Wednesday, September 3, 2008

D.C. History vs. Jim Henson Muppets... which one would you prefer?

So, I suppose while visiting D.C., our nation's capitol, full of history, political agendas, bill passing and vetoing, look-which-republican-is-gay scandals, 27-year nuclear war protests, and high-tech espionage (I'm sure someone in the White House heard when I pointed to Hoover's picture on the wall and said: "Isn't this the one who wore dresses?" I think it was Hoover... I'm fuzzy now.), one should probably gaze up into Abe's stone eyes and think of little else than how much they might owe the man for freeing slaves (well, not all of us--but those with a drop of African blood, yes) or solemnly pass stone statues erected in tribute to those who fought in Korea in the 50s with gratitude. Any patriotic American would do such things and should walk away from the district feeling like a proud American, and I did. I'm proud to be an American (please sing the rest of the song here). I am also a proud American who walked around the sweltering D.C. heat humming: Manamana do do dododo. Confused (all ye non-Muppet followers), click here: [Picture: The Rose Garden (named not for the roses, but for a first lady) the windows you see look into the Oval Office.)]

Yes... I went to D.C. with two goals: 1) see my sisterand 2) see the Smithsonian Institute exhibit honoring Jim Henson's Muppets. (I'll let you decide which order those goals should actually be in.) We tackled one goal right away and went to see the Muppet exhibit and it was truly remarkable. I've been to plenty of museums before and not once have I ever stopped at each little display and read every single word like I did here. There's something about the creativity behind the Muppets, about seeing Jim Henson's scratch paper, handwriting, and sketches, that was truly awe inspiring. I left that place wanting to go back through again and again and again. I left that place wanting to create magic. I can't gush enough about it. Everything else (well, with the exception of seeing the "real" West Wing and the closed, locked door of the Situation Room, and the Press Corps room) pales in comparison. I couldn't take pictures of the Muppets. I know, sadness. I did try to be a rebel and snapped one picture (see right). My sister said the security guard followed us all around the exhibit after that--I was too engrossed in everything Henson so I didn't notice. Oh well.

The rest of D.C. was great. We saw the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Washington Monument, the White House, the West Wing, Chinatown, and lots of other little things around town. We rode the Metro everywhere, which was a lot of fun. And then I picked up some disease (cold, I hope) and was out of commission all of Monday, which we had planned to visit the University of Maryland to get a picture of a statue of Jim Henson and Kermit--alas. Oh well, there's always November.

I will leave you with this quote:

"As children, we all live in a world of imagination, of fantasy, and for some of us that world of make-believe continues into adulthood." ~Jim Henson (1936-1990)

I really want this print--so if you can find it let me know.


Eileen Wiedbrauk / Speak Coffee said...

I have the first 2 seasons of the original Muppet Show on DVD. Now that I know there's a muppet exhibit (is it permanent?) I will add it to my list of must sees.

I <3 my Kermie.

Eileen Wiedbrauk / Speak Coffee said...

have you had your first workshop yet? I haven't b/c of laborday making it a short week.

PS: sad to hear my frog isn't going to be there forever

Eileen Wiedbrauk / Speak Coffee said...

I'm terribly nervous about my workshop because while I've always held my own in every workshop I've ever been in this one will have people not only in the final year of their MFA but people who are PhD candidates in writing as well! I have to keep reminding myself that I wouldn't have gotten in if I wasn't ready to be here.

Right now I know nothing of the format of class. I have laid eyes on the instructor because he waved during orientation to present himself as "the new guy" on faculty (which everyone seems very excited about). He's only asked the bookstore to order one book of short stories for his class so I don't know if that means he's going to spring further readings on us or if it's going to be more focused on writing than reading ... so many unknowns!

Eileen Wiedbrauk / Speak Coffee said...

I was at an english grad student & faculty party last week talking with all MFAers/PhD-starters and it came about that no one felt like they were well read (even the "later in life" MFAers who you would think of as having had 20 more years than us to read)

workshop starts at 7pm EST ... you'll likely be done with yours even before I start teaching today's COMP class!

b-ishola said...

Jim Henson is the best ... hands down.


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