Monday, July 14, 2008


Sunday 6.13.08: We are finally settling into a rhythm here. On most days I work on my projects in the morning and then head to the beach in the afternoon to take A swimming. I read, think and do yoga while she swims and plays with her friends. Today it has been gray and sprinkling, so instead I have been working on website, resume and project proposal updates.

Much of what I have been changing was suggested to me in a private consultation in early June with one of the staff members of NYFA, Christa Blatchford. NYFA Live offers a few slots every month for these artist consultations and I had been longing to participate for some time. I booked this June time slot back in January or February. By the time my appointment had arrived, I had applied for four different grants related to the Mobile Misuse project and I had heard positively from Fulbright and had been listed as an alternate for the American-Scandinavian Foundation (I have since received funding from them for this project.) The consultation was very helpful and worth every penny of the $45. I highly recommend taking advantage of this service.

While I conduct a very similar service for my students in the Senior Portfolio class, I find it extremely difficult to look at my own “packaging” from the inside. So, during this hour-long consultation, you get to pick the brains of a staff member (often also an artist) of one of the main arts granting organizations in the US. I had prepared and printed previous grant proposals, my CV, artist’s statements, and my website. I was given concrete, specific suggestions and advice from the actual writing of proposals and statements to the organization of my website. Fortunately, I recorded this rich session on my iPod and have been listening to it in order to catch the details that I had forgotten. I have finally had the time to make the changes suggested to the website, but revising the resume and Mobile Misuse statement will take a bit longer. I have, however, made quite a bit of progress on both of those items, as well.

København 08

I have posted pictures of the annual “vacation from our vacation”.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Settling In..

It’s time to add some words in addition to the pictures I have posted. The first week was spent taking care of many errands and loose ends, although we have managed to fit in a fair amount of socializing. Day 2, with jet lag and all, we visited the two candidates for A’s school & picked one. I think it will be a very good year for her and the school has a teacher that is solely devoted to the students with Norwegian as a second language. Everyone was so friendly and inviting, especially one of the headmasters, Jostein. One of the parents even approached us as we headed to the car to speak with us and welcome us – very Edgewood.

This week has been “the beach vacation” – with days of excellent weather strung together. The water in the fjord is still quite cold, but every hot, sunny day warms it up a bit. Here are some beach pictures.

Price Report

There is the inevitable sticker shock on entry into Norway. Most prices for food, clothing, objects, technology, etc. are two to three time what we are used to paying in the US. For instance a small latte at the Kaffe Kroken in Vinterbro Mall is $5.25. A 6” Subway sandwich at the same mall is $8-12.00 (B reports that the Subway has already gone out of business.) The Burger King at the same mall sells a chicken baguette sandwich for $15.00. The Norwegian food shops are priced similarly. Yes, we mostly eat at home.
American/English magazines (where you can find them) cost the same as a standard hardcover book in the US ($25.) Gas is averaging 13.5 Kroner per liter – about $10 per gallon. Fortunately, the house we have rented allows me to commute to the Universities by ferry and tram. A & B never have to leave the neighborhood if they wish. The school is within walking distance, as well as shops, a post office and the ferry terminal. More on the new neighborhood once we move in. Posts will become more regular when we move into the rental house – we’ll have broadband. ☺

Berry Report

Not a good year for the berries. It seems that there was quite a drought here this spring and the berries have paid the price. The wild strawberries are tiny, unripe and far fewer than usual, but they are starting to revive a bit and are very tasty. Many of the blueberry bushes are brown and dry. The ones that aren’t burned to a crisp have no berries on them at all. B says that there are some down the hill – I’m not sure how they were spared. The raspberries are in the worst shape. They appear to be nowhere near ripening and many have dried hard and brown on the bush. There will be a few here and there, but not the big bowls of raspberries that we are used to. The red and black currents have also been affected, but they are starting to ripen and we grab handfulls to munch on our way back from the beach.

We are all settling in nicely and making lots of new friends. My head is having a hard time getting around the idea that we don’t have to go back to the US in August. Strange and exciting.