Archive for Month: August 2016

Trying out that vacation thing

Good evening!

I think I’ve been pretty good at blogging this summer, so I don’t really feel bad about not updating for a few days. I actually needed a vacation — a total and complete vacation where I emptied my to-do-lists and tried to really enjoy the careless life of a vacationer.

I’ve told you about my weird love for stressful and incredibly tight schedules, and how “relaxing makes me more stressed.” Well, I sort of take back that last part, haha. Now that I’ve tried it I think I should probably do more of it.

Even if I have a day off from work or school I always end up working on something. It could be planning future film projects, writing scripts, applying for film festivals or researching stuff for other projects. Those are all things I LOVE to do, so I guess it sort of qualifies as recreation, but it’s not true relaxation.

So what have I been up to?

Well, I already mentioned the renovating project with my friend Rannveig, read about that HERE. I also went fishing like five times, all by myself, and I only got one fish. Success. The little fishy was so small I didn’t even notice it until I was about to throw the fishhook into the water again. I’m not sure if I’m just a lousy fisherman fisherwoman (feminism alert) or if I picked the wrong time and place… it could’ve been my fishing equipment. Yup, I’ll go for that excuse, haha. But at least it was some sort of recreation.

Night fishing. Had I not been on “vacation” I would’ve brought my DSLR camera to take an atmospheric picture of the full moon. But a blurred phone pic will have to do for now.

I also went climbing with Cecilie and advanced into a harder route up the wall. It was exhausting, but great fun.

Snapchat screenshots by Cecilie Udstuen.

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Yesterday I watched the Olympics and got so inspired I went for a two-hour bike ride. Did anyone mention sore butt/pelvis-area? Oh man, I haven’t used a bike since high middle school, and I can feel that now.

I’ve also spent a significant amount of time on coffee shops catching up with friends. In Sweden they call if “fika,” but it’s the same in Norway. We just don’t have such a fancy name for it.

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This summer has gone by so fast, and it’s hard to believe I’ll head back to the US in less than a week. Now my family’s waiting for me. Movie time, so talk to ya later.

Bless y’all,
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Sharks and Renovation

Since last update I’ve mostly spent time with my family, but I’ve also helped Rannveig and her boyfriend renovate their new apartment. My experience with refurbishment is very limited, but we figured it out, somehow.

Photo: Rannveig Froestad

I have, after all, touched a painter’s pole before, but for other reasons than redecorating walls. As a filmmaker on tight (read: non-existent) budgets, I’ve learned to find alternative ways to do things.

Which is why I figured that painter’s poles can work as cheap boom-poles for microphones.

Do it yourself-boompole, 2014.

Other than helping them out, I joined my sister, Celena, and her boyfriend to catch a movie a couple of days ago. (I love that they always let me third-wheel their dates, haha) We watched The Shallows (2016) with Blake Lively, and without spoiling too much I can say that it’s drama/horror thriller about a shark. I enjoyed it, but it was — like the title implies — sort of shallow. I would’ve wanted more depth and texture, and less predictability. But this post isn’t supposed to be a review, so I’ll get to my point shortly.

You all know I LOVE shark-movies, right? I think I’ve seen every single one since Jaws (1975), but that’s not the strange thing.

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Jaws T-shirts are the best.

What’s interesting is that I seem to be thinking about sharks all the time — and as a result,  I’ve discovered a hidden talent for making artsy food-sharks with the remainders of the food on my plate.

I know it’s rediculously childish to play with your food, but it’s kind of like an uncounscious thing for me. I just do it while talking to everyone else around the table, and by the time the waiter comes to get the plates, or when it’s time to leave, I suddenly notice the creations I’ve put together.

Here’s a grilled chicken-shark, for example.


If you look past the orange color, you’ve got to admit it’s not too shabby, huh?


I’ve made them in all different kinds of variations, and here’s a slightly friendlier cheese-version, lol.


If the only way I get to express my inner artist is through left-overs on plates, I think maybe I’m surpressing my creative sides a little too much, haha. I should make another film soon.

Now I’ll go out and enjoy the sun, so talk to you later.


A proud moment in the kitchen

Good evening!

The weather in Haugesund has been exceptionally bad this summer. A couple of days ago the thermometer showed 7°C (47°F) — It wasn’t even that cold when I got back here for Christmas last year!

Since going to the beach was out of the question I decided to bake something. I wrote a post about my ridiculously poor kitchen skills earlier this summer. Read it HERE.

If you read it, you probably remember how proud I was when all of the cakes turned out okay, and that Karen and I completely messed up, and had to throw away three batches of our “Skillingsboller” (Cinnamon rolls) last time we tried. After that I thought I’d never find the inspiration to give that particular baked good another try.

I don’t know if it was the weather or what, but yesterday I suddenly found a tremendous motivation to try again.

This is how to dress for a rainy bake-day. #Sexy

Three bad batches and an ounce humiliation wasn’t going to define my skills in the kitchen, so I read the instructions thoroughly, asked my mom for a million tips during the process —



They turned out amazing! I almost wanted to shed a tear when I saw how beautiful they were. I made these little masterpieces, I fought the rigid dough and sculpted them into several wonderful cinnamon-filled knots. I’m so proud!


I don’t want to compare it to giving birth or anything, because I’ve never had to experience that, but after my dad’s comment I’m afraid I’ll have to.

He walked into the kitchen with a face like this:

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Not bad, not bad Maria. He was clearly proud.

Then he glanced over to the corner of the table… where I’d tried to hide.. ehm… the baked thing that reminded me of why I’m not known for being a talented cook or baker.


It was supposed to be a Norwegian sweet pretzel. It looked great before it raised in the oven, I promise. I’m a pretty good ceramic sculptors, so I was happy with the design. But oh well.

My dad looked at it and laughed: “What’s this? It looks like a birth.”

Once you let your imagination work on that for a second or two, you’ll probably regret I encouraged your brain to think down those lanes, but I can assure you it was NOT supposed to look like that — at all!

My dad is a very decent man, by the way.

Anyway, this whole baking experience was — compared to earlier attempts — very rewarding. I’ll post this picture again, so that you can leave this post with a good impression of my efforts.



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Q&A Answers – Part 3

This seems to be taking a while, so please stay with me, haha. Like I mentioned in PART 1, I didn’t expect to get more than 10-15 questions, so when I got more than 70 I was a little blown away. But anyway, here comes the most recent edition of the Q&A.


Celena Lavelle:
Q: What is your favorite extra-terrestrial being? <3 <3
A: Aw, Celena <3 My favorite extra-terrestrial being is, E.T., no doubt. He’s even on my list of movie stars I’d like to meet. To those of you who are not family I just want to explain how deeply my affection for E.T. actually goes. This summer I suggested Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982) petty much every single movie-night in the Lavelle household — until we re-watched it. My fascination for film actually started when I first watched the film as a first-grader. I was so amazed I’d sometimes sneak out and try dozens of different flashlights at night, just to see if they made the same “light beams” they had in E.T. (I was, of course, to little to understand that the beams were caused by fog and dust, not the flashlight itself, haha)

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Photo: Imdb. Screenshot from “E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) Directed by Steven Spielberg.

But my fascination for this little wrinkly creature is still there. This spring my mom missed me so much she sent me this snap, and that says it all.

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Celena Lavelle:
Q: Favorite book?
A: The Bible.

Celena Lavelle:
Q: What is the most annoying sound you know?
A: This one. It’s almost worse than nails or a dry sponge on chalkboard. Ugh!

Celena Lavelle:
Q: Who is your favorite character of all time? (book & film)
A: Forrest Gump <3

Q: What is your opinion on the issue of penguins being birds but simultaneously being unable to fly?
A: Dumbo the elephant could fly, but that didn’t make him a bird. So I don’t think a specie’s animal class shouldn’t be determined by their ability to fly.

Q: What was the best news you ever received?
A: When I was 11 and the doctors told me my 3×2 inch tumour on my liver was gone, and they didn’t understand how it had happened. I believe in miracles.

Q: Have you ever gone skinny-dipping?
A: Yes, love it. Nothin’ like swimmin’ naked in the ocean.

Q: If you had to choose, what branch of the military would you be in?
A: I was actually real serious about becoming a pilot in the airforce. But my eyesight didn’t qualify, so I guess I wasn’t cut out for that.

Q: Did you get a boob job?

A: Haha, that’s the third time in a couple of weeks someone’s asked me that! Gosh, lol. No, I did not get a boob job. But maybe letting go of my ripped abs came with a few perks after all.

Q: Are you gay?
A: No.

Q: Are you single?
A: Yes.

Q: Why don’t you drink alcohol?
A: I quit drinking soda/pop more than ten years ago, and then I just stopped liking flavoured liquids. I don’t drink coffee, tea, milk or juice because of the taste, unless it’s the only available drink — I don’t make a scene about it. But alcohol simply doesn’t appeal to me. I have more fun without it, and it’s not healthy enough for me to want to force it down.

Q: Have you ever smoked a cigarette?
A: Yes.


Q: Do you still draw/paint?
A: My schedule hasn’t allowed me to draw as much as I did before, but I still have all the pencils etc, so I may pick them up one day soon.

Bless y’all,


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