I'm going to admit, I've always been a lurker online. That is to say, I've been content to join forums and websites, browse them almost daily, but rarely (if ever) actually post or contribute anything. I'm especially guilty of this on BZP, but also countless other websites and communities I've been a part of. I've always been too nervous and worried I wouldn't fit in, even on a website dedicated to a common interest (such as BZP). Really, it's a miracle I managed to get such an awesome close circle of BZP best friends, considering my infrequent (read: virtually nonexistent) activity here. This year, I actually started working to change that. You may not have noticed, but this blog has had more entries this year alone than from all entries in 2008-2011 combined.
Why the sudden change? Well, as ridiculous as it sounds, I owe it to the brony community. Although I was initially a lurker there too, the supportive atmosphere slowly convinced me to get more involved this year; to participate in discussions, and eventually even a few collaborative projects. I gained friendships, experience, and most importantly, confidence in my ability to contribute my humor, insight, and skills in any online community (not just among my closest friends).
In 2012, I went from almost no online activity to the point where I'm confident enough to record songs and even voice act for collaborative projects (more on that when it's completed).
Prior to this year, my actual social life also suffered. I had next to no real-life friends, and I was too introverted and shy to attempt to meet people. Thanks to a good friend convincing me, I got over that and started attending my local brony meetups (which are not as much about pony as they are about hanging out, playing video games, doing general fun stuff together) and got to meet people my age, with similar interests to my own. I'm still far from being a socialite, and I still get pretty nervous and uncomfortable in social situations, but I now have real-life friends who like me for who I am, and I'm not quite so terrified of meeting new people anymore. It sounds sort of pathetic, but I feel it's a huge step forward for me and I couldn't be happier.
In 2012, I went from almost no real-life friends, to about two dozen friends I hang out with on a fairly regular basis.
How does BZP tie into all this? Well, if it weren't for my newfound confidence in myself both online and in real life, I probably would never have attended BrickFair VA and finally met some of my longtime best friends (and all you other awesome bros). Seriously, if Brickfair took place just six months earlier, I probably wouldn't have had the guts to go at all. Also, it would have been February and cold and miserable, so there's that too.
All in all, 2012 was a great year of growth, self-improvement, and friendships. I hope 2013 is even better!
Here's a recap of some cool 2012 things!
- POBZPC at last!
- My one-year brony anniversary
- My first brony meetup
- BrickFair (Yeah I'm going next year)
- Meeting John De Lancie
- Midwestria (Followup)
- I VOTED
>Gets suggestions for Pumpkinception, MSPA, BIONICLE, Ninjago, and Doctor Who series 5
Well, at any rate, I found a design! Some of the details were extremely difficult, because my brothers somehow managed to break all of our pumpkin carving tools on their pumpkins, so all I had to work with was a dull steak knife and a small screwdriver.
All things considered, I think it turned out pretty darn great:
~ (A VTOAHMKEARH)
The problem is, tomorrow is Halloween, and I still haven't picked out a pattern to carve this year! Anyone have any ideas?
I don't have any particularly nice tools (just cheap plastic saws from dollar store kits), and I'd prefer not to have any shaved/thinned parts as I found out they don't light up well with just a candle inside. I'd like to do another pony-themed pattern this year, but video game ideas are fine too.
Examples from the past few years (Click the images for larger):
2009 - Half-Life 2 (Click for a mock-up of how this pattern looks lit-up)
2010 - Portal 2 (Particularly proud of this one, designed the pattern myself)
2011 - Mare in the Moon
Because jumping on bandwagons late is fun, and also because I need blog filler material since I have nothing else to blog about.
I'll put all answers here:
I'd say probably Joe.
You can turn one - and only one- of the five Tally Hall members into a pony and insert him into MLP:FiM. Which one do you choose?
I dream of electric sheep. Do they count as farm animals?
and do you dream about farm animals
The difference is that one of them is a duck.
What's the difference between a duck?
I dunno, but I'd like to shake his hand; he made my baby fall in love with me~
Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp ba bomp?
Approximately 28.2 sgu* of sand.
How much sand must you use to make an elephant stumble?
More like a Daytime Lord. And only during the summer.
According to your comment on Cholie's Pirate Name entry, your initials are DST. Does this make you a Time Lord?
I'd have to say Brickfair, because I've been a fan of Lego for a lot longer than MLP, because I got to meet and hang out with all you guys, and because I finally got to meet some of my long-time best friends in-person for the first time ever.
Here's a tough one. You've been to both Brickfair and to a pony convention. Which, for you, was a cooler experience? (20% or otherwise)
Honestly, it's a pretty close margin, though. Getting to hang out and sing karaoke with some of the staff writers from MLP was amazing. Better step up Brickfair's awesomeness in 2013!
4.1 Jelly Bean!
Are you an android?
~ (A VTOAHMKEARH)
Saturday (9/15) was most definitely the high point of the con.
I started out in the artists/vendors room, bought a bunch of buttons and a Vinyl Scratch hat. Ran into a friend of mine from my local meetups who was selling some of his own handmade plushies, and bought a Twilight and Fluttershy.
I headed over to the game room, where we had about 35 people gathered for a massive game of "Are You A Changeling" (Ponified version of Mafia / Werewolf). BASELESS ACCUSATIONS AND SUSPICION is always fun!
I also attended several panels and discussions. Some were boring, some were really interesting. The Writer's Panels were great, and videos should be popping up online as soon as Everfree Radio gets a chance to edit them.
I went to the electronic artists' concert (with Eurobeat Brony, Chain Algorithm, Taps, F3nning, Seventh Element, and EHT), but technical difficulties forced them to delay the performance until later in the evening, so I headed off to karaoke!
Oh, karaoke. Friday was my first time ever visiting a karaoke, but Saturday was the first time I actually went up to sing. M.A. Larson and Amy Keating Rogers weren't there yet, so I held off on MLP songs, but I still went up a couple times to sing "Hakuna Matata" (Big mistake, I didn't know that song nearly as well as I thought) followed by "Mr. Blue Sky" (<3).
When M.A. and Amy showed up, me and my friend Shim rushed over to sign up on the queue for a couple MLP songs. As promised, we sang "At the Gala" for Amy (who wrote the lyrics for the song).
She hugged me.
A few songs later, we also got to sing "The Flim Flam Brothers" for M.A.,who wrote it, and completely NAILED IT. The audience even joined in! A couple of girls in cosplay ran up and did all the Mane Six speaking lines for us (including swooning Rarity), and everyone chanted "CIDER CIDER CIDER" and sang along to the chorus! (And yes, I did Granny Smith's part too. =P)
I got standing applause and what must have been a dozen brohoofs after that, including from M.A., who called it an "extremely impressive" performance. I later discovered that he Tweeted a photo of me and Shim on stage during the song, and Daniel Ingram retweeted it.
After that, we mostly just hung around watching the other performances, but I did join in a rendition of the "Bad Horse Chorus" from Dr. Horrible and of course the inevitable "Bohemian Rhapsody" before heading off to the concert.
Since the concert was delayed so late, they just decided to merge the concert and late-night rave, which just made everything better. Seeing Eurobeat Brony perform live was amazing, especially with LASERS AND GLOWSTICKS AND RAVE DANCING. Oh, also they gave everyone free foam pony ear headband things! I got blue ones.
Sunday (9/16) was a lot more mellow, probably because everyone was tired from all the awesomeness the day before.
There wasn't a whole lot to do in terms of actual con activities on the last day, but I did attend the musicians' panel and got to ask a couple questions. After that, most of my time was spent hanging out with my brony friends, roaming the con looking for things to throw our money at (I bought a second hat! A knit Twilight Sparkle cap~), and playing several more rounds of Are You A Changeling.
Unfortunately, here's where the first and only bad thing happened: Some lowlife decided to steal my Fluttershy plushie out from under my chair while I had my eyes closed during the game. It really sucks, but the guy who made it offered to commission me a new one at a discount price. Oh, well. At least I still have my Twilight plushie, and I didn't spend too much on the Fluttershy to begin with.
And at last, the con was over, and everyone had to head home. :C
Speaking with the con staff afterwards, it sounds like everything was a huge success, and they can't wait to start putting together plans for Midwestria 2013!
This was one of the best weekends ever~
~ (A VTOAHMKEARH)
Who Is Avohkah Tamer?
Profession: IT Support Technician
Best Pony: Twilight Sparkle
Favorite Word: Defenestration
Interests: Computers, Video Games, Music, Ponies, LEGO, BIONICLE
PC: Valve games (TF2, Portal 1-2, HL2, L4D2), Minecraft, Mirror's Edge, LEGO games
DS: Metroid: Prime Hunters, Super Mario 64 DS, Mario Kart DS, Elite Beat Agents, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 1-2
3DS: Mario Kart 7, Super Mario 3D Land, Ocarina of Time 3D, Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Wii: Super Mario Galaxy 1-2, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Kart Wii
Artists: Tally Hall, Jonathan Coulton, Jukebox the Ghost, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Lemon Demon, Cake, Weezer, The Beatles, Apocalyptica, Hans Zimmer, Murray Gold
Pony: Daniel Ingram, William Anderson, Steffan Andrews, Glaze, The Living Tombstone, DJ Alex S., PinkiePieSwear, SoGreatAndPowerful, Makkon, MandoPony, Replacer
Types/Genres: Video Game Soundtracks, TV/Movie Soundtracks, Alternative/Indie Rock, some Electronic/Dubstep (when done right), some Orchestral, some Classic Rock, some Jazz, some J-Pop/Rock, some Bluegrass/Folk
Current: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Code Lyoko: Evolution, Gravity Falls, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Person of Interest, Arrested Development, The Walking Dead, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Old Favorites: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Death Note, Teen Titans, Invader Zim, Digimon (seasons 1-4), Stargate: SG-1, Firefly, Code Lyoko, Fringe
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