Project Update

by Max Nelson on October 11, 2017

Project Update


So I have recently embarked on a project which has required me to learn a lot of new web technologies / frameworks / libraries (all words for essentially the same thing), and I thought it might be useful for myself to recall and record the course of my learnings over the past couple weeks, and possibly it would even be useful for someone else to read this.

My new project relies on a number of web technologies that, for various reasons I have been ignorant towards thus far. The main reason is that at my job of the past 4 years (which I left 2months ago) I worked within a very narrow and isolated framework / web platform called AEM. I learned a lot about the AEM stack, which included things like Apache Jackrabbit, JCR, Java, etc. But in my studies of these technologies I became ignorant of the new cool Javascript libraries that everyone was talking about, some of which I found already present in the project I was to set about working on. So I began work on familiarizing myself with these libraries, it was exciting as these were words I’d heard thrown around a lot in conversation with web developers, and had been intimidated by, as these were not technologies I was familiar with. I am now familiar with them and they no longer scare me, so let me list my understanding of these things.

Javascript Modularization Libraries: RequireJS, CommonJS, AMD, UMD, ES6 (Harmony, 2015)

All of the words above are names of libraries/frameworks that pretty much do the same thing, they provide functionality for modularizing your javascript code. I had no real idea what this meant until I did a deep dive on the subject and discovered that javascript modularization is basically a best practice sort of thing when dealing with projects with lots of javascript files (100+). Like any highly scalable technology, it may not make sense to use these things when working on smaller projects and can cause undue headaches for unweary developers. That said, understanding them is nice and gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. Basically these are all just slightly different ways of wrapping up your javascript code and allowing you to include/exclude modules from their dependancies. They solve things like dependency issues; global namespace conflicts / exposure, and generally allow for cleaner more manageable code in a large-scale environment. Having read about all the options out there, ES6 stuck out as the best option, as it is going to become the de facto standard after all.

Data Visualization: D3

Up till now I had had some limited exposure to D3, I knew what it was but hadn’t really explored it’s inner workings, so my second task on my javascript curriculum was to deep dive directly into D3. From this, I learned how surprisingly simple the library is, it essentially contains functions that intake numbers and then displays those numbers, according to a given scale, specified or designated by the developer, the scale/range declaration is where much of the magic happens, and essentially serves to transmute the given numbers into visually pleasing charts that look cool when displayed in a web browser. Of course I got a better grasp on SVG syntax, and the enter, update, exit pattern that is idiosyncratic to D3, but it is a lovely library and I look forward to working with it in the future. Bonus: version4 uses ES6!

Sending Email Programmatically: Google App Engine, SendGrid, Mail command

This one has a lot to unpack, and there is a lot going on that I only skimmed the surface of, but I did learn just how easy it is to send Email programmatically from either the command line, or within a project (same thing really). To get my mail a-sendin’ I learned about the ‘mail’ command in Terminal, which itself is really simple, it becomes a bit more complicated when one must establish one’s email address / application as a trusted sender, but that simply required me to adjust some of the DNS records on my domain. Specifically the SPF and DKIM records. Adding the necessary records, combined with configuring my email within my application (Google App Engine), as well as some system files in OSX, proved successful and I am now sending emails successfully based on user input.

Python Virtual Environments: Virtualenv, Virtualenvwrapper

In my previous work, we used a Java-based framework, and relied on Maven to handle dependencies while working locally. In this new project, I am using Google App Engine and Python, which means I must manage dependencies myself. Previously I had done this by pip installing libraries directly into my ‘/Library/…’folder (the default global directory). But now with multiple projects running on my machine, I am quickly discovering the usefulness of installing packages locally. Luckily, the tools for this are relatively simple and include the ‘virtualenv’ and ‘virtualenvwrapper’ tools, which do the pretty straightforward work of configuring a ‘lib’ directory inside your project and adjusting the necessary variables ($PATH, etc. ) so that commands run from within the directory, route to the appropriate location.

Firebase Authentication: Firebase.Auth

One thing I spent a long time doing in one of my previous ‘fun’ projects was learning all about the Oauth2 dance, the exchange of access tokens for credential objects, Login flows, etc. luckily at that time I was using Google App Engine and the process was made slightly easier by using their builtin Oauth2 library. Even luckier, this time around I decided to explore the idea of Firebase for authentication, and have thus far been very pleased with how easy I was able to configure a working login system, incorporating the major federated login providers (Google, Facebook, Twitter). It took me no more than a couple hours to set up and configure their example project, and while I am still familiarizing myself with their API, I am so far very happy with their library, and its integration with Google App Engine.

Well that’s it for now folks. There are several other subjects and ancillary libraries that I skimmed the surface of, including JS Bundlers such as: Gulp, Rollup, etc.. At my old work we used Grunt so I am actually fairly familiar with the concepts involved, but I look forward to discussing these topics, and more, in my next weekly blog post.

Cheers,

dinnertime

by Max Nelson on February 13, 2013

and battles staved
a wavely came
and naught an hour late,
to dinner was
a grizzled beard,
a crumpled shuffling jape
golden glistening spit and eyes
noticed and compared
a lilting falling nervous grin
a table without chair
“How have you been here before”
loudly up from where
for ever spinning all they were
and him without a chair
do not despair
the red one braved
I’ll have an extra seat
and so he sat amongst his friends
and proudly cut his meat.

Collaborations

by Max Nelson on June 16, 2016

Collaborations 2016
With 2016 well underway we are likely to see a slew of exciting media sponsorship and original retail collaborations. Below are some of my predictions for most impactful corporate cross–promotions in media and retail during this upcoming year:

collab1

collab2

collab3

collab4

collab5

collab6

collab7

collab8

collab9

collab10

love poem – ice and fire

by Max Nelson on October 1, 2015

The moon is not so bright as you,
The sun perhaps no higher,
A moth a bouncing earnest fool
The butterfly a liar.
Snakes stand Heros in your glare;
Dragons cower
Bluebirds seem as gloomy things
Owl a twittering sparrow
Snow is warm compared to you,
In your eyes I find my pyre
For you are everything to me
You are my ice and fire.

crow conversation

by Max Nelson on September 9, 2014

And what of these things interest me, said Phillip to the crow,
for all you’ve spoke, there’s so much more, too many things to know
you’ve told of corn and bugs and wheat
and trees where best to perch
of oaks and pine and thistlebrook, of elm and mighty birch
but what can I gain from these things?
The crow unfurled his curving wings
listen then, if you must know, the secrets of the moon
the thing that glitters in men’s eye, the owls whispered “hoom”
I will tell you why you fear the storm winds whispered choir
and I will sing a song to you,
a song of ice and fire.

banquet

by Max Nelson on October 28, 2014

Ernest Hemmingway stepped into the foyer where Gucci Mane was standing inconspicuously by the door, clutching a large goblet of some foreign concoction and peering sideways at the living room. Ernest smiled cordially and extended his hand to Gucci Mane in salutations. Gucci eyed the hand as he would an unappetizing meal. Languidly, he extended his hand in accord and the two men shook. “ I never knew you were a friend of Max” Ernest Hemmngway spoke. “Mothafucka owes me $500 dollar.” croaked Gucci Mane. “A most grievous debt” Ernest gasped, Valuing the sum of the currency for that of his own pre-inflated times. “I should imagine he will pay you in good time” he acquiesced “After all, if his manor is any testament to his means, I daresay he could afford it”, He gestured forward to the banquet hall, which stood directly forth from the foyer within which they were huddling, it was indeed an impressive sight. The room was a vast expanse, with the walls curving up towards the top to meet the impossibly high ceiling. These arches were ridged with ornate gold floral patterns, though they never seemed to repeat. The ceiling was dotted with viewports which were black as the night outside. Dangling from the ceiling were chains, and in the center, a fine chandelier of gold and crystal, the room was lit brightly. Gucci Mane had taken out a blunt and was sparking it purposefully as Hemmingway admired the décor. “Yeaah it’s aiight” he said, his voice betraying some modicum of enthusiasm this time. “I’m bout to get me one of those” he continued, gesturing toward the chandelier. Hemmingway smiled “A fine selection, I daresay their may not exist any others like it, but perhaps Max might be willing to part with it in payment of his debt”. Gucci eyed him bemusedly. “I think I ought to head in and greet our host” he was beginning to feel noxious from the fumes of Gucci Mane’s foreign cigar. “ I will see you inside, I expect?” The smoke billowed out, masking Gucci’s subtle nod of assent. Hemmingway took this for sufficient excuse, and let out into the wide embrace of the main banquet hall. Ahead and towards the left there was a wide staircase carpeted in red which a group of guests were sitting, sprawling, and rolling down, giggling, thoroughly enjoying the shallowness of the staircase. At the top, the staircase fanned out to either side, creating a balcony which lined the hall, along which scattered pairs of guests stood talking.

October

by Max Nelson on October 28, 2014

shivering excitement falls
down from the waning sunlit sky
from which ravens dampened caws
of how it pains their wings to fly

suddenly the air is crisp
the frost is bright in mornings fold
and in it one can catch a wisp
of spice beneath the autumn cold

oh Octobers bustling grasp
your quiet hue my heart enchants
busy is the city far
I suppose I should put on some pants

Morning’s Fold

by Max Nelson on October 13, 2014

Times were once so warm and old
my mind ensconced in evenings hold
then one day the air went cold
I’d awoke in mornings fold

loudly up from over where
there stood a mangey well-dressed hare
he crossly eyed me standing there
that brightly standing well-dressed hare
i asked him where should i have gone
to be found from there where id become
and O that hare he laughed along
and sang to me a song

you old and tired soul a-glow
knowing not the way you once did know
knowing not where how, nor whence
I’ll sell them to you, fifteen pence
i have not such cash in hand
o pity me my worthless stand

Then now you’ll sit and listen boy
these dishes need a spinning
sit still and listen, clean and wash
and I’ll lead you on your way

why thank you rabbit oh so kind
you listen with your ears to mine
enough of this the rabbit chimed
sit still and await your carriage

Oh how slow a carriage comes
lingering their many months
In dally do they seem to stay
In idleness their way

for many moons
attending chore
I sat upon that dusty floor
with that rabbit staring down
demanding of me more
I sat atop that dirty ground
and pondered at my state
until one day I looked around
the rabbit had escaped

I stood up, afraid, confused
there had been no goodbye
the day that rabbit let me be
a tear fell from my eye

I knew not then just what to do
there seemed to be nothing left
so I sat upon that floor
and quietly I wept

simpsons

by Max Nelson on October 3, 2014

Simpsons Script
My friend David Adams and I wrote a Simpsons script; I submitted it to a Nickelodeon Writer’s Fellowship contest; it did not win.

Simpsons Episode

guacamolé

by Max Nelson on August 22, 2014

I Made Guacamolé
photo 1
photo 2

Throughout the weavings of time man has striven to make the perfect guacamole. Though the path has ever been fraught with bats and untold perils greater still. He has overcome these dangers time and again to emerge triumphantly above a steaming bowl of fresh made delicious guac. This is only the beginning. Years have only strengthened both sides, increasing the number of bats, yet hardening the resolve of man. There is no question that these bats thirst for blood, or that their filthy dreams are lined with deceit and filthy lies. Yet to defeat one’s enemy, one must know them, as one knows their own babysitter’s nephew. And greater, one must first hold their hand, or claw, or wing…-or winged claw..thing depending on one’s enemy, but lets be honest, the enemy is probably a bat. Studies show that 99% of enemies are bats, and that 100% of those bats are filthy stupid poo-poo heads, who steal your beans in the night. They steal all your beans, and for no reason other than they are bean-hungry and half-crazed for the want of beans. Their eyes glisten with reflected bean juice, as their tiny drooling mouthes open to let out a bean-crazed screech, that echoes off the chamber walls and into the ears of poor unsuspecting children in nearby villages. I will eat all those beans, says the untrained man, the novice, whose reactionary solution is valid, but sadly misled, for hiw own hunger for beans blinds him to the cool, yet elusive guidance of logic. The thinking man devises a more sound plan, that he must build a castle of beans, a fortress, comprised entirely of beans as well as an odorous bean-like adhesive. The thinking man knows this fortress must be hexagonal, and in alignment with various constellations, so that the bats may never penetrate its ornately decorated gates. Thus concludes the thinking man, whomes understandings entail that complex problems require equally complex solutions, and though, sure he may enjoy a bean or two from time to time. I mean who doesn’t, just a bean or two never hurt anyone. A small handful of beans has surely never done any great harm, unless you recall the tragic handful-of-beans incident in 1989, but fortunately we do not speak of such disagreeable topics here in polite society.

Freewrite One

by Max Nelson on June 23, 2014

Freewrite One

Id love it if you joined me for tea and piglet stew. Hurrah I do say to thee young undermakings of a man, that you should spoil such delicious peas. they are rotted with your words. and besotted with your birds, for your parrots really are quite lovely, I believe all the world has heard. They’re the gaze of every galla, the quolk of every york. Might I fine if I had mighty parrot sooted approach that twixel. quite sighted, I were, if it pleaseth the lord. It pleaseth Jergens. and that for suretainly cannot be denied. nor pied, that prejudiced ham, that spoke along jury. all fit in its sunday greys were they lamb, for fearful was the countryside, and for what, so deep inside that water was, a goazling cholk, and holed a’cuz’ for ever hours that were late a fifteen pence, a sour gate, I had chimed that they were so, those goazling cholks from down below. A had a heard that ear before, that song a’once was choired, indeed it paired my ear before, that chance that was acquired. Alas it plays my ears no more, that note that once was squired.

Freewrite

by Max Nelson on September 21, 2012

Freewrite Two
So going back over the resounding success that was my previous entry I have decided to once again try my hand at the little writing excercize which I am thus to name but basically entails me writing at a non-stop action-packed pace while at no point pausing to think about what I am writing down. The result being ill-formulated run-on sentences like the preceding introduction and the subsequent paragraphs which are to follow.

You see, it’s quite easy to sound smart while you’re saying nothing at all. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between how smart you sound and how much useful data you’re actually transmitting it is known as “Hoffwald’s Antler” and that is a completely made-up fact that requires no thinking or further inspection but should be taken, sans salt, as an immense truth of our current everyday culture. I am also going to go as far as to say that Honey-time is fast approaching and by honey-time I mean a time in which I douse myself in honey and lock myself out in my car while moaning angrily at the squirrels on my block.

Ok, I already hate the direction this paragraph has taken and part of the reason for that is my indecision on what I should write down. I am already trying to emulate my last journal entry which I just read over for the first time and chuckled at, and the result is a poor imitation of what was only good because of its spurious and inimitable qualities. I like how the things im writing generally inch towards what I am actually thinking, therefore slowly becoming more truthful as the paragraph develops, I think I cannot view this as a finished piece but rather as an excersize whose value is not in the product it yields, but in the thoughts uncovered during the process. Yes, thinking about it in this way is more pleasing and as I write this it begins to become fun. I can say things like “moose” without fear that It will ruin my precious paragraph and instead confident that it doesnt even fucking matter. Im going to go get some beer and drink over at my buddy Will’s house and suggest you do the same.

I am also going to continue writing at a rapid pace until i am satisfied that i have exhumed something of meaning or value. That something will probably be a moose. Im just being realistic. because honestly there is truly no more majestic a creature and if there was it would probably be a goose, and the two would probably team up and the goose would ride the moose, no it would not fly because it is lazy and doesnt like the cold wind underneath its wing-feathers, i think we can all agree that thats pretty uncomfortable. Almost as uncomfortable as writing things down which you dont like and knowing that you are going to have to live with those things being on paper for eternity. And when I say paper I mean magnetically charged particles on the Hard-drive of a server somewhere, and yes I have a loose grasp on the functionings of hard-drives and yes that makes me better than you. Actually the things that make me better than you, and by you I refer to the majority of Earth-s population who I assume to be less adept at writing than myself, is in fact my ability to charge a 98 Toyota Tercel directly into a brick wall. This is a rare skill, overlooked by scholars and academics alike, but greatly valued by hobos and the criminally insane. It is a skill which I consider to be almost my greatest asset, and one which I will eventually utilize to the benefit of myself and indeed the entire world around me. Ask me how, I dare you. I double dare you mothafucka.

Sorry, pulp fiction has been playing in my kitchen the last few days and frankly its the most glorious thing I couldve possibly imagined. Other than a duck covered in some sort of duck sauce. Its funny that that really is the most gllorious thing I can imagine right now. I guess that is a testament to my malnourishment, and indeed our food driven-instant gratifictation craving society at large. But I’ll tell you one thing. I sure as hell dont want to sit in my room and try to make myself do art alone for the rest of the evening. I want to go out and get gratified, preferably with some expedience. It is thus that I am going to go to Will’s house and drink some beers. With any luck this night will culminate in a violent orgasm of destruction which is essentially the craving of my Id whom I seek to now satisfy. Sorry, Super-ego, I really like these words you write or whatever But im tryin to fuckin run a business here and I cant have customers all comin’ in barefoot, gettin gay on all the furniture. lezzing out with all the mannequins or whatever. Okay im sory I just wanted to say the term lezzing out and I did it at the expense of the humorous paragraph which was going so well for me. Honest to god -I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I wouldnt even think about it. Id just do it. Id sit down at my computer and I’d do it. so hard. again and again. in rapid succession, and I know what you’re thinking “Max is this some kind of wierd sexual thing?” Yes and No. Yes in the sense that I am currently masturbating as I write this (literarily and figuratively ) and no in the sense that I have no idea what I’m talking about and nothing really in this entry so far has any real meaning and/or thematic interest.

I really have to go now but Im just so on a roll that I don’t want to stop and I think the indecision is helping me in a way that only indecision and chocolate sprinkled donuts could help a man. And when I say a man I am of course referring to the guy who sells hot dogs on campus because he, and his hot dogs, Hell, especially his hot dogs, are indicative of every man Ive ever met in America and it is thus he stands, an avatar of contemporary societal conflicts. With all this said Im going to get the fuck out there and sit around awkwardly as I nurse a beer and don’t talk much because thats what you don in civilized company and If I were to go off on a monologue such as this, Id probably be considered rude and annoying. Id also probably fail miserably because its much harder to be random and silly and indeed anything at all out loud in public than it is in the safety of your own computer chair at home in your desk accompanied by your stuffed animal Mr. wiggles, who is contrary to popular belief not a homosexual and how dare you libelous slandering jackanapian jackanapes try to jackanape your way into my subcounscious with your jackanpering jackanapery. Seriously you’re all a bunch of fucking jackanapes and Im sick of it. I’m really sick of it. I cant even stand it anymore Im that sick. And now, my fucking friends, its time to go get radical.

Saturday Night

by Max Nelson on November 11, 2012

Saturday Night
So the night started out relatively normal, I was sort of hungover from the night before, and had spent my Saturday afternoon being a piece of shit, keeping all my all the links on the reddit video page a nice shade of purple. I finally got the motivation to go skate out front of my old high school, to attain the minimum amount of physical activity required to not depress everyone around you during a night of going-out.

Im driving to pick up David, who shares my hangover. We’re on the freeway changing lanes to Mea’s house in Oakland maintaining a calm level of conversation. At Mea’s we start drinking Smirnoff, beers, and 5 hour energies. I abstain from all drinking save for a beer, as I plan to drive us to BART, where any further transportation plans will disintegrate as hopefully will our inhibitions under the caustic embrace of excessive alcohol consumption. So we refill our 5 hour energy bottles with vodka [Pro Tip] and hit the BART train. In the car I play “Fear of a Blank Planet” by Porcupine Tree which no one likes, followed by “Can’t Keep Up” by Gucci Mane which is received better.

Then we’re walking up Hyde st. through the Tenderknob to the bitterly humorous one-liners of the resident crackhead population. Our destination turns out to be a real shitty bar called the Nitecap, which sucks because A. It’s tiny with oddly placed tables obstructing any semblance of organized hanging out B. It’s loud with shitty rock/alternative punky music C. everyone there is a real “I’m a piece of shit and I know it” local, community-type idiot with a dog or something who just comes there to sit at the bar and nurse one beer while staring directly forward for 3 hours. The coolest part of that bar was this

and the whole bar sung happy birthday to whatever girl we were with, which was the second coolest. But I was glad when we left almost instantly. Now we’re at Vertigo, It’s cool and I at least feel like people their share my interest of getting fucked up. I am talking to the group we’re with, Jon and Davids’ friends from Santa Cruz, a demographic I’m way too familiar with. I’m ordering rum and cokes, a drink which I totally forgot about and am excited to remember. I am conversation hopping with the members of our crew, and glancing at strangers, the usual fun stuff, when in walks some people from high school I haven’t seen in a while. Excitement. I give some meaningful handshakes and back-pats, recite some flippant greetings, this is a fun night.

Outside we are smoking a cigarette, the line to get in has grown to a ridiculous length, a bouncer alerts my friend that he can’t roll a joint in front of the façade, so we mosey down the street to the corner, I decide I am the perfect level of sort-of-drunk, that smoking weed will be a decidedly pleasant experience. I embrace the decision. The group is loitering somewhat enthusiastically, talking about going somewhere else. My awareness is limited. The group decides to head to the next place and I am left in indecision with my one good friend from the group, neither of us have seen each other in a while. It is cool to be high in the city together. Friendo mentions we should go meet them at their destination which is apparently a strip-club. Not usually my thing, but I am feeling uninhibited and in a very “Yes World” type of mood so I go with him to his car, a 2011 BMW SUV bought by his twin brother.

 

At the strip club, I realize we are going to a strip club, I am stoned from my newfound low-weed tolerance, an effect of not often blazing since gaining employment at an office place, ironically my funds are as low as my tolerance and I have zero dollars in my pocket. Our friends are already in and they haggle to get us in. I learn later this place is called the “Penthouse” and is aparrently some kind of thing. I am too high to be interacting with strippers. After being sized up at the door, we get in and roll upstairs where the crew is hanging around a table. There is a bottle  of tequila on the table. I try my best to act cool and watch strippers, some of which are talking to me. I avoid eye contact. My currently empty wallet asserts itself in my mind. I appease their questions politely. I am sitting back contemplating these bizarre circumstances, the surrounding nudity doing little to alleviate my introspection. I notice a bill on the table for almost $500, I am really confused as to what is going on.

Outside the decision is made to go to an “after-party” which turns out to be a bunch of the strip club crowd, trying to get into some weird pseudo-club apartment thing. Unmarked bouncers alternate between hurrying people in and telling people to move along. Hanging in front of the entrance is not allowed. It is weird. My “Yes World” mentality has devolved to “Please Don’t Shank Me World”. I buy a pack of cigarettes and concile myself to terminal boredom.

We are eating pizza. The “club “ was too packed and after waiting in a hallway getting passed by strippers and their loved ones all night, to be greeted by a $20 entrance fee we decided to call it in. We are eating pizza. It is received with jaded enthusiasm. I’m more appreciative of my ride home and lack of stab wounds. As one quiets one’s mind, it begins to open, and the world opens itself proportionally. It’s around 4am;  I can’t smoke in the car.

Retail Ad

by Max Nelson on September 19, 2013

Retail Ad
I was doing ads for the school paper at Chico State (The Orion), and one day some guy said they needed an article written, so I volunteered and submitted this and they published it.

Picking the right apartment in college is a subtle dance, an intricate art laced with whispered secrets and forgotten myths. Maybe you’ve toured a spot with your soon-to-be roommates, maybe you’ve found yourself staring at the freshly painted walls, wondering what raucous debauchery they have witnessed, what untold madness has raged within their restraints. As you soothingly caressed their surface, ear cusped against the drywall, your roommate probably walked in and questioned whether he really wanted to live with you. But he knew not the art of house selection! The sighing of the wooly carpet, tope in color, Oh so very tope! He knew not the murmur of the ceiling fan, nor the hushed call of the kitchen countertop. But you heard, it, and oh what a symphony it was, ringing forth from every corner of the room, telling of keggers and kick-its and times forgotten. And oh how you danced! to be finally rid of the tyrannous restraints of the dorms, the iron shackles of curfew, The leaden ball of the the dining hall. Now replaced by the boundless freedom of personal space and yes, even your own individual room. Your dance was probably cut short by a concerned bystander who told you to “Seriously knock it off bro, you’re making us look weird” and that was acceptable, for amidst the clamor you had caught a whiff of something amiss, a nameless fear that loomed forward in the future.

It was that of roommates. People whose job it is to wake you at all hours of the night, unhindered by the very curfew you so loathed, but which also kept you safe from nocturnal disturbance in your subsophmoric cocoon. To devour your food, which you bought especially for that one moment when you got back from midterms, and all you wanted was a microwave burrito. These people are an unfortunate but necessary side effect of gaining domestic independence. To minimize the ill effects of living with uncouth behavior, all new home-renters should pick their roommate’s with as much caution as they exercised in selecting their place of living. Throw aside your sophmoric ideals and switch your compassion to OFF. Because the selection of roommate’s is best done with cold practicality and meticulous indifference. Those who are able to exercise this icy caution will be rewarded with both a pleasant semester, and if lucky, even a nice apartment to spend it in. By now, picking an apartment may seem more daunting a task than you had expected, but fear not dear reader, continue to dance within your quarters as I know you will, for you too hear the music of the apartment, it’s sweet embrace, and it’s glorious anthem…of freedom.