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Redefining the Learnings of Love

10 Feb

A/N: Well today’s post is much later than anticipated, but I’m happy to be posting, nonetheless. This essay was written in several different parts, over several different days, from various locations. I started writing when I  was down in L.A. for Bobby Long’s show. But since, I’ve traveled back home and have experienced several events that urged me to keep writing, despite any issues with continuity. In other words, it’s how I roll. Thanks for flowin with me, Lovelies, and thanks for not being too hard on me for being a complete fail with comment and email replies. My goal is to finish them this weekend!…Anyhoo, Let’s go forth, mmmkay?

***

A soul connection is a resonance between two people who see each other’s essential beauty, behind their facades…a sacred alliance, whose purpose is to help both partners realize their deepest potentials

~John Welwood, Love and Awakening

Well this very spur-of-the-moment trip down to my hometown found me in possession of several outfit options for various weather, including scarves and hats, though it is so mild and perfect here in SoCal, I fear I’ll be lynched by those of you in blizzard country experiencing heinous conditions. As indicated, I’m only kinda prepared. I have makeup (which I only really wear when I go out to shows or in meetings), though no makeup remover; my phone and wall charger, but no car charger, which proved to be a hindrance as I charged my phone in a public bathroom at an L.A. shopping center during lunchtime yesterday. I have my trusty MacBook Pro (and charger, yippee!), but not my usual Musings Notebook; no books of poetry and psychotherapy to prompt me, not even a spiral notebook. I don’t even have a pen!  You Office Supply Junkies know WhatImmaSayin when I mention needing the right writing utensil in order to truly produce good work.

This is like porn. #OfficeSupplyJunkie

I am of course struck with inspiration to write and to create after  yesterday’s jam-packed day of travel, good food,  and unbelievably dazzling stills from On The Road. Top the night off with attending Bobby Long’s show at The Troubadour and we’ll call it a good, good day, my friends.

Let’s talk about the just-released OTR stills a minute, ok? Or not. Really, I don’t know that there are words to adequately describe the rush of euphoria that overtook me when I first saw them. I had been away from my phone and the internet for most of the day since I was flying in and enjoying a lovely day of catch-up with @Edmett and @RobKris13. I checked my email/Twittah timeline and saw these pics, each one more breathtaking than the last.

Ohai, Sal. I mean, Sam.

And I nearly caused poor @Edmett to swerve off the 405 as I screamed and showed her this still on my iPhone:

I cant even.... *sputtering*....legs. Garrett. Sam #INeedThisMovieNOW

The  third picture–you know what I’m talking about–features our Reigning Other Queen in a suspended moment of exquisite magnificence. I literally moaned and chanted OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODDESS over and over when I pulled it up on my phone’s decidedly too-small screen.  I had just basically handed our lives over to @Edmett in showing her this picture while crawling through L.A.’s Rush-Hour Traffic. How we didn’t slam into another car in that moment I’ll never know, but MAD PROPS to my friend’s stellar navigation skills. Because…LOOK. AT. THIS!!!

...And if we would have died that day, I would have been ok with that

“… because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…”  ~Sal from On the Road

Not only is this picture sensual and visceral, and captures our Rebel Royal Kristen in a moment  of oneness with her Inner Beatnik Beauty, but to me this scene depicts exactly what I envisioned the jazz club scenes to look like as I read On The Road so many years ago. Kristen appears glorious as the sweaty, heady, possessed and unfurling MaryLou(Stew). This moment just drips with spontaneous creative expression and liberation. She is completely enslaved by the music she hears, having no choice but to undulate. I will admit to you that I moaned when I caught a glimpse of this gorgeous film still. The Beats, in their celebration of creativity, sexuality, music, prose, and non-conformity were some serious trailblazing Others were they not? I cannot even begin to describe my elation at knowing Kristen is in this movie, along with Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. It cannot be here fast enough, in my opinion.

Oh, and speaking of magical moments,  let me say how soulful and brilliant I find Mr Bobby Long (singer, songwriter, harmonica-and-guitar-playing, Britpack-rolling-shy guy) to be. He felt all the notes in every cell of his body. With grimaces, gyrations, body-sways, he appeared consumed entirely and I was enraptured. I hadn’t seen him live before, just via YouTube, and I was utterly captivated  by his gritty, passionate voice and his talented guitar-playing.

It also struck me that I hadn’t been to this particular  L.A. Venue for at least three years. The last time I’d been at The Troubadour, I had arrived extremely intoxicated via limousine for a birthday party and a live show. I technically wasn’t single, as N and I were trying like Hell to keep our über long-distance relationship afloat, but it was a darker time in our courtship.

I swear Bobby was on par with me this week as he performed his breathtaking song “Who Have You Been Loving”. The night was already enchanted as I got to spend a teeny bit of time with dear friends (big waves to my KSIBTU Crew Girls Iris & Kim) and  enjoy the company of my sister Mari/Pai, @RobKris13 (whose pictures of Bobby I’m featuring) and @edmett while participating in one of my favorite activities: watching brilliant singer-songwriters perform live.

Love as a Transformative Path

So let me go back to the beginning and  tell you that I knew I was going to write about love and relationships this week, and not because we’re approaching that obnoxious-pink-hearts-and-teddy-bears-day, February fourteenth. I wanted to address Kristen’s admirable poise as she sidesteps the intense scrutiny and curiosity into her  own love life, and I wanted explore the question that arises in relationships in general: Is this relationship worth the struggle?

So while in SoCal, I had hoped to write, severely lacking in notebooks and writing utensils, even as I was bursting on the subject of Amore (Italian)! I stayed in my childhood bedroom while down in L.A., which is peppered with baskets and drawers of little treasures I couldn’t part with. In one basket I found an old journal, started two years ago. There was only one entry in it. It began with the line:

“I am on United Flight 53 to Maui”

To my joy, I discovered that this is my traditional airplane journal entry commencing the start of a new travel adventure. This time, N and I were embarking on our honeymoon. Perfect. Just another confirmation to write about the faith and consistency of love, despite setbacks, challenges, immigration and wild speculation from external naysayers–obstacles that Kristen and her partner Robert have to address nearly every day.

Let me inject briefly with a clarifying statement.  I do not believe in “Valentine’s Day”. I believe in love, I believe in declaring it as often as possible to my beloveds and I believe  in sacred contracts with numerous soul mates (see last week’s Musings). But I do not need a specific day, decked out in cut-out hearts and boxes of chocolate to dictate how I express my fondness for those in my life. So again, I’m not writing about Liebe (German) in reaction to the event that occurs next Monday. Instead, I am writing about  Szeretet (Hungarian) because I believe loving someone is always worth any struggle… And because N and I are going through the next phase in the permanent residency/Green Card process. And because I had a mind-blowing lunch with a childhood girlfriend while I was in town. (Meg is a newlywed, and is discovering who she is as a married woman). . .and because our Reigning Other Queen Kristen and her chosen consort Mr Pattinson are trying to navigate the pitfalls of being in a relationship under the telescopic spotlight amongst cynics, set stalkers, “nerdy bloggers” and the spectacle that is our society’s expectations.

Swear that youre in it to win it

Our Majestic Misfit Kristen is only 20 years old. I know it’s easy to forget this when we witness her stunning transformation into MaryLou(Stew), or when we realize she’s portrayed more sage, battered old souls then most of us have had jobs (most of us. I’m into my twenty-something job since I’ve been seventeen). But it’s true Kristen is just out of her teen years, chronologically. I ask us all to remember what it was like to be in our early twenties, attempting to negotiate a career, decipher what we want to do with our lives, falling in and out of infatuation with the gorgeous kid at our work or in our classes.

John Welwood–author, psychotherapist, and founder of the field that is my doctoral studies currently: East/West Psychology–notices that  most beliefs about love, commitment and marriage have been altered drastically today. Welwood writes in his article Intimate Relationship as Transformative Path, that the definition and function of loving relationships and marriage in particular, were prescribed by family, society and religion, and upheld (supported? Whaaa?) steadfastly by the community. Today, however, perhaps due to cues from television, movies, and new media, the loving relationship has become the wild frontier and almost the exception.

Ummmmmm. So what happens when your “community” is Hollywood, land of the 5-times-divorced-but-let’s-have-a-reality-TV-show-about-our-crumbling-relationship-mentality?  What happens when you’re trying to grapple with social networking sites, Tweets, twits, gossip blogs, camera phones and your own “fans” fighting, plotting and sorta-kinda hoping/wagering that your relationship fails?

It may be frustrating to some, but Kristen and Rob’s policy of keeping their personal lives to themselves is a policy that is effective. The curiosity may be at an all-time high right now, but the rabidity will fade eventually, and the bond that exists between our Royal Rebels is probably only strengthening as they face the challenges purported by being outrageously famous, together as a partnership. John Welwood’s thoughts on long-lasting couples echo this:

“What can sustain a couple through the most difficult times is knowing that they are together for a larger purpose–helping each other refine who they authentically are as people.”

All I’ve Ever Learned From Love

“But all I’ve ever learned from love, was how to shoot at someone who out-drew you.”

~ Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah

I cannot imagine the horror Kristen and Robert must feel when they recognize they cannot even hold hands in public for fear of retribution, of the Vultures swooping in and pecking away at their still-warm forms. I  have great admiration for  how they both have waded through the speculation and obscene invasion of privacy. Could you say you’d handle it with the same finesse? At age 20 and 24, what were (or are–Musings has Readers of all ages, ranging from 15 to 65+) you doing, and how did (do) you view love and intimacy? What cultural, familial or religious factors govern your views on love, commitment, marriage…?

When I was 20, I was a junior in college, just having declared my major for the sixtieth time (Sociology. English. Journalism. Psychology. Music. ) Speech Communication was the winner…for about 1 semester until I stumbled upon Counseling Psychology. I was in the final months of my relationship with my first  boyfriend as an “adult”. I was already experiencing the heartbreak of first love, first loss, the first discussions of marriage, and why or how it wasn’t in the cards for me just yet (if ever). I can’t imagine trying to process these overwhelming emotions while in the public eye, with my face splashed across every rag mag counting down the minutes to my demise.

As Mr. Welwood asserts, times have changed in how society views love and relationships. No one culture or religion views Mahal (Filipino/Tagalog) and marriage in the exact same way. In India and some African villages your soon-to-be spouse is chosen for you and you don’t meet your new honey until a family-chaperoned meal is arranged. In 1950’s America, the ultimate act of love a woman could display is finding a husband for whom she can immediately birth children and tend his home.

I never believed I would get married. I was raised by a spectacularly efficient single-mother and I had no example of marriage to draw experience from. I grew up surrounded by peers who all were married and having kids by the time they were 24, which is great since these girls and guys have always, always envisioned their lives playing out exactly so. I looked upon my future in love as nebulous. Mostly because I couldn’t imagine settling in one place long enough to anyone’s liking–I have expansive dreams of traveling and an impulsive nature to boot–hence the  reason I carry a passport in my purse nearly all the time.

But this is not always acceptable, even today. I have friends who recount to me how patronizing and judgmental people are  because they are single. One of my Possum (aka Aussie) Besties, @Justice_Aussie (Jai) came home one afternoon after a doctor’s visit. The nurse receptionist called Jai …wait for it..“Socially Infertile”. Meaning, she is single, and not able to hang onto a partner, and most likely decreasing any chances that Jai could have children, whether naturally or with some help. My friend Jai, granted, I’m biased, but I still speak truth, is a beautiful, intelligent, snarky, accomplished lawyer in her twenties. For some stranger to offer up her opinion (a narrow, cruel and uninformed one at that) unsolicited, is an abomination. And it rocked Jai’s confidence. My beautiful, strong Possum felt a moment of uncertainty.

Oh, fuck no.

Now. Can you imagine the onslaught of unsolicited opinions that our divine, royal Queen Kristen must receive on a daily basis?

Creating A New Definition

I met my now-husband N when I was single and traveling on a personal quest. I spent 3 weeks wandering through China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, with my mother. Then I spent one week solo traveling through a few places within my Motherland, The Philippines. I was 27 years old (waaaay too old for some people’s liking and waaaaay too single) seeking some understanding of a culture that is mine but little experienced since I was not raised within it. N was working as a dining room steward on the cruise ship my mother and I toured with. We met in Osaka, Japan. It was not Love, or Cinta (Indonesian) at first sight, but it definitely was a bond of respect upon first meeting. After I left Asia, N and I kept in touch with the assistance of modern technology: Skype, Chat, long-distance calling cards. Long, wonderful, movie-worthy story short, despite ungainly obstacles (cultural differences, religious differences, nearly insurmountable long-distances–like all the time; our family’s skepticism, and our respective communities’ concerns), N and I are now in the home stretch of his garnering permanent residency and his green card. We just have to pass this second interview proving that we indeed are a genuine, married couple and have been for the past two years. We’ve worked hard these two years, fought for this, defended this. And we two wanderers just created a love story of unconventional means. But it works. And I have a single journal entry detailing our honeymoon flight to Maui.  SCORE.

So again, I bring attention to our stunning Rebel Queen Kristen and bow humbly at her feet for the incredible strength and grace she endures to have her personal life include one Mr Pattinson. How do we know she’s in this relationship for the long haul? Well we don’t know as an absolute, nor should we, but from what I’ve observed, our Queen has withstood great distances, public criticisms and concerns, meddling film studios and co-workers, stalkerazzi, obsessed and delusional “fans”, all while in the spotlight. They’re defying predictions and excruciating scrutiny, and they’re making it work. And it’s so pretty.

Reminiscent of the fair Snow White and her prince, no...?

Kristen, Rob, and our Featured Rebel have explored ways of creating a new definition of old values. While the idea and concept of Amour (French) is as old as time, the way we practice it, protect it, and live it is all our own accord. Others refuse to be labeled or pigeonholed in one identity, despite external pressures to choose just one definition. Others continue to refuse compliance  to industry and societal expectations in their work and in their expression of values.

Featured Royal Rebel: Viggo Mortensen

This beautiful, multi-talented man not only worked with Kristen in On the Road this summer, but his name is attached to the new film project Snow White and the Huntsman, which would feature Reigning Queen Kristen in the titular role of Snow (if she accepts the offer) and Mr Mortensen as The Huntsman. Viggo alone would be enough for me to want Kristen to do this film. Everything that he produces is just better. He caught my attention first when he was the sexy, hippie vagabond in A Walk On The Moon with Diane Lane, but Viggo Mortensen has been on the scene for much longer than that. He is a Danish-American actor, writer, painter and musician boasting an incredible list of accomplishments and an array of exotic locales in which he lived. Perhaps he is best known for his work as Aragorn in epic and one of my personal favorites: The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (yes I apparently was a geeky fan girl for much longer than you knew), but it was his most recent work in a series of esteemed director David Cronenberg’s films A History of Violence and Eastern Promises (for which he earned an Academy Award nod) that elevated Viggo’s status to glorious heights.

Mr Mortensen always provided glimpses into his Otherness, even from his childhood. His mother is American with family from Nova Scotia Canada, and his father is Danish. Perhaps Viggo was destined to be a wanderer and seeker of more since his parents met while traveling through Norway. The first eleven years of his life, the artist lived first in Denmark, then Argentina, where his father managed chicken farms and Viggo learned Spanish, the language he speaks fluently today and is the language in which he reports feeling most comfortable communicating. His parent’s divorce prompted Viggo and his brothers and mother to return to the States, and he spent the remainder of his childhood in New York. To address his restless spirit in which he reported needing “to define purpose of life” (very appropriate he is in On the Road, no?), Viggo chose to travel and live in Europe, including Spain, England and Denmark after he graduated from university in New York. He held miscellaneous jobs such as truck driver and flower seller until he returned to The States after two years, to pursue acting as a career.

His first film role was as an Amish farmer in Witness alongside Harrison Ford, and since this film Viggo Mortensen has produced a steady string of well-received movies over three decades.  His  film work includes The Portrait of a Lady, Crimson Tide, A Perfect Murder, Hidalgo and Sean Penn’s The Indian Runner among so many others. He has cultivated a career that is highly diverse as well as intriguing and it would take maybe three more pages for me to list his incredible hobbies and rewards. In addition to acting, Viggo is a poet, a jazz musician and a painter. He refuses to comply with Hollywood’s expectations with statements like, “I wouldn’t do any more movies, quite frankly.” He also declined his agents’ suggestions to change his name to Vic Mort. He has been knighted in Norway, he is a published poet and writer, a musician who has released at least three CDs, an accomplished equestrian, mural painter and linguist (he speaks French, Spanish, English, Italian and Swedish fluently). He’s a translator, a hockey buff (big supporter of the Montreal Canadiens), and a skilled swordsman (residual from The Lord of The Rings). And he is a co-parent to a now 22-year-old son, with his ex-wife Punk singer Exene Cervenka (of the band X). Throw on top of that the honors he’s received in being named Sexiest, Hottest or among the Most Beautiful nearly every year for the past decade. He indeed created his own idea of what it means to be an artist. Neither fame nor money are of importance to Mr Mortensen, only the opportunity to express some facet of himself creatively. One of my favorite quotes I’ve read from him is in his musings on being an actor:

“It comes down to the fact that you supply the blue, and other people supply the other colors…and mix them with your blue. Maybe there is some blue that wasn’t there before. Maybe there wasn’t supposed to be any there in the first place. So have fun, and make a good blue.”

Offenses of Otherness:

*Hadn’t pursued the now-legendary role of Aragorn for LoTR until his 14-year old son convinced him to reconsider

*Does not approach filmmakers for new roles, prefers to “wait to see what comes” to him

“Life is short. I like to pay attention while I’m going through it. I will create and filter my own idea of what that means”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

So in this fairly long Musings on redefining an idea or identity despite age-old expectations, we sidestepped the antiquated Valentine’s Day-like title of Love and discussed different definitions of that ubiquitous emotion, verb, title. We applauded our Majestic Misfit Kristen because she reminds us that falling in Love, and expressing Love “Ninakupenda” (‘I Love You’ in Swahili)  can look very different from what we expect. We all are informed and influenced by our childhood/cultural/religious communities  in constructing meaning for a concept or title, whether it be:

LOVE or CREATIVITY or GUIDANCE or ACTOR or ARTISTIC or HUMANITY  

Kristen also reminds us that only one facet of her being is in-tuned with portraying Bella Swan…Kristen has the means and the courage to embrace her inner MaryLouStew as well. This is doubly and triply confirmed by some of Kristen’s OTR costars: Amy Adams, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. Maybe (hopefully) Ms Stewart will embrace the true role of a Rebel Queen by the name of Snow White, as well as embody the role of a transgendered prison inmate (K-11) this year. Maybe she’ll take the time she wants to write and direct. Maybe she’ll arrive at the BAFTAs this Sunday with Robert on her arm as she passes the torch of Rising Star to this year’s deserving recipient (Maybe to fellow Others Emma Stone…Or Andrew?). Whatever role or creative plan she chooses to share with us, I do not doubt it will be all Kristen. As she defines it. And that is seriously beautiful.

Role Call: Other Queen? HERE. . . P.S. Thank Buff & N again for this photo/edit collab. Its my very favorite.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Remains grounded about the enormous success of her career

*Strives to channel celebrity into philanthropy

“You should have the opportunity to be more than one person with different people – because you have that within you.”

Go on. Go and challenge what you’ve been taught about expressing yourself, expressing your emotions, expressing your gifts. Take your “blue” and make it the best blue you can. Question and defy the critics who label you “socially infertile”, give the double-bird salute to anyone who tells you that Valentine’s Day must somehow involve paper heart cutouts and flower delivery companies. Remind yourself what it’s like to fall in love, fall out of love; to seek identity and direction and to create a new model, a new culture, a new language. Redefine and REPRESENT Otherness.

Viggo is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others create a new definition for expression.

Embrace your Other.

***

Question: What factors influence your beliefs about Love, Creativity, Expression, Individuality? Do you ever challenge these factors?

***

A/N: Again, I thank you for your patience with me as I try to make peace with a new posting schedule. It may be bi-weekly now for a while as I tackle 3D happenings such as Immigration interviews, MOO Missions and a fledgling Private Practice. The response and support for the last essay was unprecedented and I am stunned.

You read the glorious and genius KStew Is Better Than You, yes? Well it’s KSIBTU’s BIRTHDAY today, February 10! One year ago, CC blessed us with her gift of humor and intellectual sexy and altered everything. I count her among the inspirations and co-creators of Musings. I’m kinda indebted to CC for life because she first found the courage to publish her brilliant and effective defense of Queen Kristen.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KSIBTU!!! To many, many more years of laughter and Cat Quotas.


This Essay is For: Possum Bestie Jai, to my friend and beloved sister, CC of @KStewsBtrThanU, to Ree (my warrior), Megs (I could spend hours with you), Cheermom (You’ve been blessed by Angels) and N (I’ll gladly challenge immigration with you any day, Babylove).

Big thanks to @RobKris13 and @edmett  for an incredible day-long adventure in L.A.

To Bouffant: You’re my brand of Cray-Cray. Love you.

To Mari/Pai: We’ll need to make it a tradition, our girls nights out. Love spending time with you, mi hermana.

To my Cyber Sisters/Readers: Muchas muchas gracias, Te Amo.

Check out the New Resources for Beauty Page….I’ll be adding new material often, and hopefully including links and videos.

See you soon. Yours, KJ


KStew & Vogue Inspire the Seeking of Global Soul

27 Jan

We all have wings. Though some of us don’t know why

~Never Tear Us Apart, INXS

We Are Here.

Well, hellllo there, my Majestic Misfits and Rebellious Royals! I’ll address why you haven’t heard from me in over two weeks (and, more importantly how profoundly effective the hiatus has been) in a few moments, but I just wanted to take a deep breath and enjoy being in your company. I hold deep and sincere gratitude to you for your patience and understanding. And you must know that I have missed you all. In a very experiential, existential way. And I’ve missed your clever, hysterical editorials on all things K/R/Twi/Bliss/Other related. So, this is me, before commencing this week’s essay, bowing down to you in humble appreciation. And I look a little like this:

One thing that has become dazzlingly apparent to me recently is The Bond. There is a bond now. We all have bonded over our admiration for Kristen and Robert. Regardless if this is an almost 3-year journey (raises hand) for you, or if this is your first glance at a blog you discovered after typing in the words “Kristen” and  “Stewart”  in a Google search, there are a great many of us who share in a feeling of unity in this vast community, this fandom. We have invested at least a sliver of personal interest into a twenty-year old woman who is navigating the peaks and valleys of living, loving, doing and being. How has this bond manifested for me? Well, first, I had the opportunity to spend some face-to-face time with one of my Cyber Sisters, Missy/Brothaa last week. Nothing cements camaraderie like ingesting copious amounts of pasta and alcohol before running around town to random bookstores and liquor stores seeking VOGUE Magazines. While the gentleman behind the liquor store counter double and triple checked with me as to whether I “really wanted to purchase all four copies of the same magazine”, Missy didn’t bat an eyelash. Instead, she squealed and did the soccer-announcer -screaming-GOOOAAAALLLL-Dance with me when we spotted it.

CLEARLY a productive night

How else did I glimpse the awesomeness that is the Fandom Community? The emergence of more clear and powerfully positive voices speaking up in support of Kristen, Rob and the greater picture. A friend of mine, M, aka one part of the blogging team @DrownInIt wrote an eloquent essay on the joys of participating in this fandom. Check it HERE: How KStew Changed Fangirling. One of the many points M highlighted in her essay is the sheer exhilaration and honor she feels in meeting fellow intelligent, and creative voices among this fandom. I personally can attest to the genius and almost crushing generosity of Kristen Supporters, if Musings’ Readers are any indication. I’ve long-held the opinion that Musings Readers are the wittiest, bravest and most brilliant of all the fandom (bias schmias), but as I stumbled around uncertainly these past couple weeks, I became convinced that MOO’s Readers are DIVINE. Here is where I turn my adoring gaze upon Matt B and @Dano328/OpyTaylor for their impeccably timed, kind words of encouragement. You both unknowingly contributed to the saving of Musings.

TRUTH TIME. I experienced a moment in which I contemplated the discontinuation of Musings. Without going into great detail, I have had some pretty stressful 3D experiences including another bout with a painful sinus/flu-like sickness, a major setback in the financing of The Magical Little Practice, and some family issues to attend to. Plus, with my inability for succinct storytelling, I had written essays averaging 3000 words every week for seven months prompting self-care (coming from the consta-sick girl) and perspective-expansion, and I wondered if maybe I’d over-stayed my welcome. Quite serendipitously, The Universe sent me several encounters with synchronicity, impeding my too-hasty, and not-quiet disappearance. Synchronicity in the form of emails from rebel poets (@DANO328 and MATT), MidWestie Visitors (winks at Brothaa), inspiring Blog posts (@DrownInIt), Team Other Captains who used SHOUTY CAPS (ahem, CC) and soothing words and pictures (My girls Bouffant & Buff). And just in case I truly didn’t get the memo, Synchronicity sent an Angel….

VogueStew bestows grace

These encounters with friends, Readers, fellow fans (The Bond), and our Reigning Other Queen Kristen reminded me of the agreement I’d made with myself, and with Others. In essence, I was re-introduced to my Blissful Path, prompted to expand my perspective and revisit my Sacred Contract. This Contract, as defined by the awe-inspiring author and medical intuitive Carolyn Myss, is essentially the understanding and implementation of our greater functioning. Our Path. Our higher purpose. Our Soul’s Work. Basically, the reason ‘Why We Are Here’.

We have established these agreements with many people in our lives–past and present–also with our higher power however it is named for you, and with ourselves. They are compiled of anything and everything and influence anything and everything: Romantic relationships, friendships, family relations, career choices, money management, artistic expression, fandom communities, and society. SISTERS. BROTHERS. MOTHERS. FATHERS. LOVERS. HEALERS. TEACHERS. PARENTS. STUDENTS. WARRIORS. LEADERS. OTHER.  Jungian scholars may refer to these as “Samples” and patterns as informed by Archetypes. My Divine Agreements are with my soul mates and beloveds, and with my hope to provide healing and empowerment to people through my fledgling psychotherapy practice…and through Musings. All who enter into a Sacred Contract acknowledge that we are accountable to not only ourselves, but to others, and to our environment, to ideas much larger than just us as individuals. We agree that we have communion with the Global Soul.

The Fairest Philanthropy

Raise your hopeful voice, you had the choice. You’ve made it now

~Falling Slowly, Swell Season

Contrary to popular assumption, the desire to connect to the greater collective (also creating spiritual and emotional transformation) is not always motivated by tragedy or loss. It can be inspired by a particularly beautiful line of poetry, or introduction to a soul mate, a sunset, a movie, an inspiring business discussion. Or by an issue of Vogue. It was quite the celebration once we learned that Kristen Jaymes Stewart was going to be the February Cover Girl for Vogue, as our Rebel Queen broke through the barriers of Unconventional Beauty to grace the front of such a culturally iconic publication. And when the first photos from the shoot began rolling out, I, along with millions of others gasped at the majesty.

I may have cried a little over the Outtakes and the Behind-the-Scenes Video. . .

But it was the accompanying article that truly plundered me, leaving me speechless. Interviewer Eve MacSweeney managed to capture our Majestic Misfit’s quiet but still-blazing intensity, intelligence, kindness and other-worldly aestheticism in print, accomplishing what so many journalists have attempted before but could not entirely deliver. Kristen’s now-famous Mexican Tortilla Soup had been alluded to in the past by colleagues and costars, but Ms.MacSweeney enjoyed a first-hand observation and consumption of Ms Stewart’s culinary prowess as the actress prepared (in her “friend’s” kitchen) and served the famous Soup along with pulled-pork sandwiches. We all knew that KJ Stewart (of course I squeal just a tiny bit that Kristen and I have our initials in common) is a voracious reader, but the Vogue journalist received an updated book list directly from the source. Kristen’s nightstand is piled high with literary gems including Columbine by Dave Cullens, a study of extreme Mormonism and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. OIC. Light bedtime reading.

legs

This interview became my favorite interview in direct correlation with two very essential responses Kristen gave. First, when Ms. MacSweeney alluded to our favorite Featured Rebel and Poet Warrior, Robert P, Kristen addressed but closed down further discussion entirely by saying,

“It’s not my job.”

This was an impeccable answer.  The best answer Ms. Stewart could have EVER given. She clearly indicates that she will fiercely protect her private life, all while shooting down any outlandish charges that her relationship with Mr Pattinson is a PR stunt. Her relationship with him is not available for monetary capitalization nor voyeurs’ entertainment. She granted this interview to a world-renown magazine to discuss her work. BOO.YAH.

The second response that rendered me dizzy simply was Synchronicity nudging me to sit the fuck down and revisit my resolutions…Review my Sacred Contract. I believe I heard angels singing.  Kristen has perhaps glimpsed her own Sacred Contract, as she is realizing the great influence she has (She’s on par with She-Ra). Not only is she greatly admired (translation: adored, lusted after, coveted, worshipped, idolized) by esteemed colleagues and cohorts, but she has the unwavering devotion and attention of millions of readers, and movie-goers, thanks to her work in the films Twilight, Adventureland, The Runaways,and Welcome to the Rileys to name a few.  That’s such a daunting concept. And yet, Ms Kristen finds herself concerned only with the happiness and approval from fans of the Twilight books….She’s also considering what to do with the pile of cash she’s acquired as a result of her film work. She is a lovely, successful, and shy young woman shaping a plan to contribute to society, benevolently aiding a cause she feels “most connected to”. Kristen’s work for the film Welcome to the Rileys in which she played Mallory, a teenaged runaway  working as a stripper/prostitute, illuminated Kristen’s Contract. She wants to contribute to the Global Soul via the creation of safe places for people seeking recovery and rehabilitation…in the form of a Halfway House network.

*Cue Angels’ glorious chorus. Cue KJ’s weeping*

I was already an ardent admirer of Kristen Stewart. I already inherently, instinctively believed that she was a compassionate, intelligent, and gentle spirit. But when I read about Kristen’s desire to build a network of  halfway houses, my respect for her grew exponentially …into a kind of reverence. I have spent over ten years working with the population that Kristen wants to assist. My clients are children, women, teenagers and families who were victims of abuse, poverty, substance abuse and disenchantment, and every one of them sought a quiet moment of respite and a kind word of encouragement to continue forward, when all they really wanted to do was fall back. But since mental health and soul rehabilitation are the bottom-rung of priorities when considering the piecing together of state and national budgets, there are no resources to finance counseling or social services. I lost my job as a psychotherapist and manager over a year ago due to the severe budget restraints. And now this beautiful, compassionate artist wants to contribute to the reinstatement of safe havens and encouragement for people who are in dire need. Her Halfway House Network could enable the hiring of gifted counselors thirsty for work and eager to help to the millions of people just struggling to find their next meal. What other twenty-year old do you know does this? To say that I am stunned is an understatement. I am absolutely astonished.

Didn't I tell you that Buff and N are MAGICAL together? Recognize. Courtesy of Buff&N Collabs.

A New Musings Mission

You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true

~Richard Bach

So, let’s recap shall we? In my unplanned, unexpected two-week hiatus from Musings, I got pretty sick (again) and in the midst of addressing illness, family stuff and business planning, considered closing down this blog. Ah, but The Universe had other ideas for this restless Other Queen-in-training. The Bond simmered and surged, other strong voices joined the fray, and letters arrived from  gentlemen who provided exactly the right words to soothe at exactly the right time (bows to Matt and Dan). My beloved and insanely gifted husband N was promoted at work (we have a roof over our head for another month! We have cable again!). A Sister came to my city to have cocktails with The Beats ..and me…And Kristen Stewart made a connection with the Global Soul through a very beautiful and compelling photo shoot and interview with Vogue. Did I cover everything?

Here’s where I tell you about the revitalized, reinvigorated, re-inspired Musings Mission. *bouncing on my toes in excitement* Encouraged by Kristen’s incredible philanthropic visions, and with Carolyn Myss’s guidance on seeking my own Divine Agreement (or Sacred Contract), I’ve decided my mission is two-fold. First, I am going to continue to write Musings. That’s right. You’re stuck with me, kiddos, all my rambling and musing just needs to go somewhere…Writing MOO makes me happy, and it satisfies my desire to communicate, empower and embolden fellow Misfits to find their true Home, their Bliss. The continuation of Musings provides support and encourages our Reigning Other Queen Kristen to KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING, KEEP GOING as well. My hope is that we can all pursue our Bliss, and seek connection to the Global Soul through connection and compassion with Others. And besides, I get to post pretty pictures of Kristen and all the Royal Rebels who light the path and persevere. I like pretty pictures of Royal Rebels….

The second tenant of my New MOO Mission–Shall we call it THE MOO MISH?–entails: My offer of anything within my power and scope of abilities to our Reigning Queen Kristen’s disposal so she can implement her  own Sacred Contract. I created and managed small counseling teams while I was at BastardNation, a company that truly released and liberated me when budget cuts sliced my position out. Now I’m free to contribute to projects that inspire me–Like Kristen’s vision. Her vision is very close to my own: Guide, provide safety, health and empowerment of self.  I would love nothing more than to contribute my skills of clinical psychotherapy, supervision and program management to helping Kristen build a Halfway House Network to help Others start their healing journeys on their own paths towards health and …home. It’s kinda what I do already in my teensy tiny almost-there practice, and in my weekly ramblings with you beautiful Misfits…So why not contribute the goals of my Sacred Contract to someone else’s goals for the betterment of The Collective Good? *shrugs*

So, my Loveliest of Lovelies…here we are, already at the end of the first month of a new year. Its only the second Musings of 2011 and I do apologize for the unannounced delay in posting. But I am eternally and wholly indebted to you all for your unbelievably inspiring support and love for Musings, for your passionate defense and support of Our Reigning Queen Kristen and all the Featured Royal Rebels highlighted each week. I thank you for your enthusiasm  and courage in Embracing Your Other and following your Bliss….for remaining so positive in a roller-coaster of a passionate fandom, and for modeling true UNCONVENTIONAL BEAUTY ….I am honored to be amongst you deliciously odd, awkward, unusual, unique, and brilliant beings.

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS SEEK WAYS TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GLOBAL SOUL.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

Question: How have you been inspired in your Otherness to recognize and honor your Sacred Contract?

A/N: Well, this essay was a bit of a departure from previous posts, but essentially it is a love letter from me to you, to Kristen, to Others. I do hope to post next Thursday as per the usual schedule, but I may take longer if 3D life keeps throwing the curveballs at me. Next time, we’ll show love to our male Rebel Royals. Perhaps Viggo Mortensen (First OTR, now perhaps Snow White?) Garrett Hedlund? Javier Bardem? … We’ll see who jostles to the front of the line…

Oh!  And I’m going to a Bobby Long concert next week too. *happy claps*

Also, I updated the About KJ Page. Leave some answers to the sentence completion in the comment section. LOVE hearing what you have to say!

I’ll be making some changes to the site’s appearance as well, and adding a new page or two perhaps…I’m hatching a diabolical plan with Buff (i.e. poking and annoying her til she breaks).

Part 2 of the New MOO Mission is in discussion with my best girl Bouffant, and our Team Other Co-Captains Buff and CC.

I’ll letcha know on Twitter of progress and updates for The MOO MISH. . . @MusingsOnOther. . . You know me. I’m the one who is Not. At. ALL. SUCCINCT in my descriptors of love for Kristen, Rob and our massive Majestic Misfit Royal Court..

THANK YOUS, LOVE, LIGHT, GROPES, SNUGGLES and NUZZLES to:  My Sister Puss. My dearest Bouffant. Cynically Convy. Buff. @MyCleverAlias. Nail. Missy. Iris. @RobKris13. Possum Besties Justice and Ophelia. And As always: My Cyber Sisters and Readers.

…..and to the FF authors who have owned my unfocused ass this week: BrattyVamp, RochelleAllison, 107YrOldVirgin, MissBettySmith, KrisSalvador

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY SISTERS INDIA & BEANAI!


Team Other’s Musings & A Rebellious Beauty Giveaway

23 Dec

A/N: Thank you to everyone who read and commented the past two postings, you all continue to humble and stun me. I am a complete fail in replies lately, and I apologize. I will make it up to you today (at least, I think it’s a lovely compromise…more on The Giveaway momentarily). Also, I’m posting late today, later than I hoped anyway, because it has been an epic battle between myself and the formatting system of WP. I’ll give the benefit of the doubt today because it’s Christmas, and because I know that the pictures in this essay are out of this world, and maybe this site simply cannot handle it…?

Soooooo Happy Christmas Eve Eve, to all who celebrate it, and Happy Winter and end-of-year-goodness to us all. Some of us are digging ourselves out of sky-high snow banks or rowing boats down our streets in response to the copious rainfall at this time. There was only one time in memory in which my streets in my hometown actually, truly flooded and that was when I was maybe 17 years old and the flood control channels had collapsed under the weight of too much rain too fast. Californians, as laid back as we are, uh, we don’t do so well in rainy conditions, let alone floods. My very metropolitan hometown literally shut down and ceased working because people had no idea how to drive or move through flood water. So my brother hopped on his surfboard and paddled through the neighborhood scoping out routes in case of evacuation. It was surreal watching him paddle down our street in chest-high waters.

I grew up in a beach city. This wasn't at all an unusual vision. Not gonna lie, it didn't suck.

Anyhoo. Just a moment of reminiscing there. Which is what today’s Musings will be about. Today is a fond stroll in recollection, collaboration and perspective, like last week. I have decided not to do the Kristen Retrospective just yet, and instead am going to do something a teeeensy bit different: An awe-filled “roundtable” reminiscing and bonding with fellow Others.

Side note: People are so freaking talented.  This pic was posted in kiarolina81‘s photos. I found it by googling “Christmas and Kristen Stewart images”.

Oh!! And we have another  Giveaway! I’m so cracka-lacka excited about it, I can barely contain myself. Not even sure how to hold it together till the end but I hope to entice you with today’s contents…It’s the end of the year, it’s the season of giving and collaboration and L-O-V-E. I want to share  (since Sharing IS Caring) with you all the workings of the most incredible women I have the pleasure of knowing and working with: Team Other.

Musings On Other, aka MOO– Buff and I snicker and make silly jokes of the cow variety whenever we can–is possible because I have an amazing team of ladies who support and prettify my ramblings…You lovelies and O.G. Musings Readers know that Bouffant (A Cyber Sister) and CC (KSIBTU) are the two beautiful ladies who encouraged me to step out and say hello to this crazy-beautiful fandom on Day One by publishing the very first essay on Unconventional Beauty and Royal Rebels:  Molly Ringwald, Kristen and Me. And Buff, because she’s generous, kind and probably pitied me, volunteered to design a banner for my “Kristen Support Project” after I wrote her an email asking her advice on how to create an interesting ‘look’. Because these ladies have been such an essential part of Musings and my journey towards Bliss and supporting Kristen, I am giving myself the gift of conversation, reminiscing, Otherness and KStew to commemorate this First MOO Christmas. Below you’ll find the candid Musings of my fellow Team Other Captains (Bouffant, CC and Buff), recipients of my utmost gratitude and adoration….I answer some questions, but you all have already heard some of my answers either in an essay or  from the incarnations of the  About KJ Page.

MUSINGS ON OTHER, WITH OTHERS

Stunned? Yeah me too. Alas, it's a picture of Queen Kristen...Musing. The first of many Buff & N Collabs. Wait till you see the Giveaway.

MUSINGS ON THE FANDOM:

Q: When did you realize you had become a member/involved in the Twi/Kristen/Robert Fandom?

Bouffant**I’m pretty sure someone chloroformed me, as I cannot recall how it all happened.
CC## I guess I realized I was a member when I received my members only jacket, quite like the one Rob has. Kidding! I guess it’s when I got an influx of emails literally the day after I posted my first post. And then people were so gracious and generous in responding to my mindless ramblings. I was in awe of the reaction. So I guess I gained some readers… and they were involved… and then we became forever involved together—like one big polygamous involvement.
Buff :::I didn’t really consider myself at all in the fandom until I started writing fan fiction.  If anything, I would have said I was a heavy lurker.  But looking back I was enthralled for sure with the Twi world and Kristen and Rob.
KJ<>I was a supporter and reader of the books since Summer 2008. But I think I realized how deep I was when I was in Indonesia traveling to see one of the Seven Wonders of The World last summer. And while I was climbing Buddhist temples or presented with a view of paradise,  I still  kept checking around for  a WiFi connection to see if there were any Kristen or Rob news. Seriously.
Q: What was it that first drew you to Kristen, Rob and/or Twilight?
Bouffant** The twinkle in Cedric Diggory’s eye?  The cut of his robes?  The way he cast a spell?  I just knew Rob had ‘it’, and I’d see him again. Note: I am always right.

I was drawn to Kristen by her demeanor in the Twilight promo.  I liked that she was thoughtful and earnest in interviews, but didn’t take herself seriously.  There was (is) nothing false about her.

My nieces drew me to Twilight.  Although if Rob and Kristen weren’t in the movies, I’m sure I would not have seen more than the first, and perhaps not even that one.

CC## Have you seen how pretty? That’s what. I looked at a picture on my TV of Vanity Fair (THE Vanity Fair) and I thought—fuck—they are too hot for their own good. Throw in a little google and the issue of In Style in 2008 and I was addicted.

Buff::: The pretty. No. seriously.  I hadn’t read the books yet but kept seeing those damned commercials, and I remember thinking they were both ridiculously good looking.

KJ<> Would THIS be the pretty you’re referring to?  Yes. I recall it well.

Q: When you first heard Rob Pattinson’s singing voice….you..…?

Bouffant** Did the aural equivalent of a double-take.

CC# Came? Yes I did.

Buff::: had an orgasm. Can I say that? Actually I had terrible writers block in the middle of writing Eclipsed Heart and I decided to try listening to music while I wrote – I usually needed silence to concentrate, ask my hubs he hated me when I was writing.  But I thought I’d give it a go and I downloaded a bunch of his songs before I had ever listened to them, so I played those and after I pulled myself from the puddle of goo I had become the words literally flew out of my head.  So his voice was a definite muse for me.

KJ<> My knees buckled. Cheeks grew hot. Mouth dropped open. Had to excuse myself from my cubicle…for…a moment…O_OoO0

Q: Best director in the Twilight Saga so far?

CC## SHUT UP. IF BUFF’S ANSWER ISN’T CATHY WE AREN’T FRIENDS ANY MORE. Obviously Catherine. She nurtured the relationship that we fell in love with. It’s the reason we love the Saga.

Buff:::  Cathy

KJ<> uh. #TeamChattyCathy here.

Q:  How has being apart of this fandom changed you?

Bouffant** I vacillate between feeling like a kid again and feeling as old and wise as Carlisle Cullen.  It’s a little dizzying, to be honest… but not so bad

CC##I get the most incredible emails from people all over the world. I love it. Even if we talk only once, I love that people take the time to say hello. I have also sincerely gained some friends for life. I am such a shy person by nature—meaning I don’t like to talk to people I don’t know face to face. So all of these girls come out of nowhere and email me and we develop these relationships that surpass this ‘fandom’ and it’s real. Whereas R/K used to be our focus, it’s all very secondary now.

I care about Jamie’s niece being premature and whether or not Iris was going to get to adopt Bo. They are some of my best friends and I can’t even explain how important they are to me. My faith in humanity has been restored tenfold. Also, I spend a lot less time with normal humans because I am looking at pictures and jotting down my thoughts.

Buff::: I don’t know that its changed me.  I am an introvert by nature, so if you threw all of us into a room I wouldn’t speak half (any) of the shit I tweet, write, etc. But its easier to be out going this way.  One thing I have gained is more confidence in my writing. OH! Duh! AND, I learned how to use photoshop.

 

Q: Who in your personal/3D/Real-life knows your level of involvement in the fandom?  *Big Grin*

 

CC## I consider my KSIBTU girls and bloggie bffs my real life. They all know. The people in my life before then? They have an idea that I like Kristen, but that’s it. It’s not a secret—they just don’t care. I’m sort of glad because I don’t want them to ruin it. I just want one thing to belong to me. I want to keep one thing sacred, and it is. I love the friends I’ve made through this experience. Honest to God, I’m so lucky.



Buff::: Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. BBBBBBAhahahahahahahaha. My husband.

KJ<> I’m slowly but surely merging my 3D world with my Cyberworld/KStew/Rob/ Twi world. Outside of my Cyber Sisters and you lovely KSIBTU Girls, N knows, but doesn’t read MOO. My brother knows I write a little and admire Kristen, but  his knowledge is only to an extent. My SIL Puss and my dear friend Kathryn are probably the two people in my pre-Musings world who are most aware of my involvement. They don’t judge. They join me on my quest to learn more about Kristen and Otherness, and the Featured Royal Rebels with me each week.

OUR REIGNING OTHER QUEEN:

Q: Favorite KStew movie ?

Bouffant** The Runaways
CC## Easiest question ever! #LisaPForever

Buff::: Hmmmm… I’d probably have to say Adventureland because I love that movie.  But there are still KStew movies I haven’t seen (I know – for shame) So I’m going to say the jury’s still out on my fav KStew movie.
KJ<> I think…gah! That’s hard. I’m gonna go with Adventureland. Speak and The Cake Eaters were IN.CRED. WTTR and The Yellow Handkerchief shook me.  But overall, it’s all about Adventureland. #JesseEisenberg #MartinStarr #ReingingQueenKristen #GIANTASSPANDA

Q: Favorite KStew interview thus far?



CC##

I refuse to answer this question. Elle UK, Entertainment Weekly, Nylon

Buff::: Elle UK

KJ<> Elle UK, Nylon, Jay Leno #HankyPankyGame


Q: Favorite KStew Quote?


Bouffant**

Verbal: “I think it’s funny that when I go onstage to accept an award, they think I’m nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward—and I am—but those are bad words for them.”.

Non-verbal: The double-finger salute to the paps in Australia.


CC## It’s a tie between, “I feel very faithful to truth and I think when people are afraid of that, they’d rather try and feign cynicism and experience. I am not cynical but I am not naïve either. I take things for what they are,” and

“sincerity seems to be a problem today, but I prefer to be hated than be false and fool people.” She is wise beyond her years. She says what she means and she means what she says, otherwise she wouldn’t bother saying it. I appreciate that. She’s not blowing hot air.

Buff::: They’re bullets, Mofo!

KJ<> I love the quote that Bouffant picked out. So much. I also love THIS (OHai, JHiggs, my love!):

Q: Favorite KStew fashion moment (s)? Steeze?

Bouffant** Converse

CC## Please. Everyone knows this. I’m a broken record. Two words: The Pucci.

Buff::: I do not consider myself a fashionista by any means so I always hesitate to give my opinion on this.  I can tell you what I think was pretty, weather that deems it fashionable I can’t qualify.  My favorite fancy KStew look from this year is Letterman KStew, and the Eclipse LA premier because the cut of that dress? x_x Wowza.

The Goods:

Bouffant**

  • Favorite Holiday Movie: Double feature: Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer & It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Favorite Ice cream flavor: Hand it over, don’t bother me with nonsense about  flavor!
  • Books I’m Reading now: Just finished Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
  • Last 3 songs listened to on my iPod: The last three songs on Come Around Sundown
  • When I was 8 years old, I was good at… Successful use of Clackers without putting an eye out, counting stars, riding my bike to the top of the hill

CC##

  • Favorite Holiday Movie:  Love Actually
  • Favorite Christmas/Hanukkah Food: I don’t have a specific favorite Christmas food. I love it all. The pasta course is probably my favorite because my aunt makes the best sauce. We also have these stuffed breads that are ridiculous. And Chanukah? LATKES FOREVERRRRRR. With applesauce, please!
  • Number of Homes I’ve lived in: 8
  • Three Random Facts about Me: 1. I never wear the color red;  2. I interned at the United Nations while I was in College and one day got the chance to go bowling in the White House. Swear. I have pictures!;  3. I hate carrots.
  • Fan Fic that OWNS me right now: Ohhhhh KJ what a loaded question. I struggle with ff. I hate almost every story I’ve ever read, due largely in part to the ending. I also hate when people are in the midst of a juicy lemon and scream ‘IIIIII LOOOOVEEEE YOUUUUUU’ as they climax. Hey, have you ever had sex? DO YOU SCREAM THAT OUT? NO. YOU DO NOT. If the man is making you see stars, and I hope he is, you don’t talk!!!!! I also hate stories that are hardcore and then turn into fluffy bullshit after they say ‘I love you’. STOP. Love doesn’t make you brain dead and it doesn’t change who you are. Give it to me hard.So what owns me? These 4 fics are the best of the best right now, IMO. 1.) A Pound of Flesh. She is brilliant. It’s not some mushy pussy fest. It’s hot. It’s erotic, and I love this Edward. One word: peaches. UNF. 2.) True Love Way. It updates daily and it’s so poetic I want to sing. I think that TeamBella is a gift from God. Her stories will break you in the best way. Her fic Closer (and its sequel California Waiting) are two of my favorite stories ever written. 3.) The Cullen Campaign. It’s smart and sassy. And once again, it’s not lame. 4.) Dead on my Feet. It’s hard. It’s real. As someone who has seen a sick young person for so many years… I appreciate the honesty of it all, and the writer doesn’t fuck around.

from SimplyKristen's Tumblr

Buff:::

  • Favorite Holiday Movie: White Christmas because its a classic.  Elf is a close second becasue smiling is my favorite. 🙂
  • Items on your fridge? Pictures of family, my kids’ art work, various magnets, dry erase/cork board with bills leering at me.
  • Mood Today? Happy, Christmas is two days away!!! Fa la la la la LA LA LA LAAAAAAAAAA!!!
  • Three Random Facts About Me: 1.
    My wrists are double jointed – I think – I can turn my hands almost all the way around.
    2. I wanted to be a veterinarian for years until I found out it consisted of more than just playing with puppies all day.  3. I used to score from midfield. (That’s what she said.) No, get your mind out of the gutter….goals. I was a sweeper with a big kick

     

  • Fan Fic that OWNS me right now: Ugh. Yesterday I would have said TLW, which is awesome, but then I read The Plan and it is genius.

KJ<>

  • Favorite Holiday Movie: Love Actually, A Christmas Story, It’s A Wonderful Life, Elf
  • Last 3 Songs listened to on my iPod: Check the Musings playlist. Mostly Christmas, though ALL inspiring with a dash of Stevie Wonder, Joan Jett and John Lennon.
  • Number of Homes I’ve lived in: 12
  • Three Random Facts About Me: 1. I have dislocated both knees at least 3 times apiece. 2. I leave caps off of any bottles I open. Lots of spills in the house. 3. I am a recorded singer on a movie soundtrack.
  • Fan Fic that OWNS me right now: Whoa there. Don’t get me started on FF. But since it was my question…here’s what I’ll say. 1. The Righteous and Wicked– oh fuck. As I my Sister Readers can confirm, as can @takemetobliss & @kate_suena, keep a snack or some smokes nearby for instant oral gratification while reading it. Just do it. UNF. 2. A Pound Of Flesh-I am somewhat in LOVE with Edward in this one. Ok, TOTALLY in LOVE with him. He’s one sexy mofo. 3. Full Disclosure–falling in emo love…my friend @MissBettySmith takes you there. 4. Starry Eyed Inside — I will read anything written by Rochelle Allison. She is poetry. 5. Tunes with Tony Masen is climbing up there. Different, intelligent, part mystery, part adventure, ALL unresolved sexual tension.

Musings On Other:

Q: How do you see Kristen embodying her Otherness?

Bouffant** I have never witnessed a young woman so steadfastly withstand an onslaught of energetic opinion and judgment (pretty much all of which ultimately has little to do with her by the way) and remain confident… and, at the same time, humble.  Being inside herself, and having (because of her youth) somewhat limited life experience, she probably does not realize how inspiring that is.

CC## Kristen is unapologetic and authentic. She owns everything she does, and that is a lot more than most of us can say right now.

Buff::: Her honesty.  That’s the simplest way to put it.  She is honest in her words and actions no matter what the popular opinion, and I admire that.

Q:  One word or phrase that describes the Other Beauties at this “roundtable”

Bouffant says** Bouffant= Hairy ;; Buff= Picturesque;; CC= Merry (Krismas!);; KJ= Tender

CC says## Bouffant= Brave;; Buff= Generous;; CC= Idiot;; KJ= Enchanting

Buff says::: Bouffant= I’m sad because I don’t know Bouffant as well as I’d like..yet;; Buff= _____;; CC= Beautifully Witty;; KJ= Altruistic-compassionate heart and soul

KJ says<> Bouffant= charmingly clever;; Buff= overwhelmingly talented;; CC=gloriously brilliant;; KJ= stumbling forth

Q: How have you embraced YOUR Other?

Bouffant** With gusto and perhaps tipsily

CC## I am me. This is who I am. Take it or leave it. I love myself (most days), and that’s not an easy thing to do.

Buff::: I do my best to hold my confidence and not let outside pressure sway me.

KJ<>I would accept the homecoming queen nomination if it were offered to me today, instead of decline it and slink away as I did over a decade ago.  That’s a HUGE concession.

HOLIDAY MOO MASHUP GIVEAWAY

Ok so I seriously was debating on keeping these prints to myself because I can’t stop staring. But I want to share them with you lovely Readers because you all appreciate and support our Reigning Other Queen Kristen, as well as the pursuit of Bliss and Creativity. Also, you, like me, think that Kristen is Royalty, and that Buff and N (my husband) are a geniuses with what they do (this means they’re both artistically gifted and they both tolerate me. Takes a lot of patience and goodness to do both). And you know what? I agree. So without further ado…Here are the first ever Musings On Other Photo Prints featuring the Blissful collaboration between my lovely, insanely talented husband N and his photography and the brilliant and PATIENT photo editor and visionary, Buff82. Collaborating in the name of Perspective, Bliss and Otherness.

 

 

Dude. I know. I KNOOOOWWW.  Have you collapsed in utter (or udder #MOOHumor courtesy of Buff)  astonishment? When Buff first sent me the proofs, I burst into tears. N looked over at me and then the laptop and said, “Wow.” About his own work! But also because he clearly admires, as do I, the way that Buff took these pictures and made them transcend. A cool piece of knowledge: there are more where these came from. I have at least three other MOO MASHUPS (Buff & N Collabs) to share with you. We’ll see the other Mashups in the next few weeks. I have to share them. I MUST.

Here’s how you become eligible to choose 1 of these 3 photography prints (8×10, matted)…Just pick at least 3 of the questions that Team Other answered above and give your own answers in the comment section below! Easy! You can tell me what you thought when you heard Rob’s singing for the first time, or what your favorite KStew Steeze moment was. Or you can share how you’re spending these holidays, or how you’ve embraced Other in your own life…The possibilities are endless!

I have truly, truly enjoyed having the conversations with Bouffant, CC and Buff resulting in the candid and wonderfully honest answers above, and I look forward to hearing YOUR Musings On Other too. Until next week,  take care of yourselves, continue to seek and celebrate yours and OTHERS’ Unconventional Beauty. Stay safe and enjoy your time with your beloveds during this holiday weekend…. Always Yours, KJ

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Merging the fragments: An Indonesian Wayang Puppet (shadow) & Christmas

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS KNOW THAT UNCONVENTIONAL IS BEAUTIFUL.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

A/N: I’ll announce 2 winners for the Giveaway next week. Winners have their choice of one of the three prints featured above.

*Give some lovin to Buff at her Twitter @Buff_82 and/or N via email: Kinophotography@gmail.com for their blissful collaboration.

*Thanks for holding the space for Bouffant, Buff, CC and I to jabber about the great things in this world–ice cream, Chatty Cathy and Kristen Stewart. *Let @Bouffant00, @Buff_82 and @Kstewsbtrthanu know if you reacted to their Musings on Twitter…

The Season for Perspective

16 Dec

Well, my Lovelies, it’s that wonderful time of year. Christmas, Hanukkah, NYEve and New Year’s Day…New resolutions, frenzied shopping and oh my goodness the sweet treats! The carols! The lights! The movies and music! The fudge. The old-school TV specials! (Did anybody else watch It’s A Yogi Christmas? ‘Heeeey, Boo Boo’, says Yogi Bear, not Rob via the Eclipse Commen-tree). **PSA ANNOUNCEMENT: This is the first of many, many references to Robert Thomas Pattinson I will make in this post. For those of you “fans” who write me to yell at and insult me for even alluding to Rob on what you think is  supposed to “only be a Kristen Blog”, you have been warned. Perhaps you might want to skip this post. Because I’m going to talk a lot about  Our Reigning Queen Kristen in addition to her professional and personal mate Robert, who is also a Featured Royal Rebel and Ambassador of Other.**

Well,  I’m typing with cold, stiff fingers today since N and I try to keep our utility bills low by running the heater only when necessary (blue lips, chattering teeth), but we’re blessed in that it rarely gets to that point. I won’t dare speak about “cold”, since as a Cali native and resident, I may not truly experience the cold that say, my friend Sav does in Ireland, or my mid-westie Sisters. They’ve IM’d or written emails this week indicating their thermometers say it’s -10 degrees F. I have no idea what that means. Seriously. This is what I’m hearing: “It’s cold, fuckers!!. I know this because my eye lashes froze, and my car handle broke off, and I have to shovel snow off the driveway…but my teeth are chattering too hard and our power went out…and..and…”

Ok, even FrozenStew trumps all. Recognize.

So I’ve been pleased that NinjaStew has managed to stay under the radar per her usual stealthy self. It isn’t about what we want for Kristen and Rob. It’d be lovely to glimpse her beautiful face again sure, but I’m much happier knowing that she is immersed in work and remaining out of the limelight because it’s what she prefers. And that’s what today’s essay will be about: Refocusing. Shifting lenses of perspective from which we view our surroundings, ourselves, Kristen and our fellow Others. While we may be hankering for a glimpse of our Reigning Other Queen and her Deliciously Handsome Poet Warrior, Kristen and Rob have both made it abundantly clear that they prefer to proceed through their daily existence with little to no attention paid to them. Of course, they acknowledge that they have extremely high profile professions, and there are public appearances and press junkets they are required to attend for the J-O-B (but oh how we appreciate how well they clean up). . .

But both Kristen and Rob, though Kristen more adamantly, express their hope of keeping their personal lives private, and separate from their work world. I think it’s good to be reminded of this about our Reigning Royalty. So how are we going to prompt ourselves to keep perspective?  I suggest we bring awareness back to basics and…oh, yes. LOVE. We’re gonna talk about LOVE today.

Why? you may ask. Well, for a few reasons. . .

1. I keep saying I’ll write about Love for Musings. Just trying to keep my promise.

2. It’s the holiday season, and it’s not uncommon to become overwhelmed with all the details: food, shopping, party-planning, work stats, obligations, bills, being nice to family  members you really despise, the influx of memories. And why  do we decide to gather, celebrate, sing, cry or passionately argue, laugh, and dance  at all? Oh yeah. LOVE.

3. It’s the end of another year in this nutty but passionately colorful fandom. While there are several subsets and sub-subsets of support for Twilight, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, what is the common denominator of it all? LOVE. See, whether its love of the original Twilight books and the spin off into the outrageously addictive Twi Fan Fiction; or whether we’re drawn to the movies and therefore the actors portraying young protagonists navigating timeless and somewhat obsessive and  passionate feelings for one another…it’s L-O-V-E.

4. We need the reminder of what it’s about every now and again. That perspective shake up I talked about earlier, we need it. We forget it. Even though it’s all around us.

:::CASE IN POINT:::

This week, a picture was–regardless if by accident or not–released online featuring our Royal Rebels Kristen and Robert posing in front of a Christmas tree with Rob’s parents in what appears to be the living room with a European-style layout and design. Rob, with a mane that rivaled a Serengeti lion’s, had one arm around his mother and another arm wrapped around Kristen with her shorter, black bob, their fingers interlaced on her shoulder. The picture is clearly from last year. The picture clearly intimates several loving factors:

a. It simply solidifies and confirms the Paris hand-holding pics that had been scooped the previous month, Nov ’09. They are continuing to display their affection for and with each other.

b. It was a year ago. Friends, from my observations over the past two years, Kristen and Rob have given every indicator that they’ve been close and quite fond of one another for so much longer than people really understand. And yet. . .there are still folks who doubt they are an authentic relationship. #Nonsensicals

c. Rob’s parents were in the picture with them. At Christmas time. Who do you spend your big holidays with? Your family. Whether by blood or by bonds of friendship that are just as potent as blood, holiday gatherings are amongst family. To me, this picture indicates that Rob and his parents consider Kristen, apart of their family.

It was a lovely picture, but I did not post or retweet it because I felt that it was clearly a private moment not meant to be seen (consumed, shredded) by the public. But even in the minute of looking it over, I could identify the tell tale signs that Kristen and Rob (and his parents) were both so very happy.

Then my feelings of foreboding and sadness flooded in because I don’t think the Pattinson Family’s private photos should be open to fodder and dissection, nor Kristen or Robert’s personal lives. And then the drama unleashed. High profile “fans”/”shippers” in the Twi-fandom began publicly bashing and shaming other fans for enjoying “the private” photo too much, all while claiming that they’ve possessed it for many months prior, this private family photo mind you; and, the division between “Insiders” and “just regular fans” was ripped farther apart (because didn’t you know that there is a hierarchy of fans in this community? *inserts sarcasm*). Websites/blogs were publishing the photo so fast that before you could say, “Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn” (and let’s face it, that’s a mouthful too, but whatev), the tweets grew to the tens of thousands. The tweets posted were  public arguments about who had the right to publish which photos and when….annnnd the insults were traded, and standoffs were initiated, “judgements” handed down. Uh, WTF JUST HAPPENED??  Where did the semblance of perspective disappear to? Did Rob and Kristen really trigger a Twitter War with a Christmas photo?? So the focus was lost, the perspective had shifted so far away from the original idea of supporting a couple of awkwardly charming, shy and gifted artists who loved their craft and have love for one another.

Rob to Kris: Maybe if we stand here really quiet and still, the masses will run right past us and not notice. Kris: Good plan.

Suddenly it wasn’t about the love anymore. Overlooked in the petty fighting was the message depicted by that private picture: The family love. The loving relationship that Kristen and Rob more visibly share. The love of love which brought many of us into this fandom in the very beginning, years ago. Suddenly, it was like the Twi Fandom and Twitter had begun enacting the battleground  strategy that propelled the plot for Eclipse: Who can wrestle control of as many “red dots”  (followers, fans) as possible? Who is faster at posting an exclusive photo? Who has the most followers on Twitter (because that number indicates almighty TRUTH of a person’s status and level of integrity amongst the fans, right?)?? Whom is entrusted with “insider” information? Nope. I’m not hearing anything about the privacy and protection of Kristen and Rob or their families in these fights, except maybe to further their own agenda.

:::A SHIFT IN PARADIGM:::

There are a few ways we can help out our Fellow Majestic Misfits and balance out the focus, and return to the basics.

1. Honor the request for personal privacy; Focus on the work. Ok, so you all know obviously, that I support Kristen and Rob  (separately and together). I am concerned by the shift that some of the better known “shippers” in the community have undergone in the past year. It feels that the focus has drifted and it’s no longer about simply celebrating the careers and personal happiness of two artists who are intelligent, unconventional (i.e. OTHER), and refreshing. So if it’s not about which online community is most popular or the most inside, then the interest swings towards their personal, private lives.  Is it any wonder that Rob and Kristen have to put on their armor whenever they step outside their work or homes?

There is such joy in listening to the Eclipse commentary (or, “Commen-tree”, says Rob) these past weeks. But in the very beginning of it all, in the great Twilight audio commen-tree, Kristen told Catherine Hardwicke #TeamChattyCathy and Rob that when she would do her on-set schoolwork (since she was a minor, under 18 at the time Twilight began filming) in classrooms at the school that served as Forks High School, people (the school’s actual students?) would constantly knock on the port hole, the small window in the door, when she was  trying to complete her work. She effectively described it as feeling “like a monkey in a cage”. How much do you want to bet that the feeling [like an animal on display] has increased tenfold for Kristen? Colleagues and friends of our Queen Kristen and her equally Rebellious Consort Rob never comment to the press with their editorial on Rob and Kristen’s personal relationship, but rather, draw praise and accolades for their professional successes.

Kristen’s On The Road costars Garrett Hedlund (yum) and Amy Adams (another lovely ginger with immense talent) both had wonderfully kind compliments for Kristen:

“Kristen is incredible. And in this, everyone will see how hard a worker she is, and the devotion she puts into her work. Her performance [in On The Road] is going to be exposed highly” ~ Garret Hedlund

Amy Adams says:

“[Kristen] is awesome. I’d seen her since she was in Panic Room, and knew she was fantastic…Thought she was wonderful in Into the Wild. The girl’s got some chops! And on top of that, she is just really sweet.”

OHai, beautiful StrawberryStew!

And Robert’s new movie Water for Elephants is earning favorable and promising reactions to the just-released trailer for the film. *TAKES A DEEP BREATH* Dude. The trailer for WFE is unbelievable. It’s gorgeous and feels epic. Sit down for a minute and give yourself a gift of the WFE Trailer… HERE>>>>WATER FOR ELEPHANTS TRAILER . His costars, both Oscar-Winning actors, Christoph Waltz and Reese Witherspoon offer commendatory reviews of Rob’s performance as well as his personal character.

Christoph says:

“You’re going to see Rob in a whole new way, a good way. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he were to receive an Oscar nod for this role.”

Reese says:

“He [Rob] is a very sweet, kind man with the nicest family. He worked very hard on this movie and looks great in it too. He’s going through such a weird  life experience right now, but handling it so beautifully, and with such grace.”

2. Remember that we are ALL Other together. This is where I’m gonna drop the L Word (also an excellent though now completed TV show) again on you, my friends. Another thing we all have in common, aside from our ravishingly unique inner and outer beauty, is that we have one, two, maybe twenty  or more people we care about. I encourage us all to remember what it is like to love someone: A spouse, partner, friends, roommates, boyfriends, girlfriends, siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews, etc…. I personally would throw myself in front of a bus if it meant saving my beloved Monkey niece from feeling pain. You parental units out there know exactly the level of sacrifice you would make for the LOVE of your child. Is it too far-fetched to think you might want to protect your loved ones from physical plus verbal and emotional stressors? Is it too ungainly to believe that Kristen and Robert feel this passionate protectiveness over their own hearts and physical well-being, in addition to each others’?

3. Bring it back to YOU. As always, I remind myself and my fellow Misfits to find the courage to look in the mirror, to ask myself what I can control and contribute in this fandom and in my 3D life. I can’t control how others behave publicly and in their personal lives, but I can do something about how I am representing for Otherness. If I am reacting passionately and emotionally to something happening in the Cyber World, or in the Twi Fandom, I stop myself and wonder, “What is this? What is happening in my life right now that is effecting how I view this situation?” And with a little quiet time,  withdrawal from being online or engrossed in a project, I find my answers. My own relationship, my own job, my family, my financial matters or my pathway to Bliss have been neglected.

While this Kristen & Rob Christmas Picture drama erupted in the online fandom the other night, I removed myself from any debates and checked my emails. It turns out I had received an email from a work colleague from a counseling agency I used to work with a few years ago, back in my home town. I learned, to my great shock, that another former coworker of mine was in a horrific car accident a couple days ago and she is in critical care at a hospital. Her husband, her love, a man I believe was her soul mate, was killed. He was only a couple years older than I, in his early to mid-thirties and desperately in love with my friend who is now a young widow. The whole of my former agency is devastated. They had been married only three years.

Yesterday, my good friend called, appropriately so, @TrueLove was laid off from a prestigious legal position that she’s held for many years. A week before Christmas. She’s a mother and a wife and a skilled professional and she, like millions of us, are unemployed.

My husband N and I are  preparing for our second interview with U.S. Immigration to review N’s status as a permanent resident here in the U.S. (Note: See the movie Green Card  for immigration shenanigans!)  I was going to tell you all our story, it’s pretty incredible, but perhaps I’ll give the details another time. I’ve spoken a lot this essay. But I can say that N and I have experienced challenges of scrutiny, naysayers and great concern because of the way we met, and how we “courted” and the exotic ways we tried to fight to keep a relationship alive when we were never on the same continent together. We’ve been married for over 2 years now, and we’re still under the magnifying glass because N comes from a country that is placed on  the “Red Flag” list.  (i.e. threat of terrorism due to Religious affiliation).

So seriously. There are enough real-life, unbelievably profound events occurring as we speak. Does a Twitter popularity contest or the curiosity about the personal lives of two young artists –who don’t want the attention anyway–take precedence over life, death, family, unemployment and immigration issues?

PERSPECTIVE.

So the picture above, of the beautiful afterglow? That was taken by N. He is an extraordinarily gifted photographer, today taking a leap in following his own bliss. *If you’re interested in seeing more of N’s photos, contact KinoPhotography@gmail.com. He’ll link you to his gallery that we’re in process of setting up*. We didn’t even know he was so gifted in photography until he came here to The States almost 3 years ago, and began playing around with my point-and-shoot digital camera. So here we are, encouraging each other to follow our Bliss.

It is here that I’d normally move on to introduce the Featured Rebel Royal for the week. But I think the two Majestic Misfits we’ve discussed today already beautifully illustrate my Musings on the good practice of keeping perspective…and LOVE. I’ll happily give them free reign of Musings this week. *cheesy grin*.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

“Unless you respect and like yourself, nobody else is going to”

ROBERT IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE LARGER PERSPECTIVE.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

 

QUESTION: How do you prompt yourself back to YOU in order to maintain perspective?

A/N: I have updated the Sentence Completion Activity in the ABOUT KJ section…check it and leave some of your own answers if you feel inspired to do so! For next week, I will post a Holiday Edition of Musings with a new Giveaway that will have very much to do with PERSPECTIVE and The Pursuit of BLISS (pssst, check N’s photography). We’ll talk holiday traditions, and a Kristen Stewart 2010 Retrospective…

CC over at KSIBTU is asking you to send in pics of how you and your city shows Holiday Spirit (and how of course, Kristen is far superior to all-KSIBTU after all). Send yours into her! Here are mine that I’m sending… See you next week, Lovelies!! Always, KJ

This beautiful wooden, painted train is carrying large, colorfully wrapped presents. It is beneath a ginormous, decorated Pine tree placed on the center divider of a major street. Can you see the traveling Other Tiara?

T-Rex can be found among the giant Snow Flakes of the Science Museum

You Already Know

2 Dec

What happened to fury?

What happened to accuracy

or accountability?

What happened to kindness?

What happened to teenagers kissing, instead of blogging and dissing?

What happened to teenagers marching and refusing

Instead of exploiting and using?

I say let’s speak it

Let’s fight it.

Let’s right it.

It sucks but it’s true.

It’s you and me, baby.

~You Tell Me How To Be a Girl In 2010 by Eve Ensler

Well, my dears, we’ve somehow moved to December…How did this happen? I hope this week finds you lovely folks sated and in the throes of preparing for family gatherings, consumption of obnoxiously large meals; scoping out too-sweet-to-ignore-sales and observing spiritual and religious traditions of great importance to you and your tribe. Last week, you all sent such wonderful declarations of gratitude in response to my own list of thankfulness, regardless of whether or not you were apart of a culture that celebrated Thanksgiving as we Yanks do. Musings enjoys readership from all over the world (it rocks my socks off when I get notifications or a tweet/email from readers from faraway, exotic locales such as Bulgaria or South Korea for example) and last week we all joined in for a moment of gratitude for our Reigning Queen of Other Kristen Stewart and her beloved. It was truly an awesome, extraordinary experience. As usual, I bow down to you all for hanging with me in this colorful quest towards embracing Otherness and celebrating it as it resides in Kristen Stewart, in our peers and family…in ourselves.

Kristen’s excited for all the Otherness-Embracing too.

Ms Stewart has embodied vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks, in the aftermath of Braziliapalooza. She and her rakishly handsome partner were able to fly under the radar and spend Thanksgiving undisturbed, or at least, out of the public eye. There were moments of contention amongst the stalkers exuberant fans as different sources placed Kristen and/or Rob in four or five different locations ranging from Los Angeles to Colorado, Baton Rouge or New York over the holiday weekend, though one picture, clarified Rob’s location: In L.A., at a vintage guitar shop he has frequented previously. And we all know if Rob’s in L.A. on holiday, and Kristen’s on holiday, with an opportunity to be near her family, then they’re most likely together. They’ve  managed to master  The Stealth with their arrivals and departures to and from The City of Angels.

So much WIN in this picture. Beautiful new guitar. Beautiful old LB Hat. Rob.

A GIGGLY NARRATIVE

However, as it’s happened in the past, when there is a lull in NEWS from the K & R Camp, the natives get restless. Those of us left clamoring for glimpses of The Pretty revisit former interviews, images from now-legendary photoshoots (*cough* Harpers Bazaar, Interview, Nylon *cough*) and re-watch movies to take the edge off. Which movies do I watch when I need a shot of Lovely Kristen? Adventureland and Twilight with commentary (duh). So this week, partially due to my need to recover from the holiday weekend, what with illnesses and judgmental relatives, and also partially due to needing to fill my quota of Rom-Com/Holiday Movie viewings, I found myself hermitting. I pulled a NinjaStew if you will: watched movies, baked cookies, grabbed some ZZZZz’s; read copious amounts of fan fic and viewed Twilight with commentary (duh). Perfect timing, of course, as December 4, this Saturday, the Eclipse DVD drops in stores and arguably the most anticipated extra among the coveted special features is the audio commentary of the film delivered by the film’s leads: Kristen and Robert. OH. YESSSS. We didn’t have this luxury of the comedy duo known as Kris-and-Robert-Variety-Hour for New Moon. And even with Twilight, we were graced with the lovely, locquacious Ms. Cathy Hardwicke in the room with our Royal Rebels. Nuh uh. Not this time. Eclipse boasts a narrative featuring long-distance chatting and giddiness as Kristen was in Montreal filming On the Road, and Rob was in Los Angeles having wrapped up Water for Elephants filming. It was about the time, if you’ll recall, that Rob and his bestie Tom Sturridge (whom I ADORE and watched Pirate Radio during MovieFest last weekend for my #TeamTommy fix) were spotted on at least two separate occasions at In-N-Out. Perhaps this jogs your memory:

Try to catch me Ridin Drrrty

*Small Spoiler*–as I know several folks holding out (admirably, I might add) to listening to the commentary before the DVD release–Robert commences the narrative while munching on an In-N-Out burger. This act taunts Kristen who is far away from her hometown, her significant other and the obscenely delectable aforementioned burger joint at this point in time. While Rob munches on his burger, and notes aloud he has a second one awaiting consumption, Kristen reports that she is “harboring hostility” that Rob is enjoying such yummy goodness without her, but also publicly and audibly. So this is all within the first 5 minutes of the commentary. *End of Small Spoiler*

I personally think Kris and Rob should take their chemistry and comedy act on the road. They are magical and create a joyful synergy together. I would love listening to their running editorials on daily life: Taking out the trash, breakfast foods, wigs, and relationship advice. If you haven’t listened to a commentary by Kristen and Rob, I suggest you drop what you’re doing and pop in your copy of Twilight and get on that goodness, because come Saturday, Version 2.0 Bigger, Better, Gigglier is ON. You won’t be sorry. It’s especially nice to “witness”–or hear–a relaxed, comfortable and unguarded Kristen Stewart. All the qualities we admire in our Reigning Queen are expressed: intelligence, awareness, humility, compassion, humor, articulation, giddiness, respect and generosity for colleagues, knowledge, kindness…and affection for Rob.

You can actually HEAR this in the commentary

YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO

Commentary greatness and my personal Recuperation MovieFest aside, I also revisited previous interviews that Kristen gave in the past year as I formulated this week’s Musings. I stumbled upon a January 2010 interview that Kristen gave to British Fantasy Society’s publication Dark Horizons and per usual, I was stuck by the poetry and synchronicity of the moment. Kristen spoke about the theme for this essay, before I had written my thoughts down. I just kinda knew. Every week, my process for writing Musings varies. Often, I take cues from what is happening in Kristen’s life for an opportunity to reflect and weave the event into a theme that is evident in the fandom, or in society as a whole…in our lives. This week, in a reversal of fortune, the theme for Musings presented itself through a personal experience in my own life. Afterwards, I found an interview in which Kristen alludes to a parallel experience. Yet another reminder that we really are all not so different, hmmm? Others together.

I encountered a rather jarring situation which had me pondering (“long-thinking” as my friend @ellelala refers to it) subjects such as intuition, resilience and self-preservation. And Kristen, speaking to Dark Horizons interviewer/author Paul Fischer, spoke of adversities she faces as a professional,  self-preservation and awareness.

“For me, the biggest adversity I face is The Bloggers….Suddenly, I can get anyone’s opinion at the click of a mouse. [Hearsay via media] is sometimes really very destructive…”

This statement of Kristen’s has me recalling the pervasive and destructive feedback she received (without having asked for it) when the pictures of her wearing her bikini while filming the honeymoon scenes in Breaking Dawn hit the world-wide-web. As I reviewed last week, pictures like this—

…unwittingly and unfairly triggered bloggers, and sadly this includes a handful of Fanfiction authors, plus anyone with access to the internet and a public “entertainment  news” site to give their opinions on Kristen’s physical form. Whole posts were dedicated to zooming in and analyzing Kristen’s anatomy.  More alarmingly, a rather unethical, smarmy “reporter” from a Brazilian reality TV show posed as a crew member and  breached set security to videotape/screen capture images of Kristen and Rob on the set of Breaking Dawn, during private moments when the film cameras were not rolling. The undercover TV reporter was in an uncomfortably close physical proximity to Kristen. While I only glanced at perhaps two images from this event (I declined to look at the video or the screen caps before they were seized by Twilight’s production company, removed from the internet), I felt a heavy ball of dread in my stomach and a concern for Kristen and Rob’s physical safety. Sheds a whole new light on Kristen’s now famous statement comparing paparazzi intrusions to feelings of “watching someone get violated (raped?)” doesn’t it?  So there it is, my Musings topic: Intuition and self preservation, or rather, the moment our intuition (aka our inner voice, our body’s protective system) kicks in and sends us warning messages for self-preservation and survival. Fight or Flight.

whispered the still, small voice

A personal story:::  Just a couple nights ago, I was home alone as N was away working. It had already grown dark (as it does in these days of Late Fall/Winter) and I was tucked away in bed reading and making notes for advertising the Magical Little Practice. Suddenly a series of loud, consistent knocking reverberated through our tiny studio of hardwood floors and little insulation against the unusual cold for this time of year. I was completely jarred upright. I did not like the sounds of the knocks on my door. I immediately tensed up, pulled the covers tighter around myself.  Every fiber of my being was yelling at me to NOT ANSWER THE DOOR. We don’t have an adequate peep-hole in our front door because the door is covered in sound & weather-proofing material at this time (N has since remedied this, as a result of this event), so I couldn’t stealthily make my way over to peek on my unexpected “visitor”. I immediately texted my husband and asked if he was expecting a delivery, or any visitors. He quickly texted back, “NO”. The knocking ceased for about a minute, but then started again. Loud, rapid, jarring raps (almost could be called pounding) against my front door, but no verbalizations, no one calling my name out, no texts announcing an impromptu visit from friends or family. I quickly deduced that this person was not familiar. Our little studio is one level apart of a larger house, and our front door is not visible from the sidewalk. The only way someone would know where our front door is, is if they’ve stood in front of it before, or they are actively seeking it out. Minutes, maybe five after the second and third rounds of sharp knocking finally silenced, I, against my intuition and bodily warning signs, cracked open my front door.

And saw…nothing. But my inner ninjaturtle  was screeching in my ear, demanding I slam the door shut, bolt it, chain it, and go back to bed, because something had been there just minutes earlier. So I slammed the door shut, and bolted it. After exchanging a few texts with N about what happened, I catalogued the event as a slightly unsettling, but otherwise not-unusual category.  I didn’t recall the warning signs until later. The signs, as I mentioned before, are produced when our body and our deepest soul recognizes what is happening long before our brain does. In his incredibly resourceful book called The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker urges us to listen to our intuition, and our body’s physiological need to continue existing. Why am I discussing this book right now in the middle of my weekly tribute to the Royal Rebel Ms Kristen Stewart?

Well, for one thing, I received a pretty sobering email from my mother, a day or so ago after the FORCEFUL KNOCKING INCIDENT. The letter outlined information regarding Mom’s friend’s brother, who needs a professional counselor to talk to, possibly through The Magical Little Practice. This brother, for safety purposes we’ll call him D, was the only witness in the case of murder. D had seen a man RAPIDLY, LOUDLY POUNDING ON DOORS of several different apartments in his building. The Knocking Man(iac) came to D‘s door too. D did not answer his door. Something inside of D warned him against doing so. Unfortunately, tragically, D’s neighbor did open her door. D’s neighbor was murdered last week. Thanksgiving holiday.  The murderer has been identified and is in prison.

DEEP BREATH. Are you hanging with me? I needed to tell this story for a few reasons, one, to process the sanctity and briefness of our time here in this world; and another, to pay homage and condolences for a woman to lose her life in such a horrifically violent way. Finally, I wanted to say this: We are entrusted with personal security systems within our minds and bodies and hearts, to protect us against people or things willing harm against us. The term harm encompasses destruction on many levels including emotional, psychological, spiritual as well as physical. I truly believe there is goodness out there, but I have witnessed darkness as well, in my profession working with the mentally ill, and simply as a human being, seeking knowledge for living in this world. De Becker’s book The Gift of Fear outlines and urges us to be aware of physical warning signs of danger–increased heart rate, an attacker’s body language, an attacker’s verbal language–as well as internal signals–our intuition, our instincts, our awareness.  I believe that De Becker’s guide also could and should be applied to awareness for emotional and psychological attacks as well. Kristen Stewart, our Reigning Queen, is subjected to and vulnerable to all of the above: Emotional/verbal, psychological, and physical attacks.

You’ve witnessed it, my friends. We all have: The Cyberbullying of fellow “fans”, heated arguments between Nonsensicals and Shippers (a name, which, for the record, I’ve never enjoyed or used when describing my support of Kristen and Rob), anonymous commenters degrading, insulting, mocking, writing letters about, publicly discussing and bashing everything regarding Kristen Stewart. Interspersed in these public ‘discussions’ are threats of physical harm, but more shockingly obvious are the verbal, emotional and character abuse unleashed on Ms Stewart. Guess which type of abuse is harder to recover from? OH YES. Countless psychological case studies have proven that people (women AND men) seek counseling support for the destruction of emotional/psychological/character abuse they experienced. Bruises and broken bones, while painful and horrific, will heal up again. Low self esteem, low self-worth, anxiety, depression and addictions can last lifetimes.

So what does a Rebel Queen do to preserve herself?

REBEL TIPS FROM REBEL QUEENS

I draw from my studies as a psychotherapist, practicing self-soothing techniques (meditation, playing music), self reflection and also, knowledge I’ve gained in my own experiences of being in danger. Aside from the clenching stomach, the increased heart rate, and the inner guide screaming in my ear to back away, back away!, I also hold first-hand knowledge of experiencing a fight-or-flight choice. I vaguely addressed once in the Musings essay titled  Finding Your Voice and The Courage to Sing Loudly, my own experience of having a man break into my apartment with an intent to assault me. I know my own instinctual drives were roaring loudly, and in my quest to fight and self-preserve, an eerie calm flooded my bloodstream and I could hear myself strategize survival.

Kristen’s survival plan has formulated based on her extensive experience in show business, as well as her observations of her peers and role models. “…a really, really, really thick-developed armor” is in place for Kristen’s friend Joan Jett, as Kristen tells Dark Horizon. “It’s a self preservation thing..she’s a survivor”. Kristen is referring to Jett’s ability to cope with emotional attacks at a time (during the 70’s and early 80’s) when the public would say and do anything in person (versus via cyberspace, which hadn’t been invented yet) to give their opinion of performers and public figures.

Kristen’s adversaries are the bloggers, The Bullshit People, the judgmental, the faceless, Screen-Named though anonymous attackers with an exorbitant amount of time on their hands. Also on the rise are a group of “fans” (who, are really another brand of not-really fans) who view themselves as supporters and defenders of Robert, and trash Kristen at every opportunity because they believe she is “unappreciative ” of Mr Pattinson. Though, I’m pretty sure there is more evidence of a mutual adoration between Robert and Kristen than the contrary…Liiiiiiike…..

Annnnnddd….

So there have been many ways that Kristen (and through her, for her, Rob) has offensively protected herself.

KRISTEN:

  • OWNS what is HERS. No apologies.
  • Keeps her private life PRIVATE
  • Declines joining any social networking sites
  • Keeps a close-knit circle of family and friends as her support system
  • Does things because she chooses to not because she is told to.
  • Employs her internal BULLSHIT DETECTOR
  • Looks the woman in the mirror straight in the eye~she knows and trusts herself and her instincts

And what can WE do as fellow OTHERS and Majestic Misfits to Preserve and SAVE our Fellow OTHERS from destruction?

WE OTHERS CAN:

  • Respect Privacy  and personal lives, especially if it is at the request of an Other
  • Refrain from getting pulled into petty fights on any social networking sites, with other supporters
  • Remember to USE WORDS WISELY–any bashing we do publicly, paints us in certain light as well
  • Remember we are ROLE MODELS in the community to people of different ages, cultures & backgrounds
  • Know and check in with our close-knit circle of family and friends frequently-they are who support us
  • Remind ourselves that if we “support” a Rebel Royal, we support their choices for happiness
  • Continue to EMBRACE OUR OWN OTHERNESS
  • Remember that WE ARE ALL OTHER

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: CLAIRE DANES

I know I’ve had a lot to say today…But I did want to make some time for a modest introduction to an Other who has managed to walk outside the periphery of convention while in the public eye. Inspired by a musical selection on last week’s playlist, Late At Night, by Buffalo Tom, and the squeals of recognition from fellow AngelaChaseIsOther Supporters (looking at YOU, @DrownInIt), I decided to feature a Rebel Royal that I’ve grown up with: Actress and dancer Ms Claire Danes. Ms Danes was born in Manhattan, New York City, New York to a artist mother and computer consultant father. She attended Yale University for two years studying Psychology before stopping to return to film making. Attending a performing arts school while growing up, Claire whet her appetite for performance through modern dance and theater first. She was thirteen when she was a guest star on an episode of Law and Order. She was only thirteen when she auditioned for and landed the role of Angela Chase in the seminal and profound television series My So-Called Life. When the show was picked up for more episodes, Claire was fifteen years old, playing 15-year-old Angela. Angela Chase completely embodied the heartbreak and steadfast optimism of an OTHER as the short-lived TV series chronicled awkwardness, tension and disagreement with the parental units, crushing on the beautiful mysterious musician at school, side-stepping the lovelorn advances of the boy next door. But alas, a story this heartrending was perhaps only fated to last but a brief time, and after 19 episodes, My So-Called Life was cancelled. It did, however, maintain a cult following.

Particularly gifted at playing awkward, gawky, angst-ridden teenagers, Claire received her first Golden Globe and Emmy Nominations of her career when she was just 15 years old for her work in My So-Called life. She won the Golden Globe. After My So-Called life’s cancellation, she transitioned into film work and her star rose to quick heights with her role alongside high-profile actors such as Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon and Gabriel Byrne in the film Little Women. In 1996, Claire’s celebrity and critical acclaim rocketed to the stratosphere when she appeared as Juliet opposite Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo in Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet. Claire continued to work steadily through 1999 with her roles in The Mod Squad and Brokedown Palace but she left acting to pursue her degree at Yale. When she returned to filmmaking in 2002, Ms Danes chose quirky, thoughtful independent film projects such as Igby Goes Down and paired her work with larger-budgeted films such as the Oscar-nominated film The Hours, in which Claire portrayed Meryl Streep’s daughter.

Baz Luhrmann called Ms Danes, “This generation’s Meryl Streep”, and her poise and confidence has earned her admirers in her many impressive colleagues and co-stars such as Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola and actor/musician Jason Schwartzman..and she is the muse for or the subject of at least four songs released by several indie or alternative rock bands. She has experienced the backlash of publicity when she became romantically involved with her costar Billy Crudup at a disadvantageous time, and in 1998 she was publicly condemned by then-Filipino president Joseph Estrada when Ms Dane’s comments about the poor conditions of the Manila, Philippines film set for Brokedown Palace were taken out of the context to which she meant. She later advised that she had only been shown the “darker, underbelly of the City of Manila”, and did not mean any disrespect to the country as a whole nor to its people. The Filipino president deemed Ms Danes’s comments as “irresponsible, bigoted and sweeping statements”, to which she issued a public apology to the city of Manila, Philippines in addition to an official letter of apology. How has she coped with the adversity? Like Our Reigning Queen Kristen, she has learned from past experiences, and has opted to keep her private life private, declining to speak publicly about personal relationships; and she freely gives clarification behind any misconstrued statements in interviews.

WHO do you notice first in this picture? Our Rebel Royals FTW

While teaming with Offenses of Otherness, I’ll highlight an abbreviated list: She knew from  a young age that she wanted to be an actor. She kept a focus on her goals for performance and dance, and surrounded herself with supportive friends and family. Now 31 years old, with more than 25 films under her belt, Claire is married to actor and costar  Hugh Dancy, whom she met on the film Evening. She is just coming off the success of her Emmy-Award Winning performance in the HBO Movie Temple Grandin, in which Ms Danes portrays the ultimate Other: Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin is an American Doctor of Animal Sciences and a University professor with high-functioning Autism. Dr Grandin is the inventor of The Hug Machine, a calming deep pressure device designed to soothe hypersensitive people who experience Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pretty awe-inspiring, right?  Claire states that the point of acting is to share and connect with others, and she is aware and grateful for the ability to have a career doing what she loves most.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Willingly walked away from the business of acting to empower and remind herself who she is as person.

*Believes that fame is not a reward for working hard. Doing what she loves (acting) is complete fulfillment, the reward.

*Is extremely forthright and confident when she speaks her opinion.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

I think we’ve established in this epically long Musings that our Reigning Queen of Other is a role model and pioneer. She has managed to cope graciously (even when her detractors are attacking her) by forging onward and continuing to partake in the craft that she loves. Kristen has an internal compass that guides her steps along her path of authenticity. She already knows what she’s doing. And it’s been absolutely miraculous to witness her journey thus far.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Unapologetically independent

*Strives for improvement of her craft and self, not for notoriety.

*Continuously cultivates self-awareness and strives for self-preservation.

~

CLAIRE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS REALIZE THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

* * *

Question:   I can think of several times when I overrode my instincts and suffered the results. I also can think of the times when I trusted my inner voice and was elated with the results. Can You?

A/N:

PHEW. This was about 4,000 words long. I have been struggling to process so many things these days, and I guess it has manifested in the longest Musings… ever. Thank you for hanging with me through this. Truly.

I wanted to thank my good friend @MissBettySmith, the brilliant author of The Gentleman From Washington State and Full Disclosure (my fave), with whom I shared a too-brief lunch today. In her latest update of TGFWS, Betty very clearly defended Kristen against people who are hell-bent on tearing down our Reigning Queen Of Other. Betty has a devoted following, with thousands of readers of her stories, and she is aware that she is accountable in how she expresses her values and uses her words . She is mindful of her many readers’ different age brackets, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. THANK YOU, BETTY!

Love, light and strength to my friend TEBBY and to my sister PUSS.

“Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are”~Henry Van Dyke

We are role models. We have voices. We have instincts to trust. We are Other. See you next time, my Majestic Misfits.

Acceptance of The Good

21 Oct

What an incredible week(end) its been for our Other Queen (and a feast of the senses for her admirers)! We went from having a few obscure glimpses of her dates out with Rob in Los Angeles a week ago (though they both looked incredibly relaxed and happy) to All Kristen…ALL.THE.TIME. I don’t need to break down her schedule for you guys, you were already along the ride with me, and we probably  exchanged a few tweet-moments of “unf” and “ohmahgawd” and THUDs. But because Kristen killed her press interviews for Welcome to the Rileys and completely dominated the night at the Scream Awards, I’m posting the pretty and fist-pumping in solidarity for our Reining Queen’s clear declaration of superiority. Girlfriend OWNED. EVERYTHING.

So, in a flurry of speculation and second-guessing and in defying space-time-continuum, Kristen, Rob and Taylor all were photographed on the set of Breaking Dawn in Baton Rouge on October 15, as the actors were there to begin pre-production on the films. I am placing a couple of pics up for a few reasons: a) Kristen and Rob were aware the pictures were being taken b.) It’s the return of Rob’s LB hat (I have such hometown pride) c.) It’s the return of Rob’s body guard DEAN, and Kristen’s PA and all-around goodness JOHN; hence, a DeJohn Reunion and, d.) Well, a puppy dog is present. And I love big puppy dogs, as does Kristen.

Ok, so we didn’t actually see those BD set shots until a day or two after they happened, but instead, we were shaking our heads in amazement at the thought that Kristen would really fly back and forth from the east coast to the west coast and back again in the matter of 20 hours. See, she was expected to attend (and film) the Spike Scream Awards in Los Angeles on Saturday night, and literally jet back to the east coast for her press junket and press premieres for Welcome to the Rileys by Monday. Well, our girl pulled it off . She BROUGHT. IT. HARD. She was present to accept her award for Best Actress in  Eclipse. When the first images trickled in of Kristen at the Scream Awards….All I could hear was Gary Wright singing Dream Weaver. Legit. Check my Twitter timeline. Friends began sending me YouTube clips of the song, and the bits from Wayne’s World  (Thanks @RKDaily and @DrownInIt!) It was all slow-mo. Bella-Swan-Hair-Blowing-in-the-wind. White confetti (snowflakes, right? not human scalp?) flitting down from the ceiling. Sparkles. And she looked…goooooood. Brilliant. Spectacular.

Ooooh Dream Weaver...I believe you can get me thru the nigh-hiiight

In her white and black trimmed Guishem mini and Giuseppe Zanotti pumps, I personally thought Kristen has never looked more magnificent.  . . .Coming…or going….

oh holy hell.

I think she looked incredible because she exuded HAPPINESS. JOY. COMFORT. GROUNDING. CONFIDENCE. Over the past few weeks, I feel that we’ve had the great honor of witnessing our Queen grow more assured not only in her physical beauty, but also in the public expression that she and Rob are partners, and in the clever choices she’s made for her career. Currently Kristen is garnering phenomenal critical accolades, thanks to her role as Mallory in Welcome To The Rileys. I’ll speak more on the incredible responses to WTTR in just a few.

She brought her A-Game to the press junket. The young girl–who used to fidget, habitually comb hands through her hair, haltingly produce answers since her cerebral side presided over her spontaneous side–was all but non-existent. In the interview chair sat a woman who was poised, open, friendly, and eloquent as she spoke of the  multitude of bruises on her body from two weeks’ worth of pole dancing practice and how it was to work with Tony Soprano (the rather “teddy-bear-like” James Gandolfini).

What led to this shift for Kristen? What factors lead to any of us to exude and express certainty? Referring to the brilliant and accessible The Curse of the Good Girl by Rachel Simmons (You may recall I favor her work immensely, as she wrote Odd Girl Out, about female aggression and bullying, and we discussed  the topic in The Musings titled: Aphrodite and Kristen Go Against Code ), genuine confidence can be instilled when we ourselves  follow, then teach our children, friends and our Crew a few concepts:

 

  • Identify Strengths Knowing your challenges is one thing. I think we all can identify things we’re less-than pleased about with ourselves. We accept too readily that we are flawed. We very easily are swayed by external critics, media messages–remember, Kristen refers to these people as the Bullshit People. No wonder she flashes them the double-bird salute. Why can’t we easily accept that we’re good at something? To believe we excel? That we have talent? That we are worthy? Make your list, my lovelies. Do some soul-searching and have some talks with your parents and  your best friends; re-read resumes and old report cards. Knowing your strengths–whether it be incredible balance, the ability to sing opera, do math in your head quickly, roll your tongue– leads to a feeling of uniqueness, pride and resilience. And KStew Fierceness apparently.

In the About KJ Page of this site, I include a Sentence Completion activity (it’s the group therapist in me, I’ve gotta have par-ti-ci-pation! (clapping hands in time)!! Every 10 to 14 days or so, I change out the questions. This edition includes a question about talents, and I’ve included my answer below…

Talents As An 8-Year Old: Jump roping, playing piano, playing handball, roller skating (on quads, yo. Not blades)

Anyway, the point is: if you don’t know what you’re good at, chances are you were once really invested in and gifted in some arena. Are you still doing those things, practicing those habits that allowed you to excel when you were eight years old? I still play piano, I still can rock the quad roller skates, though sadly, I have not played handball since I was maybe ten. But at least I know that I possessed some ability and interest at one point in my life.

  • Articulate Those Strengths Identifying strengths is an uncomfortable matter for many, but think of it like this: The sooner you identify  your talents and skills, the sooner you can secure the job, the college placement, the friends, the partners , the _____________(fill in the blank), that you desire in your life.

I’ve been responsible for hiring new employees in my field, and I’ve been on countless interviews as a counseling intern and as a waitress, a manager, a therapist, and for apartment rentals. COUNTLESS. I learned very quickly that the minute I show my uncertainty and disbelief in answering the question:

“What can you bring to this company? What are your assets? Your strengths, KJ?”

UMMMMM. Well, I have most likely removed myself from candidacy for the position, because I doubted myself and caused the interviewer to doubt me as well.  The ability to acknowledge and then verbalize your strengths is VITAL.

One day, we’ll perhaps breach the subject of all the jobs I’ve held, and places I’ve lived. It’s good stuff.

  • Accept Compliments Ok. I could write several theses on this subject. I’m going to try to do my best to simplify and summarize. *deep breath*. Say. THANK. YOU. Ahh, see? At the very least, when you feel your immediate verbal  smackdown bubbling from your throat—SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE. The feeling you have to deny  a compliment from others is simply your inner dialogue, your inner Bullshit Person whispering at you that you’re not worthy of nice testaments. Please STOP the negative self-talk. For one thing, people will not say nice things to you if you constantly argue with them. Another, the more you negatively talk to yourself, the more likely you will believe it…and other people will believe it too. Self-fulfilling prophecies are very real. We create our reality, my friends.

Me thinks that Ms. Kristen has had a little practice in a few of those suggestions. Do you see her telling Sean Penn to FUCK OFF because he’s incorrect in his assessment of her acting skills?? Uh. I think not.

When her colleagues and friends pay a compliment to Kristen, even if she doesn’t agree, she shuts her mouth. She doesn’t open the can of whoop-ass. Besides, her detractors and critics would pounce on her for being “ungrateful” if she did counter a compliment, and girlfriend does not have time to play those she-said/they-said games anymore.  So as a result of choosing to use her energy wisely, focusing on HER ASSETS, Stewie can transition from this (at the WTTR Press Premiere):

….to THIS…seamlessly, beautifully, the next morning (leaving Regis & Kelly early the next morning):

And she can confidently declare prideful, genuine, powerful statements like this:

“Unless you respect and like yourself, nobody else is going to”

Yes. That’s right. That’s what Kristen Jaymes Stewart told an interviewer this weekend during the WTTR press junket. She said she learned this lesson while playing the role of Mallory, a broken, but resilient girl. Perhaps  the character of Mallory has helped Kristen navigate away from internalizing the cruel,  alarming threats and criticisms from “fake fans” and Nonsensicals rampant these days. And perhaps Kristen is truly taking these moments of unrelenting scrutiny to OWN. WHAT. IS. HERS.  See how beautiful accepting the good can be?

Let’s chat about another Majestic Misfit who OWNS it, shall we?

FEATURED REBEL ROYAL: JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I have been a fan of our FRR for at least a decade, maybe closer to two of ’em. For sure since he was a little guy, which means, since I was a little gal, since I’m only two years older than he is. I’ve wanted to highlight his Royal Rebelliousness for some time now, to applaud his transition from child actor to awkward (yesss) adolescent to the thoughtful, insanely talented revered indie actor that he is now. Much like our beloved Ambassador of Other, Kristen, JGL has been in front of cameras, since his age was a single digit (for the record, he was 6 when he debuted in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It). I feel like I had already known him for years by the time he appeared in  TV’s 3rd Rock From The Sun…ok, confession. I knew about him from his days in Disney’s Angels in the Outfield…anybody else? Any takers? Bueller? He shared leading role status in the beloved 10 Things I Hate About You alongside late, great Heath Ledger (to whom Joseph has some resemblance, no?), and he dazzled, danced, and endeared himself to us in one of my very favorites: 500 Days of Summer (what part of MUSICAL NUMBER don’t you just freaking LOVE??) Oh. And you may have caught him in  G.I.Joe as the nefarious Cobra Commander, but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if you bolted straight up in your seat when you got an eyeful of Joe opposite Leo DiCaprio in this year’s Inception.


Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Joe, as he prefers to be called, had early exposure to the pursuit of creativity and expression. His mother ran for U.S. Congress  for California as apart of the Peace And Freedom Party, and his father was a program guide editor for Pacifica Radio (KPFK–ahhhh I feel calmer just having typed out the name of that lovely station–I’m such a fan). Joe’s maternal grandfather is Michael Gordon, Hollywood director (think Doris and Rock in Pillow Talk).

After successfully navigating his adolescent years by attending public high school, avoiding fame, and appearing in a long-running and popular TV show 3rd Rock From The Sun, JGL decided to take a hiatus from acting and attend Columbia to study French, literature, and history. He has been quoted as knowing how fortunate he was to have had success and a job as child, which allotted freedom to pursue interests and education as an adult. He left Columbia after a few years of study to return to acting, and hellllooo provocative and proclamation! He participated in a series of projects such as Mysterious Skin (in which he played a gay prostitute) and Brick (as an adolescent running an underground drug ring) that had critics bestowing accolades and praise, calling him the “rising star” in acclaimed  and quality Indie films (Boston Herald), and “one of the hottest actors in the indie firmament” (New York Times).

Well, ok, I fell in love with the guy truly, when I saw his social media project/ stand against paparazzi: Pictures of Assholes <—Click for YouTube Link… Joe turned the camera on a couple of paparazzi and challenged them to seek awareness of how invasive and destructive paparazzi attention can be to one’s soul. Seriously. Swoon. Just goes to show that folks can be powerful and influential simply with words…and a willingness to talk.

A mirror can be a powerful intervention.

I wasn’t going to write about Joe today, because I just discovered that he is grieving the loss of his older brother David, a photographer, performance artist and definitive Other, who passed away earlier this month. Joseph collaborated with his brother often in projects, and Joseph cites David as an integral partnership and inspiration in the creation of HitRECord.org, his online collaborative production company . Following David’s death, Joe publicly asked artists, musicians, filmmakers and the world to celebrate his brother’s spirit with him. And well, you don’t have to ask me twice to honor a creative spirit.

Guitar player, singer, writer, collaborator, producer, dancer, intellectual, and a pursuer of Creative Expression and Challenge, Joseph Gordon-Levitt embodies the qualities for  Ambassador of Other, so beautifully, that, as with Kristen, I am struck speechless and greatly inspired. P.S. my crush on him increased exponentially after watching this: CLICK—>:::BAD ROMANCE:::

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is not interested in success, nor power or money. Seeks good scripts and personal connection.

*Dislikes the concept of celebrity, and believes the “true” people deserving of accolades are astronauts and teachers.

*Quote: “The most valiant thing you can do as an artist is to inspire someone else to be creative”

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Though she is our elected Other Queen, Kristen may not have always believed that she had royal characteristics. Some extremely impressive Hollywood personalities have much to say about Kristen’s strengths and majesty, just in case she isn’t sure. Over the course of a singular day obscenely gifted colleagues such as James Gandolfini, James Woods, Jake Scott and Melissa Leo praised Kristen’s formidable talents and even gave statements comparing Kristen’s unique and high skills to those of acting legends Meryl Streep…Marlon Brando…Robert DeNiro.

Director Jake Scott compared Kristen's burgeoning skills to those similar in Meryl Streep

Reviews about Kristen’ ability to act include clips and phrases such as:  “raw vulnerability” ,”fierceness” “heartbreaking emotion”, “incredible uniqueness”, and “the potential to be one of the greats, if not THE greatest of her generation”. Two years ago, if you would have Googled Kristen’s name, you’d see her impressive resume, and the stunning list of legendary co-stars she’s worked with, and you might read that she’s disciplined, focused and even “brilliant”. Two years ago you may have also read that KStew was notoriously shy, awkward and uncertain in interviews and at press junkets. That she would bumble through interviews and project an aloof stance that unsettled journalists. Today, Kristen is sought after by high-calibre, legendary  film-makers as well as couture fashion designers; her name is being thrown around in major awards buzz, and she is landing on nearly every Best Dressed list published. She has a growing bevy of former-co-stars’ admiration and devotion, including James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo; Jodie Foster and Sean Penn, and the list goes on….

Thank you, @tiybor!

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is not interested in fame, nor power, or money. Seeks only the connection of humanity within the character.

*Is able to define and accept her strengths and challenges, on her own, and modestly.

* Quote: “Unless you respect and like yourself, nobody else is going to”

Because he approached paparazzi on the street and held up his own video camera (mirror) to patiently dialogue with them about intrusion of privacy and the price of celebrity, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is not only my hero, he is also a Rebellious Royal.

Because she is able to define, accept and constructively use the feedback about her strengths and challenges, all while in outrageously sexy dresses and heels, Kristen Stewart is our Reigning Other Queen.

JOE IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS ARE ABLE TO IDENTIFY AND EXPRESS THEIR OWN STRENGTHS

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: What were your talents as an 8-year-old? Do you use these assets today? If so: How? If not: Why do you think that is?

LONG A/N: **Big thank you to Emma from  @TeamKristenSite for the rec a long time ago for The Curse of the Good Girl. We had quite the book exchange didn’t we?

** Ever since I’ve moved over to WP, I have been writing Musings and publishing without pre-reading nor beta-ing. You’ve all been very kind in overlooking my silly typos and grammatical faux pas. I’m trying to break out of the habit of writing Musings the moments before publishing, and it’s been unsuccessful. The procrastination, unfortunately, is enabling me. Nonetheless, please give a warm shoutout to Buff_82 who designed the Pretty and the Banner for Musings, and ensures that the playlist I create each week is up and running on the site. So thank Buff for The Pretty and The Music.

**I may not publish next week, or if I do, it may not be Thursday. I am heading out of town for a psychology conference, and am planning Birthday Festivities with my beloveds. Basically that means, because of the nature of those plans, I don’t know if I will be here nor there. In this country? Probably. But I cannot guarantee. *giggles*

**WINNERS of The Kathryn LeGrice Originals Giveaway, I hope to get your prints in the mail by this weekend. I’m so pleased that they’re traveling literally around the world…Spreading the Other Love!!

**As usual, I do not mean to diminish the great importance and awe I feel in repeating/emphasizing this: Your letters, tweets and comments completely blow my mind and make my life. Thank you so much. I have responded to all of last week’s comments, and am working through the emails too. But I assure you, I have received your words and I HEAR YOU. I DIG YOU. KEEP ON, YOU GUYS. You’re making an incredible difference out there by pursuing your bliss, embracing your Otherness, opening up to synchronicity, supporting Kristen and Rob!! You are perhaps sparking a Movement-A REBELLION….KEEP GOING!!!

**My Cyber Sisters/Readers: You rock me. I am honored to be in the company of such brilliant, funny, talented women. We’re about to hit an anniversary here soon…CHEERS!

All my love, and see you soon. xo, KJ

Gropage & Giveaways: Awareness and Artistry

13 Oct

Hello my dearests! Happy Wednesday to you. Today is just a Musings Moment, not even a full-fledged Muselet or Memo…Just a moment to announce the Kathryn LeGrice Print Giveaway Winners of  last week’s post. Also, I want to address a few points that I think are essential to all of us…

Firstly, HAPPY OCTOBER!! This is my favorite month, not only because it’s my birthday month, or because it’s the first full month into the Fall Season (my favorite season). It’s a fantastic month because it’s BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. That’s right, friends, I cannot outline the importance of self-gropage for early detection. I have always existed in this world with an awareness of how rampant, devastating, life-altering, and shattering cancer can be.  Unfortunately, I am willing to guess that you all have been exposed to cancer in one form or another-via family, friends, coworkers, and/or your own encounters, no matter your age. Breast cancer does not effect just older women. The women I’ve known who have experienced breast cancer or a cancer scare are as young as 21 through 65. It effects men, young women, families, friends, YOU.

Ladies, if you’ve got ’em, feel ’em up. Do your self-breast exams, get your Mammo-hugs, encourage everyone you know to do the same. Early detection is the key. Go. Go feel yourself up.

Secondly, I want to let you know that you all blow me away. Serio. I am stunned every single day with your comments, tweets and emails to me. Last week was no exception. The courage, the insight, the honesty that you all exhibit bring me to tears, bring me to my knees. I know I say that Musings’ Readers are the most brilliant and brave of all the people out there, but I am saying it in all sincerity, YOU ARE BRILLIANT. Not surprising, since you are KStew and Rob fans. I couldn’t even reply to the comments this week because I felt no words would suffice. Please know that I read all of your comments and thoughts, and I love that you all are interacting with each other a bit, providing support for Fellow Misfit Rebels…You truly are magnificent souls. BRAVE. I bow down to you in humbleness.

During a time when Date Night with Rob and Kristen spark in-fighting and obscene rumor mongering, plus a few Twitter wars, I see you guys staying above it, staying out of it, and concentrating on the bigger picture…WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. This common admiration we share for OTHERS, and our OTHER QUEEN KRISTEN and her MAJESTICAL MISFIT PARTNER ROBERT  is what brought us together in the first place, and I applaud you for remembering this. I know it gets noisy out there. It gets petty, gossipy, immature, and downright vile.  There are far more positive things to be focusing on right now…Like, the upcoming wide release of Welcome To The Rileys:

Or awesomely happy talk show appearances:

And tapping into that neglected creative part in you, leading to authenticity, dancing in the bubbles:

Know that your warm sentiments and compliments for Kathryn’s artwork has been passed on to Kathryn. She is humbled and stunned at your reaction. She wants you all to know how grateful she is for your words. I urge you to continue peeking into Kathryn’s website: http://KathrynLeGrice.com to watch for her new works. Last week, I showed you three prints that the lovely Welsh Ms LeGrice contributed to Musings as a reminder to all of us Others to keep pursuing our endeavors, no matter the naysayers, the doubters and critics (those include the inner critics, especially). Commenters automatically entered their names in for a chance to win one of the three prints…

 

Bryant Park

 

 

Central Park

 

 

San Francisco

 

I counted your first comment if you left more than one, and I did not include a commenter who asked that I withdrew her name from the drawing to give the chance to someone else to win. (Hi, Fi. You’re so generous, it’s ridonk). Thank you. So, here are the winners of the Kathryn LeGrice Artwork Giveaway–A Reminder to Pursue Creativity:

Part 1: The Integers

Generate  random integers (maximum 10,000).

3

Each integer should have a value between  and  (both inclusive; limits ±1,000,000,000).

1 thru 19

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

12

15

3

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

The winners are: (12) APRIL , (15) NHESS_V, (3) MISTY

Winners, we will get in touch via Twitter and/or email. When we do connect up, I ask that you number your preference of painting (which is signed by Kathryn and presented in a lovely matte frame) from one to three.

Thank you all so very much for participating and sharing a little piece of your selves and your creative journey with us. I will be back tomorrow with my regular Thursday Musings…I haven’t narrowed down the topic just yet, but I imagine it will involve self-reflection, love, creativity, bliss-pursuit and Kristen Stewart. I know, shocker, right? You are absolutely adored by me. In the meantime, GO AND SPREAD BREAST CANCER AWARENESS, PROMOTE THE GROPAGE. Also, please continue to take your risks, remain open (in mind and heart) and continue to celebrate the EMBRACING OF OTHER.  See you tomorrow. Much love, KJ

*A/N* This week’s and last week’s drawing results were obtained through the usage of RANDOM.ORG-Integer Generator.

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