Tag Archives: The Muppets

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.

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.

My Muppet Testimonial

21 Feb

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment Muppets started to creep back into my life. It was a gradual process, that’s certain. Around my sophomore year of college “Moving Right Along” suddenly became one of the most listened to songs on my iPod, and I had begun rewatching all my favorite bits from the Muppet movies I had grown up with. Then, one day during the summer before my junior year, I was surfing YouTube for Muppet clips when a particular video caught my eye. It was entitled: “Just One Person.” So I clicked on it, and what unfolded before my eyes changed my life. I watched as the Muppets grieved the loss of their creator, read letters from fans sharing their sympathies, and then joined together in song. By the end of the video I was sobbing. I had never truly put any thought into the people behind (erm, underneath?) the Muppets before. I became fascinated.

As the school year began I went back to my ordinary life, but the Muppets were still there at the back of my mind, quietly nagging me to come back to them. Once Christmas break rolled around, I caved in. Going home for the break, the very first thing I did was watch The Muppet Christmas Carol. I reveled in amazement of how the Muppets had not lost their touch. In fact, I was surprised to find that I enjoyed them possibly more than I did as a kid. I watched Christmas Carol many times over that break, and even dug out Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree to rewatch (yeah, you heard me!). Then, near the end of December, I was at a friend’s house and a bunch of us were playing a question game. One friend was asked, “What would you do if everyone in the world was turned into Muppets?” My friend responded with, “I don’t know, but I bet Amanda and Julia would be Gonzo and Rizzo.” Hearing this filled me with such immense joy and I was instantly ecstatic. I then had to take a step back. Was it normal to be this excited over someone comparing me to Rizzo the Rat? I wasn’t sure, so I kept it to myself.

This is just an excerpt from the Muppet  Testimonial I wrote up over at The Muppet Mindset blog. My friend Ryan, who manages the blog, asked me to share my personal Muppet journey with the world. It’s a piece I wrote that basically speaks on how I fell into the Muppet fandom a little over a year ago and how it has completely taken over my life. I talk about the gradual obsession that took over, the last year of my life, and all I have left to accomplish as a Muppet fan. So, click here to give it a read!

An Exerpt From My Day.

3 Feb

“I wish I were at the beach right now. Not even a sunny beach. I wanna run off to the Oregon coast, where it’s probably raining right this very moment. I wanna curl up in my family’s beach house, on the couch in the living room, and just read. Nothing else.”

“Please, please, PLEASE take me with you.”

“I so would.”

“I can’t read though, so that could be a problem.”

“You could work on blog entries! And then we could watch Muppet movies!”

“It would be magic!”

“It would!”

— A conversation that happened between a friend and myself via Facebook

Music to Help Find the Beauty in Life

26 Jan

So, like most people in this world, I love sad songs. Songs that bring tears to my eyes, songs I can heavily relate to, songs that I can listen to when I’m already having a bad day. We, as a people, like songs that let us emote with them.

That being said, I don’t think there are enough songs out there about beauty. No, not the beauty of a woman or the beauty of love, but the beauty of the world. The beauty of life. Songs that make you stop dead in your track, ponder the lyrics, and say to yourself “Why yes, I am rather grateful for this life I’ve been given.”

So I composed a list of ten songs I think best do a job of this. I did it really rapidly in my Young Adult Fiction class, so I’m sure I’m forgetting a song or two, but whatever. This is what I came up with:

1. Beauty – Starship

We don’t got
Any kind of worries
Our way of life is laissez-faire
No wealth, no poor, no hypocrisy
Just beauty
Beauty everywhere

Yes, Starship, the Starkid production from last year. I think this song is absolutely gorgeous. It builds up this world where anything and everything is considered beautiful, and, sure, it’s a world made up entirely of bugs, but I think that drives the point home even more. They don’t have materialistic wants or needs; they’re simply happy doing the jobs they are assigned and living their life out in peace.

2. Good Morning, Baltimore –Hairspray

Good morning Baltimore
Every day’s like an open door
Every night is a fantasy
Every sound’s like a symphony

To be perfectly honest, I haven’t listened to this song in probably over two years now. Nonetheless, it’s still a great song. Baltimore’s not exactly known for it’s – erm – cleanliness, but even so Tracey’s able to find beauty in everything from “the rats on the street” to the sketchy people around her. It’s just a very uplifting song.

3. Haven’t Met You Yet – Michael Buble

And I know some day that it’ll all turn out
You’ll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you kid that I give so much more than I get
I just haven’t met you yet

This one touches much more on the beauty of life. I just love the idea that in presents. We may be alone now, but that’s just because the person we’re going to spend the rest of our life with hasn’t been acquainted with us. Not just yet. But this idea that everyone has someone who they just haven’t met yet? Fucking beautiful.

4. Beautiful Ride – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

It’s about the good walk
And the hard walk
And the young girls you’ve made cry
It’s about make a little music everyday ‘til you die
It’s a beautiful ride

Yes, we’re talking about the Judd Apatow film that flopped at box offices several years back. Thanks to my best friend, Nick, I have seen this movie more times than I can count. That being said, the movie ends with this and, quite honestly, it’s actually a really beautiful song. This may be hard to pick up on whilst watching the movie, but if you have the soundtrack (like me…guilty as charged), then you’re bound to pick up on this fact. The lyrics are lovely. Simple, maybe, but beautiful. It depicts how materialistic needs can never hold a candle to the time you spend with your family and friends, and also “loving yourself”…”but not only yourself.” And, in the end, it’s about everything you achieve. Life is, simply a beautiful ride.

5. Life’s A Happy Song – The Muppets

Everything’s great
Everything’s grand
I’ve got the whole wide world
In the palm of my hand

Don’t act like you’re surprised a Muppet song made it onto this list.

I shouldn’t have to explain why this song is about appreciating life; the title really says it all. Life’s a happy song, and “we’ve got everything that we need, we can be whatever we want to be.” It’s such a lovely message.

6. Beautiful World – Colin Hay

And still this emptiness persists
Perhaps this is as good as it gets
When you’ve given up the drink and those nasty cigarettes
Now I leave the party early at least with no regrets
I watch the sun as it comes up I watch it as it sets
Yeah this is as good as it gets.

This has always been one of my favorite Colin Hay songs. It just describes some beautiful moments in life. Swimming in the sea, driving in your car, drinking tea, making love, and so on. It’s got a really gorgeous tune to it.

7. Twenty Something – Kerrigan & Lowdermilk

This is it. This is what’s hot.
It’s your moment. It’s your decade.
But you’re only twenty-something til you’re not.

This one applies more to my generation than others, at this point in time. “Twenty Something” is about being a twenty something year old and having so many opportunities open to us. The world is our oyster; we can accomplish anything.

8. Follow Me – Fraggle Rock

Everyday the world begins again
Sunny skies or rain
Come and follow me
Every sunrise shows me more and more
So much to explore
Come and follow me

Yes, I am, in fact, listing a Fraggle Rock song. Not too much to say on this song, it really just reinforces the idea that everyday is a new beginning and a chance at a new adventure.

9. The Beauty Is – Light in the Piazza

I don’t understand a word they’re saying,
I’m as different here as different can be.
But the beauty is I still meet people like me.

Okay, so maybe this one specifically made the list because I’m going to be going to Italy in two months, but there’s more to it, I swear. This song’s all about the beauty you find when going to a different place you’ve never been to and still being able to make these connections with the people there. It focuses on the beauty of how, no matter where you go, people are all the same. The end of the song is really my favorite part: “And the beauty is, when you realize, when you realize, someone could be looking for a someone like you.” It really ties more in with what’s going on in the show than with the rest of the song, but still, it’s lovely.

10. Being Alive – Company

Somebody, need me too much,
Somebody, know me too well,
Somebody, pull me up short
And put me through hell
And give me support
For being alive,
Make me alive.

This, to me, has been the most beautiful song since I first heard it back during high school. It’s all about coming to that realization that we need people in our life, and that we can’t do it alone. We need other people to “make [us] alive”, even if it is being “used” and being “put through hell”. It reminds us of the beauty of lie and the beauty of making those connections with those around us, because, in the end, there is nothing more beautiful than being alive.

Make me confused,
Mock me with praise,
Let me be used,
Vary my days.
But alone is alone, not alive.

Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I’ll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!