lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Jerry Potter and the Fierce Fandom October 19, 2018

I was walking into my (current) home the other day, and there were two boys playing outside. By playing I mean they had a nerf gun and were trying to shoot each other, but that’s their parents’ problem.

Anyway, I walked past them when one boy said to the other, “No, you’ve got to duck. Like Leo or Neo or whatever.”

I stopped, looked dead pan at the boys, and said, “It’s Neo.”

(I swear I sounded like my evil adopt-a-grandparent.)

The boy said. “Oh yeah, thanks.”

I went inside questioning

  1. How I became enough of a nerd that I knew exactly what they were talking about and
  2. How I became so old and bitter that their pretending to be a character without knowing the character’s name really bothered me.

But then I realized I’m not crazy. They should know Neo’s name if they’re going to be looking to him for guidance on how to dodge nerf suction darts.

What would the world of geekdom be if we didn’t protect the names and honor of our heroes?

Should we allow children to paint lightning bolts on their heads and parade around as Jerry Potter? No! (more…)

 

A Musical Problem October 2, 2018

I try not to get political on this blog. There are different, more productive platforms for that type of thing.

But with the mess currently happening in D.C. and the show I’m currently performing in, I had a thought.

I’m all about women’s rights, clearly. Me Too has done a huge service for our nation and for the world. Women are becoming stronger and more defiant all the time. The age of women being used as physical toys is coming to an end. But I’m performing in 42nd St, a show in which a director kisses an actor to teach her how to… act, and women are literally placed on a pedestal.

Funny Girl the Musical

Pardon me while I stand on my pedestal.

That is by far not the most problematic scene in musical theatre. South Pacific is just…whoa dude, not really okay at all. Let’s take this young girl who doesn’t speak the same language as the man and have sex with her on the floor—not great choices there, buddy. And that relationship is romanticized. (more…)

 

Nine Billion! September 28, 2018

Sometimes, people suck. And–I’m sorry if this offends anyone–I find that rich people usually suck the worst.

A spent a while this summer being in charge of music for a cute little venue. We’d have live acts come through, and on the breaks between sets, I’d turn on the approved Pandora station. Patrons would drift in and out during the evening, and I rarely had more interaction than answering what time the live music would begin again.

Except this one group of really awesome people.

It was a chilly-ish evening with a hint of a drizzle. Since I was using my phone to run sound, I was hidden beneath my umbrella, and this group came up and told me I should give them my umbrella.

I swallowed my first reaction of “What?! No!” and very calmly said, “I’m sorry, but I need the umbrella to protect the electronic that runs the sound.”

They glared at me, moved to a fire pit, and proceeded to pull booze out of every pocket they had. From their behavior, I think they had already had plenty to drink, but I was in charge of sound not sobriety, so I just kept an eye on them to make sure they didn’t light themselves on fire and went about my business. (more…)

 

Radio Silence September 4, 2018

Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit, everyone.

I was a little distracted by this.

Mt. Denali, Denali National Park

And these

Northern Lights Denali

And even this little dude, who you may not be able to see too well but is actually a porcupine that came to visit me at work.

Porcupine, Denali Park Village, Denali

It’s weird, but somehow being in Alaska for a month is more discombobulating than being in Alaska for five months. Jumping into work with jet lag, figuring out the housing situation for the husband and me, and trying to pack in a few of our favorite Alaskan experiences while working on getting my knee back into shape post-surgery has been a bit more stressful than I thought it would be.

But I’m getting through it.

Hiking Horseshoe, Knee Surgery, Physical Therapy, Denali

And I have some fun stories for you all. One that even includes a man shouting the words “Nine Billion” at me several times.

I’m excited to share more stories with all of you. But in the meantime, here’s a sassy moose.

Moose, Denali Park, George Parks Hwy

 

Left Unsaid August 7, 2018

Fellow bloggers,

Do you ever start to write a blog and then erase it because you know about twelve people will be utterly certain you’re writing about them even though you’re not?
This is going to be one of those.

I get that everyone deals with stress in different ways. We all have coping mechanisms and twitches. Some people read, some run, some drink way too much wine, some people pretend nothing bad is happening.

But here’s the thing: acknowledging that your life isn’t perfect doesn’t make you a “negative person.” I will never understand people who think that acknowledging they chipped a tooth should be frowned upon by society because it isn’t cheerful, meme-based conversation.

Isn’t human communication supposed to be more than cat pictures?

I’m not saying that we should all spend every conversation fighting the good fight for human rights and equality, but if you only tell people the good things that are happening in your life, does anyone actually know who you are as a human? (more…)

 

The Secret of Life (Rated PG-13) July 10, 2018

Gather round and listen to my words of wisdom on how to succeed and find joy in life.

Don’t be a dick.

Really that’s what it boils down to.

People need help? Don’t be a dick, lend a hand.

Person is having a terrible day? Don’t be a dick, see if you can cheer them up.

You having a bad day? Don’t take it out on other people, that counts as being a dick.

See other people having a good time and not hurting anyone? Don’t be a dick, leave them alone.

It’s really simple: look at a situation, see which course of action makes you a dick, pick something else to do with your time.

Now, everyone is human. Believe me, I get it. We all slip up and pull a dick move at some point in our lives.

But you know what? You can do something truly non-dickish and apologize for being a dick and work really hard on not being a dick again.

It’s like magic.

Or the Golden rule.

Don’t be a dick to others, because it sucks when people are a dick to you.

So in those moments when the waitress is busy, when traffic is bad, when you feel like you should possess world domination but your place is as a lowly minion: don’t be a dick.

(We could toss in things about spreading love, working hard, and living your life so you’ll be missed when you’re gone, but let’s not get complicated here.)

Bottom line: Don’t be a dick.

 

Just a Gig April 27, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I learned a very important lesson a lot of years ago. A job, no matter how beloved and how consistent, is nothing more than a gig.

What can a gig do?

  • Pay you
  • House you
  • Provide artistic fulfillment
  • Allow you to excel in your field
  • Maybe—if you’re super lucky and found a unicorn job—give you health insurance

Those are all pretty great things. I mean, food and housing are vital to life. Assuming you’re working in a field of your choice, getting a chance to work is great, and delving deeper into your profession is excellent.

But here are the things a gig can’t do: (more…)