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What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A Working Blog (From Chris) February 21, 2017

Filed under: Marriage Mayhem — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I, Christopher Russell, work too hard. At least, that’s what my mom tells me whenever we talk. And the truth is, I do work a lot. If you really count the number of projects I have going on in any given week, you’ll most likely come up with four or five. I have my acting job, my online job, my serving job, my editing job, and my composing job. Three of these make me happy, and three of these make me money.

Megan and I could live only on our acting salary. We don’t pay rent at all; we paid off our student loans years ago; and we have no dependents. So, why work so much, you ask? Well, for a multitude of reasons.

First of all, Megan and I are both from families that began with very modest incomes. We saw the struggles facing our parents and wanted to work as hard as possible to not be in similar situations. I should explain that our families also worked very hard, but, as I mentioned previously, we’re different in that we have no home or dependents to take care of.

Second, Megan had instilled from her at a very early age that you take the money while you can. This is very similar to our current situation. The serving and online jobs are very temporary, so once they’re gone, we’ll be out a combined total of four sources of income. So we’re working hard now in order to save for when we won’t be able to. Makes sense, right?

Third, and this is probably the biggest reason… we’re addicts. Not drugs or alcohol or anything like that. (more…)

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The Effing Fife August 20, 2016

I’m having problem writing a blog for you all at the moment. Mostly because I have awesome writerly news that I can’t tell you, and it’s all I can think of.

So, right.

Here’s a good story for you. The Story of the Effing Fife. My husband has an admirable life goal to learn to play as many instruments as possible. He can play the piano, the guitar, the ukulele, the mandolin, and the effing fife.

He never set out to play the fife. Never had a hankering for a fife in his life, but now he can!

We were doing a show near Gettysburg, PA, and there was a big Civil War reenactment going on. My mom was in town, and since we did a bunch of reenactments when I was growing, we decided to go. It was a fairly decent reenactment; there was singing and food, and my husband was fairly entertained for the most part. But when we started looking at the costumes and textiles, he got a little bored.

So my mom, trying to be awesome, bought my husband a fife to keep him occupied while we looked at corsets. He, being him, figured out how to play a few notes in seconds and then found an actual fife player to show him how to play them better. By the end of the day he was walking around the reenactment playing the Harry Potter theme. Yes, it was just as dorky as it sounds.

It was great for an afternoon activity, and I thought that would be the end of it. I was so, so very wrong. (more…)

 

The Poker Smoker May 16, 2016

My husband won a smoker last year in a poker tournament. I know it’s super awesome cause he came in second and what a great prize for a free poker tournament, but the poker game was in Alaska. We don’t live in Alaska. A few people in Denali offered to buy the smoker. I said he could take the money from selling it and buy a new smoker in Florida where we’ve been since the smoker incident. But he felt wrong selling his prize. I suggested that he leave it behind for the next show cast to use. That was also a no.

When we really got down to it, it wasn’t about having the ability to smoke meat. It was that he had won that smoker in a poker tournament in a place he loved and wasn’t sure he would get to go back to. So I shipped the damned smoker to Florida. There were grand plans for smoking one side of meat a week and then just eating from the left overs. I was promised magnificent things. The smoker has been used twice in seven months. To be fair, in those seven months, we have done a ridiculous amount of awesome things that didn’t allow us to sit with a meat smoker all day. (more…)

 

Love and Adventure February 16, 2016

Happy late Valentine’s Day! I know, I know. The time for lovers has passed, and the time for discount chocolate is upon us. I love cheap chocolate. I really do. But I had an amazing Valentine’s Day.

The husband took me to Disney, ‘cause season passes are the best, and it was crowded as all get out. But I got to see the new baby gorilla, a bunch of really cool Star Wars things, including my favorite Star Wars character, BB-8.

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And we ran around like little kids before having dinner at Belle’s castle.

But the best part was when, while trying to pass the wait times, we decided to try and figure out what the best adventure we had ever had was.

I had a hard time choosing. I’m split between watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, Maine, the hammock in Thailand, a night in Venice, fjords in Alaska, and of course the fountain show in Versailles. (more…)

 

Gird Your Loins August 1, 2015

My husband and I have been together for nearly twelve years. Needless to say, he’s learned a lot of Megan survival skills. Things like if she’s crying, feed her. If you try and move her covers when she’s sleeping, Megan will consider this a death threat and kick you as hard as she can.

Sadly, or maybe pathetically, though expectedly is probably the most accurate word, the time he needs his survival skills most is in the morning. Through the years, we have developed a routine for optimal lack of tears and least time curled up in a ball fighting the fact the being a grownup means getting out of my warm sheets.

When we’re living someplace with a kitchen, which is currently and unfortunately not the case, the first alarm goes off. I kick him in the shins till the husband cuddles me. For this time period, I prefer to be the little spoon and have my butt snuggled. We lay there, waiting for the second alarm fifteen minutes later. After the second alarm, I have five minutes to curl up on his shoulder, a thing which can never be allowed when sleep is expected because of the copious amount of drool this produces.

After the third alarm, he gets up and goes to make smoothies. (more…)

 

Love is Love June 27, 2015

Here’s the thing. I’m a music theatre baby. More than half of my male friends are gay with a fair helping of lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgendered goodness sprinkled on top. I never knew when I was growing up that being gay was a weird thing. I thought it was like having green eyes or an outie belly button. Just another subtle difference between people. Not really a thing to be concerned about. Never an issue to be judged. I took me a long time to figure out why being gay would make you part of the dreaded other in modern society, and truth be told, I still really don’t get it.

Yesterday marked a huge leap forward in gay rights, helping America to take a step toward true equal rights. Equal rights meaning, yes, ALL of us are equal. It’s not just women or black people or gays or Muslims who get screwed every now and then. It’s all of us. How can you claim to be forced into the margins of society while you are pushing others there? If you’re a Muslim and feel persecuted for your religion, then you know what it’s like to be pushed aside. If you’re black and worry that the dreaded authority will never treat you as an equal, then you know what it’s like to fear attack. If you’re a woman who has been treated as less than because of how you were born, then you know what it’s like to fight the odds. And if you are a white man of whatever religion is popular today, then you know what it’s like to fight a stereotype.

So let’s all agree that at the core of every individual the fact that we are human is our most defining trait. We all deserve human rights.

I have gay friends who have been with their partners for years, and not one of them has ever complained that they wanted to get married in a specific church that wouldn’t allow it. They were terrified that if they or their partner had to go to the hospital, they wouldn’t be granted the same visiting rights as a straight married couple. That if something happened to them, their partner wouldn’t be able to inherit their joint property without a fight.

The desire to take care of the people you love is human. It’s not gay or straight. It has nothing to do with religion or what sex organs you were born with.

So if you and your God don’t agree with homosexuality, that’s your own deal. But I don’t think any scripture has ever said that we shouldn’t take care of the people we love. The bible preaches love. And love means being by someone’s side in their most joyful moments and through their most terrible pain.

Granting marriage equality isn’t going to change how gay people have sex. That’s been going on for thousands of years, and no ruling will ever change that. But the ruling of the Supreme Court will grant a lot of really amazing human beings the ability to protect the people they love. To ensure that, in sickness and in health, they can keep their partner by their side.

It’s not about sex. It’s about love. And love is a human right.

 

The Bridal Bailout May 4, 2015

I’m back! Sorry for the missed post on Saturday. Chris and I just got back to Alaska, where we’ll be working again for the summer. It was a whirlwind of a few days, and I didn’t have the chance to post this. But I now present to you: What Should Have Been Saturday’s Post.

We just closed a production of Funny Girl. As I was not in fact playing the Funny Girl, Ms. Fanny Brice, I spent my show running around changing costumes, and every once in a while I danced a few steps.

One of the numbers that I was in was “Beautiful Bride.” I tip walked in a huge costume and looked pretty. It was great.

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But those hip baskets were pretty heavy, and the giant headpiece was a beast as well. But since it was just walking, it wasn’t too bad to balance the extra thirty pounds of weight I had just added to my body.

A few days ago, I was doing the bride number, and everything seemed fine. Until I went up onto the tiny little cake platform. It was two steps high, and the surface I had to stand on was barely large enough to fit both my feet. Well, I was “dancing” on my little platform, and suddenly one of my feet had lost the ground. Normally, I would have just put my lost left foot back onto the platform and continued on with life. But that extra thirty pounds of weight was just too much for me. I began to teeter sideways! (more…)