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



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#NerdsUnite: A moment of gratitude & a lesson on escaping depression

We interrupt this post to bring you a sex tip PSA from our friends over at One out of 4 sexually active people has an STD. (And new statistics indicate that in the next 5 years this will escalate to 1 out of 2.)

I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you to each and every one of you. I haven't been writing about what is going on behind the scenes as much lately, but that is only because some very very very big things are brewing and it is overwhelming me in an extremely emotional way.

Very honestly, I didn't expect to succeed with this website, I was just willing to die to find out. (I shit you not when I say that either. Two failed suicide attempts do wonders for ya psychologically in the whole "not giving a fuck department!") In 2009 I thought there was NO WAY I could launch a website because afterall the web had been around for so freaking long at that point and the so called "experts" had already been established. To have taken this idea that I had one day after seeing a trend at a tech conference and have it grow into this ... thing ... that I still spend half my day trying to figure out makes me grateful beyond words.

I can't begin to tell you how dark the first 24 years of my life were. Look, here's a picture I just found on an old external drive ...


Look at those eyes, man - SO MUCH FREAKING PAIN THERE!!!

There is no rule book in breaking free of a depression for every answer you ever have in life is ALREADY inside of you. It's true that no man is an island, but we are SO much stronger than we ever give ourselves credit for and if we are quiet and still enough to just take a listen ... everything will start to change.

My change came about with social media.

I've been on computers since I was 2, but chat rooms and forums growing up were my savior. I never had IRL friends, the people that were supposed to be family were complete shits ... but it was online that I found OTHER people who were friendless and shared all the quirky interests that I had myself as well.

I always felt so alone in life, but it was there in this digispace where I would spend hours and hours and hours connecting with these people who although I had never met COMPLETELY saved me.

I can't begin to tell you how common it is in the nerd-o-sphere to have anxiety, depression, and overall emotional instability. (I learned this after I published the story of my nervous breakdown at 22.) I'm CONVINCED that it is a core ingredient to being a nerd in the first place since we are so cerebral and CONSTANTLY analyzing things ... but I just want to say to the nerderino that is still suffering that it really DOES get better if you make a concerted effort to change.

How does one make a concerted effort to change??

You start doing things that feel good.

It really is that simple ... if it feels good you need to keep doing it. The SECOND it stops feeling good ... you need to stop. Social media felt GREAT to me, and while I had no idea how to make a living doing it, by following each step it lead me down the path to self awareness which then became the path towards my business. I couldn't have the business until I became self aware, so your own journey is your own destination. You can't rush things, you can only stay appreciative for every moment and WALK.IN.BLISS. since that vibration on an energetic level will only bring you MORE bliss which will then help you sustain your existence.

There is no rule book in life, there is no one that will judge you or say you've done this wrong because HOW DARE YOU DISOBEY MEEEEEEE!!! You have to do you, speak your personal truth at ALL times and SHOW UP FOR YOUR OWN LIFE!!!

Your truth will also change as you are on your journey - but the more articulate you become and the more IMPECCABLE you are with your word, the faster the universe will help you manifest.

Of course too, you will be tested along the way. Intimacy is STILL something I am struggling with, however after exploring how much of my life has been an expression of shame - a lot more has come into focus.

It took me getting over that shame to now be able to feel worthy and comfortable enough with this site becoming more public. Things that I have been able to control image wise with this site is going to quickly change, and these stories that I have written FROM MY SOUL are now about to be shown in a more public manner. Does that freak me out? ABSOLUTELY!! Even in talking to my dad earlier today he asked me how comfortable I would be with some of these interviews and the process this journey is going to now take me on. I have no choice but to accept all of this, as again it is part of the process for this brand, but I just wanted to say thank you all so so much for reading and so so much for your tweets and Facebook messages. I'm scared EVERY SINGLE DAY doing what I do, but waking up to your emails and reading your messages keep all of this going and is helping me tremendously get over my own fear of the next steps.

For that I thank you. I thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.

I can't believe I am finally this free. Holy shit this actually worked!




#GamerGirl: The adventures of @MeowMistiDawn

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Misti. She and I met on the twitter over a year ago and she is without a doubt one of the MOST down to earth people you will ever meet. For reals, she's not only exceptionally beautiful on the outside, but on the inside as well. Either way, she has a rather adventurous life that she is here to share with you all ...  I only have one thing left to say ... HIT IT MISTI!!! </editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @MeowMistiDawn

Hey. Wow. It’s been... a while to say the least. Months. A lot has happened, and I realized I have been awful about blogging. Here and my own site. Since my marriage ended and changing careers I just felt like I didn’t want to share my every thought, heartache, and happiness with the world. I needed time to reflect and getting things going. Basically enjoy my life for just me for a bit. Hence the silence on the radar from anything more than tweets and a few stray vlogs. I guess I’m ready to talk again? I don’t know, I suppose I just feels right now. I wanted to blog but I just never felt I had anything to say even though so much as happen. It just didn’t click. Well I guess it clicked.

I’ve been working on a lot of projects. Finished up my real resume, applied to some things in gaming. working on a Skyrim mod show with Machinima, doing event planning and social media things for several companies. All things I’m very excited about. I have a big E3 party the 6th &7th I helped arrange. And I got my very first E3 badge with me name on it (it’s my 3rd year but I’ve always badge swapped) I actually go one through work. I feel like a big girl now. I’ve gone to visit my friends and family a couple times for long periods to get my priorities straightened out and be with my loving family (that includes you Amber!) 

I guess I won’t ramble too much in this one, I could go forever. I hope you all had a good Memorial Day weekend and stayed safe! <3 Welcome to the nerdiest girl in... MY life.



#TakingNotes: Do you prefer them Slutty or Tight? (how to drink wine)

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Laurel. She's hands down one of the most candid and matter of fact people that I have ever digitally met. For reals, this chick is not only a hustler, but hella smart and digs breaking things down for peeps to help them understand ... I heart her long time. I only have one more thing left to say ... HIT IT Laurel!! </editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @QuickieChick

You can spend anywhere from $4-$400 on a glass of wine. And for what?! Really, unless you appreciate the nuances of it, the flavors, the “notes,” you are potentially wasting a lot of money. If the point is to get wasted, may as well order the cheapest swill on the menu and call it a night.

That’s not to say that I am against good (and expensive) wine. I’m all for it! But only if I “get” it. Understanding wine is more than for the purpose of getting your money’s worth. It’s also to enhance your appreciation of it and enrich your experience, something that somehow translates into drinking more slowly, getting less wasted, and wasting less money.

A Waste of Money No More

Because I’m not into wasting my, or some guy’s money, I decided to learn about wine. While taking a class is all well and good, whenever I am in a school situation my brain somehow decides to put a barricade up. It’s like I am unable to retain information the old-fashioned way. I have to actually experience it for myself- something that can seriously suck when it comes to learning lessons the hard way. So I started to pay attention to people who “know” wine, understand how to drink it, what notes to look for- people who talk about tasting “mushrooms,” “wet cement,” “gooseberries,” and “grapefruit rind” in their wine. They might seem like snobs about it, but for the amount of money a single glass of the grape juice costs, I totally get the concept of learning to appreciate each sip.

Wet Cement, Mushroom, and Bandaids in your Wine?

So I started to ask sommeliers about the “tasting notes” of certain wines. But I wouldn’t just ask for the description while ordering, I wanted the notes while sipping, that way as they say “wet cement” or “mushrooms,” I can focus on that flavor and see if I am able to pick it up too. On dates, if a dude seems to know what he’s talking about in the wine department, I’ll let him order the same wine for both of us, then as he sips his I ask “what are the notes that you’re picking up?” The trick with picking up notes in wine, is that once you find one you have to put it out of your mind and start to focus on the next. Any flavor can make sense, so don’t dismiss it is you suddenly have a memory of the smell of band-aids. What’s interesting about pairing wines with food is that you think: “would these notes make sense as an ingredient in the dish?” If they make sense, you know it will pair perfectly with the food. Ok… so maybe band-aids aren’t so appetizing.

Slutty or Tight?

Once you get the notes concept, you can start to pay attention to how the flavors reveal themselves.

Slutty Wine: Do they show all of their flavors immediately in the first sip, like a big jammy fruit bomb? That’s a slutty wine.

Tight Wine: Does the wine need time to “breath” and “open up” in the glass? Does it seem like a tight rose, its petals clasping together into a bud that slowly opens, revealing one flavor, then another, then another over time? That’s a tight wine.

Wine snobs say that “amateur” wine drinkers prefer slutty wines, while experienced sippers prefer tight.

Swirling & Sipping

And then it comes to how you sip and hold the glass. Don’t think I’m nuts when I say that there is a way in which people drink wine that bugs me. I mean, seriously irks me. It’s one of those personal little quirks of mine. As much as it might appear kind of silly, there is actually something to the seemingly snotty way of drinking wine that involves swirling, smelling, and finally sipping- like what you might have seen in the cult film “Sideways.” But that’s not what bugs. If you don’t want to swirl the wine in order to open it up, release the scent and flavors, and enhance your experience. That’s your issue.

What bugs me is when people incorrectly hold the glass- grabbing it by the bulb instead of the stem. It’s not about looking pretty or sophisticated or anything like that. It’s about maintaining the integrity and appropriate temperature of the wine and not killing it’s delicate flavor with your hot hands. The ONLY time it’s ok to hold a glass of wine by the bulb is if it is too chilled- thereby muting the “nose” (smell) and taste. In that case, you can hold the glass by the bulb with both hands in an attempt to slightly bring the temperature down (white wine isn’t supposed to be sipped at refrigerator temperature- that’s too cold).

Alright, enough talk. Bottoms up!


click here to follow Laurel on twitter and don't forget to check out her site over yonder!!


#NerdsUnite: The Ramblings of a Raconteuse (Asian in Hollywood?)

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Helenna. We met on twitter not too long ago, and she's totes mcgotes one rad chiquita banana with a flare for all things flair! That's right, Helenna here is what we call an artsy fartsy nerd. She's a poet, into all things dramatic arts, and she's going to come on board to write each week about her love of said drama. Well not like actual drama drama, like some cat fight shit - but you get the idea.

I only have one thing left to say ... HIT IT HELENNA!!! </editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @Helslevy

Yes, I’m Asian.  This usually surprises people since my family name is Santos and people automatically assume it’s Spanish.  While this is true, it is also a Filipino surname, and I am in fact Filipino. In truth, I am what Hollywood likes to label as “ethnically ambiguous” which can be a blessing and a curse.  I have been very lucky to be able to play characters from a myriad of races and backgrounds, and yet at the same time, I usually don’t look enough like any specific race to be cast when that character has to be a sister or daughter in a family that is full blooded [fill in the ethnicity here].  This is because I am also half Russian/German.  

This was always a strange thing for me growing up in Canada in a mostly white neighborhood.  Kids would say “what are you?”  And while they wanted to know what my ethnic background was, they actually might as well have been asking me if I was an alien.  Add in the fact that as an adult I married a man with a Jewish last name who is a practicing Buddhist, and I have become a human melting pot of race, religion, and tradition. 

Why do I bring this up?

Well, lately I’ve come to realize that even though I am Asian, I’ve never really been involved in Asian/American culture and this kind of bums me out.  I didn’t have any Filipino friends growing up aside from my family (who are royally awesome), but I don’t speak Tagalog and I feel like I don’t know enough about Filipino culture to fully identify as Filipino.

This is something that I started thinking about when the teasers for this fall’s new television shows started to be released.  

At first, I was incredibly discouraged by the lack of minorities, specifically Asian Americans in major roles in the new shows this season. NBC’s fall line up was the first to be released and I was really bummed out to see that it was a sea of mainly white faces in leading roles in each, “Infamous” being the exception having a strong African American lead.  

Now, I don’t know why this surprised me so much considering that Hollywood has always been really slow to pick up on the fact that the landscape of America has changed and that television needs to reflect this.  There has been a lot of discussion about the “white washing of Hollywood,” but specifically I’ve been very interested lately in the fact that Asian Americans are often marginalized and shown as two dimensional caricatures. And of course it isn’t just Asian Americans that aren’t properly represented, but I am quicker to notice this because of my ethnic background.  

Then the teasers rolled in from FOX, CBS, ABC, and the CW and I am happy to say that while there aren’t huge number of minorities leading shows this coming season,  I was proven wrong in thinking that Hollywood would keep ethnic minorities as supporting characters only this fall. 

As far as minority leading ladies go, I can’t wait to see Lucy Liu rockin’ it out in “Elementary,” Kristen Kreuk in “Beauty and the Beast,” and Mindy Kaling looks HILARIOUS in “The Mindy Project.” 

Now, the question that begs to be asked is what about minority leading men?  

All I have to say is thank god for Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg because although “Harold and Kumar” is being developed as an animated series for Adult Swim and not live action, I’m sure it will do an incredible job of blowing the lid off of ethnic stereotypes.  

Now, in the middle of me contemplating minorities in Hollywood, specifically the Asian American experience, little did I know that the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival was happening in my neighborhood.  Like I said before, I have not been really “plugged in” to the Asian American community so this totally would have slipped past me, but thankfully I read Lynn Chen’s fantastic blog “The Actor’s Diet.”  She talks often about the projects she works on and I started reading about the films she had in the festival and started checking out the trailers and the people who worked on those projects.  And holy crap was there some incredible talent at that festival!  I was introduced to the amazingness of H.P. Mendoza whose films “I Am A Ghost” and “Yes, We’re Open” both won him awards.  And then there is the rad musician Goh Nakamura who stars with Lynn Chen in “Surrogate Valentine.” Heads up, the song he wrote of the same name is absolutely beautiful.  

I am in awe of these awesome talents and it made me realize that while the Asian American community might not be represented enough in the top tiers of Hollywood, we are rockin’ the indie film scene in a major way.  And not only that, but we are also kicking ass online.  ”Uploaded: The Asian American Movement” is a documentary that I can’t wait to see talking all about “the visibility of Asian Americans in pop culture since the inception of new media such as YouTube.”

All in all, I am feeling incredibly encouraged about the future for minorities in Hollywood.  I think with each year that goes by there will be more leading roles played by people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and more and more minority directors, writers, and producers will emerge with strong voices that traditional Hollywood will have to listen to because the scales will have tipped.  

We still have a long way to go, but I am pretty sure that 2012 is the year that we make some pretty big strides, and I am proud to be a part of that change.  Because, yes, I am Asian.  I am a minority. And well, to Hollywood, I am also ethnically ambiguous.

So, even with things slowly getting better and more ethnic diversity coming on to our screens, why the heck is it still taking so long for minorities to be properly represented?    I have my theories, but would love to hear yours.  Tweet me, email me, comment below.  

#xoxo hels

tweet me at: @helslevy

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#NerdsUnite: The secret life of a veterinary technician (Success Stories)

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Lindsay. She and I met ... well, somewhere in the social space. I think we might have started talking through this site directly, then through facebook - maybe ... I'm not sure. But she's awesome. I talk to her on twitter almost every day, and she's really rad and TOTALLY a big huge animal lover. Like crazy huge!! In these series of posts she will be talking about her life and random adventures with sometimes more than two legged creatures. I guess there's only one more thing left to say ... HIT IT LINDSAY!!</editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @TheCraftafarian

It's always nice to be able to share a sad story that has had a happy ending. About two weeks ago one of our regular clients of the clinic brought a little 5 week old orange and white male kitten because he appeared to have an injured hind paw. (Side note: These people are AMAZING, they are the epitome of "good Samaritans." Although they aren't wealthy by any means they do absolutely everything they can to help the little stray kitties in their neighborhood. They have spent a lot over the last few years on their own cats and strays that eventually become theirs as well.) She reported that the day before the little guy was running around apparently normal. Then this morning she found  him in her yard limping. He was one of three kittens that suddenly showed up in their yard a few days prior. The mom was nowhere to be seen. Upon examination of his paw we discovered that he had a partial amputation of his leg by unknown trauma. Poor little boo. I assume many people would think euthanizing him would be in the best interest of their checkbook (he was a stray after all) and the kitten. My vet exchanges a look with me and before we could say anything the foster mom asks "What can we do to fix him?" The doctor and I both smile. We were all glad to give the little guy a fair shot at life. We named him Hercules.

After determining that we should amputate--rather than leaving a partial limb that he may hobble on and accumulate pressure sores/arthritis--we discussed with the foster mom and she gave us the go ahead. The concern was that he was 4-5 weeks old and less than 2lbs. He was 1.4 pounds to be exact. We weren't sure if we would be able to intubate him with an endotracheal tube that would administer oxygen and isofluorane anesthetic gas. The plan was if we could intubate him do a complete amputation of the limb at the hip joint. Since he was so young we knew he would do extremely well and likely not even realize he was missing anything. If he was too small we would clean up the wound and bandage it until he was big enough to do surgery. In the meantime we put him on some pain medication and antibiotics it was Saturday so we would do surgery Monday after making sure he was ok otherwise. Blood work was normal. Surgery day came around and the little tube we had fit perfectly! Proceed to surgery!

Since he was the youngest and smallest patient I have ever anesthetized I spent several hours the night before reading articles about neonatal/pediatric veterinary anesthesia, drug dosages, after care, special recovery instructions. There were a few things we had to do different. Usually you fast for about 12 hours prior to surgery but with so young and small patients you worry about their blood sugar (blood glucose) getting too low, we had to feed him about 4 hours prior to surgery and then fast. I read their heart rate is generally a good deal higher than older (but still young pets) under anesthesia. We had to stay on top of his temperature, they get so cold so quickly when they are so little. It was a very high anxiety hour for me but he did extremely well with no problems and the doctor did an amazing job on the surgery. I had one hand on his little chest for a lot of the procedure (under the drape) just making sure his little heart was beating (even though my monitors said so, you have to check manually!). He woke up a little freaked out but we all took turns cradling him in warmies (warm water bottle thingies) and towels. He finally fell asleep and once he fully woke up from anesthesia he was a happy camper. The next day his foster mom reported that he was attempting to RUN around the house on three legs and was chasing a ping pong ball as well as the other cats. 

The greatest news is that Hercules has found his forever home. He new mom and dad came by the clinic today to meet him and his foster parents. And of course it was love at first site and they took him home.

What a happy boy! Also he may have a new name, Roosevelt, with a Roo. I think that's cute, but I'm just glad that we found someone to love him.


<3 Lindsay
twitter: @thecraftafarian
email: craftafarian at gmail d c