It's pretty much SOP in OpenGL to just always re-draw the current frame. I doubt a static pause screen is going to chew up much CPU, but if you're really concerned about it, render to a FBO then refresh that using a lower framerate like 5fps.
Newbie walks in, is advised to use FBOs and is never seen again
yeah.... This is my first Java game and it's mostly so I can learn the language. Also, I think the way I'm doing it should work.
The other thing about my "draw once" method is that it simplifies a lot of code for a different problem: textboxes. I left that out in my initial post because it seemed extraneous, but I have the same problem for when I draw rpg-esque textboxes (and want the game to stop). So for the sake of my sanity, I'm going to ignore FBOs for now but keep them tucked in the back of my head. Thanks, though
NOW: I was looking at the Display API and I found the "swapBuffer()" method, so I'm gonna see if I can make this all work using that and come back here later with a progress report
(As to why I'm doing the 1 pixel over the screen approach, I was planning on doing something more elegant later once I get this up and running)