lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

For the Love of Music September 19, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 12:30 pm
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I found my favorite city in the world the moment I heard the music on the street.

First of all we found a parking garage, which was like the freakin’ Holy Grail on this trip. Second, everything we wanted to see was in walking distance of where we parked the car. Third, I found a salad.

So really, I was in a great place to enjoy things in the first place.

But Galway is going to have to be split into two blogs. The latter shall be a tale of magic, music, and a perfect Guiness pour. But first we must discuss the oil-drinking vampire.

After we found my beloved parking garage, we found our hotel.

It’s just a few doors down, right above one of the best pubs in the city. I’m feeling really great about my travel planning choices. Then we walk up to the desk to check in…he has no record of our Expedia booking.

I have the confirmation with me, so I’m all like, “Nope, I like it here. I’ve paid to stay here. Find my booking.”

He reaches for a paper folder to sort through things (apparently, they’d switched systems and lost some bookings, but he didn’t see fit to mention that right away).

As he’s thumbing through paper, a man walks in and asks for two rooms for the night. The concierge says sorry, but he only has one room left… our room. (more…)

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Magical Music September 5, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 6:30 pm
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So, after we left the possible serial killer inn keeper with the peacock with the facial tumor, we went into town to listen to the boys play at the pub.

By this point in our great Irish adventure, we had discovered that the directions the locals give, no matter how absurd they may seem, are usually accurate. So when the innkeeper had rattled out that we should park by the first pub of the three in town and just stay there because otherwise there would be nowhere for us to go, we took her seriously.

We had gotten there too early, so there was no music, and I honestly probably would have gone back to the B&B to sleep if I hadn’t been terrified of being chopped into small pieces the moment I closed my eyes. So we sat in the pub and waited for the music.

Finally, four boys who didn’t look old enough to drink by American standards came in and took their seats by the window. They took out their instruments, chatted to each other, checked their phones, got a drink. Finally, the boy sitting at the center just sort of shrugged and they started to play.

And they were all brilliant. They didn’t smile, they didn’t look at the people clustered in to hear them. From the semi-vacant expressions on their faces, they might as well have been in a horribly boring math class. (more…)

 

A Peculiar Protuberance August 31, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 1:30 pm
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Back to Ireland.

After I bonded with birds and stumbled upon a tomb, it was time to get ready to board the boat for Inishmore!

I was so thrilled to visit the island. In part because I had seen Daniel Radcliffe in The Cripple of Inishmaan on Broadway, and we would be going right past that island to get to the island where we were going to be staying.

I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the B&B we booked for the night before we got on the boat. It was just a place to sleep. I knew we wouldn’t have time to hang out in our room.

That was…a potentially disastrous, but now humorous decision. (more…)

 

The Travelers in the Tower July 3, 2017

Filed under: Tales of Travel — meganorussell @ 8:00 pm
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I grew up in Upstate New York in a two hundred-year-old house. I’m pretty used to old buildings… by American standards. But you go over to Ireland, and there’s just a four hundred-year-old church chilling out on a street corner like it’s nothing. Or stone walls that are a few hundred years old separating farms.

The level of casual history is just crazy!

We found (in our handy, dandy guide book) a church in Cork that was crazy old, still in operation, and next to a butter museum. And the biggest draw: you get to ring the church bells!

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I got to live my Quasimodo dreams minus the hunch back and crushed feet! (more…)

 

A Rave Review June 9, 2017

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I wrote the lyrics for a musical! The show is called Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, and it’s currently playing at a really great professional theatre. My husband wrote the music for the show, one of our mentors created the concept and wrote the script, so the whole thing has been an amazing experience. It’s been about two years with the project now, and the coolest thing happened! We got an amazing Broadway World review!

The goal is to shop the show out to other theatres, and that awesome review is a huge stepping stone!

(Pardon me whilst I give the show folk a big ole’ pat on the back.)

The husband and I never really set out to write the music for a show. (more…)

 

The Perfect Theme February 6, 2017

I have the pleasure of currently living with roommates I like. I don’t mean to say that I don’t usually like my roommates or even that liking my roommates is a rarity. What is rare is having roommates who like the same TV shows as you enough to binge watch as a group. Like we’ve done with West World… and Sherlock.

And in this binging I have discovered something. Theme music is everything.

I love Game of Thrones. I love the theme music of Game of Thrones. When I plan to watch the show with friends, I automatically start singing the theme song, and with the musical theatre crowd in which I am so deeply ingrained, you can expect the counterpart and harmonies to be there as well.

We all fell in love with West World after one episode, and when we talked about watching the next one, none of us could hum the theme. We knew there were creepy piano hands and a horse, but not really what the notes were. (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…)