In the summer of 1990, preliminary work began on a highly enjoyable project called The Watchface Fun
Book. This modest book of games, recipes, and party ideas was intended as an item to be sold at
Watchface’s first large-scale fundraiser since becoming an official nonprofit organization. By the end of
that summer, however, Watchface had decided to end its ongoing collaboration, causing the
cancellation of the planned event. Instead of abandoning the book project, they all agreed it should be
quickly completed for a new purpose, as a farewell gift from the group to its Board members,
collaborators, donors, friends, and fans. The pages of the book reflected on seven years of the group’s
shared traditions and inspirations, highlighting some of its most silly, most clever, and most humorous
moments. With the disbanding of the group, it also served as a sentimental and entertaining memento of
an era.

During the planning stages for the benefit, Maggie Siena volunteered to serve as editor for the book. She
solicited suggestions from the balance of the seven members and soon was receiving submissions in
various forms: written recipes, past invitations, original graphics, clippings and collages, and last minute
recollections conveyed over the telephone. Maggie then coordinated the selected recipes, party plots,
and gags with the most appropriate and fabulous illustrations. The eighty-plus pages were printed in
black and white, then compiled and bound together with a plastic spiral at the local copy store. James
Siena designed the front and the back covers and Chazz Dean did the same for the inside front, inside
back, and title pages. cover pages

More than anything, the book exposed the very tight social bond of mutual respect and great fondness
among the Watchface members, which had grown even stronger over their seven years of performing
together. In addition to their original friendships and familial ties, all the members of Watchface
developed close bonds through working together. James and Iris Rose married and had a child during the
seven years. Each member had also been the roommate of at least one other member at some point.

The parties section of the book contained many descriptions of actual Watchface celebrations,
re-phrased as advice to hosts and hostesses who want to keep their guests smiling. The classic “Oscar
Party,” for instance, gave the host many new takes on this old chestnut. Highlights from past Watchface
Oscar gatherings included the presentation of a Donny Osmond notebook to the evening’s winner of most
correct predictions, Melissa Manchester singing into a large pink microphone, the creation of “Chip
Salad,” and Sally Field’s immortal acceptance speech. “The Frozen Food Buffet” party instructions
included the essential recommendation to “NEVER throw this party in the summer.” “The Rabbit Cage
Party” contained the decorating advice of layering the floor with shredded paper and mutilated phone
books along with little hidden piles of Raisinettes along with this helpful note: “The theme can be adapted
to other pets. Adjust size of Raisinettes up to chocolate-covered almonds or Oh Henry! bars accordingly.”

Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, and Birthday Parties were all included. When Iris and James’ baby
shower was held, guests suggested baby names, which were read aloud. Girl’s names that received the
strongest responses were Heliotrope, Ivy, Maizoplata (beloved corn chip), and Foxmantha. The top boy’s
names were Bob Carol Ted Alice, Snake, Chino, Zeus, and Bruce. Birthday parties had a special section
and included “Eastern European Birthday Party,” “La Dolce,” “Princess of the Roof,” and “The No Talent
Talent Show Birthday Party.” All had been tested and a good time by all was guaranteed.
selected party pages

A standout from the games section would be hard to choose, since all were so much fun, but “Name the
Cheese” and “Five Pennies in the Bum” could be candidates. A particularly fun party game, especially
when cocktails were served, was “Celebrity Farts.” It began with one particularly talented fart
impressionist taking requests from the crowd and expanded to an audience participation version with
people taking turns doing, say, Orson Welles’ fart. In another version, one guest challenged another:
“Chazz, do Kitty Carlisle!” After completing his interpretation, Chazz then had the right to challenge.
selected game pages

One unique party game was created when Kurt Fulton and Kim X Knowlton moved into an unfinished loft
in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. Their housewarming party included a variation on the
fast-paced card game “Spoons,” a sort of musical chairs played with cards. That night, sponges in a big,
low bowl of water on the floor replaced the usual pile of spoons. In addition to being a little dangerous,
only a few rounds could be played before the cards got completely soaked and began to stick together.

The recipe pages included the Watchface classics “Broiled Bread,” “Trainwreck Cake,” and the perfect
blood recipe for performances, Halloween, or for spooning over a cake baked in the shape of a friend’s
head. The most enduring recipe has been the Watchface original “Chip Salad” – three or more bags of
different chips, tossed like a salad – simple, satisfying, and an easy contribution for guests going to a pot
luck. selected recipe pages

Some holidays inspired slightly less raucous modes of fun. The seven members of Watchface, plus their
loved ones, friends and family, crammed into small apartments for a roasted goose Thanksgiving dinner
or a homemade Easter art exhibit on the theme of resurrection. In the Christmas season, lists were
distributed prior to the holiday with the names of all the party attendees. Sometimes the participants
made lists of the gifts they wanted as a guide to the shoppers, sometimes it was a surprise, but always the
five dollar rule was in place: no single gift could cost more than five bucks. Another rule enforced was
that each gift was opened one at a time, taking turns around a big circle, giving everyone a chance to
see what the others had received, to “ooo’s” and “ahh’s” and smart aleck comments and giggles. It
often took hours and was the best torture ever. selected holiday pages

All seven members are still friends to this day. The frequency of visits and other communications vary
greatly among them, but the Fun Book is always at hand anytime a reminder is needed of some of their
best times together. bye bye photo