lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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…)

 

Anger Advice March 31, 2018

Once upon a time a long time ago, I was sent to counseling. Well… anger management, really.

Hear me out, okay?

I was in a very bad situation in college. Basically, there were some unhealthy expectations placed on students, and I’m not good at complacency when being told to just grin and bear it. It got to the point where I was given an ultimatum, and I told a high-ranking academic official to go f**k himself. For the record, he deserved it.

So, I got sent to anger management. There was a very fancy building on campus I had never visited before. And, after filling out a lot of paper work, I was sent in to see a very nice lady. She asked me why I was there, and I told her the whole story. From scales and straight A’s to calculus and pointe shoes. By the time I had finished, the hour was basically up, and she said I had every right to be angry. I just needed to use politer terms to express my anger than “go f**k yourself.”

And I still had to go back. Once a week for the rest of the academic year. Things I continued to learn: Don’t swear at the people who can make you go to counseling. More important things I learned: Angry isn’t always a bad thing. There are times in life where it’s good to be angry. (more…)

 

The Dastardly Dragon March 27, 2018

My fear of seeing films based on books started several years ago with the horrible movie adaptation of Eragon.

I love the book series. Not just because Christopher Paolini was incredibly young to have been published on such a huge scale. The books are really great. Coming of age stories get me right in the heart, dragons are awesome, and epic adventures bring me joy.

When I heard there was going to be a movie, I was the happiest. I wanted to see Saphira fly. I wanted to meet Roran. I was stoked.

My husband is an Eragon fan too, so we were sitting in our theatre seats like kids on their way to Disney World. This was going to be the best movie series since Harry Potter. There was a couple sitting next to us, and they asked us what the movie was about—they didn’t know anything about the books—and we gave them a spoiler-free rendition of how their lives were about to be changed.

The movie started, the egg was discovered, Saphira flew into the air and in a flash of light became a full grown dragon. Gone was the coming of age story I had grown to love, and it was all downhill from there. What followed was a bunch of poorly strewn together plot line with sketchy CGI.

The husband leaned over to the couple we’d met and whispered our apologies. (more…)