Monday, January 08, 2007

Five things you probably don't know about me

Danny Sanchez at Journalistopia tagged me in the latest blogger game back on Dec. 21. And I'm only just now getting around to responding. My apologies to Danny and the entire blogosphere.
The object of the game is to tell you five things that you probably don't know about me. And then "tag' five other bloggers and have them do the same.

So here goes:
1. I was a soldier once, and young. The thing I'm most proud of is that I once served in the Army. I was an 11B -- an infantryman, a ground-pounding, highly motivated knucklehead with an M-16. And god how I loved it. I had to struggle like crazy to get into the service. I've had a medical condition (phlebitis) for most of my life that led to my failing a few intake exams. But eventually the Army took me in. As fate would have it, my condition worsened. Eventually I received a medical discharge. And on my last day in the Army, on a parade ground in Fort Benning, I wore a uniform and saluted the flag for what I assume will be the last time in my life. And I cried like a baby.
2. I was once a roadie for "Alvin and the Chipmunks." Years ago I found myself on a tour through the Midwest and Canada of a Christmas show featuring Alvin, Theodore, Simon and Dave Seville. I spent seven weeks living on a bus with a bunch of incredibly cute dancers from Los Angeles (in the show they donned costumes to transform into the Chipmunks, Frosty the Snowman, Mother Goose and assorted other characters.)
3. I got into a lot of trouble when I was a kid. I had a hard time staying put, being good or associating with decent people. I skipped a lot of school, broke a lot of laws, and hitchhiked up and down the East Coast. I was busted a few times. I was homeless for a short while. And one night, far from home and surrounded by strangers, someone drove a knife through my left lung.
4. I like to dance. I spent much the late 70s and early 80s in the nightclubs of New York -- CBGBs, the Mudd Club, the Peppermint Lounge, etc. I used to be a great dancer. And now, despite the phlebitis and middle age, I'm still pretty good. I look forward to the day when I tell my baby daughter that I met her Mom on the dance floor -- at a salsa class.
5. Back in the early 80s, I had a buddy named Kevin who was sick with what people then called gay cancer, then later called gay-related immune deficiency, and eventually called AIDS. And Kevin used to tell me that his dying wish was that I hook up with this wonderful girl he had met -- a disc jockey/dancer/singer with a fabulous name who had moved to the city from Michigan. But I didn't follow up. And eventually Kevin died. So I never met Madonna. On the other hand, I did once get an Eskimo kiss from Natassia Kinski.

Now I'll pass this on to five of my fellow B2B media bloggers: David Shaw and David Newcorn (in hope it will prompt them to blog more often), Colin Crawford (in hope it will prompt him to blog again), Prescott Shibles (to congratulate him for returning to blogging) and Sara Sheadel (to welcome her to blogging.)

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  1. Just when I thought you couldn't surprise me, Paul, you pull out touring with the Chipmunks! I'm sure everyone else will find the other four more interesting, but I think I've heard a lot of those stories to be surprised by anything of that nature. For those of you that actually read these comments, Paul conditioned me to acknowledge my marching orders with "Roger that" when I worked for him -- so much so that I still say it today.

  2. Hi Prescott,
    I can't believe I never told you about the Chipmunks. I have some very funny stories from that tour. And I even have a tour jacket!

  3. Well I didn't know you were a fellow salsa dancer. I grew up dancing a bit of salsa in Miami, but I really had to learn in college. It was that, or my lovely girlfriend would probably have dumped me!

  4. Hi Danny,
    I came late to salsa ... not picking it up until I was nearly 40. But I love it. And it helped me win the heart of a lovely woman.

  5. I'm speechless and that doesn't happen often.

  6. Hi Howard,
    I'm guessing it's the Natassia Kinski story that left you speechless. Remind me the next time I see you to tell you the details. :>

  7. For all this time, I've come to your blog for sage observations on the future of trade publishing. And now I find out you could have dated Madonna (among other stories). Adds another dimension, to say the least.

    -- Madhu Unnikrishnan

  8. Hi Madhu,
    Thanks. The only thing better than having almost dated Madonna is being an Internet "sage." :>