lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

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.

IMG_2638

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…)

 

The Adventurer Returns January 29, 2016

I’m back!

I know it’s been forever, and I have literally been on the other side of the world. But I am back, and boy do I have some stories to tell!

First of all, Thailand was amazing!

IMG_8703

 

I wouldn’t call it much of a vacation. Except for the two days I spent in this hammock binging on the entire Maze Runner series.

IMG_1269

 

More like an expedition. Where you lost most of your supplies and got heat stroke. Sort of like your ox dying and getting dysentery, but with this as a view.

IMG_9148

 

Seeing another culture so vastly different from the one I have lived with my whole life was amazing.

IMG_8955

And I can’t wait to share all my stories with you.

I’m road tripping down to Florida with my husband to start rehearsals for a show I am thoroughly excited about, but I will be posting regularly from now on. And to make up for my absence, I leave you with this video of my husband being dragged up onstage by a Thai drag queen. And yes, they are dancing to Hava Nagila.

Enjoy!

 

A Christmas Engagement… I Think December 25, 2015

I know I said I was going to not be posting as consistently for the next little while. But you guys, two days ago was the best day ever! I mean obviously it’s Christmas, so that just makes life magical, but then I got to the theatre and was handed a special announcement for curtain speech.

Jane Borough, will you marry Scott Wilson?

(Please note names have been changed for the protection and privacy of all those involved.)

And that was the whole thing. The guy didn’t want to come onstage or anything! Just for me to get her attention, and ask if she’d marry him.

So after we announced a one-hundredth birthday, I called out “And Jane Borough, is she here?”

Of course no one said anything. “Do we have a Jane Borough?”

Finally, a little hand popped up in the back of the theatre.

“Will you marry Scott Wilson?”

Everyone gasped, and Jane didn’t really say anything. But she smiled and kissed him. So we sort of all said yay and moved on with our lives. But I think she wanted to marry him, so hooray for happily ever after!

And on top of getting to propose to someone without having to go through the bother of kneeling, buying a ring, or meeting them, I got the best rejection letter ever!

They don’t think there’s a market for the concept, but they think I’m a fantastic writer and want me to submit another manuscript.

Well, Merry Christmas to me!!!!

And to all of you!

Yay Christmas!

 

A Ceremonial Burning September 19, 2015

So, in my days as a Girl Scout before we discovered that Boy Scouts have way less paperwork and I joined the male side of the scouting world, I went to the Norwich Camporee. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the comcept of a camporee, it’s basically a bunch of scouts camping in a giant field while hoping no one pees on their tent in the middle of the night while spending the days competing in the mud, trying to prove yourself the best at everything from knot tying and fire building to following directions and team skills. Needless to say, our patrol won.

Norwich was an amazing experience, and one of the coolest parts was the Saturday night bonfire. The Norwich students had used old phone poles, and yes I do mean as-tall-as-a-house phone poles for the base, and built the biggest bonfire I had ever seen. And I didn’t even get to see the sucker get lit since the fire marshal came and made them take off a few layers to decrease the chance of it falling and killing us all. But even at its moderately diminished height, that fire was a thing of beauty. And then they brought out an old American flag that had seen better days and needed to be burned. They cut out all the different pieces and laid them on the fire in a beautiful ceremony. (To read about the proper disposal of the American flag by Boy Scouts, click here.)

Watching a bunch of what seemed like older people to me at the time but were really college students treat a flag so reverently taught me a lot of things.

First, and as a disclaimer, I don’t agree with everything our government does. I don’t agree with how we handle our underprivileged, our students or our minorities. But this is still my home. And seeing the flag treated so reverently has burned into my mind that the stars and stripes, which were probably manufactured in China, aren’t about what’s happening today. It’s a flag that has been built over two centuries. Literally, we’ve added stars, we’ve changed the flag to fit our country. It’s about a country that’s learned and grown and has potential to continue to grow, maybe not in land mass, but in principle.

So when we all start fighting about the presidential debate, (which has already begun, so fasten your seatbelts, this one is going to be a rough ride) please remember that when we look at the flag, we might all see different things. But it’s still a flag that belongs to all of us. It’s a part of our journey as a nation and that journey isn’t done. We are still creating the history of the flag. And the next time a flag is placed reverently on a fire one star at a time, maybe don’t worry about the politicians who are fighting. But think about the school that the flag flew over, because maybe the choices we make as we live under the flag make just as a big a difference as the fights we have over it.

 

Don’t Call Me… Rules Again September 2, 2015

My second summer stock was at a little theatre in the middle of Illinois. It was a great little space with a revolve onstage, an outdoor rehearsal space, and lots of fun to be had.

So much fun that it was stated in our first company meeting that the artistic director would not pick you up from jail… Umm, what?

I mean, I get your boss telling you he won’t pick you up from jail, but my little twenty-year-old brain screamed, Why do adults need to be told this?! I was naïve enough to think that perhaps once many moons ago, back when our artistic director had been a hippy, he had worked for a theatre and they had been smoking pot and talking about love when some of the actors had been arrested for free love.

I was wrong. It was actually a current issue that needed to be addressed. I was only at that theatre for a short time that summer since I had to get to another gig, but my husband was there for the whole summer. Low and behold, two cast members were by the road, smoking pot, and got picked up by the cops. They tried to call the artistic director to come and pick them up, and he said no. It was late, and he wasn’t driving to town to get them.

Well played, Mr. Director. Well played.

 

Top Ten Reasons I Could Never Be a Beach Body Coach August 24, 2015

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Now, before any of my dear friends who are beach body coaches get a bee in their britches, helping people to be healthy and feel great about themselves is awesome. For you. You’re good at that sort of thing. I’m not. I would be terrible at motivating people to love themselves and be healthy. And here’s why:

1) To me, Beach Body sounds like a dead body washing up on a beach. Unless you are hiring me to kill you, I really don’t know how to help you achieve your Beach Body.

2) Because if a client whined to me that they didn’t have time to work out, my response would almost certainly be, “What do I look like Doctor Who? I don’t have a TARDIS. I can’t make you more time. Dumbass (shakes head.)”

3) I don’t want to know how quickly you’ve lost weight. Either it’s average, non-existent, or worryingly fast. Either way, I don’t want to analyze pictures of you in your panties.

4) I tried shakeology once. I hated my life for four hours. It felt like I had swallowed a vat of concrete with the hopes of digesting it. Hint: In the fight between cement and my intestines, the cement won.* (more…)

 

Fjords for Me August 15, 2015

My husband is the best! My amazing surprise birthday trip was actually amazing! He took me to Seward, Alaska to see the Kenai Fjords! I didn’t even know what a fjord actually was. I had to Google it! Then we went on an all day cruise to see glaciers up close and saw wonderful wildlife to boot!

But since I seem incapable of staying away from exclamation points and I don’t want to write a 20,000 word blog post to tell you have fantastic the day was, I’ll just leave these pictures here.

IMG_9501                                                     IMG_9560

IMG_9442                                                     IMG_9638

IMG_9585                                                    IMG_9805

It was just breathtaking and perfect.

Best Birthday Ever!