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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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#RealDeal: That time I cold called the man that bought my life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property 

My brain processes complex problems quickly, but if it's in front of my face?

I'm 9 times out of 10 oblivious.

I can't believe I didn't think of doing this sooner and yet I also can't believe it actually worked!!!!

I'm still in shock, but enough talking more doing. 

Maestro ... 

As I said in a previous post, I've recently been in a depression. Instead of being hard on myself though, I've been focused more on my own self care taking extra spinning classes, pool days, and making sure to not overwork myself. 

"A delay is not a denial," I kept saying to myself worried and frustrated that the ATA/ WGA debacle forced the writer of the pilot (Heather Rutman) to fire her agent ... aka the adult in the room that knew what they were doing. 

While I agree with what is happening, the timing of this 43 year old contract ending is less than stellar. 

When are things ever "stellar?" I thought laughing to myself.

I've gotten as far in life as I have BECAUSE things were less than "stellar" and instead of being sad or upset about it, I took action. 

Why am I waiting for others to do something and feeling depressed in the process? The ball is literally in my court right now - and it's my turn to make a move. 

On Monday April 29th, while zoning out in front of the TV watching Jeopardy (one of my favorite ways to de-stress), with a clear head and heart, I said out loud to my dog:

"I am pitching a TV show about power. Why have I not picked up the phone to call the most powerful man in Hollywood?"

.... who I have access to via him buying my life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property TWICE! 

The "access" part was still a bit in question, but he does at least know my name since he signed the checks! 

Well, technically speaking the check came from CAA but still ... he signed something at some point. 

Remember, when the Talk Nerdy announcement came around the first time - I was living on an island. I had walked away from everything choosing love (which was all I was after in the first place). That love unfortunately (or fortunately) did not last, and as I was standing in my new apartment's kitchen on June 30th, 2014, I got an email from my agents (who I had not talked to in over a year) asking if my blog was for sale. 

My first thought upon receipt was that "dramatic clichés ACTUALLY exist in life."

It's not only that this is happening, it's happening when I'm thousands of miles away from the life I created and lived so transparently for years.

My head and my heart were in SO MUCH PAIN wondering what was next - and then POOF! Enter stage right magical genies in the form of CAA agents (that I still to this day haven't ever met)

The day the news came that NBC was interested in purchasing Talk Nerdy I had just broken into my exes father's house (to try and get a contact book) and was in the middle of helping to set up his Celebration of Life. He passed very unexpectedly and the landlord had put a lock on the door before we could get his belongings.

We needed to tell his sister whose only known number was located inside the address book that was inside the house. Without thought, I added light breaking and entering to my resume special skills as I was the most logical (and smallest) person that could go in and find it - quickly. (Read the full story here) 

Do you know how unbelievably strange that was supporting the family as best as I could with their own grief to immediately shift my own to tears of JOY physically dropping to my knees on the dock (we celebrated on the water) not even knowing the pilot was being taken out - LET ALONE that a major network had purchased it? 

Fortunately, the family and I got along great (they were very appreciative of the help considering my ex and I had broken up). To my surprise they were very happy for me and true to the word classifying the day, we all celebrated not only his life but also my now successful life story THAT ACTUALLY SOLD!  

You can read the full version of what happened here. For those that already know the story, I came back to LA not only with a big announcement in the trades ...

... but one week later (unplanned timing) an appearance as an entrepreneur on the CNBC show The West Texas Investors Club.

Having ghosted my life and being gone from LA for over two years at that point meant that I wasn't just casually coming back to the city I lived in for nearly a decade ... much like the man who bought my life rights, I was coming back with a big bang in the form of a sold show (in a four way bidding war) and an investment from business partners (that have become family)

I don't know why it never occurred to me to reach out to the producers, or even GRAB A LUNCH WITH MY AGENTS ... but I didn't. Through online dating apps though, I did connect with the guy who wrote my life rights agreement (as in his actual name was on the email exchanges), who was INCREDIBLY surprised at the actual back story ... 

The ball was in Bruckheimer's court, and in Hollywood he is considered MVP.

That's what happens when you option your life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property. It sounds strange that I wasn't more aggressive in terms of involvement, but in my heart I instead focused on how lucky I was/ am.

Who walks away from LA, moves to an island, and stands in their kitchen one day (nursing a broken heart) only to receive LIFE CHANGING news and their OBVIOUS next step/direction?!?! 

Knowing what I had signed, I did the most logical thing I could think of, and leveraged my social network to do outreach in social media. 

Who would have thought that the Modern Day Shaman was personal friends with Morgan Murphy (aka the pilot writer)?!

::whispers:: Shamans really do know everyone. 

 Thanks to his help in the form of a single tweet - she followed me, where I was immediately able to DM asking the most obvious question to a fellow Irish woman ... 

A couple more weeks went by, as did the announcement (in the form of an email from my agents) that in the 2016 pilot season, CBS did not pick us up.

Not understanding the industry, I asked a friend (I met at the Wonder Woman Orgy) for an independent evaluation of my situation. 

This was the response ... 

I was thankful for all the help, but more determined than ever to keep this project going. In July of that year, I received an invite to the Marijuana Don Mansion (courtesy of a friend running the party).

Having yet to IRL connect with Morgan meant this was a PERFECT opportunity to reach out again. 

 Success, I thought excited to stop by her place en route to the Don's.

Like a good nerd, I was one of the first people there, and with an insane amount of pride, we took this photo. 

Writer to writer I not only respected her work, but I was thankful for everything she had done. (click here to read the full story) 

Over that year, Morgan and I exchanged texts, DMs, and I even showed up at her Halloween/ birthday party with a lampshade on my head.

That's not a euphamism, I wore an astronaut onesie with a cooler backpack and the lampshade completed the costume. 

By Halloween of 2016, I had gotten my life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property back (as the option hadn't been renewed). I'm not sure if this is normally the process, but common sense to me (having never done this before) was to find the writer.

Unlike Bruckheimer, I couldn't pay, but in my heart I knew if people heard the whole story they could better understand the FIRE and SHEER WILL/ MOTIVATION that everything Talk Nerdy has been from day one (which may or may not sell it)

My goal in coming back to LA was to work my way into the writer's room with Morgan - so why not directly ask her if she still wants to work on this together? 

I did, and unfortunately (or fortunately for her) she was already in the works of a big reboot for a popular 90s sitcom. 

I then took meeting after meeting trying to find not only a writer, but an idea of a direction to go in.

Thanks to the announcement in the trades with Bruckheimer, and the success of the CNBC show, I was able to pick up the phone and call just about anyone I had known or wanted to know. 

It definitely worked, and through an intro to my then attorney, I was connected to Girls' Guide to Depravity author Heather Rutman. Her book had previously been turned into a show on Cinemax and at our first meeting (in Silverlake at a place called Dinosaur Cafe because obvi), we were even wearing the same overalls from Madewell. 

Heather's blog was the analog version of Talk Nerdy. It isn't easy to be open and vulnerable while at the same time sex positive in an honest manner (while also avoiding crossing over to "crass" territory)

It took only one meeting to know that I had actually found "my person" and our new direction. 

The WGA/ ATA disagreement (one of the primary reasons) is over the fact that agencies are making a killing off of "packaging fees." I was lucky with Bruckheimer that I was repped at CAA, and the TV people sat with the lit department (one fateful June day) and said - "we want to option this!" I got picked because of my agency placement and a clever blog name. 

This go around, finding the writer was everything. Again, the tone had to be JUST right. To beat the packaging politics, I needed to stay agency agnostic. 

Now that I found her, I could sign with her agency (if I needed to) or just keep the entertainment attorney and operate through him (there's a process in actually sending/ submitting a script).

Not wanting to piss off the magical genie in the form of agents at CAA, I made sure to keep them in the loop as well.

It was unexpectedly handy having one of the biggest Hollywood movie stars (who is also repped at the same agency you were) be your business partner's little brother ...

In addition to reaching out to my agents directly, I called in a favor and had an email sent to his agent Jim Toth on Talk Nerdy's behalf. 

I might have had the ducks in a row in terms of propelling the project, but it took my own self care to understand the most obvious next step. 

Why haven't I called, Bruckheimer directly? I asked clearheaded and out loud to Buster (who didn't respond because he is a dog). How have I not thought of the most OBVIOUS person to send this to? 

The next morning, on Tuesday April 30th, I wrote down my morning call list ...

At 2pm I closed the barn door to my startup's pantry (we have open offices and I needed to be able to pace in peace) and picked up the phone to call Jerry Bruckheimer. 

Having worked at his office before (my first job in LA was as a PA through their temping agency), I knew the system. (After two weeks I got offered a job, but I turned it down to work at a smaller company where they let me listen to the radio.) 

First, you have the main receptionist and then all the executives have their assistants (which is obviously standard protocol at like every company ever).

I then pulled up the Deadline article (that mentioned all of the executives names) and asked for the executive listed (that based on a google search seemed to be the person I wanted to talk to)

"Hi, Jen Friel for (we'll call him JBE) ... JBE." 

One moment, said the first receptionist. 

Whew, step one down, I thought as I continued to take as many deep breaths as I could hoping I could have the balls to say the next sentence.  

"JBE's office, how can I help you?" said the second assistant. 

"Hi, Jen Friel for JBE," I said cool, cold, and collected. 

"Can I ask what this is in regards to?" said the second assistant. 

"It's in regards to OUR project (careful choice of words) Talk Nerdy to Me." 

"One moment," she said. 

HOLY SHIT, I JUST SAID THAT SENTENCE!!! I thought but fortunately didn't say as I continued to breathe as deeply as I could successfully executing (and not stepping in) step two. 

"JBE isn't available right now to take your call. Can I get your name and number to have him call you back?" 

"Yes," I said with pride and my number.

Then, using something called the internet (and specifically IMDB Pro), I looked up Bill Wrubel's information (also mentioned in the Deadline article), and also cold called his attorney. Bruckheimer may have his name behind my life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property, but it takes a village to make a TV show. 

I then repeated steps one and two leaving word and message for Bill as well. 

Nerd girl, nerd blog, I said sitting back down at my computer. If I want to reach someone, why not try Facebook? The project is called Talk Nerdy To Me - IT'S FITTING! 

I then sent JBE a friend request and 12 hours later, I not only had a new friend, but I had a call from Bill Wrubel's lawyer's assistant (wow that's a mouthful)

He indicated that due to the problems with the ATA/ WGA, his work load has increased. He asked if I could email him the info - which I immediately did.  

Next, I used access to JBE's main inbox on Facebook (as you have to be someone's friend to send them a message - and have them see it), to send him this: 

Within 24 hours of declaring that I was going to connect with these people, I was two for two in at least getting some kind of a response! 


48 hours later (Friday for those keeping track), I then placed a second call to JBE and left a second message to his assistant. I didn't know what my next move would be, but placing two calls after he accepted my friend request still seemed in the "motivated" lane and not quite entering "stalker" territory. 

 Fortunately, I didn't need to make another move, JBE was up to the plate, and at 4:07 on May 6th he sent me this on Facebook ... 

To say I was over the moon at this point would be an understatement. All I needed was access to this person; I wanted my chance to take a shot. I knew by him even agreeing to a call meant that there was some sort of interest - and that's all I've ever needed in life ... a slight chance at a cracked door. 

(Or technically, I could just pop the lock and climb through as I've learned from my light breaking and entering skill set.)

22 hours later, I took a deep breath as I saw an unknown Santa Monica number appear on my phone. 

"Holy shit," I said outloud, "I think this might be JBE from Bruckheimer's office." 

"Hi this is Jen," I said answering the phone. 

"I have JBE for you, one moment please." 

It was him.

After five years, two option renewals, and a four way bidding war, I was talking to the man responsible for purchasing my life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property. 

She shoots ... she ... 


Click here to read part II

Click the screenshot to comment on Facebook



#NerdsUnite: That time I accidentally met a Kardashian (only to immediately regret it) 

<editorsnote> If you're an executive reading this after our pitch meetings, here's a post highlighting what we discussed. And here is the most recent slave post. If you're a nerd, keep reading ... </editorsnote> 

Shout out to @hey_schwartzy for the reminder that I needed to tell this story. 

A few weeks back, I posted a meme on Insta that surprised me ... 

Love them or hate them, I've never been the kind of person that felt the need to "take someone down" in order to feel better about myself. Frankly, I thought Lady Di looked stunning and didn't think much more about it.

Kut to less than 24 hours later, I khanged my tune ... 

... only this time it wasn't behind my komputer ...

it was IRL ... and BOY those fist were-a-shaking ... 

I also kan't believe I haven't told the story of my first interaction with the Kardashian Klan, so let's go full throttle and open up the ... 

... and no, not that kind of kan. 

Maestro ... 

Picture it, 2013. One year before Jerry Bruckheimer bought my life rights (twice), and two years before this blog sold in a four way bidding war between ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX ... I took a series of what they kall "generals." 

I had a manager at the time whose job it was to book general meetings with agents, studio execs, production kompanies, showrunners, basically anyone who is anyone in their rolodex that would potentially want to develop a show either about you or somehow involving you. 

I (no joke) took 50+ meetings and (with equal amount of enthusiasm) said the same lines over and over (as told in this vimeo) ... 

While most were awesome, there was only one that was truly memorable. KUWTK is produced by Bunim and Murray ... 

aka, the people who also kreated this show ...

Pre-the big social media boom, anyone and everyone aspired to be one of the "seven strangers picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped." We then found out "what happened when people stopped being polite, and started getting real." 

I WORSHIPPED this show growing up; I fell in love with the Miami season in 1996, and from that point on my relationship with TV was forever khanged. 

I found the kast to be not only aspirational but also accessible. I didn't just want to be like them, I might at some point be able to BE one of them (due to their annual nationwide casting of 18-24 year olds)

Bunim and Murray kreated the archetypes of the "good girl, bad boy, jock, bitch, preppy, there was always someone who was gay, and there was always that quiet person that you never knew why they were picked but maybe it's because they were the 'straight guy.'" 

Real Worlders were like OG social media influencers, and kreated the entire reality TV genre.

<tangent> I remember when I first moved to LA and would see Real Worlders (and their sister show Road Rulers) in the wild and FREAK!!! 

::whispers:: Also, when I say "first moved to LA" I also mean this past year when I matched with Syrus on Bumble ... 

We made it exactly two whole gif exchanges ... 

... before he stopped talking to me.

I GOT TWO!!!! </tangent>

When I found out that Bunim and Murray wanted a general I part kried, part screamed, and (more likely than not) got down on my knees thanking the gods for shining down and making all of 13 year old Jen's dreams kome true. 

It was time to get real & 
I am literally Jen For-Real!!

I prepared as best as I kould konsidering I had done this kountless times before. 

Generals are like dating - there's no preparing, you either have khemistry or you don't.  

I arrived with my manager 15 minutes before the meeting was set to begin. I had explained to him on the drive up how much Bunim and Murray meant to me and that I was going to need a few minutes in the space before I kould actually be expected to speak. 

Once through the doors, I quickly asked where the restroom was, limiting any and or all eye kontact just so I kould gather the troops.

"You can do this," I actually said to myself in front of the mirror.

Fortunately the restroom was empty, but that would have been even funnier had it not been.  

I then rejoined my manager and moments later we were kalled into the executive's office. 

On the wall, I saw post it note after kolor koordinated post it note - an entire room filled with them, with the name of each of the Kardashian's at the top. 

<tangent> I didn't know this at the time, but they were kharting out the season arc for each of the kast. I vividly remember seeing the name Kris with a series of post it notes talking out her journey as a talk show host. Mind you, this hadn't been announced yet, nor did I sign any sort of NDA so that I found kinda strange. </tangent> 

The meeting began without any sort of pleasantries (which wasn't too unusual - some people really do like to kut to the khase). My manager and I were on one kouch, and the executive was on the other slightly longer one. 

"Describe your life, Jen," said the manger. 

I immediately went into my pitch, and was stopped somewhere around the "accidentally going out on 103 dates in 9 months using the OKCupid algorithm." 

"Who sexually abused you," asked the executive? 

Surprised, at his super blunt question, I said "no one" ... which wasn't technically true, but if you're going to get that kind of information out of me, we're going to have to know each other for at LEAST five more minutes.

"Tell me about your home life, family, friends, any drug addicts, your parents- are they in jail?" he asked with a kut of kurt. 

"I'm not sure where this is going," I abruptly stated.

"I need to know where the drama is," the executive said. "What is it that makes you and your blog so interesting?" 

"I'm not dramatic in the traditional sense," I said. "I just happen to have all of these strange life experiences and instead of judging them, I just go with it to see where the lesson is. I couldn't have planned any of this if I tried."

Proud of myself for flipping the switch, I then literally watched him flip his own as his body went from vertical to horizontal in no less than 15 minutes. 

His eyes never technically shut, but the meeting did awkwardly end with a wondering of "did I actually just put this person to sleep?" 

We were then shown out and fortunately, (even at that time), I was confident enough to not take it personally. Much like (again) in dating, he just wasn't that into me. 

As a Lolita of literalness, en route back to the car, I still needed some sort of klarification as to exactly how that went. 

"I'm just konfirming that that didn't end well - is that korrect?" 

"That was definitely a first," he said. "Out of all my years, I've never seen an executive not like someone so much that they actually pretended to be asleep." 

"But that kould also be good in the sense that I got a reaction out of them, right?" 

"Oh no," he quickly replied, "you're for sure not getting another meeting with Bunim and Murray. 

Only he wasn't kidding, six years later ...

I still haven't had another meeting with Bunim and Murray. 

... or not. Hakuna matata. 

Oh, but back to the point of the Kardashians ... so I posted that meme, and I kurrently have a rebound rate of whatever I think/ intend being presented no less than 24 hours later. It's happened 8 times in the last two months. All with people I haven't seen or spoken to in years - I'd randomly mention their name or a situation and boom! They appear either in person or through social media. 

I've always been a manifesting magician ... 

... but now I'm transitioning into more of a deliberate manifestor. 

What I've done has been great, and I'm really proud of everything, but it's still not enough (which I feel like is also playing into my depression). 

Either way, I posted that meme and 24 hours later, I jetted off to a meeting in West Hollywood. As I went to turn from Melrose down this SUPER small and tight alley .... 

... I noticed I couldn't because a big blacked out Land Rover had not only stopped, it had parked. 

As if that wasn't douchey enough (as there was CLEARLY no room to pass), the driver then jumped out of the car leaving their door open for approximately 30ish seconds (which is an impossibly long time when you have your ass sticking out on a major street in Los Angeles)

Realizing I couldn't technically go forward or backward, I was fortunately able to pull my car off of Melrose (onto the sidewalk enough to not get hit by on coming traffic), but was still unable to pass or move (as backing up would have been too dangerous)

An ungodly amount of uncomfortable time later, this little peanut of a person sashayed out of the car, flipping her hair and laughing with her friend. 

I then honked my horn and did a double forward and flat handed gesture that universally symbolises a combination of WTF and MOVE YOUR SHIT

Unenthused, she completely ignored me, choosing to only close the door (and not move her illegally parked vehicle) before going inside a tea shop. 

Is that Kourtney Kardashian? I thought as I micro-inched my station wagon forward as best as I could. 

Traffic was now starting to bottle up at both ends, and as I finally crept past the Land Rover rolling my window down to express distain to the drivers who were stuck in the rear (this time only using one hand)

To my surprise, she was quite a bit prettier in person than she is on screen, but I don't care who you are or how much money you have - a douche is a douche. Blatantly blocking traffic like that was a really douchey move, particularly konsidering that with Kardashian level money, they kould afford a driver.  

While I am incredibly impressed with their marketing capabilities, I wasn't impressed with their lack of kommon sense/ decency. 

OH, and as I was writing this post, I received an email from an investor inquiring about Kourtney's new website and the marketing strategy behind it. 

I guess I really am getting this whole "deliberate manifestor" thing down. Wonder what's next? 



#NerdsUnite: A session in depression (with reality in question ... & one night at a gay country line dancing club)

<editorsnote> If you're an executive reading this after our pitch meetings, here's a post highlighting what we discussed. And here is the most recent slave post. If you're a nerd, keep reading ... </editorsnote> 

I've tried writing this post countless times over the last month and some change, and I realized today that I proved my point; I am depressed. (Writers block is one of the biggest symptoms of depression for me.)

For the last six months, I feel like I've taken hit after hit and while I'm not down and out for the count, I do have to face the reality of what I'm experiencing. 

Cue maestro ... 

About six weeks ago I admitted to myself (and loved ones) that I'm in a depression. I caught myself staring at my computer screen for SEVEN solid hours without doing any work. I recognized that I'm no longer living life for the actual day, instead I'm waiting for the HOPE/ CHANCE that I'll feel better tomorrow.

What's been going on? A lot.

I wrote about it a few months ago, but on top of those three deaths, I lost another colleague this past weekend, and my best friend had a family member also pass away last Monday. To top it all off the WGA and ATA JUST ENDED their 43 year deal (while my pilot is still being taken out). The writer on the pilot is/ was repped at APA, and now based on the ruling, the writer had to fire her. 

While I actually agree with what is happening in the ruling, it still sucks that after FORTY THREE YEARS they decided to make a change RIGHT AS I WAS/ AM taking my pilot out. 

The painful optimist in me wants to say "well it hasn't killed me, so is it really that bad?"

The answer is yes.

I can't begin to tell you how difficult getting out of bed has been.

Putting on pants?

I feel like I've been seeing my life happen in front of me instead of taking control and living it (mostly because I can't believe what I am seeing). 

I'm tired of being asked "how I am" and hearing the phrase "not good" come out of my mouth on an almost daily basis. I can't hide when I'm depressed, nor at this stage of my life would I actually want to.

I'm sick of framing shit thinking I can be optimistic about it, sometimes you just have to accept that shit is shit, and in this moment I feel knee deep.

God typing that felt so good.

I have a WORLD of good I am grateful for, but if I'm not honest with myself the cycle will keep perpetuating - and I'm not willing to accept that anymore. 


"10 years later, and I'm back here again," I thought last week wanting to wallow in misery. 

<tangent> See, this website was started because I was unhappy with my own life and wanted to make a change. I had spent the majority of my life in and out of therapy and hit rock bottom at 22 with a nervous breakdown (and a visit to a mental institution). It took me three more years to figure out exactly how to do it, but when I did, I'm proud to say that I not only truly fucking went for it ...

</tangent> Still feeling like shit, I then took a minute to meta myself back to a quasi-logical state. 

Even if I tried, I couldn't be the same person that I was 10 years ago, I reminded myself. 

I decided to then reframe my brain and instead of judging depression as this "big boss battle" at the end of the video game that I CONSTANTLY feel like I'm fighting, I thought about depression like I would a physical wound.

When you bump your elbow, you don't sit there and go stupid elbow! You're so stupid, I can't believe you did this. Stupid elbow, get better now! 

Sure, you might be a bit more cautious to not do whatever it was you did the first time again, but you take the hit, feel the pain, and eventually it gets better. 

That's the same as depression, I thought. I've taken a lot of emotional hits lately, and I need to accept that and recognize that this is only part of the healing process. It doesn't define me, nor do I need to victimize myself as a "depressed person." 

I'm sick of living in pity, I thought, I need to take my own power back. 

Instead of being mad at myself for sleeping in, I loved myself and started saying "clearly I needed the sleep." 

Instead of being hard on myself because I felt so behind with everything work and life related, I congratulated myself for putting on pants that day (even though my personal preference is a party with no pants)

Instead of complaining I had no energy, I started taking boxing classes knowing that beating the shit out of a bag felt really fucking good (far greater than beating myself up). Then, when boxing stopped feeling good, I went back to spinning. I recognized that beating myself up over not being able to focus on work wouldn't help, but accomplishing physical goals would (which will hopefully retrain my brain) - I'm still working on this one. 

I'm willing to try anything and everything in this situation, but if there's one thing I won't do is give up. I've since reached out to a series of managers (who are technically in a gray area with the ATA as managers do not fall under the same rules and guidelines as agents)

And in terms of all of the death, I take great pride in that I am the friend that I always thought I would be in difficult situations.

Not only did I place over 30 calls (including 911) the day my friend's body was found, but even when I didn't think I had an ounce of energy left, I still cooked dinner and hosted an entire party with our "friend family" to rally and support my best friend (which was the very next day from the visit I paid to my colleague's death bed).

OH! and did I mention that when I got the text when he was gravely ill, I left the office in tears only to find out my car got towed? 

Here are the texts ... 

I love that he had to remind me that it was a Catholic hospital. I'm not sure what he thought I would wear or do, but that made me smile. 

After experiencing my first of five death beds as a child, I learned pretty quickly that there's nothing you can do except be upbeat and refrain from asking questions about the person's condition. His cancer wasn't going to be cured, I knew this, he knew this, so instead we just chatted for the full 15 minutes each visitor was allocated. 

I never did get to see him again, but getting my car towed on the EXACT day that I found out he was passing allowed me to tangibly put into perspective what mattered. I had expired tags, I knew I had them, and put off getting them updated (that was lack of self care on my part and I accept responsibility that this shit happens when you park your car on a public street)

What I had though in that situation was something that money could buy my way out of. Even with his GoFundMe page, he knew his fate, and there was nothing that could be done. 

Life is so short, I kept saying to my friends over dinner that night. I know that we all "know" this, but after not only having plans with our friend on Thursday (who very unexpectedly passed on a Monday), my colleague was SO HEALTHY just six months ago, and then thinks he has a viral infection - only to find out its not a viral infection it's an aggressive form of cancer.

Spending so much of the last six months waiting for tomorrow made me question myself if there would even be one. 

I knew physically still being in a depression meant that I couldn't I Dream of Jeanie snap my shit back together, but I could focus more on my self care and for the first time in this process put myself first. 

One of the ways I've been self caring is by reading the book Lifescale by my very dear and amazing friend Brian Solis. 

Here Brian and I are with George Eads, a Young Turk, and the new Mcgyver guy. Shortly after this photo was taken I mic dropped on one of my favorite pop stars in the elevator at the SoHo House. You know, just the usual when Brian is in town. Click here to read the post. 

Best. Gif. Ever.
And here's my copy of his book ... 

Through his new book, I am currently living the phrase "I get by with a little help to my friends." Brian and I over the years have discussed at great lengths our own battles with depression, and this is a very personal book in which he describes how he was able to free himself  digital distractions (which ultimately lead him into a much happier place).  

Here's Brian's introduction to Lifescale ... 

... and while I'm only a handful of pages in, I can attest that when I saw him back in October it was THE HAPPIEST I have ever seen him. 

Brian's mission wasn't even to write this book, but in the process he called himself on his own shit and discovered that by removing the digital distractions and living more consciously, it allowed him to ultimately lead a happier life. 

I'm excited to dive in and as per usual document the findings not only for you all, but also use it as a way to hold my own self accountable.  

Then, this past Saturday, our friend family rallied together to celebrate our girlfriend's birthday. As it happened to be on 4/20 she themed it a Cheech and Chong party. 

Earlier in the year I decided that I was going to be "extra" to any and or all parties I go to. Instead of dressing up as a hippie or some sort of stoner, I put extra thought into it and created the character Bianca, a 70s porn star mirrored after Roller Girl from Boogie Nights (sans the skates because there was cobblestone)

My shirt also says I <3 Uranus after a trip to Uranus Missouri and their awesome fudge factory. (This is actually "a thing.")

My girlfriend opened up the door and immediately started laughing. 

"I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!" she said excited at the commitment to costumes. 

"Anything for you," I said. "Where's your costume?" I continued knowing that she and I try to "out extra" one another with the creativity behind our creations. 

"It's a long story," she said obviously not wanting to go into it. 

"NO COSTUME LEFT BEHIND!" I said laughing knowing that the gift I got her was this GORGEOUS feathered shawl that would immediately flip her extra switch to on. 

Within a matter of minutes she too was not only in costume, but as the guests arrived they were all visually guilt tripped into being in some sort of costume (which fortunately the hosts had)

Being "extra" is contagious. Once you're weird/ confident enough to "go there," it unconsciously gives everyone around you the cue to be extra too. 

Somewhere around the time that molly introductions were being made, we decided to go dancing and then the term "Oil Can Harry's" was mentioned next to the description of ... 

"A gay country line dancing club here in the valley," said person said. 

SUCH A THING EXISTS?! I said with child like excitement and then immediate bewilderment wondering how I have lived here so long and have yet to HEAR OF THIS LIFE EXPERIENCE!! 

I mentally prepared as best as I could. 

... I have waited 34 years to find "my people" and if there is any place that defines "weird" it is a gay country line dancing club in the valley. 

We then grabbed LYFTs and headed over. En route, the driver asked what the occasion was for the costumes. 

Without skipping a beat I said, "it's Saturday." 

He smiled, as I then explained that we turned a non-costume party into a costume party just because we showed up in costumes and then everyone else felt inferior.  

My best friend then piped up and said, "we need shirts or some sort of identifying logo." 

"Wouldn't that make us a gang or a kinda cult of some kind?" I wondered starting to feel the molly intro. 

We all laughed as the driver dropped us off to a place that looks EXACTLY like it sounded. 

Excited to get weird, I then flashed my ID and walked upstairs where I was greeted by a sign that said $5 cover. Now, being in costume gives you a sort of "power" if you will, and while yes, it was only a $5 cover charge ... but a $5 cover charge when you look like THIS? 

I walked up to the door guy and said "I'm with the birthday party and we're all in costumes." 

With a straight tone and not an ounce of impress, he said "costume ... or no costume ... everyone pays $5." 


... obviously COMPLETELY forgetting that the word GAY was in the sentence of the location we chose; one solid staredown later I realized I needed to admit defeat. 

$5 reluctant dollars later, and molly fully in effect, I without thought (or patience for my friends - see, what a good friend I am??!!) hit the dance floor and immediately began line dancing. 

Outside of the movie Urban Cowboy, I had never in my life seen such commitment from EVERY.ONE.OF.THE.DANCERS. 

You had moms from Nebraska, grandmas from the golden era, and the costumes ... 90% of everyone there was in some sort of costume. Everything and nothing made sense, but the COMMITMENT to whatever choice they made WAS FIRE!!!  

I'M HOME!!! I thought also forgetting that the combination of molly, a wig, and a 10 plus pound floor length beaver coat was going to quickly cause overheating. 

Putting my own self care first, I copped a squat in one of the side tables and took off my jacket. 

As I did, one of the attendants approached (which was really difficult to tell who was working there and who wasn't as it was SO inclusive and uniformed in being un-uniformed)

"Miss, you have to check your coat. It's $1 and we don't allow people to store their coats in the club," he said nicely. 

"I can't check this coat," I said sharply. "I inherited this from my grandmother, and I won't let it out of my sight." 

<tangent> I really wasn't BSing btw. I inherited a floor length beaver fur coat from my grandmother this past Christmas. Not only does the concept of passing my grandmother's beaver fully amuse me all these years after her death, but her last name was also HOAR (pronounced as you would think). It's monogrammed on the inside of the coat, and yes I honor my HOAR of a grandmother by passing around her beaver and taking it out as often as I can. 

The jokes write itself on this one, so I'll leave all that right here. </tangent> 

My friends arrived sometime later, as I laughed at how big my ego was. 

"Here I am thinking we're going to be the coolest kids here because we are in costumes, and come to find out EVERYONE is in some sort of costume and we are ALL celebrating because it is Saturday.

"My coat and ego can both be checked at the door for six whole dollars - that's impressive!" I said laughing. 

My eyes then took a minute to adjust as I tried to process what I was seeing. This place was like the "Bloody Mary" version of bars.

If you say "I'm weird" three times into the bathroom mirror in Los Angeles I feel like you'll be beamed Oil Canned Harried style. 

For as wonderfully weird as it was, it also shook me into a bit of an existential crisis. One that required a momentary trip outside. 

Okay Friel, I thought sitting on the stoop, you've said it for a long time now, but being here OFFICIALLY makes you weird. Now what? 

I didn't have an answer, so I just started taking pictures. 

Like of my new friend the tambourine man ... 

... and one of my beautiful little sister who was also so shocked she needed a minute ... 

The poor dear had never even been to the valley before, let alone the weirdest spot IN the Valley (or anywhere on this planet really ... outside of the Uranus I'm also wearing on my chest). 

All in all, the night was SPECTACULAR and UNBELIEVABLE. Hands down one of if not THE BEST experience I have ever had in LA. 

It put into perspective that a delay is not a denial and to be depleated doesn't mean to be defeated. Clarity comes with happiness, and Saturday night I was really really happy. 

I might be going through a lot right now, but between Brian's book and the weird life choices I continue to make, I have a feeling that ... 


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#FyreFestival: Did I mention I know one of the founders & I'm now featured on their website? 

He was the main dude on the tech side, and (thankfully) didn't have any involvement in the festival himself ... but you did see him in the Netflix documentary. 

No ... not that guy ... 

This guy.

The one with the funny name. 

 He's the tech founder and is/ was business partners with Ja Rule and Billy McFarland. 

Here he is on stage at the 2016 Web Summit ... 

MDavid is a nerd and my friend. He's a good guy who (depending upon how you look at it) had something really shitty happen to him. 

Here's what you haven't heard ... and straight from the source. 



January 23, 2019, I flipped on Netflix and saw the release of their new doc FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Here's the trailer incase you've been living under a rock and have no idea what I'm talking about ... 

I remember when the story broke last year and went viral. The concept was genius, the marketing unprecedented, but as someone who lived on an island and is very familiar with the Bahamas ... NONE of it came as a surprise that the festival was a disaster. The land simply doesn't have the infrastructure to support a festival like this. My friends own homes there (more on that in a minute) and barely get power. 

How on Earth could this happen? It didn't - that's the point.

What did surprise me was that they had people actually show up (only to then become temporarily stranded).

Not exactly the Gilligan fantasy I'm sure most of the millennials were expecting.

Either way, I made it about a third of the way through the documentary before I realized one of the "main characters" was actually a recurring character in my own life. 

Wait, MDavid? ...

MY MDavid?! (as if there's anyone else on the planet with that name) ... I said out loud after the title had appeared on the screen no less than 15 times. 

OMG, I KNOW HIM!!!! I shouted to Buster (who didn't care because he's a dog)

I then watched the rest of the documentary (which was super engaging with or without the connection) and immediately after popped on twitter to message him. 

It wasn't still his cell phone number, hence the word "new" next to his name in my phone.

I'm weird about getting rid of old numbers ... I prefer to confuse myself by having multiple listings for the same person... it's like friend Russian roulette ... or chat roulette without the dick pics. 

A few hours later, we connected over the phone. The first words out of my mouth were "how the heck are you? Way to go and be part of this huge international story!!" which was getting more and more coverage by the second as Hulu and Netflix released competing documentaries days apart. 

"It's insane right now. I never intended or wanted to become famous. My name has become a 'thing' online and Chrissy Teigen just tweeted me!" 

That's amazing! I said, and very well deserved. 

<tangent> See, MDavid and I met somehow through this blog and the twittersphere. He had even offered back in 2012 to redesign TNTML. This website is hilariously and horribly designed due to the fact that I built it out myself and have free hosting as a "friend of squarespace," a program that was cancelled and will require a manual downloading and uploading of all 7,500 blog posts (plus images and videos).

The fact that Jerry Bruckheimer bought this cracks me up and taught me a lesson that "good enough" beats "perfect." If I had waited to blog until I had something designed the way I wanted, I would never have had the career that I've had (and am continuing to have). </tangent> 

MDavid was willing to help me when I thought I needed it, so now I wanted to do anything and everything in my power to help him.

The Fyre Festival itself was completely separate from the team that actually built out the tech. 

Let me repeat that ... The Fyre Festival itself was completely separate from the team that actually built out the tech.

He had no involvement in it, but was part of a cultural phenomenon (which I saw he could immediately capitalize on)

Sure, Billy stiffed him out of hundreds of thousands of dollars (which I cannot even fathom personally), but publicity like they're experiencing can't be bought. 

People Magazine, W Magazine, Forbes, Gizmodo, Refinery29, TMZ, Entertainment Weekly, THEY WERE MENTIONED AT THE OSCARS ... and all of this happened WITHOUT a PR person!? Unlike the influencer marketing for the festival, the documentaries actually went viral organically. 

The next week, I went down to the Florida Keys to visit my family and take a quick dip in some R&R with my friends. 

"Have you seen that Fyre documentary on Netflix?" asked my girlfriend over drinks shortly after I arrived.

I was staying at her house. 

"YES!" I said excited to talk about it. 

<tangent> This was only the second time in six years of being in and out of island life that my island friends were talking about the same thing my city friends were talking about. I knew immediately this story wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Which will only continue to help MDavid!! </tangent> 

"I don't understand how they thought they could hold a festival on our island," she said. "We barely get power!" 

I know, you've told me all about it! I said laughing. 

They also tried to strong arm us into using our house for the festival. 

What do you mean, I asked? 

"Without permission, they used our property to film not only a series of marketing videos but they actually listed our house as being available to rent. They called it 'The Nest.' I really think they thought we'd eventually cave." 

<tangent> One of the many things that I love about my island friends is that they really don't give a fuck. You can't buy them because they're already rich. It's expensive AF to live on an island, let alone own property on one ... or should I say multiple properties on different islands. </tangent> 

She then pulled up a tweet from Tomi Lahren and said "this was taken infront of my house. This is our property!!!" 

And the worst part is, they even got their island marketing wrong. Pablo never owned that island, Carlos Lehder did.

They even got the drug dealer wrong, I thought to myself laughing.

Moments later, the owner of the "most photographed palm tree in the US" (and the owner of the home featured in Bloodline) stopped by to get us a round of drinks. 

I hadn't seen him in a few years and without skipping a beat, he asked if I had seen "that new documentary on Netflix?"

Yes, I said, we were JUST talking about it. 

"They got the wrong drug dealer," he said. "Carlos Lehder owned that property not Pablo." 

Shortly there after we finished up our drinks and went back to the house to watch the State of the Union address. 

Moments into the address ... I Bill Murrayed myself into another familiar face/ experience. 

OMG, I KNOW HIM!! I shouted out loud to my girlfriend (and this time not my dog)

<tangent> Me and about forty other people rang in the new year with Buzz Aldrin. My face stayed the same in exactly 10 different pictures, and when I see him again, I hope to say the sentence "hello my name is Jen Friel." I didn't get that far the first time, but I do love that when I see him again I can say "I met you on New Years! I was dressed as Cleopatra!" BTW, it was not a costume party. I just took the "black and gold" theme to another level. </tangent> 

I laughed to my girlfriend saying that I feel like Buddy the Elf right now ... 

I texted MDavid the next day saying how strange my life is. As an INTJ I can naturally see things from both sides, but in terms of the FYRE festival I was literally getting a play by play from the people who actually lived it.  

"We should get you on," he said one day over text. 

Done! I texted back. Always happy to help. is their new celebrity booking app (that has also garnered its own "buzz" in the media) ... 

Want to book Flo Rida for your son's birthday bbq? No problem! Go to his page, and fill out the information on the event. 

How is different than FYRE and the FYRE festival?

Here's the answer straight from the horses' mouth ... 

So, now I not only have my own page, but I am currently sandwiched in between Metta World Peace and DMX under featured talent on the home page. 

That's a sentence I never thought I'd say. 

What can you "book" me for? 

Brit Milahs, graduations, bachelor parties, retirement celebrations, bridal showers ... or I can awkwardly stare at you from across the room for a couple of hours just to make it weird.

At the end of the day, it's open to the imagination of the internet.

So take a look at their site and feel free to corrupt my inbox. 

I believe in you MDavid!! Keep doing what you're doing and you 100% have my support! <3 


Are you talent and want to sign up to be featured on Click here to sign up

MDavid's response ...

My girlfriend's response ... 


#NerdsUnite: Sex Toys Can Close The Orgasm Gap Once And For All

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's Angela Watson

The orgasm gap is a highly contested phenomenon in the modern age. Simply put, the orgasm gap refers to the fact that in male-female sexual encounters the orgasm of the male is essentially guaranteed while the orgasm of the female is a bit more up in the air. Stack up this disparity in orgasms over a few dozen sexual encounters and we have ourselves a very legitimate and very easy to pinpoint orgasm gap.

One major driver of the orgasm gap is how the two genders reach orgasm. Penetrative sex, often thought as the main course of any sexual encounter, is 100% the way males were biologically designed to get off. In the case of women however surveys report that anywhere from 50%-70% of women can’t reach orgasm through penetrative sex alone.

That means the clitoris is in serious need of some good lovin’, whether it be through oral sex, using the fingers, or good old-fashioned dry humping. The thing is, a lot goes into proper clitoral stimulation. Boyfriends tap out far too quickly when it comes to clitoral play which keeps the orgasm gap firmly ingrained in our sexual routines.

As with most modern problems, there are some modern solutions.

I am, of course, referring to sex toys. These mechanized conglomerations of batteries and silicone are the first line of defense when it comes to combating the orgasm gap.

Here’s a list of toys that are standard issue in the fight for orgasm parity:

Sex Furniture

Perhaps the most powerful weapon of them all would be sex furniture. Sex can be an awkward jumble of human body parts, it isn’t always easy to compliment our biology, especially with what we typically have sex on. So how about something a bit more purpose built?

Everyone knows that certain positions make for much better sensations for everybody involved. Of the orgasms that are possible through penetrative sex, anything that makes the G-spot easier to get to is worth its weight in gold. That’s exactly why any list of the best sex furniture includes the right kind of wedges, chairs, and loungers to properly position the pelvis for better G-spot action.

With the right piece(s) of furniture, there’s no excuse that anyone just couldn’t get to all of the right spots.

We-Vibe Tango

This lipstick shaped bullet vibrator proves once and for all bigger is not better. It’s made entirely from hard plastic and the cutesy outer experience isn’t going to scare anyone off any time soon.

What makes it so fantastic is that it’s able to deliver both powerful pinpoint sensations from the tip of the toy into the clitoris as well as a more generalized vibration if you elect to use the flat plateau portion. It’s small, it’s rechargeable, and it just refuses to quit. There’s essentially nothing stopping someone from taking fifteen minutes with this toy to bring themselves over the edge and well into orgasm territory.

Lelo Luna Beads

This is more for training than it is for use in the field, but how useful they can be can’t be understated.

Kegel workouts refer to exercising your power pelvic muscles. Like any exercise, the main goal is to strengthen these muscles for future use. Seems pretty obvious where I’m going to be going with this. Using these beads allow women to tighten up their muscles in their genital regions which increases the amount of stimulation felt by the woman as well as her partner. This option is great for any couple that wants to keep sex toys out of active use but want to kick things up a notch. It’ll improve the sensations of penetrative sex to even out the orgasm gap in that regard.

Keeping your kegels fit helps when it comes to looking around for the G-spot, too, so don’t underestimate just how powerful these little beads can be.

Lelo Sona

As far as I’m concerned, sonic toys are the nuclear option if you’re looking to bring a woman to orgasm.

Sonic toys like the Lelo Sona work by emitting strong sonic pulses that travel deep into clitoral tissue for an amazingly tantalizing time. Unlike normal toys that just buzz or vibrate on the surface level, sonic waves bring more blood flow to the area as well as go much further into the clitoris than any other kind of toy. This results in the possible amount of stimulation growing exponentially. All I have to say is that few women can resist more than 10 minutes of solid sonic play.

It isn’t going to happen overnight, but as sexual education gets much better across the board and more and more people worry about their partner’s sexual satisfaction more than their own the orgasm gap is sure to close. Not everyone likes performing certain sex acts and that’s completely okay. With these toys on hand, it’s all the outside help necessary to bring two people closer together for a good time.