On today’s show, our guest is Courtenay Hameister, Portland-based author of the new book Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went From Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things, in conversation with Gigi Little, editor of City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales.
In Okay Fine Whatever, Courtenay chronicles the year she spent fighting back against her debilitating anxieties by doing things that scared her. Such things as booking a session with a professional cuddler, spending an afternoon in a sensory deprivation tank, getting high on pot in the middle of a work day, taking classes in fellatio and water aerobics (those were two separate classes, by the way), partaking of a sex club and its build-your-own-burrito bar, and going on a series of first dates. Lots and lots of first dates.
Courtenay was the host, head writer, and co-producer for Live Wire, a nationally-syndicated public radio variety show based in Portland. And her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, Portland Monthly, Oregon Humanities Magazine, the web series The Benefits of Gusbandry, and APM’s Marketplace.
In addition to editing City of Weird, Gigi has published essays and short fiction in anthologies and literary magazines, including Portland Noir, Spent, and The Pacific Northwest Reader. She works as a marketing coordinator at Powell’s Books, and also as the graphic designer for Portland publisher Forest Avenue Press.
Join Courtenay and Gigi, as they talk about Courtenay’s new book, writing, radio, humor, bravery, romance, and high anxiety.
Note: The first audio file below is the longer version of Courtenay and Gigi's conversation, and runs about 1 hr 14 min. You could call it the Director's Cut, if there were a director. The second audio file is the broadcast version, butchered, uh edited to fit the 1/2 hour timeslot and FCC regulations. I highly recommend the longer version :)
Author photo courtesy of Michael McCrary