I am not the Jennette you are looking for

It started with this tweet:

He likes me!

It’s not impossible that a stranger would tweet that they like me. Hell, a stranger once tweeted that they hated me. But my blog and book audience skews female, and it seemed unlikely that someone who appears to be a young, average-weight, male was a die-hard fan of Half-Assed. Upon closer inspection I realized he was actually spreading the word that @TooDopeAlexis likes me, but his profile presents him as a young male too, as well as a two-time TreeGameChamp (whatever the hell that is) who was surprisingly diligent in using the proper trademark symbol when setting his name to Spider-Man™. So again, not my typical fan. The whole thing reminded me of grade school when boys would make fun of each other by teasing that they liked the dorkiest girl on the playground-usually me!

Not typical fan

Then there was this:

Anything for a follow

While it’s flattering to think that GabbiXxx is just, OMG, *gasp*, dying for me to follow her, pleez, pleez, pleez, I started to think something was up. After I got a third tweet that has since been deleted, I checked that user’s timeline and discovered they’d also sent a tweet to @jennettemccurdy. Puzzle solved. I had been confused with Jennette McCurdy, a blond, 20-something, Disney tween queen. This happens at the grocery store too. ALL. THE. TIME.

Not me

The real culprit here? Autocorrect, the prankster of the Internet, the Loki of the keyboard, the single best source of LOLs since I had a fourth grade teacher named Mrs. Horney. (This really happened. I don’t joke about LOLs.) Evidently if you use the official Twitter app for your mobile phone and start typing an @ reply, autocorrect tries to guess who you want to tweet. As you can see below, Jennette McCurdy and I are the top two choices because not many people spell “Jennette” the way we do. I’m not sure if I’m always the top choice, or if I’m just the top choice on my phone because it knows I’m logged in. I don’t know why my phone would think I want to tweet myself. I’m not that lonely, I swear.

Damn you, autocorrect!

Jennette McCurdy has 3,000,000+ followers and 3 of them have incorrectly tweeted me, so that means one in a million of them don’t know how to use autocorrect. I suppose this is bound to happen again in the future. Not much I can do about it, other than change my Twitter name, which is not happening. All I can hope is that she never has an epic Amanda Bynes breakdown. God knows what kind of tweets I’d get then.

Not the way I wanted to jump-start the weekend

Car Trouble

I stopped at Harris Teeter on my way to pick up my mom from the airport because I am a good daughter and I needed to be sure we had some Maxwell House Orange Cafe mix in the house before her visit. However, when I stopped at Harris Teeter I didn’t realize I’d really be stopping at Harris Teeter because when I tried to leave my car wouldn’t start.

My car battery has died four times in my life, and two of these times have been when I was picking up someone from the airport. (I think my car is afraid of flying.) The car had taken longer to start than normal when I left for the grocery store, which was enough to make me think, “Geez, I hope the battery isn’t dying! Ha, ha!”

This is what we call foreshadowing.

However, I was unaware that I was in a blog entry and drove off instead because I had places to be, damn it. I still had places to be, and I needed to be at the airport in half an hour. Thankfully I had my cell phone with me, so I called AAA, but was told it could be 45 minutes to an hour before a truck arrived. I called my mom’s cell phone next to let her know I would be late. Unfortunately, my mother hardly ever uses her cell phone and evidently hadn’t set up her voicemail because the service wouldn’t let me leave a message. So, not only would I be late to pick her up, she might think I’d forgotten her, or worse, been in a horrible car wreck on the way to the airport.

Needless to say, I was kind of stressed out.

When I get stressed, my face turns bright red. It’s annoying and embarrassing and completely unavoidable. It also makes people silently freak out when I talk to them, their eyes slowly growing wider and wider, because they think they’ll be calling 911 in a few minutes when I inevitably keel over. Despite this, I went inside and asked the manager if anyone from the store would be able to give me a jump start. Unfortunately, he was the only manger on duty and couldn’t leave his post. When I let him know AAA told me it could be an hour, he told me he’d seen them arrive 5 or 10 minutes after a customer called. “Under promise. Over deliver,” he said. And it was with that succinct corporate-speak that I knew he was, indeed, a manager.

So I bought an overpriced bottle of water and went out to wait by my car. I also started socially profiling other customers to determine who would most likely be able to jump-start my car. The surprise? I am totally sexist! A middle-aged woman put away her groceries in the Volkswagen next to me and I didn’t say a peep to her. Another woman got into a sedan two spots down and I let her go without a word. Then a blue van pulled into the spot next to me and a guy about my age stepped out. It was at this moment that I got out of my car and asked, “Do you know how to jump-start a car?” So yes, when I am a damsel in distress I quickly revert to asking a man for help. I am not proud of this. The best part though? He totally knew how to jump-start a car! He used to work on cars! In conclusion, social profiling is morally wrong from a theoretical standpoint, but worked excellently in execution. Granted, maybe those ladies could have helped me too. I’ll never know.

My impromptu mechanic’s name was Kent, but it seemed more like Clark Kent because he was my Superman. We used the jumper cables my mom makes me keep in the trunk (thanks, Mom!) and jump-started that car in a jiffy without setting anything on fire or electrocuting ourselves! I thanked him with a hug, although a hug from a sweaty, red-faced girl was probably not the best reward. If I had to do it again, I would have waited for him to leave and then slipped a $5 bill hidden in a napkin under his windshield wipers. But my mind was too frazzled at that moment to think of that, so I cancelled the AAA service and drove off to the airport instead.

The weirdest thing? My arrival to the airport was so perfectly timed that I could never have managed it that way if I’d tried. My mom is old school and prefers that I park at the airport and walk into the terminal to meet her, but there was no way I was turning off that engine until I got home. I had just pulled into the arrivals area when my mom called and I explained our revised plans to her using several exclamation points. “My battery died! But I got a jump-start! I’m not stopping this car! Meet me outside!” She stepped on the escalator and met me outside within a minute.

So, all in all it went really well. The parking lot of a Harris Teeter is a pretty safe place to have a dead car battery. It sure beats having a dead battery in the short-term parking garage at the airport. The only other thing I’d do if this happened again would be to open my hood while I was waiting instead of just sitting in the car with the hood closed. I think opening the hood would have been like stringing up a banner that said, “HELP ME, PLEASE!!”

I learned three things from this experience:

1) It’s amazing how quickly you can become helpless
I think of myself as fairly independent. I work for myself, pay my own bills, and generally know how to handle things myself even if they don’t go my way. But once my battery died I literally became a damsel in distress. (A 32-year-old still qualifies as a damsel, right?) I really, really, really hate having to ask for help. Yes, I was able to handle the situation, but I was completely dependent on other people to solve the problem. I also take it for granted that I can travel where I want to when I want to 99% of the times, so that 1% of the time when I can’t is fairly disturbing, but makes me grateful for the other 99%.

2) I need to take better care of my car
My car battery was almost 5 years old, which is the age at which you should get it tested to see if it should be replaced. I’ve kept all my receipts over the years, so if I’d paid better attention I probably could have prevented this. I tend to rely on my mechanic to tell me when I need certain things checked, but I’ve only been using my local mechanic for two and a half years, so they don’t have records going back far enough to remind me about the battery. As a result, I’ve made a big spreadsheet of all the work I’ve had done on my car since I’ve owned it, which I can now refer to in the future.

3) I am more prejudiced than I would have previously thought
I do feel bad that I didn’t ask the women parked next to me for help. I dislike sexism, yet in this situation I was the sexist one. I even found myself wishing I looked more like a swimsuit model since I figured the hotter a woman is the more likely a man is to come to her aid. These are not thoughts that I enjoy having, yet they were the first ones that jumped to mind. I’m going to have to do some work in this area to overcome the prejudices I didn’t know I had.

I’ve got a new car battery now, and if I still own the same car in 5 years I will be sure to get the charge checked before I head to any airports!

Saving the world before bedtime…in the parking lot

I ran into some superheroes in the parking lot this week.

Powerpuff Girls car

Powerpuff Girls car

Yes, it’s Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, better known as the Powerpuff Girls! Painted on a car! AWESOME!

Part of me would like to own a car with something cool painted on the trunk, but another part of me is concerned about resale value. I also don’t think I’d like the attention that is bound to come with a car this distinctive. I like to blend into the crowd and not draw attention to myself. All the better for me to observe you and write about you in my blog later.

Anyway, cool car! I will be back with more entries soon, including a book review that I was supposed to publish last month but didn’t because I have evidently become an unreliable person who does not keep her word. I really hate being that person. Trying to do better. I swear. We can’t all be the Powerpuff Girls.

Spring is in the air and on my car and on the sidewalk

It’s not officially spring in North Carolina until I walk out to the parking lot and discover my car is now yellow instead of red. Early spring is the time of year around here when every object within a wind’s breath of a tree gets covered in a thin film of yellow pollen. It’s so thick that my neighbors actually left footprints in the pollen outside my door.

Footsteps in the pollen

I’m sure there is a plot to CSI hidden in here somewhere in which the villain is apprehended because they match his bootprints to those left in this allergenic dusting. I think this pollen problem if fairly universal in the triangle area. I’ve run into it at my current place, my old place, and at my brother’s old place in Durham. It’s annoying, but at least it washes off fairly easily. I will take a week or two of pollen of a month or two of snow any day.

Headache on the Hill 2013 a.k.a. The Capitol Hill 5K

I am in Washington DC once again for Headache on the Hill, an annual lobbying event organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy, an event that I am renaming The Capitol Hill 5K. Why? Because I am scheduled to take seven meetings with my state representatives and senators today. SEVEN!! Last year I only had four. I clicked over to ye old Gmap Pedometer to map the route I’ll be taking from the subway to all my meetings and back, and it’s about five kilometers long. I’ll probably walk even further than that as I trek through winding corridors and get lost looking for the cafeteria, assuming I even have time for lunch. My only comfort is knowing that each Congressional office for North Carolina is packed with peanuts.

North Carolina Peanuts

If I grab one bag at each office I might be able to fend off low blood sugar and prevent myself from collapsing, though that would be a rather dramatic and memorable way to end a meeting.

Why am I going to seven meetings? Well, out of the 83 attendees, six of us are from North Carolina, and we’re grouped together. We come from five different congressional districts, so we’re seeing five Congressman. We’re also seeing the two senators for our state. 5 + 2 = 7 = Congressional cardio. Most of the meetings are spaced 45 minutes apart, and no two consecutive meetings are in the same building. Sooooo, wish me luck! I’m keeping deodorant in my purse in case things get stinky. It’s supposed to get up to 82 degrees today.

If you’re curious to know more about Headache on the Hill, you can read this entry about the 2012 event in general and this entry about my experiences that day. Basically we’ll be asking our representatives to do 2-4 different things that will make more funds available for headache research and make it easier for people with severe headaches to be considered for disability. My experience last year has made me more confident this time around, but it did not lead me to believe I needed to start cross-training weeks ago. And I only brought five copies of my headache memoir, Chocolate & Vicodin to drop off at offices, so if they got one last year they’re probably not getting another one unless they visit amazon.com.

The last time I had this kind of challenge getting from place to place in time was in high school when I had to go from 5th period band class to Mrs. Schuetter’s 6th period math class. The band room was located in a building annex a block away from the high school. It was so far away there with an entire middle school in between the two buildings. Mrs. Schuetter’s classroom was located on the top floor in the corner farthest away from the band room. Added to that, we didn’t always hear the bell ring to switch classes when we were playing, so I didn’t always get the full 7 minutes to get to class. Needless to say, I was late several times, no matter how fast I ran, and Mrs. Scheutter was a real stickler for the rules, so she’d make me get a note from my band teacher the next day or I’d get a tardy.

So there you go, Congress is just like high school! Here in DC I won’t get a tardy, but I’d rather not miss a meeting. It was almost a five hour drive up here, and I only had 30 minutes to crash before I had a four-hour training session, so I’d like to make all this exhaustion worth it. I was so tired I actually ordered room service for the first time in my life, even though it goes against every cell in my spendthrift heart. The AHDA has been kind enough to cover the hotel costs, so I figured I could cough up some cash for a ridiculously overpriced chicken sandwich. The menu obfuscates the price with an equally ridiculous word problem that involves adding a 18% gratuity and $2 delivery charge. So I had to break out my calculator and use the mad math skillz Ms. Scheutter taught me to determine this chicken sandwich cost over $15.

Room Service

For $15 I think those salt and pepper shakers should have done a dance routine before I chowed down. I wouldn’t have objected to the ketchup bottle doing a drum routine with its lid either. Alas, my silverware remained inanimate, though the same will not be said about me today.

Keep reading: 

Want second helpings? Devour more entries in the archives.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, chronic headache sufferer, (former?) weight-loss inspiration, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She was formerly known as PastaQueen. You can contact her if you promise to be nice.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

My latest tweets

My latest tweets

Twitter: jennettefulda

  • New blog post: I still have trouble introducing myself as a writer http://t.co/xcXfB2HlCw
  • The sound of a kitty snoring is the most adorable thing ever.
  • When I see that ad that claims we only use 10% of the brain, I want to stab its writer in the skull to prove him wrong. It's a myth, people!


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