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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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#NerdsUnite: An algorithm for happiness (an understanding of expectation vs reality)

Saturday night, I went to the Night Vale podcast with the Modern Day Shaman. Before the event, we met in downtown so I could take him to my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE BAR ON THE PLANET.

"It's like Cheers," I said, "but in LA, and not a lot of people know about it."

"I know I've driven by but never been in." 

I have some of the most randomly intelligent conversations with people here. No one cares about what you do or who you are, which means they don't want anything from you other than temporary company. I come here when I kinda want to be social, but don't know if I actually want to talk to someone; it's a case by case determination of companionship. 

"This place is incredible," he said staring at the non-ironic decor. 

As we were going to leave, I got stopped by one of my temporary company acquaintances (that I acutally like)

He asked what we were up to, and I told him about the Night Vale podcast. 

What's that? he asked. 

Nerd thing, I said. 

"You're not a nerd," he said. 

Eyes like daggers I shot back to the shaman and smiled. 

Have a great night! I said with a hug. 

Now onto a story with a polar opposite approach.

I went to an event last Tuesday with with two intentions: 1) I wanted to meet high level automotive executives and 2) I wanted to consume good food and an open bar. 

Maestro ... 

Last Monday, I sent out over 200 invites to my "non-birthday party." Everyone that knows me knows that unless it's a big birthday number, I have zero desire to host a birthday party, have a dinner, or do anything anyone tells me to. I spend 364 days of the year making sure shit gets done for other people, that I take my birthday as THE ABSOLUTE ONE DAY for myself. Parties are work, and as someone who works a lot - I'm good.

This year, however, my parents are coming into town (something that has only happened one other time in 12 years) and I wanted to introduce them to people they have heard a lot about.

I created the Facebook event and as I went through clicking people to invite, I thought well, if this person comes then I have to invite that person.

Fuck it, I said I'm inviting everyone.

I don't care if we haven't talked in years, I don't care if you don't even have my current cell number, if you've been in my life, you've been in my life! And as the non-birthday girl this is my fucking party and I can have it the way I want it.

One of the invites that went out was to my buddy Josh whom I hadn't seen in years.
He DMed me on Insta ... 

I don't normally do the "Hollywood event scene" anymore, but considering I'm part of an automotive startup, I viewed this as an opportunity to get a face to face with the executives. (Chevrolet was launching their new Corvette.) I left work early on Tuesday to get my glam game on.  

One super puffy/ furry coat, retro looking skirt, and heels (I could actually walk in) later, I grabbed an Uber and headed over to Bootsy Bellows to meet the group. I left with plenty of time to catch the shuttle (which was our ride to the party)

I was slated to arrive right on time at 5:45 and to my surprise, the driver got us there 15 minutes early. Since the club was far from being open, the "soon to be group" was instructed to wait outside.

Not a problem, I thought literally being the first person there. A few more girls arrived moments later and as we briefly chatted, we discovered none of us had any idea what was going on. Clearly, good free food and an opening bar is effective enough marketing to get any woman to your party. 

Color me every shade of WONDERFUL!!! 

My friend arrived about a half hour later, along with the other seven people in the group. By 6:30 (an hour of sidewalk standing later), the crowd grew to around 150 people as two big tour buses pulled up. The herd of randomly dressed 20 somethings gathered by the door as I purposefully stayed on the fringes. (I absolutely hate crowds.) My ADD went through the roof as I saw lots of shiny things, and forcibly had to keep my mouth from dropping when one gal showed up with her ... uh ... own show in tow.
To put it in proper perspective, let's just say her shorts were so short that I could tell she wasn't on her period. 

<tangent> I give people like that a lot of credit, man. As per the invitation I received this was a "red carpet" event. You've got the balls (er, technically lack there of in this case) to show up in THAT? 

Good on ya! </tangent>

Anywho, back to my own business, the busses quickly filled up and we were informed that they would not send more, or come back.

"Why can't they just come back?" we all wondered. 

Typically when you are offered a shuttle to the party it is because it's in the hills and they don't want the traffic. Considering we were at Bootsy Bellows on Sunset, (at the base of the hills) this was the most logical projection given the available information. 

My friend then texts HIS friend (who was one of the promoters) asking what to do. I'll give you the address and you can drive straight there. 

Done, we all thought. 30 more minutes later, (time is now close to 7:30pm, TWO FULL HOURS OF sidewalk standing later), we received the address and noticed it was downtown. No way, I said, grabbing my phone and walking over to the managing "wrangler."

This address can't be correct, I said. 

Oh it's very correct, he sharply replied. 

We're taking shuttles all the way to downtown???? (In rush hour mind you.) 

Yes, he said. 

Fuck me, I thought wondering if I should just ditch the event all together.

Before I finished the thought I heard, "I can take you in my car," from one of the girls. 

There's gotta be a life experience here, I thought. Keep saying yes and just do it. After all, this is a lot of makeup and it would be a shame to be wasteful ... 

We then make the trek up the hill to my new friend's car, and I could tell within .25 seconds we were going to be friends. Out of everyone in the group, I could tell how down to Earth she was, and could intuitively tell she was going to utter the same sentence of "this isn't really me." I entered in the address quoting that we would arrive by 8:30 (FUCK ME, I thought but didn't say ... my stomach growling, I just want a burger ... and a glass of wine ...). Before we hit the highway we had discovered that we're both obsessed with our dogs, and are both from back east (she happened to be from MASS and I'm from CT).

The majority of times you meet people from either Massachusetts or Connecticut, they've summered in either Cape Cod or Lake Winnipesaukee, I used that as a lead in. 

We drove through Massachusetts all the time as a kid when we were en route to the lake. 

Which one, she asked?

Lake Winnipesaukee. 

I've been there too!! she said. 

I smiled and continued ... 

Yeah, you have Weirs Beach and Funspot. 

"I cannot believe you are mentioning Funspot right now. Have you seen the documentary on Funspot?"

"WHAT?! I said matching her enthusiasm. THERE IS A DOCUMENTARY ON FUNSPOT???"

I immediately began googling and found this ...

I found it, I said. 

She glanced over and said no, that's not it. It was an actual movie. It had something to do with Donkey Kong. 

I then googled "donkey kong funspot documentary" and found this ... 

I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE IMMEDIATELY, I said upon completion of the trailer!!!

The now genuine conversation we were having made the hour long car ride feel a whole heck of a lot shorter. 

"I'm so excited for a burger and a glass of wine. I got there at 5:30, it's been almost three hours and I purposefully didn't eat a lot before the event knowing the level of expected food quality.
I only have so much room, but now I'm borderline full blown vacancy and I'm not sure how much longer I can last." 

I tried to stay as calm as possible in front of my genuine new friend. The clock had long been ticking, and I don't think people understand when I say I get hangry, I actually get hangry. I've discovered it's from being anemic that I get extremely curt, dismissive, and singularly focused. I go into like a nerd survival mode where my body knows what it wants, and it's my brain's job to get it. Anything and everything in between COMPLETELY disinterests me - I just want that. A burger. Food. Preferably something with iron. Popeye me a can full of spinach, I don't care, but I know I. need. to. eat. or something really, really bad is about to happen. 

By 8:30 we arrive at the event. We were past downtown and somewhere borderline East LA, but I didn't care. Again, my focus was on food. Good food. Good food I had waited THREE HOURS to consume, and was now a mere moment away from actually consuming.

As we went to park, one of the drivers came out to help us with his flashlight (as we couldn't confirm if the sidewalk was red or yellow). Once we were good to go, I thanked him for his help as I introduced myself. 

"I just dropped off these reporters from Detroit. This is apparently a car event." 

Yeah, I said, that's about as much information as we all have too. It's the unveiling of the new Corvette, but I'm really only here for the food. 

Enjoy, he said as we walked down the super creepy looking alleyway into the event. 

Now at the door, the very intense security asked us for the QR codes. I scanned back and found my friend who invited us and asked him for the info. 

As he endlessly scrolled through his email the crowd grew yet again (both busses had arrived at this point) and we were asked to stand against the wall. 

NO ONE IS GETTING IN WITHOUT THE CODE, shouted the security guard. 

Personally, these types of people are my favorite to mess with. I truly do live by the mantra of "where there is a will there is a way" and events that announce their "security" with such "command" are typically the ones I can find the easiest way into. (See this post on Crashing The Grammy Awards.) 

This scenario however, wasn't my rodeo. I wasn't willing to put my friend's connection on the line, nor did I logically think I could get all seven, SEVEN of us snuck in. Whatever was going to be was going to be, and I had to just let it go. 

My stomach however, couldn't handle the laissez faire attitude and as I watched my friend try and talk his way into the event ... I secretly began crying on the inside ... just ... wanting ... food. Any food now. Food. Food. Need food now. 

No one is getting in without their QR code announced security, and we're at capacity, so you guys should figure something else out. 

Wondering if this is what thirst is like in the Sahara, I drifted away into a barely coherent hunger bliss as I watched the 20 somethings throw a fit. 

"I can get you bottle service at 1OAK tonight. Come by, ask for John. I'll take care of you." 

"WHAT?! she scoffed back. I can get bottle service at any club, anytime. I came here for this party, and now that's ruined." 

Not that I was capable of responding or being involved in any capacity, but the only thought that entered into my mind was "god, I'm so glad those years are over." 

"How about we head over to The Standard and first round is on me," said my friend. 

My own hunger aside (WHICH IS REALLY HARD TO DO), I felt bad for my buddy. He was just trying to be nice inviting us all to this event and for one reason or another the gatekeepers decided to deny entry. Totally not his fault! 

"I will take you up on that offer," I said to my friend as we got back INTO the car and Butabi-ed our butts over to the Standard. 

Immediately upon arrival, I darted up to the rooftop and ordered a $16 burger that independently would have tasted like shit, but in that moment was the most wonderful thing I have put in my mouth (in recent memory)

While experiencing a current state of actual bliss, my new friend told me that there is this "super trivia" game over in Santa Monica that I should check out. It's all run by Super Champions on Jeopardy. 

THAT SOUNDS AMAZING, I said with a full mouth, finally showing accurate levels of energy and excitement.

Mouth still full I continued, done - let me social engineer the team. 

There are two winners each week. One winner from the Jeopardy side (you compete with people who have been on Jeopardy before) and one from the team that hasn't ever been on Jeopardy. 

I look forward to winning, I said, and by winning, I mean getting one question right the first time and working our way up from there. 

Once I was done eating, I grabbed an Uber heading back home and to my surprise, I was satisfied. 

I somehow had BY DEFINITION survived own version of personal hell (the club scene, crowds, idiotic people) and chose to not focus on what I couldn't control in the evening, rather accept that and be genuinely happy for what did happen - ALL IN REAL TIME (which was a first)!!!! 

If you would have told me that I would have gone on an adventure where I'd spend the evening discussing Lake Winnipesaukee, Funspot, dogs, learn about "the world's most difficult trivia game (and gain acess to it), oh yeah and at the very end of it, I'd eat a burger ... I'd say that's a pretty fucking awesome evening. 

I was immediately reminded of a video I saw on Facebook a while back from a google exec ... 

"Happiness is what you think about the world gives you." 

My current version of happiness? See realization above. Oh, and then there's also the fact that this is complete ... 


Just because Les Moonves picked (the now cancelled) "Great Outdoors" in 2016 over Talk Nerdy To Me didn't mean that I was going to stop.

What's a "Les Moonves?" you ask. I had the same question, and will explain (finally) how everything happened in the next post. 


Oh, and I'm also hiring for a project. See below and please tag your friends in my Facebook post. I'd love to look at their work. Thanks nerds!! xx 

Click here to view on Facebook


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