What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Leader of the Band November 14, 2015

Hello everyone! Chris here once again. Megan has a full schedule over the next week-and-a-half what with rehearsals for the musical version of It’s a Wonderful Life and performances of Fancy Nancy, and as I just opened the show I was working on last night, I told her that I would love to do a post on her blog and give her some more time to focus on the shows.

The show that I just opened is Plaid Tidings, the holiday followup to the original Forever Plaid, a story of four young men who come back from heaven to perform the show they never got to in life. The show is truly wonderful, and I have the pleasure of getting to play piano for it onstage every night. This is the first show that I’ve ever played without also singing, and it has been a truly stressful yet rewarding challenge getting the show open. All that aside, one of my bassists was introducing me to his girlfriend last night and referred to me as the “band leader.”

I actually freaked out a little. (more…)


The Magic of Christmas December 22, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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My family doesn’t have many traditions for Christmas. We haven’t spent the holidays with extended family since I was a very little girl. But each year, we would watch the The Muppet Christmas Carol, and we would listen to The Muppets and John Denver, and Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers Christmas albums. When the tree was decorated and we shut off the lights to see it for the first time, we would all sing O Christmas Tree and sway like Whos in Whoville. Of course, the only words we knew were “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,” so we would just sing those over and over again.

We ate blueberry muffins my mother made fresh in the morning and took turns passing out presents while wearing the Santa hat.

But I think my very favorite tradition was sneaking down the stairs to see if Santa had come. (more…)


Dolphin Domination December 1, 2014

When I was in third grade, my parents took me on an epic road trip to Orlando. Besides driving through a blizzard and discovering my lifelong love of Pluto, we also went to SeaWorld. I love it there. I got to see the sea lions and the whales. Since my sister and I were some of the few kids there that snowy winter, we got to play the water gun race arcade game. And since there was always a winner and only the two of us playing, we got the best stuffed dolphin and whale. They were huge, and I loved them!

But the best part was getting to feed the dolphins. (more…)


The Fish Beffudlement November 8, 2014

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 10:42 am
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When I was little, I wanted a fish. I wanted to name it and watch it swim and love it forever. So I asked my dad for a fish. He bought me a tank with a really cool bubbler, and I spent hours watching the bubbles rise. Bubbles are fascinating when you’re little. Or, if you’re me, when you’re an adult, too, but we won’t talk about that. (more…)


A Troubled Childhood October 15, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Hello everyone! It’s Chris blog post time again. Megan is very under the weather currently, so I tucked her in early and told her to let me take care of this post.

My childhood may not be quite as interesting as Megan’s (and I’m okay with that), but I do have some quirky stories to share. And in thinking about what to write I realize that Megan and I had immensely different childhoods. She was both a Girl Scout and a Boy Scout. I went to 4H camp three summers in a row. That was the extent of my peer-camp comradery. She learned how to build a fire when she was only three. I almost burned my house to the ground when I was seven.

When she was a teenager, she almost drowned after her sailboat capsized (I’ll let her tell you that story sometime), but she was able to rescue herself. I fell into a pond in my backyard when I was little, and one of my parents had to jump in to save me. I’m not sure if it was Mom or Dad, but I do know that Dad jumped off of our house’s roof one time because he saw me standing by a bush, my mouth covered in the purple juice of berries that weren’t blue, black, rasp, or straw.

And it’s not as though my parents were neglectful parents. I just got into trouble, constantly. And I still do. Undoubtedly, if you’ve read Megan’s posts about our time in Alaska, you already knew that. And you know, I don’t want that to change. With our combined senses of adventure and lucky streaks (which will hopefully continue), we shall continue to get into trouble. And don’t worry too much. We’re always very well prepared and have found ourselves in such a variety of scary situations that we’re pretty good about keeping a level head in those instances.

And so, as my lovely wife dreams herself away from her coughing, I raise a glass to her wondrous, infectious wanderlust. May we have many happy returns to the mountains and to the rivers and streams where adventure awaits us with open arms. And in the case that she reads this tomorrow, I love you, angel.



The Little Star-Bound Book August 18, 2014

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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When I was fifteen, I took a community college course all about children’s literature. We studied everything from Green Eggs and Ham to Harry Potter. I did an amazing defense of the use of upper vocabulary words in The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles. And our final project was to write a children’s story. (more…)


Swimming with the Fishes July 19, 2014

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I’m not a particularly squeamish person. I can handle most things, unless it involves ants. I hate ants. But other than that, I’m pretty hardy. When I was little my parents took my sister and me to visit our Godparents and their two daughters. I don’t remember much about the trip. I know I climbed the same tree in the front yard about fifty times. And I know that my father and Godfather decided that they needed to take their girls fishing. (more…)