Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Domo Arigato, Earworm Overlord

My friend Sharyn gave me a cool wooden robot-puzzle-music-box-thingy for Christmas, and I finally finished it this week! Woot woot!

(It's the wood thing.) (You know, in the middle.)

And since it was midnight in my office at the time - with terrible lighting -  I was all, hey, I should take some VIDEO of this!

So I did:

Now, if you made the mistake of having your volume on just now, then you're probably wondering why, in the name of Sweet Sticky Staypuft, they decided to have an eyeless robot play a music box version of Can't Take My Eyes Off You.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some Jersey Boys *and* a little tragic irony, but was it really too much to ask for Mr. Roboto here? Or If I Only Had a Brain? Or The Humans Are Dead? (BINARY SOLO, B*TCHES.)

Furthering the misfortune, since you have to wind the music box bit to get the gears and propeller to turn, John and I have now had That Song stuck in our heads for the better part of 3 days. Our coping strategy thus far has been to sing it at each other - at top volume, generally from across the house - with ever increasing levels of manic exasperation.




Me: "We really need to look these lyrics up."

Robot arm.

The kit is from ThinkGeek, by the way, in case you're feeling the need to build your own ear-worm overlord. It took me about three nights, and I will say the construction was a delight, if a bit challenging. (You can NOT watch TV while doing this one. Also, that glue reeeeally sticks. These two things are related.) 

The instructions are essentially calculus-level IKEA pictograms, but if you're familiar with Metal Earth kits or similarly tedious models, then you should be fine. And this isn't a sponsored post or ad or anything, but I will say I love the folks at ThinkGeek, have since my early CW days when they offered to host our book tour at their HQ. (Still sad the logistics on our end didn't work out for it.)

(It also lights up!)

 Speaking of Cake Wrecks, here's a peek at the behind-the-scenes "magic": Every week John and I arrange our post order using sticky notes on a large calendar. And this week turned out like this:

It's so beautiful.

Like poetry. Or a bad translation of the most interesting headline ever. Or the way to amuse someone who's been singing along to a robot music box for way, WAY too long.


Oh hey, before you go, let me announce some art roundup winners!

My wildcard winner is Heather Campbell

The winner of the Doctor Who poster is LibraryHungry

And the winner of the TMNT set is flarglepuf! (Can I call you Flarg?)

Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses!


  1. "Now that I've found you, stay, and let me love you, baby - let me looovvee yooouuuu!"

    Mom had the radio on all the time growing up, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are one of her favorites. I can pretty much sing the whole song. Great little robot, but very odd song choice. I wonder if someone found a bunch of music box parts and decided to roll with it.

  2. Or you can just watch the scene from 10 Things I Hate about You where Heath Ledger sings it. It was my favorite scene.

    1. And I have just learned the name of that song. I sing just the part from 10 Things and have apparently never wondered about the rest of the song.

    2. OH, YES! that's why I know it so well. Gotta find a clip to show my kid, who thinks I am completely wrong about the song =P

  3. OH PRETTY BAYBEE....one of my favorite songs! i actually appreciate you putting the song back in my head.
    although i really, really don't understand why that was the song chosen for this piece.

    1. i just listened to the music in the video and don't think that is the music...

  4. The next time you have an earworm you hate: just go to unhearit.com and substitute with an earworm you like. Unfortunately, that's pretty much the only solution to an earworm. Though it's pretty entertaining to click that New Song button over and over to see what they consider catchy enough to oust another song.

    1. Over the years, I've actually discovered a few songs that will overwrite an earworm without becoming an earworm in turn. "Shout" by Tears for Fears is my go to.

      There was also a study a while back that the surest way to get rid of an earworm is to sing it to completion. It gets stuck in your head because your brain logs it as an incomplete task, and keeps returning to it. So look it up on YouTube and karaoke it until it goes away (or your family does).

  5. my 16 yr old got one for Christmas and I recognized the song right away but he INSISTS that I am wrong because the website gave it that silly name. Call it whatever you want, kid, but I'm gonna be over here singing it full-out Vegas style =D

  6. Sneak peek at the Cake Wreck themes for the week - yeah! Thanks for the ear worm, now I need to go rinse my brain out.....

  7. It's just too good to be true
    Now I have this earworm too
    Song'd be like Heaven or such
    But now I hear it too much.
    And now Epbot has arrived
    And Cake Wrecks schedule espied
    But it's too good to be true
    Now I have this earworm too!

    Thanks guys!

    1. Lol! Thank you! I'll be here all week.. ;)

  8. Jen, you are much more patient than I! I don't think I could assemble that robot without much use of "creative language." ;)

    Your CakeWrecks planner made me snort-laugh! Thanks!

  9. Great. That song has now been added to my Spotify list.

  10. I useta work with a Cuban lady. She would sing the song in English, all except the chorus, then switch to Spanish. Kinda strange!

  11. We love ThinkGeek!! I go to their Trivia Night every quarter, and have visited HQ a few times for various events. (And, of course, order way more from them than I really should.)

    I got a similar kit for a solar-powered marble maze. I was a bit surprised when it arrived and the electronic bits needed to be soldered together. It's still waiting for me to actually get a soldering iron.

  12. Speaking of fun gear-filled assembled items ... I got an "Academy da Vinci Clock" (that's the title on Amazon) as a present, and while I like the idea, the pieces are horribly plasticky looking. Any advice on how to make them look more like wood or metal, before I put it all together?

    1. I remember looking at that online, and thinking the same thing - awesome design, but needs a re-paint! Plastic spray primer is your best bet, followed by your choice of metallic or wood-tone paint. I'm very curious to see if the paint would affect the assembly, though, so if you give it a try please let me know how it goes!

  13. You have an awesome friend in Sharyn. I'm sure you already know that :^}. I love the robot. Especially since it has moving parts & lights up.

    1. Sharyn is beyond amazing. She's the same Sharyn who writes for me over on CW, who checks in with me almost daily online, and who once got on an airplane for the sole purpose of coming to our book tour. Once we figured out she was NOT a stalker, John & I came to love her a whole lot. :D

  14. Can you put a different musical movement in during assembly? I make music boxes and have a lot of spare movements hanging around... :-)


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