by paulo on November 25, 2008
so, for those of you too lazy to track down the current trail or who aren’t already familiar with it, let me just tell you that being tagged is a bit like playing truth or dare.. except no one ends up making out in the closet. essentially, i share seven things about me that are relatively unknown.. and then i tell seven more people to do the same.
but, for those inquisitive minds: angie tagged me, she was tagged by ouiser, she was tagged by feathernester, and she was tagged by snarkygirl.. who i don’t know at all but i do know she sleeps with her feet out of the covers.. which freaks me out. really.
i’ll break out of character for a bit and fore go my typical disclaimers.. and we’re off to the wonderfully drab world of paulo.
1. on wednesday mornings for the fall of 2001, from 2-5am in the morning, i, along with punk-wanna-be kc, had a hap-hazard radio show on wmsr. msr as in miami student radio (so.. rainbows weren’t plastered all over the site when we were there.. just a historical note). it was a strange time in my life: i was being sweetly convinced by my girlfriend at the time that i had a great voice and i was trying to give up my habit of always getting cookies-n-cream from handles. somehow this opening seemed to satisfy both. kc was there and, having been from my high school, we naturally banded together since, despite kc’s attempts to be cool and calm, we were both a bit nervous about the whole thing.. college, radio, people, the girl playing with my hair with her bare foot, all that. we were so frazzled, actually, that when they asked what time slots people wanted, we jumped at the chance to grab the first open spot we knew we could get, 2-5am wednesdays. the student leader looked at us, “really?!” the look on his face reminded us how crazy we were but, despite our back-pedalling (“well, i mean, as a second option.. if it’s the only thing open.. you know.. heh”), he was more than happy to ink us in. and thus began the short illustrious career in radio, pjv as a dj, c? we had a huge audience of about twenty.. total people who’d tune in out of pity or drunken confusion.
if they listened in around 4am, kc just loved to run to the rack, grab the “loverboy” vinyl, and, throwing all the slides to the top, blast out “everybody’s working for the weekend“, and we’d jump around the studio. by the end of the fall, i stopped going.. but kept sleeping through my wednesday morning chemistry classes. and, like so many stars of our time, my fame and radio career slowly faded away. (one last note: since wmub actually was the only university radio station permitted to broadcast, we were not technically on the radio.. we were webcast. i know..)
2. i don’t shower much.. not because i don’t like to or because there’s some principle about it.. it’s just that i’m usually too tired and lazy to do much about it. sorry excuses, i know.. but when i do jump in there, i take really long showers. personally, there’s little better in this world that being in warm water with nothing to distract you. i like to cup my hands around my ears so the water builds up and, if only for a little, i get to feel like i’m under a huge waterfall. but then i get out and i feel like i’m a freaking onion – my skin peels away for what seems like days. and that’s more embarrassing than any other possible side effects.
3. i hate my teeth. i really do. and i’m extremely paranoid about them. i’m plagued by the fear that i’m going to have more cavities or that i’ll need dentures prematurely or that people are quietly disgusted by my mouth. i’ve worked myself into a pit of depression, true depression, just by standing in front of the mirror, looking into my mouth, into every corner, nook, cranny, and crevice until i’m absolutely certain my jaw will be removed in short order, tossed into the heap as a complete, hopeless waste, and will be replaced by a series of deer hooves. i had braces for three years and a retainer that said “laid back” for another several years (yeah.. it really says that. i still have it if you don’t believe me)
4. i like to pretend sometimes that i’m secret agent or that i’m on a mission from tom clancy. it’s pretty predictable when it’ll happen: it’s almost always late, always in an empty or partially empty building, and always involves me stealing something, typically something (seemingly) worthless. a few examples.. freshman year, bounding around kenyon college in ohio with my girlfriend (a pastor’s daughter no less), we gently tested the doors and, when they gave way, the game was on. i’d move up to a corner, give a quick glance around the turn, and, if was clear (of course it was), i’d dive across the way into the lecture hall. that adventure i left with a professor’s mug and my girlfriend, m, scored a wall clock. actually, we almost got caught. on leaving one building a janitor saw us and struck off towards us. m, with a clock the width of her waist under her jacket, froze. i went to him (mainly to avoid him hearing the inordinately loud the ticking coming from her stomach) and explain i was a prospective student and my friend (a nod to, and a painfully nervous wave from, m) was just showing me around campus. paulo stikes again! and then there were the times jena and i would snoop around the ysu extension building when she should have been working. she was 23, i was 16. we’d walk on the huge tables in the abandoned meetings rooms, then run up to the roof and watch as everyone left. through the semester, we got to be pretty close. typically i’d skip class and hang out with her, she’d answer the phone and, in an annoyed and pretentious tone, transfer or simply hang up on the caller. she had tattoos, warned some kids about special k, and drew sketches of me. she had me over her place once with a bunch of friends.. i think they were confused why she had the young narc, the square over for the evening, wasn’t my mother looking for me (actually, she probably was). i left early (because my mom was looking for me) and we said we’d keep in touch. last i heard she was at osu struggling to get used to columbus and the scene. i keep trying to track her down but.. well, people like her just seem to disappear. which might be for the best anyway..
5. i’m not a smoker.. but i definitely can enjoy a cigarette now and again. now, before you shake your heads, let me emphasize a couple things. one) by now and again i mean that the last smoke i had was this weekend past and the last one before that was more than a year ago. two) i only smoke when i’m very stressed.. or very tired. three) nicotine is an anti-depressant.. so just chalk it up to self-medication. that might also be the explanation for the coffee consumption. and if you’re curious, camel’s, turkish gold are my smoke of choice. they’re actually pretty disgusting.. but they’re what my high school friends insisted on having every time and that just makes the smoke a little more worth it.
6. my senior year of high school, i worked at a waste water treatment plant. believe me, nothing glamarous about this one, carlee can attest to the smell. but, over the course of a summer, you get used to it. i would spend most of the day hanging out, hiding on the third floor, or talking on the phone. now, that sounds like i was a slacker but, while i was definitely slacking, it was an order. the first few days i was there, the full-timers would call me off from the mower or from painting and tell me to chill out, relax, come watch the game. or they’d show me the spots in the maintenance building where the boss would see you. i spent most of the summer sanding and painting pipes in a long, underground tunnel. wasn’t all bad..
i’d listen to music and get lost in the mundane routine of the back-and-forth. it’s a little strange to say (and just plain funny now) but it was then, during that summer underground, that i was the most religiously aware, interested, and faithful. there were many times down there, alone, listening to music, that i felt a connection to something, a movement towards something unseen. and it’s especially funny now since, in looking back on it, that tunnel had horrible ventilation. most days i’d come up with white nostrils.. not subtly white.. like “mom, where’s your nail polish” white. so maybe that had a bit to do with it. that’s not to say i suddenly lost my religion on emerging each evening from the tunnel. in fact, there was a point during my second semester of college, eight months or so later, when i felt a.. a push, a move.. not quite that.. almost an obligation to become a missionary. granted, that lasted all of the walk home. still, it was an important time in it’s own respects, and still is for many of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with religion but with how i react to certain feelings (or perhaps a certain feeling.. it’s interesting to consider that a lot of the past five to seven years have been a shift towards obligations). i haven’t completely abandoned my faith.. it’s just become something more vague, more (i loath the word..) holistic, more abstract.. my friend va calls it a spirituality and i’ve since seen that essence referenced elsewhere, particularly in the river why (here david james duncan specifically calls it “unspiritual spirituality”) . maybe it’s just a fancy, if shorter, way of saying, “taking care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, and take care of those around me as myself”. if it is, amen.
7. when i was in middle school, i sold pumpkins. lots of pumpkins. literally a ton of pumpkins. my step dad got me into it, wanted to make a young, enterprising fellow out of this fro-headed, awkward, sweater wearing kid. so we loaded up a friend’s old blue truck, balanced the orange orbs delicately, and annoyed anyone unfortunately enough to end up behind us while we drove back to suburbia. we had a corner lot and in the mornings i’d set up with benches, wreathes, calculators, and scales.. and we called it “paul’s perfet pumpkin patch”. and that’s not a typo – my mom, who put together the sign in goodwill, had a bit of an issue with spelling. and so it remained.. perfetly. (i’ll add pictures when i find and scan ‘em) to this day, i have to wonder if it didn’t get me more sales, if people didn’t drive by, see me in all my incredible awkwardness, and, taking pity on me, pulled into the drive to pick up their jack-o-lantern to be. truth is, i was running a racket. full on.. it wasn’t price gouging but damn if it weren’t close. it was always funny when, after plopping it on the scale, punching the calculator, and telling them the total, their faces would suddenly change, having realized in the moment that they’ve just been had. paulo strikes again! ..ok.. it wasn’t that intense but they were pretty expensive pumpkins and profits did go down as i got older and “cute” was replaced with “pitiful” and was eventually completely substituted with “sad”. but it was fun.. and tiring.. and kept my parents out of my untamed hair for many a fall afternoon.
alright.. that was a stretch. and it’s late (surprise surprise). so here’s the next round of suckers:
..umm.. ok, i’m going to have to work on the other three. but for now, you’ll live.