Our dear friends Mary Jane & Cate + MJ's son Christopher, took us out for a fabulous vegan dinner with lovely cocktails at Gratitude on Canon Drive in Beverly Hills tonight.
The company was amazing. The food was beyond. The drinks were great. The service was impeccable.
And Chris brought a few "Fuck Trump!"-buttons from San Francisco for us to wear.
Well, more like a collection of three dozen different "Fuck Trump!"-buttons.
I chose the one with the rainbow flag, and Phil took the one with the middle finger.
Take your pick, right?
God, I miss San Francisco, how liberal it is, and everything about it except the weather. It really reminds me of Oslo.
What a fun evening!
I really needed to get out and be with people I love, sharing a meal, meaningful conversations, and lots of laughs and an overall amazing mood and a great vibe. Good therapy for the soul.
Thank you so much my dear friends.
- xo, Lars
BTW, check out my Snap story @larstangen :*
This morning I woke up fully dressed to the sound of one of many alarms, with the remnants of last night's take-out spread all over me. I hadn't really slept well in days, so something must have made me get a good night's sleep. Anyways... about ten minutes after waking up I was on the road taking my husband to work, and driving home, my phone stopped working, so I couldn't get Waze to sneak me home via the fastest route. I ended up spending almost one hour getting home, a route that should've taken me 20 minutes max.
I realized how dependent I am on my iPhone, and while attempting to be cheerful in that miserable gridlock that is just regular L.A.-traffic, I figured that it wasn't really possible to be gleeful without my phone while stuck in traffic. I mean, one car per green light is just not cool. They were all honking, probably in frustration, but I still don't see how honking makes traffic flow easier. It just doesn't. It gives me anxiety. Instead of honking I prefer to write.
Wow, what a rant! I actually realized now that the car has a built in navigation system, which I have never used, and I'll try to keep that in mind next time I'm stuck in traffic and my phone goes on strike. And now I have to get on with my day - after a quick shower, a much needed shave, and three eye masks later... I'll be on the road again!
This time I come armed with a working phone and the knowledge of the built in nav-system (oooh, that's what that screen is for...), ready to squeeze my way around L.A. in the never-ending gridlock hellhole that we all love so much!
Time for another photoshoot! Have a wonderful week, world <3
September was crazy -- a month full of new experiences, exciting adventures, and life changing moments.
It's been so much fun and such an experience helping my friend (and first celebrity client) set up her social media!
You all know who I'm talking about, the beautiful lady who danced with a broken foot (!) on Dancing With the Stars last night -- and who will repeat that again tonight.
That takes not only talent and stamina, but also courage and grace. Yes, I'm talking about Nancy McKeon of course! (Call 1.800.868.3411 to vote for #TeamMcVal!)
The experience of working with Nancy on DWTS has been nothing but amazing!
I even did my first Instagram Live video in September.
I'm not sure if I'll do it again, but that too was a valuable experience, and even though I felt embarrassed, people were really nice.
Life isn't always what it seems like, and the other day I posted a little piece on Instagram about this...
Every month has its good and bad moments, and everything in between. I guess that's the definition of life itself, even though we strive for perfection and everlasting happiness, it is impossible to feel the good without experiencing the bad.
In September I was featured in two newspapers. I’ve been on television. I bumped my toe and could barely walk for a week. Someone coughed on me and I had a cold for a few days. Someone even keyed my car! Yet I’m still here — waiting for the next chapter of this amazing adventure that we call life.
These pictures were taken for an interview with a Norwegian newspaper in early September. The feedback I have received on that piece has just been overwhelmingly loving and positive. I want to seize this opportunity to thank everyone (you know who you are) for your support and kindness. I can't believe I'm being called 'courageous' and 'brave'. I'm truly humbled.
I'm really just a regular guy, and I too have my insecurities... But I believe in being open and honest, truthful and kind. Paying it forward... I don't even know if I'm making any sense here, but I'm a writer, so I don't really have to, right?
Bring it on October!
I'm switching gears to a very upbeat and exciting venture. My husband's best friend Nancy McKeon is officially on Dancing With The Stars, and was the only star chosen for the big reveal this morning.
As I am a good friend of hers, I have taken on the role as her Personal Assistant here in Los Angeles.
Future posts will be in English, and my focus is on Nancy McKeon, Phil Ackerman, and the entertainment industry. Please note that if you have anything personal you want to talk to me about -- feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for all the support! Tusen takk for all støtten! Time for a career change...!
My husband Phil Ackerman does her hair, and here's a little clip of them on set in the middle of the night. Check out my Instagram @larstangenackerman for more updates.
Nancy backstage with Val. Check out my Instagram @larstangenackerman for more updates.
For the past few weeks I've been laying lower than I usually do online. After the newspaper article in VG, people from various stages of my past have contacted me, some just to say "hi", while others are expressing their support. There have of course been the odd threat and some unsupportive messages, but I've come to learn that being hated just comes with the territory.
I have juggled several job interviews and job tryouts while this has been going on, all the while working at our Beverly Hills salon whenever I have time.
Still, I feel unfulfilled – in a way I'm not sure I'm able to even understand myself. Am I trying hard enough? What about all those 'wasted' years of self-pity and trauma therapy? All in the past now, phew.
I don't feel like I need a break in any way, nor do I regret any life choices I have made. I guess being fresh out of college comes with both joy and pride, and a fear of the uncertain. I wonder where I will be in 5 years. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
I have some great things in the works right now, both together with my husband and by myself. Just to mention one thing; we're launching our first jewelry line together.
I am aware that nothing about the future is absolutely certain, but I can't help feeling excited and hopeful, grateful and motivated about my own future. It feels really great not to be so anxious all the time, and to feel the creativity oozing from my veins. I guess I must be doing something right.
After sharing my story in VG, I can finally say that the past is in the past, and exciting adventures await me in the near-future.
“Hedonistic Hell” -- Really? Coming from ultra liberal Scandinavia which prides itself on being the best place in the world for women to live, work, and raise children. Also, women in Scandinavia have a right to wear whatever they please. It should be needless to say, but hey guys, it's 2018.
For the last couple of days I’ve been reading about the incredibly bad reviews Britney Spears’ concerts in Denmark and Norway have received. It seems like almost every major newspaper has given her the lowest possible score, usually a 1/6 on the dice.
I’ve read several of these reviews, and the professional reviewers tend to focus mostly on how astonishing her dancing is, what an incredible stage performance it is, and the fact that she started the show with her first, but perhaps biggest hits, like “Oops I Did It Again” and “Baby One More Time”. Like that's news to anyone.
Their reason for the incredibly low score, at least according to the newspaper articles, is the fact that she’s lip syncing.
Britney has never claimed to be Beyoncé or Christina Aguilera. When you’re going to a Britney show, you’re not going to hear her sing live. You’re going there to experience what an incredible entertainer she is. She revolutionized the pop music industry, and has had more success than most can dream of. Including these petty reporters.
Then, something came to my mind… Not too long ago, I read articles in all the major Scandinavian newspapers about the ban on photography at her concerts. The ban applies to members of the press only. Naturally, the professional photographers and their press organizations are pissed off by this. They want to make money. They claim this is infringing on the freedom of the press.
I’m not saying I necessarily disagree with that argument, but guess what Britney’s response to the critique is?
Britney says she wants the fans to be able to enjoy the show, uninterrupted by professional photographers occupying most of the space in the closest vicinity to the stage. She also said she wants her fans to take their own photos, and enjoy the experience to the fullest, and encouraged her fans to share the photos on social media.
Bad journalism, guys. Just bad. Be kinder to the lady, she's been to hell and back, and she's still here, rocking it, entertaining millions of people around the world.
She is a living legend, and just for putting up with all the crap the media and the public tend to throw at her, she should be praised, and deserves far more than a score of 1 out of 6. Remember, she's a human being too.
Life is so full of surprises. Both good and bad. But how do you deal with the bad, without losing your cool?
When I wake up in the morning, I sometimes think to myself "well, what's next?", and then the phone rings... You know how this goes.
This summer we have lost family members, friends, and pets, a sad and tough process for anyone to experience. Up until this summer I didn't really have much experience dealing with this sort of thing, but I've learned a thing or two while this has been going on.
First of all, I think it's important to set aside enough time to grieve, and process the loss. Light a candle, light some sage, pray, talk to someone you trust, or do whatever it is that you do to get in touch with your spiritual side. However, there's not always enough time in the day to sit down and process.
Life and work still happens while you're processing the loss of a loved one, or another traumatic event, and that's where proper and timely communication comes in handy. I had to delay a few important work-related tasks while this was all going on, but luckily I was met with understanding, and was given the time I needed in order to move on.
I know that it is not always that simple. Sometimes you just can't put life on hold, even though you feel like you need to. The stakes might be too high. You don't want to fail that class, or lose your job, because you are going through something stressful.
So what do you do? There's actually an app for that. I think I would dare to say that it can help you master life, while actually dealing with your trauma at the same time.
I've used the app 'Pacifica for Stress & Anxiety' for almost a year now, and it lets me log my feelings, my general mood, and I can also track health habits, like sleep and caffeine intake. When I open the app and log my general mood, I also get the option to do a 'daily exercise', like a five minute guided meditation, a journal entry, or browsing through inspiring and uplifting quotes to add to my hope board.
I usually spend anywhere from 1 minute to 10 minutes on this app daily. My favorite feature is how customizable everything is, especially the tracking of health habits. It has given me great insight in my own health habits, and also motivated me to make changes where needed.
Another feature I like, is that the app lets you send detailed reports to your health professional. I have not used this feature, but I have spoken to others who have. You simply choose what information you want to share with your health care provider, locate your health care provider on a list, or simply put in their email address. Your doctor or therapist might already be accessible on the app, and can work with you through the tools available.
Pacifica has truly reduced both my stress and anxiety, gradually over time, and I hope it might help you when you're dealing with a stressful situation.
It's available on the App Store and Google Play.
FYI, I decided to purchase a lifetime subscription of the full version of the app, but the app is amazing without the premium features, so you won't have to spend a cent trying it out. If you want to try the full access version, their pricing is $8.99/month, $53.99/year, $199.99/lifetime.
Please note that I am not a health care professional, and I would advise you to consult a doctor before making any decisions regarding your health.
I am not affiliated with Pacifica, Apple, Google, or any other company or brand name mentioned in this article, and have not received any financial incentives for publishing it. I am simply sharing my personal experience with this product.
I've been super busy this past week, and I love it. The salon has never been busier, and we keep getting new clients that are just the loveliest people a salon owner could dream of.
Cheers to that.
It's basically been work work work every day, except for yesterday which we both took off, and even though I had planned brunch at Abbot Kinney, and shopping in Santa Monica, I slept for 18 hours straight, and woke up super late -- which of course was super confusing.
I think my type of insomnia should get its own name. The Lars sleeping bug. Or something.
This morning I took my husband in to work, and went to the market. Filled up the shopping cart with fruits, berries, nuts, and champagne. I'm doing my own little tasting right now, I mean, it might be 10:45 AM in California, but I was born in Norway, so it's always 9 hours later there. Excuses excuses excuses...
Also I'm building up the courage to go back to this semi-sketchy IPL laser place in Westwood in a couple of hours. I went there with a friend a couple of months ago, and was persuaded to purchase six sessions of IPL hair removal. I only have a couple of sessions left, and since American Express wouldn't refund me, I'm gonna get the full treatment, regardless of their unprofessionalism.
The first thing they told me when I went to my first laser session was that I could use a facelift! They also gave me a coupon for 50% off said facelift.
I mean, I am 25 years old, my skin is not that bad, and even suggesting to someone who has not even asked about plastic surgery, that they are in dire need of a facelift, is one of the rudest things I have experienced. Damn. I gave them a piece of my mind and they backed off. I hope they don't do that to someone with lower self esteem than I have -- being told you need a facelift at 25 wouldn't exactly encourage a healthy self esteem and confidence in ones own body.
I have no respect for anyone who practices and encourages body shaming on that level. It might've been okay in 1995, but it's just so far from acceptable behavior that I am wondering if this should be reported to a state agency or something? I want to believe that California has some sort of agency that would crack down on that, but I'm guessing not.
I came to this country in January of 2015, while Obama was still president, and there was hope. Democracy was solid. Freedoms were being expanded. I got married to Phil Ackerman in August of 2015, a few weeks after same sex marriage was federally legalized by the Supreme Court.
Fast forward to July of 2018. We have a president who is a sexual predator, his campaign manager is in jail, five members of his campaign have plead guilty to charges brought by the Mueller investigation, and now Trump gets to choose his second supreme court judge, a Mr. Kavanaugh who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, which basically grants American women the right to choose abortion, based on a privacy clause.
This very privacy clause is also the foundation of the constitutional right for same sex couples to marry, and have that marriage federally recognized.
Our freedoms and democracy are under great threat. I have personally been in shock ever since Trump was elected, and I have not done enough to fight this oppression.
I have wanted to attend demonstrations in Los Angeles, but have been afraid of being arrested for participating, and if I’m arrested, I’ll also be deported.
I care more about the future of our democracy, our civil liberties, a woman's right to abortion, and my right to be married, to be frightened into silence by some ignorant "men" with way too much power, to care if I’m deported or not.
I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in anymore. Deport me if you want, my husband will come with me, and we’ll end up in Norway where gay rights are human rights, and women’s rights are human rights, and where even health care is a human right.
Hopefully I'll be able to say the same about America in my lifetime.
Still, we want to stay here, because we love this country. We want to make it better for future generations. I don't care if you're Republican or Democrat, what matters is if you're able to recognize that people are people, and we all deserve the right to live a peaceful life with a functional judicial system and indisputable civil liberties.
I want the people of this country to have basic human rights, like the rest of the developed world.
We will not be silenced ever again. It's time to wake the fuck up, America!
The day after my graduation ceremony and party, I took my parents who had flown in from Norway, for a beautiful drive up California's coast, along the PCH.
I love you San Francisco.
I'm Lars, born and raised in Norway, living the dream in California.