Muselet: An Other Day

28 Oct

A/N: We’ll call this one a Muselet (a silly one at that), ok, Lovelies? There will be no Featured Rebel Royal in today’s essay, but I will more than make up for it next time, cross my heart. I also am pressed for time as I’m writing this just before I’m to hop a plane for a short flight down to my hometown, to attend a psychology training over the weekend, and celebrate my birthday with family and my hubs, who will fly down just to hang with me for a day or so. Of course, I also plan to squeeze in a viewing of Welcome to the Rileys’ with a couple of girls from the KSIBTU Crew. #Priorities.

Sooooo, hello, my Majestic Misfits, how have you been this week? I’ve been well, though super busy as of late, but nonetheless well. I know it’s been a rather sparse time, in the aftermath of last week’s StewiePalooza,Welcome to the Rileys Press Tour, a.k.a. Kristen. OWNING. IT.  But we’ve had a few little nuggets here or there that help us coast through the week. For one, our beloved bestie Tom Sturridge and one of our  lovely Featured Rebel Royals Carey Mulligan have been seen hanging together outside of hotels, at Whole Foods, whatnot. Oh, and we can’t forget that our favorite Warrior Poet Rebel Mr Rob Pattinson allegedly purchased a bicycle and has been seen riding around the lakes at the university, near  Baton Rouge where he and fellow cast mates are in pre-production for the six-month shoot of Breaking Dawn.


Might be his best bet in evading the set-stalkers

With stellar (insert sarcasm) precision, someone, somewhere has happily tweeted or Facebooked,  or interviewed a store owner to obtain the latest details regarding Kristen and Rob’s location, their possible living arrangements, and food consumed while in Baton Rouge…..And, well, let’s not dismiss the stories of Voodoo Weddings and elaborate Halloween bashes that Rob is supposedly throwing! No wonder the poor guy bought himself a bike!

But I digress. The newest story today purports that Rob is hosting a massive Halloween party for his fellow cast mates (which, I wouldn’t put past him, as he appears to be a very generous guy), in which he will dress up as…wait for it–A Vampire. It feels a little unusual for our notoriously shy guy and his equally shy partner Kristen to be bringing attention to themselves. But it does address the goodness that is October 31, and I’d like to take a minute to discuss this lovely day with you all.
You may recall our lovely Ms. Stewart visiting Jay Leno on The Tonight Show a couple weeks ago. In her interview, she spoke about her family’s enthusiasm for the swiftly approaching holiday known as Halloween a.k.a. The Day of Other or The Day of Embracing All Facets of Self. Maybe The Day the Invisible Becomes Visible…or…The Also Known As Day…?

Our Reigning Other Queen giggled (perhaps Stew Giggles compose the sweetest sounds ever) when she told Mr Leno that her mother, the ultra-talented Jules Mann-Stewart, is a big Halloween buff and that Halloween in the Stewart household is kinda a huge deal, like, a Bigger-Than-Christmas deal. And for several years in a row, Kristen admits to dressing up as, ironically, Dracula.

Mwahahaha! Perhaps Kristen can loan her old costumes to Rob for his party-hosting gig this year?

How bad ass is that? She wasn’t a girly vamp, Kristen cautions us. No, she wore the long cloak and rocked the widow’s peak. Man, KStew is so much better than me. #KSIBTU.  Can I say that I tend to feel the same way  as The Stewarts? Let’s think about it shall we? Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, is a day in which–according to English and Celtic lore–the veil between the OTHERworld and this world is thinnest. The Celts believed the souls of the dead (both benevolent and malevolent) roamed the streets and villages on this night. Family ancestors were honored and invited into the home, as rooted in the Festival of Samhain, but evil spirits were cast away when the celebrants wore masks and costumes of demons. Also? Bonfires. Lots of bonfires involved–to signify heath and home, but also as a cleansing ritual as people would throw the bones of slaughtered livestock into the flames, signifying the end of summer, and the dawn of winter. In traditional Celtic festivals, folks would hollow out and carve faces into large turnips, to place in the windows of homes in order to ward off harmful spirits. Would it look something like this?

um. errr. grrrr...? I'm sorry, I would hardly call this repulsive. Concerning, maybe, but I wouldn't run from the room screaming.

So here’s the deal. There are many perspectives on Halloween, influenced by old cultural traditions, and religious beliefs. Most countries don’t even observe it at all, not as the North Americas and some European countries do, anyway. Halloween in its incarnation today is not the same as All Souls Day (Nov 2) as traced back to the middle ages in which poor folks would go door-to-door seeking food in return for prayers for the dead–although you can see in which today’s Trick-or-Treating customs are rooted. Also, this day should not be mistaken for, though often is, The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos) the holiday observed in Mexico and some South American countries in which family and friends gather for prayers and offerings in remembrance of those who have already passed on.

Here is my perspective. Halloween is the opportunity for  us to present the repressed and reveal the hidden, and acknowledge the shadow, recognize the undervalued facets of yourself…One might say it’s the ultimate day to Embrace the Other? Clearly, it’s time to declare October 31 as Day of Other? Well, in my world it is a special Day of Other, because it also happens to be my birthday. *nudges you* It makes so much sense, right???

Again, this looks NOTHING like me. I certainly don't wear aprons.

So it’s true: While I already was self-conscious and awkward and hyper-aware that I looked differently, dressed differently, seemingly formulated thoughts differently than my peers and family, additionally, I endured the heckling of uncouth peers because of the day I was born.  According to these geniuses, I was born on Satan’s Day and that I must be the spawn of  the devil…and that I was so ugly it was no wonder I was born on Halloween, because I already came equipped with my own mask, yadda yadda. Seriously, don’t cry for me, Argentina, it’s cool. Made me stronger and more aware of the Destruction of Others at a young age.

Are we agreed? Shall we declare October 31 Day of Other? You all must see the signs now:  Other-endorsing agents everywhere, opportunities to react in unexpected, unconventional, unusual, quirky, odd and rebellious ways in our every day lives. Signs encouraging you to fly your freak flag and embrace it all…right? There are the endless musicians, actors, and activists that Team Other and I try to highlight every week for you in with Musings, we also have literary heroes like LisbethSalander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it’s sequels, and let’s not forget the beyond brilliant  TV show Glee please, all righty?

A brief reminder: while Halloween can be one official day of Embracing Otherness, I still want to encourage you to seek out the unique and extraordinary every other day as well.We’re not making Day of Other like that ridiculous poseur “holiday” Valentine’s Day, now. Nah. Other Day should really be DAILY OTHERNESS, a conscious mantra. Although, I must say I enjoy some of the holiday TV specials that arise as a result of Hallow’s Eve:

Back to Glee for a sec. Have we not talked about this show together yet? I mean, it’s a show about Otherness, outcasts, misfits and rebels set to song and dance for cryin’ out loud!! It has succeeded where poor Cop Rock could not. Just two nights ago, they did their tribute to  Rocky Horror Picture Show, quickly earning itself a spot in my Top 5 episodes ever. Happy Other Day indeed!  All right, we’ll talk more about Glee in future essays. But I just wanted to illustrate how prevalent and relevant Otherness is. It has permeated the collective consciousness in gloriously unusual and creative ways.

T-T-T-T-Touuuuch Meeee

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Our Reinging Other Queen Kristen definitely recognized at an early age of her exclusion from the “Ordinary Club” and therefore her membership in the Other Category. The sweet girl was not a fairy princess  or a ballerina  for Halloween,  (not that there is anything remotely “wrong” with either of these costumes/roles, they are examples of the more acceptable, gender-role-supportive via our society), she chose a notorious masculine, blood-sucking, erotic, influential, literary antagonist instead. When asked by friend CC of @KStewsBtrthanU: What should Kristen be for Halloween? I replied: Bettie Page.

The defiance of gender roles has nevah looked sooo good

Kristen, according to peers and filmmakers, exudes a strength and maturity far, far beyond her chronological age. Not surprisingly, Kristen was reading books such as Kerouac’s On the Road when she was a pre-teen, and  at 17-years old, she was hand-picked by Greg Mottola to play the conflicted college student Em in the wonderful wonderful movie Adventureland . Most recently Jake Scott, director of Welcome to the Rileys’ reported that despite Kristen’s age (only 18 years old when she was cast as Mallory), he had complete faith that Kristen could tackle the emotional and physical obstacles to portray a broken, near-hopeless teen runaway/stripper/prostitute in his film. She is so unexpected, fresh, unique and unparalleled when comparing her to her contemporaries. Melissa Leo, Kristen’s co-star in WTTR said:

“She was 18 when we shot the movie — almost too young to know all the stuff she does, to get inside something like that. She had the willingness to literally be exposed in the way she was.”

WHEN YOU WERE OTHER

As I mentioned earlier, I had a pretty solid recognition of my Otherness when I was in grade school, and anytime I looked in the mirror (what? I’m Filipino and Puerto Rican for The Goddess’ sake, and my parents and big brother are Swiss-German, it was all kinds of obvs). But between The Great Yearbook Photo mix-up of Junior High and The High School Other Homecoming Queen nominations, I would say that I opened up to my Otherness quotient in the middle-to-late nineties.

Just this week, I was catapulted back to the Grunge Years as I found myself reading a new fan fic called The Ride by the sublime Aylah50 (whose own birthday is tomorrow Oct 29th~HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my fellow Scorpio Grunge Baby!). The story chronicles two people’s trajectory after a very romantic, sensual encounter at a concert by one of my favorite bands LIVE in 1996. Let’s just say that in my nostalgic haze, I could very remember the traces of purple Manic Panic swirling around the drain in my sink as I would dye my  hair and my friends’ hair (if we weren’t using KOOLAID, remember that shit?), hear Trent Reznor’s voice sing of how he gets Closer …to God, see my Doc Martens peeking out from under my floral dresses or completely inappropriate lingerie; I can remember perving on the beautiful tattooed guy behind the  counter of the coffee shop I would frequent….ahhhh. Well that 90’s Flashback and today’s playlist was brought to you courtesy of BIRTHDAY GIFTS TO ME, INC.

Just relax, yo, I was grunge. Not self-mutilating emo.

Ok. So I’m gonna leave this essay as is, right here. We talked a bit about the possible origins of Halloween, birfdays, declaring October 31 an Other Day. We of course discussed the brilliant and rebellious genius of Kristen Stewart and I promised we’d pick up next time and talk about a new Featured Royal Rebel, but we conceded that Other really is permeating our collective unconscious, right? I asked you all to remember where you were when you realized YOU. ARE. OTHER. and I moseyed down Memory Lane and found myself thinking about Nine Inch Nails, LIVE, and unrequited Coffee Shop crushes.

I’ll see you next week at some point, after Halloween, but before the LA SHIT SHOW, a.k.a. Good Times and Birfday Celebrations with The KSIBTU Crew. I’ll want to talk with you all about seeing Welcome to the Rileys as it will have had it’s wide release tomorrow. I’d like to talk about risk-taking, and bliss pursuing, and the ecstasy of love but the absolute agony of loving in the eye of the storm, Cosmology and Spirituality, Body Image and more and more… Until then, enjoy the music, go and read Aylah50’s The Ride, and think a little about when you chose to be Dracula instead of Barbie for Halloween. Have a wonderful Day of Other/ HALLOWEEN/ SAMHAIN/WHATEVER IT IS YOU DEEM IT, but continue to seek and celebrate your Otherness beyond the 31st. I’ll see you soon so we can check in on how that’s going for ya… Take Care, xo, KJ

HALLOWEEN IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS  HAVE A WILLINGNESS TO BE EXPOSED.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE OTHER?

20 Responses to “Muselet: An Other Day”

  1. Crystal November 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    Sooo much love for this post! I can only apologize a thousand times that I’m only getting to it now. While I might have been fantastic at balancing an online presence and a fulltime career – I royally suck at balancing both PLUS ridiculously hot weekends with my own real life Fifty. Seriously, I really need to email you and fill you in on the freakish similarities of my J and Fifty. It will pretty much blow your mind.

    I am LOVING the playlist. Life in Mono brought me right back to being 13 and watching Great Expectations with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow. And Primative Radio Gods – so much freakin win.

    I cannot wait to hear all about WTTR, hanging with the KSIBTU crew and birthday celebrations, which, again – wishing you a wonderful new year ahead of you filled with more bliss than you know what to do with! You are a truly wonderful and I am seriously carefully plotting to sneak into J’s suitcase next time he heads to San Francisco (bugger is there right now. so much jealousy haha)

    Carry on Other – you inspire me every day! xx

  2. Emma November 5, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    How are KJ? We are waiting for your post. Is everything O.K.?

    • KJ November 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi Emma, hey everyone, I am here but got slammed in the middle of week 2 of my travels/seminar/bday-family extravaganza… Got a little overwhelmed, but I am fine. I hope to have New Musings up either this wknd or early nxt week at the latest. Thanks for checking in, I have topics of fear, love and Bliss Id love to explore, and review some of the amazing interviews that have surfaced with Kristen. Plus, by the time I write the new essay, I’ll have seen WTTR at least 3 times! We will discuss! Be well, I’ll check in soon. Much love, KJ

  3. Jessa November 1, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Oh, my best wishes for a very happy belated birthday, KJ. I hope it was a wonderful day and I wish you a coming year full of everything that brings you happiness. 🙂
    I continue to be moved and inspired by all of your musings and muselets. I find they are especially helpful in encouraging me to embrace and nurture the otherness that is evident in my amazing daughter. This year she expressed her otherness in her choice of costume for her preschool Halloween parade and was somewhat criticized for it (she’s only four, but parents have no shame, apparently), but I tried to make sure she felt comfortable being one of only two kids in her class of 37 kids who had any kind of creative costume at all. She owned it at school, but then chose to wear something more generic for trick-or-treating, I don’t know why; it’s a constant process, I suppose. Thank you for being a positive voice for Others (especially the up and coming Others like my girl). To answer the question you posed: I think I’ve always known I am Other, from the time I was in preschool and I befriended a little girl of whom everyone else made fun; I’ve never followed the pack and I like to look for the good in things, embracing things that are unique, whether or not it’s the popular route.
    Much love to you and many thanks for what you do,
    Jessa

  4. sbella October 31, 2010 at 5:53 am #

    Ha sorry for the late comment. I think ill hang out and comment more often. I couldnt comment when this post were up. But I LOVED IT!

    Seriously. Anyway. you have a great time. you youuu… teeehee

    H4K 🙂

  5. tiybor October 30, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    I think I first realized I was “other” when I went to school. I was completely bored because my mom had taught me to read when I was 3 (as in, read well enough to read the grown up stuff on the back of an airline ticket). Later on in second grade, my second grade teacher put me in the corner for asking a question she didn’t know the answer to herself. Fast forward to high school, when my bigoted civics professor gave me a D for taking the liberal viewpoint on a paper. I challenged him after class and he angrily changed it to an A…

    I’ve had a lot of things happen to me that have forced me to be “other” in my life…but in ways I don’t think I truly embraced my “otherness” myself until the last few years. I’ve always known what kind of person I DIDN’T want to be. I didn’t want to be a narrow-minded, blind faith in anything kind of person…I didn’t want to be a social climber, concerned with wealth or status kind of person.

    I think my online adventures have helped me. Knowing that there are proud individualists all over the globe that celebrate the things in life that really matter has lifted my own inner goddess and given her wings…and confidence. I value the lessons that you and so many other lovelies have taught me. And I value the example of the well-known folks you spotlight on your blog…especially Kristen, our reigning Queen…although methinks she might find it a daunting idea to lead the way for mature ladies such as myself! (Part of her wonderfulness!)

    Happy Birthday KJ!

  6. Michelle October 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    A little girl in my class is dressing up as a pirate. How refreshing!!! And she’ll be wearing her fun Chucks. She’s so Other, I love it.
    Safe travels & best birthday wishes to you from NYC. Wish I could come west for some LA fun. xo

  7. cindy October 29, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    maligayang bati my sistah. wonderfully inspiring words as usual. otherness is everywhere, indeed. and when you grow up as one of the few brown girls in a predominantly caucasian suburb, it is experienced from the earliest of ages (or was for me.) and though it’s becoming more acceptable, it is still not the path people would necessarily choose first, right? my hope is that my kids will learn to love what makes them different and IMHO, totally kick-ass. isangmahal bb.

  8. nail October 29, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY K!!!!!!!!!……my son is going as a “Laz-y-Boy” chair……*chuckles*…….don’t ask. i think my otherness is rubbing off on him.

    • KJ October 29, 2010 at 6:43 am #

      Hi Nail, thanks so much for the bday wishes! I LOVE that your son is going as a La-Z-Boy Chair, that’s perfection right there. Your kid cracks me the flip up, hun, you know this. I give him a thumbs up and his mom a big hug for letting him bask in his uniqueness…xx.

  9. true love October 29, 2010 at 1:27 am #

    k..

    first..HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BDAY..MMUUUUAHHH…XOXO..GOD BLESS UR HEART..
    that Halloween party..make me giggles..lol..;0)
    enjoy ur flight..and ur family..see ya.

    true love..
    xoxo..

    • KJ October 29, 2010 at 6:41 am #

      Hi True,
      Muchas gracias, mi amor! The flight was easy, though I finished up Musings while in the air, and published as soon as I was able to get to wifi. Have already had some interesting moments of…tension…with family, but alas, it’s why holidays are SO.MUCH.FUN. …right? Thanks for the bday wishes, my dear. I’ll catch you later, maybe with pictures? xx

  10. Aai October 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    Continuing the theme of the day I send you big group birthday hugs Kai baby! You’re in the middle – feel the love!

    I prefer to recall the moment my peers realised I was other!

    I remember dressing for a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, turning up with my small group of friends, looking fab.u.lous! (of course!), props in hand, ready to throw at the screen at the appropriate moment, and sing at the top of our lungs, greeting our other friends in the crowd…and then…unexpectedly colliding with the ‘cool kids’ from school…all of whom looked uncomfortable and out of place and like they were trying too hard. It was a moment to remember. It felt good. I felt like me, and in a good way.
    So, of course, you brought a big grin to my face with your little reference to the epicness in this muselet!

    Serio bb- happy birthday – enjoy ALL the celebrations – and come back and tell us all about them ASAP – mmkay? cool!

    • KJ October 29, 2010 at 6:39 am #

      Oh Aai! You know I Love me my group hugs! SQUEEZE. I love your Rocky Horror story, what a fantastically satisfying moment for you, and what I love is that YOU were in your element when you and your peers recognized your Otherness. I’m willing to be you were glorious!! Much love, Possum. And thanks for the BDay wishes. I’ll tell ya all about it (given that details are not incriminating), you know I can babble away! Luff! xx

  11. Cheermom October 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm #

    Happy early birthday KJ!!! Strap on them boots and rejoice in your otherness of being a Halloween baby!!!

    • KJ October 29, 2010 at 6:32 am #

      Thanks so much my CM! Strapping on the thigh-highs and boa, and for good measure, the Tiara. You know what I’m talking about. My Boa is Burgundy. I’ll be seeing you around, my dear! xx

  12. DeeDreamer October 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    Love it, KJ!
    I realized I was other early on in school. All the kids celebrated Christmas and Easter when I didn’t. Then, at Hebrew School, I was the only blonde/green eyed kid amongst a small crew of dark haired/dark skinned kids. Talk about “Other” all around.
    Oh…and Hells to the YES: #Glee #TheRide
    Happy Early Birfday, bb girl!! xoxo ~DD

    • KJ October 29, 2010 at 6:30 am #

      Hi D! You certainly did realize it early..nothin like a unique holiday to out your Otherness, hm? Thanks for the bday wishes, my sweetness…and W00T to #GLEE and #THE RIDE! xx

  13. L October 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    I can’t say that I ever had a great flash of awareness of Otherness. More like a creeping realization that there was something… different. But one day I looked back on everything and realized I was. It was an interesting revelation.

    • KJ October 29, 2010 at 6:28 am #

      Similarly here, L. Well, I mean, I was always aware, as I’ve said, but it took me some time to first: Put the pieces together, and then second, be ok with it. Still working on being ok with it. Writing Musings and chatting with you brilliant souls certainly has helped! Thanks for commenting, hun. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you, actually, really seeing you very soon! xx

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