Sarit Catz... Princess Of Comedy

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And let me tell you, working in comedy is a royal pain!

What She’s Having

The TV pilot I wrote/produced which was selected to the NY TV Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival placed second in an online festival called Pilot Lite.  We were the highest rated but got the second highest number of views (I blame you).

Below is the trailer.  Watch it. 

 

 
A new front opens in the late night wars....

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CELEBRITY NEWS:

Lindsay Lohan is indeed posing for Playboy and has already done her photo shoot.  So, although she may have missed her community service work at the LA County morgue, she'll be around a lot of other stiffs.  

Woody Harrelson wrote a letter to the U.S. Army asking them to stop using monkeys for research to find antidotes to chemical weapons that might be used against our troops.  And they're going to.  The Army is going to stop that testing on antidotes to chemical weapons that might be used against our troops.  Great news for the monkeys.  And we now have jobs for the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  And maybe even Woody Harrelson.

David Arquette and Courteney Cox are developing a TV show about a couple that splits after a 10-year marriage, basically them.   Real imaginative.  I know... Ashton Kutcher could do a TV show about a guy who cheats on his older wife while taking over a sitcom.  Alec Baldwin could do a TV show about a guy who gets fat and reams out his daughter on voicemail.  And I could do a TV show about a woman who writes jokes about people who actually have TV shows.

Sean Penn was in Libya and made a speech saying he admires Libyans for their courage in overthrowing dictator Moammar Gadhafi.  The Libyan people responded with a rousing, "Who the hell is Sean Penn?"

To compete for influence with the United States, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has proposed forming a union of former Soviet nations.  They used to have something like this called... the Soviet Union. 

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a $420,000 tax credit for MTV's "Jersey Shore" because he says the show hurts the state's image.  That means taxes could also go up for "Real Housewives," "Jerseylicious" and my mother-in-law.

Sesame Street is refusing to marry characters Bert and Ernie, even though gay marriage is legal in NY.  Maybe Bert and Ernie don't want to get married, okay?  Maybe they just want to sleep around with Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird.  I mean, they don't call him "Big" Bird for nothing.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Authorities in Southern California rescued a man stuck inside a hollow tree trunk in a creek bed. Lt. Roland Chacon says it's unknown why the man climbed into the hollow tree but it's believed that he's a total moron.

A Danish study found there was no difference in the health of people who used a cellphone for about a decade and those who did not.  But there is a huge difference in the health of people who use danish for about a decade.

A woman drove into an Ohio animal facility with a cat stuck behind her minivan's dashboard.  Two questions: 1) How did the cat get in there?  and 2) Is there enough room for my kid?

It turns out the government did not pay $16 per muffin at a conference at the Capital Hilton.  The hotel says the bill also included coffee and tea.  So I'm sure we all feel a lot better now.

According to congressional investigators, drug abusers are exploiting Medicare to score large quantities of painkillers at taxpayer expense.  In other words, government officials say there are people stealing from us, other than government officials.

The King of Saudi Arabia - a non-elected position, by the way - is giving women the right to vote in municipal elections.  What's next?  He's going to let them show their noses?

Qantas airlines is currently offering an in-flight on demand movie some people think is a bit risqué.  It's a how-to video called "The Female Orgasm Explained."  Hey, it's not risqué to say "guy with a job, ice cream."

Despite a unanimous vote by the city council asking him to, the mayor of a Wisconsin town refuses to resign after repeated drunken late-night bar room brawls.  If we kicked out all the drunken brawling politicians, we'd be left with just the pervs.

   

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REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
By Sarit Catz

Now, I’m not an idiot. I know that “Desperate Housewives” is a monster hit TV show, beloved by millions, that nearly single-handedly saved Disney and ABC and certainly the careers of several attractive nearly-washed-up actresses, but… is that any excuse for perpetrating a destructive and harmful myth on the American people?

I’m referring, of course, to the title, “Desperate Housewives.” Now, some claim that housewives are not in fact desperate and that is the destructive and harmful myth. Not me. We ARE desperate. That’s true. The myth is that the women on “Desperate Housewives” are desperate housewives. In fact, they’re not desperate enough. Actually they’re not anything like real housewives. And they’re certainly not REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

For example:

1. “Desperate Housewives” want the plumber to pull down his pants. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES want the plumber to pull UP his pants. Hairy crack just isn’t that attractive. And would it kill the bastard to show up on time, charge what he said he was going to charge, and actually fix the damn thing?

2. “Desperate Housewives” have their husband locked in the basement. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES want to lock themselves in the basement. Or the attic, a storage room, the crawl space – anyplace the kids can’t find us.

3. “Desperate Housewives” mow the lawn in evening gowns. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES haven’t worn an evening gown since the 90’s. When we dress up, it’s for Halloween. Otherwise it’s sweatpants and a ponytail – which is good since we can’t fit into our evening gowns anymore.

4. “Desperate Housewives” take their kids’ Ritalin. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES have our own stash of Xanax, Prozac, Valium, Ativan, Buprenex, Oxycontin, Soma, Hydroxyzine, Ultram, Vicodin, Darvon, Tylenol with Codeine, Percodan, Zoloft, and, of course, several bottles of wine plus the fixings for Cosmos. Alright, I know a little too much about this, don’t I?

5. “Desperate Housewives” burn their neighbor’s house down. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES would burn our own house down if it meant we didn’t have to clean it. Who wouldn’t want to make a giant pile out of all the toys, shoes, laundry, craft supplies, dirty dishes and assorted crap that’s lying all over the house, douse the whole thing in lighter fluid and drop a match on that baby? Just thinking about it gives me chills.

6. “Desperate Housewives” have unfortunate mothers-in-law who get hit by a car. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES are driving.

7. “Desperate Housewives” are in a relationship with the pharmacist. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES would like the guy to fill the freaking prescription within the century. Do you know what it’s like to have a toddler with 102 fever hanging, wheezing and drooling on you while you wait at CVS (which stands for Consumer Victimization Store)? Does the seventh circle of hell ring a bell?

8. “Desperate Housewives” have kids that are nuts, have ADD and are complete brats and everyone’s sympathetic. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES have kids that are nuts, have ADD and are complete brats and that’s normal. Deal with it yourself, okay? We’ve got our own crappy kids.

9. “Desperate Housewives” have affairs with teenaged boys and may or may not be pregnant by them. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES don’t find young boys attractive. We leave that to creepy teachers like Mary Kay Letourneau. And we’d hang ourselves in the laundry room if we found out we were pregnant again.

10. “Desperate Housewives” worry that nude photos of them are about to be posted on the internet. REAL DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES don’t allow nude photos of ourselves to be taken in the first place. Who am I? Pam Anderson? I get scared when I catch sight of myself getting out of the shower. Do you think I’m going to commit something like that to film?



THE MAIN STREET JOURNAL'S NINE QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE GETTING MARRIED
by Sarit Catz

In the Wall Street Journal (March 27, 2006), Jeff Opdyke listed the nine questions partners should ask each other before getting married and they all had to do with finances.

Who cares about that crap? Obviously, since it's the Wall Street Journal, all the questions are about money and, I'll admit, money is important in making a marriage work. But there are a lot of other elements at play.

If another paper, say the Main Street Journal, ran this article, they would probably include a different list of questions - I think better questions - partners should ask each other before getting married. In fact, these are the nine questions I wish I'd asked my husband before we got married:

1. How much hair does your father have on his back?
• Obviously I had already seen my then-fiancé's back but I had no idea that a little patch of hair here and there would combine to form a single giant shag rug all over his butt, back, and up and out of his collar.
• Perhaps I would have been tipped off if I had known that his father's nickname was "Fur."

2. How loud is your father's snoring?
• Again, I already knew my then-fiancé snored a bit (don't tell my parents). But, I found the quiet, rhythmic sound reassuring and even cute. Little did I know it would develop into the ground-shaking, ear-splitting scourge of my nights.
• It would have been helpful to know that his father snored like a grizzly and sent both his mother and the dog running from the room on many occasions.

3. How much hair did your grandfathers have on their heads?
• Is it God's sick joke that at the same time hair starts growing out of a man's nose, ears and butt-crack, it stops growing out of his scalp?

4. Is it physically possible for you to take a dump without reading the newspaper?
• I'm thinking without the reading materials, the bathroom time would be cut at least in half. I mean, forty-five minutes is a little too long to invest in a poop.

5. What exactly is lactose intolerance and what are the ramifications thereof for the innocent bystander?
• Have you ever smelled a pile of tires burning in a garbage dump? That's what I wish for after my husband has an ice cream.

6. Can you go through a full day without hocking?
• My husband can hock a loogie pretty much at will. And he will hock them frequently. One of our neighbors was so disgusted by his habit of hocking in our driveway every morning before he leaves for work that she actually sold her house and moved away. I miss you, Fran. Please call.

7. Do you have a fascination with nature shows?
• Apparently, the feeding habits of the two-toed sloth are so gripping that it becomes physically impossible to tear oneself away for the time it takes to discuss, say, the fact that the house is on fire.
• The Betty Ford clinic is investigating the possibility of opening up a program for this addiction. In the meantime, just say no to the National Geographic Channel.

8. Do you have a physical disability or handicap that will make it impossible for you to pack lunch for an elementary school student?
• I don't remember taking a course in college on PB&J. In fact, I'm pretty sure I received no formal training in brown-bagging whatsoever. And yet, I've managed to master this difficult skill set.
• Researchers on the Human Genome Project are trying to isolate a gene on the Y-chromosome that makes lunch-packing simply impossible for men to master (of course, most of the researchers are men looking for an excuse).

9. Will you always stay as kind, funny, generous, and loving as you are before the wedding?
• Luckily for me, my husband has. And, notwithstanding what I've learned would be the answers to the other eight questions, I think I'll keep him.
• After all, this is the only question that really counts, isn't it?



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THE ART OF PARENTING
By Sarit Catz


You often hear artists say that their art works are their children. You rarely hear parents say their children are their art. So I'll say it. My children are my art.

But you should know that I lie a lot. I'm a mom. I have to lie. "That banging on the electronic keyboard you're doing is really wonderful." "I'd love it if you'd do my hair." "Broccoli is so much yummier than Doritos." So when I say that my children are my art, I could very well be lying. Now let's figure out if it's true. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of art is, "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects." Well?

Daily, I have to consciously use skill in parenting. Fixing it so I lose my 783rd game of Candyland in a row takes quite a bit of card rearranging, palming and unobtrusive backwards-piece-moving. Top that off with an Oscar-worthy simulation of surprise at my loss and good-natured disappointment and you're talking significant skill.

And I must also humbly point to my dexterity with tape, safety pins and that lifesaver the glue gun. There is not a toy on earth that I can't fix in under four minutes using whatever's in the kitchen junk drawer. (Four minutes is the maximum length of time I can tolerate the sound of my kids' screaming. Do you know how long four minutes really is? Anyway,) I fixed a mechanical basketball game with a paperclip and some duct tape. I fixed a toy car with a straightened out staple. I even fixed a broken crayon with a glob of Play-Doh. The doll hospital has nothing on me. Move over Santa's elves. I think it's safe to say I've got the "conscious use of skill" thing covered.

As for creative imagination, I think I'm good there too. When the chicken nuggets and grilled cheese sandwich inexplicably take an eternity to arrive at our table at Friday's even though we are the only people in the restaurant because I tried to be considerate of other potential diners by arriving for dinner at 4:37, you better believe it takes creative imagination to distract two pre-schoolers with Sweet 'N Low packets and salt.

Creative imagination also most definitely comes into play when planning activities for that prison term known as school vacation. We've usually exhausted the local parks, museums and age-appropriate movies by Tuesday. It takes real creativity to come up with the activity of sorting the laundry by color and then making a dirty-clothes rainbow on the basement floor. That ate up a good hour, and was darned educational, by the way. And I'm still patting myself on the back for inventing the Chase the Squirrel Around the Backyard game which not only amuses but also tires out the kids ensuring a semi-decent night's sleep for mom. "Creative imagination?" Check.

But are my kids aesthetic objects? There is no sight more beautiful than the sight of one's own children sleeping peacefully in their beds. The flawless skin touched gently with the palest pink blush. The downy hair curled back from ears as soft and round as apricots. Even the breath that could benefit from improved tooth-brushing skills smells sweet as hyacinths to the parent of a sleeping child who bends down low to graze the darling little creature with the day's last kiss. The best one. One not meant to make a boo-boo better, or stop a tantrum. A purely selfish kiss stolen in the night. And when I turn back for the day's final glimpse of my children, illuminated by the glow of the nightlight, there can be no doubt that my kids are my art, that Boticelli never painted an angel more angelic nor Michelangelo a cherub more cherubic. It probably doesn't hurt that the kids are quiet for a change.


CONSTRUCTION INSTRUCTIONS
By Sarit Catz

I’ve done it, you’ve done it. We’ve all seen furnishings in catalogues, on the internet, and especially at IKEA, that look great. THEN YOU BUY IT. What you actually get is a box that’s 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and 5 inches high filled with 30 pre-finished pieces and a bag of loose hardware. Plus some “instructions” with no actual usable instruction; either they’re in a foreign language, broken English or the international language of undecipherable pictures.

Have no fear. Your usable instructions are below. I promise that you can assemble a shelving unit. Trust me. I’ve been there, I’ve done it. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.... 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15.

Assembly Advice:

1. Have a glass of wine. A can-do attitude is the key to any successful project. So, before you even open the box, it’s imperative to put yourself in the right frame of mind with a nice calming chianti, merlot or pinot grigio.

2. Lay out your own tools. Even though the store/catalogue/website/box clearly states that everything you need is included, invariably it’s not. So have your own set of screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, etc. handy. Often super useful is an electric drill with an allen wrench bit. (Why do they have to use allen screws? Why can’t they use regular screws? And you know that annoying little L-shaped allen wrench that comes in the box is going to bend, break, or at least cripple your hand.)

3. Empty the box. Open the box and take EVERYTHING out. Inevitably, that one thing you accidentally left inside will be the single most important piece of the item but you won’t realize it’s missing until you’ve worked on the damn thing for about three hours.

4. Read the instructions. That’s assuming there are any actual words on them. What makes the geniuses putting these packages together think a couple of letters and a few arrows are going to tell us everything we need to know?

5. Ask a pre-schooler to help you. A couple of letters and few arrows are right up their alley. Besides, spending a couple of minutes with a small child is going to annoy you so much that assembling this piece of junk is going to seem relaxing. Send the kid away now.

6. Make sure you have all the parts. Check the actual contents of the box against the list/pictures. There’s no point is getting almost all the way through before realizing you don’t have the back/bottom/side.

7. Take a deep breath. Remember how great the thing looked in the store/catalog/website. Remember that you have all the tools, pieces and skill you need to successfully complete this project. Remember that there’s more wine in that bottle.

8. Put “Piece A” up against “Piece B” and attach with one of the “Screw 1”s. According to the ancient Chinese proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Or packing the car. One or the other.)

9. Realize it’s not as bad as you feared. Actually, it is, but the wine is starting to kick in. No, seriously, it’s not so hard. If all the other yutzes who bought this hunk of trash could manage to put it together, you sure can.

10. Keep going. According to another Chinese proverb, “Persistence can grind an iron beam down into a needle.” Those Chinese know stuff, don’t they? They must get a ton of furniture at IKEA!

11. Inspect your work. See how it’s coming together? You’re doing a great job. You’ve got most of the pieces put together and you still have enough of those screws… Where are those screws? What did you do with those screws?!! Oh, they’re under the instructions. Okay.

12. Finish up. This is it. You’re almost done. Just one more piece… Kind of like feeding a kid, isn’t it?

13. Admire your handywork. You’re done! Yay for you! Take a step back. Pour yourself a celebratory glass of that wine. Bask in the glow of your accomplishment. Is it a little crooked? No. It’s fine. You’re just drunk. Or it is crooked and you don’t care because you’re drunk. Six of one…

14. Call someone to help you move your project. After all, you’re not furnishing the basement. You have to get it to the bedroom/living room/den. What? It doesn’t fit up the stairs/through the door?!! Crap! This stupid pile of schlocky garbage!

15. Disassemble and begin again. Tomorrow. Or the next day – after you’re over your hangover.