lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Terrifying Trailer April 17, 2018

Filed under: Myths and Legends — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I learned a thing about myself the other day.

I’m afraid of truck trailers.

I discovered this while backstage at a show. We were in a tiny venue where the semis the set travels on were pulled up to one of the quick change stations. There wasn’t a door between us and the trucks. The trailer doors were wide open and pointed right at us as we changed.

These gaping metal voids made the hairs on the back of my neck prickle, and at first I thought maybe it was just because there were shadows in the trailers that looked a little spooky. And then I realized modern media has taught me to be terrified of empty semis!

There are really only three purposes to semis:

1) You’re an evil dude ferrying illegal immigrants across the border. You’re inevitably going to leave the poor immigrants locked in the back too long, and the police are going to arrive just in time to save the smallest child while the other sixty people you have trapped like caged chickens die. (more…)

 

A Maize April 13, 2018

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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Once upon a time, the husband and I decided to go to a corn maze between performances on a two-show day. This was before we lived on a tour bus, so we had our own car and the maze was less than fifteen minutes from the theatre.

It was a beautiful fall day, and the farm hosting the maze was great. There was apple cider and apple cider donuts. We blithefully headed into the corn maze, ready to spend a fun twenty minutes winding our way through the corn.

About forty minutes later, we realized the maze was bigger than we had imagined.

Fifteen minutes after that, we realized we hadn’t seen anyone in a long time and didn’t really know which way the front of the maze was supposed to be.

We had to be at the theatre for the evening performance in a half hour. Subtract about fifteen minutes for getting from the maze to the parking lot and driving from the farm to theatre and…we were potentially very screwed.

We considered squeezing between the corn stalks to try and find our way out but, not knowing what direction we wanted to go, trail blazing could have landed us on the far side of the farm with no better clue which way our car was (the husband and I were late to the iPhone party, so no compass to be had).

When we had ten minutes left to find the car if we were going to make it to the theatre on time, we finally had to call the stage manager. (more…)

 

Malicious Medicine April 3, 2018

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I have this strange mistrust of doctors. It’s not that I think they’re trying to wipe us all out by spreading some horrible plague. I just recognize that, like the rest of us, not all of them are good at their jobs.

It all started when I was super young. I had this tiny little plantar wart in my toe. It really wasn’t a huge deal, but you’ve got to get those things taken care of, so my mother dragged me to the pediatrician. I was promised by the nurse, the doctor, my own mother even, that it would be a quick and practically painless thing. I’d feel a little stick, my toe would go numb, and then it would be done and I could eat tons of ice cream.

I don’t know why, but for some reason my mother wasn’t in the room with me when they were numbing my toe. Maybe she was scared she’d faint… I have no clue.

Anyway, I’m lying stomach-first on this table. The doctor has the needle and is going to inject my big toe. The nurse is flirting with the doctor. I feel the needle go into my toe, but it doesn’t stop. The doctor is chatting with the nurse and just keeps pushing the needle farther in!

Naturally, I do what any child would do, and kick the doctor right in the crotch. (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…)

 

A Wrinkle in Summer March 23, 2018

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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The summer after my senior year of high school was terrible. After spending a million hours a week dancing in preparation for college auditions, I ended up with two stress fractures in my shin. I was condemned to three months on crutches. Worse than just crutches, with orders to move as little as possible to rest my other, slightly less damaged shin.

My sister took some time off to stay with me and literally sit on me on the few occasions I tried to get to the bathroom unassisted. The only things that saved me were Dawson’s Creek reruns and Madeline L’Engle.

The local library had her full set of books, and I tore through all of them. And not just the Wrinkle in Time series. I got to be good friends with the Austins and the O’Keefes too. There was something about her writing style that was so simple and so mythical. You were never talked down to, but you knew everything that was happening. From visiting ice caps to traveling to strange planes, I always knew I could count on Madeline L’Engle for an amazing adventure.

To this day when people ask who my favorite authors are, Madeline L’Engle is always on the list.

But…I still haven’t seen the new movie. I’m just too scared. (more…)

 

No Laughing Matter March 20, 2018

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I have this horrible habit of laughing at the wrong times. It’s my stress reaction. I don’t laugh at really horrible things, just normal things that you’re supposed to show polite sympathy for.

Someone’s puking. I laugh. Something breaks. I laugh. Someone forgets all their lines on stage and freezes like a deer in headlights. I’ll be the super professional actor giggling like a crazy person in the corner.

I guess I’ve always been a stress laugher, but the first real instance I remember was when the guy I was not dating (you know how that goes) in high school ran out of gas while driving me home. (more…)