Jane Devin

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Seven Weird or Random Facts

May 1st, 2008 · 14 Comments

The very talented Danny Miller was tagged for one of those meme things that are spread around blogs like a minor plague for the writing-weary. The purpose of a meme seems to be to give writers something to write about when other wells are dry, and they’re not usually very inspiring, but Danny did a great job with it, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

My wells aren’t dry, but way too full. Unfortunately they’re full of stuff I shouldn’t, wouldn’t, or can’t blog about yet. The revolution continues, but it’s not at first-report stage. Then my friend D. told me I needed to lighten things up. Actually, she said “one more sad story and I’m going to kick you.” D. wears some killer shoes. I will not taunt her. Then Blogger Kris pointed out that we’re almost always the heroes in our own stories, which got me thinking about all the stuff I’m not terribly proud of or heroic about.

So I’m abandoning the sad stories, throwing off anything that might resemble a cape, and posting “seven weird or random facts” about the writer of this blog. (It’s not my Sunday post, just filler because I’m off today and waiting, endlessly, for a delivery to show up).

1. I have an odd sense of schaudenfrade. For example, twenty some-odd years ago, I had a roommate named Rebecca who was exceptionally beautiful. I don’t mean mid-range beautiful, either, but stunningly, freakishly, almost painfully beautiful, like some fantastical Aphrodite.

From her shiny waist-length hair to her perfectly proportioned size 6 feet, Rebecca was – there’s no other way to say it – perfect. She even had those two gorgeous dimples on her lower back which, I don’t know, just set her beauty on overkill. It was as if the goddesses who created her ran out of perfect attributes to hand out, and then brain-stormed just one MORE thing that totally sealed Rebecca’s inclusion in their camp.

It’s not like I wasn’t cute back then. I kinda was, in a really sensible, Sears outdoor catalog kind of way. I would have been the girl selling the mulch or the thigh-high waders. Rebecca, on the other hand, was pure Chanel.

I wasn’t jealous, but I was awed – who wouldn’t be? – and despite being known as somewhat loud and outspoken then, I was always a bit tongue-tied around her. The best conversation starters, the ones that might have garnered a beautiful smile, or maybe even a conspiratorial giggle, and possibly made me feel a little less Opie-like and bumbling, wouldn’t occur to me until hours after the opportunity passed.

Rebecca had no inhibitions. She walked around the house in nothing but underwear, left the bedroom door open when she was making love to her (much older, not attractive, but apparently good in bed) boyfriend, and let the steam from the shower fill the hallway. She just wasn’t into closed doors.

One afternoon, Rebecca decided to take a bath. I just happened to be walking down the hallway (slowly, with my eyes peeled to the right because c’mon, like you wouldn’t?) when she was stepping into the tub. It was then that I saw a totally shocking sight. Visual evidence that there was something flawed and human left in Aphrodite’s genetic line.

My beautiful Rebecca had a hairy ass.

A perfectly shaped, but really hairy minotaur’s ass. Proof that the goddesses had a sense of humor.

For some reason, I liked Rebecca even more after seeing her back end. My tongue untied itself and I found myself much more comfortable around her – but still in awe because, really, it takes some confidence to rock the world like she did, knowing your ass is sprouting its own Chia pet.

2. I have a dread fear of cameras, but love photography. Cameras stop me cold. I hate them. They are, for me, what spiders are to other people. I feel bitten when the flash goes off. Until recently, I have never owned a camera. My daughter, who is into all things Nikon and digital, wanted to share part of her world with me. I love my daughter, so I’ve been trying. I have even ordered a digital camcorder so I can track my revolution this year. It still feels invasive to me though, even if I’m behind the lens, even if I have permission. I feel like I should apologize a thousand times over for making someone suffer the ordeal of being photographed, but not everyone (surprisingly) shares my phobia. Some people LIKE their pictures taken, and they do a beautiful job on either side of the camera, and I love – really love – the art that some women make of photography. My friend Linda Woods, for instance, whose creed is “You Are Art”, takes some wonderful pictures. Susan Powter creates beautiful portraits out of photos, and Rosie O. often integrates hers into wild and colorful canvasses. I am nowhere near the art stage of photography. I am at the wincing stage. Here’s to growth.

3. I have a degree in Sports and Deep Tissue massage therapy. I also give one hell of a relaxation massage. I owned my own business for a time, but found out I really didn’t want to be a massage therapist for a living. There were too many odd people that came into the health club, including one guy who would hump the table whenever I got near his gluts, and then swear to God he’d never do it again, only to do it again, even though I was only near his calves – and the guy who wanted me to do his feet for the full hour while he moaned and writhed and bit my massage table – and the woman who wanted a full body massage, but only if she didn’t have to take off her heavy sweat suit. In addition to those bits of weirdness, I learned that to make a decent amount of money, I had to be available from early morning to late night, which left not nearly enough hours for the really important stuff like, you know, finding out if your beautiful roommate has hair on her ass.

4. I have almost no typical ambitions. Yes, I would like to retire (yesterday, or even now) to that cabin on the lake, but outside of that I’ve never yearned for the same things my friends do. I have never wanted a particularly fancy car, or a big house, or designer clothes. I have never wanted to settle down with one person for the rest of my life. I’ve never wanted to waste spend a Sunday playing golf.

I don’t care what I do for a living, as long as I’m good at it, it doesn’t eat up all my free time, and it pays the bills. I was just as content managing the advertising for Caesars Tahoe, or developing promotions for Clear Channel radio stations, as I was when cooking for the Harley crowd or delivering mail. Being a mom and writing are the only tasks that ever felt like a “calling”, but the pay is terrible for both, and writing is a very incestuous, networking field. I’m not big on the whole networking thing, probably because I’m not very good at casual socializing or sucking up to people I don’t like, even if they do hold the keys to some literary queendom. Oh, and I also don’t like public readings, Q&A’s, panel discussions, or self-promotion in general, but this is the nouveau literary world, where writers not only have to write, but polish up their smiles and hawk their own wares. You can’t be a hermit author like JD Salinger anymore – unless you’ve already been a JD Salinger and can afford to tell your agent and publisher to do their own damn work.

5. I think my writing will hit its stride a few decades after my death. Which works out perfectly for me, because not only can I remain a hermit now, I will not have to face any cameras and all the friends that try to find themselves in my fictional work, even when they’re not there, will be long in their own graves, unable to call and tell me how they’re really not like that, or that’s not exactly how this or that happened, and why would I say so & so had a beakish nose when I know how sensitive they are about that subject?

6. I’ve never felt at “home”. I can imagine what it feels like to walk into a space and know you are home, but I have never personally felt like that. I always feel transient and temporary in a space, like I’m just visiting, even if I live someplace for the long haul which, for me, is about three years. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve moved so much in life – more than 40 times in six states and two countries since childhood – but I always feel like a rootless floater.

7. I am a lousy housekeeper, but I love a clean house and really can’t tolerate a dirty one. It’s not that I can’t clean, or that I don’t know how, it’s just that I find it so boring. And repetitive. It’s like chasing after something that will just break free again. For that reason alone, I live a very sparse life. No knick-knacks or collections of anything that will gather dust. No excess clothes. No 90-piece dish sets or excess gadgets. This, I think, really helps out the housekeeper. That’s right. I am poor as a freaking monk, but I pay someone to clean up after me. I am working class enough to feel somewhat guilty about it, and actually pre-clean before she gets here so she doesn’t think I’m the biggest slob in the world, but I don’t feel bad enough to stop. It’s my one extravagance outside of coffee. I love a clean house and good coffee.

More Random Stuff Because the Delivery Has Not Arrived, Two Hours and Twelve Minutes Past the Time it was Supposed To: A) I thought Marina (Katrina Lombard) was the hottest woman on the L-Word, but the pairing with Jenny (Mia Kirshner) was just tawdry and unbelievable. It was like watching a younger and more exotic Sophia Loren make out with a tiny Holly Hobby doll. A total waste of naked time in front of the camera. B) I cannot stand Dr. Phil McGraw. He makes my stomach turn. I’d like to send him, Dr. Laura, and a few other obnoxious faux celebrities to a rehab bootcamp for pompous hypocrites. C) I get snarky while having to wait hours for things. I am not good at waiting, especially when the beautiful day outside is waning into clouds.

Tags: Other Writings

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 linda woods // May 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    While you are waiting for the delivery you should take pictures. It’s fun. HAVE NO FEAR! The camera can’t hurt you and if you hate the pictures you can delete them. Unlike a spider, there is no blood or poisonous venom in a camera. Just a bunch of pieces of stuff that capture moments of your life. Just the moments you want. You control the camera, it doesn’t control you.
    The real issue here isn’t your fear of cameras. The issue is that your daughter loves Nikon. She should love Canon. :)

  • 2 linda woods // May 1, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    PS: Yes, YOU ARE ART.

  • 3 Barbara // May 1, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    You had me almost in tears I was laughing so hard, Jane. It will be a long time before I get the beautiful girl with the Chai pet backside out of my head.

    Maybe the fates put you in as many places as you’ve been so you could tell all these stories. ;-) Please keep telling them, sad or funny or whatever else, and I promise I won’t think any of your fictional characters are based on me.

  • 4 freida // May 1, 2008 at 9:34 pm

    Dear Jane,
    It’s only Thursday! This was a nice ‘bonus’ to read you earlier this week. I’ll still look forward to what you write on Sunday.

    By the way, I don’t like camera’s either. I don’t like being in front of them, or behind them, LOL. It’s really difficult using them with bifocals.

    My daughter loves them too, and she’s taking digital photography next year for fun. It’s the only ‘fun’ course I saw on her schedule, with Trig and Calc, and all honor courses, and interning for Dentistry.

    My daughter has a good eye for what looks good, and she wants to be a Pediatric Orthodontist, and give children beautiful smiles.

    She may change her mind, once she sees all the gore, and hears all that screaming.

  • 5 Doris Rose MacBean // May 2, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Loved this post, you are indeed a gifted story teller. I could identify with many of your observations especially #4. Chia pet…nyuk, nyuk.

  • 6 Danny // May 2, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Damn, that was FASCINATING, I’m glad my ramblings inspired you.

    Mental note: Start reading your blog more obsessively…

    Thanks for stopping by, Danny! Such an honor! - Jane

  • 7 Ann Parker // May 2, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Jane, do you think she knew it? About the Chia I mean?

  • 8 Jane Devin // May 2, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    I’d think she had to have known, Ann, especially since she had several full length mirrors, but this was a long time ago, and I’m sure somewhere along the way, when it became popular, she probably went in for a waxing.

  • 9 dee // May 4, 2008 at 3:45 am

    Aloha Jane;

    In regards to your writing hitting its stride after you are gone… I disagree and I surely hope not. I think by writing here you have opened a door into your work that some (like me) would have never found. I think you will continue to touch others and it will spread… now as far as being in front of the camera… well we still have some time to think of ways around that…

    Aloha, Dee! I thought of you the other day when my daughter was showing me all the island brochures. What a beautiful place you live in! - Jane

  • 10 kris_D // May 5, 2008 at 12:00 am

    bon chat bon rat….
    7 random facts about moi…only highly abridged cause i’m f-in tired.

    1. my eyes are mostly green but my right eye has a ¼ pie wedge of brown.

    2.I spent 10 days on a houseboat with Bill Murray and have in my possession a picture of him and his then girlfriend-now wife completely nude covered in mud from head to toe. You will never see it.

    3. One half inch of my left index finger is missing….childhood accident….but I tell people fictional accounts of how it happened that range from a boating accident to various kitchen appliances because the truth is kinda boring.

    4. I can juggle

    5. I can also ride a unicycle

    6. I sent Betty Degeneres her first fan letter, but was too bashful to sign it so I signed it from my girlfriend’s band. then she published it in her book and i wished to hell i had signed it.

    7. i had to look up the word schaudenfrade.

    viva la resistance!!!

  • 11 Jane Devin // May 5, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Darnit, Kris! I like yours way better than mine! LOL.

  • 12 Suzy // May 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    OMG, not only are you an amazing writer but a comedienne as well! I love it! I really enjoyed your vlog too.

  • 13 Jane Devin // May 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks, Suzy!

  • 14 Jan.M.M. // May 6, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Not feeling at home- is the way I feel most of the time. I think mine is also from not being at home in my own head or body- guess that is dissociate personality. Have moved 25 times after age 11. I feel free when I am on the highway w/ the moving truck- ready for a new place & different adventures. 7 years is my limit of tolerance for 1 residence- about the same time my personality shifts- w/ serious change. My kids are critical of this unusual condition- but I cannot deny the force within. Glad to hear of another voyager.

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