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December 2022 Retrospective

Last December I wrote:

It is amazing to think that there could be a worse year than 2020 and then 2021 happened.

Now is it incredible to think that 2022 said "hold my beer".

I really, truly, honest to god want to believe that 2023 cannot be any worse than 2022. But at the same time, I don't see how it can be any better. All of the forces acting against us are still going strong. War rages in Ukraine. Inflation continues to run rampant. The housing market's barrier to entry has never been higher. The healthcare system is on the brink of collapse.

Programmers always joke about wanting to quit their job and go work on a farm. I can safely say my urge to do this has never been higher.

The Good

Vacation in Hawaii

It is hard to put into words how amazing our vacation to the island of Oahu was. There are very few places I think everyone should visit at least once in their life but Hawaii has now been added to that list. Maybe it is because I have never truly visited a tropical region before but the sights we saw absolutely took my breath away. Also, Oahu's food scene is both delicious and more varied than I was expecting.

The best compliment I can give to Oahu and Hawaii is that immediately after we left we started thinking about what we would do when we inevitably returned.

Season 2 of Slow Horses

If you didn't enjoy the first season of Slow Horses I don't think the second is going to change your mind. But it was everything I was looking for and I hope we get many more years of Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb.

Avatar: The Way of Water

Avatar: The Way of Water is easily my favourite film of 2022. The technical brilliance that goes into making something like this is mind boggling. I know "professional" movie reviewers think the story is too simple but for me that combined with the depth of the world made it feel real and actually lived in. Compared to the bombastic Marvel movies of the past few years Avatar: The Way of Water is freakin' Shakespeare.

The Bad

Amazingly, there isn't really anything for me to complain about this month. While I definitely wish I took a bit more advantage of my free time, in general everything that transpired in December was a net positive.

Honourable Mentions

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is an excellent comedy film disguised as a murder mystery. While I did thoroughly enjoy it this is not a whodunit like its predecessor. You do not receive the same information that the detective does which may allow you to solve the crime before him. The twists and revelations that occur are a complete surprise to the viewer because there was no way to learn about them previously.

But Glass Onion is still a superb comedy that is incredibly apt for the time. It's hilarious to think this was written back in 2020 and yet it feels as if it was written in the aftermath of Elon Musk purchasing Twitter. The way it roasts our celebrity worship culture is amazing.

Netflix signed a two sequel deal with Rian Johnson so I cannot wait for Benoit Blanc's next outing.

Dead Cells+

Easily the best Apple Arcade release I played this year, Dead Cells+ is a really solid roguelike. But you can definitely tell this was one of the first attempts at modernizing the genre because Hades outdoes Dead Cells in absolutely every way.

While I still enjoyed the game enough to put about six hours into it I would recommend everyone play Hades instead.

Cooking Mama: Cuisine!

There is something so serene about Cooking Mama: Cuisine! on Apple Arcade. It is not a complex game by any means, but by going through the motions and creating absolutely delicious looking meals I actually wanted to cook more in real-life.

Shooter across the street in Waikiki

We did get the full America experience in Hawaii when an active shooter closed down the area around our hotel. After a 12-hour standoff police shot and killed the shooter.

Review December Goals

January Goals