Friday, May 9, 2014

Let Start This: Member Highlights

Here's an idea, since we're not meeting up monthly anymore lets check in with everyone. How about a weekly post with all the new videos, blog posts, and other creative content our talented members have done? Does weekly sound optimistic? Well the more members who sign up here, the more content we'll have to pull from. Interested even a little bit? Let's see what some members have already sent in.


 ➔ Ariana practices her French. She has translated Royals by Lorde.

 ➔ Speaking of French, Jenny shares photos of her and Disneyland castles in California, France, and Tokyo.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Con Badges Design Ideas

One idea we've had in the past is to create actual 'con badges' for CalNerdCon. I still want to do this idea and possibly even have them ready in time for VidCon so we can wear our CNC pride! The first step is creating the design. Here are some ideas our members have submitted over on Facebook. If you have an idea as well let us know! Once we have a basic idea I'll make a few final deign ideas and we'll vote over here on the blog.

(via. Jenny Sargent)

(via. Sam Semon)

(via. Amanda Hemingway)

Keep in mind they're going to be around $5 each and we'll need 15 to 20 pre-orders before we have the funds to order the supplies.

Please comment below with your ideas and opinions!

Friday, February 28, 2014

January 2012 Meetup

Today's meetup post comes to us from member Joy Yamaguchi. She attended this meetup on January 8th, 2012
January 2012 Meetup

CalNerdCon has taught me so much about friendship, Internet relationships, the power of Nerdfighteria, and much more, but I think by far the most important lesson I've gotten from it is that if you can get a large group to stand in a circle on the Santa Monica promenade then people will think something important and exciting is going on, even if there really, really isn’t. 

The January 2012 meetup was supposed to be a normal CNC hangout... we were going to go to the park, chill, and bask in the wonderful IRL company of our normally only internet friends. But the day we scheduled it was the same day as a meetup by Brett the Intern, Ray (iamraynbow) —now his fiancĂ©—and Meghan Tonjes in Santa Monica. So rather than choosing between the two we decided on the better route: both. 

I got there with my friends at the beginning of the afternoon and was really not sure what to expect. We traveled separately from the rest of CNC, who still met up beforehand, and they hadn’t arrived yet but Brett, Meghan, Ray, and some others were there. It started with the usual hanging out and joking that every gathering of good people has but as the rest of CNC and more and more people arrived for the meetup we found ourselves in a circle on the boardwalk (which usually has street performers that people circle around).

I honestly don't know how it started but someone placed an object in the center of the circle, possibly chapstick, or a small human-like iPod speaker, and one-by-one people began placing a strange assortment of items into the circle. My Little Ponies, a shirt, single shoes, scarves, car keys, even iPhones... no one held back and soon we had created a shrine. To what? No one knew… We began to encourage people walking by to look, and even join in, simply by our presence and enthusiasm for this... nothing.
And, in reverse, we took everything back out again and it became a usual meetup of singing (I think Meghan performed with her divine voice and also no CNC meetup is complete without several ukuleles and sing-alongs), hugs, and friendship making.
That meetup is memorable for other little reasons too of course. I remember distinctly a conversation with Ray about the words “merry,” “marry,” and “Mary” which all sound the same when us Americans say them but his Irish accent made it all distinctive and so much better. It was a lot of laughs.

I also recall I spent quite a lot of time fretting about talking with the boy who I had met at the first ever CNC meetup who, less than a month after that, went on to be my boyfriend for over a year. We’re just friends now but that maybe that speaks to the power of healthy Nerdfighteria based relationships…
In retrospect it may seem like there is no reason why this was such a wonderful and prominent meetup in my mind but it makes me think of a quote from Esther Earl from her book This Star Won't Go Out:
       “Just be happy, and if you can’t be happy, do things that make you happy. Or do nothing with the         people that make you happy.” 

And that's it. We did nothing in the traditional sense of the word. We had no final goal, no specific activity, no end product or result... but we did this "nothing" together. That’s what I love about CNC. I may have moved away and I may not know everyone who goes to meetups now but I'll always have ties to this wonderful, ever changing community of people who support, love, and exist together. So I know when we’re together, virtually or IRL, it’ll be fantastic, even if we do “nothing.”

If you'd like to guest post on CalNerdCon about a past meetup email us at

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why We're Called 'CalNerdCon'

Every time I explain CalNerdCon to someone (after asking what a Nerdfighter is) they always ask why we're named 'CalNerdCon' instead of something like 'California Nerd Club'. So I thought I'd ask a few long time members what they think of the name and how'd they describe it to someone. Let us know in the comments what you think of our name! 

I barely remember when we named the gathering, but I remember it was right after Vidcon 2011, which was many people's first time at Vidcon. So we were all more excited than ever about community and conventions, and we were playing around with words like "California nerds" "cal nerd" and then "calnerdcon" in the spirit of Vidcon. Then it stuck. Forever. - Hannah Moroz

Two years ago, one September afternoon in downtown Disney, Jennifer Sargent, our great and powerful leader, told me, and a couple others, that she might want to do this meet up thing more often. I was incredibly ecstatic about this! I wanted any opportunity I could get to hang out with Jenny and also my new found nerdfighter friends. We decided we needed a name, and since the first ever CalNerdCon was soon after Vidcon, I figured it would be funny it these monthly meet ups were like miniature Vidcons, so I thought it would be funny if we were called California Nerdfighter Convention. The name could be misconstrued since we’re not a convention, but we are Nerdfighters in California and we are convening, so I think it’s a fitting name. No matter what anyone else says. Anthony D’Angelo. - Eden Hain

So in conclusion, our name represents who we are, how we relate, and where our passion lies. Because of this, we are in the process of creating convention related CalNerdCon merchandise. The idea I had was convention badges. If you've ever been to a convention or conference you know you have to wear a lanyard with your 'badge' to be allowed in. Obviously it won't become a requirement to attend meetings, but rather a silly accessory or keepsake related to our community. If we get enough interest we will be able to purchase the supplies and sell them for around $5 each. 

Please COMMENT on this blog post if this is something you'd like. Go ahead and create Disqus profile with a username and profile image that is recognizably you. (or to remain anonymous to the rest of the internet, just email us letting us know it's you) In the future we'll use these blog comments for voting on things like community merch.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nerdfighter Halloween Party

Today's meetup post comes to us from member Rachel PerryShe attended this meetup on October 29th, 2011.
Nerdfighter Halloween Party

It’s October 29, 2011 and I find myself at Walgreen’s, the clock is striking 12 or 1am and I’m purchasing black and white face paint. The next day is the CalNerdCon Halloween Extravaganza and Helena and I have gone a bit crazy with costume preparations. Helena’s mother is sewing dresses for us; I’m looking up hair tutorials online; She’s trying to build wings in the backyard.

The next morning, much too early, I’m eating breakfast as Helena and Hannah apply grey face paint to my face and body. I’ve braided our hair, we’ve put on the dresses, and the costume’s are complete.

Next six or so of us Long Beach girls are all piled into a car, and we’re on our way to the park. I remember getting lost and then finally finding the park.

At the park, we played theatre games and exercises. I remembered we had to tell a story but each person was only allowed to say one line of text. We could rearrange the words or only use a few of them, but we were limited to the text. I remember eating lots of yummy potluck food, singing songs, and playing ukuleles. At some point, we took a giant group shot, and it would appear that half of the people blinked. There were a lot of photos that day… Overall it was a super fun day, and I was very excited to see CalNerdCon start to form and grow into the great group it would eventually develop into. We’ve come along ways guys!


(Photos provided by Joy Yamaguchi & Jennifer Sargent)

If you'd like to guest post on CalNerdCon about a past meetup email us at 
calnerdcon at gmail dot com

Monday, October 14, 2013

Special Guests: David M. Kennedy-Farner

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a big nerd, and huge fanboy for too many things to list... But my number one fandom has to be Back To The Future... I'm 25 years old, and I just love spending time with my friends... That's one reason I like CalNerdCon so much!

How did you find out about CalNerdCon?
I met the leader of CalNerdCon at Vidcon 2011 after being a fan of her videos for some time. We became friends and when she asked if I'd be willing to do this meetup thing, I was onboard...

How many meetups have you been to?

Share a memory from CalNerdCon.
God, my memory is terrible, but one of my favorite moments from CalNerdCon is from the Feb. 2012 Prom Night meetup at Camelot Golfland. I always let Jenny take the lead in most situations, but when the discussion of group rates for golf teams came up, and Jenny looked a little overwhelmed, I took over and calculated everything quickly. That wasn't my favorite memory though, it was the little hug from Jenny, and the smile on Jenny's face when it was all over and she thanked me for stepping in. That's what friends are for.

Talk about a nerdy memory.
I'm sure Jenny has heard this one quite a few times. In mid 2011 I had just ran across this cute, quirky, nerdy girl youtuber named TheCreatingCat. And at a random point I ran across said youtuber. And she was shocked as heck to meet a fan. Her first fan I guess you could say. Well, at least the first fan who recognized her in public. TheCreatingCat is now MagicCatJenny and Jenny definitely is magical...

Promote something!
My best friend, myself, and few of my friends have started a small, unregistered production company, and we've got tons of programming coming up soon on


Monday, September 30, 2013

Special Guests: Jennifer Sargent

New York
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 20-something film maker, geek, blogger, costume designer, crazy girl with far too many project ideas in her head.  I work an online video day job and in my spare time I'm still doing online video related things. I love traveling and wish I could do it more, there are just so many places I want to see. Blogging and video making are my main two hobbies (with sewing coming in at number 3) and I love vlogging and blogging about everything in my life; from experience at conventions, adventures in sewing, to just life. My favorite two bands are Hanson and The Long Holidays (though I've been to far more Long Holidays concerts.) I'm in a serious relationship with scientist/musician. (Lead singer/songwriter of The Long Holidays and he has a PhD.) He's the love of my life and the best roommate I've ever had. 

How did you find out about CalNerdCon?
Well, I created it. It's my baby. Many members encouraged me to keep it going and be a monthly thing (for the first year at least) and Eden helped me pick out the name from a list I made. So if it were not for all of the members that stayed late that first time (I call them the Long Beach girls), it would have probably been a one time thing.

How many meetups have you been to?
All of them. I plan them all, so it'd be impossible to miss one. One day though I may hand the torch off to someone else, but for now I am the official meetup planner person.

Share a memory from CalNerdCon.
I remember meeting Anthony very vividly. It was at the first meetup and it had already started. I was walking around Downtown Disney, watching the teams of Nerdfighters complete the scavengers hunt I made for them, when I spotted this guy. He was walking around with a cigar-box ukulele he made (I can't remember if he was playing it or just holding it, but I like to think he was playing it). I took one look at him, he saw my Pizza John shirt, and it was so obvious. We almost did not even need the exchange of "Here for the Nerdfighter...?" "Yes!" It's one of those rare times where I'll actually remember how a friend and I met.
Talk about a nerdy memory.
When I was 14 I put on my own production of the musical CATS. I was me and 13 other friends and for an entire summer we rehearsed in my garage. We made all our own costumes and set and we did one performance (at a youth center I think). I don't think any of our parents thought we'd actually pull it off, but we did. To this day, it's one of my favorite teenage memories.

Promote something!
I have a YouTube channel: MagicCatJenny. It's a relatively small channel but I enjoy making videos to make videos so I try and not let the numbers get me down. I don't really stick to one style or format, I like trying (almost) everything! Shows, vlogs, food, costumes, comedy?, whatever...just check out my 'trailer' video, it gives you a good idea. I do what I like and I do what I want and if someone else likes it then great.