What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

A List of Horrors June 15, 2016

There are no words that haven’t been said since last Sunday. I don’t think I have anything new or inspiring to contribute. So I’ll tell you a story instead.

When I was about sixteen, I did a lot of work with a murder mystery dinner theatre company. I played a drug dealer and sold bag of oregano to guests to raise money for charity. I was a super genius who invented a brain in a box. It was a great time.

There was one show I did with them – I think it might have been the last production I was in – where we were performing on a college campus instead of in a schnazzy, rich people bar. It didn’t really change the show that much. The food was chicken fingers, and the table clothes were gross, but whatever. I honestly don’t even remember what the show was about or what my character did. I remember that there was a coffin on stage right from the beginning, it was a very bloody show, and the director added a full company rap at the end instead of typical bows.

The rap started off normal enough, talking about the show and how we hoped they had enjoyed it, the blood and gore of it all. But then it changed, asking the audience why they thought our gore was funny when there were so many terrible things happening in the real world. Was our humor making the real violence seem less awful? And then we listed names of places. I don’t remember any of them but the last. Littleton, Colorado. (more…)


The Sad Tale of the Squirrel January 7, 2015

Filed under: Animal Antics — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Once upon a time (yesterday morning to be exact), there was a little squirrel. He liked to run and play, and since he lived in Florida, he liked to climb palm trees.

Now, when he was a young squirrel, his mother told him to be careful of the great birds in the sky. For though most of the birds wouldn’t, the evil ones would eat the guts from his very belly.

The days went by, and the squirrel forgot his mother’s warning. He knew that on the other side of the driveway sweet nuts grew. So, the little squirrel ran across the pavement, intent only on his treat, and before he knew it, a great bird had struck him dead. The bird’s mother had told him that squirrel gizzards were the tastiest treat. And the bird ate the little squirrel’s guts first, only looking up when an unsuspecting human tried to get into their car and ran away screaming when the bird dragged the squirrel away by its entrails.

Thus ends the sad tale of the squirrel. And my love of birds.


A Final Farewell August 4, 2014

A few weeks ago, an actor I have worked with in the past put a post up on Facebook. She had been diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Her case was advanced, and she would soon have to delete her Facebook account. She said not to feel sorry for her. She had had an amazing life.

Part of me wants to say that she was a great friend and mentor and that the thought of losing her was devastating. But that would be a lie, and she deserves better than that. We did something like 160 performances together. We even lived together for awhile, but we were never close. I was her dance captain, and she had problems remembering her spacing and choreography, as minimal as it was. I couldn’t understand how someone could be in the business for that long and not know how to stand on eight.

None of us knew, not even her, that she was at the early stages of her illness. (more…)


Goodbye Blossom January 22, 2014

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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We gather here today to mourn the loss of the good and wonderful plant, Blossom. She joined our family at Christmas of this year. Her promise of a spring bloom brought us much joy and is what gave her her name.


Blossom leaves behind a family who loved and cared for her, moving her from window to window to catch the few rays of winter sun. But do not despair. Even though blossom was with us for a short time, she had a full life. Blossom traveled with us, looking out the windshield on one of our great adventures. She saw more of the world than most succulent plants ever do.IMG_2255

Alas, a vicious disease caused by overwatering took a toll on Blossom’s health, and despite her family’s best efforts, she was unable to recover. Blossom was interred in the dumpster earlier this week. Her soil was donated back to the earth.IMG_2260

The family thanks you for your condolences. Blossom is with the succulent spirit now. She is at peace.


Sledding in a Winter Wonderland… with Headstones November 13, 2013

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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I live in the country, so you would think we would have lots of options for places to sled. You would be wrong. My family owns three-and-a-bit acres, but there are so many trees it’s hard to walk, let alone sled. The fire department has a little hill behind it, but it runs right into the creek. So, if you go too far, you fall through the ice, but hey, at least you’re right behind the fire house so they can come haul you out.  If there is anyone actually at the fire house to notice you dying. That can be a gamble, but to each his own.  You can’t use the farmer’s fields. They get grumpy and pull out their shot guns. I’ve seen it happen. Farmers are terrifying people. The only unclaimed, semi-safe hill is in the town cemetery. (more…)


How Hauntings Begin August 14, 2013

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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The house I grew up in has a church across the street. Behind the church is a cemetery, which was the only place the Sunday school kids had to play. One year when I was little, the church decided that the kids needed a proper playground. The clear solution was to pull up the first few rows of headstones to put in a swing set. (more…)