Archive for Month: September 2015

Football is an art, even for the photographer

Hello y’all!

I just realized I haven’t actually updated the blog properly since last Sunday, so here’s a brief summary of what I’ve done since then.

On Tuesday I went on my first official run after the stress fracture. At 7 a.m. the rain was pouring outside, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a 15 minute run that much!


Then I ran through the shower on my way to the second shoot for the new video I’m working on. Except for classes and homework, that’s pretty much what I’ve done all week. I’m quite sure I’ll soon be known as the”camera-girl” on campus. A title I won’t be too offended by actually, haha!

For the volleyball and soccer shoots I was fortunate enough to have my very own camera assistant with me. Karen did an amazing job handing me all the stuff I needed at the right time. But more importantly, it was a lot of fun.


However, Saturday’s football shoot was a bit more challenging than I had expected. The “producer” and I decided to direct our attention to player number 28, because he’s the interview object for the TV special. Having shot the volleyball and soccer game earlier that week, I thought it would run just as smoothly… but I could not have been more wrong. I quickly realized that shooting football is an art in itself. First of all, when you’re trying to get some shots from the sideline, and you’re surrounded by a bunch of 6’3″ (1.90m) tall giants, you camera angles suddenly get a little restricted. Second of all, to even find player number 28 in the group of 99 players dressed in the exact same gear felt like mission impossible — especially since each team is being swapped like every 5 minutes. So when I had finally worked my way through the masses of large men dressed in golden jerseys, the entire sideline was suddenly changed with new players. vikings1

And when I spotted number 28, it was his turn to step onto the field, so I had to run back to change my camera lens to a lens that was more fitted for distance shots. Of course, in the moment I was ready to shoot, he was no longer on the field, and I had to change the lens again. Do you see what I’m trying to explain here? It was hard. The 29-degree-celcius-no-wind-weather inside the stadium didn’t make it any easier either. But I got the shots — eventually. And I learned a lot from it too.

The player I was following around did a great game yesterday. Here, he’s on his way to a touch down.

To celebrate the end of an intense day, we went to the movie theatre to watch “The Intern,” which was really cute btw.

Today I went for another run, had breakfast, did homework and now I’m about to head to theatre rehearsal.

Bless ya,

Restaurant Review: Texas Roadhouse

One of the highlights of my week is when I can get together with good friends, catch up and talk about life at a nice restaurant. I wrote a post a few weeks ago, explaining why I’d easily choose a restaurant over a night club any day. But it costs money, and with a hectic schedule, I don’t always have the time for it. However, when one of my journalism assignments required me to write a restaurant review, I didn’t exactly hesitate. I had the perfect excuse to spend both time and money with friends. Below the pictures, you can read my very first restaurant review:



Texas Roadhouse, Sioux Falls

The sound of steak knifes against porcelain plates and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” blends in with the constant hum of chatter and cracking of peanuts. It’s 5 p.m. at the Texas Roadhouse this Saturday. The dimly lit room is whirling of people in flannel shirts and cowboy boots. The smell is surprisingly sweet and cinnamon-like for a steakhouse, but the open kitchen testifies that they do, in fact, serve meat here. A young waitress approaches us, shows us our table and takes our drink orders – all within the first two minutes after our arrival. She blows her hair away from her damp forehead, and then slides away as quickly as she showed up.

The basket of oven-fresh rolls and the cinnamon butter cream on our table explains the sweet smell that met us a moment earlier. Next to the rolls, there’s a milk pail filled with whole peanuts. Despite of the crowdedness and lack of light, the restaurant seems spacious. The wooden walls are sparingly decorated with scenic pictures of Native American chiefs, flags, plates and bullhorns. On one of the many rafters above our booth, there’s dozens of placks honoring the restaurant’s guests who managed to consume the prestigious 40 oz. steak. By the time we open our menus, Dolly Parton’s voice has been replaced with another country classic, and the atmosphere is impeccable.

The menu offers everything from burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken, “Fall-off-the-bone ribs,” pot roasts, salmon, shrimp, catfish, hot-dogs and, of course, the hand cut steaks they are so known for. For a steakhouse, they offer an impressive number of salads as well. However, the customer who skims through the salad page with the hope of finding a weight loss-friendly option might want to reconsider their choice of restaurant. The 1030 kcal Caesar salad will hardly fit into the textbook diet plan.

On the other hand, the customer without any diet restrictions will find that the Texas Roadhouse makes it incredibly easy to exceed the recommended daily amount of calories. The quality of the meat is in a class of its own, and the chef’s careful preparation becomes evident when the tenderness of the steaks is close to extreme. The knife next to my plate is massive enough to save someone’s life in the jungle, but doesn’t get to fulfill its potential – because the meat is practically as tender as the topping of a pumpkin pie. The 6 oz. “Dallas filet” ($12) could not possibly have been any better, and served together with steak fries and green beans, the serving size was perfect. A grown male should however, consider going with the 8 or 10 oz. size.

The “Fall-off-the-bone rib,” ($9) certainly lives up to its name. And unless the customer is of the same caliber as the people on the rafter placks, they should be prepared to bring a box of leftovers back home with them. They could always leave it for the many flies that flew around the table at all times, but I doubt flies know how to properly appreciate meat of such divine taste.

With only three different cakes to pick from, the dessert section could have been better. But the lack of sugary goods doesn’t do much harm to the overall impression of the restaurant. My friends and I came to the conclusion that after finishing our main course, desserts were completely out of the question.

The delicious sweet rolls, peanuts, meat, fries and vegetables had already covered our nutritional needs for the next few days, so we left the roadhouse and its movie-like atmosphere, outstanding service and all-American vibe feeling satisfied.

Maria Lavelle

I met an Oscar winning director today

God afternoon!

Now I just got back from this week’s Cinema Falls presentation. Cinema Falls is a film club here i Sioux Falls where you can get together with other movie nerds and watch great cinematic art. Today was not an ordinary presentation though, because South Dakota’s first and only Oscar winner (yet), Barbara Schock was there to speak. She got her Academy Award in 2000 for Best Short Film, and now she’s a member of the Academy, and the first female to be the chair of the Graduate film program at New York University. (To all Norwegian readers: Graduate School is where you go after college to get a Master’s degree, or to specialize within a certain field.)

She even brought her Oscar with her, and in case you wondered — it was really heavy.


After listening to Barbara talk about NYU, I must say that it sounds like an awesome school for filmmakers. It has actually been ranked as the top three best film schools in the WORLD, so no wonder why it sounded so wonderful. But it’s    e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e     -_-

I don’t think it’s a must for directors to go to film school, or at least that’s what Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood says. But it can certainly be an advantage. Sooo if it’s meant to be, it’ll be 😉 haha


After the presentation we had dinner together with the faculty and everyone else who attended the presentation. To my big surprise, I noticed that I’m not the only person interested in film around here. Cool!

I have an early swim tomorrow, so I better go to bed soon — Good night sweeties,
– Maria Lavelle



It’s 10 o’clock, and I’m in my room waiting for the cafeteria to open.. bah, only one more hour now, so hang in there! I woke up at 8, which probably had something to do with the fact that I went to bed at 10 p.m. yesterday. (6:30 a.m. workouts tend to do that to you)

Today I’ll move all my stuff into my new room. Oh, I think maybe I forgot to tell you why — there’s a water leak from the window in the one I have now. (Which shouldn’t be a huge problem, given that it only rains like four days each semester here — but I’d rather have a room without mold in it).

Last selfie in this room:

Yesterday I went to the movie theater to watch “Paper Towns.” I’m almost embarrassed I haven’t already seen that one — It’s getting kinda “old” now. Usually, I watch every movie that comes out within two days of its premiere… I don’t know which of the two are the most embarrassing actually… This past summer I was simply too busy, and the tickets were very expensive in Norway. So I better catch up now that I’m in the US! It was okay by the way, not as great as I had been hoping for, but ok.

Hmm… So what else is new?

I actually performed my monologue yesterday too! (It’s been pushed forward twice, but yesterday I finally got to do it). And it was great, I really loved it haha! Here comes a confession: I did actually want to become an actress when I was younger. And back in 2012 I was just a plane ticket away from moving to LA to study at Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute… But when that didn’t work out, I almost forgot about everything that had to do with acting — up until now. So in case you wondered, this is not some newly discovered interest. But to any new readers, the real reason why I take acting classes this year is so that I can take the directing classes next year.

Since my last update I’ve had a meeting with the Athletic department at Augie about the video I’m going to do for TV in November. So the interviews and shoots for the next few weeks are all settled. I also took some headshots of my friend Charissa’s grad school applications. I’ve never really done “professional headshots” before, but I think they turned out pretty well.


I should get dressed and head for brunch, so talk to ya later!

– Maria Lavelle

Just a quick random update from Augie

At this very moment I’m sitting in the Huddle, (a café on campus) doing some scheduling for next week. For some reason I thought I’d have so much more time on my hands now that I don’t do track anymore, but I was kinda really wrong. Never have proper scheduling been more necessary haha! I’m taking 16 credits, I work as a section editor in the yearbook, became a member of the film club, Cinema Falls – and after lunch I’ll head to a meeting with some people who wants me to direct a short program for TV. I still don’t know the details, or if I even want to do it, but we’ll see.

Yesterday I got the results from the most recent MRI scan of my ankle, and it showed that the stress fracture has healed! Thank God!

But because of a scar tissue and a bad ligament it’ll probably still hurt to run for the next few years, but it’s not a “harmful” kind of pain. So I’ll give jogging a try, in addition to the swimming.


Oh I almost forgot, my last couple of blog posts have mostly consisted of school and homework, but on Sunday I did actually indulge in some time-off! “The International Crew” had an exclusive lunch at a Chinese Buffet, and it was delicious.


Yesterday, our Professor agreed on having the lecture outside in the nice weather, pretty sweet!

This was a random post.

Have a blessed day everyone,
Maria Lavelle

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