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Animation is great for so many reasons...whether you're looking to reconnect with your past, to express an opinion, dream, or thought, or to just make people laugh :)

Jeremy Simms @Bigfoot3290

31, Male

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New Paltz & Stony Brook


Joined on 8/18/04

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Another 'Supdate

Posted by Bigfoot3290 - September 9th, 2020

I hope everyone is well. I wanted to jot a few more thoughts down here on NG for ol' times' sake.

I received some very kind words on my last post from yesteryear. I still check Newgrounds a handful of times every week, and it still brings a smile to my face when someone leaves a comment on one of my silly Mario movies. Thanks for all the support over the years.

I once had a professor in college ... a Medieval Towns course ... and he was adamant about the final project assignment. It was a combined research paper / oral presentation that made up at least 50% of the grade. Some of my peers complained openly about the massive undertaking, to which he replied, "If I gave you a multiple-choice exam, imagine how little of this coursework you'll retain." To this day, I can still tell you as a New Yorker, about the tidal floodplains of the Sub-Mendip marshes and how it affected the settlement of Medieval Wells, England.

I've kept that lesson with me, and although Medieval history has little relevance in my daily work as a risk manager some 11 years later, I have grown more conscious of how important my own projects are to me. My projects, not some corporation's tasks or what some one else needs from me. Certainly, Newgrounds was a massive part of my teenage years and in many ways shaped the person I became. I realize that is a bold statement on the back of a portfolio of Mario blooper reels, but I am really referring to the ambitions I had to learn Flash and Photoshop, the late nights editing soundtracks and syncing up sound effects, and constantly trying to create a better product.

Just under two years after I graduated from New Paltz College in the mid-Hudson Valley portion of New York State, my parents were finally foreclosed on. There had been hints here and there for many years, and one day my brother and I came home to a pink eviction notice on our front door. A county sheriff arrived on a rainy January Monday morning shortly thereafter with a squadron of unmarked white moving trucks. I'll never forget sitting in my childhood bedroom with my cat Buster in my lap, looking around my mostly-empty room where I had spent all those nights making those Flash videos, coming home from soccer or volleyball games, practicing the cello, or walking back from the shower after a round of golf with my dad. I remember the thumps of the sheriff coming down the stairs, scolding my parents for not being out of the house. He then stopped in my doorway. I couldn't look him in the eye, but I guess the image of my cat and I on the floor took him out of the heat-of-the-moment. He remained there for about five seconds before marching back up the stairs, slower this time, and continuing to usher my parents along in a noticeably less threatening tone.

Even if you've never been evicted before, I'm sure you can guess the sort of implications that that event had on my life. I wasn't completely devastated. In fact, part of me was excited for a change. But it did put a sort of primal cognizance in the back of my mind about the importance of money, and what happens to people when they run out of it.

After spending the next year moving, toiling in odd golf and retail jobs, and toying with the idea of going back to school, I finally committed to a Fortune 50 Company in the outright attempt to secure benefits, a halfway decent salary, and even a retirement account. It was an $11/hr seasonal warehouse job that started at 4 AM. I began reading books on the stock market and other personal finance titles like Rich Dad, Poor Dad. I started buying company stock as soon as I could. I did return to school for a Finance MBA. I cut out pretty much all fun from my life. And I did lock in those benefits while saying "Yes" to every new promotion opportunity or lateral move.

Long story short, I did what I needed to do in order to build a strong foundational life for myself. But after graduating with that MBA nearly two years ago now, going through the motions at my job, and executing disciplined savings/investing budget plans each and every month, I find myself looking back on the journey. Despite how most outsiders would look into the last five years and concede that I've been "successful" or "responsible" or "ambitious," I still see more "success" in those long nights as a teenager making Flash videos ... in those projects that were truly mine, Nintendo sprites notwithstanding!

But you get what I'm saying.

This past Labor Day weekend, my long-time girlfriend and I traveled back up to New Paltz to go hiking at Lake Minnewaska. It's a beautiful series of trails, and each time we go, I'm reminded of those special moments and things in my life. I am always amazed at how fickle the scent of corporate success can be in the mountain breeze. Newgrounds will always be special to me, not just for the memories, but as a constant reminder of the moments that truly matter.

Thanks for reading and I wish you all the best,




Comments (6)

Wow, what a post. I remember finding your Mario animations at least 6 years ago or more, and really enjoying them, then wondering where you went for years. Great to finally hear from you. You certainly had a wild ride through life, and I'm glad everything worked out okay for you. :) Also, may I ask what happened to the Super Mario Land animations of yours?

Thanks for the kind words! Several animations were unpublished due to the copyright concerns of the soundtracks I used. NG needed to protect itself and rightfully so.

You wanna know why you're a success?
Because you didn't give up.

Welcome home.

When I was younger, I believed strongly that success could be chalked up to a brief spell of brilliance, almost as if the stars had aligned for an individual in a specific moment. As I've grown older, I've noticed that the greatest indicator of success isn't talent, luck, or good timing, but consistency. It's rare that anyone can consistently produce very good or excellent work over the long term, but that same consistency is rarely appreciated. Thanks for the warm welcome back!

I absolutely loved (and still love) your Mario parodies, and it's pretty cool to see a new blog post from you! I can definitely relate to those late nights of animating and the memories, and the sensation of accomplishment/productivity behind them. It's something I've recently tapped back into, and it's been absolutely thrilling. NG and flash seems to be a beautiful nexus of memories for a lot of people, and it's truly special how much it matters to so many people to this day.

Thank you, and it's great to hear similar sentiments about how valuable NG was for them in their formative years. To get back into it is even better!

I love this post and am happy to hear you're doing well! It's nice to imagine everyone who's ever been a part of NG is now doing well and enjoying fond memories of the site.

Thanks Tom. I remember you posting about NG growing as a community into the real world back in the late 2000s/early 2010s. The older I get, the more I realize how unique and special the Newgrounds and Flash animation years were for me. Like you mentioned, I'm sure the feeling is mutual for many others who stumbled upon your website. Wishing you all the best.

I come back to these videos so often over the years. They are so nostalgic to me, and remind me of a time that I dreamed of working in games or animation.

I am currently a Social Work Major in my Junior year. It has nothing to do with my original dreams but I find myself driven by a bigger purpose to help others. To spark a little joy in their life. The little things I can do that can make an impact.

Your content has that same impact on me. And your posts solidify that even more to me. Dreams can change, for necessity or by choice. But we can still the joy in the past, and let it drive our present to make a happier future.

So thanks for the years of joy that constantly revisiting your videos does for me, and for so many others.

Thank you so much for the kind words. Good luck with your studies and with everything else going forward.

You're UOTD today so congrats for that.

Your content here speaks for itself. I haven't been here all that much longer than you and it's good to see more people from around our time come back with more regularity.

I am also a lifelong New Yorker whose path might have crossed yours. I am from NYC, Queens specifically, as has been the case for 98% of my life.

I went to New Paltz for school and spent plenty of time in Lake Minnewaska years before, during and after. What used to be LeFevre Hall on campus is now Shawangunk Hall, renamed due to political correctness. My dorm was in the basement.

Likewise, Hasbrouck is no longer Hasbrouck. Darold (the fat black dude who would accept or deny our entry in) passed away and a memorial to him is outside the dining hall. Fatbob's and Barnaby's closing are just examples of the changes that have happened in the main town.

I have also spent a lot of time at Stony Brook though not as a student. Two of my close friends live together in a cottage at Port Jeff and one still goes to school at Stony Brook after a transfer from Suffolk. He never lived on campus but I often see him regularly with a select group at H-Quad. The Village Center is usually quite relaxing and chill.

I've been to all 62 counties in the state but most of my travel is between Dutchess County and Suffolk County. I know New Paltz is in Ulster County and I continue to go there too when visiting my parents who live in Poughkeepsie. Few people know that I was the first regular passenger to ride the UPL when it was brand new.

Hopefully everything works out.

Thanks Gory, I remember your alias from yesteryear. Cool that you went to NP also...the way you described Darold as the gatekeeper of "HAZ" is spot on. I remember him passing away and I've heard about the PC names they've donned on the old halls. And yes it was weird to walk around Main St. recently and not see The Groovy Blueberry, Rock da Pasta, or Fat Bob's anymore. I appreciate the trip down memory lane. Good luck to you as well.