Monday, November 30, 2009

I have a cold, that rhymes with ...

The answer is not bold. Its old folks, old. Yes I'm having a bit of a poor pitiful pearl party, there's no doubt about that. The cold doesn't help, nor does looking in the mirror and going "GAWD, HOLY CRAP YOU LOOK OLD."

Now am I old? Relatively yes, clearly older than I was when I posted my last blog .... over a year ago (And let me take this time to apologize to all my readers, all none of you, for ignoring you for so long. Of course, my only constant reader, who I have been ignoring, is me .. kind of. And by writing, I mean computer aided ranting and rambling. It's been a year of Shakespeare and theater for me, a huge and welcome change to my life, and I found my ability to and desire to put my own words down, fairly difficult. Now that I have a wee bit of a break before my next job - a fairly significant break of three months - I've decided to rant and rave and ramble a bit more. If for anything, to reawaken that part of me.) But old. OLD. I'm looking at pictures of myself from a year ago and feeling I've aged 10. Maybe I should just stop looking at pictures of myself.

I think part of it is that I really don't have a plan right now. A plan for my life. OK, so that's a little dramatic. I have a plan, a plan to continue making a living as an actor - the only difference is that last year I was on a path to focus on tv, commercials, stand up and hope to crack through the celluloid barrier of film. Now, while the big screen and small screen are places I want to be - the stage is my big picture goal. At least for now. Especially the classical stage. Especially Shakespeare. Which, in case you didn't know, isn't one of the more financially sound occupational choices one can make. But I'm happy to make it, I'm honored to have the chance to make it true and I'm proud of the work I've done, especially over the last few months.

But the past is past and now, now my life is on pause. To be more thematically appropriate, lets call it an intermission. I just finished 10 months of working in theater as an actor then as a director. I have nothing planned till the Spring. Now what do I do? If I were a true nomad, a real artist, if I truly gave myself up to the freedom of not having to have a plan for every moment, I'd head to Europe, or travel up and down the Coast, or ... well, just relax. RELAX. Take a break. Breathe. Sleep. Then move on. And I'm trying to do that, I really am. But there's still that part of me, the type-A, ex-attorney, stressed out son of Jack O'Keefe that feels like I'm wasting time not doing anything, not having a plan. That this intermission merely highlights the dangers of non-traditional life I have embarked upon - what if I never work again? What if I never have a place of my own? What if I end up an old(er), hairy(er) hobo? (What's the difference between a hobo and an artist? The hobo has better credit.) And by "highlights the dangers" I really mean that it awakens that bitch goddess of judgment. Not just the judgment of others "you don't have an apartment?" "you don't know what your doing next" "you sure you don't want a haircut?" More potent than the judgment of others is the judgment of myself. This is probably the time when the underscored music starts to build as the Blogger starts communicating via text that he's discovering something important about himself. But I can't hear the music because I'm switching between episodes of America's Top Model and Dr. Drew's Sex Rehab (I haven't had television for a year, give a man a break).

So I feel old. Maybe what I really feel is doubt about myself and what I'm doing. That and fear. Fear of the unknown. As a recovering Catholic I know a lot about fear of the unknown, there are times it feels my life was predicated on that fear: do well in school or else; get a good job and make money or else; go to church and behave yourself or when you die. I'd like to think I'm past that, but right now I'm not sure. I feel that I've lost a bit of that youthful rebellion that inspired me to quit the law, to cancel the wrong wedding, to pursue a life of passion as opposed to one of safety. To embrace the unknown. To explore. To have no fear. At Shakespeare & Company, an amazing institution I was proud to be a part of the past 7 years, they embrace the unknown (as a theatre company walking the razor's edge of financial ruin, they must). Every time we had an opportunity to celebrate a success, we always raised a glass to the Unknown. That's kind of fantastic isn't it? Celebrating the unknown as opposed to fearing it. That's what I need to do. I think I can do that. I think I can, once again, stop acting my age, and start living. Will I dear reader? (It's only rhetorical because I'm the only one reading this) Either way, I'll likely end up blogging about it sooner or later.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Recently I traveled to Colorado to marry one of my best friends, his name is Paul. He’s a big mountain of a man, whose gruff bearded exterior serves merely as the protective candy shell to his gooey vulnerable insides. Its because of this almost cliché dichotomy that he represents, that I love him dearly, and as such was so very honored and happy to marry him this weekend, to the love of his life, Malissa. What .. oh, you thought that he and I ...Don’t be ridiculous; I was the minister at their wedding. Something else you should know, they don’t believe in gay marriage in Colorado. Three years ago Colorado State Rep Jim Welker said if we allow gay marriage today, we’ll have to allow marriages between humans and animals tomorrow – which is really the kind of asinine statement I would never expect to come from the mouth of a state representative, I’d expect it to come from someone like Republican V.P. Candidate Sara Palin – give her time people, give her time.

Here’s what I think about those who say “marriage is a sacred union between man and woman” .. I say, LIARS. YOUR marriage may be sacred, hell your marriage should be sacred to you, if its not, get some help, get some counseling or get a lawyer.. but that’s YOUR marriage. You are never going to convince me that all marriage is sacred, and even if I ignore the concept of arranged marriages and the fact that historically some marriages were just another form of indentured servitude, and agree that in some point in our history, in our culture, marriage as an institution, was considered somewhat “sacred,” whatever that means, I would argue that that is no longer the case. “Why would you say that Tom?” - let me give you three reasons: (1) 50% divorce rate; (2) Las Vegas; (3) Brittany Spears. I think we hetero’s have fucked up any rose-colored glasses view of marriage that its time to let the gays take a crack at it … they can’t do any worse. In fact, they’ll probably do a better job. They’ll probably have a lower divorce rate, and why shouldn’t they – they generally seem happier and clearly have better sex lives than we do. And maybe that’s why the good old boy conservatives are so afraid of gay-marriage, if the gays get it right, Cletis may start wondering ...”maybe I should have married Bubba … he’ll let me watch football, keep my car on the front lawn and won’t cry when I hit him too hard.”

If gays are allowed to get married, it will remove from my family the hidden self placating excuse they have for me, as the youngest of six, and the only unmarried (yep, my 4 sisters and brother are all married, one of them loves marriage so much, she’s on her second).. they can no longer think .. maybe he’s not married because he’s gay. If gay marriage is allowed, they’ll have to think … he’s just unlovable. OR, even worse … he thinks marriage is so important that he’d rather never be married then enter into a bad one. And that’s the truth.

At my sister’s second wedding, one of my other sisters took me aside to give me the “you need to get married” pep talk. After many drinks she told me “I think its great that you walked away from your wedding because she wasn’t right for you.” I cancelled my wedding 3 years ago a mere 10 weeks before the day .. Quite simply because I realized my fiance’s wanting to get married could be summed up in the slogan “Marriage: the cure to any imperfect relationship” or “Marriage: my parents were miserable together, why shouldn’t we?” Or “marriage: how else can I justify getting pregnant and quitting my job.” But my sister said … “I think its great that your not willing to marry someone unless they are the right one for you … but I’m so afraid of you growing old alone ... and you’d be such a great father .. It’d be a shame if you didn’t have kids.” What she was saying was … not so much “settle down Tom,” as much as “Tom, settle.”

Perhaps your thinking “Tom you don’t sound like the guy I’d call to conduct my marriage ceremony.” I’d agree with you, when Paul and Malissa called me up to ask if I would do it … I did one of those, “this is Tom O’Keefe .. You know that right?” Besides perhaps being emotionally under-qualified for the job, I didn’t seem to meet the job requirements. Last I checked, I wasn’t a minister or a reverend or a priest .. I was an altar boy many years ago but I’m pretty sure that didn’t give me the authority to marry people … though in elementary school I did wear that badge of authority to do just that ... to marry a number of couples under the big oak tree at Wing Street elementary school.

Yep, when puberty began striking the hearts and groins of the students at Wing Street, I spent less time chasing the women and more time marrying them to the little jerks that would never truly appreciate them. I was an altar boy, so it seemed like a natural thing to do.

The first couple I married was Laura Kim Hogeland and Richard Schelp. It was a big deal; kind of like Princess Die and Prince Charles cause Laura Kim was kind of a celebrity. First off she was Korean AND Jewish and that was like a rare exotic delicacy in Long Island in the early 80’s. On top of that, she got her period before any other girl, before any of us knew what the hell a period was - I thought she was crying because she hated punctuation. I was never a fan of grammar myself.

I married a couple couples, none of them lasted, most of them most of them ended in make believe divorce by the end of recess, a service I was also happy to provide – which was good training for my brief future stint as a lawyer. That’s right I could marry you, divorce you and do your homework - I was a full service nerd.

I think I did the marrying to impress the girls, not the ones I was marrying, but I kind of hoped that my nuptial powers would seduce a make believe bridesmaid or two. In hindsight, I never really thought that plan though, you don’t hear lots of stories of women swooning over their ministers.. unless they’re republicans of course. Maybe I just enjoyed helping these kids celebrate their puppy love. Kind of made me feel a little bit like cupid – I guess a lot like cupid, I had blonde curls, I was a rubinesque child, all I needed was a set of wings and a bow and arrow.

What I think my marrying past shows is that at that young age I connected happiness with marriage – which was instilled in me, no doubt, by my parents. My parents’ marriage wasn’t perfect, but it was sacred to them. They kept their vows: richer/poorer; sickness/health; and till death did them part … as if they were solemn promises made before man and god and the flora and fauna of the world .. you know, as if they were VOWS.

So maybe it’s not that odd that Paul and Malissa would ask me to be their celebrant. While I have yet to tie the knot myself, I think there is true beauty in the commitment that two people make to each other when they find the kind of love that deserves a sacred institution. As opposed to the romantic relationships I often have which deserve another kind of institution all together.

I accepted their request, and I became a minister … yes, I am now Reverend Thomas Matthew O’Keefe of the Universal Life Church. It was a difficult process, it involved me getting online, entering my name, my address and my email and then waiting. A whole 24 hours. Till I was ordained. Via email. It was a fairly anti-climactic experience. I sent myself flowers.

The wedding was pretty wonderful. And, I don’t mind saying, I did my job well. The experience made me realize something, I tried to explain it to my dad, but he’s two busy praying for my soul - apparently becoming a minister of another church gets you excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Who knew? The Church and I were on a trial separation anyway. That relationship was never going to last. But what I realized … it doesn’t matter who marries you, the celebrant is a mere formality … just as in the paperwork, the flowers and the rings. The only thing that really matters is that two people choose to love and be loved by each other without limitation. In the ceremony we used a quote from Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet” - “Love is a great demanding claim on a person, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. Love, it is the ultimate, it is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely enough.” If you have that kind of love, what more do you need?

I may be single, but I hope I find that kind of love someday. For those of you who have found it, congratulations, you are among the lucky few. For those who haven’t, I really hope you do find it. And when you do, and if you choose to get married, remember all you need is the love you have for each other. If, however, you want that love recognized by the state, you do need a celebrant of some sort, and when you do, call me, my prices are reasonable, I have openings and I can be found on Facebook, Myspace, and

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I'm bored, so I filled out another MYSPACE survey

Looking back, did you ever waste too much time on a certain person?
Yes. Myself. Trying to get me to like me for me has been difficult. The good thing is, I'm easy, so I'm always there when I wanna get some.

Anything been heavy on your heart lately?
Barbell. Too heavy. No spotter. Painfull.

Anything you're giving up on?
8 - Track's coming back.
George W.

Are you open about your feelings or closed off?
(can't answer, crying)

Think of the person you told "I love you" last, did you mean it? Who was it?
Me. I looked in the mirror and told myself "I love you Tom." I'm serious, an acting teacher said its a good way to take care of yourself. And no, I didn't mean it. I'm just using myself for sex.

Do you hate any of your ex's?
I love them all. C'mon, we live together. Well they live in the basement, now.

What's a goal you wanna reach soon?
World Peace of Mind.

Whats one thing some people hate/love about you?
That I answer these stupid surveys.
That I post the answer to these stupid surveys.
That I kick puppies.

Only two of the above are true.

Thought about someone today?
Nope. No one. Didn't think at all about any person at all. Didn't think "I wonder how she's doing since she left me." I didn't think "that's him, that's the guy right there crossing the street, the guy she left me for." I didn't think, "wow he really doesn't run that fast." And I certainly didn't think "Oh, I bet she won't think he's that hot now that he has that limp and that imprint of my grill on his grill"(by his grill I mean his mouth you know, its a street term .. I'm pretty hip).

Overall mood today?

What's something you say too much?
I want a lawyer

Are you happy with who you are?
No. But I'm slightly satisfied with what I am. And what is that? Well, I am what I am and that's all that I am.

Do you judge others?
And by Guilty I don't mean to say, with a wry expression on my face that "of course I judge others," what I mean to say is "i've examined the situation, considered and weighed the evidence, and have found you guilty. Guilty of asking stupid questions. The sentence ... death. Or cake. Death or cake. Try the cake. And yes, I just stole the "cake or death" thing from Eddie Izzard, whose judging now?

Who do you tell everything to?
You. When your asleep. I whisper it in your ear, then I fluff your pillows. And by "fluff your pillows" I mean I pick up your pillows, shake them about, punch em a little bit to make them fluffier, such that you can sleep soundly.

Where do you live?
In the now. But I'm moving to the future, in about a second or two.

Did you speak to your mother today?
No. But I spoke to your mother, she misses you.

Where is your sister right now?
Why do you wanna know where my sister is? So you can ask her if I spoke to my mother today? So you can ask her if she thinks I judge people too? So you can ask her for those pictures of me wearing her prom dress when I was tired and drunk and lonely and experimenting with taffeta? She's not here anymore. She's in a better place now. Connecticut.

What are you listening to?
The voices.

What color is your hair?
What hair?

What is the last movie you watched?
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Ironman's Mamma's Dark Night Country for Juno's Blood.

What's bothering you right now?
My previous answers.

Do you like being called babe/baby?
I prefer "douche bag"

What makes you happy?
You do. You didn't know it, but you do. Your doing it right now .. see that? See what you just did? I love you. Wait, who is this?

Do you miss someone?
The person I thought you were. The person I wanna be. And Superman.

Do you think you can last in a relationship for 3 months?
I can live in a box for 3 months. But a relationship, that's pushing it.

Who was the last person you gave your number to?
No I'm kidding, he already has my number.
He gave me a number, wanna know what it is? IT's 12. That's right you have 12 days to repent ... OR ELSE.

Where is your number one right now?
Where I left it, in the boy's room. That's a stupid question.

How was your day?
Fine until I decided to answer this thing.

What did you do?
Answered this thing. Researched the person who created this thing. Hunted them down. Judged them.

When was the last time you cleaned your room?
It's a self cleaning room.

Are you taking anyone for granted?
Myself. But its ok, he's a pushover.

Where do you hide your money?
The safest place I know, the place that no one can get too, ever .. MY HEART. Yep, that's what I call the safe I put my money in. I keep that safe in my RIBCAGE. Yep, you got me, that's the name of my Closet .. Ribcage. I also have a name for my bed, I call it PLEASURE ISLAND.

How did you wake up this morning?
Like this ... "OHHHHHHHH CRAP!"

Which is more romantic: sunrise or sunset?
It depends on if I'm wearing rubber or sparkles.

Are you sarcastic?
Of course not.

How many letters are in your last name?
All the good ones.

What are you excited about?
Almost being done with this, oh yeah and then going to Pleasure Island.

How do you walk?
Like a duck. If a duck walked like a person with a big package, you know, like he's carrying something he just bought at Sears.

Do you curse a lot?
Fuck no.

Do you drink bottled water?
I drink water encased in crystal globes. That's not true, its not water so much as the tears of newborn asian babies.

What's something you wish you could understand better?
Women .. AM I RIGHT PEOPLE?? AM I RIGHT?? Who's with me?

Have you lost friends in the past years?
Can you be more general?

What are you doing tonight?
Washing myself from the memory of this. And watching the Dark Night. Yep, sitting on Pleasure Island, looking out the window (which I call that NAUGHTY MIRROR) and starring out into the dark night.

Who was the last person to call you baby?
Me. I'm always like "good job baby," "looking good baby," "see you on pleasure island baby." Then I cry myself to sleep.

Is there anyone you'd like to date?
Martha Washington.

If your ex REALLY needed you at 3am but you had no way to his/her house, what would you do?
Laugh at them. Alot. I'd laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. Then I'd blog about it.

When was the last time you wanted to punch someone in their face?
10 minutes ago. Guess who the person is? That's right, its you baby.

What is the last thing you spent money on?

Liars & Thieves

This is a piece I wrote and performed for a show called "THE LIT THING." The theme, as the title sets out, was "Liars and Thieves." If you've seen any of my stand up, you may recognize some of the stuff below.


I have a fair amount of experience with liars and thieves ... I live in los angeles, I’m a former attorney at law, and I’ve been engaged, but for this little ditty, I thought I’d focus on my relationship with a group of stellar liars and thieves - a group who had a very strong influence on my life, my thoughts, my neurosis. A group that many of you know and may even be fans of ...The Roman Catholic Church. Did you just hear that? He’s on the other side of the continent, soundly sleeping, but I just heard my father gasp.

The name alone begs to be mocked. ROMAN CATHOLACISM ... Mel Gibson’s testimony not withstanding .. didn’t the Romans kill Jesus Christ? Nail him up on a tree? Make it a crime to be christian? Funny isn’t it then that Roman Emperor Constantine woke up one day and said ... “I feel like changing things up a bit ...bring me that happy little hippy who turns water into wine, you know with the sandles and the beard ... oh he is? .. oh we did? ... on a cross, a bit dramatic? well, blame that on the jews and then lets join his club, but lets make it our club, let’s call it ROMAN CATHOLICS. We don’t want to get confused with the SPANISH CATHOLICS or the RUSSIAN CATHOLICS or any of those lower class of catholics.”

Despite this less than auspicious beginning my parents raised us Roman Catholic. They were raised Roman Catholic and their parents raised and so on and so on - its a vicious cycle. As such, Thou Shall Not Steal, Though Shall Not Lie (bear false witness) were pretty big commandments in our house - as were Honor thy mother and father - which is a pretty convenient commandment for parents don’t you think?

I don’t have a problem with most of these commandments, they make sense. The trouble I had was when I was trying to understand the severity of “though shall not steal” while my dad, an honorable, hard working, loving, catholic man, in an attempt to save what little money we had, would, instead of shopping for our school supplies at the local stores, “borrow” them from his office. This was perplexing to my innocent and still forming moral sensibilities. Why is that not stealing? Why is it borrowing if we’re not bringing them back? Why aren't we allowed to thank your boss for the supplies? That never sat right with me. It was also problematic because while my friends were off to school with trapper keepers and Star Wars backpacks, I was the only kid in the 4th grade using legal pads and a briefcase ... I later went on to become an attorney, not because I had a particular passion for the law, but because I already had all the stuff.

Another reason I became a lawyer, I liked to argue. Alot. All the time. My dad would often say “you’d argue with the Pope,” and since I’m writting unkind words about his religion, perhaps his statement was somewhat prophetic. But here’s the thing, I wouldn’t want to argue with the Pope because, first of all he’s a very smart man, and second of all, that hat would steal my focus and finally if I managed to make a good point, to disprove anything he could say, he’d likely follow up with INFALIBILTY .. yep, the INFALIBILTY POWER that the super hero who runs the Roman Catholic Church gets .. that would get annoying real quick, like the bad guy in Lethal Weapon II, he’d keep doing bad shit and then say DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY ... come to think of it, doesn’t the current pope kind of look similar to that guy?? Interesting .. except that instead of Mel Gibson being his enemy they are allies ... Mel Gibson and the Pope ... taking on the world, one Jew at a time .. where’s Danny GLover when you need him ... “just been revoked.”

But mom and dad felt the church was good for us. So we went. Every week. And on holidays. We never missed it. We couldn’t not go, to suggest even as much would be a sin of the highest order .. KEEP HOLY THE LORDS DAY, we were reminded. But much like the mixed signals of stealing office supplies, going to church was somewhat confusing, you see I figured going was supposed to be spiritually nourishing, yet for my family the experience often delivered healthy portions of stress, anxiety and indigestion. I remember many sunday mornings, sitting in the car with my dad and brother, while my mom and 4 sisters were still in the house getting ready for church and my dad having a conniption as my mom hurridly ushered my sisters into the car ... “JESUS CHRIST JOAN, YOU’D BE LATE TO YOUR OWN FUNERAL.” Which really wasn’t the spirit of love and acceptance I thought the church was going for. Never mind the fact that I couldn’t understand how someone could be late for their own funeral ... I would think that if someone were actually late for their own funeral they would be largely blameless for the infraction, punctuality being something no longer within their control, if they were late .. clearly the blame would lie elsewhere .. a shipping company perhaps, a tardy mortician. As a side note my mother wasn’t late for her own funeral, she was pretty early actually, by about 20 years .. I’m wondering now if she’s up in heaven getting a little payback at my dad, visiting him in his dreams, looking down at him, smiling, saying .. “who’s the late one now tough guy?”

My dad taught me that going to church was a serious obligation, a moral imperitive, and something I would never enjoy. I realized just how well I learned that lesson when I lived in Santa Monica and attempted to go to church regularly. There’s only one roman catholic church to go to in santa monica ... there are actually three Roman Catholic Churches in Santa Monica.. but there’s only “ONE” to go to, the cool one, the place to be seen, where the hip catholics go. They don’t have enough parking, so when you go to mass, you end up spending an additional 20 minutes looking for street parking in santa monica ... street parking in santa monica. It's easier to believe in the immaculate conception than it is to believe you can find street parking in Santa Monica. It did put me in a religious state of mind, as my frustration would build I would find myself screaming the lord to anyone in my way ... "JESUS CHRIST COULD YOU MOVE ANY SLOWER?" "HOLY MOTHER OF GOD no take your time, take your time .. I’m in no rush." When I would finally park 18 blocks away, I’d march quickly toards the church, which always led me past a certain park where I would make a strong effort to avoid the attention of the dozen homeless persons living there, standing around in annticipation of something, as if they were waiting for a Greatfull Dead concert to begin and no one's given them the bad news. I avoided eye contact in this final stretch before the Church gates because I knew, I just knew they would ask for some change, some cash, some hand out and I would be forced to say “Leave me alone man, I don’t have time for charity, I’m going to Church.”

When I finally got there, things were generally all right, until the end of mass. Until it was time for the Our Father, not my father, “OUR FATHER” the prayer. Nothing against the prayer, big fan of the prayer as far as prayer’s go ... its the one I’ve used most ofen in my life, except for those adolescent years when I had my self authored ... please, please make it bigger lord ... but the our father is a good one. Traditional. Classic. A golden oldy that still rings true ... story goes Jesus himself wrote this little ditty, and if he were still alive with those residuals ... man, he’d be so rich, he could start a church. but they’ve changed his prayer, in the spirit of being modern, of being friendly, of being .. i don’t know ... KIND OF GAY actually ... they sing it. Yeah they sing it. And not only do they sing it, but everyone holds hands ... everyone ... you can’t not hold hands, when the time is right the guy to the right of you and gal to the left of you raise their hands as if prepared to receive enlightenment, but they’re waiting for you for that enlightenment, to hold their unfamiliar, likely damp, sweaty, bacteria ridden hands ... and then sing with them. but it can’t be a quick, sing the words of the prayer to a steady beat and be done with it ... no we have to have a choral song with the church band ... "OUR FATHER" the choir leader sings, then we sing "OUR FATHER" ... "WHO ART IN HEAVEN," she sings, ... we repeat .. it goes on and on and on, as I’m holding hands and hoping I’m not the sweaty hand and this guy can’t sing for crap and who’s this girl and she’s kind of cute and would it be wrong for me to hit on her in church and does she think I’m creepy and holy crap this song is long and these people can’t sing holy crap. I go to church to feed my faith and forestall my fear to eleviate my guilt and end up a member of the chorus in a low budget weekly production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR ... and Im surrounded by freakin amatures.

So I stopped going on a weekly basis. But, despite my problems with the church, a couple times a year I do go and the main reason for that is guilt. Guilt over the fact that my dearly departed mother would be mad at me, is mad at me, for not keeping the holy commandment .. keep holy the lords day ... but I have to figure, I’m not doing a good job at keeping the other commandments. No, thou shall not kill, thou shall not steal ... stuff like that I think I’m ok ... unless its stealing to take a couple 30 or so advil packets from the office first aid kit when I think I’ll have a rough weekend ... or if getting free cable, even though I didn’t ask for it, even if all i did was screw a mysterious cable cord that was hanging out of the wall into my new apartment into my television ... besides that ... no stealing. But coveting ... not necessarily my neighbors wife, or my neighbors stuff ... wife not that hot, stuff not that good. But coveting .. oh I covet, ALL THE TIME.

Isn’t that a great thing about catholics, making coveting a sin ... making it a sin to desire what you don’t have ... makes the whole SECRET thing, which previously I just thought a load of bs, a first class ticket to hell .... there’s a problem, well a couple problems with this logic .. its a sin to sleep with my neighbor’s wife, its also a sin to want to sleep with my neighbors wife ... so, if I find myself in the position of wanting my neighbors wife .. I may as well sleep with her, I’m already screwed I might as well get laid while I’m at it. And here’s the thing, despite how true and faithfull and honest your wife is .. she wants to be coveted, and lets be honest you want her to be coveted to, so we’re all sinners and that’s why the world has MILC’s, not MILF’s - that’s just rude.. but MILC’s .. Mom’s I Love to Covet.

OK, so I covet and I mean I never got the word from upstairs, officially, about impure thoughts ... I know its not a commandment, but ... well not just impure thoughts, acts ... both solo and with a partner ... oh yeah, if those rules weren’t made to be broken ... its a little to late for me. But I’m getting off point here .... let’s just say, all else being equal, my mother would want me to go to church. So sometimes I go. For her.

And maybe that makes me a hypocrite or a liar, because while I believe in God, I don’t believe in them. I don’t believe in the church. But I do take from them ... there are times that being in church does bring me some peace - at a wedding or a baptism or even a funeral. There are times when I go there when I actually believe that there is a higher power and that its a good place to be. The church also brings me joy, indirectly, when I engage in arguments about their policies with my dad. I like to watch him squirm when I debate him on the right to choose, gay marriage and most recently annullments. My sister was married to her husband for 9 years. They had 3 children. They then divorced. As my sister was about to get remarried, my father pressured her to get an Annullment from the church. A process by which the church, after hearing reasons for seeking annulment, considers them, carefully counts the money paid for such annulment, then decides to officially NOT RECOGNIZE the previous marriage, to declare “IN THE EYES OF THE CHURCH, THAT MARRIAGE NEVER TOOK PLACE ...” I have a lot of problems with that ... but this one really gets me ... if the church chooses not to recognize the marriage ... to decide it “never existed” ... how do they see the fruits of that marriage, namely my nephews? We all know how the catholic church views these kids ... the Catholics have a name for a child born to unwed parents, BASTARD ... or, the messiah .. I love my nephews, but if any of them are the second coming .. we are screwed.

Maybe still going to church makes me a bit of thief as well, because I do take some good things from the church, without taking the all the judging and the politics and the fire and brimstone crap that they tend to package it together with. And the church may not be too happy with me doing that, so maybe they can call me a thief and maybe they can call me a liar and that’s ok because as Jesus Christ once said to the pharisies when they accused him of being a charlatan .. it takes one to know one.

Compassionate Prick

This is a piece I wrote and performed on stage for the UNCAB-LAB One Year Anniversary Show - its a little rough around the edges and I'm sure has its fair share of typos and other errors, but I decided to post it, cause hey, why the hell not.

I consider myself to be a sensitive person. But that’s not just who I am, that’s not what defines me. I’m also a prick. I’m not running around kickin puppies, driving an SUV or voting republican, but I can be at times, a cold hearted, sarcastic, judgmental jackass. I was an attorney at law – enough said? This dichotomy makes sense - my mom was very sensitive and overly emotional where my dad was raised in a strict Irish Catholic family where the only socially acceptable ways to show your feelings were: (1) frowning; (2) laughing at others; and (3) being drunk. For most of my life these two sides have co-existed fairly peacefully. Until last week, when I realized these two aspects of my personality are at war with each other, war for ultimate control of my very soul. “What happened Tom?” you may be asking, well, I went to go see the movie WANTED.

I was visiting a friend of mine in northern California. On Saturday we spent the day in Napa, tasting wines, appreciating the scenery, being kind of sensitive. On Sunday, feeling that my macho side was being neglected, I suggested we go see the movie WANTED. In case you don’t know, in WANTED Angelina Jolie transforms the cubicle dwelling soft spoken dreamy eyed dork of James McAvoy into the GREATEST ASSASSIN EVER. 2 Hours of nonsensical comic book violence – bending bullets, future predicting LOOMS .. you heard me THE LOOM OF FATE a large wool spinning loom tells the assassins who their target is, and Morgan Freeman as the good guy who may be a bad guy but has impeccable fashion sense. Bullets travel miles to pierce skulls, one guy shoots a guy in the head point blank range, keeps the gun in his skull, using him as a shield and he keeps on killing other bad guys, and then there’s a scene when the good guys and the bad guys fight on train, the train falls into a chasm, gets lodged between the walls, but they just keep on fighting – its exactly the kind of ultra violent, macho, Hollywood gloss job that men are supposed to love. I didn’t, hell, I didn’t even like it. It had no brains, besides the ones that were splattered all over the screen. But what I did love. ohh - Angelina. Every time she was on screen, my breath caught a bit. I know, I KNOW .. she’s too freaking skinny but … holy shit is she sexy. There’s a moment in … well, I’ve always been a fan of Jennifer Anniston. I thought Brad and Jennifer, to the extent I thought about it at all, made a lovely couple. When Brad left her for Angelina the entire world had an opinion about it but me, until I saw WANTED, there’s a scene when Angelina steps out of the shadows I thought “I get it Brad, dude I get it.” I would leave any woman I was with for Angelina – even though it would be wrong, it would not last, and it would end with tears and pain and probably bloodshed, but I would do it. I would have no choice. The woman is a witch – a sexy, beautiful, enticing witch. Her siren song is far, far to strong for mortal man not to heed. She’s what would be referred to in the law as an attractive nuisance.. something that is clearly dangerous yet in-spite of that danger and likely because of it, idiots are gonna try and play with it and, more than likely, end up bruised, maimed or dead and then suing someone for not keeping them away from it. Man, you could put a fence around Angelina Jolie, but I’m the idiot whose gonna climb it, is what I’m trying to say.

As I was walking out of the theater, disappointed, trying to come to terms with the fact that I was never gonna get those two hours back, I over-heard someone declare with pride “That was a great movie.” My initial thought was “of course you thought so you idiot,” and as I turned around to see who had the NERVE, the NERVE to express an opinion contrary to mine I realized the voice was attached to a smiling, happy go lucky young man, a smiling happy go lucky young man with Down’s Syndrome. Everything froze for a moment as the fact registered in my stupid, stupid brain – and then I reacted in what felt like a very slow motion, awe inspiring, almost WANTED MOVIE moment – no, no bending bullets, no gravity defying flips, no subtle puckering of Angelina Jolie’s Lips – no, massive droplets of saline infused water burst from my soul windows and streamed down my face. That’s right I started to cry like a baby right there in the middle of the FREEMONT 16 MULTIPLEX. I exited, making like David Caruso – carefully applied my sunglasses in an effort to stop the tears. On my way out I caught a glimpse of that same young man giving a hug to his father – thanking him no doubt for allowing him the opportunity to watch people kill each other with knives, bending bullets and exploding rats (that’s right people exploding rats) and my $16 Target Sunglasses proved about as effective as the Louisiana Levees in preventing the aquatic onslaught.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I was pretty tired before I saw the movie, as I said I spent the previous day drinking too much wine and spent the previous two nights sleeping on an inflatable mattress in my friend’s living room. I hadn’t slept on such a mattress since my ex-fiance left and took everything .. the bed, the couch, the step stool .. she took the step stool, who takes a step stool? She took the step stool, put it in storage with everything else, until she found a new apartment. Why the step stool, she didn’t have any shelves to reach, she didn’t have a kitchen to have shelves in .. I had a kitchen, I had shelves, couldn’t use anything that was on the shelves, cause I did not have a step stool. What she didn’t take, I can only imagine because she could find it, was the inflatable mattress that I slept on amongst the tumbleweeds in my vacant room for a month.

Where was I .. oh yeah, crying ….
I discussed the crying, the struggle, the drama with my therapist, wondering if I was on the verge of an emotional breakdown .. and yes, when you cry in public its an emotional breakdown, its only when you cry on stage, in your therapists office or in the middle of a post-coital heart to heart that its called an emotional break THROUGH. My therapist says its ok, he says its more than ok, he says its great that I can be honest with the way I feel and can show it. He also thought it was great when I told him I punched a pimp on Hollywood Blvd because he was accosting some woman I didn’t know. That’s right, I punched a pimp, I defended a ladies honor, of course he punched me much better and much harder than I punched him, and, of course, the lady fled into the distance without so much of a “thanks you gallant, virile, macho man.”

I’m a complicated man. Sometimes too sensitive, sometimes too much a jerk .. I’m a compassionate prick. Maybe it’s a good thing. Maybe I can use this dichotomy to change the perception of being a modern man. He can be a jerk but he’s not afraid to cry and he can punch a pimp if he has too. Like maybe do a remake of the Dirty Harry film MAGNUM FORCE, starring me, but instead of wearing a suit and dispatching the villain with a .357, I’d wear a nice sweater vest and break out a Magnum of Bordeaux, pour him a glass and explain to him the errors of his ways. When he doesn’t give up, I break the bottle over his head (in the director’s cut, I’d probably sodomize him with the bottle - I’m just brain storming) and end the film with a nice solid cry as my character contemplates what he just did and the beautiful sunset.

Maybe that won’t sell, but I’m working on accepting the fact that I’m a compassionate prick, its OK to be at times insensitive and at others be too sensitive and cry more often than the rules of Machismo dictate. The Rules of Machismo, in case you were wondering, allow only one time for a man to cry and still be manly, and that is, and I quote, “when it’s the only way to get her into bed.” For the record, I have never cried to get a woman to sleep with me. But it’s nice to know that I could.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I am not a political person. That does not, however, prevent me from voicing my opinion when asked or voting in an election when required. Unfortunately, it also doesn't prevent family, friends, family friends, and strangers from sending me emails promoting their own or condemning others' political views.

One such family friend is pretty right wing. And by pretty right wing I mean extremely right wing. He is an educated man. A medical professional. And not all bad. Sometimes he "accidentally" puts me on his email lists. Below is an email thread that did not start with me, wasn't intended to find me, but as you'll see, I got involved.

Opinions are one thing, ignorance is another. Lucky for me, both tend to be funny.

So these emails are laid out somewhat in chronological order. I added some commentary in brackets.
My email is number 3, but keep reading.

(1) ORIGINAL EMAIL SENT TO A FAMILY FRIEND (intelligent, medical professional) FROM ONE OF HIS FRIENDS:

-----Original Message-----
From: ****>
To: *******
Cc: *****
Sent: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 6:55 am
Subject: (no subject)

> Mitt Romney and Obama are walking in DC,
> discussing issues, when they come across a homeless
> man in a doorway.
> Romney pulls out his wallet, hands the man a business card,
> says " Stop by at this address tomorrow, and I'll see about
> getting you a job." He then hands the man a $20 and says
> I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow."
> They walk on a bit further, and chance upon another
> homeless person. Obama says "I know how to fix this."
> He gives the man directions to the nearest Welfare office,
> reaches into Romney's pocket, pulls out $20, takes $15 for
> administrative costs, and hands the man $5.
> NOW YOU KNOW the difference between a Conservative and a Liberal !

[MY COMMENT: not a terribly original joke. It's been around for years, just replace the names of the Conservative and Liberal and there you go. Somewhat funny. Non offensive.]


***** <*****> wrote:

that milato wants to raise the tax rate for anyone making over 200K a year to 50% and pay everyone on the lower end of the scale $1000 a year to keep the economy stimulated. if he is elected the country will be come a communist/muslim state with a non productive 5 year program.


>From: Tom OKeefe
>To: <*****>, etc .... [yes i hit REPLY ALL, on purpose]

>Subject: Re: Fwd: (no subject)
>Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 11:19:48 -0800 (PST)
>I think racism, especially poorly spelled racism, is
>delightfully refreshing when lightly sprinkled upon
>the delicate pastry of political debate. (MULATTO is,
>I'm fairly certain, the term you were going for, and
>yes, while it was an official census category up until
>1930 (thank you Wikipedia) these days its pejorative
>(especially when used to show displeasure for someone)
>which is understandable as the term also means "small
>mule" and was used by slavers to describe certain
>options on particular models (again, thank you
>That being said, thanks for the laughs (thought the
>joke was pretty funny), but please leave me off this
>Huckabee mailing list in the future.
>Big kisses.

[MY COMMENT: I made my point, I think. I was even kind enough not to mention to whole communist/muslim state .. cause how could THAT happen?? Communism doesn't allow religion .. right? But his lack of logic, or facts, or anything intelligent to say, was merely secondary to his racism]


> From: "T** K******" <***************>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Fwd: (no subject)
> Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2008 20:11:47 +0000

Who the fuck are you?
And why are you e-mailing me?
And please, keep your kisses to yourself, homo.

[MY COMMENT: This guy is a doctor. Yep. Looked him up. Fought every urge to respond to him, even with a simple "HOW BOUT A HUG DOC?" just so he would know that I know who he is. I didn't because I don't want to burden my family friend's business relationship with this jackass.
This email is frightening for a variety of reasons .. obviously angry about my email, perhaps because he has racists leanings of his own. His ignorance is pretty clear ... "who the fuck are you?" , "why are you e-mailing me?"- maybe if he read the email he'd find his answers. While he may not know who TOM O'KEEFE is, he could look me up, like I looked him up. He'd also be able to put two and two together and realize my connection to the sender or at least realize there was some connection. This is a doctor people. A DOCTOR. How about the fact that he sent this angry, stupid, homophobic email to someone he doesn't know ? I could do many things with it: send it to the hospital he works at; publish it on the web with his name and e-mail address, cause I figured that out; or send it out to my friends who are, in fact, gay and are not, last I checked, racists, and who would love, I'm sure, to flood his inbox with many, many dirty, dirty things. I've done none of these things. Yet. Frankly, he's not worth the effort]


What does it all mean?
I'm still figuring it out. It is frightening, the ugly opinions that people have. Ugly not because they are different, ugly because they seem based on ignorance and fueled by anger. I'm not anti-conservative here ... cause I've known some liberals to do the same .. no not be racists or homophobes (probably lose their liberal card) but to react to opposing views with rancor, with anger, with ignorance. Why are people so threatened by those with opposing view points? My head is still spinning here. Especially because I find this email exchange to be pretty damn funny, and was hoping this post would easily supply the yuks ... not so much. So I'll let it go for now.

Just wanted to share.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


OK, so I haven't published the GIANTS piece yet .. its a work in progress. I did, however, have to publish this email I received:

subject "CHANGE YOUR MALE ORGAN SIZE" which I wasn't even gonna open, cause I don't play the organ ...
its helpful, informative, and a wonderful display of how easy it is to destroy the english language

I believe Dr. Alexandra Alpert is the screenwriter of the current film "HOW SHE MOVE"

"Dr Alexandra Albert" Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Change your male organ size.
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 10:13:56 +0600

Your girlfriend lived you alone for reason of she had done it with your

For reason of the size of his male machine drove her mad with him.

Lengthen your aggregate and you'll forget about this troubles once and
for all.

Lots of men the world over have increase. Today its your turn.