Gays Reading

Catherine Newman (Sandwich)

June 27, 2024 Jason Blitman, Brett Benner, Catherine Newman Season 2 Episode 61
Catherine Newman (Sandwich)
Gays Reading
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Gays Reading
Catherine Newman (Sandwich)
Jun 27, 2024 Season 2 Episode 61
Jason Blitman, Brett Benner, Catherine Newman

Send us a Text Message.

Jason and Brett talk to Catherine Newman (Sandwich) about ailments, weighted blankets, reproductive mayhem, peanut butter, queerness, and of course… sandwiches. 

Catherine Newman has written numerous columns, articles, and canned-bean recipes for magazines and newspapers, and her essays have been widely anthologized. She is the author of the novel We All Want Impossible Things; the memoirs Waiting for Birdy and Catastrophic Happiness; the middle-grade novel One Mixed-Up Night; and the bestselling kids’ life-skills books How to Be a Person and What Can I Say? She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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BOOKS!
Check out the list of books discussed on each episode on our Bookshop page: https://bookshop.org/shop/gaysreading

MERCH!
Purchase your Gays Reading podcast merchandise HERE!
https://gaysreading.myspreadshop.com/

FOLLOW!
@gaysreading | @jasonblitman | @bretts.book.stack

CONTACT!
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Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Jason and Brett talk to Catherine Newman (Sandwich) about ailments, weighted blankets, reproductive mayhem, peanut butter, queerness, and of course… sandwiches. 

Catherine Newman has written numerous columns, articles, and canned-bean recipes for magazines and newspapers, and her essays have been widely anthologized. She is the author of the novel We All Want Impossible Things; the memoirs Waiting for Birdy and Catastrophic Happiness; the middle-grade novel One Mixed-Up Night; and the bestselling kids’ life-skills books How to Be a Person and What Can I Say? She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Gays Reading is sponsored by Audible. Get a FREE 30-day trial by visiting audibletrial.com/gaysreading

BOOKS!
Check out the list of books discussed on each episode on our Bookshop page: https://bookshop.org/shop/gaysreading

MERCH!
Purchase your Gays Reading podcast merchandise HERE!
https://gaysreading.myspreadshop.com/

FOLLOW!
@gaysreading | @jasonblitman | @bretts.book.stack

CONTACT!
gaysreading@gmail.com

Jason Blitman:

This is the very first time where in editing an episode, I started to listen to it and I was like, I don't know. I don't know if I'm going to touch a single word of it, because,

Brett Benner:

I love that. I love that. Wait, so have you? Or is it just going to be a surprise?

Jason Blitman:

I will say, I like, just listened to the first five minutes, and I've been laughing so hard just remembering the conversation that we had. And it's a lot, this is gonna be a long one y'all, so buckle up, but it is just so full of joy. I will say, Katharine Newman is, is so, so joyful.

Brett Benner:

It's like joy personified.

Jason Blitman:

Yes, I believe that is in fact what, Ann Patchett says about the book, which is on the cover of her book, Sandwich.

Brett Benner:

Wow. Okay. Well, Ann and I are in sync because I didn't even take it from that.

Jason Blitman:

I don't know if it's exactly joy personified, but it's something along those lines. Absolutely. Ann Patchett says so. Brett says so. I say so. It is a book, um, that is just full of joy. But also, so is. as always, if you're liking what you're hearing, share us with your friends, follow us on social media, at GaysReading, and all of the books that we talk about will be found in our bookshop. org page, which the link to that will be in our show notes. Catherine Newman, she has written numerous columns, articles, and canned bean recipes for magazines and newspapers, and her essays have been widely anthologized. She is the author of the novel. We all want impossible things. The memoirs waiting for birdie and catastrophic happiness. The middle grade novel, One Mixed Up Night, and the best selling kids life skills books, How to Be a Person and What Can I Say? She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. And I'm obsessed with her.

Brett Benner:

Obsessed.

Jason Blitman:

I'm Jason,

Brett Benner:

I'm Brett.

Jason Blitman:

and enjoy this delicious sandwich episode of Gaze Reading.

You're a good friend. Yeah, I think so.

Catherine Newman:

Hi, I'm

Brett Benner:

Hello. Hello

Catherine Newman:

Hang on. I'm trying to, I'm such a fucking old lady. It's depressing. Okay. Hang on.

Jason Blitman:

there's this thing called Zoom. Hi,

Catherine Newman:

Sorry.

Brett Benner:

Right. That's right. Right.

Catherine Newman:

Sorry. Hi. Hi!

Jason Blitman:

so

Brett Benner:

how are you?

Catherine Newman:

I'm so happy to see your actual faces.

Jason Blitman:

know. I said to Maya, I was like, I think I'm most excited to just finally become best friends with Catherine.

Catherine Newman:

I'm, I, well, a slot has opened up because my best friend died. And so, here we are! I, it's, the timing could not be better.

Jason Blitman:

I'm here for you.

Brett Benner:

would give you a call back for that, for that reading.

Jason Blitman:

Oh, I'm also warm. So I'm going to take this jacket off.

Brett Benner:

my God.

Catherine Newman:

took my flannel shirt off because I realized I was looking like more butch than I really am. And, you know, I gotta, I

Jason Blitman:

It was like a false persona going on.

Catherine Newman:

A teeny bit of a false, false persona.

Jason Blitman:

Um, just in case you have yours with you right now, I wanted to show you my compression gloves!

Catherine Newman:

Fine. Wait, did I write something about my compression gloves?

Jason Blitman:

I can't remember where, but yes, you said so. Oh, oh my

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god.

Jason Blitman:

to you on someone else's podcast and you were like, don't mind me. I'm just wearing my weighted compression gloves. And I

Brett Benner:

And that's when Jason knew you

Jason Blitman:

we're the same.

Brett Benner:

That's when he

Catherine Newman:

god, wait, what do you have? Do you have like a thing? Why am I, why can't I hear? I'm so deaf. Okay,

Jason Blitman:

Tendinitis in my thumb.

Catherine Newman:

from.

Jason Blitman:

From fucking reading. This is not my dominant hand. This is from reading.

Catherine Newman:

I also have had tendonitis from reading, but as I mentioned you have also had tendonitis from Sudoku because I hold it and it's super awkward. Anyway, it's

Jason Blitman:

Well, so now you s I, like, I'll read books and I'm, like, holding the books in the most ridiculous ways.

Catherine Newman:

And have you gotten any like. Like I got for my birthday. I'm sorry. I just might as well just hobble on with my cane and just say old lady things, but

Jason Blitman:

Catherine, I'm wearing my knee brace while we're talking right now.

Brett Benner:

And by the way, he's the youngest person on this call. So

Catherine Newman:

right? I

Brett Benner:

both of you, but he's the youngest on this call.

Catherine Newman:

looking at your skin and not believing you. But, um, I, for my birthday was given by my husband. Here's a, here's a little snapshot of romance for you. I was given a, a kind of weighted cushion that helps you read in bed without putting so much. Pressure on your

Brett Benner:

so wait, I don't understand how that works. Do the cushion goes, your cushion goes under your wherever, like on your knees or your, on your thighs.

Catherine Newman:

So I'm lying on my back with my knees up in the cute little way I see it in

Jason Blitman:

Uh huh, uh

Catherine Newman:

granny nightgown. And the cushion goes in my lap and the

Brett Benner:

Yeah. Okay.

Catherine Newman:

up on it so that I'm not just

Jason Blitman:

I I really wanted to try a weighted blanket once, and so I bought a weighted blanket, the first night I used it, and I was like, this was the best invention known to man.

Catherine Newman:

Yes.

Jason Blitman:

Two nights later, I woke up, my whole body was sore and bruised, and I was like, what is wrong with me? And I googled, and that happens to some people when they're moving around in the middle of the night with a weighted blanket on, and I was like, I'm a fucking mess.

Catherine Newman:

You're

Brett Benner:

were you moving around? Like, were you, were you fighting?

Catherine Newman:

little snowflake

Jason Blitman:

I'm so fragile. It's my Ashkenazi roots.

Brett Benner:

Ah,

Catherine Newman:

toes. That's right, were they, were we like fleeing across the desert with a weighted fucking blanket? No, we were not. We were not. We left it behind. Yeah, we probably were. We were like, hang on, I got my I got a weighted blanket, also allergy medication. Wait, wait for me.

Jason Blitman:

my ancestors were like, I paid six shekels for that. It is coming with me. It is fucking coming. Oh,

Catherine Newman:

good there, where we're going. Okay, while we're doing it up, I gotta, I gotta do it up with my Zabars mug.

Brett Benner:

my God.

Jason Blitman:

know. I wasted mine yesterday. As you know, I have a Captain Hook mug today. The desert's weighted blankets are just not the same.

Catherine Newman:

just not the same.

Jason Blitman:

wait, I don't want to talk about your other book because that's not why we're here, but I just started, I'm like halfway through the audiobook and I just have to say, Things I didn't realize were a problem for me are semi trucks without the truck. And I was like, Oh my God, I feel the same way. It's like a lizard without its tail.

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god, right? And it's just beetling along the highway next to you? Just the

Jason Blitman:

makes me feel so uncomfortable. And I didn't realize that. So I just needed, I wanted to say that that's the only thing I want to talk about for the old book.

Catherine Newman:

that is, no one's ever mentioned that to me before and I just feel really seen. So

Jason Blitman:

I felt seen too. This is why I was like, I can't wait to meet Catherine because the whole book, I was like, I feel seen. That's a period.

Catherine Newman:

Thank you, that's the best.

Jason Blitman:

Which is hilarious because you're probably like, I expected 40 and 50 year old women be the ones to feel sick.

Catherine Newman:

It's really true on the one hand, and on the other hand, like, what a gift. I mean, that's reading in general, the way you feel seen by people who are not your actual demographic, and the way, as a reader, You're like, oh, this totally speaks to me, even though this person's life is so different from mine. The best. What could

Jason Blitman:

Although I'm so warm right now. Maybe I am going through menopause.

Catherine Newman:

Maybe. Cruising under the weighted blanket. Wedding at night. Oh

Jason Blitman:

have my coffee and my water.

Catherine Newman:

god! That's so

Brett Benner:

hope we get to a second season before you die.

Jason Blitman:

Did Maya tell you we needed three hours for this conversation?

Catherine Newman:

Maya is the

Brett Benner:

The first hour is going to be spent talking about Jason's ailments, and then we'll move on.

Catherine Newman:

Also, thank you for using the word ailment. I have like a weird thing that is to me. It's typically called a disease, but I hate the word disease, so I've started referring it to, as my queer ailment. I have a queer ailment. I'm, I, it's just a queer ailment. We'll, we'll not discuss it further. I have a queer ailment. That's what my daughter calls it. My daughter's queer. And so she's reclaimed queer for like everyday use to describe something

Brett Benner:

but is it the Crohn's?

Catherine Newman:

really love.

Jason Blitman:

Stop asking questions.

Brett Benner:

No, I only asked

Jason Blitman:

to leave it at

Catherine Newman:

I don't, I don't have Crohn's. Do I Is this how I find out I have Crohn's?

Brett Benner:

No, maybe it's mentioned in the book. No, I, it stood out to

Jason Blitman:

Where's the envelope?

Catherine Newman:

is, it is in the book. Oh my

Brett Benner:

in the book and my business

Jason Blitman:

right. Let's

Catherine Newman:

that, does that say Catherine Newman has Crohn's?

Brett Benner:

That's where we break

Catherine Newman:

out from Brett or from your patient portal that you're like essentially dying. They used to call you in person and now they just let you find it on the portal. You're like, oh, what, how did that go? Oh my god, it went really badly. It's

Jason Blitman:

I had gotten blood work done and on Friday at like 8 PM, the results came in and I had like high levels of something and I was

Catherine Newman:

you Google it?

Jason Blitman:

of course.

Brett Benner:

MedMD.

Jason Blitman:

And of course I didn't find out until Monday that everything was fine, but I was like the fucking portal.

Catherine Newman:

the portal. That's how you find out everything. The portal or Brett. I have crones. Thanks Brett. I still have a weird ailment. It's just not crones. But I am a crone, which is confusing. I mean, that is a confusing like word thing, you know, that I'm like heavily crone identified.

Jason Blitman:

A Crohn with a queer ailment. That's not Crohn's.

Catherine Newman:

That's it!

Jason Blitman:

That's what it says on your website.

Brett Benner:

That sounds like a sentence that you'd

Jason Blitman:

did my

Brett Benner:

learning their English. That's one of those sentences of like how two words can mean different things, but they sound the

Catherine Newman:

so true. And you have to say it at customs in the airport.

Brett Benner:

Exactly.

Jason Blitman:

Wait, are you obsessed with pears?

Catherine Newman:

am obsessed with Paris. You're looking at my gallery wall. I just learned it was called a gallery wall, which makes me feel

Jason Blitman:

Welcome. Is that your queer ailment that you didn't know what a gallery vault was?

Catherine Newman:

my queer element, is not knowing, yeah, someone gave me a pair, I love, I love pairs, like, they're so sexy, you know, they're very, I used to have a big ass, which I didn't realize would go away later, which is so complicated, it's its own

Jason Blitman:

Oh,

Catherine Newman:

I thought, yeah, like, I was like, oh, this is part of my identity, I'm like a person with a big, I couldn't buy jeans, like, they were too big in the waist, because my ass was so big, whatever. It was like a problem. And now I don't have one at all. Like, I woke up and it was gone. Anyway, different story. But, so I love pears, cause I, gave me that, like, big ass vibe. And somebody gave me one, and then, as soon as you have a framed thing, it's a col you know, someone's like, oh, she collects pears. And I have been given and painted pears, and I frickin love them. And I just, but I have to be really selective now, like, there's just a little room

Jason Blitman:

Yeah,

Catherine Newman:

between the top and the ceiling, and it's kind of comfy.

Jason Blitman:

Okay.

Brett Benner:

A pair on its side.

Jason Blitman:

say that because we just posted an interview. Oh, I guess it was a few weeks ago, but the book came out on Tuesday. It's called The Safekeep. And it's sapphic, call me by your name, but pears, play a big part in it. And Brett's going to get the book so you can see the cover.

Brett Benner:

Yeah. It's a gorgeous cover. It's like, yes.

Catherine Newman:

Bashir! And also, do pears play

Brett Benner:

A part in the

Catherine Newman:

by your name fruit type of role, like the

Brett Benner:

No, like peaches and

Jason Blitman:

it and find out.

Catherine Newman:

Okay.

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Catherine Newman:

Because I love, I love the peach. I love, Timothy Chalamet and the peach, that was just a fantastic, wonderful scene.

Brett Benner:

I was like, don't say it was delicious. You know,

Jason Blitman:

I mean,

Catherine Newman:

was

Jason Blitman:

it was delicious.

Catherine Newman:

we just watched Saltburn with kids are 24 and 21 and they'd already seen it. They'd like gotten stoned the night before and watched Saltburn and then they were like, you guys will love this. We have to watch it again. And they were like, brace yourselves, it's so grotesque and it's like so scandalous. My husband and I ended up feeling like they were such Victorian prudes. We were like, he drank the cummy bathwater. I would drink like anybody's cummy bathwater. I don't care at all when, who, or like he, you know, grinds into the grave. I went down on somebody who had her period. All of these things. I was like, you guys get over yourselves.

Brett Benner:

was college freshman year.

Jason Blitman:

is funny. There's a lot of, a lot of studies I say as though I've done the research, but I feel like I've seen a lot of memes or things on Instagram about young people being not anti sex, but like less sexual

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Catherine Newman:

that a thing?

Jason Blitman:

yes, I mean, says, The things I've

Brett Benner:

Says the studies says the

Jason Blitman:

do Tik TOK, but yeah, says the other random things

Brett Benner:

BuzzFeed report. My daughter especially will say things to me that are so reballed. Like I, and I, and that was for me, like so much identification of this book is the. It's that relationship of the kids with the parents. And it's like, I just find it fascinating how, like we said, suddenly I'm like a sex addict and a dirty old man. You know what I mean? So

Catherine Newman:

just yelled, we were camping with both kids over the weekend, camping on the cape. And I yelled from the pond, Hey, when you come in the water, bring the nudes. And I just meant the noodles. oh my god, the kids, like, passed away from shame and horror, as if I was yelling out this completely grotesque, like, sexting harassment thing just randomly, like, on the beach, on the cape.

Brett Benner:

There's that there's that acknowledgement as you're a kid and you get older that your parents are human. Right? And that's kind of I had an English teacher once say the first biggest disappointment in a child's life is when they realize. That their father is human and the second is when they realize their mother is the same way, but I would take that further to say when they realize you're a sexual creature, right? That just because you're in a, you know, you're in a marriage, just because you're in a relationship, it doesn't mean that you don't see people walking by. You don't, you know, you, all those things are still prevalent, especially in a day where everyone's looking at a phone and everyone's looking at pictures. Um, and that's a freak out for, I think, my kids, certainly, you

Jason Blitman:

which is interesting because I'm, I've cycled back. I've like gone through that phase, I think at a certain point in my life. And now my mom has been single for a very long time and I'm like, girl, go have sex. Yeah,

Brett Benner:

I love

Jason Blitman:

even been on a date since divorcing my dad. Like, come

Catherine Newman:

And do you actually say that or you just feel it?

Jason Blitman:

I think I just feel it because I think my, my mom would maybe die if I said

Catherine Newman:

Yeah, yeah,

Brett Benner:

And I want you to say it just like that girl.

Jason Blitman:

I've never even heard, I've never heard her say the word sex. I've never, I think I've heard her say the word gay eight times, like,

Catherine Newman:

oh

Jason Blitman:

and I've

Brett Benner:

it was in

Jason Blitman:

for like 20 years.

Brett Benner:

and it was references to things being happy.

Jason Blitman:

even.

Catherine Newman:

Or an ailment.

Brett Benner:

Yes. Yes.

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god, yeah. I, well, I, my daughter who's 21, the minute she gets home from college, she drags her mattress into our bedroom and sleeps on the floor all summer.

Brett Benner:

Wow.

Catherine Newman:

Is that the, and I, part of me is like, shh. She just is keeping us from having sex. That's her God given goal in life, is just to be there every second,

Brett Benner:

Yeah. No, it's, it's

Catherine Newman:

but it's the best. I mean, I can't pretend to not like it.

Jason Blitman:

Okay. I'm just like watching the time tick away

Catherine Newman:

sorry, sorry,

Brett Benner:

We have to get on.

Jason Blitman:

no, I'm, I have nowhere to be. And so I could sit on this zoom.

Catherine Newman:

Okay, okay, let's talk About that book.

Jason Blitman:

we have so many sandwiches to talk about. What PB& J? Yeah,

Catherine Newman:

Love B, B, and G. It's like if you don't have it every day and then you have it occasionally, it's, and the jam's good. It's like something actually delicious, like rhubarb or sour cherry or something. It is so freaking delicious.

Jason Blitman:

or crunchy?

Catherine Newman:

I'm crunchy, but we have both kinds in the house. Are you crunchy?

Jason Blitman:

wait, so listen, my husband and I have been together for 10 years. We've been married for seven and literally four days before our seventh anniversary, which was like a week and a half ago. I learned that he has been giving in to my preference of crunchy.

Catherine Newman:

you didn't even know it?

Jason Blitman:

I didn't even know. I found this out

Brett Benner:

But did you have both at home,

Jason Blitman:

years into our relationship.

Brett Benner:

you've had both jars at

Jason Blitman:

No, we've only had crunchy at home.

Catherine Newman:

wait, he gave in without, like, performing it as a huge mitzvah? What kind of person? He gave in quietly? He didn't draw attention? Like, look at me, I'm a martyr,

Jason Blitman:

no, I know. Which is very unlike him.

Catherine Newman:

What? That's such a darling thing.

Jason Blitman:

know it's must be his Italian side.

Catherine Newman:

So now will you have both kinds? Because peanut butter, you can actually

Jason Blitman:

I did buy him creamy.

Catherine Newman:

This

Brett Benner:

But a small jar.

Catherine Newman:

Okay, this is a secretly very romantic story, actually. It really

Jason Blitman:

Okay. For our listeners who have not yet read Sandwich, what is your elevator pitch, logline, one liner about the book?

Catherine Newman:

um, you know, you'd think I'd have one.

Jason Blitman:

It's okay.

Catherine Newman:

I, I feel I wanted to read a book about. A couple of different things. And one of them is, um, a thing that I call, even though my publicists in both the U S and the UK are like, maybe stop saying that, but I think I like to call reproductive mayhem and that is being embodied in this, like, CIS female body, having sex with men for a lifetime of like fertile decades. And by the time you hit menopause, it is. almost inevitable that you have this really layered history of that embodiedness that in that has tons of trauma in it. It's almost impossible now to, while meanwhile, if you have a partner who's a cis guy, he's just been like coming and then going and having a bowl of corn checks. Like it's such a non intersecting experience. And I really wanted to write about that. Um, And I wanted to write about the particular moment of it of sort of hitting menopause and that kind of reflection on reproductive mayhem on the one hand, and on the other hand, kind of the, um, this is the part where it's trying to masquerade as a beach reading where this family. So putting aside reproductive mayhem, where this family has been renting the same beach house year after year after year. Um, the kind of layered memories of this main character who's in this beach house with her young adult kids and her aging parents and all of just the, like, matryoshka doll of experiences in this one week. That's the elevator pitch. I know it's kind of grotesque, but.

Jason Blitman:

I hate doing this to author, for authors. Here I am doing it again. Here you go.

Catherine Newman:

Oh, are you giving it to me?

Jason Blitman:

it's a reproductive mayhem on Beach Read Bread.

Brett Benner:

Ah.

Catherine Newman:

Enjoy your sandwich.

Jason Blitman:

Enjoy your sandwich. Am

Catherine Newman:

is really good. Okay.

Jason Blitman:

I wrong though?

Catherine Newman:

No! It's, uh, that's what it is. It's really true. It, that is the, it, that's an actually really excellent way to put it because that is the secret of the book. Like, you pick it up, it's got this moody kind of beach read, fun cover, and then, like, before you know it, you're just in deep with her, like, feelings and blood clots and whatever.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. Wait, is it, was there, is there also the town in there? Is

Catherine Newman:

Yes! Yes!

Jason Blitman:

but you don't even talk about that because there's a town on Cape Cod Brett called Sandwich. Of

Catherine Newman:

In

Brett Benner:

it really?

Catherine Newman:

Coming home on Memorial Day, we drove through it for approximately like 36 hours, even though it's just like the size of a pinhead. Um, yeah, that is not where the book actually takes place. It takes place in Wellfleet, but It's too good to give up.

Jason Blitman:

course. And like, you

Catherine Newman:

It doesn't matter.

Jason Blitman:

no, no, no. And, and it also like, you didn't even, you don't even allude to the fact that it takes place there. You don't even mention that there's a town,

Catherine Newman:

I know, but I'm sneaking

Jason Blitman:

it is there. Yeah.

Brett Benner:

Wow. That's such a little Easter egg.

Catherine Newman:

Thank you. Yeah.

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

But right. It's just like caught in the middle, but also like sandwiches or this like summer tradition, you know, you do the thing where you like make the sandwiches and like, put them back in the bread bag.

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god, I totally do that.

Brett Benner:

Well, there's a whole, it's a mom thing, but it's also, there's such a ritual. Cause I was like, what, what does that sandwich mean? What does that mean to you? Like, what is, because to me it, it spoke so much and you were so, it's so detail oriented both times in the book. So I have to believe like, as, as a mother, as a parent, what does that ritual, what does that mean to you? Just the sandwich ritual.

Catherine Newman:

Um, totally. I mean my kids have My kids just this past weekend on the beach eating their sandwiches were, you know, talking about sandwiches being my live language, which is completely true. And like, I, there's a kind of caretaking that is, everybody wants something different. One of my kids has celiac disease. So I have to make the sandwich like on a cutting board in a different room. Like it's all such an act of devotion. And I love, I love doing it. Like when they were little it was kind of one thing too many to make sandwiches while everyone's like needing you to put sunscreen all over them or whatever. And now it's this like incredibly precious I don't know, there is something holy about it for me, truly, the making of the sandwiches. And then on the beach, I troll ruthlessly for compliments. Like, I cannot, if God help you, if you just like, eat your sandwich without comment. Like, please, I'll be like, how good is your sandwich? And the kids will be like, oh God, sorry, sorry, so good.

Jason Blitman:

if you don't hear it, right.

Catherine Newman:

Yeah, I'm like, I didn't make it just, you know, for your health. I made it so I could hear how good it was.

Jason Blitman:

Right. Our ancestors did not

Catherine Newman:

We

Jason Blitman:

with their weighted blankets

Catherine Newman:

didn't send

Jason Blitman:

for you to not in their allergy medication for you to not enjoy this sandwich. It's not even our matzah.

Brett Benner:

right? That bread is so crusty and chewy in the center. Like I just picture the whole thing and I'm hearing Sara Bareilles being like sugar, butter, flour, and like just like the knife, like with the mayo or whatever, I picture all of it. Like

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god, me singing the entire Waitress soundtrack beginning to end. Totally.

Jason Blitman:

What's your sandwich of choice?

Catherine Newman:

Um, mine is the tuna sandwich that Rocky makes in the book with the pepperoncini and the pepperoncini juice and the, you know, celery, dill. That's my sandwich. That's it.

Brett Benner:

Ugh, you know who does a really good tuna? I don't even think they have them back east. Sprouts has a really good tuna.

Catherine Newman:

mm,

Jason Blitman:

It's a

Brett Benner:

Just FYI. Yeah, it's like a Whole Foods. It's like Whole Foods. You have Whole Foods, right? Whole Paycheck. Yeah.

Catherine Newman:

whole paycheck, yes. I'm on it. Yeah, if the tuna salad has onions in it, then I wish I hadn't eaten it just to be totally transparent. Besides, cause a little bit of reflex, not Crohn's, just a little

Jason Blitman:

I know. It's a relatively new thing for me, Catherine. Gotta get

Catherine Newman:

did you have a, did you have a doctor who was like, here, it's this, it's called omeprazole. Take it for the rest of your life.

Jason Blitman:

No, I've just been

Catherine Newman:

you'll,

Jason Blitman:

Tums. For now. I'm sure the omeprazole will come later.

Catherine Newman:

it's coming

Jason Blitman:

I literally took my pills this morning and I was like, I'm 36 years old.

Catherine Newman:

Why am I taking a handful of things? I know. And your doctor will have, you'll be like, is that an Omeprazole tattoo? And he'll be like, Oh, maybe, you know, like they're shilling for

Jason Blitman:

They gave it to me for free.

Catherine Newman:

The wrap came with a tattoo gun.

Brett Benner:

Meanwhile, I'm thanking my WASP parents right now for my good health.

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god! No! I know every now and then my husband and I are like, why did we hook up with the exact same horrible genes as each other?

Brett Benner:

Ugh. You're poor

Jason Blitman:

but here we are.

Catherine Newman:

Here we are doing our best.

Jason Blitman:

I literally had to take ibuprofen yesterday because I gave myself a headache from laughing so hard. I was like 20 p I was

Catherine Newman:

You're like, I'm gonna take one more Tums and a little bit of ibuprofen.

Jason Blitman:

Literally, my, I was 20 pages from the end for the second time, howling. And my husband from the couch next to me goes, You've read this already. Like,

Catherine Newman:

Oh,

Jason Blitman:

How are you laughing as hard as you're laughing?

Brett Benner:

But maybe it's anticipatory, too, because you know it's going to be funny, so

Jason Blitman:

No, Brett, because you know more than anybody, the moment I close a book, I remember nothing.

Brett Benner:

yeah, yeah. I understand. I was actually reading the whole menopause sequence two nights ago. I read it to two different people. I read it to Chip in bed the other night and, um, and I was again laughing hysterically. Then I did read it to my business partner yesterday and she was guffawing, guffawing, guffawing. Yeah. All of

Catherine Newman:

you. Thank you so much.

Jason Blitman:

was that us telling you how much we liked your sandwich? Was that good enough?

Catherine Newman:

Was so good. I'm so satisfied. I know I'm just sitting here like basking. I'm such a child. I just praise just like bring it,

Jason Blitman:

I was reading it, I was going, Mmm, this

Catherine Newman:

is a really delicious sandwich. Thanks mom. I know.

Jason Blitman:

Okay, so not, it's hilarious, but it also is very serious, because it is, you know, reproductive mayhem on Beach Read Bread. A huge piece of the book, is about, it's hard to change even though you have to change. And Both, like, change as just, like, things change in your life, circumstances change, but also there's like, the change, trademark, for the humans with, with, uh, those parts. Um, why do you think it's so hard to change?

Catherine Newman:

wow? Like, why is change so hard? I guess those are different questions in a way, like there's the question about like why it's so hard to change yourself, which I guess Rocky in the book is trying to do both things. Like, she's trying to get out of her own way because she is keeping herself from being happy by. imagining she has more control over everything than she actually does. Um, but also the inevitable change, you know, that It's like my kids are growing up. I mean, Rocky's kids are growing up.

Jason Blitman:

Wink, wink.

Catherine Newman:

Nice catch. Um, but like my kids are growing up and so they're, you know, they're growing. away from us, and we keep being just overjoyed at them wanting to spend time with us still, like, it is the greatest gift. And so moving to us, you know, that we'll hear from our son, like, I'm going to meet you guys, like, at the campground from New York, and you know, you're just like dying because they don't have to, you know. And then my parents are, um, 92 and 87. And, you know, I always say, like, if anything ever happened to my parents, and Michael's always like, what could happen to your parents? Like, it's just this ridiculous open secret that, that's pretty old. So I'm, like, braced for loss all the time, and I think I'm trying to learn to, I mean, If you really lived in the moment, then change wouldn't be so scary, like, I don't need to give up. I think part of what Rocky's trying to learn in the book, and she, in some ways she does it better than me because I made her up. But um, that feeling of like just centering yourself in the present so that you don't waste every beautiful moment of your life with this kind of anticipatory grief,

Jason Blitman:

Mmm.

Brett Benner:

You get to a certain age. And you are straddling that line between you're, you're a parent, you're still a child, because if you're lucky enough to still have your parents, but you're also in that transition of facing, like you said, inevitable loss, or at the same time, you've also been in relationships long enough where you see many relationships, And potentially your own go by the wayside. So it is this strange moment of, because we're also living longer, people are experiencing life differently. And, um, so I'm, I watched so much of what she was going through in this book. And I just think it's so, uh, it's so moving and it's so real. And especially so much of the stuff with the parents, because, I see that. But again, it's like waiting for the shoe to drop on top of the fact that of having like a 17 year old who's going through everything you go through when you're 17 years old and a girl. And so all of these things I'm watching Rocky and it's such a identifiable and very now crisis of how do you balance all this and stay present? Yeah,

Catherine Newman:

you have little kids and I mean, I don't mean to romanticize it because God knows I was like hanging myself every minute when I had little kids, but it's like they're there. What they need is so obvious in a lot of ways, you know, it's like they need to be fed and they need to be comforted and they need to be rocked to sleep and bathed and. It's like, it's just this rolling kind of caretaking that is what it is. And then all of a sudden you have these people who are 20 on the one hand and 90 on the other hand, and you have to be so, um, subtle and, um, it's so delicate. Like it's so easy to offend young adults. It's really easy to offend. Older people, like you can't overstep, you know, my My parents are very quick to feel like we treat them like children, even though all we've done is like make a Zabars run, you know, whatever it is that we do to be helpful. It's, it's very easy to overstep and so it's just really like all the time. It's like if you have some intervention to make, you'll probably lie in bed discussing it for like three nights before you make it.

Brett Benner:

Absolutely.

Jason Blitman:

so interesting just to hear you say that because you, a phrase that you just said is it is what it is. And I think like in talking about change, it's like, The seasons change, and we know that, but they still happen. So, you know, Rocky gets to vacation and knows that come Friday, she's gonna say, How's it Friday already? You know, there is this thing that we know is going to happen, and yet we still have to move through it. You know winter's coming. But like you're dreading putting on the coat, right? So there is that interesting, like understanding changes there and happens because that's life, you know, the world does keep turning. Um, but it's, it's the like waking up every day and needing to deal with it. That's like, it is what it is,

Brett Benner:

Well, and it's like, and like, she was like, Catherine, like you're saying, staying in the present. And how do you, how do you do that? How do you constantly remind yourself that like, okay, here is this. And I certainly have had to do that just for sanity to say, I can deal with exactly what's in front of me only right now. And I, like, I found myself envious of Rocky so many times because I think. You know, yes, she can probably be a pain in the ass to her kids, but she's fucking cool and she's going through shit. But I was like, I want to fucking deal with my kids this way. And I want to, because I feel like she does it so deftly, despite the fact that, you know, she's probably thinking I'm fucking up. I'm doing this, I'm doing this, that, and the other. But what she's putting out, especially to her kids, it's so, the basis of it is all fronted in love. And I think that's so beautiful.

Catherine Newman:

Thank you. Thank you. Whatever all else, I do think my kids are not gonna one day look back and think they weren't loved robustly. They're gonna have a lot of other shit to say. I don't think it's gonna be that.

Jason Blitman:

You, a few minutes ago, made a quote unquote joke about

Catherine Newman:

So embarrassing. It was like a joke. It was structured as a joke, but not at all funny.

Jason Blitman:

about comparing yourself to Rocky as though you are maybe not wink wink one in the same. Um, that brings me to a very important topic of conversation and like gave me a bit of an existential crisis in reading the book. Um, can we talk about John?

Catherine Newman:

who's John?

Jason Blitman:

Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. I was like, I've never thought about this song as a way, as you like meet yourself and don't even realize it's you. And I was like, that is not Catherine and Rocky because she clearly knows it's her. But like, that made me think of that. I was like, Oh, there is this reflection of yourself. And it's not really you just like John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.

Catherine Newman:

I'm never gonna get over this particular moment. I was like, oh my god, is one of my characters named John? dumbass. I don't even

Brett Benner:

You remember your character, you don't remember

Catherine Newman:

John? Because I write them all with their names in real life, and then I change the names. How sensible is that? It is so stupid. It's like, that is not how fiction works. At the last second, I'm like hitting send to the, like, printer, and I'm like,

Brett Benner:

but I'm sure, I'm sure so many people do

Catherine Newman:

I gotta change those names! And then I name somebody John, apparently. No. John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt. That's my name too.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. Existential crisis. Did you, did you feel that way in writing the book? Did you really feel like you were able to sort of see yourself and yet remove yourself a little bit? Yeah.

Catherine Newman:

I think, um, somebody last year was like, Oh, you write auto fiction. I was like, do I? Okay. I write auto fiction. You know, I, I think, um, I wrote memoir for a long time before I wrote fiction. Um, and I think I don't have, like, a world building imagination, really, like, the way fiction writers imagine things. I don't imagine stuff as much as, um, like, collect funny things and then try to structure a story such that I can use the most of them possible. So I just have, like, reams of notes about, like, conversations and relationships and then I'm trying to Figure out how to organize that into a story. Isn't that like TMI about my writing process? It's so grim.

Jason Blitman:

no. Because did you ever watch the office?

Catherine Newman:

Of course!

Jason Blitman:

Okay, so the episode where Michael takes a, an improv class, and no matter what it is, he pulls out a gun, and I feel like that would probably be me with storytelling too, like, it's like, Jason, make up a story. I'd be like, okay, so there's this guy, and he like, wakes up in a magical land, and he meets this guy. First, he meets a guy with no brain, and then he meets a guy with no heart, and then he meets a guy without courage. And then they'd be like, wait, no, that's the Wizard of Oz. Come up with another story. I'd be like, okay, so a girl wakes up in a magical land, and then she meets a

Catherine Newman:

so

Brett Benner:

Now you're doing wicked.

Catherine Newman:

That is really good. Yeah.

Brett Benner:

Yeah, but were you always, but were you always because of, you know, your previous books and things? It's funny because when I was a little, you always, and people do this, you tell people stories about what your kids do and they're like, you should write this down. And did you always get that? Were people always saying to you, Oh my God, write that story down. That's hilarious. You should write that down. Especially as a writer. I'm sure you got that.

Catherine Newman:

Well, I already was like, I had a weekly column about my kids, so I was writing it down and that was actually great practice. Just like writing funny stuff down. And then there's a certain period, you know, your kids. age out of you being able to freaking write about them all the

Brett Benner:

Sure.

Catherine Newman:

that is not okay. Damn it. Their whole like selves and personalities and independence,

Jason Blitman:

changed the

Catherine Newman:

changed that now, leave me alone. Um, but I will say both kids vetted the book. Um, as did my husband who In every book I rate, he's just this like beleaguered, baffled saint, which may or may not be when he's like a real life, where he's like this hot beleaguered, like confused guy who just wants it to happen. Anyway, so everybody vetted it, which. You know, I don't think that's a fully clean thing because obviously they don't want to be like, could you not publish the book you wrote? But they, they were pretty, I think they were okay about it.

Jason Blitman:

You have said Okay, so you just said you weren't really able to remove yourself. a la John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmitt. But you've said to bleed on the page, uh, and then point to the page and laugh at it. Do you feel like you were able to do that? Like, was it cathartic in that way?

Catherine Newman:

Oh, that's such a good question. I mean, I've already like pre laughed at myself about almost every single thing.

Jason Blitman:

Hmm. Hmm.

Catherine Newman:

not. Slow to do that, just to be honest, like I'm usually laughing at myself, even as bad things are unfolding. But I think there was something cathartic about, um, I think it's like, I don't know if cathartic is going to turn out to be the right way, but like, you know, you have this life and it's just like a million points of experience and contact and relationships. And it's like this galaxy of. of moments and you tell a story and you connect a certain set of them to like create this constellation that has a shape, you know, and there is something about seeing the shape that is, that quiets something for me where it makes sense of something. A certain set of the points, like then I see it like for me, this, the constellation in this book that I have connected is like the constellation of Rockies, um, kind of like reproductive trauma in a way. And I think just connecting that set of dots helps me understand something. Um, Which was really helpful. So in that way, maybe, yeah, cathartic and you always know that there's a million other dots that you're leaving out and a million other constellations you could have chosen to draw instead, you know, instead of this, I don't know what, like, you know, the constellation of the raging menopausal hag or whatever constellation it would

Jason Blitman:

so I guess there must be something to very, something to reflect on is like, Seeing the constellation that you landed on,

Catherine Newman:

Mm hmm.

Jason Blitman:

right? Like this is where this ended up.

Catherine Newman:

Yeah. Yeah. That's the shape of this story.

Jason Blitman:

hmm. Um, Rocky is, uh, unapologetically queer.

Catherine Newman:

Mm hmm.

Jason Blitman:

Uh, your, uh, the multiple characters, unapologetic, unapologetically queer. You have unapologetically queer characters, and we all want impossible things. Can you talk about that as a writer and why that's important to you?

Catherine Newman:

Um, it's so funny. Just as you were saying that, I was thinking, I did this house tour on the um, blog Cup of Joe and um, you know, with Joanna Goddard. Do you know her at all?

Jason Blitman:

No, I've like seen the, the logo of the thing.

Catherine Newman:

So she has like 20 gazillion readers. And so they did this house tour where this photographer came in. I was like, I'm not putting the cat litter away, whatever. So our house was very much the way our house is. And It resonated for people because it was just like the real and it's a, the house is amazing and it's like dirty and cluttered and I have my chair of halfway dirty clothes that was photographed for this like international

Jason Blitman:

We all have it. We

Catherine Newman:

I know some people might have put it away before the photo shoot, which I didn't think to

Jason Blitman:

but they're liars.

Catherine Newman:

a picture of it. Anyway. Um, but somebody said in the comments, um, I know I happen to know from something I read that Catherine Newman is bisexual and I don't know why you kept this information from her house tour. And I love the idea that there would have been something on the house tour that would have been about my bisexuality,

Brett Benner:

Those pears.

Catherine Newman:

Actually, good point. Right, that there, or that there would have been like a photo of me like fingering a girl. Like what would have been the thing that communicated like, this is a bisexual house. This, our house is, is bisexual. However, I do live in a bisexual house. Metaphorically. And um, so queerness has been just like a part of my identity. I mean at this point in a slightly if a tree falls way because oh my god I have been with this guy for 30 something years. But I still really identify, thank you, I still like everyone makes fun of me because like I have a major crush on Padma Lakshmi which actually makes a tiny guest appearance in um, and And like, oh my god, we're listening to the Billie Eilish, like, frickin Cunnilingus song. Can you EVEN?! It's so dirty!

Brett Benner:

Now, wait, I will say, wait, I got to digress and say, I was driving to the desert with my kids the other day and they were both like, we have to put this on and there was no, there was no like fronting except to tell me what it is. So I just kind of sat and listened to it. And I was like, this is great. And they were like, can you believe it? Can you believe, I think they were waiting for me to be scandalized. And I was like, all right. I was like, I was like, wow, you guys, this is your version of shebop.

Catherine Newman:

scandalize us. We will not be scandalized, Brett. Anyway, so I, so there's just, and our, our daughter's queer. She's like a old fashioned butch in this way that just frickin kills me. She's like the cutest thing, and Um, and like, a lot of our friends are queer. I don't know, there's just, it's like a very queer environment that we live in. And um, so I, so it ends up in the book and I don't, it doesn't end up in the book on purpose if you know what I mean. Like I'm not,

Brett Benner:

no.

Catherine Newman:

it's not um, and I worry about that because sometimes if you don't think through something then maybe you've done a shitty job of it. But like, And I had, I actually had Birdie read Sandwich in an earlier phase, in an earlier stage for um, almost just like queer okay ness and there were, and um, you know, like I'm not sure what my blind spots are as, as per there being my blind spot, like you can't see it. Anyway. So, um, anyway,

Jason Blitman:

If you know what your blind spots are, your,

Catherine Newman:

There are. Anyway, so there's just, it's a, it's a queer, it's queer, a queer life,

Jason Blitman:

Yeah. I love that.

Catherine Newman:

Higgins. No, that's not, it's a fine life, Henry

Jason Blitman:

Oh, it, it's a, no, it's a fine life. It's from Oliver.

Catherine Newman:

But isn't it Henry Higgins? Isn't that who he says it to? It's a fine life,

Jason Blitman:

No, that's, that's.

Brett Benner:

My Fair Lady. We're mixing up our musicals.

Catherine Newman:

Okay, please edit that out. It's a fine life.

Jason Blitman:

that is staying in. That is the most homophobic thing you could have

Brett Benner:

That's exactly right. Right after talking about all this positive queerness, and then like, not even getting the musicals correct. God damn it. Um, oh, jeez.

Jason Blitman:

At the time of recording, Audra McDonald was just announced to play Mama Rose in Gypsy yesterday. And so that, that's like taking up enough queer

Brett Benner:

the gays go crazy.

Catherine Newman:

Jason. I saw that on your Instagram story and googled it in case we ended up having a conversation about it. I was like, I will not be like a sideswiped by whatever this is. That's very exciting. So I read a little about it. I just prepped in case it, you know, came up.

Brett Benner:

on sale today.

Catherine Newman:

And here it is. I saw that it was very, um, exciting. It was important and

Jason Blitman:

Yes, you've earned back your,

Catherine Newman:

My Henry

Jason Blitman:

you lost, your Henry Iggins. Oh my god. Okay. In our last few minutes, I have, sometimes I like to ask authors questions back to them that they ask in the book. So I'm going to do a little bit of a rapid fire questions for

Catherine Newman:

oh God.

Jason Blitman:

Which breakfast pastry would you choose?

Catherine Newman:

I would choose a plain croissant.

Jason Blitman:

Oh, I'm just not expecting that.

Catherine Newman:

Wait, what did you think I was going to say? Like a cheddar scone? If they had that, I would pick that, but they, no one, like, no one has that. Okay. Sorry, I didn't mean to qualify.

Jason Blitman:

At the farmer's market that I go to almost every weekend, I don't like their scones because they have icing on them, but they sell, a parmesan walnut scone that sometimes sells out. And that's what I'll usually get.

Brett Benner:

little savory

Jason Blitman:

A little bit of

Catherine Newman:

Mmm. Wait

Jason Blitman:

In the pie chart of Katharine Newman, how many slices would be dad jokes?

Catherine Newman:

of me. I just made a dad joke to my great shame over the weekend, and the kids will never let me forget it, because I give their father so much shit about the dad jokes. So, a tiny little slice.

Jason Blitman:

Okay, so one.

Catherine Newman:

I mean, of making them. Of

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, no, no, no, of making

Catherine Newman:

Oh,

Brett Benner:

of hearing them. She's a

Catherine Newman:

Oh, of hearing them, that's like the entire overlap with my

Brett Benner:

She's a pie shop,

Catherine Newman:

I own the shop.

Brett Benner:

right? Sugar, butter, flour.

Catherine Newman:

Bad joke.

Jason Blitman:

We're back to waitress. Um, if you had to walk into town completely naked or in a special suit that covered your whole body, except for where there was a see through panel in front of your crotch, which would you pick?

Catherine Newman:

completely naked. And I want to say that we were just in a thrift shop in Valencia, Spain, and there was a jumpsuit with a clear panel in front of the crotch. And our family, who was all together for this experience, died a thousand deaths because this has been a topic of conversation since. Our son was like three years old. We took a pic We took a picture of it. God

Brett Benner:

Wait, I have to know what would yours be, Jason, of that question. Cause I marked that so specifically. I was like, that is a good question.

Jason Blitman:

Um, also completely naked.

Catherine Newman:

your panel in front of your crotch. Then you're just being a freak.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah,

Brett Benner:

have to,

Catherine Newman:

Completely naked.

Jason Blitman:

It's completely naked. There's like clearly a story

Catherine Newman:

Yeah! Something went awry.

Jason Blitman:

stole the clothes at the lake.

Catherine Newman:

Right. The see through

Brett Benner:

suit, but also it could be some, it is, but it could also be something that you'd see at the Met Ball. So

Jason Blitman:

Right.

Catherine Newman:

Perhaps.

Jason Blitman:

jumpsuit with empty crotch.

Brett Benner:

yes. And it's worn by Kim Kardashian. Yeah, exactly.

Jason Blitman:

okay. This is, I like, don't know how to ask this question because it's like contextual in the book, but, um, I want to preface by saying this is not about sex working. It's about paying this to make your body function. Would you pay a hundred dollars a pop to have sex?

Brett Benner:

This is how the interview ends. Just her laughing at that question. Thank you for joining us, Katherine Newman.

Catherine Newman:

Of course I would, Jason. Of

Jason Blitman:

Me too. Me too. I want my body to function at a hundred dollars a pop.

Catherine Newman:

Hundred

Brett Benner:

Yeah, I would. Sure, sure.

Catherine Newman:

pop.

Jason Blitman:

Yeah, Okay, and finally, what does daddy mean?

Catherine Newman:

So funny. Oh my god. The kids, it was so hard for me when they stopped calling him daddy. Because they wanted it to seem like he wasn't. What, does daddy mean someone who basically shells out a lot of money and sort of keeps you, when you maybe have a bunch of sex with them?

Jason Blitman:

Maybe. I think it probably like depends on who's saying it,

Brett Benner:

yeah, it's all contextual.

Jason Blitman:

right?

Catherine Newman:

it? It all turns out I don't really know.

Brett Benner:

Wait, have your own dads switched? Do they call you now? Is it just mom and dad? Because I know some adults who still call their, you know, mommy or daddy.

Catherine Newman:

Wait, what do I call my own parents?

Brett Benner:

Noah, what do your kids call you guys?

Catherine Newman:

The kids call Michael dad, which still every time they say it, I feel like they're pretending to be cooler than they are, where they're like, Oh, dad, and I'm like, please. Um, and they call me mama still because there's no weirdo like sex for money vibe about.

Brett Benner:

Right. Yeah, because

Catherine Newman:

least not that we know about. Are you Papa? Papa is adorable. And if we had planned ahead for the horrible moment where Daddy would ring bad, we would have done Papa.

Brett Benner:

and it's funny because when we were debating at the beginning we're like who is who and I was like, it's fine I will take Papa and I probably only because of Barbra Streisand's Papa. Can you hear me? And so I was like, all right, it's fine You know at the very least like because I was like this sounds a little I had to get on to it And once it's now it's you know, I love it and I have friends who call me Papa So because of it,

Catherine Newman:

Oh, your friends

Brett Benner:

I have a few people who refer to me They'll be like Papa our old nanny used to call me Papa. She'd be

Jason Blitman:

But he has other friends who call him daddy.

Brett Benner:

right? You

Catherine Newman:

just felt that coming. Wait,

Brett Benner:

my only, just my only fans. No, I'm

Catherine Newman:

is Papa, can you hear me yentl?

Brett Benner:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yes. Yes, yes.

Catherine Newman:

Over and out.

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Jason Blitman:

Sung by Barbra Streisand, who wanted to do a gypsy movie, but they wouldn't let her because they thought she was too old.

Brett Benner:

And we brought

Catherine Newman:

real?

Brett Benner:

again.

Jason Blitman:

Yes, for real.

Catherine Newman:

That is so good. And also just the chewy yentleness of yentl.

Jason Blitman:

I

Brett Benner:

Yeah.

Catherine Newman:

So good.

Brett Benner:

This is so funny. It's so random because Ron Yentl, the day that I came out to my, I came out to my mom first over the phone. It was here in Los Angeles. And then the next day my dad called back and it was a whole thing. I almost said it was a whole mishima or badly. Anyway, the day that I

Catherine Newman:

Mishima, he

Brett Benner:

Yes. Thank you. Thank you. I know. I know. I'm. Hi. Right.

Jason Blitman:

what Brett does not have? A Zabar's mug.

Brett Benner:

No, I do not. But I got off the phone with my, like I literally, the feeling of telling the, getting that out was, as any gay person could see. It's so liberating. It's so incredible that I literally went on Tels Papa Watch Me Fly, which like, and like ran around the living room, like I was like a 7-year-old or something. It was, I just brought

Jason Blitman:

like coming out Anthem.

Brett Benner:

It really was. All I needed was like the prow of the boat to be holding on to and the salt spray in my face, yeah. But it was a pretty like incredible moment. That

Catherine Newman:

that's beautiful. A beautiful mishima, or whatever you call

Jason Blitman:

Oh my god, I can't breathe. I need to go get my inhaler because of my fucking asthma, Catherine.

Catherine Newman:

it. I know, Brett, meanwhile, is unscathed on account of his wasp genes.

Jason Blitman:

Unscathed.

Brett Benner:

We just don't talk about anything and it's all repressed so I'll probably have a heart attack at 57.

Jason Blitman:

Oh.

Catherine Newman:

Somewhere there's a painting in your attic of you just like your body falling all apart.

Brett Benner:

Oh my god. Oh my god.

Jason Blitman:

Catherine, we could sit here and talk to you

Catherine Newman:

I know I know I'm sorry. Yeah,

Jason Blitman:

Don't be sorry. I, we want to be respectful of your time. This is about you and your delicious sandwich.

Brett Benner:

It is such a delightful, delightful. I can't wait for people to experience it

Jason Blitman:

I mean, can we also talk about the UK cover though?

Catherine Newman:

Oh, I know,

Jason Blitman:

That cover is so freaking good.

Catherine Newman:

Toast Bikini. So good! It's so different. They're so Benny Hill over there, they just can't even help themselves.

Brett Benner:

no, you're so right. Jason, you got that reference right? Benny Hill?

Jason Blitman:

No, but I use my context blues. Tell me I'm younger. I'm young. I have my ailments, but I don't know who Benny Hill is.

Catherine Newman:

Boob jokes. British TV. Old BBC TV.

Jason Blitman:

Um.

Brett Benner:

the

Catherine Newman:

And, as a young queer in the 70s, it was the only way I could see boobs besides Cosmo magazine in my grandma's house. You could see boobs on, on frickin PBS. They would show the Benny Hill Show, and once a show, there'd be like a boob that suddenly made an

Brett Benner:

And there'd be

Jason Blitman:

So this was formative for you.

Brett Benner:

ba,

Catherine Newman:

Or a man.

Brett Benner:

that was the music. Yeah, it was all this like, and girls like running and, yeah.

Catherine Newman:

Anyway, yeah, that's it. We'll end on that.

Jason Blitman:

Sending us out. Da da da da da da da

Brett Benner:

that and we're gonna Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.

Catherine Newman:

Oh my god, no. We can't even go down that path. Okay.

Jason Blitman:

zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom? That's what we are doing, we're zooming!

Brett Benner:

Yeah, that was, that was a PBS Zoom. Yeah, Benny Hill and Zoom, two sides of

Catherine Newman:

This was so, so fun.

Jason Blitman:

So fun.

Catherine Newman:

When I was little, I got Yenta and Yental confused. I can't be the only one, right?

Jason Blitman:

probably not. Yeah.

Catherine Newman:

I mean, come on, Fiddler on the Roof, Yental, Yenta. And anyway, for years people would refer to one and I would not be sure which thing they were saying. Where someone would say like, I'm such a yenta, and I would think yental. And then I'd be like, what is that even?

Jason Blitman:

You were like, am I a boy?

Catherine Newman:

Am I a boy going to school? Yeshiva? How strange. Okay. Okay. You go. Yeah. Um,

Jason Blitman:

maima of you. What was the word?

Catherine Newman:

Mishima.

Brett Benner:

thought I said Mishima,

Catherine Newman:

Mishima. I have it written down.

Jason Blitman:

Oh my god. I'm dying.

Catherine Newman:

All

Jason Blitman:

And I said maima like the curry.

Brett Benner:

Right. Mishima, Mishima, Mishugama.

Catherine Newman:

people. The best. that was so, that was just like the best ever. Thank you so much.

Brett Benner:

That meal.

Jason Blitman:

check out Sandwich. Find the book in our bookshop. org page. That's it. Have a great weekend. Have a great

Brett Benner:

Have a great weekend.

Jason Blitman:

to you soon. Bye.

That's the end of the video. I'm JamesBl0nde see ya out there gamers!