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<editorsnote> Hi, I'm Jen Friel, and we here at TNTML examine the lives of nerds outside of the basements and into the social media, and dating world.  We have over 75 peeps that write about their life in real time. (Real nerds, real time, real deal.) Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the stories!! </editorsnote>

 

 

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Wednesday
May242017

#NerdsUnite: We're back ... (oh & I turned down an orgy, threesome, and wound up on a "non-date" featuring knife throwing)

Wow. First and foremost, hi. It's been a while, and I guess you can say we are on trend of "everything old being new again" ... 

<tangent> Speaking of old, when I started Talk Nerdy, I literally had $10 to my name for an entire year as I bartered social media to live. Having $10 to your name means I couldn't afford hosting for this website. Instead of freaking out about it, I reached out to Squarespace, told them what I was doing, and they offered lifetime hosting. Seven years later, they clearly no longer offer that package as it bleeds to a 404, and won't let me upgrade the site without a full reboot (which may or may not happen). I kinda like how horribly designed this is now. Proof is in the pudding that things don't have to be perfect to still have an impact. 

 

</tangent> 

As you guys may or may not know, we were bought back in 2015 by CBS (after a four way bidding war with NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX). Pretty exciting, but as with everything else in this story - SO much more involved than I ever could have imagined. 

I'll update everything in its own post, but for now, let's get caught up on the last couple of weeks. 

Here's the song that goes with the post (they played this in my spin class on Saturday and it's so hauntingly beautiful) ... 

I didn't realize it at the time, but "walking away" from Talk Nerdy in 2013 was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It didn't mean it was easy, but five years ago, I hit what I deemed "professional success" and nothing felt the way that I thought it would. Instead of throwing a pity party for myself, I decided to do something about it. Did I think for a second it would lead me to an island on the other side of the country? No. That's what's great about life, you never know what's next. I was CONVINCED I was finally going to get married and have babies (I moved there for a guy), not once but TWICE. While both relationships are something I hold very dear to my heart, I knew I wasn't professionally fulfilled. I needed more, and as much as I loved the island, I was ready to head back to dry land. 

<tangent> I love how people in LA think btw. I can't begin to tell you how many guys I've been out on dates with have asked, "Oh - an island. You mean being isolated within your own state of mind?" 

No, I've said. I mean literally an island in the state of Florida. 

</tangent> 

After living in LA for just shy of 10 years, I didn't think anything about coming back (after ghosting for 2.5 years). I assumed I would go back to my old "Talk Nerdy" lifestyle, and I couldn't have been more wrong. After unlocking the "intimacy" achievement, I was unable (or unwilling) to move anywhere but up. 

The first 18 months back were a product of said "uppage." I don't know how to describe it other than the feeling of going through an "emotional puberty." I started seeing in real time my own motives behind conversations, relationships, and the reality of how insignificant a lot of things (I thought I placed value in) actually were/ are.

Remember when you were 12, and as you started to develop "womanly curves?" You know how awkward you began to feel around adults because you could actively feel them staring at parts of your body you didn't have the year before?

It's like that, but in reverse; I was the one noticing the change, and I immediately became very protective of myself. It was one part letting go of a lot of shit that never belonged to me, one part stepping into the person I hoped I was, and one part telling all the other parts of myself to shut up because I overthink WAY too much. 

We're so hilariously insignificant and you can let that upset you, or liberate you. 

Knowing all of this is one thing, doing something about it is has been yet another leg of the journey. 

With the previous version of "success" under my belt, I've spent the last few months out of "emotional puberty," and more focused than ever to get EXACTLY what I want. Every day, I ask myself what my goals are (personally and professionally) and put myself in check to see if my actions are in line with said goals.

A big goal of mine is to get married and start a family. What is one way to get married and start a family? You get off your ass and put yourself out there. As per usual, guys (and girls) came and went (pun intended), and I (yet again) found myself getting frustrated with the process. 

<tangent> Bee tee dubs, clearly I am not going to marry "just anyone." If I'm this picky about a guy I'm dating, you can imagine how picky I am going to be if I do ever end up getting married. </tangent> 

Same conversations and same song and dance over and over. You spend six months trying to get to know someone only to have to wait another six months to get to know the REAL them, only to have discovered that you've now wasted a year with a person you never really liked. 

 

All of this was cute at 22, it's now not so cute at 32.

I've intermittenly dated here and there, and even began asking guys that I've dated to set me up with their friends, since they genuinely had glowing reviews (it was merely bad timing for one reason or another). After the last blind date setup, I decided it was time to hang up my dating shoes. It was by no means a choice to "give up," but an understanding that anytime I've ever sought one thing - I've gotten another.

Again, thought I was getting married and having babies not once but twice. Wound up ON A FUCKING ISLAND selling not one but two projects. 

 

Now, I've developed a routine that I genuinely enjoy. I work, workout, rise and repeat. I spend my nights (that I'm not working) in a onesie watching movies and sipping wine or smoking pot with Buster (el dogarino). I've redecorated my apartment, and because I've mostly stopped texting people back - my life had (I thought) mellowed quite a bit. 

Two Fridays ago, I got a text from someone named S&K ... 

 

Who or what is an S&K, I thought before quickly going ... OOOOHHHHH!!! 

Remember the couple who introduced me to the orgy scene? Well, that's them. If I'm a keeper of any of your secrets, I code you in my phone so if its ever stolen and you text, people won't know who you are. In the first orgy email, they said we didn't have to use our names, we could just use initials; I clearly take roleplaying seriously. 

I messaged back ... 

 

 

See S&K were two guys who wanted to have a DP of the For-Real (that's me, for those who are new). I've never had a threesome before with two guys, so two years ago the newness interested me. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the guys could only meet during the day, at like noon in West Hollywood. They wanted me to hang out by the pool, have a couple of drinks, and "chill." (And by chill, they mean putting their penises inside places that require a special "assistant" when explored by a male doctor.)

I'm all for a good nooner - but do you know the level of commitment it takes to prepare for something like that? And the aftercare? I don't have time to uh, "get ready" and then uh, lubricate certain parts only to then spend the rest of my afternoon in a meeting with my co-workers wondering why I'm glowing ... and smell nice ... yet sitting so ... so ... awkwardly. 

I have SO much more respect for myself!
(... which is why I only do those things at night, silly goose!)

 

A few hours later, I left work, and grabbed an uber to head to happy hour at El Compadres with my friends. On the way over I scrolled through my phone and had a change of heart with one of my contacts. 

See, I went out on a first date on Valentines Day with this guy Brent who had in his profile that "danger was literally his middle name." That part I thought was kinda corny, but what I did think was cool is that he's a writer and lives in a van to support his content driven lifestyle. We had a great time, but because he travels all over we hadn't talked since. 

 

I texted him back ... 

 

I didn't peep his insta story, but the next day (during one of the few moments of time I had to sleep), I got another text ... 

STFU, I thought. You mean the Women in Vaudeville show at the Bob Baker Marionette theater that I sent a company wide invite out for (due to one of our colleagues participation in the production)???

 

I texted back ... 

 

I wanted to fuck with him and wear one of my chalboard hats with I <3 Jeptha on it (my colleague), but I was having a quasi good hair day so decided not to. 

<tangent> HAVE YOU SEEN THESE THINGS?! They're magical in terms of marketing. This is not a paid affiliation, btw. I'm just a huge. huge. fan! 

 

THE HAT WORKS TOO WELL!! AND IS WAY MORE EFFICIENT THAN ONLINE DATING!! </tangent> 

Before the show, I felt a tap on my back and it was my Valentine. 

Hi, I said as we hugged and followed up with pleasantries. 

This place is kinda creepy, he admitted. I know I'm a little stoned ... 

I cut him off. You have the pot? I want the pot, I said excited. 

He then passed his vape pen, as I went outside and puff puff passed to my uh, self. 

I quietly snuck back into the theater, and rejoined my non-date. The show began moments later, and the host Lindsay announced that she was going to start with her finale (featuring knife juggling). High as a kite, I just kept thinking oh dear god please do not pick me from the audience ... oh dear god oh dear god ... 

As the host walked over to the crowd she reached behind and grabbed my non-date. 

WHEW, I thought cheering him on grabbing my phone to take photos and videos (because who was going to believe this happened without it) ... 

 

The show was ABSOLUTELY incredible, and if you get a chance they're doing another one next month. Highly highly recommended (pun intended). 

After the show, I bid my non-date adieu and went home to snuggle with Buster. 

So what's next now that I'm not "actively" dating? 

Well for one, I'm really really excited that I'm finally learning how to cook. I just signed up for Home Chef and am SUPER pumped to test it out. 

Oh, and did I mention that there's not one but two tv shows? Another bidding war. Three networks, and they already have a brand sponsor attached. I'll know more in a few weeks, but it's pretty exciting because it's a show I would genuinely watch. (This one I'd actually be in with two of my friends which makes it SO much better.) 

Oh, and shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone, but here's the a sneak peek of Talk Nerdy's treatment ... 

I learned design working for DropInInc (out of frustration due to designers being so expensive and then leaving because we're a startup and startups pay dilly). I'm super super proud of how far the project has come, and will tell you all about the process in the next post. 

Buckle up nerderinos!! I have no idea what we are going to be in for, but one thing is for sure - its already been one hell of a journey. 

Thank you for everything. I can't wait to pay you all back. :) 

All my love and all my heart, you make me SO proud to type ... 

#NERDSUNITE

Oh and PS. I totally forgot that seven years ago when I created the twitter account for Talk Nerdy, I used an old SNL reference for the location ... 

 

P.P.S. To any of the old writers, or any n00bs that want to join ... shoot me an email!! jen at dropininc dot com or jenfriel at talknerdytomelover dot com. This is just a soft launch for now, but over the next couple of weeks we are going to fully ramp back up. Would LOVE to hear from you!! xx 




Monday
Aug312015

#Deadline Official: We got bought, yo! 

 

Technically, first optioned by Jerry Bruckheimer (whom I temped for as my very first job in LA), and then CBS as of Friday.

Funny Story, CAA and I go back. I was supposed to be the transcriptionist for the President Richard Lovett, turned it down because I liked to listen to music, and still wound up meeting the girl I was intended to replace all because I had a crush on Viper from Full House (whom I stalked on Myspace). Now all these years later, I have a lit & unscripted agent, and honestly still have no idea what I am doing. 

What a fucking ride, man. 

Where are my manners. Hi - I'm @JenFriel. 

I really really really love the internet, and I am having an awesome day today. 

I @reply back & if you'd like to connect here is my...  

Twitter: @JenFriel 

FB: Facebook.com/JenFriel

Insta: @TalkNerdyToMeLover 

I'm also RABID about hearing cool ideas in tech. Please, email me: JenFriel at TalkNerdyToMeLover dot com. 

Current musings/ writing can be found yonder: xoxoyourmom.com 

Thanks for all the support over the years nerderinos.

YouTube video posted tomorrow announcing another cool project.  

TAKE. YOUR. PASSION. AND. MAKE. IT. HAPPEN. This tells a cool story now, in 2009 I was a crazy girl living in a car. Get off your ass and get to work. 

Now HIT IT POINTER SISTERS!! 

Click here to read the full article

Wednesday
Jul022014

#OnlineDating: The 10 personality types of men found #Tinder

Tinder has been in the news a lot lately. From Sochi athlethes declaring their on and off court "game" using the social dating site, to less fortunate press surrounding a harassment lawsuit between two of the founders. 

For those who are unaware, Tinder is a dating app that allows you to "swipe" left or right indicating interest in someone. Remember the arduous days of OKC (OkCupid) and having to devote hours to setting up your profile? Well, Tinder is your cheat sheet. It populates your photos, mutual friends, and interests through Facebook connect. Another added bonus of the app is its GPS capabilities. Each profile is populated with the user's last login, and how many miles away they are from you. (Even being an avid Foursquare user for years, I'd be lying if I said that part didn't freak me out.) 

With great trepidation, I have been actively on Tinder for the last two months. My personal experiences exempt, I can say there are very clear patterns of the type of gentleman (I use that term loosely, but respectfully) that I have come across.

They are as follows: 

1) That one guy ... who still thinks its a 1998 yahoo chatroom: 

  

2) That one guy ... who is obsessed with 2 Live Crew and enjoys sharing their lyical wisdom: 

 

3) That one guy ... who is very eager to tell you his schedule. 

 

4) That one guy ... who takes what you say literally. 


5) That one guy ... who leads with his "humble" card. 


6) That one guy ... who you want to stay at least 300 yards away from. 


7) That one guy ... who keeps messaging and messaging and messaging. 

 

... there are a lot of those guys ... much like they warn you in the zoo, do not feed the animals. 

 

8) That one guy ... who is surprised he actually has a match. 


9) That one guy ... who doesn't share the same sense of humor that you do. 

Even weirder. 

10) That one guy ... who is genuinely nice, but you feel like you need a shower and a confession after spending so much time on Tinder. 


Tinder provides yet another outlet for singles to connect both online, and off. While I am a fan of "putting yourself out there" by whatever means necessary, why not start with aligning your recreational activities with the type of character you seek in a mate? If you're athletic, why not join a kick ball/ sports league? Religious? Why not start volunteering at a local church? While I can't discredit my own experience with online dating, I can say that it hurts my heart to feel the lack of actual interaction had between two people, vs the beauty of two people just sharing a common interest and bonding over it.

When I begrudgingly got on Tinder, I didn't even know if I could swipe "no" to someone. What if they were just a digital n00b, and didn't set up their profile properly? Would that be a deal breaker for me?

I currently view online dating like I do slot machines -for entertainment purposes only. There's lots of shiny things, loud noises, but you never know, one try could be the one that hits the jackpot. 

#kthxbye

 

Monday
Jun162014

#Fact: I may be a woman, but I don't have to roar 

I watched the Other Woman with my parents yesterday. (Talk about being secure in your manhood on Father’s Day going to see a movie like that with your daughter and wife.) In the past, like most women, I would have enjoyed the 90 minute escape into a feminine cliche - but to be honest, it made my heart hurt. Not because of the plot, or the acting (Leslie Mann is positively divine), but for the projected fantasy that we all (culturally) absorb as reality. 

I take my part in responsibility as a writer and working in media in general, but I can also admit to myself, and to my own reality that it’s (pardon the blunt terminology, but sometimes there is just no better way to say it) bull shit. 

I stared at these beautiful women on the screen (the cast consists of Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, and Leslie Mann) and as lines like “together we are the perfect woman. What more could he want?” poured from their mouth I just face palmed my own life and simultaneously wanted to enter the screen and smack common sense into each of the characters. (I do not condone violence of any kind, but I’m going to assume that I don’t have to say that.) 

I have spent exactly one year now on an island with a four digit population. Coming from a decade living in a 7 digit population to say it was shocking is a gross understatement. I left LA for a relationship, and genuinely believed that in life up until that point I had "it together." Life was like Lionel Richie on a Sunday morning ... 

 

... I had a gorgeous man that I loved, and a website that I was proud to have built.

Love life? Check. 

Career? Check. 

Within a matter of days the house of cards called a life I had built started to fall one by one. I thought I was so hard-core because I was without a home for a year, but there were no brown recluses, lizards, sharks, or snakes. I couldn’t even put a shrimp on a fishing line, or put my head in the ocean without shaking from head to toe. When I slept in the car, I slept in Venice. Have you seen Venice, CA? It’s pretty awesome. While I was genuinely stupid for putting myself in harms way so many times, my accommodations were more than satisfactory by anyone’s standards.


Within months of my arrival, I found myself without a boyfriend, a website I didn’t know what to do with now that morally things had shifted, and quickly fell into a deep depression. To say this four digit population kicked my @ss is an understatement. 

Break ups really suck, but one thing I was determined to do was not give up. I knew in my heart I needed to stay where I was, (which I thought initially was insane, I’m not going to lie) and for the first time I had to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. I was presented with a freedom of no labels, and it scared the daylights out of me.

When I had first moved, I purposefully wouldn’t say my full name (knowing people would want to add you on Facebook). I always introduced myself as “so and so’s girlfriend” or “Jennifer.” I didn’t have anything to hide, but out of respect for him, it took away having his friends read about my past escapades. I was now without the label of girlfriend, and now without the persona I had built. I've consciously never felt so vulnerable in my entire life. I cried for days, weeks, (and I’m not ashamed to admit) a few months. My neighbor used to ask me if I was okay, and I would always take a moment to pause wondering if he had heard me listen to “Nobody wants to be lonely” on repeat. (I sincerely wish I was kidding.) Never trust someone you share a wall with - they know everything. 

All that I knew in my heart from every other time I had been this depressed was that everything was one foot in front of the other, and that I needed to get out of my head as much as possible. My only friend at that time, volunteered at the local church once a week, so we quickly turned it into a routine. 

I never told a soul what I did, or even my full name. Not that anyone anywhere would have even cared, but I just did whatever needed to get done and helped out however I could with two working arms and legs. I didn't need to tell stories, and I didn't need to be the loudest person in the room. I. Just. Shut. Up. and did what I was told, or saw needed to get done.

I then got back to the gym (for socialization and sanity), and within a few months I was stopped by a gentleman after class. I've been asking around town about you, he started, while mentally at that point I had cut him off wondering who even knew who I was? (And to get all philosophical, did I even know?!? I'm so confused?!!!) I was happy to hear he was very complimentary, but it all caught me by surprise. I'm not doing anything here, I thought. I don't understand how people can know so much. (That's the thing about small towns, you can't help but bump into people everywhere. Even if you don't see them, if you know someone's car - you're genuinely going to see them driving on the one road in and out of town. It's not rocket science.) 

Somewhere between there and here, things have started to come into focus. I don't know exactly where the shift occurred, nor can I speak of my progress - but one thing I am filled with is gratitude (genuinely). I realized that while my experiences are there, I am not them, they are merely gifts.

Those gifts allowed empathy.

Through empathy came the beauty of compassion. 

Through compassion, my heart has opened up even more to recognize my own worth and value - which in turn has become a valuable commodity to gentlemen. (Remember my point in this long winded story? Yeah, it was about women longing for a guy.) 

I've wanted to be with someone for so long, but until I was able to (at least I think) experience a shift - I couldn't ever be in a sustainable, healthy relationship.

<tangent> I say all of this very humbly, btw, documenting anything in real time completely freaks me out now, but I know in my heart this is a message that I need to deliver. I am just the messenger. </tangent> 

It is the quiet confidence that you don't need to speak of, and you might not even be aware that you have it - but people see it, and immediately respect you. Life becomes less of a "fighting battle" and more of a surrender. The irony is, in the surrendering process I couldn't feel less vulnerable.

There is never going to be a Mr. Big, Romeo, or Maverick to ride off with in the distance. There is only going to be a woman who has a choice to speak with grace, carry herself with dignity, and smile on the inside knowing that her greatest secrets are kept close to her heart until they are whispered with a side of monogamy. 

I was seeking archetypes in media to create my own reality, which is a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I kept searching and searching, and while I had my share of pricks - it was more time and energy than it was worth. I am a woman, and I don't have to roar - just being is enough. 

#kthxbye

Friday
May302014

#Dating: 103 dates in 9 months meets @OneHundredDates

I got an email the other week from a gentleman that I went out on a "date" with a few years back. (I use that term loosely but explain why a bit further down.) It is with a heavy heart that I share this. I'm not embarassed by it, but facing the reality of the way I have been living my life hasn't been easy.

Click here to read the "Video Chat Date" on 100Dates.com by Evan Barden

First off, thanks Evan for writing that, and thanks so much for your email. For one, it was cool getting to go back two years in time and remember everything Evan mentioned. That whole self-reflection thing while still in that same frame of reference (at least in my experience) was complete BS. You can’t learn what your lesson is until you know whatever it is you’ve signed up for.

Life just keeps moving - keeps happening to us. You can’t tell it to pause while you reflect and write a post. It’s varying degrees of, pardon my French, (which I said to my mother this morning, why do we always have to blame the French?) a shit show. 

<tangent> Forgive me if this is incorrect, Evan, but I believe we met somewhere in Boston back filming for Vidblogger Nation? Then, you were telling me about your journey with the improv troupe, and how you wanted to launch this site. (Which congrats on doing so, btw!)

I can still remember details/ stories of just about everyone I have met while launching this site. I don’t know if that’s creepy on my end, or if I was truly that lonely and held onto the memories as if they were something more. (Not in a manner to discredit, I’ve absolutely had the time of my life - but as far as what I had said I was seeking, it all lacked fulfillment.)  Jury is out. Back to session ... </tangent> 

Two, it was nice to see how certain aspects have changed. You’re never too busy to take time and speak to someone. In my mind, I had allocated x amount, and boom - it was over. My concept/ value of time spent with company was as shallow as my mentality. 

I apologize to you for that hour, Evan. 

Not to say that I could have been anything different, but as a lack of commitment on my part to what I had acknowledged our time as being - a date. 

I don’t just jump into things like I used to - I take a moment and assess what exactly is happening, but then most importantly, myself. Am I the absolutely 100% the best candidate? Can I recommend anyone else - someone better suited? What are the needs and how much can I commit? How much is required, and I can honor that?

I was asked to take on a leadership role this week, and I’m not kidding you when I say I freaked thinking, there has to be someone better. Am I doing this for all the right reasons? I called the woman who had been in the position for the last 10 years the next day and said to her, if you believe I am the right person then I have to trust that. She started laughing saying she had prayed and it was a “call" (no pun intended). All I had to do was answer the phone, listen, hang up, and do the job. I loved that. 

At the end of the day the internet provides an outlet into a virtual reality that is yours to create. You can say, or be whoever you want, (although social media does provide a degree of credibility) but at the end of the day you have to look in the mirror, or Facetime/ Skype and be happy with what you see. Very concrete, very simple.

In my experience learning to like what I saw in the mirror meant not only facing the reality of everything I was doing, but also forgiving myself, and instead of dwelling on it, take action, and decide for myself that I wanted to make a change. How could I possibly date or even be in a relationship until I started to deal with these things? 

Honor your commitment, honor your words, and honor your relationships. 

Life now is less appointment based and more Buster Brown (my dog). I spend my days not thinking but knowing that he is smarter than me, and not thinking but knowing that he is stronger than me. I tell myself I win most days when truly he is the one that lets me win. 

Thanks for this smile Evan, and keep on sharing that big heart of yours. xx