lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Chatty Husband May 15, 2018

I have this thing about being in public. Sometimes, strangers talk to you. It’s a real problem for me.

I’m not an introvert by any means, but I don’t want to chat with the person behind me in line who compliments the voicemail I just left my mother. I don’t really want to know why the person on the plane next to me is flying to D.C. And I really, really don’t want to know why the awkward stranger in the coffee shop really loves any song.

I’m happy watching people without interacting. I’m totally fine with chatting with patrons after a performance. But I have a strong stranger danger button.

My husband, however, really likes chatting to people. All the damn time. We get stuck in hotel lobbies, waylaid by elderly women who want to detail exactly what we should try at the continental breakfast the next day. We spend extra time in rest stops hearing about how the gas attendant has never left their home state.

I mock him for it, I grumble at him when we run late because of it. But—and I really hate to admit this—every once in a while, he meets someone really cool.

I’ll let him tell you about it.

I stood in line at a Starbucks in Chicago the other day when a gentleman in his 50s or so cut the line. (more…)

 

The Raven August 2, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 6:32 pm
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So I had a deep and meaningful experience with a yogurt-eating raven.

thumbnail_IMG_1006When Chris and I were in Ireland, we spent an amazing day in Killarney National Park. Toward the end of the day, the husband left me in this tiny brick courtyard for a few minutes. It was really quite lovely. I had a nice bench in the shade to sit on. Ivy climbed the sides of brick walls. Other than a smattering of tourist trash, the scene was idyllic.

A then this raven swooped down and landed on a bench about five feet from mine where someone had left their yogurt trash. It was one of the kinds where there’s like a pocket of fruit and then a pocket of yogurt. Whoever had left it had shoved their spoon and napkin inside before half-heartedly flipping the foil top back over. (Take a moment, digest that people are so awful as to leave that sitting out, and we’ll move on with my awesome story.)

The raven hopped toward the yogurt container and pulled back the thin foil lid. The foil flipped back on the raven’s head. The raven moved it again. It flipped back. Finally, he got the lid pulled back enough it would stay open. Then he picked up the spoon, tossed it on the ground. Picked up the napkin, tossed it on the ground. He leaned down to eat the yogurt remains, and his creepy raven senses told him I was staring. He looked up at me, then twisted the yogurt cup so he could eat with his butt toward me.

I watched the raven’s butt for a bit until he was done with the yogurt. He hopped down from the bench onto the bricked ground and looked at me all smug… with white yogurt covering his beak. (more…)

 

The Ferns of Blarney July 13, 2017

Most of you have probably heard of the Blarney Stone. If you haven’t, here’s the short of it. There’s a stone in Blarney Castle, and if you kiss it, which is way harder than it sounds, btw, you’ll be blessed with the gift of eloquence.

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Naturally, when planning our Ireland expedition, we decided we had to swing by Blarney Castle. Yes, I have heard all the awful stories of locals doing terrible things to the stone at night. But if I’m going to start the zombie apocalypse, I’d just assume get the monster germs that end the world doing something memorable.

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We had planned to be at Blarney Castle for like an hour. Get in, kiss the stone, and leave. Honestly when we saw the price of admission to the castle grounds I rolled my eyes a bit. It was quite a bit of money to kiss a stone. But then they gave us a map of the Blarney Castle Grounds, and it all made sense. (more…)

 

Please Ignore the Irrational Tears October 22, 2016

My doctor decided to put me on a short course of prednisone. No big deal, just a little steroidal help. I’ve been on steroids before, usually there’s some sort of unpleasantness involved. Like my face turning red, or growing insta-jowls, cosmetic things that are annoying-yet-temporary.

This time my face decided it didn’t want to react, so I have become a completely irrational human instead. Not like roid ragey—I’m not mad at anyone, not irritable or anything. I just cry. For no real reason, I cry. So since I can’t think of a fun story to tell without become a human faucet, I will instead enumerate the reasons I have cried irrationally in the last few days.

-I did too many pushups.

-My husband brought me two chicken fingers. (I had asked for said chicken fingers.) (more…)

 

Well… That Happened (Or A Night at Casa Bonita) September 13, 2016

 

I’ve had the amazing opportunity, along with camping this summer, to go and visit my mother in her new western home. It was a great trip.

We saw huge and beautiful mountains.

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Found some great animals

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Drank tea, saw flowers, and… went to Casa Bonita.

Yep, that’s right, the Casa Bonita of South Park fame and home of “eatertainment.” It was an experience. (more…)

 

The Effing Fife August 20, 2016

I’m having problem writing a blog for you all at the moment. Mostly because I have awesome writerly news that I can’t tell you, and it’s all I can think of.

So, right.

Here’s a good story for you. The Story of the Effing Fife. My husband has an admirable life goal to learn to play as many instruments as possible. He can play the piano, the guitar, the ukulele, the mandolin, and the effing fife.

He never set out to play the fife. Never had a hankering for a fife in his life, but now he can!

We were doing a show near Gettysburg, PA, and there was a big Civil War reenactment going on. My mom was in town, and since we did a bunch of reenactments when I was growing, we decided to go. It was a fairly decent reenactment; there was singing and food, and my husband was fairly entertained for the most part. But when we started looking at the costumes and textiles, he got a little bored.

So my mom, trying to be awesome, bought my husband a fife to keep him occupied while we looked at corsets. He, being him, figured out how to play a few notes in seconds and then found an actual fife player to show him how to play them better. By the end of the day he was walking around the reenactment playing the Harry Potter theme. Yes, it was just as dorky as it sounds.

It was great for an afternoon activity, and I thought that would be the end of it. I was so, so very wrong. (more…)

 

The Poker Smoker May 16, 2016

My husband won a smoker last year in a poker tournament. I know it’s super awesome cause he came in second and what a great prize for a free poker tournament, but the poker game was in Alaska. We don’t live in Alaska. A few people in Denali offered to buy the smoker. I said he could take the money from selling it and buy a new smoker in Florida where we’ve been since the smoker incident. But he felt wrong selling his prize. I suggested that he leave it behind for the next show cast to use. That was also a no.

When we really got down to it, it wasn’t about having the ability to smoke meat. It was that he had won that smoker in a poker tournament in a place he loved and wasn’t sure he would get to go back to. So I shipped the damned smoker to Florida. There were grand plans for smoking one side of meat a week and then just eating from the left overs. I was promised magnificent things. The smoker has been used twice in seven months. To be fair, in those seven months, we have done a ridiculous amount of awesome things that didn’t allow us to sit with a meat smoker all day. (more…)