lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Golf Cart Caper August 29, 2015

Next in my series of rules you know were made for a reason: Do not drive the golf cart drunk.

Not no drunk driving. Not do not use the company golf cart for non-work related reasons. Do not drive the golf cart drunk.

I was working for a theatre company that is a part of a country resort. The property was large enough that the theatre had its own golf cart for moving costumes and things across property. This meant that the theatre folks had the keys to the precious golf cart all the time. There was a giant hill in the back of the resort. You know, the kind of hill that you just want a ride up even if you’re stone cold sober because no matter what is at the top of the hill it’s probably not worth the effort to walk up the damn thing.

The year before I arrived at the theatre company and received my actor packet with the rule DO NOT drive the golf cart drunk, the actors and techs had done just that. They had gotten hammered and driven the golf cart up and down the giant hill as fast as they could, doing their best Dukes of Hazard impression.

Until the resort owner came out in his bathrobe at two in the morning to take the keys away. Yep, the producer had to revoke golf cart privileges, and every time he saw an actor driving the golf cart after that fateful night, even if it was in the middle of the day, he’d give them the hairy eye like he was afraid that we might just be practicing for a reprise of the midnight ride of golf cart glory.

 

The Reason for the Rule August 27, 2015

As an actor, I work for a lot of different companies all over the place. And on the first day of rehearsals, there’s always that awkward company meeting where you all introduce yourselves. Then you get your packet with your schedule, and there are usually a few company rules thrown in there.

There’s always something about being late, usually something about keeping the actor housing clean, and occasionally something strange like no texting while walking, you need to keep your eyes on the ground to look for open manholes….

Hearing a rule like that means someone fell into a manhole. Probably not that long ago.

So, today marks the beginning of a series of the best/worst strange rules I’ve been given.

When I did living history in a mansion in Newport, RI, the cast lived on the third floor of the mansion. On our first day, we were expressly forbidden from drinking on the third floor where we lived and were shown a cabinet where we could store our liquor on the first floor. Because we could drink in the mansion, just not on the third floor where we lived…. Drink downstairs, stagger upstairs. That was the rule. (more…)

 

Top Ten Reasons I Could Never Be a Beach Body Coach August 24, 2015

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Now, before any of my dear friends who are beach body coaches get a bee in their britches, helping people to be healthy and feel great about themselves is awesome. For you. You’re good at that sort of thing. I’m not. I would be terrible at motivating people to love themselves and be healthy. And here’s why:

1) To me, Beach Body sounds like a dead body washing up on a beach. Unless you are hiring me to kill you, I really don’t know how to help you achieve your Beach Body.

2) Because if a client whined to me that they didn’t have time to work out, my response would almost certainly be, “What do I look like Doctor Who? I don’t have a TARDIS. I can’t make you more time. Dumbass (shakes head.)”

3) I don’t want to know how quickly you’ve lost weight. Either it’s average, non-existent, or worryingly fast. Either way, I don’t want to analyze pictures of you in your panties.

4) I tried shakeology once. I hated my life for four hours. It felt like I had swallowed a vat of concrete with the hopes of digesting it. Hint: In the fight between cement and my intestines, the cement won.* (more…)

 

Disney Dreams August 22, 2015

Have you ever seen the video of Kristen Bell freaking out over a sloth? Well, you should take a second to watch this video because it’s fantastic.


Point being, I just had a meltdown of Kristen Bell VS. Sloth proportions. Why? Because I am now the proud owner of a Disney annual pass! I know lots of people go to Disney all the time. I mean, I was there only six months ago. But to have the ability to beep myself into the park whenever I want. Mind blown!

Those of you who have been around here a few times know that I am obsessed with Pluto. He’s my friend, and I love him. I’m going to be working in Florida all winter, and now on my days off, I can go visit Pluto! Disney dancing lights at Christmas? I’m there! International food and wine fest? Why, yes please!

But the real meltdown came when I realized I could go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! (more…)

 

Stuck Between a Bear and Some Sharp Teeth August 20, 2015

So… Megan and I (yeah, she’s letting me write this one. She’s afraid it’ll get blown even more out of proportion by her than it was by the fact that it actually freakin’ happened!) took a hike in the park yesterday. We went early, which is why we’re posting today as opposed to the regularly scheduled Wednesday post. Anyway, we decided that we wanted to hike Cathedral Mountain again. Do you remember that one? That’s where I half-ran after the retreating caribou last year, trying to capture the perfect shot, which eluded me despite my attempts. Have we not told you that story? We’ll save that for another time.

Well, this time, the creek that you have to cross before you get to the actual social trail around the mountain was too high to cross without submerging our hiking boots in freezing cold water (keep in mind that most rivers and streams in Denali are glacially fed, so I mean freezing). We tried for about an hour to find a way to cross, but it was to no avail. So, dejected, we decided to head up to Park Road and decide what to do from there. We had heard that hiking along the actual Park Road was supposed to be lovely, so we chose to hike back towards the park entrance along the narrow dirt road.

We were actually having a lovely time for a while. Seeing the park from that perspective was fascinating. We heard the rumbling of a bus far behind us and turned to see it, stopped with its flashers on, in the spot we had been not five minutes ago.

“What are they looking at?” Megan asked.

We both searched for a few seconds before she spotted this:

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You may have to click on the image and zoom in to see what we were seeing.

I took that photo and zoomed in to see a four-legged canine-looking creature. We were certain that a wolf had just wandered onto the road, and it was walking toward us. We decided it was time to keep heading east toward the park entrance.

We walked along for another ten minutes or so, looking behind frequently to see where the wolf had gone, and then we saw more buses stopped, this time ahead of us.

“What now?” I asked, feeling more than a little apprehensive.

And then we saw it. Less than 200 yards away from us, a grizzly was foraging for berries on the mountain that we had just tried to circumnavigate.

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We didn’t know what to do. There was a wolf behind and a bear in front. We walked back the way we had come, hoping that the bear hadn’t spotted us and hoping that the wolf wasn’t too close. We anxiously awaited a green bus to pull up. We didn’t care which direction it was going, we just needed to get out of the open.

A driver going into the park pulled up, and I flagged him down, telling him that I knew it wasn’t the practice of the park buses to pick up people going into the park but that there was a wolf behind us and a bear in front and we needed on now!

We got on, and not ten seconds later, this came gallivanting around the corner:

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So, it wasn’t a wolf. It was a coyote. Of course we should have known that, because, as one of the incredibly astute passengers next to Megan said, “Wolves never travel alone.” *insert facepalm here* I didn’t care what the hell it was, to be frank. I’m just glad we got on the bus in time to avoid contact with it.

We took the bus up just a little bit and then hitched a ride back to the park entrance on an outbound bus. Upon our exit of the park, we discovered that had we somehow made it past the first bear, there would have been a second grizzly awaiting us just a half-a-mile down the road, so I guess our predicament could have been much worse.

Here’s to the next hike being a bit less eventful. Cheers!

 

#GratefulAuthor August 17, 2015

My mother has always been a little indulgent. Not like buying my sister and me the coolest shoes that all the kids had to have, or buying me a puppy any of the million times I asked for one. More like my sister decided that she desperately needed to go to summer camp, so my mother became the camp’s arts director so my sister and I could go to camp for the summer. Or when I decided I need more dance classes and she found another studio where I could moonlight.

But my favorite was the day my sister decided she needed a bag of cement. My sister didn’t know what exactly she needed the cement for, only that it was vital that she make something out of it.

Most parents would probably have refused to by their thirteen-year-old a bag of cement, and even more would probably have been furious when that child proceeded to ruin a chunk of grass in the backyard, experimenting with the cement until that child managed to produce a thing that almost resembled really sandy art.

But the best part of the story is today my sister is a ceramic artist and art professor. And it all started with my mom sighing and buying my sister a bag of creepy concrete.

For me and writing, it was not so difficult to get the supplies to begin. (more…)

 

Fjords for Me August 15, 2015

My husband is the best! My amazing surprise birthday trip was actually amazing! He took me to Seward, Alaska to see the Kenai Fjords! I didn’t even know what a fjord actually was. I had to Google it! Then we went on an all day cruise to see glaciers up close and saw wonderful wildlife to boot!

But since I seem incapable of staying away from exclamation points and I don’t want to write a 20,000 word blog post to tell you have fantastic the day was, I’ll just leave these pictures here.

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It was just breathtaking and perfect.

Best Birthday Ever!

 

 
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