Wednesday, June 12, 2013

At the moment this blog is a secret between me and Jumpstart staff but that will soon change and before you know it will become a worldwide phenomenon provoking questions like “Who’s Paul” “Why would you continue that?” “Why would you start in the first place” and “Does this mean more competitions?”
As regards the last question I am now not only unemployed (or will be as of Friday) but also a non-profit worker who is unemployed so the likelihood of more prizes is not imminent. The more observant and aware of you may question “how come then you can talk about buying a racehorse?” That’s a very good question* and the answer is simple: it is a business investment that will pay back many times over (well that’s what I have told Kim and now I am almost starting to believe it myself)

* I once worked with someone who said “That’s a very good question” after virtually every question. It was a clear sign that he no idea how to answer and was just playing for time; it was our clue (the rest of the Executive) to come in and rescue him from his discomfort. I can say, with hand on heart, that no one has ever used this technique at Jumpstart. I wish they had because some of the crazy answers I’ve had to listen to could easily have been avoided …but I digress

I was expecting someone to suggest that I give a prize for the best spray tan as that seems close to my heart. That is a very cruel and unnecessary comment but I have to confess that, as the summer is here (well..sort of), I am keeping up a regular tanning regimen. I have decided that the world needs to see my legs on the weekend and the glare from the pasty white version of the winter would only serve to blind half the population of Boston. In addition, as there is no sun block strong enough to protect my skin after chemo, I am obliged to have a spray tan. However, I also believe in not doing things at half measure so it isn’t just a case of turning up. Oh no..there is the little matter of exfoliation to contend with.

I spent the vast part of my life having no idea what it was or how to do it. Initially, the idea of rubbing liquid sand into my skin seemed very strange but as the weeks have gone on I am starting to get used to it. My technique is as follows:

Get into the walk-in shower and turn on – quick rinse

Move shower head to one side, apply sand over body taking care not to pull a muscle in my back,contort my legs in multiple
directions and attempt not to fall over.

Rinse sand off body, express amazement at how soft my skin is and then get out of shower

What I failed to notice on Sunday is that, during my various contortions, I had kicked the shower door open and that the shower head was pointed directly at the opening. As I stepped onto the sodden mat outside the shower I sort of sensed that this was not going to be good – it wasn’t! 100 sheets of super strong absorbent kitchen towels later (those commercials lie, by the way) the bathroom was starting to dry out. Kim was out at the gym so I had 30 minutes to dry the mats (there were 2) and so I put them in the tumble dryer. Apparently things can be too wet to be dried and so it proved; I was forced to wash them and then any idea of getting away with this was totally gone. Luckily Kim saw the funny side and my day after my birthday day was saved!

People new to this blog may well be wondering why I am telling you all of this; people who are avid readers will wonder why it took me until Thursday to tell them. That’s the point; it’s whatever happens or what’s on my mind and there really are no rules – just be honest and take the embarrassment and finger pointing in my stride!

Anyway let’s get back to something much more interesting: the choices of the two winners who got to design and order their own shoes. If you recall from the Corps Supports meeting (please don’t ask – non-Jumpstart readers)the winners were Alex Aja from UC Berkeley and Leslie Randall from Charlestown (and the Boston office). Their designs are at the top and all I will say is that Leslie must like heels!!

Finally, I have been speaking and writing to people all week to say goodbye (I have left all the Jumpstart staff until the last couple of days). I received the following response:
“Dear Paul,
My apologies for forwarding the e-mails between Claire and me. I suppose that it is not the worst thing for you to discover that I think you are an interesting guy! Nonetheless, please forgive my carelessness.

The problem is: I never received any forwarded emails.What could she have said? I am almost tempted to give a prize for the best guesses!!

I hope you will continue to follow the blog and I look forward to a lot of fun going forward.


  1. Oh, Paul! Looking forward to the blog continuation. And all of the pop culture references I'm sure to miss in the future!