Category Archives: Personal

September 2016

I’m moving websites!
I will be blogging from my site, moving forward!
I will still be cross-posting on here for a little until I make the full move.
I will make a whole post about it when the switch is complete.
So please join me over there.


I know that at this point, everyone ALWAYS says this, but I really do feel like this year only just started a little while ago. I’ve caught myself accidentally referring to February as a “few” weeks ago a number of times, as late as last week. I still remember the first day of the year so clearly (and the delicious Mexican restaurant around the corner that I still haven’t been back to since…so maybe that’s it!).

That being said, September did actually drag on a bit for me. I think I get really pumped up about it, what with the seasons changing and all of the back-to-school excitement, but then realize that none of that really affects me anymore and I get bummed out. I’ve been forcefully removed from school for two years now, and yet I still let that autumn buzz hit me. Maybe because I didn’t actually get any closure? That for sure, but also because I think for a lot of people we still do just hold on to that fresh start. We love fresh starts! We’re only humans after all. Personally, I think that’s why New Years is a bit of a joke some times. Like, this “reset button” is essentially in the middle of nowhere. It’s not like you have a long break from work or that anything really changes. Arguably, the same goes for summer too, as an adult, but still people do tend to take advantage of the warmer months2 and take vacation. The logical part of that too being that most adults (at least that I work with) are parents and thus their kids are out and so their schedules adapt slightly.

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August 2016

The start of the month began with celebrations for two of my most favorite series. The night before the first of August, a new Harry Potter story was released in the form of a bound stageplay. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child left me with very mixed emotions, but in general it was nice to go back to that world that ached so heavily in my young heart. Secondly, the first of the month is known as Odaiba Memorial Day for those who are fans of an anime called Digimon. It’s always a day I lowkey celebrate, usually by just watching some episodes or movies. It’s exciting that for the series’ 15th anniversary, they have been releasing new films that follow the original kids from the show as older kids. Though I’ve already seen the films in Japanese (3 of the planned 4 films are out) I get to see the first film with the new English dub in theaters in September.

Later in the week the boyfriend and I went to see a local production of In the HeightsHamilton creator Lin Manuel-Miranda’s first foray into Broadway, and the first of his two Best Musical Tony awards. The show was terrific–the cast was thankfully largely Latino and the lead even sounded a lot like Miranda himself, who, like with Hamilton, initially played the lead role, in this case, a Dominican-American named Usnavi.

One of my best friends was visiting from Japan, where she works as an English teacher for the JET Program. This will likely be the last time I see her in person until she returns in 2 years (making her total stay in Japan 5 years). I am hoping to travel there with the boyfriend during her last year though. Started saving and everything! I was really happy I was able to see her and some more local friends who I sadly haven’t seen for a while either. It was especially nice that she got to meet the boy in person rather than Skype like in the past.

I’ve been attending a podcasting class at my local library and it’s sadly wrapping up today. It’s given me a lot to think about and a lot to work with. In small ways it’s helping me overcome some anxiety I have, but I suppose the real test will be when the class ends and real life begins. Over-dramatic but basically true. It did mark some firsts for me though, in that it was the first time I did anything podcast related (other than passively listen to one). In class, we were each interviewed by someone else. In my case, a toy designer named Valerie interviewed me, and I interviewed a really cool guy, Ric, who specializes in action and kung-fu films.

An unexpected part of my summer was  a pit stop in Boston on the way to Acadia National Park in Maine. Some friends and I tackled the Freedom Trail for a couple of hours before continuing our long car ride, also pit-stopping in Ogunquit and Bar Harbor on our back and forth. We only really had one day for the park so naturally my friends dragged me one some treacherous trail up…Cadillac Mountain I think? I can’t even remember. All I know is that there were parts of the climb that had metal support beams in it, and ladder rungs, and ACTUAL DEATH IF YOU MESSED UP. We walked along the coast later in the day, which was gorgeous, and admittedly worth putting up with my adventure-loving friends.

At the end of the month I took a trip to the Jersey shore to celebrate my abuela’s 82nd birthday. It was your standard family restaurant outing followed by cake at my uncle’s house, but not knowing where my career may take me I knew I couldn’t pass up even a simple gathering like that. Gotta take advantage of living close to home/the parent’s home while I still can. Speaking of them, they managed to visit the Dominican Republic this year, which is always a wonderful thing. I haven’t been in a while. Damn, I gotta get on that. (That was an In the Heights reference, yo.)

There were a couple of films I saw–Sausage Party which, although is 1000% not my type of humor, I was able to enjoy, and stop motion powerhouse Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings, which, despite some weak areas in the story, I really loved. I also saw the documentary Life, Animated which was also a fantastic and unexpected gem. The doc follows a young man diagnosed with autism who finds a way to express himself through the animated films of Walt Disney. See the trailer:

That’s sort of it for August. Work was a bit slower as we wait for some things to fall into place, and we’ve been learning new tools. There are a couple of cool events coming up in September that I am hoping to attend, even if it means making the dreaded commute into NYC. I’m hoping I can get my new project up and running this month. In general though, I had a really lovely summer. No complaints over here. It is a little surreal not going back to school, even though I’ve been mostly out the education door for like 2 years now.

10 Things I Learned While Making My First YouTube Video

Could that title get any longer? Jeez. But that adorable, click-baity title is the most direct way for me to passively state that, hey, I finally created a YouTube video! You’re welcome, Past Jen!

Jokes aside, this really has been a long time coming. I first created my channel back in 2012, and never felt like I could be one of “those” people who made videos.  What does that even mean, Past Jen? I tend to do that a lot. Just assume that I wouldn’t be able to do something without any actual proof that I couldn’t. Sure, you’re bad at something when you first do it, but does that mean that I just block myself from even trying? Probably.

Here’s the thing about YouTube, and other aspects of life. People always just spew out the same “Just do it” or “Just get out there…make it happen…get your hands dirty” or any other thing Shia LaBeouf might say. I have been a creative coward for the entirety of the adult life. My childhood, not so much but that’s a therapy session for another day. My point is, you will constantly be given this advice, solicited or not, from any and every type of person in every profession/field/industry.

This advice sucks. For me at least. It was never effective. That being said, I’m going to say some things that might have actually been good advice for Past Jen to have gotten. I’ve put the video at the bottom of this post. You can decide if you’d like to watch it before or after reading this post or at all.

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July 2016

July has flown by, as has this entire freaking year. It’s a little terrifying that we are more than half way done with this year. I think that’s a good thing, too. With shootings and the state of politics…this year is not one that history will likely remember too kindly. We are seeing the first woman nominated for president by a major political party, so there’s that glass ceiling theoretically shattered.

I think part of the reason July went by so quickly for me was because work did. It was absolute chaos and more often then not, the week would start, and then I would blink and it was already Thursday, and then Friday. With the 4th of July and our latest film release, we even had some shorter weeks in there, which was awesome of BSS.

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When You Like Owning Stuff

Earlier this month, I was planning to move house for the third time in two years. It would have been a good move too–shorter commute, less driving in general, closer to downtown, living with friends, spacious apartment. I was dreading it, of course, as does anyone who owns stuff. I’m very wary of even thinking about moving, but I was actually starting to embrace this one. Until shit hit the fan and we lost the place.

In those couple of days that we thought we had the place, the gears had already begun to turn. I was already making lists of things I could stash at work VS things I wanted to bring VS things I could send back to my parent’s house. I started making lists, piling up things to bring to Good Will, and I even packed two small boxes of smaller items. Now I’ve got to unpack that stuff. When I thought I was moving, my way of thinking about my belongings changed, and changed once again when I knew I wasn’t moving.

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June 2016

June, as well as all of 2016, has blown by a lot quicker than I’d have liked. HELL IT’S ALREADY JULY 11TH!?

Work was a bit more chaotic than usual, which was likely why things went by for me. But it should amount to some good stuff down the road. : ) The only other bigger things that I did this month were go camping in Vermont and see Finding Dory.

My weekend

A post shared by @ jenhurler on

Camping was exciting, as I’ve never properly went camping before. As a kid, I went through the Girl Scouts, but, let’s be real, it wasn’t really camping when you already had a built location to sleep and didn’t have to even think about food. The trip we did was car camping, so it wasn’t as extreme as some of my friends may have liked. But it was ideal for me. The one full day we were there, I got to swim and catch red-spotted newts, as well as read Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was a wonderful, poetic YA novel I picked up on a whim (the lettering on the cover was pretty) at my library. I may have to re-read it and write up a review, because that book was just so…interesting.

The campsite we stayed out was really nice as well. The plots were the perfect size, and each came with a picnic table and fire pit, with plenty of room to park your car without it being invasive to your tent and campground. There were clean water spigots within walking distance, as well freakishly well kept bathrooms and sinks, and even hot showers available for quarters. We were a quick drive from the lake, which had a little coastline, tables, and water vehicles for rental. I had friends kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding while I sat in a hammock. Win win.

Finding Dory was enjoyable. Not the best film in the world, especially compared to Pixar’s other films, but it had some truly funny moments. The story was fun, if not a little convenient in some places. But I found that I was able to really immerse myself in it and not sit there picking it apart, as I and other animation folks tend to to. Finding Nemo was never one of my favorite Pixar films, and I tend to prefer watching it with the commentary on, so I wasn’t as emotionally invested in it as lots of other people my age.

The short film that premiered, Piper, on the other hand…that film knocked me off my fucking feet. It was worth the price of the ticket just to see that film. That’s the film I want to see again, analyze, and write a review about. Holy crap.

May 2016

Ha! Better late than never, right? RIGHT?

I can’t honestly believe how fast June has flown by, and how much time has already passed since I went on holiday to California at the end of May. Hard to believe that a month ago today I was wandering around Mexico for the day, sampling delicious foods and soaking in the Tijuana sun.

May was a pretty eventful month for me, in big and small ways. There were small, stupid things like actually remembering my parents’ anniversary without a reminder, and getting a much needed haircut. See? Eventful. I was home to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom and her side of the family, and softball season started at work (we actually won our first game (the only one we’ve on thus far)).

I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time after wanting to play for so long but never having anyone to play with. Some co-workers try to get a game in over lunch weekly, so I got to create a character and go through the motions. They all get very into it too, using different voices, illustrating their characters, and the DM is super committed. I was so excited that I went and bought my first dice set at Anime Fan Fest in NJ, which was the first weekend in May.

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