lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Creek and the Stings May 11, 2018

Filed under: What Doesn't Kill You — meganorussell @ 11:30 am
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I grew up in a very old house in the country. We had three-ish acres of land, and my family left most of it wild. Trees, blackberry bushes, and tall grass all leading up to a creek.

I would run wild through the back for hours at a time. As long as I stayed within our property and didn’t go swimming on my own, my parents just let me go. My mom had this giant antique school bell, and when she rang, it was time to head back toward the house. It was a crazy amount of freedom.

One day while playing way out toward the back of the property, I stepped on a hive of ground bees. I don’t even know how many stings I got, only that my leg hurt like hell.

I did the only thing a child used to running wild would do. (more…)

 

The Famous Fall September 24, 2016

Filed under: Tales of Humanity's Imperfections — meganorussell @ 10:30 am
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Once upon a time, a long time ago, when I was an intern at a New York City dance studio, I took a tap class with the guy who played the Billy Elliot in that amazing movie. For those of you who haven’t seen the move, go watch it. Right now. Seriously, this blog will still be here when you’re done crying over the credits.

He wasn’t the teacher or anything like that; he was just a student. A very silent student in the back row. The teacher knew him and greeted him subtly without ever saying his name. But me being the Billy Elliot obsessed person that I am recognized him instantly. I stood near him – cause you know, obsession – and tap danced while *hopefully* not staring at him too obviously. (more…)

 

Childhood Change April 16, 2016

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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Growing up, I had godparents. I mean, we weren’t really close to them, and I didn’t really know them. They were who my parents chose before I was even born. I don’t know if my parents ever sat me down to tell us or if my sister and I just sort of absorbed the information the way kids do, but we always knew that if something happened to our parents, we would be sent to live with our godparents.

Duh duh duh!

It was terrifying. Not because they were mean or because we were afraid they would starve us. No. We were scared because they didn’t believe in Santa. That and their youngest child was psychotic. Like truly. I think there was something wrong with her. She stayed at our house for a sleepover once, and only once. Why? Because halfway through the night, she started calling the doorknobs mommy and daddy and was having full conversations for them. We had to go get her mom, who was also staying at the house, to make her stop. It was a bad night for everyone.

But back to the Santa business. (more…)

 

A Rehashing of the Teddy Trial March 21, 2016

Filed under: Starting Off Strange — meganorussell @ 8:30 pm
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A long time ago my sister gave my beloved stuffed puppy a swirly. I thought the matter was over and done with. In fact, I even wrote a blog about it. But it seems the matter is far from over.

The way I remember it my sister gave my stuffed puppy a swirly. After a lot of crying, I decided to take revenge. And not just any revenge. A horrible revenge that can only be executed by the likes of a little sister.

My sister had a teddy bear that she loved very much. Since my big sister had hurt my puppy, I would take revenge on Teddy. While my mother was Lysoling the toilet germs out of puppy, I found my sister’s teddy, fastened a very impressive noose for a child, and hung Teddy over my sister’s bed with a note that read something along the lines of —

You smell. I cannot take living with your awful stink anymore. Goodbye cruel world. (more…)

 

A Mewing in the Night March 12, 2016

I want a kitten. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but damn I want a kitten. I want a kitten who will run up and greet me when I come home, snuggle with me when content edits become too much, and do funny things that will provide blog material for years to come.

Every time I get to the part where I want my cat to run up and greet me, I always get confused stares and, “I think you mean you want a dog. Dogs run up to greet you.”

But I had three cats when I was growing up. Three amazing cats we bottle-fed as kittens. They were indoor/outdoor cats, and when they heard the distinctive rattle of my mother’s car, they would come running to the driveway, weave in and of our legs as we tried to get to the door, and stare at us until we either sat down to cuddle them or fed them.

They would come when we called them, and always wanted attention. They were the best cats ever. And I know finding a cat as loving and amazing as those three were would be neigh on impossible. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to try.

I’ve been known to ugly cry over cute kittens. Open-mouth ugly cry over Facebook videos of kittens.

But I think I hit a new low a few nights ago. (more…)

 

Blood in the Pointe Shoe November 21, 2015

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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It’s that time again, folks! We’re are creeping up to the big release for my Christmas novella Nuttycracker Sweet, which is going to be released by Fiery Seas Publishing on December 8th!

I’ve started working on the promo materials, and it’s all been a little crazy. I’m a professional performer. It’s how I buy food, and I know I am super privileged to get to do what I love to do for actual dollars. But I am by no means a ballet dancer. It all started with not having enough turnout, then moved to the fact that I’m built like an amazon with real boobs, and there was also that nagging fact that classical music isn’t really my thing.

But I did spend hours in pointe shoes. And for those of you who have never had the wonderful experience of pulling bloody lambs wool from between your toes, dancing in pointe shoes is not a glamorous thing. (more…)

 

The Measurement Miscalculation (Or Dimensions Off) June 17, 2015

Filed under: Hi-Ho the Glamorous Life — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
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There is an old vaudeville theatre about forty-five minutes from my house. It’s a great old space, and for years different groups have been trying to revive it.

A few years ago, a company was doing pretty well with the space. They had managed to survive and pay their actors for more than a year! Woot woot! I was visiting my Mom  for about two weeks, so we decided to get tickets to go see their production of Noises Off.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the wonderment that is Noises Off, it’s a farce about the tribulations of putting up a show. First, you see the rehearsal onstage, then the set rotates and you get to see the backstage mayhem. It’s an amazing show, and the rotating set is the icing on the cake.

The old vaudeville theatre had a raked stage, and I was really interested in seeing how they could make the set rotate on an angled floor. Well, a few days before we were supposed to go see the show, we got a call from the theatre: they had cancelled the opening week’s shows, but we could feel free to come the next week. We were still going to be around, so we changed our plans and went a week later.

We got to the theatre lobby, and there were all sorts of chatter going on. Apparently, they had had to cancel the entire first week of performances due to technical issues. And by technical issues, I mean they built the set too big to rotate. (more…)