April 2017

The start of my month was one of quiet excitement After managing to get through the audio book quickly, the bf and I attended a concert performance of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at Radio City Music Hall. I hadn’t been there in years! Not since I used to go to the Christmas show every year in grammar school. I had a twinge of guilt thinking that I’d have graduated with a Masters degree in that gorgeous theater if things had worked out with SVA, but I quickly stopped caring when the pre-roll videos featuring John Williams began playing. What a man. This is the second time I’ve attended a film screening featuring a live orchestra accompaniment; the first one I attended was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, featuring the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Center, which I detailed in a past blog post. This was my second time seeing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The NY Philharmonic are hosting a slew of Star Wars performances in September that I’m interested in seeing too!

Radio City is hosting performances of the second Harry Potter film this fall, but I think the only other one I’d attend would be the third film–not for lack of interest so much as lack of cash. Some of the later films’s scores are less familiar to me, but I know that’s because I didn’t obsessively listen to them like I did the earlier films. I’m also seeing an orchestra performance of songs from the Kingdom Hearts video game series this summer as well. All of the childhood feels.

I'm not crying you're crying ⚡️ #harryPotter #harrypotterinconcert

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Books Read: 0 Still just chugging away at a number of titles. I’ve been reading more self-help books than I usually do, and actually going through them and doing a lot of the end-of-chapter questionnaires and activities. So it’s a slow burn. But when I can update my Goodreads account, I’ll quickly be right on schedule…not that I’m keeping a schedule per se.

Blog Posts Written: 3  Just three, including this one, all on this site. Nothing for AniCom, which is a huge disappointment, as I am struggling to achieve the quality I want.

Videos/Projects: 0 Still just editing away. But I’m going to give myself a phantom point for the online classes I’ve been keeping up with this month that will allow me to do some of the non-video projects I have in mind. 😉

At the Movies: 3+ The Boss Baby and Ghost in the Shell were two of the movies that I saw in theaters this past month, and only one of them was worth it. Boss Baby was an unexpected delight, while GitS was the crapfest I always feared it would be. Shoutouts also go to some other new-ish films I saw this month, outside the theater setting: Nova Seed, Your Name, Digimon Adventure Tri Chapters 2-4, a second viewing of La La Land, and Loving. I saw a few more, and I usually don’t post about every movie I saw, but I actually managed to see quite a few this month due to traveling home for Easter. There’s always good movies playing on cable–thanks, Mom and Dad! The third movie is one that I am hopefully seeing in about an hour: Their Finest by Danish director Lone Scherfig, who made two other films I really loved (An Education and One Day). A film about a woman filmmaker actually made by a woman filmmaker? Sign me the fuck up.

Lowlights: An unexpected trip to the ER cut one of my workdays short, and I’ve felt a little off since then. It doesn’t seem to be anything major, but unfortunately my follow-up appointment isn’t until the start of June.

Highlights: I already mentioned Harry Potter in concert, so the other biggies were Easter and a trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Easter was standard fair, as it’s hosted at my parents’ house every year. It’s nice when I go home and can actually spend time at home and in my hometown. Easter’s always got good food (read: no ham) and desserts (especially Jello eggs and Gertrude Hawk peanut butter chocolates). My mom always goes above and beyond with Easter. We’ve only got one young kid in the family, so we hide the eggs a few times for him. I always accidentally make it a little too hard for him though, and everyone ends up having to help him. So maybe I get points for making it a family affair. : P

There’s been an ongoing exhibit at the Normal Rockwell Museum on Hanna-Barbera, the animation studio most famous for Saturday morning staples like The Flinstones, The Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby-do. It’s a studio I’ve never paid much attention to, to be honest, as I sort of always wrote it off as cheap production to push cereal to kids. In my defense, I wasn’t wrong, but that wasn’t a reason to ignore it either. So I was quite keen to head up there. The exhibit was fantastic. It was pretty small, but they stuffed it full of things. I’ll finally have something to post about on AnimationComplex, so stay tuned for that article. In the meantime, here’s a super cute classic museum trailer:

Yesterday morning, I successfully got tickets to New York Comic Con 2017. Every year I debate going back at all, but I always end up deciding to go for a day. Especially since I haven’t managed to go to any smaller comic-cons this year. I decided to only go on Friday, as it seems like more of the educational panels are being pushed to Thursday and Friday. Like the last 2 years, I managed to get my tickets within 30 minutes of the virtual queue being launched, so I am definitely happier with this new verification system than when I first started attending, where you’d be waiting to get to the order page only to see see tickets already populating scalping sites with huge markups. NYCC is the same week that I am seeing Hamilton too, so the start of October will be amazing! In general yesterday was very nice. We are lucky to live in an area where the beach is a 7-minute drive away, so after running some errands we parked there and read for a few hours. The water was freezing, but as an East Coaster, this was nothing new. He, being from Cali, was not amused.

Next Month’s Focus: Editorial calendar. More doing. More animation stuff, yo.

30 Before 30 and other Life Goals

Today marks the 7th anniversary of this blog, despite only having started consistently blogging on it in 2014/2015. I recently detailed these woes in a post called “How To Succeed in Posting Without Really Trying, Starring Daniel Radcliffe,” so I won’t go back into the details. But I’ve always struggled with being a non-starter, with having amazing ideas and talking myself out of them. I manage to convince myself that I’m not qualified to even have the ideas that I have–that “someone like me” can’t possibly do X, Y, or Z. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? she asks yet again. Because of that, my creativity has noticeably declined. Because of this though, there are a lot of ideas and projects I’ve had gestating for a long time. It will be interesting to revisit them as the totally different person I am compared to when they were first conceived. I wish I could see some of the earlier posts that I deleted. I think this also highlights an important blog question, and that is when should I actually celebrate by blog’s anniversary? 😛

That all being said, I wanted to acknowledge something on this site: I made these a while ago, and quietly published two pages to my site with little fanfare. But a couple of friends mentioned them to me, telling me that it made them think about replicating the 30-item list, so I thought I’d actually post in the blog for posterity’s sake, and also give a  shoutout to my cousin, who is probably mad at me because I forgot to text her back. Again. This is nothing new if you’re my friend, unfortunately.1

My cousin has a blog called Planes, Trains, and Running Shoes. She’s had it for years, and when she first started blogging, it was called 25Before25, as it was her way of documenting 25 things she wanted to do before she turned 25. They ranged from the simple pleasures, like making a sand castle, to learning new things like cooking through a cookbook, to more ambitious things like visiting every major league baseball park. One of them was even starting and maintaining her blog, and seven years out she’s still going strong, which, in a really basic way, sums up what I admire about her.

Since then, her list has evolved into a 30 Before 30 list, and while 1) I don’t think it’s important to achieve all of the things on one such a list2, and 2) I don’t think it matters at what age, I couldn’t help but find the appeal in it. The itemized list does give you a chance to step back and assess what you want right now for the future, and offers many a chance to reprise this and hold you accountable. And the age, well, the age lights a fire under your ass, doesn’t it? When my cousin first made her list, she was….like 23 I guess…giving her a limited amount of time than say a 23 year old with a 30 Before 30. It’s not about those details, it’s about the ~*JoUrNEy*~ and I mean that as fucking corny as it is to say and type out like a 14 year old on myspace.3 And guess what? Journeys change man. I mean, even Journey has changed their lead vocalist like three times!4

But in all seriousness, I just wanted to think about some of the things I’ve either been putting off or want to learn, and put them concretely (for now at least, because again 2) out in the world, all The Secret-style and whatnot. My 30 Before 30 list is a mishmash of things. A number of them focus on the oft-neglected and barely tolerable NYC. A place I love, hate, and love to love-hate. (Or is it hate-love?) So if I move any time between now and 2019 I’m gonna already have to swap dem bad boys out. They are much more internalized and directly tied to immediate goals that I have, as I hinted at when I mentioned my mind-mapping in my Passion Planner, as well as my bullet journal.5 There are also more than 30 in there, and I’m not just talking about the Medieval Times, so much as #25, which is a laundry list of eateries in NYC I want to visit, and one of 5 NYC-centric posts which means a minimum of 5 NYC trips, but definitely more because you can’t do all this in 5 days.6

These are all multi-step goals that require further breakdowns and skills to build up to them, some planning, etc. etc.

Then there are my general goals. I didn’t want to call them “life” goals nor did I want to call it a bucket list because I just think those sound dumb. Even calling them goals is dumb and adds an unnecessary weight/pressure to achieve them or else I failed, when these are just meant to be things I wanted to do on my own anyway. I guess that’s that whole argument about whether or not you should even tell people about your goals or plans or just do them. I said before that in some way this was accountability, but it’s for myself.

The goals are further down the line. While, yes, the 30 Before 30 crowd require previous skills and steps, most of the Goals require prior achievements  (either skill-based or other) to accomplish them. Many would be the result of succeeding at the earlier goals.

All of that being said, I think I’ve gone meta enough with the blog posts about the blog itself. That’s no fun. It’s like when half of a YouTubers videos are about their channel and updates and strategies for it. Unless it’s general information about blogging that could help someone–that’s a different story than just general housekeeping. Like, it’s interesting, but not if it detracts from the other stuff. Granted, this site doesn’t really have any particular theme other than it being about my life, and me figuring out my digital footprint is definitely a big part of that.

Speaking of digital footprints, you can check out goal-tracking tag I created to find all of the blog posts I’ll write in the future about the items on both lists.


Footnotes:
1. “I am the worst.” -Jen Hurler
2. “Fuck your dreams” -Hank Green
3. Only 80s kids will remember
4. Fuck you, that joke was too good to not make.
5. Will def have to blog about those in the future.
6. Or can you…? Challenge, accepted, Past Jen.

Follow-Up to My March Declutter Challenge

So at the start of last month, I spontaneously decided to impose a 31-Day Declutter Challenge that had me tackling a different physical (or digital) space in my life.

In no particular order, here’s my take on things:

1.) It’s much harder to motivate yourself when it’s cold out (and your bedroom has an insanely comfy couch), but moving about quickly warms up the room.

2.) I was definitely overly ambitious with some of these things, and grouped certain things oddly. While I wanted to break this into smaller, more digestible items, many were interconnected, and I needed to solve one along with the other. I tried to list them chronologically in a way that tried to address that from the get-go, but what can you do?

3.) The biggest thing from this all was that as I de-cluttered, I had piles of things to trash, donate, or move, but no where to store them. Getting rid of junk or donations is easy, but I have a number of things that I wanted to bring back to my parents’ house that, when I lived in a full apartment I had room for, but since downsizing to only a bedroom 1: didn’t have room for or 2: my bf had better of. Early on in the month, I amassed this large pile and it had to sit in the middle of my bedroom until I could finally drive back to my parents’ house…today, a month later. That definitely didn’t make me feel great about things, having that constant visual eyesore when I was trying to build momentum.

4.) I purposely did the opposite of the KonMari method, because I wanted to restructure a bit before I switched gears and tried to pare down quantity. And speaking to point #3 I’m glad I did that because I would not be able to get super involved in that with the space that I have, how much (or little) time I had, and the way that I use my room for multiple purposes.

5.) It was unrealistic, and I knew that (and that was kind of the point, to be honest), but it was made so especially due to how busy that particular month was for me work-wise.

6.) It got me off my ass which was the point. I’m a pretty average person with clutter. It builds up, I clean it, some weeks I maintain it better than others. Frankly, it really depends on other factors–it’s getting warmer out and my workload looks like it might be lightening up a little now. It makes a difference for me.

7.) Living near my parents is both a clutter gift and trap. Because I live so close to my parents’ house, I have the luxury of being able to drive down there whenever I want. I don’t go often, to be honest, but when I do I usually try to bring some things home…and inevitably end up also bringing a bunch of stuff (usually books) back. I have to be realistic about a lot of my ‘wishful thinking’ stuff. A lot of what I am bringing home this time are books, comics, DVDs, and video games that I’m just not going to get to any time soon, especially since I left a bunch behind that I do want to get to.

8.) My room looks the same. I am still very much trying to have a full apartment experience in a bedroom and it is comically stupid. And because of that, there’s still furniture from wall-to-wall with things on them. There’s still a bunch of stuff in the closets. There’s just less now. It would be different if I lived further away for sure, so I’m going to enjoy this madness as long as I can.

March 2017

I’ve never worked more OT than I have in the last few weeks. I’m talking almost every lunch hour as well as after hours. But it’s bee worth it. Check out the trailer to the film I’ve primarily been working on:

Trailer day is always pretty fun at the studio. There’s no fanfare or anything, but it gives everyone a little boost to finally be able to show something to family and friends, and to signal that a few months down the road this thing that has consumed most of your life for the past couple of years is out in the world.

Because of this, though, most of my personal goals this month were on the backburner, like my 31 Day Declutter Challenge. Totally did not succeed, but definitely made progress which I can talk about in a future post. But let’s chat.

Continue reading “March 2017”