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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: What's your fantasy (that time I catfished a celebrity only to be catfished myself the next day)?

<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 decided to go to Burning Man this year. I don't want to talk about it until I experience it, but one of the things my friends keep telling me is that once you are called and you answer (I know I know stay with me here), "things will start to fall into place and come together effortlessly and naturally." I can't see the full picture of what that means yet, but what I can see is that my actions have an almost IMMEDIATE reaction. This story is the proof in the pudding ...

On Saturday, I received this text from a guy on Bumble  ... 

I wrote "friend" and not "girlfriend," and by singular girlfriend I meant plural ... and by plural I mean 10 or so deep. 

Either way, he accepted the spontaneous plans, and after an hour delay on my part, we met up at the Brewery (still a half hour before my friends arrived)

I found him as soon as I walked in. 

Much like my NC dating master guru predicted, he was even more attractive in person than in his photos.

<tangent> See, I've enlisted the help a non-certified Guru that happens to be my bestie born in the body of a very attractive gay male. He's the reason why I changed my dating profile, and has helped identify which of the matches are actually worth my time in meeting. I'm looking to get married and have babies, which means I am pulling out all of the stops to make sure I am not only meeting the "right" kind of guy but that I myself am making the "right" choices. </tangent> 

From my perspective, his photos were great ... I mean come on ... 

... but I just didn't have enough of that pizzazz of back and forth witty banter that eventually woos me enough to want to meet with someone. 

It's a date, Friel, I thought. Stop overthinking and go meet. 

I mentally high fived the NC Guru upon arrival, feeling 1/2 Emma Stone's character in Crazy Stupid Love ... 

... and 1/2 well, this ... 

We then sat down grabbing a round, and started the ever so painful "getting to know someone process." By the end of the first drink we had covered current location (including every place we have ever lived), work, family, growing up, and a slight understanding of where our individual futures were heading. 

Wanting to shake things up a bit, I asked if he was any good at skeeball. 

"I don't know how to play," he admitted. 

"Let me teach you," I said.

Six games, a 100 point rim shot, and 380 score later, the student had become the master. 

Well done, I said with a high five beginning to now respect him. 

He mentioned during our "getting to know each other process" that he was a rocket scientist (my words not his, his words were "astrophysicist," which is close enough). Wondering if life was pulling my leg (because NO ONE that attractive could ACTUALLY be smart), I pried more into what he did exactly work wise and immediately found it fascinating. 

I had no idea that if you work for NASA or any sort of funded space program, as the scientist you are also responsible for fundraising your own research. Obviously that's spoken very simply and there's also a political element to it, but I had no idea that EVEN AT THAT LEVEL they had to hustle and work hard not only on their craft, but on their marketing, pitch, and sales skills; that takes an OFF THE CHART level of IQ and EQ that I found very attractive. 

By the second glass my girlfriends arrived, but not before taking this SUPER CREEPY video of our rendezvous. 

One by one my girlfriends ran up to introduce themselves each sharing the same reaction ...

Jen Friel, he is really hot. (My name is one word in that group, and throughout most of my life.)

I know, I said laughing, and HE'S ACTUALLY SMART  ... 

I then properly greeted the birthday girl, as she asked where I had found this guy. 

"Bumble," I admitted. "Totally new perspective on men, and I feel like my life is coming together in a full circle. I'm in the process of completely leveling up." 

"YEAH YOU ARE," she said. 

My date was four friends into surface conversation, before I checked his pulse. 

"You have really great friends," he said smiling. 

"Oh they are a handful," I said, but I respect and appreciate you were willing to meet me and them so spontaneously. 

I then asked if he wanted another drink, and he said he couldn't because he drove. 

I totally respect that, I said. Let me walk you out. 

I dared to not turn around as I walked him out wondering what hilariously obnoxious motions my girlfriends were NO DOUBT demonstrating. 

I stopped on the sidewalk as we approached the parking lot. 

"It was really nice to meet you," I said with a smile and a pause. 

See, normally if I'm not into a guy I'll go in for what I call the "confident hug." It's warm, and inviting but also leaves ZERO chance for any sort of awkward unwanted kiss. 

Standing there for a moment meant that I was interested.

He then went in for the hug, and it kinda seemed like he was wondering if I was going to kiss him ...

only I like the guy to take the lead in that situation so I didn't ...

standing there both confused we mutually went in for yet another hug which I wasn't mad at because DAMN HIS BODY FELT GOOD ... 

I walked back over to the group and was immediately asked about the kiss. 

Didn't happen, I admitted, but it was a really great date!

Still confused at how such an attractive and smart creature could be single, they asked again how we met. 

"Bumble," I said again. "I've had an entirely new perspective on online dating thank to the NC Guru. Look at my profile. It reveals everything and nothing!" 


My phone was then passed around the table as one of the girls clicked on my messages and saw that only one name was familiar. 

"Who ARE ALL these men," she asked? 

"There are plenty of great guys out there!! It's just ALL about how you market yourself!!! I've known this for a while, but never executed from the male perspective." 

Phones were then passed around as I changed two of the girls' profiles passing on the guidance shared. 

"You took away all of the things I like," she said. 

"Leave it for a week. A/B test. I could be right, I could be wrong. Just try it." 

Done, we all agreed, as I popped on over to the other side of the table. 

As I sat down, I noticed two of the girls laughing and admitting that they were catfishing someone. 

Knowing how attractive my friends are, I was a bit confused. "Why would either of you be catfishing someone?" 

"It's a celebrity," they said. "Do you know Puddin' Tane?" 

"Yes," I said, knowing that everyone knows Puddin' Tane.

<tangent> See, Puddin' Tane (name changed to protect the guilty) is a not only a very well known actor, but to the women of Los Angeles? He's known as ONE HELL of a creep in online dating. I don't know if this has been publicly revealed, and quite frankly even if it has been, it's not my place to call them out. Either way, because we had/have no plans on fucking him, we immediately decided to fuck with him ... </tangent> 

"THIS IS GENIUS," I said super excited. "I can help you confirm your identity. I HAVE HIS NUMBER TOO!" 

We moved our drinks to the side as my own spy mode was officially activated. 

First things first, I said, let's confirm if he uses multiple numbers and or has a burner of some kind. 

We both pulled up the info on the text message and confirmed that indeed it was the same number.

That technically doesn't confirm that he doesn't have multiple lines but as two "perfect strangers" that met him, we at least had the same digits. 

Second, you send him a photo from your phone, and I'll send that SAME photo immediately after. 

She did, and once complete, I sent this ... 

Immediately I got a response ...

"What's your name and how did you guys meet?" I asked for the first time. 

I BURST OUT LAUGHING as I text her answer ... 

See, our girlfriend really did meet PT in Cabo and got his number. It wasn't until she came back telling my OTHER girlfriend about it and it was the other girlfriend who admitted to liking him. Thus the catfishing began! 

Stepping right into our trap, he asked for what we both knew he would ask for ... 

We took two selfies and sent them (one with strategic placement of our mouths) ... 

See that? It visually reads "insert your penis here." 

 Catfish confirmation mission complete, we then level upped our own game and decided to Facetime PT ...

... and like a smart man he knew not to answer. 

Moving onto something else that was shiny, we quickly got bored and shortly after I grabbed a LYFT home. 

The next morning, (I was shockingly perky as a peach) I got a text from a guy I was scheduled to have a date with ... 

I then suggested a restaurant that 1) I knew had bottomless mimosas, and 2) was a place where I knew the bartenders. If the date sucked I could at least make the most of it by hanging with my friends and potentially meet another guy.

His answer surprised me ...

His texts continued ... 

I looked down at the photo ... 

That was NOT the person I matched with. 

I immediately texted the NC guru ... 

I then screenshot the photo and sent it, as I scrolled through my phone remembering that I had screenshot his profile (to brag to my friends how hot he was), but quickly realized that I had recently deleted it to make room for (presumably) other screenshots. 

THE ONE TIME, I thought mentally shaking my fist. 

I then thought back to his behavior and remembered that he had unmatched me earlier in the week. I only knew this because Bumble tried to match me with him again. 

I explained this to the guru as I also admitted my behavior from the evening before ... 

The guru didn't respond (due to him sleeping like a normal person), so sans any guidance I was forced to make my own decision.

Do I ...

a) tell the guy to fuck off.

b) Say WTF that does NOT look like the profile pictures you featured on bumble


c) Say nothing knowing that this is instant karma for my accessory to catfishing behavior from the night before and this was EXACTLY the kind of "sign" my friends were talking about in terms of the "burning man experience." 

Guess which option I chose ... 

I then grabbed a LYFT to head over to the bar. I made sure to arrive first to pick a table within the eye line of the bar (just incase I needed any sort of assistance from friends).

He arrived moments later, and looked exactly like the photo he had sent.  

We exchanged pleasantries and began the "getting to know you process." He admitted to working in the restaurant business launching a handful of hugely successful brands. 

"That's why you were so picky on the place," I said. "This is what you do for a living - okay, now that makes sense." 

We then chatted about life, and I got to pick his brain on trends in the culinary world. 

An hour or so later, our date was done. While aesthetically yes, the person I matched with was night and day from the one who I swiped on, but I really wasn't mad at the experience as a whole. Had he put the picture he sent of himself online would I have swiped? Probably not. Will I give him a second date? Hell no, that fucker is a fake ... 

Besides, I already had that life experience. (AND THANK YOU INTERNET FOR TRACKING HIM ... or should I say HER DOWN!!

<tangent> Also, how lucky am I that my catfish was such a giver? I got third row floor seats to the New Kids On The Block comeback tour!!! Who does that happen to?!!? </tangent> 

I then bopped on over to the bar to gush to my friends about my experience explaining to them not only the night before but my morning date's behavior. As I pulled up the photo to show them, I saved the photo to the camera roll. 

"Let's see if he's truly a pro," I explained. 

See, there's meta data when you take a photo using your phone. It erases if you upload it to social media, but if you're directly sending a photo to someone you can see not only the date it was taken, but also the EXACT location. Try it now on your phone ... it's pretty creepy. 

"The only way to turn off the meta data is if you put your phone in airplane mode when you're taking a photo. The type of person that would go to this kinda trouble to take a photo is the kind of person that would catfish someone." 

As I opened up the camera roll, the most recent picture was his, and the meta data recorded the photo as being taken "today" at that exact time. 

"Told you," I said with a smile. 

Mirroring a child who had just been told there was no Santa, my friend looked up and said ... 

"... some sort of spy?" he asked. 

No, I said. Just a nerd whose no longer the newest kid on the block. 





#NerdsUnite: That time I got stiffed (instead of getting something stiff) 

<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> 

Last Friday, I went to the local watering hole with my best friend (who happens to be gay, a guy, and not into anything tech), and somewhere near the end of our first glass of wine, I referenced a gif I had sent to a guy on Bumble, "let me show it to you," I said grabbing my phone. 

As I pulled up Bumble, I quickly realized I couldn't find the conversation. 

"Oh, I said laughing, he clearly googled me and unmatched." 

"Why would someone unmatch with you?" he asked confused. 

"I fully disclose in my profile that I'm a writer and that I have the blog. Some men get weirded out by it." 

"Why do you need to fully disclose your blog to people?" 

I took a moment, and thought about it, before responding with "you're right! I've spent my entire 'career' disclosing that information because my website and myself were one in the same. It's been (almost) a decade, and one full lifetime later. So, why am I still doing this?" 

I immediately deleted my entire profile (and also took down my TedX picture) and changed my profile to this ... 

The results were immediate, and on Monday, I texted him my findings ... 
As I was texting him, I got YET ANOTHER text from YET ANOTHER date ... 
I'm a sapiosexual, so leading with "just" my looks was the LAST thing on my mind. I'm a hot chick, why the fuck did I not think of leading with that!!! Who knew dating could be so easy???

Well done, Friel. You're for once not over thinking things.

Now, onto the post ... 

The more honest I've been able to be with myself, the more that I realized I never actually made dating a priority. I made dating a business yes, but a priority no. When I reread texts or (even worst) posts, I noticed a pattern in starting them off with ... "I thought I was going to meet this guy, and then I had this work thing come up ..." 

If I really want what I say I want, this should be the only coming I'm focused on ...

The "episode" I had back in September was such a blessing in disguise; it forced me to face my own mortality, which then lead to a stronger focus on what my intentions are. 

I want a family, and to make that happen, I have to shift my priorities. 

I then popped on Bumble, and matched with a guy who is in the C suite of a tech company you all know. 

The tall, dark, and handsome boxes checked, I then gave him my number and FOUR HOURS of gif game/ texting later (I dig a man with endurance) ... we set a date for our actual date. 

<tangent> I'm one of these people that doesn't want to text back and forth before we meet. Once the date is set, it's set in my mind and I go about my day. It doesn't mean I'm not excited to meet the person, it just means that I've got shit to do. </tangent> 

iCal appointment added, I then opened up safari and googled him. Historically, I've preferred to get to know someone first before googling them, but in this case, I knew he would be considered a public figure and I was curious to learn more. 

I typed in his first name (which is all Bumble gives you) and the company. The results were not great. 

Review after review spoke really ill of him. One review directly called him a "bully" and what a "horror he was to work for." Clearly these are just disgruntled employees, I thought thinking the person I had just talked to seemed far from being a "bully." Depending upon how the date goes, I will tell him about his ORM (online reputation management) and offer help (if he asks), I thought. 

We agreed to meet at the Belmont at 9pm (we both had meetings that ran rather late), and as I grabbed a LYFT over to my happy hour, I noticed he still hadn't texted to confirm. 

"Still on?" I sent. 

"I wasn't sure," he texted back. 

See, our very last message was a sarcastic gif stating that I wasn't actually that excited to meet him. I view playful jests as flirting. He took what I said literally. 

"Oh shit!" I texted back. "I must seem like such an asshole. No, I'm actually really excited to meet you, and can still do 9 if you can." 

"Okay," he texted. 

Shake it off, I thought to myself. Not exactly off to the best start, but that's fine. We had gotten along so well over text that I had assumed that we were vibing on the same level. Clearly that wasn't the case, but all good in the hood. 

And if there's one thing in this life I know that I'm not, it's a quitter. 

I arrived at the Belmont five minutes past nine and saw my date at the bar (drink already in hand)

Hi, I said excited that he looked just like his pictures.

I'll take a glass of rose, I said to the bartender as I took my seat.

Oh man, I said laughing, you must have thought I was such a jerk with that last text. I was totally just kidding.

Not a problem, he said as I caught him literally sizing me up and down.  

Taking the focus off of the flesh, I quickly asked about his family and passions. I listened intently, but could tell he was a bit guarded and closed off. Unsure if that was normal for him (he happened to be foreign), I continued pushing on. 

30 polite minutes later, both of our drinks were done. 

Shall we get another round? I asked. 

Sure, he said, let me just first use the restroom.

Okay, I said, waiting. 

Five or so minutes later, he returned saying that he thinks he has food poisoning from the dinner he had the night before. (He admitted to being with the CEO of his company the previous night.) 

Does food poisoning have a 24 delay effect? I thought but didn't say. 

"I'm so sorry to hear you're sick," I said. "Why don't we call it a night then so you can go home and rest." 

"Okay," he quickly replied seconds after I finished my sentence. Equally as fast, he then pulled out his phone and called an Uber. The car arrived a minute later. 

"It was nice to meet you," he said standing up. 

Shocked, but sympathetic, I said, "I hope you feel better." 

The entire date lasted less than 45 minutes, and he was out the door sans a second glance.

Well, I thought, you're all dressed up so you might as well make the most of it. I ordered another drink, as I texted my bestie. 

I've discovered in my old age that I fester far less (if at all) if I just vent. I don't need anyone to fix anything, just let me say what I need to say and be done with it. 

We continued to text ... 

I then finished my drink, and asked for the bill. 

Hi, I said grabbing the bartender (the bar was quite busy), can I have the check for the rose?

"Yes, you had the rose, and the beer too, correct?" 

The words "and the beer too" hit like bullets as I quickly processed that he stiffed me with his bill ... his $7 bill. 

See, because he had gotten there before me, I just (again) assumed that he had already paid cash. Tears immediately welled up and poured from my eyes as the bartender quickly offered a discount. 

In my 20s I got drinks because I was pretty. In my 30s? I got one because I was pitied.

I'm not sure what was worse, the date or being served an unwanted side of sympathy. 

<tangent> I feel like the fact that the bill was only $7 made it THAT MUCH WORSE. If you're experiencing money problems, no big deal! I can pick up a check, but someone in his position doing something like this? Money is not the issue!!! </tangent> 

Still processing, I typed the words "and he actually stiffed me w the bill. Now it's on." 

I then called my LYFT and headed over to another local bar. Tears still present, I sat down at the bar feeling sorry for myself. You're allowed to be sad tonight, I thought not wanting to compartmentalize my emotions to the point where I stopped feeling them. Give yourself tonight to feel sorry, and then move it the fuck on, I thought. 

My GF arrived moments later, party hat and all ... 

The previous weekend we went to my friend's birthday party and he had these tiny poop party hats clearly meant to be worn on a child, and as adult children - WE WERE GAME!!! 

I nearly spit out my wine, as she danced through the door announcing "we're going to take this shit show and make a shit salad!!!" 

We're gonna need a round of shots, she said to the bartender. This girl just had a REALLY bad date. 

Oh no, said the female bartender. 

I went into enough detail to highlight how horrible it was, but not enough to continue crying. 

Fortunately, she didn't say "that this one was on the house," but she did comment on the fact that this was true sisterhood. 

"Yeah, I said tears completely dry (the poop hat helped). This girl was in bed, and not only put on makeup, but I mean look at that hat."

That night, I might not have gotten the guy (THANK GOD!), but I did solidify a best friendship. 


She then asked the next day if I had heard from him, and I said no. 

"His intentions were pretty clear with his actions." 

"So, why not message him and tell him to fuck off?" she added. 

"He's not worth it," I said. "People hang themselves, and one google search alone revealed plenty."

"Congrats on being the bigger person," she said.

"Yes, the bigger person with a bestie who showed up in a very tiny poop hat." 

"Well that's what friends are for!" 

Onto the next ... and fortunately with my new game plan, there are plenty.



#RealDeal: I went to prom and took molly in front of Moby 

I shot out of bed like a bullet this morning (which is rare considering I am the furthest thing from a morning person). It finally hit me that this week I am about to have a life experience that I have spent EIGHT YEARS preparing for ... 

What the executives are about to see is a 30 minute presentation.

What I see is the 7,500 (plus) blog posts (on two different websites, and here's why I have two).

The THOUSANDS of hours spent feeding my soul when my bank account couldn't feed my belly. 

The HUNDREDS of meetings (most of which may or may not have started because of Tinder or OkCupid).

And the countless friends and life experiences that I hold so near and dear to my heart.

(Only twice during all of the adventures could I have questioned any sort of continuation to another level. Thank you Twitter here. I have to believe that good karma saved me in this story. Funny how now I consider riding along in a taxi cab in Vegas for two hours between 4 and 6 am super tame.

I got lucky that Jerry Bruckheimer and Mary Parent (independently and previously) optioned my life rights, trademarks, and intellectual property.

Getting in the room to meet you?

That wasn't luck.

That was work, and from my perspective I've executed my goal.

I'm in this exact moment able to enjoy my success.

I haven't had that life experience before. 

Now onto the post ... 

Back in May, I got asked to prom by my good buddy @smasherbrown. See Asher owns a studio in downtown, and when you have that life experience you throw parties. 

Bring your best friend he said over email. You can both be my date, and make sure when someone asks you if you're vegan you say "you're considering it."  

Done, I emailed back as I set the calendar reminder.

See, I would date Asher in a hot minute if only we shared similar passions culinary wise. I am a massive, massive carnivore. Remember the #BJDiet? He is a massive, massive vegan. (Literally head of the YouTube Vegan mafia - which is actually "a thing.") I utterly adore the human being, but fundamentally speaking we both draw a line, and I respect that. 

Over the course of that week, my friends texted asking what I was doing, and I proudly announced that I had finally been asked to prom and couldn't wait to go! (Here's my previous prom experience that mirrored the movie ๐Ÿ“ Blockers.)

With a partial side eye questioning if I had entered cougar territory, I quickly explained that it was a Vegan Prom hosted by my good friend. "He owns a studio in downtown I said, and his parties are the best I've ever been to." The declaration and guarantee of a good time was enough for my friends to ask if they could come too. "Of course! I said back, the more the merrier."

I then sent out the Facebook invite link, and got texts back asking about the $90 price tag attached. 

Let me see what I can do, I texted back not wanting to be a douchebag and assume that I could get everyone in for free. 

See, the event was hosted by the Human League, and was technically a benefit. 


Not only was Moby part the soundtrack to my high school life experience, but he's also featured in an Eminem song. 

My friend is hosting a party and Moby is the DJ, I thought to myself recognizing that I was now ONE DEGREE away from one of the loves of my life. 

... those loves include Eminem and Pitbull. Technically speaking Pitbull is my future baby daddy, and while I love him, I wouldn't date Eminem as he speaks so ill of his exes. I find that very declasse. 

<tangent> Holy crap!! As I grabbed this video to post, I also just recognized that Syrus (who I just matched with on Bumble) was ALSO in Eminem's video for Without Me. I AM ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION SQUARED!!!!

Breathe Friel, deep breaths. Get back to your post ... 


As the week went on, my gfs and I planned our outfits. "I have the perfect dress for you," said my bestie. "It's a showstopper." 

DONE! I said knowing that as a woman one of the easiest ways to market yourself is to go above and beyond in the outfit department. Not only do I enjoy from a creative perspective being a complete weirdo, but I've made insane business connections over the years simply because I turned up and turned out. 

Remember dancing on stage with Prince? That solely happened because I was in an owl animal hat. 

An hour and some change before the event I grabbed the dress from my gf's house as I confirmed for myself the fact that it was indeed a showstopper. 

Holy crap, I said staring at the very shiny gold garment. We then got ready and as I called the uber, I was stopped by the building's security guard. 

"You look incredible," he said. 

"Thank you!! I'm going to prom!!" I said very excited. 

<tangent> Nothing I do btw surprises our building's security team.

I've previously left the building dressed as Katy Perry ...

the Easter bunny (repurposed from Ralphie from a Christmas Story) ...

a Lisa frank coloring book ...

the monopoly man ... 

a snowman ...

a "freelance charlie chaplin" (pants being optional) ...


and (my personal favorite) an astronaut ... 


I then picked up my date as we trekked the hike from the hills to the heart of Los Angeles. 

"Please tell me we're not going to have to sit through a dinner or some sort of long talk," she said. 

Ehhhhhh ... I thought but didn't say as I quickly changed the subject. 

We arrived shortly after the sun was beginning to set. See, I needed to make sure everyone that wanted to come could get in. (The price tag of the event being optional.) To do that, I needed to scope out the security detail (translation: I had to get there early and report back my findings). I purposefully did not give my name at the door (in case one of my friends needed to use my name).

"Hi, we're here as Asher's dates," I said confidently and quickly.

Not a problem, she said walking us immediately into the studio and into the back room reading "VIP." 

Here's his seat, she said pointing down at his name tag and plus one chair. 

I paused for a moment wondering where I was going to get another chair as all of the place settings were taken. My gf looked down at the brochure for the evening, and confirmed that we were in fact going to sit through "a talk." 

NOOOOOOO!!! we both thought in horror. 

Moments later, Asher arrived (tux in tow) saying we could put our bags in the back office. 

"I have to do this thing first," he said, "so why don't you guys make yourselves comfortable in the other room. The doors open for everyone in an hour or so." 

My date and I looked at each other with pure glee recognizing that while yes, we were technically not invited into the VIP dinner, we were winning at life by not having to sit through a Sarah Mclaughlin style slideshow reminding us of what horrible human beings we are because we enjoy ... 

Immediately, we were off like a prom dress ... 

We then grabbed a drink as we moseyed on over to the DIY corsage table. 

"I've never been happier to be kicked out of a VIP dinner," we said cheersing. 

One hour, two corsages, and three new besties (courtesy of our fabulous outfits) later, my friends began to arrive. I texted everyone that they had to get there early and if they didn't, that was up to them, but I wasn't going to be the person that spends half the evening waiting for people - I was actually going to enjoy myself. 

I then quickly slid the loose wristband off and walked back outside. Pro tip: when a bouncer of any kind is putting on a wristband, explain to them you feel "claustrophobic" if it's on too tight. When it's loose, you can slide it right off your wrist and pass it to someone else. Before you pass it though, make sure you say "one second, I'll be right back" to the security guard so they have a visual memory of you and you can reenter sans the band. It doesn't work every time, but 9/10, you're good. 

Oh fuck, I thought noticing that the security detail changed entirely. What was a simple checklist was now a FULL line of people, a red carpet, press, and beefy looking security guards. 

Well, I thought, the worst case scenario is that they're going to have to either wait until after the dinner is over (and I can ask Asher to help get them in) or two, they're going to have to pay at the door. I couldn't control the fact that the atmospheric conditions changed, I could only make the best of what was given. 

I befriended the (many) guards, as I said I had left something in my car and would be right back. I palm passed the band whispering "act as natural and confident as possible. Give my name at the door if you need to and text me if you have any problems." 

I then went back to the DIY corsage table, as I blankly stared at my gf saying that "I have no idea if anyone is going to get in. The ENTIRE security detail changed." 

"You're doing the best you can," she said. 

"I'm also going to buy a series of bands in different colors. The majority of times they're the same style, the color is the variable." 


"Wow," she said, that's really smart. 

The new plan was noted as the first friend arrived inside. To my surprise it wasn't the one that I had passed the wristband to. 

"How did you get in?" I asked. 

"I just walked in and wasn't stopped." 

Fuck yes, I thought, full faith in fun returned. 

Let's dance, said my gf as we opened up the floor. 

See, I can't be friends with people who don't make fun a priority. When I say we opened up the dance floor, I actually mean it ... 

We're just here to get weird. 

A few songs, arm flaling and a handful of hip thrusts later, more friends began to join. Relieved that everyone was getting in, I wandered off to relieve my own self by using the restroom. En route, I was stopped by an old friend. 

JEN FRIEL, she said excited. I have something for you ... I looked down and saw a tiny mint case and a series of pills. "Want some Molly?" she asked. I took a moment considering my own condition. I was a glass of wine in, and as long as I immediately switch to water, I should be fine, I thought. (As you never want to mix molly with alcohol or you run the risk of becoming too dehydrated.)

<tangent> Bumping into someone btw and being offered something like drugs is a totally normal life experience if you are a blogger and openly talk about your explorations. I happened to very much trust this person, which you should also take into consideration (obviously). </tangent> 

Yes, I said, without skipping another beat. 

"We have to go over here," she said pointing behind the stage (the event was a couple hundred people deep at this point and while at first it seemed illogical, she was actually right as it was one of the only places with privacy)

Moby took the his place onstage as we entered directly behind him. 

She opened up her pillbox again (hehehe) as I looked down at the Molly and over to Moby. This is actually happening, Friel. 

I grabbed the pill savoring both the second and the (soon to be) mental vacation. 

We re-entered the dance floor and as I bid my friend adieu, the theme song from Titanic began to play. I grabbed one of my new friends and started slowdancing (making sure to leave enough room for Jesus)

"Do you like ... stuff?" I asked awkwardly mocking middle/ high school dances. 

"Yeah," she said immediately playing along. "I like the stuff my mom buys me." 

"I have a mom too," I said excited. 

We both started laughing as we high fived and joined the rest of our friends.

I whispered in the ear of my gf that I had just taken molly in front of Moby. 

"Of course you did," she said.

Moby's set was incredible. He opened with California, and much like his tweet promised, did play plenty of Beyonce. We also took the opportunity to have him in the background of our photos so that we can say we had the life experience of being in an all female glam band featuring Moby (since that's what our costumes looked like anyway) ... 

Life experience accomplished. 

By the end of Moby's set, the molly fully kicked in - and I made sure to stay hydrated. My friends exhausted from dancing asked if we could all go outside to get some fresh air. 

Not a problem, I said clearly not mad about anything in the world. 

<tangent> I actually prefer ecstasy to Molly. Molly is amazing, don't get me wrong- but I only do drugs once in a blue moon and if I do them, I want to do them right. Ecstasy truly lets me get lost in my own little world. I find there's more of a mental rush that I enjoy. </tangent> 

We then walked outside, the entire group in tow, and as we stood over by the step and repeat, we were stopped by a familiar face. It was TV veteran journalist and author Jane Valez Mitchell ... 

"Can I take a picture of your group," asked Jane?

Absolutely, I said grabbing my two good friends. 

Remember that whole networking thing based upon turning up and turning out? That paid off in this EXACT life moment. 

I then turned to Jane's friend, and realized I recognized her as well. It was uber powerhouse attorney (and Gloria Allred's daughter) Lisa Bloom

I turned to Lisa and introduced myself asking how she had heard of the event (I conduct market research apparently on Molly, don't judge)

"We're both vegans, and we heard about this in one of the event calendars we subscribe to," she said. 

That's GREAT! I said excited knowing that my homie's marketing worked. 

"Are you vegan," she asked? 

Without skipping a beat, I said "I am considering it, and that's why I appreciate Asher so much. He throws these incredible events with great people, and even as someone who currently calls themselves a meat eater, I feel so welcome." I topped it off with a "I'm super excited to learn more!"

"Let me give you my card," she said, quickly realizing that she didn't have one on her. 

"Here," I said, "I'll just shoot you an email real quick so we have each other's contact info." I cced in my friend making sure he connected with her for future events knowing each of their levels of "klout" could move mountains.

<tangent> That night I also made sure to quickly introduce them (so they each had a face to the name) and Monday even followed up with another email to them, and gave my friend a solid heads up on her background. 


He replied ... 

That's another thing that I've learned over the years ... I don't take anything personally anymore. Even though I yes, identify as a meat eater, it doesn't mean it's who I am. It's only one aspect of myself, but who knows! I could get hit in the head with another brick and wake up and decide that bacon sucks. Do I personally ever think that will happen? No. Was I going to be rude to anyone at the party knowing? No, never. I simply listen. 

I find this meme hilarious ... 

... but that was far from my experience that evening. </tangent> 

We then got the full group together and took our official Vegan Prom photo ... 

I then went to go and get some more water, and as I walked down one of the metal ramps, I witnessed one of the female guests epically eat shit.

Shake it off, I said quickly grabbing her and reassuring that she was fine and that no one saw. 

Barely able to speak, I recognized she needed to find her friends fast. I helped guide her to the couch, and as I did I saw yet another familiar face. It was someone I was friends with on Facebook named Dustin.

See, when you send someone an invite link on Facebook it shows you who your friends are that are also attending the event. One of the people I saw was this guy that I had yet to meet IRL (but I'm assuming was a fan of Talk Nerdy). 

I made sure she was okay, and as I placed her down on the couch walked over to introduce myself. 

Dustin! I said, Jen Friel with Talk Nerdy To Me, Lover. 

"YOU'RE A REAL PERSON, he said super excited as we embraced."

"Oh I'm definitely real, I said. And I really appreciate the read."

His friend clearly in need meant he couldn't join our group, so as quickly as we met, I quietly exited stage left and back to my own friends.

<tangent> Later that weekend I got a message from him on FB ... 


The evening wound down at that point as Asher and his team began the clean up and get the eff out process. 

"You guys should stay, he said, your friends are all so awesome." 

Still feeling the Molly I wasn't willing or wanting to go anywhere. Plus, clearing all of the people out means that we can dance around and take full advantage of all the artistic perks that studios have to offer. 

We grabbed roller-skates, caution tape, spray paint, and had ZERO problems making ourselves perfectly at home ... 


The after party raged on, and around 5am the Molly finally began to wear off. I sat down on the couch next to Asher (and his birthday girl date). I placed my head on his shoulder and said, "this might be the Molly talking, but this has been the best party I've ever been to. Not only did I get to see my friends in their artistic 'element,' but everyone I met tonight was so great. No one judged me for eating meat, nor did I judge them for their choice not to." 

Asher looked over to his date and said, "Jen saying this is the best party she's ever been to means a lot. You should read her blog." 

My gf and I then grabbed our belongings, which included a vintage beaver stole (we truly wanted to mess with people) and we called an uber as I swapped out my heels for ruby red slippers. That's not a euphuism btw, these are the shoes I went home in ... 

I then hugged everyone goodbye and laughed to my gf on the way home. You couldn't make any of this up if you tried. 

"I know" she said. "That's the best part." 

"No," I said. "The best part is the company, thanks for that."

Now, I'm off to sell a TV show. I'd say wish me luck, but I'm already lucky. I didn't need to be "invited to the table," I had to learn how to build my own. 


 Oh and here's what Vin said about the evening ... 


#RealDeal: 50 Shades of Friel (that time I became a FinDomme) 

<editorsnote> Dear mom and dad, this post is probably not a good post for you to read. Love you! </editorsnote> 

So, last night, I thought I was going to dollar taco night in the valley to catch up with some friends (in crypto) and pitch an idea that I have in the space ... 


... only I wound up at the Waldorf Astoria rooftop (not my recommendation) ... 


... got kicked out of a (coincidentally) crypto-event-based happy hour ... tried talking my way out of it (with a full plate of every food they were offering at the buffet later) ... epically failed ... only to walk back over to the table and ask my friends confused wondering "what gave me away?" My new "girlfriend" and I happened to be stopped by a group of guys as we were leaving, so I wondered if security thought we were "working the event?" 

Considering our happy hour tab was SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS I kinda wish I was "working it." (We had a big group but not SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS big.) Only not selling my body for sex. Cause, that's kinda not my thing. BUT I was a findomme once. And yes, that actually IS a thing.  


Per UrbanDictionary: 

Maestro ... 

Last June, I got an email from a new Talk Nerdy fan ... 

As I've said previously, HANDS DOWN (er tied up?) the most popular series of posts I have ever written has been the adventures in being a DIY Domme. (Which is why when I repackaged the Bruckheimer/ CBS pilot, we chose this exact topic. It's all a numbers game in media.) Like another monthly visitor, I still to this day (and equally as regularly) get tweets ... 

and Facebook messages ... 

Most are interested in being one of my slaves, but some generally ask questions about the "scene" and or life in general ... 

The funny thing is that when you ignore them, they actually enjoy it ... 

Like I'd ever accept a slave that starts a sentence off with "yo." 

I'm not sure what it was about his Financial Domination email that interested me. Timing? Maybe. Money certainly isn't a motivator, nor is the idea of accepting gifts from someone I don't know. (Remember this post?) I view "gifts" of any kind as a form of power; I am only willing to accept something if it has meaningful value and as someone who is very selective, it made me question if I could go through with this. 

Isn't that the point?, I wondered. 

I thought back to when I accepted my first slave, six years and one FULL lifetime ago. I was naturally curious with the radical honesty of the slave and while on my end it wasn't sexual, I did discover my own voice and power in the process. But now? I know what I have and quietly carry that with confidence. Why repeat the life experience, I wondered?

I took a full 24 hours to think about it before I responded. 

As an entrepreuner, I find myself frequently asking for money so being in a position where I demanded it felt like a (pun intended) value add.

Besides, at that point I wasn't dating someone and if I'm not fucking someone, I might as well fuck with someone. 

He followed my response with another email ... 

I read the first sentence and immediately flipped into full Domme. 

Always with the puns.

Two days and one decision later, I sent another email ... 

Typing the word "pig" made reminded me of the nursery rhyme and how I'm not sure if this is what they actually meant when they sent "that little piggy off to the market." Funny, how that rhyme is also about feet. 

A few hours later, he sent this. 

He also sent a screenshot (which was nice since I didn't have to click a link and wait those extra seconds for the page to load)

I thought, before opening up the image ... 

I actually happened to like the shoes he picked (practical and I can dress them up and down), but I wasn't going to accept any sort of first offer. 

<tangent> Giving myself the name "Mistress Jennifer" helped me compartmentalize the dynamic; my whole life I've been Jen (and mostly Jen Friel - all spoken as one word). I was only ever called Jennifer as a child when I was doing something I wasn't "supposed to," (hehe) and now as an adult I'll call myself Jennifer only to someone I've met when I don't want them to google me. It's not hard to still connect the dots, but I feel like it helps. </tangent> 

It's important to note the boundary of time (which is important in the sub/ Domme dynamic). Once I gave him a command, he was truly out of my mind until he performed the task to my satisfaction. Then and only then did I begin to think about him again.

Needing to stay on task of time myself (particularly living with an out of sight out of mind mentality) meant that I set an alarm down to the minute from when I clicked send on the email (and not just when he received it).

::sets alarm:: 

I set it to "slave fail" knowing that the likelihood of him ACTUALLY pleasing me would be so low.

Four hours is very generous, btw; I was testing to see what he would do with it. Is he the kinda sub that would wait until the last minute? Those won't last long with me. If I was going to do this, I needed to be in complete control of his mind at all times, and make sure I was one step ahead or I ran the risk of being "topped from the bottom." 

I love that BDSM has their own version of wikipedia ... 

I made that mistake before, and like a good nerd, I wasn't willing to do it again. 

Two hours and 37 minutes later, he completed my command. 

18 minutes later, I sent a reply ... 

31 minutes later, he sent this ...

11 minutes later I sent this ... 

4 minutes later he sent this ... 

Exactly at 9:45 the next morning, I sent this ... 

I also attached a photo of the polish ... 

31 minutes later the shoes were ordered (with the expedited shipping)

(It reads: Yes, Mistress Jennifer. I have ordered your shoes and paid for the expedited shipping. Thank you for allowing me to purchase these shoes for you Mistress. I am very thankful for this opportunity. I will give you the tracking information as soon as I receive it Mistress Jennifer.) 

I opened the attachment ... 

$118 - told you I was worth more than an amazon gift card. ::pfft::

36 minutes later I sent this ... 

Three hours and 10 minutes later he sent a link to the tracking ... 

Command complete, my attention went to things that had value.

Testing his willingness to submit, I gave a second command in the same day (technically speaking two hours and 46 minutes later) ... 

17 minutes later he sent this ... 


By sending this he failed. Do you see what I did? I said VERY SPECIFICALLY for him to take the photo but to also send me an email when he was ready. Knowing how eager he would be for me to see that he is pleasing, meant that he would more likely than not miss that part - going straight to just the action. If he didn't miss it, I'd now know how detail oriented he is and to stay EVEN MORE ontop of my game to avoid being topped myself. 

Remember the part about having to stay one step ahead of him mentally?

That photo is me succeeding.  

I let him learn of his failure four minutes later ...

58 minutes later he sent this ... 

16 minutes later I sent this ... 

I'm still proud of that line, "I don't speak the language of beg. Start groveling." 


23 minutes later he sent this ... 

I waited until the next morning to respond.

At 9:30 I sent this ... 


At 11:25, I checked with our office manager to see if I had received a package. 

Not yet, she said. 

I explained it was from a potential slave and if it wasn't here for my meeting at noon, he has failed. 

She smiled, but wasn't surprised. 

See, my plan was to walk into my Talk Nerdy TV development meeting saying the sentence, "my new slave just bought me these," and put the shoe box down on the table in front of the executives to freak them out a bit. 

If he failed, I wouldn't have that life experience. That would leave me verrryyyy disappointed ...


Two minutes after 12, I sent him this (the headline read failure) ... 

44 minutes later he sent this ... 

9 minutes later I sent this ... 

60 minutes later he sent this ... 

I then went to my meeting, and when the executives asked how my day was, (without skipping a beat), I said "fine until my slave failed. It's so hard finding good ones."  

I then explained what I was doing and how real all of these stories are. "There is so much more too," I said sitting down on the couch "and you can ask me anything but I'm really excited to show you what we came up with." (The "we" referencing the woman who actually wrote the pilot and my true partner in crime.) 

By the end of the meeting, the execs left with a smile ... 

And on the drive home, I wondered what I wanted the slave to do next. So many disappointments, he clearly wasn't taking this seriously enough. 

As I put my hair in a pony, I noticed some split ends.

I got an idea as I emailed CLEARLY FEELING GENEROUS ... 

Two hours and 38 minutes later, without a reply, I sent this ... 

54 minutes into pending termination, I looked down at my phone (obviously to respond to a man worthy of Goddess attention) and noticed there was still no response. 

<tangent> The term "Goddess" btw is common for a domme "in the scene." The use of capitals is also intentional. </tangent> 

General rules in a scene is that you have to be crystal clear when something is over. Not receiving the information requested, I terminated his consideration. 

I'd say that I cared, but I had better things to do. 

Sometime the next day, he sent me this ... 

I didn't respond. 

He messaged again ... 

Look at me using the word "he." This isn't a man; I wouldn't even consider this "thing" to be a little pig. How does one fail at that?!?! 


Focus Friel. Back to the post ... 

I looked at my calendar and down at my hair. I really could use some pampering after dealing with such stupidity for a whole 32 hours. 

Sometime later I emailed him back ... 

He then sent this ... 

I sent this ... 

He sent this ... 

Then, (hilariously) the hair salon actually made a mistake by misspelling my last name ...
Which of COURSE wasn't actually their mistake ... it his.

I sent this ... 

He sent this ... 

I sent this ... 

Remember, the command was for him to "tell the receptionist that this is a gift from a pathetic piece of shit." I've been going to that particular salon for years, so I know they'd have a solid laugh and be down.

He sent this ...


I sent this ... 

He sent this ... 

He remembered to wait before sending. Looks like someone is finally paying attention. 

I sent this ... 

I sent this ... 

Seconds later he sent this (CLEARLY NOT GETTING THE PICTURE) ... 

I sent this ... 

He sent this ... 

The next afternoon, I sent this ... 

Have you seen the video and ever read the lyrics? 

Here's the chorus: 'Cause you're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
That you would know
You're a god
And I am not
And I just thought
I'd let you go

Three hours later, a familiar pattern reappeared. 

I emailed as the alarm went off ... 

Oh, and I also sent him the screenshot as visual reminder of his failing ... 

And there you have it. That was my experience as a findomme. Oh and the hair salon? Coincidentally my hairdresser switched salons so I have no idea if he completed the command. And for the shoes? They arrived, but he failed. So, I gave them to my partner in crime and co-pilot for the TV show.


What's the saying? One man's trash is another woman's treasure? 

After all that, and he still never got a photo of my feet. Guess I'll just have to find a slave that's actually worthy. Know of any? 



#RealDeal: The boomerang effect of boundaries (its been six years, I'm super okay with you not being in my life anymore dude)

Six years ago, I had a man come into my life in an intrusive manner. Much like with the majority of men I met in my 20s, he swept me off my feet as I was knocked over my head and onto my ass. Only with this man, it happened in a literal capacity and what was once a 19 year sentence might be reduced to as little as six all because of a technicality in filing paperwork. 

I'm sad that I have to write this post.
I'm sad that I had to write the letter that I wrote.
I'm sad that I'm sad but I accept that.
Besides, I've learned in my old age that it's what I do next that counts ... 

As some of you may know, on January 26, 2012 I was hit in the head with a brick while walking down Sunset Blvd heading to a comic book shop. See, Talk Nerdy had its first stage show the next day (with a big ol' marquee on Santa Monica Blvd), and my friend @jennhoffman suggested that studying the live show at Meltdown Comics might help. Our shows included dramatic interpretations of OkCupid emails and what I called "nerd's cup" which was a nerdy version of "kings cup." We already had our show locked, but as a life long learner, I wanted to see if there was anything we could incorporate in later.

En route to Meltdown, I stopped off at Kinkos and spent $100 printing out the programs (which considering I was still bartering was a LOT of freaking money) topping it off with a trip to Ross Dress for Less to find something nerdy that would be our actual "kings cup." Star Wars cup in hand, I then walked from La Brea down Sunset planning to walk to Gardner.

As someone who spends the majority of the day in her head, I like walking because I feel like it helps me think. I had no idea my choice to walk that night would put me in grave danger. 

Halfway through my walk, I was then hit in the head with a blunt object (which was later identified as a brick).

I still vividly remember not only being grabbed by the back of my hoodie, but being placed in a chair inside a salon unable to walk or talk. (I shockingly managed to grab both the play-bills and Star Wars tumbler - which I still own to this day.) While I remember the events of the evening, I couldn't tell you what was actually real and what my brain imagined. Everything I experienced had a "fluidity" to it.

Looking back, having a concussion was similar to being on acid. I however like acid a LOT more than having a concussion. 

I couldn't remember Jenn's name at that point, but knew enough to scroll through my text messages to find her info. Barely able to speak, she asked where I was and all I could say was "Attacked. Ralph's Ralph's." (The salon is no longer there, but was formerly right across the street from Rock and Roll Ralph's on Sunset. I saw the big Ralph's sign directly in my eye line.) 

I remember hanging up the phone and I'm assuming I must have still been in shock. My head didn't hurt, rather it was like I had a new glasses prescription; I was suddenly and unexpectedly seeing the world differently. 

I tried remembering where I was going and where I was but couldn't - I just knew I needed to see Jenn. I don't remember if I processed the words "robbed" or "raped" but I knew I didn't feel any pain below the equator and I still had my Beats By Dre headphones on my head ... only now the white headphones were stained with blood, and a lot of it. 

I hope none of you ever have to see how much blood comes from a head wound. As a nerd, any sort of brain leakage is PRETTY FUCKING TERRIFYING, but all I could do is go with whatever it was that was happening which meant a trip to the hospital courtesy of Jenn and her then boyfriend Shane

I wish I could say in that moment that it was one of the scariest moments of my life, but if I did, that would be a lie. I was in survival mode, and I actually wondered multiple times that evening if I was dead and this was what my "new life" was actually like. 

In total, I received four staples in my head, two shots, and had varying degrees of a severe concussion for six months. 

The people in the hair salon not only helped me in a physical sense, they actually chased the man down. He was then arrested and held with a bail amount totaling ... 

Technically speaking $1,075,000.00, but who's counting. 

You can read about the night that it happened here. 

You can read about thanking the owners of the salon here - which also involves my attempt to take my own staples out. STILL TO THIS DAY THE DUMBEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE. Also, if you were going to take out your own staples from your own damn head, why not have some tequila?!?! I did that shit stone cold sober. 

After I was hit, he not only robbed a liquor store but was held up at gunpoint at Hollywood and Highland, where he was finally arrested. 

<tangent> You can read about the fact that I decided to turn my journey in court into a "little adventure" here, and the fact that I had to unexpectedly testify here. </tangent>

Having been stalked as a teen (my father set legal precedent in the state of Connecticut regarding "cyber bullying" which wasn't a "thing" in 2001), I thought the worst part about testifying was the fact that it felt so intimate; the defendants were people I once loved who had betrayed me. Two seconds into taking the stand this time around, I realized I was ENTIRELY wrong because it felt just as bad facing a perfect stranger in a random act of violence.

Six months later, I watched this man, who was no longer a stranger, accept a deal that gave him 19 years in prison (down from 25 to life)

My attire aside (I literally ran out the door not knowing I had been subpoenaed that day - thankfully I had my Nike sponsorship so I ran fast and well supported!), the female DA took loving sympathy upon me, extending an invitation for lunch with her colleague at California Pizza Kitchen. (I had been sitting in court alone all morning.)

We had a great chat about social media and how its affecting the legal system "in a positive way," reflected her colleague. "Before my daughter went out on a date I would need their first name, last name, and DOB. Now I just need their full name," she chuckled. 

The ladies were super impressed that I ran my own business online, and while I couldn't remember that day if I had enough money to pay for my own lunch, I was glad to exchange knowledge and never once had to reach for my wallet. 

"It would be my pleasure," said the DA once the check arrived. 

I knew what I was doing professionally would get me somewhere "someday" but in a literal sense it still meant that I constantly bartered and took the city bus for almost two years. 

Upon leaving court, the DA happened to ask where my car was. I told her I was taking the bus, and she said that was unacceptable after the day I had in court.

Wait, what? I thought. 

Not only had this woman bought me lunch (which was +1 from the McDonalds gift card I received while testifying), but now she's ACTUALLY driving me HOME??? 

If I had tears left in that moment, I would have let them expel in a dramatic fashion quickly from my eye sockets. 

Pizza and a ride home. Well done, LA DA! 

While I surprisingly had a great day in court, it still didn't change how I felt about the situation.

I was sad that this life experience happened. 
I was sad that I didn't walk on the other side of the street that night. 
I was sad that I watched a man receive what felt like a "death sentence." 
I was sad that my parents were on the other side of the country when this happened, and I can't imagine what that must have been like for them. 
I was sad that this happened to me. I've always been a people magnet, but who the hell gets hit in the head with a brick and lives to tell the tale? I wasn't sure if I was lucky, or so thick headed it acted as a shield of some kind. 
I naturally internalize a lot of my emotions, but once this happened? I.couldn't.stop.crying. 

My brain was still "leveling out" (for lack of a better term) and emotionally I was all over the place. 
Every time I tried to write about it (which was also my livelihood) ... 

I cried. 

Every time I showered and felt like a modern day Frankenstein held together with staples IN MY FUCKING HEAD ... 

I cried.
I cried at Hallmark commercials.
I cried watching late night infomercials. 
I cried because I slept for days on end barely able to get out of bed.
I cried getting out of bed because I felt so "exposed."
I cried because I felt alone.
I cried because my friend's and family wouldn't leave me alone. 

To say it was "right" or "wrong" wasn't going to change anything, but the letter I received this weekend has the possibility to change everything.  

I, like most people, rarely check the mail. Basically anything that even involves the word mail, outside of email and actual males - I tune out. If it's important, people find you. If it's not, I genuinely don't care and won't ever pretend to care. 

As I scrolled through the catalogs, AAA membership renewal option, and bills, I then noticed the very last envelope which was also the heaviest. 

I immediately ripped it open and read this ... 

"Nonviolent felony," I wondered. How is a brick not considered to be in the top three of items you can get hit with and it be considered a violent offense. I was super confused, and pissed.

I immediately googled Prop 57. Still confused at the classification of a nonviolent felony, I called my father (who again is an attorney). I don't know, was all he could say, followed by an immediate "are you okay?"

"I'm fine," I told him. "Even if this guy does get out, it was a random act of violence. I don't even know if I'd recognize him on the street anymore. All I do know is the man I first met on Valentines day was not the man that I saw sentenced. His medication made a NIGHT AND DAY difference. I just need to make sure he stays on it."


The reality that this man was going to spend the full 19 years in prison wasn't great. While I'm by no means an expert, I do love the law and hypothesized that based upon the strong history of violence, he'd more likely than not serve at least 10 years. While I wasn't sure if his DOB was accurate in 2012 (due to there being so many different entries with conflicting information in the courts database), I figured I was looking at a man somewhere near 60. If he serves 10 years that puts him in his 70s.

How strong would he be then? Would he be able to hurt someone? I wasn't sure, but four years shy of that goal meant that I was going to do EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO MAKE SURE THIS MAN DOES NOT GET OUT. 


The first call I made in the office yesterday was to the DA's office. If you're ever the victim in a crime, they give you a SHOCKING amount of information to reach out. One ring and a quick transfer later, I was speaking to the man overseeing Prop 57. 

I stated my name and supplied my case number. "I was hit in the head with a brick. He was supposed to serve 19 years. How is this a nonviolent felony?" I asked curious, but not angry. "I had four staples to my head and a concussion for six months." I also explained how the DA befriended me and said over and over "how lucky I was to be alive" and how "serious the courts take any sort of head injury." 

He pulled up my case and said that the DA had filed it incorrectly. "It was filed as CA Penal Code 243D battery with serious bodily injury. The GBI charge (great bodily injury) wasn't included which would move your case from a nonviolent felony to a violent felony. Technically, it should have been filed as a 245." 

"This man cannot be let out," I said. "It's nothing personal, I just know what I saw over the months going to court. He's truly better off on his meds and in his current environment." 

"This is the exact type of person the parole boards do not want to release." (I had also explained to him that even though he wasn't charged he had also robbed the liquor store and had a history of felonies.) He continued, "you need to write an email. Even we don't get access to these hearings but if you write a letter via email explaining your situation they will listen. You sound so articulate, and smart. I know you can do this. They need to hear it from you."

I thanked him for the nearly 20 minutes of his time as I hung up the phone. I knew what I had to do next, but it didn't mean I still wasn't pissed off.

I took a deep breath, as I opened up my email typing in the address from the form. I began writing from a combination of the heart and head. This is what I wrote ... 


Please excuse the typos. This wasn't easy to write.

I'm not sure if half of my "legal sounding jargon" actually made sense, but part of me feels like it does. 

I wish I could say I'm mad at the DA, but I'm not. As you can see, that woman deserves a fucking medal for how much compassion she showed to someone after meeting people day in and day out on one of (if not the worst) day of their life. 

I wish I could say that I'm mad at the prisoner, but I'm not. Six years ago, all I could do was wish him well as he was being sentenced; I knew he was finally getting the help he deserved. 

Am I glad this happened? Absofuckinglutely not. Again, I wouldn't wish any of this on my worst enemy (if I had one).

The only thing that I can take away from this life experience that has made no sense to me, (mostly because of the #braininjury) is that no matter how many times I get knocked on my ass (sometimes literally) I stand back up (or get pulled back up in this case)

24 hours after the attack, I still performed in our first ever stage show (and the eight after that) to a sold out audience. 

I faced my attacker in court and testified with words as my weapon.

Even through all of the pain, I was then able to reciprocate compassion shown, knowing that it was like giving a first grader calculus - he genuinely didn't know what he was doing. 

Six years ago, this man had power over me.
Now? The tables are turned. 

And at the end of the day, I'm going to do what's right.
Even with the knowledge that he will never be able to admit that he was wrong.