I like French, comics, books, podcasts, (board and roleplaying) games, biking, and trains. I try to stay organized and in good (physical and mental) shape.
Moi, j'aime le français, les BD, les livres, les podcasts, les jeux (de plateau et de rôle), le cyclisme, et les trains. Je fais de mon mieux de rester organisé et en forme (physiquement et mentalement).
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can one forgive reality for its inherent brokenness?
If life were fair, I’d be out on a morning run right now, but life isn’t, so I’m not. The immediate unfairness getting in my way is a flaring up of my retrolisthesis; in short, there’s a vertebra in my lower back that isn’t inclined to stay in place, and my core muscles aren’t always successful in convincing it to. Things aren’t as bad today as they were a week ago, when my lower back was experiencing so much stiffness (and, to a lesser extent, pain) that I couldn’t even bend at the waist, but despite my improvement over the past seven days, I woke up stiff enough this morning that I knew going for a run would probably make things worse.
poursuivre un master en français ?
Tous les matins, l’Université du Kentucky envoie un courriel à tous ses employés avec des annonces et informations diverses. Ce matin, la fin du courriel affirme qu’il est aujourd’hui le jour de la langue française (c’est vrai en plus!) et nous rappelle que notre université offre plein de cours en langue française et en études francophones. Vu ma passion évidente pour tout ce qui est francophone, je savais déjà depuis longtemps qu’ils existaient déjà, ces cours.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Obsidio, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
After the weak middle volume in the trilogy, I wasn’t sure that I’d revisit the final one, but I’m glad I did. This book gets back to what made the first one so interesting: A mix of YA tropes, epistolary creativity, and moral complexity. It was self-indulgent at times, but it earned it by not shying away from the horror of the conflicts its teenage characters were the heroes of.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for The Haunting of Tram Car 015, by P. Djèli Clark
I wasn’t sure about this novella at first, which was a bummer because it’s beloved by the folks at The Incomparable. As I kept reading, though, I got sucked in and wound up loving it! It makes the most of its short length, easily working in the wordbuilding and even lampshading the tropes it uses to do so. The characters are fun, but what stands out the most is how deliberately and delightfully non-Western it is.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe
This is a frank, vulnerable memoir that I learned a lot from; I’m glad for Kobabe’s willingness to share eir story. I also appreciated the art style. I’d been meaning to read this in print a while ago but had checked out too many books from the library and had to return it before I got to it. I’m glad it was available on Hoopla so I could read it on my phone instead of mindlessly scrolling through TVTropes.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Gemina, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This book has a lot going for it: Good worldbuilding, an interesting “disaster dominoes” plot, and a good audiobook performance. I love the first book in this series, so I ought to like this book too! I did enjoy listening to it, but I just don’t find the characters as interesting, and it feels more like it uses YA cookie cutter archetypes than the last book. Enjoyable, but not my favorite… and leaving me wondering about whether to finish out the trilogy.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 10, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Well, this is the last of the PDFs I got from the Humble Bundle, and I think that means I’m caught up on Saga in trade paperback format. I’m hooked, though, so I’ll have to find other ways to keep up with it!
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 9, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Heck of a volume right here; I can see how it would be frustrating for the series to go on hiatus right after this, and I’m glad I’m reading the series post-hiatus. It’s interesting to see just how willing Vaughan is to change things up hard, and I wonder how this will affect the running themes of the book moving forward. As usual, it’s also fascinating to follow the beautiful, very weird art.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 8, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
This volume is a perfect encapsulation of everything Saga: I think it hits on all the main characters, it’s weird in delightful ways, it tackles heavy subjects (but sometimes veers into edgy for edgy’s sake), and it left me excited to read more.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 7, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
At this point, I’ve read so much Saga this week that it’s hard to remember what happened in what volume. That said, even if Volume 7 ended on a downer, I remember that I liked what I read here.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Saga Volume 6, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
I don’t know what it is about particular volumes of this series that makes them rise above the rest, but this was one of them. Maybe it was adorable Ghüs becoming a badass when needed or a father-daughter reunion or something else. Whatever it was, this series continues to deliver.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 5, by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
Still reading, still enjoying! It’s interesting to watch the stories and themes play out (sometimes slowly) over time.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 4, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I still love so much about this series and am looking forward to continuing it. Vaughan is blending together characters and plot threads in interesting and new ways, and I’m eager to see where he goes with it. This didn’t get as high as a review from me as the last volume, though. Maybe it’s because there was some more of the gore that’s my least favorite part of this, or maybe it’s because I don’t like media about couples going through rough patches, even if it’s well done.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Saga Volume 3, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Okay, no more caveats. I’m really into this series now. The themes (the difficult love of family and the creeping destruction of war) are more clear, and the art and weirdness continue to be excellent.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 2, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
You know, I still feel like Saga leans into being a comic for adults by putting adult material in there just because it can. That said, I’ll admit that I have a certain amount of inherent prudishness that may be coloring my thinking there. More importantly, I enjoy the art, the story is getting better and more interesting, and I’m eager to keep reading.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Saga Volume 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I gave Saga a try a few years ago, but it didn’t quite work for me (or my prudishness), so as good of a reputation it had, I didn’t stick with it. I just got the first ten volumes through a Humble Bundle, though, and so it’s time to give it another try. I’m no longer bothered by swearing and sex like I was a decade (or whatever) ago, though I’ll admit that casual gore is not something that endears me to comics.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Paizo bans AI-generated content to support ‘human professionals’ - The Verge'
Very interesting! I know some critics will describe this as a morally panicked response, but I disagree. I think it’s smart to ask how AI will affect human creators and for companies/communities like Paizo to take principled stances. link to ‘Paizo bans AI-generated content to support ‘human professionals’ - The Verge’
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This is my third time reading this book—I couldn’t resist coming back to it for the “epistolary novel” square of my library’s “Books and Bites Bingo” challenge this year. The print book is amazing, the audiobook manages to adapt a book that shouldn’t be adaptable, and I enjoyed this read as much as the last two. The language and worldbuilding are subtle but effective, it’s morally complex without trying too hard to be, and the characters are a good mix between believable and, well, archetypal characters in a YA novel.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Nigerians in Space, by Deji Bryce Olukoton
I picked this up after hearing about it in the show notes of an EFF podcast the author appeared on. This is not the book that I expected to read, I’m not sure I entirely got it, and it even feels a bit like a shaggy dog story at the end. I still enjoyed it, though, in a way I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s neat to read fiction from deliberately African perspectives, the shaggy dog-ness is probably the point, and the characters are compelling.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Sometimes Open Systems Beat Those Who Try To Lock Them Up: Spotify’s Podcast Colonization Flops | Techdirt'
Happy to hear podcasts aren’t working out for Spotify, because I was always upset about Spotify trying to wall off this garden. link to ‘Sometimes Open Systems Beat Those Who Try To Lock Them Up: Spotify’s Podcast Colonization Flops | Techdirt’
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
What a wild listen! I started this right after finishing Doctorow’s Little Brother because it’s recommended in the supplementary materials. It’s a bit odd to read in 2023: The idea of cryptocurrency has been tainted with recent news, it spectacularly fails the Bechdel test, and it seems to me to use more casual racial slurs than the chapters in the Pacific Theater might allow for in the name of realism. Yet, it’s intricately plotted, well written, just absurd enough to make it better, and technical without being overwhelming.
📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for The Sandbaggers (series 3)
I love the premise and the characters of this show, but it felt like it was running out of steam by the third series (though I’ll admit I don’t know how much the mysterious disappearance of its creator had to do with this—I’d like to read the book on the subject). Burnside got less and less likeable as the show went on (though this might be the point!), and I got tired of how many plots boiled down to “Burnside doesn’t care and goes rogue.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ for Chroniques de jeunesse, by Guy Delisle
J’ai déjà lu la traduction anglaise de cet album magnifique—Delisle est assez connu aux États-Unis pour paraître (en traduction) dans les bibliothèques près de chez moi. Pourtant, il y a toujours quelque chose de decevant quand je sais que j’aurais lu le lire en français. Quand une ami a visité Bruxelles récemment, je lui ai donc demandé de m’acheter l’album en français. Ayant passé quelques étés dans des usines, l’expérience de Delisle m’a beaucoup marqué.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'with love and respect to Senator John Fetterman and his family – WIL WHEATON dot NET'
I read this when Wil first published it, but I thought of it again today with even more gratitude—for both Wil and Senator Fetterman. I’ve been wondering recently whether I should refrain from making particular commitments or pursuits because of my own struggles with mental health, and knowing that there’s someone with depression serving in the U.S. Senate is giving me hope. link to ‘with love and respect to Senator John Fetterman and his family – WIL WHEATON dot NET’
🍿 movieblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
I loved the first Black Panther and am kind of bummed to be disappointed by the sequel. Obviously, Chadwick Boseman’s tragic passing made this movie an uphill battle to begin with, and its wrestling with that loss within the movie is one of its strongest parts. There are also other individual parts of the movie that are really interesting on their own: international intrigue with strong Françafrique overtones! Riri Williams! turning a goofy 1940s comic book character concept into something compelling and decolonial!
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Top 10, by Alan Moore
There’s a lot to love about Top 10, which is why I read it for what is at least the third time (likely more). The story is well-crafted, the concept is interesting, it riffs on superhero tropes while breathing new life into them, and the art is full of so many easter eggs for the savvy reader (my favorite is probably the Astérix and Obélix cameo, but there are lots of other great ones).
📺 tvblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for The Sandbaggers (series 2)
I’m not sure I enjoyed the second series as much as the first, but over time, it grew on me. The finale nicely tied things together and helped me see how Burnside’s hubris was a running theme of the series (rather than a character derailment). Interested to see what happens in the final series!
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Mech Cadet Yu (Volume 3), by Greg Pak
Still a fun series, and I’m glad it’s short enough that I could go ahead and finish it out. It continued to get more interesting as it went along, but it also didn’t give any of its twists and turns enough time to feel deserved.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Mech Cadet Yu (Volume Two), by Greg Pak
I liked Volune Two more than Volume One: The story breaks free of simple troping and the characters become a bit more interesting. That said, none of this is enough in my mind to really set the series apart. I wonder if this would be better as a long-ish YA novel than as an ongoing comics series.
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤 for Mech Cadet Yu (Volume One), by Greg Pak
The premise is fun, and I liked (most of) the art, but I felt like the story moved too fast to move beyond recycled tropes—or let the characters be more than flattish archetypes. It probably won’t stop me from reading the next volume, but I think it’s aimed at a younger audience than me.
🔗 linkblog: my thoughts on 'Lazy Reporters Claiming Fediverse Is ‘Slumping,’ Despite Massive Increase In Usage | Techdirt'
I’d seen some of the headlines Masnick is critiquing here, but I hadn’t read the articles. I appreciate this critique and overview. link to ‘Lazy Reporters Claiming Fediverse Is ‘Slumping,’ Despite Massive Increase In Usage | Techdirt’
📚 bookblog: ❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤 for Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Shelley
I haven’t read this in over a decade, so I recently decided to listen to an audiobook version and see how I liked it this time through. The overall story is excellent! I found particularly compelling the question of scientific (and technological) responsibility, and the creature’s railing against his creator at Chamonix in the middle of the book struck me as almost Job-like. I wasn’t expecting the Chamonix scene to resonate with me as much as the tech allegory, but it will also stay with me, I think.