonkbob said...