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Julia Wants to Hug David Rudman

1 Sep

Everyone knows by now I have an incredible love of all things Muppets. Hell, even if this is your first time at my blog you could probably piece that together simply based on my wordpress’s name. The Girl Who Loves Muppets. It’s a title I’ve carried with pride for the last twenty months of my life. What a glorious twenty months they’ve been.

As of the last five months, however, I’ve been kind of overly invested in this ideal of hugging a certain individual involved with the industry. I wouldn’t go so far to say I’m obsessed with this aspiration, but I certainly haven’t shut up about it.

The individual, you ask?

No, not the blue furry guy who loves to shove cookies in his mouth during all hours of the day. The man operating Cookie Monster. David Rudman.

Looking back through my all my tweets, it looks like this was something I decided to start up on the 9th of April. I began to try to get this hashtag to trend: #JuliaWantsToHugDavidRudman. Of course, it hasn’t, and I believe I’ve only ever successfully gotten three other people to tweet it. Otherwise it’s been all me.

Here are some examples of how I’ve used said hashtag in the past:

Hey David Rudman, there’s a hug in your future with my name on it. #JuliaWantsToHugDavidRudman

What’s good bribery to get a hug? Cookies? Nah, that seems a little too obvious. #JuliaWantsToHugDavidRudman

This point would probably be easier to get across if David Rudman actually had a twitter… #JuliaWantsToHugDavidRudman

Knock knock. Who’s there? Julia! Julia who? #JuliaWantsToHugDavidRudman

Exposition, joke, joke, funny, joke, blah blah blah, you get the gist. #JuliaWantsToHugDavidRudman

This has, truthfully, been one of the strangest ways I’ve chosen to express my Muppet love. To choose one particular Muppeteer and focus all my appreciation on him? Not that I don’t constantly rant about my appreciation for all other first and second generation Muppeteers. Of course I do. I wrote that entry last month about how I would’ve died of glee to meet Eric at Comic-Con, I’ve written countless pieces on Jerry this last week, I wrote an article over on Tough Pigs about Steve’s hair, etc. etc. etc. David Rudman’s not even my number one Muppeteer. That high honor goes to the one, the only, Dave Goelz… but it seems lately I’ve been putting a special focus on Rudman. It’s been several months now and I can’t help asking myself… why did I choose Rudman for my hugging goal?

No. Seriously. I honestly can’t remember why.

For starters, I know nothing about David Rudman. Besides the obvious (he works for Sesame/Muppets and operates Cookie, Baby Bear, Janice, Scooter, etc.), I really don’t know much about him. I’ve never seen/heard him give an interview, and I’ve never read one either. The only pictures I’ve seen of him are behind the scenes at work or at special events (and there are far too few of him even in those aspects), and the only video footage I know of is him performing his characters. I know absolutely nothing about this man’s life.

SO WHY DO I WANT TO HUG HIM SO BADLY?

I remember back in March (and, for all I know, this may be what started this hugging aspiration) I had just been given a copy of The Muppets and I was watching it for the first time on DVD. It was one in the morning, and I really should have been sleeping because my family was catching a 7am flight to Italy for spring break that same day. But I was content eating ice cream, waiting for my dad to come back from fetching my brother from Eugene, and watching Muppet goodness. There was one point during the film, and it could’ve been with Scooter or maybe with Janice, though I have a sneaking suspicion it happened during a Miss Poogy scene, where I screamed into the abyss of my empty Portland household, “David Rudman is a god!” I don’t know why I yelled this. I was just suddenly overcome with such an appreciation for this man and all that he’s accomplished so far in his career.

There’s a reason I hold David, Steve, Eric, Matt, and Bill up on a pedestal. They’ve taken Muppets originated by other people and made sure they lived on. I suppose there are others that could’ve taken up the characters left behind from Jim, Jerry, Frank, and Richard, but let’s face facts, the second generation Muppeteers are killing it in the best possible way. Does David’s Janice sound exactly like Richard’s? No, neither does his Scooter (though, I will say, this Cookie Monster is impeccable). But the characters have remained true and have not changed a lick.

So I guess what I’m saying is that I really don’t know why I have this goal of hugging David Rudman someday. And that’s okay. He’s an incredible performer and, from what I’ve heard from other Muppet fans, he’s a really stand up guy. He deserves all the hugs in the world.

I just hope he doesn’t have a heart attack when the day comes where I finally get to hug the hell out of him.

(Oh shit. OH SHIT. I just found my first ever David Rudman interview. I now know what his real voice sounds like. And now I actually know about him as a person… so… that kind of cancels out a lot of what I just wrote… but oh well, screw it. I’m so happy right now!)

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.

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.”

Musing about Muppeteers :: My Appreciation for the People Behind the Fur and Below the Cameras

11 Aug

I was on Tumblr this morning, as per usual, and I was looking at the pictures of Eric Jacobson with Super Grover at this year’s San Diego Comic Con that both Lara and myself had posted simultaneously on our Muppet tumblrs today, and it really got me to thinking, which got me to writing. What follows is a long response to this picture (over on the left) that I wrote about on my Muppet tumblr today, with a few minors edits and a couple additional pieces. I guess today is ‘Julia-has-a-lot-of-feels’ day, or else I wouldn’t have spun off into this lengthy rant that not too many people are going to care about.

Anyway. Here it is.

If I had been at San Diego Comic Con 2012 and had gotten my picture taken with Super Grover, I think I would’ve asked Grover if it was all right if I had my picture taken with his friend Eric as well. I wouldn’t direct the question at the man on the floor, I would have dignified the part he was playing by addressing the cute, furry blue monster on his arm. Of course, a part of me likes to think that I would have just run straight passed everyone and flopped down on the ground next to Eric right away, but that would have disrupted his performance and thrown everything off, ruining the illusion, and I would never want that. Not in a million years. I know that later in the Con Eric was at a table for signings and pictures, but I have a feeling that upon first sight of Grover I would’ve been instantly overwhelmed and would’ve wanted to share my appreciation with the world immediately. But not for Grover. For Eric Jacobson.

You see, I know Grover’s the name and the face that everyone knows, but I pride myself in being one of the fans who appreciates the man underneath just as much as the monster up above. I wish Muppeteers got just as much recognition for the work they do as any other performer out there. Sure, you could argue that maybe if they did it’d all go to their heads, as it does with so many entertainers nowadays, but I don’t think so. I believe the material they work with keeps them grounded, humble, and human. It certainly did for Jim. These people though. They’re such amazing, talented people, and no one seems to understand that. Their job is far from easy. They portray so much emotion, brevity, and heart in their performances, all while keeping themselves out of the camera’s sight line. They have to be precise in their movements, able to shape their voices to fit a multitude of characters, and they all can sing their ever loving hearts out. They are the most under appreciated performers in all of Hollywood.

Yes, Jim truly got the recognition he deserved, as Frank still does to this day, but if you walk up to someone on the street and ask them if they know who Dave Goelz, Fran Brill, Bill Barretta, Karen Prell, or David Rudman are, they wouldn’t be able to give you an answer. However, if you ask them about Gonzo the Great, Zoe, Pepe the King Prawn, Red Fraggle, and Cookie Monster? Of course they’re going to know. Hell, Steve’s been performing Kermit for twenty-two years now, and people still don’t know the name of the man who kept the Muppets alive after Jim’s passing (well, Steve and Brain both did, in my opinion). I suppose Kevin Clash has become much more recognized, thanks to the brilliant documentary Being Elmo; however, instead of hearing people praise his work as Muppet Captain and co-producer on Sesame, I’m still much more likely to hear, “Can you believe Elmo’s played by a black man?” (Yes I can, you ignoramus.) I also think it’s a crime against nature that Caroll Spinney isn’t a household name. That man’s dedicated forty-three years of his life to making children happy. He’s a national treasure and should be treated as such (and hopefully, with the release next year of I Am Big Bird, he will be).

These performers have touched so many people’s lives with the work that they’ve done and they deserve all the praise and adoration in the world.

So no. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten down on the ground with Eric, as not to disrupt his performance, but I certainly would have turned to Super Grover and told him, “I just want you to know, your friend Eric? I really respect everything that he’s done and he is, truly, one of the most talented people alive today. He’s one of the many people that’s changed my life for the better these past couple years, and I just want him to know that.” And I’d hope that would be enough to get my point across to Eric down below, and I hope someday I do get the opportunity to tell this to, not just Eric, but any Muppet performer I might meet. Each and every one of them has taken the last two years of my life and made it so much grander, so much more wonderful, so much more extraordinary. I will never, not ever, stop being grateful to this amazing group of people. They’ve made life a thing of beauty for me, and that is something to be truly thankful for.

After profusely thanking Eric, I would also tell him never to cut his hair this short again. Not his best look.

Thankful for Friends, Muppets, and a Huge Pile of Socks

16 Jul

In the past I’ve gone on and on and on and on about my love of Muppet fans, so by now it should be well known that my love for this fan community is ginormous. Muppet fans surpass all other fans, which I doubt the world will ever truly recognize. They are considerate, loving, silly, hilarious, understanding, and wonderful. Because the source of their obsession (Muppets/Sesame/Fraggles) promotes love and compassion and unity, it is in turn what the fans practice on a day-to-day basis, making them some of the most genuine people you will ever meet. They are, indeed, all around wonderful.

But today, let’s cut the schmaltz and just say it.

I fucking love my Muppet friends.

I’m not a speechless person. Well, okay, in person I tend to be tongue tied and quiet and incredibly awkward, but in writing I never have any problem expressing my thoughts and feelings; however, when it comes to my friends from Tough Pigs, along with my several Muppety friends from Muppet Central and Tumblr… I’m just speechless. I truly don’t even know how to begin to express my gratitude and love for this amazing group of people.

This last month’s been kind of rough on me. I moved into a new apartment for the first time without my roommate of the last four years, I sent my cat 200+  miles away to go live with my dad (don’t laugh, I miss her), I got to deal with my first ever issue of identity fraud, and I had to say goodbye to many a graduated friend. Most of all, my best friend on this planet moved away to Spain, which has brought me incredibly down in mood as of late. I’ve gone through a lot of change, and change is always a really scary thing for me, so I’ve been, frankly, very sad recently. Sad and lonely. I keep most of that in, but it’s been something that’s been persistently there. It’ll get better soon, this I know, but for the time being it’s hard to not be consistently bummed out.

Then you guys swoop in a pull a stunt like this.

When the first package came in the mail several weeks back, I was bewildered. It resulted in me screaming “HOW DID JUSTIN GET MY NEW MAILING ADDRESS???” and flailing about my apartment in confusion. It wasn’t until I got Carolyn’s package next that I began to understand what was going on and how this was all possible, and instantly began to cry. No group of friends has ever done something like this for me, which is why it so truly touched my heart. While the rest of the world may see this whole process as me receiving packages of socks, I see it as a gesture of great kindness and friendship. Of course, upon receiving these packages I remembered making an off hand comment once a couple months ago about how I never get socks for Christmas or birthdays, and when I wrote it on the forums I really thought nothing of it. Then one of you (you know who you are, you amazing, wonderful person) put this together for me, and it just… honestly, I’m teary just writing this. I feel absurd getting overtly emotional, but I truly cannot help myself. This is the nicest thing a group of people has ever done for me.

Here’s a picture of me sitting with all my booty while trying to convey my immense amount of gratitude in my facial region:

I was talking to Justin (Tonglet) over IM when this all first started happening, and I wrote to him, “Ugh. You all are such stellar people. I can’t even handle it.” I really can’t begin to describe how truly lucky I feel having you all in my life.

I was on Muppet Central for about a year, and while I did take away some friends from the site (whom I adore very much), MC Forums was, to me, lacking in the camaraderie department and seemed to spark one too many arguments amongst the users for my personal liking. So I took a deep breath and made the switch to Tough Pigs. When I first joined up with Tough Pigs back in December I was beyond intimidated. I mean, it took me forever to understand the format of Delphi (curse you, Delphi!!!), and secondly, here was this amazing group of people with all these inside jokes who had known each other for years. How was I gonna fit in? Me, who’s not witty or punny. Who isn’t brave or outgoing. How was I gonna remember all these names and keep up? How was anyone ever gonna notice shy, awkward me? And yet, somehow, you invited me into the family with open arms and made me one of your own. I remember in the first week someone told me “You’re gonna fit in just fine” and how I swelled with pride at this notion. I’ve always felt out of place in this world. I haven’t felt part of an actual group since middle school. Since then, while I’ve always had my closes friends and been part of quiet a few groups, I’ve just felt like I’ve been drifting from group to group, never having one to truly plant my feet in. You guys, though. With you guys I feel like I’m one of you. You guys have taken this year and turned it on its head. I can’t even fathom not being on Tough Pigs eight months ago; that’s such a foreign concept to me now.

And what a year its been. I’ve met up with Carolyn twice (for Muppets and puppets!), I’ve had many a pleasant chat with the majority of you, I’ve gained a drunk texting bud (Dosierrrr), plans of visiting one of you for a Disneyland trip were discussed a while back (and should be discussed again sometime in the near future), I’ve geeked out over TV and movies with you all, I’ve been introduced to new bands and music, and I even got to write a Tough Pigs article of my very own (with another on the way). And then there were the socks. All thirty-one pairs of them. Not to mention some other fabulous gifts… Gah. You guys.

The most frustrating part of all this is that I can’t come up with any way for you all to know the depths of my gratitude. All I can really do is say thank you. So.

Thank you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all for being so wonderful, so ingenious, so insightful, so amazing. Thank you for giving me a reason to smile pretty much everyday. Thank you for being silly, crazy, funny, random, witty, punny, and fucking incredible. Thank you all for being such wonderful friends and such stellar people. Thank you to everyone who sent me something in the mail. Thank you to everyone who sent me something in the mail that never reached me (I’m still greatly moved). Special thanks to Martha, who I know is the true master mind behind all of this. And not just thank you to the people who participated in my birthday surprise. Thank you to all my wonderful friends that I’ve made through our similar Muppet adoration; whether we met through Tough Pigs, Tumblr, MC Forums, Twitter, Facebook, whatever. What started as a mutual love for a fandom has grown into something far more precious and much more important. I so look forward to the many years to come with you all in my life, hopefully getting the chance to meet up with most of you, and please always know just how much I treasure you as people, comrades, and friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you all.

And trust me when I say, from now on, I’ll be careful what I wish for.

The Lover, The Dreamer, and What He Means to Me

17 May

How do you express love for a person you don’t even know? A person you will never know, not really, and yet, a person you know so much about. Not only that, but a person who has effected, shaped, and touched your life in so many ways, and you know you are changed all because of this singular, extraordinary person. No person alive can be compared to them, not in a million years.

I am, of course, talking about Jim Henson.

Jim Henson passed away on May 16th, 1990. Forty-nine days before my birth. To have never truly inhabited the world at the same time as such an amazing person slays me.

I’ve spoken quite a lot in the past about how much the Muppets have effected me for the last sixteen months of my life, but I often neglect to go into detail about how much they effected me as a child. And they did. They really did. My family owned The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and Muppet Christmas Carol, which my brother and I watched enthusiastically on a regular basis, and I remember seeing Treasure Island in theaters with my cousins. My brother and I would play Muppet Babies during play time, letting our imaginations run rampant (I was always Rowlf, while he assumed the role of either Kermit or Animal). Then there was Sesame Street, which basically taught me all the general information of the world that I know today. I rocked out to Elmo’s World daily, I sang along with Big Bird, I helped Big Bird track down Ernie, and I anxiously anticipated Slimey’s return from the moon.

The Muppets and Sesame characters were always in my life, meaning that Jim Henson has always been a part of my life as well. I don’t know when I ever became aware of who Jim Henson was. I knew his name at a young age, long before I could recognize his face. After all, his name was attached to all the films and shows of his that I so loved. I feel like I knew his face long before (I have a very vague memory of asking my mother who Jim was at a young age), but the first concrete memory I have of Jim is my freshman year of high school. I passed his face almost every day on a poster in Mr. Housley’s AP Gov classroom.

Okay, so it was really a poster for Apple. Even so.

I was fourteen when I was a freshman in high school. That was about seven and a half years ago. Only six years later would it suddenly occur to me how wonderful, hilarious, and life changing the Muppets could be and how desperately I needed them in my day to day life; only six years until it really struck me what exactly this man had accomplished in his life time.

It’s always difficult to express my grief of Jim’s passing to people who are not Muppet fans and to explain why this day brings me down so much. How am I supposed to describe why the death of a man, a complete stranger whom I will never meet, grieves me so? The thing is though, Jim was not just a man. He was an innovator, a mentor, an artist, a builder, a giver, a performer, a friend, a dreamer. He saw the uniqueness and goodness inside each and every person. He truly believed he could help make the world a better place, he never judged by creed or race, just by the kindness in one’s heart. No, I think it’s fair to say Jim Henson was no ordinary man, and I will strive time and time again to explain the part he’s taken in shaping my life as a human being. Because this man… well, the word ‘magical’ springs to mind.

While Jim and many of the other greats are gone (Jerry, Richard, Don, Kermit Love, etc.), the magic that they brought to life lives on, and the beautiful worlds Jim Henson fabricated out of felt and fur forever frequent in our fantasies and futures.

Thank you, Jim.

PS) I just realized that this is my 100th entry in my The Girl Who Loves Muppets wordpress. How oddly appropriate.

Worries for Another Day

8 May

I don’t have anything to write about so far today, and I doubt I will later seeing as the rest of my day is going to be spent prepping for my Thursday journey to Portland, so I’m going to share this picture I came across earlier today.

 

Dance your cares away!

 

It’s a picture taken during the 1980s of the cast and crew of Fraggle Rock. I found it on the Jim Henson’s Red Book site (which I have no clue why I don’t visit it more often). Just look how happy all of them look. Man, what I’d give to jump back in time and work on the set of this show. I wish I knew more of the crew, and even the cast as well, of this show. I know the Fraggle five, Rob Mills, Jerry Juhl, and Jim’s in this picture as well, but that’s about it (I can’t spot Karen or Jerry to save my life though). But geez, look at all those smiles. How could they not smile? They’re working on a show that Jim pitched as “a show that will bring about world peace”. I’d be pretty happy too if I were one of them.

And oh my god, Steve, stop being so adorable. I could spot your hair from a mile away.

Muppet Fans :: How I Do Adore Them

1 May

Remember when I instated Muppet Monday’s for this wordpress way back in January? Yeah? … No? Well, yeah, probably because I only ever did one Muppet Monday entry… ever (and it was a pretty crummy topic to write about too). I may try to revive it, but I’m not holding my breath.

However! It is a Monday, and this is an entry that is Muppet related, marking this the second Muppet Monday of all time for this blog! *flails arms in the fashion a la Kermit the Frog* Yaaaaaaaaaay!

So what Muppety goodness am I going to be preaching on today?

Muppet people.

Oh, but not, y’know, the people who go and make the Muppets what they are. No, no, no. I could write about the performers, writers, creative staff, and all the other people behind the Muppets endlessly, I am sure, but that’s not the subject I want to touch on today.

I want to talk about Muppet fans.

This is, albeit, not the first time I’ve expressed my love of the Muppet fandom through writing. I’ve mentioned it in past blog entries, on my tumblr, in tweets, on Muppet forums, and in facebook statuses. For some reason, in the past, I’ve almost always thrown in the phrase “it’s hard to express why I love Muppet [people] so much”, but you know something? It’s not. It’s really not.

The Muppet fandom is a treasure. It is like some hidden secret that normally you’d need some crazy ass journey, like the Da Vinci Code or a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence, in order to discover it, but somehow I stumbled into it purely by accident. I was lucky. Only a few days after falling entirely in love with the Muppets, I discovered that there is quite the online community, and they are a force to be reckoned with.

I was astounded. They were welcoming. They were warm. They were everything a fandom should be. I have spent my entire life going from fan base to fan base to fan base, and while each one was wonderful in certain aspects, most were just down right, well, mean.

In the Lord of the Rings fan base I got judged for finding the books boring. I tried to follow a Community blog once, but all anyone ever did was bash Jeff/Annie or Jeff/Britta (seriously. that was it). The Sherlock fandom does nothing but hate on Moffat and make Benedict out to be the star in the upcoming Hobbit film (and while I love me some Cumberbatch, that’s really annoying considering he’s playing a character who’ll be on screen for probably less than ten fucking minutes). Lost fans rarely agree on anything. The Repo! fandom is rude. Doctor Who fans are rather whiny. Red vs. Blue was fun for a while, until I kept getting hit on by creepy older men (I was sixteen years old, for fuck’s sake). And don’t get me started on my hate for Starkid fans. Oh man. I hate Starkid fans. And I am a Starkid fan.

(Newsies is probably the best fandom I was ever apart of pre-Muppets, which is why I stuck with it for years before my interest dwindled. I am, notably, still friends with quite a few people from the NML today.)

But Muppet fans. Oh man, Muppet fans.

I have had the honor and privilege of making so many wonderful friends through Muppet Central, Tough Pigs, and a slew of Muppet tumblrs over the past year and four months.

In the past I’ve attempted to explain my Muppet friends to the friends I see in my day-to-day life. Oh how I’ve tried. I’ve tried to explain what makes Muppet fans so wonderful, such great people to talk to, such marvelous friends. I realize that most people, frankly, don’t get it. It’s become clear that my so called “Muppet friends” are only there to rant and rave with me about… well… Muppets. That’s it. Just Muppets. That’s all. Now, I won’t say that we don’t talk about Muppets, because we most certainly do. How could we not? It’s the shared interest that brought us together; an interest not many other people in this world have to our extremity. But to say that’s all the friendship is based on? Hardly.

There are no people in this world better than the people who come from the Muppet fandom. They are some of the sweetest, most genuine people you will ever meet. As Jason Segel said once, “Muppets are just such a force for good”, so it really comes as no surprise that the Muppet fan base is, in and of itself, a force for good as well.

Muppet fans are all around nice people. They go out of their way to make you smile. They’ll share music and their writing with you. They send you flowers in the mail. They stand up for you. They tease you for silly things. They connect with you about shared interests. They are understanding when you mention that you’ve yet to see a certain Muppet production yet. They make weird, but awesome, inside jokes with you. They listen to you when you’re having a rough day. They open up about themselves to you. They’re there for you.

They’re goofy, they’re insightful, they’re courageous, they’re hilarious, they’re intelligent.

They’re wonderful.

I can’t say it in more simple words than that. Muppet fans are wonderful. They are one of the major reasons Muppets have remained a constant in my life for as long as it has. Without them, I don’t know if I’d be known amongst the SOU Theatre Department as the girl who loves Muppets (or, rather, that girl who wrote that one Muppet poem and has a Muppet tumblr). I’ve only met up with one other Muppet fan last December, and I had a truly fabulous time. To think that I might get the chance, in the future, to meet more of these amazing people enthralls and overwhelms me. Muppet pals truly make every day a little bit brighter.

I accepted a long time ago that Muppets are here to stay in my life, but holy Henson, I really hope these people are here to stay as well.

Now if only I could make it to a Muppet Vault.

Words from Others

10 Mar

I’m feeling a tad lazy today, so here are some of my all time favorite quotes… and by “some” I mean “a lot”. These are all quotes from movies/plays/TV/books/etc. I do have a lot of quotes from people in my life, and maybe I’ll share those someday, but for now I’m just gonna share these ones.

Enjoy!

——-

“[Muppets] are just such a force for good, and I know that’s crazy to hear me talk about it, but I’m in love with them. They remind us of the best version of ourselves. They’re who we wanted to be when we were kids.”
— Jason Segel

“Well this is a place that you, that you all made together so that you could find one another. The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. That’s why all of you are here. Nobody does it alone, Jack. You needed all of them and they needed you. To remember. And let go.”
— Christian Shepard, LOST

“I’m a person who relies very heavily on intuition and feeling out the situation, so I’ve never really made a five-year plan or anything like that, if it’s right, it will fall into place and if not, I understand.”
— Emma Stone

“Today I felt completely awake, like my heart was as big as the moon.”
— Ray, Bored to Death

“Doubt thou the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”
— Hamlet

“Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you, you know, maybe you just need one person.”
— Kermit, The Muppets

“Yeah, well, I’ve got a dream too. But it’s about singing and dancing and making people happy. That’s the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with.”
— Kermit the Frog, The Muppet Movie

“They don’t even know they’re doing the same thing as everyone else, just using a different name. Entertaining themselves. Missing it. Lying. None of them care about pole vaulting or dreams.”
Visioneers

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand […] once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
The Velveteen Rabbit

“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie to close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
— Stephen King

“I want to be Proust or the Marquis de Sade. I would like to be Christ, Mohammad, Buddha, but not have to believe in God.”
— Guido, Nine

“Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwords that counts. That’s when you find out who you are.”
— Whistler, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“I live for the day when an actor can walk on stage, stand stock still and have an audience applaud in sheer wonder that – in spite of plague, politics and the foolishness of this age – this thing has managed to stay alive.”
— Shag, Equivocation

“If you’re not scared you’re not taking a chance, and if you’re not taking a chance then what the hell are you doing?”
— Ted, How I Met Your Mother

“I can’t control my destiny. I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be. There’s only now, there’s only here. Give in to love or live in fear. No other path, no other way. No day but today.”
RENT

“Family is more than blood. It’s about trust, about love, about those who embrace you – the real you – unconditionally.”
— Samuel, Heroes

“I mean Hank, the movie was great, but the thirty minutes before the movie started was what I love about being a nerd. Because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff. We don’t have to be like, ‘Oh yeah that purse is okay’ or like, ‘Yeah, I like that band’s early stuff.’ Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself-love it. Hank, when people call people nerds, mostly what they are saying is, ‘You like stuff’, which is just not a good insult at all, like ‘You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness’.”
— John Green

“Just remember, kid, you can quicker get back a million dollars that was stole than a word that you gave away.”
— Arthur Miller

“Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will.”
— Spike, Buffy

“If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude that I was not made for here.”
— Brooke Fraser

“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us; leaving nothing but a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that our eyes once watered.”
— Guildenstern; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

“But the thing is … but what I wanted to say is, you know when you’re a kid, they tell you it’s all “Grow up, get a job, get married, get a house, have a kid” and that’s it. Nah. The truth is the world is so much stranger than that, it’s so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.”
— Elliot, Doctor Who

“The Venn Diagram of guys who don’t like smart girls and guys you don’t want to date is a circle.”
— John Green

“Oh mirror in the sky, what is love? Can the child within my heart rise above?”
— Fleetwood Mac

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
— C.S. Lewis

“The funny thing about writing is that whether you’re doing it well or you’re doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That is actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.”
— John Green

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.”
— Audrey Hepburn

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
— Hazel Grace, The Fault in Our Stars

“Had my brother really seen me somehow, or was he merely a little boy telling beautiful lies?”
— Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

“I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not fuck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
— John Green, Looking for Alaska

“No, no, no…you’ve got it all wrong… you can’t act death. The fact of it is nothing to do with seeing it happen – it’s not gasps and blood and falling about – that isn’t what makes it death. It’s just a man failing to reappear, that’s all – now you see him, now you don’t, that’s the only thing that’s real: here one minute and gone the next and never coming back – an exit, unobtrusive and unannounced, a disappearance gathering weight as it goes on, until, finally, it is heavy with death.”
— Guildenstern; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

“Hearts will never be made practical until they can be made unbreakable.”
The Wizard of OZ

“If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.”
— Andy Rooney

“As long as there were singing frogs and joking bears, Swedish chefs and boomerang fish, the world couldn’t be that bad of a place.”
— Walter, The Muppets

“I will not say ‘do not weep’ for not all tears are an evil.”
— Gandalf, Return of the King

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
— A.A. Milne

Not Much To Say

2 Mar

Low of my day: Realizing that I am, in fact, very addicted to coffee. So much in fact that my withdrawal from it is affecting my mood and my overall outlook on life (in short? I want to rip everybody’s faces off and flip off the world.)

High of my day: Finding out a new Muppet movie is (somewhat) in the works.

Realization of my day: I want to have George Clooney’s babies.

Greatest want of my day: A cup of coffee and a doughnut.

Ugh.

Sorry, nothing really to say today. In a pretty foul mood.