On a relatively sunny day with some clouds, small cliffs fall on the ocean. A lighthouse with a little house are visible at the end of the land.


August 2023 in review, retour sur août 2023

August was a fantastic month. I took 3 weeks off work, but almost didn’t go anywhere – I just lived my daily life in Grenoble, seeing friends whenever I wanted, having all my evenings free to do new things and take care of myself instead of attending meetings of questionable interest. I feel refreshed and I feel like I belong to this neighborhood and city, now that I know them better. (I also spent a week-end in Ireland with my fantastic partner, who had never been.)

I also jumped into a couple of new projects (oops), including the Wikiconcours on French-language Wikipedia where I’ve teamed up with 3 really cool people to revamp a few pages related to transidentity. I’m proud of myself for saying no when my friend Eduardo tried to convince me to sign up for a computer science online course with him – ok, no, I didn’t say no, I said « as soon as the contest is over in November ». But it’s still better than the usual « omg yes ». Progress is easy to obtain when you start low enough!

Anyway: I am now officially working fully remote from Grenoble, my apartment is almost entirely furnished, I am refreshed and motivated and happy. Good news everywhere!



26 books read. That’s what happens when I get almost the entire month off, what can I say. And you might want to read:

  • [EN, Fiction] Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. This novel is possibly my favourite read of 2023 so far, because it is incredibly good and also, I must say, because I am a huge sucker for multi-generational timelines. In Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi follows two sisters separated at a very young age in 18th century Ghana. One is sold as a slave, the other marries a tribal chief. So begins a long journey through Ghana and the United States.
  • [EN, Fiction] All the hometowns you can’t stay away from, by Izzy Wasserstein, is a collection of science-fiction short stories featuring queer protagonists. Every story had me wishing it was an entire novel, while at the same time enjoying how straight to the point it was. I loved it.
  • [EN, Nonfiction] Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, Neema Avashia. This memoir about, well, a girl who comes up queer and indian in Appalachia, really caught my attention and I could barely put it down.
  • [FR, Nonfiction] Sex friends : comment (bien) rater sa vie amoureuse à l’ère numérique, de Richard Mèmeteau. Un essai détaillé sur l’amour, pas seulement au temps de la drague en ligne mais aussi au temps du polyamour, des comportements à risque et du dating à l’américaine, le tout raconté d’un point de vue queer-mais-pas-que. Je n’avais pas envie d’aimer ce livre. Je l’ai adoré.
  • [FR, Fiction] Chavirer, de Lola Lafon, c’est deux danseuses et un vaste réseau de pédophilie, c’est un ensemble de vignettes qui suit les vies de deux enfants devenues femmes, l’une complice et l’autre victime, ou alors toutes les deux victimes, elles ne savent pas.
  • [FR, Fiction] Dans le cadre de mon défi de lire un livre de tous les pays du monde (j’en suis désormais à 58/195), j’ai pris Le pays des phrases courtes, de Stine Pilgaard, pour le Danemark. Avant de me rendre compte que c’était en fait le quatrième roman danois que je lisais et que j’aurais mieux fait d’aller chercher un bouquin finlandais. Mais pas de regret : dans cette histoire grinçante d’une femme dont le mari se fait draguer par ses élèves, dont les moniteurs d’auto-école s’enchaînent alors qu’elle les fait craquer un par un, dont le fils est une imposition et pas un choix, on se marre quand même bien, même s’il me manquait pas mal de codes culturels pour vraiment tout comprendre.

Articles académiques

C’est août, je n’ai pas vraiment lu d’articles académiques, mais je vous propose ces deux lectures quand même :

  • [EN] A summary of the latest study on blue light filtering lenses. tl,dr: not only are they not really useful for reducing eye fatigue, they also may cause increased depressive symptoms and headaches.
  • [FR] Un article sur le classement de Shanghai, qui revient à peu près à ceci : encore heureux qu’on monte dans le classement, on a revu tout notre système d’enseignement supérieur pour répondre à ses critères, en laissant tout le reste (l’enseignement, par exemple) sur le carreau. L’auteur finit en proposant un classement alternatif : celui des universités qui fournissent une aide alimentaire à leurs étudiant·es précaires.

Non-academic articles


The main thing I watched this month was Eurosport. This month had the world cycling championships, of which I watched the trial and women’s mountain bike races with a lot of interest, and the world athletics championships which sent me into an intense decathlon rabbithole. If you want to follow me down this path, I recommend Frank Zarnowski’s The decathlon : a colorful history of track and field’s most challenging event, which can be borrowed for free from the Internet Archive (don’t forget to donate!). Careful, though – it was written just after Caitlyn Jenner’s Olympic win, which means it’s 1/ old 2/ US-centric 3/ full of references to her old identity.


My favourite too-hot-to-vibe activity is to lie down on my couch and watch a movie, so I got some of that done this month.

  • Weird: The Al Yankovic Story was incredibly stupid and hilarious. Daniel Radcliffe absolutely nails it and I had a great time, laughing out loud several times.
  • I had high expectations for Sorry to bother you and I shouldn’t have. Some aspects were fantastic, but I just didn’t vibe with the plot.
  • 9 to 5 was absolutely brilliant, I had an amazing time, laughed to tears several times, and have a gigantic crush on Jane Fonda (my crush on Dolly Parton remains unchanged).

TV Shows

Je revois tout Kaamelott en ce moment, c’est parfait pour les pauses dej, je me demande si cette fois, pour la première fois de ma vie, je vais enfin tenir jusqu’aux épisodes longs. Pour l’instant ça va !

I tried watching What we do in the shadows but didn’t vibe with it even after 3 episodes, which I find very surprising. It never even got a smile out of me. Maybe I was just grumpy. Maybe I actually don’t like the show. We’ll never know because I’m not giving it another chance.

Harlan Coben’s Shelter is not good, and I will religiously sit down and watch it every Friday. It’s so good! But also pretty bad! The lead actors are really talented, the story is extremely heavy-handed but kinda gripping, everyone in the background is somehow a really really bad actor and characterization is terrible (is Troy a bully or a lovely guy? depends on the scene, I just can’t figure out whether this show is trying to make me like him or not, but I still feel like it’s trying something), the evil lady is suuuch a badly-written character. But it’s pretty! It has emo teenage lesbians! The cheer captain is genuinely a good person!!!! I have no reason to watch and I am WATCHING!

Video essays

En français : Ouvrez les guillemets, c’est fini. Je vous partage leur dernière vidéo, pas pour l’annonce qui dure une minute au début, mais pour les futurs possibles et quelques propos qui me donnent envie d’un meilleur avenir. Et MrJDay a publié sa vidéo annuelle : j’ai adoré avoir 20 ans à nouveau (ouin) et me gondoler devant ses vidéos débiles sur Emily in Paris.



In English:

  • Cyrus Grace Dunham: Gender can get pretty complicated, LGBTQ&A. It really grabbed me with its description of transmasculinity and what’s the acceptable narrative for being trans.
  • Building Utopia, a Vegan Vanguard episode featuring the SRSLY Wrong boys, talks about building the future that we want. I like Mexie and love SRSLY Wrong, so this was a great episode by default, but the content? EXCELLENT.
  • Capitalism, community and friendship with Joey Ayoub, by Solarpunk Presents – I’m not sure I’ve talked about Solarpunk Presents here yet. It’s great and makes me so much more hopeful than all the foresight podcasts that try to imagine what a perfect world will be, by instead focusing on small things that are already what we want, and that we can try to expand.
  • 99% invisible put out a Trail Mix double episode, which is not about trail mix, but about trails and hiking. I will never get used to the American approach of doing anything – including putting boulders in the middle of hiking trails sometimes because they have a difficulty rating system so they can’t make it too easy for you. Y’all really need to look up this « nature » thing.
  • Michael Novick on Antifascist struggle by Live like the world is dying made me happy for two reasons. First: it’s interesting and instructive, and I love learning new things. Second: it reminded me that you can be over 70 and not be a transphobic asshole, a sadly-rare reminder that really warms my heart.
  • CLTs in Practice, an interview with David Cobb by Zoned Out. Let me preface this by saying I hate when podcasts don’t have a website: the host only posts her new episodes on her Patreon, which is locked, even though the episodes themselves are free access. So go check her out on your favourite podcast reader, I guess. This episode is an interview on the American Land Back movement, which is something I usually avoid like the plague because I’m really, really tired of caring for issues that I literally have nothing to do with, but it turned out really informative and inspiring and I ended up listening to it in full.

En français :


I have not played that much this month, especially video games. I did some tabletop gaming, which was super fun, and spent an inordinate amount of time on WikiTrivia, a game where you put things on a timeline. I swear it’s fun.


For the first time in my life, after going to Dublin about a thousand times for work including a 1 year and 4 months trip, I went to Dublin for fun, with my partner. We even got out of the city for a hike! We acted like typical tourists and hit all the touristy spots, lived off donuts, Irish breakfasts at any time of the day and Guinness, looked at paintings and laughed at seagulls. It was wonderful.

Commentaire / Comment