Archive | August, 2012

blue moon.

31 Aug

Today I felt like a fragile vintage china teapot.
Filled with so much
energy,
steam,
taste.

Just waiting to be poured.

Lady Crushes: I Have Them

30 Aug

I love Jenna Marbles. I don’t watch her on a regular basis and I certainly haven’t seen all of her videos, but what I have seen I absolutely love. Recently I watched her video entitled “Girl Crushes” where she spoke on how every girl has a girl crush on another lady. Girl crushes are pretty much when a girl feels an encompassing amount of emotion for another girl. Girls generally adore said other girl and possibly want to be them as well.

I certainly have an abundance of girl crushes. While there are many women I look up to in the media (Tina Fey, Meryl Streep, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, to name a few) most of them don’t necessarily fall under the category of “girl crush”. They’re more under the “be my mentor” or “I hope I grow up to be like you” or “adopt me ASAP” categories.

Anyway, here are my top five girl crushes.

5. Emma Watson

It’s funny how, while I was a fan of Emma during the filming of the Harry Potter series, my love for her didn’t really start until after the Potter movies were wrapped up. First off, she went and got that sassy haircut, and recently she’s taken on a ton of interviews which have shown off the type of person she’s grown up to be nicely. She’s intelligent, funny, whimsical, and true to herself. She’s spoken in the past about what it means to be a woman, her sense of style, and her general outlook on life. In short, I just think she’s a wonderful human. Not to mention she’s playing Sam in Perks of Being a Wallflower, which puts a smile on my face.

4. Anne Hathaway

Who doesn’t love Anne Hathaway? This lady is elegant, posed, graceful, and beyond beautiful, while still managing to be witty, funny, intelligent, silly, and humble. Basically, she’s everything a woman should be. She’s shown her acting range in full over the years, from Princess Mia to Catwoman,¬†Devil Wears Prada to Rachel at the Wedding. Not to mention Anne motherfucking Hathaway is an excellent human being. She won the Human Rights Award back in 2008, and in a recent interview when an interviewer chose to question Ms. Hathaway about her workout regiment instead of her work as an actress (as interviewers unfortunately choose to do with actresses nowadays) she smoothly deflected it like the ninja that she is. Plus she’s going to be playing Fantine in Les Miserables this December, which I can only assume is going to be amazing to watch.

3. Mae Whitman

I’m not really sure when Mae Whitman came on my radar. I think it may have been when she first started up on Parethood, and suddenly I was finding her everywhere. Mae’s a hilarious human, which can be seen in the majority of roles she’s played over the years (especially as Ann in Arrested Development). She too is going to be in the upcoming Perks of Being a Wallflower film, which sets me all a flutter. She’s also a great singer, which I didn’t know until her character shared her musical abilities on Parenthood. I have high hopes for this girl’s future acting career, namely so I can go see everything she’s in and crush even more on her.

2. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence and I have a very defining quality that ties us closely together: we both love food. It seems whenever this lovely lady gets interviewed she goes on and on about her love of food, which I understand all too well. Top that with not being afraid of making some really silly faces – not to mention a kick ass sense of humor – and bam. Lady crush. I actually haven’t seen too many of her films, but I hope that changes in the future.

1. Emma Stone

Not gonna lie, I am ridiculously in love with Emma Stone. She’s the only girl on my list of actual celebrity crushes I’d love to date. If she kicked down my front door right now, told me she left Andrew Garfield, and wanted to run away with me, I would do just that in a heart beat. I’d seen Emma in a lot of things in the past, but she didn’t really catch my eye until Easy A, and it’s been uphill from there. This girl is quirky, gorgeous, and hilarious. Not to mention she seems so confident and comfortable in her own skin. Of course, I’m sure she has absolutely no intention of leaving her Garfield anytime soon, but in my heart of hearts she will always be my one true Lady Love.

x.

29 Aug

I am so upset with life right now. Most of my troubles are coming from money issues, which are my least favorite. Rent went up this month and because my roommate’s out of town I have to cover her half as well as my own of the new price, my ex roommate hasn’t gotten me my share of the security deposit yet, I don’t know when the web-site I’m writing for is going to start paying me, and my dad waited too long getting back to me and now plane tickets for Portland have gone up too much in price and I probably have to take greyhound instead.

I know those are all silly, non-important things to complain about, but all of that alongside of Jerry Nelson’s passing, putting weight back on, and being the most lonely I’ve ever been in my entire time at college, and yeah, I’m pretty fucking miserable. I just feel so alone right now.

i scare easily.

28 Aug

Am I the only one who also classifies thriller films as horror? If a thriller is horrifiying, then why not say it’s also horror? On imdb.com the movie Misery, which I’m currently watching, is listed only as a thriller. All I know is I’m currently scared out of my wits my Kathy Bates and am, to say the least, horrified by her character’s motivations.

I’ve heard it said that people like being scared, which is why horror films are created. Not me. I’ve never liked being scared. I’m watching this film because it seems like a film I should probably watch once in my life. I suppose I should’ve watched it when the sun was up instead of at nice…

Guess I’ll be sleeping with my baseball bat tonight.

a (muppet) thought.

27 Aug

I think if more people watched Muppet bloopers they’d understand why I’m so in love with not just the Muppets, but the Muppeteers as well.

wrinkle in time.

26 Aug

I’m about to reread Wrinkle in Time. Rereading your favorite book from your childhood – a book that you haven’t touched in years on end – is such a strange combination of exciting and terrifying. On the one hand, you are terrified out of your mind that you’ve been holding this book up on a pedestal for all these years, and that you’re going to find out it’s not all that great after all. On the other hand, goddamn, you are so excited to return to that world filled with magic and mystic, and you can’t wait to lose yourself in it.

i have drawn a conclusion…

25 Aug

This summer I have read The Little Prince, watched countless hours of Sesame Street songs and segments, seen films like Young Adult and Moonrise Kingdom, discovered Matilda: the Musical, rewatched the film Matilda, and have just now placed a request for Matilda with my local library.

The conclusion I have drawn from this?

Being an adult fucking sucks.

Wonders Follow Me: A Personal Reflection on Jerry Nelson

24 Aug

Yesterday a star went out, as news quickly spread that long time Muppet and Sesame collaborator, Jerry Nelson, had passed away.

Many of you probably assume you don’t know who he was, and you’d be incredibly wrong in thinking so. If you grew up with Sesame Street, then you’d know Jerry best as The Count, Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, and Mr. Johnson (ie. Fat Blue). If you grew up with Fraggle Rock, then you’ll know him as Pa Gorg, Gobo Fraggle, and Margery the Trash Heap. And with the Muppets he will always be known for Lew Zealand, Robin the Frog, Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, and hundreds of others. Just looking at all his puppeteer credits on the Muppet Wiki should clue you in to how much Jerry’s been apart of not just your childhood, but your life as well.

Jerry was seventy-eight, and his health had been deteriorating over the years, so his sudden death wasn’t too considerably shocking… but then again, losing such an influential figure is always jarring. I knew straight away I’d want to write a personal reflection on the part Jerry’s played in my own life, but finding the words have been so difficult for me. I can’t help but think on these lyrics from The Muppets Take Manhattan:

“Saying goodbye, why is it sad?
Makes us remember the good times we’ve had.
Much more to say, foolish to try.
It’s time for saying goodbye.”

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I haven’t been in the Muppet fandom for very long. Not compared to the multitude of friends I’ve made, who’ve been obsessing over Muppets, Sesame, and Fraggle Rock for years on end. I’ve always loved Sesame and the Muppets, but I’ve only been around the fandom for a little over a year and a half now. Even so, that’s still enough to make me want to run outside and sprint through the streets screaming, “Don’t you realize what’s happened? Doesn’t it eat away at your heart? Doesn’t anyone care?”

I’ve been playing the song ‘When the River Meets the Sea‘ on constant repeat since my friend, Scott, informed me of Jerry’s passing last night. The opening verse Jerry sings of this song touches me so much, because I can’t help but relate it to his passing:

“When the mountain touches the valley,
All the clouds are taught to fly
As our souls will leave this land most peacefully.
Though our minds be filled with questions,
In our hearts we’ll understand
When the river meets the sea.”

Jerry Nelson was the first Muppeteer I became aware of after Jim and Frank, seeing as I knew about Jim and Frank long before my Muppet love became a prominent part of my life. I’d seen footage once in 2010 of all the Muppeteers performing at Jim’s memorial, but while I recognized the voices I couldn’t place the faces (besides Frank’s). Cut to January of 2011, I’m stuck in bed with strep throat and discovering more and more by the minute that the Muppets are the most amazing thing on this planet. I made the first real steps of my life as a Muppet fan while bed ridden and ill: I found the Muppet wiki. I spent hours on that thing, learning people’s names, who played what character, who wrote for the shows/movies, and so on. I remember the first Muppeteer I ever looked up was Jerry. I remember this as clearly as if it were yesterday. I remember thinking, “Okay… Floyd! Yeah, I know who Floyd is. And Robin too, but… Uh… Who’s Louis Kazagger? … And is Crazy Harry the one with the bombs? And who’s Gobo?” I had a long way to go as a fan, but I cemented Jerry’s face and voice in my mind that day, and it’s never left me since.

Jerry’s also the reason I found the Muppet fan community so quickly. I’m sure I would’ve found them out eventually, but upon doing a Google search for Jerry I found that he had posted on Muppet Central before. This led me to making my own MC Forums account, which led me to meeting some incredible people and, eventually, got me onto Tough Pigs. Again, I’m sure I would’ve discovered all this on my own time, but thanks to Jerry I learned right from the get go that I was not alone in this brand new obsession.

One thing that saddens me about his passing is that I’ll never get the chance to meet the man. For months now I’ve had the idea of getting the words “Something’s Calling Me” tattooed on one wrist, and “Wonders Follow Me” on the other. I had always hoped I’d someday meet him once I had these tattoos so I could show him. I bet he would’ve gotten a kick out of them. He seemed like the type of guy who would.

I’m sure every fan and friend of Jerry is thinking the same thing today: what did Jerry mean to me? Mortality tends to do that to us. It makes us think on all that the person did for us and the rest of the world. And Jerry did so much. He taught us to count. He taught us that halfway down the stairs is a great place to sit, and that being little isn’t such a bad thing (which is good to know, as I am a pretty short person). He taught us that silly things like boomerang fish can be art, that chickens can be beautiful, and that theatre phantoms aren’t always so scary. He taught us that adventures are worth going on, and what some people consider to be trash can be the most important thing on this planet to others. He even taught us that sometimes you just get bad service at restaurants and it can’t be helped (curse you, Grover!).

Goodbye, Goodbye,
And every eye is dry.
Leavin’, there’s no grievin’,
Just a rainbow in the sky.
Goodbye, goodbye.

More so than anything, Jerry taught me what it means to be an all around swell guy. I never met him, as previously stated, but I’ve heard enough about interactions with him to know he was a truly amazing human being, just as every person who works with the Muppets is. He brought laughter with performances by Lew and Mr. Johnson, tears with songs by Robin, and the need to dance with pretty much every song Floyd ever did. He was a guy filled with soul, which is greatly reflected in his own personal music that he’s recorded on his own.

This morning I deliberated if I wanted to go on my usual run, since I wasn’t feeling quite up to it. The only reason I decided to go really was because I had to make a stop at the bank to deposit my paycheck anyway. I’m glad I did though. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have noticed the book on the bank’s table of toys for kids that had the Count on the cover. It made me realize that, even though Jerry is gone, his characters will truly live on forever. I also noticed two older men bickering in a friendly fashion on the sidewalk that bore a striking resemblance to a certain two hecklers, which I couldn’t help but think of not just Jerry, but Jim and Richard as well.

Times like this makes us reflect on not just who we’ve lost, but everyone we’ve lost. The song ‘Can You Picture That’ came up on my iPod during my run, and I couldn’t help feeling heartbroken that the main three singers of the song are all now gone. Not just those guys either. Over the years we’ve lost Jerry Juhl, Eren Ozker, Will Lee, Don Sahlin, Judy Freudberg, Northern Calloway, and the list goes on. I wasn’t alive for the passing of Jim, and I was only one when Richard passed on, so this is the first time I’ve ever had to cope with losing a truly prominent person of Muppet and Sesame renown.

I don’t know if I believe in heaven or not, seeing as my relationship with religion is so jumbled, but I know I’d like for it to exist. If heaven does exist, then I really hope Jim, Richard, Christine (Jerry’s daughter), and Jerry Juhl were all waiting for Jerry as he made his way through those pearly gates. Especially Richard. I can just see Richard, a big silly grin slapped on his face, approaching Jerry with open arms. The duo reunited. What a sight to see.

If you guys have some time, I recommend watching these clips of Jerry’s performances:

I’ll end this piece with a quote from the article the AV Club wrote up on Jerry’s passing, that I think defines Jerry’s contribution to Sesame and Muppets to a tee:

“If Jim Henson was the heart of The Muppets, and Frank Oz the brains, than Jerry Nelson was the soul.”

My Fozzie Feels

23 Aug

I can’t be said that sad moments in Muppet productions don’t exist. Like hell they don’t. To say that would be to discredit such heart rendering moments like ‘Saying Goodbye’ in Manhattan, Tiny Tim’s death in Christmas Carol, Gonzo’s renditions of ‘My Way’ and ‘Wishing Song’ on The Muppet Show, and so on.

This is especially true of newest feature film. To say there aren’t any moving moments in the film would make you come off as completely heartless. True, I’m overly sensitive with films and tend to cry easily, but even so. Tears were streaming down my face when Jason gave his speech to Walter, I bawled throughout ‘Rainbow Connection’, and I came dangerously close to yelling at my three year old cousin when she tried to show me she can count to five during ‘Pictures in My Head’.

By now I’ve seen the movie so many time I’ve lost count of my viewing number, which has given me a chance to reflect on what I find to be one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the film. It’s not a scene that makes me weep, but it pangs at my heart every time I think about it.

It’s when Fozzie and Kermit are reunited.

This, to the untrained eye, might not seem to be the most emotional scene of the film, but I’ve always been a little sensitive when it comes to everyone’s favorite bear comedian. How can you not love that bear? Whether performed by the masterful Frank Oz or the mind blowingly talented Eric Jacobson, Fozzie is always Fozzie. He’s tough but sensitive, clumsy, and a good friend at heart. His relationship with Kermit is one of my favorites, especially after just going through The Muppet Show in its entirety recently.

All these components are why this scene breaks my heart a little every time. I expressed this to someone over at Muppet Central once and they responded with: “But the Rainbow Connection parody is so funny!” Sure, the lyrics are funny, but the humor of it distracts form the clear situation at hand: Fozzie’s life has taken a nose dive. He’s gone from the glamor and glitz of a (kind of sort of) well loved act over on The Muppet Show to this dark, grimy Reno motel where he gets to work with really unpleasant Moopets (and Dave Grohl) who impersonate his best friends multiple times a day. Watching Kermit’s face as he first takes in Fozzie’s performance confirms two things: 1) Steve Whitmire is really fucking talented, and 2) This is not what he was expecting. Later he references the Christmas cards Fozzie sends out, illustrating Fozzie’s embarrassment of where he’s ended up in life. He doesn’t want Kermit or anyone else to know where he is, that his solo career never took off, and that he’s all alone with a group of performers that scare him so much that he retreats to the comfort of his “dressing room” whenever they’re near.

Speaking of his “dressing room”, that’s a whole other aspect that hurts to watch. I mean, his dressing room’s an alleyway. An alleyway. There are gunshots and sirens in the background. There’s one moment, after it rains and Fozzie tells Kermit to “grab the cushions” and they head under the covering, just – ugh! – the way Fozzie looks around, you can just tell how ashamed he is. He’s embarrassed that this is how Kermit has to see him.

Which leads to the the last part. Kermit and Fozzie. There’s such an awkward tension between the two at first, signifying something crucial: They’ve forgotten how to do this. As they go on talking, their conversation eases back into comfortable routine, but even so there’s something of regret for both of them. Fozzie regrets having his best friend see where he’s ended up in life, whereas Kermit regrets neglecting his friendship with the bear for so long. Kermit even starts a sentence “If I had known…” If he had known, he would’ve clearly done something about it. Which really brings the whole thing full circle as to why it’s so devastating that the Muppets broke up. If Kermit had only known Gonzo was miserable in his plumbing business, would he have helped? If he had known The Electric Mayhem were playing gigs in Subway stations for petty change, would he have taken action? If he had known Piggy was still hurting from their last confrontation after all these years, would he have reached out sooner?

Am I reading too much into this? Without a doubt. I actually wrote most of this entry months ago in my Spanish class (because writing about my sadness for Fozzie was much more entertaining than learning the past subjunctive tense), I just hadn’t gotten around to typing it all up until now.

THE POINT OF ALL THIS IS (I can hear every high school teacher I’ve ever had groaning at those six overused words) I adore Fozzie, and watching him struggle tears me apart. I learned that going through The Muppet Show, with the exception of Gonzo (who’ll always be number one in my heart), I care the most about Fozzie. He always has the best intentions at heart for everyone, and dammit, he just wants to make people laugh, and how could anyone not love him for that?

When I Grow Up…

22 Aug

Today I discovered Matilda: the Musical. I had heard word a while back that this was going to be a thing, but I had no idea that it had already hit the west end and Broadway. Upon hearing about it, I was feeling pretty indifferent. It’s not that I didn’t like Matilda as a kid, and it’s not that I don’t think it’s good musical material. On the contrary, I’m very particular about what film/book material does or does not make a good musical. Shrek? Not musical material. Billy Elliot? Definite musical material. Once? Hella musical material. Legally Blonde? Hell no.

I knew right away Matilda would make for a good musical, I just wasn’t feeling up to tracking the soundtrack down. Then my friend Jon went and posted the song When I Grow Up on tumblr, and, well… here are the lyrics, and you might see why I’ve changed my mind:

When I grow up,
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
That I need to reach to climb the trees
You get to climb when you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will be smart enough to answer all
The questions that you need to know
The answers to before you’re grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will eat sweets every day,
On the way to work, and I will
Go to bed late every night.
And I will wake up
When the sun comes up, and I
Will watch cartoons until my eyes go square,
And I won’t care ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up
I will be strong enough to carry all
The heavy things you have to haul
Around with you when you’re a grown up.

And when I grow up…
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

And when I grow up,
I will have treats every day,
And I’ll play with things that mum pretends
That mums don’t think are fun.

And I will wake up
When the sun comes up and I
Will spend all day just lying in the sun.
And I won’t burn ’cause I’ll be all grown up.
When I grow up…

When I grow up,
I will be brave enough to fight the creatures
That you have to fight beneath the bed
Each night to be a grown up.

When I grow up…

Just because you find that life’s not fair, it
Doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it.
If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.
Just because I find myself in this story,
It doesn’t mean that everything is written for me.
If I think the ending is fixed already,
I might as well be saying I think that it’s okay,
And that’s not right.

Looking at the lyrics typed out, I can now easily see how the lyrics/music are written by Tim Minchin, which I didn’t know until only a while ago. And, dear me, I fucking love Tim Minchin.

I’ve felt so nostalgic as I’ve replayed this song on constant repeat all day. This song achieves it’s purpose: to make us remember what it’s like to be a kid and to have such fantastic aspirations. I remember going around as a kid swearing, when I was adult, that I’d eat candy all the time, lie around in the sun, climb trees, and essentially still be a child. This makes me sad, because I feel like I’ve lost so much of what made me such a wonderful child. Of course I couldn’t hold onto some of the things, but there’s so much of my childhood I wish I had held onto. My immense imagination. My optimism. My hyper-ness. My energy.

And yet, most of the time I feel like I’ve managed to hold onto more of my childlike wonder than the majority of people I know my age. Everyone takes everything so fucking seriously. People don’t take joy in the little things anymore. I feel like I’m much better at rolling with the punches than everyone. Maybe it’s because of everything I’ve gone through in my life, but I’ve learned to differentiate the little things and the important things. Speaking of which, I’ve always tried to enjoy the little things. Always.

I went and watched Matilda, the movie, today, which was a lovely experience. I think the quintessential difference in being an adult vs. being a child is that when I was a kid I fantasized about being Matilda. Now that I’m an adult I fantasize about being Ms. Honey.

I find the last stanza to be incredibly inspirational, especially the beginning part that goes: “Just because you find that life’s not fair, it doesn’t mean that you just have to grin and bear it. If you always take it on the chin and wear it, nothing will change.” It’s just something nice I’m going to have to remember when things get me down.

I’m tremendously excited to listen to the rest of this musical. I know it’ll be a great one.