Thursday, April 30, 2009

An Indian Night/ Indisk Aften



Yesterday, Pauline and I finally got to watch Slumdog Millionaire. Yes, I've been wanting to see that movie for a long time, and it had been a while since it was in the big theatres. Luckily for us, Varsity Theatre in the U-District showed it for a week or so.



It is the second time I get to watch a movie here, last time was the documentary "Ballerina".
This theatre has run movies since 1940! The lobby is tiny, and serves popcorn and tickets from the same counter. Red velvet walls, a narrow staircase leading up to the two small rooms upstairs.

The theatre shows a good mix of Hollywood favorites, independent movies and foreign language movies.

I really liked Slumdog Millionaire. It is tough to watch, especially since much of what we get to see is real life for millions of people, but I appreciated the way it was constructed, half "dream-story", half hard reality. Pauline has had a big project about India in school now, and it was a good learning experience for her.




By the way, before the show, we had dinner at "Jewel of India", a family run Indian restaurant in the same street as the theatre. A real Indian Night!



I går var jeg og Pauline og så Slumdog Millionaire. Evigheter siden den gikk på "vanlige" kinoer her, men nå gikk den en ukes tid på The Varsity Theatre, - en kino etter min brors hjerte, tror jeg. Bare hør: Den er blant en gruppe kinoer, som er under paraplynavnet "Landmark Theatres", en landsdekkende kjede av ca. 60 kinoer som ønsker å fremme selvstendig film. (åtte av dem ligger i Seattle!)



Varsity Theatre, som har vært der siden 1940, ligger i University District, har en bitteliten lobby, hvor billetter og popcorn selges over samme disk, det er røde fløyelsvegger, og en smal trapp som slynger seg oppover til de to små salene. Kinoen viser en god blanding av selvstendige (ofte "smale") filmer, Hollywood-favoritter og utenlandske filmer.

Var her også for et par måneder siden, så dokumentaren "Ballerina" (russisk-fransk), og nå var det altså Slumdog. Jeg likte filmen! Deler var vanskelig å se, men det er den harde virkelighet for millionvis av mennesker, og jeg satte pris på hvordan filmen var konstruert, delvis drømmehistorie, delvis hard virkelighet.

Forresten, - før forestillingen spiste vi middag på "Jewel of India", en familiedrevet indisk restaurant i samme gate som kinoen. Skikkelig indisk aften, med andre ord!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Norwegians turned local?

I'm getting the feeling we have managed to "integrate" rather well these few months!  
One child in middle school, one in elementary and two in preschool.  
Pauline takes drama classes after school and sings in a church choir on the other side of Lake Washington, Samuel has been doing fencing (French Foil, - The Art of Fencing), and is now doing track & field twice a week.  
Alma is dancing ballet at Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and has a show coming up, "Petite Finale" in a couple of weeks. 
The two oldest kids are talking, reading and writing English without problems, Alma is getting a real american twist to her pronunciation (even when she speaks Norwegian sometimes!), and she is starting to read in English.  
Jonatan is saying Mommy, Daddy, Bye-bye, apple and Wow! :-)
I've joined a book club, I sing in a choir too, and we are all enjoying spending time with our Washingtonian friends!  Jon is riding the bike to his job at the university, and like a real Green Lake-resident, is running around the lake once in a while.
I really think this should qualify as being well integrated! :-)


Jeg begynner å føle at vi har rukket å bli "vel integrert" på noen måneder.
Ett barn på middle school, ett på elementary school og to i preschool.
Pauline har drama etter skolen og synger i et kirkekor på andre siden av Lake Washington,
Samuel har drevet med fekting (Fransk fektekunst) og trener nå friidrett to ganger i uka,
Alma går på ballettskolen til Pacific Northwest Ballet, og der øves det nå til forestilling, "Petite Finale" om et par uker.
De to eldste barna snakker, leser og skriver engelsk som bare det, Alma har begynt å få virkelig amerikansk uttale (til og med når hun snakker norsk noen ganger!), og hun har begynt å lese litt på engelsk.
Jonatan sier Mommy, Daddy, Bye-bye, apple og Wow!
Jeg er med i en bokklubb, synger også i kor, og alle seks trives godt sammen med de innfødte! Jon Yngve sykler til jobben på universitetet, og som en ekte Green Lake'r, jogger rundt innsjøen nå og da.
Jeg synes virkelig dette kvalifiserer for tittelen "vel integrert" :-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SPRING / VÅR


"Primavera" (The Spring) by Botticelli is also among my favorites, and it can be seen (like "the Announciation" by Leonardo) in the Galleria degli Uffici in Florence, Italy.  
I choose it today to illustrate that spring finally is here. Yes I know, the warm weather is teasing us, showing up for a few days, and then disappearing again, but it doesn't really matter. The scent of flowers, earth and trees, and the sounds of birds who are busy building nests, that is spring to me. The world coming back to life, the circle starting over again.

"Primavera" (Våren) av Botticelli er også blant mine favoritter, og det kan sees (som "Bebudelsen" av Leonardo) i Galleria degli Uffici i Firenze.
Jeg velger det i dag for å illustrere at våren endelig er her.  Ja da, jeg vet at det varme været erter oss, viser seg noen dager, og forsvinner igjen, men det gjør egentlig ingenting.  Duften av blomster, jord og trær, og lyden av fugler som er travelt opptatt med redebygging, det er det som er vår for meg.  Verden våkner til live igjen, sirkelen starter på nytt.

From Moon to Manhattan...

Yes, I finished New Moon.  It was harder to read than Twilight, not because the content was tougher, but because the atmosphere was so depressing.  I liked to read it, though, and it became better towards the last part of the book.  I love the way the author is creating a universe, a set of givens that you just have to accept to be able to follow the story.  I'm definitively going to read the two last books, but right now I'm relaxing with

Shopaholic takes Manhattan!

I truly believe that I need these kinds of books right now, and I'm looking forward to getting started!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swan Lake - Svanesjøen


I saw Swan Lake today, at Pacific Northwest Ballet.  
Tchaikovsky's powerful music, the heartbreaking story, 
and the amazing work of many, many artists made this a beautiful and unforgettable experience.

Jeg så Svanesjøen i dag, på Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle's egen ballett.
Tchaikovskys mektige musikk, den tragiske historien,
og den fantastiske innsatsen fra mange, mange artister,
gjorde dette til en vakker og uforglemmelig opplevelse!




Friday, April 17, 2009

The last survivor / Den siste overlevende



I was listening to the radio this morning, and heard that Milvina Dean had to cancel her talk at the University of Southhampton, England, due to ill health.

She is 97 years old and the very last survivor of the Titanic. She was supposed to answer questions today, about how the Titanic tragedy affected her life.

I just couldn't stop thinking about this woman. She was only nine weeks old when the ship sank on April 15th 1912.  Her dad felt the collision with the iceberg, and he went downstairs (3rd class...) to his wife to tell her to dress the children and take them up on the deck. Milvina was carried aboard a life boat, where she was brought to safety, together with her mother and brother. Her father drowned.
Her father had the dream of starting anew in America, where they would have more opportunities than in England. They were not supposed to be on this ship, though, but because of a coal strike, their ship Philadelphia (and other steamers) had to wait until there was enough coal to get hold of. (Titanic's maiden voyage was priority)
White Star Line got in touch with Milvina's father, asked him if they could consider rebooking to the Titanic. He was all excited about it, the ship was so famous...

Milvina did never marry, never did she have any children. Today, at 97, she has a hard time paying for her nursing home, and she is actually auctioning away her belongings now, to get money...
I have all sorts of feelings thinking about her, about her life, about Time.  She was there...

Jeg hørte på radioen i morges, at Milvian Dean hadde måttet avlyse foredraget sitt på Universitetet i Southhampton, på grunn av sykdom.
Hun er 97 år gammel, og den aller siste overlevende fra Titanic.  Hun skulle svare på spørsmål fra salen i dag, om hvordan Titanic-tragedien har påvirket livet hennes.
Jeg klarte ikke å slutte å tenke på denne kvinnen, som bare var ni uker gammel da Titanic sank, 15. april i 1912.  Faren hennes følte det, da skipet traff isfjellet, og han gikk ned til lugaren (3. klasse...) for å be sin kone om å kle på barna og komme opp på dekk.



Milvina Dean today







Milvina as a baby, with her mother and brother

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I miss Norway...

This was my five-year old's words this morning, when she was waking up.
After three months, it's the first time we hear that phrase...
I talked to her, asked what she missed the most,
and after thinking for a while, she said "My little lamb". (A stuffed animal)

Then she jumped out of bed and went ahead playing with the yarn-and-paper box cabel car system she and Samuel are working on in their room.

"Jeg savner Norge", sa femåringen min da hun våknet i dag.
Etter tre måneder er det den første gangen vi hører en av dem si den setningen...
Jeg snakket med henne en stund, og spurte henne hva hun savnet mest,
og etter å ha tenkt seg om, sa hun "Det lille lammet mitt" (et kosedyr)

Så spratt hun ut av senga og begynte å leke med taubanesystemet av garn, papir og bokser som hun og Samuel driver og lager på rommet .




Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hawaii Style Chicken

Well, that's what I called it, what I cooked for dinner tonight. Had a ready-made sauce that said "Hawaii Style", and I used it to enhance my "take what I can find in the vegetable drawer in the fridge and add chicken"- dish. (The vegetables ended up being onions, carrots, cellery and red pepper) I also added quite a lot of pineapple, and after letting it simmer for 20 minutes or so,I served the whole thing with white rice. All four kids (and I) loved it!
I'm steering the ship by myself again, but only for a few days this time. Right now the radio is entertaining me with "sappy love songs" (Delilah's own words!), three kids are sleeping, one is doing her homework, and I am going to get my book and a glass of red wine, and curl up on the coach.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New book - New Moon

Wow, couldn't put down that book, and towards the end I almost forgot to breathe...

The pace really changes in that last part of the story. From everyting being on the inside, in the unsaid, in the scents, thoughts and feelings, it becomes somewhat of an action movie. There is a lot of suspense, and like I said, I could hardly breathe, but there was a part of me who longed for that still life setting I was used to from earlier in the story.

Well, I'm starting on the sequel now, New Moon. I actually have this down-feeling that I often get between books, like the next one can't possible be that good. There is a kind of grief in it. I was eager for the book to finish, to see the end, but then I'm sad, like I lost somebody, a companion, when the book is over.

I also wonder how the author possibly can write three more books here, - since I felt sort of a closure when the first one was read.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm sold...

Yes, I have to admit, I love reading this book! I'm going to finish Twilight tonight, and I can't wait to get to book nr. 2...
I really think it's brilliant, the language, the plot, the suspense. I find myself holding my breath, feeling that I'm there. I relate to Bella, to this "school-nerd" book-loving girl, who is so unsure of herself.
I have to get back to my book. See you.

God Påske / Happy Easter!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Three books ahead now!

Yes, I finished Revolutionary Road. I liked the book. That is, I think it is a troubling story, not easy to read, but it is very well written. Frank and April's relationship sits in the middle of the plot. You keep wonder what their problem really is, and then it is sort of obious too...
A good description of the American suburb in the 1950's.
The ending is rough.

Then I read "People of the Book" by Geraldine Brooks. A totally different story, or I should rather say stories, since it is several smaller stories wowen togehter to make a very special tapestry of a book. There is suspense, and you get to care about these different people. The main carachter is Hanna Heath, and Australian, who is working on the restauration of an old Jewish book. We are in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and the year is 1996.
We learn about Hanna's work, her life, past and present, and we learn about all those persons who take part in the book's history.

Right now I am reading Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. I started two days ago, and I am halfway through it. I feel drawn into the story about Bella Swan. The strange thing is that only a few weeks ago (se older post here) I was in Forks, Washington! I went hiking in the woods there, and I saw the beaches with huge driftwood trees on them, just like I'm now reading about in the book. Strange. I had no idea this book took place in Forks when I decided to go there.

Oregon trip

We had a wonderful trip down the Oregon Coast last week.

The Pacific Ocean,
wind and kites,
rain and tide pools,
sea lions and starfish,
To finish, the city of Portland
and a peek at Olympia.
The last day, we had gorgeous weather,
and we got to see all the big volcanoes:
Mount Hood, Mount St Helens and Mount Rainier.


The old lighthouse at Yaquina Head







The Newport Bridge
(with rain on the lens...)







The Pacific Ocean, 
by...






The Oregon Dunes 







Kite flying!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Summer in April /Sommer i april


I will write more about our spring break trip to Oregon,
but right now I just have to say that summer in April is sort of nice.
I was sitting on the roof deck this morning, with my coffee and breakfast, 
reading, while the baby was napping and the three older kids where in school/preschool,
and every once in a while I would let my gaze soar over the lake, 
the park, rooftops, 
and the snow-capped mountains in the distance.
There wasn't a single cloud in that glittering, blue sky,
and the air was full of sweet scents from hyacinths and cherry blossoms.
They say it won't last, but I really don't care, because I don't need every day to be like this.  I like the tapping sound of rain on the window, the fresh feel of clean earth, and the obvious excuse to stay indoors if I want to.
A day like this April summer day is maybe even more wonderful to me because it's rare.