Monday, 22 April 2019

Musical Monday #203

So I was going to do my top 3 favourite songs and general season overview of Season 4 of Crazy Ex Girlfriend today, as I have done for the previous three seasons but it turns out that I am a) struggling to find any favourite songs in season 4 and b) still too mad at it to write anything coherent.  So gonna leave that till next week.

Instead here is a 'learning to dance montage', which I always think must be interesting to film, because someone who can dance has to pretend that they can't.  I think actors have a lot of fun with things like that, pretending to be bad at things that you are actually good at.  Anyway this montage is super cute.

Let's Hear It For The Boy from Footloose
Scene performed by Kevin Bacon and Chris Penn, Song performed by Deniece Williams
and written by Tom Snow and Dean Pitchford

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Welcome To Me

At the start of the year, I meant to write a series of ‘About Me’ posts, but I had issues with my computer and wasn’t able to.  Then I bought a new computer, but since then I just haven’t been able to make myself do it.

The whole reason I wanted to do these posts was as a form of self-affirmation and starting the year proud to be the me I am.

But every time I sit down to start, I feel completely cast in the shadow of my social anxiety – it’s not quite self-loathing, because I happen to like myself, but my utter unshakeable conviction that everybody else despises me.



I dunno how other people view themselves, but I often feel that I am kind of shattered into different aspects of my personality that just don’t mesh together.

At my heart and centre, this is me:


This confident being who is totally sly and irreverent and finds everything amusing.

But like most cartoon characters, I have a little angel and devil pulling me off course.  Except not so much good and evil as love and hate.


One is my loving side who is totally sweet and empathetic and is compassionate to everything.


And the other is my hateful side who is totally cynical and antagonistic and is critical of everything.

Most of my friends are familiar with these two aspects of my personality – someone who is completely distracted by how cute and fluffy squirrels are and also complains about every movie and book that crosses my path.

But just to complicate matters, I have this other layer.


I think it has actually formed from both my compassion and my criticism colliding into a shield who is totally strict and ethical and needs to correct everything.  This tends to be the part of me my colleagues know best.  On the one hand, it makes me a really efficient employee and useful, reliable person to keep around, but on the other hand, it makes me seem mean and unbending and kind of scary.

But on top of that, my very outer layer is this awful repressed-by-society gunk layer.


So people who don’t know me at all only see this repressed surface layer who is intensely shy and insecure, working always to hide the real me away because I spent so many years unable to be myself, because school and society forgot to educate me on a) who I was and b) that it was okay to be that person, and now I’m so entrenched in this tar that it stops me from being able to be myself or do the things I want to do and people really think I am this pointless and the tar only gets thicker.

People who don’t know me at all label me as ‘quiet’, which is the outer tar layer.

People who know me a little label me as ‘serious’ and ‘sensible’, which is the middle shield layer.

People who know me better label me as ‘hates everything’ or ‘overly sensitive’, which are my hate-devil and love-angel sides.

I might be the only one who knows the inner Me me, who might have been the outer me if I hadn’t been so confused and isolated during my formative years.  Or maybe I was always destined to have these different personality traits who completely contradict each other.  The other day The Housemate called me ‘an introvert who wants to be an extrovert’.

When I look back at my childhood, I can remember different instances of being the Inner Me, and the Love-Angel, and the Hate-Devil, and the Shield Layer and sadly the Tar Layer.  But by the time I was a teenager, I think the Tar Layer had got a lot thicker, and maybe the Inner Me had got smaller, or just was more sound-proofed off.  I can remember sometimes just wanting to rip it all away and reveal the real me, but then when it came to it, not knowing who that was.  I deliberately perpetuated a ‘Scary’ persona as a teen because it was the only thing that made me stand out and it has stayed with me through to my adulthood now, albeit smartened up a bit, as the no-nonsense don’t-mess-with persona I use at work.  Am I really that strict?  I don’t know.  Because on the one hand, I really do care and I can’t stand it when things aren’t done properly, and on the other hand, I could not care in the least because I am just here to have a good time.

I am all five of these beings.  They are all aspects of my personality.  They all bring positives and negatives to my life.  (They are also all usually represented by different characters in my stories.)

Inner Me is where my sense of humour comes from and my ability to relax so it’s what makes life fun, but the irreverence means I can be rude and really not care, which gets me into trouble.

Love-Angel is kind and loving to animals and fills my life with joy, but all that compassion means I feel pain nearly all of the time when I look at the cruelty of the world.

Hate-Angel is passionate and exhilarating, which helps me vent negative emotions and pushes me to improve, but also undermines my confidence in my own work as well as leaving me incapable of enjoying other people’s.

Shield Layer is reliable and useful, making me someone of value in the workplace and able to stand up for my friends against injustice, but is also cold and severe so unlikely to make new friends and makes it almost painful to compromise.

Tar Layer is absolutely crippling, making me incapable to doing simple tasks like getting my hair cut, it suffocates me and makes me constantly miserable.  If it has an upside, I guess it protects me from strangers, but unfortunately it protects me from everything else too, including things I want.

But good or bad, this is me.  Welcome.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Musical Monday #202

Today's number is from a film I haven't actually seen, but it's a pretty famous song.

Thoughts:

1) Did people really used to go and see shows that had no dialogue in them?

2) The music is actually more interesting than the dancing.

3) I first heard this song from that series of adverts in the 90s.  I figure it was for some kind of insurance, but I had to look it up to find out which, so advertising fails again.

Let’s Face The Music And Dance from Follow The Fleet
Performed by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
Written by Irving Berlin

Monday, 8 April 2019

Musical Monday #201

Today's number comes from the 1994 movie Thumbelina, which I recently watched as part of #Cramuary having seen it advertised a lot as a child.  It is, in case you were wondering, complete garbage.

I think its main problem is that the writers didn't do much work to rewrite the rambling fairy tale, and pretty much the plot of Hans Christian Andersen's original tale made it to the screen.  A rambling little adventure works fine in a fairy story - they are supposed to be a journey where the hero overcomes different obstacles - but it doesn't work in a movie.  Films need a proper structure, recurring characters and some kind of overarching moral so that it builds to something interesting.  Instead what we get is Thumbelina, a completely fickle nitwit, being handed about between different monstrous creatures because they all think she's hot, while she does nothing to save herself, or even really to complain about the situation.  The fairy prince is introduced at the start rather than the end, but since Thumbelina pretty much instantly assumes she has to live a life without him when she is kidnapped, it doesn't really make much difference to the story, other than make her come across as not very likeable.  He meanwhile spends the film very ineptly looking for her, while her friend the swallow just as uselessly looks for him in return.  Winter comes along and kills the prince, although he does get better later, and Thumbelina spends the last third of the movie chronically depressed because the only person she loves is dead.  Great movie guys.

So this is the only okay song in the movie (and visually at least is clearly ripping off 'A Whole New World' from Aladdin).  See that bit at the end where she blows a kiss to that creepy toad?  If she hadn't done that, none of the awful things that follow would happen.

Let Me Be Your Wings from Thumbelina 
Performed by Gary Imhoff and Jodi Benson
Written by Bruce Sussman, Jack Feldman and Barry Manilow

Actually there's a perfect example of what a passive idiot Thumbelina is in that song.  See the bit where Cornelius accidentally drops her and she DOESN'T EVEN NOTICE, or if she does, doesn't mind in the slightest?  That is what she is like for the entire movie.  UGH.

And here's a lovely reprise in which Thumbelina sings about how winter killed her boyfriend.  Yay.

Let Me Be Your Wings (Sun Reprise) from Thumbelina 
Performed by Jodi Benson
Written by Bruce Sussman, Jack Feldman and Barry Manilow

Monday, 1 April 2019

Musical Monday #200

Ooh, look at that, a nice shiny round number.  So here's a nice environmentally friendly, hopeful gospel-sounding kind of song.  Didn't particularly like the film, but this is a really nice song, even if it is awkwardly only two letters removed from that dumb Disney song people are so obsessed with.  This came first.

Let It Grow from The Lorax
Written by John Powell and Cinco Paul
Performed by Fletcher Sheridan, Dan Navarro, Edie Lehmann Boddicker, Jenny Slate, Claira Titman, Betty White, Rob Riggle and Ed Helms

Monday, 25 March 2019

Musical Monday #199

This is from an early-ish episode of Frasier, in which Frasier has to write a eulogy for his horrible aunt but can't think of anything nice to say about her without just lying, while in the subplot Martin writes a song for Frank Sinatra which gets rejected, and then the two plots collide at the finale as they should in any decent sitcom.

Lady of Mine (Groovy Lady) from Frasier, episode 'Martin Does It His Way'
First scene performed by Kelsey Grammer, John Mahoney, David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Musical Monday #198

There are three versions of Hairspray - the original film [1988], the stageshow [2002] and the film based on the stageshow [2007].  Once you've seen them all, it becomes a bit of a soup trying to remember which one is which.  I think basically each one was an improvement on the last, but at the same time each one does one theme better than the others (I think the race plot was handled best in the original, the romance was best on stage and the mother character most interesting in the remake, although like I say, it's all just soup to me now).  Maybe they should make a fourth version with the best bits from each.

Ladies' Choice from Hairspray
Written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman
Song performed by Zac Efron
Dance performed by Nikki Blonsky (among others)

Monday, 11 March 2019

Musical Monday #197

I wasn't bowled over by Coco like some of my friends were.  I'm not sure I've really liked a Pixar movie in two decades, and both Disney and Disney Pixar reeeeeally need to give the whole 'twist villain' plot a rest.  And while I also wasn't bowled over by The Book Of Life, which was too all over the place, it did pretty much utilise a lot of similar ideas better than Coco (one is about a boy who wants to be a musician but is instead forced to be a bullfighter, and one is about a boy who wants to be a musician but is instead forced to be a shoemaker - I mean, come on, one of those is just a lot more fraught.  In one our hero is actually killed and sent to the afterlife, in the other our hero just sort of randomly goes there for vague reasons maybe to do with a curse but it wasn't very clear.  In one the finale has the dead joining our hero in a kick-ass fight with villains, in the other the dead join our hero for a hug and a dance.  One has an awesome twist ending where an adversary but also best friend would sacrifice himself for his friend, and the other the best friend turns out to be a lame murdery jerk).  In fact, the only place where I feel Coco was superior was in the music.  So.

La Llorona from Coco
Performed by Antonio Sol and Alanna Ubach

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

RatRations Unboxing

I waited in all morning for my latest order of stuff I have bought my rats to arrive and I thought, why not record the unboxing and put it on youtube.  I may regret it but oh well.  Now I have a YouTube channel which I may do something with later.

Inigo was keen to help out and even decided when the video should be over my turning off the camera on my phone.  Thanks Inigo...

Monday, 4 March 2019

Musical Monday #196

I really need to get an early night tonight, so here's a nice lullaby to send us all off.

La La Lu from Lady And The Tramp
Written by Peggy Lee and Sonny Burke 
Performed by Peggy Lee