100 Things You Should Know About Pj: Part One

One of the many writers whom I follow, Sean Campbell, has offered up over the years multiple lists of quirky (as well as mundane) items of knowledge about himself on his blog, Don’t Cross the Streams. I thought the idea of “100 facts” was intriguing — something about the exercise of self-examination from a singular view — and started compiling a list a while back. It’s interesting to see how some of the items I wrote not even six months ago are already invalid, but I figured I’d share a little bit more about myself by kicking off this list of 100 things with the first 25. I’m sure it’s more than you ever wanted to know:

  1. I sleep with the light on when I sleep alone, unless, of course, the sun is up. Thankfully, I almost never sleep alone now.
  2. I have five tattoos and my ever-changing master-plan is to have two half-sleeves by the end of ’08’09.
  3. When I am in a comfortable situation with friends, it is impossible to shut me up and I speak with authority. But when I am put on the spot in a professional speaking situation — meetings, radio appearances, guest speaking — I fumble and sound like an idiot. Goes with my feeling that I am just a punk kid in a (sorta) grown-up body.

    On the wagon.

    On the wagon.

  4. I didn’t drink alcohol from about 2002 or 2003 until 2007, and even since, only for short periods during abnormally festive seasons. My drink of choice is vodka with ruby red grapefruit juice.
  5. I failed my driver’s exam on the first try. It wasn’t bad enough I turned right into the far left lane, but then I couldn’t parallel park for shit. Bear in mind, this was in Las Vegas, where there are giant, free parking lots EVERYWHERE.
  6. I was always very fast and limber as a kid, but I was never encouraged to engage in sports. I played soccer in elementary school for one season. A friend and I went to a recruiting day for a track team in high school, but my endurance had been deadened by smoking. I would have made a decent wide receiver if only I could catch a ball.
  7. I wrote an awesome speech about John F. Kennedy for a speech contest in fourth or fifth grade and probably would have won an awesome award but I got nervous and rushed through it, falling short of the required three-minute minimum, thereby disqualifying me and leaving with only an “honorable mention.”
  8. I lost my virginity at 16. Well, not so much “lost” as “threw the hell out.”
  9. I did not go to my senior prom because a week prior, I caught chickenpox from my younger brother and was bedridden for two weeks.
  10. In my younger years, I was obsessive about analyzing my love life in my personal journals, to the point that I made lists of not only all the people I had dated (updated on a semi-regular basis) but also made lists of people I wanted to date but never did. Those journals have since been destroyed.
  11. The first concert I ever went to was Salt-N- Pepa, Keith Sweat and DJ E-Z Rock & Rob Base at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas when I was 12. I’m pretty sure I was the only white kid, even in the nosebleeds. I won the tickets from a local Top 40 radio station.
  12. I love to give people gifts but I am terrible at figuring out what to get them.
  13. I feel guilty when I receive gifts.
  14. I was voted “Best Sense of Humor” in sixth grade.
  15. I can’t drive a manual transmission vehicle. Well, maybe I could, but I never have.
  16. When I was in sixth grade, I was inadvertently knocked backward off a 6-or-7-foot-high wall onto the asphalt below. The only thing I remember is waking up in a wheelchair in the nurse’s office. I think it’s the only concussion I’ve ever had. Thankfully.
  17. My weight stayed between 135 and 169 lbs. for about 15 years. In the last year, it went up to 185 lbs., a weight I’m not comfortable with, and have pared down to under 180.
  18. I chose my first name and was adopted into my last name.
  19. Though I was not really raised with any religious influence, and do not believe in, follow or practice any religion, three-fifths of my tattoos are religious symbols, and more will likely be as well.

    Buckwheat says "A-Otay!"

    Buckwheat says "A-Otay!"

  20. In high school, my friend Brian and I became fairly obsessed with Buckwheat from Our Gang, as translated through Eddie Murphy‘s take on him in the infamous Saturday Night Live sketches. We created a Buckwheat Sandwich (shaved turkey, swiss cheese, dijon mustard and horseradish on a French roll, slightly heated) and left tags around our neighborhood walls, doors and signs proclaiming “Buckwheat says ‘A-Otay’.”
  21. Said friend Brian and I had a weekly ritual when he would crash at my family’s apartment — we’d go to the grocery store, get flavored seltzer water, Italian cookies and then go hang out at my apartment complex’s pool, hoping to come across girls. Which occasionally did happen. We developed a pretty decent two-man seltzer bottle juggling act.
  22. In high school, some of my schoolmates called me “Hair,” presumably because I had long hair.
  23. Major pet peeve: People who jaywalk when there is a crosswalk 20 feet away. It’s beyond laziness: It’s dangerous and stupid, especially in Las Vegas where our thoroughfares are typically 6-to-8 lanes wide.
  24. I’m rather hirsute and can grow a beard in a week, but I have two small areas on either side of my mouth where hair just will not grow. I thought this was weird until I saw an actor on Days of Our Lives with a beard who had a similar hairline.
  25. I eat mustard on pretzels, never cheese. And hot dogs — or in my case, the veggie equivalents — always get mustard as well, never ketchup.


  1. Olivia January 16, 2009 7:04 pm 

    Nice to know these things, also good to know that I’m not the only one who has let the second helping of Dinner cause a gain in waistline! I will use your loss as inspiration!

  2. Pj Perez January 16, 2009 7:19 pm 

    You’re perfect the way you are, kid. Don’t change a thing. 🙂