Monday, 7 October 2019

Musical Monday #220

Even though I have seen Kelsey Grammer do this live and of course Elvis Presley made the song famous, to me, The Impossible Dream will always be about Sam Beckett quantum leaping through time...

(annoyingly this video is out of sync, but try to ignore that)
Medley of Man Of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote), Dulcinea and The Impossible Dream from Quantum Leap, episode 'Catch A Falling Star'
Performed by Scott Bakula (and others)
Written by Joe Darion and Mitch Leigh.

Sadly the episode itself is quite an annoying one because Sam thinks he is in love with the woman even though she obviously doesn't know who he is.

The soundtrack to the series came with a much fuller version of Scott Bakula singing a Man Of La Mancha medley, so it's kind of weird to listen to the one from the actual episode that is different.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Musical Monday #219

I really liked this movie when I was a kid, even though The Mother said I was too old for cartoons (I'd have been 13ish when it came out). What does that even mean? I'm not too old for cartoons NOW, 22 years later.

Learn To Do It from Anastasia
Performed by Jonathan Dokuchitz, Kelsey Grammer and Liz Callaway
Written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

Monday, 16 September 2019

Musical Monday #218

Recently, I've had trouble remembering which day of the week is Monday. Not this week though, because it was my first day back after a break, so definitely need a little music to wash away those Monday blues.

Uhhh, so for context of this montage:
Annie is moving out of her horrible flat and in with Troy and Abed. Jeff has pretended to be sick to avoid helping, but is caught out shopping by the Dean who blackmails him into going to karaoke with him. Meanwhile, Pierce succumbs to paint fumes in Annie's old flat, Troy and Abed put on a shadow puppet play to welcome their new flatmate and Britta and Shirley pick up a hitchhiker while transporting Annie's stuff.

Kiss From A Rose from Community, episode 'Studies In Modern Movement'
Performed by Jim Rash and Joel McHale
Written by Seal

Monday, 26 August 2019

Musical Monday #217

It's that song that isn't as good as the other one.

Just Around The Riverbend from Pocahontas
Performed by Judy Kuhn
Written by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

If Rats Were Estate Agents

Rats are clean animals - supposedly.  In their favour, I will say that our three beans groom themselves regularly and they like to poo in one place, usually the toilet. They never go toilet outside of their cage/pen area as far as I can tell, leaving our carpets and furniture in good condition.  But I have also seen Inigo sleeping in the toilet and she is obsessed with hiding food in there and eating in there and just having a sit in there, and if it is a bit full of poo, she will throw the poo out of the toilet so that her lovely throne/larder is nice and clean... and the surrounding area suddenly smeared in faeces...  And although they have one toilet (out of three) that they wee in, there is also some definite laziness going on because their bed always stinks of urine. Hey guys, if you didn't sleep in your own wee, you wouldn't have to groom yourselves so often!

Monday, 19 August 2019

Musical Monday #216

I completely forgot it was Monday last week. Whoops.

I Am Moana (Song Of The Ancestors) from Moana 
Performed by Rachel House and Auliʻi Cravalho
 Written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa'i

Monday, 5 August 2019

Musical Monday #215

For some reason, many TV shows feel the need to do a musical episode, which is all very well if your cast happen to be stage performers, but generally TV actors, y'know, aren't.  I forget what the premise was for this episode, something to do with Fez doing a show and thinking the others weren't going to turn up to watch it, but I'm pretty sure all the musical numbers in the episode were in his imagination.  This one is him imagining what life would be like if he was one of the Forman clan.  I think it was the best song (or only passable song) in the episode, possibly just because I like the song anyway and because the Forman family unit (including having sort of adopted Hyde) is one of my favourite aspects of the show.

Happy Together from That ’70s Show, episode 'That '70s Musical'
Performed by Kurtwood Smith, Debra Jo Rupp, Wilmer Valderrama, Danny Masterson and Topher Grace
Written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon

Monday, 29 July 2019

Musical Monday #214

Here is one of the only two bearable songs from West Side Story (oh the relief of it not taking itself so seriously for a moment)

Gee, Officer Krupke from West Side Story 
Performed by Russ Tamblyn and others
Written by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein

Monday, 22 July 2019

Musical Monday #213

Today's musical number is the 'temptation of Faust' scene from Little Shop Of Horrors.  Trouble is, fame and love aside, watching someone being beaten is likely to make most of us see red.  Is that really corruption?

Feed Me (Git It) from Little Shop Of Horrors 
Performed by Levi Stubbs and Rick Moranis
Written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Ace 101

Warning: This post contains adult themes

I only realised that I was asexual a few years ago.  For at least thirty years, I worked under the assumption that I was a traumatised heterosexual, or a repressed homosexual, or a sex-repulsed pansexual, or a demisexual who hadn’t met the right person yet, or I was just incapable of even addressing sexuality due to having no idea if I was just cis-gender with a queer fetish, transgender, or completely broken by the patriarchy.  None of these identities fit me, and as I spiralled out of my twenties, I did more and more research into both gender and sexuality to try to find ones that actually matched up with how I felt.

Currently, for gender I identify as non-binary, preferable gender neutral.  And for sexuality, I identify as an aroace, or aromantic asexual.  These make a lot more sense to me than anything else ever did.

So while I am finally relaxed, confident and comfortable with myself, I still find that most of my friends have no idea what asexual even means and often make incorrect assumptions.  That’s understandable; I only found out about it after 30 years, because I put the legwork in to research it because I had to.  Asexuality isn’t something most people learn about.  It certainly was never mentioned in sex education classes at school, while the media and society still regard this orientation as either something to mock or something to deny.

So, for The Friends, I’m going to attempt to demystify what Asexual actually means in this post.

Asexuality is both incredibly simple, and incredibly complicated.

The simple part:

Here’s the technical definition:

Asexual = person who doesn’t experience sexual attraction.

That’s all it means.  Any other connotations you have are inaccurate.

Here’s a very binary way of looking at it:

If a straight person is sexually attracted to a person of the opposite sex
and a gay person is sexually attracted to a person of the same sex,
an asexual person is sexually attracted to no person of any sex.

Or if a pansexual person can be sexually attracted to a person, regardless of their sex,
then an asexual person is never sexually attracted to a person, regardless of their sex.

NOTE: two common misconceptions about asexuality are A) that asexuals don't have a sex drive/libido and B) that if a person has sex then they can't be asexual.  A) Of course asexual people have a libido.  Asexuality is a sexual orientation not a physical condition, it only means that our libido isn't aimed at anyone, but it still very much exists.  A straight person isn't sexually attracted to people of the same sex, but that doesn't mean their sex drive is erased from existence when they are in a same-sex room.  B) Action doesn't equal attraction.  A person can have sex as much or as little as they want, that doesn't change what their orientation is.  A straight person who doesn't have sex is still straight and an asexual person who does have sex is still asexual.  It's who you are sexually attracted to, not what you do with it that is relevant.

The complicated part:

Asexuality is considered an umbrella term or a spectrum and under it are many, many variants.  You wouldn’t believe how many variants.  Oh boy.

For example, greysexual people only rarely experience sexual attraction, and demisexual people usually don’t experience sexual attraction and will only experience it towards one person with whom they have built a deep bond.  There are various other off-shoots and sub-categories.

The main assumption made about asexuals is that they don’t want or have sex, and that’s not necessarily true.  These things are down to the individual.  Being asexual doesn’t mean that you automatically don’t date or don’t have sex.  An asexual person is not the same as a celibate person.  They might choose not to have sex, but you can’t assume it.  Being asexual doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of arousal or enjoying sating that arousal.  It ONLY means that you don’t experience sexual attraction to others.

Some ace people think sex is gross, some ace people enjoy sex.  Some ace people never masturbate, some love it.  Some ace people can’t stand public displays of affection, some ace people are into porn.  Some ace people don’t even want to be touched, some ace people love snogging.  Everyone is different.  All of these statements go for anyone, regardless of their sexuality.  None of them define your orientation.

And then there’s this big one.  Romantic attraction isn’t the same as sexual attraction.  It’s probably fairly common within other sexualities that your romantic and sexual attraction sync up, so you never consider that they are different things.  But then there are people out there who are sexually attracted to others without any interest in a romantic relationship.  Well, guess what, it works the other way too.  You can be heteroromantic, homoromantic, panromantic, aromantic etc.  So a person might be romantically attracted to someone else, with no sexual attraction towards them.  That concept can be very difficult to understand for anyone whose romantic and sexual attractions match, including aromantic asexuals (like me).  The point is that you don’t have to understand to respect.

So you see, an ace person could fall in love and marry someone but still not feel sexual attraction for them.  They might choose to have sex with them, either because their partner requires that intimacy for the relationship to work, or because they are capable of physically enjoying it.  In fact, even an aro ace could fall in love and get married because platonic love can be just as intense as romantic or sexual love.  You just have to recognise that these are all valid forms of attraction, just different.


What’s really frustrating is that even within the aspec community, or at least people trying to understand those on the aspec, there is still confusion and disagreement.

For example, I took a questionnaire recently that was supposedly learning about romantic attraction under the asexual umbrella, and it kept making a glaring mistake.  It kept lumping the words ‘attraction’, ‘desire’ and ‘arousal’ into the same sentence.

The official definition of ‘asexual’ is ‘not experiencing sexual attraction’.  But every time this questionnaire, which was aimed at asexual people, asked how the participant identified, they used the sentence ‘doesn’t feel any sexual attraction, desire or arousal’, which isn’t what asexual means, so every time I had to pick a different option, one that was possibly more accurate but lacked the actual correct definition.  It was very annoying.

Let me explain the difference between ‘attraction’, ‘desire’ and ‘arousal’ using ‘eating’ as an analogy for ‘sex’.

Arousal is a bodily function, like hunger.  It can be just as impossible to ignore and won’t go away unless it is addressed.  You don’t have to see or even think about food to get hungry.  It’s just something your body has decided would be a good idea (for hunger, because the body needs nutrients to function, for arousal, because the body is designed to want to reproduce regardless of whether that is practical).

Sexual attraction and sexual arousal are not the same thing.  Maybe you can’t have the former without the latter, but you can certainly have the latter without the former.  Asexual people can get aroused.

Sometimes when I am hungry, I have a desire for a food I don’t necessarily like.  I see someone eating pickled onions on TV and they seem satisfied, and those little translucent balls sure look pretty, so I think I want to have some pickled onions.  But if I get a real jar of pickled onions and open up the lid, I can immediately smell the vinegar, which turns my stomach.  My body doesn’t even regard these as edible, my mouth isn’t watering, I might as well be looking at a jar of golfballs.  Now that the real picked onions are here I can tell that I don’t in fact want to eat any pickled onions.  I have no attraction towards these pickled onions.  The desire and the attraction are completely separate.  Desire was transient and conceptual, attraction is real and physical.

I’m not going to eat the pickled onions because that would be kinda gross and I wouldn’t enjoy it.  In fact, I’d probably throw them up.  Someone else might make themselves eat them anyway despite not wanting them, and someone else might find that the pickled onions did sate their hunger, but regardless of what we ultimately did with the jar of pickled onions, none of us would be attracted to them.

So I might get hungry and I might desire a food I saw on TV, and I might even like the look of that food on your plate, but I have no attraction towards eating it.  That’s the difference.