(from the muppet wiki)

September 10, 2014
by Meredith Bland

Let’s create the missing Muppets

I watched a lot of Muppets when I was a kid. I mean, A LOT. More than I realized, in fact. I found that out when the kids and I borrowed the first season of the Muppet Show from the library. There were scenes and songs that I haven’t seen in probably 30 years, but I instantly recognized them. It was kind of eerie. For example, this song?

I know every word.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I got this month’s Netflix Stream Team theme, and saw that the people who watch me through my computer recommended a Muppet movie to watch with the kids. The theme for September is “Pizza and a Movie,” and one of the movies they suggested for little kids was the origional 1978 Muppet Movie. Well, within about 15 minutes of that my kids wanted no part of it because Kermit went into a seedy bar where there were mean people.

My kids are very sensitive.

Here were the other suggestions from Netflix:

1. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

2. The Pirate Fairy

3. Hoodwinked

4. Angelina Ballerina

5. Bob the Builder

6. The Muppet Movie

So instead we watched The Great Muppet Caper, which was my favorite when I was a kid. And then we rented Season 1 of The Muppet Show from the library. And all this muppet stuff got me thinking about muppets that should exist but don’t.

1. Bertrand, the foreign exchange muppet

  • Seduces everyone, understood by no one.

2. Maya, the feminist muppet

  • Trying to save Miss Piggy and failing miserably

3. Ralph, the wheelchair-bound muppet with a heart of gold

  • Puts the brakes on muppet adventures that are not ADA accessible.

4. Cloudy, the hooker muppet with a heart of gold

  • None of the muppets understand her job.

5. Simone, the caffeinated muppet

  • She is happy to be here and extremely helpful.

6. Paul, the muppet with too many secrets

  • Some say he he left a wife and three kids back in Reno, others say he once killed a man for swallowing loudly. No one knows for sure.

7. Hilda, the alcoholic muppet

  • Usually slumped in a corner singing The Rainbow Connection.

I should never be consulted about children’s programming.

September 2, 2014
by Meredith Bland

How Michael Sam Became Every Bigot’s Ex-Girlfriend On Twitter

Image from Twitter

Michael Sam (Image from Twitter)

Some of you know that I am a big football fan. Along with football but slightly more important, I am also a big fan of equality. So, needless to say, I’ve been following the Michael Sam story pretty closely. On Saturday, the day that the Rams made their final cut and we were to find out if Sam was going to be the first openly gay man to make an NFL roster, I was nervous. When I saw that he had been cut, I cried.

Then I went on Twitter.

I know. Super bad idea.

I’m very well aware that homophobia is rampant and ugly in this country, mainly because I am conscious and have eyes and ears. But the homophobia that I saw on Twitter this weekend was so crazy and so bizarre that I have to rail about it here. It is the insistence of the homophobic that Michael Sam is not a news story because it doesn’t matter that he’s gay. There was tweet after tweet about how sick people were of reading tweets about Michael Sam “just because he’s gay.” Do you see where I am confused? These were people who were clearly homophobic, saying that they hated hearing about Michael Sam because the fact that he’s gay isn’t important.

This is the equivalent of a high-school senior saying, “Sarah is going to the prom with Steve? Oh. Huh. Well, so what? I don’t care. I never even really liked her anyway. Let her go with Steve. She can go to the prom with Steve all damn day! It doesn’t matter to me! I couldn’t care less! Oh my god, why are we even talking about this?! No, I am NOT crying! Does she still smell like lilacs?”

This whole thing blows my mind for a few reasons:

1. If you are sick of hearing about Michael Sam on your social media feed, it seems like posting about how much you’re sick of hearing about Michael Sam on social media wouldn’t be your first move. I saw hundred, HUNDREDS of tweets from people saying that they didn’t want to hear about Michael Sam anymore. Honestly. Get your head out of your ass.

If you don’t like coffee, you don’t go to a coffee shop and complain about coffee. Go the fuck home, dude. Let the rest of us drink our coffee in peace.

2. Saying that people shouldn’t be talking about him because you don’t care that he’s gay doesn’t make you sound open-minded. What it says is that you don’t want to hear about the fact that he’s gay. You don’t want to have to think about it. You don’t want an openly gay man in the masculine and physical sport of professional football because it challenges your thinking. It is forcing change, and you don’t want to deal with it.

It’s like racists who say that they’re color-blind. It’s a) not the point, and b) bullshit.

This is Michael Sam mimicking Johnny Manziel's money sign after sacking him. It was one of the most beautiful moments in all of sports. (image from Twitter(

This is Michael Sam mimicking Johnny Manziel’s money sign after sacking him. It was one of the most beautiful moments in all of sports. (Image from Twitter)

3. Michael Sam is important. HE’S IMPORTANT. Homosexual men and women are the target of hatred, bigotry, and violence in this country (and around the world). The fact that a gay man is willing to be open about his sexual identity as he enters a profession where NOT A SINGLE ACTIVE PLAYER HAS EVER COME OUT IS IMPORTANT. This isn’t a question of importance, it’s about how threatened you feel by the fact that it is important. Sure, you would be a lot more comfortable if he weren’t gay, or comfortable with who he is, or pursuing his dream regardless. Well, guess what? He is all of those things. Now grow the fuck up.

4. It has become very clear that there was no winning this fight. If the Rams had put him on the roster, the bigots would have said that they only kept him because he’s gay and they didn’t want to deal with the backlash. Because he was cut, the same group was all over social media saying that the liberals were going to jump up in protest and say it was because of his sexuality, which they, the clear-eyed homophobe, could see that it clearly wasn’t.

In all of Twitter, I saw maybe three posts from people who actually felt he was cut from the Rams due to his gayness. Now that Sam has cleared waivers and, as of Monday night, has not even been signed to a fucking practice squad (which is a farce), I am seeing more and more of them, as I should because that does appear to be the reason that he is still unemployed. But the vast majority of those of us who support Michael Sam understand that the Rams cut him for football reasons and not because of his sexuality. Those of us who are football fans understand that as a defensive end on a team that already had a deep and extremely talented defense, a seventh round draft pick didn’t have much of a shot. But now that a player of his talent is still not on a roster or even a practice squad, and is in danger of seeing his NFL dream slip away, those of us who are football fans also understand that this is an oddity that can only be explained by politics and homophobia. Period.

5. You didn’t have to scroll very far through Twitter to see exactly why Michael Sam is important.

“I hope you get AIDS.”

“Fuck that faggot.”

“I’m glad his gay ass got cut.”

“What about all the other players that got cut? why aren’t you talking about them?” (because PRIVILEGE, motherfucker)

THAT is why his story is important. There is not a single openly gay player in the NFL. THAT is why his story is important.

Sam and his boyfriend. (Image from Twitter)

Sam and his boyfriend. (Image from Twitter)

Michael Sam is a hell of a football player. Guys who suck at football, as so many folks on Twitter asserted that Sam does, don’t have 3 quarterback sacks and 11 tackles in the preseason. It cannot be disputed that the man proved he can play ball. What people can do is hate him. Yes, people have the right to hate whoever they want. But though they may hate what he is, Michael Sam doesn’t. And he won’t let them make him hide his relationship. And he’s going to fight to stay in the NFL. And whether or not he ever sees a professional snap, Michael Sam has changed football. He has made an impact on the world of sports and on our culture. He was the first (though not the only) and he won’t be the last.

Time to put on your big-girl panties, homophobes, because things are just going to continue to be uncomfortable for you. Sarah will still be dating Steve. Michael Sam will still be important. Gay men will still play football. And in the meantime, the world will push it’s way past you as you remain stuck behind in a group that will only get smaller and smaller, yelling into the wind about how none of this matters.

August 28, 2014
by Meredith Bland

Back to school fashion and a Zupers review

My kids go back to school in less than a week. LESS THAN A WEEK. I am super excited about their return to learning an my return to sanity. I am not excited about back to school clothes shopping. In my house, that’s where you go to the store and try on every piece of clothes before deciding that all of them are “kind of scratchy in that one place.”

I hate it.

Recently, I wrote a piece for Mommyish called, “What Your Kid’s Back To School Outfit says About You.” Here is an addendum based on the fashion trends I talked about in the original post.

What Your Kids Back To School Clothes Mean For The Rest of Your Year

1. Prepsters

Get yourself some Shout, my friend, because there are a lot of whites and khakis in your future. You are going to live in a world of unapproachable kindergartners.

School Bake Sale: Only organic and gluten-free pastries, thank you. And none of that shit had better be processed in the same state as a nut.

Homework: Oh, there will be homework. This kid is probably going to fucking love doing homework. If they shun it, however, you must resist the urge to do it for them, however. Everybody knows what’s going on when a first-grader shows up with an annotated bibliography for their book report on Black Beauty.

After-School and Weekends: There will be lots of sporting events to attend…most likely lacrosse and field hockey. And you’re going to be expected to participate, whether you bring the oranges or find your way down the spiral of regret known as “volunteer assistant coach.”

Report Card: This could go either way. Your best bet is to tie academic performance to love early on.

The Future: These kids will out-earn you by the time they are twenty-years-old and shove you in a nursing home faster than you can say, “where did I put my keys, again?”


2. Free spirits

School Bake Sale: Expect a thorough investigation into where bake sale funds are going. What is the PTA really doing for us, anyway?

Homework: Yes, I agree that the current school system is inadequate for a large number of students. Now please do your geometry homework.

After-School and Weekends Buttercup isn’t much of a joiner.

Report Card: Congratulations! Corn Husk got a TSH in History! (TSH = Tried Super Hard.)

The Future: Having a child who is a free spirit is best when they’ve left the house. Then they can go ahead and not follow their own damn rules.


3. New Grunge

“Grunge is about not making a statement, which is why it’s crazy for it to become a fashion statement,” so said James Truman, then editor in chief of Details. Right? It’s almost like they’re trying too hard not to look like they’re trying too hard. On a related note, I believe I just had an aneurysm.

School Bake Sale: You are for sure bringing in a couple of Snickers bars from the 7-11 down the block.

Homework: Fuck off, old man.

After-School and Weekends: Don’t even think about trying to pick your kid up from practicing with his band. He’s taking the bus.

Report Card: What they’re going to do in life doesn’t need grades, they say. I’d go ahead and invest in a quality sofa bed now.

The Future: Wherever the wind and the key to Mom and Dad’s basement take me.


4. Urban cool

Black clothes? Check. A variety of hats? Check. Librarian glasses? Check. Hanging out in alleys? Wait…why aren’t these kids in school?

School Bake Sale: Cupcakes with Looney Tune characters on them. It’s so freaking stupid it’s cool.

Homework: Maybe later. They’re meeting Dimebag and Beefy Weed at the arcade. Gonna go play some Donkey Kong or old school Mario Brothers, or something else that no one else does except for everyone.

After-School and Weekends: Where have they been all weekend? I don’t know. Around.

Report Card: I see you’ve written “fuck the police” on your report card. I appreciate you saving me the trouble of actually reading it.

The Future: Making lists of jobs that will let them have a neck tattoo.


5. Mini me

Don’t dress your kids in mini-versions of your clothes. This is not cute. No, look at me: THIS IS NOT CUTE. But if you want to dress like you’re members of the world’s creepiest family band, this is the kind of school year you’ll have:

School Bake Sale: I’m not sure what you’ll be baking, but I can guarantee that they will be identical, down to the last fucking chocolate chip.

Homework: Oh, you’re home-schooling. Please.

After-School and Weekends: There’s going to be a lot of team sports: family bowling league, family softball team. No single player games for you. You won’t even play Monopoly because it just seems so hateful.

Report Card: All your kids get an A, for Awesome! Definitely not for the A in Aggravating. Or Asphyxiate. Or Alcoholic.

The Future: No wire hangers for you, Joan Crawford.



You might have seen ads around the interwebs for a Seattle=based clothing company called Zupers: Everyday Activewear For Girls. Well, the lovely lady at Zupers sent me a pair of pants for my daughter, and let me tell you something…


We got the Zupers Rose leggings with square knee pads.


What you can’t tell from the picture is how these things feel. Let me see if I can describe it: kittens wrapped in pillowcases…wait, scratch that. Too morbid. How about: kittens dancing on clouds of extra plush toilet paper made of satin.

Something like that.

They really are the softest pants my daughter has, and they are leggings that aren’t so skin tight that I have to worry about 6-year-old camel toe. My daughter did remove the knee pads, however. But this is a girl who cuts the tags off all her clothes and is extremely sensitive to fabrics, so I wasn’t too surprised by that.

If you have an active girl who needs some active clothes for school, Zupers are awesome. And if she doesn’t like the, you can use them as a pillow. (They are so soft, y’all!)

August 22, 2014
by Meredith Bland

I give Google search questions some straight answers

image via pixabay

image via pixabay

Anyone with a website knows that going through the list of searches that led people to your site reveals the very worst in humanity. Things that you have never, ever, in your darkest and most disgusting fantasies, considered wondering about, go into Google and end up at you.

I get a lot of horrible and sometimes just completely weird things in my search list. So I thought, why not share some with you? Not all of them, though. There are a lot of search terms on the list that are not fit for human eyes.

But here are some recent queries, and my responses.


1. “Aunties stripping clothes one by one in picture”

I get an absurd amount of searches related to Aunts and naughty things. Is there some kind of sexual subculture involving Aunts that I am not aware of? It seems like an odd choice is all.

2. “My vigina removes a yellow bad smelling disharge and inside it is grey,am 31weeks pregnant,can this harm my bby”

Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl you need to see a doctor. Yellow and grey are bad colors for vaginas.

3. “When the gay going to give the baby birth did they also have cut”

No, when “the gay” give birth they do it through a process called “budding.”

4. “After delivery how many days we should not be working in water”

This is not a rule. Return to your water-related employment.

5. “Why does my stomach get filled with air after f**king my wife when on her period?”

…Oh, dude…I don’t even know where to start with this one.

6. “Funny delivery p***y image”

Does not exist. Move on.

7. “Pergnat women bat pooping photo”

I think you have found the one thing that’s not on the internet. Congratulations.

8. “My husband wants to give me an enema”


9. “Sexy n hot baby birth delivery”

Also does not exist. You and the “funny delivery p***y image” guy have unrealistic expectations.

10. “Vaginal deodorant suppositories”

Is this a thing?! Because no thank you.

11. “When i delivered my baby, he wasn’t covered with blood, that’s a good thing right?”

As a rule, the answer to the question, “Is it okay that xyz wasn’t covered in blood?” is yes.

12. “All real aunty vagina photos all in one”

Honestly? What the hell?

13. “Why does fart have to pass through my uterus”

Oh honey,that’s not how farts work.

14. “Can a tear during delivering of a baby cause pile”

Now this one I can understand leading to my site.

15. “Is having twins harder than one”


16. “Pee mouth surprise gallery”

The only part of this that I agree with is the word “surprise.”

17. “I saw the baby coming out and knew she’s in labour”

You nailed it, chief. Good job.

18. “I had a dream which i visited someone given birth and she puts the child on my laps after some time i vomited for about ten minutes what does it mean?”

If you look at the hidden messages in this dream, they tell me that you might not want to have kids yet. Also, that you hate your mother and you always wanted to be a dentist.

Trust me.


Now for some news!

  • I have been hired as a part-time staff writer for Mommyish.com! I’ll be posting there twice a day, Monday-Friday. I am super, duper exited to be part of the awesome team over there.
  • I am also a contributing writer to the new female sports fan site Hera Sport! They’ve got me writing funny sports posts from time to time for them, and it has been a blast.
  • Finally, the video of my Voices of the Year reading from Blogher 2014! It was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. So if you’re interested, this is me reading my post, “Nine Awesome Things About Having a Physical Disability.”

August 14, 2014
by Meredith Bland

Blogging for Books: Dad is Fat

My favorite thing on this earth besides Mallowmars…and my kids, who are a close second…is laughing. I love all of the funny people and the funny things they say. So when the pale and hilarious Jim Gaffigan wrote a parenting book, I said, “Sign. Me. The Fuck. Up.”

dad is fat

Gaffigan perfectly captures, in just a few sentences, many of the most ridiculous parts of parenting. Since the seller here is him, I thought I’d put in a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

On “cool” parents:

So parents who want to be considered cool, give it up. Even if you put your three-year-old in a fedora, we all know you are still getting barfed on and wiping noses and butts like the rest of us.

On kids learning how to walk:

What amazes me is that once they actually learn to walk, they are immediately trying to get away. You just say, “Time for a bath!” and they scoot away like they have an escape car outside. I don’t know where they think they are going. They can’t even reach the doorknob. I am always like, “What are you doing? You only know us! Think it through!”

On not knowing the answer:

Of corse, these never-ending questions require answers you are not qualified to give…When my son Jack was four, he pointed to a car antenna and said, “Look, Daddy, stick.” I clarified: “Actually, that is an antenna.” Jack then asked, “What’s an antenna?” After realizing I had no idea how an antenna worked, I explained, “It’s a…stick. A metal stick. You nailed it, buddy.”

On kids needing to use the bathroom:

…when a three-year-old tells you they need to use the bathroom, she does not mean in a couple of minutes. She means at that moment. Actually, before that moment. They always tell you at the last possible moment.

THREE-YEAR-OLD: I need to use the bathroom.


THREE-YEAR-OLD: Almost done.

See? Hilarious. In fact, there were only two downsides to this book for me. First, part of the joy of Jim Gaffigan is his delivery, which you obviously lose in the book. There are parts I didn’t laugh at that I thought I probably would have if I he were saying them. And second, there are a couple of moments where he talks about him and his wife’s decision to have five children and deliver them at home and ends up sounding a little defensive. No doubt that’s because he has to explain those decisions to people constantly, but it still took me out of the rhythm of the book a bit.

You don’t have to explain anything to us, Jim. Just do you. Talk to me more about why kids scream.


I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my review. All views are my own.

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