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Thoughts from the $300 Lawn Mower of Comedy: Zeke Thomas

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TSA: Please touch my Junk!

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I have a very special request. TSA: Please touch my junk

I want you to agonize over every supple inch of my body, every subtle nuance that might be a RF transmitter or timing device.  Is that a lump of C4 in my pants? Nope. That’s my wangbone, but thank you for asking.

This TSA security screening news story has really chapped my hide since it is not really news.  Korean peninsula ending 50+ years of detente and potentially eruption into nuclear war? News. But instead we’re smashed up along side the head with: This just in. TSA finally does job and checks for weapons where people might hide them. Film at 11.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some TSA fanboy, in fact the LAX TSA screening agents are perhaps some of the lowest achievers out there.  They were probably in the lower fifth of your high school class and have remedial use of their brain.  The people who become TSA screeners are a lot like meter maids.  No kid ever dreams of being a meter maid and if they do, their parents should have checked their stool for excess levels of paste.  But as dumb as these guys are, we need to remember that, theoretically, these guys are here to protect us – not inconvenience us and feel us up. I know its hard to wrap out heads around this concept but we’re Americans, we’re fat and we’re not that goddamn sexy.

And then there is the “Don’t touch my junk” guy. More interested in internet fame than personal liberties, I encourage him to do us all a favor and stick to the software engineering and leave the civil liberties discourse to the watchdog groups that already exist.  In fact, do us all a favor and kill yourself right now. At the very least set yourself on fire and don’t let anyone put you out.  Perhaps then you will understand that civil servants (I’m using this term very, very loosely) are here to protect you.

Now if you suffered through the 12 minutes of sometimes agonizing hidden camera foreplay, you probably got to the intercourse of the clip where our software engineer refuses to be screened via the Backscatter full body scanner.  But then gets on his moral high horse, refuses to submit to the pat down check and threatens the TSA agent with arrest! Who does that?!?!?! If this had happened in some former eastern bloc country he would have been instantly “disappeared” (and with good reason!) But instead he chooses to create personal liberties for himself that don’t really exist, rouble rouse, and then attempt to profiteer from this staged encounter by selling t-shirts with his now famous catch phrase. I hope his entire family gets blown up the next time Al Qaeda decides to activate a sleeper cell. But don’t touch his junk . . .

A note about National Opt-Out Day

Talk about a retarded idea that never came to fruition.  I’ve got an idea! On one of the busiest travel days of the year let’s send the government a message and force them to give us all pat down checks rather than using the full-body scanners! That will send a message to all the fat cats in Washington that we won’t stand for this!  This idea made about as much sense as rioting in your own neighborhood. I’m glad people came to their senses and realized delaying their own travel plans screwed them more than it screwed the TSA.

Top 3 Reasons why you should look forward to your next TSA security check:

3) Someone is finally requesting to see/feel your junk

— Pretend that its God’s gift all you want, but it still doesn’t have the magical properties you think it does.  Unless of course you are Blackzilla or Ron Jeremy.

2) I miss the touch of another man touching . . . oh my god . . . think not gay thoughts! Think not gay thoughts!

— I try to control them by constantly bragging about how much pipe I laid in high school to total strangers and then watch an episode of Glee.

1) Maybe they’ll bring profiling back! 

— An ethnically ambiguous man can only dream can’t he . . .

Live Show To-NIGHT!:

Stuck in LA for weekend? Have friends and family over and don’t know what to do on a Friday night? Come on down to your neighborhood chucklehut and check out The Stranger than Fiction Show at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks, CA. Show is at 9 and tickets can be found at www.stfworld.com It’s improv, it’s a rock show, and I usually have a nip slip or 8.

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Written by ZekeIsAwesome

November 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Welcome to Venice: Where Art meets Crime

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Broken Element

Break a window and get you some rocks!

A couple of weeks ago my car was broken into and some of my property was removed.  Were there high-end electronics, gold bouillon or other valuable left in the car in plain sight? Nope.  Did I leave my wallet sitting on the driver’s seat with $100 bills fanned out across it? Nope.  Did I leave a zipped-up 5 year old Target backpack a sweet 80’s hair metal costume in the trunk area of my car? Yes.

Yes, I did and I paid the price.

How could that crackhead resist? Zebra-striped spandex pants aren’t an everyday occurrence and when life presents you with opportunities you have to snatch that shit.  I can’t remember the last time someone offered me a chance to don a tasseled and shredded 80’s band t-shirt, zebra pants, and an off-the-shelf brown mullet wig.  You know why? Cause that shit don’t happen.  Much like this thief, you need to make your own opportunities, son!

The costume is a part of Phoenyx, the improv hair-metal band that tells you that “You’re never gonna die!”, that usually performs as the grand finale of the weekly Stranger than Fiction Show.  Their 20 minute abbreviated concert usually takes you on a journey through time and space and deposits you somewhere between the moons of Endor and 1986.

Phoenyx at the Stranger than Fiction Show

Melting faces for 25 years: Phoenyx at the Stranger than Fiction Show

As you can see from the photo on the right.  Cracky McPipesmoke had no choice but to take it. And with that I present to you:

Top 3 Lista de las Listas reasons “Why a Crackhead Stole my Shit”:

3) I Live in Venice: the ghetto by the Sea

It’s a miracle this place still exists the way it does, but where else can you find section 8 housing by the beach next to multi-million dollar homes.  Plus, with Santa Monica (the home of the homeless) as my next door neighbor, I’m getting it from both ends.

2) Spandex has street value that is off the charts.

Who knew there was such an amazing secondary market for American Apparel stripper clothing? Those pants have probably changed hands 37 times since they were removed from my car.  And no, I don’t want them back. Thank you.

1) Art and Crime needed to come together in the backseat of my car.

Much like two kids in the back of a Chevy, Art and Crime decided they needed to get hot and heavy.

Live Show Update:

I have two shows going on this weekend starting off tonight with The Stranger than Fiction Show at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks. The new look Phoenyx will be there to close things out and I promise you the new outfit it worth the price of admission. Check out www.stfworld.com for details. Also Sunday October 31st is final show of UDAZ-DO: The Way of unarmed Defense Against Zombies.  Part Show/part self-defense seminar; one helluva good time.  Check out UDAZDO.com for details or make reservations at the Academy of Mixed Martial Science.

Written by ZekeIsAwesome

October 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

I played soccer, It’s pretty gay and it’s okay

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The Onion did it again and dropped some serious science by alerting us that the world’s most popular sport is in fact, gay.  Everyone falls in love with the World Cup once every 4 years but soon the post-coital bliss wears off and we all have the sneaking suspicion that all the rumors are true.  That’s not to say soccer isn’t a great game.  It is! It’s just . . . you know . . . kinda swishy.

Millions of American kids and parents can’t be wrong, right?  Wrong. AYSO, the community youth soccer organization, has been around for years trying to indoctrinate people into their “Everybody plays, Everybody wins” philosophy. These guys in particular have played a key component in furthering the self-esteem movement,“It’s not what you do, man . . . it’s how you feel about doing it”.   What a crock of shit.  Life does not guarantee you a trophy and a pizza party at the end of the year. But it would be nice if it did . . .

You’re probably thinking I know a little too much about the whole soccer/AYSO thing and you might be right. You see, I have a startling confession to make.  I didn’t think it would come out like this . . . I mean (*tearing up*) . . . I was hoping I would take this secret to the grave with me (*lone tear drop*) . . . but I am a recovering soccer player (*full on bawling*)!

The Attack Pack (1987) rockin shiny shorts and mullets with the best of them

My ugly secret is out of the closet.  Front row, second from the right. From 1983 until 1997 I was a soccer player and I was damn good.  I dabbled a little bit during my freshman year of college too, but then again, who didn’t? But, I’m glad to say that period of my life is over.  I mean I still have to bust out the mad soccer skills once a year for an audition, but I get that kind of creepy feeling that I can only imagine straight porn actors get when they go “gay for pay”.

The worst part about this whole soccer debacle was that my parents actually encouraged it.  But to be fair, I kinda understand why.  I had 3 strikes against me coming out of the gate:

Strike #1) I am of Brazilian heritage (as far as we know)

My Brazilian Mom and her allegiance to her culture insisted I start playing at the age of 4.  To make matters worse, my hippy father co-signed this bullshit.

Strike #2) My body type

I think #1 and #2 are interconnected but I feel that anyone who is on the petite side of the size-scale and has over-developed quads really has no choice but to go with soccer. Basketball was not my game.  Believe me . . . I tried.

Strike #3) My penchant for shiny polka-dot shorts

This one doesn’t really need an explanation.  I just really like them.

However, I can’t fault soccer.  It’s only being itself and I think I turned my life around in a pretty dramatic fashion.  I’d like to say I’m a social soccer player these days, not a daily soccer player.  Those guys have a problem, man. I still have a job, a family, and I haven’t relapsed competitively in more than a decade. Soccer had a time and a place in my life and I’d like to say that time is over.

Plus, soccer has at least one thing going for it . . . at least it’s not Jiu Jitsu.

*** It’s okay, I roll jits, too. Bring the hate. ***

Live show update:

It looks as though I’ll be back in time from my Voice Over job in Nor Cal to take part in “The Stranger than Fiction Show” tonight Friday, September 10th at the LA Connection Comedy Theater in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Ticket and show info can be found on www.stfworld.com – Come on by and get your faces melted off with 90 mins of improv comedy and metal.

Written by ZekeIsAwesome

September 10, 2010 at 5:00 am

Posted in Comedy, MMA, Surliness

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Everything is better after Auto-tune (and drugs)

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Today’s pop music is total garbage and I know I’m not alone in my assessment.  I know, you’re probably saying to yourself “Zeke, pop music is all garbage.  It always has been and always will be.”  And I’d completely agree with you. Pop music, much like a pair of Pull-Ups, is a disposable commodity.  When it first comes out it is shiny, plastic, and looks great.  You know it’s shitty, but its got a hook.  After a few hundred thousand spins its luster starts to fade.  The cream tends to rise to the top and some songs stand the test of time because they are good songs.  It’s all the other songs that blend into the background music of our lives.

But this is where we start to have problems.  The increased use of the Auto-tune, has created an era of songs where the artists are indistinguishable.  Of the pop music genres, hip-hop and R & B are the worst offenders followed closely by Britney-Spears-4th-generation-analog-copy-cats. If I played you new unpublished tracks from, Kei-dollar-sign-ha, T-Pain, Usher, Katy Perry, Heidi Montag, and JoJo would you be able to tell me know who’s who? Probably not.  The abuse of this technology has created homogenized syntho-pop that drives me totally insane. Every time I hear a track from one of the above mentioned artists I immediately call it “The Cher Effect” and remember that she did it better in her own homo-fem-anthem way.

Now besides not being able to tell who’s singing, you also can’t tell who has any talent.  I mean for christ’s sake, Auto-tune can make me sound like I can sing and I am completely tone-deaf.  I recently got to test out the Auto-tune in a recording studio and was blown away by the results.  More than anything it gave me a false sense of confidence that I could sing and that soon enough I should be singing the National Anthem at the next WNBA game.  Once the effect was removed I was horrified to hear what I really sound like.  Goddamn . . . I am terrible at singing . . . but man, with my friend the Auto-tune, anything is possible. Lesson learned.

This little experiment made me long for halcyon days of the late ’90’s when everyone in the rock community was up in arms over the use of the vocal sweetening software Pro-Tools.  Little did we know it was just the tip of the iceberg.  But I digress . . .

Their are a few exceptions to the rule and of course they involve drugs.

Jimmy Kimmel tweeted the original Double Rainbow video that, on its own, is amazing.  Listening to this guy in the video lose his shit over a double rainbow reminds me of the power of hallucinogens.  I know it may come as a shock to many of you but I too, may have had a couple of life changing experiences under the influence of ‘shrooms, ecstasy, and/or some diabolical Amsterdam weed.  But youtube user YosemiteBear takes it to a new level by documenting it with his handycam and posting it for the world to see.

You’re probably thinking that it can’t get any better than that.  Well hold on to your 1,000 calorie lattes, because the Gregory Bothers (aka youtuber Schmoyoho) got ahold of the clip and “yes and”-ed this crap out of an already outstanding clip.  Here is my new favorite song:

Not only do these capture the spirit of the times with this incredible song, but they are also the geniuses behind one of my favorite comedy bits “Auto-tune the News“.  These guys do a yeoman’s job of bridging news, comedy, and music into a completely accessible format.

So where do we go from here?  Well, I think it’s obvious: Don’t use the Auto-tune unless your source material involves psychotropic drugs.

Live Show shout out:

Tonight I’ll be performing with The Stranger than Fiction Show at the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks, CA.  Tickets are available at the door for $10 or go to www.stfworld.com for a 2 for 1 deal. Next month, we return to the Comedy Store for a show on August 25th in the Main Room. Come check out some improv comedy with a touch of hair metal rock tossed in for good measure!

Written by ZekeIsAwesome

July 30, 2010 at 6:00 am

Annoying Neighbors

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We’ve all had them.  They come in all shapes and sizes and bring a wealth of diversity and idiosyncrasies to the community.  Since moving to Venice I’ve had a few choice neighbors already. Here are my top three starting from the bottom working my way up:

Number 3) The meth-head who plays guitar for hours on end, playing the same pentatonic scales in between fits of yelling at the television. This guy is not only annoying, but he also brings an element of danger to the table.  Don’t get me wrong, I love blues inspired pentatonics and they are every guitar player’s bread and butter.  However, After hour four of the 12 bar blues in the key of A, I’m about ready to take my own life.  Save the fact that baseball season is ramping up and my only reprieve will be his random screams of agony as Manny goes down swinging with the bases juiced.  As a side note this neighbor may have allegedly accidentally discharged his shotgun in to the skull of a neighbor he was having an argument with.  I could devote an entire blog to this incident.

Number 2) The coked out sex fiend who nails skanks through out all hours of the day and night. Whoa! Hold on there Zeke! Why are you hating on a guy who’s getting his grove on?  You should be happy for him, right?  Wrong.  At some point I need to sleep, write, and masturbate and I sure as hell can’t do that while I have Ron Jeremy banging it out at all hours of the night.  Wait, I guess I could masturbate . . .

Number 1) The guy who sub-lets a sub-let from a friend of the guy who’s sub-let the sub-let and enjoys house music. This guys is perhaps the worst offender of all since he doesn’t belong there in the first place.  Forget about his crappy choice in music for a second.  He hasn’t been pre-screened and more importantly sub-lets usually attract the dregs of society.  I can’t remember the last time Thurston Howell the 3rd (much less his half-brother Graham Wellington) was looking for a sub-let for the summer, but I can tell you its not on his bucket list.

However, none of these compare to the neighbor that the Stranger than Fiction Show deals with in the embedded clip.  Check it out and share it with your friends.

This week’s shows

I will be performing twice this week with The Stranger Than Fiction Show.  Wednesday night March 31st, I’ll be at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, CA.    It will be a night of improv comedy with some of the top improvisers from The LA Connection Comedy Theater.  I go on a 945pm with the STF crew.

Friday night April 2nd The Stranger than Fiction Show heads over the hill to our home theater, the LA Connection in Sherman Oaks, CA.  As usual, we will be doing 90 minutes of our own brand of improv comedy starting at 9pm.  This show will feature our newest addition to the show, STF Bingo!  E-mail me at zekeisawesome1@gmail.com for details on either show.

Sleeping in the Land of Kitty Cats and Chicken

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I judge the shit out of people and I don’t apologize for it.  I take great pride in ranking people (myself included) and being a fair judge of character who understands what motivates people.  Whenever my instinct gets a pretty good track record going, I start to think I have this whole life thing figured out.  During times like these, the universe will capitalize on the opportunity to humble me in new and creative ways.  This past week is a prime example of the universe reminding me that I am a ridiculous, silly little man.

I’ve developed a habit of falling asleep on the couch after watching some lighthearted comedy on TV or its bastard cousin netflix on demand.  It was not unusual for me to wake up on the couch with the girl cats using me for both heat and hairy furniture.  Over time, my girlfriend (Ms. Christine Is Lovely) has noticed this pattern and would get up around 3am and look for me when she noticed I was not in bed.  She would usually find me in some sort of modified yoga position with the lower half of my body in some sort double sprinter’s stretch and the top half in a totally relaxed position, usually with my arms over my head.   We would have some sort of zombie-like conversation but ultimately she would retrieve me from the couch and bring me to bed. Keep in mind I am totally asleep.

Well last week I get up after she has gone to work and I notice that the Hawaiian rolls we had just purchased the night before had a tear in the bag.

Someone was hungry . . .

Someone was hungry . . . nom nom nom

This was odd.  I guess our fat orange cat couldn’t wait until we got up to feed her and decided to take matters in to her own hands.  This wasn’t too terribly out of character for her since she came from a 50 cat rescue situation and was used to getting food by any means necessary.

But then I got to thinking . . . would a cat tear open a bag and then carefully tear off 2 of the 12 rolls?  No.  A Fat Cat would take a bite out of the first roll and stop once she realized it was bread.  Fat Cat hates bread.  Despite her fatness and desperation, Fat Cat has a very discerning palette.

Okay, well that leaves my girlfriend as the prime suspect with Fat Cat being demoted to a person of interest.  While I was eliminating suspects, something wasn’t adding up.

I called up the new prime suspect and cut right to the chase.

Me:  So how were the rolls last night?

Christine is Lovely: What are you talking about?

Typical criminal response, deny everything.

Me:  You look like you really enjoyed the Hawaiian rolls? Did you have some for breakfast?

CIL:  That wasn’t me.  I have no idea what you are talking about.  What time did you go to sleep last night?

Houston, we have a problem.

Right then . . . right there . . . it all came into focus.  My face turned red and I began to drown in embarrassment.  I was looking for a suspect that I could never find, except when I looked in the mirror.

I am sleep-eater.

WTF?  Who does that?  Well, apparently, I do.

Let’s breakdown the game film on this sleep-eating incident. Go ahead and take another look at the picture above.  I’ll wait because I’m sure you will notice something very interesting.  Not only did I bypass the twist tie, but I made a feeble attempt at tearing through the bag, not once, but TWICE!  On the second attempt I was clearly successful and I tore into that bag like a goddamn animal! A freaking animal!  For a moment I was probably more beast than human!

I am not sure why I am so embarrassed by this, but I figure sooner or later one of my jackass friends will find out and the story will get out quickly.  I looked at it like a band-aid that needed to come off all at once rather than piecemeal.  But metaphors aside, it still didn’t explain the how and the why of it.  I don’t fit the profile: a) I don’t sleep walk b) I rarely sleep talk and/or c) I have never believed a single person who claimed they ate an entire chocolate cake in their sleep and have no memory of it.  I always thought it was a fat person’s cop out for being hungry and sneaking food when they wanted to be on a 1200 calorie a day diet.

I guess I  learned a lesson today about judging people and the crazy claims people make while being asleep.  Or maybe I just learned that I am one of them as well.  Or maybe the universe to trying to get me right-sized again and remind me that despite what my head tells me, I am still the same ridiculous, silly little man I’ve always been.

— $300

PS Check out what I did to the butter.

I hacked at this like a wolverine goes after meat.

Written by ZekeIsAwesome

December 24, 2009 at 5:07 am

And so it all begins . . .

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Years ago when the whole internet blog thing started to take off I was mildly insulted when I saw friends posting their inner most thoughts and opinions on the web.  My initial reaction was “who the f— are you and why do you think you so are so important?!?!”  It was a visceral reaction.  Deep in my heart I knew that “blogging” was a fleeting idea that would soon go away like the old BBS’s and the Dancing Baby’s of the world.  Today, I realize that I was wrong.  Really wrong.

I can count on one hand the number of blog posts I had on myspace over the 4 years or so I was an active member.  They all had to do with major events in my life that people who knew me might find interesting like my first network national ad or the time my truck was stolen while I was surfing. Perhaps it was my years of journalism training in high school or my left leaning political ideas that brainwashed me into thinking that if I am ever privileged enough to have a platform to voice my opinion, it better be something worthwhile.

Think about it, not all that long ago very few people had access to the media.  The barriers to entry were enormous and numerous people had to vet both the author and the story.  Prior to 2002, where could you go and have more than your immediate family listen to your crackpot theories on the faking of the moon landing?  You could write a letter to the editor or your local paper, right?  Perhaps you could call in to a conservative AM talk show? Maybe you could go down to the Venice boardwalk and tell tourists about how the Bavarian Illuminati has taken over the money supply since we’ve switched over from the gold standard?  Any way you cut it, your choices were limited.

We all make mistakes

We all make mistakes

Then somewhere around the middle of the last decade, the big democratization of the media occurs and all of a sudden viral video and blogs start cropping up.  This was a game changer.  Anyone and everyone had a chance to sound off in cyberspace.  Our tolerance for low production value videos and poorly designed websites has waned a little, but ultimately these mediums have taken off in ways we couldn’t have fathomed.

My favorite part in all of this: I can cyber-stalk everyone before I meet them face to face. You can find basic info on pretty much anyone these days and I love it.  But then it gets better!  Some people go the extra mile and post their journal online.  I love the fact that a lot of people are narcissistic enough to publish intimate details of their life in a digital diary format and do not expect repercussions of their actions.

The same thing goes for pictures.  Remember guys, when you put something in a digital form, it lives forever.  Remember those digital pictures your girlfriend took of you getting out of the shower?  It was all fun and games at the time, but now it can live in infamy courtesy of e-mail distribution lists and social networking services.

Even today, if someone asks my opinion about someone or about one of their projects, I am loath to respond by e-mail.  Phone calls were my preferred method of dealing with off-the-record conversations, but now with technology progressing as quickly as it has, I can now get a fairly accurate digital transcription of voice-mail messages courtesy of Google Voice.  That is some scary stuff.

Perhaps this larger digital footprint may remind me that I really shouldn’t take myself too seriously . . . ever.  If photos from way-back-when and out of context comments have a way of resurfacing then I need to remember that I’m not saving the world and I’m just a ridiculous, silly man who’s attempting to join an already over-crowded market place.

Hopefully, this blog make you laugh. Maybe it will make you think.  But more than likely it will probably just plug one of my projects or talk about how cute my kitty cats are. Yes, I said kitty cats. And yes I’m still a ridiculous, silly man.

Written by ZekeIsAwesome

October 8, 2009 at 8:51 pm

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