Unrealistic Friendspecations

Unrealistic Expectations from Friends TV show blog nerd

As a single, 30-something who was living in New York until a short time ago, I relate to the beloved TV show, Friends, on so many levels. Too many to count. There is no show that means so much to me and has influenced my life the way Friends has (with Seinfeld coming in at a close second.)

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I didn’t watch Friends when it first aired in 1994. I was only 12 and my parents did not find it appropriate viewing material for a 12 year old girl. They were right, of course. But that didn’t keep me from wanting to watch it and it certainly didn’t keep me from tuning in the minute I was old enough and watching it till it ended in 2004, when I was a junior in college.

Looking back, I now know that it played a huge part in my eventual move to the big city. The entire first year I lived in New York felt like a dream, like I was in an episode of Friends. I’d see a street sign or a coffee shop and dream of Central Perk and the 6 most quotable characters in the history of TV. Tell me you don’t say this in Chandler’s voice when you read it “Could I BE wearing any more clothes?” Well, Joey doing Chandler’s voice, but I’ll bet you knew that too.

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As much as Friends will always have that place in my heart and that finale will continue to make me cry even after I’ve seen it dozens of times, I do think that Monica, Ross, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe and Rachel created some unprecedented expectations of what friendship could look like, but usually doesn’t. Where most shows up to that point (again, besides Seinfeld) were about family units or couples getting together, Friends was something altogether different. A set of 6 inseparable Friends who created a family away from family. They did everything together and remained connected for 10+ years (we know they are still together in TV land somewhere.)

Think of all the Christmases and Thanksgivings they spent, not with their nuclear families, but with each other. Think of their trips to Vegas, Barbados and London. The jobs that were forgotten the minute something came up. The family that was forgotten in lieu of the family unit that was created in New York City. Shared life stage and values bonded them in a way that has just never been seen since Friends left the small screen. How I Met Your Mother touches on those element and at times feels similar, but it doesn’t manage to touch the level of nostalgia and love that people (and I) have for Friends.

At the same time, what was created between the 6 of them is as unattainable in real life as a Ross and Rachel friendlationship is. People don’t drop everything to go to Barbados with you, much less for a work conference they have no interest in. You’d be lucky to have one or two good friends show up at your destination wedding, much less the whole pack (minus a pregnant Phoebe.)

I can’t even get some of my friends on Skype most days, much less entice them away from their families, their jobs and their lives to come play with me at Disney. It’s less a complaint and more a realization that real life is just that much harder sometimes, than an episode of Friends (realization may be a little strong.)

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I miss what I found in New York and the brief moment that I grasped onto what it was like to have capital F, Friends. A group of people who were pursuing things the way I was. People who were bonded together in the face of a strange, transient city like New York.

Sure, we didn’t drop everything for each other, every single day. And because New York is so expensive, we all really did have to work most of the time, making it very difficult impossible to sit around in a coffee shop all day, talking about relationships and about our feelings. It just didn’t happen. That’s a beautiful dream that only can live in TV land.

But I think that’s what made Friends so popular and such a strong show with staying power. That kind of Friendship is what we all hope to find. The kind that can last 10+ years and weather being on a break and children and marriages and stuff. When you find that kind of capital F, Friend…hold onto them and never let them go!!

And now…my favorite Friend, Chandler:

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Welcome to #TheSweatPack

I love fitness! I really do. I love the feel of straining dormant muscles (most especially dormant after the holidays.) I love taking classes at Soul Cycle and Title Boxing Club (where I am a member.) I love running by the lake in my neighborhood and lifting weights and jumping rope. I love to feel like I’ve pushed myself, truly pushed myself outside of my box and past my limits. The limits I set in my head. The ones that tell me that I can’t go any further or that I’m never gonna be good enough. Some days those limits win out…but most days I kick those limits in the ass!

#TheSweatPack running

My last blog post was about the tone of my New Year. I’m going to be living this year with a freedom that can only come when those limits are abandoned completely. Is there something that’s holding you back from working out or asking for a promotion or jumping out of a plane? Live Free!! What’s the alternative?

Maybe this doesn’t sound particularly nerdy to you. And if The Big Bang Theory is to be believed, then nerds don’t really choose to sweat much (unless they’re running away from bullies.)

But guess what…I’m a nerd! A BIG ONE (this much you already know.) I love fashion and Firefly. I love music and Marvel. I love sports and Star Wars. I don’t fit into the “normal” nerdy categories and stereotypes that are out there. Never have. That includes the stereotype that nerds aren’t sporty. I just have to beg to differ. Or beg for that stereotype to be buried once and for all. Because I believe that when it comes to nerdom…there is no “normal.”

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So, I’m partnering with the lovely Grace Kelle of Lean Girl’s Club and we are kicking the New Year off with some serious sweat!

Frankie had Deano…Emilio Estevez had Judd Nelson…and me? I have Gracie. No, we don’t live in the same city anymore. She’s still living that big city life up in the Apple and I’m beachin’ it up down in the F-L. But when it comes to #TheSweatPack, distance is only a number!

Liz Tailor and Grace Kelle are #TheSweatLPack

You’re wondering where you come in? Well, the beauty of #TheSweatPack is that it’s open to all. Come join Gracie: @leangirlsclub and me: @nerdinthesand over on Instagram and jump into our weekly challenges. It could be 1 picture a week, it could be 7 or 17 (if you’re the overachieving kind!) Wherever you are in your Sweat Pack journey, we want to meet you there!

Listen, if I can do it so can you! And probably way better than me anyways. So show us your sweat. Let it shine! Get up, get moving and get out of that little box!

This week #TheSweatPack is… taking The Stairs!!!

#TheSweatPack taking the stairs Instagram challenge

Tips from a 9 Yr Old Fashionista

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Meet H. She is 9 years old. A New York transplant to California’s sunny, beachy Santa Monica.
She is an incredibly creative kid who loves fashion, writing and skateboarding down Wilshire.

She’s been begging me to let her have a post on my blog. So here she is with a few style tips and her favorite outfits.

“I call this The Fashion Girl.”

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“When picking an outfit, it’s important to make sure your jeans aren’t wrinkled and also to roll up your sleeves because it makes you look like you always know what you’re doing.”

“This is Fashion Einstein.”

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“Stripes show intelligence. Wear stripes to school!”

“This is called School Farmer.”

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“Overalls show that you have talent. Make sure to leave one side unbuckled. It makes it seem like you’ve done this stuff before.”

“I call this Fun on the Stairs.”

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“Put pep in your step and people will be able to see your fashion style.”

“Snooze Till You Never Lose.”

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“Just because you’re going to bed doesn’t mean you can’t be fashionable.”

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There you have it folks. How to rock your style from a 9 year old!

I Dream of Comic Con

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This is the first year in a while that I won’t be attending New York Comic Con. Trust me…I’m aware of all the fun I’ll be missing out on.
image The great thing about a virtual schedule is that you can over schedule yourself with no problem. So here’s my very busy virtual schedule for New York Comic Con! Hoping I’ll make it out there next year and never miss another one again!

Thursday, October 8th
11:00am – 88MPH: A Celebration of Back to the Future
12:30pm – Andre the Giant: The Man Behind the Legend

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1:30pm- Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Panel
2:45pm – The Walking Dead: An Inside Look with Robert Kirkman
3:00pm – How Harley Quinn Conquered the World

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4:00pm – Game of Thrones: A Panel of Ice and Fire
5:30pm – DC Superhero Girls
5:30pm – Star Wars Rebels Season 2 Sneak Peek
7:00pm – Sean Bean brings Legends to NYCC

Friday, October 9th
11:00am – Star Wars: A Galaxy of Fandom
12:15pm – Social Media for Creators
12:45pm – Felicia Day Spotlight

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1:30pm – The Cute Side of the Force: Drawing Star Wars Creatures with Lauren Perry
1:45pm – Marvel: Iron Man and The Avengers
4:30pm – Once Upon a Time: An Evening with the Dark Swan
image 5:15pm – Screen Junkies Presents: Honest Trailers and Movie Fights
6:00pm – Marvel TV Presents: Agents of Prime time
7:00pm – Con Man: A Series 13 Years in the Making

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Saturday, October 10th
11:00am – Chick’s Kick Ass: The Ongoing Epic
11:15am – Thrilling Adventure Hour
11:30am – Firefly Reunion

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12:15pm – Disney – Lucasfilm Publishing Presents Star Wars: The Journey to The Force Awakens
12:15pm – Epic Reads Book Club
1:15pm – The X-Files

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2:45pm – Marvel: Cup O’ Joe
2:45pm – Women in Geek Media: The Sequel
5:00pm – Netflix Original Series Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil

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Sunday, October 11th
11:00am – How to Draw with Katie Cook

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12:00pm – Lucasfilm Presents: Star Wars: A Galactic Readers Theater
12:15pm – Minority Report Panel
12:15pm – DC Entertainment: All Access

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1:15pm – The Amazing Economics of Star Trek
1:30pm – Women of Marvel
1:30pm – Warner Brothers Televisions Takeover Featuring Gotham, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Blindspot, Supergirl and Person of Interest
2:30pm – Geek: Constructing Fandoms

If you’re going to NYCC, I hope you have a magical time!! And don’t forget to share pics on social!

Get ready to see a whole lot of this kind of stuff from sad fellow nerds who will be missing out on mecca:
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So…That Happened

Exactly 1 year ago, I debuted the first episode of my web series, So…This Happened on You Tube. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started that little adventure.
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The other day I was asked what I’m most proud of in my life and I’d have to say that my series is one of the coolest things I ever did. (With lots of wonderful help from lots of wonderful people, of course.)
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To tell you the truth, I’m a bit of a quitter. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s true. As I’ve gotten older it’s become less true, but it’s still there. Creeping up on me in weaker moments. Catching me unawares when I know better!!

In high school, I was in the marching band and I played the oboe and the flute. Summer after my junior year a couple of my closest friends moved away and so I quit the marching band…right before my senior year. It made no sense. Why quit something I had given years of my life to. And that I really enjoyed. But the prospect of finishing without those friends just didn’t seem appealing, so I skated through my senior year. A little like a ghost.

The same is true of my studies at the piano. I had been taking lessons since I was 5 years old. When I was 15 I had this teacher that was really hard on me. She was often belligerent and she would cut my nails down to the nub. Rather than tell my parents that I was unhappy, I just quit after my teacher threatened to cut my acrylic french manicure. The manicure I had spent $40 on for the homecoming dance. Some people might not consider dedicating 10 years of my life to something as quitting, but I loved and love playing piano. I could have switched teachers, I could have told my parents. But I just quit.

Quitter! That’s me. If I don’t want to do it…I won’t. I dream big and then get bored. So to not only start a project, but to see it all the way through to completion… that is a major accomplishment for me.
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The series is something that should never have happened and almost didn’t. But then came along a friend who believed in my vision and some strange amount of determination to continue on.

When I think about the new projects that I want to do, I remember that feeling of accomplishment and pride and I know that if adversity comes between me and my goal…it has no chance. I am a fortress, an albatross. A Patronus flying towards fears and saying “Bring it on!” I will see my goals through!! I may take the long road and I still have to fight to put in that extra elbow grease and also fight the desire to watch Netflix instead sometimes. But that’s because I’m human!! Maybe you can relate!
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If you missed out on my little web series…don’t worry, it’s all available on You Tube and I hope you like it! Here’s the trailer:

And don’t miss out on my newest series, Cross Country Nerds with author, Jonas Lee:

I’m always up to something. Make sure to subscribe or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc so you don’t miss a thing!

And as always…stay nerdy!

I Pitch My Tent in the Valley

I had a revelation about dating. It’s not ground breaking information or anything. Just a thought about me. The person I know the most and spend the most time with. And maybe you’ve felt or feel like this and that is why we share. To find connection. To say, “Hey, you’re there right now? Me too.”
So…I don’t like dating. It’s no secret. And I recently went on a date with a really nice guy. He was socially well adjusted and he liked nerdy things and he loved Jesus. He was quite possibly a unicorn. But I wasn’t having any of it. I didn’t wanna go. And when he asked me out for a second date (something I’ve never been on with anyone) I dragged my feet about it. And turned into a whiner. I whined about it. “Do I have to go?” I asked my friends and family. The same friends and family who have heard me complain time and again that I don’t get asked out by decent guys and have heard me complain that I’ve never even been on a second date with anyone…ever.
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What was wrong with me? What have I been saying??? “Unicorn!” “Where are all the unicorns?” “If only I could find a unicorn then maybe my relationship stuff would be over.” But here was a unicorn sitting in front of me and I couldn’t be bothered.
It wasn’t adding up.

There’s an element that I have not shared with you beautiful nerds. I’ve kept it close. It was too private to share. But…here goes everything.
I accidentally fell in love somewhere in the 8 years I was living in New York. And yes…accidentally falling in love is as stupid as it sounds. And it doesn’t produce the happy outcome that you readers and viewers and family and friends so graciously hope for my life.

I’m only giving the highlights because of anonymity and because if he ever reads this (highly unlikely), he knows all he needs to about it and doesn’t need to know any more than what I’ve chosen to share. And because there is way more to it than this, but this is the important stuff.

The bullet points are as follows:
-He’s a boy
-I’m a girl
-We were friends
-Then we were roommates
-I moved out
-I missed him
-I started to feel more
-But knew it was not a possibility
-So I tried to get over it
-And failed miserably
-I told him I was in love with him
-But nothing happened
-Then I moved to Florida (not because of!! Important note.)

Now as I mentioned, this unicorn guy came along after the bullet points. And the bullet points, of course, have a lot to do with a lack of enthusiasm about the unicorn.

Here’s what it boils down to. I’m 32 now. I’m not getting any younger. But hey!! I am getting way…way better!!
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I’m about to be an aunt. And almost all my friends and family are married. It’s natural. It’s what happens. But maybe that’s not what “happens” to me.

See…dating comes with a price tag. The price is that there are a set of expectations in a dating situation that for a hurricane like me, are unavoidable and undesirable. Expectations like…do I like him? Would I kiss him? Do I want to have sex one day with him? Would I marry him? (I’m drastically over simplifying but you get it.) All the while society and well-meaning church folks ask the dreaded questions…”When will you be getting married?” “Should I set you up on a blind date since you’re still single?” “Don’t you want to be happy?”

So instead of turning to a unicorn who I know there is potential with, I turn to and fixate on the bullet points. Cause there is no future there. There is no expectation of more. And that is ok with me right now.

But “NO!” you say. You’re shaking your head that it isn’t better. I know what you mean and I know why you shake, but I currently disagree… because I’m not looking for ‘The One’ I’m looking for a friend. Friendship is what you hope to end up with at the end of a long married day. A friend. Who gets you and loves you and sure…wants to have some sexy time with ya. But who is ultimately…your FRIEND.

If the only expectation on a date was getting a friend out of it, maybe then it wouldn’t fill me with the crippling fear that it does now. I don’t let fear get in the way for me usually. But with this dating stuff, for some reason, I listen. I don’t want to worry about whether or not some guy is gonna hold my hand or try to kiss me and will I be too polite to tell him I’m not really feeling anything but friendship for him. And why has it become such a crime or an emotional wrecking ball to have that conversation.

I want amazing. I want exciting and I want it with some one who knows me the way the bullet points knew me. But who also loves me back.
And it’s a Catch 22 that won’t happen if I avoid dating. I know that, mom! (She’s pretty smart!) This blog has no answer. It has no solution.

But then again, this blog has never been about having it figured out. Or about teaching how life works. It’s always been about the journey and the figuring and the valley moments. Cause that’s where I find my tent pitched 89% of the time. I’ll let someone else write about the mountain top.
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The Nerd Returns to the City

“Well… I didn’t expect that!”

I was so sure that the tears I’d cried over leaving New York were because deep down I wanted to go back. I wanted my life back. I wanted what was familiar and what had become “normal” for years.

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But there I was, back in the bright lights and I felt like I was gonna jump out of my skin. I am not an anxious person and I’m not a worrier. But everything about being back made me feel anxious and made me worry. I was late to meet my friends. I was bustling along the streets. I was stuck on the train that seemed like it would never move.

This was the life I’d lived for the past 8+ years. For better, for worse. For richer, for poorer (and let’s just be honest…it was always for poorer.) This was how I’d lived. Blissfully unaware of the madness of the city because I’d become a part of the madness. I was the madness. I understood it and it had become a part of me. I fell in love with it. (Read about That Time I Fell in Love)

The first weeks back in Florida, I had a frog permanently living in my throat. I was on the verge of crying every single day. My mom asked me if I wanted to sing at church and I burst into tears saying, “It’s too soon! It’s not the Journey.” My friends suggested I try online dating to get over a certain person I may tell you about someday, but I burst into tears just reading the profiles saying, “It’s too soon! I’m not ready.” I drove out to the beach and even that didn’t feel right at first (despite what my Instagram portrayed) and I cried the whole way back saying, “It’s just not New York. It doesn’t feel right!”

Everything seemed to be a pressure point. Everything seemed to set me off. So, here was my chance. To make the choice to stay on the path God called me to walk on or to turn back around and run to something comfortable. It’s funny to call New York comfortable. It’s the least comforting city I’ve ever lived in. Surrounded by 8 million people and constantly alone. But when you acclimate to something it does feel comforting to be a part of it. So New York was the comfort and Florida was the challenge?? What an unexpected outcome!

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I was truly shocked by this panic attack. I’ve never even had a panic attack before, so I can’t be sure that’s what I was experiencing. But my heart was racing and I couldn’t breath… so I started to pray.

To be honest with you, I’ve been mad at God. Why did he call me to leave my beloved city? Why did he bring me down to Florida where my purpose is still being figured out? Where my friends and family already have their lives figured out down here?

I decided at some point that I was too angry to listen. I decided that I was going to make my own way!

If you’ve ever gone your own way, you’d know it’s not the right move! I know it’s not the right move and one restless night God hit me hard with the news that I was supposed to be listening! And this feeling that I felt in New York was just confirmation that I’d made the right choice in listening to God. That moving was His plan, not mine. And that my new challenge was to listen for the next light he shines in front of me instead of buying batteries for my flashlight and finding my own path.

It’s not a revelation. It’s not new information! It’s just a daily reminder that I need to constantly turn my eyes up to Him. And a daily reminder that I am right where I need to be. Even if it’s hard! Especially if it’s hard! And trust me…it’s been hard.

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That Time I Fell In Love

Having never been in love before, I didn’t recognize the feeling. The butterflies in my stomach, that nervous feeling like I might throw up at any given moment. It was strange and unsettling. I couldn’t sleep very well. I couldn’t eat…wait I could eat. I can always eat! But I knew this was something different than ever before. Exciting, scary, different, special and it just felt right. The way I imagine an older couple who’ve been married for over 40 years must feel when they hold hands or something. It was definitely love.

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That was me and New York in January of 2007. Love at first sight. It was bright and shiny. It kept me up all night, just thinking about it. Friends were made. A life was built. And not only did this become my home, but I even found family here.

You know what I love about me… I don’t just make friends, I find family wherever I go. Did you know that you can have more than one family? It’s pretty cool!!

There are the blood relations. The people God designed to be in your life no matter what. The people who raised you and who you grew up with. The people who teach you the things you’ll take through the rest of your life.

There’s college family. The people who were there in a difficult transitional period in life. The people you may have partied with. The people who teach you that life is bigger than the little bubble you came from.

There’s church family. The people who grow you spiritually. The people who challenge you and hold you accountable. The people who help you and pray for you and uplift you.

There are various work families. The people who understand the crazy things that happen at your job. The people you have happy hours with after long stressful days.

There are a bunch of other families that you can make. The people who understand your hobbies. The people you root with at sporting events. The people you cry with over television finales.

And then, if you’re lucky, you have all of the above. But there’s one more family. The kind that is unforeseen. It’s your New York family. Only they can understand what it means to leave those other little families behind to pursue something huge. To step onto this stage with a dollar and a dream. Maybe you get what you came here for. Maybe you leave with dashed hopes. Or maybe that family supports you through every bump and bruise till you are ready to leave on your own two feet to start a new adventure.

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That’s my story.

I came here thinking I’d fall in love. I came here thinking I’d make it big. And once I realized that no one defines my dreams and my accomplishments but me, then I knew that I did fall in love and I had made it big. It was never going to be conventional or “normal.” But then again I’ve always been extraordinary. I don’t mean that in the cocky, “I’m the best” sort of way. I mean, ordinary is not a word I understand. “Normal” is not a word that has ever applied to me. And New York gets that. Hell, New York invented extraordinary. (Well God invented extraordinary, but God also made New York so it still works!)

I found myself here. I found something I didn’t know I was missing. I fell in love with New York City! The funny thing about love is that it doesn’t go away, but it can change. It can become unrecognizable underneath the little annoyances, the little betrayals, the little boredoms, but it never fully goes away. The heart doesn’t forget like that. It’s the mind that tricks you into thinking that it isn’t love anymore. But it still is. And New York and I…we’re doing just fine. I have loved it here, in a way I never knew I could. And the best part about it, the part I know for sure, is that no one ever truly leaves New York. I intended to come here for my internship and then maybe stay for a year or two. Eight and a half years later…. I guess it’s time to go play in the sand for a while. But I know I’ll be back. New York is in my blood now. It’s a part of me. It’s where my family lives.

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This is surely the evidence of a life well lived.

Thanks, my pretty little city! See ya when I see ya!

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This nerd will return in August 2015…

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 2

Day 2: Buffy Summer from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

My favorite show of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I can watch it over and over again and never get bored. It’s a show that will stand the test of time. The musical episode, Once More with Feeling, will always be my favorite.

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If you weren’t a teen of the 90’s then you may not have enjoyed the many wonders of watching Buffy, including but not limited to, staking vampires, witty dialogue, teen romantic drama, and epic 90’s fashion and hairdos!! Including this classic 90’s updo!

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This hairstyle can also easily be accomplished with a pencil or a small stake, which makes the vampire slaying all the easier!!

“In every generation there is a chosen one… her hair alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the slayer.”