Abortion: I am completely in favor or abortion. Especially when a mission looks like a failure. If you don't abort lives could be lost. There was this one time I tried to abort a launch to Mars and I was told no. I lost my entire crew and am still floating in space. Abortion could have saved their lives. I also stink in this space suit. Send Axe please.
Death Penalty/Prison: If you take one ... I mean ONE ... of my pistachios you go to jail. The jail will be located in an undisclosed penal colony where there are a whole bunch of penals running around singing Justin Bieber songs. If you take more than one ... I snap my damn fingers. Bye you.
Freedom of Speech: I am a huge proponent of free speech, unless speech stole my nuts. Then screw speech .... it can rot.
Guns: Nerf, Lazor Tag, and Supersoaker should be required by everyone. I am also against people calling their muscles ‘guns’. The F*ck is up with that 80's bullshit?
Economy: Economy is great. Unless you are flying internationally. Then economy sucks.
Gay marriage: My views on this have changed. I was once married to a girl named Jess and therefore only supported Jess Marriage. Now, I suppose it is possible I would marry someone named Gay. Though it is unlikely because not that many people are Gay.
Immigration: I firmly oppose Antarctican Immigration. Fucking penguins everywhere? Hell no. Also Oompa Loompa immigration is dangerous. Everytime you see them a child nearly dies. They are a threat to our families.
Religious Liberty: I will only say this. I once got into a debate over religion with this guy who claimed that there were like hundreds of religions. I had my Pistachio God strike him down then and there. There shall no other nuts before me! Though I am fair. These complaints about the Ten Duel Commandments being in front of state houses is absurd. I mean, it is our civic right to carry Nerf you damn hippie loompa jerks. Also Hamilton!
Transgenderism: I'm sick of this. I went to Germany once and I couldn't learn their language because each thing had a specific gender! WHAT???? A trashcan isn't a boy or a girl ... its a damned trashcan. Same with the French. The hell is wrong with your language. When I get back on Earth ... WAR. I declare WAR. Stupid Pistachio hating Oopmpa Loompa loving barbarians! Une or Un ... pick one!
I have no other words of wisdom or inspiration to share beyond that video save for this: I understand what it is to have a challenging relationship with a mother, and I know what it is to see a mother who deeply loves her children. If you are so inclined to do so, try and remember your mother today, or those who have filled that role in your life. Also, I am reminded of this older comic by Silver Quill.
Happy Mother's Day to all Mom's out there.
Post Ponies > Meet Bronies
This is the latest in a few observations on my entry into this site. That first summer was a highly active one for me. A large amount of the people I call friends came from this area. A larger number of people who I never found the time to grow close too are still instrumental to my history here, and have earned my respect. Going back and reminiscing about the first time you noticed someone, or interacted with them, is a healthy way of trying to learn how friendships started. It also allows you to consider how they evolve specifically with that person. I've interacted with more individuals here than I can count, and an almost countless amount of them have been influential in my time here. What I mean my influential is this -- at some point or another they defined what I loved about this site. MLPF is a platform for engagement. It is first and foremost a community comprised of a diverse group of people, all of whom seemingly cover a massive spectrum of ages, values, and experiences. It is also a microcosm of what some call reality. What I mean by that is that friends come and go here for the same reasons they would if you knew each other in a different social setting. Interests change, people move on, and yes those damn things we call emotions get in the way -- sometimes while judgement takes a vacation.
Here are just a few of the first interactions between me and others who positively impacted my time here. Without them, this place would never have felt like a digital home, and for that I have a great amount of gratitude. At this point I need to issue a strong reminder of what I said two blogs ago -- this is a retrospective with no agenda and no desire to go into or address forum drama. This is no elephant. I also need to do this -- there is no way in Hades I can screen capture every first interaction with everyone who I am or have been close to. This blog would be insane if I did. Some first interactions are also personal moments that I'm not posting here. Some are unfortunately lost to Skype forever so after spending hours trying to find some important ones, I had to give up. I found a few though. So, with that out of the way ...
I thought that was more amusing than a bolded paragraph header. This is my actual reaction to something that happened on my wall in June of 2014.
So I was just another user posting and talking about ponies, switching seamlessly between being a goofball, insightful, and helpful. I made a post or two in Feedback and Site Questions to help other members since I was familiar with that version of the software and was able to answer a few questions. Once such post caught someone's eye apparently. Two people (one not shown here) actually had a reaction because this guy post on my wall. Obviously I needed to find out what a Feld0 was so I delved into this sites history. That expedition was part of why I stuck around. It probably influenced my decision to want to help in the Site Questions forum. Funny how fate is. A casual question like that wound up taking me down a road to an adventure of sorts. I ended up working for him not long after. Met the guy at a con even. I got the guy back though by sucking him in to lesser appreciated IP. <evil grin>
I decided to snoop around and saw this.
If I could go back in time I would have done this. Huge missed opportunity.
It would be disingenuous to talk about first encounters without this moment. It's exclusion would smack of historical revisionism, and I am not allowing that. There are few certainties in life. There is a line in the Broadway musical Hamilton that goes, You have no control in who lives, who dies, who tells your story. That quote talks about legacy, and how we are at the mercy of circumstance and the narrative of others. I like to apply that quote to a different type of legacy -- the one we build with each other. Simon's legacy, at least for me, will forever be tied to the best moments I have had here on this site or in this fandom. I can say without question, if I had not known him, or if I had not met him at this moment, I wouldn't have have had anywhere near as much fun on staff as I did. He helped make MLPF feel like a home.
She had 99 Troblems and Jeric was occasionally one of them!
I got her permission to use this PM. I talk to her often and damn if I didn't smile at seeing that hint of a Troblemsesque nature jump out on reading that PM for the first time in a few years. This is actually my first official staff invite. I technically got access to the old hidden PonyRolePlay dev site before SCS caught up with me and made me MLPF staff, even though I have never RP'ed once, I was actually an RP staffer before anything else.
I'm not going to embarrass her, or talk her up in this entry. I'll save that for another day. Suffice to say, I've met many people on MLPF that I like. Many I consider friends, and am really close to. Some I would hop on a plane to see. Troblems and her husband I would take a fucking bullet for.
There .. are ... four ... Spoons!
So I am cheating here, because my first contact with Spoon was actually due to an off-topic post I made, and I didn't want to have to display a staff PM that may have other users names in it. Also, he may be Yellow Diamond now, but he will always be Spoon!
It's actually sad when I look at this because I recall Spoon's old avatar was why I ended up actually mentioning him in this topic. It was a thing I did to bring topics to other people's attention. You see, there was a time when Spoon wasn't under the influence of the Diamonds and was bathed in the pure innocence of Disney, parading the visual magnificence of Rapunzel or Elsa. Anyway, at this point we had no real interaction, and I actually was curious about this well spoken Admin others had sung songs about. Ok, I'm obviously kidding about the singing of songs, but I had heard one or two people say he was pretty damn smart. So I set up what I call a 'mention trap'. See a new topic that a person can't ignore but may not see? Mention them in it. Boom!
I found that the rumors were not exaggerated -- perhaps even downplayed. I am also amused by the fact that almost three years elapsed before we had another conversation about Disney animation. Marvel and SU always seemed to monopolize the conversations.
I searched for others. I almost wish I wasn't as freaking busy on here because just finding these was a little bit of a pain. Dawn Rider/King's PM conversation (that I actually reference in the Fresh Nonsense PM), my interactions with Path and Undecided/Shimmering/Coby, Lightwing, Jonas, DQ, Arty, Miles, Fhao, Crecious, Mesme, Frostgage, and many others I looked for to no avail. My Skype intro with SCS and Aquila are toast. I'm satisfied I was able to locate a few at least. One thing I have to say is that little expedition proves you never know what will come from a casual and unsuspecting interaction online. It isn't all memes and bullshit politics after-all.
Also, I brohoofed Hugs for trolling me years ago. So this was a great experiment just for that.
Comment made in Dec 2014 on Status posted in April 2014 .... >_<
Broohoof nearly two and a half years later. Thanks IPB4!
Continuing a daily blogs series covering some lighthearted moments in MLPF history, this one will mostly center on one specific member here that some will recall, and others should find the time to appreciate. @Kel_Grym. Also known as Minister Kel Grym of the Church of Celestia.
During the MLPF World Cup pony picture posting poll (yes I forced alliteration on you all ... and I don't feel the least bit bad), I kept seeing a user who joined just a few weeks before me occasionally popping in with a hilarious comment or two. I liked this guy almost immediately. Who was Kel? Imagine Robin Williams crossed with Gary Busey and a dash of internet troll DNA spliced in. He was, simply put, fucking hilarious. He was also clever. He could poke fun of the fandom at the same time poking fun of himself. He was also a capable debater and had a gift with satire and absurdity. There are many members that have slipped away, and Kel's humor is some I miss the most. I can tell you that he probably made the staff go prematurely grey because some of his content was definitely pushing the edge of shitposting and what have you, but from the perspective of the casual member here ... he could always made a rough day better with his insanity.
The Church of Celestia
After seeing a topic on 4chan about waifu weddings, among other things, Kel was inspired to create an thread in the Forum Lounge with a title that is perhaps the only boring thing about it: Minister KelGrym's Religious Services. Even though I will highlight the best quotes in here, I think everyone should just pop in and read the content for its creative frivolity. I say that in full knowledge that Key would have had Celestia banish be for implying anything about her was frivolous. His 'origin' story was freaking hilarious. It boils down to him being saved by Celestia after being attacked by a Gary Busey tumored hell hound. No I did not make that up. Post is here and spoilered below
My reaction to reading that was jumping between "What the hell did I just read?" and this:
That was a typical reaction to a Kel post.
Rules of Celestia
The rules and commandments were simple.
Guidelines for Membership:
Place your right hand over your heart and with your left hand, ball it into a fist, extend your index finger and hold index finger over your head as if it were a unicorn horn.
Repeat the Celestian Oath.
Uphold the Celestian Commandments.
Help your Celestian brothers and sisters and the brony community in general.
Love and Tolerate the infedels non-believers.
The Celestial Commandments
Thou shalt have no other Goddess before the Trinity. (Celestia, Luna, Twilight)
Thou may have Luna and Twlight to worship, but thou shalt worship mostly Celestia.
Cadence shall not be worshipped at all. Screw Cadence.
Thou shalt be Honest
Thou shalt be Loyal to thy brethren and friends. (but not above thy loyalty to Celestia)
Thou shalt be Kind
Thou shalt be Generous
Thou shalt be Optimistic in Life, for Celestia is coming quickly and shall end all woe.
Thou shalt freely enjoy the Magic of Friendship, and share that joy in the name of Celestia.
Thou shalt never waste a slice of cake.
The inside joke with Cadance pays off later when he marries Cadance to a member. Which brings me to the best thing about this whole thread.
Tubby Wubby Pony Waifu Weddings
How this worked, if I remember correctly, is that you would request that Kel marry you to your pony waifu, volunteering yourself to basically be part of the hilarity. He would schedule a time and create a Skype chat group with friends and witnesses. Someone would play the part of cannon characters (including the bride :P), and he would - in hilarious fashion - conduct the wedding. There are still members who post here that received his services. @Flutter Baby <3 and @C.B married Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie respectively. I personally loved the Pinkemena and Cadance weddings.
And in the midst of all this, Scootaloo beat Celestia in a crazy come from behind win in the MLPF World Cup. This was the response.
Now, its worth mentioning that while Kel was hilarious at the time, he has gone through over a year of personal hell that he mentioned in his blog. He admits that all this was funny, but he no longer endorses it. That said, it was part of why I found MLPF an entertaining and unpredictable place to engage, and Kel's topic remains a huge part of why I look back on that time with fond memories. We once talked about launching a fake Religious Civil War between the Church of Celestia and the Congregation of Fabulosity, but my becoming staff made that problematic so it was canned. Anyway, it was a fun few moments on here of crazy, and I for one appreciated it. Where ever you are Kel, good luck to you man. Maybe we will see you grace us again.
I joined this community on April 10th 2014, just about three years ago. I don't recall ever doing a 'forumversary' blog here, and I suspect that the reason why was simple; outside of some form of self-congratulatory pat on the back it seemed rather pointless for me. Basically, I didn't think I had much to say other than, 'I have been here x years'. This year though, I have words. I think that taking stock of where you have been, where your are now, and where you are going helps with perspective. I look back at the last three years with shock at how everything has changed in my life. Recalling what my life looked like in April 2014 and comparing it to April 2017 leads to mindbogglingly insane realizations of how dynamic our world can be. I want to use this blog series as a roadmap of sorts of my history here. Highlight my favorite events and times. I need to say this though. I will obviously mention other users who have impacted my time here, but I will try and stay clear of some highly emotionally charged moments. This time the elephant in the room and I will make peace. Basically, if you are looking for me to talk about forum drama, you will be disappointed. Over the next month I will focus on why I came here, and a few of the most impactful moments of my time among you all.
*I am also publishing this a bit early since this week has quite a bit going on. Star Wars Celebration, Easter, Pony Premiers ... lots.
April 2014 - A Wild Jeric Appeared
This is my original Welcome Post
There are some amusing lines in that first post. For one, you can plainly see that I had yet to become the "Prophet of Rarity" as I was called once. My first words on MLPF were a quote from the Princess Bride, and I talked briefly about my current job, family, and hinted at how I became a fan. I smile seeing who welcomed be to this forum. There were Destiny, a former head of Poniverse PR)who can be seen as @zenyatta, and Magos Amphrose currently going by @Bedman. Destiny in particular makes me smile knowing that several months later I would be working with her on staff. Magos though, I recall what I was thinking when I read his post. It confused the living hell out of me. What the hell is a Nyx? I love that comment about my avatar, which is what I am wearing today. There were members on this forum I noticed almost immediately. Some are no longer part of this community, and some are. Anyway, at this point, I was a Twifan. Rarity was waiting in the wings though.
The World Cup - The Dawn of Fabulosity
So for those that don't know, there used to be a strong vocal minority of Rarity fans on this forum. Forgotten names like @ghostfacekiller39, @Obsidian Sky, @GlowingFlask, @Blobulle @Andaasonsan and more were core people who you could find in the Rarity Fan Club. Others like @Woohoo, @ooBrony, @Sunny Fox, @A.V., and @Radiance64 would also heavily contribute to the fan club as well. It was something I noticed. Back then there was this sense that many disliked the character of Rarity, and that characters most fierce defenders did a hellova lot of in depth analysis on her virtues and flaws. I paid attention. It was impossible not to. Rarity started off being my least favorite of the mane six. I character I dismissed readily. I joined the forum as a fan of Twilight, and was still catching up watching the show, and what started happening was shocking.
An early post, just four days after I joined, is found here
I often post on social media and forum platforms with casual musings. I find it illuminating to go back and see what my train of thought was, and how it ended. I wonder if I ever did elevate Rarity to Best Pony status?
The MLPF World Cup 2014
During this time there was a user created event called the MLPF 2014 World Cup. It basically amounted to a popularity poll with various characters facing off while the fans of the characters posted text and images to root them on and try and get support from other members. I wish I could say I was immune from that sort of thing. I am not. Actually I am being extremely unfair here. The users involved actually put together one hell of a topic This was @Sterling Crimson's brainchild but quite a few contributed. @Batbrony used his word crafting to actually do mock interviews with the characters whole RP'ing as Derpy and Dinky. There were anthems for each character, and flags designed as well. The conclusion was high drama as it turned out Luna fans created a few sock puppet accounts to cheat causing that characters disqualification. Fluttershy faced off against Rarity and eventually it was a Flutters vs. Twilight battle with Twilight taking the prize. Good times. Before the main matches began I made my first post in the RFC as they were asking for people to basically post ponies.
There was no going back. Not satisfied with simply posting fabulous pony pics, I created a serious of nonsense short stories that became referred to as the Rarity Bible (and my role name).
Celestia tells Rarity she is to face three tests here
Rarity and the Epic of the Killer Crabs Here, here, here
Rarity vs. Tom here
Yeah. Jeric does ridiculous ... kinda bad and overly punny ... but I do it.
Seriously though, that was a fun moment for most of the people who participated. Rarity came in third, which was surprising to even her die hard fans. It was during that time that I saw the first hints of this being different than most internet communities. The diversity here was off the charts, it felt a more welcoming than YouTube comments, and when I felt so inclined I could easily switch for choas mode to thoughtful and be taken seriously. I decided during the World Cup that this place may be worth chilling out at. That is a relative term since I tend to make posts in between or concurrently with IRL activities, but this was a time sink I felt was deserving of my spare moments. It wasn't because of what I felt I could contribute that kept me here, it was the interaction with the users and seeing the community at large that made it worthwhile. The crazies, the fierce debaters, the relaxed ones, the passionate types, and the philosophers seemed to congregate together. Don't get me wrong, I know I come across as this unrealistically optimistic goofball, but that is only one part of who I am. I suspected that there was simply more to this community that met the eye. Was there some high drama at this time. Of course! But, the moments of merriment outweighed the more explosive ones by far.
I'm not a fan of the concept of a 'Golden Age'. Experiences are relative, yanno? This is more like that moment of discovery. There would be experiences down the road that would lead to immense highs, but this was an era that had its own charm to it. It is easy to lose site of that sometimes.
That's it for now, but next up - Waifu Marriages by a real (not really) Minister. Yes, I am dead serious, this was a thing!
No I'm not going to talk about the meaning behind my member title. I just needed a filler title and jumped at an old one act play title that was published long ago for high school use. Felt appropriate since I was being lazy. I haven't slept much since Friday so this may seem a bit off. I wasn't going to post anything publicly, but after receiving a PM with a question about my role ... I figured a blog may not be a bad idea.
I'm just posting this here instead of some big grand topic to quell any rumors and what have you. Back in Jan I started the process of wrapping up my time as an Admin. The short story of it is this - I had been laid off due to outsourcing and I found myself turning down several opportunities in my profession. My heart just wasn't in Project Management any longer. To be fair it was never my dream, it was my father's dream that I followed him in business and tech. Seeing this as an opportunity to reclaim my own dreams, I started a long and grueling process of prepping for a Med School run. Shadowing, volunteering, post-baccalaureate program, and MCAT prep. I was in amazing position and only a month from fully stepping down (it was supposed to be June). Everything was coming up Jeric.
Unfortunately a family illness that had always threatened to become a major obstacle to our lives hit and hit hard. A few days later and my mind is still reeling. My future plans are now put on hold while I focus on more important issues ... like spending as much time with my wife and kids as possible. That necessitated an immediate change in direction, both here on staff and elsewhere. As I was leaving anyway, I simply decided to accelerate it. All staff was aware so it was no shock to them.
I just wanted to say it that has been a pleasure working for the community, and getting to know the members of the staff closely. I do not leave with a trace of animosity and anger toward anyone or anything here, nor did the day in and day out of the job ever get to me. I suppose that having a huge helping of 30+ years of real world problems and normal life happenings helps to put certain things in perspective. IRL stuff is great a great inoculation for horse drama.
I have no intention of bolting this place since I have grown extremely fond of many of the those who inhabit the various nooks and crannies of MLPF. You will see me around more when things settle down a bit.
Until then ... something something Rarity.
That simple search on April 10th, 2014 led me to one of the more interesting, surprising, and rewarding experiences of my life. I said this on our BABSCon panel last week, but I would not have predicted that in a years time I would be on staff, have as many friends as I do, and coming off of an intensely satisfying experience meeting so many of them.
One year. I had to look up my own Welcome Post
Now that is interesting. There are three major differences these days. I had been promoted at my company just a few weeks after this post, and again shortly after that. I barely find time to write these days so the Scrivener comment seems like an old forgotten friend. Then ... Rarity happened. <3
What happened on the forum in one year? Well ... The MLPF World Cup, finding the RFC, long discussions on defending characters, taking my pulpit as the Prophet of Fabulosity, decrying Tom the rock everywhere I go, the newsletter, becoming a member of the Q&A team, accepting a moderator position, the MCM charity, Button's Mom nonsense, and capping it off with BABSCon. The tomfoolery was amusing to be sure, but that is not why I stay here. I stay because the people who populate this community make it worth while. I stay because of you guys, many of whom epitomize the core values of this show. I love this community and here is to another year.
Oh, and I have put on my original avatar that some may remember. Don't worry, Fashion Horse will return.
On people changing …
“Opening a blog with a famous quote may seem like my style, but it just simply isn’t.” ~ Jeric
"I Match the banner? Awww Yeah"
I kinda feel like I may have played my hand a bit early with that image. Should I say spoiler alert? Oh yeah, before I move on, while none of these blogs are specific to Ponies, this is a damn My Little Pony message board. If you think I am going to do a whole blog entry without a Pony reference - all of the shame to befall on you! All of it.
So back to Lightning Dust here. Why am I highlighting Lightning and saying I was her back when dinosaurs ruled the theaters and my kind still shed daily tears over Kurt Cobain? Simple. I was kind of a reckless, self absorbed ass back when I was a teen. No I wasn’t a bully or a true paint by numbers prick. My shit certainly did not stink though. I probably had good reason to feel this way, but that is another story for another day. Basically, I was pretty high on myself and my abilities, and that attitude did have a negative impact on a handful of friendships. I was also ambitious beyond what one would expect from a high school student. That focused drive served me well in my academics and extracurricular activities, but I sit here and wonder how close I came to taking a much different path, and how unready I was when I was forced to face uncertainty head on.
For example, when I was in high school (Florida) there was this girl. Cute as a button (no lightwing … just no). This girl had a captivating mix of aspects that I can only describe as sultry yet adorable. Drew Barrymore in a way. She was extremely brilliant! How does a budding asshat like teen Jeric let such a woman know how attractive and intelligent she is? Let’s just say that this girl developed a first impression of me that was unfavorable. Ok ok, she out and out hated me. If not for a mutual friend we both had, she would have never given me the time of day. Eventually we became friends. Looking back I likely didn’t deserve it.
Now, I layed on the self deprecation pretty thick there. Honestly, I was not a complete ass. I had the seeds of the person I would eventually become, but the lack of humility and my personal drive be great at everything I tried really overshadowed my virtues. Anyhoo …
Shortly after High School, I went on a European Trip with my father. Germany, Italy, France, and Ireland. He was retiring early so that he could deal with a few medical issues and …
yeah I should probably warn you now that some of this blog is going to be somewhat real and personal. Depressing even. (I said that in my mind like Snaggletooth!).
Where was I? Ah Germany. So my father, my kid sister, and I do a little trip before I started the whole higher learning dealio at Penn State. That trip was really the beginning of my change. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my father seemed to be treating the trip as a moment to distill all of his wisdom and life advice to myself and my sister. My father was like that. He was more than a father to me … he was my mentor. I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have paid more rapt attention to his advice.
A few months into my initial semester, I got word that my father had passed away. He ended up taking his own life, unable to endure his illness any longer. In the intervening months I found my life at a crossroads of sorts. I was a bit of an emotional mess. My sister was staying my mother in Florida, I no longer felt the drive and desire to continue at PSU, and I had a white hot fury burning inside me. What do you think happens to a man with a highly elevated sense of self worth and a newfound stockpile of bottled rage? Bottled rage goes on the market … to all … whether they want it or not. I lost a friend or two during this time. I truly regret the person I was.
Ms. 'cute as a button’ and I had become close friends. She was in the midst of what I would later call her ‘long winded journey into consciousness’. She was studying behavioral science. What happened next is still a bit of a blur in terms of trying to ascertain what came first and whether it was my idea hers or a mixture, but I transferred colleges. I moved close to the remaining people I cared for deeply. I felt alone for the first time in my life, and absent any real purpose. This was the best damned decision I have ever made in my 38 years of life.
Close to friends and family, I began to heal. I was able to let go of the anger I held onto. I owe a lot of that to that girl who hated my guts. I owe a lot to having the opportunity to be there for my sister. I made new acquaintances and mended old relationships. My personal goals and ambitions didn’t seem to be all that critical to me anymore. Oh they existed, but they were no longer my driving motivation and how I defined myself.
One day, ‘cute as a button’ decided to play her clarinet to help clear her mind. I had never heard her perform once. The piece was roughly about three minutes I guess. It only took 30 seconds into it before I knew that very soon I was going to be proposing to her. But that is a whole ‘nother tale.
So what the heck was the point of all of this? Eh, our lives are always in flux basically. We form much of our personality and identity from age 13 on, but we are always changing. Sometimes subtly and sometimes in ways we would never have expected. Sometimes you are stubborn and it takes an external crisis to reshape who you are and how you see the world. No matter how bleak things get … you can survive. I also say this: we all face moments in our lives when we have to walk through hell. I did, but it is not by my own determination that I came out a better person. I had an amazing friend.
Who am I? Just Jeric - unremarkable me with some remarkable friends.