Archive for Month: April 2015

The student-athlete

For my latest photo assignment I got to follow one of Augustana’s promising 400m runners, Karen Joesdendal, as she went through her hectic day as a student athlete.

Watch the video below!

Movies of the week

Since I haven’t been allowed to do much training this past week, I’ve had a lot more time on my hands than usual. That means I’ve been able to work ahead on my homework, and even more importantly – nourish my passion for movies. Okay, maybe it’s not exactly more important, but it’s certainly more fun!

Below are the movies I’ve watched over the past week, as well as my own personal opinion about them.

Woman in Gold (2015)
Woman In Gold
Y’all know I have a “weakness” for true stories, and this one was no exception. It was a little on the slow side, but considering how lengthy the character’s mission actually was, I think the pace of the film fit the story. Helen Mirren’s jaunty character also helped speed things up a bit. Overall, a high quality motion picture, and I don’t see how it could have been done much differently. In my opinion they managed to make the most out of the story, but the story didn’t quite hit the “OMG this is amazing-button” in my heart.

Cinderella (2015)
Cinderella
As a kid I was never really fond of princesses, because I never identified with them. I was more into Tarzan and Peter Pan, so my expectations for this one were not exactly sky-high. However, the movie was put together in such a beautiful way that it brought out the girly-girl in me. They successfully kept the moral of the story, without getting too lost in the glossiness of the fairytale.

The longest ride (2015)

Author Nicholas Sparks has done it again. This time I think the movie did justice to the story (as opposed to “The best of me (2014) “ which was too predictable, and offered a rather poor choice of actors.) There was something so bright and energetic about it, that made me unable to see it as a clichรฉ.

True story (2015)

Now this is a weird one! When Michael Finkel, a New York Times journalist gets fired, an accused killer steels his identity. Finkel then puts the investigation of the murder into his own hands. And from there… well, the situation takes a number of unexpected turns. I can’t believe I didn’t get bored for a single second, because there was little to no action, but yet it was just so captivating that I was at the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. I’m surprised someone even came up with the idea of producing the film, but somehow it just works. Watch it and you’ll see.

The age of Adaline (2015)

Adaline Bowman was born in 1908, but after a car accident at age 29 – she would never age a day in her life. In fact, she was able to stay 29 throughout eight decades. After watching the trailer I thought it seemed pretty cheesy, and I initially thought I’d made a mistake by paying $10 to watch it, but in the moment I was about to lose hope – it just sucked me right in. With absolutely stunning cinematography, good acting, and believe it or not, a very compelling story – I couldn’t help it but to like it.. a lot.


Cake
(2014)

Hmm.. this is a tough one. I must admit that I was impressed by Jennifer Aniston’s performance. To me she has (alongside Sandra Bullock and Cameron Diaz) always been the queen of romantic comedies, and to see her portray a character like Claire was somewhat refreshing – because it was different. But at the same time, the story was so incredible dark, heavy, slow, tragic, painful, uncomfortable and without drive that I can’t say I liked it very much.

 

Furious 7 (2015)

You know that feeling when you walk into a perfumery, and all the wonderful smells become so overwhelming that after a while, you’re unable to smell any of them? That’s how this movie was. I’ve always been a fan of the Fast & Furious movies, but this one simply went over the top with action. By the end I was so fed up with explosions, wrecked cars and extravagant stunts that I just wanted to go home. However, the memorial scenes of Paul Walker were beautiful and somewhat saved my overall impression of the film.

 

Big eyes (2014)

Another true story, and another creepy good performance by Christoph Waltz. That guy sure knows how to portray charismatic sociopaths! I loved the 1950-1960 San Francisco vibe, and despite the bittersweet core of the story, I found it quite enjoyable.

Yves Saint Laurent (2014)
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This is a french biopic about one of the most famous fashion designers of all time. It certainly displays some of that elegance and style you would expect to see from the inside of Paris’ fashion houses in the 1950s, but even the great triumphs and successes of Yves Saint Laurent’s life seems to be overshadowed by the cloudy darkness that filled his life. The unpleasant atmosphere is very similar to “La vie en rose (2007)”. Considering that it’s a true story, that particular tone is perhaps necessary in order to portray the events just the way things were… but it made it rather uncomfortable to watch.

Well, there you go! These are my own opinions about whether or not I LIKED the films. Just because I didn’t like all of them, does not mean they are bad films – Just sayin’

Bless y’all,
Maria

Saturday

Since the track teams is in Iowa to compete at the Drake Relays this weekend, and I’m still not allowed to do anything with my foot, I decided to try to enjoy the day in alternative ways.

After 10 hours of sleep and a decent brunch, I made sure to get some sun on my pale body. I’m typically not a big fan of sunbathing, but realized I might as well try to utilize the nice weather now before I go back to Norway (where it rains 100 times more than here.) Besides, my doctor told me to get plenty of vitamin D, so the tan is just a mere side-effect of his prescribed treatment ๐Ÿ˜‰ He also told me to start eating more calories and fat (!) so I went to Diary Queen for a big ice cream and as well. In other words, I was really busy enjoying the first part of the day!

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Later, we went to Johnny Carino’s to celebrate Melissa’s birthday. It was a blast! I should probably have spent the night studying for the biology exam I have on Monday instead though… But I was surrounded by a bunch of super smart biology majors, and that has got to count for something, right? In fact, I was the only person around the table who’s not majoring in bio.

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Oh, and I forgot to mention, I wore two shoes today – which means no boot! Yaay!

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God bless y’all,
Maria

Track is not healthy

My track career has been a huge success!๐Ÿ˜ #dontgiveup

A post shared by marialavelle1 (@marialavelle1) on

In that case I think we can all agree that my Track & Field “career” has been a success… haha. In the post “It ain’t all sunshine” I mentioned that I missed out on the entire track season of 2010, half of 2012, all of 2013, 2014 and now at least half of 2015. I then received some questions about what exactly happened. I know this might be of zero interest to most of you, but since this blog already contains a great deal of track material, I might as well share it with y’all.

Well, I began my track and field adventure in 2004, at age 11. The morning after I’d done my first practice ever, I woke up feeling sick. Very sick, in fact I was so sick I got hospitalized for the next eight weeks. Turned out it had nothing to do with the practice itself, but rather a mysterious infection that made my organs shut down. I also lost one third of my body weight during the stay at the hospital. However, I recovered extremely quickly, which according to the doctors was nothing short of a miracle. Thank God! I decided to give track another try the following year. Things went great, and I jumped an inch higher than my own head at age 14, which to this day probably stands as one of my best sports performance xD Anyway, I placed top 3 in most competitions all the way through 2009.

2010
This time I was forced to sit out 90% of the season because of an ankle injury which ended my “career” as a high jumper. During that time, I discovered a new passion in Olympic Weightlifting. After a cortisone injection I was able to save some of the track season with a bronze in the triple jump at Youth Nationals.

2011
Was amazing, both on the track and the weightlifting platform. I became the National Champion in Olympic weightlifting for both Seniors and Juniors, got to represent the National team on the track as well.

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2012
I got a stress fracture in my shin bone. Read more about that HERE

2013
I wasn’t able to return to jumping until September 2013. And since the season ends in September I didn’t get to compete at all that year. Then, literally a week after I had done my first practice, I managed to run a milk trolley over my foot at work, so I was back on crutches.

I have the tendency to make weird videos when I’m injured.. to cheer myself up and kill some of that extra time I have when I can’t work out..

2014
Leading up to 2014 I had trained very well and was planning on doing a “comeback” that season.. but then I tore parts of my meniscus. So I had to wave goodbye to yet another season.

2015
First season in America, and my ankle decided to get a “stress fracture” So I only got to do one triple jump meet.
On the bright side I got to work on my handstand skills.

Now that I’ve had a couple of weeks off, I’ve had some time to think and ask myself: WHY IN THE WORLD AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF? Well.. I don’t know.
But I guess some place deep inside I’m hoping I’ll be able to let it go someday. Knowing that I did my best, I worked hard, I kept going when many would have given up, and that someday I can close that chapter without feeling that I lost something. On the other hand.. I guess what I’m really hoping is that all this work will pay off someday, so that I can retire with the feeling of some kind of accomplishment.

But either way, I’m excited to see what God has in store – whether it’s on or off the track.

Portrait: Grant Elliott

A few posts ago I mentioned that I’ve been working on a “documentary” for one of my journalism classes. I was privileged enough to follow a bunch of extraordinary people from Augustana College Theatrical Society. There’s just something special about working around actors. They’re so refreshingly outgoing, free-spirited, focused and ambitious.

With all the footage I shot, I could probably make a full 90-minute feature story, but since this particular assignment only required four minutes, you’ll simply have to be okay with the “short version” for now.

This is Grant Elliott and his story:

(To watch in HD, press the pinion down to the right)

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