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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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#Confession: I had sex with a married man (and btw, I don't regret it) 

This was one of my favorite songs growing up. I only knew the 10,000 Maniacs version (that I played on my cassette player that didn't even have a rewind so when I wanted to hear the song again I had to fast forward on the other side). Patti Smith crushes it, and loved hearing the story behind the song on the Defiant Ones on HBO. 

Maestro ... 

Picture it. Tinder. July 31, 2016. Scene: Friel is seen zipped inside inside her onesie lounging on an oversized sofa chair snuggled next to her dog, Buster Brown. She sips her wine as she begins swiping ...

Last summer while swiping on Tinder, I came across a profile featuring a man in a suit with with his face deliberately hidden. Wondering what he had to hide, I clicked on his profile ... 


Actual screenshot 

I'm not sure what kept my interest in that exact moment - the radical honesty? the marketing of intelligence? I'm not the kind of person that would ever want a guy because he was "someone else's," in fact quite the opposite ... I'm more likely to ask for a threesome.

Surprising myself, I swiped right.

It was an instant match. Oh shit, I thought. 



<tangent> Talk Nerdy v.1.0 was all about welcoming situations that I wanted to explore while concurrently learning about myself. I'm solid on who I am at age 32, and I don't need to do that anymore. With each stroke (pun intended) I question if I am even going to publish this ... </tangent> 

Within seconds he messaged saying he couldn't stay on Tinder long (for obvious reasons).

Not needing long (that's what he said), my questions were Vin Diesel style fast and furious ...

Gray text (him): Hi 

Blue text (me): Hi. (the period was deliberate) 

Gray text: Have you read my profile? 

Blue text: Yes. Why cheat? Why even get married? It's so cowardly. 

Gray text: There's more to it than that. 

Blue text: OH I'M SURE (capitalization was also deliberate) 

He asked me to email him. (For obvious reasons he didn't want to keep talking through Tinder.) I waited a full 24 hours before sending this ... 

I wasn't sure what to say next. I wasn't sure I cared since I was more focused on getting ahead than receiving it ...


("more pictures" references more than what he had posted on Tinder, which again, omitted his face) 

The "horny" part was a test, I wanted to see what he would lead with.

Would he flat out show me his little Richard? Does he take a photo of his face? I was curious to find out. 

He sends me a photo of his chest which was congruent with the athleticism he advertised. 


The pose was neutral and confident. He didn't do one of these elbows out, hands clasped behind the head "come hither" style. Independent of the circumstances he was looking to place himself in (quite literally), I felt like I could learn from this guy. What? I wasn't sure, but he didn't operate in the "predictably index" I've known previously of "cheaters." 

<tangent> After over 7,500 blog posts, and an equal amount of zip codes I’ve taken “residence” in - people operate on a spectrum in my brain based upon the behavior I learned from people I've previously met. If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, I got a duck, and I can’t be mad at a duck for not being a giraffe. I'm very rarely surprised in life in terms of people. This guy was genuine, this guy knew what he wanted, that equated to a power I was attracted to know more about. </tangent> 

Attraction aside, sex wasn't even entering into my brain at this point. The predictably index acts as a "chastity belt" of sorts. It takes me a really really really long time to finally have sex with someone based upon the fact that I've more likely than not had sex with this type of personality before! In four years I can count on less than two hands how many people I've slept with. NOT because I'm proud of that fact, quite the opposite actually. I find myself more often than not in a state of frustration and take said frustration out by using ... 


Porn is only .5% LESS frustrating than going to bed with a guy only wanting to dip out two seconds after he was done dipping in.

(I do however enjoy feeling another body on top of my body, like a sexual Thunder Shirt of sorts. It calms and soothes, but then I'm all YUP! Good - get off of me).

I confidently used self control as a sexual shield. I genuinely didn't give a fuck about getting fucked. I'm not surprised by personality types. I've seen it been there. Done that. And they're making a TV show. 

<tangent> Can we talk for a sec about how god awful porn is? The story lines, I mean, I want to write a porno just to give quality storytelling and proper narrative. OH, and then you watch the 10 second thumbnail and think YES! THIS IS GREAT ... 

... only to discover the tongue that you thought you were going to experience is not in fact native ... 

Maria, please tell me you made him work for it and didn't just give up your ... 


Anywho, back to my own hooha ... he then sent me his KIK, and the convo continued over the course of a few days ... 



 I don't like meeting people anymore. I've met a lot of them. I will 100% til the day I fucking die meet a reader of this site and say THANK YOU, but other than that - no. I'm good. I like my home, my dog, my wine, onesie, and Netflix.

The convo then went to what we were each studying. I had just discovered Revisionist History from Malcolm Gladwell, so I told him, and then he shared this ... 

Then came time for the photo exchange.

He referenced grooming preferences before sending his first photo. 

BTW, we are talking about his face and not his ...  


You can't tell in the screenshot, but I did SLIGHTLY unzip the onesie ... 

Over the next couple of weeks, we became each other's night night buddies. We'd talk about our days (our experiences in them, never the parties involved), and eventually once respect was earned from an intellectual perspective - things got sexualish


I wasn't about to let him know that I was following his command. I really was typing that before I read what he had written.

I didn't see his last message, my fingers quickly closed out KIK and opened up the google ... 

 Per Kinkly (appropriately named)

There's a typo in this. It should read "does not make an effort to reciprocate."

I had never heard that term before August, but apparently let it seep into my subconscious when a boy I found attractive texted around my birthday (I won't date him because he's vegan, and I'm a massive. massive. carnivore. I did go on a #BJDiet afterall ... ) ... 

We never ended up meeting that day because I wound up going to a last minute work holiday party. I never viewed what I do as a "sacrifice" because I enjoy it so much, but in writing this post I am realizing how much sex I am missing out on. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, FRIEL?!?!!??!

Anywho, back to the sex offered by something other than my own hand ... 

Our messages continued for two straight weeks before I finally agreed to meet up. He had already checked off the intelligent box, checked off the kinky box, would I actually let check off my own box? I wasn't sure, but invested enough in my night night buddy to find out. 

We agreed to meet during the day at a bar that is shockingly popular during the weekday. 

I can't remember who sat down first, I just remember we arrived around the same time (such nerds for being on time). For as open as I know I am sexually, when you share aspects about yourself before meeting someone IRL, there is like a weird disconnect. That's one of the reasons why I won't say more than two or three words to a guy on Tinder before/ if I know I want to meet him.

I know what I want, I want what I want, and I don't need to talk about it.

I've found that when I talk to someone too much online before meeting them I place a projection on who I think they are vs who I can figure out they are. We are shockingly transparent, and the older I get the easier it all is to see. 

We both ordered a bottle of cold beer (I ordered bud light, I can't remember what he ordered), and as he started talking - I tuned out the words that were coming out of his mouth. I can imagine he was narrating the steps it took for him to be able to arrive at this random bar that I picked on a weekday, but I didn't care. I just wanted/ needed to know what his motives were and if he was genuine. Everything I could tell about this guy was that he was honest, and yet here he was about to commit (from my perspective) the most dishonest act a person can do.

Cheating in general is no bueno in my eyes, cheating on your wife? Even worse. 

I started talking somewhere where it was logistically acceptable. I brought up the one thing we had yet to talk about, his wife. 

"Why cheat?" I asked point blank. 

"It's not what you think," he said quiet while leaning closer.

I paused, not saying anything verbally or physically. 

"We've tried counselling, she is going through something. I don't know what, but I'm also a man and have needs." 

"How do you know she's not cheating?" I asked honest and not judgy. 

"It's more physical on her end, I just know she's not." 

I still wasn't entirely sure, but I quickly asked another question ... "why not just get a divorce?" 

"Because of our family. She's an amazing mother, and great wife except for this one thing." 

My eyes said they understood, but it was hard to understand not having walked in those shoes. From my perspective, I wouldn't ever want to teach my children that a sexless marriage is okay. Sex is a HUGE part of intimacy, it's in fact one of the greatest parts. Here is this ONE THING that you share with this ONE OTHER human being. If that's not the definition of closeness, I don't know what is. Again, not being in that position I knew I couldn't relate, I could only listen. 

He continued to tell me about his experience in marriage, and all I could do was respect the guy. Here he was in this brief moment being "seen" not as a father or as a husband (particularly one that can be viewed as "failing" to a certain degree), he was just a guy that I thought was smart and easy to talk to. The intelligence factor is what I need to find someone attractive, so the fact that he had that AND he was (by any definition) commercially attractive AND I could tell he wasn't bullshitting me meant that I still wanted to know more. I still wasn't sold on sex, but I was more certain than ever that he more likely than not could change my mind. 

After we departed, he emailed ... 


Alrite, much like dudes after sex, that's all you get for now. Did I mention though, the next post will be written to this song ... 

It was so FANTASTICALLY dirty, and now that I've come this far, it would be a shame to stop ... 


Click here to read part 2


#NerdsUnite: @David_Boreanaz + an Instagram story featuring a unicorn onesie = one very epic fail 

<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my friend Angela. We met over email, then twitter, and have decided to take our girl crush public on the interwebz (see tweet here). She's awesome and has a hilarious story involving well, I'm sure you read the title ... </editorsnote>

#TalkNerdyToMeLover's @MissSoot

I’m on a mission. Not from god, like the Blues Brothers (but that would be awesome…)

I’m on a quest to meet all of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer cast members (either by way of panels or meeting them in person. I have met or seen nine ﹘ I only really have four more to go, including Buffy/Sarah Michelle Gellar herself.)

In my quest, I recently met David Boreanaz who plays Angel, as he was in Melbourne, Australia, for one of our big cons here called Supanova.

I love Angel. I have loved Angel forever. Like, eternity. Isn’t he like every 13-year-old’s dream boyfriend? HELLO, VAMPIRE WITH A SOUL.


Cue: *smouldering*.

Supanova Day 1

It was day one, after Supanova had ended. We had started drinking in the hotel bar just after 7pm. It was me, my mum, my brother, and my dear friend of nine years (and Supanova publicist) Lionel.

There we were, snacking on a cheese platter with strawberries, and dried dates and figs, and downing too many $16 glasses of Sauvignon Blanc ($16 PER GLASS?! WHAT?! Did they have one of the dwarves from Snow White out the back crushing the grapes?!)

By 10.30pm, some of the Supanova guests had started to filter back to the hotel and to the bar, returning from a con-related event they were required to attend. David walked in with his childhood friend, Patrick, and David’s manager Tom (this was the same manager David’s had for 20 years ﹘ the one who discovered him walking his dog Bertha Blue in L.A. landing him the role as Angel on Buffy).

By this stage, I was a far more animated version of myself thanks to the very expensive wine (think a Looney Tunes cartoon character hiccupping bubbles, but I was far more sauve in my mind at this stage ﹘ the alcohol just made me more chatty and friendly).

So all three of them swarmed around Lionel (who was sitting opposite me), and Lionel invited them to sit with us, like the reverse of Mean Girls (you CAN sit with us!) and I was like…


But instead I said, “come join us!” And they did. By this stage, some sort of exchange had happened, and I was was standing near Lionel, teasing him about not answering my text messages from the night before.

“Why didn’t you answer my text messages, Lionel? I was at work, one block away from here, in a unicorn onesie!”

The night before, I WAS in a unicorn onesie for a games night at the startup I work with. I was head of games night. And because we want to be a startup valued at $1 billion, we have unicorn onesies. I have the pink unicorn onesie. #truestory

David asked, “what’s a unicorn onesie?” My eyes widened (no, seriously, they did. I still remember this detail because I felt my eyes turn into giant bowling balls in my sockets), and I said, “You don’t know what a unicorn onesie is?! Let me show you!”

I had my phone on me and opened Instagram, showing him this photo:

To which David asked me, “What do you do?”

I replied, “I’m a copywriter for a startup that does coaching programs to teach web designers how to build their business.” (Yes, even while tipsy, I can remember my ‘elevator pitch’! *High fives*)

David looked at his friend Patrick and said something like, “Smart AND pretty.” Thank the Whedonverse that these days I don’t #fangirl out anymore (as I am way too sophisticated for that), but in my mind, I was like, that’s such a cliche BUT...


So we sit down and by this stage, I’m still teasing Lionel, sitting on the arm of his chair, which is next to David.

David then asked me, “What’s your Instagram?”

I gave him my details (here’s me on Instagram if you’re so inclined), and he DMd me as I was sitting next to him.

And this is how the exchange started...


And then he starts to look at my Instagram Stories…

Right in front of me. (Disclaimer for those with eagle eyes: I’ve blurred out my other viewers. Yes, there is a different username for David at this stage. In early June, David’s account became verified and he changed his username to have the extra ‘o’ in it. That’s why the screenshots differ as I took screenshots of our DMs in June.)

By this stage, I think we’re getting drunk around David Boreanaz. He seems pretty sober (he’s nursing half a Heineken) and I’m at the stage where everything is hilarious and if you ask me questions, I just have to think a lot harder to answer. (I do remember them asking me about how I met Lionel and my meeting with Alice Cooper, to which I replied, “Alice asked me to take some candy from the dressing room. It’s like all my Halloweens came at once!”)

My brother, Stu, is ordering herbal tea for David’s manager Tom, who is complaining of having a sore throat and feeling like he’s got the flu. And Patrick (David’s BFF) is asking my mum questions like, “What’s the most embarrassing story you have about your kids between the ages of one and five?” and “What were they like as teenagers?”

To which I chimed in, “Me as a teenager? Straight As and constant overachiever right here.” *points to self like I got bling on all my fingers*

At one point, Patrick said, “I like your skirt.” I was wearing a galaxy print skirt. I replied with a thank you, as he added, “it’s an aurora Boreanaz skirt.” (referring to David’s character in Family Guy.) And David looked over, and nodded in agreement, “yeah, you’re right.” (Later on that night when sober me returned: “OH MY GOD. DAVID BOREANAZ KINDA NAMED MY SKIRT.”)

Then Patrick and David started discussing a trip they went on when they were 19 years old. Like getting lost in Europe without cell phones and by chance, reconnecting a day later at the train station (Patrick took the wrong train) and having to steal back their wallets from a gang in Ireland, and something to do with a grizzly bear in Barcelona. And I think there was something to do with David having his dad’s credit card at one stage... I wasn’t really paying that much attention as they weren’t talking to me. I am a Leo, so my default setting is “PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO ME IN ALL MY LEO GLORY.”

I’m sitting there like...


I had returned to my seat which was opposite David and Patrick who were *deep* in conversation, and they started doing this hand gesture. And during David’s panel at Supanova, he mentioned he was OBSESSED with Instagram’s Boomerang, so I said, “Let me get a Boomerang of you two doing that!”

So I did. And it looks like this:

Yep, that happened.

I said to David, “I don’t want to put this on my Instagram without your approval of it and the caption.” So I handed my phone to him to get him to post it. And he posted it. (Later on that night when sober me returned: “OH MY GOD. DAVID BOREANAZ TOUCHED MY PHONE AND I AM NEVER WASHING IT EVER AGAIN.”)

When the night was coming to an end (they were starting to retire to their rooms), David and Patrick had left the table, but were just outside the bar, and I needed to go to the bathroom. I popped a cracker with cheese into my mouth, and scurried off to the bathroom.

So I scooted past them chewing my cracker, saying, “I have to go to the bathroom but I’ll see you guys tomorrow!”

To which Patrick and David called me over, and after an exchange about visiting New Orleans, David followed me to the hallway that led to the bathroom (as I had been commenting on the artwork in the hallway, flailing my arms about in a very dramatic fashion, like I should be wearing a 1940s-style full-length silk bathrobe with kitten heels that have pom-poms adorning them to accompany my astute critique of the artwork, darling).

It was a painting of two humans with giant white rabbit heads on them in a field that looked like a scene from The Sound of Music. If The Sound of Music was set in an alternate universe where evil bunnies had taken over. The caption had something about exploring identity.

I said, “Look at this! It’s meant to be exploring identity! I don’t want to explore identity on my way to the bathroom!”

“They have giant red eyes!” David replied.

I leaned into the painting. “Oh my god. You’re right! What the hell?!”

He was laughing at me. Or in my mind, it was with me. We’ll go with that.

We said our goodbyes, and he gave me a hug. (Later on that night when sober me returned: “OH MY GOD. DAVID BOREANAZ HUGGED ME.”)

My brother escorts me to the car, as by this stage, we’re all a little tipsy, and I get to the car, and I’ve received a DM from David. It was something about me “swimming in wine”, and something about one of my Instagram photos. I reply something smart-assy as I usually do when I’ve had too many glasses of $16 Sav Blanc.

He then says something my tights. Yes, I was wearing black, patterned tights and apparently David was a fan of them. Okay…

David sent me two DMs that were VERY flirty, and in my mind, I was like, ‘nope, you’re married and I’m really NOT into that kinda thing.’ So I said it in a very sweet way ﹘ the way dating books say to do it.

I wrote, “Love ya but I noticed the wedding ring, and I’m kinda only into being ‘the one and only’.”

And he wrote back, “I respect thatπŸ‘”

This was all #TooMuchDrama for me, because #ThisIsNotTheHills and I’m not Lauren Conrad.


*This conversation is over* (Who else misses flip phones? Raise your hand! βœ‹πŸΌ)

I texted my friend Ed, who lives in St. Louis, when I go home. I wrote, “you need to stop me from drinking as I get myself into weird situations.”

And I told him what had happened.

And he wrote back, “I’m at a conference, and you’re out getting drunk with actors. You’re so Hollywood right now.”

Thanks for the support, Ed. πŸ˜‰

I woke up the next day and I’m pretty sure the whole thing was like some sort of weird #TeenageDream I’ve made up, and the whole thing didn’t happen, so I check my DMs and a majority of David’s half of the conversation has been UNSENT!

*insert dramatic music*

My first thought was, I didn’t know you COULD unsend messages... And next thought: I better do the same thing, as I look at my side of the messages, and it reads like I was totally crushing on him in an stalk-you-at-the-airport-and-break-into-your-house-and-sniff-your-hair-while-you-sleep kinda way.

So our DMs now read incoherently like this…


Props to me for trying to typing The Weeknd’s lyrics while tipsy. πŸ™ŒπŸ» #madskills

So that was that.

Case closed. End of chapter. Or so I thought.

Supanova Day 2

At the end of day two at Supanova, and we wanted to say goodbye to David, Patrick and Tom, so we waited until after David’s signing had finished, and they all come over, and David shakes my mum’s hand, and my brother’s, and then gets to me, and I’m ready for the handshake, and he envelops me in this HUGE BEAR hug, and I’m standing there like…


Or pretty much like this…




And we talk about the panel he did that day and how terrible the questions from the audience were. And we say our goodbyes, and I check my Instagram about an hour later, and I have a DM from David...



Oh yeah, my brother got a photo with him but didn't have to pay the $110 photo fee so that's why we said we wouldn't share it on social. (As to not upset the hardcore fans.)

So that’s all very sweet and cute.

Two weeks later, it’s David’s birthday, so I wished him a happy birthday. And he replied two days later with a…


I’m like “WE ARE FRIENDS! THIS IS GREAT!” Because I love having loads of friends who are awesome people and whose talents I admire.

So we DM on and off. When he was posting pics of him at the doctors (or a hospital), I DMd and said, “get well soon”. And he replied with “trying” and “it’s rough”.

He checked my Instagram Stories every so often (but he never follows me, so clearly we are friends who just wave at each other in passing at cocktail parties and make polite chit-chat about the weather and the type of wine they’re serving, and how much we all NEED a vacation this summer).


In the above one, he’s checking the Instagram Story of a card my BFF Ed sent me. (I later tell Ed it was this DM that pushed David over the edge; I’ll explain all ﹘ keep reading.)

Back at work on June 13, and it’s the CEO’s birthday for the startup I work with (the one we’d love to have valued at $1 billion to be a “unicorn”), so I bought her a unicorn pinata.

And so I get into my unicorn onesie to be #HeadOfUnicornPinataHitting. (And hopefully enter some sort of unicorn wormhole.) And I get one of my colleague to take a video and Boomerang of me doing this...

And I send the 15-second video version of this event to 20 of my closest Instagram friends. And David. The caption read “Just another day at the office”.

David opens it.

But doesn’t reply, which isn’t unusual.


One day I wake up to find I’ve been BLOCKED.

*insert dramatic music*

David blocked me three days AFTER I sent that video, so that can’t be it. Unless he really, really, really, really doesn’t like unicorn onesies.

Or it was Ed’s card that pushed him over the edge weeks ago. This was just a disaster waiting to happen!

I was pretty ticked off to say the least. So I moped around for 10 days (10 days!), like, “WTF happened? Are people all crazy lately? It was JUST a unicorn onesie!” then decided…

To turn it into this to drum up some copywriting business. Because it’s hilarious. And because strategy.

Meanwhile, I'm still on Instagram, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… Still blocked.

Luckily, my brother has access to David's account. I’ve only missed posts of his dogs and a Roomba vacuum cleaner. Living the Hollywood dream!

So the moral of the story is: never meet your flirty, childhood heroes who happen to be your teenage fantasy idea of a perfect boyfriend: A VAMPIRE WITH A SOUL.

CAN I GET AN AMEN?! Don’t worry, David, I still #LoveYouLongTime. And I’ll be watching your new show Seal Team like…


Now, onto my quest of meeting Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy). Maybe she won’t block me on Instagram… *Touch wood* But truth be told, I did like being the Chosen One for all of my 15 minutes of fame.


(You didn’t think I’d finish this entry without this GIF did you?)


Author bio: 

Angela Allan is a former journalist for Fairfax, Rolling Stone, FHM, and Australian Penthouse,based in Melbourne, Australia. These days, she works as a freelance copywriter and social media strategist helping businesses achieve their online marketing goals. She’s the creator of The Hollywood Treatment: 7 Steps To Talk To Your Audience Online. In 2012, Angela started her own online magazine Soot Magazine before becoming managing editor of Australia’s first brand-led newsroom. Aside from all things word-related, Angela also loves Buffy The Vampire Slayer (obvs), her three dogs, blues music, and she believes Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac is her spirit sister. She's travelled Highway 61 from New Orleans to Chicago with her mum (kinda like Thelma and Louise, without the murder). You can write love letters to Angela on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


#NerdsUnite: Getting attention is one thing, being called to attention is another

I wrote most of this post inside Rhys Millen's sweltering hot trailer located somewhere so off the grid we had to drop pins telling people where we were. Oh and I can also cross the life experience of "flipping a car" off my list. Oh and we caught the eye of the po po somewhere near the rim of the world (this is a thing) who then wondered why the word PENIS was written on my forehead. While I can’t say all of this attention was desired, it did at least inspire this post. 

Maestro … 

A few weeks back, I went as my brother’s date to his military banquet dinner. He’s now a full blown second lieutenant in the army (he just graduated from BOLC - for those who know what that means), and as his annoying little sister, I carry great pride in being his plus one. (And by great pride, I mean we're both still single in our 30s, so yeah.) My brother is my dude, we’ve been thick as thieves our whole lives and as I've gotten older, I realize how special that is. 

 <tangent> I'm over telling this story, but I need to establish the background … but growing up, my brother was heavily favored in our family. Not by my parents, but pretty much everyone else. I still remember sitting on his bed at age 6? and touching his heart wondering what he had in there and I didn’t. My parents themselves had less than harmonious relationships with their siblings, so they made it a priority for us to at least “try” to get along. Like any other siblings we relentlessly tortured each other, but if anyone else tried to mess with either of us? Let's just say, they did not have the best day. 

You can read the story here, but when my brother was getting picked on in the 3rd grade (I was in 1st), I WWF style “off the top rope” threw myself into his bully and broke up the fight. (Hashtag: Learned behavior from Brett Hart, Yokozono, and Razor Ramon.) Even at that age, I never thought about it or batted an eye - I took care of the situation, and we take care of each other ... fiercely ... and always. </tangent> 

Assisting in el brother-ino's success (in whatever means necessary), I made sure to look the part, making my dress a top priority.

There is no better marketing than a woman in a beautiful dress (well, maybe a beautiful woman in a beautiful dress - but even if you only have 50% of that, you’re still good). 

 Here’s what I wore to his first military formal … 


I was a big. big. hit and baby had some serious back ... 

Sure he got shit from his colleagues as to how attractive his sister was, but he also made some fantastic connections and everyone anchored said success back to one thing - “that beautiful dress.”

Left to my own devices and operations, I’m a tom boy, but do I like looking nice for special occasions? Fuck yes! (Besides, I also need to refresh my dating profile pics every once in a while, so double yay!) 

Did I mention that the dresses I wear are rented so not only do I spare myself the garment gluttony, but also the cleaning bill. 

What's that you say ...??? 

When you’re wearing a dress that people admire, they come up to tell you. Of course, a microsecond after the compliment has been processed, I make sure to introduce myself while quickly asking if they had a chance to meet my brother as well. 

<tangent> This is where men get it wrong with the concept of a “trophy wife/ girlfriend.” You have to find a woman that is confident enough in her own skin to know that she’s working a system, yet remembers to take care of her partner at the end of the day. Albeit that can mean different things to different people, but anytime a guy offers for me to be his “trophy” I laugh saying, I only like boys that shine mine. I’m a partner, not a puppet. </tangent> 

I don’t mind attention, I just don’t need outside validation anymore. I genuinely prefer being the one behind the scenes, and working systems watching the people I’m supporting succeed all while going “excellent” in the key of Mr. Burns maneuvering work and life like a game of chess.


Shortly after my arrival in yet another "middle of nowhere" scenario, the Friels united and as I checked into my hotel room on the base my brother ran down the evening's itinerary.

"This won't surprise you," he said continuing, "but you're sitting at the head table with the colonel (an invited guest of my brother's)."
"HA! I said laughing."
"I've also been asked to MC the event, that means you're going to mostly be on your own." 
Not a problem, I said with a smile happy to be there to support him.

<tangent> My brother and I often find ourselves in "adulting" roles. Anytime an actual adult needs to leave the room, or put someone in some sort of leadership role, there is a 99.999% chance we will be asked. So him being asked to MC was the equivalent of being told what day it was. </tangent> 

Ready to rock and or roll at the early bird hour of 4:30, I met my brother in the lobby as we climbed into the colonel's truck heading over to another part of base where the event was held. (He and his wife drove into Missouri from DC.) En route in, and still a little early, we toured the building where they had various uniforms, police cars, and general army memorabilia. 

The colonel and my brother mostly spoke in acronyms that I didn't understand. Bee tee dubs, talk about the boot being on the other foot - I've spent my whole life talking in tech acronyms watching my brother's eyes glaze over. It was my turn to be confused, but like any true gentlemen, they were very open to answering any and or all questions I had. 

The event commenced promply at 5, and the group paused before entering the room. My brother walked into the hall first and shouted ATTENTION!

Eyes as wide as saucers, I stared over at the colonel's wife not knowing what to do next. 

The colonel was the highest ranking officer in the room, and when they enter you show some damn respect. I might still be learning the traditions within military culture, but I have to admit, I admire what I've seen so far. For as "new school" as I may be, I was also raised with etiquette in a super old school Connecticut family. (If I cut my food and ate with my fork still upside down my grandmother would scowl saying I was "european." Which btw, I learned on a date last year was a WW1 method of determining who was a friend and who was a foe.) 

Anywho, emerging from behind the scenes inside a room called to attention, my brother organized his thoughts and presentation as I was introduced to his colleagues and their sig-o's. Seeing this as an opportunity to muster up some dirt (for the upcoming holiday season), I asked for some embarrassing stories. 

Not short on supply, they mentioned a few before one of his colleagues stopped saying, "I gotta say one thing though, Friel worked really hard." 
"Oh yeah?"
"His first week here, he didn't pass a shooting test required for the course. Instead of just giving up, he spent every weekend there after at the gun range."
"That's Michael," I said smiling knowing first hand how easy certain things come to him, but also how hard he works if he truly wants something. (My brother is actually so smart that he frequently finds himself bored.)  

After months of hard work, he had to take the shooting test again, and not only did he pass but he qualified for a medal. 


After dinner, we went back to the colonel's hotel room for a night cap and a catch up as gentlemen, not officers. "You should come to the dinner in September, it's for a three star general." 
I laughed saying, "I'm in as long as I'm not traveling to yet another 'middle of nowhere' type place." (In the last year and some change for my brother I've been to Oklahoma, Georgia, and Missouri. Super happy to support him, but dear god I'd like a break from bumfuck.) 

His wife then chimed in saying she was happy to make introductions for my brother. He thanked her, as I piped up saying, "I'm happy to make introductions specifically to any of the single soldiers. I'd truly like to thank them for their HARD work and tireless service." 


Everyone laughed as my brother and I departed for the next part of our adventure. 

Compartmentalizing my own exhaustion from 12 hours of travel, we walked back to our hotel as I asked my brother what was next.

At dinner we had been invited to meet his team at a place called "Chicken Bones," but again being cut from the same cloth (just styled differently) I knew that everyone else going somewhere would have little to no influence on what my brother actually wanted to do.

"Let me get changed, and we can head out to the bar with everyone."
Done, I said.
I ran back to the room freshening up my own makeup, and a few moments later I heard a knock.
I opened the door still in my dress. 


The photography doesn't do this dress justice. Another lesson learned! :)

You're going to go to the bar in THAT dress? 
Without skipping a beat, I said, "this isn't a dress, this is a sensation!" (Technically speaking I stole that line from the movie Sweet November, but damn did it work well in that moment.)
"Fair," he said still in stiches.
Again I was in a situation where I could use this dress to my advantage. We're in the middle of nowhere, and I'm going to walk into a bar in a damn ball gown. That's attention level 100, and the social equivalent of leaving the barn door wide open. Whoever he wanted to talk to, he was going to talk to. As his little sister I was going to play any card I had to make sure that happened. 

In the cab on the way over I objectively laughed at our circumstances ... 


As we walked into Chicken Bones located next to the fudge factory in Uranus, Missouri ::snicker snicker:: we were stopped at the door by the hostess. "Wow, she said, you are by far the hottest woman in here." 

Thank you, I said with a smile in the direction of my brother. Personally I registered it as someone shooting a fish in a barrel and displaying it on the wall, but again, not seeking the outside validation meant that I genuinely didn't care. 

My brother went to grab us drinks, as I sat down with his friends (who were playing pool). I was invited to play, but in that moment preferred to watch. My schedule has been the busiest it's ever been, physically it doesn't bother me, but mentally it does. I need a fucking vacation. 

Moments into my stare off into space (I found a hockey game on), I noticed a group of douchey looking dudes giving the "come here" gesture. I laughed to myself continuing to ignore them focused directly on the TV above their heads. Are they out of their damn minds? If you want to talk to a woman, you politely approach. The "come here" might have worked in my 20s, but in my 30s that's a boat load of hell to the fuck no. I'm a classy broad, and you better show some respect. 


Frustrated at the lack of attention, they began to borderline on desperation conducting what one would call a "dance off" of sorts ...
only they were clearly absent the day dance lessons were taught ...
and their bodies flailed around mimicking one part seizure, one part "The Sprain" ... 

Attention was not won. In fact, there was not even a consideration of it being placed on the table.

Focusing on the only thing that mattered, my brother returned Chicken Bone Bar souvenir cup in hand (WINNING!). He then asked how I was "actually" doing. I laughed telling him the story of what I experienced while he was away, but then also said, "I've lived like Bethenny Frankel Season 1 and Season 2 of Real Housewives for a long time now. Today, tomorrow, and every day forward, I'm going to be like Bethenny Frankel Skinny Girl Boss Bitch." 


"I know, he said. I'm really proud of you. You've worked so hard to get to where you are now." 

"Thank you," I said, "but also for the first time in my life I can enjoy it." 

When I was hustling Talk Nerdy back in the day, I was constantly in this hyper sales mode. Now, I don't have to do that anymore. With this new stage comes entirely new challenges and new standards, but I can also feel like I can breathe for the first time in a really fucking long time.

6 year old Jen said she was going to work in the entertainment industry (with tech as my fallback since it came so naturally to me). 32 year old Jen not only works in entertainment, but also in tech (which is becoming one in the same). I constantly placed myself in the right place at the right time without ever knowing it. I didn't sleep my way "to the top," I didn't have to. I worked hard and threw down just as hard (if not harder) than the guys. I earned a lot of respect along the way, but most importantly from within myself. 

Somewhere past our bedtimes, we left the bar and the next morning decided to pick a handful of spots in Uranus ::snicker snicker:: before heading back to St. Louis for my evening flight. While in more of a "typical Jen ensemble," (translation: people are a liability and please for the love of god don't talk to me) we stopped off at a winery en route to sample local flavor. 

<tangent> I'm not going to change. After all these years and adventures, I'm pretty solid on the person that I am.

Exhibit A: Jen age 8, launched first computer "company" after numerous failed attempts at lemonade production/ driveway sales ... 


Exhibit B: Jen age 32 hanging with her big brother in Missouri ... 


Samesies. </tangent> 

As we walked up to the bar inside the winery, we were greeted by the bartender asking if I had dyed my hair. 

What? I said genuinely confused. 

"Did-you-dye-your-hair?" she said slower and with the same amount of confidence.  

"Yes actually, but I've never been here before so you wouldn't know that."

My brother looked equally confused as she continued, "oh it's okay, I just stalk you is all." 

Assessing the situation I could tell she was joking and being super friendly, but I brushed it off saying "oh I have plenty of those" (the inside joke not lost on my brother)

Six sips later, we grabbed the bottle we enjoyed and as we went to pay, we grabbed the attention (yet again) of our new friendly friend. 

"I can take you over here," she said. 

I turned and smiled as we stepped out of the line. 

As she rang up the bottle the computer erroneously double charged. My brother piped up saying "oh you mean we get the family discount! See, my uncle owns a liquor store and his way of taking care of the family is being charged twice." 

I laughed along and for the first time I realized how happy I am that my brother didn't have to experience a perceived "void" that I had for so long (in terms of family). He doesn't know what it's like to feel like such an outsider in your own family, friends, and your own skin.

Finally, I smiled for a reason other than attention. 

On our way out, our new friend invited us both to a screening of Rogue One later in the evening. Outside of earshot I commented that "she wanted me, but she'll take you." We laughed, and as he dropped me off at the airport hours later I told him yet again how proud I was of all that he's accomplished. 

He replied with, "same." 

Then, this past weekend (clearly ignoring my own declaration of avoidance of bumfuckery), I went up to Lake Arrowhead and then to somewhere called Soggy Dry Lake for a new off road racing automotive project.

See, I'm a workaholic, so anytime my friends say that they have an idea, I'll think about it and process to see if there's a way I can help. 99/100 times it never ends up going anywhere, but that once in a blue moon has kept my brain creatively satisfied for over a decade. 

On the way to set in a pimped out Ford Raptor (we were shooting content for a soon to be launched new website), we caught the eye of the po po and his Kanye West style lights ... 

As we pulled over, the driver asked for assistance in finding his insurance card on his phone while he spoke to the officer. Being a pro racer means that he has more than one insurance policy, and as I pulled up the (at least 20?) cars he had insured, I handed the phone to the officer confused saying, "I have no idea which car we are currently in." 

He looked down at the policy on the screen, and then mirrored back the confusion to what was on the top of my head. "Does your forehead say the word PENIS?" 

Oh, I said laughing, the company is Chalkin Social, and these guys are like my brothers so we mess with each other as often as possible. 

Hearing an officer outside of the "rim of the world" ask me why I had the word "PENIS" written on my forehead made every penny spent on the hat worth it. 

An hour and some change later, we arrived on set. We were working that day with Rhys Millen, and Estevan Oriol. Being such a newbie to the racing scene, I was excited to have a first hand experience (so I can understand more of the narrative they were interested in telling)

Estevan had yet to arrive to set, but one of his guys was there, in addition to Rhys and his team, and two drone operators I had hired to take aerial shots. 

I've been friends with the main driver for years (I don't even consider him a friend, he's family), and after a quick race with Rhys, he asked if I wanted to go for a spin. 

Abso-fucking-lutely, I said climbing into the passenger side of the Polaris RAZR. After we were both secured, we got a quick pep talk before taking off ... 


A post shared by Jen Friel (@talknerdytomelover) on Jul 3, 2017 at 11:44am PDT

Less than 10 minutes after this video was shot, we flipped (my side was down on the ground).

See, earlier in the morning, I felt what it was like to "feel like you're about to flip" in the Ford Raptor. It's all a process in how you handle the vehicles. Off road racing is very different, and while my brain wanted to freak out thinking "danger danger!!," the reality of the situation was that I was fine.

Except of course, when we technically weren't and hit the ground. Not one to panic, I held onto the "oh shit bar" (which is directly in front of the passenger side) as the driver actually said ... 


My shoulder hit the ground, followed by my head (which was safely secured inside a helmet), and in that moment I quickly realized the degree of athleticism required for this sport. If I had just kept my core tighter, I wouldn't have hit my shoulder (and then subsequently experienced whiplash in my neck). Super interesting, I thought still sideways. 

Realizing we might need medical attention, the crew rolled upon the also rolled vehicle. 

Sideways I shouted, "DID WE GET THE SHOT?!?!? PLEASE TELL ME YOU'RE ROLLING!!!" (the pun is always intended)

The guys were all super impressed as they began to film once again.

"Capture everything - I don't care! JUST DON'T STOP ROLLING!" I continued to shout. 

Falling doesn't scare me. If anything it gave me slightly more confidence in having a first hand experience in how my body (and brain) responded to a crash. While I would have been more pumped spending the day behind the camera (rather than in front of it), after everything was said and done we not only produced great content, but I immediately won the respect of the whole racing team. 


Besides, I can't let my big brother win. He may have received a medal, but I got a motherfucking badge of honor ... 


(This photo was taken 4 days after the fall. I can show you more, but then I'd have to charge you.
JK, I'm not for sale. Life experience has taught me not to devalue myself in that way.)




#NerdsUnite: Jen and Matt talk cars (Facebook Livestream) 

A hoi hoi! Last week's livestream was def top three of my favorite to date. Matt and I got to check out the 2017 McLaren 570S. Take a looksie ... 



#TrueStory: Last night, I went ghost hunting with @RachelTrue from The Craft

I have a knack for leaving one thing (while passively accepting an invitation to another thing) WITHOUT KNOWING that I'm walking into someTHING I am about to very much enjoy. This happens frequently, I now know to listen - not question.

13 year old Jen is SUPER HAPPY with this life experience - I GOT TO GO GHOST HUNTING WITH ROCHELLE!!! 


Score one for nerd kind everywhere! 

K, stop talking Friel - just write the damn post. 

Last night, I went to Pour Haus in downtown LA for my girlfriend Meghan's birthday (which happens to be today, Happy Birthday Meghan!) We've discussed at great legnths that we would make the ULTIMATE power lesbian couple. We're both creative and analytical but in very very different ways.

Meghan comes from an agency background, and I come from the school of hard knocks/hustlers. We can independently build digital projects that arrive at the same destination point, but she's smart knowing that an abundant budget is a great thing to have. I, on the other hand, like to test opinions (popular and my own theories), pushing them to extreme boundaries that might not make sense to other people, but after a lot of hard work arrived at said destination point ... sans budget. (I find myself being less stubborn in my elder years, however, I respect the hustle of 20 something year old Jen. She knew what she wanted, and actually got it.

Professionally speaking, we have a deep respect for one another (seriously check out her site), and that level of respect has translated into a great friendship. (We are both able to compartmentalize effortlessly.) 

Just last week, we spent four hours dancing to Boyz To Men, Paula Abdul and NKOTB - while being photo bombed by an ewok ... 


Oh, and last December, her daughter spent an entire evening at Zoo Lights calling me Gina. Not Gina as in Geena Davis. Gina as in missing the V and A ... 

IF ONLY WE WERE LESBIANS!!! THE STORIES ALONE!!! Le sigh. Give me 10 more years of being single, and maybe I'll try dating a girl again. 

Her birthday party was great. We had wine, delicious gorgonzola stuffed dates, and around 10:45ish I gave her a big hug and bid adieu. (I knew I had to get up relatively early to go spinning with my attorney and had to be mentally clear enough to discuss certain deals. Hashtag Adulting.) 

On the way back from downtown, I got a text from my gf asking if I could stop by to pick up her mail key (I agreed to grab her mail while she is going out of town).
No problemo, I texted back, r u free now? am by ur place. 
Yep, she texted back.

I then swapped out the address in my Uber, and pulled up to her building moments later. <tangent> She lives in one of those super old and historical buildings in downtown. </tangent> 

Here, I texted as she immediately buzzed me in.
I walked in quickly realizing she wasn't alone.
I did my best to not pull a Honey ... 

(Scroll to :54 or click here - iframe embed code wouldn't work w proper start time.)

I immediately knew it was Rachel, but had so many questions in that exact moment: 
Like, 1) How long have you two known each other? 2) Do you live here? When I pick up the mail do we like get to hang out and totes become besties? 3) How gratifying was it for your character to see Christine Taylor's hair falling out in the shower? Her character was such a bigoted see you next Tuesday - that had to feel good. Right? Right? 

Silencing 13 year old Jen, I focused on the words coming out of Rachel's mouth. 

<tangent> The Craft came out in 96, around the same time as Clueless, and the rise of the Spice Girls. You didn't just want to "be" these girls, you mentally were. I didn't have three close girlfriends at that age, but personality wise, I was definitely a "Sarah." I respected her journey, and development of powers she didn't totally know what to do with. 


I admitted that I knew who she was, and mentioned that I still in fact had The Craft on my DVR due to it being on TV last week. 

"Don't worry, you'll be receiving a residual. The Craft and Clueless shaped my middle school years." 

"Funny you mentioned Clueless, I dated so and so from that movie."

My brain immediately went into fantasy mode of imagining their character's lives together. Not knowing if that information was public, I squashed the thought bubble and went back to focusing on everything IRL. 

Rachel then told us about her lifestyle blog focused on health, and general life philosophies. I was super impressed that someone immortalized with a type of "witchcraft" could also be so unbelievably down to earth. (This makes sense though considering she is friends with my other gf who is also super down to earth.) 

She mentioned that LA Weekly published an article on her a few weeks ago talking about her tarot reading skills.

Accepting the "ghostly" cue, and realizing we were in a super historical (and I can only imagine) haunted structure - 13 year old Jen piped back up asking, "do you want to explore the building? I hear the basement is super creepy." 

"OMG, you're willing to go down there?" said resident gf. 

Duh, I said, never one to say no to an adventure.

How many people can say they've gone ghost hunting with one of the four characters from The Craft. I. Wanted. That. Life. Experience. So, I got it! 

None of us had enough battery in our phones to download an EMF detector, but fortunately we had enough life left for the flashlight to work should we get the beejeepers scared out of us. 


As we began exploring, Rachel made the observation that because this building was around in the prohibition era, it was highly likely that there were tunnels (where they would sneak in the alcohol)

That's genius, I said. 

Think about it, this is the basement where they "show people the basement." There's gotta be something underneath here. 

We then opened up as many doors as we could, before bumping into one of the building managers asking what we were doing. Being a badass herself (and maybe recognizing Rachel), she was only pissed at the fact that she didn't have an invitation. 

"I want to go ghost hunting too!" 

Our group grew to a party of 5 (she had a friend in tow, and hehehee Party of 5, also featuring Neve Campbell) plus 1 skeleton key later, we roamed the otherwise "off limit" areas.

Approaching a locked door, Rachel made an observation about the group's "background." 

"We all know that because I'm the blackest one, I'm going to die first." 

Everyone laughed. 

"Yes, but next is the couple that has sex," two of us said in unison. 

We looked at the one guy, and continued our laughter respecting that we have all seen the movie Scream (which also came out in 96)

If you're in your 20s, watch this scene and you'll know how to survive a horror movie: 

Room after room, we all could tell that there was "activity" (you distinctly had a feeling that "you weren't alone," which by definition we weren't with a party of 5), but whatever "it" was, "it" didn't seem to be bothered by our intrusion. Of course, we made sure to stay respectful of the space and building, but said respect didn't stop us from trying to figure out the EXACT location of potential tunnels. 

"Does the building have blueprints?" I asked the manager. 

"Not sure, I can find out," she said. 

What's that I hear ... oh, just the sound of another adventure ... 


All in all, the hunting lasted just shy of an hour. As we got back to the lobby Rachel commented on my heritage. 

"What are you," she asked. 

Loaded question, I thought before quickly responding with "I'm Irish." 

"You're one of those Celtic Druid-like chicks. If we were both back in Salem we'd be burned at the stake." 

I laughed knowing that I did actually have a relative burned at the stake, and the apple didn't fall far from the charred tree. 

The swapping of social media handles happened moments later ...  


... as we started brainstorming séance ideas.

We HAVE to do this again, I said, but like, film it. The 30 somethings LOVE nostalgia - you could turn it into "a thing." 

"I'm in," she said. 

AANNNNNDDD just like that ... a "True" and "For Real" are now friends, all because of a girl named "Justice." 13 year old, and 32 year old Jen like that.  



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