2022 Favorites

It’s the end of 2022, so let’s make some lists. Note that these are in no particular order and I don’t restrict myself to things that were released this year, just that I discovered this year.

Favorite Music

  • Automatic - Excess. An album that actually came out in 2022! “Skyscraper” is a dope song, “NRG” is another favorite.
  • Carla dal Forno - You Know What it’s Like. Not the album of hers that came out this year (that would be “Come Around” which is also great) but this is the first album of hers I heard and that was this year. I suck at classifying music, but it’s clever but not self indulgent. “Fast Moving Cars” and “What You Gonna Do Now?” are faves.
  • Weldon Irvine - I Celebrate His Entire Catalog. I’ve heard about this dude for a long time but never checked him out. I think Madlib did some tribute album under one of his many many aliases? Anyway, lots of great stuff that many hip-hop songs have sampled. “We Gettin’ Down” == A Tribe Called Quest “Award Tour”.
  • Electric Wizard - Dopethrone. I tend to hate metal because they always sing in that growly wannabe-satan voice. These dudes don’t do that, they’re also pretty slow and don’t have a lot of solo wankery. Who knows what they’re singing about, probably drugs or satan or both but it sounds alright.
  • Helado Negro - Far In. Catchy stuff, very much “it’s a sunny day but I’m lazy” vibes. I can turn this on and my wife won’t ask me to turn it off.
  • Slum Village - Fantastic Vol.2: Instrumentals. First, I have to pat myself on the back a little bit because I’ve known about SV since 2001 when I bought J.Rocc’s “Sex Machine Today” mixtape which starts off with “Players”. My MOST PLAYED song of 2022 is the instrumental of “Players”. I would put that on repeat and write code, write docs, take a nap, scoop the litter box, whatever. All these tracks are great. BTW that J.Rocc mixtape is GRRREAT!
  • Broadcast - Tender Buttons. Kinda has a Young Marble Giants + Amiga Cracktro vibe. Favorite tracks: “Corporeal” and “Goodbye Girls”.

Favorite Movies

  • Under the Silver Lake - The main character is so dopey and tumbles through these completely absurd and crazy situations. It’s hard to explain, but I found it to be super funny. Plus, David Yow is in it.
  • Being There - Brilliant. Peter Sellers is the best. I loved the idea of someone saying complete nonsense and everyone interpreting it as genius.
  • Gymkata - What a completely hilarious piece of shit. A gymnast learns martial arts so he can win “the game” in the country of Parmastan (lol). The winner of the game gets one wish. The US government needs him to win so he can wish to let the US install a satellite base there because it’s geographically adventageous or something? The thing that had me crying with laughter at the end is that along the way he meets a princess and reunites with his dad, so I’m thinking he’s going to pull a fast one on Uncle Sam and wish for something else. But NO! He wins the game, exchanges glances with the princess, then freeze frame, text overlay: “The US builds their satellite base successfully” and roll credits!
  • Throne of Blood - The end scene with the arrow attack is incredible. Google it. Man, I can write a paragraph about a turd like Gymkata but a great Akira Kurosawa film gets a sentence. I mean what else do I need to say. This Criterion Collection video talks a little about how that scene was done.
  • Duel - I remember seeing this as a kid on one of those weirdo TV stations in the SF Bay Area (channel 36 or 44). A guy and a trucker road rage on each other and things just keep escalating. A friend and I went through a ‘car movies’ kick and this was my favorite of that bunch. ‘Vanishing Point’ was another decent one we watched that started off strong (guy on speed driving a white 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T from Denver to SF as fast as he can) but then devolved into stupid hippie bullshit.

Favorite Books

  • High Rise - J.G. Ballard. People live in a luxury apartment building that meets all their needs but things slowly devolve into chaos. Folks leave and go to work and participate in society, then they come home and go to literal war with their neighbors.
  • A Simple Plan - Scott Smith. I’d seen the movie which is good but the book is so much more violent and crazy. Lies compound into big problems and normal people become completely evil.

Favorite Games

  • Session: Skate Sim - PC - I agree with this guy’s review.
  • Solitare - iPhone - I played shittons of Solitare on my phone this year.
  • Good Sudoku - iPhone - Wonderful app, great design and great tools to help you solve puzzles. I had a 100 day streak going at one point.

Favorite Podcasts

  • Knowledge Fight - Did you know that Alex Jones is a piece of shit? I sure did, but then I listened to this podcast and I learned that he is an even bigger piece of shit than I thought! Wow! The hosts are great and funny… good for being simultaneously entertained and horrified.
  • Decoding the Gurus - Examines a lot of online personality types that have opinions about everything. Turns out a lot of people are full of shit.

Favorite Job Stuff

  • Lambda SnapStart launching at re:Invent 2022. This was a long time in the making, turns out to have some pretty gnarly problems to solve but that’s the beauty of Lambda: we worry about this stuff so you don’t have to.
  • Getting more into low level Linux stuff. Historically I’ve focused on more distributed systems type stuff like workload placement and routing in Lambda but I’ve started going deeper in the stack. This was partially due to SnapStart, but just in general I did a lot of digging around into performance problems and system behaviors. I really like this area and am starting to get a little more comfortable with it.

Favorite Personal Stuff

  • Going to Disneyland with our 3 year old daughter. Watching her joy was incredibly heartwarming.
  • Going on a roadtrip and seeing good friends for the first time since before COVID.