Playlist of the Month: November 2016

It’s been a busy month, and the next one is going to be even busier. Fortunately for you, dear reader, the second half of next month should, if everything goes according to plan, lead to a lot of fun travel posts.
Anyhow, the playlist from this month has the beginnings of Christmas in it. Hey, I’m in Europe, it’s not like they celebrate Thanksgiving here.
5AM – Amber Run
Your Hand In Mine – Explosions in the Sky
Team (Lorde Cover) – Matthew Mayfield
Smoke Filled Room (Acoustic) – Mako
Home (Tim Palmer Mix) – Blue October
Sight – Sleeping At Last
Touch – Sleeping At Last
Half Light – BANNERS
Be Somebody – Kings of Leon
Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone
Shadow and a Dancer – The Fray
When The World Sleeps – Lowland Hum
Better Man (Feat. Peter Gregson & Iskra String Quartet) – FYFE
Kusanagi – ODESZA
Stay High – One Room
Division – Tycho
Gods in Heat – Tobacco
Haunt / Bed – The 1975
Two Blue Eyes – Tall Heights
Fallingforyou – The 1975
Where’s My Love – Syml
Killer Queen – FIL BO RIVA 1
Doing the Right Thing – Daughter
Worth It – Moses Sumney
Slack – Tycho
 22 (OVER S∞∞N) – Bon Iver 2
Receiver – Tycho
 715 – CRΣΣKS – Bon Iver 3
White Ferrari (Vasta Remix) – Frank Ocean
Field – Tycho
Neptune – Sleeping At Last
29 #Strafford APTS – Bon Iver
Sun – Sleeping At Last
Small Crimes – Nilüfer Yanya4
Brooklyn Baby – The Code
Hallelujah – Pentatonix
Emphasis – Sleeping At Last
All We Do – Oh Wonder
Horizon – Tycho
Epoch – Tycho
Coventry Carol – Pentatonix5
Coldest Winter – Pentatonix
Rhythm & Blues – The Head and the Heart
Afterthought – CloseTalker
The White Strip – Blueneck6
Landslide – Oh Wonder
Robbers – The 1975
the mood – stefan
White Blood – Oh Wonder
Heart Hope – Oh Wonder7
Hold On – Chain Gang of1974
Dancehall Remix – Horses Heaven
Belong – Roosevelt
Say That You Want It – Abroad
Ivy (Air Zaïre Remix) – Frank Ocean8
Good Grief – Bastille
Power – Bastille
Ferns – Iris Temple
Down – Buster Moe
Open Up – Jack Eagle
Give In Ft. Airling (Golden Vessel Remix) – Xavier Dunn
Miko – Chain Gang of1974
Earth – Sleeping At Last
Six Feet Under (Jerry Folk Remix) – Billie Eilish
Menswear – The 19759
Dark Days – Local Natives
Transformations – Sleeping At Last
One In Ten – Sleeping At Last
All We Ever Knew – The Head and the Heart


  1. I find this name oddly hilarious. If it wasn’t in all caps it wouldn’t be nearly as funny, either. 
  2. People give me concerned looks when I walk around the school singing “it might be over soon” quietly to myself 
  3. seriously the names on this album are so pretentious 
  4. Knowing how to type umlauts before I started learning German was quite helpful. 
  5. This is a great christmas song for singing along to. 
  6. I consider Blueneck to be vaguely christmas music, which is… weird, to say the least. 
  7. No seriously just get this whole album okay 
  8. I just really like the way that lowercase-i-with-umlaut looks 
  9. The link caption for this one is “Amazon: Menswear” which makes me feel like I’m just linking to the online version of a department in a Macy’s. 

“Upper Belvedere,” or, “I, too, use gold foil and hypnotoad as my decorating theme”

It’s been a while since my last post, but the weather has been getting colder and colder, and my focus has been more and more on writing the various final papers for my classes. Which is, y’know, not the most exciting thing for people to read about.
But we’re still going for the occasional tour: this week, we spent some time in the Upper Belvedere, one of the many palaces the city has to offer.
Continue reading “Upper Belvedere,” or, “I, too, use gold foil and hypnotoad as my decorating theme”

“Imperial Vault,” or, “no thanks, just launch my body into an erupting volcano”

Our tour this week was a bit spookier than most, even the one in the graveyard1 – we went down into the Imperial Vault. Which is not, as I initially thought, where they used to store their crown jewels and whatnot – that’s the treasury. No, it’s where they store their dead relatives. Because, y’know, normal graveyards are too passé.
Continue reading “Imperial Vault,” or, “no thanks, just launch my body into an erupting volcano”

Playlist of the Month: October 2016

It just now feels like it’s getting towards the end of the year, it’s weird.
5AM – Amber Run
Your Hand In Mine – Explosions in the Sky
Team (Lorde Cover) – Matthew Mayfield
Smoke Filled Room (Acoustic) – Mako
SWORD – ΔUGUST
Home (Tim Palmer Mix) – Blue October
Sight – Sleeping At Last
Touch – Sleeping At Last
All I Want – Kodaline
Half Light – BANNERS
Be Somebody – Kings of Leon 1
Big Jet Plane – Angus & Julia Stone
Atlas – Coldplay
Ghosts – BANNERS
Shadow and a Dancer – The Fray
 Remains (Bastille Vs. Rag N Bone Man Vs. Skunk Anansie) (Crossfaded Version) – Bastille
When The World Sleeps – Lowland Hum
I Love You (Quintet Version) – Woodkid
Better Man (Feat. Peter Gregson & Iskra String Quartet) – FYFE
Kill V. Maim – Grimes
Kusanagi – ODESZA
Live in This Moment – Kakou
Little Higher ft. Xavier Dunn – Terace 2
Postcards feat. Sam Island – Equal
Folding Hills feat. Xavier DUnn – FØRD
Stay High – One Room
Summer Heat – Solidisco
Division – Tycho
Gods in Heat – Tobacco
The Void – IAMX
Haunt / Bed – The 1975
Two Blue Eyes – Tall Heights
Fallingforyou – The 1975
Saturn – Sleeping At Last
Where’s My Love – Syml
Dead In This House – IAMX
Lethargy – Bastille
Speed Of Sound – Communist Daughter
Killer Queen – FIL BO RIVA
Campus – Bastille
An Act Of Kindness – Bastille
Warmth – Bastille
8 (circle) – Bon Iver3
Doing the Right Thing – Daughter4
Worth It – Moses Sumney
America – XYLØ
Slack – Tycho
She Way Out – The 1975
 22 (OVER S∞∞N) – Bon Iver5
Receiver – Tycho
Atlas: Life – Sleeping At Last
City Club – Los Growlers
Facedown – The 1975
Let It Happen – Tame Impala
Reality In Motion – Tame Impala
 715 – CRΣΣKS – Bon Iver
Paranoicosis (Whale Roads) – Polymath6
Fossa – Daughter
White Ferrari (Vasta Remix) – Frank Ocean
Pluto – Sleeping At Last
Masters – Local Natives
Field – Tycho
Neptune – Sleeping At Last
Actualized – DANAE
Direction [Acoustic] – DANAE
29 #Strafford APTS – Bon Iver
You Don’t Get Me High Anymore – Phantogram
Sun – Sleeping At Last
Small Crimes – Nilüfer Yanya7
Fake It – Bastille
Precious – Kevin Garrett
Light – Sleeping At Last
Everybody Knows – RAEKO feat. Mating Ritual
Brooklyn Baby – The Code
Mine – Tony Pops
Jellyfish – Local Natives
Hallelujah – Pentatonix8
Emphasis – Sleeping At Last
All We Do – Oh Wonder
No Care – Daughter
Horizon – Tycho
Epoch – Tycho


  1. They have a new album out but I haven’t acknowledged it yet, so don’t expect anything from that in here. 
  2. Other than “make it less of an awful pile of crap” I think my main request for the iTunes team would be “better metadata for multiple-artist songs.” 
  3. The song names on this album are the most “pretentious hipster” thing ever
  4. Props to Taylor for making me listen to Daughter, I’m a fan. 
  5. No, seriously, I’m just copy/pasting this over, I’m too lazy to dig through the ‘insert special character’ thing for this. 
  6. Now that is how you do a weird song name. No obnoxious characters to type. 
  7. “ü” doesn’t count as a weird character by my definition, because I have to type umlauts a lot. I’m in Austria. 
  8. Not my favorite version of this song ever, but that goes to the version I sang in my senior year of high school, which I don’t think is recorded anywhere because copyright law is fun like that. 

“Salt Mine,” or, “the deepest wifi hotspot I’ve ever used”

You’ve already read what we did on the afternoon of our final day in Poland; now it’s time to hear about what we did that morning. And yes, that is out of order, which I normally don’t do, but I wanted to save the best for last.1 This being me, “the best” is defined as “a cool underground thing.” More specifically, a salt mine – the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Continue reading “Salt Mine,” or, “the deepest wifi hotspot I’ve ever used”

“Krakow II,” or, “this time, with more church”

I promised myself I’d have something happier to follow up my last post, and I also promised you, dear reader, that I’d eventually talk about the big fancy church in the Krakow town square.
Today, it is time to deliver on those promises.
I’m actually getting slightly out of order, because what I’m writing about here happened after the events of my next post, but the next one is also very long, so I’m taking a bit of a break from the long posts to have something short and sweet.
Continue reading “Krakow II,” or, “this time, with more church”

“Auschwitz,” or, “I’m not putting a silly title on this.”

One death is a tragedy. One million deaths is a statistic.

The human mind is a miraculous thing, but it’s also a flawed thing. We weigh emotions far more highly than we do logic, which is how something like the quote above1 comes into being. To the human mind, a single death is a tragedy – a life snuffed out, an intelligent being gone from the world. A million deaths, though? We can’t comprehend that in the same way; instead of a million tragedies, a million lives gone unlived, untold billions of hopes and dreams obliterated, it’s just… a number.

In the years 1940-1945, the Nazis deported at least 1,300,000 people to Auschwitz:
1,100,000 Jews
140,000-150,000 Poles,
23,000 Roma (Gypsies),
15,000 Soviet prisoners of war,
25,000 prisoners from other ethnic groups.
1,100,000 of these people died in Auschwitz. Approximately 90% of the victims were Jews.

On Monday afternoon, we arrived at Oświęcim, a town of about 40,000 people about an hour away from Krakow. As towns go, it’s fairly normal – the most notable thing I can remember seeing was a mall that was utilizing a KFC as an anchor store.
And then you hit the edge of town, and find out why the name seems ever so slightly familiar: three quarters of a century ago, the Nazi government of Germany decided they needed somewhere to put their prisoners. Having recently conquered Poland, they decided they wouldn’t waste any of their precious homeland on prisoners, and allocated some land in their new largesse. With a characteristic disdain for everyone they were in control of, they wrote off the Polish language – and all the Polish names for places – and renamed the town.
Continue reading “Auschwitz,” or, “I’m not putting a silly title on this.”

“Collegium Maius,” or, “COPERNICUS WAS HERE”

Day Two of our time in Krakow began with a walk back into the center of town to meet in the shadow the church I wrote about previously. A few people went in, as we had a bit of time to kill, but I’m still using that as a teaser for an upcoming post – I didn’t actually go inside the church until our last day in Poland.
Instead, we headed across town towards the Collegium Maius, the heart of the ancient Jagellonian University.
Continue reading “Collegium Maius,” or, “COPERNICUS WAS HERE”

“Krakow,” or, “what do you mean ‘the dragon has the day off’”

Saturday night, we hopped aboard a train to Krakow; as I’m writing this, we’ve arrived back in Vienna on Wednesday morning, and I’m taking advantage of the fact that Wednesday is a national holiday1 to get caught up on writing up all the things that we did over the past few days.
It was a night train, so we arrived in Krakow on Sunday morning, feeling… not-well rested. There’s only so much sleep you can achieve in a bed that’s slightly shorter than your body and vibrating to the slightly-irregular rhythm of a moving train. We caught a group of cabs2 to our hotel, dropped off our bags, and then met up with our tour guide to start exploring the city.
Continue reading “Krakow,” or, “what do you mean ‘the dragon has the day off’”

“Traunfeld,” or, “this is a season of The Bachelor waiting to happen”

This is the last of my three posts about what all we did last Friday. Long day, believe me, but a good one.
After we left Klosterneuberg, we cut across the outskirts of Vienna on our way to Traunfeld, a small town in Lower Austria, where we got a tour of a vineyard and winery. This is apparently a traditional trip for the Linfield group, but this year was a bit different – the nice married couple, owners of the vineyard and winery we were touring, were out at a wedding, so their son would be giving the tour instead.1
Continue reading “Traunfeld,” or, “this is a season of The Bachelor waiting to happen”

“Klosterneuberg,” or, “once again, wine saves the day”

I mentioned in my post about the Treasury that it was the first in a series of three; this is the second.
After we left the Treasury, we hopped aboard a taxi-van1 and headed out of the city towards Klosterneuberg. The name is an interesting one – you’ve got “neu,” which means “new,” linking together “berg,” a term that in this case refers to a castle being built by the nobility, and “kloster,” which is etymologically linked2 with the word ‘cloister.’ So if you’re going for a verbose translation of the name, you’d get something along the lines of “the new town combining the Church and the State.”3
Continue reading “Klosterneuberg,” or, “once again, wine saves the day”

“Treasury,” or, “that’s, like, a thirty-foot tall unicorn”

This past Friday was rather eventful – you’re looking at the first of three posts devoted to the events of one day.
The day began in Vienna, where we walked from the Institute over to the Treasury. Once full of money, now it’s full of a museum. That’s full of probably a billion dollars of gold and jewels. So… not much has changed, actually.
Continue reading “Treasury,” or, “that’s, like, a thirty-foot tall unicorn”

“War Museum,” or, “turns out they had hoverboards in 1945”

This first week back is a little crazy – starting up new classes at the University of Vienna is a big hunk of time, but we’ve also got midterms.1 We still have a bit of time for fun, though – on Wednesday, we went and saw a concert at the Musikverein, a beautiful building where I didn’t take any pictures because High Society has some powerful judgement they’ll throw your way if you do that.
But that’s not the subject of this post;2 I’m here to talk about the War Museum that we went to as a class trip on Tuesday.
Continue reading “War Museum,” or, “turns out they had hoverboards in 1945”

“Boundary Crossed,” or, “logically speaking that should *either* kill him… or give him immortality. huh.”

I do enjoy the writing in this book – I was working on a different one, but it had such clunky phrasing going on throughout that I put it down and started working on this one instead. And I’m happy I did that – it was definitely better-written, and I enjoyed it quite a bit more.
That said, there’s something about the whole “magic exists but it’s a secret” thing that I’m getting very bored of, at the moment. It just feels like, in the Information Age, keeping something that big a secret would be impossible. Nevermind the whole “cover everything up, we’re all in on the conspiracy” thing, but just the idea that you’d be able to keep every bored teenage vampire or whatever from posting selfies of themselves doing something vampiric, or that nobody would ever make a mistake? That’s what pushes the limit of my suspension of disbelief – not the whole “surviving being killed” or “throwing people around with your mind” thing. I dunno, I’ve just got weird priorities when it comes to realism in fantasy.
But once I got past that, I really did enjoy the book – there’s a lot of cool stuff going on with the way magic works in the book, and even more fun than that was the sort of politics being displayed.1 There were a few bits of the plot that I totally wasn’t expecting, and one that I was but was still annoyed by when it happened, but oh well, you win some and you lose some. The main character is an interesting one, and I do think I’ll keep an eye out for the sequel – once I’ve finished the other books on my “to read” list, of course.
tl;dr: I’m not in the mood for this book, really, but I did like it anyways, so give it a go.


  1. Werewolf pack stuff was briefly mentioned, but irrelevant to the story, and I’m kinda hoping that the sequel goes more into that. 

“Edinburgh,” or, “I’ve found my One True Love and it is this city”

Well, folks, I’m back in Austria.1 The United Kingdom was a lot of fun, though, and I managed to squeeze in a trip up to Scotland at the end.2 And let me tell you, folks, I am very glad I did – only got a day and two nights up there, but it was definitely enough time for me to absolutely fall in love with the city.
It’s a couple different things, really – thanks to Rebecca and her family, I’ve had a deep love of the Scottish accent for quite a while.3 And secondly, Edinburgh specific, is the fact that it’s an old city in a very different way than any of the other European cities I’ve seen this semester. Vienna has a very distinct architectural style, and as long as you stay in the first district you’ll only see, like, four buildings that don’t match that. Prague’s specific style is enforced by the World Heritage Organization. And I don’t really approve of that – it makes for a nice tourism industry, yeah, but living there, you can get bored of it all pretty quickly.
Edinburgh didn’t have that problem – yes, it’s easy to tell that it’s old and a lot of the stuff has been there for a while, but there’s a sense of freedom to the architecture, and the way it varies, that I just didn’t get from anywhere else. I loved it.4
But hey, time to share the love, and that means pictures.
Continue reading “Edinburgh,” or, “I’ve found my One True Love and it is this city”

“Trent,” or, “no, you can’t buy a $200 fish-eye lens for a single photo”

This is a quick one, because I find it hard to take photos while shivering1 and I didn’t grab a jacket today. Or on this trip. I only had a carry-on, it’s a bit difficult to pack ten day’s worth of clothes into a carry-on sized bag.
Anyhow, went for a quick jaunt around one of the other parks on the Nottingham campus. Pretty dang photogenic, and less windy than yesterday.2
Continue reading “Trent,” or, “no, you can’t buy a $200 fish-eye lens for a single photo”

“Nottingham,” or, “Wayne Manor is a five-minute walk from your dorm”

I’m in England this week! Because how many other times in life am I going to have the opportunity to say “yeah, I went to England for Fall Break.” (Probably not many, so I’m grabbing the chance when I’ve got it.)
Anyhow, I’m here visiting Chase, because he’s studying abroad in Nottingham.1
I’m actually not doing a whole lot while I’m here – I tend to prefer to just sit around and work on my own projects, or sit around and be lazy as my ‘vacation’ time. I spent yesterday wandering around the campus,2 and today I’m hoping to find a coffee shop or something where I can just sit around and work on my laptop for a few hours.3
Sunday, though, Chase dragged me to a nearby park to take some photos, because he’s even more of a photography nerd than I am. It was pretty cool, though – turns out that the park has a mansion that served as Wayne Manor in the Nolan Batman trilogy.
What’s that? You want pictures? Alright, I can do that.
Continue reading “Nottingham,” or, “Wayne Manor is a five-minute walk from your dorm”

“Lower Austria,” or, “kids in the 1920s clearly didn’t have enough to do”

Didn’t actually manage to write this one on the plane, or on the several-hour-long bus ride from London to Nottingham, but oh well. I’m still in the wrong time zone, so I’m up early, may as well do something productive.
Anyhow, this past Friday was another Planned Outing day. We hopped into a van1 that took us out into what I shall affectionately refer to as “the Middle of Nowhere, Lower Austria.”
Continue reading “Lower Austria,” or, “kids in the 1920s clearly didn’t have enough to do”