Fromage

Les fromages, ah, ils sont merveilleux !

Le brie,

Il est ma vie;

Ni trou,

Ni fondu;

Je ne discrimine pas contre eux.

 

I’ve been thinking about cheese all day. This was inevitable.

This, ladies and gentlefolk, is the very definition of 2 AM poetry.

Life of the Party

To be honest, I’m probably more of a panel number two. Who wants to deal with real people anyway, right?

Wait, you’re telling me they exist and I’m hurting their feelings? What?

Anyway, there are probably even more stereotypes, but I only get so many square inches of napkin.

You ever sit around wondering how on earth could anyone be enthusiastic about something as dull as a “reunion” with people you mostly don’t know? Or rather, people who ask you if you remember them but you could swear you’ve never met them in your life—but of course you remember them don’t you? You met when you were two years old!

Well, call me a silver-liner, but here’s what I just realised: reunions, or any gathering with a lot of people, are happy hunting grounds for material. So much material. And so here’s the outcome: new material!

What other stereotypes have you seen at gatherings? (Yes, you’ve been to one and had to stay for five hours, don’t hide it. And you observed too. You were too bored, so spill.) Did you run into my characters? And were you the life of the party, or me?

I’m Bad At Promises

First up, I gotta say I try.

But I’m also quite a heat of the moment sort of a person, especially when things happen after 11 PM. Which means, for all the stories I string about being up till 3, I’m there, but I’m really not.

My friend and I have a theory that after 11:30 PM, my alter ego takes over. And after some inspection, we’ve come to realise that my alter ego is in fact a monocle-wearing, Fedora-tipping, moustache-sporting, English journalist called James. 

Too bad half my best work seems to come after 12 AM. 

So I’d promised comics twice a week, and now I’ve put out more. Feast, dear readers! (Actually, I don’t really recommend eating while you’re reading comics. I’ve done that with my Spider-Man comics (with a hyphen, as the guy himself has said!). It doesn’t end well either for your food, or for the mag.)

Here’s one and here’s the second

To be fair, the last one isn’t really a comic, so you can cut me some slack. If you actually like the comics and would want to consider it one, then you’re rare, hurrah for more comics!

Do Soup.

Winters can be brutal.

You’ve got to keep warm, leave early, brave the winds, activate X-Ray vision to see through the snow, perform the most elaborate rituals to ensure a snowstorm brings down that crucial midterm taking place tomorrow…

It’s definitely an elaborate season. And running around all the time, it’s easy to forget to breathe in, even when you can see your own breath in front of you, and Moreno importantly, to keep warm, in spite of the numerous white reminders tapping on your forehead.

So I decided, in the general spirit of doing good, to make people a little reminder.

I drew it up on a particularly snowy day in my residence dining hall while studying French from a library textbook, and I did, for two whole minutes, seriously consider returning the book with an added token of gratitude slipped inside.

In fact, I’m warming up to the fact again.

(See what I did there?)

So be a nice person today.

Pass this around and remind your friends to keep warm, and above all: snort soup, dress warm and snuggly in your velvet mystic robe, and practice them dark arts of snowing days in!

Eyes ‘Trained’ On The Prize

If you were an amateur high aiming, well intentioned yet pain-in-the-ass photographer-wannabe cinematographer trying to score a movie deal with an indie project to show, you might sit up at 3 in the morning and think it’s a good idea to recreate Trainspotting.

I wholeheartedly support you and encourage you to try. In fact, I have a little something for you.

I’ve just realized that if someone of your caliber came to my room and tried to zoom in on my desk with a grainy zoom, out of focus, my desk would very closely resemble the scenes from the movie.

You’d see messy piles of grainy white among other piles of mess and an absolute disregard for a decent human state of living. From your view at the other end of the screen, I’d be living in shambles. Dilapidation is me. You’d forget where you were and wonder where you’ve been transported to, how you landed yourself in this mess, and whether you should be seriously considering this project, accounting for your own mental wellness.

Until you take the lens away from your eye. Welcome home, my failed Academy receipient. Welcome to my room. Welcome to my desk.

It’d take you a minute to get your bearings back before you come to realise that no, there was no powder and the books weren’t keeping a tab on customers (although, I do believe my roommate is into the finer arts of accounting, if you’re altogether keen,) but were just repeatedly scratched out half-assed math solutions, and those squiggly lines and symbols were not spells and ancient incantations, but were, again, failed math problem attempts (don’t think the original movie covered those) and in fact, all you can see (as far as the eye can see, for that matter) is just. And. Only. Tissue papers. Piles of them, mountains of them, it doesn’t end. I haven’t robbed a bank and got me some crack, I’ve literally robbed the dining hall for not food, but freaking paper napkins for when my nose cracks out another one and I still find the need to get more.

This flu is probably more annoying than your camera work.

And then follows a sneeze of such volumes that you take a step back in alarm. Maybe, you feel, you should be getting out of here soon for your physical health.

Oh no, honey, some of my “powder” must’ve gone in my nose. The volumes of it coming in these days… the orders just don’t stop, you see!

On second thoughts, you’re asking yourself, how soon is now? [Allow me to break character for just a second and ask if there are any Smiths fans reading this who suddenly perked up at that last line?]

You haven’t seen my bin yet! I protest. The stores in there are tremendous!

Except you probably heard ‘trebenduz’ instead. You take a step back.

You pick up your camera. You’ve had enough. You suddenly remember that big budget project you had lined up where you tape 15 hours’ worth of some rich old guy’s pet pig. “It’s for Swina’s birthday, you know. Plus, it pays.”

I want to protest. You don’t know what you’re missing. The potential in this room. There’s a fortress of tissues, a mountain of used tissues, there’s struggle, drama, frustration, torn homework assignments, my unmade bed, the anticipation, a three week old half eaten, uncovered piece of funnel cake–

But you’re already out of the room before I can complete that last line. You really have other places to be right now. You run out in terror and slam the door shut behind you; perhaps the book was a better idea after all.

I’m still behind the shut door. I can only shake my head. Strange fellow you must be, to waste such potential…

Oh well. I’ve still got the original set right here with me. Which reminds me. It’s about time I actually got around to watching Trainspotting.

Situational Existential Poetry

It’s a most curious kind of bother

That for my idle brain is now fodder

It’s existential, and in a timeframe

When my work causes me to forget my name

So I turn up here and you can call me Matt

I’ll stand before you and blurt out scat

About a ghost story and majoring in math[1]

And shameless plugging about joining my lettuce appreciation frat.[2]

That giving me freedom would become a problem

Was a perpetual issue that bugged my mum

At the very bare minimum,

She figured my floormates would hear a midnight strum

Or quite possibly the new tribal drums

That I would read about in the history library,

And enrol as the lead dramatist

In the science fiction drama with a plot twist;

That I’d turn minimalist

And live and die by the ice cream stick

And my vitamins be damned

And the meal plans a scam;

And my professors’d be in for an amusing shock

To see me stumble in asleep at nine o’ clock

If I ever made it on time, of course

An upside down map being my sole source

But so far, I’ve kept myself on form

And while I’m wondering if it’s the calm before the storm, 

I’ve a most curious kind of bother:

I’m turning into my mother.

[1] A long, wonderfully written story. I may explain it someday, or simply allow you to enlighten yourself (albeit partially) with this here: embrace nirvana.
Full reveal: he couldn’t have hidden in the “angle of the tower” without his math degree. And without him, Reznikoff wouldn’t have been a legend.

[2] Another long story about a lettuce appreciation club my friend and I are going to start. Devil’s in the details out shortly. Stay tuned for future updates.

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But I doubt I’ll ever stop being immature enough to enjoy doing this.

Infinity And Beyond

Bad choice of reference, I guess.

So… I’ve just seen Infinity War. Safe to say I’m a little shaken. Grammar may be a little screwed up, it’s a bit of a trade-off. And I’m supposed to be up early tomorrow morning, so I suppose I’m having a pre-sleep deprivation hangover-hangover.
And yeah, I can take out time without being particularly guilty. What better can I do with my time, right? (Ask yourself that question, I can seriously promise you you are going to find yourself in that cinema hall. Now I’ll exit this before I descend into just how meaningless all of human exis—
/Much welcome boom interrupts/
/After very properly depositing that last piece of flying debris/

(Yes, not only have I just watched an Avengers movie, but I’ve also been binge-reading the Martian. Sue me.)
Anyway, back to where I was.)

Aaaaaaaaa             (via Twitter)

Man, what can I say? With every awesome Marvel movie returns a question with a vengeance: why, oh why, did I give up animation and design? Imagine making this stuff. Yes, eye-killer, I know, but for a minute, just forget that and imagine you worked on the CGI for this. Or on Doctor Strange (the most beautiful MCU CGI to date, if you ask me). Now give yourself an imaginary medal.
Then shuffle back to your desk, red-faced, and complete your latest code.

This also brings me back to my shamefully high pile of unwatched movies. Summer watching ain’t dead yet, I’m on my way!
Maybe.
I can reason this out.
It’s not like I’ve anything better to do. ( /Recursive argument begins, followed by a crash/ )
Technically, I’ve a legacy of engineers to follow.
Any test that contains an ‘E’ ought to be on my list.
But realistically, am I doing anything more than going crazy weighing pros and cons and hovering over an ‘accept’ button and chickening for another day? (Nukeheads, bloody learn from me.)
So my summer watchlist ought to win! We have a realistic chance! Good triumphs! …in the sequel that comes two years later.
Yep, this isn’t just my watchlist’s story, it’s my life’s. Screw this.

One thing about the movie, though, is it brought a classic law of the cineverse and shoved it in my face: the (super)hero always gets the girl(/guy).
After my parched life in institution, normalising with the outside world can take a while.
Here’s to wondering if an asexual geeky superhero ever got anybody.
Life’s a movie, there’s hope, isn’t there?

For the two hours I’ve spent, I will try not to talk much about the movie. I’m not all that evil.

I did, however, come across a very interesting post on Reddit about this earlier this week, though.

To paraphrase, it said, if you can’t join ‘em, lick ‘em.

To quote, it said, if you can’t get over your rejections, email admission officers Infinity War spoilers.

(To this, an AO very sassily replied, “You may have ruined the movie for us, but we’ve just ruined yours hopes and dreams”.
I’m guessing that post doesn’t come easily.)

I mentioned this to mum and dad as we drove back (yep, no matter how cool you might think I am, we do superhero movies as a family. Whatever.) They went on into a discussion about identity theft (I don’t know, don’t ask me, and it’s not important anyway), and I began kidding around and enthusiastically saying, “oh yeah, I should totally do this!”
After all, I’ve seen the movie, and now I’ve got a weapon much stronger than any of y’all! Beware, buggers! You can’t even give me spoilers!!

Dad broke me off from my fantasies. He said you better not do that, this could be dangerous! What if you meet them later in life/apply again for grad school/karma screws.
I only just imagine the lower the acceptance rate, the worse the inboxes will be screwed and flooded. By my own definition, that would be a ‘karma screws’ situation, but whatever. Not my main concern.

What did completely and wholly capture my attention is just how important this makes an Avengers movie!
Imagine this conversation from five years later:
ME: Hi, I’m [perpetrator]!
PROF/AO (eyes grow wide) (gasps) (whispers): You!
ME: Me?
PROF/AO (louder): You!
ME (no memory of matter, politely): Yes? Can you help me out with–
PROF/AO: It’s you! You’re the one who RUINED Infinity War for me forever! Don’t you know I waited, waited TWO YEARS for this, how could you??
ME: uh… viscosity—?
PROF/AO (smiles evilly): Drag force.
PROF/AO (continues): And now, it is my turn.
ME: Drag force?
PROF: Drag course!
ME: wait…
PROF: FAILING GRADES, SEE YOU NEXT SEMESTER—AGAIN!!
(Cellos play furiously in background and your ears begin to get uncomfortable. Evil laugh perfectly syncopates as the camera zooms into PROF’s face, then cuts up to a yellow sky, bright clouds reflect the the dying sunlight, as a despairing “Noooooo!” echoes through the skies.)
(Possible sequel in the making? I don’t know, but I’m enthusiastic about returning to the longer post format, it’s been a while!)

(PS: screw all this saving the world with tech biz, I should totally ditch computer science and become a filmmaker. All those in favour say aye!)

Survey #39

 

*stretches out of disuse*

A rare moment of freedom and inspiration has allowed me to put out this much-procrastinated survey… it may be from September, for all I know!

 

Q: What are your plans for surviving apocalypse?

Shania: Die? Or dress Zombae’s hair. I’ll be a Zombae hairdresser: Zombae Hair Salon. Please visit!

Pranav: Probably bingewatch my 50 anime gigs and Narcos before that happens. But if I get the chance to run away like in ‘2012’, then of course, why not?

Aayush: I’ll follow Nidhi ma’am.

Anand: I shall die with music in my ears, anime in my heart and a basketball in my hands. A glorious, beautiful death.

Siddharth: Assuming that the apocalypse is the shutting down of the Internet, I’d survivse on pre-downloaded TV-shows till I run out and then live life lkike people did in the 1800s and 1900s: bare essentials.

Aayush: Just chill.

Sakshi: Stay hiddden in one of the deserted cars, because nobody pays attention to them.

Neha: If it’s a zombie apocalypse, I will camp out in a huge grocery store and stay away from bikers or people trying to find their families because 99% of the time, they’re crazier than the zombies.
If it’s a robot apocalypse, then I’d be quite happy to let them inherit the earth. They’d probably do a brilliant job.

Vyshnavi: I’m useless, so I’d die!

Eesha: I 1. am very tiny
2. care for no one
So I can hide in the weirdest of places and also will slaughter a person if needed. And I will do anything for a burger.

Shubhankar: I don’t wanna survive.

Marc: I can’t share that, or you’ll survive.    [Yeah, thank you.]

Netra: Time travel again and again until I actually die.

Nishidh: Die!

Shrinjay: You don’t survive an apocalypse.

Eeshan: Take a neverending nap.

Yusuf: I will be under the protection of “Sunita Ramesh”.   [inside joke]

Ritankar: Let’s all die together!

Kaustubh:  Get high on all kinds of drugs nd play my Xbox till I die.

Anushka: Die happily because I’ll have no reason to live.

Daivya: Just die.

Maulishri: Die!

Richa: Die.

Eva: Go with the flow, and by that I mean, you guessed it, die.

Ashay: Go to pharen country.

Jai: Go to pharen country with Ashay.

Parthiv: Go to pharen country with Jai.

Harshit: Die with a glass of wine.

Archit: Go crazy all around.

Adhvait: Watch theb world tear apart

Ronan: Behave like a caveman 🙂

Aditya: Hide in a seed vault with a truck of soil.

Shamila ma’am: Go to pharen country with Ashay, Jai and Parthiv, if they don’t mind!

Manish sir: I’d die.

Satchit: I am Cactus-Man. Nothing can hinder my survival.

Saahil: My version of the apocalypse is the one from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, so I’d survive it by eating all the food. I must save the world!
[Anushree: Yes, please. Especially for us vegetarians.]

Aakansha: Use my T.A.R.D.I.S. to go to another era.

Vedika: I don’t plan  to survive.

Kritika: I’d die.

Sanyukta: Just dieee!

Manasi: Apocalypse is: Sanyukta’s screching, Aditi being a rat, Aninthitha [… this response was interrupted by actual apocalypse: the reak probably ended.]

Manya: Volcanic apocalypse: novels, and enjoying it. Thank goodness it finally happened.

Manvika: Who said I wanted to survive?

Aaliya: I will cause the zombie apocalypse, run around and eat people’s brains!

Aninthitha: If there’s a robot/AI battle for domination, I’ll turn. I hate people.

Rishabh: I’d just like to chill.

Arjun: I’ll hide under a table with enough water and food.

Shivani: Don’t wanna survive!

Jahnavi: I’d travel to another universe.

Vidhi: Stock up on pizza and coke in a cool place below the surface of the earth.

Anisha: Take all my books and hide in a cave/island/bunker.

Arshya: Hide somewhere.

Anandita: Huh? Plan? Whaat?

Aelin (pseudonym): Apocalypse: there’s no music and books in the  world anymore.
How I’ll survive:  Learn how to sing and manufactjure instruments, especially guitars and pianos.

Pragya: Apocalypse: No colours, everything is plain, black and white.
How I’ll survive: I’ll learn to paint and manufacture brushes, paints, everything related to art.

Manasi (again):  lmao I’d die first (unfit af).

Aryaa: Survival of the fittest! I will fight to death.  [this response hs been awarded seven stars and an “A++++++” by a fellow  surveyee]

Anushree: I’ll accompany Akicchi because she’ll know how to operate T.A.R.D.I.S. (I’m not a Whovian).

Aditi: I am ready for apocalypse. I have a secret candy stash (not telling where it is), I can survive in a bunker without meeting humans for days, and I’m not a very virtuous person either.
What more do you need?

Gauri: Build a bunker, fill it with an assortment of food, but mostly chocolate and cheese, stay there and watch movies for the remainder of my life.

Tanishi: I don’t wnna live! I’d die– happily!

Yatin: Promise me a pizza nd a smoothie, and maybe I’ll change sides.

Raghav: All the meth!

Ayushi:  I wouldn’t want to survive it. I’d prefer to die.

Jatin: Food suply, ammo and a shotgun.

Radhika: Lay down on the road and act like I’m dead.

Mahwash:  I would hoard pizzas and hang out with Arnab Goswami (to break the ice).

Anshul: Die before it even hits. Simple.

Deepan: Already going through one. It’s called twelfth grade.

Satvik: Lock myself up and meditate, then probaby get the zombies to self-actualization  and become their spiritual leader (not to be confused with MSG).

Punyam: No die.

 

Know what, the final verdict is out. We’re not going to make it. But I hope I make it, to the next survey! I’ve still tons of that crazy stuff to put out. Hold on tight.

Integrating On Windows

Being fair to me, it was my mum’s idea.

After listening to me whine for half an hour about how I was tired of doing maths (chide me, but this is how I spend my little breaks. I’ll never learn.), mum finally got fed up, and asked me, if I was so terribly sick of integrating on paper, why didn’t I change my medium and do it on the windows? (This was an offhand reference to a conversation we’d had earlier in the day about how my little sister used to scribble on just about anything with a chalk.) Afterall, hadn’t I just gone out a few weeks ago and very enthusiastically shopped for marker pens I had no idea what to do with?

And so it happened that mum came along a few hours later to find me, on my toes, furiously solving integral sums on the nearest window I could find.

(Alright, I’ll drop the facade. Not furiously.)

 

Of course I was using a permanent marker.

So I ascended from the depths of integrals, to a couple of shrieks.

My mum was more concerned about me falling out of the window (no, I cannot explain that), my sister had more objections to the fact that the instrument in my hands was permanent.

I can sort of understand her concerns. I imagine she was already beginning to have nightmares about the pen leaving an indelible mark, integration haunting her every time she looked to the window, for years and years.

I had an answer for her though. There’s nothing a little alcohol cannot fix.

I might have posted about this before, but this is one of the cases so far where my chemistry has come in handy. Organic solvents dissolve organic inks and the cleaning becomes real easy.

At any rate, here’s the result of my work:

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Wonder if it’s going to help my grades in any way.

 

On a completely unrelated note, as I draft this post, mum and dad are in a feng shui shop, looking for something to “improve attention and concentration.”

Oh well.

I Can’t Hear Myself Think

I don’t know if that’s physically possible, but I’m feeling it right now.

My ears are ringing out of sheer shock. I have not heard a band play louder. (But then again, it may be argued that I haven’t had a chance to see Muse live. Yet.)

So every once in a while, miracles do happen.

(A little recap for context) After coming to know at 3:30 PM that British grunge/alt-rockers Wolf Alice were in town and playing a gig in the city at 7 PM, I had a long two-hour theatric on why I should be going.

It touched upon everything, a very versatile and diverse argument, I must admit.

I’m the science student, I’m paling because I’m in here studying, (absolutely irrelevant to a night gig– unless we’re talking about “darkening” due to pollution), how with me soon to be a full-time computer science student, I may just die before I get a whiff of life (… I don’t know if this is true, but I do not want it to be. Can anyone vouch for that?) how we’re not risk takers and are just not game for life, and why does it matter that we’re booking a few hours, and not a few days, before the gig?

Mum was particularly concerned about leaving my sister to study on her own for a few hours (and being unable to reach her because her phone’d Ben in aeroplane mode).

Anyway, I won’t bore you with gory details (according to my English teacher, I’m guilty of that often… to be fair, it was a chapter involving murder. But to get to the point now.)

Somehow, things worked out, and I have now bright prospects of a career in acting.

I went for the Wolf Alice gig.

Mum wouldn’t let me go by myself, but she did end up tagging along. She ended up spending her time taking a good long hour’s walk around pavements!

As for me, I was in.

Wolf Alice came on at 7:30, their set lasted nearly jour and was a good mix of new old stuff, though leaning on the side of songs off their latest album released on 29 September 2017, Visions Of A Life.

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Early on. (I’ll admit, phone photography isn’t the best, but is that the point of a live gig?)

The band was in the city for an Amnesty International awareness event, on violence against women online.

There seems to be some sort of trend, bands touring here for a cause (remember Coldplay and the Global Citizen fest, anyone?)

But anyway, it wasn’t amazing to see that they have a pretty neat following here! I could estimate around five hundred people, maybe more.

They have so much energy, they rock out like crazy. Second best new(ish) band I’ve seen! (After Royal Blood, of course. Seeing them live would be super cool, though!)

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Ellie Rowsell was tireless as the band kept belting out track after track, with just the occasional pause to interact with the crowd. Speaking of engagement, bassist Theo Ellis was incredible: the guy didn’t have a dead bone in his body!

Jumping around, inciting the crowd, grooving as he played his bass, he was in his own element.

There was only a slight hitch in the middle when guitarist Joff Odie’s guitar temporarily went dead as he helplessly tried to shake some sound out of it and ended up swinging it around for the rest of the song, annoyed, till he could make a swap for the next song. (My best bet for why he didn’t doc that before is preset sounds and settings.)

Personally, there was only one thing I wish was better, apart from which the band was perfect: they rock hard, take that from me. They’ve blown my ears out. Every hair on my arms was reverberating with the loud music, it was almost a wonder to me that the band was so comfortable, the speakers being right behind them. They were owning it.

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One of my personal favourite of this band’s gimmicks is towards the end of You’re A Germ, when Ellie’s vocals descend onto a manic, deranged laughter. It’s beautiful, and it’s perfect where it is in the song. But live, the intensity was a bit lower, and the laughter sounded kinda mechanical.

No fault of Rowsell’s, I can’t  imagine recreating that manic laugh every gig, and that’s what studio recordings are for, right? You go for a live gig for the experience, the emotions, raw and unfiltered, not polished or perfected over four takes.

But you can hear the manic laugh, and the rest of the song for yourself and decide!

The gig lasted roughly an hour, and it was one of the best hours of the year for me!

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(Do I sound like a music journalist here?)

Man, after seeing these guys live, my will to be up there on stage doing just what they’re doing has gotten even stronger. It’s back to my beloved piece of wood an month’s time! I’ve got a lot to catch up on.

This band rocks out almost like bands did in the nineties! And that’s a good thing.

We like them ‘cause they’re pure
We like them ‘cause we know they’re cool

(My little play on You’re a Germ’s lyrics,
He likes her ‘cause she’s pure
She’s likes him ‘cause she’s heard he’s cool

Minus the creepy connotations.)

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Lessons learnt?

Don’t ever pass up the gig. And don’t ever underestimate the power of a good argument. And the good bands will eventually come to a city near you– with their dedicated group of globe-trotting fans! Sure saw a lot of those today.

I have quite a few video grabs from the gig, from songs I am ore familiar with. Trust me, I’m a fan, I love these guys, but i haven’t been listening too much this year— not to much of anything, in fact! Catching up to do.

I can’t upload them, however, WordPress on my current plan doesn’t let me. Oh well. What’s YouTube for, right?

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(The videos were mostly for my sister, who did definitely pitch for me good; I don’t suppose mum would’ve agreed if she hadn’t been so thrown off by my sister’s support for my case, but I did mostly try to enjoy the  live experience.)

So with this gig and thousand-word review, (was it really a review? Perhaps not) I’ve ticked two things off my bucket list!

Now it’s back to integrating. The next time I upload pictures, it’s may  of a two-page long sum.

Integration… I currently can’t really hear myself think, and perhaps that’s a good thing!

Until next time!