Good afternoon darlings!
I’m just stopping by for a quick announcement before I head to work.
If you stop by this blog somewhat regularly you’ve probably noticed know that I’m a sociable creature. I love to meet new people, I love to spend time with people, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have lots and lots of people I have the privilege of calling my friends. I have no idea how they put up with me, and I honestly don’t think they know it either, haha.
This is an example of how they always put up with me doing my thing…
I’m not the kind of person who shows up with surprise-gifts and homemade baked goods in Mason-jars. I don’t invite people over to dinner, I don’t join them in clubbing and, unfortunately, I have a reputation for sending their birthday greetings four minutes before midnight (#timezones, but still).
In return, I choose to believe I’m a good listener, and I’m certain they all know I love and care about them. Whether they live in Norway, South Dakota, New York or somewhere else, they under stand and accept that I’ve chosen a path in life that doesn’t give me much free time, and they know I have a tendency to get very focused on the things I do. They’re okay with it, and I’m forever thankful for that.
When I’m with my friends, I give them my full attention and I keep my phone out of sight most of the time, and that’s what I’ll talk more about in this post.
Like I said, I love socializing, and I also love social media — it allows me to stay in touch with friends all over the globe, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job staying connected with most of them, even after I’ve moved across continents or oceans.
However, this is where I’ll make a slight adjustment.
Over the past year, social media — combined with an enormous amount of emails (that I actually have to respond to, as opposed to ads and spam) — has started to eat away so much of my time that I need to make a change.
Contrary to a lot of people — especially students — I actually keep my inboxes clean. I don’t leave 8,756 unopened emails hanging, but this is often what my phone looks like after just a short time away from it. This was after I returned from an hour at the gym.
Where to begin?
The emails in this case are, perhaps, on the more extreme side because of several projects and my full-time job: I can assure you it’s usually slightly less overwhelming, haha.
Even as much as I love to be connected, I’ve realized I have to give myself more work time, and less “trying-to-stay-on-top-of-all-my-social-media,-and-realizing-I-won’t-have time,-and-end-up-walking-around-feeling-guilty-because-I-don’t-make-enough-time-for-my-friends – time.”
I’ll soon start my 2nd year as an NYU Grad Film student, I have a script to write, a film to direct, and four films to produce in addition to regular school work, so I figured it was better to write this post, instead of having people wait on my ever so slow snapchat-replies, or wonder why I suddenly stopped liking your posts on Facebook or Instagram.
Before and after I’ve cleaned up my inbox.
To summarize: I’ll now reduce my social media activity drastically. I’ll turn off the notifications and only check them occasionally. I do want to stay connected with you all, but please contact me via email or text.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I can currently be reached on my Norwegian phone number. I’ll switch to my US number on August 19th.
I’ll try this for a while to see if it gives me more time. I’ll update the blog like I usually do.
Much love to you all,
Watch my Viking-film
Hello and good afternoon!
I’ve spent the weekend with my grandparents in Bergen, so I’ve been logged off social media for a couple of days. Today, however, I figured it was time to share this with y’all.
As you know, I made three films during my first year at film school.
- The 8mm black-and-white film with the bird.
- The short documentary about the Vikings.
- The narrative short about the sisters.
I’m already working on my next one, but thought maybe some of you’d be interested in watching the so-called documentary I made?
(The other two have not been published online yet due to the possibility of entering film festivals.)
Before we start watching, let me just explain a couple things.
This documentary is a so-called Observational Character Study (OCS), which means we as filmmakers were prohibited from doing interviews or directing the action in any way at all. We simply had to observe people in an environment of our choice, and then try to patch it together to a somewhat cohesive piece in the editing room.
Since we had to shoot this over Christmas break, I decided to find some interesting individuals in my hometown. The choice fell on a group of people who spend their time researching the history of the vikings and practicing real viking-crafts.
If you didn’t already know: Norway actually got its name from the sea-lane here in Haugesund, during the Viking Age. The viking history in this area is, therefore, pretty significant.
Read more HERE.
Anyway, this is what came out of my observation:
Please disregard the noise from the hurricane winds, and try to watch this with your journalist-eyes, rather than your movie-eyes.
To see some behind-the-scenes shots, feel free to watch this interview I did during the production as well:
Special thanks to
– All the members of Vikingklubben.
– Harald Ottøy and his family.
– Assistant Producer – Cathrine Glette
– Boom Operation – Fredrik Skauge.
– Production Assistant – Cecilie Udstuen.
Photo: Cecilie Utstuen.
Good evening and thanks for stopping by!
If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that my financial situation almost kept me from accepting my spot at NYU Tisch last spring. But what I haven’t told you is that my financial situation almost kept me from entering my second year at Tisch.
I had to use all my savings and resources on just making it through my first year of film school. My family, friends and even anonymous donors put a lot of work into making my dream of film school become a reality, and I did end up having enough money to make it through the year, for which I’m incredibly grateful.
As you now, my semester was filled with lots of stressful events that kept me busy, and the truth is that throughout the entire year I had no idea if I’d even be able to afford a second year at Tisch.
I chose not to worry about it, because I wanted to believe God would provide, somehow.
The Bread and the Bananas
My close friends started to notice this “economical scarcity” on my eating habits, while others probably thought I was “just on a special diet consisting of bread, bananas, yoghurt and peanut butter.” I’m not a big fan of either of those foods (certainly not after this year…), but I found that it was cheap enough for my budget and it gave me what I needed to keep going.
However, I received the most wonderful email a few weeks ago. If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, chances are you already know, but I’ll tell you again.
I got to know I’ve been accepted as a NORAM Scholar and was selected as a recipient for a scholarship that will help me close the financial gap between what I get in funds from Norway and my Tisch Scholarship.
As a result, I’ll be able to attend NYU Tisch for another year!
It’ll still be tight, and I’ll probably have to sustain myself on a few more of those banana sandwiches in this upcoming year, but receiving this scholarship lifts a huge burden off my shoulders. Combined with my reporting job this summer, I might even be able to afford some actual meals.
God is so good, and he does, indeed, provide.
Here are some pictures from the award ceremony at the Nobel Institute in Oslo:
Three Lavelles. My sister had to work, and couldn’t make it to the ceremony. But the three of us had a great time.
Have a blessed evening,
About Recovery, Travel, and the Significance of Vending Machines
Hello dear readers!
Thanks so much for the feedback and warming words on my previous post; I’m glad some of you were able to see the humor in it. I did too, it just took a while, haha.
Film school isn’t exactly known to be a health-promoting institution, and it’s no secret that very few of us grad students have the time, nor money, to eat well and exercise as regularly as we’d like. The excessive stress is also a faithful companion to some.
As a former athlete and fitness freak, this was a bit of a shock … and actually one of the hardest things I’ve had to adjust to since I moved to New York. It sound silly, but the fact that these are actual quotes heard in the halls at NYU Tisch, kind of says it all:
Person 1: “I’m so stressed I can’t eat.”
Person 2: “That sounds nice. I’m so stressed I can’t stop eating.”
Person 1: “I can’t afford dinner today.”
Person 2: “Me neither. I just eat Ramen.”
“The only food I’ve had today has been from the vending machine on the 10th floor.”
Same person a week later: “My hair is starting to fall out … I think it’s because of the vending machine.”
Another person: “The vending machine is giving me acne.”
“There was no Nutella Sticks left in the vending machine. It made me more upset than it should have — I almost cried.”
“I need to cry, but I don’t know if I have time … When is our next class?”
“I feel like I have a sword sticking out of my chest. Is that normal?”
“I’ve had this eye-twitch for weeks. I’m thinking about adding it to my resume as ‘special skill.'”
“Do you think the students who smoke are less stressed? I’m considering starting.”
Person 1: “Can you see my heart beating?”
Person 2: No, why? Are you worried you might be dead?”
Person 1: No, it’s just beating so hard and fast I feel like you can see it through my shirt.”
With these quotes in mind, it should come as no surprise that I, too, looked and felt like a haggard mammal after the school-year ended. All the stress and burdens from the semester (that you can read more about HERE and HERE) had left some marks here and there, and I felt like a zombie. When I then caught a nasty virus shortly after my arrival in Norway, things only got worse and I was in bed for over a week, feeling worse than that zombie I mentioned above.
So, when my sister — spontaneously — invited me on a trip to Sardinia in Italy, it felt like bread for the starving.
A week spent on a beach in the Mediterranean turned out to be exactly what I needed.
P.S: The Norwegian college system is designed in a way that allows students to work almost full-time on top of their studies — which in this case made my sister able to sponsor me on this trip. She knows I’m a poor artist in NYC, so this just shows what a lovely sister I’ve been blessed with. Thank you, Celena.
But after a couple days of so-called “tanning,” I needed to do something and I discovered that paddleboarding can be more fun than it looks.
Especially when you do it the wrong way.
After a week of eating and sleeping more than my lifestyle of the past year has allowed, I returned to Norway a little less exhausted. In fact, I felt more rested than I’ve been in over a year … maybe two.
I’m not sure if it had more to do with the Italian sun, or the news I received while I was there, but I’ll tell you more about that in my next post.
Have a blessed afternoon,
“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere”
Thank you for all the views and comments on my previous post — I truly appreciate y’all taking the time to follow my journey, even when the update-consistency isn’t top-notch.
As you know, I had an incident that almost turned me into a real New Yorker, but I never told you exactly what happened, so here you go:
Still high on the feedback and relief of having completed our films, my classmates and I attended the annual “end-of the year-party” with the program and faculty. And when the evening turned into the wee hours of morning and people went to the respective homes, I went to the Bowery House Hostel — my home for the next few days. (Because, you know, I lost my new apartment and was technically homeless. Read more HERE).
Once I had walked through a camping area for other homeless people, waited for almost half an hour outside the door before anyone let me in, I hauled my suitcases up four flights of stairs, took a long shower and looked forward to the first quiet night/morning in a while.
This (over-priced) hostel was — as expected — anything but spacious, and the walls separating the rooms looked more like bathroom stalls. The ceiling was basically just a grid that let no sounds go by unnoticed. I could almost hear which brand of potato chips my neighbor was eating, and there was at least two different octaves of snoring and breathing streaming out of the stalls. Some of the other sounds I’d rather not describe in too much detail, but you can probably think of something juicy on your own.
But, I decided not to care — something I’ve become increasingly good at whilst living in New York. I was just happy to have somewhere to stay after the whole apartment situation, and I laid down on the bed feeling accomplished by how adaptable I’d become.
That was, until my reading got interrupted by a brown spot in my peripheral vision.
The spot started moving further up my shirt collar — still too close for me to see what it actually was — so I grabbed it. Held it. And examined it. Yup, it was one of those little creatures I frequently googled when I first moved to New York — a bedbug. A very large bedbug. I could see all its defining features, and I was not about to let is suck my blood and infest my luggage.
They were everywhere. Here’s one I found on the wall when I grabbed my things.
So, in a pure Erin Brockowich-moment, I marched into the crowded lobby, still in my mini-shorts pyjamas, slammed the bug onto the reception desk and calmly commanded I’d get my money back and all my luggage cleaned. The reception guy, clearly freaked out, squished the bug in panic and ran to get plastic bags for me to put my clothes in. The money refund, however, wasn’t so easy.
My secret tool in situations like these is usually “sweet-innocent-immigrant-girl-with-broken-English-who-is-far-away-from-home-and-very-very-scared,” but when that doesn’t work … oh man, can I be a bitch.
I did get my money back. It just took a bit of an effort and an attitude on my part.
I didn’t even know I had the ability to be that cold and demanding at the same time, but it worked. And gosh, it was quite satisfying.
Pyjamas are clothes too
The only clothes that hadn’t been exposed to the bugs was another pajamas, still one of those mini-shorts ones, so I got changed, grabbed my laptop, harddrive, a water bottle and left this bug-infested hole they call the Bowery House.
The essentials: Harddrive (because filmschool), laptop, wallet, toothbrush, facial cleanser and a water bottle. Photo: Kai Torres.
The attention I got walking the Manhattan streets at 2 PM in this outfit was slightly different from the attention I usually get at that hour, but I called my dear friend, Kai — who already had guests at her place — but she handled the whole situation gracefully. I ended up sleeping my best night in weeks — on an air-matress on her livingroom floor.
Here’s proof, haha. That lady always knows how to capture the moments. She named this “The Cocoon.”
I got all my clothes taken care of, and I inspected every millimeter of my suitcases before I flew back to Norway. It would be a shame if I re-introduced these creatures that haven’t been a problem in Norway since the early 1900s.
Courtesy to postworld.org.
Even if this felt like an unnecessary experience — especially since I already was exhausted from weeks of around-the-clock working — I chose to see it as a rite of passage. I’m definitely one step closer to being a New Yorker now, haha.
I still don’t have anywhere to live on Manhattan, but I choose to hang onto what Frank Sinatra would’ve said:
But more importantly, what God says:
Now let’s see what He has in store.
I’m currently in Italy, relaxing and recharging, so all the stress from the semester feels a little more distant right now. Will tell you more later.
Have a blessed evening,
Jewelry by Skjaeraasen.no. Photo by Rannveig Froestad.