tilly_stratford: (Cello in the rain)
I've just recieved the news that celebrated author and somewhat controversial artistic director Stig Sæterbakken passed away last night. He was also one of my two main tutors in creative writing at the Academy. He was an invaluable part of one of the richest experiences of my life.

Thinking back... Truth to tell, I used to find him intimidating. Most of us (including me) had only just finished our primary education and were straight out of our childhood homes, and at that point Sæterbakken was one of the more abrasive people I'd ever met. We had differing opinions on literature, we'd disagree and argue, I'd be frustrated at his demands of me as a writer. If you'd compare our tutors to the "good cop; bad cop" scenario, he'd be the bad one.

It's one of those things that sadly only becomes clear in retrospect: He taught me some vital lessons. As exasperating as it was, he had me defending my choices, my work; he forced me to scrutinize every comma and word; I had to learn how to better express why I thought this or that; and also, maddening as it was, to learn to admit when I was wrong.

Of course, the picture I paint of him isn't the whole truth - he wasn't just some stern schoolteacher; he brimmed with literary knowledge, he had a great mischievious and dark sense of humour, and he probably adored language more than anyone else I've ever met - he'd delight in certain words and phrases, and in sharing them with us.

A memory: We were critiquing one of my short stories in class and he told me, "This line you wrote, this sentence, is wonderful." and knowing him, I'd never been more certain in my life I wasn't recieving some empty praise, I knew I'd finally made something that was good all by itself. He was stern, but always fair, always honest. And I'll always cherish that memory.

So here's to the importance of resistance and abrasiveness in the development of... well, everything, and to the man who made me realize that. Rest in peace.
tilly_stratford: (Perdy shapes)
Now you think that I
Will be something on the side
But you got to understand
That I need a man
Who can take my hand, yes I do


Ah, had a lovely time at Lillehammer. Suddenly it hits you like a comfortable ton of bricks (okay, my similes are broken today) how utterly at ease you are with the old gang. Also, strange thing meeting other former Academy students, all with the same deep love and respect for the school.

God, what fun. My gang skipped the debates and instead sat outside with ice lollies and beer, discussing politics, movies and the Sicilian mafia. I was sort of worried it would all become one great big nostalgia fest, but yup, they're still interesting people. Why do we all have to be scattered about the whole of Norway?

Some of the current students had made a kickin' band, which might have had a name but one I didn't catch, that mixed both various folk music and genres wonderfully. There was both willow flute and didgeridoo, both Det står en friar uti garden and Another brick in the wall. We danced all night and had a ball.

Wonderful time. I guess the Academy'll be celebrating a 75th anniversary in five years' time, I better make something of my life by then.

In other non-academy news, [livejournal.com profile] linnpuzzle brought my attention to the fact that the Danish cartoon Valhall has been uploaded to YouTube, so I rewatched it yesterday. God, I remember having this on video when I was a kid. The scene where Thor dances with the old lady still freaks me out.

I have some faint memory of reading Madsen's cartoons with my then best friend Marris as a kid, but that was sometime after I had read Tor Åge Bringsværd's excellent picture books about Norse Mythology, which are somewhat closer to the source material (beastiality, prostitution, genital torture and all), so I didn't feel the need to dabble very much in the more humorous cartoons. But God, that movie...

Actually (okay, now I'm feeling my geek muscles flexing), that movie is a very handy way to sort out a very old misunderstanding, because Logi makes an appearance.

During a translation to German... )

Good lord, why do I remember every little bit about the Ragnarok and not my multiplication tables? This is because I was dropped on my head as an infant, I just know it...
tilly_stratford: (Whatever! - Paul)
When I was a young boy
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band
He said, "Son when you grow up
Would you be the savior of the broken
The beaten and the damned?"


The first half of this song is currently one of the loveliest songs I know of, but after a minute and a half or so it just goes into the sort of song territory I'm not interested in.

Is that me growing old or what? (And I have issues with the line "reeling from decimated dreams". What, only nine tenths of all your dreams came true? Oh, you poor thing.)

Oh, so much things I should be getting on with. I should pack (the Humanistic Academy is celebrating its seventieth anniversary over the weekend), clean my room (again. I don't really want to come back on Sunday to this mess), and study some more for the multiple choice biology exam tomorrow.

I know that I can utterly own the mechanics of the inner ear if I just can concentrate long enough. I don't know if it's because I've picked up a thing or two by learning about my sister's tinnitus, but the inner ear workings always seems so logical to me. More logical than other anatomy anyway. You happen upon a thing like the tensor tympani, you apply a bit of logic, and voila!

Anyway, that's what I should be doing, but suddenly I find a scanlation of Youka Nitta's Winter cicada and I wonder if I still find it a wonderful story now I'm, what, five-six years older. I've heard about it being animated, but I don't think I'll be checking it out. Well, maybe if I'll ever feel like pranking my weaboo ex. "Hey, I found this anime, and it's got all the things you love! Tokugawa period, sword fights, manly samurai falling in love with eachother." Oh yes, maybe as revenge for him making me watch subbed Hellsing (argh, do those accents hurt your ears!).

And then I realized that although I could never find those old musicals that weren't great hits (but had some spectacular scenes), I can find those scenes on YouTube, like Gene Kelly tap-dancing on rollerskates to I like myself.

It's hard to be me, I tell you.
tilly_stratford: (Whatever! - Paul)
I bet there's rich folks eating in a fancy dining car
They're probably drinkin' coffee and smoking big cigars
Well I know I had it coming, I know I can't be free
but those people keep a movin'
and that's what tortures me


All dressed up and nowhere to go (yet). I misread the clock so now I'm dressed and made up, with still an hour to go before the fancy "fare thee well"-school dinner. I'm really hungry. I haven't eaten in... six hours, since I've been packing and cleaning my room.

But I look very, very pretty though! I've got perfect hair - and all I did was put it in a hairband when I got out of the shower. These things don't happen to me, my hair hates me - but now I might have the coolest hairdo I've had for years!

Oh! How I long for that dinner (I'm an idiot, I know; In my room I got two slices of bread, perfect for eating - but I don't want to ruin my appetite). I have this fantasy that instead of fancy food (which I might not like), there'll be tacos (which I adore), but it won't be so.

Afterwards there'll be some entertainment, my choir will sing (an ancient French love song, roughly translated, "He is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and he doesn't even hit me!") and then there's off to a pub somewhere, specifically rented for my school. I'm not to keen, but I'll join them up anyway, I think.

God, there's a smell coming from the kitchen and it's so good...
tilly_stratford: (Default)
Du får inte vänta, du får inte längta
Du får inte tänka på mig
Skaffa dig en annan, jag ska be till Gud
Att jag aldrig ser dig igen


You can bet when I become insanely rich, I'll have a butler. He'll be the Jeevesiest butler you'll have ever seen and he'll buttle like no other. And do you know why?

Toilet duty, that's why.

I've just finished toilet duty at the dorm and although when I started I thought I would acclimatize, today I found out that, nope, it's just as gross every month. That a toilet can get so dirty, hairy and slimy after one week of fifteen people using it, I would never have guessed before I came here. So, a butler.

But then no, if I'll have a Jeevesy butler, I will also need a maid to do the slimy things, and be well-paid as well. You know what it says on the little annoying paper bag things we're meant to put our girly pads in? "Do not throw, the bag will be collected by the maid". And who collects them? This week it was me. And my future maid will never have to do that. Goodness, no.

In half an hour the school film club will show An unconvenient truth which I'm looking way too much forward to, keeping in mind it's a doomsday movie from real life. Still, yay for taking things seriously!

I think toilet duty made me lose my grip on the English language. I'll go to the fireplace and stare for half an hour.
tilly_stratford: (I Bunbury)
I can't get down and I won't get down
And stay all night with thee
For the girl I have in that merry green land
I love far better than thee


I'm so high right now! Some of it because of the pancakes we've just had for dinner (pancakes! I never thought my health-fixated school would serve pancakes! Oh glorious school!), but mostly because of today's writing class. Today we begun reading through what we had written so far and get the others' responses on it. We were all so nervous I don't think there was one of us who didn't at one point stare longingly at the exit door, but wow. Some of my classmates can write such brilliant text, so intense and fascinating. If these guys won't get far, I don't know what's wrong with the world.

Of course my text would be read last. It was a short story I initially thought was too stagnant and different from everybody else's texts and at one point I wanted to scrap it, so I knew the story would be ripped apart by fourteen aspiring writers and one published one. Turned out, I got tubloads of positive response on it! My teacher thought it was well-structured (structured, me?) and exciting, while two people've told me they wish they could write like me. I got some constructive criticism, of course, but on nothing major and not nearly as much as I had feared, and most of it seems like good solutions I'll probably use when I'll rewrite it.

I'm such a mix of pride and joy and relief, I don't know what to do with myself. I've come to really, really like that text (which is the story of a broken faucet, an economist buried in curtains, a cherrywood desk and lots of other things). I want to be great at this!

First I had a marvellous weekend, then free movie tickets to a an unofficial premiere (Sønner, a thoroughly disturbing movie) followed by a conversation with the producer, scriptwriter and director of said movie, and now this. Life is good once more.

Most students here were visited by their loved ones this weekend, but thanks to my mum, I got to take a much more pro-active way - she drove me home, and let my Snooky stay over. It was so good to see people again, most of all my mum, sister and Snooky. And to eat tacos, too! The only thing that surprised me was that when I came back to school on Sunday, was that I got the feeling of "Ahh, good ol' room" when I unlocked the door to my cell (as mentioned earlier, we've moved while I'v been away at school, so this was the first time I've seen the new house since last winter). But things like that'll get a bit more normal after a while I bet.

And I've read through the first song of The Illiad, which means no more homework for today! Hooray!
tilly_stratford: (Fops with canes are teh sex)
"Hott er det for eit liti kjinn
Målfrid mi fruve,
Hver morgen lader i bure inn?"
"Det æ inkje liti kjinn
Det æ Bragi, hunden min"


I found it! At last! I've been looking for this CD in all of Oslo since this winter, and nobody could get it - and then I find it in the school library! Yes! I love this song. It's such a strong narrative, even though it's an old folk song. The whole song is actually a conversation between a girl, Målfrid, and her father. The father accuses her of having a secret lover and a small child, she denies everything and uses countless explenations -
"those shoes are mine", "it wasn't a baby you saw, it was my dog". In the last verse it becomes clear that the father has killed her lover, he shows her a severed hand (in some versions a head) and asks her quite coolly, "Do you recognise this hand?", and she admits it, she "slept in those arms for fourteen years".

It gets me every time.

So, my second day of "proper" school. It's been quite intense so far, sitting in that room with fifteen (sixteen if you count the teacher) writers making stories. Thankfully it's not cramped with egos (well, there are some...) and so far it seems we'll be able to make a nice little writing enviroment. In two days I've churned out two short stories, none of which are very good, but the teacher tells me it's not important at this point.

I snuck into the art students' room, and gee, have they come far in two days! Big paintings are stacked by every wall. I really envy them the smell of paints. It's so cleansing (and slightly drugging). All you can smell in the writing room after six hours is the slightly damp smell of frustrated authors.

(Mmmm, banana cake. I just went down to the cantina and got some. Nice cantina people, baking cake for us two times a week. When I'm finished with this year I'll be a big piece of blubber.)

Well, I'll go back to reading Mr. Midshipman Hornblower, as well as Invisible cities, which I'll be presenting for the other writers on Thursday, and then I'll continue study this very interesting collection of variations on the very song I've been ranting about.
tilly_stratford: (Transvestite brigade)
Yesterday was a nice day. It was actually the first day here at the Academy that did not suck even a little bit. We started with a trip to the Lillehammer art musem where there was pretentious modern photography - always good for a laugh - and also some oils by Christian Krohg. Okay, so I admit I attended a semi-ritual burning of his book, but when I saw Madelaine I was awestruck.

I then watched Nosferatu with some of the cult-movie fans (new discovery - the costume of Alfred in The fearless vampire killers is identical with the costume of Jonathon Hutter in Nosferatu), and then those of us who were left when it was finished made ourselves a movie club. Called The Aquanots for reasons I have not figured out yet. We launch our club with Trainspotting tomorrow night.

On the pet subject, I have made some progress. Though the cat hasn't been spotted again, the creative writing teacher has a labrador named Chairos that loves cuddling. He was going to be a seeing-eye dog, but failed his exam - I should tell him (the dog I mean) that failing exams isn't the end of the world.

There are also ducks in the pond in the park. Hungry ones. I gave them my lunch, entertained by how they could catch the bits of bread before it hit the water.

Now I'll return to reading Midshipman Hornblower. Everybody else here is reading books with "quantum" in the title or socialist revolutionists I haven't heard of, but I like me some sea-faring adventures. Though the style of writing is grating to say the least.
tilly_stratford: (Not knowing Del)
Hi ho! Reporting from the academy here, second day! I would have been writing this on my gorgeous new laptop (called Pederovsky, like some small, effecient, Russian guy), but I used up the batteries in endless pursuit of a strong web signal (somehow only "excellent" will do. A "very good" signal isn't enough for my little Russian), which turned out to be half a floor below where I was sitting, in the so-called post room (it's where our post shelves are, and mine's looking awfully empty, so if anyone feels like sending me anything, just send it to me, c/o Nansenskolen). But instead, I'm typing this on one of the six school computers.

What it's like here? The other students are very nice, though I haven't exactly formed any strong bonds yet. Regular school doesn't start until Monday, so I'm trying to learn the names of sixty students simultaneously.

The main school is pure awesome. There is a ridiculous amount of fireplaces in the rooms, the library part of the building is from 1918 and looking very dignified, and the teachers seem not-too-scary. The first thing the principal did today at the morning meeting today was asking if anybody had had any nice dreams, and then play Pie Jesu (Requiem) for us. Different.

Thankfully I got a single room. Me, Tine and mum arrived early yesterday to get me one, only to find out the room business had already been settled. It's a small room (or rather "cell"), with a pull-out sofa instead of a bed, with a sink, a desk and a closet. It's painted white, so mum bought me an Amélie poster to spruce it up. Problem is, the dormitory building is old and in brick and concrete, which means you can hear everything that's going on in it. Conversations, music playing, people walking in the staircase, the showers, the toilets, everything! It will need some getting used to, but after a year of this I'll guess I'll finally be a heavy sleeper.

I miss my family. And my boyfriend. And my cat. And anything familiar. But I think it'll get easier with time. When mum and Tine left me yesterday, I got the same feeling when I was small and watched my mother's car pull out of the kindergarden's driveway.

Later tonight I have kitchen duty, but first I intend to visit the excellent school library and get some CDs. And next week we'll get wireless internet in the dormitory buildings, so I'll be able to post more often.

'Till then, toodles.

Huff puff

Aug. 15th, 2006 12:54 pm
tilly_stratford: (Whatever! - Paul)
He never waves when he goes by
He's hiding something from the rest of us
He's all to himself
I think I know why


In which I try to distract myself from thinking about school with every bit of random thought that comes my way.

Me and Snooky's been watching lots of fantasy lately. Just yesterday we watched The 10th Kingdom, a seven-hour movie that's really just a snipped-together miniseries. It was quite good, actually. It's not exactly sophisticated, epic fantasy, but fun and silly (though not as silly as Dungeons & Dragons: The movie, which we watched the night before. I wanted to just because A) Jeremy Irons played the villain; and B) Tom Baker appeared for three minutes in the role of an elf). It's so good for once to see a modern fantasy movie that isn't just a Tolkien-wannabe. And the most redeeming feature was the character Wolf:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
This is Wolf. He's a wolf. It's never explained why a wolf should look like a tall guy with stubble, but hey, it's a fantasy movie. Of course, this being an American movie he gives up his evil ways to be good and loyal and impregnate the main character, but before that happens he's really creatively thought up character reading self-help books.

Musings on stubble )

And talking about animals and men, everybody should read Neil Gaiman's great poem, The white road, about Mr. Fox and his fiancée.

I've really grown a bit bored of the Doctor who fandom now. I still haven't watched anythng beyond The impossible planet, because that was the dullest thing I've ever seen, I think, and then it turned out it was a To be continued-episode. And I keep hearing how the series peaked at The girl in the fireplace, so why should I go on now? As soon as I've written this, I'll sign out of the DW groups. We'll see if the fancy strikes me again some time.

Now, then. Off to wash some more clothes.
tilly_stratford: (Time Lords pwn you)
Ta i betraktning den stora bølgå
Og erkjenn våre minimale sjanser
Slepp det du har i hendene, frøken Sudine
Frøken Sudine, kom deg ut i frå badet


Aaand I'm back! Well, I've been back most of the week, but you know how it is. We had such a wonderful time though. We had been looking so forward to this ever since my mum suggested we used her job's cabin - and it was a perfect vacation for the both of us. I've never been too keen on saunas, and it turned out jacuzzis make me itch like crazy, but otherwise - absolutely lovely. Of course, both me and my boyfriend being crazy nerds, we were overjoyed when we found out we could watch Discovery Channel there - which meant Mythbusters!


I had a little angst-attack when I found out we had run out of money with two days to go, so thank God mum transferred more. In my mind I was already looking at the prospect of hitchhiking from Trysil to Lørenskog.

In other news, the letter from the Norwegian Humanistic Academy has arrived, so now I am allowed to be jazzed about it. In circa three weeks I'll make myself comfortable in a boarding school! To hone my creative writing skills, nonetheless!

There are, of course, negative sides as well. Cut for early angsting )

But I think it's best we deal with it when we get there.

Me and Snooky rewatched his Samurai deeper Kyo DVD yesterday. It was both horrible and hilarious with the American dubbing. Sasuke sounds like a girl, all the girls pant and sigh every time they speak, and Yukimura speaks with in this extremely deliberate manner. Worse still was the pronounciation of the Japanese names: They pronounce Kyo like Ky-oh, instead of K-jo, and Yukimura like Juki-moe-rrra. Ugh (Oh my, Snooky's made me an anime snob!).

And it must be funny listening to me and Snooky trying to sing along with the main theme, when all we know are the few English words that the Japanese have a habit of scattering through their songs.

"Tah tu tah, la la la la once in my life...Vu le vu, la la la la shooting star..."

Well, it's entertaining to us.
tilly_stratford: (Bertram Wooster/Naughty duckie)
Of all the years I ever knew
Those finer ones I spent with you


"Let's see, sixteen - seventeen - eighteen - Wait, what come after eighteen? Oh, I know, twenty-two! Twenty-three - twenty-four..."

This is the sort of counting abilities I get when I work late nights with the board game - which means three days from dead-line, I'm fucked. What I thought were twelve unfinished cards turned out to be a whole lot more, so now I'm typing my fingers to the bone trying to get them all done by Monday. I've just taken a bit of a pause to refreshen my mind.

Me and the sister drove up to Lillehammer yesterday, so I can acclimatize to the city I'll spend a year in. I've been so busy wih the game, I still haven't had the time to take in I'm moving to a boarding school by the end of August. Just trying to think of the things I should bring with me has been put off. So far the list goes like this:

1. Teddy (my cleverly named teddybear)
2. My typewriter
3. A framed poster of Big Ben (courtesy of my dad and Kari)

At least Lillehammer is a beautiful city. There's a huge library, and a cute street for shopping, and a cute, if very very small, park.

So, what's up with the silicone charity bracelets? Am I the only one still wearing them? I took a gander at the Make Poverty History website, and they're all, "Well, that was that. Good luck with your life." I was hoping those bands would become my generations buttons, with political statements and showing of sympathy, but no. Well, no matter, I'll keep on wearing them.

Ooh! Boy George! We have these tapes from the eighties, our family heirloom so to speak, of music videos, and on one of them, there was this exact performance. I have no doubt in my mind this music video forever changed my perception of boys.
[Error: unknown template video]
tilly_stratford: (I say! Wooster)
I... I just found a letter.

I've been ACCEPTED into THE NORWEGIAN HUMANISTIC ACADEMY!! I had to read it three times over before I squealed. And screamed quite a bit. And did my happy dance. And now I'm past the initial shock it still hasn't quite dawned on me.

Not only does that mean I'll live in Lillehammer for a year writing and studying philosophy, culture and art, but it also means somebody read my portifolio and though, "Yes, that's good enough." Fifteen students are accepted each year. I got in. Booyah baby!

Right. I've got a huge history test about World War Two tomorrow. Do you think they'll accept, "I'm sorry, I didn't study because I was so jazzed about the Nansen school?" Prolly not.

The beautiful school I'll attend:
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tilly_stratford: (Cello in the rain)
That's the way the whole thing started
Silly but it's true
Thinkin' of a sweet romance
Beginning in a queue


It's utterly ridiculous. I'm actually losing sleep worrying about my application to the Humanistic Academy. Yesterday I spent hours working on my creative writing portfolio; five pages of the best I've ever written? And then the letter you have to write about yourself, trying to encapsule whatever kind of person you are.

And then there's the nights. My entire system is kept wide awake with thoughts that can be summarized like this: "What if I'm accepted? Wee! What if I'm rejected? Noo! What if I'm accepted? Wee! What if - " Not one of my finest moments.

Meanwhile I have to find some high-educated referentials to say nice things about my texts, and today I found out that the number one candidate has just moved off to Spain! Thank you World, you're doing eversomuch to comfort me in this stressful time.

I wanted to go to this school for years. Oh please, please, please, Someone.

In other news: Today I've spent most of my time with a young deer. It sat in the snow outside my window for nearly two hours before it got up on its adorable ultra-thin legs and wobbled away. Aww. It made no attempt to go away when I looked at it, though it clearly didn't like it, so I left it alone. I know deer mothers sometimes leave their kid to lie still until they return, and I guess that's why it didn't flee even though there were humans nearby.

Didn't find the camera, so here's another deer fawn:
Image hosting by Photobucket

P.S.: Did you know that if only the deer head is visible, it could look exactly like a kangaroo.

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