lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

Vanquishing the Judgment Monster July 10, 2017

I would like to take a break from our regularly scheduled tales of wonderment in Ireland to tell you how damned proud of myself I am. No I didn’t land a huge role; no I’m not on the NYT bestseller list; but I did just brush aside unnecessary judgment like it was nothing, and that is a landmark decision.

It wasn’t criticism of anything important even. It was that terrible Mean Girls’ judgment that haunted us all through our teen years. I was just talking about something I liked and was really excited about and JM (judgment monster) decided to make horrible tishing noises like I had just declared eating puppies and throwing babies off buildings were my favorite pastimes. I tried to turn the conversation, which really didn’t involve JM, to another thing I was excited about. Once again, nasty noises like I was a serial killer.

Then I got this horrible twist in my gut. (more…)

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Bug Juice Bummer July 9, 2016

Remember a while back when I promised I would tell you all the stories from my time at the camp where bug juice was filmed. Sorry it took me so long. I got caught up in being green, but now we shall begin.

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         It’s not easy being green.

For those of you who didn’t have the Disney channel in the late 90’s, there was a reality show about a summer camp. It had the usual kid drama: crushes, ruined friendship, and competition for team captain. When I went to the camp the year after it was filmed, I thought those were the sorts of things I had in store. Nope. Totally wrong.

There was a fair amount of drama I had to deal with (I’ll tell you about that next time), but those bug juice kids were worse.

See, the producers manipulated the situation, as you would expect. They told the kids who to be friends with, who to dance, even what personality traits they should show off. I mean, sure, you expect that kind of thing from reality TV, but these were kids. Super impressionable, hormonal teenagers. So when they showed up to camp the next year expecting to see their friends or frienemies, they ended up meeting completely different people, and chaos ensued.

I think the saddest was the boy who thought he was going to see his camp girlfriend again. (more…)

 

Well Played, Pixar April 27, 2016

Pixar has done it again. Last night, I found myself ugly crying over a cowboy dinosaur movie. I don’t even know if Good Dinosaur was actually good. But there I was, trying to put together a puzzle, finishing it, realizing three pieces were missing, Spot found a family, and boom: ugly tears.

(Be warned. There are spoilers to multiple animated movies below. All of them moments that make us ugly cry.) (more…)

 

Honor Amongst Thieves February 1, 2016

On our way to Thailand, our plane stopped in Beijing, China. Apart from Beijing eating my husband’s checked bag so he had to spend the rest of our time out of the country wearing hilariously small underpants, being stuck in a Chinese airport for five hours was a rather interesting experience.

I would never say, Oh, yes. I’ve been to China. I saw the inside of an airport. But there is a decent amount you can learn about a culture by observing how they treat travelers.

First of all, Jack Daniels is apparently the international sign for I give up. Please give me a drink. Every bar and restaurant shelf had a big bottle of Jack Daniels sitting front and center.

Apparently no smoking in the bathroom means no smoking unless the restroom attendant offers to slip you a lighter for a tip. Good thing neither my husband nor I smoke, or we might be in Chinese jail right now.

Massages are not some exclusive rich people benefit to flying. There are pretty little kiosks you can just slip into for a real quick foot rub without having to choose between foot comfort and eating a real meal in the airport.

But the most fascinating thing to me was the level or trust they had for the flyers. And not just the bathroom attendant assuming my husband wouldn’t turn him in for encouraging illegal smoking in the bathroom. (more…)

 

Christmas Ornaments November 29, 2015

Guys. It’s Christmas. Santa has driven his sleigh past Macy’s, and it’s officially the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

I love all of it! I will hang lights from everything that holds still! I have already begun wrapping presents and am freaking out that I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping!

And I have the best idea ever for Christmas decorations! Since the husband and I travel a lot for work, (and are Disney obsessed) we have lots of pins and patches from our adventures. But I’ve never really found much of anything to do with them but store them in a box and find them whenever I try and clean my room and then pack them back up again.

But then I had the most amazing idea ever. I am going to make all the pins and patches into simple Christmas ornaments. Then my Christmas tree will be a memory tree.

Here is the first ornament, featuring Pluto of course.

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It’s simple, and hopefully I’ll refine the style as I go. But I can still remove the pin from the felt if I want to change how I’m making the ornaments.

Now every year when I decorate my tree, I can remember all my adventures!

Yay Christmas!!!! I love Christmas!!!!!

Christmas!!!!

 

A Plot to Save Pluto October 3, 2015

Filed under: Disney — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Here’s the thing. I love Pluto. Not Pluto the planet, Pluto the Disney dog.

If you need proof or back story on why Pluto is amazing, you can follow these links to my previous blog posts about the wonderment that is Pluto.

Pluto on Pluto
My Passion for Pluto
Disney Dreams

If you want a history of Pluto, click here. And if you want to watch a video so you have proof that Pluto is the best, click here.

All right, now here is the problem. I think I’ve just established that since his first appearance in 1930, Pluto has shown himself to be clever, loving and fun. I don’t want to start a controversy, but I firmly believe that Pluto is in fact a better role model and friend than Mickey.

Yet Mickey has theme parks! Mickey gets to be the star of the parades, and Mickey has all the merchandise.

Now I know that it is too late to dethrone the mouse. It would take a coup d’état that would leave the small world ride in ruins.

But I don’t think it’s too much to ask to want a cute Pluto t-shirt, tank top, or even a nice hat! I don’t mean one of those weird hats with the droopy ears. I want a classy baseball cap.

And as for shirts, even Maleficent had cute girly tank tops in all the Disney stores. Pluto: nothing feminine. This02_ParksBlog_DogDays_PlutoPullShirt
is the ONLY Pluto shirt they have! The only one! (more…)

 

No Selfie Sticks Allowed September 5, 2015

This summer, I’ve been privileged enough to live and work right outside of Denali National Park. It’s beautiful and amazing, and because of the company I work for, I get six free bus rides into the park.  So at least every other week, I ride the bus into the park with the tourists to see the animals and hopefully catch a glimpse of the mountain. I usually jump off and backcountry hike with my husband, but we’re always on the bus for the rules section.

A lot of the rules make sense, such as be quiet at wildlife sightings. And don’t eat at the rest stops. I mean, people still don’t follow the rules, but it’s easy to see where they come from. But this year there’s been a new rule. Don’t shove your selfie stick out the window at wildlife sightings.

What?

I mean, I get the rule. But did someone really shove a selfie stick out the window at a wild animal? Did the animal bite the selfie stick? I need to know what happened! And I can’t find a damn person who knows the origin of the rule!

And it’s not just Denali that’s killing the selfie stick. Disney has recently banned selfie sticks due to safety concerns in the park. Did someone try to selfie on Splash Mountain? Did some idiot almost become the thousandth ghost at the Haunted Mansion?

I need to know the reason for the rule! It’s driving me crazy!