What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Monumental Moose July 29, 2015

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Remember that time my husband got a bunch of strangers chased by a moose? Oh you don’t? That’s fine, I do. ‘Cause it was yesterday.

There was a big storm predicted for the area, so rather than go on one of our epic adventures we decided to stay closer to home. It’ll be fine, we thought. Much safer, we thought.

We did a little hike where we found a cute little pika and were turned back by a closure for bear activity. And then we went down to the good old lake trail. The one where the elderly tourist go because it’s safe. On our way down, the people going up kept telling us excitedly about how there was a moose at the bottom. We kept responding with how we would be very careful, trying to emphasize to the tourists that moose can be cool, but they can also kill you. A mama moose is the most dangerous animal in Denali Park after all.

We were almost to the bottom when we saw the little moose cross the trail. We backed off to a respectable distance and waited for the mama to follow so we could continue on our way. We kept hiking around the loop. We saw two beavers pulling trees through the lake and then, low and behold, we saw that same mama moose in the water, just chompin’ away at the weird grass at the bottom of the lake.

We had to keep circling the lake to get out, and the plan was to pass quickly and quietly behind the mama and the baby.

But when we got to the other side of the lake, there was a lady videoing the mama and the baby. So then my husband had to get a better picture. This picture: (more…)


High Tea Hype July 27, 2015

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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I grew up in an inn where my mother ran costumed Victorian tea parties. So naturally whenever we went on vacation my mother would take us for a busman’s holiday, and we’d all go out for high tea.  This was something that I got used to at a very young age. We went to tea shops, grand hotels, out of the way inns. If there was a tea in town, my mother found it.

Fast forward to the first time my then fiancée/now husband came on vacation with us to Cape Cod. We were driving around, and my mother spotted a little tea room. We hadn’t had lunch, so we decided to give it a go. I told my husband that we were going to go for tea, and his little face just sank. Like a little puppy who had just figured out that his bowl was empty.

I looked at my mother, and we both realized at the same moment that when we said go to tea, he thought we meant “let’s sit down and drink a cup of tea.” And having my mother’s sense of humor, we silently agreed not to tell my husband that food was in fact a large portion of afternoon tea. He whispered to me as we went into the tea shop, “But I’m really hungry.”

I whispered back, “We’ll get something to eat in a few hours.” (more…)


A Descent into Literary Madness July 25, 2015

Hello everyone! Chris here again. Megan and I wanted to apologize for being absent from the blogosphere for so long. Wednesday kind of came and went around us. You see, this past Tuesday, Megan and I hiked the near equivalent of hiking into and out of the Grand Canyon (elevation-wise). Though, I’d say what we did was technically more difficult as it involved scrambling and scaling some pretty sketchy scree above some fairly intense slopes. It took us almost eleven hours to go up and come back down. Needless to say, we were beat. We’ll post some pictures during another post, but for now, I’d like to talk to you about my wife’s descent into madness.

She’s currently submitting two different novels from two different genres to agents. We’re both hopeful (for one agent in particular), but the waiting game is really difficult. Luckily, we’re finding distraction in the form of helping write a new musical for a company we’ve worked with for the past six years. And whenever we’re not doing that, we’re daydreaming about condos we’d like to purchase. Trulia and Zillow are a little dangerous. It’s a bit of an obsession.

So, that’s where we are in life. Please forgive the lack of posts, and know that we’ll have a great one for you on Monday. In the meantime, Megan will continue to obsess over agents while writing a new novel (one that I’m incredibly excited about), I’ll continue to write my music, and we’ll both be daydreaming about being homeowners. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


May the Tap Gods be with You July 20, 2015

I went to college for dance. It was a great program that I had a lot of problems with. You were weighed in… a lot. And your weight affected everything from your ballet grade to your scholarship. I’ll let you think of that what you will.

Some of the professors really pushed the weight thing, some tried to stay in the back of it, but only one teacher really fought it.

He was a tap teacher and a really fantastic human being. Not only did he manage to inspire confidence and perfectionism all at the same time. He also genuinely cared about his students.

There was a legend about him at school. I can’t prove how true it is, but I do believe every piece of it.

There was a girl who had come to the school as a fantastic tapper, but she had natural hips and wasn’t built like a board. So the weigh-ins pushed her and pushed her until she became really badly anorexic. It had time for adjudication, and she went in to meet with the entire dance faculty.

The department head complimented her on how much her turns had improved, the girl said, “Yes, but I’m not eating.” (more…)


Waiting for the Wolf July 18, 2015

Guys! I saw a wolf! After three seasons in Denali constantly looking for a wolf, I found one! And by I found one I really mean the car in front of my shuttle bus found one and the people were nice enough to point for us.


And there he was just lying in th  e empty creek bed. And he didn’t even seem to mind an entire bus of people taking pictures of him. He just sat, moving his head occasionally, enjoying the sunshine. Until one butter butt in a truck behind us decided to get out to take pictures of the wolf! Sir, you don’t stand fifteen feet from a predator! Our bus driver had to tell the guy to leave, and then the wolf was like, “Tourists,” and walked slowly away.

Then we got to see our first marmot! I never even knew they existed in Denali until like an hour before we found this cute little dude. I mean look at that face? Isn’t that adorable?


Add to that a really great hike, two bull moose a new friendship with a caribou and a bear jaunting through the riverbed, and I call that a solid win!


It was worth the three seasons’ wait to see my Denali wolf. There’s probably some huge lesson in here about good things coming to those who wait. Or when the time is right, it will happen. But those are lesson I doubt I will ever learn. So, yay for my wolf friend! And now, I want to see a wolverine!


Can you find Denali in the background?


Pluto on Pluto July 15, 2015

Filed under: Myths and Legends — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Have you seen the picture of Pluto? But really, have you?


Look at it. No, really look at it.

Pluto the Disney dog is clearly silhouetted on Pluto the quasi – sometimes – planet.

Pluto on Pluto

Walt Disney was either a psychic genius or an alien. And right now, I’m voting for alien. Walt Disney had seen the face of Pluto while on his way down to earth Kal-El style. He grew up, became famous, and planted us all a little shade of his brilliance in creating Mickey Mouse’s loving and trusty friend, not to mention the best Disney character ever, Pluto!

And now that we’ve seen Pluto, we all know that Walt was Walt from another World! No wonder he wanted to be cryogenically frozen when he died. He’s waiting for his people to come unfreeze him!

I know it sounds crazy, but seriously y’all. Pluto is on Pluto. How else can you explain it?


Chris’s Corner of Conundrums and Comprehension – Episode Three: Harry Plotholes July 13, 2015

Filed under: Chris's Corner — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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Beware: this post contains spoilers from multiple books in the Harry Potter series.

One of my absolute favorite topics of discussion amongst friends is the inconsistencies and possible alternatives to storylines such as those in Harry Potter. As you probably know, Megan and I are close to Harry Potter fanatics. We’re not completely obsessed, but we do listen to the books on audio when we drive cross-country. And the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of our favorite theme park destinations. We own all of the books and the movies, too, of course. Basically, we know quite a lot about the Potterverse and love to discuss the books: our favorite moments and characters, whether or not Harry was able to thwart Voldemort near the end of book seven because he had ownership (though not possession) of all three hallows or because he himself was a horcrux, and certain plot holes that we think we caught.

One such plot hole was brought to our attention through an article on Facebook. Megan had a bit of a freak out, saying that if Rowling, who is a genius, had missed such a crucial detail, how much would she (Megan) inadvertently miss in her books? The plot hole to which I refer is this: how did the Weasley twins never once notice the name Peter Pettigrew on the Marauder’s Map sleeping next to Ronald Weasley or next to Percy Weasley before Ron had come to Hogwarts? Mind-blown! In all of the years that we had been listening to, reading, and watching the Harry Potter series, that had never once crossed our minds. (more…)



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