The Devil Made Me Do It: In which Zach is a dirty rotten cheater, confesses impure thoughts, and reminisces of his first big love

Yeah, I did. I’m not proud of what happened, folks, but I have to come clean on this matter…I’m only human, and I have my dirty little secrets, too. Here it is: I had impure thoughts and had a serious lapse in judgment. There’s really no excuse, but I was so smitten, so hot and worked up, so primally excited, that I got lost in the heat of passion and all reason and principle flew right out the open window. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, and in all honesty it’s probably not going to be the last either.

It started with a simple glance and a fleeting thought, and ended with me taking a self-indulgent trip down memory lane with my first true love.

This afternoon, while boyfriend was at work and I had too little to do, I went out to run some errands. It was a gorgeous sunny day; I was driving through the desert, radio blaring, windows down, and the wind was in my hair.

That’s when the little siren came cruising up alongside me. I glanced over casually; suddenly, every ounce of blood in my body fled south. My mouth went dry, and a fucking tympany was pounding in my chest. Over in the next lane was the hottest, sexiest little beast I’d seen in ages – a wet dream, her obscene curves and lithe figure dressed outrageously in red. Even over the wind and my stereo, I could hear her voice — snarly and silky, sensuous and raw, seductive and dangerous all at once.

If you’ve ever seen a Lotus Elise at speed on the highway, you know exactly what I mean. The beast is pure sex. Hot, sweaty, raunchy, slam-you-against-the-wall-and-make-your-eyes-roll-back carnality.

I was mesmerized by her sleek lines, the waspish curve of her hips, her leering open-mouthed visage, the banshee wail of her exhaust and angry glow of her four round taillights as she pulled past me. I had no choice; I had to follow this beauty. With a sharp downshift and a blip of the gas pedal, I managed to keep on her tail.

At that point, I would have followed her anywhere, done anything to remain in her presence for another few minutes of sheer and absolute bliss. Even if that meant taking the next freeway exit, turning in at Jack in the Box, and going through the drive-through.

Yeah, that’s right. I blew my diet clean out of the water this afternoon, negating an entire weeks’ worth of hard work at the gym just to sit in line drooling over a damned car.

I’m not proud of the fact, but even knowing the caloric and gastronomic consequences, in all truth I’d probably do it all over again if I had the chance. I couldn’t help it; the sight of that four-wheeled vixen brought memories flooding back that I couldn’t ignore.

See, slinky little Lotuses always have been and probably will never cease to be my most enduring love. It’s an affair that began back in junior high, when I’d spend long nights pawing through the folded, creased pages of a magazine, tracing the rectilinear angles of a late-eighties Esprit coupe. It continued through high school; when other boys were having dirty thoughts about Jenny Gordon and Lacey Rodriguez, I was fantasizing about the things I’d do if I came home to find a shiny metallic blue Elán parked in my garage. And Jeremy Orcutt and Ellis Ott would surely want to hang out with me if I tooled around in one of those, I figured.

My love affair with the tiny Elán continued for years, through high school and into college. I nearly wet myself with excitement the first time I saw one – a shocking red missile – streaking down the road near my grandparents’ house one summer, and I had a then-inexplicable urge to get down on my knees and worship a guy who’d actually ridden in one once in college. When Lotus cut the car from its US lineup due to sluggish sales in 1995, I mourned and jealously hated Europeans, who got to keep the car for several more years. And when the stubby and odd first-generation Elise was unveiled as its successor, I viciously hated it just on principle.

Like all schoolboy obsessions, the Lotus’ luster waned over the years as newer loves came and went in my life. These days, the few remaining Eláns occasionally showing up on Ebay Motors (only 300-odd were sold in four years’ US sales, and yes, I check them out online every now and then and tell myself someday…) are considerably worse for wear, their fiberglass bodies faded, canvas tops ill-fitted and sagging, their once-sleek lines dated and quirky. More often than not, their then-vogue pop-up headlamps are permanently open, thanks to the wonders of the faulty electrical harnesses that plague limited-run British sports cars.

Still, you never forget your first real love. These days, the sight of a sinewy, brutish Elise or Exige rumbling around on the roads or a sleek and stunning all-new Evora in the pages of a magazine bring back that familiar rush of adrenaline, that giddy light-headedness, that teenaged tightening of the pants and beating of the heart the Elán did all those years ago.

And that’s why I found myself ordering an Oreo cookie shake, burger, and fries this afternoon. Love makes us do crazy, foolish things.


Nice Guys Finish Last: In a shocking development, Zach plays nicely. The cosmos shows its disapproval.

Green Day really got it right, folks: nice guys finish last.

If you recall the ongoing saga of Zach vs. Evil Archnemesis From Hades, I have had a long-running feud with an individual who is near and dear to my boyfriend. Well, it’s not so much a feud as the commonplace slightly hostile dynamic between a fag hag and her fag’s boyfriend, I suppose. She doesn’t especially like me in the picture, and I don’t particularly care for her presence, either.

To be fair, I’m sure both of us imagine offenses much worse than they actually are, and neither of us really truly hates the rotting fetid guts of the other, in much the way my ex-wife and mother didn’t so much dislike each other as think the other disliked her. At the same time, I’m sure neither of us honestly is free of any guilt in the escalation of our little conflict. I think she’s a pouty, immature, moody PMS machine when I’m around, but that might be because I’m an abusive little prick around her. Or maybe I’m a prick because she’s a pouty bitch. Chicken, meet egg.

At any rate, you know what? To quote Shirley Q. Liquor (seriously, YouTube her if you aren’t familiar – you’ll laugh your fucking face off), it hurts ma heart. See, I’m an asshat, but I don’t like to be an asshat to boyfriend. I don’t particularly like to see him conflicted or upset, and I know that our squabbling over this one particular subject does just that. That’s why every really nasty blog post on the subject has been hastily removed once common sense kicks back in.

Really, I don’t want to spend the next year or so constantly squabbling over this issue. It’s damaging to everyone involved. Besides, my inability to play nicely with a select number of his friends is the one glaring flaw boyfriend can find with me, and I’m loathe to having any detectable flaws, period.

That’s why, in a startling burst of maturity and benevolence (it shocked the fucking hell out of me, too), I spent all day long with Evil Archnemesis this past weekend. Was I planning on it? No. Was I happy about it? No. Did I give even the slightest passive-aggressive indication of my less-than-thrilledness? Strangely, no. It was a challenge at first, but I did it – I was a model un-psychotic boyfriend.

I smiled, laughed, joked around, and generally was the happy, really cool Dr. Jekyll boyfriend that Lee usually sees and loves, rather than the Mr. Hyde boyfriend the world witnesses and boyfriend does not love when I’m not pleased with things.

We all cooked a big ol’ dinner together, played ridiculous little games on her Wii all afternoon, and settled down to play board games later that night…even though I’d gone over with the understanding that boyfriend and I would be cooking dinner together, eating, and snuggling in his bedroom watching an Alias marathon.

And wonder of wonders…after the first little bit, I didn’t have to pretend to be enjoying myself. Once the surprise of our day being completely uprooted wore off (if you haven’t noticed, like Janet – Miss Jackson if ya nasty – I’m a bit of a control freak and don’t like changes of plans unless I’m the one to make the changes), I actually had fun.

It felt friggin’ great to honestly get along with the Evil Archnemesis, too. I’m pretty sure boyfriend was shocked beyond speechless, and knowing that he was pleased we got along warmed the frigid little cockles of my heart. All told, it was a red letter day and quite possibly marked a new level of maturity, class, and grace pour moi.

So what’s the problem with all this? Well, since we’re all friends now, I was informed tonight she’s decided to reschedule her Thanksgiving holiday. Now, instead of boyfriend and I having a nice holiday dinner with our mutual good friends, we’re having Thanksgiving dinner with our mutual good friends and her. I got along with her for six hours, folks. Now I have to get along with her for a whole friggin’ day. That’s big. That’s jumping into the deep end of the pool. That’s learning to drive stick on a mid-eighties Lamborghini. When it comes to this new-found human decency and playing-nicely thing, it’s a little beyond the baby-steps progress I’m comfortable with.

Obviously, this is the universe’s way of tormenting me and reminding me that I’m not meant to be a nice guy.

HEY YOU! Yeah, YOU. Calling all beautiful weirdos…

First off, thank you for aiming your web browser at this little corner of the internet and tuning in to my miscellaneous babblings. Believe it or not, it means a lot to me that you’re here. I’ve been having a blast doing this blog, and I sure hope you’re enjoying yourself, too.

Over the past little while, you’ve gotten to know me a bit. I, however, have no idea who you are. The lovely blog counters at tell me how many times my awesome little site is visited each day and which pages are opened, but it doesn’t tell me anything about who you are.

Are you my Facebook friends, clicking randomly on the blog from my status updates out of sheer sympathy and boredom in the middle of the night? Are you fellow bloggers, checking up to see what this new punkass hack is up to? Or (holding my breath…) are you Jen Lancaster (and if you are, thanks for the kind little note, btw, but you’re not nearly as funny in emails as I am) or Oprah or Ellen (and if you are, I know the perfect guy to play me in the film version of my book…)??

I’m too lazy and too computer-illiterate (seriously, people, I once thought the little button with the moon symbol on a laptop might have activated the moonroof or something) to figure out how to add a guest book to this blog, but I’d love to hear from you — even if you’re just writing to tell me how much I suck. That’s why I’ve written this special little page. See that little ‘Comment’ section below? Say hello to me there. Or, if you prefer, you can write to me directly: (that’s pretty damned clever, huh?).

So, there we go. Don’t be shy.

How Facebook Got Me Beat Up

The other evening, roommate and I were in the livingroom winding down for the night. She was watching a crappier-than-crappy movie and occasionally commenting on it to me, and I was absorbed in my laptop, only vaguely aware that she was talking to me.

Noticing I wasn’t really paying attention to her, she paused the movie, pulled her legs up onto her chair, and looked at me.

A moment goes by in silence. And then:
Roommate: “Sooo….whatcha doin’?”

Me: “Playing around online.”

Roommate: “Are you talking to boys?”

Me (possibly with a tiny bit of guilty false indignation in my voice): “No…”

Roommate: “Watching porn?”

Me (possibly with even more guilty false indignation, accompanied by an innocent doe-eyed stare): “No…of course not!”

(I should interject at this point that roommate knows I love my boyfriend. And although she knows I’ve given up a life of utter whorish debauchery for him, she still feels the need to tease me if I talk to other guys, lest, you know, by talking to them my penis inadvertently ends up in them. It’s the same game we play at Petco, when I know she’s not about to try bringing home another animal but glare at her a bit if she lingers near the puppies even so. Anyway, back to the story.)

Convinced I was not brandishing my cyber-sword to Ben in Brisbane or Sam in Sonoma, she came over to see what was holding my attention. After a moment, she shook her head, announcing, “I still don’t see the big deal about Facebook.”

I explained that unlike her, I was not actually a freak, and I liked keeping in touch with people. (I got punched for this). I also explained that it was cool seeing where people were now, even if I’d at some point had a minor misunderstanding and stopped talking to said person for a couple years. (I got punched again). And finally, I explained that Facebook was a great source of gossip, and did she know, for instance, that Suzy Q. and Danny P., who were complete opposites in high school, were now married? (I did not get punched for this, but realized I needed to apologize to boyfriend for accusing him of the random bruises I seemed to be getting lately).

At that, her interest peaked.

Roommate: “Do you still keep in touch with So-and-So?”

Me: “Yeah…”

“How about Whatzername?”

Me (wincing, because I’d briefly dated Whatzername thirteen years ago “Yeeeah…”

“What about that other girl, the one who…”

Me: “Yeah.”

She frowned at me.

But on the flip side, I explained, I’d managed to reconnect with a whole lot of cool people, too, and even discovered that some I didn’t particularly get along with back-when were actually pretty decent people now.

And so roommate and I spent the evening discussing old friends, reminiscing over times gone by and people come and gone from our lives, and generally marveling at the passage of time and the journeys life takes us on. It was all becoming very Hallmark-moment-y.

All was going marvelously, and roommate was even half-temped to get a Facebook page of her very own.

That’s when tragedy struck.

Having started skipping happily down memory lane together, roommate and I decided to actually check out a couple mutual old friends. We clicked on a name, eager to see where So-and-So had been all these years.

Roommate: “Oh. My. God. What happened to her?”

Me: “Whaddaya mean?”

Roommate (with a note of panic in her voice): “What do you mean? She’s OLD.”

Me: “Well, we’re not eighteen anymore, right?”

Roommate (a little more panicked): “What about Whatshisname? Let’s check him out.”

Me, obligingly: “Okay…”

Another old friend popped up. Roommate almost shrieked.

Roommate (shocked, now): “Wh-why have all our friends gotten old? W-w-we don’t look that old, r-right?”

* * *

Needless to say, roommate has decided conclusively against getting a Facebook page now, and I have another shiny little bruise on my shoulder. Thanks, Facebook. I’m too old for this.

Zach’s Annual After-School Special: once again, a soapbox is ascended. Kinda.

About a year ago, I made my very first blog entry on the predecessor to pro(zach)nation. It was an impassioned plea to the residents of California to reject Proposition 8, a ballot initiative designed and pushed by the conservative right to strip away rights the LGBT community of California had only recently received.

I concluded then that if Proposition 8 were passed, “civil rights in this nation would take a step backward.”

Proposition 8 did pass, and thousands of Americans were stripped of freedoms that generations of American soldiers fought to preserve for all Americans. Luckily, though (but try telling that to those whose marriages were invalidated), this was not the end of the issue.

Though votes could make equality go away, the voting majority could not make the issue go away. The legality of Proposition 8 remains in question, and the State Supreme Court of California is currently weighing its validity. Across the country, gays were shocked, saddened, and outraged by California’s vote. We got a clearer idea of who the enemies here were – the Mormon Church, our comparative lack of organization and cohesion, our failure to reach certain demographics.

And overall, I was wrong: civil rights have not stepped backward, at least not too far. There have been small, pleasant surprises.

In April, Iowa became the third state allowing same-sex marriages. It was followed by Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, and Washington DC (which, though not a state, legally recognizes the gay marriages of other states). A gay marriage initiative has passed the State Assembly in New York, and awaits Senate approval. There are murmurings that DOMA and DADT might finally be repealed. ENDA – the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that has failed or been vetoed every legislative term since it’s introduction in 1994 – finally has presidential support and a true possibility of passing in both Houses of Congress.

There have been set-backs, of course.

This past November election saw two important pieces of LGBT-related ballot initiatives comes up: Washington’s Referendum 71 – which calls for a state vote on the legitimacy of same-sex domestic partnerships – and a similar referendum in Maine, where the legitimacy of this past summer’s legislation allowing same-sex marriage is being contested. We won in Washington, but lost in Maine. And New York, as of sixteen hours ago, decided to shelve its gay marriage initiative.

So really, it looks like 2009 sees gay rights in only marginally a better position than they were in in 2008, right? And I should be fuming that voters in Maine took away gay rights granted by the state’s government, right? As a citizen of this country that untold numbers of soldiers (some gay! but shhhh!) have died to protect, shouldn’t I be outraged that some religion-addled dumbfuck conservative has the right to decide what I can or cannot do?

Yeah. When I put it that way, maybe. This is pro(zach)nation, after all, land of the irate and inane.

I’m not, though. I’m downright excited.

Here’s why: though there are still obstacles and frustrating challenges, this is a done thing. The full equality of the gay community is inevitable, as inevitable as the civil rights granted women and blacks half a century ago were. Yes, it will take some time. Yes, we’re fighting great odds. But here’s the thing: from the day the first ballot measure went to vote over gay rights, the outcome of this was guaranteed.

Two decades ago, it would have been unimaginable – to gay people and straight people alike – that gays could marry, or that our rights would be protected by law. For gay marriage to even be considered by state court, legislature, or voter initiative would have seemed absurd. Yet, look at where we are today: the legislatures and courts of Massachusetts, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and California (and almost New York – c’mon New York) have spoken on the matter in our favor. The bodies in which we have placed our governance have said it’s okay for men to marry men and women to marry women. That’s huge. And yes, the voters of California and Maine overturned state supreme courts and legislative bodies to take away those rights, but that’s the beauty of a democratic system – we, the voters, do have a say.

In both California and Maine, the votes came out split fairly evenly. We could look at it negatively, and say that a majority of voters dismissed equal rights for gay people. I choose to look at it another way, though – nearly half the populations of these states supported gay rights. And really? That’s big.

Know what else? Opponents of gay equality know they’re losing. They’re afraid of us. That’s why the Mormon Church has pumped so much money into anti-equality campaigns in California and Maine. And look at Carrie Prejean, the erstwhile Miss California – she’s been disgraced, de-crowned, and ridiculed by the American public for telling interviewers that her religious convictions precluded a belief in gay rights. Look at Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Ted Haggard, Bob Allen – the hypocrisy of the people advocating against gay marriage is being uncovered with a startling rapidity.

And why are they so frightened of us? Why are we so darned scary? Because we’re friggin’ everywhere. Big ol’ lesbo Ellen DeGeneres appeared on the cover of O Magazine alongside Oprah this week and the magazine hit peak sales. Daytime soaps have gays. Evening ratings hits have gays. American Idol has gays. There are gays in the army. There are gays in local government. And, even more ominously, we’re normal (well, Adam Lambert maybe isn’t, but lots and lots of us are). We pass the straighties every day on the street, in the grocery store, in the locker room at the gym; we’re a part of their lives, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the right-wing religious conservatives to demonize us and draw a line between ‘us’ and ‘them.’

Homosexuality has risen very visibly to the top of the American consciousness. The fact that gay rights has become such a hot-button issue is exactly what makes the inevitability of its acceptance so…well…inevitable.

And that, my friends, is why I’m not upset right now.

Dear Self…

Stop writing ‘Dear So-and-so’ letters in lieu of actual blog entries. It was clever the first time, but it’s time for an intervention. Today your brain is in the toilet thanks to a cataclysmic haircut (and possible hair dye poisoning), but that’s no excuse for mucky, sub-par posting.