True Enough For You

Check your thighs in the mirror, ma. I'm done.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Thrush Thrush, Hurry Hurry Lover, Come to Me.

Do you know what the disease “thrush” is? Thrush is the widely used term for a common fungal infection caused by Candida albicans. Usually this takes the form of trivial vaginal or mouth infections, although it can affect the body more widely and seriously on rare occasions. I know this because I was confronted by a thrushy individual on the street last night.

I was starving, minding my own business, walking to my car so I could drive to JB’s house to eat dinner and watch some good reality tv. On the way to my garage, a man stopped me and asked if I would help him. I said maybe. That probably sounds so condescending, but I don’t like to commit to doing anything until I know all the terms of commitment. What if he had asked me to help him rob a bank or something? I am a man of my word, and I just wouldn’t want to be committed to that. He asked me if I knew what thrush was. I backed up, cringed and whimpered no. And then he told me what it was in far less eloquent terms than I have aforementioned. He said, “It’s a yeast infection in your throat.” Jigga what?

A yeast infection in your throat.

Now normally this kind of revelation would send me stumbling into the street, searching for the nearest Lexus SUV tire to wedge my head under. But in a surprising, rare moment of clarity, I realised I was too tired. At least I was no longer starving. He asked if I would buy his prescription for him because he had no money, and, well, he also had this yeast infection in his throat. I had to decline, because (a.) I don’t have that kind of money, (b.) he was a complete stranger and (c.) Oh My God! He has a yeast infection in his throat. He looked surprised when I said no. His surprised look then turned to pissed, as I would be too if I had a yeast infection in my throat. But I would be pissed at God or at life in general, not at the random, handsome boy on the street who declined to purchase my pharmaceuticals for me. So I wished him luck and left, secure with the knowledge that dudes can get yeast infections in their throats. Ew.

How pissed was I when I sat down to watch Survivor and George W. Bush decided to bring his mouth-breathing monkey antics to the television instead. JB and I watched for about 10 minutes before we realized that both he and we had no clue what the hell he was talking about. We did agree on one point: gas prices are too high. I think he held this prime-time news conference to respond to his sinking approval ratings and the horrid economic prospects for the year just released. However, the way to improve upon your dismal ratings, Mr. President, is not to preempt reality tv. That will only lead to resentment. Case and point: me. Granted, I didn't like you too much before last night. The only good thing is that it postponed the eventual voting off of my favorite Survivor in quite sometime, Philadelphia’s Stephenie LaGrossa. I hope that someday I have the pleasure of getting my ass kicked by her. Call me, Steph! You’re so hot!

What happens when the Judge’s personal assistant calls out sick? If you answered, “Zach must have to park her car and run out to buy her Amish chicken wings and lemonade for lunch,” then you would be correct. Points for you! By the way, the chicken smelled delicious!

What the fushizuck is going on with kids these days, y’all? I know when I adopt (3 Chinese daughters, natch), I am not going to let my kids take my hypodermic needles to school with them. 1. They’re not playthings! Needles are serious. And 2. things like this can happen. No, this is not a Torts law school exam, this a real and scary story. The amount of litigation that is going to come out of this is astounding.

I keep finding out that I have more readers than I thought I did. How exciting. Tell all your friends to visit and say hello. Free lemonade for everyone.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Bitch is Back

Courtesy of JC, regarding Helis the crackhead whale:

Concern for Helis’s health

By Inquirer Staff

Helis the beluga whale appears thinner than his last visit to the Philadelphia area, prompting some concern for his health.

But Terri Frady, a spokeswoman for the federal agency charged with protecting the whale, said Helis' thinness may be due to his age. Or possibly because he is high, he did not claim.

There were no confirmed sightings of Helis this morning. Yesterday, nine days after he was spotted swimming back to the sea, the 12-foot-long white whale turned up in the Schuylkill River of all places.

Frady, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the whale's health is the big unknown. What is known, is that the whale is definitely high, he did not add. But experts do know that he is old - about 30 years old, which is the upper end of a beluga's lifespan.

Although there is no indication Helis will strand himself, Frady said NOAA experts are preparing for just that. They also are hoping the emigre from Canada's St. Lawrence River "gets back out to where he belongs," she said.

Strange Little Girls

"Rock music is a vehicle of anti-religion." - Pope Benedict XVI

Speaking of vehicles of anti-religion, I went to see the Shins last night with JD. Some of you knew who the Shins were for a while now. My friend Aimee (who is smarter than you) made me listen to them once in my car on my birthday a years ago. I think she might have introduced them to me before they were even a real rock group. That’s how ahead of the curve we were, full-on zygote Shins love. Besides tickling ears with audio candy and making Garden State an adequate diversion, the Shins are clearly impotant to me because their keyboard player dates or used to date my favorite contestant of America’s Next Top Model, Season 1, Elyse Sewell. She is one hot bitch, and therefore the Shins rule. The Electric Factory was packed to the hilt with exactly four types of people:

1. Faux-sensitive frat guys who thought Garden State rocked.
2. Authentic fans who don’t get out much but REALLY relate to the Shins.
3. Sexually ambiguous cool kids concerned enough to nod along, butdetached enough to remain cool.
4. A girlfriends or wanna-be girlfriends to any of the aforementioned.

Sadly, going to the concert meant I couldn’t go to quizzo this week at Fado. Three of the smart kids went though and managed to pull out a second place under the team name “Lost without Our Leader.”

Erin Elmore news!!! Just when we thought she was moving somewhere in the near Fitler Square in Philadelphia, my informant emailed me this bit of info this morning. (By the way, my informant just got it from, so it’s not all that secret. Informant makes it sound cool and clandestine.):

Posted on Thu, Apr. 28, 2005 Dan Gross 'Fired,' Erin gets TV gig LOCAL "Apprentice" reject Erin Elmore starts Monday as a TV reporter in Jacksonville, Fla. The lawyer/model will spend a month working on a tryout basis at NBC affiliate WTLV's First Coast News. If she and the station are pleased, she may be offered a full-time role, says station president Ken Tonning. For some reason the already- hot Elmore is going to be made over for the new job for a piece in In Touch magazine. Elmore and her longtime boyfriend, Eric Henry, an attorney who is a Marine veteran of the war in Iraq, will do the long-distance thing for the month.

I ate at an Arby’s once in Jacksonville, and if that’s any indication of the fun Erin has in store for her, then I am totally jealous. Erin’s love affair with the Fitler Square neighborhood was short lived, but memorable indeed. Please send postcards! LYLAS!

I ate at Dmitri’s the other night on 3rd and Catherine, and I ordered the Calamari even though I don’t like seafood. Sometimes I even confuse myself. It was quite good. The hummus was delightful as well. I used to think that hummus was just for vegan and vegetarian pansies, however, it turns out it’s for all kinds of pansies. Yum! Also, I had some of JC’s birthday lamb, and it was worthy, like the Bible says. I highly recommend Dmitri’s, despite the fact that we never actually met anyone there named Dmitri.

A crazy woman on the street (artist's rendition) today told me I was an asshole for not donating 60 cents a day to help starving children somewhere. I had my headphones on and tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I wanted to “help change the world and bring about some positive energy.” I said sure as long as it didn’t involve giving any money. Then she rolled her eyes and said, “Whatever asshole.” I told her that wasn’t an effective way of bringing about all this positive energy that was important enough to interrupt my listening to ABBA on my discman. Talk about a downer! She’s never going to feed any children with that attitude.

Anyway, enough downers. I took a test online today to see which fierce contestant of this season’s America’s Next Top Model I am. I am so excited to report that I am Kahlen. Since I predict that she is totally going to win this season, I think that’s an omen of good things to come for me. She, like Elyse, see above, is one hot bitch. However, I think I have better lips.

Monday, April 25, 2005

(Reading) Terminal Illness

The problem with eating at the Reading Terminal Market is that there are other people there. The place is wonderful in theory: foods of every authentic ethnic variety imaginable brought together under one roof, a huge warehouse of authentic, culinary diversity. MLK, Jr. couldn’t make up better shit than this. Plus, there are Amish people! The Market is strategically placed in an area of town where there are a couple hotels and the Pennsylvania Convention Center. You don’t have to be an economics minor in college (like me!) to know that this is good for business. (My love affair with supply and demand curves is long over, sadly.) You also don’t have to be a sociologist to know that this kind of wonderland is going to attract any damn idiot who is in town for the conference du jour. They invade the Market every day, and from what I can gather they are mostly Southern.

Today’s adventure was my trying to enjoy a cheesesteak in peace. Yes, I know that it’s unbelievably trite to get a cheesesteak for lunch in Philadelphia. Credibility Points against me for that. And I know that they are severely unhealthy. I am acutely aware of things that are bad for me, and can’t enjoy life like normal people do because: 1. My family owns a funeral home and my Grandfather was nice enough to make every corpse’s cause of death a life lesson for the grandkids. For example, although it’s certainly not true, we would often hear about how someone died of a horrible drug overdose and if we were to even sit on the school bus next to some chump who merely thought about experimenting with drugs, we would die the same horrible death. 2. Whenever I would eat something that was borderline unhealthy or have some sort of fun that carried along with it a slight risk in the presence of my Stepmother, she would passive-aggressively remind me to, “Enjoy that while you can, Wilcha’s die early.” 3. I am the oldest child of divorced parents, which makes me feel guilty for doing anything. I seriously do a gut-check upon purchasing anything or enjoying anything too much. And that is why pleasure for me is a complicated business. That said, I am tons of fun at parties; ask your momma.

So, ordered my cheesesteak and put my headphones back on. I had an emergency where the song “1 Thing” by Amerie was in my head, and if I didn’t listen to it quickly, there would be problems for everyone around me. Also, the headphones serve as a shield from crazy people who want to talk to me and tell me how much they enjoy friendly Philadelphia. The headphones, though effective, are not an impenetrable shield, however, as the most resilient of crazy tourists will stop at nothing to talk to me. It’s the popularity I always dreamed of as a nerdy schoolboy, it’s just all the wrong people paying attention to me. I sat down in the “cheesesteak seating section” where the only prerequisite is that you have bought an item from Rick’s to sit there. Cheesesteak in tow, I was golden.

I sat and got ready to enjoy my sandwich (with Cheez Wiz, natch), and then before the first bite, like clockwork really, a man dropped a stool on my back. And didn’t apologize. I might be a prick, but I am polite to a fault, so I eruditely said, “Dude!” He said he was sorry and from out of town. His stonewashed jeans and John Deere baseball cap already told me he was from out of town, but I thanked him and he was on his way. I heard a foghorn. When I looked at the table in front of me, an elderly woman was blowing her nose in a napkin and then picking out the remainder that didn’t escape the long blast with a long pinky fingernail akin to one you would find on a cokewhore. Gross. There were overweight people hovering all around me, waiting for my table. (Supply and demand, y’all. See above). So, as a big old “fuck you” to the world, I ate my cheesesteak with the slow, deliberate rancor I normally would reserve for stealing and savoring the last piece of Godiva chocolate in front of a diabetic Republican (my mom excluded). My spiteful consumption was interrupted by the guy with the stool who tripped and fell on me on the way out of the seating area. Sigh.

The only good thing about bringing in tourists for lunch at the Market is that some of them are foreign! I love foreign people almost as much as I hate nose-picking grandma and overweight table-vultures. There is something so attractive about the effortless air of beauty of foreigners, Europeans in particular. The difference with most American, attractive, young people is that their effortless appearance is the result of tons of effort. I am rolling my eyes in your direction, faux-hipsters at Bump. A table of beautiful Europeans sat near me, and I admired them as they ate. (No, I am not sure where in Europe they were from, but does it really matter? Didn’t think so.) Not to mention, European music and sense of humor is almost always better as a general rule. I maintain a healthy level of patriotism in spite of these assertions and unfair stereotypes.

For this today’s version in the continuing saga of how much does Sandy the Secretary rule, my love for her grows exponentially:

*I teased her about being late to work today, as she usually rolls in about 9:30. Her response? “As they say in Princess Dairies II, ‘The Queen is never late. You just early.’” Who quotes Princess Diaries II? Sandy does. Word.

*She told me the story about how she found her then husband screwing his mistress in her car and she chased after him and her car (that he drove away with his bum leg) wearing a bathrobe while wielding a butcher knife. She said, accurately, that it would have made a great episode of the tv show “Cheaters.” Indeed.

Special shout-out to the Knudson sisters. Christine, you were by far the highlight of a brunch that included runny eggs, moody friends and a syrup attack. Cheers.

Oh, and someone fucked Ann Coulter in the ass, hard.

Friday, April 22, 2005

"I Am Going to Blog the Shit Out of This."

It’s no secret that I am a really nice guy and that it’s pretty awesome to be my friend. Ask around; my friends will tell you, and I am fairly certain that most of them would actually use the word “awesome.” Sometimes my friends like to press their luck and test out how awesome I am. And when it comes to being awesome? I rise to the challenge.

Last night JC called me and told me I was hanging out with him. I told him I had other plans; Thursday night, after all, is an important night for reality television program. He continued calling me, and finally I succumbed to the siren calls of the cell phone (mine plays “The Safety Dance”). When I answered the phone, I could tell he was wasted. I knew thanks to some subtle clues. He said, “I’m Wasted! And I am at Pure.” Pure, for those of you not gay enough to understand, is the world’s nastiest afterhours club. It looks like a Trading Spaces episode gone horribly wrong- plywood slathered with garish paint colors everywhere you look. Under no circumstances is it ok to be there on a Thursday night at 10:30 pm. Obviously, something was wrong with JC. He demanded that he would be staying at my apartment that night where we would “share my twin bled and totally make out.” I told him I would rather shoot myself and that I would drive him out to heinous Norristown. If JC were wasted enough to be at Pure at this hour, there is no telling what he could have done to me in my apartment.

He also called JD. JD and I worked out a plan to rein him in and isolate him to a street corner where I could get him into my car. I handed him a plastic bag when I found him and said, courtesy of Garth Algar, “If you’re going to spew, spew in to this.” He also asked me not to blog about any of this. Oops. The resulting car ride was obnoxious, as JC tried to throw the contents of my car out the window. He also threatened to jump out of the car, but I didn’t protest this as much as when he threatened to throw my CDs out. He grabbed my package and gave me twenty bucks. I kept the money, and he told me I would never live that down. I found it curious that he thought I would be the one who wouldn’t live the evening down. I thought I earned the money and that he should actually have given me much more. He also told me that one of his friends thinks I am douche-bag. JC, though entertaining, has yet to master the concept of drunk graciousness. We got him back to Norristown, where he implored us to come inside and eat brownies and watch Faulty Towers (“funniest fucking shit ever on tv”) or Star Wars (“the original, thank you very much). We declined and begged him to leave the car. His constitution, which eroded by the mile apparently, was too weak to annoy us any more. And thus, he left. But before he left, what did he call me? That’s right. He said I was awesome. That’s just how I roll.

Epilogue: After I crawled in to bed, he called to thank me again and told me I should blog about it. He even insisted that the title should be “I an going to blog the shit out of this.” As predicted, he threw up “all over the damn place.” This morning he called several times to offer a not so contrite apology for his behavior. It’s all good.

I met a delightful lesbian couple on the street yesterday, hanging out with a friend of mine from college. They live a couple of buildings down the block from me. I was on my way home from work and on the way to Bump Happy Hour with KC, when I started talking to the Sapphic trio. They have 2 dogs named Spike and Charlie, and I will not hold that against them. I am determined to have neighbor friends by the time summer rolls around, even if they are lesbians. I kid! I kid!

American Idol is under siege!!! Scandal is about to erupt on America’s favorite show, as one former contestant claims that he and Paula bumped drug-addled fuzzies in exchange for career help. I know, right? He says that she wanted to be “special friends” but that they had to keep it a secret. Allegedly, and to no one’s surprise, she also got all up on Justin Gaurini, likely before the release of From Justin to Kelly.

Gays: When you become Pope, bring it! Ratzinger: It’s already been broughten!

Lest we underestimate the Rottweiler, Pope Benedict XVI, Shepherd of Christ’s flock has already thrown the gauntlet down regarding the gays. He denounces Spain’s actions to make gay marriage and adoption legal and warns the clergy to stay on the side of tradition and ignore the new law or risk their livelihoods as clergy. Sweet. Dude, you've been Pope for like four days! Spain, incidentally, will become the first European country to legalize gay marriage AND adoption. It’s a pretty darn secular (and egalitarian) thing for a country with such a strong Roman Catholic tradition to do. It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be to the hellfire and brimstone musings of the newest Pontiff. The Honduran would so not have been this much of a petulant baby! All this occurs as former as former Spanish colony, called Texas, fights to make gay adoption illegal, now that there is so much time since executing retards and teens has been ruled unconstitutional. Popes Benedict and Bush are likely quite proud. Awesome.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Swedes, Schlongs and Angel Songs

Another quizzo victory for our team last night! We defeated a ragtag group of obnoxious law students (description courtesy : the Department of Redundancy Department) from Temple. We were helped immensely by the fact that the music round was television theme songs, including the theme from “Touched by an Angel.” JB is a huge fan of anything that involves Della Reese, so of course he knew it. One of the questions last night was “What is the state fruit of New Jersey?” JB, without skipping a beat, screamed out “Jim McGreevey!” Even the moderator lost composure and cracked up. One round was dedicated specifically to questions and answers involving the great garbage state of New Jersey. Those questions did not include, “Why can’t I ever make a God damn left turn?” What did we learn at quizzo this week?:

- The city with the most breweries at the turn of the century: Philadelphia.
- Galileo invented the thermometer.
- Avon, as in Stratford-upon-Avon, means “water.”
- Sildenifil Citrate ain’t nothing but another name for Viagra.
- And incidentally, the state fruit of New Jersey is the blueberry, not the tomato. Christine was right.

I was just given a copy of “Roxette’s Greatest Hits” the other day, and my love affair with the Swedish super group has been rekindled. Sure, we all remember “Joyride” and “It Must Have Been Love.” But when was the last time you let yourself be taken to a higher and deeper level of being by listening to forgotten gems “Dressed For Success” and “Fading Like Flower?” Whatever your answer, it’s been far too long. Since we last heard from them, singer Marie Fredrikson has recovered from a nasty case of brain tumor and is now recording a solo album. Their music makes me want to bake a cake full of sunshine and flowers and feed it to the world. However, obviously they will never replace ABBA as the most influential musical Scandinavians in my life.

MSNBC, always on the cutting edge, breaks this story, putting to rest a myth that has been plaguing the Chinese since the dawn of time. Rest easy tonight, Beijing, your penises are no smaller on average than those of the rest of the world. Of course, this study was conducted in Hong Kong, so methinks the Chinese doth protest too much if you catch my drift. A group of scientists in Hong Kong spent five months from October last year measuring 148 ethnic Chinese volunteers aged between 23 and 93. Good news for guys out there who claim to be “growers, not showers,” it turns out that penis size is not static and the length of the penis can change throughout a lifetime. Even better news for the Italians and Germans, as their Italian Sausages and Bratwurst, rank respectively as the world’s largest schlongs. Another victory this week for Ratzinger!

Hooray for Connecticut! Connecticut yesterday became the second state to offer civil unions to gay couples -- and the first to do so without being forced by the courts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Speak Your Truth! Save Our Bluths!

I am pretty outspoken, but I would never consider myself an activist. I would never really consider myself active, actually. And I don’t like to do too much charity work lately unless it involves getting my picture taken or a tax write off. Occasionally, I will work for food that comes after the work. (I am a sucker for a BBQ or pizza party, and if loving that is a crime, I am public enemy number one.) Sometimes an issue comes along that is so important, so profound that it cannot be ignored. Sometimes you have to speak out when it’s not the most popular thing to say. When a life is in peril, it is our responsibility as humans, citizens of the Earth, to do our duty to preserve it. That is why I call on all my friends and band together to help save the best show on television, Arrested Development. It is my Terri Schiavo; I am its Tom DeLay. And I don’t know what I will do if this bitch’s feeding tube isn’t inserted this time. I won’t go into how the show is brilliant with top notch performances, second to none-writing, jokes that are funny on three or four different levels and its tendency to reward viewers for paying attention. Any tv critic’s column can tell you that. It’s very special to me, and its death would make me a very, very sad panda. Click here, here and here to learn more.

Speaking of Tom DeLay, he was totally talking shit today on my sometimes homeboy, Justice Kennedy. Is this joker insane or what? He’s under investigation for about twenty or so violations of law and (if you’re allergic to oxymorons, read no further- and don’t try the jumbo shrimp!) Congressional ethics. You'd think boyfriend might want to keep a low profile. He thinks the fact that Kennedy researches on the internet constitutes being “outrageous.” Well then, that would make me more outrageous than Jem and the Holograms. And we all know that they were truly, truly, truly outrageous.

Erin Elmore sightings!!! My friend KC has gotten to the bottom of the fired and fabulous chanteuse’s location. Allegedly, she is moving to the Fitler Square area, causing a flurry of activity in my inbox from an entertaining email chain, describing the sightings. She even attended the BBQ (which I love, see above) of one of her new neighbors. We have so many questions for her, it will be tough to admire from afar. God, give us strength. Things just got a little bit pinker on the west side of center city Philadelphia. More info to come.

In an age where the Internets (trademark George W. Bush) are the Special Olympics, it seems that blogs are hugs. That is, eventually everyone gets one. Courtesy of assclown, this is someone’s blog dedicated to everyone’s favorite emotion, irrational hate. And here is one that features Rosie O’Donnell speaking her truth; but there’s a catch, it’s all in the form of poetry! Seriously, what will lesbians think of next?

Nicest thing said about me in a long time: Sandy the secretary on the phone with her friend, ‘Let me tell you the truth, Zachy is definitely not remedial.” Maybe a bit presumptuous, but I appreciate the sentiment.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Ich Bin Ein Pope!

The smoke was finally white; the bells were ringy. As the Chilean cardinal emerged from the curtains, he prepared himself to announce the identity of the new leader of the Catholic world. Presumably, he summons the excitable Vatican crowd with a, “Let’s get ready to Rummmmbbbbblle!!!!” In Latin, of course. “Blah blah blah Latincakes, brothers and sisters, blah blah, RATZINGER!!!” That right, from the same place that brought us the dramatic stylings of sauerkraut, Hasselhoff hysteria fandom and World Wars One and Two comes the latest Shepherd of Christ. He has taken the name Benedict XVI, combining his (and my) favorite egg friendly breakfast dish and his jersey number from his days of yore on the soccer field. Oh, and he may or may not have had involvement with the Nazi Party. Bratwurst and Beer for everyone!

Good news for old people, advocates of the rhythm method and other old people.

Bad news for women, gays, minorities, the AIDS-ravaged continent of Africa, and those hoping for an exciting step forward for the Catholic Church.

Though I am psyched for my people, the Germans, I have to tell you, I was rooting for the Honduran. Predictably. I mean, he plays piano, speaks like 8 languages and is friends with Bono. Seems like a no-brainer.

If you need someone to take with you to Nouvo Papa Festa, you should check this out. It's remarkably disturbing and therefore hysterical.

Monday, April 18, 2005

No, We're Never Going to Survive Unless We Get a Little Crazy

As an aside (as if the whole blog is not some big aside), Skippy’s entire posse thought that Philadelphia was uber-friendly and not that crazy compared with other cities. Yes, I will concede friendly; the citizens here have character for sure, but not crazy? Just today I had a woman ask me if I were a magician because I “have that look.” Then I saw a man pissing on a newspaper stand while others stood in line for magazines. I work in a building that contains holding cells for dog’s sake.

Two nights ago a tiny woman, probably in her 40's, who just left the Nelly concert asked me for a directions to the Four Seasons hotel. We were standing in Love Park at the time, and I was on the phone, but that didn’t stop her from coming up to me and asking. When I told her to hold on a moment, she became visibly upset. Fuming, she noted that she thought the Nelly concert would be all country music (She was fooled by his duet with Tim McGraw, as so many of us have been!), so she was having a disappointing evening. Seeing that this walking privacy violation wasn’t going to leave me alone or give me a minute to talk, I hung up the phone and I started to tell her where the hotel was (2 blocks away, not rocket science). Though I was very clear, she said I was too confusing and asked if I would just walk her there. I told her I would take her as far as I could that wasn’t out of my way. She was pissed, but I think she saw that I clearly drove a hard bargain. On the way there she asked me, in earnest for a piggy back ride. I said no. She asked if we could exchange shoes. I said no. Normally one would assume another is joking when one gets asked these questions by one who is a stranger. But this one stranger had the look of crazy in her eyes, the kind of crazy that would have hopped on my back regardless of my permission. So, my level of success in this situation would be measured whether I escaped her without having to physically throw her off of me. She told me she had just moved to Reading, PA, where she had been mugged 3 times since moving there. I said, “Maybe you shouldn’t talk to strangers so much.” She said, “Maybe YOU shouldn’t talk to strangers. How would you like to give me a ride to Reading?” My frozen fake smile was now just the memory of a real smile that used to reside in that part of my face. I wished her well and parted from her at that corner.

I made a mental note to fix whatever is within me that attracts crazy strangers.

A woman in an elevator the other night was pissed that the hotel dance party had to end at 1:00 am. I apologized for her loss. She, as wide as she was tall, assured me that it was because Pennsylvania is a “stupid, blue state,” so that’s why all the bars close early. I can’t even begin to know what she meant by that.

Not to mention there are people in this city who say things like this and this.

Philly has its share of crazy.

Brought to You by Your Tax Dollars (or..Gosh, I Have a Lot of Free Time Today at Work)

In a peculiar turn of events, while drinking a can of Miller Lite, I was asked to dance by a sweet, tiny Indian girl to “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent at a dance for Junior College debate champions in the same hotel ballroom where I took the MPRE’s. She startled me, as all my attention was on a man practicing ninja moves in the corner. Just a normal Saturday night, I suppose.

Perhaps I should rewind.

Skippy was in town for the week coaching a debate team at a tournament being held in our fair city. We met on Thursday night, hung out and he was able to see for himself that I have the messiest apartment on record. (He jokingly suggested that I seek out a life coach, but there’s truth in every jest.) We planned to hang out again, since he was in town all weekend, and the only people in town that he really knew were me and his entourage of sharp-tongued arguers. Before then, I had other drinking engagements. I finally got to meet this some guy (KD) I have heard many nice things about, meeting him and some friends for food and drink at Nodding Head. We delicately excused ourselves from the rest of the group and a had a beer at Monkey Bar, where we sat uncomfortably near a mural depicting a man kissing a monkey. The conversation itself was not uncomfortable ( I don’t think), but the mural was just damn creepy. Get your paws off me, you damn, dirty ape. Anyhow, KD was a delight, as promised. Future plans perhaps.

Then it was off to JD’s birthday gathering. It was a veritable who’s who of Temple Law School. Details: lots of drinking, an eclectic Sugarmom’s crowd of nerds, hipsters and their significant overlap and the birthday girl showing that she has feelings (which she vehemently denies). On our way home Chop and I stopped in at 12th Air, despite the fact that neither of us needed another thing to drink. In a moment of divine synchronicity, Skippy was walking in at the same time with one of his students. Ok, it wasn’t so much divine synchronicity as much as, he told me he was going to be there and I went all low-grade stalker to see if I could find him. (Low grade makes it seem innocuous and kind of cute, right?) Mind you, this was near 1:00 am, and I had been drinking since 5: pm. We hung out for a while, and after Skippy realized I wasn’t on a date, we talked about how we should definitely hang out again the next day.

Saturday: sleeping in, lunch, reading in a park and a moment of actual synchronicity. I was walking through Washington Square (not the Henry James version), and I ran into Skippy. This was getting weird, especially now since I wasn’t even really stalking, not even low-grade. Granted, this time it looked completely shady, like I was waiting to pounce on his band of merry unsuspecting out-of-town tourists. Note to self: if I ever become interesting in mugging or swindling, Washington Square is chock-full of unsuspecting out-of-town tourists on Saturday morning. We talked and decided we would meet later. Why not? Here’s why not. Skippy is from Kansas City, he is leaving the next day. He has a boyfriend of nine-years who seems to be wonderful from stories I heard (He’s in a band, knows Rufus Wainwright and asked to be my Friendster.) I am not in the business of homewrecking, despite the appearance of my apartment. Then again, as Chop said this morning in my office, “You really seem to enjoy yourself in these situations.” Touché. Besides,there’s nothing wrong with making new friends. Right? I roll my eyes even writing that.

My friends Marcello and Carrie hosted a Beef Beer & Resume party wherein the guests were given food and beer in exchange for assistance in creating resumes for Marcello’s newly rekindled job search. Marcello had just quit working for the craziest man in America. As soon as he publishes his stories, America can just sit back, laugh and be thankful they didn’t work for him. I, however, need to meet his man, as it seems like he has the ability to create the perfect soundbite. Fodder for a novel, without a doubt. We mostly sat around telling funny stories, punctuated with Yos’ grasp on technical jargon and computer-related wisdom and my being pedantic and critical in the face of grammar and style. It was nice to catch up with a couple whose wedding I am actually excited to attend. It’s so funny to talk with Yos now that we’re not living together, since we try and fit days worth of conversation into a tiny amount of time. Good stuff. Bonus: Liz was there with her new man! That looks promising.

So back to the hotel dance that started this missive. I walked my way over to where Skippy was staying. He didn’t have a cell phone of his own on his person, so I would receive random dispatches of where to go and how to get there from different cell phones with Midwestern area codes. It felt like I was a spy, laying in wait for the next direction that would finally lead me to where I would pick up the super-secret items to stop the enemy, bent on world domination! Or not. He told me to just find the ballroom floor of the hotel, where he would be dancing and wearing a read coke shirt (which was awesome, natch). I arrived at the dance to find so many punky-looking kids, drinking alcohol in concealed containers (if you’re younger than legal) or carting around multiple cans of cheap beer. The amount of kids double-fisting was equal to that of the more refined kids, enjoying just one Pabst Blue Ribbon at a time. Since this was a week-long nerd off, culminating in a hip-hop and beer-fueled orgy of a dance and love, I estimate that there will be plenty of unwanted pregnancies coming back to a community college near you. I found Skippy, and he introduced me to his team, a veritable Bad News Bears of the debate circuit. To their credit, they won best team at the tournament and took home 4 out of 5 national championships individually. Curiously, no one found me out of place. Note to self: free alcohol and good times every weekend, since it's easy to sneak into hotels!

Skippy and I bolted from the hotel in a cab over to my place, where we hung out and talked, etc. He crashed for the night and then left in the morning. In between then, it was just a really wonderful time. It made me really miss having a boyfriend for the first time in a while. I felt very secure, even though I knew there was a good possibility that I may never see this guy again. And if I do, it may be with his boyfriend. I just got an email that he's back safely in Kansas City and that he had a wonderful weekend. At the very least, I probably made a good friend and got a place to stay if I ever visit the KC area.

There was something about the whole experience that was simultaneously refreshing and disheartening. I will spare the details of the nice things he said (so complimentary) and the immediate connection we thought we shared, but the whole experience was warm. Sadly, it’s the kind of warm that only leaves you colder when it’s over.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Homo-cide, Bomb Squads and a Boy Named Skippy

The judge’s chambers are comprised of me the law clerk, Sandy the secretary and Stephon the tip staff (from the Latin tipstaffius, meaning judge's bitch). I hold it down for Whitey. One frequent topic of conversation in the office, never brought up by me, is homosexuality. Mind you, for some reason, neither of them thinks I am gay. They refer to me as a “Zach the Quiet Mack” who is able to carry on clandestine affairs with many women “on the DL.” Hilarious. They think the women that call the office for me are my harem, and I am some sort of P.I.M.P. Not that they would care if they knew. Sandy is a self-proclaimed friend of the gay man, which of course makes her that much more awesome than I have already described below. Today, she was talking about the incident wherein one man ran over his boyfriend in a jealous rage (road rage always trumps daintiness, be warned). Very sad, that. She said she has never met a “nice gay man” who has not met his demise in some untimely or miserable manner. She longs to know a gay man who can just “expire” in a normal way. She cited some examples. Her friend Charlie had his genitals chopped off and stuffed in his mouth, whereas Alfie was beaten to a pulp in her apartment building. (As an aside, this the same building where Sandy got a shiv stuck in her back, and then she and gay Alfie chased down that “motherfucker.” It needs not be said again, but, awesome.) Sandy is going out tonight for her birthday, incidentally, but is disappointed because she would rather have gone out last night rather than “after the fucking shit.”

On a less depressing note, Stephon told me a story about how once he drove the judge home and upon arrival, they saw a package on her porch. The judge was scared to open it (years before attacks on judges became so chic…how prescient!), so she made Stephon do it. As he was knifing the package open, she ran away and hid behind a tree. She hid. Behind. A tree. Hysterical. She made her tip staff drive her home and act as a part time bomb squad. Epilogue: the package turned out to be pastries from Termini Brothers bakery, a gift for buying her brand new Mercedes. Oh, to be a diva judge. I need to be one.

I need to check out The New Amsterdams, as I just got to know their biggest groupie. You should check them out, too.

It’s almost time for happy hour! Cheers.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Get Up, A Get Get Get Down

This is why I should never be a 911 dispatcher.

Jazz Hands!

A narrow quizzo win last night. We squeaked out a victory over one of our rival teams. They sqeeeeed with joy with the results were announced before the final rounds, as they were in the lead by a point. But alas, we clenched victory from their salivating jaws and continued our streak. It’s kind of pathetic how our team gets so into it. And by that, I mean it’s pathetic how I get so into it. Luckily for us, the final round was Broadway Musicals. So basically…Oh my God, y,all. It was a gay-off. We had to have a team name that fit with the theme of Britney Spears pregnancy. (She’s so knocked up, y’all.) We used the moniker “Southern Fried Fetus.” Yum!

Some interesting facts we learned last night:

*The United States bought the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark.

*”Popular band” REO Speedwagon was named for a brand of fire truck.

*I Love Lucy was the first sitcom taped in front of a live studio audience.

*The HB on pencils stands for Hard Black.

*And Florida has more female divorcees than any other state.

Today is the birthday of the fabulous secretary of my office, Miss Sandy. Sandy is straight out of 227, replete with all the sassitude of Jackee and Marla Gibbs. She is the wonderfully supportive, devout and does not take any attitude from anybody. And whenever I do something she finds funny, she screams, “GO AHEAD!” One day I was speaking Spanish on the phone to someone who called the wrong office, and she threw her hands in the air, screamed and asked God to send his blessings to me. I am not sure why. She just received an anonymous donation for her bills from someone in her church and believes with resolute conviction that this money has been sent directly from the Lord. When I got her a dozen multicolored roses for her birthday today, I made sure she knew they were from me, lest she think Jesus also gave her these flowers. What!? He gets credit for everything! Anyway, Sandy takes care of me, calls me her cracker and gives me food all the time because I look “too damn thin. Sheeeit!” Happy Birthday Sandy!

This news about the whale in the Delaware River brings out the inner Ahab in me. Everything’s coming up Melville!

And now, it’s tax time. At least I don’t wait until the very last minute.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Time, Love and Tenderness

Sometimes my ambition breeds trouble. Ok, let me take a step back. I wouldn’t exactly classify my following through on my desire to take yoga classes again "ambition" in the truest sense of the word. However, getting off my couch after the workday is done, sadly, makes me feel like a go-getter. Even if it is just to learn poses, stretches and breathing techniques to put myself at Zen’s truest ease. Or something. Anyway, since I am bad at reading directions and class descriptions, I showed up for a yoga class last night that was much different than the one I took with the porn star instructor on Sunday (see supra). I was a comedic mess, laughing out loud at times at how preposterous I must have looked to the rest of the students.

The schedule said that this class was being taught by Lindsey, so perhaps closed-mindedly I was waiting for another pert little porn star girl to wiggle into the room a little late and breathily apologize for her tardiness, the cutest tardiness ever. Lindsey (like the Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac variety) was a man with the fittest body I have ever seen and tattoos on both arms (roses on one side, Chinese characters on the other, natch). Built like a brick shithouse, he was no nonsense. Deisel. Tank top and short shorts. He dimmed the lights and began. This yoga was Out. Of. Control. He was bending in ways I have never seen a man bend before (mind out of the gutter, thanks). I was keeping up until we got to the part where he wanted us to get into Crow position. Basically, Crow position is squatting with your palms on the ground and then balancing both your legs on your arms. From crow, he instructed us to get into handstands. In my defense, I do quite well in other yoga classes, and not everyone in the class could complete the handstand. But come on! Full out, motherfucking handstands! Clearly, I was out of my element. It was more like an Olympic exhibition. And believe me when I say, I am no Paul Hamm. My voice is deeper.

The class continued to do things that I thought only that Indian guy who fits in the water cooler on the 80s show “That’s Incredible” could do. He gave us partners to do partner poses. Sadly for Meredith with the pretty eyes, I, along with my ineptitude, was assigned to her. I think she hated me. One great part about yoga classes usually is the instructor will come around and give you “hands on” instructions. This class was no different. I wasn’t complaining, since Lindsey was as handsome as he was sculpted. He was treating me like you would treat a foreign exchange student in high school, speaking slowly and deliberately, not wanting to upset the strange newcomer. He was amazingly patient. Perfect and annoying. After class, I went up to him to thank him for his otherworldly good nature for the jerk who wasn’t bendy enough. Now wearing wire-framed rimmed glasses, he put his hands on my shoulders, embraced me and said he loved my spirit. He claimed, "Patience needs no thank you's." Clearly channelling Oprah, he said it’s all about following through, getting better and feeling the spirit. He added that he would be sad if I gave up and didn’t come back and that he would offer my help before and after class. I was fully swooning over the yogi as I just nodded my head yes, knowing what he said was spiritual claptrap, but not caring. And so, go back I will.

Yesterday at work I had to move a rug into the new City Commissioner’s office. It turns out my judge has a “flair for design” and loves to design others’ offices. However, she doesn’t like moving things. You can see where I come into play.

In other news, my friend Michael Bolton is blogging. Check him out. He wants to be your soul provider.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Marriage is a Word to Some, to Others a Sentence

See what happens when I get some free time at work?

My sister got engaged two weekends ago to her longtime boyfriend. I am thrilled to see her so happy about it. My brother and I met her and her fiancé for dinner this week to celebrate. They have not set a date for the wedding (and quite frankly, the question grates on her nerves just days into the engagement), but the planning will begin soon. The year will be a whirlwind of intense decisions and intricate attention to detail, all of which will rival Middle East Peace talks. I will no doubt roll my eyes, but act brotherly and supportively, as it is decided what style of napkin folds (swan!) or color of floral centerpieces (lavender and mauve!) will be utilized for the post-union fête. The wedding won’t be this year, thank God; I have at least 5 probably 6 other weddings I will be attending or in which I will be participating by year’s end. This includes a New Year’s Eve wedding! Huzzah!

All the weddings and wedding talk lead me to wonder about my own marriage someday. By that, of course, I mean the fact that I will likely never be married. This is not a hopelessly cynical rant about how there is no soulmate out there for me. I am not yet that jaded. Rather, I am not at all optimistic that gays will ever have a legal right to marry in America. I think that the equal marriage rights in Massachusetts will likely be quashed, as they were in other states, by a State Constitutional amendment. I am not going to write about how civil unions are not enough to grant gays equal access, nor will I pontificate about how separate but equal rights are antiquated and insulting. As a lawyer and former law student, I’ve been through the ins and outs of that many times. What strikes me as obvious about the situation is how my heterosexual friends and family so easily take marriage rights for granted. Compare it to taking away a person’s right to vote. Honestly, what would be more objectionable to the average person- not being able to cast a vote for President or to no longer have legal attachment to his or her wife or husband, to risk having legal custody of their children? Seems like a no-brainer.

In some ways, I think it's because this right is so obvious and so taken for granted that it still does not compute for some heterosexuals that gay people don't have it and probably never will. I have been invited to my fair share of weddings, and I may eventually have to get a part time job just to keep with financing my attendance. At no point, I think, has it dawned on any of the participants that I was being invited to a ceremony from which I am legally excluded. Granted, the day is not about me; I know that. But I have heard no apologies, no excuses, no reassurances that the couple marrying would support my own marriage or my legal right to it. There is no need for it, it's not something people normally say; but it’s just interesting that no one flinches to talk about it in front of me as if it were something I were able to do as easily as they just did. Friends mention their marriages with ease and pleasure without it even occurring to them that they are flaunting a privilege which recently has been tweaked and defined to specifically stigmatize the person they are talking to. They are definitely not bad people; they are likely not homophobes. Like whites inviting token black guests to functions at places like the Union League or a fancy country club, they think they are extending you an invitation when they are actually (albeit inadvertently) demonstrating your exclusion. That said, I love weddings. I am a fantastic guest, an even better date (I require little, if any, supervision.) and a maniac on the dance floor. I am just ranting that it’s a right that’s taken for granted. And at this point in my life, it’s difficult to go out with people and not have a wedding come up in conversation. Try it.

If this entry makes me sound bitter, it’s because I am. But that doesn’t mean that I am anything less than thrilled for the people in my life who have found someone with whom they are willing and happy to spend the rest of their lives. Or attempt to anyway. I am especially happy for my sister whose level headed attitude mixed with pure joy will make both her wedding and marriage wonderful. Any mixed emotions I feel about it are the product of my own insecurities or lack of faith in an electorate.

I just ask that next time you bite into a piece of wedding cake, please be aware that under our current regime, the blissful union of love in the eyes of the law which you just witnessed is a privilege for some and will likely never be a right for all.

The Once and Future Me

Yesterday I came face to face with my future. After taking my afternoon coffee break at the Reading Terminal Market (and of course, by “coffee”, I mean black and white milkshake), I walked side by side with my 30-years-older doppelganger. We met at the corner of 11th and Filbert when I looked to my right and saw him. He was wearing exactly the same outfit as I. Coincidence? Maybe. But keep in mind that my outfit was a pink gingham shirt, lavender and pink tie, khaki pants, black sport coat and brown leather saddle shoes. He was my height with gray unkempt hair and wire rimmed glasses. Blue eyes? Check. He was even carrying a book that looked just like the one I was reading with the cover taken off in his left hand, just like I was. Granted, he also had a copy of last week’s Entertainment Weekly with him, which I did not. However, that’s something that I have been known to carry. We gave eachother an awkward glance up and down. There’s a good chance he (or anyone else) didn’t catch onto the fact that I was a younger looking version of him, and he thought that I was just some psycho on the corner checking him out. We walked together for about a block and then parted ways. I should have said something witty to him like, “Nice outfit,” or “Great minds think alike.” But instead, uncharacteristically, I just waited back so it didn’t look like I was in a footrace with him. How mature. I did, however, wonder how I would react in 30 years or so if my younger doppelganger ever said anything like that to me. I like to think I would have some sort of witty retort.

The other night I caught up with someone from my past. I gave my friend AS a call after not talking to him in quite a while after I procured his phone number from a friend. He was one of my closest friends in college. We were immensely different, and everyone was quite surprised we got along as well as we did. I was pretty clean cut and well behaved, whereas he wasn’t into things like showering or drug enforcement laws. Still, we found our common ground somehow, probably through a combination of our low-grade misanthropy and burgeoning superiority complexes. That’s usually all the common ground I need. People always thought we were dating, even though we both usually had girlfriends. For some reason, and I am not even completely sure why, things fell apart abruptly at the end of college. Things were said and done, and we were just not friends any more. It really made me wonder what friendship was based on, and it heavily informed the way I conducted myself at the beginning of law school when meeting people. Did we run out of things to talk about? Did I do something wrong? Was I some sort of annoyance? Anyway, he’s coming into town for a wedding and suggested that we meet up for a drink. I am curious to see what it will be like to meet up with someone who only knows me from 5 years ago and before, someone who doesn’t really know ostensibly who I am now. How much of me is the same 5 years later? For that matter, how much of him is the same? Are we so different that we could never really get along again? I would hope that we kept the essential tenets of our personalities that made us friends in the first place. I would like to think that of everyone. Since most of my college friends with whom I currently communicate have been consistently parts of my life for the past couple years, they don’t offer the same insight to the difference between the old and new Zach that this friend does. The meeting may not even happen, despite the fact that it was his suggestion, but I hope it does. We have a lot to talk about. Grabbing a drink and talking about what happened will be coming face to face with my past.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sunday in the Park with Zach

Anyone who knows me well knows that I attract crazy people. If there is a crazy person in the immediate vicinity, he or she will seek me out like a fat kid seeks cake. Today I was minding my own business in Rittenhouse, waiting for Katie to arrive after I had secured us a bench. In the sun! As I was sitting there, a tall, skeletal looking figure bounded across the path and of course plopped on my bench next to me. He had just taken off a black leather jacket to show off his gray sleeveless half-shirt which asked the question “Are you curious?” My answer was a resounding No. The scuffy man sat down on my sweatshirt which I strategically placed to my left so that everyone would know that this bench was reserved for my friend, or I just wanted to be alone, or I didn’t want some crazy smoking, scuzzy man with horrible black jeans to practically sit on me. This man did not receive any of these hints, and I was too shocked or nonplussed (I am not sure which) by his gall to telegraph them to him specifically and expressly.

Said man was French. Or at least he spoke French on the phone. Loudly. He screamed on his cell phone to several people before lighting up a cigarette and blowing, I think, directly in my face. I actually thought he was screaming to people across the path. “Hah-looooo!” He swung his leather jacket around after his flashlight fell out (?!) and didn’t apologize. As was his custom, I assume, he wore no deodorant and consequently smelled like morning armpit. I honestly thought I was being Punk’d or on Boiling Points. When Katie showed up, I didn’t even know what to tell her, so we moved to another area of the park. The day was salvaged as I laid on my back and looked up at the cloudless blue sky. However, I was disappointed in myself for not saying anything to him. I wish I were capable of the white-knuckled rage some people wear so well. I inwardly resovled it by convincing myself that someone might have given me a hundred bucks had I waited long enough. I hate him.

The Temple Barristers’ Ball on Friday was a good time. It turned out that I knew more people there than I thought I would. I drank and lot, and I danced a lot. The marriage of those two activities plus a slippery floor and bad shoe choice resulted in my ending up on my ass on the dance floor. I fell. I said I was a good date, not a classy one. I really should stay away from open bars. That said, I was able to keep away from the crazy couple, one half of which would love to make me a homewrecker. My date was lovely, a vision in light blue and gold draped in a jean jacket. We were the Sid and Nancy of the dance. And her other date loved her, too. They were the Ron and Nancy of the dance. I ended up ruffling some feathers of a good friend. I made out with his best friend from home in the basement of my ex-boyfriend’s friend’s house. I know. Good times, good times. Chop has become a really good friend. I felt bad making him upset (in my defense, I didn’t know it would), but his friend was really cute. And the cute guy offered me gum. Hello?! You can't turn that down.

I went to my first yoga class at my new gym today, and the instructor talks like a porn star. Everything she said was sweet and breathy and sounded like it was going to end in orgasm. It was kind of hot. And she paired us up with people for partners’ poses. I was paired with a cute guy in a tank top, who kept asking me if everything felt ok. It did. Most sexually charged, erotic yoga class ever. I left feeling invigorated, just as the schedule description said I would.

There was a full-out cat fight in front of my apartment today. The participants were two amazing African-American women, young, dressed well, quite erudite from what it seemed (besides the clawing and bitchslapping). Then they started shrieking, pulling weaves and the one in magenta chased the one in white, in heels, natch, down the street. People gatheree on the street to watch, exchanging glances that ranged from pure horror to sweet surrender. It's the city of brotherly love, after all, not the city of sistah-ly love. Cancel the search for best Spruce Street experience; the high watermark has been reached.

On that note. He’s either a lunatic, genius or both. And I love him.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Welcome to the CJC, Bitch

So, I am back by semi-popular demand. Here’s the thing: it turns out people actually read this shit. I have had requests from no less than 4 people to start writing again. Since that is more than double the people that I thought were originally reading this, I think I am obligated to start writing. Plus, it turns out I have a lot of free time at work. And blogging at work? Oooh, that just seems dirty. What what!

Since I last wrote, not much has happened. Had to go to the hospital for stuff, lost a Pope and a Terri, managed to win more quizzo. My new job is downtown, so all I have to do is shower, shave, throw on sexy business attire and hustle six or seven blocks to my office. Sometimes, I don’t even shave; it helps me look less like one of the high school interns (whom I was mistaken for just the other day). I meet people for lunch, and we talk about very serious matters (e.g. last night's reality tv or accidental sexual encounters). It’s definitely a grownup life with a big boy job. For example, on the way to pick up my paycheck the other day, I was stopped by a squat little bald man with J.Lo glasses named Enrique. He asked me for my number, and foolishly, natch, I gave it to him. Within five minutes he called and left me an obscene message on my voice mail. I was at once horrified and amazed. I accidentally deleted it, but only after laughing out loud at my desk. C’est la vie. But, Enrique, if you’re out there, you’re a filthy pig. Call me!

Tonight I will eat dinner with my brother and sister, both of whom have grown up jobs and had them before me). My sister just got engaged to her boyfriend, and I actually think I might like him. He has been nothing but nice to me, to my face, since we met. That is, he totally kisses my ass. And that is all I require from people, really. That and a sense of humor, which he seems to have. She was squealing on the phone to me on Sunday morning, telling me the good news. What I have gleaned from the one-sided conversation was that: 1. He proposed to her in some house in New Jersey (Klassy! Who says chivalry is dead!); 2. Three dozen roses were involved in some capacity; 3. He let her pee before he asked her; and 4. I am probably going to be alone forever. But it’s nice that he let her pee.

I ran into someone I used to date (AL) when he was clearly out on another date last night. It wasn’t too awkward as they were both sitting outside at Cosi, having a boring hot drink or dry flatbread sandwich. Luckily, I found a way to make it more awkward (as I always do) by stopping and saying hello. I happened to know the guy with whom he was having the date. I was on the way to the gym and obviously dressed for it. Or maybe they think I always dress in mesh shorts? Part of the conversation went a little something like this:

Date: Hey Zach.
Me: Hi.
AL: You’re on your way to the gym?
Me: Yes, yes I am.
Date: I never go to the gym. Maybe I should.
Me: Yeah, you really should.
(silence and glances back and forth)
Me: You guys enjoy your night!

What?! It kind of seemed like I told this guy he should be getting to the gym more often. Granted, he should, quite frankly. But I really didn’t mean it that way in retrospect. I tend to turn into Woody Allen when I get nervous. I gathered what little composure or credibility I had and left and eventually got to the gym where I suffered my way through an Abs class. I laughed out loud a couple times about how out of shape I am. Because I really am. Damn you, mono!

This is all for now. I will be writing with greater frequency if for no other reason than to document the crazy things the secretary in this office says. She calls me Zachy the Cracker and loves to talk shit. For those reasons and many more, I love her.

And I love you, too.