Cure for Bedbugs



Because I work in a business where people get asked this, I occasionally get asked what my favourite advert ever is. It is this, which I never even saw at the time.

The product is fucking horrible, obviously. If there was a “golden age” of British TV advertising in the 1970s I’m pretty sure that was the reason: if you have to sell shite like Smash, you need to be good.

wow daleks looked different in the 1970s


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Is it a dethroning ‘cause there’s four more blurbs? Statheads will argue for years… [Read, comment and vote on The Singles Jukebox ]

Huh. So what would nu-Jukebox give Medina these days?

Finally blurbed something for the Jukebox (new Taylor, natch). My god, am I actually nostalgic for Alison Iraheta?

35, 44

Favorite Poet

Yikes! I am so (SO) stupid about poetry. I just don’t, like, get it. At all. So I’m going to have to go ahead and say Shel Silverstein, since it’s the most poetry I’ve read in years. The only books of poetry I own, that I’m aware of, are an e.e. cummings collection (which I’ve barely skimmed) and Khalil Gibran, whom I quoted in a wedding, but it’s practically prose!

Best adaptation of a novel to a film

I never did much more than skim _Rum Punch_ but it seems like _Jackie Brown_ managed to stand on its own legs as an adaptation, comment on film (sort of), and (above all) is actually a really good movie.

The one person whose work I’ve never seen adequately adapted even though it’s just begging for it — and it just wouldn’t be that hard! — is Carl Hiaasen. _Hoot_; might be an exception (never read the book), but that no one has done a film of _Sick Puppy_ is a real shame. 

I also wonder why D.B. Weiss, whom I mostly know from his novel _Lucky Wander Boy_, hasn’t done more film work (he’s a co-creator for _Game of Thrones_; and also guest wrote a fantastic episode of _It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia_ with the other _GoT_ guy). 

55 Reading Questions
1. Favorite childhood book?
2. What are you reading right now?
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
4. Bad book habit?
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
6. Do you have an e-reader?
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)?
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
13. Can you read on the bus?
14. Favorite place to read?
15. What is your policy on book lending?
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
18. Not even with text books?
19. What is your favourite language to read in?
20. What makes you love a book?
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
22. Favorite genre?
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
24. Favourite biography?
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
26. Favourite cookbook?
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
28. Favorite reading snack?
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
35. Favorite Poet?
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
38. Favorite fictional character?
39. Favourite fictional villain?
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
52. Name a book that made you angry.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
I know you all hang on my opinions, so ask away
how do you pronounce your last name? signed, huge fan


It rhymes with “barn feel,” accent on the second syllable, as in the sentence, “I love John Darnielle’s hair, even when it doesn’t have the barn look it’s got that barn feel

Oh my god I have been mispronouncing John Darn-EEL’s name wrong for aeons mispronounced “AY-ONS.”

Did I ever mention here that when I taught a media literacy program I gave a copy of John DARN-EEL’S 33 1/3 book to a self-professed “goth” (believe she was c. 9th grader?) and when I asked her mom about it a year or two later she said, “oh, we don’t talk about THAT book,” and I felt like this was an enormous success story?

I’ve always wondered about Habermas’s thoughts on pasta.

I’ve always wondered about Habermas’s thoughts on pasta.

Weird Al - The Polka Medleys

This was easier to put together — this is just a list of every polka medley in chronological order (in terms of Weird Al discography, not source material — so “Hot Rocks Polka” and “Bohemian Polka” aren’t first on the list).

Not a ton to say about these, except that if Weird Al played every polka medley back to back, he’d have an entire concert’s worth of material.

There is no more direct line to your Weird Al Zodiac Sign than your favorite polka medley. Mine, for instance, is probably “Polka Your Eyes Out,” the earliest one that I “got” and subsequently stuck on a bunch of cassette tapes with names like “FUNNY STUFF #3.” As an Alapalooza/Bad Hair Day cusper, my options were “Bohemian Polka” (not strictly a medley, but functions as one) and “Alternative Polka” — the former, which also went on those mixes, mostly reflected my love of Wayne’s World; the latter, which didn’t, was too close to the music I was currently listening to.

"Polka Your Eyes Out" hit the sweet spot of music I’d heard on the radio in childhood, stuff that wafted in through the periphery of my pop consciousness, but repackaged in a way that my tween brain could process. "Do Me" by Bell Biv Devoe was too mature for me, so adding a Goofy yodel at the end stripped away the adult transgression and replaced it with kid transgression — armpit farts, etc. — while the swing take on "Humpty Dance" solidified the vague sense I had that it was a novelty song ("hump" was sex, I knew, but it’s also fun to say "hump" a lot, a premise that it would take nearly fifteen years for Black Eyed Peas to take to its logical conclusion, even if MC Hammer admirably tried it with "Pumps and a Bump," but failed with over-seriousness and an abundance of all that junk in his…uh, hood?…in the video).

The Demento pedigree helped here. When “NOW That’s What I Call Polka” was released on Mandatory Fun I immediately sourced the opening riff as “Too Fat Polka,” and throughout my history listening to Weird Al, most of the polka flourishes tickled the same vague sense of recognition and/or appreciation for tuba farts.

Oddly enough, these seemingly innocuous medleys contained the most controversial material. Weird Al only edited songs to remove curse words, and even then, “I wanna SPROING you like an animal” wasn’t exactly subtle. It was as “family-friendly” as smut got. The rationale, I suppose, was that parents would be so annoyed with the polka that they wouldn’t notice the lyrics.

The last thing I’ll point out is that the polka medleys are like the polar opposite of Al’s canniness for which songs will stand the test of time in his parodies. In lots of cases these little 10-second polka snippets are as close as I get to hearing songs even from the past decade. There’s something to be said for giving disposable songs such an unflattering new context, a kind of sick Faustian bargain for eternal life.

This was bugging me SO MUCH because it surprised me when putting together the originals playlist that “Santa” was a style parody but I was positive there was a more obvious one! Yes, this is correct.

ETA Oh wait I remember, it’s that “Syndicated Inc” is a parody-parody, not a style parody (I always skipped it, I think :/).

This was bugging me SO MUCH because it surprised me when putting together the originals playlist that “Santa” was a style parody but I was positive there was a more obvious one! Yes, this is correct.

ETA Oh wait I remember, it’s that “Syndicated Inc” is a parody-parody, not a style parody (I always skipped it, I think :/).