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As I go through life, I’ve noticed I acquire and lose certain filters. And I’m not talking about a coffee maker or a fish tank here. Think more metaphorical. The things happening in your life, be it your job or losing weight or a new hobby, really shape the way you look at the world.

For instance, when I worked at Kinko’s for a year, I got the “Compulsively Identify Fonts” filter. My job was to layout your resume, business cards, or stupid wedding program which inevitably featured “Trumpet Voluntary” or “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Frequently people would request that we recreate an item exactly. This meant you had to learn how to identify fonts.

Within a week of starting my job I couldn’t go anywhere without trying to identify fonts. I’d be driving down the highway and risk a collision because I couldn’t keep my eyes off a billboard trying to figure out what font it was using. I went and saw the musical Ragtime with my mom and spent at least 30 seconds focused on a banner they were using on stage, trying to determine if it used Bodini Poster or Britannic Bold. I couldn’t watch television without randomly yelling out font names and getting withering glares from my family. At the height of my obsession, I could tell the difference between Arial and Helvetica. Needless to say, I was happy when I left that job and stopped yelling out the names of dead font designers like a Tourette’s sufferer.

I temporarily had the “Roll Everything Up in a Ball” filter after playing way too much Katamari Damacy, a video game where you roll up lots of stuff in a ball. While driving, I’d have a slight urge to run my car into a fence to make my katamari even bigger! Thankfully for me and my insurance company, I resisted the urge.

Since I’ve started losing weight, I’ve acquired the “You’re Actually Going to Eat that Crap?” filter. At my extended family’s Christmas Eve dinner it got kicked into overdrive at the site of deep friend chicken and potato salad slathered in mayonnaise, which I seriously doubt was low-fat. This filter is kind of judgmental, but I can’t help it. I can’t look at a Papa John’s pizza the same way I did over a year ago. Before I would have thought “Yum!” and now I think “Yum! But damn that’s full of grease and will make me want to take a nap later.”

Unlike the font filter or the Katamari Damacy filter, I think this is a good filter to have. It keeps my eating in check. Of course, if I were to ignore it for too long it would probably fade away just like my other filters. It also makes me painfully aware of how poorly people in our society eat. And to think, I used to be one of them!

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Dawn • February 21, 2006 at 5:01 pm

I just stumbled across your blog and had to say that I love your writing. You are hilarious. I just added you to my “must reads.”

Now I’m thinking about all my “filters”

I’m working on knowing exactly how many points is in everything (weight watchers). I find myself guessing and then looking it up to see how close I am.

I can tell you what color is on a card (from my side stamping/scrapbooking business). My customers think it’s hilarious and love to test me.

I can pretty much play “name that font,” but I never expanded that to movie credits and signs. Sheesh… why do I have a feeling I’ll try now.

I can tell you how much a envelope weighs and how much postage it needs. (I’m a little off right now with the postage increase.)

I know what time all the mailboxes in the area get emptied…even if it’s different than what the schedule says.

Ok, I gotta stop cuz this could go on way to long…

Thanks for the laugh!


Amy • February 21, 2006 at 11:27 pm


I worked as a grocery store cashier for a while… years ago… you know how there are stickers with numbers on your fruit? Those are the numbers the cashier has to input so that s/he can tabulate how much your fruit/veggies will cost (whether it is decided by the pound or by quantity)

Aaaaaanyway… bananas… 4011. There was a time when I knew all of them, and I’m surprised how quickly they come back. I was in the grocery store the other day buying peaches, and the last number on the sticker was kind of mangled, and the guy couldn’t figure out what it was. They’re peeeeaches, so it’s an 8, and they end with an 8… duh!

So I’ve gotta know, what’s your favorite font? I’m a Garamond girl myself.


juliamazal • February 22, 2006 at 1:01 am

Great post!

I work at Starbucks, so I do literally have a “coffee filter”

The “roll everything in a ball” filter made me laugh out loud. I just saw that game for the first time last week – what a weird concept for a game – but compelling nonetheless.


randomfatgirl • February 22, 2006 at 9:11 am

Dang it, I’ve got to get me one of those food filters…


little miss ess • February 22, 2006 at 9:13 am

I worked at a gallery that also did custom framing for a few years. I can’t not look at a frame job if someone has something hanging on the wall. I’m all “oh my, look how they overcut that mat!”

I also used to be a heavy smoker. At one point, two packs a day. Now, when I see people smoking on the street, it makes my stomach turn for them.

I get the same way about food, too, if I see someone chowing down on something really fatty and greasy, or plowing through a gigantic plate of something when really a third of it would do.


JM • February 22, 2006 at 12:51 pm

I used to have a Tetris filter. Any object with vaguely rectangular edges — chairs, trucks, pieces of toast — got mentally rotated to fit into nearby space.

Now I’m just stuck in Grammar Cop mode, probably for the rest of my life.


Hilly • February 22, 2006 at 2:14 pm

First of all – OMG on the Katamari thing….DH played that last Christmas vacation and I wanted to KILL that song and music, hah.

But I sooooo do that to my husband and try to stop – like, “you actually are going to put Taco Bell into your body?”.

Yeah, I hear ya sistah.


jeannie • February 23, 2006 at 3:04 pm

a) CONGRATS on your loss so far. It’s so inspiring to see… so thanks for that

b) That was a really funny story about the font filters

c) I totally hear you on the food filter. I see food and I still think DELISH… but then I automatically try to calculate points (im a weight watchers girl) or something like that. But it is a good thing for us :)


Marla • February 24, 2006 at 10:34 am

I am so glad you have a font obsession! Can you tell me what is the font on Anonymous Fit Woman’s blog? I love it, it’s so readable.


(I suppose I could just ask her, but this way is more fun)


jus me... • February 24, 2006 at 2:00 pm

I love this post…Blueprint is one of my favs!

My hubby and I used to work in a plastics shop…OMG, can’t go in a restaurant where they have the little acylic things holding the daily specials without checking out the craftmanship and making sure they flamed the edges(made them shiny)

Then of course there is anything that has been thermal-formed (like the old vacuform toy-only much bigger) and injection molded products. My daughter gets in the act here…You would be suprised how much there is out there…we yell “splay” at the same time (a certain imperfection in the molded plastic)

Sure wish I could aquire the food one! I have it as far as what other people are eating, but it doesn’t stop me! maybe in time! My daughter and I had fun on vacation one year when we were both watching fat grams…we would all but gasp at what some people were eating.


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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

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