Friday, January 28, 2011


So I did this thing where I turned 39 years old today, and it's just kind of weird because when I was 25 and throwing a brody over turning 25, it was borderline incomprehensible that I'd be 39 one day.  I mean, I grasped the concept of time passing and aging, but I was 25.  Thirty-nine seemed to be so far away.  And shit, I could barely manage turning 25, what the hell was I going to do when I turned 30?  Forty?!?!

Oh Christ, how I spent so much time fretting and hand-wringing over where I was at any given age.  These mysterious milestones and achievements I should have been racking up all passed me by.  Didn't get married, didn't even get into a relationship, didn't have a career to speak of, didn't have an agent, didn't sell a screenplay, didn't didn't didn't.  I built quite the little self-pitying industry based on all the things I figured I should have been doing, how I should have been looking, the life I should have been leading.  I can remember walking home from the el in the dead of winter, leaving work in the dark and trudging down sidewalks in the city that were NEVER shoveled (seriously, fucking shovel your sidewalks because I did not appreciate doing headers or doing the super-cautious weird walk thing to try and avoid doing a header), and glancing at windows in assorted condos and apartments, convinced that whomever was living inside that particular place HAD to be having a better time of things than me.  And I was sure the fix was so easy - be thin, be pretty, change jobs, cure the common cold, get super into particle physics.

To avoid making a long story longer, shit worked out.  I still don't have a career to speak of, but I was never built for having a career.  I'm fine just having a jobby job, being at the same place for 20 years.  I don't have an agent and haven't sold a screenplay, primarily because I lack the crazed ambition and drive to do such a thing.  I reckon I could crank out a nice screenplay that would make a pleasant movie, but yeah, that having a "drive" thing?  I don't have it.   Some days I wouldn't mind having that semi-drive and sort-of-ambition back, mainly because I would like to knit something other than a very long, very cushy scarf.

Shit worked out in that relationship department as well, which still takes me by surprise every now and then.  It's been a year and a few days since things changed, and it's resulted in me having random revelations about assorted items.  I hung so much of my lack of success in the romantical department on being fat and fuck, that really did not have much to do with it in my experience.  Me not going out and about and being social and owning my ass (and the size of it) and banking that every stinking thing in my life would change the second I got to a size whatever is what jacked me up.  Me not figuring out that being single was certainly NOT the most awful thing to ever happen to me is what caused my major malfunctions.  Me waiting for someone to come around and make me "me"...oh MAN the time wasted...and the god-fucking-awful poetry/song lyrics written. 

You know, it's dumb luck, dumb fucking luck that things happened how they happened between me and my beloved, terribly handsome, incredibly awesome partner in crime.  I took major risks, stepped out of my comfort zone, Oprah the Secret Deepak Chopra Eat Pray Go Fuck Yourself Touchy-Feely Horseshit cliches whatever.  And I did that shit while being fat and not wearing makeup and not sporting the super-stylin' threads and being absolutely 100 percent me.  No compromises.  No putting on shows, no playing dumb, none of that pathetic horseshit that women are told they MUST do in order to find themselves in a relationship - note that so many of those magazines and self-help books never quite tell you to aim for a relationship that, you know, doesn't suck, it's simply far better to be with someone (no matter how loathsome) than not. 

It crossed my mind that a song by the Cure that I'm terribly fond of is called "39", and I'd wager it was penned by Robert Smith in one of his many funks about being on the brink of 40.  The lyrics, as you can imagine, are terribly chipper:

So the fire is almost out and there's nothing left to burn
I've run right out of thoughts and I've run right out of words
As I used them up, I used them up...

Funny how it's only as I've found myself on that brink that I seem to have finally found some fire.  And ohhhhh, how it's blazing.

Well, isn't that just a wretched "let's all join hands and kumbaya and then marvel at how clever we are" kind of ending.  I kind of want to punch myself right now, but instead...I leave you with....

I...I've got nothing.  Shit.  Fucking blogging.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm playing hookey.

It's kind of shameful, really, that I'm taking a day off when, in about two weeks, I'm leaving the country/going to be out of office for two and a half weeks, but fuck it, it's almost my birthday, and having my mom be happy (for a few nanoseconds) because I'm willing to drive her around for errands in the sloppyish weather is worth any sort of side-eye I might get from my overlords. 

I always make a deal with myself when I play hookey - if I'm going to be a slug and not go into the office, I have to do something of worth with my day.  I took my mom out to the Sam's and the Jewels, so that was good.  I need to get the big-ass suitcase out of the crawlspace.  And, as ever, I should "write something".

"Something"!  *clown horn*

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Looking at the world from the bottom of a well.

I've been a funk these last few days.  I've been spending a bit of time doing some inward thinking (as opposed to inward singing /tenacious d) and wallowing a bit in said thoughts and concerns.  Not so much about me, per se, but about the world I inhabit and all the things I wish I could fix or make better and dispel some of the white-hot anger I feel about a litany of items.

It's insipid as hell, but I wish everyone could be happy.   

Well, I warned you it was insipid. 

Let me try and spin it a different way.  I've lived an interesting life thus far.  It has been complicated and difficult at times, but I've met so many interesting people and been to interesting places, seen amazing, hilarious, astounding things.  So little of that would have happened if I'd been afraid of or hated people that were gay or non-white or non-Midwesterners or the unreligious (or religious, for that matter).  I am in love with the world.  And I wish everyone could be in love with it and all its strangeness and differences and cultures and realize that so much of the terror that we're programmed to feel about things that are "different" is bunk.  It's fucking bunk.  The adventure that life is supposed to be is replaced with "I don't need to go any further than my backyard".   It's supposed to be fun, isn't it? 

I don't like yelling.  I never have.  I think growing up in fear of being yelled at by my dad has made raised voices one of those things that upsets me the most.  I hate feeling my stomach tighten and my ears burn and staring so hard at whatever's in front of my eyes so I don't cry and I don't draw the wrath of whoever happens to be yelling.  I'm not so insipid that I want a world where everyone holds hands and fuckin' sings "We Are the World" or whatever, because that would make me gag so hard I couldn't even tell you.  I don't even desire everyone to *like* each other.  But goddamn, I want the yelling to stop.  Stop for a while.  Just some blessed silence so my shredded soul can get a leg up on fixing itself a bit. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A major case of the Stop Its.

You know how you'll be reading something online or you'll be ensconced in conversation with someone, and they say something that just makes you internally clench your fists and mutter "stop it stop it stop it"?  I find myself clenching an awful lot.  I like to imagine myself as being terrifically laid back, and in certain ways, I am.  I'm oddly relaxed when semi-serious things are afoot, but then will find myself spinning off the map over small, inconsequential things.

Hence, this blog.  Hmmm.

Well, today I feel compelled to share some items that cause me to have a case of the Stop Its, and perhaps it will wind up being one for you to grow on.  Or clench YOUR fists and mutter "stop it stop it stop it".

*Stop it with the insty undermining yourself and your efforts in any given thing.  When you're paid a compliment, is your immediate reaction to list all the reasons why you shouldn't be paid said compliment, whether it's on your work, your appearance, or pretty much anything?  Do you fall over yourself to ascribe acclaim to others when you know goddamned well you're the reason why Thing X came to fruition or worked successfully?  Humility has its time and place, but no one on this crisp earth is required to be eyes-downcast-humble 100 percent of the time.  If you've worked your ass off on something, then by crumb claim that success and the work you've put in.  Stop having "well, you know, I got lucky and I suck at bocce and I have uncharitable thoughts occasionally about whiny children and I don't give enough to charity and my ass is huge" be your go-to yammer if someone says "I appreciate your help" or "That's a nice blouse" or "damn, you knocked it out of the park on the Bob Cumbers account". 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I hear the bells.

No, seriously, I hear the bells.  I live pretty much next door to a Catholic church and they like to play their bells.  It's not real-live old timey ding-dong bells, it's a computerized thingy that plays tunes.  So right now, it's...shit, I suddenly can't think of what damn song it is.  It's a Christmas carol, and part of the lyrics is something about "bringing Him laud", maybe? 

There's something wondrous about being able to type "bring him laud" into Google and having it spit back, "What Child is This" in .00002 seconds.

So, here it is, my new blog.  And when you type the word "blog" repeatedly, as I have in the last half-hour or so, good Christ it's an annoying word to read.  I may wind up renaming the blog (eerrggghh) before the day is out.  The Jane C. Nolan...Thing.  The Jane C. Nolan...Experience.  Meh, too overdone.  The Daily Jane...too cutesy, and the last thing I am is cutesy.  Maybe just The Jane C. Nolan.  If you choose to emphasize the "The" so it sounds like "Thee", it's like "KAPOW here she IS the one and ONLY".  Maybe I'll go with that, then. 

Which reminds me of my college days.  I went to Columbia College in Chicago, which is a fine arts college, as I had an eye toward making my living in an artistic fashion.  Twenty years later, I'm in the same office job I was at 19.  But that's neither here nor there, I went to fine arts college, and part of the acting track was to take voice classes.  One of the interesting tidbits that I will pass onto you as my welcoming gift is that if the word "The" is before a word that starts with a consonant, the proper pronunciation of "The" would be "Thuh".  However, if it's before a word that starts with a vowel, "The" should be pronounced "Thee".  So you're reading Thuh Jane C. Nolan, but if my first name was Amanda or Ione or Esther, you'd be reading Thee Esther C. Nolan.  And now I have one more thing that makes me grit my teeth when I hear people talk.

Oh, I should probably let you know how things are going to work around this joint.  I'm a moderating of comments kind of gal, so keep that in mind if you're going to take issue with something I say or are just saying "yay" or whatever.  The office job in which I have worked for the last 20 years has delightful internet filters that don't allow me to access anything remotely resembling fun, so moderating comments usually has to take place within The Jane C. Nolan Nerve Center (my bedroom) when I am not at my workplace.  If you're just looking to be a doucheweasel, I'll be the only one to view your doucheweaselity.  So keep that in mind before launching into a screed about how I'm a fat fatty fat fatter fat fatterson who's ugly and stupid and blah blee blee blee.  I mean, I am a fat fatty fatter fat fatterson, you're not wrong about that.  But that's not going to make me curl up into a ball and bemoan my fatty fatterson life, as you might discover at my now-closed Fat Acceptance blog, Casual Blasphemies.

I'm planning to talk about silly things and serious things and things that are important to me, and hope to do so in a semi-entertaining fashion.  Writers are supposed to write, and in the last 4-5 years, I haven't been doing much of it.  I'm going to give it a good old fine arts college try to change that this year.

Or, like I did often at fine arts college, I'll smoke cigarettes, go to the Surf for an omelet, and ditch out after three years because I got sick of writing papers.