Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Fitting End?

From now on, I will be sporadically blogging and over-self-promoting at jaimefountaine.com!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This Friday:

I have a few more things up various sleeves, but first and foremost, is Toiling IX, the two-year anniversary of the show.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Awful Possibilites

After what seemed like forever, but was really only eleven months, Christian TeBordo's short story collection, The Awful Possibilities arrived on my doorstep Monday afternoon.

It’s hard to write about a book that feels already like a timeline of my life. “Sweet William, Don’t Even Bother Denying It” (from Three Denials) and I go back to July 29th, 2006, at a show that made me think, “I could do this.” It was the first time I’d encounter Jeremy, though I don’t remember him or his photos at all, just some mumblers, stories that went on too long, the guy who tried to ruin Masculine Feminine by boring me in front of it, how drunk Deb got, and telling Micah where a story really should have ended, as if I were some kind of authority.

Rules and Regulations” (well, part two of “Rules and Regulations”) was the first story read at the first reading I held two years ago. My brother watched, wide-eyed, mouthing “baby dad” to me from across the room, while I got away with murder – a real audience, and real applause, and someone (whose tears are unpredictable, but regularly so) even cried.

SS Attacks!” was the highlight of Toiling in Obscurity’s first anniversary, and “Moldering” was read at the first reading where I learned for myself that being a girl’s no way to win over an audience.

None of this has anything to do with the book and how good it is, unless, perhaps, you count that fact that good stories are like good records: they remind you of all the selves you’ve been since you first read them. The Awful Possibilities is full of good stories, even if you haven’t grown up with them.

Christian rarely gets enough credit for how funny he is and how sad his jokes are once you really think about them. On one of the postcards dividing the story her writes,
“Your father seemed embarrassed. My mother wasn’t there because she is dead so get over it.”
which sums the book up well: Christian TeBordo writes stories that are forceful and funny and stealthily sad.

Christian TeBordo will be reading at the next Toiling in Obscurity, on March 26th. You can order The Awful Possibilities here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beauty Regimen

If my fingernails are painted, it's to make myself sit still.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Observation -- 5:10 R6, Friday

Everyone on the train wears headphones so that they can be somewhere else. I don’t have them – I’m already too distracted by my own imagination. This means that I can hear the grey-haired man in the peacoat intermittently blowing raspberries. I have been on the train with him before. The noise, and how he sits and stares straight ahead when he makes it, must be inadvertent, or else it’s a sorry cry for attention. I wonder what it must be like to share an office with him, or a public bathroom. I imagine that he goes home each day without incident, removes the coat, and calls out loudly, just to see if he is, in fact, making a sound.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Next Week

Next week is a big one. For example:

Or, you know:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Never Shoot Heroin with a Guy Named Bones, and Other Important Lessons

For the month and a half I worked as an advertising copywriter, I was discouraged from using the term “unqualified success” in press releases because my employers were convinced that people would think it sounded negative. I am convinced that they just didn’t know the definition.

For instance, Revenge of the Rant-O-Wheel on Tuesday night was an unqualified success. The show started almost on time (a first!), the room was packed, and all of the stories were hilarious.

The evening began with an important informational slideshow by Dr. Steven A. Manheart on the History of the Rant-O-Wheel, from its origins with the Native American tribes of California, the wheel’s rise and fall from grace in Belgium at the behest of Philip II of Spain, the rediscovery of the wheel by The Vampire of Sacramento, Richard Trenton Chase in 1976, all the way up to present day Philadelphia.

Plied with the promise of free Halloween temporary tattoos, audience members and ringers alike joined in the storytelling melee. Meg Favreau took first place with her tale of “The Red Hamper” which is a euphemism for a sexual act to which I, as a vegetarian, am personally opposed. In second place was our first audience volunteer, Larry from Worcester, with a story about Doug the Racist Dolphin’s demise. Tied for third place were Pat Kelly’s story – notable for a creative use of “Daryl Hall”, and Micah Bedrosian’s story about getting his first tattoo. The unsung hero of the night was PJI’s Alexis Simpson, Rant-O-Wheel professional, who makes it look so easy that it’s embarrassing for the rest of us.

After a minor drug freakout, a Canadian’s take on 9/11, and a few embarrassing celebrity mentions, Doctor Manheart and I performed the first-ever tag-team rant. Turns out, he’s my half-brother. It’ll go down in history as the best Rant-O-Wheel show until the next one.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009