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Revisiting Resolutions

13 Jan

Hello and happy 2011 to you, my lovelies! I hope this finds you well, healthy, rested and reinvigorated for the new year. How were your holidays and where were you when you welcomed the new year?  To many folks’ delight, we discovered that our Reinging Queen of Other created a bit of a tradition for herself, returning for the second year to the Isle of Wight with her partner Robert to observe the start of 2011. While a few accounts popped up online through various social networking sites, it was gratifying (at least for me) to know that Kristen, Rob and their Britpack friends (Tom Sturridge and Sam Bradley among them) were together, in the company of beloveds to welcome the fresh canvas of a year, essentially undisturbed. Well, almost. Undisturbed until an “aspiring actress”, a proclaimed “fan” approached Kristen and Rob while at a pub, and asked to take a photo with them. After a few moments of discomfort, Our Royal Rebel Kristen politely declined the picture, but she ultimately conceded  (perhaps a re-evaluation of the situation) and posed with the fan and Rob. It appears, at least to me, that both Kristen and Rob (who was feeling a bit under the weather at the time)  knew exactly what would happen once the picture was snapped. Check their facial expressions:

And our peaceful vacation is over in 3...2...1...TWEET

Sure enough. Said “fan” logged onto her Facebook, posted the picture (the original snapshot included the fan in between our Rebels) and she shared her thoughts on her encounter with The Pretty. Well, I think we all know that Facebook has something close to 600 million users, with half of those folks boasting Twitter accounts as well. The picture, the pub’s name and location, and this “fan”‘s encounter were public in mere moments, and one could almost hear the very new and delicate family tradition of Isle of Wight for Stewart, Pattinson and BritPackers alike shattering. I would not be at all surprised if the second annual IOW New Year’s Tradition is now The Posthumous New Year’s Tradition. It was especially sweet  (sarcasm) when the “fan” indicated that Kristen was “ungrateful” and  that Kristen shouldn’t be an actress if she didn’t want to deal with people seeking pictures and autographs. Chatty Fan was completely oblivious to any hypocrisy, since she in fact, did get a picture of both Kristen and Rob and yet she appeared less than gracious about it all. It is in those moments where I find myself shaking my head in wonder, and also silently congratulating Kristen and Rob for maintaining patience and grace when neither is granted to them.

*IOW traditions drift into the sunset*

I get it. We hadn’t seen a current photo of either Kristen or Rob in many weeks, but Kristen in particular had been her usual NinjaStew self for months. KStew Withdrawal Symptoms had set in steadily, and the remedy included revisiting previous photo shoots, or listening to the Eclipse Commen-tree on loop. Of course, since that gracious “aspiring” thespian included her location in her Facebook recounting, fans and photographers alike grew brazen and more pictures surfaced from Kristen’s brief holiday (they had about 3 days on IOW before flying back to Baton Rouge for Breaking Dawn filming). Included in the photos that emerged from that weekend is what appears to be a nuzzle-and-kiss exchange between Kristen and her beautiful consort. I couldn’t help but wonder if theIOW weekend was an indicator of the sparkling, dramatic year ahead.

The Chosen

So for New Year’s Eve and Day, do you find yourself meditating on your plans for success and health for the approaching year? Do find yourself with a clear resolve for improvements and positive challenges? Sometimes a kick-start in motivation is required to pursue our resolutions. For instance, I realized I needed to find a way to pay for our satellite TV services to be reinstalled because the digital antenna we have now is a monstrosity and we have a scrambled picture and stuttering audio every 15 minutes if the city train passes nearby. What was the proverbial slap in the face that solidified my assessment? In the near-unbearable first 95 minutes, where the scrambled picture was a welcomed relief, I was most annoyed  that the last 25 minutes of the People’s Choice Awards were intermittently smeared and blocked here:

oh. MY.

And…here…

Whatcha lookin' at, Rob?

Annnnd here…

So telling, this photo. I see a bubble.

So we need a new cable option, we needed a different system months ago, really. The Golden Globes are this weekend, I don’t know if I can handle the scramble-screen nightmare. Luckily, I have my trusty, sexy MacBook Pro and a strong wireless signal and I didn’t miss out on some of the jaw-dropping reminders of why Kristen is and forever shall be, Queen. She was chosen by The People as Favorite Movie Actress after all. *eyes glaze over*

I am not saying anything that hasn’t already been mentioned elsewhere, everywhere, over a week ago. But I personally think Kristen has NEVER looked more stunning. I’m admiring the uber short hemline of her golden Reem Acra dress, accentuating her un.be.lieveable legs; I’m also applauding the stylists responsible for the flawless tousled, sultry hair and makeup she’s rocking; I’m charmed by her soft, halting words and humble acceptance speech:

Thank you so much! I’ve never been to The People’s Choice Awards, so it’s very exciting. But I’d always thank the fans..uh, I mean, I know I’ve said this before, but we share the stuff like this …(holds up pretty award to the audience) Awesome. You guys did it again. It’s very cool (camera pans to Rob’s adoring gaze on her from the audience). We’re shooting Breaking Dawn right now (audience bursts into cheers), and it’s going really well, we’re having a lot of fun. We’re working with the coolest people and it’s always surreal to be in moments like this…I was a vampire this morning in Baton Rouge…”

I didn’t get to see all of this in tact the first time, per usual, as the train barreled through in the middle of her speech, but with the beauty of YouTube, I was able to catch glimpses of The Greatness.

such joy. and color coordination. usual.

Unfortunately, like IOW, like always, the detractors and vultures, as well as the insecure, and the petty-voiced emerged from the shadows, despite the lovely night full of positivity (um, ok, only the last 30 minutes were truly tolerable). The BullShit People and NonSensicals were combing through the show’s video footage and pictures with weary eyes and toxic mouths, filtering through a loathing haze: comments indicating Kristen was too this, or not enough that, throwing around the usual familiar words and phrases: “awkward”, “cold”, “insecure”, “favoring Taylor, while ignoring Rob”, “weird”, all while she spoiled the movie” with her mention of being a vampire in Baton Rouge…Even “expert analysts” offered up opinions that were manipulated for an unkind agenda and published online as if accurate and unbiased. A’ight. Shut it. Because, again, like IOW and in countless situations presented, Kristen and Rob gave for the fans and were genuine, poised and graceful, even while they knew they were under fire. Thats Royalty, my friends.

New Resolve, New Vision

There are appropriate responses to the BullShit People, in Kristen’s life, in our own lives. To address some of Kristen’s critics, I feel it’s helpful to share some of my own discoveries in this two-week self-imposed withdrawal period. The Kick-Start to motivation, I mentioned earlier? Yeah, so I need a new cable service. But I also needed a mirror.  Remember the video interview conducted between myself and a psychotherapist search engine/advertising company a few weeks ago? Some of you lovelies imparted wonderful advice for me re: posture, colors to wear, colors to avoid (RED), the importance of eye contact….um. Yeah. I received the first round of edits back last week. I’m trying to hold back tears as I’m typing, I’m still so traumatized.

that was me, except I was wearing red and had my too-wild hair down

You know how startling it is when you hear your speaking voice for the first time in a voicemail? Have you experienced how awkward it is to watch yourself on a video screen, say in a home movie, or on your phone’s movie application?  I had a couple weeks to prepare for this forty-five minute interview in front of a small camera crew speaking about a topic I am familiar with and considered an “expert” in. When I arrived at the set for the filming, I felt pretty confident and calm. There was an issue with the background screen, hence me changing from a neutral toned sweater to a RED sweater, but no big, dramatic deal. We flowed. My interviewer was extraordinary and knowledgeable, and I was very comfortable with him, forgetting the camera was on me. I felt solid and grounded for the entire process, except when I blushed because the cute, nerdy AV guys were very complimentary. #ILoveNerds

A pic found off the greatest website ever: Awkward Family Photos. New Game: Spot the Other and give a fist pump

All right my interview video wasn’t  quite that awkward but this picture (along with the link to Women’s Day magazine) showed up when I googled “uncomfortable and awkward” and I had to share it. Let me tell you, these lovely folks have better hair and posture than I do in my video. My hair was too-long and a mass all around my big head, I was leaning to the side and speaking in some moments with a lisp…kay, what the fuck? I don’t have a lisp, and I am not cute like Drew Barrymore who does have a lisp.

My point is this: I had a couple weeks to prepare for the interview and take into account what you experienced folks advised for me. I am a confident conversationalist and I am knowledgeable in my area of study, which was the topic of the interview. The 45 minute interview was expertly pared down to 3 and half minutes and I sounded assured and knowledgeable….but  I personally  thought I appeared dreadful.

I had ample prep time and an editing team for my on-screen debut, and I still sought out the blemishes, the mistakes, the uncomfortable, my own private eye.  After the third viewing, I dried my tears and noticed that my makeup in the video was well done, and that my words were important and welcoming, and that my dress was nice…And how great is it that I have started my own tiny business and I have this great moment to share my work with other people?……See, I had time to review and acclimate, get comfortable with this re-evaluation, re-envisioning…

On the contrary, our Royal Kristen Stewart, having worked many hours on a film set, hops a plane with her 2 costars Rob and Taylor and flies across the continent from Baton Rouge to Los Angeles that same day to attend an award show that could be called abysmal at best for less than forty-five minutes. She did it for supporters of the Twilight Saga. And she did it with stunning grace and style. And in 15-Inch Heels no less. She looked incredible, and she was charming, sweet and humble. Rob didn’t have to come to the show (he didn’t win in any of the categories he was personally nominated in) but he was there. He was there to support the movie but more importantly to support Kristen. And yet people complained. People found the cadence of her speech, facial expressions or the direction she leaned offensive still and attempted to tear her down, tear down her relationship with Rob.

My request of those critics?? Video tape yourself wearing 15-inch heels walking up slippery steps in front of millions of people to give an endearing acceptance speech.Be sure to do it once you step off a plane after you’ve flown for 6 hours, ok?

We all have our Awkward Photo/VideoFace, my friends, but most of us are not forced to reveal it on live television and in front of esteemed peers (Ohai, Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp!!). Keep the perspective, everyone. We Others consistently work for this, and are appreciative when our Reinging Other Queen models such poise and grace for us.

Not too shabby, eh?

So after my own kick-start, I picked myself up off the floor and didn’t wallow for too long, though admittedly, when on holiday vacation and surviving familial drama hasn’t worn a gal down, then a stark video of herself with Yeti hair sure can cause some stumbling.

An addendum to some personal resolutions as direct response to my video viewing/PCAs viewing:

1. Cut the hair I have, it looks fabulous, and my hubs N flirts with me in an outrageous fashion lately. I like it. A Lot.

2. Sit up straight because it looks as if I’m folding in on myself or leaning to the side, as if I’m ashamed. What am I hiding from? I’m a knowledgeable, articulate girl! Slumping is distracting.

3. Remind myself that while I have my demons to struggle with, so many Others do as well. We are Other together.

4. Continue to keep things in perspective. Of all the perceived shortcomings and imperfections I can spot in myself and others (though our self-criticism is the loudest and most damning of all voices) there are far more favorable, felicitous and more encompassing matters that deserve my attention. So while I may not like my hair or my facial expressions in an advertisement video, the fact that I’ve been blessed with an opportunity to make an advertisement video transcends. And I live in a world where major things are happening: floods in South America and Australia, a fierce Congresswoman fighting for her life and babies being born *Waves to @Ophelia2010‘s beautiful Royal-Rebel-In-Training*.

Let’s chat a bit about how these Unconventional Beauties remind themselves to keep perspective and stay on course, shallll we??

Featured Royal Rebel: Natalie Portman

This exquisitely lovely Rebel has long held a place in my heart of hearts. She is only two years younger than I and I feel that I’ve grown up always conscious of her work in film and in the world in general. While she was known to the world audience as Queen Amidala (See? She was crowned royalty from the beginning) in the Star Wars Prequels, she had already gained traction and critical acclaim  (and my undying devotion) for her debut role as a 12-year-old orphan-turned assassin’s assistant in the glorious movie Leon (The Professional). She was only 12  and starring opposite esteemed actors Jean Reno and Gary Oldman. It was with her appearance in 1996’s Beautiful Girls–where she played a young neighbor with the an ancient soul of a poet opposite Timothy Hutton–that I realized this luminous girl was destined to join The Greats in the film industry. Of course, I am simply an audience member, not a film critic, nor an actor. So my assessment and grand statements stem only from my response to her presence and charisma on screen, and over time, from my admiration of unconventional choices she’s made  as a person and a woman that highlights her supreme Royal Otherness.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel, Natalie is the only child of physician father and artist mother. When Natalie was 3 years old, her family relocated to Washington D.C., and subsequently to New York where she spent her childhood. At age 11, the luminous Ms Portman was spotted by an agent while she was at a pizza parlor, and encouraged by said agent to pursue modeling. However,  Natalie declined the suggestion, choosing instead to concentrate on performance and acting. She had been enrolled in dance classes since she was four years old and performed in local troupes when she was not in school. Already at such a young age, our Featured Rebel was displaying her propensity towards Otherness, and traits that she shares with our Reigning Other Queen Kristen began emerging: ambition, dedication, determination, focus. Natalie reports, “I knew what I liked and what I wanted, and I worked very hard. I was a very serious kid.”

Her focus and passion simply informed her future choices. An animal rights advocate, Natalie chose to be a vegetarian when she was 8 years old, and became a vegan in 2009. She does not eat animal products or wear fur, feathers, or leather. While her star was rising, Natalie decided to only film movies during the summer breaks while she was in high school, and skipped the premiere of Star Wars: Episode 1 so she could study for her final exams. In one of many rebellious, Other moments, Natalie has said,

“I’m going to college. I don’t care if it ruins my career. I’d rather be smart than a movie star”

Well, she’s managed to be both. In 1999, Ms Portman began her attendance at Harvard University where she pursued her interest in foreign languages and ultimately earned a degree in psychology. Before her freshman year at the Ivy League University, Natalie had already had completed roles in six films, including Heat and Anywhere But Here. She adhered to her decision to limit any filming while she was enrolled at Harvard, with the exception of her work in The Star Wars prequels. She did, however, work alongside legendary actors Kevin Kline, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep in a New York City Theater Production of The Seagull.

In an age of over-tanned, siliconed, consta-smiling contemporaries, Natalie turned the opposite direction and sought enhancement of her intellect. She dropped out of the entertainment industry to study and research enzymatic production of hydrogen as well as frontal lobe activation, both studies earning the esteemed honor of publication in professional scientific journals. Um. How sexy is THAT? Verra verra sexxah, if you ask me.

Serio. How hot is THIS?

After her graduation from Harvard in 2003, Natalie began to seamlessly appear in films again, balancing independent (read: transcendant) projects such as the splendorous Garden State and the Award-Winning though heart-heavy Closer (for which Natalie was nominated for her first Oscar Award). She is a supporter of antipoverty movements and promotes micro-lending to assist financial support to women who own businesses in 3rd-World countries such as Uganda, Guatamala and Ecuador. She refers to herself as “boring” and admits that there is “so much else to do in the world…to just do films would limit my life.” She relishes that she has close girlfriends now, and that she sees them every day to enjoy mundane activities such as hiking, museum attending, having lunch. She humbly deflects the immense praise raining down upon her for her the dark, stylish horror-amongst ballerinas film Black Swan. Natalie is on every prestigious watch list imaginable and is the front-runner for an Academy Award nomination and win. The story of Black Swan could really symbolize Ms Natalie’s own story: acknowledging, confronting and embracing all facets of herself to reach her highest creative potential, her highest self, her authentic self. The Scientist, The Poet, The Student, The Actress, The Daughter, The Woman, The Child, The Advocate, The Rapper…?

Please tell me you’ve seen Natalie’s outrageously hysterical SNL Digital Short in which she is the scariest, most bad-ass rapper with Andy Samberg as her Viking Sidekick? Puh-LEEEEEZE tell me you’ve seen it! If you havent… Well, Here You Go:

CLICK THIS PIC for Natalie to go gansta on your asssss. You won't be sorry.

So as Natalie progresses into this new phase of life–she and her Black Swan choreographer/ballet dancer fiance Benjamin Millepied are expecting their first child together–she will continue to gracefully, gorgeously, seamlessly meld the facets of who she is, all the hats she wears together as one. Living it, being her “fullest self”, as she calls it. Because Natalie Portman feels that living and being her “fullest self” is the most difficult, therefore the most pleasurable existence, she is Rebel Royalty.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Prefers getting an education over acting

*States that recognition for her work is lovely, but not important. At. All.

“The moment you believe the idea you’re above anyone else, is the moment you need to be slapped in the face”

Reigning Other Queen: Kristen Stewart

After her regal and award-winning appearance at The PCA’s, Kristen literally hopped onto a plane with Rob and Taylor and flew back to Baton Rouge to continue filming the last two installments of Breaking Dawn. With the start of a new year, it’s only natural to wonder what our Majestic Misfit’s future plans are. We know she is scheduled to film BD until approximately May/June of this year and promotion for the final installments will continue through 2012. But will our girl decide if her next role will be another art-house Indie or a studio film with risk-taking, unconventional directors?

First still from BD. *bowing down to Bill Condon. Again.*

The Publication Vulture online  spoke with producers and agents regarding Ms Stewart’s uniquely powerful position as a successful franchise actor with Indie cred in an article from October 2010. It is no secret that our Rebel Queen is well-respected and well liked by her Hollywood peers. A top agent interviewed for this article reports that Kristen possesses “depth” and scope that is “highly unusual” for her age and a rarity in comparison to her contemporaries. But could her decision to do a commercial, studio movie after Twilight wraps prove harmful? Or would that route be the key to her success?  These are the musings of the Vulture article author. This is where I feel Kristen’s feisty and stunning uniqueness, her Otherness emerges. How “success” is defined is subjective. Success can mean drawing a large crowd at the box office. Success also can mean that the actor feels a personal affinity with the role chosen. Kristen has always shown a tremendously accurate instinct in choosing her roles. She also has never picked a project featuring a character to whom she cannot relate . In the fantastic Flaunt interview of Issue 109, the enchanting actress says:

“People want you to be so over the moon for the position you’re in, that you have no principles, no sense of the world around you…Well, I don’t want to be that”

Our Misfit Rebel Kristen does not choose projects based on an obvious Pay Day or box office clout, nor fame. She seeks work that satisfies her genuine, inquisitive, nature, and she is curious as to how the role can be expressed through a particular filter–knowledge– as a young woman in today’s society. The analysts at Vulture wonder how she can bridge her talents as a dramatic actress in tiny films to an audience-garnering “movie star”. And while it’s understandable as to why industry insiders are encouraging Kristen to pursue bigger-budgeted films, these analysts don’t seem to truly account for our feisty Queen’s propensity towards the unexpected.I don’t think they get “it”.  Kristen does not seek fame,  nor does she petition for the Popularity vote  (although she is Musings’ Ambassador of Other, but that’s because I nominated and elected her. *shrugs*). She does not desire the title of “Movie Star”. She dislikes labels altogether quite frankly. Instead Kristen Stewart quests for a visceral connection with the characters she chooses to portray, and admits and accepts that it’s could be either a “hit or miss”  with an audience. It’s her willingness to take risks, but unwillingness to sacrifice authenticity and principals that assures me. When and if she’s approached a cross roads in this new year, she will simply push forward in her journey for genuine and meaningful connection. Something tells me Kristen Jaymes will be juuuust fine. Whatever project she does participate in next, I imagine I’ll be stunned and inspired, as always.

Offenses of Otherness:

*Unwavering dedication to the protection of her personal life.

*Views fame as the least important of values derived from work.

“The perception of me that I don’t give a fuck…Could not be further from the truth”

Well, Lovelies, as this first Musings for 2011 winds to a close, the reveal of  Kristen’s new VOGUE cover emerged….Let’s take a reverent moment of silence together now…

Today we spoke of living life fully and reminding ourselves to re-evaluate and perhaps make adjustments to our goals for the year if it means we’re still in touch with perspective and pursuing different modes of obtaining and embracing Otherness.  I needed this two week break to remind myself (and watch a video of myself) that I had a vision, a path for this year. Stay the course. I’m still on the Royal Court float, even when it’s bumpy.

Natalie Portman is enjoying the fruits of merging her many facets into one strong, independent, thriving beauty. Because she seeks challenges outside of the options placed in front of her, Natalie is an Majestic Misfit and Rebel Queen.

Kristen Stewart is blessed with opportunity at a crossroads. She may not have to make any adjustments to her plan this New Year because she has already achieved personal and professional success, no matter how it’s defined. Because she continues to march through the crossroads (standards, expectations) on an unconventional route, Kristen Stewart is our Reinging Other Queen.

Natalie is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others recognize the importance of revisiting resolutions.

Embrace your Other.

 

QUESTION: Are you a resolution maker for the New Year? What triggers you to re-evaluate resolutions and goals?

A/N: Ok Loves. Next week (and maybe sooner, because Kristen Goodness is BLOWING UP these days), we’re talking biggies: First Loves, First Loss, and  the glories of Risk Taking. You know why.

There is so much love for you, those who have stuck with me these past 6+ months. Your letters, emails, tweets, subscriptions, comments…they humble me and make me cry. You own me completely. It’s going to be a fantastic year, I think. Yours, KJ

The 2010 Stew Review-Happy New Year!

30 Dec

We didn’t come here by accident.

We each came here for a purpose

that is uniquely our own.

We didn’t come here to fit in.

We came here to be who we are.  ~AGC

*Places HAPPY NEW YEAR crown atop head and fumbles around for flute of champagne* Hello there my friends!  I cannot believe that this year is coming to a close already. Such a year. Personally, this was one of the most rewarding years I’ve ever experienced. Ever. KStew-wise? Extraordinary. She simply owned 2010. It became obvious when I asked folks to share their favorite Kristen Stewart moments of 2010, that the task and responses given were complex. I realize I basically asked us all to do a long division problem in our heads without paper or pencil. Why? Because Reigning Other Queen Kristen Jaymes Stewart ruled this year. Starting with an innocent picture with a young fan from Ventnor, Isle of Wight and building with each surfacing picture, public event, and interview, Kristen showed us why she is ROYALTY.

Happy New Year, Royal Rebels! Surprise! We were together for the holidays!

In a year that began with confirmations and the dispelling of rumors and “insider” claims of Kristen spending her time away from Robert, it was only bound to evolve into a great year. So many events including raw interviews, red carpet premieres, the release of four Kristen-featured movies and unbelievable STEEZE highlights of 2010, and you all stepped up. I know it was difficult to narrow down the epicness to only a handful of “moments”, but you provided so many prime exhibits of Kristen’s domination. There is nothing left for me to do but celebrate the evidential support that Kristen is indeed better than us and that our Queen has gracefully served an honorable term as an Ambassador of Other. Here are your Top Five Moments/Events in which Kristen represented Royalty, Beauty and Ownership of Otherness.

#5: NonVerbal Communication/MTV Majesty

These two events were tied in the number of mentions for inspiring awe. When Kristen toured down unduh Australia with Taylor to promote Eclipse, she had some things to say to the hordes of Vultures shadowing her step (and also perhaps to note her displeasure at being carted around on quite the punishing schedule?), all without saying a word. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of these pics. Preach it, Kristen!

MTV does tend to elicit some wonderful unguarded Kris and Robert Moments…case in point: MTV Music Awards 2009:

This year, Kristen taking home the MTV Movie Award for Best Movie Actress and Best Kiss (with Robert), only enhanced the glory of the evening . Kristen sported long hair extensions and a Dolce & Gabbana ensemble, color-coordinating beautifully with her partner in crime, Mr “Deliciously Handsome” Pattinson, all while she navigated through endearingly awkward stumbles, fumbles and “Kiss-Cams”. Its ok,  because at the end of the night, when accepting his own Best Actor award, Robert singled out two special ladies: Catherine Hardwicke, for “everything” and Kristen herself, calling her “the lynchpin of the series”.  So true, Rob. So true. I’m glad that you know this, just as we knew this all along, even if the film’s production team doesn’t exactly acknowledge it.

#4: We Feelya, Brasilia/ Lady O Mah Goodness!

Well, the #4 Moment in the Stew Review is also a tie. Our most recent glimpses of our quintessential Smart Girl found her roaming and laughing  in the streets of Brasil in a Michael Kors dress as she returned to her now iconic role of Bella Swan for the the final two-part installment of the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. While many of you simply stated that “Brasil” was epic, it was harder narrowing it down…Teeny-tiny Bikinis and chess-playing cockblocking aside… For many of you, the prize was observing a a smiling, confident Kristen, inhabiting a role that brings us all home again.

I was hanging with a cyber sister @robkris13 in my hometown when the balcony pictures first surfaced. Yeah. We squealed.

Engaged in text-screaming with CC (@KStewsBtrThanU) and shot a flurry of emails to my Cyber Sisters when the street fair pics emerged.

…I have no clue where I was when these came out…I’d lost my mind by then.

You know you’ve hit critical mass when you’re invited to speak with Lady O on her talk show. When Oprah repeats continuously that you’re apart of a “PHEE-NOM-UH-NONNN”, and she points out numerous times that “you’re shy”, causing a murmur of discomfort, you’ve arrived, baby. Oh. Wait. No, the baby has not arrived, says Rob. It’s still inside Kristen.  “Kristen’s Pregnant.”

K: Seriously? We're gonna do this now? We didn't discuss it THIS way, Rob

I loved catching a glimpse of The Trio in these backstage video segments featured on Oprah’s website. Clearly the three actors care for and have a chemistry with each other.

#3: On The Road to Montreal

How stoked were you to hear that Kristen was going to portray Marylou in the film adaptation of the American literary classic On the Road? If you were like me, you were dying with excitement. Not only is this story one of my very favorites of all time, but Francis Ford Coppola and his production team had locked Kristen in to star in the film two years ago. This cemented the notion that Kristen is sought out by colleagues of legendary proportions to participate in their projects. *shakes head in wonder, because it’s kinda a big fucking deal*  And while she was filming what I can only think will be a supreme film this summer in Baton Rouge, Argentina and the lovely Montreal…well, things happened..

The above picture was the only pic I felt remotely comfortable posting from that night. This is one of the clearer ones amongst a batch that included shady, grainy shots of Kristen and Rob kissing while waiting for their elevator. TomStu was there too, bless his heart, not that anyone noticed him. The press perpetually referred to him as, “a friend”…if at all. I’m always #TeamTommy though. I saw you there, Tom!

For the record, I hold Strawberry-MarylouStew (and in this picture, her braid) responsible for the trigger of such Montreal epicness…

I mean, clearly, Kristen’s man felt the need to travel all the way across the continent (twice!) to let his girl know in person how much he likes her hair.

Note that none of the Montreal pics were taken full-on, face-forward. Yeah, the Vultures and set stalkers were particularly ravenous during this time…but Rob (and later, TomStu, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund) did what they could to keep our Reigning Other Queen securely guarded. Thanks, boys. Seriously. #ProtectThePrecious

#2: Our Rising Star

There isn’t too much more I can say about this event, voted the second most momentous KStew Occasion in this 2010 Stew Review by Musings Readers. Kristen Jaymes Stewart was nominated by members of  the esteemed British Academy of Film and Television for her provision of provocative, gifted performances in film, also exhibiting influence and generating acclaim and interest while doing so. Then the public further confirmed the nominated actor’s appeal and talent by voting for and electing the year’s most notable, emerging talent. It’s quite an honor, and quite fitting that our Majestic Misfit was crowned Rising Star in the presence of acting royalty, but also, quite literally, Royal Royalty. Prince William was witness to the crowning of a Royal Rebel. Our Queen of Other.

#1: Remembering Him, Publicly

Ok, drumrolllll……The number one most-mentioned or alluded to event I received in my email box this week referred to an instant in which again, our Unconventional Beauty used no words.  In fact, she did everything in her NinjaStew power to avoid having attention on her at all–she walked by cameras and reporters, avoided interviews. . .Well, to ignore Kristen Stewart in this moment would be like ignoring a zebra that wanders into your living room. It was in New York City, on a cold and damp March evening, and Robert Pattinson and Pierce Brosnan were walking a fairly abbreviated red carpet into a theater that was premiering an independent film called Remember Me. Just weeks after Rob supposedly told a British journalist that he and Kristen “are together”, Kristen confirmed her affection and show of support for Robert and his flourishing career by arriving (despite discouragement and naysayers) unannounced and unexpectedly at a nonTwilight event: The Remember Me premiere.

Wearing a black leather jacket and golden leggings, Kristen appeared relaxed and undaunted as the press line immediately erupted in cheers and requests for interviews. She granted none, but instead walked over to the fan area and said hello to admirers there, signing autographs and posing for pictures with them. Humble and careful to keep the focus on Rob and his Remember Me costars (including Emilie de Ravin and the delightful Ruby Jerins), Kristen spoke thousands of messages this night (rebellion, support, love, humility, and yes, I’m with Rob for Rob) without uttering a single syllable. This might seem anti-climactic to some, but to those who know the history of this time period (film executives wanted distance between Kristen’s presence at a Non-Twi event; also, rabid, volatile NOT-Fans were  making their presence known by threatening physical harm against Kristen simply for breathing in the same vicinity of Rob) but Kristen’s appearance represented courage and rebelliousness in a very classy, poised package. Ladies and gentlemen, you are in the presence of Royalty.

So, my lovelies and Misfits…that’s The Stew Review of 2010, based on your responses to my question re: your favorite Stewie Moments. There were so many amazing events revealed this year, and narrowing down the greatness was a bitch, I know, but y’all did fabulously! Your answers were illuminating, confirming and supportive in Our Reigning Other Queen’s extraordinary year, and we held many favorite events in common. For instance, your Favorite Kristen Stewart Movie from 2010, amongst the four she released?  OH YESSSSSSS.

She is fierce, heartbreaking and exquisitely right in this under-appreciated little film about Joan Jett’s first quest in following her dreams. She turned heads and garnered glowing reviews and utmost respect from colleagues and film critics. She also gained a new set of admirers as she teaches this new generation about girls who rock.

Ohai, UK Elle! Voted your favorite Print Interview/Photoshoot for many reasons. Yeah. It’s mine tooo.

SOOOOO, I could go through and jaw on every single one of these moments/events as profoundly effecting for their various reasons. But I found that the most moving of all events that occurred for me personally this year in relation to our Reigning Queen is in the creation of Musings, therefore, the introduction and connection with you all. You have all stunned and humbled me in so many ways and have become essential place holders on Team Other and Team Dance-in-the-Bubbles. I say in all seriousness that you granted me energy and courage and motivation to speak up in this fandom, but also in my own life. I also have acquired dear, dear friends whom I hope to have for life. I am embarrassingly short on words to describe my gratitude. But know, if I were eloquent and funny like my Team Other Captains CC, Bouffant and Buff, I would properly and wittily express my love to you…and to the muse named Kristen Stewart. Here, have some Pretty, mmmkay?

The Rebellious Beauty Collaboration Giveaway

But Since I’m  not as eloquent and witty as my cohorts, I’m going to take the time now to thank the Readers who left thoughtful and soulful answers in the comment section last week to enroll in the Giveaway of Buff82 & N’s insanely gorgeous collaborations on Beauty. Here are the 2 winners of the Moo Collab Giveaway:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

6

2

Congratulations!!!! Number 6 is a long-time Musings supporter and Blissful affiliate (and fanfic h00r like me) Crystal @TakeMeToBliss. I feel very, very good about this. Crystal has written me after and/or commented on probably every single Musings essay ever written. She is a fierce supporter of Otherness and a firm believer that KSIBTUs, and she is a gifted and soulful writer in her own right.

Number 2 is also a long-time Musings supporter and often serves as a muse to me as we discuss family, school, travel and the ff crack. KATE @kate_Suena ! This is also so very good because Katie has been slaving away on her finals at University up there in Canada, so a little break and the reminder of Otherness and keeping Perspective couldn’t come at a better time.

Again, a reminder, these are the 3 Featured Prints that Crystal and Kate can now choose from.  And stay tuned in the approaching weeks. My uber talented friend Buff and ridonk gifted husband N have collaborated on several more prints. The prints are un. real.

I’m not going to get weepy (much) right here as I bid adieu to 2010. In the spirit of keeping perspective and following bliss, I will share my new year’s hope for Kristen, for me and for us all.

For Kristen: My hope is that you know in your soul how courageous and extraordinary you are.

For Rob: My hope is that you continue to move forward with the wit, grace and intelligence you’ve displayed all this year. You’ve been glorious, even when it’s been daunting.

For Us/Others/Majestic Misfits/Royal Rebels: My hope for us is that we continue to seek the good in ourselves and in Others.

Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year celebration! If 2010 was any indicator of how blessed we are, then 2011 is going to be overflowing.

To Kristen, Rob and Unconventional Beauty! CHEERS!!!

We are Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others come here to be who they are.

Embrace Your Other.

Question: Has this been the year that you came here to be who you are?

A/N: I will be taking at least one week off in the new year to take care of some 3D stuff that simply cannot be ignored any longer (ohai, immigration. business licensing. family health. pursuit of bliss). I hope you all have a safe and wondrous New Year’s Eve and Day and I look forward to chatting Other Rebellion with you in 2011. We have so many Featured Rebels to discuss including the ladies of The Black Swan, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Plus we must touch base with one another to see how the Embracing of Other is going for ourselves and our loved ones. I hope to be back by January 13, 2011 with a New MOO, but if something absolutely mind-bogglingly Other takes place, I’ll be here, Musing and babbling about it with you. I’m not wandering far. Swearsies. Happy New Year, Lovelies. Yours Always, KJ

SPECIAL NOTES:

My Cyber Sisters & Readers. You ladies are truly a gift. Happy Anniversary.

To Buff & N, thank you for your generous donation of time an talent to the Giveaways. And Buff, because you make it all so pretty and keep me in check too.

Winners of the Giveaway: Crystal and Kate, let’s touch base and I’ll get your Rebel Beauty Prints in the mail to you pronto!!

Lastly:

Congratulations to Possum Bestie, @ophelia2010!

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.

Gratitude for Stew and You

24 Nov

The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself. ~~Anais Nin

Hello, Beauties! Happy Thanksgiving Eve to those who celebrate this holiday. *Pauses. Clears throat. Adopts PSA Voice.* I really don’t think it’s fair to anyone (most of all, you) to kick this long-overdue essay off with apologies. So, I won’t take any more time away from Musings to explain the numerous and varying events influencing whether or not I could write in the past week, lending to a delay in posting. Just know that I have missed interacting with you and those of you who have been my cheerleaders (Hi, @deedreamer16, Periwinkle, @robkris13, OJ, @MoosikFreak , My Manager Kathryn *tearful goodbye*, @TheUrbanWhisk) I have a ginormous, overflowing wheelbarrow of gratitude for you . Aha! How apt! It’s the day before our Tryptophan Tradition (or perhaps mash potatoes and green bean casseroles for the non-meat-eaters) here in The States in which we celebrate collaboration, friends, family and gratitude. What are your plans, my Majestic Misfits?

err. This image is entitled: “The Absolute Antithesis of KJ”.                            Although I do dig the red dress. 

When we last were together, we enjoyed the fruits of the interview our Reigning Queen Kristen gave to Sarah Kuhn of Backstage. You also accompanied me through the retelling of my drunken birthday adventures in which I stopped for a moment and wondered how the hell I was so blessed, as 90-year old (give or take 15 years) saxophone player serenaded me with his rendition of Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed-Girl and I swayed happily alongside him with a tiara on my head and Titanic’s Heart of the Ocean Necklacedraped around my neck. I recognize that  lot of the fortune in my life is on account of my own doing and a personal quest to break through the fear that bound me to Plan B (Convention. BastardNation. Living to work, not working to live). However, I recognize that much of the prosperity I have the privilege of enjoying attests to many factors…to which I dedicate today’s Musings. In honor of shopping lists and To-Do boxes to check off in preparation for Thanksgiving, I am preparing my own LIST (oh the office supply-lover in me is doing cartwheels of joy) to share with you today…

KJ’S LIST OF GRATITUDES

SEAN PENN

Oh I realize it might be a bit odd for me to pay respect to Jeff Spicoli here. But the controversial, Oscar-award-winning, paparazzi-punching (fuck yeah!), political-advocate (or detriment, depending on whom you speak with) is an integral, essential reason for introducing us to a talented, versatile and one-of-a-kind actress by the name of Kristen Stewart. It was Sean Penn’s keen eye that recognized Queen Kristen’s raw and startling talent. He cast her in the small 2007  film he directed called Into the Wild as Tracy, a young girl in a trailer park, enamored with Emilie Hirsch’s vagabond Chris. Penn praised Kristen in saying:

“[Stewart] is magically easy to direct…She’s a real force with terrific instincts..”

Sean Penn then went on to recommend Kristen as a viable actress to legendary, brilliant talents such as Robert DeNiro, James Woods, and Jake Scott. And Kristen, whose screen time in Into the Wild was perhaps only 15 minutes long, managed to ensnare and enchant other filmmakers including Catherine Hardwicke, Greg Mattola and a one Mr Robert Pattinson because of Penn’s introduction of Ms. Stewart. Since he was the mastermind behind the hauntingly beautiful movie Into the Wild , which in turn became the catalyst in Kristen’s career, I am grateful for SEAN PENN.

CEDRIC DIGGORY

Ahhhhh. Poor, sweet, tragic Cedric Diggory. I firstly should bow down to the brilliant J.K. Rowling, for many reasons, but for certain, one of them being she is who conjured up a Hufflepuff Prefect with a kind heart from her own imagination. Cedric Diggory’s decided fate triggered a domino effect of change and tragedy in the remaining stories in the series about a boy wizard. (I’ll take some time soon to gush and rave about the film adaptation Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows another time, but OHMAHGAWD, I thought it was incredible and unexpectedly moving).  The name Diggory first appeared in text in the third Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban. However, we didn’t fullly realize and appreciate the gorgeous and tender-hearted Quidditch Seeker named Cedric until the fourth novel, The Goblet of Fire was adapted to film, and a British teenager named Robert Pattinson landed his first film role in his portrayal of Cedric. Because it was this character’s role that became the catalyst for Rob’s career, and therefore an integral reason behind why I’m writing Musings at all, CEDRIC DIGGORY is much, much appreciated.

CATHERINE HARDWICKE

For many of you, I won’t really need to explain my gratefulness for the Texan-born director of such films as Lords of Dogtown and Thirteen. Catherine Hardwicke was placed at the helm of directing and casting a small independent movie called Twilight in 2007. As her background was in architecture and design, I’d say our Cathy had a predisposition for crafting a compelling story. Catherine knew that Twilight had a devout following in readers of the books, but she carried the responsibility of translating it onto screen in a believable, respectful manner. She was cognizant that she was drafting a film based on material that could potentially be construed as gratuitous and hokey (those who read the Twilight books who did not love them often criticized the story as such), so she focused on the fundamental concepts of the series: The love story between the main protagonists, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. In interviews, Catherine, in her sweet, sometimes tangential anecdotes, spoke of her awareness that without a believable Edward and Bella, there would be no Twilight. Ms. Hardwicke found her Bella first, when she glimpsed a young actress by the name of KRISTEN STEWART in Sean Penn’s Into the Wild (Remember we spoke of Synchronicity? Uh huh. Into the Wild was a pivotal event for Kristen, presenting her with her “Gift of Yes”). Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh where Kristen was filming Adventureland to pitch the beginning ideas of Bella Swan.

“She [Kristen] had this longing and vulnerability that I felt was important for Bella to have…and she expressed it in a deep and important way…I loved her. I loved the idea of Kristen as Bella.”

I get it, Cathy. I do.

When it was time to cast Edward for the film, many months had passed into the casting process, and thousands of young men were considered. The casting director narrowed down the enormous list to approximately 50 hopefuls, and Catherine read with and auditioned  four of those fifty. . . it’s now steeped in Twilight legend in that Kristen read live with the four “Semi-Finalists” as Catherine refers to them, but could not find the electricity, the spicy friction that exists between Edward and Bella. Ms. Hardwicke reports calling all her staff, assistants and casting directors and begged them to search one more time for a young man between the ages of 17 and 25 to play Edward. Her assistants approached Hardwicke with a headshot and IMDb bio of a British musician called Robert who was in a Harry Potter film a couple years earlier. When Robert was brought in for a reading, Catherine reports feeling the “electricity, the buzz between them [Kristen and Robert]. Their chemistry was palpable…. It had to be Rob”. And Kristen, our resident Bullshit Detector and Truth Magnet concurred. The rest, as they say, is history. Because she directed and guided a film with her Indie sensibility, and that film later would launch an enterprise; plus she united twin souls and rebellious beauties in the process, I GIVE THANKS for CATHERINE HARDWICKE.

BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS  & BATHING SUIT THERAPY

*THUD*

Um. I don’t even know where to begin with this particular gratitude, since it spawned such a catalytic reaction with, like, everyone, and it broached absolutely essential topics of  having the rights to privacy, body image, self-esteem, and beauty. Perhaps that’s why I’m citing this event on my Thanksgiving List, because the pictures that triggered the discussion on these important subject matters provoked fandom interaction, international negotiations, new appreciation and a new level of awareness. On a small island near Paraty, Brazil, our Rebellious Royals were filming honeymoon scenes for the film Breaking Dawn. Beach frolicking and waterfall sight-seeing requires the actors to strip down, and so, well… they did.

this eventually is the EW cover via twilighteranonymous

Not gonna lie, when I first caught glimpses of these photos, my jaw dropped to the ground and I stared for maybe ten minutes before I slapped myself back to the present. First off,  I must say, our Warrior Poet Rob looks fantastic, obviously benefitting from his bike rides around the University lakes in Louisiana. And our Reigning Queen? Yeah. I think we have our definitive answer as to why she is ROYALTY. In my opinion, Kristen is glorious. She is fit, healthy and most importantly, confident.

So of course I found myself seething when commenters hiding behind anonymous screen names or Twi-inspired monikers began ridiculing, snickering and tearing apart Kristen (and Rob’s) physical physiques on public discussion boards. “Fans” (or, not-really-fans) began scrutinizing and holding discussions about her physical anatomy including her lady parts, chalking up reasons why she was in fact not beautiful. When a rogue and completely unethical Brazilian photographer captured pictures of Rob and Kristen in their private, off-set time, in which Rob was in his boxer briefs, and Kristen was wearing a different bathing suit top than the one for filming (which was absolutely sheer when wet), particularly offensive websites began writing whole posts dedicated to Kristen’s nether regions and her–in their eyes– less-than-satisfactory body shape (I can’t even begin to fathom their justifications. Nucking Futs–yes that is the clinical term).

She doesn’t even need a Wind Machine! Uh, Rob? Eyes up HERE. *points to K’s face*, though I can appreciate your appreciation of Our Queen’s Beauty.

There was no acknowledgement that these two people were victims of serious privacy invasion. There was no mention of the fact that it’s actually quite a courageous thing that Kristen did–walk around nearly naked in public for the sake of work, beneath a huge magnifying glass. Question: COULD YOU DO THAT?? More alarmingly, at least to me, was that all of this enabling of public exposure contributed to an event in which an undercover Brazilian reporter breached the Breaking Dawn set, and videotaped Kristen and Rob in their private moments, not filming, and off-camera. Nothing was too revealing, although the pictures indicated that this intruder and his video camera, came disconcertingly close to Kristen–physicallywithin touching range. Too Close. Ok, that is SCARY, guys. It is already disheartening to see these actors’ personal lives exploited, but it’s a whole new level when considering their physical safety from harmful or overzealous “fans” or paparazzi Vultures. This breach in security (um, perhaps bribery?) supposedly (and finally!!) prompted the film’s studio, Summit (intake of breath, hisssss) to call for a meeting to re-evaluate the privacy and safety of the film’s actors.

These pictures were released around the same time I was down on my third pass to my hometown for my psych seminar. I admitted to you all that I encountered some challenges to my Otherness while down there, touching on issues of career choice, relationships, body image and gender role expectations. I’ll delve into the subject another Musings, but the harsh public reaction to these pictures in combination with the hometown emotional confrontations took their toll on me, which contributed to my delay in even writing about these monumental times. But these pictures, of our very fit and confident (i.e. beautiful) Rebels, have indeed sparked an appreciation in me. I am GRATEFUL for BRAZILIAN WATERFALLS.

COLLABORATION AKA, SHARING IS CARING

Our rebels, of course, went forth as professionals and in a way that enhanced and openly featured their real-life affection for one another, both during filming and not. There were piggy back rides,

lip service of mutual admiration,

Chess strategizing…

the sharing of smokes…. (@greenangelice, did you not die when you saw this?)

And so while I struggled this week with breaking through gender roles placed upon me, writer’s block, insecurity surrounding my body and my hair (those of you with or without hair know what Imma sayin); moments of sheer panic about my pursuit of Bliss, exhaustion from 6 flights, a two-weekend psychology training, which required me to write  a philosophy paper, and a roundtrip road exscusion along the coast, I am exceedingly grateful for Robert and Kristen’s visual reminder to me that SHARING IS CARING, and that everything, everything is better, smoother, prettier, more effective and powerful when we COLLABORATE.

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN JAYMES STEWART

The theme, appropriately so, for this week’s Thanksgiving Musings is Gratitude. I am grateful for the Rebel Royal, the Majestic Misfit, the Beautiful, Unconventional Ambassador of Other, our Reigning Queen, Kristen Stewart. Without her role modeling of what a strong, unique, intelligent, fiercely dressed, authentic, courageous, grounded and lovely woman could be, there would be no Musings. I would not have met some of the most incredible artists, writers, musicians, students, intellects, teachers, friends, Other-Supporters if it hadn’t been for the resurgence of Kristen, this generation’s Smart Girl.

Courtesy of KBitch’s Tumblr

Courtesy of the sublimely named: ItsOkToNOTbeOK

REBEL ROYAL SUPPORTERS

And finally, but in my mind, most importantly, I am grateful for …YOU.  I wouldn’t even be here today, rambling on about Thanksgiving gratitudes and the joys of Collaboration, without the unwavering support of Musings Readers and friends, a large majority of whom I met through this fandom. In Spring of 2008, I was simply an admirer of an actress named Kristen and an actor named Robert, and flying high from a little romantic story involving vampires, humans and Teeth Babiesthat I avoided reading for months because of my own predisposed judgments. I knew of my 3D friends who were  teachers, therapists, writers, musicians, artists and UnderCover Others, aimless bliss-seekers and Majestic Misfits, but we hadn’t convened in this powerful way  just yet. Nearly two years ago, I thought I was alone in my appreciation of Kristen Stewart and Other Rebels, but between my experiences online through E!, Twitter, meeting my CYBER SISTERS & READERS and my KSIBTU Crew, melding these folks from 1& 2D into 3D, blending them with my 3D crew… you lovelies have me seeing STARS.  You have established a connection with me through numerous and varying channels (Twitter, Email, Tumblr, Comments)to remind me of the undeniable power of collaboration and the pride in being OTHER. You remind me WE ARE NOT ALONE.  I humbly bow down to you, and with awe and utmost respect, I THANK YOU.  I am yours completely, KJ

See how well we fit together? 

WE ARE OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS MAKE LISTS OF GRATITUDE, AND TICK OFF THE BOXES.

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: There are several questions I’ve thrown out there to you in the Thanksgiving Edition of Sentence Completion Fun on the About KJ page…Check it.

Example: What is your favorite Thanksgiving Food? . . . What body part of your own would YOU save for posterity?

A/N: Have a wonderful THANKSGIVING. Again, thank you for flowing with me as I belligerently barrel through limitations and writer’s block; moments of insecurity, and bouts of exhaustion. You are never, never, far from my thoughts and heart.

Special acknowledgement to my Sister PUSS, my niece MONKEY, my big brother CHEW. You are my #1 support team.

Tearful goodbyes and sniffle-sobs to Kathryn, Keiron and L. I will see you soon on Skype. We have some serious business to pursue. I’ll keep the candle burning in the window so you can find your way back safely. #BoHoBayCircle

Buff, CC, Bouffant… you complete me.

My CYBER SISTERS/READERS: Happy Anniversary, Ladies.

I’ll see you all next week. We’ll talk Otherness, In N Out, Eclipse Commentaries, and the movement to stop the destruction of Others.

Carry On.

xx, K

Into the Wild, Into Synchronicity

14 Oct

Every time we say ‘Let there be!’ in any form, something happens ~Stella Terrill Mann

I don’t believe in coincidences. Do you? I believe in something referred to as synchronicity. I also believe in spontaneity. According to Wikipedia (because, let’s face it, it’s not culturally relevant if it’s not in Wikipedia, right?), synchronicity is the experience of two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner. Swiss philosopher and psychologist, and one of my favorite figures in consciousness and creativity, Carl Jung coined the term synchronicity to outline the idea of a  “connecting principle”,  and “a-causal parallelism”. Basically, we have a  connection between ourselves and our environment–socially, psychically, emotionally, spiritually–much deeper, moving beyond random occurrences. From a religious perspective, synchronicity can simply imply recognition of larger plan, a higher power. There are many ways one might refer to a higher power: God, Mother Earth, Goddess, Allah, The Great Spirit, Energy, The Universe, Our Heavenly Father…Wikipedia cites similarities between synchronicity and “a divine intervention”, and author and teacher Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way) wonders if Synchronicity is “an answered prayer”. In the sixties, it was known as serendipity.

There are adages, cautionary phrases of, “Watch out for what you wish for” or “Watch out for what you pray for, you just might get it”…or, my favorites, “Things tend to work out as you need them to” and “Ask and you shall receive”.

I’ve had a week filled with synchronicities that I’ll talk a little more about perhaps later…But I also noticed a few fortunate, serendipitous events shaping our Other Queen Kristen’s trajectory as well.

This week, as Kristen and Rob have had several date nights, and Kristen made her appearance on Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show— which I only watched because I’m a Team Kristen girl, (#TeamCoco, #TeamFallonKStewBesties), not because I am a Leno fan. We have seen more of our Reigning Other Queen than we have in the past month as she wrapped On The Road filming. Not complaining, oh no. If I can grab a glance at Kristen Stewart and her twin soul Robert Pattinson, my day is made. I know there is only a week or so before both Rebel Royals are due in Vancouver for the start of filming of Breaking Dawn. So Kristen promoting Welcome to the Rileys’ these days is allll goodness.

cool, relaxed, fresh, beautiful. Louboutins. perfection.

Jake Scott, son of Ridley, and director of Welcome to the Rileys’, spoke about Kristen’s performance at a recent screening. He reported what a coup it was to cast Kristen in the role of Mallory, the underage hooker who deeply effects the lives of The Rileys, Doug and Lois. Scott tells Film Journal International,

“I loved her in [the Sean Penn-directed film] Into the Wild. I thought, ‘Oh my God, who is this girl? That’s exactly the right quality I’m looking for in Mallory.’ It’s a sort of feral quality.”

Hmm. It seems that Kristen’s participation in that quiet, haunting film triggered a number or synchronicitous events: Kristen’s co-star from Into the Wild, Emile Hirsch, recommended Kristen to a director friend of his, whom I have a particular fondness for: Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown). Well, our chatty Ms Hardwicke was casting a small indie-project called Twilight in the fall of 2007. As soon as Cathy met Kristen, she was impressed with Kristen’s abilities and professionalism and cast her as Bella Swan. It’s now well- known in the legendary story of Twilight Casting, that the iconic role of Edward was not filled until the final moments. Robert Pattinson, a British musician, known mostly for his portrayal of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was not working and by his words, “getting drunk for a year” (Vanity Fair, December 2009). He had heard of a casting call for Twilight, but he did not initially invest much interest in auditioning. Firstly, he was on the verge of leaving the business. Secondly, he dreaded having to participate in an audition in which he’d have to “take my shirt off”, as the role of Edward Cullen required features of physical perfection (which is up for interpretation in my opinion), including defined  and chiseled abdominal muscles. Well, a shift so phenomenal occurred, becoming a catalyst in Twilight history… and in Kristen Stewart’s history. What was the triggering shift? Rob watched a movie called Into the Wild.

“I went in mainly [to the Twilight audition] because I had seen Into the Wild and I wanted to meet Kristen.”~Rob Pattinson

Ahhhh. The Universe has an interesting way of connecting events, paving ways, yes?….Kristen’s participation in a film in which she had maybe ten or fifteen minutes of screen time, led to exposure  to two directors of future projects. These projects would launch her career into the stratosphere… Her portrayal of Tracy in Into the Wild compelled her future costar Robert to fly from the U.K. and try a last audition before he quit acting all together. Rob not only nabbed the role of the iconic Edward Cullen (he was the last person to audition), their chemistry lending to success of the Twilight Saga (It’s earned a gazillion dollars at the box office to date), but he and Kristen discovered their startlingly electric connection worked beautifully off-screen as well. Kristen and Rob are now partners in Otherness. One decision by Kristen to be apart of a meaningful project became the catalyst of  great wealth professionally and personally.

Voted #1 Magazine Cover of the Year

 

SERENDIPITY, SYNCHRONICITY

Last week we spoke of following our bliss and taking the risk by being creative and finding our true path. Kristen found hers by relying on her intuition and her love of storytelling, even though she had not anticipated being an actor. Thankfully, Rob just happened to rent a video of one of Kristen’s movies, prompting him to fly on his own dime and audition for the role that would change the trajectory of his career, and his personal life. Jake Scott also caught a showing of the same movie and felt inspired to cast Kristen in his small character-driven film WTTR. This role, and Kristen’s performance is garnering the highest critical praise of her career thus far, triggering even whispers of Oscar nominations. synchronicity doesn’t always manifest so dramatically, though. Letters I received in reaction to last week’s Musings illustrates this: You beauties have written of rediscovery of creativity after tragedy, rejection, boredom and stifling. Letters from literary agents, a talent for jewelry making, a voice of reason on public blogs, writing fan fiction, writing memoirs, painting, furniture making….you all were inspired by an event that led you give a chance to live happily, creatively, fully, fearlessly.

Synchronicity/Serendipity/Divine Intervention can appear to us in quiet forms:

  • A man admits to a hidden desire to act. At dinner that night, he sits beside a woman who teaches beginning acting classes on techniques.
  • A woman who is a stay-at-home mother has secretly painted for years and vows to herself to connect up with other painters for support and guidance. The next day, she finds herself in an online discussion group about creativity and discovers another artist who becomes her mentor and collaborator. She now has paintings displayed in galleries in two countries.
  • A writer wonders how to find a rare book he has not seen ever, but has heard about. He finds it in the neighborhood used bookstore two days later.

I did my own part of proactivity, by sending out into the world a handful of copies of the Musical Love Letter to Others via the Soundtrack Giveaway. On it, track #14, I believe, is my own music. It was recorded with the intention of being the soundtrack for a small independent movie produced by a dear , late friend of mine. Only a handful of family and friends even knew that I recorded the track, but now, not only have I given it to Musings Readers to hear it, but we’re handing it over to the manager of the Spanish lounge I told you all about in the Musings titled Miracle Bubbles. Hopefully, I can perform a little bit at that lounge, as they were seeking musical performers a few months ago. But mostly, I feel a great relief that I did keep my quiet musical abilities sequestered away. If only five people hear the track, then I am successful. But in actuality, it just opened up more doors.

Here’s just one of my stories of synchronicity this week: While I was burning the Musings Love Letter to Other playlist onto CDs for last week’s 5 giveaway winners, My manager Kathryn (the lovely artist Kathryn LeGrice, whose paintings have been featured this past week), put on the CD to listen to for background music. Twenty minutes later, in walks my friend RA who just happens to be a gifted musician and a recording engineer. He also is my ex boyfriend and musical collaborator, recording and playing guitars on the musical track I placed on the Musings Soundtrack/Love Letter. I hadn’t seen him physically in almost two years. He just comes walking into the living room in which I just happen to be sitting, wanting to visit Kathryn and Keiron. And he brought with him an old friend of mine from childhood, John, an obscenely talented painter and sculptor. Hadn’t seen him in nearly 4 years. They both scream in joy and wrap their arms around me. John says,” I just was talking about you yesterday. I was craving you.” So now? I will be going into a recording studio for the first time in over 7 years to record a demo CD with RA,within the next week or so. Because it’s out there, and I want to keep pushing myself to create and share.

FEATURED ROYAL REBEL:  EMMA STONE

In a continuation of fortuitous connections, I introduce this week’s Featured Royal with a great big smile. The lovely Ms Emma Stone fulfills my #GingerQuota for Musings this week, but alas, I learned in my research that she is not a natural ginger. She is a blonde, but director Judd Apatow (guide and mentor to many of our Favorite Misfit Rebels including James Franco, Michael Cera) recommended Emma dye her locks red for her debut role in the comedy Superbad starring Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. Well, how else is this beautiful girl a perfect example of divine connection? She starred in Zombieland alongside last week’s beloved Rebel Jesse Eisenberg, as Wichita, a con artist traveling with Jesse and Woody Harrelson’s characters in a postapocalyptic land infested with zombies. How else is this beautiful Rebel serendipitously linked to Otherness? How bout via The Queen herself? Emma was named, along with Reigning Other Queen Kristen, and Featured Royal Rebel Carey Mulligan as one of Vanity Fair’s Actresses to Watch in the Hollywood Issue from last March. Note the hot Ginger in these pics.

At only 15 years old when she campaigned to leave her home in Arizona, Emma moved out to Los Angeles with her mother in following hopes to break into the acting business. She convinced her parents she needed to try acting by pitching a power point presentation called “Project Hollywood” to them. She is known as the comedic, klutzy, every-girl, approachable while also insanely beautiful. See her projects: The House Bunny and the recent charming film Easy A and witness her portrayals of intelligent, searching, women on the cusp of social acceptance (OTHER).

Emma discovered her love of performing when she acted in school plays and community theater productions. She dropped out of  high school to make room for auditioning and completed her studies via home schooling. She debuted on television in the short-lived (only the Pilot Episode was shot) The New Partridge Family. Other creative avenues she’d like to pursue? Film production and more comedy work. Her dream was to host Saturday Night Live, in the footsteps of the show’s regulars: Molly Shannon and Gilda Radnor. On October 23 of this year, Ms Stone is scheduled to fulfill that wish: She will host the late night comedy sketch show. She has been cast in the role of Gwen Stacy in the re-make of The Spider Man films, opposite Andrew Garfield (another Team Other fave)’s Spider Man. Oh yeah. And Andrew is one of Rob’s (Our Poet Warrior) best friends from Britain. See how interconnected everyone really is?? Well, I’m all for the funny, smart, every-girl finding success in the chaotic dance that is show business. So I continue to cheer on this wonderfully refreshing girl from the Team Other skybox above the field.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Credits her family as keeping her grounded and authentic in the Hollywood Chaos

*Grew up idolizing comics such as Gilda Radnor and Molly Shannon

*Gravitates towards roles of intelligent, approachable women instead of physically “beautiful” women

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Jake Scott also spoke about Kristen when he was at a recent screening for WTTR. He reports being enthralled by her instantly because of her screen presence and “feral” quality in her scenes of Into the Wild, and rejoiced when he she was cast as Mallory in the film. In describing Queen Kristen?

“She’s very vulpine…wily, kind of twitchy. Directing her is kind of like wrangling a herd of cats”.

People may take offense to this description of our girl, but I am not one of them. I feel like Jake Scott just described exactly why she is Our Other Queen. Unbound, unrestrained, raw, bursting with energy. One might call that wild. Or spontaneous. Jake did say that he wanted Mallory’s “feral” qualities to emerge, yes?….Well, there you have it.

“Kristen, more than anyone, would go off-script or off-course, but it would be brilliant and it would work.”

Kristen is committed for the next six months to the filming of Breaking Dawn. She will see this franchise through to the final wrap and promotion, for she recognizes the blessing of being a participant in the Twilight Saga. She has been given opportunities to work on projects that are character-driven and of great value to her. She is able to challenge herself in her craft that she loves. She is building an already impressive foundation for a long-lasting, successful career, and she is doing so with her collaborator and love, Rob.

Rob is also enjoying the fruits of his prayers answered–synchronicity–he has just completed his busiest work year to date, filming Eclipse, Bel Ami and Water For Elephants over a span of ten months. Ask and you shall receive? The Universe provides? These blessings and nudges of encouragement in our lives very well could prove to be a collaboration with our selves, and our higher power, the collective. But we have to be willing participants as well. For every moment we uncover our desire to be present, aware and proactive in pursuing our authentic work, we are opening ourselves to a beautiful partnership of  living. Whatever you choose to call it, once you embrace it, you will find that is popping up EVERYWHERE.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Is spontaneous and willing to go off-script

*Idolizes actors, Others,  like Catherine Keener and Kate Winslet

*Gravitates towards roles of intelligent, courageous, unusual women, instead of  the “Pretty Girl” Roles

Continue down your path of seeking grounding and authenticity, as Kristen and Emma do. Look for the signs that encourage and support your decisions to be artful, outside the box, authentic, different, and brave. The signs are everywhere. Forget focusing on the petty in-fighting and strange competitiveness that is present in this fandom and cyber world, and turn your attentions inward, to yourself, your own path, your own greatness. Let Queen Kristen be your guide and role model, but understand that you need to do the work as well, even if that simply means, asking for help, following your instincts, or admitting that you’d rather be a T-Shirt maker instead of an accountant.

Because I actively intended to release some of my creative work into the world via music and ramblings on Unconventional Beauty, I am still able to stand on the Homecoming Queen Float.

Because she looks to triangle-haired, and sometimes spastic comediennes to be her performing role models, Emma Stone is a Royally Rebellious Other.

And because she will completely go “off-script”, embodying impulsive, spontaneous moments of expression,  regardless of appearance, and still producing a “feral”, raw, honest performance, Kristen Stewart is our Reigning Other Queen.

EMMA IS OTHER.

KRISTEN IS OTHER.

OTHERS VENTURE INTO THE WILD, AND RECEIVE NUMEROUS BLESSINGS FOR DOING SO

EMBRACE YOUR OTHER.

QUESTION: HOW HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED SYNCHRONICITY/SERENDIPITY IN YOUR LIFE? How have you ventured into the wild, and experienced its blessings?

A Revelatory Year (And a New Home!)

30 Sep

*Any images on this site of Kristen, Rob, the Featured Royal Rebel, and movie production are not mine. My images come from Kstewartfan.org, Google Images and Photobucket. The Indo pics and the MOOQ domain, however, are mine*

WELCOME TO THE NEW HOME OF MUSINGS ON OTHER QUEENS! Dear friends, new readers, O.G. readers, KStew and Rob supporters, Team Other mates, and pursuers of Bliss and Creativity: I am grateful that you’ve stuck with me while I’ve ventured out into this somewhat unstable territory of public rambling, and I am so pleased to share the new digs with you. Buff has been working extra hard to bring the pretty, and CC is my Archive-Transferring Goddess. She’s a Pioneer as she just brought her brilliant site KStew Is Better Than You (KSIBTU) over to this blog host a couple days ago to a vey warm reception. So change your bookmarks, kids, MusingsOnOtherQueens has it’s own domain!

I. OWN. IT.

Today’s essay will be a vintage Musings essay complete with a Featured Rebel Royal annnnnd the official commencement of the Musings On Other Soundtrack Giveway, a.k.a., KJ’s-Old-School-Love-Letter/Mixed-Tape-To-The-Extraordinary-Readers-and-Followers-of-Musings! So kick back, relax, grab a cold one (you know somewhere it’s 5 o’clock!), because I’m a wordy bitch, and today is like Opening Day, so watch out! Stick around after the essay for a few more…um..words, if you would be so kind.

The moments that seem to be great failures, followed by wreckage, were the incidents that shaped your life now~~ Joseph Campbell

A year ago, September-October-ish 2009. Where were you? In Cali, where we really don’t have seasons to note the months passing, only the fact our street lights flicker on earlier in the evening than they did previous evenings, the weather was unseasonably warm, much like it is this year. A year ago, Musings did not exist, I was in my first month of unemployment after leaving BastardNation, and I was still flitting around entertainment sites seeking snippets of news about Kristen, having not yet officially convened with the ladies I now refer to as my Sisters & Readers. Our Other Queen Kristen had finished her summer portraying another Rebel Queen in The Runaways and was in Vancouver filming Eclipse.

Our first glimpse of The Wig. The WIN in this pic? BILLY. BURKE. #TeamCharlie

Where were you when the first pics of Eclipse surfaced? Did you cringe or defend The Wig when you first laid eyes on it? Were you like me, and just so happy to see Kristen and Rob and Billy mother-freakin Burke after a torturous summer severely lacking the Stewie, that you didn’t really care about The Wig? Were you still kinda riding high, because after all the vicious rumors and stories attacking Kristen and Rob, images like this burned in your mind still?

Closer much?

A year ago,  I was a somewhat lost lurker on the blogs and gossip sites, slowly making connections to fellow Kris and Rob fans simply by joining in discussions on comment boards and not willingly admitting I had a problem. A Robsten problem. By the way, only this and one other time will I refer to Rob and Kristen as one entity, because I detest the idea of labeling (see last week’s Musings) and its support of losing identity and individuality to a brand. But let me tell you why I finally admitted defeat and recognized that I was deeply fascinated by Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson. This time last year, I was in Bali, Indonesia. I was going to N’s homeland for the first time since we’d been married, a year and a half earlier. I was going to hang with the in-laws. Sample amazing food. See beauty through the lens of a culture on the other side of the planet. I had two and a half weeks in island paradise, and got to visit one of the Seventh Wonders:

Borobudur

Balinese market = Coexistence

One guess as to what I did when and if  (because in 3rd-world countries, Wifi isn’t always readily accessible) I had internet connection at the hotel at night. YUP. I would google the latest news on Eclipse filming and Kristen and Rob sightings.  From Bali, you guys. Though I was in a beautiful, impacting land of color, coexistence and spirituality, I still wondered when we’d see pics like THIS:

Whoops! This wouldn't come for another 6 wks, but it's so so good to see!

I snapped out of my K&R Reverie when West Sumatra, Indonesia, maybe 700 miles north of our location, experienced an Earthquake of 7.0 magnitude, sparking tsunami warnings. My poor friends and family tried frantically to contact us via any channels they could: emails, Facebook, phone (despite the 14 hour time difference and the astronomical calling rates). We were unscathed, unaware, but for several dreadful hours no one back at home in The States knew this. Nothing like a Tsunani scare to shake one out of a YouTube-induced ORD (Obsessive Robsten Disorder), hmmm? *And that was the second and last time I’ll refer to that “nickname”, but BIG W00T to The ORD Society*

Googlesearch Family: Tsunami Indonesia. Googlesearch KJ: Kris & Rob. Eclipse.

What a difference a year makes! What were you all up to last year? Who were your friends? Where were you working? What level of awareness did you have regarding your own level of ORD? Kristen and Rob were ensconced firmly in Vancouver, staying in the same hotel together in adjoining rooms (we later learned this from their interview with Harpers Bazaar). They had survived a brutal summer apart on different coasts: she was in L.A. portraying the bad ass and brilliant Joan Jett to Dakota Fanning’s Neon Angel Cherie Currie; he was filming Remember Me in New York.

I was floating around homeless in every sense of the word, since I was moving back to my childhood home while I regrouped from the tragedy (read: MIRACLE BUBBLES) that was the lay-off from BastardNation, and about two months away from finding a place with Sisters & Readers in the K & R world. My time in Indonesia was meant as a cleansing experience before I returned to the reality of my fucked-up situation: I needed a job, I needed to move back to my soul’s home, I needed to break away from inethical managers, and I needed to return to living soulfully and creatively.

Dancing in the bubbles was the Best. Decision. Ever.

It was a difficult year for Kristen, navigating the pitfalls of fame, a long-distance relationship, publicly, with a partner who is equally well-known and sought after. The success of Twilight brought her opportunities to participate in movies about which she cares deeply (The Runaways, On the Road), but work and Vultures, trash-talking media hounds and spiteful bloggers constantly plagued her, still plague her. But that time, a year ago, much like my despair in the aftermath of BastardNation and The Layoff-turned-move, helped inform and shape current fortunes and successes for Kristen. She has wrapped her work in the already-legendary On the Road, and is enjoying a little break in filming with Rob before embarking on the 6-month journey of filming Breaking Dawn. And I, have launched a magical little practice and have created Musings which has brought me countless blessings in the form of close friendships and daily inspirations.

Featured Rebel Royal: James Franco

He’s been a Freak and Geek, James Dean, Spiderman’s Bestie, a loveable Stoner, a politician’s gay lover on screen and in films. And he is a recurring character on soap opera General Hospital as well, though I have no idea where he finds the time between his 12 other occupations. Additionally in 3D life, James Franco is a director, a writer,  painter and grad student, poised to begin  his Ph.D. in English at Yale this this semester. A California native, James dropped out of UCLA in his first semester to pursue an acting career. He moved through acting school for a year and a half onto his first known role on the cult classic Freaks and Geeks, connecting him with future collaborators and stars Seth Rogan (Knocked Up), director/writer Judd Apatow (Funny People), Martin Starr (Adventureland). Though the show only lasted one year, despite critical praise and it’s small but devoted following, James went on to land the role of James Dean in the TV biopic about the late actor.

The comparisons began immediately

His most successful films to date have been through the Spiderman movies, where James portrays Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s best friend, and tortured son of one of Spidey’s nemeses. Just as James reported feeling a restlessness within the film world, he decided to return to school, attending UCLA ten years after he dropped out the first time. Of course, as the Universe is funny this way, the moment he wanted to withdraw from the film world, his career began to blow up. The roles for Pineapple Express and Milk arose simultaneously, and James found himself in the thick of finishing his bachelors and masters degrees in literature and creative writing while witnessing his film career flourish. His professors, classmates and girlfriend all report James’ almost ‘reckless’ energy poured into all his creative projects and he would not sleep nor eat if people did not bring his food to him, and if he didn’t take cat naps throughout the day. His work ethic is admirable and puzzling to the Hollywood folks, which is fine by James, as he doesn’t listen to criticisms or concern doled out by peers. He lives in New York where he participates in painting, directing and writing short stories when he’s not filming movies or in California for General Hospital.

Amidst speculation on his activity level (Showbiz Folk usually have multiple avenues for expression, but James Franco’s dedication to so many different facets is impressive and mystifying, reports the New York Magazine interviewer Sam Anderson); his sexuality (about which he refuses to clarify), his love life (he’s involved with an actress he met while in acting school) and  his artwork (he recently showed his paintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; he’s had short stories published to some acclaim), James Franco embodies the very spirit of Other Royalty. He simply cannot be categorized, and he is unapologetic about it.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

* Declines from clarifying speculation on his sexuality and love life

*Believes he can successfully finish all of his creative pursuits

*Does not crave celebrity or fame

REIGNING OTHER QUEEN: KRISTEN STEWART

Well our reigning Other Queen has been vintage NinjaStew for the past couple weeks and her presence is missed, but understood. She wrapped work on the already-highly anticipated film adaption of Kerouac’s On the Road just this past weekend, and even though there were no pictures, we suspect she’s home in Los Angeles for a brief interlude before beginning pre-prod on Breaking Dawn. Our Stewie has perfected the art of Stealth which I am very pleased about. The girl needs her privacy, and she deserves a break from the glare and judgement of the gossip mongers who seek her failure of career and heart. In her absence, tabloids and bored “entertainment journalists” like to concoct ridiculous rumors such as jealousy and fighting between herself and other actresses (this week the featured catfight is with the lovely Emma Watson of  the Harry Potter films) . But I prefer to keep my eyes and ears open to the positive answers to the rumor-mongering. Last week, @pinklove24 compiled several (not all mind you, because Girlfriend has an impressive amount of Covers under her belt) of Kristen’s magazine covers into a lovely collage of ROYAL GORGEOUSNESS:

A Pretty Good Year Indeed, Ms Stewart

Also, the buzz around Kristen’s new movie Welcome to the Rileys is growing louder as the film prepares to be showcased at several film festivals in the approaching month. As more film critics view the movie, more accolades and awards-whispers trickle in for our girl. A UK entertainment journalist claims, “Not only is there life after Twilight [For Stewart] but it appears that the best is yet to come from the actress”. And Giovanni Argonaut, producer of Welcome to the Rileys says simply, “Kristen is heartbreaking in this film…worthy of awards”.

A year ago, our Other Queen covered her dyed-black shag with a Bella Swan Wig (that didn’t look as bad on film, honestly), and navigated the flood of attention, doubt and criticism because she chose to accept a role in an what became an extraordinarily popular film franchise…and she chose to keep the company of a certain London Boy. We watched her evolve from a nervous, endearingly awkward and shy girl promoting Twilight to a nervous, endearingly awkward and shy woman navigating the promotion of New Moon and Eclipse. However, she exuded assuredness and an awareness of boundaries more than she had previously. And she had several new film projects to which her name is attached. Next year at this time, when we check back, we may find she has several awards to further endorse her growing confidence and talent.

OFFENSES OF OTHERNESS:

*Does not clarify or pander to questions regarding her personal life

*Believes in pursuing many avenues of creativity: music, writing, acting

*Does not crave celebrity nor fame, though fame craves her

Because he is considered mystifying and brilliant, though sweetly eccentric and odd by his peers and journalists, James Franco is a beautiful example of a Majestic Misfit.

Because she makes great effort to withdraw from publicity, celebrity and fame, even while her star is set to explode even further than it already is now, Kristen is our long-time and probably-always-will-be Reigning Queen of Other.

KJ’s OLD-SCHOOL LOVE-LETTER-MIXED TAPE-TURNED-CD

music=Love

So here are the tracks on the Musing On Others Soundtrack aka KJ’s Old-School Love Sonnet To Otherness. The song order is not quite set in stone, but the tracks chosen, barring any complications, are accurate. I realized I play at least 3 songs every essay and I couldn’t fit all the ones I wanted here, but perhaps, if you all wish so, I’ll make a volume 2 of Love Sonnets for Others. If the track information changes, I’ll let ya know next week, most likely Tuesday, when the 5 Reader-WINNERS are announced. To enter in the giveaway, just leave a comment on this page (not on the About KJ or Twitter pages) with an email or twitter name by which I can reach you.

1. Dig–Incubus

2. Addicted to Love–Florence + The Machine

3. Hallelujah–Jeff Buckley

4. Crucify–Tori Amos

5. Soul to Squeeze–Red Hot Chili Peppers

6. The Devil’s Tears–Angus & Julia Stone

7. Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)–Pixies

8. It’s a Fire–Portishead

9. Not Afraid–Eminem

10. The Shining–Badly Drawn Boy

11. Wake Up–Arcade Fire

12. Over The Rainbow/Wonderful Word–Iz

13. Never Tear Us Apart–INXS

14. Joyful Girl–Ani DiFranco

15. Acid Tongue–Jenny Lewis

16. Trouble–Ray La Montagne

17. **6th X–RW featuring KJ

** bonus track if I can get my paws on the recording, which I believe I can

If I can put more on there, I will. I’m not quite sure how many songs CDs hold these days, I’m spoiled by the expansive space of iTunes playlists unfortunately. But if I can add up to 5 more songs as I suspect I may be able to, I’ll  try to add in The Swell Season, Garbage, Paramore, B.O.B., Massive Attack, Lamb, Eastern Conference Champions among others.

Chucks and Tiaras Forever

Well, this was our first essay as an independent entity. You all deserve fist pumps and W00ts for hanging with me through this doozy of a ramble. Please take your time to explore the site and check out the links of OTHER SUPPORTERS, and BLISS-PURSUERS. There are 3 other pages aside from the Home Page displaying current Musings. ABOUT KJ, EMAIL & TWITTER, and ORIGINS OF MUSINGS. I’ve included little anecdotes and new information in all three pages. Leave comments and feedback on the essay but also on the other pages if you feel moved so. I am still in the process of transferring over old comments from previous posts, so don’t panic if you don’t see any old comments you’ve left. I also am building up a list of affiliates and sister sites to add to the link space on the side bar. Keep checking back as we continue to work on the site. As always, I love hearing from you, so please stop by and say hello.

James is Other.

Kristen is Other.

Others emerge creatively triumphant

when faced with challenges.

Embrace your Other.

QUESTION: Where were you a year ago while Kristen was embarking on filming for Eclipse? How have you resolved challenges in this year to pursue the projects you desire?

A/N: Mad props to Buff for this feast for the eyes, and for powering through and finding away for me to bring you the music . BUFF, YOU ARE AMAZING…Big squeezes and squeals for my girl CC who is my Transferring Goddess and late-night cohort. Thanks to Bouffant for providing me with the James Franco source and for feedback on the site upon first glimpse. As always, thanks to my cyber Sisters & Readers for supporting me no matter the tangent I flit…I LOVE YOU MADLY.

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