Posts Tagged ‘Muppets’

Billy was back and I really did enjoy him.  But before I get too far into the post, what was with the tinny feedback on seemingly every microphone?  Or was it just me?

Was that Sheila E. working the percussion in the band?

Why and when did they switch the order of the awards?

Yes, I’m happy for Christopher, but damn, Kenneth got dissed every single time.

I love that so many people kept their speeches really brief.  I loved Billy’s opening number.  I laughed my ass off at the “focus group” for The Wizard of Oz.  Thank you, Catherine O’Hara for saying to millions what I have been saying for years.  Glinda’s got a wee bit of wicked in her for not telling Dorothy earlier about clicking those heels together.

Billy Crystal made it feel like it was a ten or fifteen years ago.  What a difference compared to how I used to watch the Oscars.  With a party, pools on who would win, and I would actually have seen the movies that were nominated.  Now I was just glad the boys were practically ready for bed when it started.

I wonder if I will one day reconnect with the Oscars as I did in the past.  The one nominated movie I saw this year was The Muppets.  Tells you where I am in life.  Now I catch movies on demand as I am able.  Sadly, I still think movies from the 1990s are recent.  The other night I was enjoying my good friend Keyser Soze and noticed the year it was made.  1995?  Really, 1995?  When I realized The Usual Suspects is as old as it is, I realized I need to get some new lines to quote.  How did time fly away and the movies with it?

Perhaps one day I’ll re-embrace my desire to go to a large dark room filled with strangers and watch movies.  I do love the movie theater experience, but there are so many other things to do.  But as my sons get older, they too will embrace the experience.  Won’t that be fun.  As you wish.

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Fair warning…I am writing about Christmas.  If you do not celebrate this holiday, I am not writing this to offend you, but merely to exercise my right to be a Christian and celebrate my faith.  So if it bothers you when a Christian uses her right to freedom of religion now is a good time to stop reading so you don’t get angry at me.

That said-we watched Muppet Christmas Carol twice today.  I’m watching the Monk Christmas episodes and will begin baking cookies very soon.  Tomorrow evening we’ll go to church for the Christmas Eve service.  It’s one of my favorite services of the year.  During the minutes when the church is lit only by candles and we sing “Silent Night” I am filled with a feeling like no other.  When we get home, the boys will listen to Scott read the “Night Before Christmas” and I’ll take their picture next to the empty stockings.  They’ll be tucked into bed and then the fun really begins.

As Santa works, he always watches the marathon of A Christmas Story.  After about the fourth go-around, he gets to go to bed.  This year Santa tagged everything in advance so perhaps Santa will only see the movie three times before collapsing into bed.  Last thing Santa does before falling into bed is adding the baby Jesus to the Nativity set.  The Wise Men don’t come out till Epiphany so they still get to hang out for a couple of weeks.

One of the things I love about this time of year is the wonderful sense of antici…pation.  I love reflecting on the birth of Jesus.  With the birth of each of my sons I was completely overwhelmed with emotion, thoughts, questions, answers.  My entire world changed.  How must it have felt to give birth to the Savior?  I cannot fathom.  The strength and faith that resided within Mary are levels that I will most likely never have, but I try.  The whole concept of grace and parenting fills my daily thoughts.  To let your child grow into his own potential.  To provide guidance, support, and respect so he knows he can figure out who he is and make good choices.  To fill his days with love and faith and grace.  To help him make the memories that will shape his future.  Oh, the joy of parenting is heightened at this time of year.  The anticipation I felt with each pregnancy, wondering if the baby would be a boy or girl, wondering what the baby would look like.  This time of year always brings back those memories as I think about the anticipation Mary must have felt.  Every mother feels it, but I would presume it may have been heightened for her.

And the anticipation in the children is fantastic.  It’s harder to focus on some things, but their focus on waiting for Christmas morning is solid.  While this young, more of the focus does fall to the big guy in red, but the moments my sons have shared with me as they have thought about the birth of Jesus warm my heart.  They have asked more detail questions this year than previous years.  They’ve wondered if it was warm or cold, what kinds of animals were there, how long did it take the Wise Men to get there, why did they bring gifts, is that why we get gifts, so many questions.  I answer as best as I can.  The only thing I do is try to not destroy their sense of wonder.

May your Christmas celebration be filled with the love Mary and Joseph felt that wonderful day.  May the spirit of God fill your heart and soul.  May you make beautiful memories with your families and friends.  Happy Christmas!

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Tonight we saw A Christmas Carol.  Not just any A Christmas Carol.  This one was adapted from the one-man version that Charles Dickens performed in England and America about 160 years ago.  Tonight it was performed by his great-great-grandson, Gerald Charles Dickens.  The whole story, 28 characters, one man, one and a half hours.  The  boys loved it and laughed throughout the play.  I realized how much this story has been a part of my like, without really ever knowing it.

As this very talented actor made me laugh and cry just a wee bit, I mouthed many of the lines with him.  Scrooge is such a part of  cultural references, not just at Christmas time, but year round.  I suppose this would make Dickens very pleased since Scrooge said he would keep Christmas in his heart year round.  The whole concept of the story as a one-man show is amazing and works because each character is easy to relate to.

Mr. Dickens (the great-great-grandson, not the dead one…Marley was dead to begin with) stays afterward and signs autographs and poses for pictures.

He signed programs for each of the boys, my copy of A Christmas Carol, and even signed the boys’ copy of Muppet Christmas Carol.  A  very charming man and very proud of his heritage.  If he ever comes near your town you really should go see the show.

I will keep Christmas in my heart year round, I will live in the past, present, and future.  Come in, and know me better, man.

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I was brought back to my childhood today.  I was eight years old, sitting in front of the black and white television set, and singing along.  “It’s time to play the music.  It’s time to light the lights.  It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.”  Oddly though, this time my eight-year old and six-year-old were sitting with me.  The Muppets was an amazing movie and a truly fun experience. The parents were all chatting about our memories and filled with excitement about seeing our childhood friends again.  The children were excited too, but with a different type of energy.

The theater my sons and I went to was incredible.  It was so old-school and reminded me of the theater I used to go to at the Quaker Bridge Mall.  This one was an AMC 8 and it was great.  We don’t go to movies often because the buildings are too big, there are too many people, and too many cell phones.  This one is only twice as big as the one I grew up going to and still has the same kind of service.  For example, as we sat watching the previews, an usher came in to bring someone the food that wasn’t ready when they were at the counter.  Then during the movie a person turned on her cell phone.  Within thirty seconds an usher was there telling her to turn it off.  Yes-there were ushers in the theater the whole time to monitor.  The audience was well-behaved (parents included!).  It was the magical experience I remember the movies to be from my childhood.  We will be going to this theater regularly.

Then add that the movie was hysterical.  Spoiler alert-I’m about to share details.  If you want to be surprised, I am sad to say it, but stop reading.  Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, the whole gang plus Mickey Rooney!  When Amy Adams says “this is going to be a short movie.”  Traveling by map.  The balcony guys.  Uncle Deadly (I think that’s his name).  Sam the Eagle.  Whoopi, Jack Black, people that I am sure the tween-set will recognize.  The songs were so Muppety.  The humor was the same but with a slight 21st century edge.  The music seemed very Paul Williams-esque.  And yes, I cried as I quietly sang “Rainbow Connection” along with Kermit.   It just felt so 1970s.

I know that some of the Muppeteers didn’t completely like the screenplay.  Let it go.  This brought the Muppets into today and kept their hearts pure.  Even with a wee bit of an edge, the Muppets are still so much sweeter than anything else out there.  It’s something parents and children can really enjoy together.  It’s intelligent humor (okay, Fozzie’s fart shoes don’t quite fall under that category, but it’s FUNNY).  If we want real television, it needs to connect with us emotionally.  These pieces of felt and fur accomplish this with little to no effort. The Muppets connect our entertainment past with our present and future.  The concept of a vaudeville theater and a variety show fully embracing the concept of live theater is wonderful and needed.  Plus we want children to grow up to be accepting of all the different types of people in the world?  Then watch the Muppets!  No judgement anywhere!

The photograph cameos by the late great Jim Henson brought tears to my eyes.  I believe he is smiling as he watches the generation who grew up with the Muppets share a new movie with their children.  My sons have already seen other Muppet movies (Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island are staples in our home).  I would love for the Muppet Show to return to television.  I would love to be able to sit with my sons and laugh with these adorable felty, furry, and fuzzy creatures each week.  Thanks to Jason Segel for bringing them back.  Thanks to Jim Henson for creating them.

Mahna mahna (feel free to substitute Phenomena)

Do doo be-do-do

Mahna mahna

Do do do do

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