Week 53.22 – Day 1.23

  • So maybe 2022 was not the best year for many things: my mental health, the markets, avoiding Covid, Goodreads reading challenges, making more time for people, etc. and it ended on a fittingly crappy note as I realized that I’m too neurotic to be a pet owner either. But we have to be thankful for the things we do have, and I am. Here’s hoping 2023 turns things around some 🤞
  • I saw someone toot that their only New Year’s resolution every year is “Use your stickers”, and I liked that enough to try and actually adopt it as a resolution (I normally think they are dumb). In essence, stickers do nothing for no one when saved on a backing sheet; you should put them to use somewhere, and eat all those mince pies you’ve been hoarding while you’re at it. Use and enjoy your things while you can, mindfully.
  • My Hotels.com rewards were expiring and I was kinda planning to let them go unused. But they are stickers! So I redeemed them for a night’s stay at a boutique hotel in the Ann Siang/Amoy Street area, which gave us an opportunity to eat at Maxwell hawker center, visit a few cocktail bars (Native is excellent), and get away from things for a little while.
  • I spent more time playing Citizen Sleeper on the Switch and still recommend it. Minor spoiler: early on there is a sort of timer mechanic hanging over your head, that you can’t help but work towards negating as a main quest. It’s always there in the background of what you do, making you uncomfortable. Once you manage to clear it, though, the game becomes almost too leisurely. The issue is still there but your character can skill up enough that it’s not a threat, only a minor annoyance. I’m not finished yet, so maybe there’s more urgency around the corner.
  • My last book of the year was Gabrielle Zevin’s brilliant Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, which I finished in the final hour of 2022 (for a total of 13 books read). It’s so good, an easy five stars. I would give it six, even. In my world it would be mandatory reading for anyone born between 1975 and 1985, and strongly encouraged for the rest of you. Heartbreaking, beautiful, real, nostalgic, and ripe for TV adaptation.
  • We binged both seasons of The White Lotus at some point between this week and last. It’s the sort of show you can’t stop thinking about afterwards, but it’s also a little pretentious and heavy handed with its imagery (oh lord here comes another moonlit interstitial shot of waves).
  • Going through people’s best shows of ‘22 lists, I saw Hacks and Reservation Dogs being mentioned a lot and gave them a try. The latter’s first episode didn’t take, although I can see what they’re going for; it’s just too depressing. Whereas Hacks follows a proven buddy formula with laughs, and teases character development. It’s a nice change of pace from most of our recent serious viewing.

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I tried making some city-specific illustrations in Midjourney and was surprised (again) by how good and coherent they can be. They’re not entirely accurate but the vibes aren’t off — Singapore is a time warp of golden era post-war colonial architecture and vehicle design, “exotic” southeast Asian street activity, and modern skyscrapers.


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