2022: A Year In Review

An Introduction

Hello, hello. Welcome to this little website. I hope you had a good year.

2022 was really special for me. It felt like the first year in my adult life where I really felt in control of myself. One where I felt fully like "me". A big contributor to that new mindset, I think, was keeping track of all of the stuff I did this year. On a whim in January, I started to write down everything I was doing in a note. Somehow, I managed to do it all year long. This website is a collection of those notes and ratings. I thought it’d be fun to share.

Why Track?

There are a few things I wanted to get out of the note on my phone:

  1. To understand what I like and dislike.
  2. To remember my life and my experiences better.
  3. To be persistent and only track things that I’ve seen through to completion.

I want to know the things I like and why I like them. I want to be able to tell you my favorite food, color, and movie at any time. And honestly, I want to stop wasting my time with things that I don’t really enjoy.

I want to better remember what tastes amazing, what I did with friends, and how I felt when first listening to a song or watching a movie.

I never complete things. I have so many books lying around half-finished. So I made a rule that I could only add something to this list if I completed it. I really made it a priority this year to finish something before I start something new.

Alright, let's get into it.


Movies Total
Top Genre
Top movies of the year


This year I’ve been searching for this feeling that my friend Jevins described as the "aesthetic experience". It’s when you consume some kind of art and feel your entire brain light up. The world feels brighter, sounds feel sharper. It’s something that I only feel a few times a year and I'm prying my eyes to try and see it as often as possible. Everything Everywhere All At Once did that for me. My life felt different after watching that movie. Funny, emotional, visually unique.

I think I always knew this, but I love art that directly combines visual flair with a unique soundtrack. Even my favorite records have to have album covers that fully connect to the experience of the music. I can't get away from that combo.

I want to dive into the deeper catalog of the directors and teams that worked on my favorite movies from this year. So in 2023, I want to dive into the works of Danny Boyle, David Fincher, Mike Mills, etc.

All Movies sorted in order of viewing

1 Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Special Documentary New
Really cute and heartwarming seeing the cast interact. Good little behind the scene snippets. Mostly a nostalgia trip but it was nice.
2 Promising Young Woman Comedy/Thriller New
Really gripping performance by Carey Mulligan. Very unsettling and kept me unsure of what was going to happen next. Did not expect her death at the end. Really points out at so many levels how women are preyed upon. That is what’s the most sinister about this movie.
3 Don’t Look Up Comedy New
This was really enjoyable. Ridiculous black humor on the state of our current world. Absurd and on the nose. Good cast. Nothing mind blowing but thoroughly enjoyable.
4 Encanto Musical/Fantasy New
Cute movie. Simple story of family and acceptance. I couldn’t stop looking at the main character’s curly animated hair. Some fun songs. Overall, not anything super memorable but definitely cute and enjoyable.
5 The Hobbit: Battle of 5 Armies Fantasy Rewatch
This movie is not good. Sorely lacking the best part of the series: The Hobbit. Martin Freeman shines in every scene but all other characters in this movie are so shallow. Fight scenes are uninteresting and too long. CGI is so blatant and awkward. Truly nothing interesting happens in this whole film. Makes me know I’d never want to watch this trilogy again.
6 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Fantasy Rewatch
I love this movie. There’s so much wonder and awe. The acting is great. The action, story, and CGI all still hold up. Action feels relevant and urgent. Long but so packed with world-building and intrigue. This has solidified as one of my favorite movies ever. Sweet moments. Serious moments. Sad moments. It has it all.
7 The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers Fantasy Rewatch
I find the first half of this one is a drag. Sméagol is quite annoying early on. All of the new Rohan characters are not very compelling and are challenging to keep track of. However, it definitely picks up in the second half. It’s such an important movie for filling in all gaps through flashbacks, etc. Helms Deep is fun. The Ents are fun. Overall, still enjoyable.
8 The World of Tomorrow Sci Fi/Comedy Rewatch
Continues to be one of the most moving pieces of art that I’ve ever seen. So many quotable moments. So much humor. So much sadness. “Now is the envy of all of the dead” gives me chills still. I’m so glad that I still love it. I don’t know. I want to have more of an analysis but for right now, that’s all that I have.
9 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Fantasy Rewatch
Great just like all of the others. Storylines are wrapped well. The ending scenes between all of the hobbits make be want to cry. Absolutely fantastic acting and moments of tenderness. Some plots feel less important and lack as much weight as others. But overall it’s absolutely enjoyable and a fun film.
10 The World of Tomorrow 2 Sci Fi/Comedy New
Nothing crazy. I love triangle land very much. This one focused more on the idea of clones and how perpetual cloning maybe isn’t a great idea all the time. Dwelling on the past. Being a tourist of your past life to a problematic level. The future’s visuals were very beautiful; much more than the first movie, but I found the story to be less interesting.
11 The World of Tomorrow 3 Sci Fi/Comedy New
That was truly interesting. So much more complex than both the first and second episodes. A murder mystery, commentary about obsessing over potential pasts and potential futures, the complexities of time and how little we really know about it. I feel a lot. I don’t feel the same deep depressive connection that I once did to the first episode of this series but I am entertained and feel moved by it regardless. That was very entertaining. I’m looking forward to watching it again some day.
12 Whiplash Drama/Thriller New
Truly riveting. Acting was fantastic. The complexity of their relationship is truly confusing, complex, toxic, and inspiring. Incredible performances. A movie about bizarre power structures and what it means to be great.
13 Tolkien Drama New
A pretty nice little film about the life and friendships surrounding the true events of JRR Tolkien’s life. Well acted. Slightly boring. A nice film to watch especially during this deep dive that I have been into the Tolkien universe lately.
14 The French Dispatch Comedy/Drama New
Obtuse. Very Wes Andersen, almost to a level of parody. The intro and art focused story about the prisoner who painted was great. The last two longer stories were a little too complicated for my liking. The pace is very fast and if you don’t catch every word it becomes challenging to watch. However, the best part of the film was the renowed chef describing a poison as beautiful new flavor he had never had before. Average film. Incredible, incredible visual presentation. It’s not enough to save it, though.
15 The Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Appendices Documentary New
Absolutely incredible. True mastery shown on all levels. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before or will ever again. Hours and hours of detailed and thoughtful content that shows how important this series is to film history. I had to include it as its own entry because of this. Incredible.
16 Licorice Pizza Comedy/Drama New
Guest stars stole the show here. Some really dryly funny moments.
17 Turning Red Comedy/Fantasy New
So relatable. Fantastic animation. Full of so much life and character. I was in tears the entire time from it being so sweet, funny, and touching.
18 The Social Network Drama Rewatch
Still one of my favorites. I love the soundtrack. I love the depiction of time before Facebook. It’s a simple story. Cinematography still holds up. I feel bad even rating this. It’s probably not actually a 4.5 but it holds a special place in my heart. It’s amazing how much has changed in 10 years. How Facebook, I mean Meta has changed.
19 Everything Everywhere All At Once Comedy/Drama New
There have been a few moments in my life where I leave an experience feeling fully connected with myself and the surrounding world due to art. Colors feel brighter, I hear the soft sounds around me that are usually masked by my own narrow mind. I feel my body. It’s gotta be the closest to enlightenment that I’ve gotten in this human form. This movie did that for me. Total absurdity, hilarity, passion.
20 Her Comedy/Drama Rewatch
It’s pretty bizarre to see where technology has progressed since this movie released. AirPods weren’t released until 5 years after this. The little earpiece in the movie feels like a common thing already. AI still feels a few more years out but the futuristic look and fashion is pretty on-trend with today. Strange. Anyway, this is still a fun weird little movie that presents some interesting ideas about self discovery & relationships. It’s challenging but ultimately rewarding watching Todd come to terms with his life and his ability to move on. Great soundtrack as well. Very touching piano pieces and a wonderful performance by Joaquin. I don’t love this movie as I once did. This was a film where I felt buzzed after leaving the theatre. It was very important to me at one time and will remain to be in some form or another, I’m sure.
21 Zoolander Comedy Rewatch
Totally ridiculous & so much fun the whole time. What a great dumb movie.
22 Secrets of Dumbledore Fantasy New
Not good. Too complicated. No fun.
23 C’mon C’mon Drama New
I’m giving this a five because I was on the verge of tears twice and it made me appreciate my life. That’s it, right? The cast was incredible. All of the characters were perfect in their roles. The use of interviews made this movie feel like it was switching between fiction and non-fiction. It was a really interesting technique. The sound design was really fantastic as well. Really high attention to detail and beautiful music. There were so many thought provoking moments from the lens of both childhood and adulthood. I think I’m at the right place in my life to watch this and feel its impact. But I could see it changing entirely after having children. Yeah, this was good. One of the children interviewed described the afterlife as a big field with one tree in it. You lay amongst the flowers and just enjoy your time there in the soft rays of the sun. That got me. That got me.
24 Never Let Me Go Sci Fi/Drama New
Sad. Grey. Good performances all around. Feels pretty true to the book too.
25 Black Holes: The Edge of All We Know Documentary New
The subject matter is actually incredibly cool. The documentary is just kind of boring. Scientists doing unsexy science stuff but making groundbreaking discoveries. It had moments of cool inspiration. And some motion graphics that were kind of interesting. I want to know more about space.
26 The Man From Toronto Comedy New
My parents put this on for us. It was honestly quite enjoyable. I haven’t seen a silly, lighthearted movie like this in a really, really long time and I totally enjoyed it. Reminder that every once in a while you just need a fun time. The CGI was the worst I think I’ve ever seen in a film but the characters were fun. Woody and Kevin were good. A big ol’ NOT BAD.
27 Dune Sci Fi Rewatch
Much better the second time around and with reading the book. I can at least appreciate it more. The visuals are really stunning. The CG work is convincing and it’s an interesting world to sit in for a little while. Overall though, it’s so complicated and the characters are not compelling. OTHER than Stellan Skarsgard. He is so creepy and wonderful.
28 Men In Black Comedy Rewatch
So much fun.
29 Nick Kroll: Little Big Boy Comedy New
His voices are better than no other. First half was slow but I was enjoying it by the end.
30 Wolf of Wall Street Comedy Rewatch
Pretty good. Not as good as I remember. I like all of the 4th wall breaking. Film has certainly got style. Enjoyable.
31 8 Mile Drama New
Pretty whatever. The rapping doesn’t really even feel that great in it. Everyone in the movie acts better than Eminem and it makes the movie suffer a lot. Eminem just isn’t a good actor. Also his character isn’t very likable. The best scene is when he fights this dude in the recording studio while a radio show is being filmed. Great shot compositionally. The rest: eh, not so much.
32 28 Days Later Horror Rewatch
I love this movie and I’m glad that it’s still enjoyable. The first act of the movie feels stale these days. Zombies have been incredibly played out since this film came out and the intro is always the same. It’s unforunate, because at the time this felt unique. The second and third acts are fantastic. The cinematography is still amazing. Artfully done. The score is so good. Builds tension in such a wonderful way. The characters feel like they are actually friends. I’m so happy I got to see it in theaters and it was such a joy to experience again.
33 Trainspotting Comedy/Drama Rewatch
A wild ride. Hard to watch. Just like pure evil characters in a lot of ways. The style is fantastic. Good soundtrack. The absurd bits are the best part. Fantastical. Totally insane. Watching bad people make bad decisions. Funny. Smartly funny. Enjoyable.
34 Where Are You Jay Bennett? Documentary New
35 I Am Trying to Break Your Heart Documentary Rewatch
The recording of the record was basically already done at this point, so the best thing in it are the little live sessions. The doc is more about Wilco as a band, not the specific record. I guess it’s thrown in there. Anyway, it’s decent!
36 Where the Crawdads Sing Drama New
37 All Quiet on the Western Front Drama New
Beautifully filmed. Absolutely depressing. Perhaps shows the decadence of the elite compared to the dregs of war more than any war movie I’ve seen. I have the hyper-vision after watching a good film right now which is very interesting. Every second is crucial in war and all of them are precious. The soundtrack was quite sparse and beautiful.
38 Don't Worry, Darling Drama New
I’ll watch Florence Pugh do just about anything. I wish the story got a little bit more into the “real” world aspect of it as that was a nice twist. But overall it felt relatively shallow. Completely carried by Florence’s performance.
39 Stutz Documentary New
40 Pinocchio Drama? New
41 The Godfather Drama Rewatch
42 Glass Onion Mystery Rewatch
A cast of crazy characters. Fun twists and turns.


Series Total
Top Genre
Top series of the year


My default mode of relaxation is sitting on the couch and watching TV. I feel like it has been for us all culturally, right? I mean, the phrase "Netflix and Chill" has been tossed around endlessly for a while now. Anyway, I'd like to do a little LESS Netflix next year. I definitely watched a lot of really wonderful shows and when they're great, I can't get away from them. That's kind of the issue though. I'd much rather read, play a video game, or even watch a movie than watch 10 hours of content in my free time to finish a series in a few days. It has its place in my life for sure, but now that I've experimented with so many other hobbies this year, I know that I can work them all into my life. And that feels really good for me right now.

All Series sorted in order of completion

1 Queer Eye Season 6 Reality New
Such a great uplifting show. I love it. Really great heroes this season who all feel like they really deserve it. It’s amazing how annoying the “classic guy” episodes are now. It’s frustrating seeing people who aren’t willing to use anything that the team are giving them. Anyway, great show. Continues to be fun to watch.
2 Euphoria Season 2 Drama New
Half star for everyone being young hot and messy. I’ll admit that I cannot look away from them. 3 starts strictly for Zendaya’s performance in the episode where she freaks out on drugs and the whole charade is finally broken. Incredible episode of television as a stand-alone. Incredibly powerful and real performance. The rest of the season isn’t great. The characters don’t feel real. Their motivations are all over the place. The storytelling and often fourth-wall breaking setup is quite great and clever, but often doesn’t tell compelling enough stories about its characters.
3 Don’t Look Up Comedy New
This was really enjoyable. Ridiculous black humor on the state of our current world. Absurd and on the nose. Good cast. Nothing mind blowing but thoroughly enjoyable.
4 jeen-yuhs Documentary New
Wow. A really stunning portrayal of someone who is so talented who has grown into a truly challenging figure. The early tapes are incredible to watch. By a stroke of luck, Coodie captured all of, and still has, these pivotal moments for Kanye early on. His drive and talent is totally apparent. That incredible footage in contrast with his later rambling, incoherent, and difficult conversations is hard to watch. It’s rough but wholly thorough and human. I could have watched 5 more episodes of this. Additionally, the telling of Coodie’s story throughout was touching as well. Really well done. Update: Crazy to see how even further Kanye has fallen this year. Terrible.
5 The Sopranos Season 4 Drama New
This show just gets better and better. There are a lot of double stories and intertwining moments of art, foreshadowing, etc. It’s great. Carmela really shone this season with her Furio conflict. The last episode is fantastic. Certainly the best of the series so far. This is a show I’m not always in the mood for, but when I am, I really enjoy it.
6 FLCL Alternative Fantasy Rewatch
Doesn’t quite capture the charm of the original. The story told through a group of friends is sweet. Haruko has a couple of really funny one-liners. The cuteness is absolutely a nice welcoming change. I appreciate the more
7 FLCL Fantasy Rewatch
No need to write anything. I’m still completely entranced.
8 The Dropout Drama New
I enjoyed this. The story of Elizabeth Holmes is really really interesting. I felt like this could have been about two episodes shorter.
9 Old Enough! Reality New
Incredible reality tv. Love watching the little kids go on errands. Would 100% watch hours and hours more of these little adventures. The kid with the fish is probably my favorite episode of tv this year. Couldn’t ask for any more from the show.
10 The Marvelous Mrs. Masel Season 4 Drama/Comedy New
The worst season of this series by far. The first half is all building but its slow for the first time in this show’s existance. It picks up toward the end and as always there are some truly fun bits of quick dialog. But overall it suffers from pacing and it doesn’t really feel like the characters grow in significant ways this season.
11 New Girl Season 1 Sitcom New
An above average sitcom but to me that’s still pretty low on the entertainment scale. All of the characters are quite annoying and the jokes are cheap. Some sneak through and create fun moments. Schmidt is my favorite so far because he’s such a cartoon character.
12 Severance Drama/Sci-Fi New
Great sci-fi. Full of suspense, the right amount of intrigue, and likable characters. The core four characters are wonderful. The premise is interesting. The black goops are interesting. The intro is perfect 3D animation. The cliffhangers are fun until the last episode. The last cliffhanger is a crime. The story revelations in the last two episodes are great. I don’t really know how they continue from here, to be honest. It’s an interesting premise that is well executed and a lot of fun.
13 Pachinko Drama New
14 New Girl season 2 Drama New
15 New Girl Season 3 Drama New
This show gets worse the longer it's on.
16 Stranger Things Season 4 pt 1 Sci Fi New
A great return to form for the series. So many fun action scenes. Great twists and plot reveals. Lots of fun time with most of the characters. We really didn’t get much of Will and Mike this season which is sad but the others had their time to shine.
17 Breaking Bad Season 1 Drama Rewatch
Still quite good. The first few episodes are absolutely fantastic. Some slower in the middle. Still a great intro to a great show.
18 Trainwreck: Woodstock ‘99 Documentary New
Insane story. Super entertaining with great pacing. All three episodes were engaging. I really enjoyed it.
19 The Sopranos Drama New
Sopranos feels simultaneously like a show I’ve seen before many times and also something completely unique. So much has to do with the tone of the show. I really enjoyed it but feel like I missed a lot throughout the series. I’m eager to watch it again.
20 Cowboy Bebop Sci Fi New
I’ve tried watching this a number of times but this is the first where I paid deep attention to it. And it was fantastic. The art direction, the soundtrack, the animation are all incredible. Some episodes are better than others but overall I love the mix of goofy, serious, fun, and adventure that this show provides. It’s really truly good. I was so excited to watch every episode this time around and almost every one paid off. I wish more shows were this short with this much quality. One of the best things I’ve seen this year for sure. FLCL is the only other anime that comes close to this.
21 Cowboy Bebop Sci Fi New
Idk why, but I was not really interested in these last few episodes. The first half of this season was wonderful. The rest is just okay.
22 Pam & Tommy Drama/Comedy New
The performances in this were so fun. The leads kill it. Seth Rogan kills it. I think the story is presented in a lot of crazy and fun ways and then it actually gets quite serious. I think it was absolutely worth watching and the whole thing flew by. It had me thinking about how we treat celebrities; particularly women. Incredibly sad story with a mask of humor.
23 Big Mouth Season 6 Comedy New
Really fun season for the show. I didn’t love last season and this felt like a return to form. And each character felt like they experienced… growth? There were fun arcs and fun jokes. Just a good time.
24 The Bear Drama/Comedy New
Incredible acting. Great characters. Great food shots. Great soundtrack. Lots of style. Kind of reminded me of Danny Boyle works.
25 The Rings of Power Season 1 Fantasy New
It’s very fun to hang out in the world of Middle Earth. I like seeing the characters, lore, etc from the world the most in this show. The storylines are so boring. It doesn’t really feel like anything is happening to characters in a meaningful way. It feels shallow and silly. The dwarves are pretty good. I don’t hate the Harfoot story. I just wish it was all less complicated. I think it’d benefit from a simpler story.
26 House of Dragons Season 1 Fantasy New
Everyone is unlikable in this show. That’s the worst part about it. Some of the drama escalates well as the story goes on and it is intriguing to watch. Interesting drama from family character motivations. Feels overly complex for me as well. Also there are so many insanely gruesome birth scenes in this show for some reason.
27 Gilmore Girls, Season 1 Drama New
I like it! Cute family. Cute show. Easy to watch. Enjoyable.
28 Gilmore Girls, Season 2 Drama New
29 Gilmore Girls, Season 3 Drama New
Losing its steam the longer it goes on, but I still like it in the background.
30 White Lotus, Season 1 Drama New
31 White Lotus, Season 2 Drama New
32 Aftershow: Everest and the Nepal Earthquake Documentary New
Pretty good! Lots of side stories and drama from all different perspectives. Worth watching and with some really insane footage of the disaster


Books Total
Sci Fi
Top Genre
Top books of the year


Reading is kind of amazing, huh? This is the most I've read in a year since I was a child and I'm loving it. I love language. I love METAPHORS. SYMBOLS.

To me, reading feels like a more active form of consuming art. Or at least that's what I want reading to be. I can't read in the background. I have to be focusing on it to be able to consume it properly and I really love that. I want to be fully consumed by art more often and reading is a simple way to do so, I think.

I owe my renewed love for reading to Laura who has be ripping through books this year. Seeing her get through so many was a good motivator to read myself and I'm so thankful for it.

Klara and the Sun struck me in a way that I did not expect. Something about it touched me so deeply. That book really opened the door for more literary fiction in my life. That's my big recommendation for the year.

All Books sorted in order of completion

1 The Body Keeps the Score Psychology New
Truly fascinating. A book exploring the history of trauma research from one of the best researchers and scientists in the field. Remarkable seeing how it has progressed, how much we have learned, and how much we still have to learn. It shows how many options there truly are to getting back in touch with one’s body and it's quite amazing. I gained a lot of practical advice for my own life as well.
2 User Friendly: How the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work, and play History New
This took me a really long time to finish. Some of the stories were really quite interesting and once the book got further through history to our current design dilemmas I started to get more interested. There were multiple times I had to pause reading and write down a new idea that the book had given me and that’s really quite valuable. I hope to read this again some time. It’s okay though, we made it through and it was enjoyable.
3 The Lord of the Rings Fantasy New
A remarkable read. It’s a slog at times but it’s also completely unmatched compared to any fiction that I’ve ever read. It’s a book that can only be read one way: slowly. And I had to learn that. I could only read it when I was ready to fully sit in the world and breathe Middle Earth. My favorite segments were the descriptors of how alive the world is and how every thing in the universe is listening, connected, and active. The length is insane. It’s unfortunate because I actually really want to read it again, it’s just so daunting. It actually took me like 6 months to read the full thing. I think I need to get paperback copies of the full trilogy so I can read them more effectively in chunks. But anyway, it was great and I’d absolutely read again.
4 Why We’re Polarized Politics New
A tough read simply because of its complex and triggering nature. I definitely got a number of really interesting quotes from it and it’s something I’d like to spend more time mulling over soon. Good things to think about. Not my favorite read.
5 Klara and the Sun Sci Fi New
I had a full aesthetic experience after reading this book. I loved it thoroughly and it set the bar for soft science fiction for me. There are so many moving segments, Klara begging to the sun, the mystery of the world slowly unfurled, and the view of our humanity. I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this in my journal but this is the best book I’ve read so far this year. It’s the perfect cross-section of good fiction and the things that I’m interested in.
6 Slaughter House Five Comedy Reread
I had read this before in high school and I remembered really enjoying it. Re-reading it again now was a total treat. It’s a hilarious book. I often laughed out loud. It’s thoughtful. It has many great quotes about the fleeting nature of life. About the destructive capabilities of humanity. And it’s ultimately a pro-human, anti-war book. Really good. Can’t wait to revisit this again and get into more of Vonneguot’s work.
7 In Defense of Food Health New
Most of the good bits of this book were mentioned very early on. I feel like I would have preferred this as a long essay. Another negative part to this experience was the audiobook. The guy reading it was not my favorite. He sounded like he was from the 1950s and it created a strange snooty atmosphere to the whole thing. Good quotes & good lines that I do want to think about often. However, I wish it were more succinct and shorter.
8 Station Eleven Sci Fi New
I really liked the disjointed storytelling and the unique, largely non-violent version of the post-apocalyptic world. The reveals and connections were really nice. The reflection of the old-world and new-world and how the characters all hold regrets regardless of their relationship to the "old world" was a fresh take that I liked. I feel like I’d like to read this again some time.
9 Never Let Me Go Sci Fi Reread
I found most of this kind of a slog because I already knew the big plot points. However the ending was more remarkable than I remember and I really liked it. There are certain scenes I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and those lasting moments mean something. I almost feel like I need to read it again even though I just got through it. I feel like I’m still missing something. We’ll see.
10 The Three Body Problem Sci Fi New
I couldn’t put this down. The intrigue was wonderful. The story was complex but satisfying. It made me think about big picture life questions and I enjoy that. Some of it was hard to understand because of its scientific complexity but despite that it was great. Really looking forward to book 2.
11 Dune Sci Fi New
I enjoyed reading about how the Fremen live on this planet. Their dew collectors, caves in the ground, their hovering orbs of light, the way they conserve water by wearing suits, sucking it out of the dead, wearing it as rings on their bodies. All incredibly cool and interesting. The hallucination scene was one of my favorites. Everything else in this book is insufferable. The politics are bland. The characters are flat.
12 Echolands 1 Graphic Novel/Adventure New
So inventive and engaging. This is an incredible example of a story that can only be told through comics. The landscape presentation, the varying art styles, and the complexity of the page layouts are all remarkable. I’ve never really seen anything like it. It reminds me of reading Watchmen for the first time and understanding the power of comics as a medium. The storyline itself and the writing isn’t too complicated but does have a fun sense of mystery and humor. Anyway this was an incredible recommendation from Isotope Comics in SF.
13 Final Fantasy Ultimania 3: X XI XII XIII XIV Compendium New
Ultimately kind of disappointing. Most of the screenshots and art are things that I remember looking at in magazines when the games first came out. The early sketches are some of the coolest pieces but they are really only available for FFX. I think the layout design is kind of mediocre. I wish the art images were larger so you could really see all of the detail. The FFXI section feels lackluster and the FFXIV section is almost nonexistent which is really disappointing. If I knew the contents of it prior I probably would not have bought it. Anyway, something for the collection and I’ll probably poke through it from time to time. I’m rating it low because there is so much potential here for something better and more exciting.
14 Exhalation Sci Fi New
Ted Chiang makes me think. Always. His stories are packed to the brim with ideas both big and small. This book took me a long time to get through. Sometimes the density of the science fiction or detail is something I’m not in the mood for. When that’s the case, I find it hard to continue. I guess. I don’t always find his work as a relaxing read but I do almost always find value in anything he writes about. I was moved by The Lifecycle of Software Objects (for its detailed view of the value of digital “life” and life in general), The Truth of Fact, The Truth of Feeling (for the technology of communication), The Great Silence (incredible quotes about communication from the perspective of a parrot, perhaps my favorite one here), Omphalos with some interesting thoughts about God & science, and finally, Anxiety Is The Dizziness of Freedom (on free will).
15 Kafka on the Shore Literary Fiction New
I really enjoyed this. I love the symbolism all throughout and the super vivid metaphors the entire time. The surrealist nature of the book had me guessing the entire time. I loved Nakata and Hoshino’s storyline. I enjoy the character growth all throughout. It was sweet at times, perplexing at others, funny, and incredibly horny. I enjoyed pretty much all of it. I found Kafka kind of hard to relate to and I think that’s the biggest detractor to the story. I cared a little less about his path. While, I do wish there were some more conclusion, I think leaving it open to interpretation is probably much more thought provoking. I’d like to think about the whole “soul” concept a bit more.
16 Mirror Sound Music New
The book is fun. Listening to every band was the best part. The interviews are great, the photography is fun. The way it’s all piecec together is fine. I like the interviews and pictures the most.
17 How to Write One Song Music Reread
This little damn book has gotten me out of a songwriting rut so many times. I love Jeff Tweedy.


Games Total
Top Genre
Top games of the year


Year of the JRPG ("Japanese Role Playing Game" for those of you not into this stuff). I love to grind. I love experience points. I love swords and magic. I love saving the world with a group of buds. Spiky hair. I love it all. Dragon Quest really reintroduced me to the genre. Its simple game mechanics taught me how JRPGs were built to be played and informed all of the other games I completed this year.

I need to take a break and play some shorter games before I jump into another huge JRPG but I'll absolutely be playing more DQ and FF next year. I want to complete the whole mainline series of each. I always knew I loved the genre, but I've never gone so deep before. Excited for more adventures.

All Games sorted in order of completion

1 Shadow of the Colossus (Remastered) Adventure New (Completion)
Started in 2021. Fantastic. Truly beautiful. Every moment is a spectacle in the most quiet and simple of ways. I wish more games were this minimal in their concept and storytelling. The climbing mechanics are some of my favorite. Each jump feels thrilling. There are some challenging moments or encounters that feel clunky, but overall this is a truly great game. A great example of art that can only be told through this medium.
2 FFXIV: Heavensward MMORPG New
The story is wholly complicated, but there are some really fun moments in it. It is certainly better than the ARR main storyline but often I feel as though it's too complicated. I should expect that from a Final Fantasy game, I suppose. Some of the environments are really beautiful & the combat is more of the same from the original. Good times. Looking forward to what's next. Update: Changing to 4 stars after the patch content in Heavensward. Super super fun and way better character development. Gets an extra half star.
3 Mata Nui Online Game Adventure Replay
Three stars for the nostalgia
4 Dragon Quest III RPG New
I can’t believe how much of a 360 I had with this game. I could easily power my way through DQ I and II. And starting this game, I tried to play it the same way. I didn’t like that the playable characters didn’t have a story like they did in II. I thought the class system was shallow. I died a few times and could not for the life of me figure out how to get my party to work. I stopped the game and really disliked it. After playing Dragon Quest XI, I learned how to play Dragon Quest games better. I revisited this game, started a new file, made a new party configuration and had an absolute blast. I felt like I played my party well, the world is a lot of fun. I explored it more thoroughly than I had just about any JRPG since I was a kid. I wrote down the areas on a note in my phone and tried to remember all of the secrets. It reminded me how much fun it is to not have quest markers and a minimap. So much more rewarding to do it yourself. The “Marchantland” arc was hilarious. The Ortega story actually accumulated to something which I didn’t expect even if it was short. And the teleporting to Alfheim was really surprising and a fun connection. Totally changed my opinion and had a blast.
5 Florence Story? New
Perfect for what it is. Laura and I were sobbing the entire time. I'm so glad that we played it together.
6 Final Fantasy X RPG New (Completion)
The first half of this game contains some of my favorite moments in gaming. The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. The battle system is fun. The characters are pretty memorable and colorful albeit a little shallow. The relationship between Tidus and Yuna is simple but cute. The whistling between the two is adorable. The plot gets wildly complex toward the end and I’m not sure how I feel about it. The difficulty increases soooo much as well. The final bosses were pretty ducking intense. I wound up skipping almost all of the monster fights at the end because they were so hard. It made me feel like I was cheating but they were just way too tedious. There’s a lot of quality of life stuff that is sometimes brutal with this one. Still the mystery of the world, the overarching themes and symbols of water, spheres, religion, death are all really strong and somewhat beautiful. This game will always mean a lot to me and i’m so glad I finally beat it.
7 Dragon Quest XI RPG New
Incredible RPG. The best take on an "old school" RPG that I've ever played. The quality of life improvements in this game are perfect. This is what every JRPG should use as the basis in 2022. The characters are all charming and useful in the party in their own ways. There's SO much content. The story has some nice twists and turns. The design is charming. The mechanics are fun. The battles are buttery smooth and quick. The care for the player is better than any other game I think I've ever played. I'd like to reference it as a UX example as much as possible. It rules.


I can't possibly begin to list all of the songs and records I've listened to this year, so I'll just let others handle that for me. If you want to see what I listned to, follow me on:

Spotify Last.fm
Top songs of the year


Music is my favorite art form. No news there.

Because I've been in insane list-making mode this year, I started to listen to full discographies of my favorite bands. I really, really enjoyed this deep-dive approach to listening to music and it helped me fully experience a few groups like Death Cab for Cutie and Wilco---bands who I previously enjoyed but maybe didn't consider a favorite.

I so often listen to music while doing other things and this deep-dive approach made me realize how little I actually listen to music actively. So next year, I want to take the time to sit and just listen to music with no distraction because its a whole lot of fun.

I decided not to include any "records of the year". I didn't listen to a lot of stuff released in 2022 and it didn't feel relevant enough to include. Look out for it next year, though.


Shows Total
Shows Played
Top concerts of the year


COVID has really changed my show-going habits. But this year, as the world collectively shrugged in response to the pandemic, I started to get out again.

Despite there always being some sort of baseline COVID fear, I'm so glad to have live music back. Almost every show I go to makes me emotional in some kind of way and that's something that I want as often as possible. The shows I saw this year have me totally rejuvinated and believing in the power of music once again.

I only played two shows this year but both were wonderful. I'm looking forward to performing more again in the new year.

Note: I'm removing the ranking system for this category because I personally know people in a bunch of bands. Regardless, you can see my top 5 shows in the image.

All Shows sorted in order of attendance

1 Timeshares Our Wicked Lady, Brooklyn, NY w/ Taking Meds, Heavy Lag
Went to meet my internet acquantence Maxwell Stern in Timeshares. Had a great time and enjoyed the venue & turns out Max is just as friendly in real life! Our Wicked Lady's rooftop was nice.
2 Customer The Broadway, Brooklyn, NY w/Can't remember
My first time at the Broadway. I really enjoyed it. The bar downstairs had great fries and the sound upstairs was great too. The space is a little narrow, but it's cool. I'd definitely go back. Customer was a lot of fun. Looking forward to the next.
3 The Microphones Saint Anne's Church, Brooklyn, NY w/ Florist
Unlike anything I've really ever seen. It was very moving from all accounts. The church venue. The 45 minute long song. The distortion. I've thought about this show often since.
4 Touché Amore Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA w/ Vein.fm, Militarie Gun, Closer
Had a great time with the guys, but something felt weird. The crowd was surprisingly empty and that made the whole show feel kind of off. Touche was great though and the openers were good. Good show but weird vibe.
5 Turnstile The Knockdown Center, Queens, NY w/ Special Interest, Beach Fossils
They were incredible. I was alone in the crowd and getting exhausted by having to fight to stay up but other than that I had a freakin' blast. It felt like I was seeing a band at their absolute peak. People of all shapes, sizes, and ages were in the crowd together. So much fun.
6 Couplet Brooklyn Made, Brooklyn, NY w/ Into It. Over It., Pool Kids
I had a great time at this despite not knowing much of the music. We got to hang out with Tanner and it was a blast!
7 Babehoven Mercury Lounge, Manhattan, NY w/ Bloomsday, Doll Spirit Vessel
I was so moved by their duo performance. It was really beautiful and touched me in a way not many other shows had this year.
8 The Holy Mess American Bar and Grill, Lancaster, PA w/ Elway
All stars for nostalgia. I drank a lot of beer and yelled to as many songs as I could.
9 Death Cab for Cutie Riverside Park, Harrisburg, PA w/ Illuminatti Hotties
Lots of fun hanging out outside and seeing Death Cab play. They played a really weird set and a lot of the songs were just okay. But I still had a really nice night.
10 Good Things Are Happening Fest Iron Furnaces, Scranton, PA w/ Captain, We're Sinking, James Barrett, and many more
So much fun to see so many people, to play, to have Laura doing her work, to be with my friends. One of my favorite days of the year, probably.
11 Babehoven Market Hotel, Brooklyn, NY w/ Sadurn, Horse Jumped of Love
Babehoven was full band this time & it was great hearing the songs with a full group. I got to meet the band afterward, too. Loved the set. I was pleasantly surprised with Sadurn as well who I had never listened to before. They were wonderful.
12 The Menzingers The Sherman Theater, Stroundsburg, PA w/ Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, Good Stuff
Had so much fun with my old friends and all of our parents who came as well. It was a great family affair.
13 Titus Andronicus Union Pool, Brooklyn, NY w/ Eric Harm and the $100
Got tickets absolutely last minute to this and I'm so glad I went. TA was great. I've never seen them before and it was totally worth it just to hear A More Perfect Union in all of its glory. The band looked like they were having a lot of fun and I did too. I never thought I'd be able to see them in such a small venue.
14 Death Cab for Cutie Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, NY w/ Real Estate
Fun time! Really liked Forest Hills stadium. Movie Script Ending was my favorite song of the night. I had a little moment during Here's to Forever that felt special when he was singing “I want to feel the pressure of God or whatever” and it made me feel something. Overall, the set was a ton of new stuff and a lot of songs we saw in Harrisburg. I would have liked to have heard some other things but overall it was a nice night. Real Estate killed it, too.
15 Shannon Moser Purgatory, Brooklyn, NY w/ Yours Are the Only Ears, Greg Mendez
Nice lil show. I was very surprised by opened Greg Mendez.
16 Wild Pink Brooklyn Made, Brooklyn, NY w/ Trace Mountains
Wild Pink is so fucking good live.
17 Algernon Cadwallader Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA w/ Customer, Sun Organ
Such a blast with Josh. We were right up front, which I haven't done in a super long time. The set was incredible. They performed incredibly. It was pure joy on stage. You could see that they were having a blast. All of the family and homies were on stage the whole time which is the most Philly Punk thing that I could think of. Made me feel like I was ready to take action and get back into punk music. Also, the drummer brought his daughter out and we sang happy birthday for her and I cried.
18 Timeshares Trans Pecos, Queens, NY w/ Ezra Miller and the Big City Band, Cold Wrecks, Teenage Halloween
I love Max and it was great to see him again.
19 Hop Along Brooklyn Made, Brooklyn, NY w/ Dominic Angellela
Francis Quenlin is an icon to me. I love their songwriting, voice, and stage presence. It feels incredibly genuine. I really love this band and I cried twice during their set: once when someone proposed mid-song and during Tibetan Pop Stars. Lament was a shockingly good track live. The sound was a little weird and I wish we were standing more central but overall it was great.
20 Florist Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY w/ Mirah
What a beautiful show. I'm so glad that I went to this with Maddie. Mirah was wonderful and Florist was too. Everyone sat down which felt incredibly intimate and special.


New Restaurants
Top food and drink of the year


Pretty much ever since I started making money, I've been saying that I don't buy things for myself and instead spend it all on food and drinks. Holy shit, I did not realize how true that was until looking at this final list. The list below is essentially only new restaurants/bars I've been to this year. So this doesn't even account for the neighborhood favorites that we go to weekly. Absolutely insane to me. There's also something to be said here about the nature of New York City. The city is full of its annoyances and complexities but you can't deny the amount of incredible food that's there. This list shows just how easy it is to go out to a new spot. Like, we didn't even try to go to this many places. It just happened.

I think this year established that I love Japanese food. I hadn't even had sushi until a few years ago so I'm really pleased to know how much I love it. Can't wait to experience more.

I have to say that seeing this list is definitely kind of eye opening. It makes me want to cook more. I'd still like to go out to new places frequently, but I can probably do it a hair less and still have quite an enjoyable time. I don't know if this is a record that I need to break!

Note about this list: I have comments for most of these restaurants but honestly I just didn't want to copy them all over here. I've included comments for some of my favorites and if you're curious about others, let's chat next time I see ya.

All Restaurants sorted in order of visit

1 Bakeri (Williamsburg) Bakery
Ordered the Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Trout and Sourdough bread. So good. Perfect amount of food. Eggs were light and trout complimented them perfectly. Sourdough was fluffy and fantastic. Limited seating but decor is so cute and cozy. Good coffee too. Couldn’t have asked for more. My favorite bakery in the city.
2 The Mermaid Oyster Bar Seafood
3 Nura New American
4 Le Fond French
5 Rolo's New American
6 Bonnie's Cantonese American
7 Calandras Mediterrane Mediterranian
8 Phil's Bar
9 The Broadway Bar
10 Marlow and Son’s New American/Coctail Bar
11 Diner New American
12 Punjabi Deli Indian
Great meal and exactly what I wanted. We’ve been watching a lot of Anthony Bourdaine and I was inspired to eat some foods I don’t usually do. I had a number 2 and 6 over rice, a samosa with this amazing tangy sauce (note to self to look up the name), and we shared some other dish as well and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. Exactly what I wanted on a very nice day. Went with Jevins.
13 Golden Years Bar
14 TV Eye (Food) Bar?
15 Esther’s Pizza/Wine Bar
16 Keg and Lantern Bar
17 Luluc French
18 Syndicated Movies/Bar
19 Kazu Nori Sushi
20 Cafe Salamagundi Korean American
21 La Colombe Coffee
22 Drinker’s Pub Bar
23 Mix Bar and Grill Bar
24 Bonner's Irish Pub Bar
25 Green Egg's Cafe Cafe
26 Alchemy Coffee Coffee
27 La Chinesca Mexican
Amazing place. Could be 5 stars. We were looking for a place to go pre-gig at Union Transfer. Walled in here and had an amazing meal. Great margarita, great Chinese long beans and great lo-mein. I had a bit of what the other guys had: their skirt steaks and baby carrots. Totally slapped. A really interesting mix of Mexican and Chinese food. We went back after the show for some more drinks. It was great. Glad to know this is right next door to the bar venue in Philadelphia.
28 Rule of Thirds Japanese
29 Pierozek Polish
Went with Eric Kennedy. We split something like 18 pierogi. The blood sausage, ruski, and the raspberry sweet cheese were my favorite. So tasty with great kilebasa. The real star of the show was our waitress. Incredibly friendly and helped us with all of our order. She recommended the best vodka I’ve had in my life: Zubrowka. I want to just sip it straight. We had a blast. Perfect spot for hanging out but I 100% over-ate.
31 Raizes Bar?
32 Coast and Valley Wine Bar
33 Frost Restaurant Italian
34 Stowaway Southern
35 Gordito’s Cantina Mexican
36 Left Hand Path Bar
37 Root & Bone Breakfast
38 Trapizzino Cocktail Bar
39 Achille's Heel Cocktail Bar
40 Dominican Place in Ephrata Dominican
41 Grain Brewery Brewery
42 Cerveceria Havemeyer Mexican
43 Bar Bruno Mexican
44 Edy’s Grocery Lebanese
45 Grand Republic Cocktail Club Cocktail Bar
46 Black Rabbit Bar
47 Greenpoint Fish and Lobster Seafood
48 Brook Hollow Winery Winery
49 Cellar Beast Winery
Great winery in the Poconos with an incredibly friendly staff. Killer wine. Their natural wine, the Grand Est, is probably my favorite wine I've had all year. Made some friends here and had an absolutely wonderful time.
50 Thief Bar
51 The Silverlight Tavern Bar
52 Pete’s Candy Store Bar
I felt completely at home here. Shows, cheap drinks, food, a great back yard. I would totally go back here any time. Reminded me of home.
53 Seawolf Seafood
54 The Nest Bar
55 Village Coffee and Goods Coffee
56 Rough Draft Coffee
57 Lola Italian
58 Little King Coffee
59 Max's on Main Bar
60 Amarcord Italian
61 Porcelain Cocktail Bar
62 Sweet Leaf Coffee
63 Glasserie Mediterranian
64 Mud Breakfast
65 Sake Bar Decibel Japanese
Such a cool little spot in a stickered covered basement in Manhattan. Great food. Great sake. I want to go back ASAP.
66 McGrath’s Bar
67 Lancaster Southern Market (Lavali El Sham, Flavors of Morocco) A Bunch of Stuff
68 The Hideaway Bar
69 Takumen LIC Japanese
70 Waffle House (Scranton) American
71 Downtown Deli Breakfast
72 Insurrection Distillary Distillary
73 One Ten Tavern Bar
74 Fisherman's Catch Seafood
75 Colibri Mexican Bistro Mexican
76 Dragon Beaux Dim Sum
Incredible dim sum. Remarkable stuff. Dry Fried Spare Ribs we’re incredible. Pork bun was incredible. Not a bad bite among the bunch.
77 Ritual Coffee Coffee
78 Arsicault Bakery
79 California Kahve Coffee
80 Franciscan Crab Restaurant Seaood
81 Flour + Water Italian
82 Luke’s Local Sandwiches
83 Finnegan’s Wake Sandwiches
84 Beque BBQ Grill Korean
85 Cafe Henri French
86 KanaHashi Sushi
87 La Colombe (Flagship) Coffee
88 Kensington Quarters Seafood
89 Reanimator Coffee Coffee
90 Casa La Publica Mexican
91 Edith’s Eatery Jewish
92 The Ramen Spot Japanese
93 La Sandwicherie French
94 Paloma Coffee Coffee
95 Sweet Water Coffee
96 Diane's Bar
97 Suraya Mediterranean
Randomly walked in here to kill some time with Josh Peters. We sat at the bar and had some of the best food of the year. Absolutely incredible from top to bottom.
98 Jing Fong Dim Sum
99 Leo Pizza
100 Club Club Sandwiches?
101 Money Cat Vietnamese American
102 Ainslie American
103 Brooklyn Brewery Brewery
104 Black Crescent Bar
105 Ivan Ramen Japanese
106 Sticketinn Bar
107 Richmond Farm & Brewery Brewery
108 Martha New American?
109 Eavesdrop Cocktail Bar
110 Wen Wen New American

In Conclusion

So, here we are. We made it. About 10 hours left in the year and this is done. Phew.

I'm so proud of myself for being so attentive to my thoughts this year. I'm proud of myself for taking the time to treat this project as something a little special.

What's wild to me is that these lists don't even account for all of the things I created or did this year. I had a great year at my day job---my first year as a product designer. I taught a college class. I made some really fun things as a freelancer. I started running. I started drinking way less. I played a lot of music with my friends. I travelled a little bit. I cooked more than I ever have. I journaled almost every day. I wrote poetry. Yeah. I feel good. Obviously, there are always challenging days. That will never stop. But for now, I feel good.

I turn 30 in 4 days and this feels like a good start to the next decade. Happy New Year and I'll catch you soon.

Oh, one last thing: make your own website. It's fun.