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The best wedding reception I never had a.k.a. my book release party

After running 13.1 miles in a half-marathon, I bet most people hobble home and collapse on the couch or a bathtub full of ice. I decided to hobble home and then hobble back downtown to PAR-TAY! It was somewhat difficult marching up the spiral staircase to the dining room at The Milano Inn where I was holding my book release party, but I made it to the top without tripping or without anyone looking up my skirt…I think.

I’ve never thrown a party before in my life. Even my childhood birthday parties were hosted by my mom, who bought the cake and ice cream and whisked my hair out of the candle flames before my head was set on fire. Since she’d proven herself so well in the past, I put her in charge of organizing this brouhaha. Thanks, Mom! There are a lot of questions that go into planning a party, like, where do we hold it? Do we serve food? How many people are going to come? Why am I so stressed out planning an event that is supposed to be fun? Little did I need to worry though, because I had a fantastic time, which is why combined with finishing a half-marathon earlier that day, I considered it to be one of the best days of my life.

My cousins Allison and Adrienne and my Aunt Elaine helped me and my mom set up the room. As people started to trickle in, I greeted them and started signing books. One of the cool things about having a book published is that you get to write in other people’s books and it’s not considered vandalism.

Signing books

To keep the guests entertained as people kept arriving, we introduced the “Lick the Produce” quiz. I printed out images of all the fruits and vegetables I’ve tried in the Lick the Produce series over the past year and made people fill out surveys guessing what they were. Nicole helped us out by doing a lovely Vanna White impression.

Nicole does her Vanna White impression

It wasn’t done just for fun though, it was done for free pasta! Since I’m the PastaQueen, I decided I needed to bestow my bounty upon the winner. Ari over at FiberGourmet donated a lovely gift basket that we gave away to Nancy, who got the most correct answers with 11 out of 28. (It was a hard quiz!) Here’s a picture of me and my mom (the PastaQueen Mother?) with the basket.

I am the PastaQueen!

As you’ll notice, I am holding a Spaghetti Scepter, lovingly handcrafted by my Aunt Donna from a pasta server, ribbon, sparkly jewels, and lots of hot glue. She surprised me by spending the night making them as party favors. Thanks, Donna!

Next up I read the “Trail Mix” chapter in my book in honor of Indianapolis since it takes place on our local nature trail. I tried not to talk to fast and to project my voice. I hadn’t read the chapter for a couple months, so as I was reading I was also scanning slightly ahead so I wouldn’t trip over the words. My heart stopped a little when I saw that the word “bastard” was coming up and glanced at my mom’s church friends in the corner of the room. Oh, well! If they were okay with a book titled Half-Assed hopefully they weren’t offended by my potty mouth.

I read from my book

After that I did a Q&A. At the end my mom just happened to ask what I would be doing this weekend and I made my big Today Show announcement. After that we ate and I got to talk to my friends and meet several of my readers. It’s so awesome to meet people in person and finally put faces to IP addresses. It’s odd, but I would probably recognize a lot of you more by your email addresses than your actual names. I was a little worried that I might be crashing somebody’s diet by serving spaghetti and meatballs and fettucini alfredo and lasagna, but Lord knows I needed the carbs after all the running around I’d done that day.

Amy and Nicole took a picture with my cover signs, pretending they were standing in my fat pants too. I stole a couple of their pics for this post and Allison sent me the rest. Thanks for the photos, guys!

In my pants

And then people started to trickle out and the party was over. My Aunt Elaine and cousin Allison posed me for several pictures, making it truly like the wedding reception I never had. Instead of stuffing cake into some guys face, I held up my Spaghetti Scepter next to my book sign. For several hours I was transported to a parallel dream world where I had no problems, everyone was happy for me, and there was lots of pasta. The happiness just glowed outwards and I had a great time, even though my feet were battered from running and started to hurt in my heels.

Then I went home and slept for nine bazillion years.

Thank you to everyone who attended! I hope you had a good time too. Special thanks to my mom, Donna, Elaine, Adrienne and Allison for all their work and planning. Thanks to my publisher for the signs and their other support. And kudos to our server Barb who cracked me up and truly earned her tips by walking up and down the stairs from the kitchen to our dining room.

Maybe we can do this again some time.

Spaghetti scepter and book

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victoria • May 9, 2008 at 12:19 pm

That sounds like a lovely, lovely day! Congratulations. I love how all your family and friends were there to support you.


Kyle • May 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I can’t believe you wore heels!!!

You look gorgeous, pink and brown are good colors on you. And you and the Pasta Mama have the same smile, awww :)

I so wish I could have been there, but never fear. Since you live in the midwest, your chances of escaping a meeting with me next time I’m in the U.S. are slim to none.


Manic Mommy • May 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Oh my gosh, you look great. Do you see how much you glow?!!?!

Do you look in the mirror every day and just think, “WOW, this is me?” You’re beautiful.


Jill • May 9, 2008 at 1:22 pm

yay for a fun day!! You look so happy and glowy and pretty – love that top btw!!!


Laura • May 9, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Aww, what a great party! I’m so happy it turned out well for you. (Of course, I’m still super bummed it didn’t work out for me to be there, but still super happy for you!) You do look adorable. What a cute outfit.

Good luck this weekend in NY. I’ve got my DVR set up to record you. Have a blast!!!!


hopefulloser • May 9, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Congratulations that sounded awesome! Good luck on the book and everything, you deserve it!

I can’t imagine running 13+ miles, man, I’m still aching over 3.


Rah • May 9, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Sounds like a wonderful party. And you look so happy, and just smashing! Congratulations on it all.


Sagan • May 9, 2008 at 3:03 pm

That’s so exciting! I will be on the search to find your book.

Great photos, too. Will you please post your segment of The Today Show here on your site? I want to see it!


Sayre • May 9, 2008 at 3:28 pm

That picture of you reading? Besides being just beautiful, you look like you might be blushing having scanned ahead and found the word “bastard”!


Lisa • May 9, 2008 at 4:38 pm

What a fitting day for the Pasta Queen! You are an inspiration to all. I am so excited as my autographed copy of your book arrived today and tonight I leave for vacation. I can’t wait to board the plane so I can read your book!


PastaQueen • May 9, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Heh, actually I think I was sunburned from the race.


Becca • May 9, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Thank you so much for letting me be part of your special day. I’ve never been so glad to live in Indianapolis as when I realized it meant I could actually come to the party. I had a wonderful time. Your mom is just as warm, supportive and precious in person as you write her to be in the blog and book. She is SO proud of you!! Your aunt and cousins are hilarious – I may have overstayed my welcome just because I was enjoying their company so much. Clearly a clever wit runs in the family.

I loved hearing you read a chapter – since I was reading along with you in my crisp new copy of the book, I was a little worried too when I saw “bastard” coming up. I was even more worried when I saw that you’d have to read the word “nipple” out loud. I still can’t say that word without giggling even though I’m 35 and should be a bit more mature.

I read my signed copy of your book that very night and it was just as luscious as the yummy pasta at the party. Alas – I gained back a pound, but it was well worth it. You don’t pass up lasagna, especially when you’re sitting next to a woman who goes by the name PastaQueen. And the bubbly brown cheesiness on top was too much for even the staunchest dieter to resist.

Back to the book – the chapter, “Too Small for My Britches” made me laugh out loud so much that my children asked me to read elsewhere because they couldn’t watch SpongeBob SquarePants through my noisy hilarity.

Twice I had to snatch my beautiful pasta scepter from my 3 year old son, who was obviously attracted by it’s shiny baubles. “That’s Mommy’s toy!!” I would state firmly. It is now in a safe place of honor high on a shelf by the book – which has the comfortable spine-crease all well loved books should have.

It was a delightful day, and I am honored to have been able to share it (and also, I must say, to have been able to see your baby pictures). It must be awkward to have so many people call you an inspiration – so I won’t say that. Instead, I’ll say you are a funny and welcome distraction ….a reminder to not take my weight loss journey too seriously – to laugh at myself and enjoy the ride.

Sorry for the really long comment! Thanks again – and have a great time in New York.


Andrew is getting fit • May 9, 2008 at 6:47 pm

You look so happy in those photos! Well done.


Annie • May 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm

I have just finished reading your book. Wow. You have inspired me to lose half my weight as well. Thank you.


Cindy • May 9, 2008 at 8:23 pm

Hi PQ,

I loved your book, as I mentioned when I finished it. One phrase that keeps rising to the surface is “I don’t get a do-over.” This is so simple, but so powerful an idea. So many of us keep waiting to live…if only I lose 50 pounds, I’d do____. Or when I lose the weight I can____. The idea that you don’t get a do-over is both sad and liberating. And mostly it is a wake-up call…a call to action. I’m 47, so for some things it really is too late (biology is only so elastic…), but there is much I can do if I choose life right now, no holds barred. Thanks for that little nugget. I am going to keep considering what it means to me…


Red • May 9, 2008 at 8:59 pm

You look GREAT! You are absolutely radiant in those pictures!

You’re going to have a blast in NYC! If you’re looking for good Vietnamese food near Times Square (but away from the moshpit of tourists), Saigon 48 on 48th Street is AWESOME. Just FYI :-)


MB • May 9, 2008 at 9:03 pm

Congratulations on the wedding a/k/a book release party. It looks like it was a huge success.

I’ve always loved living in N.E. until now – it is way too far away from Indianapolis.

I can’t believe you had the energy to party after running the 1/2 marathon. I guess it just proves how much energy you have now that you have shed 1/2 of yourself.


Denise • May 9, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Hope you have a wonderful weekend in New York City. I just figured out how to use our new DVR setup and was able to find the Today show and have it recording for Sunday. (I have to work otherwise I would watch it live).

Whats next??? Oprah!


anji • May 9, 2008 at 10:24 pm

I wished you were closer so I could have attended the party! I know almost all of us would have gone if we could have!

Looked like you had a lot of fun! I’ll see if we get that TV show up here in ol’ Canada. I might even wake up early to see it if we do :P



debby • May 9, 2008 at 10:50 pm

Congratulations on everything, Pastaqueen! I can hardly wait to see you on TV this weekend, so I can put a voice with your face and your writing. It is touching to see that your Mom and family helped you with your party, AND that you wanted them to help, rather than some impersonal party planner.


PastaQueen • May 9, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Yeah, and I’d also have to pay a party planner :)


Dreamer • May 10, 2008 at 3:41 am

That spaghetti scepter is magnificent! I like your blouse, too.


Marla • May 10, 2008 at 8:57 am

Congratulations on Marathon and Book! I’m so sorry I don’t have anything original to say about it, but I can at least repeat the standard phrases “Whoot!” and “You go girl!” Because you do.


Deborah • May 10, 2008 at 11:22 am

Wow, what a full day. And what wonderful accomplishments!! See ya on Sunday morning (even though you won’t see me).


Bella • May 10, 2008 at 7:39 pm

Your outfit is great, and I love the spaghetti scepter! Every well-equipped Pasta Queen has one, you know. :)


Karen • May 10, 2008 at 11:59 pm

omg LOVE the spaghetti scepter!

Congratulations on the half-marathon and the successful party! Very exciting times for you now.

Go enjoy your hard (and well)-earned success!


Ritamae39 • May 11, 2008 at 12:31 am

You look absolutely radiant in those pics. The pic of you and your mom is sooo cute. Your mom’s proudness (is that a word?) is almost palpable. Congratulations on the marathon and book signing.

Rita (Kyle’s mom)


Admirer • May 11, 2008 at 9:34 am

Jenntte, i know this sounds weird but i actually liked you more when you were tipping the scales at 370 + pounds. I loooved your ass and your cute belly. You were full of curves and i think most men admired that. I am always clicking on the 3D pics to see your huge curves bounce and wiggle. This is particulary true among your older pictures when you were a true BBW! Go JF!


Ben • May 11, 2008 at 10:34 am

I just saw the Today Show piece and had to congratulate you! Yes, you look beautiful, but more than that, you project a great peace. You probably never set out to be a great inspiration, but then the people who are the greatest inspirations never do. My sincere good wishes for your continued success.


Isabelle • May 11, 2008 at 10:43 am

Congratulations from me too. You look so happy, and well you might.


Mark • May 11, 2008 at 10:53 am

Congrats! Saw your segment on the Today show. I am happy for you. Losing weight is a struggle for most of us and you are an inspiration to many people.

We are inundated with food commercials ( and those awful drug commercials) and before you know it you want a darn pizza. It is tough in fast food land, but you have proven you can do it. If there is a will..there is a way.



ps. Looking forward to reading your book.


Catherine • May 11, 2008 at 11:03 am

Although I never post I am a huge fan of your blog and have been following it for months.

anyway I REALLY wanted to see you on the Today show and missed it…I was hoping maybe you or someone else could post the video on youtube or something. Thanks


cathy • May 11, 2008 at 11:21 am

I saw you on the Today show this morning. Awesome job! You plugged your blog, the marathon, and the book (even though you couldn’t say the name). Plus, you looked great! Can’t wait to get the book!


AG • May 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm

I am so EXCITED for you. You looking amazing and so happy. Just wanted you to know that you have inspired so many of us. Eat it up and drink it in… oh, and then run it off.

xoxox AG



dietgirl • May 11, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I just saw TV appearance online here – http://tinyurl.com/62m82w

FAB stuff PQ, you look and sound totally HOTT :)


Diana Clmeens • May 11, 2008 at 2:09 pm

Hi Jennette – I wrote you an email last week about sucking the honey out of the bear’s head. I got your book last night (Amazon.com) – and oh my gosh! I love it!!! You are a very talented writer and I can totally relate to you.

I posted a recommendation for your book on the Weight Watcher 200+ To Lose Message board (hopefully you’ll sell a few more books because of it :). Someone posted the link to the video of you on the Today show this weekend. You are beautiful! The camera loves you, very photogenic.

Thanks so much for everything…your blog and your book. You’re the best!



Destiny1 • May 11, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I saw you this morning on the Today Show, you are an inspiration to me. I been reading your post and at time I was in tears, and laughing my head off, you have a unique way of summing it all up. You are so real there is nothing fake about you. I needed this today to stay on South Beach for another day. One day at a time!!!


Merry • May 11, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Excellent interview, very nice job!

I think it’s probably more intriguing that you couldn’t say the name of the book on television. (Irritating, but intriguing.)


Verna • May 11, 2008 at 3:07 pm

Saw you on the Today Show and was amazed and so thrilled for you! What an inspiration!


bisous • May 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm

hi PQ – I just ordered your book from Amazon and await it with great anticipation! Congrats on all your success. You are an amazing person and deserve every second of it.



debra • May 11, 2008 at 9:20 pm


I saw you on the Today Show this morning. You are such a huge inspiration. I now have started a blog about my journey to get fit.

I love your site and will visit often!!


jae • May 12, 2008 at 1:28 am

I wish I could have been there, it sounds like quite the party! You and your mom look so happy and sweet! Finally a face to the name. ~j


jae • May 12, 2008 at 1:44 am

Thanks DG for the link! The old school tapes arn’t what they used to be.

PQ, you looked and did great! You’re awesome! ~j


Loth • May 12, 2008 at 8:55 am

Hi, I came over here from Dietgirl’s blog – I must be one of the last people on the planet to find you, but I’m glad I did. Having read a little bit of your blog (and I will be back to raid your archives!) I feel like I am a sort of low-wattage version of you! As I approached my 40th birthday I decided to do something about the fitness and the weight. I got into running exactly the same way you did (my running blog is still called “Embarassed on the corner treadmill”). I have lost about 50 pounds so far (plenty still to go) and just a couple of weeks ago I completed my first ever 10km race. I am, however, pretty certain I will never do a half marathon! I just wanted to say hi and thanks for writing as well as you do.


Paige • May 12, 2008 at 9:58 am

Oh, Congratulations! It sounds wonderful and you deserve it.


Elizabeth • May 12, 2008 at 10:12 am

Just watched the clip of your tv appearance! I am super impressed! You looked great… And, by the way, mad props on wearing shoes after the half marathon last weekend… I hobbled around in flip flops all day… too many blisters to wear actual shoes… I am impressed!


v'ron • May 12, 2008 at 11:00 am

I’ve been out of action lately, so now the book is out! Yay! Will you be on tour? If so, I’ll pick it up when you come to Harry Schwartz’ bookstore (the local store that’s likely to have you do an in-person). If not, what’s the best way to buy your book that will make your publisher happy? Amazon? Local bookseller?

I need to read this book and get back on track. I am so off track, and I need to remember that’s its a long haul, and it requires diligence, and self-forgiveness (both of which you blog reminds me of.).


CPA Mom • May 12, 2008 at 11:08 am

HI! I’m a new reader, just started a few months ago and now I’ve read your book. AWESOME – you, your book, your site, your life. Thank you for inspiring me and millions more.


Pam • May 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm

Saw you on the Today show Sat – I was so excited for you I feel like I know you !). Congrats on the book and all the goings on – you’re an inspiration.

(And your skin looked flawless on t.v.!)


Denise • May 12, 2008 at 12:52 pm

Wow, saw your interview (thanks to DVR) and now you are all over the internet!!! More than you already were. I pulled up msn.com and saw this caption “Women documents lifelong weight struggle” its under the video highlights section and I clicked on it and it took me right to the segment of the program featuring YOU!!! Way to go! You look great by the way.


Donna Martin • May 12, 2008 at 1:10 pm

Woo Hoo, Jennette!!!!! Great appearance on the Today Show! I am really enjoying tagging along for the ride on this! Congratulations on everything! “Onward!”


Aunt D.


Dyan • May 12, 2008 at 1:36 pm

I got my autographed copy on Friday and spent the entire weekend reading, laughing, crying, and talking to my husband about the book.

I would have paid the extra money….



PastaQueen • May 12, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Thanks! And good luck to you.


Barb • May 16, 2008 at 8:14 am

You hold your pen like my late twin (south paw)She would have loved your honest human blog! I bought two of your books today. I am proud of your weight loss,but,your personality is the tops, no matter your size! I begin today to loose half by ass. haha


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.

Man looking into telescope

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.

Lick the Produce: Odd things I've put in my mouth
Half-Marathon: Less fun than it looks
European Vacation

"What distinguishes us one from another is our dreams and what we do to make them come about." - Joseph Epstein

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