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Write your anger away…

Dear DayQuil,

Why do you hate me?  All I wanted was to breathe clearly and not cough all day long.  All I wanted was to be halfmy usual spunk and have the ability to speak sans frog in throat.  What did taking the red pill get me?  I find myself speaking baby babble while my thoughts sift through a meth withdrawal haze of pure confusion.  Every time I blow my nose, my sinuses make a high pitched ‘eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh’ sound and my eyeball bleeds.  My ears are growing cotton and my mouth tastes like earwax.  Thank you DayQuil.  You have made this day very pleasant.  Instead of sleeping on my couch watching another episode of ‘Storage Wars’, I stand in my office slowly dipping to the floor in a heroin nod.  You the man.

Xoxo-  Katharinethis snots for you Houston, Brooklyn, NY

**************

Dear NYC Straphangers,

I call upon you this 4th day of the eighth month of the 2011th year of this calendar on my wall, to stand with me against those who defile our noses!  We who silently agree to stand back to back, nose to pit and knee to crotch with those whom commute at our same hour each day have had enough!  No, I speak not of the soupy body odor that guy with the short sleeves emits while holding his arm up.  I speak of a simpler evil.  We of the olfactory sensitive stand before the accused, grasping the pole while thumbing our smart phones pleading with you for one thing… Eat when you get off the train!!  I do not mean to harass those famished or claiming hypoglycemia.  Snack on some quiet fruit. Feel free to nosh on a granola bar. Close your teeth round yon trans fatty chocolate candy yum-yum.  These are all non-invasive food types and we bestow them upon you.  What we ask for is simple.  We think you would enjoy these morsels all the more if you were not traveling in an enclosed tube with some 400 people hovering around you.  So actually, we are doing you a favor by requesting that No eggs, No McDonalds and No take out Chinese should be eaten while on the subway.   Chant with me, fellow Straphangers!  Chant so that we might get the message through!

No eggs, No McDonalds and No take out Chinese!

No eggs, No McDonalds and No take out Chinese!

And if you can’t stop yourself from eating said food on the train, for fuck’s sake, close your mouth when you chew.

Xoxo-  Katharineyour Chinese take out smells like diarrhea Houston, Brooklyn, NY

***************

Dear MTA,

Fuck you. Sorry, that came out wrong. Fuh-huk You.  That is all.

Xoxo- Katharine raise the fair price again and I’ll cut you Houschmitzermen, Bronxlyn, NY

One Ticket to CRAZY-ASS THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU ARE RICH AND FAMOUS TOWN, Please!

Do you have more money than you will ever need? Do people give you too much attention? Does your celebrity status make you think that the world disappears whenever you close your eyes?

Whoo-ah! Tell me about it! I remember the days when not getting my picture in a magazine every time I left the house made me lose my mind. I mean, seriously, if I had a nickel for every nickel I have, well, I could buy a planet and start that outer space colony that my psychic has been predicting that I am about to start with a bunch of magical nickels and an empty planet.

So quit screaming, put down those pills, and just listen to me. I have a plan. We’re going to a little place that I refer to as CRAZY-ASS THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU ARE RICH AND FAMOUS TOWN. That’s right. Take my hand. It’s a sloppy left at the diamond rainbow and straight on past the big John Candy mountain. Yes, yes. That’s it! Right next to the Ferris Bueller Wheel and the body of your ex-wife. We’re almost there…

Please let that play under the rest of this blog.

Star-wipe. Cross dissolve to:

INT. CRAZY-ASS THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU ARE RICH AND FAMOUS TOWN

Here’s the thing. My theory is this: MOST PEOPLE ARE CRAZY.

Yup. That’s it. Most people are crazy, but most people lack the means to fully indulge their craziness, and most people don’t get their crazy put in magazines and on ET, so we don’t know about it unless they are our neighbors or family members. Rich and famous people aren’t particularly insane, they are just like MOST PEOPLE. For example, I would be a FT out-of-control crazy, but I have things I need to take care of, and I can’t afford to buy an island.

But, what if I could?

Ripple dissolve. Fade to:

INT. SABRINA’S MIND

A hummingbird lands on a tumbleweed, setting both things in motion. Imaginary Katharine appears and waves from inside of a swimming pool filled with sweet berry wine and giant chunks of fruit. 

Katharine mentioned in her Birthday Blog that if she were rich she would get a massage every day. EVERY DAY?? Come on, Katharine! That’s not crazy-thinkin’! That just sounds nice. You gotta up the ante. Why not get a massage every hour? Why not get a tiny masseuse and attach him/her to your body with some kind of really expensive harness so that he/she/the robot can rub you ALL THE TIME??? Yeah, make it a tiny robot. And a dog masseuse for your dogs!! And by “dog masseuse,” I mean a masseuse who is a dog. A robot dog.

That’s numberwang!!

Imaginary Katharine rolls her eyes and gets on a pony. She and the pony fly away as Imaginary Alex appears. I.A. is holding a martini glass and is dressed up like Robert Goulet. 

I mean, Alex has the spirit! She wrote in one of her blogs that she wanted to buy an island and create a man-goat to be her best friend! Sure, Brando did it first (and I’m not talking about the movie), but so what? One ticket to CRAZY-ASS THINGS YOU CAN DO WHEN YOU ARE RICH AND FAMOUS TOWN!! ALL ABOARD! CHOO CHOO!!!

Imaginary Alex shakes her head, opens her mouth, thinks about it, then shrugs, gets on the tiny train from The Jerk and rides off.

So, here’s what we do first: think about some things that rich and famous people have already done and decide what kind of crazy things we would or wouldn’t do. It’s like one of those fancy frozen yogurt stores, except instead of toppings, you can choose from a wide variety of crazy. Spousal abuse or paranoid raisins? Everybody wins!

For example, I wouldn’t murder someone. Really. Or even hire someone to murder someone. I fear karma too much, and I hate the sight of blood, but I would get drunk and rob a bank. I would NOT, however, drive while intoximacated (see above re karma and blood), so I would have to get one of Katharine’s robots to take me.

I wouldn’t build a big ranch with an amusement park and two train lines so that I could invite children over for a sleepover (see above re karma and blood), but  I would buy a big ranch and turn it into a town named after me. Then, instead of adopting some kids from impoverished areas, I would adopt a whole village full of people and let them all go on the bumper cars and play video games. Like the Jacksonian, I WOULD get a ton of crazy portraits and statues of myself made and put them up everywhere. In fact, each household would get its own effigy of me doing weird things. Remember good old Yipes, the Fruit Stripe gum zebra? Yeah! Just like that, but in oil paint and gold leaf!

I would not pull a Brando and get hugemongous. As tempting as it would be, because food is just delicious, especially rich people food, I would get cranky hauling around an extra four-hundred pounds, especially in the Tahitian sun, because I would pull a Brando and buy an island in French Polynesia.

I am also a fan of the Brando attitude. One million dollars for being in Superman for a couple of minutes? Showing up to the set of Apocalypse Now with a ton of extra weight, a shaved head and none of his lines memorized? After that he would get all his lines read to him through an earpiece? I’m not saying the man couldn’t be a serious ass, but at least he did it with style!

I wouldn’t get a ton of plastic surgery (oh, don’t get me wrong, I would get some–a bunch, just not enough to qualify for crazy status), but I would make people uncomfortable at awards ceremonies and on talk shows. I don’t know if I’d be on pills or drunk or pulling a Benigni , but I would be wearing some crazy swan outfit doing the Lindy Hop until somebody escorted me away. Say…what about that? Has anyone ever done an acceptance dance? I know that Rudd dances on talk shows, but it’s more cute than crazy. I would really like to bring it over the line. I mean, maybe it would start off cute, but it would just go on way too long. WAY WAY WAY too long.

I guess the goal would be to find some new and exciting ways to be crazy. It’s not easy. From Caligula to Lady Gaga, crazy has been going on a long time.

All I can come up with is being a wacky island dancer in a town filled with pinball machines? Lame. Well, maybe I would have an army of trained penguins! What about that? And I would have a special house built that was 2/3 the size of a normal house, so that I would feel taller. So there! And…and…um, well, I would have an astronaut kitchen and only eat in zero gravity! With penguins! Robot penguins eating astronaut ice cream! BOOM! And maybe, just MAAAAYBE, I would buy myself a really nice pair of boots. They might even be some kind of crazy color, like YELLOW! HA HA HA HA HA!! I did it!! Yellow boots! Take THAT, America!

Now it’s your turn. You can press replay on the muppet show clip if you need some inspiration.

The Rage Haiku: An oxymoron, or just moronic?

What, you may ask, is a rage haiku? It’s a wonderful thing which, yes, yes, I invented. It recently came to me in the shower (the crucible of all brilliant ideas) that the haiku, though long-reputed as a poetic form best suited to the subtle, rosy-hued observations of intellectual gurus, would in fact be the ideal form in which to express unalloyed, vitriolic anger. The kind of anger that would vindicate your long-repressed misanthropy, redeem you in your father’s eyes, and finally pay off all those pesky student loans. I mean, think about it: by definition, haikus are:

  • Brief: just 5 syllables, then 7, then another 5; YOU’RE DONE!
  • Vivid: sunsets, delicate petals, and dewdrops are all popular subjects.
  • … according to intellectual guru Natalie Goldberg, textual gems that should contain a “hint of epiphany” in which something powerful and unexpected is revealed about the subject.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could channel your righteous anger about subway etiquetteorange juice, or criminal trial verdicts, into something with the thought-provoking, bone-crushing CH’I of a fucking haiku? Your enemies would fall like flabby mall walkers to your dragon-veined, 17-syllabled katana! Faster than a zinging comeback, more powerful than a made-up curse word, wittier even than the Drunk Hulk twitter steam, a hail of meticulously-crafted poetry would stun the most seasoned nemesis into a shocked stasis, allowing you to slip away unnoticed or exit to rapturous applause from the assembled crowd.

Allow me to demonstrate, via a series of common, everyday situations:

You buy a newspaper at the local bodega and the gentleman behind the counter hands you change for a five dollar bill when you clearly paid with a ten. You object. He insists. You skool him with a little 5/7/5:

“Dishonoring me
Will mean a holocaust for
Your Chifles* display”

*For the uninitiated, “Chifles” is a popular brand of plantain and cassava chip, which according to some, “tastes like cardboard.” Me, I love them.

Your ex-husband’s birthday party. It’s been a while. He’s remarried; you’re not. You look hot, there’s no denying that. But there’s also no denying you’ve had four martinis. Your index finger is suddenly on his sternum.

“You know your problem?
You could never loosen up!
Yo Chex mix LET’S DANCE!!”

A tense situation in an abandoned building ends with the drawing of guns in a Mexican Standoff. Your tummy rumbles.

No one gets hurt if
You motherfuckin’ get me 
A Royale with Cheese!!!

See? RAGE HAIKU. Try one. Keep a few in your pocket. And leave those anger management classes to the proletariat.

Celebrate your birthday like you did the first time!

There you are in your friend’s backyard on a beautiful summer day.  There are balloons and streamers as far as your eye can see.  Presents wrapped in cartoon-clad paper lay in a pile on the picnic table, full of mystery and expectation.  Your face is sticky from the ice cream cake melted by the sun.  You watch your friend standing proud knowing that this is her special day.  It is Her birthday! You see the adults laughing with each other as they refill their red party cups. You see the birthday girl watching all the other kids having fun running around and playing with each other in their sugar high hysteria. You are a bit concerned as you see her face start to melt into a self-righteous grimace. You witness her transform into a tiny volcano with steam coming from her ears and eyes as she stares at her guests not paying enough attention to her.  You see her tiny hands clench into balls of fury as she starts to shake and grab at the hem of her new birthday dress, slowly revealing her sacred Wonder Woman Underoos.  You start to search for the safest place to ‘duck and cover’.   But it’s too late.  The scream lets out.  Mount St. Helens has now erupted for the second time that summer. “It is MY Birthday and You will do what I SAY,” screams the five year old birthday Nazi. It is all very awkward to say the least. Especially since I was the birthday girl.

As a kid, I believed that on my birthday all things should stop and focus on me.  I was always a bit miffed when people would deign to discuss anything other than me during this day of mine.  No one else was as important as me. Not even other people born on the same day, if they even existed.  Of course, as I got older, the tantrums stopped.  My mother informing me that I would not have any friends if I continued on that path certainly helped.  I would take each turning year in stride with or without party and presents. However, with each birthday I would still feel a tad bitter and sad if people did not acknowledge me. Then came the day when I was in my early twenties and my sister forgot my birthday. The following year, my parents forgot. Not even a phone call came my way.  I was starting to realize that people don’t really give a shit about other people’s birthday because to them, it is just another day.  This is not to say that I have not had parties thrown for me by my best friends and husband.  These were amazing times.  But hell, we would celebrate a good BM if it means getting together and having a few good drinks!

So, a day came when I decided to stop my self-pitying birthday thoughts.  As a way to acknowledge successfully making it through another year of life without being killed or killing myself, I started to take my birthdays into my own hands.  How do I want to spend the day?  Do I want to be with or without anyone else?  If it is an important day for me, then I need to be my best audience and make sure I’m having a good time even if it is just watching Star Wars for the fifty billionth time.

First things first, I always take the day off from work if my birthday falls within the work week.  My office has a ‘floating holiday’ and I feel that the anniversary of my birth is as good a holiday to use that on as anything.

Second, if I feel like an adventure that particular year, I see if my friends are available to come with. If they are not, I go along and have the adventure by myself.  Alone is always good, because there is no one to yell at if I’m not paying attention to myself.

Thirdly, I am a whore for massages. I always say that if I become rich, the one luxurious thing I would buy myself is a daily massage. Yes, daily. I did not stutter.   But until that day comes, I will always have my birthday massages.  It makes my husband’s job of gift giving so much easier.  I find the spa and he pays the bill.  Presto change-o instant happiness! And let me tell you, there is something very special about the birthday massage. I can’t recommend it enough.  If you go to a good spa, they will treat you like a Queen. You get a robe, relaxing music, sometimes a cocktail and snacks.  Then you give your birthday the best acknowledgement since the day it first happened, by celebrating it like you did that first time. You physically put yourself in a position not unlike that very beginning day of your life.  Your body is pushed and pulled into submission by a stranger, all while your face is peeking through a cushioned hole. And I love every minute of it.

So my dear friends, I hope you get to enjoy your birthdays as much as I do.  Not like when I was a child demanding everyone’s attention, but by paying a person to worship me.  Happy Birthday to me.  Happy Birthday to us all!

Behind the Behind Scenes in”The Audition”

Remember our undercover-docu-comedy video about The Way Things Are In Showbiz? Yes? No? Either way, feel free to refresh your memory. We’ll wait.

…OH HEY! Hi, sorry. We were busy eating Cheetos. Anyway, after the wild popularity of our last behind-the-scenes post, we found some more cutting room footage from ‘The Audition’ that we thought you’d enjoy. So please do enjoy. And drop a comment in the nickel box on your way out.

Sabrina: This guy was great. He was the first, third and seventy-sixth person to answer our ad in Backstage. His reel included a clip from his high school graduation ceremony and two monologues from “The Basketball Diaries.” He wouldn’t eat anything but Cheetos during the shoot.

Kath: I want to lick his teeth.  Wait, did I lick his teeth? Was that part of the audition?

Alex: You did and it was. Hey, “Hot Guy” needed to have good dental hygiene – those HD cameras pick up everything! (Except, sadly, for my uncanny resemblance to a young Lee Remick. Where’s THAT footage?)

Sabrina: This is so embarrassing. Alex and I had just challenged Rita Rudner and Wayne Brady to an Improv-off at the neighboring Fat Kids camp. Our singing might have annoyed the crew and gotten us in trouble with the police that night, but man it paid off in Fat Kid trophies that summer! Plus we saved the house, and we get to keep the sailboat!

Alex: That really was a great summer.

Kath: These ladies do not look amused.  Was this first dinner at 10pm or second dinner at 3am?

Alex: Who cares? We got beat up both times.

Sabrina: Oh my goodness. Funny story this one. Well, we rented out the “audition room” from this club on the Lower East Side; it was sort of a theme club, if that’s what you would call it. Kind of a futuristic sexy pony jamboree or a glow-in-the dark lacrosse game type thing, I guess.

Alex: Sort of “Rhinestone Cowboy meets TRON” – Le Reow!!

Sabrina: Anyway, our DP ate too many Cheetos at the Kraft Services table and had to go home before we finished the shoot. Luckily, one of the table dancers went to film school and he was able to jump behind the camera for the last few shots! Thanks, Ricky! We owe you big time. xoxox

Sabrina: I have no idea who these people are. Hey! Click on the word Cheetos. Now find the someone you love. Make them click on it too. Now have a conversation! Ha ha ha ha! You’re cooking with sauce! xoxoxo

Kath: I think it should be mentioned that this was taken after an all-night into the wee-morning, “let’s go get brunch since places are now open again” video shoot.

Alex: True. We had just finished filming the big musical finale with Bill Murray (which was cut from the final version due to Kath’s inappropriate hand gestures.) Someone had slipped me some horse steroids to keep me going through multiple takes of the tap dance number, and I was hungry enough to say ANYTHING for some pancakes and a mimosa. (Actually, that’s true even without the horse steroids.)

Sabrina: Two words: Horse Steroid Withdrawal.

Alex: That’s three words.

Sabrina: SHUT UP AND GET ME SOME HORSE STEROIDS!!

…Uh, yeah! Hi again readers. Aren’t you glad we didn’t save those gems for the DVD extras?? Wait don’t answer that.

I Made a Child Because I Ran Out of Funny

The Cos knew it.

Galifianakis sure had something to say about it.

Ferrell could write a how-to guide for it. (Seriously. I would be the first in line to buy it.)

Hey, there’s no denying it. Kids are funny. They really do say the darnedest things (especially when you’re writing the script–ZING!!)! I discovered this about a year and a half ago, and I’ve been trying to exploit, er…enjoy the rich and delicious blend of kids and funny ever since. It’s so much easier than making my own grown-up funny.

One problem: Where do you find the kids?

Well, sit down there on that log, son, and I’ll tell you. It just so happened that I was doing a production of Christmas Carol a year and a half ago. And what does Christmas Carol have, aside from one heartwarming and noble truth? That’s right! Cratchits! Kids o’ plenty! I immediately saw a future comedy genius in little Tiny Tim. He had a great audition, a sassy smile, and his mom brought a giant bag of M&Ms and a picture of a dinosaur to the shoot. HIRED!!

A few weeks earlier, I had met the man who would (later) become my husband and (slightly later than later) father to my son (oops, I ruined the punchline). Kris and I shared a love for making our combined powers of funny even funnier by using fresh, young talent. We were like sketch comedy vampires! We had crossed oceans of time just to make youtube videos! And guess what? Bonus was, Kris had already made a child and already made her funny!

So, we went ahead and got married. But that wasn’t enough, see? We needed more material. More kids equals more funny!!! Right, Bill Murray?

So, after doing some stuff and waiting and doing some other stuff and yelling, Benjamin Prometheus Stoker was born on May 12th at 12:17 in the wee bitty slice of a rainy morning.

(I am writing this with one hand Ben is asleep on me. He just started farting. A lot. Big noisy ones. Does this kid know from funny or what?)

Kris and I have been a bit tired these past few weeks, not sleeping much, getting pooped and farted on, removing umbilical cords and learning how to knit, but pretty soon this family will be selling a show to Comedy Central. It will be called “Get Stoked!”, and we’ll have a sassy maid and a wacky neighbor and we’ll have to adopt a new baby in about five years when Ben isn’t so tiny.

Until then, here’s something to hold you over! Remember: we made him for your enjoyment!

Our secret to success? UNITARDS!!!!

Manimal, get thee behind me!

Oh hello. Nice to meet you. I’m a grown woman. Who is afraid of animals.

Well, not animals per se. Specifically, I am petrified of a fictional genus of animals that I like to call “human-animal hybrids”: Man-imals if you will. Their natural habitats are children’s TV shows and films starring Marlon Brando, although they can occasionally be found grazing outside used car lots and chicken restaurants.

Not sure what the hell I’m talking about? Allow me to ‘splain. It comes down to this: whenever I see a human dressed up in a realistic animal costume, I have the urge to run in the other direction, or if that option isn’t available, cower like a child with my head tucked into my shirt. (Notice I said “realistic” animal costume – this is not a reaction prompted by mouse ears from Disneyland or those knitted hats with gerbil ears that hipsters wear; only by the combination of prosthetics, head-to-toe fur, and the kind of faithful animal imitations that most actors left behind in Strasberg Level 3.)

Still not sure what I mean? Check out the horrifying examples below. With any luck they’ll make you just as phobic as I am!

Bob Dog, from Mister Rogers Neighborhood: truly the Famous Original Ray’s of terrifying Manimals, and the bête noir that started it all. Like many of my peers I watched a lot of PBS as a child, and Mr. Rogers was a frequent visitor to our tiny black & white TV. Though I remember thinking Fred was a little wussy at the time, I now credit him with helping build my delicate semblance of self-esteem. I also credit (blame?) him for introducing me to Bob Dog – a seemingly innocuous inhabitant of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe who sported a spirit-gummed canine nose and footy pajamas, walked around on his “hind legs”, and howled and woofed his way through lessons on being nice to others. I never absorbed any of his teachings, however, because I was too busy screaming. Seriously. My Mum used to tell me that she’d have to anticipate Bob Dog’s appearances in every episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood (not that hard considering each character had its own theme music) and distract me, or she’d end up spending the next hour talking me down from a psychotic break.

Zoobilee Zoo: Apologies to Ben Vereen upfront, because though I love him I can’t stand even the thought that this show existed. Actually, Hallmark should apologize for making him prance around moronically in a leopard suit, mug to the camera and sing songs like “Rhyming is Fun” with the other – ahemZoobles, but they never will. Plus the costumes all look like they were pulled out of some crazy old woman’s basement where they were used as cat beds. Can someone tell me why human-animal hybrids seem to be the inevitable default setting when networks are coming up with kids shows?? Are lessons about sharing and counting somehow easier to absorb when delivered by a terrifying freak? I have to assume they are. Because as much as I try, I will never get the damn theme song out of my head.

The Island of Dr. Moreau: I actually can’t believe I’m bringing up this film, because writing about it will require me to do a Google image search for stills, the thought of which makes my hands shake. It’s the stuff of nightmares. Well, my nightmares anyway, and I don’t even know what the movie’s about. I once saw some scenes from it by accident when I was channel-surfing and the memory of those ungodly creatures is branded forever onto my brain grapes. And yes, I understand that’s part of the point: that Dr. Moreau is some kind of twisted evil man who populates his island with homemade animal deviants by blending DNA like a breakfast smoothie. Well done, Island of Dr. Moreau! You have succeeded in arousing in me the kind of deep-seated Jungian revulsion normally reserved for Real Dolls, and guaranteeing that whenever I pick up the remote with one hand, my other hand will be hovering over my eyes.

SpliceI am a HUGE fan of Sarah Polley, but the preview for this film forced me to cover my ears and hum loudly whenever it appeared on TV. ‘Nuff said.

So…yeah! Hope you enjoyed the forced thrill ride into the darkest corners of my neuroses.  I certainly feel better for having heaved a little mental poison onto your collective laps. And if by admitting my phobia I can prevent one more adult from donning a latex nose and whiskers in the name of entertainment, well…then my work here is done.

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