The Most Misunderstood F-Word Out There

Bad-ass women exude Femininity in their flare, but hold strength in their heart.

We are educated in forms of art and design, but have the intellect to never shy away from political or social debates.

We carry ourselves with poise and grace, and with warrior-like confidence in our steps.

We don’t go to the gym in fear of losing our soft, womenly flesh, but with the full intention to let the bodies hit the floor.

We don’t understand the phrases, “too strong” or “too hard” because when the time comes to carry the weight on our shoulders, we can and we will.

We have no space in our vocabulary for ‘skinny’ because strong and healthy is the only ‘bikini-body‘ we need.

We don’t fear lifting weights at the gym, because carrying mounds of literature in our bags has trained our bodies well.

Bad-ass women don’t diet, we don’t fall to childish games, we don’t waste our money on the latest trend, or ever pretend to play it stupid, play it weak, or play it down.

We stand on our own two feet and even though we have the physicality to take idiots down, our brains can deliver a much harder blow in standing up for ourselves in a crowd of stupid.

We are strong, we are brainy, we are eloquent and we are to be feared. But we’re sweet, and we’re kind, and we’re a hell of a mate to have, and we don’t have time for stragglers. We can pursue careers without family guilt; bear children or not; cook as well as we can eat; understand our finances as much as our shoe collection; be a Mrs. as well as a Ms., and we will commit to marriage, but we don’t need to marry to be happy.

Bad-ass women don’t dream of becoming Princesses, we thrive in becoming Warriors. And in doing so, we exude the utmost class in femininity. Only stupid people mistake that F-word for anything short of bad-ass.


The Power of Little Girls Against the Masses

To You,

I’m only going to give a few brief words, but please check out the article link below. It details the shooting of a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan who had the heart of a lion to speak out for human rights, and in turn was shot in the head. Speaking out against the Taliban since she was 11 years of age, Malala Yousafzai was targeted on a bus of schoolchildren by the Taliban on Tuesday being hit in the neck and head. Listed in critical condition, Malala survived however a bullet is lodged close to her brain.

The hearts of little girls and women everywhere cannot be reckoned with. I was truly shocked by this recent report and although I am outraged by the actions of the hateful and fearful, I am overwhelmed with grace and awe at the power of this girl’s heart to not only speak of her dreams, but to stand up to the violent forces and explicate her right to fulfill such dreams of peace and freedom.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

New York Times: Taliban Gun Down Girl Who Spoke Up for Rights

I Best Be Super Duper Smart After All of this is Over

To you,

So I’ve now completed my first week of the Epiphany Term, which basically entailed sitting in the classroom for a fraction of the actual module period to receive an introduction to the course material to take place in the coming weeks – you know, your typical first week. Thus far, all looks rather good! It’s a nice change from the previous term which consisted of two modules, one of which was useful to a certain degree as to what I’m hoping to get out of this MA programme, and the other.. well, I like it but it’s definitely like being thrown into something at top speed while still reading the instruction manual.

These are the modules I will be taking this term:

Mondays: Political Ideologies – pretty much what it sounds like, with a dab of feminism and multiculturalism thrown in towards the end of the term. I’m excited about this one because it will assist me in further understanding theoretical points of view regarding Liberalism, Conservatism, Marxism, etc.

Tuesdays: Research Methods and Dissertation Production – this one I’m not ‘thrilled’ about, but its a compulsory guideline course towards dissertation production, and so therefore should deem interesting.. or perhaps helpful should be the word used there..! It also requires a two-hour seminar on Fridays which kind of blows, but I suppose I can’t have all fun modules 🙂

Thursdays: Human Rights – a two hour seminar going over the various degrees of human rights discussion. Pretty in depth, and definitely one of them that I’ve been looking forward to.
Religion and Globalization – this one is carried over from the Michaelmas Term since it is a 30 credit module. This one is interesting with good discussion, and relative projects, but its the one of which I feel a little lost in regarding theory and conceptual nature within theology and morality.
Race, Ethnicity, and the Otherness – Clearly, this one I am stoked for. It’s a 30-credit module in one term, so its quite heavy with regards to reading material. It is noted that not all the readings have to be completed prior to the seminar and lecture, but it’s pertinent to the discussion to be had. I mean, the first lecture requires a whole novel to be read..! The discussion and lecture topics for this one I have been eager to commence, because it will definitely assist me with my art practice’s concepts and theory.

So yep, that’s my Epiphany Term module listing until mid-March. Lots to do, lots to read, lots to learn. Yay! (insert nerdy smiley face here)

Peace out,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

I Have Returned From Whence I Came. Well, Not Really, but I Was Hoping for Some Kind of Dramatic Proclamation of My Blogging Return.

To you,

Yes, I have been rather rubbish at writing for the past couple of weeks. For many different reasons I took a slight hiatus from the blogging-sphere, and now with the assistance of returned power to my lovely MacBook Pro, I am briefly here to proclaim a continuing existence on this little diddy.

Reasons for my hiatus: well, they vary somewhat. From the emotional and mental to the electrical, my oh my what a tale of such woes and fury these thoughts could dispel. Okay, not as such, but what a great description for my futuristic romance novel debut if I ever decide to choose that authorship path in life, eh? In all honesty, there were emotional, mental, and electrical dysfunctions of sorts but none so woeful and filled with fury. I have been having some on and off bits of stress and worry causing my moods to hit a rather low slum. I obviously miss those back home, but there are some definite significant kinks in my situation of which make living so far away that much harder. I’m still kicking though! Also, the battle of landing employment on this side of the pond has been rather frustrating, to say the absolute least. I have lived the past four years only being able to work a legal set amount of 20hrs/week as an International student in the U.S. and now here, I am fully legal to work whatever I can manage. And I have not been able to find anything past 20hrs/week. Having struggled for the past month being here without working – it truly has driven me mad some days – I have now found a ‘Casual’ position within catering at Durham University which is providing me with substantial wages to live. And when I say ‘live’ I by no means mean food, coffee, mobile phone bill (although that’s probably the least of the three). I of course mean rent, and rent alone. So I can live indoors, but I’ll be skin and bones. 🙂 I am rather pleased to have found work though finally, because the few of you of whom I’ve spoken to most definitely know that my mood has suffered. So to those few, I will send you my employer’s address and you can mail him a letter thanking him for my halt in depressing phone calls and messages 😉 .

In addition to said employment, I have also landed a week’s long gig of which I am extremely enthused with. I managed to secure a position as a Project Apprentice with the upcoming Lumiere Festival, which is a huge light-based art event in Durham. With local, national, and international artists collaborating and creating numerous light installations throughout the city, it is organized by a creative projects team from London and I’ll be working with them while they’re in the city. It also includes numerous workshops which will give further insight into what working within artistic related events on the grand scale entails. This apprenticeship alone pays almost a month’s work at my other job, so I’ll be banking a decent penny and working with people within the arts sector. Big air high fives all around!!

Apart from my employment updates, school is going well – the readings are still somewhat foreign to me and I’m having some difficulty with the fact that I am so academically behind these young grad students, having never studied European political history, or any political history for that matter. I’m indulging in some academic lectures of which I’m enjoying, such as the David Miliband lecture, and the lecture with the head of the Human Rights UK. More are approaching next week regarding the Arab Spring and other relative matters.

Having mentioned this to others, and possibly within my writings as well, I feel as though this was the year of all years thus far where me living on my own has been the right move. I’ve always wanted to experience living on my own, but have never had the financial means or opportunity to do so. It’s still a stretch here regarding finances, but I’m managing. I’ve definitely hit emotional and mental realizations in reference to the healing processes of which I’ve never given myself the time to ponder over in regards to numerous occasions tracing all the way back to Purdue (2003) and possibly even prior. I feel like my mind is slowly realizing that I have no roadblocks in making my way through the healing process – no roommates, flatmates, awkward unannounced interruptions, etc. I’ve a schedule, and I’ve my own space and time. Its been most definitely difficult the past couple of weeks, in trying to sort out my post-postgraduate plans because there is so much I want to start experiencing without hesitation, but unfortunately many of my dreams take place in numerous varying locations, and do not correlate with the others. Its been a struggle, and quite a significant one causing many days of feeling quite grey.. neither here, nor there. And as I mentioned, I have very significant things of which mean the most dearest of all my experiences right now and it can be very challenging to experience said things with my current set of events, a.k.a studying in Durham. I hate to be one of those people, but yes, I am sadly and pathetically complaining and crying over all the wonderful things occurring in my life right now. Go on. Looooaaaathe me. But to be quite honest, I think I am coming to realize and witness the surfacing of much hurt and pain that I’ve experienced over the past many years, which is refreshing to see it come to light, but not quite an assisting factor with all other stress occurring in the present! Oh well, one can’t control everything… or at least I haven’t discovered how to do so just yet..!

So that’s me right now. Part-time employed. Fantastic opportunity coming up in the next couple of weeks within the arts sector. Financing the dream of living indoors. And spending such a dream moping in said indoor space. Oh, and I’ve mailed out a bunch of letters, and more will be sent in the next few days. Watch those mailboxes people. I’ve yet to create my postcards, so you’ll have to settle for the even more old school letter writing. Pen and paper. My two most loved tools 🙂

To add a brief catch-up to the not-so-brief tale of my woes and sorrows, here’s my latest timeline to catch you up even further!
Oct. 14 – Oliver (bruvah) and Georgina (pesty bestie) came to Durham in two separate yet highly coincidental visits
Oct. 17 – interviewed for Lumiere Festival, and received an offer 🙂
Oct. 19 – Human Rights UK lecture (awesome awesome awesome)
Oct. 21 – went to Baltic Contemporary Art Centre for the Turner Prize exhibit in Newcastle
Oct. 21 – David Miliband lecture (fantastical)
Oct. 28 – did some temp work in a kitchen and was oddly offered a catering/front of house position literally as I stepped in the door
Oct. 29 – went to London for Oliver’s 29th birthday shindig
Oct. 30 – mysteriously misplaced my laptop charger in Oliver’s apartment only for it to be found after I had returned to Durham, therefore eliminating all computer usage until today
Oct. 31 – started my new job
Nov. 1 – discovered a small contemporary gallery in Durham which was to open an exhibit from the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico featuring one of my fave printmakers, Jim Dine’s pieces
Nov. 4 – my grand return to this blog thing, and my first night working a Durham formal dinner
Tomorrow – I shall longboard my way to the gallery to gaze at the Lithography featured pieces and attend a lecture from some art folk from London and abroad
Nov. 14 – 21st – Lumiere Festival and Apprenticeship take place
Dec. 7 – completion of the Michaelmas Term
Winter Hols – ???xoxoxoxox????

That’s me. How’s you?

Peace & love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Join Me in this Video Project in Support of the Discussion of Human Rights.

“Human rights are violated everyday in every country of the world. From the protection of minorities, refugees and prisoners, to the development of new categories of human rights for the protection of all humans, the fight for universal equality is a work in progress. We invite you to film the struggle for rights recognition and protection in your community to raise awareness and educate the world by filming with One Day on Earth on 11.11.11”

It’s Been a Long Week. Here Are Some Pics In Lieu of Words For Now.

 Durham City from Wharton Park

Durham City from Wharton Park

A 6-year gap reunion!

Best friends since the mid-90's, we met up after 6-years of no visits :o) Now, she in Oxford, me in Durham, and not an ounce of cool between us.

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Durham City Market

Durham City Market

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Paella... lots and lots of Paella

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

A brief note To You,

As mentioned, its been a long week. From last Saturday to today, what has occurred is the following: a weekend visit from my brother simultaneously added with a rendez-vous between best friends whom hadn’t seen each other in over six years also referred to as the Epic Reunion of Ariana (me) and Karazlactim (G); 2 full days working on my feet for the Durham University Careers Fair; 2 days of modules; 3 job interviews with 1 offer and 2 call-backs; a trip to Newcastle to apply for my National Insurance Number and a check-in at the Turner Prize 2011 exhibitions; a lecture through my department with David Mepham, the Director for Human Rights in the United Kingdom; and a lecture with David Miliband, MP for South Shields. Brilliant week, but a long one. Hope the photos suffice for now as I must run, because I’ve a bun in the oven – literally.. I’m baking bread as we speak… the metaphoric translation would make this a rather busy week with loads more gossip to share than I care for at the moment.


Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo