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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Formal Dress Pizza Party

Today's meetup post comes to us from member Berit Bontems. She attended this meetup on February 11th, 2012.
Formal Pizza Party and Becoming a Nerdfighter
I had just joined the crazy world of "Nerdfighteria". I'd heard of it before, I got the gist, but all this other stuff? Complete newbie. And now a friend of mine was telling me about of people. They liked "stuff" and hang out at meet-ups. The next meet-up was at a mini-golfing/arcade place called Camelot. Plot twist: I'd have to come in a dress and we'd have a Formal Pizza Party. 

Get me straight, I'm not new to this kind of out-of-the-blue, do weird stuff, get funny looks and have a great time doing it all-but I'll admit, a Formal Pizza Party was never quite on my list. Nonetheless it seemed alright, and it's just one night-and I kinda liked the guy asking me to go. 

 As soon as I walked in and saw everyone, well. I knew it wouldn't be my last time hanging out with them. Nerdfighters have this great air to them that just makes you feel welcome and comfortable. I knew not one person apart from the guy I came with, but I instantly hit it off with a couple others in the group and it was the least unpleasant event, despite what I may have thought it to be. (If that makes any sense at all). 

Once we emerged from our corner of castle and into the golfing, we did start getting some looks-and some good laughs. It's those things that I love about doing weird stuff like that, it's a good ol' time for everyone. Being on the course and doing polite golf claps to a hole-in-one, mixed in with improvised ukulele/singing and awkwardly fishing golf balls out of pools, it was all good fun. In fact, the only unpleasant thing I remember from that night was how cold it was with the wind from the freeway right across the gate.   

 After my laughable defeat on the golf course (I think I just stopped keeping score after a while), we went inside for ice cream (it was much warmer inside) and arcade games. It was just a big social time really, and I got to get to know everyone at least a little, and didn't feel like I needed a mutual friend to get talking with someone (although I did spent quite a bit of time with him :]), which again, I attribute to the general kindness and accepting-ness of nerdfighters. 

I came out of that castle that night with a range of items, (including my golf ball, which I never turned in-it's green, a matching bracelet with The Boy, and a rubber ducky-which is named Hank) but most importantly I gained I knowledge of Nerdfighteria that no amount of Vlogbrother's videos could teach me. I learned early on that being a nerdfighter isn't about watching all the Brother's videos, or reading all John's book, or buying all Hank's music. In the end, all of that stuff is just there to support a community they brought together. Being a nerdfighter is about the community you take part in, and even if you don't have a great group like CalNerdCon was and is for me, furthermore, I think being a nerdfighter is expressing that feeling of kindness and acceptingness towards others and I guess there's no better way to say it, but Don't Forget To Be Awesome.


(Photos provided by Michael Midnight & Jennifer Sargent)
If you'd like to guest post on CalNerdCon about a past meetup email us at 
calnerdcon at gmail dot com

Monday, September 23, 2013

Special Guests: Eden Hain

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm 15 and I've been to every single CNC event. I've been an 'internet personality' since I was 12 which, in retrospect, is probably too young to start doing stuff on Twitter and YouTube, but hey it's too late for that now isn't it? In 2011 I won the VidCon edition of Buckfactor Live. I'm a feminist and my favorite color is anything within the blue-blue green-green spectrum. ;) 

How did you find out about CalNerdCon?
From youuuuuu. *Editors note: she means Jennifer Sargent

How many meetups have you been to?
Literally all of them.

Share a memory from CalNerdCon.
Probably my favorite memory was from the one year anniversary when we sat around in the same places and I took cute polaroids of people. It was such a good and small gathering I loved it.
Talk about a nerdy memory.
This last VidCon I got to hang out with Christopher Sean (or Bing Lee of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) and we just sort of talked and on the inside I was fangirling a little bit because the Lizzie Bennet Diaries was my favorite thing to come out of YouTube in the last year or so but yeah! He was super nice and super chill and a real person!

Promote something!
I guess I'd have to go with my YouTube channel! It's music and it's vlogs and it's me pretending that i'm funny but really only you can decide if I am or not. I'm trying to branch out into a bunch of other stuff talking about my life doing tags and maybe going into beauty guru type stuff? Who knows! I love youtube and have such a passion for it yeah! Subscribe to me on YouTube *wonk*



Friday, September 20, 2013

Ad Swaps!

Happy Friday CalNerdCon. For now Fridays will be reserved for miscellaneous posts or day offs. Today I give you an opportunity. Have you noticed those images on the right side bar? Those are our blog sponsors. I know that sounds all business-y and weird but it's actually pretty helpful. What we're doing is offering ad swaps with other blogs. So far Jenny's personal blog is the only swap we have but that's why this post exists.

Do you have a blog? If you'd like us to link to it there on the right, all we ask is that you then link to us in return. All of the information can be found here. The current sizes are 200x200 pixels and 200x100 pixels. If the ads are popular we might add a third size. (There will be only one 200x200 ad up at a time.)
If you don't have a blog we also don't mind linking to your Etsy or Storenvy shop, your Bandcamp, or even your YouTube channel. All we ask in return (since you can't really add our banner to those places) is that you pay a small fee per month. This is not a subscription thing, just one month at a time. If you're wondering where the money will go it's all for CalNerdCon. Any money we make off of those ads will go either to promoting the blog (buying ad space on bigger related blogs), funding future meetups, or creating merch.

If you are intrested in either of the two options, email us at calnerdcon at gmail dot com
Lets work together to get the word out there about the CalNerdCon blog, and help you get your stuff out there as well.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Two Year Anniversary

In case you're new, we've been doing this for two years now. Our first ever meetup was at Downtown Disney so when we hit our one year mark, that's where we went. So of course we went back this September, two years after the first CalNerdCon meetup.
It was one of those medium sized meetups where many old faces showed up and lots of newbies came as well. I find that almost every meetup there is always someone new that has found us and I hope that they have a good time and get something out of it. 
The thing that's nice about hanging out with a group of Nerdfighters is that you find at least one thing in common with each other. We are passionate, nerdy, positive people on average so it's not too hard to make new friends in this community. The hardest part is forcing yourself to be put in a situation where you don't know most of the people and then actually talk to them. I admire everyone that has the courage to take that first step.

Over all it was a chill meetup. It was a bit sad seeing as many repeat members have left for college, leaving the rest of us missing them. New friends were made however and no matter where you are, once a CalNerdCon-r, always a CalNerdCon-r. (If you can think of a better thing to call ourselves than 'CalNerdCon-r' please...please, comment below.)

I'm so thrilled that after two years we're still going strong. I still it awe of what it has become. 
(CalNerdCon 2011, 2012, & 2013)
Thanks for reading!


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

Monday, September 16, 2013

Special Guests: Hannah Moroz

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 18 years old. I just started my freshman year of college, where I'm majoring in film. YouTube has been one of the most important things in my life because it gave me a direction and the resulting dedication. Nothing else taught me to work for myself quite like making videos has. Anyway, I make videos, I write music (I have an EP out on Bandcamp), and I attend conventions galore. I helped create the Secret Show and VidCon, which is probably one of my proudest accomplishments, and I made it to the finals of this year's LeakyStars competition at LeakyCon! Anthony Rapp told me that I had to continue making music, so I will.

How did you find out about CalNerdCon?
My friends and I had just attended our first VidCon, so we were sort of on the lookout for other meet-ups and gatherings. I think my friend Rachel found out about it first from twitter or facebook, and then she told the rest of us Long Beach folk.

How many meetups have you been to?

Share a memory from CalNerdCon.
Nerds at the beach was one of my favorite meet-ups. We all hung out on the beach and played music, like you do. I life-vlogged for the first time in a long time. Rachel was in the middle of her Wohelo project for Campfire Girls, so she was knitting more scarves and hats than I imagined possible, and she taught a bunch of us how to do it. This was also right after a VidCon so we all had a lot to talk and be excited about.
Talk about a nerdy memory.
When I first watched Doctor Who, I very much lived that story. I was swept away at 16 the way I was at 9 when I actually believed that I would be granted waterbending powers someday somehow. I very vividly remember my emotions during my first watch-through, because I was supposed to be less susceptible to my suspension of disbelief. Not much else made me turn right around and believe like Doctor Who did. That's why I'll always love that show without shame.

Promote something!
My first EP is up on my Bandcamp ( for 6$! Some friends and I worked very hard to make it and it turned out spectacular. I'm so proud of it! What would help me most now is for people to keep sharing it so that it gets out past my immediate reach to people.



Friday, September 13, 2013

The First Meetup

I've explained how it came to be many times, so I'll be brief. It all started during the early days of the message boards in 2011 (pre hack). I saw a few SoCal Nerdfighters trying to put together a meetup. Nothing seemed to be happening so I took the reigns. After posting a Facebook event for September in Downtown Disney. It got a large response. Over 50 people RSVPed. 

On the day of, I brought a Nerdfighter photo scavenger hunt and some dollar store prizes. My friend Derek and I made some cute Nerdfighter themed bookmarks that had the meetup date on them to pass out.  Over 20 people showed up and over all it was a huge success. 

At the end of the day there was maybe about 5 of us left and we started talking about the next time we'd hang out. We discussed an October gathering (for Halloween), a November gathering (NaNoWriMo), and a December gathering (Holiday time). Those of course led to monthly meetups which we kept up for an entire year.  

So many people I met that day have continued to be strong members of CNC and (even more important) great friends. We've remained a strong group and even though our meetups have been less frequent, we are as connected as ever. 

I am so grateful for everyone who came to meet each other that first day. I never would have made so many new amazing friends and I hope that others had a similar experience. You are all what makes hosting CalNerdCon meetups so much fun. Thank you.


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

Friday, September 6, 2013

CalNerdCon - The Blog

(First ever meetup.)

What is this? Why are you here? Why does this need to exist?
If you don't know what CalNerdCon is then I suggest you go here, here, and also here.
Are we all caught up now? Good.

(photo credit: Eden Hain's polaroid via Michael Midnight's Instagram )
Welcome to CalNerdCon...the blog.
If you've explored the site you'll notice how it's set up like a fake convention website. Members can  'register', purchase merch, check the 'agenda' and so on. It's a fun ascetic choice since our name implies we are a convention.
CalNerdCon is one part Nerdfighter and one part YouTuber. The YouTuber side is the inspiration for this blog. I realize the YouTube world and the blogging world are very different. Also, getting YouTubers to regularly check this place won't be easy.
That being said, I am confident CalNerdCon members (and others!) will benefit from coming here.

GOALS - the point of this place
- Provide a way to easily catalogue the growth of the gathering and celebrate the members within it.
- Act as a more comprehensive webspace than just the Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr
- Connect with other YT creators not necessary in CA (past members who have moved, other friends who live far)
- Organize collaborations, either IRL or through sent footage.
- Share knowledge and tips about YT.
- Occasionally (the frequency can and will change) address Nerdfighter things such as charities, causes, Nerdfighter news, and more.

(One year anniversary.)

What now?
We need you! Readers, writers, content creators, members of CalNerdCon, non-members of CalNerdCon, everyone.
Follow us on Bloglovin' to keep up with posts.

We need your help!
Do you have any photos from any of the meetups?
Interested in being a co-editor?
Interested in being a guest blogger?
If you'd like to be involved, at any level, do not hesitate to email us at: