Sun and Sandz: A Farewell Interview

By skylight. Art by Bummer.
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Last issue we bid farewell jumpluff and sandshrewz as they went on to do better things with their lives (hopefully). While they may be gone from The Smog, they definitely aren't forgotten. I caught up with jumpluff and sandshrewz to see how they were doing. Considering sandshrewz lives in Asia and jumpluff and I live in Australia, it was only fair for us to meet at Australia's only known landmark, Uluru, where the sun set on the sandz.

sandshrewz arrived first, quickly marking his territory on the huge rock, while jumpluff casually floated in and found a comfortable position to sit in.

So how are you guys doing?

Welllllllll I guess I have been more busy studying (though I should be studying even more than I am right now haha). I'm doing fine right now I suppose and you can still see me online pretty often but that'd change about soon .-.!

I'm doing well! I recently got back to university after extended absences due to sickness, so I'm really happy with how my life is going lately. I'm not as busy as sandz, though, unless playing League of Legends counts as being busy... I'm still looking forward to gen 6 though!

roflol playing LoL counts as busy xDDD I still drk what LoL is haha

At this point I realized it was going to be a looooong day.

Moving onto our next question!


LoL is another video game, you can play it with other ppl~


What has life been like without the smog and deadlines DEADLINES??

What unoblivious.... Checking The Smog forums has been like a daily routine. Without having the responsibility to go and check every single article like how they're going and bugging people (ahem LonelyNess), I guess I gained some time from there since I used to spend some time to just check if everything is fine and stuff. Life without The Smog is weird though as well. It just became a habit I enjoy haha, and working with people often is great. The Smog has really great people and it's just fun lol! Also I guess I don't really need to panic over deadlines now xD though I worry if the remaining staffers can cope without us etc but I'm sure they can handle it fine. I miss rushing people for deadlines though in a way and not some much in others? haha. Deadlines are a unique part of The Smog and not having the monthly usual deadline kick in feels weird though, like something is amiss haha.

Well, it's weird for me because I'm used to keeping an eye on The Smog forum all the time, having to check the approvals forum regularly, and I normally invested a lot of time in release. I always really like release time even though it's undoubtedly stressful to do all that last-minute work, because the feeling I get after completion is really rewarding. I love seeing a finished magazine with all the polish and not only do I get a sort of team pride in it, it's also really rewarding to hear from people who like what we're doing. But I think I'm a lot more relaxed since I don't have to stress about people getting their articles in! I don't have as much involvement with the team anymore either due to being occupied with other things, which is of course something I miss because I think the people who work on The Smog are really nice to be around. If we didn't have a supportive culture then we couldn't keep working together under pressure, right?

It's nice to see it isn't easy for you guys to get used to being without the webzine, which brings me to my next question—what originally got you guys into The Smog (and what made you stay?)

I started with The Smog because I heard that you can do GP checks there so I submitted an access request (what's that thing called again back on vB idrmb??) with November Blue (where has he been??), another GPer at that time. I remember putting like "GP and maybe art" under the reason field. People who had been with The Smog before me like Omicron and sirndpt showed me how it worked. I started with just doing GP checks but ended up doing art and HTML as well. Omicron, jumpluff, and Setsuna taught me some HTML and I just continued doing them and got better over time haha. My early HTMLs had some errors here and there too >_>! There's just so much to do in The Smog so it was rather interesting to experience the different sections of The Smog from GP, art, HTML, all the way to writing. Being able to do all different things kept me away from being bored of The Smog. Besides, The Smog has been always changing and it was cool to see the changes that took place shortly after I joined in. I just stuck around because there's always things to be done and deadlines to be met but also because the people I knew were there as well. Working with people you're familiar with kept me going haha. There's sort of this momentum that made me stay and didn't really think about stopping with The Smog. Also writing a three part series article with SuperJOCKE meant I had to stay of course xD it was great collaborating with him so shoutouts~ !_!

sandshrewz kept his mouth open for a few minutes while jumpluff and I waited for him to say something. jumpluff awkwardly asked if he was still replying after a 3 minute gap, and he replied just like she never said anything at all.

Towards Jan this year, I got promoted to staff with Toast so that's just another reason to stay haha! Even if I wasn't, I probably would have continued staying on. I could just alternate between doing art / writing / GP / html so I won't be bored either way x)

I was around at the inception, actually! Tangerine proposed the idea and got it in motion, and I really liked the potential the idea had, both for the community and a way of expanding our Pokémon content and keeping it relevant, so I did my best to get on board. If you go back to Issue 1 or look through the archive, the articles back then were a lot smaller, but we still worked really hard on them. I'm still proud of a lot of the content back then; we had some very good articles. Back then I did roughly the same thing I always did, which was grammar check and HTMLize the articles for publication. I was a lot less experienced back then and I really appreciated the practice, even though it wasn't the most challenging formatting. In particular we had Blue Kirby around at the time and he helped me out a lot with all kinds of things including this, so I have to thank him for that!! While I really enjoyed the work I did getting the articles ready for readers, and the feeling of helping to enable something I thought was an important step for Smogon, I also enjoyed the team. Working day to day with friends like Mekkah and Jimbo, and later the current Smog Staff team (Setsuna and I in particular make a good team, I think!~), which is a really great team by the way, was some of the most fun I had and made all the deadline stress bearable. Plus as The Smog grew and grew, I started to feel a little like it was my baby and I had to nurture it... haha... I can't claim sole custody though!! Not only The Smog though, but its contributors! Like sandz said, he's really learned a lot about HTML and JavaScript, for example. And I think I became a lot better at working with other people as a result of collaborating on The Smog for a long time.

sandshrewz then realized he had even more to say even MORE after taking over 10 minutes to reply anyway.

overall the staying reason was cos the people there are fun and it never really bored me haha! :)

sandshrewz started poking me for some strange reason and said his mind apparently drifted (while at the same time jumpluff was drifting off to sleep from sandshrewz talking for so long!)

my head isn't working lol so I only focused about like stuff last year mainly haha

OKAY SO! next question what were some moments in particular you enjoyed the most?

oh many haha Release time is one of those moments I enjoy haha, although it can be stressful sometimes with the last minute fixing stuff etc. The time of release is usually awkward for me (and pluff) so I usually don't make it for release, Issue 28 release was memorable since it was like held so far back due to the DDoS and a lot of people were just going like #free28 etc which was really hilarious haha. It just reminds me that these people are really funny lol! More recently after I announced my departure, Toast went to make an Easter egg in Issue 29's Note from the Editor and I was really touched by that! !_! So thank you Toast for leaving me with another memorable memory haha! Seeing positive comments after each release was great as well and it showed the collective effort that everyone has put in really pays off! It's great that people get to enjoy this magazine as a result of many people working together. That itself is enjoyable as well haha. Also I remember when we were doing Smog Awards results last year and it was funny haha ibo had to use The Smog account to send the nominations to people who were collating it eg Jelli and sirn but it got slowed down by the spam filter thing that limits 1 PM per 30 seconds lol. Those rush hours were enjoyable because funny things happen haha x)

Oh, wow...So many memories...I think my all-time favorite memory is when Mekkah interviewed Earthworm, and I decided to impersonate his assistant so I could sit in on it. EW replied REALLY slowly and I got very annoyed, and I was nagging him constantly, but he didn't know it was me. I think EW was pretty surprised when he found out I was there all along, especially since I was one of the subjects of the interview. Actually that interview is really old and so is MY interview and even new people still bring them up to me, thanks for being such dedicated readers...?! My interview was a lot of fun too for me, I got to talk about my Pokémon plushies. Umm, I also have to say, one of my favorite memories is the time when Mekkah was writing his instructional articles about mafia and the TCG metagame and I would always just GP them and edit the fixes into the OP because I'm a good housewife, those were fun times working together and he wrote a LOT of great articles back in the day. The mafia articles in particular can still be referred to. I also really liked writing the cutemons article with tab and Bloo. We got some great art for it and a lot of reactions; it was funny. Speaking of funny reactions, I remember some people outside of Smogon (it makes me happy that we have external readers, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this issue too~!) were really disgusted that I put Voodoom on the cover of Issue 12, like the audacity of us using one of our fake Pokémon on the cover of our Pokémon magazine, haha. Finally, when Tangerine showed up one day randomly in one of the issue threads and praised us on how much we'd grown, that meant a lot! sandz already mentioned Toast's Easter egg, but I thought that was both hilariously fitting and very sweet, so I got a kick out of it.

sandshrewz started to die from laughter once more as he listened to jumpluff's response.

HAHAHA that EW interview HAHAHA. xDDDDDD

hahaha yea I love playing tricks on people >:)

wait so that really happened? roflol!!!!! I thought it was there cos Mekkah / tennis stuck in the flavor roflol

it really did!! I changed my nick and joined the channel and pretended to be someone else and just was like HURRY UP EW GOSH

xDDDDDDD oh wait you pretended to be tennis hahahaha

yeah lol

that was a really enjoyable interview to read lol!!

i'm glad. I love rereading all the old interviews

now you can reread this old interview! ...once i write it up, that is

lmao !!

what would've you changed at your time in The Smog if you could change anything?

I would never have allowed skylight to enter The Smog. jk xD

lmao rude ;_;

lol this is a hard one I think I wouldn't change anything haha! What's there to change? xD Process wise, I think The Smog has made great improvements over time from when I just joined to now haha. So yep, the only thing I'd change is to never allow people like skylight on The Smog :)

Um... Hm. I can't think of too many things I really regret that I could actually change. There were a few process changes we tried out, but they were learning experiences. I think I would definitely instate the approvals forum a lot earlier, though. Back in the day we couldn't upload images to the SCMS directly and had to wait for some of the few people with the ability to upload to the server, which always impeded release, so if I had the ability to change that bottleneck I definitely would have. Our impending issue got leaked before we were ready at least one time because people guessed a URL and used the navigation links to find the rest of the articles, which made me really sad and also caused a precedent of not cacheing, which made uploading more frustrating. I would've liked to have gone back in time and prevented that from happening. Also, I think I probably would have pulled less all-nighters, haha. And I would change our badge to the Mind Badge. I know it looks really similar to the Soul Badge (tutor badge), but I never had that so I'd settle for the cheap knockoff.

We probably should have had a better contingency for forum downtimes haha.

oh yeah that's a good one

also o.o soul badge

lol i agree and the soul badge hmmm


idk i like smog badge as it is :(

I like blue though xD

sandshrewz you made me screw up my wording gj oh wait i did it to you


It's fair MOVING ON!


now in regards to Smogon, what were your achievements?


and best memories there outside of Smogon?

outside ?_?

i mean...The Smog

sandshrewz laughed and started whacking me with a nearby stick.


I didn't really have any achievements per se. But Team Asia managed to get to finals although I didn't play a single game xD so I'm happy for them. I'm also happy about the revival of RoA which I participated quite a bit in the early stages (though contributed to maybe not so much?? haha). I like past gens, especially DPP so it was really great to see the revival of that forum. RoAers keep it alive! Too bad I didn't have too much time to stay there too long though and ended up not posting there as regularly because I spent most of my available time in The Smog x_x! If making something counts as an achievement, I guess I'm really happy with making the SmogDex Teambuilder haha. It was a learning process while making it and it was fun. There are tons of memories out there. If I had to pick, I'll pick the early memories and time in #grammar when it was really active. It really felt very closely knit and people were like trying to get on GP at the same time xD Too bad I didn't end up joining the GP team at the same time as anyone though .-.! I really miss the old #grammar times D: Hope I'll get to experience the old #grammar some time in future~! It's where I started out and people there were really nice / funny / etc / adjectives haha. Also seasonal GP colors omg good memories x) It's really the people who contribute to these memories haha. :) Good times~!

Something most people don't know is that I, randomly, modded practically every forum at some point before becoming an smod. I modded Uncharted Territory (gen 5 version), I modded Wi-Fi briefly, I modded Ruins of Alph (this was my first forum, I got mods to clean it up), I modded The Suggestion Box, I modded one of the C&C project forums, and of course, The Smog. I just think that's really funny because I was sort of a loose end before getting smods. Um, I think the only two things that really mattered to me more than anything was getting Shoddy mods in 2008 along with twash (thanks again, BK!), because Shoddy was one of the most fun places to hang out back then for me (both the chat and ladder) and I cared quite a lot. Also, the Contributor badge, because Aldaron wouldn't give it to me for GPing alone. When I wrote/revamped a few analyses and sets I got it, though! Finally, I won one of the Metronome tournaments, which took a lot of skill and really proved my merit as a Pokémon trainer to the wider community. I had a rivalry with Lady bug and told him I was going to win the whole thing, and I did, so that's why it was important. Although technically Joel subbed for me in the last round as I was in hospital. Most of my favorite Smogon memories pertain to playing mafia in Circus Maximus. It's a very intriguing and suspense-filled tactical game the way we play it, and the friends I made playing mafia make up most of my oldest and dearest friends on Smogon. There are actually quite a lot of fun sub-communities you can get involved in, and I think people cover them quite well in The Smog, so I encourage everyone to get involved in tournaments, projects, and games. I also have a lot of fond memories of testing mechanics in Black and White with Philip7086, Setsuna, and The_Chaser, which is how we got our Researcher badges, and of hanging out with a lot of really fun, chill teams in team tournaments: Alpha Ruiners, Stark Sharks, Oceania, US West, and UK in particular. I'm glad I've met so many people in my time on Smogon, my five year joindate anniversary passed recently and during that time I've been treated really well by everyone. I could go on for ages, really.

roflol random modding xD

sandshrewz you laugh at anything tbh


which brings me to my next question! well these next few questions are user requested and not Smogon related~

gosh are you really asking Level's...

firstly jumpluff and sandshrewz


in a "who's most adorable" contest, who would win and what methods would you use to guarantee you win?


sandshrewz would laugh, noted

I wouldn't try.... HAHA! I'd lose imo xD I guess I'll just spam smileys xD I probably won't use :3 smiley cos I don't really use it haha! so usual smiley spam ^_^ e_e @_@ !_! ?_? .-. q_q ;_; :O! u_u! oh I might draw I suppose...pluff should draw more!

I don't think I could win head-to-head against sandz, because his smiley and exclamation mark quotients make mine look pathetic. He's just too sweet and bouncy compared to me!! I think I would probably have to exploit my Shaymin collection to win! Also I might prey upon sandz's natural niceness and trick him into surrendering to me...nopers, that would be way too mean, I couldn't do that, not even to win. There are some lines you just can't cross. I'd definitely have to pull out my reserve kawaii avatars as well, because everyone knows that people look like their avatars irl (as evidenced by the countless people who used to ask me if I looked like Susan Coffey and flirt with me). Finally, I'd make Fate change back to his old avatar of that chick dancing, you know, the one that's totally a clip of me from the house I'm rumoured to share with him and ginga in New Zealand. Who can resist someone so free-spirited? But, you know, if we're comparing a Jumpluff and a Sandshrew, it's obvious who wins (despite them both being utterly adorable), so at least I can always count on that victory. Also my drawings suck and are really deformed, I think I'd lose the art round. ;__; I should draw more though, I'm sure the practice would help!!

omg pulling a Fate.....he changed my sig while I was away for exams once lol!

hahah dude zacchaeus got it into his head i was an alt of fate and ppl started legitimately believing fate's avatar was me



At this point jumpluff and I start to wonder if sandshrewz was drugged before the interview.


that I shared a house with fate because he had a fake jumpluff alt on PO*


sandshrewz pls dont die of laughter before next question

how do you fake an alt??? lol

sandshrewz ate a Sitrus Berry at this point and fully recovered.

now questions for both of you! one from Level 51 one from elcheeso


jumpluff how do you feel about the big pineapple being knocked down and sandshrewz what is the hidden meaning behind your name?

it's not hidden lol also WHAT PINEAPPLE HAHAHA Well, my username has a lot of sentimental value to it. My class of 2011 had like Pokémon for nearly everyone, from the 356 till Hoenn I think. I had a Sandshrew obviously and the heaviest guy in class got a Snorlax of course haha! I came to know a friend who also likes Pokémon so he introduced me to Smogon and Pokémon Lab, a gen 4 simulator. That was during like 2010 though. And everyone else was probably playing BW lol. I was making an account on PL and sandshrew was taken so I added a z behind because wz is an initial of my name so I stuck with that. I still miss my class a lot though ;_; So my username is sort of a remembrance of my class ???? haha. Not so much of a 'meaning' but more like one of very high value and sentiment to me.

It's a giant pineapple; it takes some kind of heartlessness to look at something as funny as that and then tear it down. We have a Big Banana in my state, but it's not as impressive. You can get these really yummy chocolate-coated frozen bananas from there, though. Try it at home!! Anyway, I think pineapple buildings are about all Australia can boast in unique cultural heritage in the era of globalization, so we probably should have kept it.

roflol what's with the big banana pineapple thingy

we have these giant buildings in australia my town has a huge guitar it sucks


the pineapple was this huge building that was designed to look like a pineapple

LOL that's interesting

and there was a ride there and stuff they're like tourist icons and stuff

and it got taken down ? :c



lmao thank you for your time guys good job at taking almost two hours smh

jumpluff and sandshrewz apologized and thanked me for the interview. Little did they know that as they walked off, the sun would set brighter than it ever has over the sandy desert. Who knows the next time the sun will set on the sandz of the desert? We'll have to see.
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