October 18, 2011


I have just moved again. Still living in London, but I've moved the blog. Go to the new version of According to Julie You will find all the old entries and comments on the new site. At least for now, all old links to posts will send you to this old blog. So I will keep the old site up, but only update the new one. accordingtojulie.com will redirect to the new address soon. In other words: same blog, same blogger, new site.

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October 8, 2011

First impressions of living in London

It's been about two and a half weeks since I moved here. I am still not home (it won't feel like home until I have internet access in my apartment), but I look forward to settling in. Here, in no particular order, are some thoughts:

1. Just before leaving Norway, I noticed that I was using the word "practical" too much. I described everything as convenient and useful. Now that I live in London, my new over-used word is "ridiculous." No water pressure in the shower if my flatmate is doing the dishes downstairs? Ridiculous. Purely decorative balconies, with no doors from the house? Ridiculous. It takes 14 days for Virgin Media to connect me to the internet? Ridiculous. I can't buy one beer; I have to buy six? Ridi. no, practical.

2. I like British friendliness to strangers (let's shorten it to FTS). Norwegian FTS doesn't exist in cities. French FTS doesn't exist at all. American FTS goes way too far (There is no way the sales assistants at department stores like my outfits that much). British FTS is all about small talk.

3. Small talk, contrary to popular belief, does not necessarily revolve around the weather. The important question is how you got to where the small talk took place. Did you take a bus or a train? How delayed was the London underground today? (Apparently, this last week was historically bad, tube-delay-wise.)

4. The London School of Economics and Political Science (let's shorten that to LSE) wasn't joking when it described itself as "international" and "diverse". I don't think I've met any English students so far. I've met plenty of Norwegians though.

6. There doesn't seem to be ANY connection between what the weather is like and what the English Londoners are wearing.

7. Although I like to believe you can do anything in London, being spontaneous is a lot harder here than in a tiny city like Oslo. It takes you two hours to get anywhere, and once you're there, so are thousands of other people.

8. I think I will start speaking British English with an American accent. Queue is a distinct word, more specific than line. Flat is shorter than apartment. As long as we aren't sharing rooms, I live with my flatmate, not my roommate. Our flat isn't flat though; it has stairs.

9. Most of the advertisements on the underground are for books or cultural events. I like this. And I like that I see so many people on public transport reading novels.

10. I also like that no matter where you go, there will be a pub serving fish and chips and an assortment of beers on tap. I am writing this at my new local pub, surrounded by families, couples, the pub's dog, and a few people like me, with laptops and coffee.

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September 28, 2011


Image source: XKCD

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September 23, 2011

Quick update


I have just moved to London for a one-year Master of Science in Economic History at LSE. School starts in about a week. My wrist is completely healthy, and my new laptop has plenty of half-finished blog posts. I am in the process of moving for the fourth time in two months.

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September 22, 2011

Innovasjon Verden?

Hvis bistandskritikerne har rett, driver Norge med bistand først og fremst fordi det gir oss god samvittighet - ikke fordi det virker. Hvis vi tar den mest kritiske bistandskritikken på alvor, bør vi slutte. Men hvordan skal Norge da redde verden?

Det har Kristian Meisingset, Amara Butt og jeg brukt deler av sommeren på å finne ut av, og resultatet er i den nyeste utgaven av Minerva, som lanseres på Civita-frokost torsdag.

Les artikkelen her: Etter bistand

Les også:

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September 21, 2011

Reading, not writing

Image source: photoquoteography

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August 7, 2011

Writing soon

A quick update on the wrist situation: I had an operation about a month ago. It wasn't tendinitis, but a ganglion. I feel much better now - and I'm writing this with both hands! - but I am still not quite well enough to write full time. I will be back soon. Very soon.

If you can read Norwegian, check out my dad's blog post about all of this.

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June 6, 2011

Not writing

I'm not writing. No blogging, no Twitter, no E24. I have tendinitis, a repetitive strain injury, in my right hand. My physiotherapist says it's probably De Quervain syndrome. I just know that I have a bump on my right wrist, and writing (typing or by hand), as well as using a mouse or trackpad, hurts - and keeps hurting for days.

I can read. I can dance. But I can't write. I am slowly typing this with my left hand. For almost as long as I can remember, writing has been my all-purpose solution - my work, my fun, my therapy. Without it, I don't feel like myself - but I will be back.

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April 27, 2011

I'd rather my intestines jumped up and strangled my head

Aina requested this, and it's been too long since I've heard this rant:

I sometimes wish that film critic Mark Kermode would rant about everything in the world that I didn't like. But I will settle for Kermode's rant, I mean review, of The Holiday.

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April 21, 2011

I can't take my eyes off of you... 'til I find somebody new

Closer opens with Natalie Portman and Jude Law in slow motion, to the sound of Damien Rice. You would think the scene were designed specifically to appeal to my senses - well, mine and most girls my age in 2004.

I saw this movie twice in the movie theater back then, and I bought Damien Rice's album O because of this scene. Most of my friends found the movie depressing. My boss voiced vague concerns about my mental health* when I played O at work. But I don't feel depressed when I hear sad music or see a sad story about four more or less messed up people. If you're feeling blue and for some ridiculous reason want to drag yourself even further down, watch a romantic comedy. Wonder why your life doesn't look like that. If you want to be feel better, seek catharsis. I find sad movies somewhat comforting in their brutal honesty - and in the way they remind me that at least I'm not a character in Closer.

And so, seven years and another Damien Rice album later, I'm still fascinated and impressed by how complex Closer manages to be, even though it's just four characters interacting in a handful of scenes over a period of four years. The trailer tagline is "If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking." It's about dating, cheating, hurting people, but actually it's about how even when we're trying to be confident, rational and responsible, emotions and impulses can lead us to make decisions we know are stupid and hurtful.

Of course I identify with Natalie Portman's character because she's the one who plays a 24-year-old girl. But she's also the one who tells her possessive, complicated writer boyfriend, when he's just announced that although he loves her, he's leaving her for someone he just helplessly fell in love with:

"Oh, as if you had no choice?!?! There's a moment, there's always a moment: I can do this, I can give into this, or I can resist it. And I don't know when your moment was, but I bet you there was one."

To her, the only way to leave is by saying: I don't love you anymore. Good-bye. And if you still love someone, you don't leave. Which means that while she seems to submit completely and love unconditionally, it's with the knowledge that she has absolute unbreakable rules about how things are supposed to work. Like in her job as a stripper, she gives everything, up until a certain irrevocable limit.

And I think that's the point of this story, which so many of my friends found pointless: How much control do we really have over our emotions? When do we stop acting rationally? When does the game suddenly become too real? Or as Roger Ebert writes in a review you really shouldn't read until after you've seen the film:

There is the sense that their trusts and betrayals are not fundamentally important to them; "You've ruined my life," one says, and then is told, "You'll get over it."

Yes, unless, fatally, true love does strike at just that point when all the lies have made it impossible. Is there anything more pathetic than a lover who realizes he (or she) really is in love, after all the trust has been lost, all the bridges burnt and all the reconciliations used up?

(Vaguely) related post: Love means not leaving

* I'm doing very well, thank you. If you're not as happy as I am, here are 11 ways to feel better.

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April 17, 2011

The world is enough

Tim Minchin's poem "Storm" is brilliant, and really doesn't require a comment from me. Here's a quote:

Does the idea that there might be knowledge frighten you?
Does the idea that an afternoon on Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you, frighten you?
Does the notion that there might not be a supernatural so blow your hippie noodle that you'd rather just stand in the fog of your inability to google?
Isn't this enough?
Just this world?
Just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable natural world? How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap man-made myths and monsters?
- Tim Minchin, Storm

... and I've published the full animated video below.

(Image via Atheist Etiquette)

Continue reading "The world is enough"

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Jeg er sitert på omslaget av Elin Ørjasæters bok Det glade vanvidd  (2. opplag).

For å finne ut hva jeg mener, les hele bloggposten jeg skrev om boken.

Og les boken selvfølgelig.

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