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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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Thursday
Apr252019

#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." 

BUT I LOOK LIKE THIS!!! I TRIED TO SAY WITH MY EYES. 

... 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 ... 

#staytuned

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Thursday
Mar072019

#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. 

Maestro.

 

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 Iconn.me," he said one day over text. 

Done! I texted back. Always happy to help. 

Iconn.me 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 Iconn.me 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 

#nerdsunite

Are you talent and want to sign up to be featured on Iconn.me? Click here to sign up

MDavid's response ...

My girlfriend's response ... 


Monday
Jan212019

#NerdsUnite: I'm a mistress in training, can you help me with my foot slave?

<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 got the following email this morning, and wanted to share ... 

There's a lot happening with this post so let me break it down step by step. 

First of all, hi Sally ::waves::

Thanks for reading and thanks for reaching out. 

Secondly, while yes, I have had slaves before, I am by no means a professional. 

Click here to read about how I got into it. 

Okay, full disclosure over. 

Let's cut to the chase ... 

You're 21 years old and already exploring fetishes (accidentally or otherwise), good for you!

Step one in exploring any sort of fetish is to decide what you are comfortable with. It's not easy in the beginning (because how do you know what you want/like if you haven't experienced it), but I promise you, this will get easier. 

I'm not a label person, but I consider myself a "try-sexual;" I will try anything sexually once to see if I like it. For me this experience wasn't sexual, it was mental (which indirectly is sexual, but they never saw that).

Each slave that I had had very specific and different fetishes (all under the umbrella of being a foot fetish). I have had 8 in total over the years (with one that I met with but did not accept)

Here is my first experience with a slave. 

Here is a slave who was into Financial Domination. 

Here is a slave that I took to a fetish club (which in hindsight I was DEFINITELY not ready for)

Here is a picture of one of my slaves in action. 

Here is a slave that wanted me to murder him. This is the one that I did not accept (because obvi)

But before I accepted a single slave, I sought the advice and help of a friend who is what they call a "switch" (meaning both a sub/ and a Domme)

He and I had been friends for years so I felt comfortable learning from him. You can read about the experience here. 

Since your boyfriend is into trampling (that's what that means when he wants you to walk all over him), I'd highly suggest you do the same (if you are comfortable doing that in the first place).

When I did it for the first time, I went for it.

So much so that the "switch" recommended that if I had a slave who was into trampling that I explain to them that I'm "sadistic." I applied so much pressure out the gate that he enjoyed it - but to others it might have gone too far. 

Not literally because that's a different fetish ... 

That's the part about this world that I love so much - there's no "wondering" where things will go. I as the Domme very clearly stated my rules beforehand to each of the slaves. If I liked you after our first meeting, I liked you, but I wasn't your girlfriend and I couldn't be bought. (My tributes were wine or shoes.) 

Here's a post on what happens when a girlfriend did find out and actually messaged me. My loyalty in that situation was to the slave. It was his choice what he wanted to reveal to her and I had to respect that. 

In terms of "commanding" him, it's all mental. I started a "trello board of torture" for my last Fin Domme slave. Owning a slave is the equivalent of having a part time job, and as someone who already has multiple part time jobs - I couldn't lose out on staying one step ahead of him mentally. 

This is called "topping from the bottom" and that happened to me once too. 

For that slave, I'd write out all of the things I'd want him to do and cut and paste them him whenever I felt he needed to be controlled. Click here for the examples. By being able to rapid fire off requests at the drop of a hat, I was able to command him more effectively. 

In terms of how you "command" that's up to you. For me, it was faking it until I made it. I couldn't believe it when I said the words "little pig" out loud for the first time, but over the years it gave me a lot of confidence that eventually seeped into my every day life. 

I'd suggest your next step with your beau is to have a meeting to discuss it. Set up a time where you discuss exactly what you're both wanting and or willing to explore (which can change) and establish a "safe word" to prevent the exploration from going "too far."  

(It helps to have this conversation in an intimate but not sexual setting.) 

In the meantime, if he is truly into exploring trampling or any other physical activity, I'd suggest reaching out to a Domme on FetLife. I wouldn't have felt comfortable exerting any sort of pain to someone had it not been for that experience, but everyone is different. 

Congrats on being brave enough as a couple to explore this world, and I'd love to be kept up to date on your experiences! They're certainly never boring ... unless you're actually bored of him, and trust me, there's plenty more where he came from. 

#nerdsunite

 

Wednesday
Jan092019

#ThatAmazingMomentWhen: I got stopped at TSA because of my dildo ... (did I mention this happened twice?)

<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> 


Oh man, this story is funny, and I'd be lying if I said it only happened once. 

My biggest take away from this life experience ...

is that sex toys should come with ...

a rating on whether they are TSA compliant or not. 

In both cases mine were technically compliant, but did cause a pause for extra screening.

The TSA agent clearly didn't understand what it was ...

and definitely not where it went.  

 Maestro ... 

I went back east this holiday season and part of my packing priority includes my ::buzz buzz buzz:: of an animal that has no fur. 99% of women reading this will know what this is, but for the men who might not, this is called a Rabbit. 

The Rabbit was popularized in Sex and The City Season One Episode 9 "Turtle and the Hare" (1998). Miranda discovers the ultimate vibrator aka The Rabbit ... which is amazing because I feel like Miranda never discovered anything of interest (particularly not her fashion) on the show. 

<tangent> Being the age now that the characters are, I'm kind of amazed at that clip. I got my first pocket rocket (aka a vibrator just for the clit no insertion) when I was 22.

My first boyfriend had an aunt who ::surprise:: sold sex toys. 

Instead of being weirded out by her ::surprise:: Happy Thanksgiving day gift, I instead (curiously) put it to use. 

The relationship ended eight months later.

Totally unrelated to the vibrator. Kinda. </tangent> 

I have a couple different dildos but the Rabbit is my go-to. It's the wham, bam, thank you ma'am that gets in, gets you off, and lets you get on with your life. 

I packed my backpack as usual, nuzzling the Rabbit in a sweater somewhere near the top, remembering first to remove the battery pack. The next morning, I arrived at LAX a full two hours ahead of my flight to allow for extra backup with holiday travel.

As I stood in line I thought back to the time I got caught with a dildo at LAX.

(This part is very true. All of it is obviously - I'm not creative enough to make this shit up.) 

I laughed thinking back to how naive I was in terms of traveling to not remember to take out the battery pack. You can read the original post here.

That time in particular, I had simply forgotten, but after having countless vibrating toothbrushes ::buzz:: in my bag, I considered it a cardinal rule to make sure that anything with batteries shall be removed beforehand.

The TSA agent back in 2011 was female and quite lovely. The dildo on the screen looked exactly like that one (I'm assuming) that she uses, so instead of requiring any sort of search she quietly leaned over and whispered "just so you know, take out the batteries next time and you won't be stopped. When the batteries are left in it sets off an alert on our screen." 

She then winked and smiled wishing me a safe flight. 

Is a dildo angel "a thing?" If not it should be. 

I passed through security no problem (remembering to remove that little piece of paper that is always in my pocket), placed my hat back on, and walked over to grab my bag - noticing that it had been pulled to the "additional screening" conveyer belt. 

Thinking nothing of it, I walked over to the table admitting that this was my bag. 

"Is this your bag?" he asked. 

"Yes," I said, noticing that he did not hear me. 

If an animal played this man in a movie, it would be a sloth. I'm sure he's a lovely lovely person to his mother ... sisters ... he's the kind of uncle who always remembers to send you $20 in a birthday card (and you have no idea which uncle he is but you spend the cash anyway)

"Is ... there ... anything ... sharp ... in ... here?" sloth asked s.l.o.w.l.y. 

"No" I said, my eyes darting over to his screen remembering the only thing remotely "sharp looking" would be the Rabbit. 

Here we go again I thought ... 

processing that the sloth was going to  s.l.o.w.l.y. open up my bag ...

have to find and take out the hairless animal. 

Did I mention all of the other passengers ... 

that were just casually traveling for the holidays ... 

MOST OF WHOM HAD CHILDREN ... 

By the time he began unzipping (this was only as far as he had gotten at this point), I paused him. 

"Sir, I would like to go to the additional screening room," I said loudly.

One, because I'm pretty certain he was hard of hearing and two, because I wanted to be firm. 

He looked confused at my request. 

"This isn't for me," I explained. "It's for you." 

Confused, he fulfilled the request alerting a female agent and pointed over to the side room (which thankfully was empty because his walk alone was going to take an ungodly amount of time)

<tangent> I happen to LOVE sloths so please let me pause for a moment with EXCITEMENT! Please tell me you have all seen this video ... 

Alrite, getting back to the post. </tangent> 

The female agent arrived moments later. She also looked confused as to why we were in the private room.

I clued her in by saying "I asked for the private room for his protection not mine." 

Still confused, we both placed our backs up against the wall as he put on the blue rubber gloves. (This is only as far as he had gotten at this point.) 

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the hat I was wearing said 747? 


It's from Burning Man. I'm not an actual pilot but based on their expressions I might play one on TV one day. 

He then unwrapped the Rabbit from my sweater, placing his index fingers on the head and base. He began examining it as if it was some sort of ancient artifact.

I'm not sure what confused him, the part that looked like a penis or the extra extension that looked like ears made for clitoral stimulation. 

"Oh yeah, you needed the private room" the female agent said putting a ... 

on the exchange.

I smiled with an intense amount of pride as I grabbed the Rabbit back from the sloth and re-nuzzled it into its little hole.  

Look at that, here I was simply taking care of my own holes and I wound up taking a man down a Rabbit hole he had yet to experience.

I'd be lying if I said this was the first time. 

Wonder what would have happened if he had found the others (that were hidden deeper).  

I'm serious on that ... I really did have others. 

Note to nerds: Don't travel with a sex toy that has metal. The beads in the Rabbit are what set off the alarm.

Oh! And speaking of ::buzz::-ing ... I spent NYE with BUZZ ALDRIN!!! I have the exact same face in 10 different photos, and in this one I might have actually peed myself. 

Maybe my next toy should be one that works on kegel muscles. 

#nerdsunite

 

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Thursday
Dec062018

#TrueStory: I took one of my childhood idols as my date to her own movie screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery 

<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 been waiting to write this story because it is so special in my heart (and still to this day close to my ulnar and radial arteries) ... 
 

This wristband will have to fall off my body on its own. I REFUSE to take it off.

It wasn't until I saw one of her 90210 co-stars on Sunday ... 

... that I decided that it was time ... 

BTW, I LOVED Shannen as the annoying little sister in Girls Just Want to Have Fun.

As the "annoying little sister" in the Friel household, I could totally relate. 

::cue post:: 

This story starts in June of last year, I had agreed to pick up my gf's mail while she was out of town (on an extended work trip). I stopped by her place in downtown to grab the key and as she buzzed me into her building, I realized she wasn't alone. 

I did my best to not pull a Honey ... 

My girlfriend was sitting next to none other than one of my childhood idols, Rachel True. 

::cue Troy McClure:: 


You may remember Rachel True from such 90s classics as "The Craft," "Half Baked," "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and "Beverly Hills 90210." 

The Craft came out in 96, around the same time as Clueless and the rise of the Spice Girls. All three movies were aspirational in terms of their female friendships, and while I liked all three, The Craft became my obsession. (And the reason why still to this day I wear black knee highs.) 

The women in The Craft were not only hot, and cool but they owned how weird they were. This was something I hadn't seen in "high school aged" pop culture characters before. 

I added the quotes because we all know they're never "high school aged." 

If you're not familiar with the movie (CURSE YOU), it's about a (soon-to-be-discovered-powerful) girl/ witch who moves to a new school and becomes friends with the resident witches. A power struggle ensues and "good" battles "evil" highlighted with cutting edge CG effects. 

Either way, I worshipped this woman, and (unlike my normal response of completely ignoring or BOLTING from anyone I worship) I immediately and instinctively took advantage of the situation asking if we could go ghost hunting. (My gf lives in a historical building in downtown.) 

Rachel was super impressed with my brass balls (to not only solicit the request but actually WANT to do it),

... and that evening I was able to cross off "go ghost hunting with one of the four characters from The Craft" off my life list. 

Click here to read the full story 

Over the last year, Rachel and I frequently (and equally as randomly) kept in touch and hung out.

Here's a text from last Christmas: 


I was in my parent's living room as I JUMPPPPEEDDDDD up and down with joy (not only for her continued success obviously) but that RACHEL TRUE LOVES READING MY BLOG AND RACHEL TRUE JUST WISHED ME A MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! 

Wait, that's not dramatic enough ... 

Alrite too dramatic ... moving on. 

Either way, my childhood dream of becoming friends with one of the coolest girls on the PLANET (er, multidimensional universe?) was now properly executed. 

Six months or so later, my friends and I went to a screening of The Lost Boys at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I had such a great time that when I got home I signed up for their newsletter.

Then in late July Cinespia (the crowd that hosts the events at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery) announced that they were hosting an all night slumber party showing The Craft, Practical Magic, and The Witches. 

I immediately called my best friend (who now knows her) ... 

"Do you think Rachel would come with us if I bought us all tickets to see The Craft at Hollywood Forever Cemetery?" 

"I'm not sure," he said. 

"Either way, as long as you're down to go, I'll buy the tickets and we can figure out the rest later." 

Cinespia tickets notoriously sell out quickly which is CRAZY since this is the average crowd size ... 

I then jumped online to purchase tickets and to my (not so) surprise, they had already sold out. 

Never one to back down from a dream or goal I want to accomplish, I clicked CONTACT Cinespia's page typing into the form that I wanted to attend with one of the stars of the film and wondered if there were any tickets left. 

Emphasis on "wanting" to attend.

Yes, Rachel and I are legit friends, and I planned on inviting her ... but I also hadn't gotten that far yet and had ZERO confirmation if she would even be okay with this. All I had texted her up until this point was asking if she was available on that night (which she was)

Even for me, this was a ballsy move; I've never ever used a friend's celebrity to get access to an event. Quite the opposite, I prefer to downplay things.

The 33 year old part of me felt a degree of guilt, but fortunately the 13 year old Jen won thinking "THIS WILL BE THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE IF I ACTUALLY PULL THIS OFF!!!" 

Five minutes later, I got a response back from the director. 

 

I answered back honestly ... 


Tickets now secured (we were even upgraded to VIP), I texted my bestie ... 

At The Lost Boys, my friend cracked a comment wondering who you had to screw to get VIP. Turns out no one, but it didn't mean I was "in the clear" in terms of screwing over my own friendship. 

I took a deep breath as I texted Rachel my plan ... 

 

Now delivered, my next step was to wait for her response. 

... and wait I did ... 

Four days later, still without a response, I messaged again creating more of a visual on what the evening would entail ... 


Minutes later, I got a response ... 

33 year old Jen smiled at a job well done ... 

... while 13 year old Jen began jumping up and down mimicking the feeling the female lead in a romantic comedy has when she "gets the guy" ... 

.... only I didn't "get the guy," I got the girl ... 

... and I accomplished my goal while maintaining (most importantly) my friendship.

In my wildest dreams I couldn't have planned this, and that was the point, I didn't have to. 

Saturday came by before I knew it, and I emailed the director once more to confirm the logistics of the evening. Placing myself in the accidental director role, meant that I had talent to protect and needed to make sure she was as comfortable as possible at all times. 

Not only had Cinespia set us up with the tickets, but they had a trailer designated specifically for our group, and even offered a golf cart chauffer to get through the crowds. 

Upon arrival, we took advantage of everything. 

Feet? Who needs them when we have wheels (and a driver) ... 

Oh, what's that? Is it a bit warm outside? Shall we go into the air conditioned trailer instead?

DON'T MIND IF WE DO! 

"Do you guys want a photo in the photo booth," asked one of the Cinespia employees?

DO WE? I thought. 

We were then escorted over to the photo booth via the back entrance (instantly cutting the hour plus long line).

I had zero problem with this ...  

... and with the biggest shit eating grin, struck my own pose ... 

... with the lady who was on the very big screen in that very moment. 

"Look," I said pointing to the left ... 

Fans would then approach (and with Rachel's blessing) I immediately offered to be the photographer. I was having the ABSOLUTE TIME OF MY LIFE and wanted to respectfully share this life experience with anyone who was equally as excited to be around Rachel as I was.

Handing their phones back, I'd say "you're welcome" in my head, even if they didn't say thank you. 

Feeling pretty proud of myself, we then were escorted over to the front where Rachel was due to give the intro. Like a good Jewish mother (even though I'm a shiksa), I then requested one more pic before she took the stage. 

I then stood in the background of the stage fist pumping and BEAMING with pride watching my friend give this speech ... 

Click the photo to view the video on Instagram

I might have been happily in the shadows in that moment, but in my head, I felt front and center accepting the award of this life experience ... and dedicated it to the weirdos of the world. 

 Once she finished, we were then escorted (yet again) back to the trailer where they gave us a full feast of wine, chips, and said if there was anything that we needed to just let them know. 

"Do you want to head to your seats?" asked the attendant. 

Unsure if Rachel would feel comfortable with seeing herself on pretty much the biggest screen in Los Angeles, I paused to let her answer. 

"Sure," she said without thought as we began walking over. 

Incapable of speaking, I continued to try and play it cool, ultimately failing miserably.

I'm really not kidding, btw, I tripped on the stairs walking out of the trailer. 

Saved by my friend, I grabbed his arm laughing while saying "I can't believe she's actually going to watch the movie with us. WHO DOES THIS HAPPEN TO?!"

"You," he said with a smile. "You planned this whole thing. Now, you get to really enjoy it." 

We then grabbed our VIP seats, as Rachel asked one more question before the movie began. 

I Taylor Swift style answered ... 

... and began smoking a J (INSIDE A CEMETERY) with Mary Jane from Half Baked. 

 High now on equal parts life and marijuana, we took our seats for the last time. The crowd cheered as the movie began. 

Our group cheered the loudest when Rachel's name appeared on the screen. 

For the next hour and a half, I not only experienced IRL DVD commentary on one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE FILMS ... 

... but I also got to invoke Manon with her WHILE IT WAS PLAYING ON THE SCREEN!!!!!!

 My bestie is from a cold place up north, I am from back east, Rachel is from LA, and my other friend is from Long Beach (which counts because we call that the "South Bay" in LA.


Instead of fire though and anyone walking on water (it was weird enough being in a cemetery) - we raised our hands and laughed as we chanted the lines by the fake candle they (appropriately) gave our table. 

When the movie was over, I gave Rachel the biggest hug thanking her for the best night of my life. I explained that "I realized this could have easily been super douchey asking to bring you to this, but I really respect and appreciate how cool you were with the whole thing." 

"You're cool too, and I'll see you soon" she said with a smile and a hug good bye. 

... which was really convenient timing considering I was already in a cemetery. 

#nerdsunite