lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Snorkeling Sickness March 11, 2017

My husband and I aren’t usually seasick people. We’ve ridden on boats from canoes to cruise ships and neither of us has ever gotten ill. Until we went snorkeling a few weeks ago.

It was our first double day off since September, so we treated ourselves to a little trip to Key West. We rode the catamaran down. That was great! I read the whole way, my husband played his video game. We spent the evening exploring and woke up the next morning ready for a snorkeling adventure!

That’s where the problems began. We left to hotel too early for their breakfast and had to find food on the docks. My husband, feeling adventurous, chose a Cuban breakfast sandwich with pulled pork and chorizo. Then we got on the boat. Everything was still fine, but since it was a little choppy, they decided to take us to the soft coral instead of the actual barrier reef. Still super cool. I’d never snorkeled with soft coral before.

Then we got into the water, and I learned something very important: soft coral doesn’t hold down sand. It was like trying to swim through a sand storm. (more…)

 

The Dirty Schavarny January 26, 2017

So, I had to take a plane ride by myself last week. No husband to keep me company and watch my bag while I used the airport bathroom. For those of you who know how terribly co-dependent I am, you know this was a trying endeavor.

But don’t worry, the universe provided me with entertainment. The problem is that the entertainment had to do with some rather sexual things. So when I say schavarny, what I really mean is a c-word that could be a type of chicken. Get it? Okay, moving on.

I’m settling into my seat on my super early morning flight. Already have my eye mask on, am snuggled in next to the window ready to try and sleep the next few hours into non-existence, when I hear a male voice behind me.

“His schavarny grew in her hand? I thought you didn’t read that stuff.”

…Okay.

The woman he’s with instantly gets defensive. (more…)

 

Another One off the List August 31, 2016

I’ve knocked something off my ever-filling bucket list!

The husband and I summited Cadillac Mountain to watch the sunrise!

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We woke up at 1:30. Yes, the one with the a.m . after it. It was early, but honestly to me it was like Christmas morning! The alarm went off, and I wanted to climb!

And the climb was magnificent. We were alone on the trail with only the Milky Way for company. It was breathtaking. Hiking under the stars is like adventuring under a nice, familiar blanket.

And we made it to the summit well before dawn.

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Then the sky turned just a tiny bit pink in the east, and the stars started to blink away one by one.

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Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the contiguous U.S. to see the sunrise. And we were there, sitting on a cliff, watching the sun paint the sky.

And I know this I going to sound cheesy as hell, but the hike had a super important meaning for me. Not just because the last time I was in Acadia I could barely walk, but also because sunrise on Cadillac Mountain has a very important place in The Tethering Series.

In The Siren’s Realm, Jacob and Emilia venture up Cadillac Mountain for sunrise, and we followed their path, though our journey did end a little differently. It was one of those climbs that reminds you that magic is real in our world. If only you look deep enough to find it.

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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…)

 

True Beauty for the Birds (Or Why Professional Actors Giggle) April 18, 2016

Life upon the wicked stage can sometimes be hilarious. I know that’s not how the song goes, and I probably shouldn’t find such extreme joy in things going wrong onstage. But I’m a terrible person, so I do.

Not when people get hurt or something costs the theatre thousands of dollars in damage. That’s not funny. But it’s the little things that bring me joy. Like fake birds playing dead onstage.

Right now I’m doing a show that has a big showgirl-style number with all of us in “bride” costumes. I have giant flower baskets on my hips, there’s a headdress that’s more than two feet tall on one of the girls, and one of the ladies has birds.

She has a birdcage on her head with two little (fake) white birds in it, and two white birds on each wrist.

We all tipped on at the beginning of the number, and everything was going fine, until the first time Bird Girl had to move her arms… and her birds got stuck together. All of us were posing prettily, and she had gotten handcuffed by birds. Of course, I had been trying desperately not to giggle already. To free herself, the Bird Girl ripped her wrists apart, tore the birds off of one of her gloves. But the birds didn’t fall to the ground. No, no. They got caught on the feathers hanging from her glove. And they stayed there, upside down, clinging on by their dead little feet while Bird Girl danced.

We got to a section where we were posing again, and in that stillness, the dead birds gave up on life and fell to the ground with a dull thunk. (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…)

 

Of Love and Soup March 5, 2016

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The husband and I got together when we were super young. So young, in fact, it’s a little amazing that we still like each other so darn much.

We met freshman orientation week, and other than one moment of temporary insanity on his part, we have been together ever since.

And it’s mostly because of a can of soup.

I’ve never claimed to be able to cook. In most cases, I’m considered a hazard. Since I spend so much of my time studiously trying to avoid anything kitchen-ish, I don’t usually travel with kitchen things, and this habit started all the way back in college. I had a full meal plan and only a mini-fridge in my room. So other than cereal and one unfortunate run in with a jiffy pop, I let the cafeteria ladies do the cooking.

Until my boyfriend got sick. He got one of those throat-rattling, fever-inducing colds that seem to thrive in college dorms and cast houses.

There was nothing the campus health clinic could really do for him, so he just had to wait it out, suffering in his room.

I knew that he was feeling awful, so I decided to bring him a can of soup from my emergency supplies. I even had a bowl and a spoon! And they were clean! (more…)