Tag Archives: memories

Breaking Up With PostADay

Dear PostADay,

I remember when I met you back in January.  I was an inexperienced and uncertain young blogger looking for a boost, and you seemed like just the one to help me out of my semi-regular posting funk.  Looking back from six months later, I can say without a doubt that you really were the one that I needed.  You helped me learn to write even when I didn’t feel like it, showed me what things I loved to write about and what things bored me to tears, and even helped me through the temptations of stats obsession and gave me confidence as a blogger.  I don’t regret a single moment that we spent together, but I also don’t regret that now, it’s time for me to say goodbye.

Believe me, it’s not your fault.  The last six months have been some of the happiest of my life, and I’m glad you were a part of them.  Sure, sometimes you added stress to those nights when I just couldn’t focus or I wasn’t satisfied with my work, but you also led me to try new things, to meet new friends, and even to learn the ins and outs of WordPress a little more thoroughly.  You gave me an opportunity to do something constructive with my free time instead of wasting it, but now that free time is growing less and less and I just can’t promise you the level of commitment that you demand.

It’s not that I don’t want to post every day, PostADay.  I’d love to post something funny or thoughtful or encouraging or challenging every day for the rest of my life, but the truth is that some days I can’t.  Some days the best that I can do is a lame excuse or a goofy picture, and you deserve better than that.  This blog deserves better than that.  My readers deserve better than that.  There’s no reason for me to add to all of the ludicrously unnecessary pointlessness on the Internet; in fact, that’s the opposite of my mission.  I want to write things that matter, things that are worth the time and effort that it takes to read them.  If that means that my posts are fewer and farther between, that you and I have to break up after coming so far, then I have no other choice.  It’s time to officially say goodbye for the last time, PostADay.  Thanks for the memories.  Maybe I’ll see you again someday.

Sincerely,

Tim N.

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Letters to Lauren Faust

Dear Lauren,

It’s been three months since I first watched an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, but I still remember that day clearly.  A chain reaction started on that unassuming Saturday afternoon, one that has created more laughs, smiles, and fond memories than I ever expected, and it’s all because you fell in love with an idea and dedicated yourself to making it a reality.  Today, as I watched the season finale, I thought back on all of those memories and realized that without you, none of them would have even been possible, and I knew that I had to thank you somehow.  That’s why I wrote this letter: to let you in on a few of the best memories I’ve made thanks to your ponies, and to let you know how grateful I am for your part in making them.

So thank you.  Thank you for essentially introducing me to one of my best friends, Tek, whom I met through the comments section of my first pony-related post way back in February.  Thank you for the smile that I wore as I drew a picture of Pinkie Pie to send to my fifteen-year-old sister, whose cheerful spirit reminds me a lot of everyone’s favorite party pony, and thank you for the even bigger smile that I got when she wrote me back saying “I decided I’m officially Pinkie Pie!  Speaking of ponies, would you draw me a picture of Fluttershy?  Please?”.  Thank you for the chance to watch the show with her and my sixteen-year-old brother, and for all the fun we’ve had quoting it back and forth to each other since.  Thank you for the unexpected fun of watching one of my college friends succumb to the charm of the ponies, and for how it’s given us a great excuse to hang out every Thursday afternoon to watch a few episodes and chat.  Thanks, too, for the great laugh I got when a friend who posted “What’s up with the ponies?” on my Facebook wall in early April posted “I want a pet alligator named Gummy” just a few weeks later.

Perhaps most of all, however, I thank you for giving thousands and thousands of other people all around the world the same kind of lasting memories that you’ve given me.  You’ve really done something wonderful, Lauren, something that’s touched people from every walk of life, and there’s no way that all of us could say a thank you big enough or sincere enough to express our gratitude.  Still, we had to try, so I opened up my email to the bronies of Ponychan, PonyGAF, and Equestria Daily, people who also owe a lot of great memories to you, to send you their own letters of gratitude for all that you have done.  You can find their letters below, letters with stories of love found, hope restored, and lives changed.  I know there are a lot of them and that you’re a very busy woman, but I hope that you’ll take the time to scroll through, read some of these letters, see what your work has meant to all of us, and take pride in what you’ve accomplished.  You deserve it.

Sincerely,

Tim N.

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Funny Paper

My family always has a supply of little yellow paper squares at hand just in case.  We’re not anticipating a paper shortage or a horde of wild rabbits whose only weakness is yellow squares; instead, we’re preparing for the inevitable moment when the urge hits us.  The urge is unpredictable, but it’s sure to hit at least once during each of my visits home, and it’s best that we have those yellow papers and a goodly supply of pencils on hand when it does hit so that we can get right down to satisfying our craving – a craving for the Funny Paper Game.  I’m not sure what the official title of the game is, but no matter whether you call it the Funny Paper Game, Telephone Pictionary, or That One Game With All the Drawing, it’s ridiculously fun and completely addicting.

The rules are simple:  First, gather up a medium-to-large collection of paper squares with enough space for doodling.  Next, distribute a stack of these papers and a pencil to each player.  The number of papers that each player receives should be equal to the number of players in the game.  Each player then numbers their papers (starting with 1, in case you weren’t sure), places them in order (also starting with 1), and writes a sentence on paper number one.  The sentence can be just about anything that suits the player’s fancy – song lyrics, movie quotes, true stories, and random nonsense are all perfectly acceptable.  Once everyone has written a sentence, players pass their entire stack of paper to the left with the sentence on top.  They then read the sentence on top of the stack that they received and proceed to draw a picture depicting that sentence on paper number two (no letters or numbers in your pictures, mind you).  Once a player finishes with their picture, they pass that stack to the left with their modern masterpiece on top, then take the new stack in front of them (with their neighbor’s picture on top) and interpret the picture into a sentence, which they write on paper number three and pass to the left.  You just keep repeating this cycle until you get the pile with your original sentence in it.  Once everyone has their pile of papers back, players take turns showing their pile to the others and laughing at the results of the zany interpretations and reinterpretations of the original idea.

The great thing about this game is that it’s simple to pick up, it inspires creativity, it’s an original experience each time, and it generates enough laughter to power all of Monstropolis for the rest of forever.  If you’ve got five or six friends who are willing to give it a try, go for it.  You won’t regret it.  If not, you can still get a hint of the hilarity and goofiness of the Funny Paper Game by taking a look at these prime examples that my family has saved from our own games.

First, two examples of what part of a complete stack looks like.  Watch as a sentences derail into tunes from The Sound of Music or bizarre poems about two immortal boys and a poodle:

And now, an assortment of some of my favorite pictures and sentences from previous games.  Consider it The Best of the Newton Family Funny Paper Game (Volume One):

So what’s your family’s favorite game to play together?  Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll catch you tomorrow.  Have a great day!

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Wall Paper

To the left of my desk there is a thin strip of wall that is rapidly disappearing beneath a growing collection of doodles, posters, paintings, and other such fantastic doodads.  Its official name is The Great Wall of Paper (and One Watercolor Painting and a Piece of Cardboard), but most of the time I just call it “the wall”. I love the wall, because each article I’ve placed there reminds me of a different aspect of my college experience, and they all have a story behind them.  Together, they make a colorful snapshot of what my freshman year at Moody has been like so far, from the  new things I’ve tried to the new friends I’ve made to the family members I love and miss.  I’ve already mentioned the crazy drawing from my PCM in my “Not Just Any Desk” post, but I thought the rest of the wall deserved equal treatment, so here are all of the items on the Great Wall of Paper from top to bottom:

1. A Watercolor Painting of Mario

 

Super Watercolor Bros.

My friend Adam goes to Art Club every Wednesday, and one week he decided to experiment with watercolors by painting a scene from Super Mario Bros.  When he finished it, he let me have it, so now it’s hanging cheerfully at the top of the wall, giving my room just the right amount of nerdy flair.

2. My 2009 NaNoWriMo Winner’s Certificate

Last year's NaNo winner's certificate.

Right beneath Mario is this orange and squirrelly reminder of my very first NaNoWriMo.  This year’s certificate is framed, so it wouldn’t stay on the wall with tacky putty, but last year’s certificate is there to remind me of how much fun writing is, and how much I can write when I put my mind to it.

3. My “The Best” Sign From “Stop Motion Skyline”

You guys are the best.

One Monday night I had the crazy idea to film a stop motion video, so I sat down with my webcam and started snapping pictures.  Pretty soon, the idea developed into a short little tribute to everyone watching, letting them know that they are, indeed, the best.  That fact still holds true, and that sign still reminds me of all the fun I had trying out a new style of video.

4. My Filming Notice

A sign I made for my door while I'm filming.

Back when I first decided to try vlogging, I made this sign for my door to let people know that they could still come in if they needed anything.  I didn’t want them to think I was in the middle of an important conversation, or worse, that I was talking to myself.  Although in retrospect I essentially was talking to myself and just didn’t want to admit my insanity.  Oh, well.

5. When Beavers Fly

A drawing that my mom did for The Funny Paper Game.

Ah, The Funny Paper Game.  Ever since we learned how to play this Pictionary/Telephone hybrid from our friends, the Swensens, it’s been a family favorite.  I kept this picture, my mom’s interpretation of the sentence “When beavers fly, birds will not”, to remind me of home – and my goofy family whom I miss very much.

6. Derpy Hooves

 

(Might take a little longer to load)

I decided to try my hand at drawing when I first started watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and I learned that it isn’t too hard to do.  So, I drew a few pictures to send home to my siblings, then I drew one of my favorite background characters from the show for myself.  I think it adds some much-needed cross-eyedness to the room.

7. That Drawing of Me

‘Nuff said.

8. My “Edit Me” Motivational Poster

Do it now!

I edited the cover art from this year’s NaNo novel to remind me to get some much-needed editing done.  So far I haven’t had a lot of time to work on it, but at least I made the poster.  That’s a step in the right direction, right?

So that’s the Great Wall of Paper, a collection of pictures from all the different parts of my college life.  What kind of drawings, doodles and doodads to you keep around your room, and what are the stories behind them?

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