I’ve got some nerdy friends. No joke. We write code and talk about the same things every time we’re together. Somewhere down the line a woman, who shall be named later, will drink a color drink (blue drink, purple drink, pink drink) and end up telling everyone at the party how it really is. I wouldn’t trade any of my nerdy friends for anything. Why? Because I know that they know me fairly well. Well enough to recognize that I’m joking 99% of the time. Enough that they know I mean absolutely no threat to them and that I can joke around on social media and no one takes it seriously. That’s why I wouldn’t trade them in. Why stop there. Let’s meet these awesome nerdy friends! Thunder Cats Assemble! Is that still a thing?
Nerdy Friends: John Hawkins
Whenever you’re in Vegas and you want to go somewhere that the “Locals” go to but still have that awesome Las Vegas Strip Vibe, John Hawkins is your man. I first met John at the Vegas WordPress Meet Up Group. He ran this awesome group and I was willing to do any ritual I had to in order to join. I’d of sacrificed a marshmallow Peep if needed. Turns out though that it was free to join. You’re safe little Mallow Buddy! John gave a presentation to the group every month. He was the only one by the way. So one day I decided that I wanted to try this thing called speaking to a group about something I “roughly” know. I bought John a beer and asked if I could give it a try next month. To my surprise, he gave me this big ole’ HELL YES you can and thank you for the beer.
Ever since that moment, I’ve been interested in speaking to large groups, small groups, and socially awkward groups. I mostly speak at WordCamp’s and the local meet up group. Whenever I had a bad session or a bad performance if you will, John is the first to step up and say “I really like how you did this, but you should try to do it like this….”. He’s never wrong by the way. There are several instances in which I would Google chat with John. He would take my calls and give me the best solution that he knew of. He’s just awesome like that. Last month John announced that he was going to take a break from all of his WordPress Duties. It makes me sad, but I’m very thankful that he shared some nerdy friends knowledge.
Nerdy Friends: Shayda Torabi
If you put Tina Fey, Dana Carvey, and Denis Leary into a blender and put it on high until it becomes a frothy shake, out would step Shayda. She’s got this love for food and its awesome / hilarious at the same time. If it’s good food, she’ll blog about it. If you’ve seen 30 Rock, then you’ve seen Tina Fey’s character take something like an entire steak dinner in one shot. Two seconds later we come back and the everything including the steak, has been finished. That’s what I imagine when I think about Shayda. She’s also got this sense of humor that’s hard to describe. The best I can come up with is much like Dana Carvey. She’ll say something totally calm and collected, but it’s one of the funniest things that you could ever hear at that exact moment. This week at LoopConf, someone mumbled the words “That’s what she said” after a one liner was tossed out into the wild. Rumor had it that Shayda has this awesome reply to that line and it goes something like this: “Oh yes, I did hear that she muttered that exact thing”. See my point yet?
Shayda’s not afraid to call you out on your BS and that’s where the Denis Leary part kicks in. Just like taking a Cialis or Viagra pill, she will call you on your bullshit in a matter of minutes. If Shayda keeps calling you out on your bullshit for longer than 4 hours, you should consult your physician and have your head removed from your ass. #JustSaying. Simply put Shayda is this lovely caring individual who is willing to participate in the activities and contribute to the fun. Mess up and it’s your ass, not hers.
Nerdy Friends: Mendel Kurland
The guys awesome. Anything else I say about him, I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you. Enough Said. Hearing Mendel’s story about how he took an idea for a start-up and became the WordPress Evangelist for GoDaddy, makes him one of the Nerdy Friends Fo Sho. The guy has this calm demeanor and it’s contagious. You just hang out around the guy for a few minutes and it’s like meditation. It’s like Meditation with a lot of Alcohol. Ok, not a lot because that makes us sound like Alcoholics. So it’s like Meditation with the right amount of drinks to have a bit of a buzz but safe enough to drive home. Having known him for a short amount of time compared to the others, I’ve really gotten to know Mendel. Sure, to most people in the WordPress community, he represents the devil in the form of a web host. To me, he’s this guy that really cares and he’s planning this awesome event where he wants to talk the best minds in WordPress and have everyone go out to this remote part of Oklahoma. It’s called Camp.Press and no phones are allowed. No Tablets. Just a bunch of people having fun and disconnecting from the online digital world for a few days. It’s going to kick ass.
Mendel Kurland jokes are going to be the next Chuck Norris Jokes. You wait. You’ll see. I’ll start. Mendel Kurland doesn’t press keys on a keyboard. He Presses Words. OK, it’s not perfect but you come up with one.
Nerdy Friends: Michelle Schulp
Michelle is that wild card in our group. She’s got so much style. Seriously. She’s the graphic designer I could be. Except I would be the male version. You know what? As a white woman in America, she makes it look so easy. That’s a Michelle reference. She always has her finger on the pulse of the country and she’s the first one to make a joke about it. Her jokes are a lot like my jokes. We can joke about something the minute after something happened. To us, it is not insensitive, it’s just funny to think about. She’s only friends with people who are more than 50% weird. A direct quote I heard last week at LoopConf.
Michelle always comes up with super clever idea’s. Example, she made a temporary tattoo that said Kern. She stuck it to her knuckles and began to play with the distance between each letter. That’s the definition of Kern if you ask me.
Nerdy Friends at LoopConf
With the exception of John Hawkins, the rest of my nerdy friends were all together and we had a blast. You can read and see some of the fun over at Mendel’s blog, or by reading my own blog about LoopConf.