Sixteen Military Wives


With all the diplomacy going on with the possible drumming up of war, or the drumming up of diplomacy, over Syria this video only seemed appropriate for a Friday Refrain. I can’t think of anyone who does a better job of mocking the U.N. and US foreign policy than this video for Sixteen Military Wives by The Decemberists. Plus, well, it’s just enjoyable.

As one of the top commenters on YouTube said, the video really is like a Wes Anderson film. Awesome.

Phonebloks – Phones of Tomorrow


Not long ago I saw a video on Facebook of a revolutionary new concept for phones. Whereas modern smartphones generate an unparalleled amount of waste – due to planned obsolescence, routine wear and tear, the inability to replace or upgrade parts, etc. – this video demonstrated an entirely new way to think about cellular technology. These phonebloks – phones of tomorrow, hopefully – are completely customizable and upgradable. At least in theory.

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Third Death Linked to New Teen Trend


The recent death of sixteen year old Sarah Hayali, a resident of Marlboro, NJ, has been confirmed by coroners to be related to the use of the popular new cellphone application Snapchat, AP reports. The application, designed and released by publisher Snapchat Inc, is the latest in a long line of new teen trends that allow users to send photos of themselves to other users.

While the majority of photo applications on the market are for personal use or necessitate a following or being followed by a group of friends of celebrities,  Snapchat aimed to move beyond the norms.


New Teen Trend
Truly bringing people together

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The Fatalistic Bosnian


“How was your flight coming in?” Dzemal asked me, as he grabbed my suitcase and loaded it into the back of his ’80s hatchback. “God willing it was a good flight. Did you come all the way from America?”

“No,” I replied, “I came from Turkey. I’ve been teaching English there.”

“Oh, Turkey! Very nice, I know a lot of people from Turkey. Some Turks are staying in the inn tonight. Maybe you can meet them. But I don’t know, maybe you won’t see them. It’s hard to know what will happen, you know?”

Fatalistic Bosnian
The street outside of Dzemal’s house.

Here we go, I thought to myself. It was nice of Dzemal to pick me up from the Sarajevo airport, but I can’t stand the idea of making small talk about possibly seeing some Turks who may or may not be staying in the hotel. 

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Robot Hell


In honor of the final season of Futurama (again), here is one of my favorite songs from the series. Although I generally prefer to post videos, I couldn’t find any video of high enough quality to share. So, audio only today!

The Perfect Soundtrack to a 90s Child


To anyone born in the ’90s, do you remember growing up playing Nintendo? Or maybe you watched Cartoon Network’s Toonami, which was heavily dominated by anime classics like Sailor Moon and Dragonball Z. Maybe you weren’t quite that nerdy. Maybe, instead, you were the cool kid in elementary school and had the largest collection of tamagotchis in your class.

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Take Your Time (Coming Home)


Well, here we go. The last post you’ll have from me (this run) from outside of America, or scheduled from the past. I hope everyone is ready, because I will be back home in four days.

I guess I really did take my time coming home. So it goes, I’m ready for sushi… Although I’m sure I will find it very hard to leave the beaches of Dubrovnik. Goodbye, King’s Landing, goodbye.



I’m in Budapest, now. Did you know that Jethro Tull has a song called Budapest? Neither did I, but I love “Aqualung” so here we are. I imagine by this point in my trip too, after three weeks of back-packing through hostels, that I’ll match the description of having greasy fingers and shabby clothes… Though certainly without the whole eyeing little girls with bad intent part, though.

60 Revolutions


In keeping with the theme of travel, and Gogol Bordello, and Eastern Europe, I give you 60 Revolutions (Per Minute) direct from Krakow! I guess this song would really be more fitting for if I was in Ukraine or Russia… But Poland is close enough, and it has experienced it’s fair share of revolutions.

Anyway, yeah, Eastern Europe! I imagine that by this point I’m really excited to see Bonobo live in concert tomorrow –  I would hope I’m still excited to see him, at least.

Wonderlust King


Greetings from the future!… Or actually, I suppose it would be the past. I always feel weird scheduling posts, especially when it comes to music. These Friday Refrains are supposed to reflect how the past week has been treating me, so it is a little hard to foresee what they should be.

“Wonderlust King” just seems fitting, though. By the time this gets posted I should be on my way from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coasts to Sarajevo, Bosnia. From here I’ll wind my way through Eastern Europe, before finally returning to Newark via Istanbul. It will be a wild ride, for sure.

So, because of that, Gogol Bordello!

The Bird Watcher and Going Incognito


Today marks my last full day in Malatya. Saying goodbyes are never easy, especially when there is a high probability – if we are speaking honestly – that I may never see again the people who have meant so much to me for the past year. Of course, with all the downsides of social media, at least there is the comfort that I have the capability to stay connected with them all.

Leaving Malatya has another added difficulty; this marks the first time in my life in which I have no definitive future ahead of me. Up until this point everything was laid out for me, and happily flowed into each other – not so anymore.

So, on leaving Malatya with a heavy heart, a brain full of uncertainty, and a soul full of excitement for what the future holds I present “The Bird Watcher.” It captures perfectly exactly what is happening as I write this… Except for the whale. That doesn’t quite fit.

I may also be incognito for the next month or so. Starting tomorrow morning, I am embarking on a month of traveling before finally reaching home, so posts will be varied at best.

Hope you are all enjoying the start of your summer!

I never said this was worthwhile

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