Monday Earworm: The Muppets Karaoke

Okay, I’ll be honest, I love The Muppets. I have since I was a child. Miss Piggy in particular was my hero: I loved her glamour and piquant fabulosity.

Although it had a rocky pilot, I really enjoyed The Muppets reboot a couple of years ago. It had only two seasons, unfortunately, but I thought it was genuinely entertaining. And Miss Piggy, in all her marvelousness, reflected the concerns of a modern woman who had loved and lost, had chosen career over family, and had never truly found balance but couldn’t forget the audience she yet had to satisfy.

Even though it doesn’t necessarily deal with all that deep Piggy stuff I just mentioned, this is one of my very favorite scenes from the recent series.

You are welcome.

National Poetry Month — Day 9

Sometimes when you write a poem, you work and work and work on that first draft and realize pretty far in that you’re just spinning your wheels. The spin is important, though. Terrible first drafts matter, and it’s good to embrace them so they — or the fear of them — don’t paralyze you.

One of my poetry professors in college assigned us to write fairy tale poems. I chose “The Frog Prince, or Iron Heinrich” because that story was one of my favorites when I was a child — no doubt in part because I had the recording of The Muppets version, where Kermit narrated, Robin was the prince, Sweetums was the ogre, and the princess was a young lady named Mellora. (Incidentally, I loved her name so much that I used it as the name of the protagonist in my first novel, although she and my character bear almost no resemblance to each other in any other way.)

My professor had given us a week to write these fairy tale poems. I threw everything I had at it for five days and ended up with what was arguably a funny prose-poem splashed across five pages. It was long. Very little white space. The night before the poem was due, I had to come to grips with the fact that the draft was terrible. I threw it all away and wrote this instead.




Plan B


Golden ball like a prophet,
predict for the princess her fate:
a frog lapping wine from her cup,
digesting the food from her plate,
his eager tongue tickling her belly,
his sticky feet crawling along her…
in the morning a man in her bed,
a quick arranged marriage by Father.
Golden ball, keep your playmate:
warn her not to whine for help,
but her freedom to keep a bit longer
and to fetch you for herself.







R.I.P. Count von Count

One…one piece of sad news to unfortunately mar your hopefully otherwise wonderful start to the weekend…ahh haa haaaaa.

Jerry Nelson, the talent behind Sesame Street‘s Count von Count and The Muppets’ Robin (Kermit the Frog’s nephew) and Mr. Snuffleupagus, among many other beloved characters, has died.  (Here’s the LA Times article about it.)  I’m not sure the world will ever be the same.

Is it any wonder I turned out the way I did when a vampire taught me to count?  He very probably is where my counting obsession came from.

Check out this beautiful image made by Ivan Guerrero, posted on my Facebook author page, which is currently floating around FB and Twitter and probably everywhere else right now.

And Robin the Frog?  I loved him.  He was the Frog Prince in The Muppets’ version of the fairy tale.

I had the recording on vinyl.  Sweetums as the Ogre and his mother The Wicked Witch used to frighten me half out of my wits when I’d listen to it.  And Melora, the lovely princess and Robin’s love interest, had been cursed with Wackbird Talk.  That fascinated me to no end, and I used to speak in Wackbird Talk myself because it was slightly more interesting than Pig Latin.  I was so struck by her unusual and euphoric name, I slightly altered it and used it in my first novel.

When my own children began watching Sesame Street, I was fortunate enough to catch this clip, which is one of my favorites.

I invite you to share your favorite clip of Count von Count or Mr. Snuffleupagus or Robin or any of Nelson’s other awesome characters in the comments section, if you are so inclined.  Be well.