8. Miss Piggy is apparently from Iowa. She started as a minor character on "The Muppet Show," but anyone who knows Miss Piggy can see that she wouldn't settle for anything "minor." Her first TV appearance was actually on an Herb Alpert special. It wasn't until 1976, when "The Muppet Show" premiered, that she became the glamorous blonde with a penchant for frog that we know and love today. Frank Oz once said that Miss Piggy grew up in Iowa; her dad died when she was young and her mother was mean. She had to enter beauty contests to make money.
From CNN's Surprising stories behind 20 Muppet characters. Some days I think I should collect Iowa and Des Moines references in a more organized way. Then I think further and realize that, even if I did, what on earth would I do with all of them?
In other, and entirely unrelated, news, I couldn't find my mother the other day. I looked for her off-and-on for nearly an hour, but if she was there, I couldn't tell her apart from the columns, the shop windows, the lights reflected vividly in the wind-dappled water. How embarassing it is to admit that I can't tell my mother apart from a column.
The problem was that I was looking for her at night through a low-resolution webcam. Her drawings from that evening - and evidence that she really was there then, even if I couldn't discern her - is here.