December 2016

Just your standard recap post. I’ll be doing at least one reflective post for the entire year soon enough, but this one is just for December. If you want to read on about my top 5 animated feature films of the year, you can check that out on my other animation-focussed website.

A bit uneventful, a bit of unnecessary stress (caused by yours truly), and a lot of the quieter moments I tend to favor. I think like everyone, I’m just eager for this year to end, which is a shame, especially considering that I’m not necessarily looking forward to 2017 either. It’s not that I’m not per se, but it just seems like every day there’s something new to worry about…situations globally, inaction (justified or otherwise) from governments and leaders, failure in general from governments and leaders, necessary evils, unnecessary evils, on top of all of the woes one experiences on a personal level.

We had our first snow of the winter this month, on the day that I had to get up at the ass-crack of dawn and go to DMV. Super fun. But I’d let the paperwork on my car (among other things) expire or practically expire. So I had to take care of that before two of my best friends drove up from Jersey later in the day. That was the second weekend in a row I got to see them, so I was quite spoiled this month. My one friend is home for the holidays from her teaching gig out in Singapore, and the other is in NJ so really I just suck at driving down to NJ and seeing her and my other still-in-the-US friends. Hence why I’ve ended up seeing them twice and likely a third time closer to New Years!

Holiday parties at work are always fun, and the studio in general has a nice air about it. We aren’t a very visually appealing studio like Pixar or Dreamworks, with their sprawling sunny campuses but everyone does their best to make our cubicle sea a goddam festive one. It was so much fun celebrating with the Story crew, as well as with the rest of production management, and I gotta say, I lucked out in terms of White Elephant presents. I was also super lucky to work with amazing crew and producers who thought enough to get the PA some gifts. TuT Plus we got our Ferdinand crew mugs! IT’S A REAL FILM NOW, RIGHT?! 😉

I managed to continue watching lots of new films in the theater, like Rogue One, but also saw screenings of a lot of French animated films (“My Life As a Zucchini“, “April and the Twisted World“, “Phantom Boy“) through work. Another perk from work? Travis Knight, CEO, director, and animator at stop-motion goals LAIKA visited for an interesting talk. The bf and I saw our friend Ric in a production of the musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which was awesome, and I didn’t even know Alan Menkin did a musical version of this novel. We also helped out our friend who manages a bookstore and came and did a story time with some kids. We read them “The Polar Express.” I’m super bummed we couldn’t attend the Harry Potter themed Yule Ball she was throwing!

Unfortunately, I was lacking this month on a lot of personal projects. I recorded a new podcast with my co-host Miko, but still haven’t edited it, or previous ones I’ve got, and my research and script-writing for my animation videos crawled to a stop due to my silly obsession with checking out too many library books then feeling guilty when I read my own and neglect the borrowed titles. More on this in a future post, because really Jen, what the hell? Even my 1 Second Every Day video project has seen a decline even when I’m so so close to the finish line. I have missed days this year, enough for almost a month I think, but to lose momentum in the final month after a pretty decent streak is disheartening. : P

I haven’t been as on top of my site as I usually am due to some technical issues I was running into regarding wordpress.com vs wordpress.org, and it was causing a lot of stress. Not a good excuse, but I honestly just needed to put it down for a little. And as usual, I ordered too many books (and other things) on Black Friday and was having slight buyers remorse considering (again) that I borrow books too often from the library and never leave time for me to read my own books. WHAT KIND OF PROBLEM IS THAT TO HAVE?

A really great thing that happened this past month was my father celebrating his 35th work anniversary. His company let him have a fancy night out at a nice restaurant, but instead, he chose to have a casual gathering at home and invite all of his brothers and sisters (and their spouses of course) over. This was a huge deal. My dad doesn’t do holidays. Never ever. So my mom was extra excited for an excuse to celebrate something about him. It was all adorable, to be honest. So I trekked back to NJ for that. It’s nice to see family for something other than a major holiday too. Gives you some more wiggle room for conversation, especially since my dad’s company paid for the BBQ. 🙂

Thanks to that, long-distance friends being home, Christmas, and New Years, I went home more than normal this year. Christmas, as usual, was nice and pretty low-key despite having a big family. I think it’s really just because everyone is older now. Other than the one five-year-old, the youngest cousin I have on the one side of the family is already in high school and so it’s a lot less chaos. In terms of Christmas, my parents were as usual very thoughtful. Lots of nerdy little things, sweets, and my mother’s attempts to have me dress so I don’t look 14. Cheers, Mama! I was super proud of my gift-giving this year as I was able to get my parents’ tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway! I also had got my brother and cousin’s gifts super early this year too.

Yesterday and the day before was spent at one of my best friend’s homes, where they usually have a massive annual summer BBQ. But since she’s only really home in the winter now, we made due. It’s basically my yearly time I see her and her family, and eat the best Filipino food I will ever eat. Now today for New Years Eve, I’m having some friends over for another super-low-key evening. Likely board games, movies, just chilling out.

So have a Happy New Year!

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