lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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…)

 

Flaccid Fist April 20, 2016

The Merriam Webster definition of “flaccid” is not firm : not hard or solid : lacking strength or force.

I think we can all agree that “flaccid” is just about as gross a word as “moist.”

Flaccid. Moist. Say it with me:

Flaccid moist.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the giggles or gagging out of our systems, I find flaccid men to be wholly unattractive. Get your minds out of the gutter. I don’t mean that in the Game of Thrones, below the panty line sense. I dance with a lot of guys onstage. Big ones, little ones, sweaty ones, smelly ones, but you know what I can’t deal with? The flaccid ones. The ones with hands that feel like newborn baby toes. All soft and round with the feeling of dysfunctionality.

I am very lucky and found a husband who’s built like a Welsh coal miner, which is like a lumberjack but under six-foot. He’s like a brick wall.

And it’s not that amply-proportioned men necessarily fit into the flaccid category. There are some very strong guys in this world who lack six packs. They grab you to waltz, and you know they will partner you well. And then there are guys who go to the gym every day, look all strong, take your hand and… flaccid. How do they hold a pencil?!

I now understand the virtue of a firm hand shake. It’s not to see if you can break all the bones in my hand, it’s to prove that fat, thin, short, tall, balding or man bun, you are not a flaccid human. You can carry wood, open jars, and waltz like a boss.

I know my aversion to flaccidity (yes, that is a real word) is not universal. Some people like soft hands. But for me a flaccid fist will never do. Please feel free to giggle again.

And once more for good measure.

Flaccid. Moist. Fist.

 

A Scandaless Scandal April 9, 2016

The husband and I moved in together our senior year of college. I know. We were very scandalous. But campus housing was super expensive, and we were super poor. I tried being an RA, but my boss got arrested by the FBI. I didn’t fancy doing that for another year, so off campus housing was our best bet. We found a friend who wanted to share a two bedroom apartment with us, and off we went. Into the drug den.

Well, it wasn’t a drug den anymore. That’s why we got such a great deal on the place. They had kicked all the tenants out to start fresh with non crack-dealing residents, and we were the first ones to sign up. There were a few lingering effects of the old crowd. And a few of the less savory types managed to get back in. But all in all, it wasn’t really a bad apartment.

Just me, the future husband, and our female roomie. The problem was we went to a conservative school and faster than the toilets getting clogged on weigh-in day, rumors went around that I had moved in with the person I was dating. I didn’t really care that people knew. I mean, the only reason it was strange was that we weren’t hiding the fact that we were living together while everyone else tried to be sneaky about shacking up with their boyfriends. But then they found out I was living with another female dancer. For two days, I didn’t realize why the girls were whispering about me extra emphatically and the straight boys were bring super nice. Until someone kindly told me they were so happy that I was out as a lesbian. (more…)

 

Music and Lyrics April 2, 2016

So this crazy thing happened last year. My husband and I wrote a song.

See, the theatre company that we’ve been working for for a while is run by this awesome family. The patriarch decided he wanted to write a musical and asked the husband and me to be in it. We were both super excited. I mean, how often do you get to be in a brand new show with parts written just for you?

The patriarch/playwright said that we could help with the music, and I could play my beloved ukulele in the show. We had this conversation about fourteen minutes before the husband and I left Florida for a long road trip north.

We were listening to Harry Potter book on tape, a practice which has saved our marriage on more than one occasion, and I started daydreaming.

A ukulele song for me. I knew what my character’s story arch was, and I got a little bored hour five into the drive. So I decided to write out some lyrics. Just for fun. When it was time to switch drivers, I made my husband look at the lyrics. He’s the music guy. He can listen to a song and write out what notes he’s hearing, and he’s done orchestrations for shows before. So, he really knows what he’s doing.

I think he got a little bored in the car, because before we had made it north he had written the melody, and after an hour with my uke he had written out the chords.

We sent the song to the playwright. He liked it and asked us to write more. And before you knew it, the husband and I were a song-writing duo. (more…)

 

The Time I Got Road Rage February 20, 2016

I don’t drive very often. It’s not that I can’t drive. I can. I have a license and everything. But my husband really loves to drive, and traffic makes me angry. So I usually avoid it.

Well, today is my nephew’s birthday! He’s adorable, and I love him. So to avoid being the worst aunt ever, I decided to venture to the post office to priority mail his present to him so it would be there in time for his birthday. Normally, this wouldn’t be a huge deal, but I had to go between shows, during peak season, on a freakin’ island. And a beautiful island at that. With lots or tourist and not too many roads.

I managed to make it to the post office, only needing to call my husband once for directions. But then…. But then. On the way back, traffic got worse. So much worse. I had to phone my mother so she could listen to me rail at the traffic around me. I spent twelve minutes, TWELVE MINUTES, thirty feet from the turn off I needed! And no one would move! We sat there! I could have walked back to the theatre faster, but I think there’s a law against abandoning a vehicle in the road, and I was in company car anyway! Gah! (more…)

 

Love and Adventure February 16, 2016

Happy late Valentine’s Day! I know, I know. The time for lovers has passed, and the time for discount chocolate is upon us. I love cheap chocolate. I really do. But I had an amazing Valentine’s Day.

The husband took me to Disney, ‘cause season passes are the best, and it was crowded as all get out. But I got to see the new baby gorilla, a bunch of really cool Star Wars things, including my favorite Star Wars character, BB-8.

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And we ran around like little kids before having dinner at Belle’s castle.

But the best part was when, while trying to pass the wait times, we decided to try and figure out what the best adventure we had ever had was.

I had a hard time choosing. I’m split between watching the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia, Maine, the hammock in Thailand, a night in Venice, fjords in Alaska, and of course the fountain show in Versailles. (more…)

 

Tiny Thai Undies February 10, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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“You need big boy size.” This is something I heard while shopping for pants after my luggage was lost in Thailand. I laughed about it. After all, I’m not an incredibly large guy, but I’m by no means tiny. That was day 1 in Thailand. I should have known that I was in for a hard couple of weeks.

I went to a night bazaar on night 2 to buy some underwear because as resourceful as I am, I just couldn’t see myself making do with one pair of underwear for the entirety of our trip. I found some Calvin Klein knockoffs and asked for the largest size.

The ones they handed me looked like they were meant for teenage boys, but they were the best I could find. I should have waited. For the next three nights I endured the absolute worst chaffing of my life. And on top of that, the dye on the underwear was rubbing off on hotel sheets (and my thighs… no, but seriously) in the middle of the night. That can’t be good for you!

We finally made it to the fancy mall that Megan has told you all about, which I walked through in my clown pants, and found a package of two pairs of really fancy underwear for about $20 (oy). They were still a little small but much better than what I had.

The point of this post. Never pack all of your underwear in one place. Especially if you’re traveling to Asia and need “big boy size” clothes.